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30. November 2017


Following on the heels of Alpha 2 released the end of October, we are one step closer to a full Godot 3.0 release with today’s release of Godot 3image Beta 1.  The major difference between beta and the earlier alpha releases is beta is now feature complete.  No new functionality will be added between now and Godot 3.0, only bug fixes and refinements.  This is important to me as it means I can get to work on new tutorials and content targeting Godot!

The beta release also contains several new features since the last alpha including Bullet as the new physics engine for 3D physics, onion skinning support for animations, improved remote debugging and auto tiling for tilemaps.

Details of the release from the Godot blog:

Godot 3.0's development officially entered the beta stage last week, which coincides for us with what we name the feature freeze: from now on, no new features will be merged in the master branch, as the focus will be fully on fixing existing issues to stabilize the current feature set. Don't worry though, Godot 3.1 will arrive soon after the 3.0 release to bring all the nice features that contributors are already working on.

To get broader testing of the feature-frozen branch, we're releasing an official build, Godot 3.0 beta 1, just one month after the previous alpha 2.

It notably includes Bullet as the new 3D physics engine, onion skinning, autotiling for 2D tilemaps, an enhanced debugger with remote SceneTree edit, and nice usability improvements such as code folding in the script editor, PascalCase builtins for C#, and many others.

But more importantly, it also brings tons of bug fixes compared to alpha 2, and we will continue to hunt down the remaining issues to guarantee a nice experience with Godot 3.0 stable. The documentation and translation have also been updated thanks to the work of our many contributors.


Downloads are not on the download page, instead available via the following links:


GameDev News

30. November 2017


Today marks the release of Cocos Creator 1.7.  Cocos Creator is a full suite 2D game engine built on top of the Cocos2d-x open source project.  It imageprovides a complete game editor and SDK for creating cross platform 2D games.  If you are interested in learning more, be sure to check out our recent hands-on video with Cocos Creator.

Cocos Creator 1.7 brings several new features to the engine.  Details from the developer forums:

Performance Improvements
  • [Engine] JSB 2.0 officially launched, greatly optimizing the native platform operating efficiency. Support debugging, if you use manual bindings, be sure to bind the code to be upgraded. For more information, read the [JSB Binding and Debugging Tutorials] (https://github.com/cocos-creator/cocos2d-x-lite/blob/develop/cocos/scripting/js-bindings/docs/JSB2.0-learning-en.md34)
  • [Engine] Separate culling and transform calculation steps to improve performance
  • [Engine] Fixed bug where the width of the rung would change to 0 after adding the Camera component to the node
  • [Animation] Optimize animation components
  • [Engine] Optimize native platform camera cropping performance
What Is Different
  • [Editor] The plug-in script “Allow Editor Load” is disabled, the internal display is not checked
  • [Build] iPhone X Screen Resolution Support
  • [Build] Projects can now exclude un-needed modules for native engine projects. (Project Settings -> Module Config)
  • [Build] Allow native scripts to disable script encryption (support choose whether encrypt js files in builder panel)
  • [ProjectSettings] Add CocosAnalytics to the Services tab.
  • [ProjectSettings] Increase data validation when saving project settings
  • [TypeScript] Upgrade the TypeScript compiler to 2.4.2
  • [Editor] Improve the template of the new script
  • [Editor] Optimize Explorer file sorting
  • [Editor] Explorer to create a new node immediately change the file name state
  • [Console] supports setting line height and font size to change log display
  • [Engine] Give detailed hints when a user has erroneously released a resource that may still be used
  • [Engine] Support mouse event bubbling
  • [Engine] Support and WebView interoperability
  • [Engine] supports dynamic modification of cc.macro.ENABLE_CULLING
  • [Engine] Provides the native platform RenderTexture’s saveToFile interface
Downloads:

GameDev News

28. November 2017


JetBrains released version 1.2 of the Kotlin programming language.  Kotlin is a statically typed JVM based language that also has the ability to be compiled to JavaScript.  The goal of Kotlin is to be a “better Java”, while remaining fully intraoperative with the Java language and ecosystem.  AsKotlin of Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is a first class language in that IDE.

In regards to the Kotlin 1.2 release:

In Kotlin 1.1, we officially released the JavaScript target, allowing you to compile Kotlin code to JS and to run it in your browser. In Kotlin 1.2, we’re adding the possibility to reuse code between the JVM and JavaScript. Now you can write the business logic of your application once, and reuse it across all tiers of your application – the backend, the browser frontend and the Android mobile app. We’re also working on libraries to help you reuse more of the code, such as a cross-platform serialization library.

Kotlin 1.2 is already bundled in IntelliJ IDEA 2017.3, which is being released this week. If you’re using Android Studio or an older version of IntelliJ IDEA, you can install the new version from the Tools | Kotlin | Configure Kotlin Plugin Updates dialog.

This release includes a lot of work done by external contributors, and we’d like to thank everyone who sent us feedback, reported issues, and especially those who submitted pull requests.

Multiplatform Projects

A multiplatform project allows you to build multiple tiers of your application – backend, frontend and Android app – from the same codebase. Such a project contains both common modules, which contain platform-independent code, as well as platform-specific modules, which contain code for a specific platform (JVM or JS) and can use platform-specific libraries. To call platform-specific code from a common module, you can specify expected declarations – declarations for which all platform-specific modules need to provide actual implementations.


Multiplatform projects isn’t the only new feature of Kotlin 1.2, other new 1.2 features include:

  • A more concise syntax for passing multiple arguments to an annotation (array literals);
  • Support for the lateinit modifier on top-level properties and local variables, as well as checking whether a lateinit variable is initialized;
  • Smarter smart casts and improved type inference in certain cases;
  • Compatibility of the standard library with the split package restrictions introduced in Java 9;
  • New kotlin.math package in the standard library;
  • New standard library functions for working with sequences and collections, including a set of functions for breaking a collection or sequence into potentially overlapping groups of a fixed size.


You can learn more about the release on their blog as well as in the more detailed What’s New article.  I did a cheat sheet for programmers used to other languages to get up to speed with Kotlin.  This was written shortly after the language was released however, so may not be current in regards to modern Kotlin language features.

Programming

27. November 2017


Today Amazon announced the preview release of their new AR/VR engine “Sumerian”.  Sumerian consists of a web based editor for composing AR/VR scenes as well as a programming environment, either using a visual interface or scripted via JavaScript.  Sumerian currently supportsSumerian Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and iOS devices with Android ARCore coming soon.  The editor enables you to import and then position 3D objects authored in either OBJ or FBX format, with Unity scene format coming soon.


You can preview a Sumerian authored scene in a WebGL 2 capable web browser by clicking here.  Advanced warning, this scene caused Chrome to freeze up on my computer, so your mileage may vary.


Sumerian in Amazon’s own words:

Amazon Sumerian lets you create and run virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D applications quickly and easily without requiring any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise. With Sumerian, you can build highly immersive and interactive scenes that run on popular hardware such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and iOS mobile devices (support for Android ARCore coming soon). For example, you can build a virtual classroom that lets you train new employees around the world, or you can build a virtual environment that enables people to tour a building remotely. Sumerian makes it easy to create all the building blocks needed to build highly immersive and interactive 3D experiences including adding objects (e.g. characters, furniture, and landscape), and designing, animating, and scripting environments. Sumerian does not require specialized expertise and you can design scenes directly from your browser.


While this may sound like a new game engine, unfortunately it really doesn’t seem to be aimed at that demographic.  Instead Amazon seem to be targeting Sumerian towards sales and education markets.  Sumerian use cases given by Amazon are:

  • Employee education
  • Training Simulations
  • Field Service Productivity
  • Virtual Concierge
  • Design and Creative
  • Retail and Sales

So, while something can look like a game engine, walk like a game engine and talk like a game engine, that doesn’t make it a game engine unfortunately.  While Sumerian tools are free to use, at least while in preview, the generated results are meant to run on AWS and have a price tag attached:

Pricing Details


Scene Storage

You are charged for the total storage size of the 3D assets you upload and store in Sumerian at the rate of $0.06 per GB per month.

Scene Traffic

You are charged for the total volume of traffic generated by your scene each month at a rate of $0.38 per GB per month. The total cost is the number of views your scene receives in a month multiplied by the published project size and the cost of $0.38 per GB transferred.

Sumerian Hosts (optional)

If your Host uses Amazon Lex or Amazon Polly, then you are charged for what you use. Each offers a free tier for the first 12 months using the service. Visit the Lex pricing page and Polly pricing page for pricing details.

You can learn more about Amazon Sumerian here.  It is currently in preview, requiring an Amazon account number to sign up.  If you are interested, the application form is available here.


GameDev News

23. November 2017


For the past several years on Black Friday I have tracked the best deals of interest to game developers (artists, programmers, musicians and designers) from around the web.  This year of course is no exception!  The following are the deals I could find that would be on interest in the world of game development.  If you find something I haven’t listed, be sure to mention it in the comments below!

This list will be updated as I find more deals so be sure to check back often.


Amazon


Steam


Unity


Unreal Engine

    • Cyber Monday For Sale – Stay tuned

Misc

3D Coat

Adobe

Allegorithmic

  • Sale starting at 3PM EST 11/23

APress

Autodesk

CGTrader

Daz3D

Dell

HackingWithSwift

Marmoset

Microsoft Store

Packt

PluralSight

Quixel

Smith Micro

TurboSquid

Udemy

General ,

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