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24. June 2016

 

Leadwerks just released version 4.1 of their beginner focused 3D game engine.  The Leadwerks engine is currently available at 80% off as part of the Steam summer sale.

 

New features of this release from the release notes:

 

Environment Probes

The new environment probe entities can be used to add global illumination and reflections to any scene.
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Volumetric Lighting

Each light in Leadwerks can now display an adjustable volumetric effect using a ray-marching technique to give your game dramatic visuals.
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Enhanced Post-Processing Effects

Leadwerks 4.1 includes new built-in post-process effects including volumetric light scattering and screen-space ambient occlusion.  Older effects like bloom have been updated for improved visuals.
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GameDev News

23. June 2016

 

Razer recently launched HDK2, the open source Head Mounted Display for OSVR, the open source VR standard first released by Valve.  As part of that VR effort, they just announced a $5 million fund for developing OSVR titles.  So does this require exclusivity?  Well no.  In fact their funding approach is pretty novel and one I think others should adopt.

This fund is open to all developers, indie or major, to apply. For every successful applicant, OSVR funding partners will purchase copies of their content in exchange for OSVR integration.

So basically, you add OSVR support to your title, Razer (and other OSVR parties I’m assuming) will then purchase a number of copies of that title, which they in turn can use to include with their headsets.  It’s fairly win/win actually, developers are guaranteed a minimum number of sales, promotion and exposure and headset manufacturers have more titles and promotional options as a result.  Further information from the press release:

SAN FRANCISCO – Organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), the largest open source virtual reality consortium in the world, today announced the OSVR Developer Fund—a content accelerator program led by Razer that avails $5 million to the developer community. The fund encourages developers to support the OSVR ecosystem – an open source ecosystem that allows VR content to work across the board with all VR hardware, giving VR fans and developers more choice without worrying about DRM policies or other restrictive measures.


“VR is working toward being a mainstream success thanks to all the developers who have stepped up to the plate to deliver the next-generation in interactive experiences,” says Christopher Mitchell, OSVR lead, Razer. “The OSVR Developer Fund allows us to directly support the efforts of VR pioneers across the breadth of this developing industry, while at the same time ensuring that content is available to everyone in the industry. It is our contention that if everyone who is constructively contributing to the VR ecosystem succeeds, then VR will succeed. Closed doors in the world of development are a death sentence.”


The OSVR Developer Fund will be available to qualified, participating VR content developers – independent or major. If successful, applicants will have their game codes purchased in bulk by Razer or any future contributors to the fund in exchange for support of the platform. This will help compensate developers for the time spent integrating as well as provide OSVR with assets to promote their game’s availability in the unrestricted OSVR powered eco-system for use with all headsets.


“We understand content developers have various development challenges and we’re committed to helping them get ahead of those barriers,” says Justin Cooney, OSVR director of developer relations, Razer. “The OSVR Developer Fund helps to support initial sales while enabling developers to contribute to the VR industry as a whole. Together, OSVR and its content partners enjoy the realization of a shared vision for the future of VR.”
In the egalitarian spirt of OSVR, developers will not beholden to only one particular sales channel, hardware device or development engine. Publishers will likewise retain full creative control over their content.
They will also receive marketing and promotional support including opportunities to be a part of OSVR hardware bundles or showcases at major consumer events.

 

If you are interested in signing up, be sure to head over to the OSVR page.

GameDev News

23. June 2016

 

Unity have just released another patch, this one 5.3.5P5.  Once again, this patch consists entirely of fixes, including:

Fixes
  • (none) - Analytics: Fixed a NullReferenceException when stores inform Unity IAP of purchase events without providing metadata for the purchased product.
  • (792351) - Android: Fixed an issue where Unity would emit "Unknown event structure (0)" to the log several times per second.
  • (789840) - AssetBundle: Fixed the error message when accessing the main asset.
  • (none) - Build Pipeline: Updated build window to allow case insensitive file extensions.
  • (747347) - Documentation: Updated documentation for Resources.UnloadAsset to document the 5.x behaviour which is different to 4.6 behaviour.
  • (799469) - General: Fixed crash in the callstack symbolication code that meant Unity could crash while generating crash reports during engine startup and shutdown
  • (none) - GI: Fixed an issue which would caused GI textures to be packed incorrectly.
  • (803088) - GI: Fixed error when baking light probes: "Error adding Enlighten probe set: Failed to allocate probe set."
  • (797235) - GI: Fixed static batching not working when Lightmap Static and Use Light Probes options were both enabled in a Renderer in manual GI mode.
  • (803910) - IL2CPP: Now allow allocation of a pinned GC handle to a null value.
  • (788428) - iOS: Fixed a crash on iOS when 60 fps app is going to background.
  • (none) - iOS: Fixed possible value change for WebCamTexture.size after calling GetPixels() methods.
  • (785021) - iOS: Set correct value in Xcode when "Target minimum iOS version" player setting is set to 9.0.
  • (799572) - iOS: Set missing texel size for WebCamTexture textures.
  • (803795) - License: Fixed broken link to buy Pro version.
  • (803806) - License: Fixed license page alert bar missing issue.
  • (783219) - LOD: Fixed unreachable code warnings when distance == selection.maxDistance.
  • (791362) - Networking: Adding parameter ConnectionConfig.WebSocketReceiveBufferMaxSize (bytes) for manually increasing webSocket buffer and preventing disconnect with log message """"*** sending new, pending truncated **"""".
  • (788877) - Networking: Fixed an issue of different error-messages when setting 65535 and 65537 to m_MaxDefaultConnections in HostTopology.
  • (761566) - Networking: Fixed an issue whereby calling  NetworkDiscovery.StopBroadcast() and NetworkServer.Reset()  crashes editor.
  • (801973) - Networking: Fixed System.Net.NetworkInformation.Ping on recent versions of OSX.
  • (806540, 805897) - OpenGLES: Fixed crash triggered by attempting to set a texture parameters with an uninitialized texture dimension. This was affecting the rendering of the splash screen.
  • (544444) - Particles: Added Undo support when auto reparenting sub emitters.
  • (791794) - Particles: Bounds are not updated after moving whole particle.
  • (772199) - Particles: Fixed an issue where mesh particles are not being scaled when in world space.
  • (489509) - Particles: Fixed collisions not being calculated in-between editor updates.
  • (780867) - Particles: Fixed sorting when using local space particles.
  • (754270) - Particles: Start delay is only applied when the system time is 0.
  • (806089) - Physics: Toggling 'Rigidbody2D.IsKinematic' in the Inspector during play-mode now correctly changes the body-type.
  • (791026, 771710) - Scripting: Fixed deadlock in Editor on re-entering play mode when using ThreadPool.
  • (787136, 801535) - Shaders: Fixed reflection probe box projection not being accurate on large polygons.
  • (790491) - Substance: Fixed an error when loading package file containing an old version of a substance file.
  • (790798) - Terrain: Fixed backlit SpeedTree leaves not being correct in deferred shading.
  • (none) - tvOS: Fixed tvOS player support depending on iOS support native libraries.
  • (790589) - tvOS: Removed "Prepare iOS for recording" from tvOS player settings, which was breaking full screen movie playing.
  • (790264, 799386, 795880) - UI: Fixed World Space Canvas not being rendered on render textures.
  • (790840) - UnityWebRequest: Fixed an issue where UnityWebRequest.error returned inconsistent results after Abort was called.
  • (none) - VR: GearVR no longer renders splash image directly to the HMD's compositor until updated version of Oculus plugin is available.
  • (802122) - VR: Remove black bar from side of game view by correcting for occlusion mask.
  • (786999) - WWW: Fixed potential crash when multiple simultaneous downloads failed.

 

The patch is available for download here.

GameDev News

22. June 2016

 

Welcome to a new tutorial series covering the Defold engine, recently released for free use by King.  You can learn more about the Defold Engine in this video which contains a quick hands on.  It’s a powerful, cross platform Lua powered game engine for 2D game development.  This tutorial series will ultimately walk through all aspects of using the Defold game engine, in both text and video formats.  All of the assets used in creating these tutorials is available on the Patreon dropbox, although I will make source and asset files available as they are needed in text tutorials.  This first tutorial simply walks through getting the Defold engine installed and creating our first project.

 

You can watch the video version of this tutorial here or embedded down below.

 

Getting And Installing Defold Engine

 

Getting started with the Defold engine is very easy, however you will need to log in to Defold.com using a Google account.  First head on over to Defold.com and click the Get Defold button.

image

 

At this point you will have to log in using a Google account.  Once authenticated, you will be redirected to the Defold dashboard.  There are a number of download links available on this page.  Simply pick your appropriate platform:

image

 

This will download an archive file, extract the contents somewhere.

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Defold is run by double clicking the Defold executable.  Before doing so however, let’s create a new project.

 

Creating a New Project in Defold

 

Creating a new Defold project is currently done using the Defold dashboard.  On the left hand sidebar of the dashboard, locate the Add Project button and click it.

image

 

You will now be brought to a very simple configuration form:

image

 

Name your project and click Save.  In my case I am creating a blank project, however Defold have made some sample projects available as a starting point.  If you would rather start there check “Yes, show me your tutorials”.  You will be presented with a list of options:

image

 

Your project is now available.  Let’s load the Editor.  In the folder you extracted Defold, double click the Defold executable.

 

Loading Your Project

 

Now with the editor open, select File->Open Project.

image

 

A list of available projects should now be available.

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Select your newly created project and click Next.  Behind the scenes Defold is creating a git repository for your game.  Since this is the first “checkout”, you need to create a new branch.  Click New Branch then call it V1 or whatever name makes sense to you.

image

 

Defold will now download your project.  Here is the project structure of an empty new project:

image

 

Double click game.project to edit many game specific configuration setting:

image

 

Although our “game” doesn’t actually do anything, you can run it by hitting Ctrl+B or via the Project Menu:

image

 

Certainly not the most exciting game, but it’s a start!

image

 

Managing Your Projects

 

Back in the Defold dashboard, you can edit and delete your projects as well as add additional users.  Your project(s) should now appear on the left hand side of the dashboard, like so:

image

 

Click the gears icon above your project will bring you to the configuration section:

image

 

Clicking Team enables you to add users to your project:

image

 

Of course, they will have to authenticate using Google as well.

 

Finally by clicking Settings you have the ability to change the name and description of your project, as well as delete it entirely:

image

 

Code Hosted on Defold’s Server??? DEALBREAKER!

 

Don’t like the idea of your git repository behind hosted on Defold’s servers?  Well that’s an understandable concern and using the above process, this is exactly what happens.  When you create a project, it’s created as a Git repository on Defold’s servers and when you open it, you are downloading (or more accurately, checking out) to your local server).  It’s understandable that this isn’t for everyone.  Fortunately there is an alternative.

I am not going into details here, but if you want to bypass Defold’s servers complete, follow this guide here.

 

The Video

 

Programming , ,

22. June 2016

 

Adam is a technology demo, created using Unity 5.4 and first show at the Unite Europe conference a few months back.  It was created to showcase features in Unity such as real-time area lights and high fidelity physics created using CaronteFX.  The demo ran at 1440p on a GeForce GTX980.  While the demo itself isn’t yet available (coming soon), a video of it is, embedded below.



You can learn more about Adam here.

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