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20. September 2016

 

The following is a recap of major events in the world of game development for the week ending September 20th, 2016.  I do a weekly video recapping the news available here with this week’s video embedded below.  This post is a collection of links mentioned in the recap.

 

The Video

GameDev News

19. September 2016

 

Today there was a new release of the cross platform Lua powered Corona game engine.  The upgrade brings iOS 10 SDK support and the ability to use Xcode 8.  The primary reason behind this release was to remain compatible with Apple’s revised iOS/TvOS requirements.

Details from the release notes:

 

Release notes (2016.2949)
  • macOS: improve reliability of “Copy to device” option on build dialogs; add “Retry” button for when you forget to plug in a device.
  • Simulators: add missing “Borderless” skin in iPad Pro size.
  • Fixed issue with splash screen code which caused stacktraces to appear for some people when the splash screen was disabled.
  • macOS: Removed beta tag from iOS and tvOS building with Xcode 8.0.
  • iOS, tvOS: fix issue which prevented apps being submitted to the App Store.
  • macOS: Added Back key support for Android skins in Simulator (Hardware→Back).
  • Core: Fixed crash when custom shader contains empty table. Casenum 5894470.
  • Core: Added ability to read/write custom “app” preferences to storage. See APIssystem.getPreference(), system.setPreferences(), and system.deletePreferences().
  • Android: Fixed a potential crash that can occur when an app with notification permissions is updated to remove said permissions. Casenum 40070.
  • Windows: Fixed bug where “mouse” event would not provide a double right click or double middle click’s 2nd down phase.
  • macOS, Windows: fix issue with app sometimes exiting when a build is requested. No casenum.
  • Core: Fixes crash caused by an out-of-range frame index for Image Sheets when used with display.newImage(). Now it will display a warning message and default to the last frame in the Image Sheet (same behavior as with display.newImageRect()). Casenum: 47013.
  • Physics: Fixed debug draw mode to show the real position of physics bodies in groups that have been scaled or translated. This doesn’t fix the issue with using physics objects in groups but will display the true location of the physics body in relation to the display object. Casenum: 46663.
  • Windows, macOS: display a message in the console if an app closes becausenative.requestExit() was called. No casenum.
  • Android: Fixed an issue where setting the minSdkVersion in build.settings could only go as high as API Level 21 (Android 5.0). Now this can be set as high as API Level 23 (Android 6.0).
  • Android – Enterprise: Added new APIs for interacting with packages on Android devices (PackageServices). These can be used to quickly tell if a package is installed and enabled on a device.
  • Core: fixing new display objects not triggering scene update after display.save().
  • macOS: Handle hung iOS device installs correctly. No casenum.
  • Updated viewer subrepo to latest version.
  • Core: fixing culling offscreen objects with display.save(). Casenum 43011.
  • Enterprise: fix issue with signing apps. No casenum.
  • iOS: tweaks for iOS 10 beta.
  • OS X: Support builds against iOS/tvOS 10.0 beta.
  • Core: fixing crash when using TextureResourceCanvas as mask. Hit testing doesn’t work for these masks.
  • Core: fixing TextureResourceCanvas not invalidating if released in same frame.
  • Core: tweaking warning messages when fill images contain invalid data.
  • Core: fixing containers sometimes affecting masked objects (casenum 46668).
  • Core: fixing crash when changing masks within frame (casenum 46685).
  • Windows: Improved clarity of text in top-right corner of the Welcome window (was blurry).
  • Add total elapsed time to the “build succeeded” line for all build types.
  • OS X, Windows: change build process to download built app directly from S3 to improve build latencies. No casenum.
  • tvOS Enterprise: fixing various issues with bitcode.
  • OS X: improve dafaults for Build dialog. Casenum 44272.
  • Make the location of the output archive more deterministic.
  • OS X: improve logging performance under some circumstances. No casenum.
  • Fix issue with some iOS plugin builds.
  • OS X, Windows: improve unconfigured plugins warning message. No casenum.
  • Android: Fixed an issue introduced in build 2016.2825 where media.selectPhoto() andmedia.selectVideo() would fail on devices older than Android 4.1. Casenum 46579.
  • OS X: don’t warn incorrectly about plugins in Desktop apps. Casenum 46336.
  • OS X: fix issue with downloading very large apps during builds. No casenum.
  • OS X: fix performance issues with native controls and mouse cursor on some computers. Casenum 46495.
  • OS X: fix issue with running Simulator on OS X 10.9. No casenum.
  • Remove references to [NSString constainsString:] and replace with[NSString+Extensions contains:].
  • OS X: stop mouse and location events firing when Simulator is suspended. Casenums 46574, 44126.
  • OS X: don’t include build.settings in built app. No casenum.
  • Android – Enterprise: Maintenance.
  • Android – Enterprise: Fixed an issue wherePermissionsServices.findAllPermissionsInManifestForGroup() would return null if a permission was requested that doesn’t exist on the device, e.g."com.sec.android.provider.badge.permission.READ" on a non-Samsung device. Casenum 46616.
  • Android: system.hasEventSource(“heading”) no longer assumes all Android devices have compass hardware.
  • tvOS: adding native.showPopup(“appStore”); fixing error message for iOS.
  • iOS Enterprise: added CoronaEventDataKey().

GameDev News

19. September 2016

 

Unity just released a video showcasing the new functionality in the Unity 5.5 beta.  The new Animation Window interface is aimed at improving workflow and performance.  From the Unity blog:

The headline feature is the new box tool, which allows far simpler moving, scaling and even ripple editing of keyframes in your animation. In addition to this, we have carried out a host of performance improvements under the hood that should make your experience animating in Unity far smoother. We’re committed to bringing you better and better tools for animation. We’re looking forward to announcing more exciting additions to Unity for artists and animators soon!

 

Most critically, they included this short video demonstrating the new animation functionality.

GameDev News

16. September 2016

 

Immediately following the news that they will be discontinuing development, Marmalade Platform 8.6 was released.  This release is primarily about ensuring capatiblity with the recently released iOS 10 and Xcode 8, as well as Android N.  It also underscores the problems current Marmalade developers will face when these releases are no longer made.  In addition to the new OS version support, there were several smaller features and fixes.

 

From the release notes:


Highlights

  • Support for Xcode 8.
  • Compatibility with Android N.
  • Build and target Android N API level 24.
  • Multi-window support for Android N.
  • Support for Ogg Vorbis audio format on Android.
  • Custom mouse cursor support on Windows Desktop.

Changed since 8.5

Marmalade Hub
  • MSDK-2764 Hub now supports addition of files to a project without manual editing of the project's MKB file.
  • MSDK-3093 Fixed an issue where Hub fails to pass architecture setting to when opening project in IDE for debugging unless the user explicitly sets it.
  • MSDK-3120 Fixed an issue where Hub passes incompatible options to the MKB System (specifically --buildenv-toolset=androidnative and --androidnative).
  • MSDK-3316 Removed BlackBerry from the Configurations → More... dropdown.
Marmalade Quick
  • MSDK-2702, MSDK-3210 Removed the need to have a copy of the quicklua "library" in each Quick app. To enable this, a newquickluadir option and sharedquicklua subproject have been introduced. See the updated Quick Harvest Hijinks tutorial projects for an example of how to take advantage of this new behaviour.
  • MSDK-1086 Updated docs to clarify behaviour when setting a node's x/y position and calling physics:setTransform() on QNode objects.
  • MSDK-3100 Removed MIPS architecture (no longer supported) from user's Quick prebuilt build script.
  • MSDK-2156 Fixed an issue where no restoreCompleted event would be generated by the QBilling library when restoring purchases if the user has not made any purchases at that time.
Middleware
  • IwGxFont (MSDK-2881) Fixed an issue where the cursor position could be incorrect when using fonts that contain negative kerning.
  • IwGxFont (MSDK-103) Fixed an issue where glyphs with offsets could be rendered incorrectly. Application of this offset fix can be controlled using the FixGlyphWithOffsets ICF.
  • IwUtil (MSDK-898) Fixed a possible buffer overflow when using CIwImage with PNG resources.
  • Derbh (MSDK-3240) Fixed a crash when using auto-derbh system and calling s3eFileCheckExists().
  • Derbh (MSDK-3297) Fixed a memory leak after a failed call to dzArchiveAttach().
Platform Abstraction
  • s3eAudio (MSDK-1628) Added support for Ogg Vorbis audio format. (Android)
  • s3eAudio (MSDK-115) Fixed an issue that caused audio capture to be cancelled unexpectedly. (Android)
  • s3eVideo (MSDK-3123) Fixed a crash when Media Foundation DLLs are missing (now fails gracefully). (Windows Desktop, Simulator)
  • s3eVideo (MSDK-99) Fixed an issue where fullscreen video would sometimes not play in fullscreen. (Android)
  • s3eCamera (MSDK-2818) Fixed API availability and runtime camera permissions. (Android)
  • s3eCamera (MSDK-1961) Extended interface to pick concrete camera resolution.
  • s3eCamera (MSDK-2725) Implemented flash management.
  • s3eCamera, s3eCameraCapture (MSDK-2818) Fixed an issue on Android 6.0 and later where camera would not be available even after permission to use it was granted. (Android)
  • s3eKeyboard (MSDK-3136) Fixed an issue where character events were not created. (Windows Phone 8.1)
  • s3eClipboard (MSDK-3322) Fixed an issue where s3eClipboardSetText() failed to set the clipboard content. (Windows Desktop)
Android
  • MSDK-2934 Compatibility with Android N.
  • MSDK-2950 Build and target Android N API level 24.
  • MSDK-2952 Multi-window support for Android N.
  • MSDK-3099 Can now handle long lists of external jar files when multidex is enabled on Android Native builds (would previously complain about the command line being too long).
iOS
  • MSDK-3101 Support for Xcode 8 (fixes an issue that prevented ARM and AARCH64 builds from being generated).
  • MSDK-3247 Added missing generation of two mandatory icons (Icon-76@2x.png and Icon-83.5@2x.png) to deployment scripts.
Windows Desktop
  • MSDK-2720 Added support for custom mouse pointers via the new s3eWindowGetCursor(),s3eWindowSetCursor() and s3eWindowLoadCursor() APIs.
Mac OS X
  • MSDK-3239 Added osx-ext-dylib-links build option to build extensions with dynamic libraries.
  • MSDK-3313 Fixed an issue where the S3E_POINTER_BUTTON_MOUSEWHEELUP and S3E_POINTER_BUTTON_MOUSEWHEELDOWN events reset the pointer coordinates to 0,0.
Extensions
  • s3eFacebook (MSDK-2614) Fixed error message after cancelled reauthorisation. (iOS, Android)
  • s3eFacebook (MSDK-2614) Fixed an issue where sending a game invite would required a second login. (Windows Store 8.1)
  • s3eFacebook (MSDK-2914) Added support for sending app activation event to Facebook (controlled by the EnableAppEvents ICF setting). Was already supported on iOS. (Android)
  • s3eFacebook (MSDK-2632) Moved to using the official Facebook SDK from Microsoft to implement the extension's API. (Windows 10)
  • s3eWebView (MSDK-2680) Fixed behaviour of links opened in default browser. (Windows 10)
  • s3eWebView (MSDK-3022) Fixed an issue that prevented opening of PDF files in a web view. (Windows Desktop)
  • s3eWebView (MSDK-2600) Added ability to share assets among all groups by adding them to the new[SHARED_TO_ALL_GROUPS] group.
  • s3eWebView (MSDK-3209) Improved documentation for S3E_WEBVIEW_WINDOWLESS_FRAMERATE.
  • s3eFlurry (MSDK-1699) Updated Android SDK v6.4.0 version and iOS SDK to v7.6.4. (iOS, Android)
  • s3eFlurry (MSDK-1198) Updated Windows Phone 8 SDK to v3.1.2. (Windows Phone 8)
  • s3eFlurry (MSDK-1701) Fixed an issue with interstitial ad callbacks. (iOS)
  • s3eAndroidGooglePlay (MSDK-2963) Fixed a number of null pointer exceptions. (Android)
  • s3eAndroidGooglePlayBilling (MSDK-3232) Updated IabHelper.java and related utilities to newer version. (Android)
  • s3eIOSGameCenter (MSDK-3196) Fixed an issue where authentication dialog cancel callbacks were not being called. (iOS)
  • s3eAdDuplex (MSDK-2561) Fixed an issue where the AdControl would be reported as hidden or invisible. (Windows 10)
Examples
  • MSDK-1440 Fixed mounting zip file on second run of s3eFileVFS example.
  • MSDK-3180 Added s3eCameraAdvanced example to demonstrate camera extended streaming and capturing functionality.
  • MSDK-254 Fixed a crash in the s3eAccelerometer example on Android x86.
  • MSDK-2564 Fixed an error when building the s3eDialog example on Windows 10 after rebuilding the extension.
  • MSDK-3074 Fixed a stream preview dialog issue in the se3Facebook example.

  • MSDK-3300 Fixed an assert in Stage 7 example when closing the example on Desktop or Simulator on OS X or Windows.
  • MSDK-3194 Fixed an issue that prevented s3eCameraAdvanced example from working correctly on Windows 10.
  • MSDK-3121 Fixed an issue where the background grid did not appear correctly in the Harvest Hijinks example on Windows Desktop.
Tools
  • MKB System (MSDK-3092) Attempting to use the MKB option --androidnative at the same time as options --buildenv=vc14 --buildenv-toolset=androidnative will now give an explicit error message (this is an invalid combination of options).
  • MKB System (MSDK-3342) Fixed an issue where selecting Edit from the right-click shortcut menu for MKB files would generate an error.
  • MKB System (MSDK-3321) Fixed an issue where removing a temporary build folder as part of generating an Android Native project could fail.
  • MKB System (MSDK-3320) Fixed an issue that could prevent an MKB project from being opened in Visual Studio 2013 for Windows Store.
  • Collada Converter (MSDK-3211) Fixed an issue that prevented the tool from running due to a missing DLL.
  • Deploy Tool (MSDK-3034) Fixed an issue where changes to some deployment options were ignored.
  • EDK (MSDK-3021) Fixed an issue where s3eEdkThreadRunOnOS() did not handle floating point return values correctly for AARCH64.
  • Simulator (MSDK-2698) Fixed an issue where resizing the Simulator window on OS X while the debug splash screen was being shown would result in a crash.
General
  • MSDK-3045 Updated documentation to highlight the new --androidnative build option.
  • MSDK-2774 Removed BlackBerry API reference documentation.

GameDev News

16. September 2016

 

Substance Painter 2.3 was just released.  Substance Painter is an increasingly popular PBR (Physically Based Renderer) texture mapping tool.  I featured it in this video if you are looking for more information.  By far and away the biggest feature of the 2.3 release is the ability to export to Photoshop PSD files with full layering support.  There are however several smaller additions and fixes in this release including:

Added :

  • [Plugin] New "Export to Photoshop" plugin (export complete layer stack)
  • [Export] Allow to specify the width of the padding (in pixels or infinite)
  • [Export] Allow to set the type of background outside of the UVs
  • [Shelf] New material layering shader to blend 10 materials
  • [Shelf] New clay shader to view details with the height/normal channel
  • [Shelf] New baked lighting filter with environment input
  • [Shelf] Updated some mask generators to add non-square transformations
  • [Viewport] Add composited normal map (normal+height+bake) to the solo mode
  • [Scripting] Allow to export additional maps
  • [Scripting] Allow to query available Additional maps per Texture Set
  • [Scripting] Allow to retrieve channel format
  • [Scripting] Add examples in the baking documentation
  • [Scripting] Allow to query the visibility of a layer
  • [Scripting] Allow to query layer's blending mode and opacity
  • [Scripting] Allow to export converted maps (final normal maps, mixed AO, etc.)
  • [Substance] Read and connect custom usages
  • [Shortcuts] Add modifier key (SHIFT) to cycle solo mode backward
  • [Export] Updated default export preset to disable alpha
  • [UI] Thumbnails are now only computed if the engine is available
  • [UI] Display a mention when thumbnails are computing

Fixed :

  • Crash with some old projects when opening them
  • Crash with corrupted texture channels cache
  • Crash when blending more than 4 materials with Material Layering workflow
  • [UI] Tool shortcuts don't work if the toolbar is hidden
  • [UI] Iray toolbar is labeled "Untitled" in the View Menu
  • [UI] Plugin toolbars are named "Untilted" in the View Menu
  • [Baker] Pressing Enter while editing a bake setting launches the bake process
  • [Baker] Incorrect ranges for some parameters
  • [Import] Impossible to import OBJ meshes because of very big numbers
  • [Import] Some OBJ files are imported with too many sub-objects
  • [Export] channel background is filled with black instead of default color at export
  • [Tool] Particles don't work properly if FOV is too low
  • [Tool] Brush preview color is incorrect with masks in sub-stacks
  • [Viewport] When brush goes into empty areas in 2D view it becomes gigantic
  • [Viewport] Blank brush preview when painting Normal textures
  • [Scripting] Incorrect documentation : "ao" listed instead of "ambientocclusion"
  • [Scripting] Process started with subprocess() is killed when closing Painter
  • [Shelf] Baked lighting filter use incorrect AO input
  • [MacOS] Removed Fire Hydrant project (incompatible)
  • Default project opens when loading a *.spt file (instead of *.spp)

Known Issue :

  • [Plugin] Because of Photoshop, the height and normal channel can't be translated as-is

 

You can see the new Photoshop export in action in this video:

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