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21. December 2016

 

Almost two weeks ago, rumours surfaced of financial difficulties at Crytek, the makers of CryEngine.  Due to being rumours I decided not to report on it at the time.  Sadly, employee disputes at Crytek are nothing new as it was reported back in 2014 that wages were being unpaid.  In fact, that financial hardship led directly to Crytek licensing CryEngine to Amazon for the creation of the Lumberyard game engine, a direct fork of CryEngine 3.4.  Rumour however sadly turned to fact as Crytek announced massive layoffs across the entire company.

Crytek Co-Founder Avni Yerli released the following statement:

“Undergoing such transitions is far from easy, and we’d like to sincerely thank each and every staff member – past and present – for their hard work and commitment to Crytek. These changes are part of the essential steps we are taking to ensure Crytek is a healthy and sustainable business moving forward that can continue to attract and nurture our industry’s top talent,” Crytek cofounder and managing director Avni Yerli said in a statement.

“The reasons for this have been communicated internally along the way. Our focus now lies entirely on the core strengths that have always defined Crytek – world-class developers, state-of-the-art technology and innovative game development, and we believe that going through this challenging process will make us a more agile, viable, and attractive studio, primed for future success.”

 

As a direct result a number of studios have been closed including Crytek offices in Bulgaria, Budapest, Istanbul, Seoul and Shanghai are all being closed.  The only remaining office is the Frankfurt headquarters and it’s offices in Kiev.  I have trouble understanding how Crytek hopes to compete and make money in the game engine market with two major competitors already dominating the space, while also haven’t to compete against your twin in the form of Lumberyard.

GameDev News

21. December 2016

 

On their way to a 1.0 released, Tiled, an open source map editor, just released version 0.18.0.   In addition to several fixes and updated translations, there are a few convenience features that are sure to make people happy.  You can now create a new layer via cut and paste as well as performingtiled paste in place actions.  There is also a new menu enabling you to change between compatible custom property types ( for example converting a string to an int or vice versa ).  They also updated the UI to make dealing with custom Z ordering easier.  If you are interested in learning Tiled, we have a complete tutorial series available here.  Full details of this release are available in the change log below.

 

Change log

Many smaller changes have been made as well. Here's the full list:

  • Added Layer via Copy/Cut actions
  • Added support for Paste in Place action for tile layers
  • Added context menu to change custom property type (by Dmitry Hrabrov)
  • Added support for higher precision for custom floating point properties
  • Added %mappath variable to commands (by Jack Roper)
  • Added snapping to pixels (by Mamed Ibrahimov)
  • Added right-click to clear the tile selection
  • Added a context menu action to reset the size of tile objects
  • Added exporter for Game Maker Studio room files (by Jones Blunt)
  • Added Move Up/Down buttons to Objects view (by iskolbin)
  • Added pixel coordinates to status bar for object tools (by iskolbin)
  • Added Sticker Knight platformer example (by Ponywolf)
  • tmxrasterizer: Added --size argument and support local file URLs
  • tmxrasterizer: Use smooth pixmap transform by default
  • Linux: Register tmxrasterizer as thumbnail generator for TMX files
  • Allow scrolling past map edges with mouse wheel
  • Enabled HiDpi scaling and improved the quality of some icons
  • Reversed the order of the objects in the Objects view
  • JSON plugin: Added Node.js support to the JavaScript export
  • Updated TMX schema definition (by assofohdz)
  • Fixed unfinished objects getting saved
  • Fixed OpenGL rendering mode when application is scaled (HiDpi screens)
  • Fixed Remove and Rename actions for predefined properties
  • Windows: Fixed console output
  • libtiled-java: Use Maven, deploy to OSSRH and code updates (by Mike Thomas)
  • libtiled-java: Added a basic isometric renderer (by Mike Thomas)
  • Updated Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Hebrew, Norwegian Bokmål and Spanish translations

 

For complete details on this release check here.  To download Tiled head over here.

GameDev News

20. December 2016

 

One of those areas where open source projects tend to be weakest is in the documentation so news like this is always welcome.  Starling, an open source Flash framework for creating 2D games such as Angry Birds, just released the Starling Manual.  The manual is pretty comprehensive, weighing inStarling-flying at over 200 printed page.  Details from the announcement:

As is to be expected, the manual contains an overview about all important parts of Starling:

  • The technologies Starling was built upon and the principles it follows.
  • How to pick an IDE and set it up for your first project.
  • The basic concepts like the display list, events and the animation system.
  • Advanced techniques, like how to tap into the potential of fragment and vertex programs.
  • How to get the best performance out of the framework.
  • What’s required to get your game to run on mobile phones and tablets.

That makes it perfect for beginners. However, even if you know the old manual inside-out, you will learn lots of new tricks, for example:

  • The role of the new Mesh class and how to use it for custom, textured shapes.
  • How to make full use of Distance Field Rendering, introducing the all-new "Field Agent" utility.
  • An in-depth introduction of Fragment Filters and Mesh Styles.
  • A much better summary of the Event Handling mechanisms.
  • Finally, up-to-date information about how best to tackle Multi-Resolution Development.

In short, I think there's something for everybody! Please head over to manual.starling-framework.org and add a bookmark right away.

 

The manual is available to read online here, while you can learn more about the Starling framework here.

GameDev News

20. December 2016

 

There was a new release of the Defold engine, 1.2.96.  This release was entirely composed of bug fixes, bringing no new features to the table.  Defold is a mobile focused, cross platform Lua powered game engine that includes a complete game editor.  We have a complete Defold Engine tutorial series available here.

 

Defold Engine release notes:

Defold 1.2.96

With this release we have fixed a couple of issues related to model and spine animations, both in runtime and some minor editor fixes.

We also fixed an old issue related to Windows bundles; the console window will not be displayed for bundles anymore.

Engine
  • DEF-2343Fixed: Spine rendering and transform issue
  • DEF-2342Fixed: Fixed bug with bezier curves in Spine animations
  • DEF-2331Fixed: Input devices sometimes registered as an invalid Gamepad
  • DEF-1774Fixed: The console windows removed for Win32 bundles
  • DEF-2348Fixed: Missing editor controls for alpha, inherit alpha and blend mode for Spine GUI nodes
  • DEF-2358Fixed: Label could not go.set on color(s)

GameDev News

19. December 2016

 

A pair of game development libraries have just been released for Haxe, OpenFL 4.5 and Lime 3.5.  Lime is a low level framework that provides access to the underlying hardware including graphics, audio and input, very similar in scope to SFML, LWJGL and SDL.  OpenFL is then built on top of Lime and provides a Haxe based implementation of the Flash API including game oriented frameworks like Stage3D.  This new release brings improved SWF support, improved HTML5 DOM support, increased GPU functionality and pre-loader improvements.  You can read the full release notes here.

 

Individual release notes follow.

OpenFL changelog:

  • Revised the custom preloader system to use an ordinary Sprite
  • Preloader Sprites now receives PROGRESS events and a cancelable COMPLETE
  • Improved SWF-based assets to use self-contained asset libraries
  • Removed support for new Vector<T> ([]) as it breaks on C++
  • Improved C++ performance on debug builds, added -Dopenfl-debug
  • Fixed support for custom preloaders on the Flash target
  • Fixed issues with hit testing on scaled vector graphics
  • Fixed hit testing for Video objects and some other hit test issues
  • Fixed support for centered SWF-based text
  • Fixed file-type detection in Loader when using a query string
  • Fixed support for single-pass custom shader filters
  • Fixed the initial scale for high DPI windows on OpenGL rendering
  • Fixed the position of touch events on high DPI windows
  • Fixed creation of framebuffers if filters are not used
  • Fixed a regression in shape.graphics quality

 

Lime changelog:

  • Made major changes to Assets and the behavior of asset libraries
  • Made progress on a better asset manifest system
  • Made significant improvements to the iOS project templates
  • Moved lime.Assets to lime.utils.Assets
  • Added lime.utils.AssetLibrary, lime.utils.AssetType, lime.utils.AssetManifest
  • Added static "loadFrom" constructors for core types
  • Improved C++ performance on debug builds, added -Dlime-debug
  • Updated CFFI bytes to better support C# target
  • Fixed the 'cannot find build target "by"' error with current Haxe releases
  • Fixed support for *.hxp projects
  • Fixed some compile errors when core types were used in macros
  • Fixed a minor issue with HTTPRequest on HTML5
  • Fixed Android template so READ_PHONE_STATE is not a required permission
  • Fixed support for <haxelib name="" path="" />
  • Fixed a regression with the quality of generated SVG icons

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