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28. November 2016

 

Organized by DevDog, a Unity asset publisher, there is a Christmas giveaway of Unity assets and resources, with several Unity asset publishers, and Unity themselves contributing.  Simply register via your email address and each days winners are notified, every day leading up to Christmas.  Prizes include various asset store assets, conference tickets and even a Unity Pro license.  Drawing will begin December 1st and conclude of December 25th.

 

From the email I received:

Sune from Devdog here. We’re a Unity Asset Store Publisher, and we got a crazy ideaimage the other day.

What if we reach out to Unity themselves, fellow Asset Store developers, and other industry folks and ask them to sponsor a Christmas Calendar event for game developers?

Well, we did… and wow, has it snowballed since then! So many said yes that the total present pool is now well above $15.000 in value and includes over 300 presents.

With so many presents to hand out, however, we really have to get the word out there, and I was wondering if you’d help by sharing the event with your followers? :)

It’s naturally free to participate, and doesn’t require you to create an account anywhere.

Here’s the link to the Christmas event: http://christmas.devdog.io

And just as an example of a Tweet: https://twitter.com/DevdogUnity/status/803219246083870720

Game developers have delivered hours on end of entertainment and joy to many a gamer on Christmas Day, but now it’s time that the game developers themselves get an early Christmas present, don’t you think? :)

 

Of course, as with any time you have to register an email address, there is always the possibility of spam, but in this day and age, is that really even an issue anymore?  You can read more details about the give away here.

GameDev News

26. November 2016

 

Following hot on the release of Unity Patch 5.4.3p1 earlier this week, we just received patch 5.3.7p2.  Notice that these are two completely separate branches of Unity, 5.3.x and 5.4.x.  Both have seen the Oculus VR SDK updated to 1.10 with the most recent patches.

 

From the release notes:

Improvements
  • macOS/iOS/tvOS: Allow developers to use Xcode's manual signing paradigm by specifying a provisioning profile in Player Settings.
  • VR: Updated Oculus to version 1.10.
Fixes
  • (832578) - Audio: Fixed an issue which prevented streaming audio loading on 32-bit Apple devices which were upgraded to iOS 10.
  • (814160) - Editor: Fixed the logType passed to LogCallback in the event of an unhandled exception.
  • (833866) - Editor: Tweaked the output of the generated Visual Studio solution file to better match Visual Studio standard format to fix problems opening Unity generated projects with Rider GUI.
  • (832595) - Graphics: Fixed a crash when switching scenes whilst reflection probes are updating.
  • (769758) - Graphics: Fixed selection of objects in Scene View if the scene contains reflective water.
  • (849701) - IL2CPP: Fixed a crash that could occur in the player when a virtual method was called on a value type and that value type implemented an interface which had an overload of that virtual method.
  • (849072) - IL2CPP: Implemented the array SetValue method for arrays of nullable types.
  • (847838) - IL2CPP: Prevented a compiler error in generated C++ code when calling Interlocked.CompareExchange from some managed code.
  • (845174) - IL2CPP: Prevented a stack overflow exception in the player at run time when an infinitely nested generic method is used.
  • (845448) - UI: Fixed Sprite Packer not packing sprites with ETC1 when compressing sprites for android.
  • (846096) - UI: Fixed threading problem when computing bounds which could lead to an infinite loop in the UI system.
  • (721071) - UI: Fixed Transparency not being applied to UI Elements if ETC1 compression is used combined with having specified a Packing Tag.

As always the patch can be downloaded here.

GameDev News

25. November 2016

 

Earlier this year I checked out a C game framework called raylib that I proclaimed perfect for beginners.  For a C or C++ library, this is strong praise coming from me as I very rarely recommend C++ for beginners in any capacity, this library just does such a great job of minimalizing many of the biggest negatives of starting with C++.

I mention this because raylib 1.6 was just released.  Details of this release:

Main features of this new version are:

  • Complete raylib LUA binding. All raylib functions plus the +60 code examples have been ported to LUA, now LUA users can enjoy coding videogames in LUA while using all the internal power of raylib.

  • Completely redesigned audio module to allow raw audio processing and streaming (+20 new functions added).

  • Physac module has been moved to its own repository and it has been improved A LOT, actually, library has been completely rewritten from scratch by Victor Fisac, multiple samples and countless new features have been added to match current standard 2D physic libraries.

  • Camera and gestures modules have been reviewed, highly simplified and ported to single-file header-only libraries for easier portability and usage flexibility.

  • Improved Gamepad support on Windows and Raspberry Pi with the addition of new functions for custom gamepad configurations but supporting by default PS3 and Xbox-based gamepads.

  • Improved textures and text functionality, adding new functions for texture filtering control and better TTF/AngelCode fonts loading and generation support.

  • Build system improvement. Added support for raylib dynamic library generation (raylib.dll) for users that prefer dynamic library linking. Also added a pre-configured Visual Studio C++ 2015 solution with raylib project and C/C++ examples for users that prefer that professional IDE and compiler.

raylib is free and open source and it can be downloaded from www.raylib.com.

raylib source code can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/raysan5/raylib

 

If you want to learn more about (the previous version of) raylib, check out the video below.

GameDev News

24. November 2016

 

Every year there are a large number of great Black Friday deals of interest to game developers.  This list is an attempt to capture as many of them as possible in one place.  If you see a great Black Friday or Cyber-Monday deal of interest to game developers that isn’t on the list below, please let me know in comments below. 

This list will be constantly updated so be sure to check back regularly!

 

Deals on Amazon

Software

 

Hardware

 

Deals on Steam – Autumn Sale

 

Deals on Unreal Engine

 

Deals on Unity

 

Misc

allegorithmic

udemy

Microsoft Store

Dell

HP

tsugi

 ClipStudio

3D Coat

Reallusion

ASoundEffect

GameMaster Audio

Smith Micro

Adobe

Corel

AutoDesk  -- Something Fishy with this promo.  Seems no longer available in Canada and never Available in the US.  BOO

Daz3D

Blender

PaintStorm

GameSalad

News, General ,

24. November 2016

 

Xenko Game Engine, previously known as Paradox 3D, just released version 1.9 and frankly it’s a rather impressive update.  We reviewed the Xenko game engine in the Closer Look series, including a brief tutorial series should you wish to learn more.  Xenko is a (currently) free, C# powered full featured cross platform game engine with a comprehensive editor.  This release brings dozens of minor improvements as well as a handful of rather major ones including an integrated code editor, a switch to standard .NET projects instead of the somewhat awkward PCL format, vastly improved copy and paste, new starter templates ( FPS, TPS and Top Down RPG ) and a new NavMesh system.

 

From the changelog:

  • From now on, new projects are created as .NET Standard projects rather than PCL projects.
  • NuGet restore is automatically run on projects having a project.json file overview
  • Bumped FBX SDK to 2017.0.1
  • Mesh importing now supports ByEdge smoothing which was previously ignored. If you notice any difference with vertex normals for your models please check your FBX export settings.
  • Prerequisites installer will ask for UAC once instead of many times, and perform a silent installation for all of the prerequisites.
Game Studio
  • Previously, when an EntityComponent (i.e. script) couldn’t be loaded because game or plugin assembly didn’t compile properly, we kept a Yaml representation of it so that it could be saved or reloaded after a code fix. Now we allow it to happen anywhere, so that you can use and/or implement custom classes for any type of the engine in your game/plugin.
  • Improve asset logs and errors to properly display failure/warning icon on all assets, including the one with icon-style thumbnails.
  • Improve loading/refreshing of assets in the scene editor.
  • Asset editors will display a * in the tab name when an asset is dirty.
  • Add editor for C# source code.
  • C# files and .csproj files are automatically reloaded as they are modified on hard drive (using a Yes, Yes to All, No, No to All dialog).
  • C# files have their own undo/redo stack
  • Add a Save All button that saves both assets and source code files.
  • The Game Studio now uses AvalonDock as docking system
  • Improve DPI support (#454 and #470)
Assets
  • Asset YAML serialization has been changed to handle overrides in collection in a better way. More scenario of overrides are now supported.
  • SharpYaml has been integrated into our codebase as SiliconStudio.Core.Yaml. Most of the duplicated types have been merged back in the SiliconStudio.Core.Reflection.
  • Assets don’t use a ~Base section nor a ~BasePart.
  • Change Asset.Id to be of an AssetId type rather than Guid, to avoid invalid comparisons with other kind of ids.
  • Remove the Properties member of Package.
  • Introduce a new assembly Assets.Quantum
  • Overrides of properties is now handled using Quantum instead of ShadowObject.
  • Remove the asset diff/merge classes.
Engine
  • DataSerializers are now generated in a file with .pdb information, so that the user can debug them.
  • Add Local offsets to procedural models.
  • EntityComponent now implements IIdentifiable and has an Id property.
Audio
  • Add SetRange support to AudioEmitterSoundController
  • Improve compilation speed of audio files
Materials
  • Normal maps now have the option to Invert Y, supporting both textures where the green component is facing up or down
Particles
  • Minor optimizations around vertex buffer building
  • Add StopEmitters() method to the particle system, which prevents new particles from spawning without pausing the entire system
Physics
  • Add Cone collider shape.
  • Replace float with AngleSingle for MaxSlope of character controllers.

 

For more detailed information as well as a list of fixes in this release be sure to check out the complete announcement post.

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