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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)

GameDev News

1. September 2017


In beta for some time now, YoyoGames have finally released GameMaker Studio for Mac OS.  GameMaker Studio is a popular 2D game engine which is now available on Windows, Ubuntu and MacOS starting at $99.  In addition to the release of GameMaker on Mac OS, they have also released version 2.1 for all platforms.


New functionality in GameMaker 2.1 include:

Timed with the macOS launch, GameMaker Studio 2 is also receiving a comprehensive update with new features and quality-of-life improvements. The 2.1 version update introduces:

· A “last used” list: Expedite your workflow by accessing recently used assets through the new Resent Assets section of the resources tab;

· Code folding: Maximize your editing efficiency by selectively hiding or expanding sections of code, managing large sections of text while only viewing the few lines of relevant code;

· Resource tree update: Tailor the newly redesigned resource tree to your programming needs with customizable layouts, colours, and icons to highlight sections that are important to your workflow;

· Integrated debugger: Debug your programs on Mac via a simple debugging layout with new panels for debug events, keeping the focus on cleaning up your code;

· Multi touch support: Code on the go with Mac laptops, using the standard touchpad pan and zoom features to navigate naturally through workspaces.


For more information be sure to visit the GameMaker homepage available here.

GameDev News

30. August 2017

One of the nice features of moving to an annual subscription model is continuous updates throughout the year.  Autodesk have released their second update for Autodesk 3ds Max 2018.  Spline tools have seen a lot of love in this release with new freehand spine tools, new spine modifiers and the addition of 3ds Max Batch a MAXScript and Python based automation scripting system that can also be deployed in the cloud.


Details from the release notes:


3ds Max Batch:
  • 3ds Max Batch allows you to perform MAXScript or Python automation in the background, as a standalone process or in parallel with the desktop application.
  • 3ds Max Batch can be deployed on the cloud.
Freehand Spline:
  • The Freehand Spline allows you to create hand-drawn splines directly in the viewport.
Spline Influence Modifier:
  • The Spline Influence Modifier allows you to create a soft selection of spline knots based on their proximity to specified objects.
Spline Mirror Modifier:
  • The Spline Mirror Modifier allows you to easily duplicate a spline along a specified axis.
  • Duplicates any present normals.
Spline Morph Modifier:
  • The Spline Morph Modifier allows you to blend between different shapes.
  • Two methods available: progressive and blended.
Spline Overlap Modifier:
  • The Spline Overlap Modifier detects self-overlapping splines and adjusts the displacement of the intersecting segments.
Spline Relax Modifier:
Optimize Spline Modifier:
  • The Optimize Spline Modifier reduces the number of knots and adjusts their handles to optimally reproduce the original spline as closely as possible.
Influence Helper:
  • The Influence Helper allows you to easily select vertices and apply proximity based falloffs to effects.

Enhancements and Changes

PathDeform Modifier The PathDeform modifier now works in object space and can also push the materials onto the geometry based on the materials applied to segments.
Normalize Spline Modifier The Normalize Spline modifier now gives you more options to make your splines even out.
UVW Unwrap Modifier The top UVW Unwrap Modifier defects submitted and nominated by the user community have been fixed in a continuing commitment to quality.
CAD based import CAD based imports through ATF now have an average 30% reduction in conversion times.
Viewports Complex scenes, such as a commercial airliner interior with hundreds of seats, can now be used and manipulated in the viewports.

GameDev News

29. August 2017


Today both Unity and Unreal Engine announced support for Google’s ARCore SDK, Android’s answer to Apple’s recently released ARKit.  So what are ARCore (and ARKit)?  These are SDKs making it easier to implement augmented reality applications on mobile devices. 


First, Unity’s announcement:

Unity and Google have a shared vision of democratizing Virtual and Augmented Reality development. Unity’s XR team has been working hand-in-hand with the Immersive Computing team at Google to overcome some of the most difficult challenges AR development presents.

One of the biggest challenges that developers face is ensuring that their apps and experiences are available to the widest possible audience. To overcome this challenge, AR needs to work on hardware that users already own, such as mobile devices. Technologies like ARCore present new opportunities for delivering AR experiences to millions of users. With this SDK, developers can use Unity to easily create new high-performance AR Android Apps or upgrade existing apps with exciting AR functionality.


Then Unreal Engine’s announcement:

Google has announced ARCore, which brings augmented reality (AR) functionality to Android smartphones starting today. This is great news because you can immediately get started with Google’s developer preview of ARCore, which includes Unreal Engine support!

ARCore enables AR development across the Android ecosystem, giving developers the ability to make compelling AR experiences without the need for any additional hardware.

Today, the ARCore SDK supports the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 7.0 Nougat and above. As the developer preview is refined, Google is adding new devices, with a target of 100 million devices at launch.

We at Epic are working to empower developers to create amazing AR experiences using Unreal Engine, which is gaining deeper AR platform support by the day. Unreal Engine 4.18, coming in mid-October, is shaping up to be a major release for AR, with more mature ARKit support, along with early access support for ARCore.


I personally don’t see the point behind AR beyond a marketing exercise.  Augmented reality applications have been around since the beginning of modern smart phones.  Are you more excited about AR?  Or like me do you just view this as a the next gimmick marketing move?

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