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21. June 2018


Once again, Steam’s annual summer sale is upon us, and of course loads of software of interest for game developers are on offer.  This guide highlights some of the items on sale.  Many of these programs we’ve covered in the pass.  In those cases, click the Learn More link to… learn more.



GameDev News ,

21. June 2018

LunarG have just released an updated version of their Vulkan  SDK to be compatible with Vulkan 1.1.77.  If you are interested in learning more about LunarG and exactly how it related to Vulkan, be sure to check out this video, which is also embedded below.


Details of the release:

SDK released 6/20/2018

Overview of changes and additions to Vulkan SDK 1.1.77

  1. Linux SDK is now packaged as a tar.gz file instead of a .run file. Previously the run file created a VulkanSDK directory and then expanded the SDK into the VulkanSDK/1.1.xx.y directory. The tar file now simply expands the SDK into a directory of the form 1.1.xx.y.
  2. Many bug fixes, increased validation coverage and accuracy improvements, and feature additions
  3. New extensions for this SDK release:

VK_KHR_get_display_properties2

VK_KHR_draw_indirect_count

More Information

Please read the Release Notes for Linux, Release Notes for Windows, or Release Notes for macOS for additional information or go to LunarXchange to download this new SDK.


GameDev News

21. June 2018


Pixologic just released the first update for ZBrush 2018 bringing it to 2018.1.  ZBrush is a popular 3D sculpting application that now includes Sculptris pro, a dynamic tessellation system that frees you from having to think about polygon counts.  This is a free update for all ZBrush users, be careful when upgrading there are specific instructions depending on the version you are coming from.

Details from the release announcement:


NEW

  • Added various changes to increase ZBrush sculpting and navigation speed.
  • Added ‘Go To Unmasked Center’ button for use with Gizmo3D center option.
  • Added ‘Uvb’ and ‘Uvbt’ (UV-Box and UV-Box tiles) UV map creation options.
  • Added option to export Smooth Normals with OBJ files.
  • Added ZModeler Inset proportional option. (A Single Poly only. CTRL modifier)
  • Added a warning when loading custom brushes with auto-masking enabled if Sculptris Pro is active.
  • Added a MatCap Red Wax material so it will no longer be fully replaced when using ‘Save As Startup Material’.

UPDATES

  • Fixed Groups Border weighted smooth mode (Smooth Groups Brush).
  • Fixed iCloud Photos shortcut issue.
  • Fixed GoZ Photoshop Crash.
  • Fixed GoZ Max has been updated to work with 3ds Max 2017, 2018, & 2019.
  • Fixed double clicking not opening ZPR or ZTL files on the MacOS.
  • Fixed issues with tablet pressure on MacOS.
  • Fixed ZRemesher density control with Polypainting on MacOS.
  • Fixed CTRL + Drag duplicated crash when using the Gizmo3D.
  • Fixed issue with geometry position sliders staying active when inputting values.
  • Fixed issue with lightbox not opening with large number of loaded brushes.
  • Fixed issue with VDM brushes when applying with textures.
  • Fixed ‘Draw Transformation Border’ not storing with Config.
  • Fixed ZBrush not responding after restoring from minimize on MacOS.
  • Fixed typing with a French keyboard on MacOS.
  • Fixed importing of PNG files on MacOS.
  • Fixed custom UI not storing when in full screen mode on MacOS.
  • Fixed Screen Saver from activating when ZBrush is launched on MacOS.
  • Fixed computer not sleeping when ZBrush is launched on MacOS.
  • Fixed issue after UI is saved in window mode on Windows.
  • Fixed issue of UI not being saved in fullscreen on secondary monitor on Windows.
  • Fixed UV Planar smoothing UVs when applied. Now smoothing will only take place when SUV in the Tool>Geometry is enabled.

You can learn more about ZBrush here.

GameDev News

19. June 2018


These days it seems most game engines have an integrated marketplace that make it easy for their users to acquire assets such as models, levels and scripts.  The Leadwerks game engine just launched a store of their own.  The Leadwerks Marketplace launched with over 50GB of assets with categories of Models, Materials, Scripts, Shaders and Image1.png.24d14b7a0b167925a73218b14beb0d80.pngSounds.  There are a few free assets available, but oddly no ability to sort by price.  You can browse the contents of the marketplace using the link above.  The Leadwerks Marketplace is intended as a replacement for the Steam Workshop that didn’t work out as hoped.


Details of the marketplace from the Leadwerks blog:


How does Leadwerks Marketplace improve things?:

  • Easy download of zip files that are ready to use with Leadwerks. You can use File > Import menu item to extract them to the current project, or just unzip them yourself.
  • All content is curated. Items are checked for compatibility and quality.
  • Clear technical specifications for every file, so you know exactly what you are getting.
  • Cheap and reliable storage forever with Amazon S3.
  • Any DLCs or Workshop Store items you purchased can be downloaded from Leadwerks Marketplace by linking your Steam account to your profile.
  • Easy publishing of your items with our web-based uploader.

We're launching with over 50 gigabytes of game assets, and more will be added continuously. To kick off the launch we're offering some items at major discounts during the Summer Game Tournament.


Be sure to read the blog for a great deal more details as well as information on how to link to your Steam account.

GameDev News

19. June 2018


At Unite Berlin 2018, Unity announced much improved prefab support in Unity.  The release is available in a special preview download version that is available here.  This new approach to prefabs gives you a lower level of granularity in how you split your scene up.  Perhaps most impressive to the new functionality to enable prefabs to be made up of other prefabs that in turn are made up of other prefabs.

Details of the preview prefab workflow from https://unity3d.com/prefabs:

Improved workflow

The new Prefab workflows, which are now available as previews, allow you to split up scenes and Prefabs on a granular level. This gives you greater flexibility, increases your productivity and enables you to work confidently without worrying about making time-consuming errors.

The improvements are based on surveys with more than 150 enterprise customers, numerous interviews, several usability tests and two game jams. The long-term goal has been not only to implement support for nesting, but to rethink the core Prefab workflows so different team members can simultaneously edit Prefabs confidently and efficiently.

Nesting

Greater flexibility

Previously, users were forced to choose between creating large monolithic Prefabs, like buildings, or more granular ones, like pieces of furniture, but they couldn't do both.

Now with support for nested Prefabs, a large building can be made up of many smaller room Prefabs, which in turn can be made up of multiple pieces of furniture Prefabs, and so on.

Productivity booster

This makes it easier for teams of all sizes to:

  • Split up Prefabs into multiple entities for greater efficiency
  • Reuse any content, from small to large
  • Work on different parts of content simultaneously

Prefab Variants

Flexible properties increase efficiency

As a default, a Prefab Variant inherits the objects and properties of the Prefab it is a variant of, but at the same time, you have the possibility to override those properties. This is similar to the concept of inheritance in object-oriented programming.

For example, if you had multiple door Prefabs, you could choose to make some of them a different color, while allowing the rest to inherit the existing Prefab color property. Any change made to the original door Prefab will affect the variants of it as well, except those properties which have been overridden.

Prefab Mode

Avoid time-consuming mistakes

A cornerstone of the new workflows, Prefab Mode enables you to edit in isolation. While this means that you will have to approach Prefab editing in a slightly different way, you can feel secure that any errors made will not have negative consequences.


You can learn more about the new prefab system in the prefab documentation.  There is also a sample project available for download here.

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