Paper Donkey Engine


The Paper Donkey Engine is a game engine I’ve been continually developing in my spare time. It allows full games to be easily made in a 2D-in-3D perspective. Under the hood, it is built using Processing (Java) and uses OpenGL for rendering. I’ve used it to make several different game demos for a variety of genres (tactical RPG, action, horror-survival, etc.).

Engine Features

-2D-in-3D: Characters are 2D, but they reside in, and can interact with a 3D environment. 3D objects and scene details can be added to game levels (tables, chairs, etc.). OpenGL is used for rendering. Full sprite management and animation is supported; you define animations from spritesets and reference them by name.

-Typical Engine Features: Typical things you’d expect from a pre-made game engine such as timers, scene/level managers, camera manipulators, a cutscene system, and a full scripting engine (JavaScript).

-Particle effects system: Special effects can be created in the games using the scripting engine. A wide range of effects can be made such as fire, smoke, rain, explosions, magic sparkles, etc. In addition to this, there is a lightning effect generator that uses Perlin Noise to generate neat arcs.

-Scripted HUD System: GUI elements can be created using the built-in scripting engine. This allows them to be easily linked to game objects. For example, health displays are bound to the player’s character.

-Physics Engine: The Box2D engine gives full 2D physics capabilities. This also allows level triggers to be implemented for traps, pickups, and cutscene events.

-Gamepad support: Xbox 360 controllers can be used to control games.

-Level Editor: Probably one of the key features of this engine. This allows you do quickly and easily set up levels and paint them with textures, walls, and doors.

-AI/Pathfinding: Currently I have implementations for Djikstra and Floyd-Warshall pathfinding. Djistra is better for turn-based tactical games where partial graph searches are required, and Floyd-Warshall is better for games where the level doesn’t change much and there is a need for real-time, anywhere-to-anywhere path calculations.


  1. ¢assio raposa said,

    Hi, Jake!
    First of all, nice work!
    I would like to contact you since I’ve been thinking about creating exactly the same kind of engine you are working on, using processing cause I qant to create a game in chapters to be played online.
    I know you must be very keen of your work but maybe we could team up to come up with something? I’m an indie developer working in two projects, do pixel art and 2D general arts, also composing some oldschool tunes for games.
    Well, anyway, congratulations for your work! Good luck

    • jestermax said,

      Hey there, sorry for the extremely late reply; there have been some hectic things happening lately (and therefore I forgot). Contact me sometime to discuss stuff; I may be up for some toying around depending on what you have in mind.

  2. Updated Paper Donkey Engine Page | Jake Seigel's Blog said,

    […] View it here: Paper Donkey Engine […]

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