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Submitted by Jari Komppa, posted on October 22, 2001

Image Description, by Jari Komppa

So here, finally is an answer on what I've been working on for the past year or so. Or not me personally but our team at Fathammer, to be exact.

The 'thing' is called x-forge, and it's the world's first complete game engine for handhelds. It's not ready yet, though - our beta phase starts in a couple of months.

One of the big problems with handhelds is that there are lots of different devices, operating systems, cpu architectures, et cetera out there. One solution would be to use java or make your own virtual machine - some attempts on these are out there. Our solution is a bit more traditional; we have a highly portable framework (up to the point where you don't need to change the application code *at all* to recompile for a completely different device) combined with hardware-specific optimizations (to get most out of specific hardware).

Another thing that sets us a bit aside from other players is that we're offering a complete game engine. We're developing a game in-house as a proof-of-concept and also to make sure we're doing the right things.

We just released a tech preview demo (available here from fileplanet) that is meant to be run on iPaq 3630 (the one with color screen). It's a fairly old demo (buttons on ipaq, for instance, have not been overriden yet) but we decided to put something out there.


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

October 23, 2001, 12:11 PM

Any chance you could give some links to the polka brothers demo, and the faked one, I looked about a bit on and google but couldn't track them down


October 23, 2001, 03:15 PM

seems quite unlikely that it is faster than asm optimized code... so maybe for state-of-the-art game engines its not so good. greets, Sarwaz.

you know that is how ugly rumors are started. please use benchmark tests to actually tell whether it is fast or not. until you have grounds for proof either way, try not to make generalizations that it is bad for any state of the art game engine because it might not contain hand optimized assembly. in many ways just in time compiled code can be faster because it can take advantage of machine specific processor tricks, etc.


October 23, 2001, 03:55 PM

Maybe if the AmigaDE(you didnt own an amiga once did you?) programmers are incredibly good they can run the VM code faster than some native code compiled by an average compiler, but damn it, there is always more room for optimization if you have the source and compile directly to native code.


October 23, 2001, 08:38 PM

I am developing for the XBox and PS2, so I am aware of that. It was just easier to say that you can't do it. We had to resort to other methods to render shadows. They came out looking better anyhow, but what a pain... :)


October 24, 2001, 09:06 PM

Me thinks this discussion is slipping away from the original question and into an arguement ASM versus the world.

To paraphrase the DE site, DE can execute any language at NEAR native code speed. They don't say as fast as native code. However, with what Wayne was saying, running exes faster then another OS has NOTHING to do with whether DE can run VCPU code at speeds faster then native code for a CPU. They aren't saying that it can. They're saying that with DE you bypass all the layers of crap you get on most OSes and have your code run much faster. I'm assuming that drivers for DE are very low level or their VM has something to help in that regards.

It's kind of the same concept as programs that promise to boost your processor speed through software. They basically just free up resources and do various low level optimizations to how memory, etc, is being used to increase speed of multimedia applications.

Anotherwords this has nothing to do with a VM running slower then ASM and everything to do with a an OS built on a VCPU being able to run EXEs faster then an OS not built on a VCPU.

I personally think it's a neat idea and hope AmigaDE takes off. I for one would love the ease of porting to a multitude of systems it promises.


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