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8. August 2017


Epic have just released a new version of the Unreal game engine, bringing it to version 4.17.  This release adds several new features including Sequencer improvements, a new beta compositing plugin “Composure”, new global shader support in plugins, XBox One X support, VR spectator support, experimental ARKit support, experimental support for new cloth tools and much more.


Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

The new Composure compositing system and Image Plate plugin provide a powerful and flexible means of combining content rendered in realtime with live action footage. Numerous improvements to Sequencer continue to refine the workflow for creating cinematics and linear media.

Discover and load quests, heroes, or other game-specific content with the new Asset Management Framework. Query information about Assets at runtime in Blueprints using the Asset Registry's new Blueprint accessors.

Develop games for Microsoft's Xbox One X console as part of the platform improvements. Make your VR project a social experience using the new VR Spectator Screen support. On Android, we have improved several aspects on high end devices, and we continue the effort to reduce executable sizes even further.


Be sure to read the blog for a great deal more information on new features in this release.  As always you can upgrade using the Epic Game Launcher.

GameDev News

3. August 2017


OpenFL 6.0 has just been released.  OpenFL is a Haxe based game/media framework that provides a Flash like API.  We did a brief tutorial series here on GameFromScratch when OpenFL was known as NME if you are interested in learning more.  The 6.0 release brings several new features such as beta support for TileArrays, beta custom shader support, improved blending and colorTransform support, better Stage3D support and more (enabling Away3D and Starling compatibility), DragonBones support and more.


Details from the release blog:

New Features

(Beta) TileArray

We have developed an easy-to-use DisplayObject called Tilemap which makes it possible to use batch hardware rendering. Tilemap is similar to a mixture of Bitmap and the display list, but we have received multiple requests to support an alternative API that is less structured.

This release includes the (beta) API for TileArray, for writing tile data more directly:

var data = tilemap.getTiles ();
data.length = 2;
data.position = 0;
data.setMatrix (1, 0, 0, 1, 100, 100);
data.position = 1;
data.setMatrix (1, 0, 0, 1, 200, 200);
data.alpha = 0.5;
tilemap.setTiles (data);

This API has enabled our team to more easily migrate legacy drawTiles rendering code to the current version of OpenFL.

We welcome your feedback, and hope to continue to improve Tilemap

(Beta) Custom Shader Support

OpenFL 4 added initial support for custom shaders, using the filter API.

However, in time we have found that our use of OpenGL framebuffers was too expensive to make shader filters practical for every-day production. We are enabling an alternative approach in OpenFL 6, where Bitmap, TextField, Tilemap and Video objects can have a custom shader set directly:

var customShader = new CustomShader ();
bitmap.shader = customShader;

We have also enabled support for custom OpenGL shaders for individual tiles in Tilemap

Improved blendMode and colorTransform support

We have improved support for blendMode throughout our renderer, and have added support for hardware-accelerated colorTransform when possible. In other cases, we enabled cacheAsBitmap in order to preserve performance. We also added (beta) support for colorTransform in Tilemap, but it is supported only on hardware since it is very expensive on other render types.

Stage3D Libraries

Although OpenFL has enjoyed stable Stage3D support for some time, we have continued to focus on creating faithful renditions of familiar Stage3D libraries for OpenFL.

Away3D

Away3D is an open source platform for developing interactive 3D graphics for video games and applications.

The latest development version of Away3D is now compatible with OpenFL, and should continue to improve in quality with time: https://github.com/openfl/away3d

Starling

Starling is the "Cross-Platform Game Engine", a popular Stage3D framework. OpenFL is hardware-accelerated without the use of Starling, but it still provides a popular alternative to the traditional Flash API.

We currently have 1.8 release of Starling and the Starling particle framework working reliably, and are still working on porting the Starling 2.x codebase for use with OpenFL: https://github.com/openfl/starling

DragonBones

DragonBones is a skeletal animation editor, as an alternative to using SWF assets with OpenFL directly (which is also supported).

We have ported the most recent ActionScript runtime for DragonBones over for use with OpenFL. There is still room to create a runtime using OpenFL Tilemap, but we are still happy to provide a working version of the DragonBones runtime for use with projects: https://github.com/openfl/dragonbones

Other Improvements

We are continuing to invest in SWF asset support. You can use SWF content from Flash Professional or Adobe Animate directly in OpenFL, with layers, animation and object IDs preserved.

In time, we expect MovieClip animation to continue to perform better, as well as accuracy. OpenFL 6 includes improved support for blendMode, colorTransform and frame script when working with SWF source data.

As always, we are continuing to improve and polish a large variety of minor behaviors and features.

GameDev News

1. August 2017


MonoUE is now available, bringing Mono runtime support to Unreal Engine 4.16 game engine.  This enables you to use C# and F# as development languages for Unreal powered titles.  Right now you need to build a special fork on Unreal Engine from source in order to use MonoUE.


More details about MonoUE:

Features

  • Fully integrated with the Unreal object system and Unreal Editor.
  • C# bindings are generated automatically for all Blueprint-accessible types and members.
  • Objects and functions defined from C# can subclass types defined in C++, and can be used from Blueprint and from the Unreal Editor.
  • Runs on Windows and Mac.

Planned or in development:

  • Visual Studio integration
  • Debugging
  • Hot reload
  • Mobile platform support
  • Cooked builds

Feature requests and and bugs are tracked using GitHub Issues.

For more information, be sure to check out the Github page.

GameDev News

27. July 2017


Today Godot just released the first downloadable version of the upcoming Godot 3.0 game engine.  This is an alpha level release, so while mostly feature complete do expect to encounter several bugs.  If you are godwaiting for C# support, unfortunately it did  not make it into the alpha release but hopefully will be released soon.  This alpha however is absolutely packed with new functionality including the completely new 3D renderer and material system, a new visual programming language, GDNative, an updated UI and much more.


From the release notes:

The features

Now, there are still some cool features that can already be played with in this alpha1 build, and we are looking forward to seeing what you will come up with using the new 3D renderer. There is no exhaustive listing of all the new features to experiment with, but you can read past articles of this blog and check Juan's Twitter feed for some teasers :)

Please use the community channels to discuss with existing users and learn how to use the new workflows of Godot 3.0 - as of this writing there is almost no documentation on the new features, but this alpha1 build should serve as a starting point for documentation writers.


I made a 20 minute hands-on video showcasing some of the new functionality available in Godot 3.0 available here and embedded below.

GameDev News

25. July 2017


The Defold Lua powered game engine version 1.2.109 has just been released.  The Defold engine is a Lua powered mobile focused cross platform 2D game engine developed by King.  If you are interested in learning Defold, we have a full tutorial series available here.  This release comes just in time for the CoronaDefoldJam, starting a few days.


Details from the release notes:


This sprint we've been finishing the Particles in GUI task, and also added some smaller enhancements.

Particles in GUI

This release adds the feature of adding particle effects to your GUI scene.
Just as other resources in the gui, you add a .particlefx file to the scene,
and then you can reference it by adding particle fx nodes to your scene.

You can also add nodes dynamically at runtime.

Previewer in Editor 2

Also, please try playing the effect directly in the Editor 2 by pressing CMD+P
In the gui, you can change the color propery while the effect is playing.

The Lua API
  • gui.new_particlefx_node(pos, particlefx)
  • gui.play_particlefx(node, [emitter_state_callback])
  • gui.stop_particlefx(node)
  • gui.set_particlefx(node, particlefx)
  • gui.get_particlefx(node)

Engine

  • DEF-2106 - Added: Particles in GUI
  • DEF-2813 - Fixed: Fixed crash when error logging a bad string (in gui.delete_texture)
  • DEF-2437 - Fixed: The render.get_render_target_width() and render.get_render_target_height() now support BUFFER_TYPE_COLOR_BIT/BUFFER_TYPE_DEPTH_BIT/BUFFER_TYPE_STENCIL_BIT
  • DEF-2807 - Fixed: Added sound name output when it fails to decode
  • DEF-2809 - Fixed: Embedded camera component not working in Editor 1
  • DEF-2811 - Fixed: Target app: Failing to load project file restarts the target app
  • DEF-2814 - Fixed: Native Extensions now build debug builds for Win32 too

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