PhyreEngine, Mono, cool Mono uses in Gaming, and more.

Last week there was a little Mono surprise. It can be found on this Novell-hosted web page web page (scroll a little bit).

It has been a few very busy weeks at Novell's Eastern Research and Development Facility (Novell NERD Facility) here in Cambridge and we have been incredibly busy polishing some nice toys.

A few weeks ago we learned about Sony's developer event in the West Coast. Michael, Zoltan and myself worked very hard to put together a demo to show the virtues of C# and the CIL to developers. So we cranked on some record time some code:

  • PhyreEngine#
  • Static compiler for PowerPC for Mono on PS3
  • A yield-based co-routine framework.

We picked Sony's PhyreEngine to demostrate how to use Mono to write the high-level code for a game using Sony's finely tuned engine. We figured this was better than showing a for loop printing the numbers 1 to 10 on the screen.

PhyreEngine# wraps PhyreEngine using the same techniques that we used in Gtk# and Moonlight. The resulting API is glorious and by letting PhyreEngine do all the heavy lifting while driving all the high-level from C# there is no way of telling that the driving force is not C++. All you get is pure unadultered productivity.

To make our demos a little more interesting, Michael wrote a minimalistic yield-based co-routine framework inspired by some of the ideas that our friend Lucas gave us. It is a tiny toy, but we used it to illustrate the concept of using C# iterators as the foundation for game logic development and how a cooperative scheduler would work (Unity game logic works just like this).

We were also working on completing Mono's port to the PlayStation 3's native operating system (this is different than running Mono on Linux on the PS3: that already works, and it was used for developing CellDotNet, a JIT for the PS3's SPUs). Zoltan developed the static compiler for PowerPC and I did the platform support.

Mono can now run "Hello World" on the PS3 native OS. There are still lots of ins, lots of outs and lots of whathaveyous that need to be tied up before this fully works and before we are able to run PhyreEngine# on the PS3.

Posted on 08 Jun 2009 by Miguel de Icaza
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