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2. August 2018


Today saw the release of version 3.0 of the Xenko game engine.  The Xenko game engine was made by Silicon Studios in Japan, previously known as the Paradox 3D engine.  It was obviously having some issues as a product, with a few announced changes to the licensing structure and then in March rumours that it would be open sourced.  Today that exact thing happened, Xenko 3.0 was released under the MIT license and is now available on GitHub.

As part of this release, Silicon Studios are no longer going to be supporting Xenko development.  Fortunately though, this is not the end for Xenko, as one of the engine developers is currently going to be supporting the engine full time, at least in the short term.  He has started a Patreon account in an attempt to raise the funding required to continue supporting the game engine going forward.

Details from the announcement:

You read that right. Xenko 3.0 is out now, released under the permissive MIT license.

From now on, you can use and modify Xenko completely free — whether you’re a professional, a student, or just looking for a new hobby. This includes both the runtime and editor.

Main focus for this release was on the open-source transition, but Xenko 3.0 also includes some new features, such as a switch to the new C# project system, video, hair and skin rendering. Read the full release notes here.

Silicon Studio no longer supports Xenko, but members of the Xenko team will continue to work on it independently as part of the community. More specifically, I will personally work on it fulltime for the next few months to see if it picks up some steam as a community project. Kudos to Silicon Studio for starting and supporting the project so far! Turning the project open-source and community-driven is a fantastic achievement.

While the majority of the 3.0 release was targeting at moving to open source, there were a few additional features including video playback support and hair rendering.  Additionally the SiliconStudio namespaces were removed, so if you are an existing Xenko developer, you will have to do some refactoring. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Xenko game engine, be sure to check out our Closer Look review, as well as our much older Tutorial Series.   You can see hands-on with the engine in this video and see what it is capable of in the 2017 demo reel.

GameDev News


1. August 2018


Wave Engine 2.5.0 “Orca” was just released.  Wave Engine is a free to use C# powered cross platform game engine I previously featured in the Closer Look game engine series.  This release includes several nice new improvements including Bullet 3D physics support, ARKit/ARCore support, gltf file support and much more.

Details of the release:

NEW FEATURES
- Added ARMobile (ARKit and ARCore) support.
- Added Bullet Physics 3D integration.
- Added new Model asset workflow.
- Added GLTF support.
- Added Morphing support.
- Added new Animation3D component.
- Added Mixed Reality support.
- Added Render Layers integration in Visual Editor.
- Added support for Rasterizer, Blend and DepthStencil state descriptions.
- Added Line Mesh components.
- Added the possibility of disabling protobuf serialization.
- Optimized Transform 3D.
- Improved Visual Editor performance.
- Added convert from prefab to entity.
- Added Copy entity path as entity option in Visual Editor.

FIXES
- Fixed Drag and drop issues with entities in Visual Editor.
- Fixed Linux Gamepad support and crash.
- Fixed Camera.Unproject incoherences.
- Fixed xCode 9 template support.
- Fixed multicomponents on prefabs.
- Fixed internal memory leak with Vertex Buffers.
- Fixed WaitGameAction memory leak.
- Fixed problems with large Tilemaps.
- Fixed RenderPropertyAsFInput with converters.
- Fixed Blending problems with Noesis Panels.
- Fixed new material creation issues.
- Fixed PerfabInstance delete issues.
- Fixed cubemap reflection issues.
- Fixed OpenGL issue when rendering Opaque and Alpha layers in the same scene.
- Fixed minimum iOS template version.


You can read a great deal more about the release right here.  For more details be sure to watch the video below.

GameDev News


21. December 2017


With the release of C# support in Godot people are naturally going to want to use Visual Studio Code for their development.  This guide is going to walk step by step through the process.  It’s important to note that debugging is currently not supported.


Before continuing it is assumed that you are running Godot 3 Beta for Mono (or newer).  Also be sure to have a most recent version of Visual Studio Code installed.


If you haven’t already, be sure to install the C# extension in Visual Studio.

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Next in Godot, let’s configured Visual Studio Code as our external editor.  Select Editor –> Editor Settings

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Select Mono->Editor, then drop down External Editor and select Visual Studio Code.

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Now when you edit a CS file in Godot, it will automatically open in Visual Studio Code.  Assuming you did the C# extension, you should get full intellisene, code completion, etc.


You now have two options, you can simply edit your code save it, then run from within Godot.  Or you can run directly from the terminal within VS Code.  In the terminal ( Ctrl + ‘ ) enter first the path to your Godot executable, as well as the scene you wish to run.  In my case:

D:\dev\Godot_v3.0-beta1_mono_win64\Godot_v3.0-beta1_mono_win64.exe Node.tscn

This should then execute your scene.


Of course, doing this over and over is going to get old quick, so why don’t we define it instead as a Task.  In Visual Studio Code select Tasks->Configure Task:

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Next select Open tasks.json file

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Now enter the following:

{
    // See https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=733558
    // for the documentation about the tasks.json format
    "version": "2.0.0",
    "tasks": [
        {
            "label": "run Godot",
            "type": "shell",
            "command": "D:\\dev\\Godot_v3.0-beta1_mono_win64\\Godot_v3.0-beta1_mono_win64.exe Node.tscn",
            "problemMatcher": []
        }
    ]
}


Be sure of course to set the path to your directory in the command setting.  Also notice the slashes are escaped using double slashes \\.  You can now run this via the palette.  Ctrl + Shift + P then enter Run Task

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You should now have your newly created task available:

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Again, doing this over and over again also gets old, so lets define a hotkey.  Choose File->Preferences->Keyboard Short Cuts.  Click the keybindings.json link:

image


Now enter

// Place your key bindings in this file to overwrite the defaults
[
    {
		"key": "ctrl+G",
		"command": "workbench.action.tasks.runTask",
		"args": "run Godot"
	}
]

This will cause your scene to run when you hit the Ctrl + G hotkey.


Programming


29. June 2017


In this section of our Bowling with Game Engines series, we will be implementing our bowling game in Unity. The idea is straight forward, implement the same simple 3D game across a number of game engines.  The Unity game engine is a logical place to start, as it is perhaps the most popular game engine in use today.  We will go step by step through the process of creating our game, both in text as well as a video version available here.   I am not a regular Unity user, so please do keep in mind, a lot of what I am about to show may not be best practice!  All of the assets used in this tutorial are available for Patreons as part of the bowling game kit, along with project files and this document in PDF form.  Don’t worry, these aren’t needed to follow along.

Let’s jump in.  Fire up Unity and create a new project.  In this example I am using Unity 5.6.1, however any recent version should work.


First, let’s start by dragging all of our required assets into Unity.  Simply select all of the game assets you will be using (FBX models, textures, audio files) and drag and drop them from Explorer or Finder into the assets folder.  If you are using the Patreon assets, simply copy the contents of Raw Assets in the Unity project folder.

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Unity does an extremely good job of importing assets and you should require no additional steps.  We now have all of the assets we are going to need to create our game, let’s get started.




Creating the Title Screen


First, we are going to start by creating a simple title screen with some awful looping background music.  We will be using our default scene for the splash screen and later we will create another scene for our actual gameplay.  We start off by saving our untitled scene.  Simply select File->Save Scene As…

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I saved it as TitleScreen. You should now have a new item in your assets list:

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We now have a few setup tasks to take.  We are going to be showing our title image and this requires us to alter the Main Camera entity. In Hierarchy panel select Main Camera, then in Inspector we change Clear Flags to Don’t Clear.

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This causes our camera to no longer have perspective ( things aren’t drawn smaller the farther away they get from the camera ).  Generally an Orthographic camera is what you use when working in 2D in a 3D world. Setting Clear Flags to don’t clear simply causes the default skybox to not be drawn, we could have optionally defined a background clear colour if we preferred. 


Now in Hierarchy panel, click the Create button, select UI->Canvas.  Next, with the newly created Canvas selected, click Create again and this time select UI->Panel.  At this point we should have this hierarchy.

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Next we have to make a slight modification to our imported Titlescreen image.  Select the Tilescreen.png image file in the assets view, then in Inspector change Texture Type to Sprite (2D and UI).  Then scroll down in the Inspector and click the Apply button.

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Next select Panel in the Hierarchy view, and drag our newly created Sprite over to the Source Image section in the Image (Script) section.

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If you press Play now, you should see your Title screen in the viewport.

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Now let’s add a looping music file to our title screen.  In the Hierarchy view, select the Canvas entity.  Then in inspector scroll down and click Add Component, then Audio->Audio Source.

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In the newly created Audio Source in Inspector, drag our imported audio file over to the audio clip section.  Down below, make sure Play on Awake is set and then tick the box next to Loop.

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Ok, we now have a title screen and a sound track playing!  Good work so far… now let’s add a simple script that changes scenes on click. Let’s create our script.  Right click in the Assets area, select Create-> C# Script.

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Name it PanelScript.cs.

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Double click the newly created script file and it will open in your editor of choice.  Now enter the following code:

using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using UnityEngine;
using UnityEngine.SceneManagement;

public class PanelScript : MonoBehaviour {

   // Use this for initialization
   void Start () {
      
   }
   
   // Update is called once per frame
   void Update () {
        if (Input.GetMouseButtonUp(0))
            SceneManager.LoadScene("GameScene");
    }
}


Here we are simply checking every single pass through the game loop if the Left (0th) mouse button (or touch) is clicked, and if it is, we load the scene named “GameScene”.


Hmm… guess we should make a scene called GameScene now shouldn’t we?  Once again right click the Assets panel, then select Create->Scene.

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Rename the newly created Scene to GameScene.

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We are now done with our title screen scene.  Make sure you save.  Before we open our newly created GameScene, we have one last step to perform.  In the File menu, select Build Settings…, then select Add Open Scenes.

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Now double click our newly created GameScene to open it up.  If prompted to save, do so.  Now it’s time to create our game!


Click here to continue to part two!

Programming


29. June 2017

Click here for Part One

Creating the Game Scene


Now it’s time to get to work on creating the game itself.  Start off by dragging BowlingLane into the scene.

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Now move the lane so it’s at position (0,0,0) in the Inspector under the Transform component.

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One thing I noticed is the Normal map is way too strong.  Select the Bowling Lane material (either in the Materials panel, or drill down to it).  Dial back the Normal Map strength from 1.0 to 0.2.

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We are almost done with our bowling lane.  The final thing we need to do is add a Collision Shape to it, so the rest of the stuff in our game world will interact with it properly.  With the BowlingLane selected, click Add Component->Physics->Box Collider

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The nice thing with Unity is, it will automatically shrink wrap the collider geometry to match your mesh, so you should have to do no additional work!

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So, that’s it for the lane, now time to create the Bowling pins.  Simply drag the Bowling Pin into the scene:

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Hmmmm… pretty dark. What’s going on here?  Well, right now we are getting our lighting from the Directional Light in our scene.

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We don’t want to mess around with advanced lighting, so instead right click and get rid of it. Now lets set up Ambient lighting instead.  Select Window->Lighting->Settings

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Change Environment Lighting->Light Source to Color, then select the Ambient Color as white:

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Now our scene will have universal consistent lighting:

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Now it’s time to add some physics to our pin.  Once again we have to make a collision object component, but we also need to create a RigidBody component.  Add a Box collider just like before.  Then add another Component and select Physics->Rigidbody

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The default settings are about right, so there is nothing else we need to do here.


The final thing we need to do with our pin is apply a tag to it so we can locate it using code later. With the Pin selected, in the Inspector at the top drop down the Tag drop down and select Add Tag…

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Click the + Icon, then in the resulting text box enter “Pin” then Save.

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Now select the Pin again, and in the Tags list, select Pin which should now be an option.

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Now we simply need to create 4 ( or 9… depending your bowling preferences ) clones of our pin. Select the BowlingPin in the scene graph, right click and select Duplicate.  This will create a copy with all of the settings and components defined. 

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After duplicating, position the pin and repeat the process until you have enough pins.

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Click here to continue to part three.

Programming


See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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