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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.

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This is a quick update on the engine development.

The sound system implementation is complete for Beta 1, barring any game specific needs that have not yet arisen.

For music the XL Engine supports midi synthesis using Gravis Ultrasound patches, midi synthesis using Sound Fonts (sf2) and direct music playback using Ogg Vorbis. Beta 1 will support “music mods” – where midi songs are replaced by Ogg files.

Peformance of Wild Midi, Fluidsynth and Ogg Vorbis is very good if you have a multicore system (which almost everyone has today).

The engine also supports framerate limiting, vsync with low latency input and can limit cpu useage (assuming your CPU is fast enough to start with). Even running a bunch of threads (game code in one thread, input and OpenGL in another, streaming sound in yet another, etc.) – the CPU usage on my system is around 24% with a heavy game where the game framerate is 120 fps and graphics refresh rate is vsynced at 60 fps (even using the frame limiter to set it to 120 has little effect).

Obviously reduced CPU mode can cause a millisecond or two of latency from time to time but I run with it all the time and don’t notice the difference. :)

The engine work is essentially finished for Beta 1, though I have to finish some UI panels still. Now that sound is in and working and the engine support is fleshed out, I’m going to be focused on finishing the game “porting” until all of the games are fully working. Once that is complete I will finish the UI panels and release the Beta 1 build.

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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.