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21. March 2016

 

Blender 2.77 is finally out, you can download it here.  Taking a bit longer than previous releases, this version brings a number of new features, including:

  • Cycles rendering improvements including GPU support for Smoke/Fire, Subsurface Scattering and more
  • Massive Grease Pencil improvements (including 2D animation)
  • OpenVDB caching for large simulation datasets
  • UI improvements
  • Improved painting and sculpting tools
  • Edit mode booleans
  • UVMap on creation of primitives
  • And much much more

 

When Blender 2.77RC2 was released, I put together a video highlighting major new features of this release.  You can view it here or embedded below.

Art, GameDev News

18. March 2016

 

Goo Create, an HTML5 WebGL game engine with a full editor, just released a new version.

 

New in this release:

  • New particle system component
  • Visual behavior editor
  • Synchronous behavior state transitions
  • Improved action dialog with search
  • Collapsible panels
  • 65K vertex meshes no longer split

Plus several other fixes and improvements:

Improvements

  • The current selection is added to the URL and restored if the page is refreshed.
  • Shadows now work on mobile devices.
  • New entities are now added as children of the currently selected entity. If no entity is selected, new entities become children of the scene.
  • Added a checkbox to the Sound Component panel to specify whether sounds should automatically be played when the scene is played.
  • Added a checkbox to the Sound Component panel to make sounds 2D (not using 3D spatial effects).
  • Added a “Mute” button to the default publishing templates. Clicking it will mute all the sounds in the scene.
  • Added an option for focusing the canvas element in published scenes. When embedding a scene into another website you usually don’t want the canvas to be focused automatically.
  • Added the possibility of specifying alpha values in the color picker control/component. To make use of this new control for script parameters just make a parameter of type “vec4”, and control “color.”
  • Added the possibility of loading Ads immediately after it is loaded or after the whole page is loaded. This option is available in the “Serve Ad” app.
  • Better-looking HTML component default content.
  • The scene title is displayed as the page title and, consequently, shows up in the browser tab.
  • Mesh back-faces now render with correct normals.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed the Tween Opacity actions, QuadComponent and gizmos so that they use TransparencyBlending instead of CustomBlending.
  • Fixed texture repeating so that it works with NPOT textures.
  • Fixed the OrbitCam panning so that it works on touch devices.
  • Removed the restriction of the light shadow casting size and range being integers.
  • Fixed the ButtonScript and PickAndExit action so that they use the “touchend” event to open links, in order to support iOS9.
  • Fix a bug that caused tooltips to say visible after starting to drag a sortable item (e.g. scripts or behavior actions).
  • Made sure the “allowfullscreen” attribute is added to the “Embed code” for published scenes.
  • Added missing ctx.playTime to the autocompletion in the script editor.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the names displayed in the scene Hierarchy would to not overflow properly in Firefox.
  • Made the the text editor search box larger because text would sometimes get clipped in Firefox.
  • Fix a bug in the publishing template that prevented the bottom bar from being hidden unless the “Maximize Button” option was enabled.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the timeline keyframe easing function to not be saved sometimes.

You can read more about the new release here.

GameDev News

16. March 2016

 

The Power VR SDK, a set of tools, frameworks and examples, for supporting PowerVR GPUs, just released a new version with full Vulkan support.  The framework is now open source under the MIT license.

From the new release announcement:

The PowerVR Framework, a cross-platform and cross-API framework that acts as a scaffold around which developers can build their own rendering or game engine, now features a fully functioning Vulkan backend. This lightweight abstraction layer provides utility functions that enable explicit control of Vulkan while reducing the amount of code required to render a scene. It features functions for common tasks such as object creation and asset uploading, simplified object lifetime management, and cross-platform setup. It also includes Imagination’s Gnome Horde demo, included as an example to show multi-threaded command buffer management for Vulkan.

The entire PowerVR Graphics SDK is now distributed freely under an MIT license. The SDK for Vulkan offers cross-platform support for multiple GPU architectures (PowerVR and desktop GPUs) as well as multiple operating systems (Android, Windows and Linux).

Together with the PowerVR Graphics SDK, Imagination offers a complete set of advanced tools for graphics developers. The latest release includes several new features and enhancements. PVRShaderEditor now supports the ability to choose different compilers per shader, and PVRGeoPOD supports 3DSMax 2016 SP2. PVRTrace now includes a full ‘Call Hierarchy’ which will show all a call’s dependencies at a point in time, and also now enables viewing of buffer object data. Finally, PVRTune now includes new counters for ‘ISP pixel load’ and ‘Overdraw.’

 

You can download the PowerVR SDK installer here.  The source code is available on Github.

GameDev News

16. March 2016

 

Substance Painter, the PBR (Physically Based Rendering) texture painting tool, just released version 2.0.  If you want more information on Substance I featured it in this video.  It’s an excellent texture creation tool that is growing in popularity every day ( just yesterday Unity announce Substance support for example ).  This release includes several new features, including:

- Iray Path Tracer integration for advanced rendering and screenshot capability
- New Smart Masks for creating and using your own mesh-adaptive mask presets
- New Clone tool, non destructive, for copying and pasting parts of texture
- New Smudge tool, non destructive, for blending and spreading colors
- Ability to chain and composite substances
- New content in the shelf: alphas, tools, materials, smart materials, and more
- New interface with reworked colors, icons, and parameter organization
- New Orthographic view mode and Perspective Field of View control
- New Fullscreen mode with interface toggling
- Full support for the Specular/Glossiness PBR workflow
- Scripting I/O
- Non-PBR shader and template
- Full support of height & normal workflow

There is also a release trailer for Substance Painter 2

For more details, click here.

GameDev News

16. March 2016

 

Atomic Game Engine, a game engine I recently took a closer look at, was just released under the MIT license.  Atomic is a cross platform 2D/3D game engine with  acomplete game editor. From the announcement:

Why MIT the Atomic Game Engine?

We wanted to simplify Atomic’s licensing and reduce barriers as we work with our partners on the technology. There was thought put to “dual licensing” the code under separate commercial and GPL licenses. However, we believe the permissive MIT license brings the most value to Atomic technology end users, including us, THUNDERBEAST GAMES LLC

We also view the MIT as a modern software license being used to develop amazing technology across industries, in games alone we’re in great company with cocos2d-x, Godot, and of course Urho3D from which Atomic was initially forked in the fall of 2014!

 

In addition to the license change, Atomic Game Engine also recently integrated Chromium support, enabling you to embed an HTML5 client within your game code.  From the same announcement:

We have integrated Chromium providing a powerful 2D and 3D web technology feature. This can be used for social logins, eCommerce, video streaming, WebRTC, in-app WebCam support, etc.

The Atomic Editor uses the Chromium WebView technology to provide an integrated JavaScript and TypeScript editor with autocomplete, syntax highlighting, code folding, and more!

 

I’m not sure exactly what this change means for existing and future customers of Atomic Game Engine.

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