Well, it's finally done. Sphere 1.0 has been released, six years after development began. What started as a 640x480 24-bit color tile scrolling demo has become a full 2D RPG development environment.

Download the installer here. The rest of the files are here.

Sphere has been my primary project for a LONG time, and I have learned a great deal from it... graphics programming, sound programming, software architecture, project management, build processes, release processes, scripting languages, etc. Sphere has been more educational than a large number of my college classes!

I've been impressed time and time again by the quality of the games created by the community. Who would have thought that when I finally gave in and added networking support that we'd suddenly have an IRC client! Or when I added textured quad rendering that people would make 3D engines... It's been a great six years.

I'd like to thank several of you (in no particular order) for your support over the years.

  • My girlfriend, Laura, for understanding when I was busy writing code instead of talking.
  • My parents for not enforcing the "one hour of computer time per day" rule.
  • My roommate Mike for thinking of the name and letting me stay up until 6:00 a.m. while working on some new feature.
  • Jacky Chong (Darklich) for helping me early on with a lot of the code.
  • Brian Robb (Flik) for helping me get Sphere 1.0 out by tackling bugs and feature requests left and right as well as writing a huge amount of tutorials.
  • Lyell Embery (Alienax) for porting the editor to wxWindows and adding several features.
  • Dusty Leary (kepler) and Andy Friesen (the Speed Bump) for design ideas.
  • Brandon Mechtley (malis) for creating sphere.sf.net, one of the best things to ever happen to Sphere.
  • Dennis Rosenfeld (DRosen) and Dustin Wilson (Khadgar) for the icons.
  • The rest of the community for taking Sphere to the limit and writing documentation for nearly every one of Sphere's features.

What next? I probably won't work on Sphere anymore, except for bug fixes. I want to spend more time with the virtual reality resources I have available at the VRAC... so expect some more nifty software, even if it doesn't run on commodity hardware. ;) I also have ideas for other game engines... We'll see.

This doesn't mean Sphere will go undeveloped. It's open source, so anyone can work on it. In fact, I've written documentation and scripts to make it easy to compile Sphere on your own. Brian Robb (Flik) is the new project leader and a great programmer, so look forward to more releases and features!

It's been fun. Best of luck with your games!

Chad Austin

The changelog since 0.97 (last official release) is available at sphere.sf.net.