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11. September 2017

One very cool thing the Blender foundation have started doing is offering guidance and early builds of future releases.  The next major update to Blender is Blender 2.8 and you can learn more about (and download) it at this location.  Be aware this is a VERY early release… this isn’t a beta orimage even alpha, this is a developer work in progress build and it crashes, a lot.  There’s also no guarantee that features actually make it into the final release, nor that there wont be massive changes.  Without a doubt it isn’t suitable for production work, you have been warned.  Also, going forward Blender is going to require an OpenGL 3.2 or higher capable video card, you will understand why shortly.

So then, why am I excited about this release?  Well it’s got several new features that are going to be great and a lot of this release is actually foundational.  Changes to the low level guts of Blender that will make it a better product going forward.  Additionally new grease pencil improvements are going to make Blender an excellent choice for 2D animators, you can check out a preview of the changes here.  Changes are also coming to workspaces and layers making the UI more customizable and hopefully more productive. 

All that said, the star feature coming to Blender, as well as the one most useful to game developers, is the updated viewport.  Blender is now getting two new viewport renderers, Eevee and Clay.  Eevee propels Blender forward into the modern age, allowing real time rendering of PBR scenes with realistic lighting.  In a nutshell, your game should look exactly the same in Blender as it does in Unreal Engine or Unity.  Words can’t really justify how impressive this new viewport renderer is, so instead I made a video.  You can check it out here or embedded below.

Art, GameDev News

8. September 2017

In the most recent release of Unity 2017.2 Beta, Unity added a new feature for interactive tutorials.  Basically these are step by step beginner tutorials that run directly in the Unity engine and introduce basic concepts like running your scene or present scenarios where you need to fix a problem within an existing project.  They are accessible in the Learn tab when you first launch Unity.


If you want more information, I take a hands on look at this new feature in this video:

Again, you need to be running Unity 2017.2 beta or higher in order to have access to the interactive tutorials.  You can download the latest beta here.

GameDev News

6. September 2017

Defold Engine 1.2.112 has just been released.  A relatively minor update, probably the biggest feature of this release is removal of dependencies on a graphics subsystem allowing the engine to run in headless mode.  This is a very common approach for running a game engine as a server on a back end.  The release also includes various fixes detailed below.  If you’ve never heard of it, Defold is a free 2D Lua powered game engine.  We have a complete tutorial series available if you want to learn more.

Details from the release notes:


We have extended the go.delete1 function to accept an additional bool parameter that will recursively delete the child hierarchy of the deleted object, in child to parent order. The function now also accepts a table of game object ids, which deprecates go.delete_all.

Collada fixes

The Collada parser has been fixed so that it can parse start and end times for animations (per scene). The asset unit entry is also applied to skeleton bone positions, instead of being included in their scale.

Headless engine

We have removed the dependency for X/GLFW on the headless version of the engine. This means that you should be able to run the headless engine on hardware without X, graphics card and monitor.

  • DEF-1644 - Added: New option in go.delete to also delete children.
  • DEF-1827 - Fixed: GUI nodes stretch when changing window size while disabled.
  • DEF-2845 - Fixed: Correctly initialize font cache.
  • DEF-2867 - Fixed: Headless version of engine no longer depend on GLFW/X/OGL.
  • DEF-2857 - Fixed: Truncate info/error/warning editor marker strings if too large.
  • DEF-2715 - Fixed: Collada scene start/end/framerate are parsed and used.
  • DEF-2854 - Fixed: Collada asset unit is applied to bone positions.
  • DEF-2837 - Fixed: Increased the Java heap size for javac and dx commands in build service.

GameDev News

5. September 2017

NVIDIA have released version 5.4 of Nsight for Visual Studio.  Nsight is a GPU profiling tool for developing and debugging GPU apps that use CUDA C++, OpenCL, DirectCompute, Direct3D, Vulkan, OpenGL, Open VR or the Occulus SDK.  It is available as a free download for registered NVIDIA developers.  You can learn more and download Nsight here.

Details of the 5.4 release:

  • Improvements to the Range Profiler that provides instant GPU bottleneck analysis
    • Identify expensive GPU workloads using time-based range selector scalingnsight
    • View and compare any GPU metrics with user configurable graphs
    • More visualization options for viewing profiling results
    • Improved state navigation directly from profiling results with Event links
  • Serialized frame captures now generate Visual Studio 2017 projects and solutions
  • Microsoft Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications are now supported by the graphics Frame
  • Windows 10 RS2 is now supported in all aspects of graphics and compute trace and profiling, on all supported GPUs, and in Microsoft Hybrid mode on laptops
  • Support for CUDA Toolkit 9.0 RC
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements, including
    • Improved UI performance intelligent more shader caching
    • Improved Resources View responsiveness on applications with high texture counts
    • Improved Vulkan application stability

GameDev News

1. September 2017

Even with the Godot 3.0 release on the horizon, they still managed to release an update to the 2.x branch, 2.1.4.  Referred to as a maintenance release, it’s actually remarkably full of new features such as Windows Store/Xbox One support, MFi gamepad support and an improved Godot 3.0 exporter.

Details of the release from the announcement:

  • Platform: iOS: MFI gamepad support, audio improvements
  • Platform: macOS: system menu integration, better multimonitor DPI scaling, audio and input improvements
  • Platform: Support for UWP (Universal Windows Platform) alias WinRT as target platform, with gamepad support
  • 2D editor: Fix IK not being solved while dragging a bone (regression in 2.1.3)
  • 3D editor: Ability to select subscenes when clicking them in the viewport
  • Debugging: Many improvements to the editor's debugger and display of complex types
  • Display: Add "expand" option for window stretch aspect
  • GDScript: Backport advanced string format feature from the master branch
  • Physics: Add one-way collision to tile-set/tile-map
  • Physics: Backport move_and_slide API from the master branch
  • Tools: Improvements to the Godot 3.0 exporter (still work-in-progress)

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