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3. March 2017

 

The Xenko game engine (previously Paradox3D) has been in beta for a couple years now, available for free use in binary form, with GPL licensed source code available.  If you are interested in learning more about the engine, we have a complete tutorial series available here.

Today Silicon Studio finally announced a release date and perhaps more importantly, licensing information although no actual prices yet.  From the Xenko blog:

We are pleased to announce that Xenko will exit its beta stage on April, 2017 with the first commercial version of the engine! As we’re still finalizing last details, the exact pricing model of the engine will be announced on the release day. We can let you know that:

  • We are planning to switch to a monthly subscription model with several tiers (education, indie, etc.)
  • The tier intended for indies will be free to use
  • The code source of the runtime will remain available for everyone
  • The code source of the editor will be accessible only to the upper tiers
  • We will move from GPL to a custom license allowing developers to modify the engine without having to open their game sources
  • The beta versions will remain available to download for users already developing a game on it

Interesting to see they will be moving away from the GPL license.  I have never been a fan of the GPL, but it has always offered a way to make the code available publically while retaining a revenue stream as well.  The devil is of course still going to be in the details.  Where does the runtime end and the engine begin when it comes to source code?  What are the details of this new proprietary code license going to be and of course, how much will each tier cost.  I guess we have to wait until April to find out.

GameDev News

3. March 2017

 

GitHub is perhaps the most popular source repository available today, while Unity is the most used game engine available today.  That said, neither ever worked particularly well with the other.  Today at GDC GitHub announced a new extension aimed at changing that.  The GitHub for Unity extension plugs directly into Unity and enables programmers and artists to work with Unity.

 

Details from the Github announcement:

Git helps millions of developers write and collaborate on code, but it's not always a practical choice for building games. With the GitHub for Unity extension, Unity game developers (artists and programmers alike) can better integrate Git and GitHub into their workflow, even if they're versioning large binary assets.

The GitHub for Unity extension integrates Git and GitHub directly into the Unity Editor. You can easily configure, collaborate, and manage your Git project in a dedicated window. The extension also includes Git LFS v2.0 support to store large binary assets and introduces file locking to help communicate with your team that you are working on difficult-to-merge files.

unity-screenshot

The GitHub for Unity extension is a first step towards unifying the GitHub and Unity workflows, and we'd love to hear your feedback to help guide us in the right direction. Watch for an alpha release over the next few weeks. We'll be making the project open source and publishing the extension in the Unity asset store soon after.

Many thanks to Emil "AngryAnt" Johansen for all his help in getting this project up and running.

Sign up now to get access to the GitHub for Unity plugin preview.

As you may have noticed from the last line, the release is a preview only at this point, so expect some bugs and warts for now.

GameDev News

2. March 2017

 

A new update has been released for CryEngine, bringing it to version 5.3.3.  Primarily a bug fix release, it also adds a new C# game template Rolling Ball.

 

From the release notes:

Game Templates


New: Added RollingBall template to the C# game template selection.

Refactored: Removed the Sydewinder application - this will be maintained as a separate project and is available as a download from the CRYENGINE Marketplace.

Audio


Audio General

Fixed: Bug where the MS compiler auto-vectorizer produced illegal instructions in mpeg code.

Core/System


Engine General

Fixed: Added ScaleformHelper to builds.

Fixed: Download of 5.3.1 SDKs package.

Fixed: Crash during Scaleform shutdown.

System

Fixed: Sydewinder doesn't close properly in Launcher.

Fixed: Encoding fixes for command line parsing.

Fixed: Crash reporter not producing crash dumps on Windows 7.

WAF

Fixed: ScaleformHelper usage by WAF (all configs) and CMake (release config).

Tweaked: Don't monolithically link MonoBridge into release configs, it's an optional feature.

Tweaked: Copy the right portaudio binaries (performance and release config).

CMake

Optimized: Don't copy unnecessary debug DLLs or PDBs to bin/win_x64.

Fixed: Compiler detection for VS2017. 

Action General

Fixed: The ability to load a second level after the first has been loaded.

C#

Fixed: The Input class not registering mouse -movement.

GameDev News

1. March 2017

 

Today at GDC 17, Microsoft announced the preview launch of Xbox Live Creators Program.  This is a new SDK and developer program that enables anyone to quickly publish their title to Xbox One or Windows 10 after a quick certification process.  Similar in many was to the ID@Xbox program, the following chart breaks down the key differences.

image

 

More details of the new program from the announcement:

Xbox Live will soon be open to all developers via the Xbox Live Creators Program – no concept approval required! You will be able to rapidly publish your game to Xbox One or Windows 10 through a short and simplified certification process.

Integrate Xbox Live social experiences such as sign-in, presence, leaderboards, and more into your title, with minimal development time. Xbox Live social features are designed to organically grow your audience, spreading awareness to over 55 million active gamers. The full set of Xbox Live capabilities is available via the ID@Xbox program and a table comparing the features is below.

Using tools you already use, and your existing Xbox One retail console, you can easily create or leverage existing code to develop your title. Supported game engines include Construct 2, MonoGame, Unity, and Xenko. We anticipate more game engines and tools to support Xbox Live Creators Program over time. Please check with your preferred game engine for their support of the Creators Program.

On Xbox One, which offers gamers a curated store experience, games published through the Xbox Live Creators Program will be available in the new, "Creator games section" within the store. On Windows 10 PC, games in Xbox Live Creators Program will be visible with the other games in the Windows Store.

 

Wouldn’t have been great if Microsoft never gave up on XNA in the first place?  Still one of their most idiotic moves historically.  It is my belief that this program will live or die on the quality of the curation.  This does however offer a new and interesting avenue for indie developers, so could be a great new opportunity.

GameDev News

1. March 2017

 

MonoGame is a popular open source port of Microsoft’s now defunct XNA game framework.  They just announced the release of version 3.6 containing several improvements and fixes.  If you are interested in learning MonoGame, be sure to check out our complete tutorial series available here.  MonoGame has been used to create several of the biggest indie games on the market, including Stardew Valley, Braid and many more.

 

Details of the release from the changelog:

3.6 Release - 2/28/2017

  • Fixed XML deserialization of Curve type. #5494
  • Fix #5498 Pipeline Tool template loading on MacOS. #5501
  • Fix typo in the exclude.addins which cause warnings when installing the Addin in XS. #5500
  • Added support for arbitrary defines passed to the Effect compiler. #5496
  • Fixed GraphicsDevice.Present() to check for current render target. #5389
  • Custom texture compression for SpriteFonts. #5299
  • Performance improvements to SpriteBatch.DrawString(). #5226
  • Removed the OUYA platform #5194
  • Dispose of all graphical resources in unit tests. #5133
  • Throw NoSuitableGraphicsDeviceException if graphics device creation fails. #5130
  • Optimized and added additional constructors to Color. #5117
  • Added SamplerState.TextureFilterMode to correctly support comparison filtering. #5112
  • Fixed Apply3D() on stereo SoundEffect. #5099
  • Fixed Effect.OnApply to return void to match XNA. #5090
  • Fix crash when DynamicSoundEffectInstance not disposed. #5075
  • Texture2D.FromStream now correctly throws on null arguments. #5050
  • Implemented GraphicsAdapter for DirectX platforms. #5024
  • Fixed initialization of GameComponent when created within another GameComponent. #5020
  • Improved SoundEffect internal platform extendability. #5006
  • Refactored audio processing for platform extensibility. #5001
  • Refactored texture processing for platform extensibility. #4996
  • Refactor ShaderProfile to allow for pipeline extensibility. #4992
  • Removed unnessasary dictionary lookup for user index buffers for DirectX platforms. #4988
  • New SetRenderTargets() method which allows for variable target count. #4987
  • Added support for XACT reverb and filter effects. #4974
  • Remove array in GamePadDPad constructor. #4970
  • Updated to the latest version of Protobuild. #4964
  • Fixed static VBs and IBs on UWP on XB1. #4955
  • Updated to the latest version of Protobuild. #4950
  • Update Xamarin Studio addin for latest platform changes. #4926
  • Replace OpenTK with custom OpenGL bindings #4874
  • Fix Mouse updating when moving the Window. #4924
  • Fix incorrect use of startIndex in Texture2D.GetData DX. #4833
  • Cleanup of AssemblyInfo for framework assembly. #4810
  • New SDL2 backend for desktop GL platforms. #4428
  • Two MaterialProcessor properties fixed. #4746
  • Fixed thumbstick virtual buttons to always use independent axes. #4742
  • Fixed back buffer MSAA on DirectX platforms. #4739
  • Added new CHANGELOG.md to project. #4732
  • Added obsolete attribute and updated documentation. #4731
  • Fixed layout of UWP windows in VS template to ignore window chrome. #4727
  • Remove support for reading raw assets through ContentManager. #4726
  • Implemented DynamicSoundEffectInstance for DirectX and OpenAL platforms. #4715
  • Removed unused Yeti Mp3 compressor. #4713
  • MonoGame Portable Assemblies. #4712
  • Fixed RGBA64 packing and added unit tests. #4683
  • Fix Gamepad crash when platform doesn't support the amount. #4677
  • Fixed Song stopping before they are finished on Windows. #4668
  • Removed the Linux .deb installer. #4665
  • OpenAssetImporter is now automatically selected for all the formats it supports. #4663
  • Fixed broken unit tests under Linux. #4614
  • Split out Title Container into partial classes. #4590
  • Added Rider Support to Linux installer. #4589
  • Implement vertexStride in VertexBuffer.SetData for OpenGL. #4568
  • Performance improvement to SpriteBatch vertex generation. #4547
  • Optimization of indices initialization in SpriteBatcher. #4546
  • Optimized ContentReader to decode LZ4 compressed streams directly. #4522
  • TitleContainer partial class cleanup. #4520
  • Remove raw asset support from ContentManager. #4489
  • Initial implementation of RenderTargetCube for OpenGL. #4488
  • Removed unnecessary platform differences in MGFX. #4486
  • SoundEffect fixes and tests. #4469
  • Cleanup FX syntax for shader compiler. #4462
  • General Improvements to Pipeline Gtk implementation. #4459
  • ShaderProfile Refactor. #4438
  • GraphicsDeviceManager partial class refactor. #4425
  • Remove legacy Storage classes. #4320
  • Added mipmap generation for DirectX render targets. #4189

In related MonoGame news, Nintendo Switch support was recently announced via Twitter:

image

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