The Cycon Online Game (COG) Engine

Introduction News Documentation Development Screenshots Online Games Downloads Links


Project Update - The Cog Development Application version 1.1.6 has been released!

   This new development release of the Cog Development Application includes down-down lists of all of the current objects for the Direction, Room, Item, Obstruction, and Verb Editors. These editors also now include an "Undo" function which will reset any changes made to the current editor sheet. Also, a user let me know about a bug with the verb editor that was preventing new verbs from being created (this has been fixed). Finally, version 1.1.6 of the Cog Engine has also been embedded.

Project Update - The Cog Engine version 1.1.6 has been released!

   This new development release of the Cog Engine features ease of use enhancements, for new and experienced users alike. Varying compass graphics can now be used to give the player a visual indication of which direction they last moved from, as well as which rooms they have previously visited. Users are also able to pick up and manipulate objects while viewing their Close Up image. More features based on user feedback are planned for upcoming releases.

   The Cycon Odyssey version 0.98.2 has also been released. This updated version of the game includes the new compass graphics, as well as a few new object graphics. There are three new room graphic sketches that have been completed and scanned, and are now in the coloring stage.

Project Update - The Cog Development Application version 1.1.5 has been released!

   Back from vacation now, development is once again progressing. This new development release of the Cog Development Application includes audio support for events, word-wrapping on all GtkText widgets, and version 1.1.5 of the Cog Engine embedded. You will need to run the script on the Cycon Odyssey version 0.98.1 if you want to edit that version of the Cycon Odyssey.

   The next development cycle will focus on fixing user interface problem discovered by beta testers, making gameplay a little less confusing for new users.

   Just a quick update - I've been on vacation for the past week, and did not manage to get the 1.1.5 release of the Cog Development Application made before departing. I would prefer to make a late quality release than a rush released, and hope to have something ready early next week, after I return home.

   In the meantime, I've finished at least three different room sketches, and a number of item/object sketches, to be scanned, colored, and added to the Cycon Odyssey. There will be more information in the coming days, thanks for being patient.

Project Update - The Cog Engine version 1.1.5 has been released!

   This development release of the Cog Engine illustrates how far the project has come since the 1.0 release earlier this year. Users are now able to directly interact with all graphical components in the game, with Text-To-Speech handling all text output. If you haven't downloaded a recent version of the Engine, now is the time to check it out.

   As mentioned yesterday, I was having difficulty getting Festival to behave properly under Linux, but I believe that has now been fixed. If you perform an action which should result in TTS output while the Synthesizer is already speaking, the previous dialog will be interupted, and the new action will be described. I think I like this funtionality better than the Windows one (in which text messages are queued up and spoken one by one, in their entirety), but I'm not certain the interaction with the Microsoft Speech API will permit the same experience.

   In addition to the new Audio support, this release also features restored Save functionality and a better Text-Only interface support (word wrapping is now enabled, instead of the previously ugly method of cutting off words in the middle). I still haven't found a way to overcome the problem with simultaneously displaying Gtk Widgets and mouse interaction with Pygame, but I've come up with a reasonable compromise: If graphical mode is enabled when playing the GTK+/SDL version of the Cog Engine, pressing the "Menu" button at the upper left of the compass will close the Pygame window, and load the GTK+ Menu, where files can be loaded and saved. Selecting "Continue Game" from the File menu will close the GTK+ Menu, and re-load the Pygame window. It's an imperfect solution, but it gets the job done.

   A new release of the Cog Development Application can be expected over the weekend, after word-wrapping support has been added to each and every GtkText widget.

   The Cog Engine now supports threaded Text-to-Speech playback under Windows. In previous releases of the Cog Engine, the user had to wait while the TTS system was speaking, and could not interact the program or continue playing the game until it was finished. Messages to be spoken are now placed into a Queue, which is read from inside of a separate thread. Sound files can still be played correctly while the TTS system is talking. This step largely completes TTS support under Windows.

   TTS support under Linux is currently not so lucky. I'm working on refining the interaction between the engine and the Festival program. In previous releases, Festival would only work when Pygame failed to initialize the sound daemon correctly, leading to an inconsistant user experience. I am now attempting to force festival to compile phrases into .wav files, which can then be sent to PyGame's mixer. If I can get this feature to work properly, both sound and Text-To-Speech should be able to work correctly and concurrently, as it now does under Windows.

   The Cog Engine now supports playing audio files when triggered by a player's action. The Cog Development Application has been updated to include a "PlaySoundFile" effect in the event builder, which will cause an audio file to be loaded and played by the system. Currently only .wav files are supported, but future support is planned for mp3, ogg, mod, and midi files. Also planned is the ability to queue up music when a room is entered for the first time, and when the game is initially loaded.

   This new feature will be part of the 1.1.5 release, slated for Friday of this week.

   The Graphic Area of the SDL version of the Cog Engine is now completely interactive. While in the 1.1.4 release of the engine (just released yesterday) a user had to click on the icon representation of an image in order to manipulate it (such as clicking on an item to move it into their inventory), a user can now click directly on the "Environmental" image of the object in the graphics pane.

   For example, if you click on the dagger icon in your inventory, and then the picture of the stranger standing at the edge of the forest, the game will automatically execute "Use Dagger on Stranger", and the appropriate effect will be produced.

   Instead of making an immediate new release, I'm going to work on adding save functionality back into the program, as well as a few other minor features instead of having two releases in a 24-hour period. In the meantime, clicking the middle mouse button has been fixed to work consistently, and the routines to erase and redraw the graphical mouse pointer have been cleaned up. I'll be doing some heavy testing on this release, continuing to mend the jagged edges here and there.

Project Update - The Cog Engine version 1.1.4 has been released!

   The Cog Engine now supports 100% Graphical Play Mode! This development release of the Cog Engine is the first which allows games to be played from beginning to end without any keyboard interaction. Mouse pointers are now graphical representations of the action you wish to make, and objects both in the room and in your inventory can be managed graphically.

   The next step will be to allow the user to click directly on the graphics in main image frame. You can't currently save a running game under the SDL-based (100% graphical) version, as there are still interaction issues between Pygame and GTK+ which need to be sorted out. There are still a few minor bugs and display problems, but overall the new code base is really coming together.

   The Cycon Odyssey 0.98.1 is being released simultaneously, and has been build using the new 1.1.4 file format. This release includes all of the graphical mouse pointers, a completely new set of object icons, and many small bugfixes.

Project Update - The Cog Development Application 1.1.4 has been released!

   This development release of the Cog Development Application includes all necessary support for the fully graphical version of the Cog Engine. Graphical Widget layout is now 100% dynamic, and can be completely customized by the user. Support for graphical mouse pointers has also been added.

   These features will be used by the new SDL-based GUI-only version of the Cog Engine (version 1.1.4), which will be released sometime in the next few days. Some minor fine tuning needs to be done before the release will be made, but the extra work should be worth it. The 1.1.4 release will allow games to be played from beginning to end without any text interaction (all text output can be piped to the Text-to-Speech synthesizer), and moves the project one major step closer to the 1.2 stable release.

   The Graphical Compass Panel is now fully functional when running the all-graphical (SDL) version of the Cog Engine (this version does not support GTK widgets). The goal is to create a GUI-only based version of the Cog Engine which does not require any keyboard input from the user, and text output is minimal if present at all. If the user requests a room or object description (by right clicking until their cursor becomes an "eye" icon, and then left clicking in the room or on an object), the text output can be piped directly to the Text-To-Speech synthesizer.

   The new graphical code will require a great deal of cleanup and refinement, and it is likely to be a week or more before a release package is made which supports this and similar features. Ideally, in addition to the compass and mouse cursors (which are already working), I would like the user to be able to manipulate objects in their inventory, and in the current room through GUI-only means before making a new release.

Project Update - The Cog Engine version 1.1.3 has been released!

   This latest development release in the recent flurry of new packages includes the new Graphical Inventory panel, as well as the Graphical Object panel. The inventory panel can display icons which represent items in the player's possession. The object panel displays each object the player can interact with in the current room (including items which cannot be picked up and obstructions blocking the player's path). This release uses the new ".cog" file format, and fixes a small number of bugs.

   Development is now focused on allowing the user to interface with these graphical panels by using the mouse. Right-clicking will allow the user to cycle through mouse pointer graphics which represent the current verb (a picture of a hand represents the "Use" verb, an eye represents "look" and so on). Left-clicking will automatically build and execute a command line entry. Users will initially have to interact with the graphical panels, but the next step will be to figure out which area of the screen the user clicked on, and which (if any) graphics the click matches up with. By determining which graphic was clicked on, the correct event can be triggered. By incorporating the new Text-To-Speech system, the conversion to a full GUI-based environment will be complete.

Project Update - The Cycon Odyssey version 0.98.0 has been released!

   This release of the Cycon Odyssey uses the new ".cog" file format, and includes the icon graphics used by the new graphical inventory. This release also includes a number of small bugfixes. As the version number implies, there will be a few releases in the 0.98.0 series, mainly adding graphics and fixing spelling and grammatical errors in the game. The 0.99.0 series will consist of release candidates, and the 1.0 release will be made at the same time as the stable version 1.2 of the Cog Engine.

   Another article has been published on Slashdot which is relevent to the Cog Engine Project. This article deals with the "Cyc" Common Sense-based Artificial Intelligence program. By coincidence, Dylan Kenny (a new developer on the Cog Engine project) and I have been discussing how the OpenCyc (Open Source derivative of Cyc) engine could be tied into the Cog Engine to create intelligent Non-Player Characters (NPC's), and other ways it could be useful. It's an interesting project worth reading up on.

   I would also like to welcome Vicky Vigia to the project. She is currently learning Python, and is working on adding some very useful features to the Engine.

Project Update - The Cog Development Application 1.1.3 has been released!

   This development release of the Cog Development Application features an "Advanced Display Settings" editor, which enhances customization of game modules. The Cog Engine version 1.1.3 is also included, allowing a graphical inventory and Text-To-Speech synthesis. The direction and obstruction objects have had new options added, and the Event Editor now includes a "Save" button.

   This release also features a new file format for Cog Engine game modules. You will need to run the included conversion script to be able to use your old games with the new engine (see the Readme for details).

   The Cycon Odyssey will likely have a new release made available tomorrow. The release will include all of the icons used with the new graphical inventory, as well as a few minor bugfixes.

   A new screenshot showing off the completed graphical inventory panel has been posted. In the bottom right corner of the screen you can see icons representing each item in the player's inventory, and in the bottom left corner you can see icons representing all of the items present in the current room. Like the compass, neither panel can be clicked on yet, but the project is moving along briskly, and will soon support that feature.

   At least a dozen new icon graphics have been added to the Cycon Odyssey, in order to fully suppport these new panels. The Cog Development Application will have to be updated to include support for some of these new features. Once the Cog Development Application has been updated, a new release will be made of both the program and the Cycon Odyssey.

   I believe I've found a solution for the problems with festival support under linux. The festival server can be configured to output phrases directly to wav files. I am going to attempt to configure the engine to make the appropriate call to festival, and then feed the resulting wav file directly to pygame's sound output routines. I will also need to look into threading text-to-speech output under windows, as gameplay is currently halted while the computer speaks.

   In other news, the project has been picking up a lot of momentum over the past week or so. I've had requests from new developers to join the project, and both file downloads and hits to the website have increased dramatically. I am very happy with the current trend, and hope to see the project continue to gain popularity.

Update - The screenshot links were reported broken under certain browsers. The links have been fixed.

   29 New graphics have been created for the Cycon Odyssey. All of these graphics are "Icons" to be used with the new graphical inventory system (currently being implemented). Much like the passive graphical compass, you won't be able to click on or directly manipulate the graphical inventory - at least not in its first implementation. The eventual goal of course is to create a client with no text interaction at all, with text-to-speech used for room descriptions where appropriate.

   Features under development for the Cog Development Application include drop-down navigation of rooms and objects, an "Advanced Settings" subwindow for the Game Information Editor, and a wizard for creating new games.

Project Update - The Cog Engine 1.1.2 has been released!

   This development release of the Cog Engine features Text-To-Speech (TTS) Synthesis support under both Linux and Windows. You will need to install Festival (also available as part of RedHat 7.3 and other distributions) in order for support to work under Linux. If you are running Windows, you will need to install the Microsoft Speech SDK from their website.

   This release also features a passive graphical compass when running under GTK+/SDL. You can't click on the compass to move around, but you can at least see which direction you can move. I've also done a lot of work to make the code more Object-Oriented friendly, and hopefully more readable.

   Please note there is currently a bug (at least on my system) when running the Cog Engine under Linux with Text-To-Speech support through Festival. Sometimes the festival server daemon initializes correctly, and sometimes there's interferance from ESD. It seems to work once out of every five or six times I run the program. I will continue working on trying to fix the problem.

   I've added a flowchart showing code inheritance between the different files in the Cog Engine sourcecode to the engine development page. The modules are layed out for the maximum possible code reuse between each frontend to the Cog Engine. As mentioned on the page, the further to the right of the flowchart new code is added, the more modules which will be able to access it.
   A new screenshot of the development version of the Cog Engine has been posted. This screenshot shows the Cog Engine running under Linux (GTK+/SDL), with a passive version of the graphical compass. You can't actually click on the compass's graphics to move around in the game, but having a visual display of your options can be helpful. I am planning on adding in Festival TTS support and then making a new development release. After that release is made I will concentrate on a passive graphical inventory display. Until I can find a work-around for the single-threaded nature of Python, I can't make the compass or the inventory interactive.
   I found this recent Slashdot article about an online version of Myst coming in 2003 to be very interesting news. Much of the comentary focuses on how the multiplayer aspect of what they are planning will fit into the Myst universe, but what most interests me is that an online Cog Engine client with full GUI interface support should be finished before this game is released. Granted, the Cycon Odyssey is no match for the depth of the Myst game series, but a sudden interest in the gaming community in regards to online puzzle games could be leveraged to give the Cog Engine Project greater visibility - something it sorely needs.

   Development is proceeding carefully but slowly on the new interface. Since RedHat 7.3 has now made the Festival Text-to-Speech (TTS) Systhesis System available as part of the default distribution, I will soon be including TTS support in the Cog Engine. This will allow the text which is displayed as the player interacts with the game to be read aloud by the computer. This may be a temporary solution for the problematic GTK+ GUI Text Widgets under Windows. According to the Festival documentation, it is possible to compile Festival under Windows. If this can be arranged, their license would allow the Cog Engine Project to distribute a Windows client with TTS functionality built in.

Project Update - The Cog Development Application 1.1.1 has been released!

   This development release of the Cog Development Application incorporates the 1.1.1 version of the Cog Engine. This release also includes many usability enhancements, such as tooltips added to every editor's widgets. A "Save" button has been added to each editor which supports cyclicable objects (The direction editor, the room editor, the item editor, etc.)

   Development on the GTK+/SDL graphic compass is progressing, but the lack of threads in Python is beginning to present a problem. If I want to insert an Action-Event loop into the code that watches for mouse clicks over compass buttons, I run into trouble updating the text output boxes on the GTK+ side of the program. I cannot simply drop the GTK+ side of the program since I do not have a suitable Text Widget replacement under SDL. I can output strings without much difficulty, but I can't keep a line-wrapped scrollable log of past output unless I build such a widget myself.

   It is worth noting that there is a currently an issue when running the Cog Engine under Windows. If the Graphic window gets places over top of the GTK+ text window, the text becomes munged and can only be readable if the user highlights the text with their mouse. This is a very serious problem, and hopefully a solution will soon before which fixes the issue (Such as a new version of GTK+ for windows).

Project Update - The Cog Engine version 1.1.1 has been released!

   This development release of the Cog Engine incorporates the new Python based backend. There are two completed frontends in this release, a GTK+/SDL version for Windows and Linux, and a Jython/Java based version (for Web Browsers and other Operating Systems). The beginnings of the PyUI based frontend is included in the source code package.

   The original Java based Cog Engine (version 1.0) is now depricated by this release. The new Python backend offers a standard set of routines for each of the Cog Engine's various frontends (including the development application). The Jython Applet version of the Engine has increased in size by 300k due to this change, a fair tradeoff for the new features that will be available.

   The next release of the Cog Engine will include an SDL-based graphic compass button panel for the GTK+/SDL frontend (The jython applet version already includes a graphical compass). After the compass is finished, a graphical inventory will be the next focus of development.

Project Update - The Cycon Odyssey version 0.97 has been released!

   This release includes 100's of new and updated graphics for the Cycon Odyssey. This release also includes version 1.0 of the Cog Engine, to simplify the installation process for users wishing only the play the Cycon Odyssey game module. The release is contained within a single Zip file instead of separate data and image files, and due to the increasing size of each release, no tar.gz file is going to be released. (Windows users were becoming confused as to which files they needed to download, and as Zip extraction utilities are available for Linux and other operating systems, I would prefer to keep the hosting space to a minimum.)

   There are still many graphics remaining to be added to the Cycon Odyssey, but that number is quickly dwindling. I've invested in a Wacom Graphics Tablet to help speed up the image creation process, as I am finding a mouse to be insufficient for my needs.

   Also, please note that our hosting service,, has changed their download servers to redirect to a mirror page. If you attempt to save a link from the download page as a file, you'll end up with the web page of their mirror server, instead of the file itself. Please left-click on the download links to retrieve files.

Project Update - The Java version of the Cog Engine (v1.0) is nearly ready to be replaced with the new Jython frontend. Including the Jython class files, the CogEngine.jar file is now betweek 250-300k larger, but with proper browser caching the engine will only need to be downloaded once. The benefit of having a single codebase to work from seems worth the increase in size. Progress has run into a snag however, in that I'm having trouble getting the Jython applet to unpickle the Python game data file from a remote URL. I've posted a request for help to the Jython mailing list, but there has been no response so far.

   On another front, I'm experimenting with another User Interface Library, called PyUI which can display its widgets on top of PyGame/SDL or OpenGL screens. By breaking up the CogEngine code to support Jython, pretty much any other UI Library can be used, ultimately allowing the Game Designer choice in selecting a "look" for their video games.

   For the time being, the game data file format for the development series of the Cog Development Applcation/Cog Engine (version 1.1.x) is 100% backward compatible with the 1.0 release, but as mentioned previously the Cog Object class files are in desparate need of an overhaul. This will probably begin to happen after the 1.1.1 release - scheduled to happen after some code cleanups between the various frontends to the python Cog Engine.

Project Update - 50 new Item graphics have been added to the online version of the Cycon Odyssey (High Resolution version only). Many minor bugs have been fixed as a result of debugging with the new Cog Development Application. The next version, 0.97 will be released in the near future, as soon as a few more graphics are added and any remaining wrinkles are iron out. There are still many more graphics which will need to be completed before the 1.0 release is made, but things are moving at quite a rapid pace.
Project Update - The Cog Development Application version 1.1.0 has been released!

   This new development release of the Cog Development Application includes a complete implementation of the Cog Engine in Python, as well as enhanced debugging output. Games can now be tested and modified in the middle of a game, granting finer control for the game developer. The Cycon Odyssey has been tested with this new engine, and can now be played all the way through on a local machine. A Win32 binary and setup.exe file have also been released, and are readily available for download.

   The next phase of development will focus on making the new code base function as a Java applet by using Jython. At the same time, much of the current code base will be modified as the underlying Cog Object class files are reworked into a more dynamic format. The current objects are a legacy from the Java version of the Cog Engine, which will be depricated by the new Python code.

   Note - If you want to test the new development application with version 0.96 of the Cycon Odyssey, you will need to run the included "" script on the .dev file first. See the script's header comments for more details.

Project Update - The Cog Engine has been fully ported to Python. Over the next several days I will be debugging the new code base, and adding a few minor features. When the code base has stabilized somewhat I will make a development release of the new program.

   New environment and close-up graphics continue to be completed and added to the high resolution version of the online Cog Engine. A new release of the Cycon Odyssey will be available soon.

Project Update - Nine new item graphics have been added to the High Resolution version of the Online Cycon Odyssey. The graphics were drawn by hand, scanned, and colored using the Gimp. There's still many more graphics that will need to be drawn before the game can be considered complete.
Project Update - A Self-Extracting Setup program for the Cog Development Application has been released.

   The Cog Development Application can now be automatically installed and uninstalled just like any other Windows program. This ability will help make creating video games for the Cog Engine Project much easier for new and inexperienced users. Nullsoft's excellent Scriptable Installation System (or "NSIS" - by the makers of Winamp) was used to create the install program. Py2exe was used to compile the Win32 binary and libraries.

   The requirements_met method has been ported from Java to Python. This leaves only the Event Execution routine and a small amount of debugging before the first 1.1.x development release will be made available. The first release should be capable of playing games all the way through under the new codebase. Once gameplay has been confirmed to be solid, the next focus will be improving the GUI interface, and making changes necessary to get the new engine code to execute inside web browsers through Jython.

Project Update - The Cog Development Application version 1.0.1 has been released!

   The only update to this stable branch of the Cog Development Application is a compiled win32 binary. This means the Cog Development Application will now run under Windows without any special work on the part of the user! Work is now underway on building an automatic installation program, which would allow the user to simply download a "setup.exe" like any other Windows program.

   A great deal of work has been going on with the Development branch of the Cog Engine Project, and a development release should be available in the near future. All of the major components of the game engine have been re-coded into Python, except for the Event Script Requirements Checking routine and the Event Execution routine. Both of these are large and complex methods, but once they are done games should be completely playable under the new engine.

Project Update - The Cog Engine (Python/GTK version) is now displaying room images through Pygame and SDL. The routines are far from perfect, and the display window cannot be embedded inside a GTK+ widget layout, but various avenues are being explored to correct this. Development is currently alternating between improving the GUI and finishing the core game engine logic, and there is still much work to be done on both ends.

   Notice - In a few days I will be leaving for a two week vacation, so development and site updates will likely slow during this period.

Project Update - The Cog Development Application has been ported to the Compaq iPAQ!

   Development was on hold briefly this past week while hardware was down waiting on repairs. Work is once again underway.

   The Familiar Distribution of Linux for the Compaq iPAQ uses Python/GTK/Glade for its application development environment, and therefore supports the Cog Development Application! Porting to this handheld platform was nearly trivial, with only of few lines of code needing to be adjusted. Since the Cog Engine is also currently being coded into Python/GTK, it should be equally simple to release fully playable, portable versions of video games created with the Cog Engine Project. See the Screenshots page for an example of the application running under the icewm window manager.

   Development on the Engine is also moving along nicely, with many of the core functions already finished. The current point of concentration is Game Execution logic, such as looking up rules for player events, and making the appropriate changes to game state.

Project Update - Progress on the new development branch of the Cog Engine is well underway. The first order of business is a full implementation of the Engine itself within the Development Application. This will provide many benefits:

  • Games can be played on the local machine, which will be a great improvement for those will a slow network connection
  • Games can be saved and loaded to the user's harddrive without being encumbered by the Java Applet security model
  • Game developers will be able to tweak the settings of their games while it is running, though the editor, and through the game environment itself. If you want to move an object from one room to another you will be able to pick up the object, carry it in your inventory, move to the new room, and drop it where you want it!
  • The 1.0 Cog Engine code will be completely rewritten in Python, allowing code re-use in the online applet version through Jython

   So far the basic groundwork and text output portion of display_room is finished, including display of player statistics, the inventory, the current room's description and directions and the item and obstruction routines. The new code correctly differentiates between "a" and "an" when referring to objects, which is always nice.

   Graphic routines have not been added yet, but it has been decided that PyGame will be used for the new graphics layer. PyGame is written on top of the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) multimedia library. SDL will allow features such as sound and joystick interaction to be added later with ease, while remaining cross-platform and GPL compatible (both PyGame and SDL are licensed under the LGPL).

   The general plan now is to work towards having a complete game playing and development environment available for the user's local computer, with a Java Applet based Engine available for playing games through a web browser. Once this complete rewrite is finished, a new stable release of the Cog Engine will be made (most likely called 1.2). From that point, multimedia improvements such as a GUI-only option for playing, sound and music, and a text-to-speech engine will be main focus of the project, working towards a 2.0 release. Features which will most likely have to wait until after 2.0 will include a fighting engine, Non-Player Characters (NPC's), and eventually, multiple players interacting online through a server.

Project Update - The Cog Engine now supports saving and loading games online!

   So far support has only been tested with Netscape 4.7x. It is very likely that Internet Explorer does not currently support this feature. The online versions of the Cycon Odyssey have not yet been updated to support saving and loading of games. You can access temporary versions at the following locations:

High Bandwidth: here
Low Bandwidth: here

   Games can be saved and loaded by typing either "save" or "load" into the command line.

   Java applets have tricky security measures in place to prevent malicious web programs from accessing a user's hard drive without permission. This is why you will be prompted about whether or not you are willing to grant the Cog Engine access to your hard drive before a file is read or written. If you are very security-conscious, and you don't want to grant the program access to your hard drive, then simply don't try to load or save your game, and the program will execute without any trouble!

   Please report any major bugs with this new feature as I would like to do a file release as soon as possible.

Project Update - Work has begun on the develoment branch of the Cog Engine. The first order of business is determining the target platform for the new codebase. Of crucial importance is that the various Microsoft Windows operating systems are supported, in order to bring Cog Engine games to the widest possible audience.

   Realistically speaking, the GTK+ toolkit is limited on the Win32 platform, especially in the area of graphics work. The GnomeCanvas object is ideal for handling the type of interface we're looking to create, but the Gnome libraries have not been ported to the Win32 platform, and it is unlikely that they will be in the near future.

   Microsoft's .Net Framework makes for an interesting development platform, especially with the Mono project for Linux seeking compatibility, but the software is too immature at this stage to be viable.

   This brings us back to Java as a development/delivery platform. A great deal of time and effort has been expended in writing the Cog Development Application in Python/GTK, and it is hoped that much of this code can be reused by using Jython more heavily. With any luck, once the .Net platform matures (especially on the Linux/Unix side) code can be written entirely in Python, and still be executable on the average user's desktop. In the meantime, experimentation is underway with self-signed Java applets, in hopes of being able to save/load CogEngine video games to/from the player's local hard drive.

   Note to users of CogEngine prior to 1.0 - A bug has been discovered when attempting to load game development files created with the Cog Development Application version 0.90 and prior. A Jython script has been written to address this problem. (Update 2002.04.09 - The Jython script which used to be linked here is now contained in the 1.0.1 release of the Cog Development Application)

Project Update - The Cog Engine 1.0 has been released!

   After three years of development, the Cog Engine Project has finally reached 1.0 status. Delayed for a few weeks by a relocation to New Zealand, the Player's Guide and Developer's Guides are now complete and online. A new version of the Cycon Odyssey (0.96) is out, and 1.0 will be released when all of the graphics are finished being added (this will take quite some time).

   Now that the 1.0 release is out of the way, the source tree will split into a 1.0.x series for bugfixes only, and a 1.1.x series which will add new features. The first major planned enhancement is a MYST-like interface for the Cog Engine. A complete rewrite of the Cog Engine itself may be necessary for this to be accomplished.

   More news to come, as development progresses.
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Archive of News from 2001

Archive of News from 2000

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