Here’s the new N3 SDK: download link

As always, this only includes the sources for the Win32 platform. Console platform specific source code (Xbox360, PS3 and Wii) is not included for obvious legal reasons.

Here’s a rough change log since the Apr2009 SDK:


== Major New Features

  • unified XNAMath support on Win32 and Xbox360 platforms
  • PS3 support (not part of public SDK, but lots of fixes for GCC 4.x in platform-agnostic code)
  • HTTP filesystem wrapper now working properly, this allows to create standalone N3 apps which load all their data from an HTTP server (see testhttpviewer.exe for an example)
  • “binary XML” support for much faster loading of big XML files (circumvents TinyXML)
  • new “FrameSync” system for running main and render thread in lock-step
  • new “Jobs” system to implement parallel jobs (CPU-thread-pool on Win32 and Xbox360, SPUs on PS3)
  • window parenting, it’s now possible to open the render window as a child of another window, this makes it possible to embed N3 into another Windows application
  • FMOD integration 


== Foundation Layer


  • new Debug::StringAtomPageHandler to inspect string atom table from web browser
  • type casting methods optimized in Ptr<>
  • optional allocation from memory pool support for RefCounted objects (currently unstable!)


  • Win32StringConverter: helper class to convert between UTF-8 and wide character string (currently only on Win32 platform)
  • Util::Array::InsertSorted() now returns index of inserted element
  • new Util::BitField<> class to allow bit mask operations on masks wider then 32 bits
  • removed classes of old string atom system: Util::Atom<>, Util::Proxy<>
  • new method Util::FixedArray<>::Resize()
  • classes for new string atom system: Util::StringAtom, Util::StringBuffer, Util::LocalStringAtomTable, Util::GlobalStringAtomTable
  • new method Util::Queue<>::Reserve()
  • new direct access methods in Util::RingBuffer<>
  • new method Util::Round::RoundUp()
  • new class Util::SparseTable, for 2D data tables with a lot of empty cells
  • Util::String:
    • new method CopyToBuffer()
    • new optimized versions of Tokenize() which fills a provided string array with the tokens, allows to reuse an existing array object
    • new static wrapper methods: IsDigit(), IsAlpha(), IsAlNum(), IsLower(), IsUpper(), StrCmp(), StrLen(), StrChr()
  • new util functions to help with “type punning”


  • BXmlReader: stream reader for “binary XML files” (created by the new binaryxmlconverter3.exe utility)
  • some low-level-optimizations in ZIP filesystem wrapper
  • application root directory stuff moved from AssetRegistry into Core::CoreServer
  • new class GameContentServer, used to properly setup game data on some console platforms
  • added support for http: and httpnz: schemes for reading data from HTTP servers through the N3 filesystem wrapper


  • Xbox360 and Win32 math classes have been unified into XNAMath classes
  • low-level performance tweaking


  • experimental memory pool support on Win32 platform
  • on Win32 platform, dynamically allocated memory is now 16-byte aligned (NOTE: there seems to be a hard to reproduce critical bug in Realloc() where HeapSize() returns a wrong value)
  • new HTML debug output in Debug::MemoryPageHandler for memory pools


  • Threading::CriticalSection rewritten with "Fast critical sections with timeout" by Vladislav Gelfer (on Win32 platform)
  • Threading::Event now supports “manual reset” behaviour
  • Threading::Interlocked class now uses compiler intrinsics on Win32 and Xbox360 platform
  • new class Threading::ThreadBarrier: stops a thread until all other threads have arrived at the barrier
  • optimizations in Threading::SafeQueue


  • new class System::Win32Environment to access environment variables (Win32 platform only)
  • Win32Registry class now reads registry key values as wide char and converts them to UTF-8
  • type punning fixes in System::ByteOrder


  • removed MasterTime/SlaveTime system, global timing is now provided by the FrameSync subsystem


  • the Message::SetHandled() method was not thread-safe, now uses Interlocked::Exchange() to update its status
  • Messaging::AsyncPort rewritten to allow better control over message handling behaviour through subclasses of HandlerThreadBase
  • new async message handler thread classes BlockingHandlerThread, RunThroughHandlerThread


  • some type punning fixes in


  • new classes HttpClientRegistry, HttpStream, HttpNzStream to implement a transparent HTTP filesystem, the HttpNzStream uses client-side zlib decompression to improve download performance


  • no noteworthy changes


  • new application identifier strings AppTitle and AppID, this is necessary for some console platforms


  • this is a new subsystem to distribute tasks either across threads in a thread-pool (Win32 and Xbox360) or the SPUs on the PS3


  • this is a new subsystem which implements better synchronization between the game thread and render thread


== Render Layer


  • parent window stuff in DisplayDevice (Win32 platform)
  • it’s now possible to share depth/stencil buffers between render targets
  • the ShaderServer now parses a dictionary file (created by the shaderbatcher3.exe tool) instead of listing the directory content of the shaders directory
  • removed array support from shader variables (shader parameter arrays are not very portable)
  • some restructuring because of the PS3 port (some classes have been split into a base class and platform specific derived classes)
  • new private method in D3D9RenderDevice: SyncGPU() this is called inside Present() to prevent the GPU from running too far ahead of the CPU (this is a driver-internal “optimization” which can lead to frame stuttering under some circumstances)
  • better control over clearing a render target through clear flags
  • the RenderDevice::SaveScreenshot() method is now responsible to set the MIME type on the output stream, this is because the actually saved MIME type may now be different then the requested type
  • no more byte-order conversion when loading mesh files, this happens in the asset pipeline now
  • new class MemoryMeshLoader, setup a mesh object from an existing VertexBuffer and IndexBuffer object

CoreAudio and Audio

  • the CoreAudio and Audio subsystem are obsolete and have been replaced with the FMOD-based Audio2 subsystem, which “automatically” works across all platforms, please check the FMOD license restrictions for commercial projects!


  • the following classes have been removed from CoreAnimation: AnimDrivenMotionSampler, AnimMixer, AnimSampler
  • new file format for animation data: nax3
  • new animation curve type: Velocity, this is used by the AnimDrivenMotion feature


  • no noteworthy changes


  • minor changes for Pre-Lightpass-Rendering
  • better control over render target clear in FramePass
  • FramePostEffect: rendering a full-screen-quad has been moved into new helper class RenderUtil::DrawFullScreenQuad
  • frame shaders are now loaded on demand
  • new LightServer class: LightPrePassServer implements light pre-pass rendering (a variation on deferred shading, currently only implemented in the PS3 port)


  • anim evaluation has been “jobified”
  • no more AnimDrivenMotion specific code in Animation subsystem (this is now handled through a new anim curve type which contains velocity keys)


  • new FMOD-based multiplatform audio subsystem


  • skeleton evaluation has been “jobified”
  • on PS3, skinning is now running on SPUs
  • the entire character subsystem has been optimized (essentially rewritten)


  • uses the FrameSync subsystem to run render thread and game thread in lock-step (this basically fixes all stuttering problems)
  • more debug infos displayed in web browser through GraphicsPageHandler
  • lots of fixes to the attachment system (character joint attachments: swords, shields, etc…)
  • restructured the Update/Render-Loop for better parallelization support, the idea is basically to make more room between updating an object and rendering an object so that asynchronous jobs have a better chance to finish on time before rendering requires the jobs output data


  • some new messages to communicate from the main thread to the render thread (see


  • nothing noteworthy…


  • some restructuring for better portability
  • particle updates have been “jobified”


  • no noteworthy changes…


  • new helper class RenderFullScreenQuad
  • new helper class NodeLookupUtil to lookup a ModelNodeInstance in a hierarchy


  • nothing noteworthy

== Moved into Addons:

  • fx
  • network
  • locale
  • posteffect
  • ui
  • vegetation
  • vibration
  • video

== New Stuff in ExtLibs:

  • FMOD
  • RakNet