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15. December 2015

 

Back in October I had the following Twitter conversation with Nat Friedman of Xamarin.

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It appears that this process has begun, at least for a limited time and for published developers.  From this announcement at Xamarin:

Christmas comes early for indie game developers

Because we love seeing indie games succeed, Xamarin wants to support indie game developers all over the world in bringing their games to billions of mobile gamers. We want every indie game developer to enjoy the power of C# and Visual Studio, so we have an amazing special offer this December:

Free, community-supported subscriptions of Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android, including our Visual Studio extensions

Indie game developers only need to have published a game in any framework on any platform to qualify. We’ll use your published details to verify your indie status:

This offer is limited to independent game developers who have published a game on or before Tuesday, December 15, 2015 in any reputable public store for indie games, such as Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows Store, Xbox Store, PlayStation Store, or Nintendo eShop. No more than one subscription will be granted to any given publisher. This offer expires on December 31, 2015 at 9 pm ET.

 

The published title restriction is a bit of a mind twister for me…  isn’t this a matter of preaching to the choir?  Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to try and attract aspiring developers instead of a group that already committed to the .NET ecosystem?

GameDev News


15. December 2015

 

Via BlenderNation a great collection of Blender materials came to my attention and I figured I would share.  Blender user Mackraken is a bit of a hoarder of materials and this certainly works to our advantage!  He has made a complete collection of shaders available for our use, all nicely organized using matlib.

 

To install, if you haven't already got git installed, install git and make sure it is available in your path.  Next in a terminal/command prompt, change directory to your Blender’s addon folder.  On my system it was D:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.76\scripts\addons

 

Next run the command:

git clone https://github.com/meta-androcto/materials_library.git

 

Now load up Blender.  Go to User Preferences…

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Switch to the Add-ons tab, search for “mate”, click the enabled check box for the entry Material: Material Library Cycles, then click Save User Settings if you wish this setting to persist the next time you load Blender.

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The materials will now be available.  First make sure the Cycles renderer is selected:

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Pick an object you wish to apply a texture to and navigate to the Materials tab:

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If the plug-in install worked properly, you should now have a new field named Material Library VX available:

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In the dropdown, select the category of material you want:

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Next select the actual material you want, then click the indicated icon to make that material active:

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Tada:

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Now keep in mind that Cycles materials will NOT export correctly to any game engines.  Instead you will have to bake your textures for use in real-time.  Don’t worry though, I already got you covered there!

 

Here is a video of the entire process.  Thanks to Mackraken for sharing the results of his hoarding nature!

Art


15. December 2015

 

Over the years there have been many tutorial series here on GameFromScratch, many of them aimed at beginning game developers.  What there has never been is a series for complete beginners.  Every single programming tutorial I have ever written has assumed prior programming experience.  Today I am launching a new series that will change this.

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Welcome to the newest tutorial series on GameFromScratch, Game Development for Complete Beginners.  I aim to teach game development with a focus on programming in this series.  However I am going to assume zero prior programming experience.  This means we will learn about the programming process, about variables, program flow and other key concepts.  We will also look at tools, debugging, profiling.  All critical tasks to learn for game development.  Of course this requires choosing a programming language and game engine or library.  For this, as you may guess from this page’s title, I chose Love ( or LÖVE/Love2D ) which uses the Lua programming language.  I will explain the reasons in more detail later, but for now simply realize it’s a beginner friendly combination and it’s a programming language that remains useful long past the beginning stages.

 

Of course this isn’t the kind of thing I can cover in a tutorial or two.  This will require a complete tutorial series.  I am actually composing it in chapter form and will publish each chapter here on GameFromScratch.  I will also be compiling the results together in e-book for Patreon supporters.  For each chapter there will also be one or more videos covering the same material.

 

In fact, there is already a video companion for this announcement post! Winking smile

 

Of course your feedback is always appreciated.  Hopefully this series helps makes entry into the world of game programming easier for new developers and it provides some mild amusement for more experienced readers!  Stay tuned for more.

Programming


13. December 2015

 

GDX AI, a Java based AI library that works with (but doesn’t require) LibGDX just released version 1.7.

 

From the change log:

[1.7.0]

- Updated to libgdx 1.7.1

- API Addition: added GdxAI service locator that reduces coupling with libgdx and allows you to use gdx-ai

out of a libgdx application without having to initialize libgdx environment, so avoiding the waste of resources

and the need of native libraries; see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Initializing-and-Using-gdxAI

- API Change and Addition: Messaging API

* Removed delta time argument from the update method of the MessageDispatcher; the new GdxAI.getTimepiece().getTime() is internally used instead.

* Added return receipt support, see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Message-Handling#return-receipt

* The report method of PendingMessageCallback now takes an additional argument for the return receipt.

- API Change and Addition: State Machine API

* Now the StateMachine interface has a generic type parameter for the state.

* Added owner's getter and setter to the DefaultStateMachine; also, the owner is now optional in constructor.

- API Change and Addition: Behavior tree API revised and improved, see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Behavior-Trees

* Now tasks have a status that is updated each time they run.

* Added enum support in behavior tree files.

* Now parallel task can specify sequence or selector policy.

* Added cancel method for task termination, mainly used by the parallel task.

* Now you can add listeners to the tree in order to be notified when a task has run and a child is added.

* Now task methods setControl, success and fail are final.

* Now method addChild is final and Task's subclasses have to implement addChildToTask.

* Added decorator tasks Repeat and Random.

* Added leaf tasks Failure, Success and Wait.

* Added branch tasks RandomSelector and RandomSequence; removed deterministic attribute from Selector and Sequence.

* Now the UntilFail decorator succeeds when its child fails.

* Added ability to clone tasks through third-party libraries like Kryo.

* Added support for custom distributions in behavior tree files.

* Now LeafTask usage is less error prone thanks to the execute method.

GdxAI is available on Github or as part of the LibGDX setup.

GameDev News Programming


11. December 2015

 

On the heels of the recent acquisition of Corona by Perk, Corona just announced the private beta release of Corona Ads:

 

Only a few weeks have gone by since Corona Labs joined the Perk team and we already have some exciting news for developers. We are announcing the Beta for Corona Ads!

Corona Ads features easy monetization via banner ads, interstitials, and video ads. Integration is simple – you can add ads into your app with just a few lines of code. Corona Ads presents a turn-key solution for Corona developers to start monetizing their apps today.

We’re looking for developers to participate in the private Corona Ads product beta.

If you’re interested in signing up for the beta program, please visit our signup form on ads.coronalabs.com.

 

If you’ve never heard of it, Corona is a Lua based game engine aimed at mobile game development.  It was featured years ago in the Lua Game Engine round up although a massive amount has changed since that comparison was authored.

GameDev News


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