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Zombie Outhouse Development Part 4

Zombie Outhouse Development Part 4: Porting to the iPhone with the Bork3D Engine

[Apologies for the long hiatus but I hope be back on track and am planning on weekly updates for this blog]

When it came time to port Zombie Outhouse to the iPhone, I looked at numerous options to help ease the process.  After the dust settled, I decided on the Bork3D Engine.  Some of the reasons were:

  • It’s C++!!!!
  • Low price ($49 for an indie license)
  • Full Source Code
  • Lightweight and clean

Bork3D (as you can tell from the name) is primarily a 3D engine.  While it’s 2D support was really basic, I didn’t need much more than the XNA style SpriteBatch Draw() functions.  Coding my version of the Draw() functions only took a day and wasn’t too bad with my limited exposure to OpenGL.  I did similar things to handle the font, audio and loading code, where I coded my own layers that used the Bork3D engine as a low level interface.

Bork3D is definitely a programmer’s engine and has good support through the developer forum and Wiki.

Summary of the features I added that were not provided by the engine:

  • Objective-C <-> C++ communication link, used specifically to bring up the name editing screen.
  • Dynamically loading sounds, that were are loaded by a functional call with the name of the sound rather than going through a hardcoded list
  • XNA style SpriteBatch Draw() functions which handled drawing directly using OpenGL ES
  • XNA style SpriteBatch DrawString() functions which wrapped the Bork3D font drawing functions

One issue that isn’t completely resolved is that the bitmap font’s generated by XNA and AngelCode Bitmap Font Generator (used by Bork3D) output different sized fonts even when using the same point sizes.  I didn’t dig deep enough into this problem to figure out the magic formula to convert between the two methods but it’s something I would like to resolve in the future.

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