This project's funding goal was not reached on December 9, 2012.
About this project
Let me start by just saying that Objecty is not an engine. Objecty is a tool that will help you work with your current engine. Continue reading to find out more...
Have you ever created or started creating a game and then found out pretty quickly that the tools and utilities required in order to build your content, are either not up to scratch or even worse, need to be coded from scratch. Here at SKN3 we understand your plight and we are here to help. Objecty, the flagship app from SKN3 will save you hours of tedious work and empower all of your game's creative content.
It is vitally important that we raise the community interest and campaign funds for this project. With your help we want to shape Objecty to be the best tool to assist in 2D game development! If you make games, know someone who makes games or simply if you want to support a fellow independent company then please back us with all your might! We shall forever be in your gratitude.
Objecty is a game animation and asset app for Windows and Mac that has been designed to work with any engine, SDK or framework. We have built Objecty from the ground up to offer a set of core building blocks that allow us as the creators of Objecty to rapidly construct amazing feature rich editors.
In English: Objecty is a powerful tool to assist all game developers with a ton of different features and editors! It doesn't matter what you are currently using to make games with, Objecty can help.
The main areas of interest that Objecty will demonstrate:
- Runs on Windows and Mac.
- Organise your artwork with texture packing and atlas items.
- Wow your peers with smooth, skeletal based animation with key framing and tweening.
- Create an army of 2D sprite objects each with a selection of their own frame based animations.
- Visually define a centre point and named action points for any imported image.
- Conveniently draw on collision regions and build your game objects' physics shapes.
- Terra-form terrifically with built in world editor.
- Get all retro with a twist, create and dynamically organise your tilemaps.
- Make level building a cinch with definable auto / magic tile sets.
- Apply custom data on everything, we mean everything!.
- Export to your engine with the open-source Lua based exporter API.
A few of these topics have been detailed with more information below.
At the core of Objecty is a powerful texture packing system that will drastically improve your day to day game development tasks. When an image is loaded into Objecty it is always packed into one of your texture atlases. Depending on which editor you are currently using this will often be done automatically for you. You also have the freedom to manage the textures by hand.
Once your images have been imported and packed, a whole new set of amazing features become available. You can define hotspots on each image. You can define collision shapes. You can add custom data. You can create animations, build skeletal based actors, organise tilemaps, design levels and much more!
In English: Textures in Objecty are like the building blocks of life!
So we are really proud of the skeletal animation editor in Objecty and we feel that it is one of its killer features. You can easily produce smooth, fluid animations using any combination of rotation, scale, alpha, colour and other tweenable properties. With Objecty you can build your characters by snapping together individual bone parts, a bit like a shadow puppet. Once you have constructed your actor, you can easily create memory efficient animations by placing key frames in the timeline track and manoeuvring the individual bones. Objecty will calculate the animation frames in-between and you will see beautifully smooth motion.
In English: You can piece together a character like a shadow puppet and then animate it by manipulating the individual parts of the character.
Animations can be exported to your game engine using one of the open source Lua exporter scripts. With Objecty’s exporter options we have the possibility to render our skeletal animation frames flat or keep each bone image separate for real-time animation. Both of these methods have their advantages but with the skeletal animation approach we can produce fluid, detailed animations that don’t hog your devices' video memory.
As far as we know there are no other products out there that let you create real-time 2D animations for your games with such ease and flexibility. Many companies own proprietary animation tools but as you could imagine these are never seen or heard outside in the wild. For the independent and smaller companies this means an impossible situation where the time and cost to create such a tool limits creative potential. Objecty is set to change all that!
So what is the point in having all this editing power if you still have to go in and hack the system or use another tool to get your game specific information to work? Not much! That is why Objecty allows you to attach custom properties to every selectable object. For example you add an animation frame to a sprite, you can then select the frame and attach any number of custom attributes to it. There are various data types such as integer, float, string, colour and more. Objecty has a powerful attribute grouping mechanism that allows you to select objects of any type and it will group the user interface controls allowing for simple mass-editing.
In English: You can select lots of objects and edit their properties all at once!
Objecty comes with an open source Lua based exporter API that allows us to create exporter scripts for various game engines, libraries and SDK’s. Every type of object within Objecty can have its own set of exporter scripts. So for example a texture object could have one script that exports to the popular game framework cocos2D or another script that outputs the texture to be used in a web page as a CSS spritesheet. If there was anything extra you needed an exporter to do then you have the power to go in and create your own scripts!
We will support popular game engines and libraries but we are hoping that by providing a good set of generic exporters, and access to the API, that the community can start to build their own. This is one of the areas where the funding will help. The more this campaign raises the more engines we can support upon release.
In English: Objecty lets the users decide how their work is taken from Objecty into their game.
Because Objecty uses Lua scripts to export data it means we can support existing libraries in your language of choice. For example the texture packer editor will include Lua scripts that will export to targets such as:
- Blitzmax / Blitzbasic
These are by no means the only targets that can be supported and over time the number of exporters will grow.
Objecty has been created by a very small company with a very tight budget. We have been funding the project with every last penny of money that we own and basically money is running out. We will use the money that you fund to continue to pay bills and keep the company afloat.
The funding target set for this Kickstarter campaign, after all fees and taxes will allow SKN3 to continue to develop Objecty to version 1.0. We aim to deliver this roughly mid-way through 2013.
The version 1.0 tasks include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Completion and refinement of all existing editors.
- Finalise cross platform user interface and code libraries.
- Finalise development of mac version.
- Finalise Objecty’s core components, libraries and systems.
- Smaller additions to existing editors.
- Creation of base exporter scripts.
- Start development of Objecty runtime library/plugin for select environments.
- Performance improvements and refinement.
- Bug testing and fixing.
Version 1.0 will be guaranteed to include the following editors:
- Texture Packer Editor.
- Skeletal Actor Editor.
- Sprite Editor.
- Hotspot Editor.
We are not doing this just for the money, it really is a passion and we want your feedback. We will be heavily engaging the community in our forums and looking at alpha/beta testers to help guide and shape new features. If you think that the editor should be bright orange, and there are enough people shouting for bright orange, then bright orange it is!
We really believe that Objecty can change the way you make games. With your help we will finish our first major leap and confidently move onto the next…
So what if we go beyond our funding goal? Well first of all we crack open the champagne, light up a cigar and eat lots of cake with celebration party hats on! Once the excitement settles down we can really start to dream about the interesting stuff.
As it has been pointed out in the video, Objecty has been built to be extended and improved. We have some interesting ideas and some early prototypes but without your help we fear that Objecty will never reach its full potential. We really want to make this tool the one-stop-shop for all 2D game developers.
With additional funding the most important features we will push for after version 1.0 are:
- Continued development of tilemap editor.
- Continued development of world builder.
- Continued development of collision editor.
- Continued development of physics editor.
- Further development of Objecty runtime library/plugin for select environments.
- Creation of extended library of exporter scripts.
Some of these features are already part way into development but we feel it’s important to prioritise the version 1.0 feature set. If we keep on adding more and more editors, features and improvements then we will never be able to hit a release date.
Beyond these extended goals we really look forward to hearing some suggestions from the community. Here are some ideas that we like:
- Linux version.
- Custom editor screens and object types using Lua .
- Art packs and place holder graphics library.
- Bitmap font editor.
- Cut scene/story editor.
- Custom Lua importer API to import from existing development utilities.
- Custom tools for existing objects and editors using Lua .
- Screen editor for laying out game screens in different resolutions.
- Storyboard editor for organising various screens, levels and cut scenes.
These features are currently just ideas plucked from our imaginations, but if you back the project and contribute in the Objecty community then who knows... We really hope we can beat the project goal and start to implement some of your fantastical ideas!
Thanks for watching, reading and backing. If you would like to speak to us then visit the forum or you can contact us via email.
Risks and challenges
Once the campaign reaches its initial goal we believe that we will be able to deliver an exciting product that will be a tremendous help for all game developers out there. Objecty has been developed with a very strong core set of features so it provides a stable and fast platform for further development. We have put great effort into designing our product to be ready for the final phases, the part of the project where Objecty will really start to shine.
The project has a large scale and a wide scope, but our design philosophy has been to keep things simple and easy. We will use this same approach to hit our deadlines and produce the version 1.0 product. With any project of this nature there are inherent risks for potential investors. We understand this and this is part of the reason we would like to connect with our community. We want to form a lasting communication that will keep customers updated and in the loop.
At points during the project there may be delays to release due to feature addition or unforeseen problems. This is a fundamental issue with software design but we always strive to make sure that we put our full attention on the project, and minimise any such delays. We are dedicated to the Objecty project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The idea for the base price is that we want to try offer Objecty to most people: beginners, hobbyist, indie, small companies, pros ...anyone. At the same time we are really trying to encourage people to join in and become a beta tester. The indie license is really meant as an introductory and we suspect that most will go for the "pro" package anyway once Objecty is released.
- (40 days)