The Wintermute Engine (WME) is designed to be as flexible as possible yet easy to use. It provides a large set of predefined functions plus a scripting layer, which allows you to implement advanced custom functionality when needed.
Resolution and colors
The engine supports virtually any resolution. Your games may range from 320x200 retro-style to high-res 1024x768 modern looking ones.
Both 16bit (hicolor) and 32bit (true color) color depths are supported. The player can select a color depth appropriate for his computer and the engine handles the color conversion automatically.
Since 3D accelerated videocards are a standard today, WME is able to utilize 3D acceleration to provide fast 2D graphics in high resolutions, with advanced graphical effects such as transparency, alpha blending and antialiasing.
On old computers, WME is able to run in so called "compatibility mode", which doesn't require 3D accelerator, but all the advanced graphics effects are disabled.
To speed up the development, WME provides a set of GUI tools for designing the game scenes, animations and for managing the project contents. The tools are powered by the engine itself, therefore they can offer a true WYSIWYG :)
Next generation tools are currently under development.
Supported file formats
The engine allows you to use various file formats for storing graphics and sounds. It also introduces custom file formats for defining the game objects.
Graphics formats supported: BMP, TGA, PNG and JPG
WME supports PNG and TGA files with an alpha channel.
Sound formats supported: Ogg Vorbis (OGG) and WAV.
Although WME doesn't support the MP3 format due to licensing issues, the Ogg Vorbis format is more than a valid replacement.
These sound formats can be used for both music and sound effects. Large sounds are streamed from the disk and do not waste the memory.
Furthermore the engine is able to play videos in Ogg Theora and AVI format, including automatic subtitles display (SUB format).
WME provides a flexible object-oriented scripting language, which allows you to add almost any feature/puzzle you want. All the game objects support a set of methods and attributes to allow you an easy access to the internal engine workings. You can also create your own custom objects and override and customize build-in methods.
Multi-layered parallax scrolling for the scenes is natively supported by the engine and the scene designing tool. No additional scripting is required to implement it.
Before the game is distributed, it can be compiled into one or more packages. The package files contain all the game resources in a compressed form. You can choose to split the resources into multiple packages, for example to distribute a separate package with sounds/speech, or to release individual game episodes as packages.
The packages can have various priorities. It can be used for example to release a patch for your game. The patch package will only contain the changed files and it will have a higher priority than the original release. The engine will then use the new files.
Throughout the development you don't need to compile the game. The engine is able to operate directly on the uncompressed files to speed up testing and debugging.
Support for 3D characters
WME includes support for real-time rendered 3D characters. This allows WME developers to create state-of-the-art adventure games which combine 2D environments with 3D characters (so-called 2.5D games), similar to games like Syberia or The Longest Journey. Please see the documentation for more details about supported features and requirements. There is a simple demo available for download.
User interface layer
Using several available controls (such as windows, buttons...), you can build a complex user interface for your games, such as load/save windows, settings window, inventory window etc. All the controls are fully "skinnable", you can change their look to fit your game.
WME allows you to translate your game into other languages. The localization isn't limited to texts, you can create localization packages containing localized string table, fonts, graphics or even sounds.
WME provides several options to improve accessibility for vision-impaired players. Firstly it's possible to send most of the written text to text-to-speech synthesizer, so that the players don't have to read captions, which are often too small or disappear too fast to be comfortable to read. Secondly it's possible to manually highlight active areas on screen using keyboard shortcuts, because normally it can be hard to spot them for people with visual disabilities. Thirdly the player can pause the game at any time (using the Ctrl+Space keyboard shortcut) to be able to read any text or examine the scene without rush.
The friendly people at the WME forum are always willing to give a helping hand (and to turn every discussion off topic :)
WME is constantly under development. Updates with new features and bugfixes are being released via the WME forum. The Project Manager utility is able to check for updates on the internet so that you can download the latest version immediately after it's released.
And a lot of other smaller things