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30. December 2016

 

After almost a year of running silently, it’s not to see regular updates to the Atomic Game Engine.  The Atomic Game Engine is an open source 2D/3D game engine with a comprehensive editor.  You can learn more about AGE in our Closer Look at review.  Atomic just released build 2 which focused on C# quality of life improvements, custom editor resource plugins , improved API documentation and various TypeScript improvements. 

Update Highlights:

  • [Editor] Custom file resource inspector plugins (with example)Atomic-Game-Engine-512

  • [Editor] Added TmxFile2D resource type for inspector fields

  • [Docs] Added new C#, C++, and updated JavaScript/TypeScript API references

  • [Network] Restored functionality for master server and client

  • [Web] Added Web subsystem events and convenience methods for post data and responses

  • [C#] Output dev project assemblies to Lib, so when modifying AtomicNET sources, changes are used properly

  • [C#] CSComponent cleanups for instantiation from script/serialized from scene (also cleans up nativeOverride hack)

  • [C#] Fix for exception when instantiating any RefCounted derived instance during a CSComponent default constructor

  • [C#] Better error reporting for CSComponent load issues

  • [C#] Added Material.SetShaderParameter API

  • [C#] Added Vector4/String to ScriptVariant

  • [C#] On demand project assembly compilation from within the Atomic Editor

  • [C#] Inspector attribute can now be used to set inspector tooltips

  • [TypeScript] Upgraded to TypeScript 2.1

  • [TypeScript] Removed deprecated allowNonTsExtensions

  • [TypeScript] Automatically generate a tasks.json for VSCode

  • [TypeScript] Updated tsconfig with rootUrl properly for non-relative imports

  • [TypeScript] Strongly typed native event interfaces and subscription

  • [Examples] Fixed exception with virtual dpad in JavaScript examples

  • [Desktop] Fixed issues with engine configuration json parsing in deployed applications

  • [Windows] Fixed issue with Visual Studio 2017 detection

  • [Windows] Fixed UI pixel offset issue when rendering with OpenGL

  • [macOS] Added NSHighResolutionCapable flag to Atomic Editor

  • [General] Updated About dialog with contributor and build vendor information

  • [General] Misc bug fixes and optimizations

  • [Maintenance] Removed CurlManager from ToolCore as duplicated Web subsystem

 

You can read more about this release on their blog.  Sorry, no direct link is currently available so you might have to do a bit of scrolling.

GameDev News

29. December 2016

 

Postal, a controversial video game from the 1990s, just released their source code under the the GPL 2 license. p1_screen_02  The code is primarily written in C++ and is hosted on BitBucket.  Sadly the release is source only and doesn’t appear to include any assets, so you will have to hunt down a copy to actually run it.  Details of the source release by the developer:

 

The remake – POSTAL Redux – was an especially big step for us; a passion project to make the original POSTAL again, but do it better this time, rebuilding it from scratch and focusing on making the most fun and exhilarating twin-stick shooter that we could by patching up the unfortunately outdated design decisions, and improve the game where we could. We even used the opportunity to bring old content, which was exclusive to the Japanese release of the game, to the west for the first time! For anyone who really wants to see how far POSTAL has come in the last two decades, there is no better way than by comparing the original to Redux.

It’s definitely been a wild ride for us all, and POSTAL means a lot to us – it’s our baby… But now we’re ready to hand the future of ‘the little shooter that could’ to the public at large. People have been asking, and we have been promising this for years now, but today we are proud to announce that the source code for POSTAL is officially released to the public on Bitbucket, under the GPL2 license. Everyone now has ‘under the hood’ access, to see what makes POSTAL tick, and anyone with the time and skills can now tweak/change/update/modify anything in the game at all! And hey, if anyone feels the urge to port the game to other platforms (The Dreamcast, for example *wink* *wink*), then they absolutely can!

This has been a long time coming, and we are tickled pink to see what the community will be able to put together from this (no seriously, someone get on that Dreamcast port. We’re not joking.).

GameDev News

28. December 2016

 

The Humble group are running another GameDev bundle.  The Humble Bundle is a collection of software with a pay what you want pricing structure where the proceeds go towards variousimage charities, this particular bundle is in support of the EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) and Child’s Play charity.  By paying more you can access higher and higher tiers which include even more software.  Currently the bundle consist of:

  • Clickteam Fusion (our review
    • HTML5 Exporter
  • Pyxel Edit
  • Spriter
    • Game Effects Art Pack
    • Basic Platformer, Adventure and Run N Gun Art Packs
    • RPG Heroes and SHMUP Sprite Packs
  • Marmoset
  • Todoist (1 year subscription)
  • PICO-8
  • Sprite Illuminator
  • Voxatron
  • 1Password (1 year subscription)

 

 

 

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GameDev News

22. December 2016

 

Leadwerks 4.2 was just released.  Leadwerks is a 3D game engine that claims to be “the easiest way to create 3D games”.  Leadwerks runs on Windows and Linux and is scripted using Lua (while the Professional edition offers C++ support as well).  The 4.2 release is a free upgrade for existing customers.  The 4.2 release brings several new fixes and features including gameanalytics.com integration, graphics improvements like ray traced reflections, heat haze and soft particles and more.  A major character animation bug on Linux has finally been resolved as well.  The following is the official press release from Leadwerks:

Leadwerks Game Engine 4.2 Released

Leadwerks Game Engine 4.2 is now available on Steam.  This update adds new features to make game development easier than ever.  The free update goes out today to over 10,000 paid users on Steam.
Version 4.2 integrates analytics into Leadwerks games with a free gameanalytics.com account.  This allows developers to view statistics on player behavior and identify any trouble spots their game might have as players progress through levels.  By viewing a summary of all playerAttached Image behavior, developers can make data-driven decisions and get real-time information instead of relying solely on written feedback.

New graphical features make Leadwerks games more beautiful, including fast ray-traced reflections with a new post-processing effect called screen-space reflection (SSR).  Easy heat haze, glass refraction, and soft particles can now be Attached Imageadded to games just by dragging a prefab into the scene.  Textures can now be added to spotlights to project an image onto walls.

New animation commands and a built-in animation management system make it easier to display game characters with fluid movements.  Just set the sequence to play, add a transition time, and the engine will automatically manage and play a queue of blended animations.  A bug that sometimes caused animated characters to render incorrectly on Linux has also been fixed.
It's now easier to purchase items in the Leadwerks Workshop Store.  Clicking on the buy button in the editor will open the selected item in the Steam client, instead of requiring you to log into the Steam website through a web browser.
The professional edition has been upgraded to Visual Studio 2015, and is now compatible with the latest version of GCC with C++11 support.
The Leadwerks Winter Games Tournament is running until January 15th, and there’s still time to create a mini-game and publish to Steam Workshop.  All participants receive a prize, including stickers, posters, shirts, hoodies, and even Steam controllers.
Leadwerks Game Engine and the Professional Edition DLC are both on sale during the Steam Winter Sale with an 80% discount.  Leadwerks Game Launcher can be downloaded for free on Steam.

 

 

Leadwerks Professional is currently heavily discounted on Steam, available for 80% off.

GameDev News

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.

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