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14. January 2016

 

This news comes via Gamasutra, Valve Software release their Steam Link SDK on Github.  SteamLink is a Linux powered box that enables you to stream your Steam library directly to your TV like you currently can between two PCs today.

From the github readme:

This is the SDK for the Valve Steam Link

Hardware:

The Steam Link hardware is a single core ARMv7 processor using the hard-float ABI, running at 1 GHz, with neon instruction support. It has approximately 256 MB of available RAM and 500 MB of usable flash storage.

Software:

The Steam Link software is custom Linux firmware based on kernel 3.8 and glibc 2.19.

The Steam Link SDK has support for the following major APIs:

OpenGL ES 2.0
Qt 5.4
SDL 2.0

The SDL game controller API is recommended for Steam Controller support on the Steam Link.

Contents:

examples 
    very simple example applications to demonstrate how to build applications using the SDK
external
    source code to 3rd party components of the Steam Link, each directory has a
    "build_soc.sh" script to rebuild the component.
kernel
    Steam Link linux kernel source code
rootfs
    Steam Link root filesystem
toolchain
    GCC toolchain for Steam Link
setenv.sh
    Script to configure build environment

Between this, NVidia GameStream, XBox One streaming and the upcoming PS4 to PC streaming, it seems like inhome game streaming is the next big thing.

GameDev News

14. January 2016

 

Remember when you used to wait months to years for updates for your game engine?  Isn’t competition a wonderful thing?   Along with today’s Unreal Preview release we get word of the new weekly Unity patch, 5.3.1p3.

 

From the release notes:

Features
  • Added link to learn more about Unity Cloud Build in the Build Player window.
Improvements
  • Tizen: Now supports tizenstore URL protocol to open up tizen store pages.
  • VR: Applications that lost Focus no longer throttle the CPU.
Fixes
  • (753610) - IL2CPP: Fixed StateMachineBehaviour messages not being executed if stripping is enabled.
  • (none) - [API Updater] Fixed possible crashes in ScriptUpdater.exe when resolving types.
  • (none) - [AssetLoading]: Fixed excessive memory usage when decompressing assetbundles with many objects inside (very large serializedfile).
  • (none) - [Profiler] Fixed excessive memory usage in development players.
  • (750442) - [Substance]: Fixed a rare crash that could happen around the destruction of animated ProceduralMaterials.
  • (none) - [Windows 10]: Fixed incorrect display of Korean characters on Windows 10 (if Korean language pack is not installed) and Windows Phone 10, Unity will now fallback to "Malgun Gothic" font.
  • (743739) - Android: Fixed a crash when loading many asset bundles.
  • (754108) - Editor: Display console documentation items in the help menu, when console docs are present, but the main documentation is not installed.
  • (754928) - Fixed an issue where enabling vertex compression for positions could result in geometry not being rendered.
  • (755088) - IL2CPP: Ensure that the header file for a type defined in a different assembly is included when that type is used for a method parameter.
  • (752197) - IL2CPP: Fixed double.Parse with InvariantCulture.
  • (756447) - IL2CPP: Forward declare a type and marshaled type in the method declarations header for marshaling methods so that the order of includes does not matter.
  • (670027) - IL2CPP: Implemented support for MetadataToken property on the following types: FieldInfo, EventInfo, MethodInfo, ConstructorInfo, PropertyInfo, Type, and Module.
  • (754539) - iOS/IL2CPP: Correct stack traces in exception messages, which could sometimes miss managed frames.
  • (754562) - Mecanim: Fixed a bug where Euler rotations would be retained in scene after scrubbing animation.
  • (752955) - Mecanim: Fixed a bug where Euler rotations would not work in Legacy Animations.
  • (748936) - Networking: Added a 'connecting' state and cancel button to NetworkManagerHUD UI to prevent multiple attempts to connect at the same time.
  • (757766) - Networking: Fixed 'recursion depth exceeded' error for complex NetworkBehaviour scripts.
  • (746011) - Networking: Fixed ClientScene object list being wrong after host migration.
  • (755391) - Networking: Fixed NetworkAnimator not working for non-player objects
  • (756153) - Networking: Fixed NetworkServer.SendToAll sends the message to the host twice.
  • (755450) - Networking: Fixed SyncEvent regression issue.
  • (745795) - Networking: Fixed SyncList updates don't use a configurable network channel.
  • (744002) - Networking: Fixed UI that allowed host migration to be enabled for WebGl platform where it is not supported.
  • (751239) - Networking: OnStopAuthority called on server when it should not be.
  • (729157) - Networking: Prevent [Command] functions from accepting NetworkConnection objects as parameters, which causes a UNetWeaver error.
  • (749338) - Networking: Prevent NetworkIdentity objects from being server-only and local-player-authority at the same time, as this is not a valid configuration.
  • (744007) - Physics: Fixed memory corruption/crash when deactivating a collider from inside of OnTriggerStay.
  • (755612) - Physics: PlatformEffector2D now supports negative scaling on parent Transform.
  • (750266) - Scripting: UnusedByteCodeStripper2 will show a better error message when processing assemblies, so it will be easier to identify offending assembly.
  • (759336) - Shaders: During surface shader generation, do not initialise non-vector type members of the Input struct i.e. a struct/int/matrix as a member variable of the Input struct.
  • (none) - UI: Added fix so that the placeholder text is enabled when the InputField is deactivated and the text is empty.
  • (741751) - UI: Removed remaining uses of multiple display system.(Temporary fix whilst none native resolutions are not supported).
  • (731324) - VR: Fixed Render Scale not reverting after being edited in play mode.
  • (732236) - VR: Fixed VRDevice.isPresent reporting true on first frame if Device was not connected at start.
  • (753256) - VR: Stereo Cameras correctly respect camera depth when rendering to the game view and HMD.
  • (754533) - Windows Store: Fixed a build failure (rrw failure) when calling methods with System.Numerics.Matrix4x4 as parameter.
  • (756086) - Windows Store: Fixed Screen.SetResolution when upscaling lower resolution to fullscreen, previously you would see a corrupt image on the screen.
  • (730289) - Windows Store: Fixed WheelCollider on x64 (NullReferenceException occurring).
  • (746301) - Windows Store: Fixed player crashing on startup on .NET scripting backend.
  • (759166) - Windows Store: RunInBackground option will be respected when application window looses focus, and if enabled, the application will keep updating. Note: if application window is minimized it will be still paused, because OS suspends the application.

GameDev News

14. January 2016

 

Want a little extra spice in your development life?  Does juggling live hand grenades, chainsaws and lit dynamite sound like a fun way to spend the afternoon?  Then have I got news for you!  Unreal Engine 4.11 Preview 2 has been made available.  Obviously it’s a “you get what you get” type preview release and the purpose is to find out what’s going to explode to make for a more stable release when the less adventurous types upgrade.

 

Preview 1 added:

  • Rendering Updates:
    • New physically based shading model for realistic hair based on the latest research from film. It models 2 specular lobes, transmission, and scattering.
    • New physically based shading model for eyes.
    • New physically based shading model for cloth. This combines the standard shading model with a layer of velvet fibers. This layer simulates fuzz and fabrics.
    • Capsule Shadows - We now have support for very soft indirect shadows cast by a capsule representation of the character
    • Lightmass Portals - Skylight quality indoors can be massively improved by setting up Portal actors over openings. Portals tell Lightmass where to look for incoming lighting, they don’t actually emit light themselves. Portals are best used covering small openings that are important to the final lighting. Placing large Portals all over the level will dramatically increase build times.
    • Per-vertex translucency lighting - There are two new translucency lighting modes available in the material editor which compute lighting per-vertex. PerVertex lighting modes use half as many shader instructions and texture lookups.
    • We now have support for 3 lighting channels. You can set which channels a PrimitiveComponent or a LightComponent is in.
    • We’ve integrated Intel's Embree ray tracing library into Lightmass and we got a huge lighting build speedup from it, as the majority of lighting build time goes toward tracing rays to figure out how light is bouncing.
    • We’ve integrated updates to the D3D12 RHI to allow better CPU utilization while generating rendering commands in parallel.
    • Improved quality and performance of the SubsurfaceScatteringProfile shading model.
    • Circle Depth of Field post process - New Material Functions to render small particles with out of focus.
    • Materials using separate translucency can now be rendered at a lower resolution, which can be useful to improve GPU performance for fillrate and overdraw heavy geometry (for example particle effects).
      The resolution is controlled via a console variable, r.SeparateTranslucencyScreenPercentage, which expresses separate translucency as a percentage of current screen resolution.
    • Static mesh LOD transitions now supporting dithering.
  • Core Updates:
    • CrashReporter Server available
    • Improvements
      • Garbage Collection up to 4x faster
      • Dependency preloading - brings us close to seek free loading (90% of the time seek free), faster package loading
      • UnrealHeaderTool makefiles - iterative UHT runs are 5x faster
  • Platform Updates:
    • Metal on Mac
    • AppleTV support
    • Fast Semantics on XboxOne
    • VS2015 on XboxOne
    • Code plugins for PS4
    • Deterministic cooking "bug-finder" commandlet
    • Background content precaching for most-recently-cooked-platform
  • Editor/Tools Updates:
    • Sequencer improvements
      • New tracks: Shot/director, play rate, slomo, fade, material, particle parameter tracks.
      • Improved movie rendering, exr support
      • Improved/consistent keyframing behaviors, copy/paste keyframes, copy keys from matinee, 3d keyframe path display
      • Master sequence workflow
      • Spawnables workflow
      • UI improvements: track coloring, keyframe shapes/coloring, track filtering
  • Framework Updates:
    • Anim Dynamics Skeletal Control for Animation Blueprints - allows dynamic motion to be procedurally added to skeletal meshes without having to use a full physics solution. This is accomplished using the new “Anim Dynamics” node in the Animation Graph of an Animation Blueprint.
  • Networking Updates:
    • Packet handler system
      • Easy interception of packets for things like encryption, compression, etc
      • Added CryptoPP, and packet handler components that support it out of the box
    • Oodle integration (SDK purchase required)
    • Client-side replays
  • Blueprint Updates:
    • The Blueprint search tool has been updated to support more advanced search functionality (to get more targeted results).
    • Native C++ functions marked BlueprintCallable can now also be optionally marked as DevelopmentOnly. This new metadata allows calls to those functions to be disabled (compiled out) of all Blueprint function graphs in cooked/packaged builds without breaking the execution flow.
  • Mobile Rendering Updates:
    • Support for hardware instancing on iOS and many Android devices, reducing draw calls for Foliage and InstancedStaticMeshComponents.
    • Improved reflections on mobile, optionally interpolating between up to 3 reflection captures and performing parallax correction
  • VR Updates:
    • Instanced Stereo Rendering
    • Head Mounted Display Camera Refactor
    • Stereo Layers
    • SDK Updates: Oculus SDK 1.0, SteamVR 1.0, PlayStationVR SDK3 Updates, and Gear VR LibOVRMobile 1.0 (not yet updated for Preview 1, but will be by final release)
  • Landscape/Foliage Updates:
    • Landscape layer whitelisting, allowing you to control which landscape components should accept which layers in the painting tool
    • Landscape layer usage view mode, to quickly see which landscape components are using which layers
    • Support for baking WorldPositionOffset changes into landscape collision

Preview 2 mostly addresses a number of fixes from Preview 1, including:

Fixed! UE-24563 Editor should launch launcher silently
Fixed! UE-25092 Error in NonUnityTestCompile_OnMac due to Shadow variable
Fixed! UE-25032 UnrealHeaderTool is checking for plugins required only by game.
Fixed! UE-24812 Editor crashes when adding a mesh reference to the event graph of a blueprint
Fixed! UE-24590 Crash resetting Bound Bone in Anim Dynamics node
Fixed! UE-25064 Crash upon removing Input Axis in Project Settings by using X
Fixed! UE-24958 Crash when getting the sequence player in level blueprint
Fixed! UE-24857 Re-implement plugin changes in 4.11
Fixed! UE-24854 Add release custom version
Fixed! UE-24729 Vehicle Blueprint template has hole in the floor
Fixed! UE-24710 Third Person Code has failed import load errors
Fixed! UE-24694 Match 3 crash when spamming gem moves
Fixed! UE-24773 Enabling Tessellation on Materials in 4.11 causes geometry to Disappear
Fixed! UE-24741 Flickering SpeedTree foliage when destorying an actor using the same mesh
Fixed! UE-24724 Dropdown menus are behind the Import window on Mac
Fixed! UE-24292 Using the Set console command to change a value at runtime causes a crash
Fixed! UE-24326 Vehicle Advanced projects have missing and blocking collision
Fixed! UE-24522 Find-in-Blueprints no longer works after switching languages.
Fixed! UE-24167 Physics Asset cannot be moved in the level
Fixed! UE-25140 VS2015 builds sometimes hang when using XGE
Fixed! UE-25027 Reading from ini sections not cached by new build system doesn't work in Android Plugin Language
Fixed! UE-25026 Puzzle Code lighting needs to be rebuilt
Fixed! UE-25013 Editing right-to-left text is very unstable
Fixed! UE-24967 Integrate D3D12 update from MS
Fixed! UE-25120 OBB downloader license check causes exception if TargetSDK set to 21 or higher
Fixed! UE-25090 Java libraries copied to JavaLibs by Android plugin are not included in project dependencies
Fixed! UE-25031 Mesh particles do not work on mobile
Fixed! UE-24989 Find-in-Blueprints does not find anything outside of current asset or Engine content
Fixed! UE-24975 Instanced stereo foliage culling incorrectly
Fixed! UE-24963 Zen Gardens opens with Load Errors/Map Checks/Warnings
Fixed! UE-24962 Crash exiting D3D12
Fixed! UE-24926 Include Render Pass name as variable in Filename Format field
Fixed! UE-24920 EXR renders won't go above 640x360 when rendering from an Editor Window
Fixed! UE-24900 Main and Alt input keys set in Touch Interface do not work
Fixed! UE-24873 Mac: Clicking on parent window when a child window is behind it activates the child window
Fixed! UE-22068 Changing inherited value in a blueprint child class also changes it in parent
Fixed! UE-21795 Switch on Gameplay Tag does not correctly register tag alterations in Standalone game
Fixed! UE-23269 Crash opening QA-Animation on Mac
Fixed! UE-22970 The white horizon for the sky is flipped upside down (at top of screen instead of bottom) for non-MobileHDR on mobile devices
Fixed! UE-24852 Creating a Blueprint out of existing Blueprints crashes the editor

You can read more about the release on the Unreal Engine forums.

GameDev News ,

13. January 2016

 

To be honest, I am shocked it took this long.  JetBrains have made an excellent Java IDE for ages.  Then they released IDEs for just about every single language out there, as well as the C# refactoring tool Resharper, but never a full blown C# IDE, until today that is.

Interestingly though, this isn’t running on a JVM like their others (IntelliJ, Webstorm, PHPStorm), instead:image

Project Rider is a standalone IDE built on the IntelliJ Platform, much like WebStorm, DataGrip and our other IDEs.

The difference however, is that instead of reimplementing ReSharper’s features on the IntellIJ Platform, which runs on the JVM, we’re using ReSharper in a headless mode, out of process, and communicating with it via a very fast custom binary protocol. As such, the backend continues to be ReSharper written in C# running on .NET or Mono, and the frontend is written in Kotlin, talking to the IntelliJ Platform’s APIs.

 

And you may ask, why create a C# IDE with Visual Studio and Xamarin filling the need?

Well you kept asking us, so we finally got around to doing it!

Jokes aside though, our main reason is to provide choice. We believe that we can provide a great user experience for developers that might be interested in using alternative environments.

So why now? Because we believe it is the right time due to several factors:

  • We’ve been working for several years in allowing ReSharper to work in different environments, independently of Visual Studio. An example of this is dotPeek.
  • It’s quite clear that there’s an ever increasing tendency of developers using non-Windows platforms, and we’d like to give them the same experience they’ve come to know and love with ReSharper.
  • Finally, Microsoft moving its platform and C# language towards Open Source, along with initiatives such as CoreCLR, have been an added incentive.

 

So, what timeframe are we looking at then?

We’re aiming to open a private EAP in the coming weeks, towards the end of February. We’ll announce the signup form here on the blog, as well as on Twitter.

Soon after the private EAP we’ll move to a public EAP. When this will happen very much depends on the feedback we get from the early testers. Our aim is to release sometime in Autumn 2016.

 

For more details on Project Rider, click herehttp://blog.jetbrains.com/dotnet/2016/01/13/project-rider-a-csharp-ide.

GameDev News

12. January 2016

 

Corona Labs, the makers of the popular Lua based mobile game engine, just release version 1.6 of Corona Editor.  Corona Editor is a light weight IDE built as a plugin for Sublime Text that enables debugging, code snippets, code completion and more.

Details of the 1.6 release from the blog announcement:

Corona Labs is happy to announce the availability of Corona Editor 1.6. This is an update for the add-on package for Sublime Text 2 and Sublime Text 3 that provides code completion, syntax highlighting, documentation, and debugging to Corona developers.

The release of 1.6 includes the following updates:

Debugger improvements
  • Fixed an issue with a hanging after pressing Shift+F10.
  • Fixed a bug with spaces in project pathnames.
  • Current status is now displayed in the “Console” pane.
  • The “Console” output is now cleaner.
  • Generally improved reliability.
Corona Editor Project improvements
  • On OS X, Corona EditorRun Project now uses the most recent daily build in the/Applications folder by default. It will fall back to the public build if there are no daily builds.
  • Removed project “build system.” The menu command Corona EditorRun Project or the Cmd+F10(Mac) Win+F10(Windows, maybe mapped to FN+F10) key sequence is much more reliable.
  • Added Clear Build Panel command to main menu and context menu.
Editing improvements
  • Fixed indentation of elseif blocks.
  • Latest code completions are up to date to daily build 2016.2803.

Learn more about Corona Editor.

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