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GeoBob Engine
Geobobengine
GeoBob Engine logo, as of the announcement of GeoBob Engine 4.
Developer "Balls"
Product family GeoBob Engine family
Type Game middleware
Release date February 5th, 1994 ("Balls" Engine)
July 5th, 1996 (GeoBob Engine)
Retail availability Febbruary 5th, 1994-present
Introductory price Free (Open source edition, only for Linux computers; 2012-present)
$153 (Software Development Kit; 1994-2012)
$5 per month (Professional version; 2012-present)
Units sold 100 million (GeoBob Engine 1, 2; as of 2009)
1 billion (GeoBob Engine 3; as of May 2014)
Media Digital download, CD-ROM, UMD
Operating system Cross-platform

The GeoBob Engine is an engine created by "Balls" in 1996 for physics on the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and as the GeoBob Engine 2 in 1999, the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube. (Both engines were optimized for Windows 95-XP, in addition.) All of the 1996-1999 Geo Adventure and 1999-2005 Greeny Phatom: The Revenge of Gree Guy games use the GeoBob Engine. The engine was made for major "Balls" games such as Geo Adventure 2, platformers, and 3D Greeny Phatom games.

The engine is named after Geo Guy and Green Bob, two characters from the show Geo's World.

DevelopmentEdit

In 1990, Sam Garcia, Gabriel Garcia and Michael Wildshill had an idea that they would develop a engine for upcoming games developed in-house or external developers owned by "Balls". They gathered a team of programmers and they started the development in 1991 under the codenames "Sinatra", "London" and "Dragon". After the first prototype of GeoBob Engine demo was shown to John Harris in 1993, John approved and joined the development team.

The first version of the engine was called "Balls" Engine and it's SDK was announced to be released in 1994.

VersionsEdit

"Balls" EngineEdit

"Balls" Engine
Ballsengine
Original author(s)/creator(s) Sam Garcia
Gabriel Garcia
Michael Wildshill
Developers "Balls"
Initial release "Balls" Engine v1.1/May 1994
Recent release "Balls" Engine v1.9/March 1996
Development status Discontinued
Written in C++, Assembly
Type Physics engine
Game middleware
License Proprietary (Formerly)
Freeware
Codename Sinatra
London
Dragon

Available for licensees: February 5th, 1994

The engine family started from "Balls" Engine, developed by a team of programmers called "The "Balls" Engine Development Team", and the engine was supposed to be a physics engine, but the development team's talent "got further" and decided to make it

  • a vector graphics rendering engine,
  • a global illumination solution,
  • character animation middleware,
  • artificial intelligence library,
  • AI engine,
  • asset exchange technology,
  • soft body dynamic/character garment library,
  • cloth simulation engine,
  • easily customizable Flash UI component framework, including buttons, list boxes, drop down menus, sliders, trees and windows,
  • 3D interface rendering system,
  • integrated development tool with advanced options,
  • profiler tool used to analyze memory and performance of Flash content inside a game or 3D application while running on consoles,
  • metric provider,
  • illustration software,
  • cinematic effects creator with many options, rendering options and pre-made effects,
  • also providing tools for creation of destructible and deformable rigid body environments,

making the "Balls" Engine one of the most succesful and first 3D engines in 1990s. It also was described to "integrate rendering, collision detection, AI, visibility, networking, scripting, file system management, and much more, into one complete engine"

GeoBob Engine 1Edit

GeoBob Engine 1
GeoBob Engine
Original author(s)/creator(s) "Balls" Engine Development Team
Developers "Balls"
Initial release GeoBob Engine v1.1/November 1996
Recent release GeoBob Engine v1.9/June 1999
Development status Discontinued
Written in C++, Assembly, Java
Operating system Cross-platform; ported to Arcade
Type Game development tool
License Propietary (formerly)
Freeware/Shareware
Codename "Balls" Engine 2
Sentio
Ryu (Dragon 2)

After New Year's Eve 1995, the name was changed to GeoBob Engine, because the development team was said to develop the engine to the Geo's World spin-off, which was later to come Geo Adventure. The name comes from Green Bob and Geo Guy from, of course, Geo's World.

Now the engine features face animation creation and vegetation programming and modeling software tools and the first game to use it was Sonic Jam, which was released the same year as the engine and the engine was credited as Modified "Balls" Engine.

New featuresEdit

  • Online multiplayer and matchmaking
  • Cloud storage for game developers
  • Mobile phone porting
  • Easter egg programming and rendering (was in "Balls" Engine as a secret feature after v1.4)
  • Cheat code programming (was in "Balls" Engine as a secret feature after v1.4)
  • Java programming
  • Translating
  • Python programming (as of 1998)
  • Improvements on AI engine tool ("hierarchical pathfinding, and path following in complex game environments")
  • Cell-based animation
  • Digital prototyping
  • Video game console GPU support
  • Macromedia Flash support
  • Crowd simulation

GeoBob Engine 2Edit

GeoBob Engine 2
GeoBob Engine 2
Original author(s)/creator(s) "Balls" Engine Development Team
Developers "Balls" Game Labs, UltraNitro Studios, "Balls" Studios Riverside and the community
Initial release GeoBob Engine 2 v1.0/August 1999 (official release)
GeoBob Engine 2 v1.9.7/November 2013 (community release; open source)
Recent release GeoBob Engine 2 v1.9.6/September 2005 (official release)
GeoBob Engine 2 v2.4.3/May 2014 (community release)
Development status Active
Written in C++, Python, Java, Assembly, C#, GLSL, HLSL, ActionScript, Scratch
Operating system AmigaOS, MorphOS, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, Xbox, Android, iPhone OS, 3DO etc.
Type Processor
Game development tool
License Proprietary (1999-2013)
Shareware (2005-2014)
GPL General Public License (2014-present)
MIT License (2013-present)
Codename Vancouver
Cymru
Licensee "Balls" (1999-present)
GeoBob Engine community (2005-present)

The GeoBob Engine 2 is the first version of GeoBob Engine, which comes GeoCore proccessor (which was developed by ATI, AMD, NVidia, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Sega, 3dFX and a large team of programmers and technicians at "Balls") and a SD card with 10GB. The GeoBob Engine 2 was the biggest update to date in GeoBob Engine history and currently the only crowdsourced version of GeoBob Engine to date. The employees of ATI, Sega and 3dFX later started worked at "Balls" Engine Development Team.

Availability Edit

GeoBob Engine 2 was forked and ported to Python, Assembly and ActionScript, and as Scratch modification, after it was released under MIT license in 2013. It also was ported to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS and Android in 2008, by the community.

New features added during 1999-2005Edit

  • Stereoscoping 3D rendering
  • DirectX support
  • API support
  • Improvements on modification tools
  • Virtual reality modelling
  • VRML programming language
  • Connecting and transporting games and projects with PlayStation NetYaroze
  • PlayStation 2 support (unveiled in 2000)
  • Sound adjusting (secret feature in GeoBob Engine 1)
  • Tile-based deferred shading acceleration
  • Realtime approximated subsurface scattering
  • Temporally stable screen space ambient occlusion
  • Quasi-realtime radiosity
  • Improvements on destruction tools
  • Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA)
  • DirectX support
  • OpenGL support
  • Havok software support
  • ADX/Softec video codec technology support
  • Full night and day cycle
  • Enhanced draw distance
  • Improved lighting
  • Reflection
  • Improvements on special effects
  • Weather cycling
  • Reduced runtime shader compilation overhead
  • Low-overhead validation and processing of API commands
  • Data formats optimizations via flexible buffer/image access
  • Explicit control of resource compression, expansion, and synchronization
  • Asynchronous DMA queue for data uploads independent from the graphics engine
  • Asynchronous compute queue for overlapping of compute and graphics workloads
  • Advanced Anti-Aliasing features for MSAA/EQAA optimizations
  • New rendering techniques.
  • Close to linear performance scaling from recording command buffers onto multiple CPU cores.
  • Multithreaded parallel CPU rendering support for many cores.
  • TriOviz for Games technology support
  • PolyBump
  • Improvements on integrated vegetation & terrain cover generation system
  • Multi-core support
  • Improvements on road & river tools
  • Improvements on vehicle creator (vehicle creator tools were in GeoBob Engine since 1997, after the development of Geo's World Racing started)
  • Volumetric, layer & view distance fogging
  • Sound moods
  • Improvements on key frame-accurate sounds in animations (since "Balls" Engine 1.8)
  • In-game sound mixing & profiling
  • Normal maps & parallax occlusion maps
  • Improvements on eye adaptation & high dynamic range (HDR) lighting
  • Screen Space Ambient Occlusion
  • Color grading
  • Irradiance Volume
  • Deferred lighting
  • Parametric skeletal animation
  • Procedural motion warping & IK solutions
  • Facial animation editor
  • Subsurface scattering
  • In-game AI editing system
  • Dynamic pathfinding
  • Layer Navigation Mesh
  • Automated navigation mesh generation
  • Tactical Point System
  • Blended skeletal animation system, including inverse kinematics
  • Water flow effects
  • 3D bump mapping
  • Dynamic 3D wounds
  • Alpha to coverage edge smoothing for foliage etc.
  • Map-logic scripting with Squirrel programming language.

New features added since 2005 Edit

  • Soft body dynamics (2006)
  • PSP porting (2006)
  • OpenGL rendering (2006)
  • Displacement mapping (2006)
  • Deffered shading (2006)
  • Screen space subsurface scattering (2006)
  • Image-based lighting (2006)
  • Billboard reflections (2006)
  • Glossy reflections (2006)
  • Reflection shadows (2006)
  • Point light reflections (2006)
  • Separable bokeh depth of field (2006)
  • XInput and DirectInput integration (2006)
  • OpenGL ES rendering (2007)
  • Content streaming functionality (2008)
  • Advanced lighting and shadowing such as per-pixel lighting and real-time shadows (2008)
  • Console-quality capabilities (2008)
  • Offline rendering (2008)
  • Tesselation (2008)
  • Bullet physics integration (2008)
  • Convenient mobile previewer (2008)
  • Subsurface scattering (2008)
  • Box2D integration (2008)
  • Simple DirectMedia Layer compability (2009)
  • OpenCL optimization (2009)
  • Steamworks SDK integration (2010)
  • Kinect and PlayStation Move compability and support (2011)
  • TriOviz for Games Technology integration (2011)
  • Twitch streaming capability (2012)
  • OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenMAX, OpenMAX AL/IL/DL, OpenSL ES, EGL, OpenWF, OpenML, WebGL, WebCL, OpenVX,  integration and optimization (2013)
  • Oculus VR support (2013)
  • Steam achievements (2013)
  • Lua, Python, ActionScript support (2013)
  • Significant source code access for mod teams (2013)
  • OnLive SDK integration, OnLive optimization, OnLive developer access (2013)
  • Ability to support GMK, MFA, MFK files (2013)
  • Importing from executable files (2013)
  • Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Ouya, Nvidia Shield, Google Nexus Player, MOJO, Amazon FireOS, Raspberry Pi and PlayStation Vita porting (2014)
  • Mantle support (2015)
  • Vulkan (by Khronos Group) support (2015)
  • Project Morpheus, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard optimization and support (2015)
  • Coming soon.

GeoBob Engine 3Edit

New featuresEdit

  • Cg programming
  • Steamworks SDK support (as of 2010)

GeoBob Engine 4Edit

The new game engine was announced at E3 2013 with GC3 (GeoCore 3), a new processor developed by "Balls" and the former employees of AMD, Intel, NVidia, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Google (who later on worked at "Balls" Engine Development Team)

New rumored featuresEdit

GeoBob Engine 5/Project MariynEdit

GeoBob Engine 5 or
Project Mariyn
Original author(s)/creator(s) "Balls" Game Labs
Development status Active
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Game engine
License Proprietary
Codename Project Mariyn

There are rumors about the newest edition no longer keeping the name GeoBob Engine. "Balls" confirmed this and said that the new engine's name will be "Project Mariyn". The engine was expected to be released between Q1 and Q3 2026.

New features include:

  • Support for ROS (robot operating systems)
  • .NET, Objective-C, Lua, NXC, NQC, Ruby, Lisp, Harbour, Mathematica, Perl support
  • Windows Holographic support

Games used with itEdit

GeoBob Engine games (1996-1999)Edit

GeoBob Engine 2 games (1999-2005)Edit

  • Geo Adventure 4 (cancelled)
  • Fiox (2000)
  • The Adventures of BD (video game) (2001)
  • Greeny Phatom: The Revenge of Gree Guy (1999, Dreamcast version) (2001, PC versions)
  • Greeny Phatom: The Gree City Revolution (2003)
  • Greeny Phatom Extreme Racing (2003)
  • Greeny Phatom: Attack of the Stickmen (2004)
  • Greeny Phatom: Little Guy vs. the Beansons (2005)

GeoBob Engine 3 games (2005-2014)Edit

GeoBob Engine 4 games (engine currently in development, 2014-)Edit

Games using other versions/variations/ports of the engine Edit

  • Catch Mini (2014; using GeoBob Engine Mini - a Scratch modification)
  • Greeny Phatom Universe (2015; using GeoBob Arcade Engine 4 - an arcade port of GeoBob Engine 4)

GalleryEdit

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