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14. March 2018


After several beta releases, Unreal Engine 4.19 is finally here.  This release includes a new raft of graphical features, a new dynamic resolution feature that should help PS4 and UE419XBox One developers scale across devices, a unified AR API that works on both Apple and Google devices, a new AR game template, a Maya and Motionbuilder live link plugin, sequencer improvements, improved landscape LOD, material layers and much much more.


Details from the release announcement:

Whether you are creating games, linear media, architectural visualizations, or product design tools, Unreal Engine 4.19 enables you to know exactly what the finished product will look like every step of the way. The new Live Link plugin seamlessly blends workflows between external content creation tools and Unreal Engine so you can see updates as you make changes to source content. And with the continued improvements to Sequencer, you can be the director with even more control of your scenes in real time.

When it comes to bringing the worlds in your imagination to life, the sky's the limit. Create breathtaking vistas in large, open worlds thanks to Landscape rendering optimizations. With the new Dynamic Resolution feature that adjusts the resolution as needed to achieve desired frame rates, those worlds will run smoother than ever before on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

It wouldn’t be a complete release without a mountain of workflow and usability improvements, and Unreal Engine 4.19 does not disappoint in this respect. Working with Material layers and parameters is easier and more intuitive. Features for debugging Blueprints are more powerful with the ability to step over, step into, and step out. You can now save content folders as favorites. Animation tools have been improved with pinnable commands, ability to have multiple viewports, and lots more.


As always, the newest version is available for download in the Epic Game Launcher. 

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Be sure to read the release notes for comprehensive details of this release.

GameDev News

13. March 2018


Another quick update for the recently released Phaser 3 game engine, this one bringing Phaser to version 3.2.1.   Phaser is a popular and full featured 2D framework for developing HTML5 games.  This release is almost entirely composed of bug fixes and quality of life improvements.


Details of the release from the release notes:


Bug Fixes
  • Fixed issue with Render Texture tinting. Fix #3336 (thanks @rexrainbow)
  • Fixed Utils.String.Format (thanks @samme)
  • The Matter Debug Layer wouldn't clear itself in canvas mode. Fix #3345 (thanks @samid737)
  • TimerEvent.remove would dispatch the Timer event immediately based on the opposite of the method argument, making it behave the opposite of what was expected. It now only fires when requested (thanks @migiyubi)
  • The TileSprite Canvas Renderer did not support rotation, scaling or flipping. Fix #3231 (thanks @TCatshoek)
  • Fixed Group doesn't remove children from Scene when cleared with the removeFromScene argument set (thanks @iamchristopher)
  • Fixed an error in the lights pipeline when no Light Manager has been defined (thanks @samme)
  • The ForwardDiffuseLightPipeline now uses sys.lights instead of the Scene variable to avoid errors due to injection removal.
  • Phaser.Display.Color.Interpolate would return NaN values because it was loading the wrong Linear function. Fix #3372 (thanks @samid737)
  • RenderTexture.draw was only drawing the base frame of a Texture. Fix #3374 (thanks @samid737)
  • TileSprite scaling differed between WebGL and Canvas. Fix #3338 (thanks @TCatshoek)
  • Text.setFixedSize was incorrectly setting the text property instead of the parent property. Fix #3375 (thanks @rexrainbow)
  • RenderTexture.clear on canvas was using the last transform state, instead of clearing the whole texture.
Updates
  • The SceneManager.render will now render a Scene as long as it's in a LOADING state or higher. Before it would only render RUNNING scenes, but this precluded those that were loading assets.
  • A Scene can now be restarted by calling scene.start() and providing no arguments (thanks @migiyubi)
  • The class GameObject has now been exposed, available via Phaser.GameObjects.GameObject (thanks @rexrainbow)
  • A Camera following a Game Object will now take the zoom factor of the camera into consideration when scrolling. Fix #3353 (thanks @brandonvdongen)
  • Calling setText on a BitmapText object will now recalculate its display origin values. Fix #3350 (thanks @migiyubi)
  • You can now pass an object to Loader.atlas, like you can with images. Fix #3268 (thanks @TCatshoek)
  • The onContextRestored callback won't be defined any more unless the WebGL Renderer is in use in the following objects: BitmapMask, Static Tilemap, TileSprite and Text. This should allow those objects to now work in HEADLESS mode. Fix #3368 (thanks @16patsle)
  • The SetFrame method now has two optional arguments: updateSize and updateOrigin (both true by default) which will update the size and origin of the Game Object respectively. Fix #3339 (thanks @Jerenaux)


Phaser is available for download here.  If you are interested in learning more about Phaser 3 development be sure to check out our getting started video available here and embedded below.

GameDev News

9. March 2018


YoyoGames have just announced an agreement with Nintendo bringing Nintendo Switch platform support to their seminal cross platform 2D development platform GameMaker Studio 2.  GameMaker Studio 2 Nintendo Switch Edition will arrive this summer.  No word if any additional licenses or agreements will be required for GameMaker developers to deploy to the Switch.


Details from the announcement:

GameMaker Studio 2, the leading 2D game development engine, has signed a deal with Nintendo, meaning GameMaker games can be exported directly to Nintendo Switch. GameMaker is expanding its already significant reach to developers looking to release on the hugely successful console that can be played anytime, anywhere, with anyone. First launched by YoYo Games in March 2017, GameMaker Studio 2 has seen continual growth since its release, and it is ready to take another step forward by forging a partnership with Nintendo. This will culminate with the launch of the GameMaker Studio 2 Nintendo Switch edition in summer, 2018.


GameMaker Studio 2 was released last year and represented a massive overhaul of the aging developer tool.  If you are interested in learning more, be sure to check our Closer Look at GameMaker Studio 2.

GameDev News

7. March 2018


The Khronos Group have just released the Vulkan 1.1 and SPIR-V 1.3 specifications. Vulkan Vulkan is a low level cross platform graphics API, the successor to OpenGL offering easier driver development and potentially better performance.  SPIR-V is a binary intermediate language for shaders and computer tasks in Vulkan, OpenGL and OpenCL. 

Vulkan 1.1 includes several Vulkan 1.0 extensions as well as new Subgroup Operations.


Details from the Khronos press release:

New functionality in Vulkan 1.1 includes Subgroup Operations that enable highly-efficient sharing and manipulation of data between multiple tasks running in parallel on a GPU. Vulkan 1.1 also enables applications to perform rendering and display operations using resources that they cannot access or copy - for secure playback and display of protected multimedia content.

In addition, a wide range of Vulkan 1.0 extensions have been integrated, bringing significant proven functionality into core Vulkan 1.1, including: simultaneous rendering of multiple image views, use of multiple GPUs in a single system, and cross-process API interoperability for advanced rendering and compositing operations often used in demanding applications such as Virtual Reality. These core functionalities also include advanced compute with 16-bit memory access, and support for HLSL memory layouts, and display, processing and compositing of video streams, through direct sampling of YCbCr color formatted textures produced by many video codecs.

Integral to the release of Vulkan 1.1 is the new SPIR-V 1.3 specification that expands the capabilities of the Vulkan shader intermediate representation to support subgroup operations and enable enhanced compiler optimizations. The SPIR-V tools ecosystem continues to gain significant momentum with front-end compilers for both GLSL and HLSL, and to expand low-level tooling support from the open source SPIRV-Tools project.


In other recent Vulkan news, support for iOS and Mac OS was recently announced.

GameDev News

7. March 2018


Tiled, the open source map editor, just released version 1.1.3.  Beyond some new translations, this released is primarily composed of bug fixes.  If you are interested in learning more about Tiled, be sure to check out our Tiled tutorial series available here.  Complete change log of the release displayed below.


Changelog
  • Fixed crash when removing a tileset referenced by multiple objects
  • Fixed crash on paste when it introduced more than one new tileset
  • Fixed Invert Selection for non-infinite maps
  • Fixed Select All to not select objects on locked layers
  • Fixed logic determining the tilesets used by a tile layer
  • Fixed copy/paste changing object order (#1896)
  • Fixed tileset getting loaded twice when used by the map and a template
  • Fixed repainting issues on undo/redo for new maps (#1887)
  • JSON plugin: Fixed loading of infinite maps using CSV tile layer format (#1878)
  • Linux: Updated AppImage to Qt 5.9.4
  • Updated Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese and Ukrainian translations

Tiled is available to download on itch.io, while the source code is available on Github.  If you’d like to support Tiled, be sure to check out their Patreon here.

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