jMonkeyEngine3 SDK Beta released!

As always the jMonkeyEngine team is very happy to announce the latest release of jMonkeyEngine3, we finally arrived at beta!

It was a long way to beta

linux bugs were fiercer than expected..

First of all we’d like to apologize for the delay of the beta release, we wanted to make sure the most problematic issues (e.g. SDK/Swing not working on Linux) and most wanted features (Android deployment and a working Android renderer) made it into the beta so they can be tested and be expanded on properly.

While the jMonkeyEngine SDK (jMonkeyPlatform) will still see some major improvements until release, its time for all to get used to the jME3 API, as its nearing its first finished release state. Many additions, improvements and some intense cleansing have lead to what we believe is a solid foundation for any type of 3D game on any platform. The use of Java and the consequent unification of features delivers unparalleled ease of development and deployment for your games and we plan to extend on these advantages in the future. The goal is to write games, not getting entangled in language / build process / target platform issues long before you start to code and jMonkeyEngine delivers on that.

Changes

See some of the various changes made to both the core engine and SDK.

Core Engine
– Android 2.2+ support
– Blender model loader
– Spotlight
– Grid Terrain
– Kinematic rag doll
Underwater filter
– Steep Parallax Mapping
Improved j3m flexibility
– OpenGL1 lighting
– Improved networking library
– Native Bullet physics
– NiftyGUI 1.3
– JavaDoc improvements
– Many more improvements and additions

Major Bugs
- Linux canvas fixed
– Lighting bugs fixed
– Applet on MacOSX and Linux fixed and improved

SDK (jMonkeyPlatform)
Android Deployment
Blender model support
Edit post processing filters
– Font creator
Move widgets in SceneComposer and TerrainEditor
Improved terrain editing
Improved material and particle editing
Improved Model Importer
– Improved Eclipse support
– Material editor, Nifty editor etc. all work without the main OpenGL window being open
– Updated Help and Documentation
WorldForge AssetPack with lots of free to use models
- jME2 Model Import (WIP, optional install)

Major Bugs
- Linux freezes
– Canvas issues

Updates

During alpha it became apparent that many users feel forced to switch to the unstable “nightly” version because of some new feature, thus breaking their projects and SDK installs on various occasions. To counteract this from now on we’ll push “stable” updates more often using the same update path that will be used for the final version of jME3 and the SDK.

Note that if you want to test the nightly versions it is recommended to use a separate settings folder with the nightly version of jME SDK so you can try the nightly version while keeping your stable install intact, see more details here.

Versioning of jME3 when going stable

As you know, jME is now at version 3 and we intend to keep it that way, maybe more than you think :) As jME3 is a complete rewrite of the whole engine, we intend to keep the “3” version number for a long time and provide possibly API breaking updates like the one from jME1 to jME2 as point updates (e.g. jME 3.1). Simple fixes and additions that don’t change or deprecate anything are coming as e.g. jME 3.0.3 updates. The SDK and all of its core plugins will also have the same version number so theres no confusion about what works with what.

To clarify the future versioning of jMonkeyEngine (X = number changes):
3.0.X – Bugfixes and feature updates that do not break current projects or the engine API, pushed automatically via stable update center.
3.X.0 – Major release with completely new features, may contain API changes or break current projects, requires new download of SDK which can be run in parallel to previous version without mixing up settings for easy transition.
X.0.0 – jME release version, will be “3” as long as the engine does not get completely rewritten again (similar to MacOS X).

Upgrade notes

Its recommended to uninstall previous versions of the SDK using the uninstaller:

Windows:
– Select jMonkeyPlatform in your installed software list and uninstall it
– (Alternatively) Double-click the uninstall.exe in the jmonkeyplatform folder
– Go through the uninstall wizard

Linux:
– Run the uninstall.sh file in the jMonkeyPlatform install folder
– Go through the uninstall wizard

MacOSX:
– Right click the jMonkeyPlatform application and select “show contents”
– Double-click the uninstall.command file in the folder that opens
– Go through the uninstall wizard
– Delete the empty jMonkeyPlatform application.

Get it now!

As always, you can download the release in our downloads section.

Happy coding,
The jMonkeyEngine Team