Greetings everyone! Two weeks have passed since Torque 2D MIT 2.0 went public. Response to the release has been overwhelmingly positive. A lot of great improvements have happened since then, which is why I'm writing this blog.
History of Open Source Torque 2D
Before I proceed with the update information, you can review the past history of Torque 2D MIT by reading these blogs:
Updates have been pushed to the master branch of the repository, but we have also added two new options. There is now a "development" branch, which is where all source changes enter the official repository first.
The development branch should always be considered unstable, but we will do our best to avoid introducing any crashes or blockers. Essentially, all pull requests and internal improvements will go to the development branch, get QA'd, then pushed into the master branch once they are determined to be stable.
If you just want to grab a precompiled version of the repository, you can download it here: Torque2D-2.0.zip. Note that this is not hooked up to the GitHub repository. This is just an export.
Writing documentation is as important as improving the engine itself. With that in mind, Melv and I spent the better part of last week creating new docs for everyone. These docs are now publicly available on the Torque 2D GitHub wiki. Documentation is a never-ending process, just like improving the engine. We focused on what we perceived to be some of the most important docs new users will need to get started with Torque 2D development.
On the topic of authoring documentation, we will open the wiki to public editing in the near future. Much like Torque 3D, improving Torque 2D and its documentation is not solely up to GarageGames. We (GarageGames) are merely the gatekeepers who contribute and help organize.
Torque 2D is an open source project, meaning improving every facet is on all of us. If you are hesitant to make code improvements, contributing documentation is a huge help to everyone. There will never be enough documentation, so check out our examples and get cracking!
In addition to written documentation, I have started posting video tutorials. A specific wiki page was created to list all Torque 2D related videos. Check out the Video Tutorials page to see what's been posted already.
In an effort help newcomers out, I quickly whipped together a simple getting started video series for Torque 2D. It's mostly unscripted, with zero post-production. In other words, they are rough videos, but hopefully the content is useful to everyone.
If you check out the Torque 2D Beginner Forum, you will a lot of discussions have popped up since launch. Anytime you see a thread "stickied" at the top, you should definitely check it out. We "sticky" a thread anytime it contains important information about Torque 2D, the forum, or interesting related news.
For example, there is a sticky thread for posting documentation feedback. As you read through the docs on the wiki, you can post corrections and requests in that thread. A personal favorite of mine is the Tip of the Day thread, which will be updated daily with interesting facts and tips for Torque 2D.
I personally "stickied" a thread posted by Nate, the programmer for an amazing 2D skeletal animation tool called Spine. You can read his announcement and interest in supporting Torque 2D in this thread.
Several non-GG Torque 2D developers have already been posting improvements to the engine. At anytime, you can review the pull requests and leave comments on the changes. As I mentioned earlier, all initial code changes go into the development branch of Torque 2D.
Anyone who wants to contribute a change to Torque 2D should create a pull request against the development branch, which we will integrate and evaluate. This process is open to everyone, so please read the Contributing page on our wiki.
Again, there are more changes. Everyone is encouraged to check out the pull requests and leave feedback. We are all part of the QA and development team, after all.
In addition to community contributions, Melv and I have been adding to both the development and master branches. You can see our change log through your Git client, or by visiting the Commit History page on GitHub. We prioritized community issue reports over our own initiatives to keep everyone rolling. To track and post open issues, please use GitHub's issues page.
Noteworthy improvements that were pushed to the master branch include (but not limited to):
* Visual Studio 2010 Express support.
* Visual Studio 2012 Express support.
* Set the assets to ignore the auto-unload by default. This favours performance by removing asset unloads over memory usage.
* Added Scene (un)pause button to the sandbox.
* ...and more
An improvement worthy of its own paragraph is our effort in creating an automated doc reference for the engine. This is a work-in-progress effort, which you can see the beginning of in the tools folder in the development branch. The hope is that we will have an automated process for generating a reference manual that details all objects, fields, methods, functions, and callbacks exposed to script.
Melv and I are working on getting it running, but the hope is that everyone will be able to easily contribute to the content.
Steering Committee Progress
All applications have been received and read. We will be making a decision over the next 24 hours. We will be contacting all applicants privately to notify them of our decision. Once that process is complete, we will announce the new steering committee at the end of this week.
Once the committee has been formed, we will start having discussing the roadmap for Torque 2D, determine assignments, and meet with the Torque 3D committee. I do want to take the time to thank everyone who has applied. I'm very happy that everyone is as excited as we are.
Until Next Time...
That's all for this update. Please take the time to check out all the links I've posted, as I've only scratched the surface of the changes introduced since launch. In the future, more committee members will be posting blogs and updates. On our end, we will continue working on documentation and fixing bugs reported to the GitHub issues page.
For now, what we need your help with most is spreading the word. Some development sites have not picked up the news of Torque 2D's launch, so we ask that you help us let the world know about this amazing engine.