XNA Programmer? Say hello to Gearset.
Game development processes are different from any other type of software process. Game state data usually changes dramatically every 16~33 milliseconds, and usually programmers need to be aware of what's going on under the hood in real time. Gearset is the product that enables just that, it makes the programmer (and everyone else watching) aware of how the game is behaving internally, having this information available and being able to modify it in real-time have proven to be an important edge towards development efficiency, debugging costs reduction and ultimately making better games.
Gearset is completely independent of whichever engine or framework you're using or not using (as long as its XNA based). Simply add 3 lines of code to your game and you're set. If you are just starting with XNA, Gearset will give you the boost you need.
- 15 Feb 2012. Version 2.0 is now out, grab it and start using the new Curve Editor and inspect Private Fields!.
- 10 Sep 2011. Good news! Gearset can now be used for free, but there's also a paid version with extra features, which by the way, got a dramatic price drop. Also, there are sweet new features in the latest version. Download it and make sure you check the changelog details.
- 18 Aug 2011. New Gearset version available. Get it.
- 15 Aug 2011. Posted a demo video which shows how the Inspector can be used to quickly tweak your objects to create the desired effect, in this case, a cool particle effect.
FeaturesHere's a glimpse of what Gearset have to offer to professional and hobbyist XNA developers. New feature will be coming soon so stay tuned.
When developing games, the need to break the game execution is sometimes too expensive, the break-modify-continue cycle can become quite slow and unproductive. With Inspector things are different, you have speedy and convenient read/write access to all your fields and properties for easy and productive tweaking. You can drag and drop to assign values, is that easy.
FinderThe Finder is the easiest way to get your game objects into the inspector. By default it will search through your Game's Component collection but if you have a special object model (for example, a hierarchy of some game entities) you can easily customize the search function to better suit it.
BenderNeed to tweak a curve? Use Bender, Gearset's integrated curve editor. You won't have to stop your game excecution anymore. You can create curves at runtime, you can also drag and drop it to an object in the Inspector, and you can save them when you're ready. It's just awesome.
Overlaid PlotsWant to know how this or that variable is behaving over time? We know you do, knowing it instead of guessing it makes a huge difference and the overlaid plot gear is just for that. Get a real-time, visual representation of your variables and really understand how your game is behaving. You'll enjoy this one.
Streamed LoggingWriting stuff to the console is an old-school debugging trick we've all used which usually works great. It works perfect until we start using it too much and our game's output starts looking like a real mess with messages from unknowns sources mixed in a single text box of what is now useless garbage.
The Logger gives the programmer a clear view of when and where every log message was generated in a speedy and convenient window. Just open the logger and get really into knowing how your game is doing. The generated log can be saved to a file which is extremely useful when added to a bug report. Your QA sessions' productivity will be boosted.
Overlaid GeometryImagine that you're trying to solve a bug, you realize that you need to visualize what's going on better so you decide to draw a line, box, sphere, vector, 3D transform or whatever to get a clearer view of the situation. But you are not inside a Draw method! And the data you need to draw is not available inside any Draw method either. Gearset will help you in this situation, it can draw geometry and remember it so you don't have to redraw it every frame (useful when data is only available for one frame, e.g. the game is making a decision)
Ease of useOne of the main goals while designing Gearset was to make it a tool that helped development without getting in your way. That's why everything is conveniently done with a single line of code, take a look at the User Guide examples and see what we mean.
Also, Gearset's looks are minimalistic in order to take as little resources as possible, we understand that your game needs the resources, Gearset won't steal them.
- Quick actions: call methods with a button (reset your game, toggle stuff on/off, whatever you can think of)
- Overlaid value tree: show values in a convenient tree view.
- Overlaid text labels: name things in 2D/3D space.
- Alerter: get alerted when something very important happens in your code.
- We have plenty of ideas for future versions of Gearset. If you have some, please let us know and we'll try to help.