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19. June 2017

Esoteric Software just released version 3.6 of their 2D boned based animation software Spine 3.6.  Spine enables you to animate 2D sprites in a manner very similar to that used in 3D packaged, then easily use those animations in various game engines with the provided runtimes.  The 3.6 release brings a number of new features, including:

  • in application preview with several runtime controls3.6-clipping
  • clipping (see image to right)
  • black tinting
  • mesh manipulation tools
  • weight painting tools
  • point attachments
  • improved file dialogs
  • AnimationState improvements
  • several runtime improvements

You can learn a lot more details about this release in the release blog post or read the change logs.  If you want to learn more about Spine, we did a hands-on review available here and embedded below in video form.

GameDev News

19. June 2017

CopperCube is a 3D game engine that aims at being simple, all in one and easy to use, with minimal to zero coding required.  They just released version 5.7 which brings a few new major features such as dynamic level loading, realtime shadows and more.

Complete details of the release are available here and summarized below.

  • Realtime Shadows Support
  • Big game support and dynamic level loading
  • Simplified uploading games to Android Play Store
  • Floating point render targets

As well as smaller fixes including:

  • The default Android update mode is now 'every frame' instead of 'when scene changed', resulting in a more smooth gameplay. Also, this will reduce the 'stuttering' which some people noticed on faster Android devices.
  • The editor now uses some bigger default window sizes when run on bigger screens
  • Windows .exe Apps no longer store their variables in the "CopperCubeApp" folder in the registry, but in a folder named after the application name.
  • The engine now uses less memory when run on Windows / Mac OS
  • WebGL: Replaced local files warning with updated information (the "allow-file-access-from-files" flag doesn't work anymore with Chrome)
  • Fixed a bug causing dynamic point lights not to rendered correcty sometimes when there was a directional light active as well
  • Improved polish translation
  • Fixed a problem when using the "Restart scene" action which caused memory to leak.
  • Resetting a behavior now using the "Reset" action causes the FPS camera and keyboard controlled camera also to reset their keyboard states

You can learn more about CopperCube here.

GameDev News

18. June 2017

Unity released a new patch for the Unity 5.6 branch, 5.6.1p4.  This patch has several improvements and fixes, details from the patch release notes:

  • Android: Enabled NEON in Umbra.
  • UI: CanvasRenderer::OnTransformChanged will not be called when object is inactive. (815861)
  • Video: Optimized video decoding directly into RenderTexture if it is the same size as the video stream
  • Video: Skip-ahead functionality improvements.
  • GI: Added support for LOD baking in Progressive Lightmapper. Light Probes are not necessary anymore when baking LODs using Progressive Lightmapper.
  • GI: Support for double sided materials in Progressive Lightmapper. Added a new material setting that causes lighting to interact with backfaces. When enabled, both sides of the geometry get accounted for when calculating Global Illumination. Backfaces do not count as invalid when seen from other objects. Backface rendering is not controlled by this setting nor will backfaces be represented in the lightmaps. Backfaces bounce light using the same emission and albedo as frontfaces.
  • (916119) - Android: Fixed a regression where Banner Ads are invisible, but still clickable.
  • (905867) - Android: Fixed an out of memory crash when using a static splash screen.
  • (910194) - Animation: Fixed an issue where using an override controller multiple times would not animate correctly.
  • (917343) - IL2CPP: Fixed an issue which caused IL2CPP to fail to convert assemblies if two non-existing methods with the same declaring type were referenced from any assemblies.
  • (907449) - Particles: Correctly initialize default curves, when creating new Particle Systems.
  • (907277) - Particles: Fixed an occasional crash when emitting from a skinned mesh renderer shape.
  • (none) - Particles: Fixed incorrect values for emission burst min and max when upgrading from an older Unity version.
  • (912158) - Physics 2D: Fixed an issue where ContactFilter2D collision normal limits failed.
  • (917323) - Physics 2D: Fixed an issue with Raycast not always detecting a CapsuleCollider2D or a BoxCollider2D.
  • (909020) - Video: Fixed issues regarding video looping/end detection.
  • (904924) - Video: Fixed failing VP8 transcode on Windows due to unsupported audio codec.
  • (898171) - Video: Fixed an intermittent failure to load video tracks on iOS.
  • (906044) - Video: Fixed invalid video stride evaluation.
  • (900524) - Video: Added support for transcoding to tiny VP8 resolutions.
  • (904578) - WebGL: Fixed AudioSource.time return value.
  • (903767) - WebGL: Fixed IE InvalidStateError load-time error.
  • (901252) - WebGL: Fixed Profiler connection.
  • (903092) - WebGL: Fixed Template Custom tags not being replaced at build time.
  • (892185) - WebGL: Fixed WebAssembly build failure with Full exceptions on Windows.
  • (897782) - WebGL: Fixed WebAssembly missing setTempRet function.
  • (891835) - WebGL: Fixed WebAssembly missing setThrow function.
  • (891431) - WebGL: Fixed WebAssembly runtime error: integer overflow/unrepresentable.
  • (905625) - WebGL: Fixed custom cursor support.
  • (898210) - WebGL: Released WebCam after use so other tabs can use it.
  • (871541) - Windows Store: Fixed a crash which happened when retrieving WheelHit.Collider after having previously set it to null on .NET scripting backend.
  • (909977) - Windows Store: Fixed a potential stack overflow when building a project with a large custom cursor.
  • (914797) - Windows Store: Fixed exceptions thrown in OnGUI callback not being logged on .NET scripting backend.
  • (912074) - Windows Store: Fixed System.Numerics.dll not being referenced by scripts when using IL2CPP scripting backend.
  • (909703) - Windows Store: Fixed UNetWeaver crashing when using .NET 4.6 API Compatibility level with IL2CPP scripting backend when deriving from .NET 4.6 specific types.
  • (902234) - Windows Store: Fixed WorldAnchorStore.GetAsync crashing the player.

GameDev News

14. June 2017

This is a brand new series being launched on YouTube and GameFromScratch and is somewhat different in scope.  The aim is to essentially make the same game several times in different game engines.  We are creating a simple bowling game in various different 3D game engines.  In fact, we are creating this bowling game which we completed earlier using the PlayCanvas game engine.

For each game engine in the series we will implement basically the exact same game, along with a step by step text version, plus a video of the process.  This should be useful for a number of reasons.  First it enables you to directly compare the workflow between different game engines.  Second, it shows... perhaps not best practices, but how to get started creating a full featured, if extremely limited, 3D game with physics, scenes, model importing an more.

At this point in time I have begun implementing it in a number of different engines, including:

    • PlayCanvas
    • Atomic Game Engine
    • Godot 2.x
    • Unity
    • Unreal Engine

Depending on the popularity of the series I am willing to implement the game in other engines as well with a few caveats.  The engines need to support all the required features ( level editor, 3d model importing, physics, etc ) required to make the game.  So while I could implement such a title in a code focused API such as Ogre or LibGDX, it’s completely outside of the scope of what I am trying to accomplish here.  I also need to have access to the game engine, either through public domain, free trial, etc.  This currently rules out some engines such as Leadwerks and Shiva unfortunately. 

Beyond the engines listed above, I’d love to hear what other engines you would like to see covered? 

GameDev News

14. June 2017

Godot 3.0 is a massive update for the Godot game engine that is actively underdevelopment and anxiously anticipated.  Today they posted an update describing the newest functionality that will be appearing in Godot 3.0.  The blog post goes into a great deal of detail, but here is the TL;DR version:

  • GDNative – native language bindings rewritten C++, as well as RUST and D bindings addedGodot
  • Customizable themes and general UI improvements
  • WebGL 2.0 and WebAssembly support
  • C# (Mono) support
  • AR/VR Support development work using OpenVR
  • “Freelook” 3D scene navigation for WASD type scene control in Godot
  • Script editor enhancements
  • MFI controller support
  • Various fixes and improvements

So this of course leads to the most obvious question... when are we going to see Godot 3.0?  Well...

Godot 3.0 is coming along pretty nicely, and though its development is taking longer than we initially planned back in Fall 2016, it's all for the better. The many compatibility changes that we had the opportunity to make over the last 9 months will make Godot 3.0 more consistent and easy to use.

Still, as we often repeat it to newcomers, please continue using Godot 2.1.x until the 3.0 branch is ready - we speak a lot of compatibility changes but the workflow stays very similar, and the vast majority of what you will learn using Godot 2.1.x will be reusable 1:1 in the future branch. It will be the same engine, just better.

Okay, but when do we get the alpha build?

When it's ready™. There has been a lot of progress on many blocking bugs lately, which we track in a dedicated issue. We expect to be ready for an alpha release in ca. 2 weeks, so stay tuned :)

By then we will consider 3.0 feature complete, and we should stop breaking compatibility every other day. Count likely two months of testing and bugfixing and we should be ready to release the stable version, probably some time in August.

I have checked out in progress builds for Windows a few times in the last few weeks, and for me it’s been pretty much unplayable due to some OpenGL bugs, so hopefully the alphas become a bit more stable and I can get some hands on time soon.

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