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18. November 2015

 

As part of Google’s ongoing developer conference Fun Propulsion Labs, a Google team dedicated to gaming, released the open source game Zooshi to showcase a number of just announced or updated game technologies.  Zooshy is a 3D game that runs on Android, Android TV, Windows, OSX and Linux and is currently available for free on the Google Play Store.  The source code is available on github under the Apache v2 open source license.

The technologies showcased by Zooshi include:

  • Motive – animation system
  • CORGI – an entity/component system
  • FlatUI – immediate mode lightweight GUI
  • Scene Lab – in game level editing
  • Breadboard – node based scripting
  • FPLBase – cross platform API for low level access

 

Now that’s a number of new technologies I currently know nothing about and will have to jump into in more detail shortly.

 

More details about the release are available here.

GameDev News ,

18. November 2015

 

The Goo game engine released the code under the MIT license, as announced here.  What is Goo?  It’s the underlying 3D engine that powers the Goo Create editor which enables you to create WebGL games without coding.

DarkBrightLogo_Simple_001

The Goo Engine is the core of Goo Create. Our editor Goo Create would not work without it, but the engine can function on its own if you’re ready to do a little coding. When scripting inside of Goo Create you are also using the Goo Engine.

Features
  • Beautiful Graphics: blazing fast rendering pipeline, built on top of open web standards.
  • Animation: support for animations and geometry from major 3D graphics tools (e.g. FBX, .OBJ, etc) via our own file format converter.
  • Audio: 2D and 3D sound system.
  • Physics: High performance physics in every browser.
  • Entity-Component system: A simple, composable and extensible pattern, often used for game engines.
  • State Machine: Create interactivity in a really simple way.
  • Advanced Timeline System: Animate entity properties over time.
  • …and much more!

The code is hosted on Github and available here.

GameDev News

18. November 2015

 

Xamarin, the popular cross platform .NET toolchain just released version4.  From the announcement:

Xamarin Platform – native, cross-platform apps

Xamarin.Forms 2.0

Since releasing Xamarin.Forms last year, we’ve been amazed at how quickly developers have adopted it, accelerating their time-to-market for cross-platform native experiences across iOS, Android, and Windows, all while sharing over 90% of their code.

Since then, we’ve more than doubled the engineering team behind Xamarin.Forms, and made major improvements along the way. Today, Xamarin.Forms 2.0 is faster, more reliable, and more functional than ever before. Highlights include support for pre-compiled screens defined in XAML for faster app loads, preview support for Universal Windows Platform apps, support for iOS 9, Android Material Design, and new gestures like pinch and pull-to-refresh.

Native Xamarin.Forms app displayed on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices

Visual Studio and iOS

We’ve rebuilt our support for developing iOS apps in Visual Studio from the ground up, and it’s smoother, easier to set up, and more reliable than ever before. Now you can develop, build, deploy and debug iOS apps entirely from within Visual Studio and communication with the Mac build host is now handled via a secure SSH connection. We now also support multiple concurrent Visual Studio instances, which is especially important if you have multiple iOS projects open at the same time. We think you’re going to love it.

Mono/.NET upgrade

In Xamarin 4, we have incorporated large portions from Microsoft’s open sourced .NET codebase into this release, increasing compatibility, performance, and reliability for all use cases.

Android and iOS Designers

We’ve made big improvements to our iOS and Android designers. The iOS designer can now load and save XIB files in addition to storyboard files, and our Android designer now supports Android Material Design. We have also improved the UI for both designers, and switched to using high-performance native design surfaces, for a smoother, faster editing experience.

Xamarin Test Cloud – automated app testing

We built Xamarin Test Cloud to allow you to easily test your app on more than 2,000 real iOS and Android devices in the cloud. With Xamarin 4, we’re making mobile testing more accessible than ever.

Introducing Xamarin Test Recorder

We’re introducing a new preview tool that makes mobile UI testing dead simple: Xamarin Test Recorder. Initially available for Mac, Xamarin Test Recorder records your interactions on iOS or Android apps, plays them back, and automatically creates test scripts that can immediately be run in Xamarin Test Cloud or imported into mobile test projects in Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio. Xamarin Test Recorder records your actions in our C#-based UITest framework so you can automatically execute them as part of your continuous integration process either locally or in the cloud. Download it now to get started.

Xamarin.UITest 1.0

Xamarin 4 includes the 1.0 release of the Xamarin.UITest C# testing framework, with new capabilities for advanced test scenarios. We’re also very happy to announce that Xamarin.UITest is now free for everyone to use, with no limits on test duration, or the use of local devices and simulators. The powerful combination and ease of use of Xamarin Test Recorder and Xamarin Test Cloud will help you immediately improve your apps.

Xamarin Insights – real-time app monitoring

General Availability

We’re proud to announce that starting today, Xamarin Insights is generally available, with free crash reporting for all Xamarin Platform customers and advanced app monitoring features for power users.

Know the Health of Your App, Know Your Users

App monitoring begins with knowing what problems your users are encountering. Is the app crashing or encountering exceptions or errors? Xamarin Insights provides automatic crash reporting and handles both managed and unmanaged mobile crashes seamlessly. You can also explicitly report errors or warnings to Xamarin Insights and track them through the its dashboard. Xamarin Insights makes it easy to rank your issues by impact, spot patterns in app and device usage, and diagnose the corresponding issues.

Xamarin Insights also helps you understand how your app is being used by tracking and timing step-by-step event data. Analyze which screens are the most popular or which actions take your users the longest. You can even see which events led up to a crash, making it easy to reproduce your issues.

You can add Xamarin Insights to your app with just a few lines of code. In Xamarin Studio, new apps immediately get the benefit of Xamarin Insights with templates that utilize the SDK from the very beginning of a mobile project. And your IDE will automatically upload dSYM files for you so that you get symbolicated stack traces with line numbers.

Visit our docs to get started.

End-to-End for Everyone

We think it’s important that every developer be able to benefit from the full range of what Xamarin 4 can do, which is why we’re excited to announce that as a part of their existing subscription, every active Xamarin subscriber will receive:

  • Crash and error reporting from Xamarin Insights with 30 day data retention and detailed issue reports that include step-by-step pre-crash events and crashed-user identification.
  • 60 Xamarin Test Cloud device minutes per month, with access to every single one of the devices in our growing test lab.
  • Complete access to Xamarin.UITest, including tests of unlimited duration running on simulator or device.
  • A 30-day trial pass to Xamarin University, including access to guest lectures and our introductory courses.
Paid Plans

As your business grows and your apps progress, you can buy paid plans of Xamarin Insights and Xamarin Test Cloud that suit your needs.

For companies who want to ramp up their mobile testing, we’re happy to introduce affordable Xamarin Test Cloud pricing plans starting at $99/month (billed annually). If you want to go further with app monitoring, we also provide scalable Xamarin Insights paid plans.

Xamarin Ultimate

Finally, for companies who want a complete end-to-end solution, we’re introducing a new offering called Xamarin Ultimate, which includes full access to all the features of Xamarin Platform, Test Cloud, Insights, and University for your entire team in a complete package at a great price. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please get in touch with our sales team at hello@xamarin.com.

 

No news yet on the more indie friendly licensing, which hopefully comes soon.

GameDev News ,

18. November 2015

 

The Game Creators have just released version 1.1 of GameGuru.  This update focuses primarily on performance improvements.  Release details follow:

GameGuru-Logo - news scale

GameGuru Update

As regular followers of these GameGuru news updates will be aware, we’ve taken the last few months to focus almost solely on performance, converting the existing engine from our DarkBasicPro language (internal development build) to a full C++ build.  This has not only improved performance impressively but has opened the way for our next major update with our move to DirectX11 in the new year.

As well as the conversion, we have multithreaded parts of the engine, allowing a fully fledged live occlusion system which we’ve improved once again during the last week to give users an even better experience.

Overall, this significant round of performance work has yielded 100% increases for almost all of our beta testers, with many systems seeing even better results.  A side effect of this work has been that we are able to better manage memory, allowing users to create much larger levels which the new engine can, of course, handle more efficiently.

On the subject of both performance and memory consumption, we’ve recently identified and squashed an issue causing large, multi-level games to run out of memory after a large number of launches. This vital fix now opens the door to some large linear games.

While performance was our main objective, we’ve also taken some time to look at some of the other concerns raised by our users, not least of these is our new and improved front end we discussed last week, making it much easier to access the help files, videos and demo games. In addition to all of this, you’ll be able to access the new GameGuru beginners guide in PDF form.

Here’s a little teaser of the small level that we build up in the getting started guide. We take users through every step required to make their very first game.

finalfight2

As well as this, we responded once again to the communities needs and have improved the editor experience.  As well as additions to bring the F9 editor mode into line with the main editor screen by aligning many of the keyboard shortcuts across both modes, we’ve also added the all new Group Select Mode, which allows the quick selection, editing and deletion of large groups of entities.

lasso

We’re sure to expand on this feature in the months to come but are very happy with the improvements to the editing process.

Of course, we’ve also been able to improve a number of other areas, including improving the stability and reliability of media transfer to standalone, we’ve made improvements to default media content, adding LOD to a few models that lacked it and also updating some audio effects to take advantage of the 3D sound system.

As part of the development process and in response to user requests, we’ve also moved GameGuru from the Games section of Steam to Software. We agreed with a lot of you that this category is now more suited to the direction of GameGuru and lies well with our long-term plans as well as the needs of our community.

Well, it’s back to some last minute testing for us, but we’re pleased to say we’ve crushed, squashed, beaten and generally subdued all the bugs on our list and are confident that you’ll love this next update. As always, many thanks for your patience and we will aim to keep our future updates smaller in scope and more frequent.

Don’t forget, that if you’ve not voted or want to change your mind, the voting board is available for you to access 24/7. You can add your weight to the features you most want to see here.

Goodbye for now and we hope you enjoy the faster, leaner and all round improved GameGuru when we launch tomorrow.

The GameGuru Team

GameDev News

18. November 2015

 

Microsoft is a different sort of company these days.  Starting back in 2014 they released the free community edition of Visual Studio.  Then in April of this year they launched the light weight and cross platform (and completely free) Visual Studio Code.  Today they announced the launch of Visual Studio Dev Essentials.

So what exactly does Dev Essentials include?

 

Tools

  • Visual Studio Community
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Visual Studio Express
  • Team Foundation Server Express

 

Of those products only Team Foundation Server is new I believe.  So mostly it’s a rebranding of the tools we’ve already got.  However it’s the add-ons that make the package.

 

Training

  • Pluralsight 6 month subscription
  • Xamarin University Mobile Training
  • WintellectNOW 3 month subscription
  • Microsoft Virtual Academy
  • HackHands Live Programming Help $25 Credit
  • Priority Forum Support

 

Cloud

  • Azure Credits ($25/month for 12 months)
  • Visual Studio Team Services account with 5 users
  • App Service Free Tier
  • PowerBI free tier
  • HackeyApp free tier
  • Application Insights free tier

 

For Mac Developers

  • Parallels Desktop Pro 3 months subscription
  • Parallels Acceess 3 months subscription
  • Windows Platform VM 60 days
  • Office Online Apps

 

Now many of these services are either limited time or coming soon, so not everything is available today and not everything is available for ever.  So if this program sounds interesting to you, head on over here for more information.

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