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(JGE)

Cross-platform game engine written in Java

About this project

jGinENGINE (normally just called GinENGINE) is an in-house cross-platform game engine written in Java, largely focused towards building 2D games for Windows, Mac and Linux. It has been under intermittent development since early 2014 (with a C++ version dating further back to 2011) and was originally created to replace Game Maker 8 as the main engine for new Ginever game projects. It comes with its own cross-platform launcher (the GineverLauncher) which allows GinENGINE games to be easily installed and kept up to date, and new builds of GinENGINE games can be published automatically by use of a Gradle-based build bot.

Three major plugins exist for the engine. The first is the Gamepad Plugin, which implements support for Xbox 360 controllers. The second is the RPG Plugin, which adds functionality designed to help build an RPG adventure (similar to RPG Maker). The third is the Netplay Plugin, which integrates the engine with GineverAccount for multiplayer gaming and matchmaking. These plugins can all be toggled on or off via Gradle depending on whether or not the game needs them.

Other notable features of GinENGINE include integrated music looping (via AudioLoop), automatic inline text formatting (via format switch codes, formerly known as hatting), versatile asset management (via the GineverPaQ archive format), and an easy-to-use internationalization system (i18n) which makes it easy to translate games into other languages besides English.

Since its launch, older projects (such as Whack a Ginger and B-Cool Breakout) have been ported from Game Maker to GinENGINE without much effort, bringing those older titles to Mac and Linux and deprecating the requirement for supporting the older Game Maker based releases.

The current version of GinENGINE lacks support for 3D titles. It also fares badly when it comes to making games targeting mobile or console platforms, because those platforms tend to have poor Java support. Some work has been done in porting the engine to iOS (in the ios branch), as well as introducing 3D PBR rendering support (in the next branch), but neither of these are currently finished, and both suffer from major performance issues. The mobile port of GIF (which later became the HD remaster) was consequently programmed using Unity instead of GinENGINE. Whether or not GinENGINE is used for any further major projects will boil down to how well these problems can be solved in the long term and whether or not it makes more sense to port useful GinENGINE features to Unity instead.

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