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30. January 2018


CoaTools, or Cut Out Animation Tools, 1.0 was just released.  Coatools is a free and open source plugin for Blender that enables users to create 2D animations directly in Blender, bringing IK based animation techniques to traditional 2D art.  It’s very similar in scope and function to other animation packages such as Spine, Spriter, Creature and Dragonbones.  The 1.0 release was quickly followed by a 1.0.1 update.


Details of these releases:

1.0 Release:

This is the first official stable release of the COA Tools.
It features a rich set of tools to create 2D Cutout Animation in Blender.

Some of the features that were in the Alphas and Betas available are disabled now. They can still be enabled in the Addon Preferences. But it is not recommended as they are going to be removed in the future releases. Thats the reason why I wanted to release an official release where they were still present, but deprecated. Some people may have used such features in older projects.

So here are the tools that probably won't work properly right now:

  • Experimental Json export (was used to export to godot. Will be removed.)
  • Spritesheet mechanics (Is replaced by so called Slot Objects. Will be removed)
  • Dragonbones Export( Many things have changed so this exporter will need a proper rewrite. Going to be modified in the future)

The addon features a complete new Addon Updater thanks to the CGCookie Addon Updater Module. Via this module I will make sure to autoupdate the addon in the future. So you can easily keep the addon up to date.

1.0.1 Release:

Trying to do publish new features/bug fixes now more often in maintainence releases.
Thanks to the new updater module people should get those features right away.

Additions:

  • Improve Sprite import (importing json files lets you choose which images should be imported. Updating images is now also integrated)
  • Improve Sprite Outliner (Sprites are now sorted based on the z depth. Rearranging sprite orders is now also included into the Outliner. AZ icon in the upper right corner)
  • Picking edge length for contour drawing in Edit Mesh Mode. Shift+Click on an edge will now pick that edge lenght for drawing contours.


You can download CoaTools on Github.  For more details be sure to check out this video, which is also embedded below.

Art, GameDev News

30. January 2018


Godot 3.0 is finally here!  Godot is an open source 2D/3D game engine and the 3.0 release brings a massive number of new features including a new 3D renderer, Bullet physics,Godot3Released C# support, OpenVR and Cardboard support, GDNative plugins and much more!  Stay tuned to GameFromScratch for some great new Godot 3 tutorials and more.  Our existing tutorial series is still about 90% valid if you are looking to get started today.


New features of this release taken from the Godot announcement blog:


You can get more detail in our hands on video available here and embedded below.

GameDev News

30. January 2018


Yesterday Microsoft announced the acquisition of PlayFab, a cloud based back endMSPlayfab for games.  PlayFab enabled you to provide features like multiplayer, leaderboards, messaging, content updates and commerce while providing real-time analytics and reporting via their dashboard.  Most platforms were supported as targets with support for Unity, Unreal, Corona, Lumberyard, Cocos2d-x and the Defold game engines.


One of the biggest flaws with outsourcing your gaming back end has always been reliability.  If the provider goes out of business, you are out of luck.  Becoming part of the Microsoft team and a good fit for their Azure cloud offerings, this concern should be greatly allayed with this acquisition.


Details of the acquisition from Microsoft’s blog:

PlayFab’s backend services reduce the barriers to launch for game developers, offering both large and small studios cost-effective development solutions that scale with their games and help them engage, retain and monetize players. PlayFab enables developers to use the intelligent cloud to build and operate games, analyze gaming data and improve overall gaming experiences.

The PlayFab platform is a natural complement to Azure for gaming (Visit azure.com/gaming for more info). Azure, with locations in 42 regions worldwide, provides world-class server infrastructure, allowing creators to focus on building great games with best-available global reach. For gamers, this leads to a higher, faster degree of innovation and better experiences.

Incorporating PlayFab’s experience, growing network of game developers and powerful gaming-as-a-service platform into our product offering is an important step forward for gaming at Microsoft. PlayFab has served more than 700 million gamers and is currently powering more than 1,200 games with companies like Disney, Rovio and Atari. Its gaming platform powers some of the most prominent titles in the industry, such as “Idle Miner Tycoon,” “Angry Birds: Seasons” and “Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch.”

Together, Azure and PlayFab will further unlock the power of the intelligent cloud for the gaming industry, enabling game developers and delighting gamers around the world.

GameDev News

29. January 2018


Substance Painter, the popular Physically based renderer (PBR) texturing application, just released update 2017.4.2.  If you are interested in learning more about Substance Painter, be sure to check out our feature of an earlier release of Substance Painter as part of the GameDev Toolbox series.


Details from the release notes:

Added:

  • [Export] Get the status of an export with step progress
  • [Export] Allow cancelling an export
  • [Export] Export textures to Sketchfab without loosing normal map quality
  • [Export] Export in glTF binary format (glb)
  • [Export] Allow resizing columns in configuration tab of the export window
  • [Shader] Add a changelog for the shader API
  • [Scripting] Add Before and After callback functions when exporting textures
  • [Iray] Upgrade to SDK 2017.1 (support of Volta GPUs)

Fixed:

  • Crash when quitting the application before the main window is displayed
  • [MAC] Crash when loading grayscale maps with IRAY
  • [MAC] VRAM detection is not correct with the new High Sierra OS
  • [Plugin] Downloading assets from Substance Source does not work anymore
  • [Scripting] Incorrect minimum plugin version detection
  • [Export] Fail to save export preset after exporting textures
  • [Instancing] Issue on generators instantiated in a TextureSet with no Additional Maps
  • [Viewport] Dithering does not work with resolution above 4k
  • [Viewport] 2D View material display is covered with noise
  • [Shelf] Improve loading time for shelf presets
  • [Engine] Incorrect blending when painting under color selection

GameDev News

29. January 2018


The Defold game engine just released version 1.2.120.  The two biggest features of this release are support for Android MultiDex as well as the ability to pre-warm particle systems.  If you are interested in learning more about the Defold engine, we have a tutorial series available here.


Details of this release:

  • DEF-2888 - Added: Android MultiDex support for NE.
  • DEF-2373 - Added: Option to pre-warm ParticleFX emitters.
  • DEF-3087 - Added: label.get_text_metrics function for label component.
  • DEF-3086 - Fixed: Memory leak when loading two collectionproxies async that shared resources.
  • DEF-3098 - Fixed: Reenabled render.draw_line and render.draw_text for release builds.
  • DEF-2434 - Fixed: Bug when stopping one ParticleFX component would stop any other PFX on same GO.
  • DEF-3049 - Fixed: LiveUpdate resources could sometimes be invalidated when upgrading an Android app.
  • DEF-3027 - Fixed: LiveUpdate resource header verification.
  • DEF-3062 - Fixed: Bug where Spine rotations did not behave as expected.
  • DEF-3099 - Fixed: Childed GOs to model and Spine bones were delayed one frame.
  • DEF-3091 - Fixed: Added a build error check for Collada files with more than one root bone.
  • DEF-3093 - Fixed: Better error message when bundling and no iOS provisioning profile was specified (Bob.jar).
  • DEF-3073 - Fixed: Added rdynamic and "-Wl,option" support for platforms that support it on NE.
  • DEF-3076 - Fixed: dmBuffer::GetStream doesn’t crash on null arguments anymore.
  • DEF-2540 - Fixed: Performance issue when muting all sounds. (This also fixes the fast forward issue.)
  • DEF-3071 - Fixed: Optimized render update to sort less during each draw call.
  • DEF-3059 - Fixed: User can now set break points in the user render script (and not the builtin one).
  • DEF-3090 - Fixed: Fixed components that previously sent wrong world matrix to shaders. (Spine, Model and ParticleFX).

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