22. May 2015

 

Following the Beta release a few weeks back, the Godot Engine team have just released Godot Engine 1.1.

 

The highlights of the release are:

  • Rewritten Auto-Completion in the Code-Editor. Supports a lot of scenarios and perform smart-completion of node types if a scene where the script is being used is open.
  • Visual Shader Editor (Edit shaders connecting nodes)
  • New API in OS for managing the screens and window, with multi-monitor support.
  • Largely rewritten 2D engine, with support for:
    • Shaders (Visual and Code)
    • 2D Materials
    • 2D Independent Z ordering per-node.
    • 2D Lights
    • 2D Shadows with Polygonal Occluders
    • 2D Normal Mapping
    • Back-Buffer compositing for shaders that read from screen (allows all sorts of post-processing effects).
    • Improved Isometric TileMap Support (proper Z ordering of tiles and children nodes).
    • Distance-Field font support.
  • New 2D Navigation Polygon support, for efficient 2D pathfinding. Navigation Polygons can be edited visually and combined, disabled, etc.
  • Improved Usability in 2D Physics API:
    • Area2D and RigidBody2D can receive input events
    • Area2D can detect overlap with another Area2D
  • New Dark Theme
  • Much Improved Blender Collada Exporter (BetterCollada).
  • Large amount of bug fixes and smaller improvements.

 

Full (enormous) changelog since 1.0 here.

 

They also put together a video showcasing the new features:

 

Of course, if you are interested in learning more GFS has an extensive Godot Tutorial Series to get you started.

News ,

10. May 2015

 

 

Just noticed this on Twitter and it proved to be an interesting read.  JetBrains, the makers of IntelliJ, CLion, ReSharper and more, havebook sponsored this free book from O’Reilly Press.  It’s a 74 page book that combines a history lesson, modern introduction and Modern C++ overview all into one.  It’s free and a good read, what’s not to like?

 

 

 

Here is the Table of Contents:

 

1. The Nature of the Beast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2. The Origin Story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3. The Beast Wakes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4. The Beast Roars Back. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5. Digging Deep on Modern C++. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
6. The Future of C++. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

 

 

 

The book is available as a free PDF download directly at this link.  No other actions are required, simply download and read.

 

Even if you are just bored and want a bit of a history lesson and look to the future of C++, this is a good read.  Of course, if you are actually a C++ developer, it will be much more useful.

News ,

10. May 2015

 

SFML, the Simple and Fast Media Library, just release version 2.3.  SFML is a cross platform C++ based mostly 2D based game library built over top of OpenGL.  Although getting a bit long in the tooth, GameFromScratch created an SFML C++ game dev tutorial series if you are interested in learning more.

 

As to release 2.3, here are the announced changes:

 

SFML 2.3

General
  • Examples only link against sfml-main in release mode (#610, #766)
  • Replaced unsigned int with std::size_t for array indices and sizes (#739)
  • Fixed some issues with the Doxygen documentation (#750)
  • Added support for EditorConfig (#751)
  • Hide success message for CMake in quiet mode (#753)
  • Improved documentation for statuses with sf::Ftp (#763)
  • Moved stb_image into the extlibs directory (#795)
  • Changed the SOVERSION to major.minor (#812)
  • Fixed warnings about switch-statements (#863)
  • Added missing includes in the general headers (#851)
  • [Android] Updated toolchain file and dependencies (#791)
  • [Linux] Fixed missing pthread dependency (#794)
  • [OS X] Relaxed CMake installation rules regarding framework dependencies (#767)

 

Window
Features

 

Bugfixes
  • Fixed glXSwapIntervalSGI being broken for some driver implementations (#727, #779)
  • Fixed simultaneous context operations causing crashes on some AMD hardware (#778, #779)
  • Fixed joystick identification (#809, #811)
  • [iOS] Fixed various issues including stencil bits, device orientation and retina support (#748)
  • [iOS] Fixed inconsistency between sf::Touch::getPosition and touch events (#875)
  • [Linux] Fixed Alt+F4 not getting triggered in window mode (#274)
  • [Linux] Fixed Unix joystick stuff (#838)
  • [OS X] Fixed typo in JoystickImpl.cpp to prevent a crash (#762, #765)
  • [OS X] Fixed an issue in InputImpl::getSFOpenGLViewFromSFMLWindow (#782, #792)

 

Graphics
Features
  • Replaced GLEW with loader generated by glLoadGen (#779)
  • Added a new constructor to sf::Color that takes an sf::Uint32 (#722)
  • Updated stb_image to v2.02 (#777)
  • Updated FreeType to v2.5.5 (#799, #804)
  • Added checks for software OpenGL (#870)

 

Bugfixes
  • Fixed GL_ARB_compatibility not being detected (#859)
  • Fixed pixel format selection (#862)
  • Bumped back the OpenGL version requirement to 1.1 (#858)

 

Audio
Features
  • Dropped libsndfile and started using Vorbis, FLAC and OGG directly (#604, #757)
  • Added a FLAC file to the sound example (#815)

 

Bugfixes
  • Fixed access violation error in the destructor of sf::AudioDevice (#30, #602)
  • [OS X] Fixed threading issue with sf::SoundStream and OpenAL (#541, #831)

 

Network
Bugfixes
  • Fixed sf::TcpSocket not handling partial sends properly (#749, #796)

News ,

29. April 2015

 

Well this one came somewhat out of the blue for me.  Microsoft just released a cross platform ( Windows, Mac, Linux ) code editor called Visual Studio Code.  It’s not a full blown (and bloated!) IDE like Visual Studio, more of a streamlined code focused editor like Sublime Text or Brackets.  It is of course a preview release, so expect issues. 

 

In Microsoft’s own words:

 

Why Visual Studio Code?

Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their core code-edit-debug cycle. Visual Studio Code is the first code editor, and first cross-platform development tool - supporting OSX, Linux, and Windows - in the Visual Studio family.

 

Visual Studio Code run's on Max OSX, Linux and Windows

 

At its heart, Visual Studio Code features a powerful, fast code editor great for day-to-day use. The Preview release of Code already has many of the features developers need in a code and text editor, including navigation, keyboard support with customizable bindings, syntax highlighting, bracket matching, auto indentation, and snippets, with support for dozens of languages.

 

For serious coding, developers often need to work with code as more than just text. Visual Studio Code includes built-in support for always-on IntelliSense code completion, richer semantic code understanding and navigation, and code refactoring. In the Preview, Code includes enriched built-in support for ASP.NET 5 development with C#, and Node.js development with TypeScript and JavaScript, powered by the same underlying technologies that drive Visual Studio. Code includes great tooling for web technologies such as HTML, CSS, LESS, SASS, and JSON. Code also integrates with package managers and repositories, and builds and other common tasks to make everyday workflows faster. And Code understands Git, and delivers great Git workflows and source diffs integrated with the editor.

 

But developers don't spend all their time just writing code: they go back and forth between coding and debugging. Debugging is the most popular feature in Visual Studio, and often the one feature from an IDE that developers want in a leaner coding experience. Visual Studio Code includes a streamlined, integrated debugging experience, with support for Node.js debugging in the Preview, and more to come later.

 

Architecturally, Visual Studio Code combines the best of web, native, and language-specific technologies. Using the GitHub Electron Shell, Code combines web technologies such as JavaScript and Node.js with the speed and flexibility of native apps. Code uses a newer, faster version of the same industrial-strength HTML-based editor that has powered the “Monaco” cloud editor, Internet Explorer's F12 Tools, and other projects. And Code uses a tools service architecture that enables it to use many of the same technologies that power Visual Studio, including Roslyn for .NET, TypeScript, the Visual Studio debugging engine, and more. In future previews, as we continue to evolve and refine this architecture, Visual Studio Code will include a public extensibility model that lets developers build and use plug-ins, and richly customize their edit-build-debug experience.

 

We are, of course, still very early with Visual Studio Code. If you prefer a code editor-centric development tool, or are building cross-platform web and cloud applications, we invite you to try out the Visual Studio Code Preview, and let us know what you think!

 

I’ll be sure to check it out and get back to your with my opinion.  Cross platform tools are always nice.  This new Microsoft…  wow they impress me with some of their moves.

News ,

14. April 2015

 

If you look over at the side bar you may notice a “Become my patron on Patreon” banner.  In case you’ve never heard of it, Patreon is a service that enables people to fund the efforts of content producers, such as GameFromScratch.com.

 

Over the years I have had a number of requests from readers looking for ways to donate to help support GameFromScratch.com (which was awesome by the way!), however I never really had a mechanism to do so.  It was with the birth of my daughter that I started to try turning GameFromScratch into a full time job.  The response has been amazing, GFS currently receives over a 1/4 million views per month and after only a couple months creating videos for YouTube, we passed the 1k subscriber mark and are approaching the 100,000 minutes watched per month milestone and are growing rapidly.  The community response has been nothing short of amazing and for that I thank you all.  The sheer volume of positive comments and emails I receive from many of you are simply inspiring and incredibly appreciated.

 

From a financial point of view however, I would probably be better off flipping burgers at McDonalds.  I don’t really bemoan this fact.  I am doing something I love and have the flexibility to focus on being a father while doing it, the definition of win/win.  Earning money has never really been a major focus for me, perhaps to my wife’s chagrin! ;)  Obviously there are ads running on Gamefromscratch, something I hope the majority of you don’t find too offensive.  These certainly help and defer server and operating costs but are nowhere near enough to approach what I would receive as a salary “with a real job”.

 

I had intended to supplement my income writing books.  After completing and publishing my first book, the well received but poorly selling PlayStation Mobile Development Cookbook, this idea quickly went away.  I’ve talked to a number of technical book authors since and let me just say, nobody is making their living this way!  I have flirted with the idea of self publishing a book, and may still, but truth of the matter is any other project I work on like this takes directly away from time I spend developing content for GFS.  Of course, finally creating and publishing a game of my own is certainly another option, but truth of the matter is, I vastly prefer teaching others… I appear to have found my calling in life.

 

In the end I am essentially developing multiple books worth of content on GameFromScratch every year as it is.  For example, I once converted the Blender tutorial series to iBook format and it weighed in at over 300 pages and I only made it 80% of the way!  The LibGDX tutorial series already exceeds the contents of any book on the market, by a large margin.  On the other hand, a book cannot contain animations, properly formatted and colour highlighted code samples, downloadable files or video format versions.  There is no comment section to answer questions or for the community to discuss topics.  Taking time away from GameFromScratch to work on a book that is in an inferior format, not available to everyone, has less functionality and cannot be updated… this doesn’t seem like a very logical use of time, does it?

 

Enter Patreon and it might be the perfect fit.  Patreon enables you to pledge a monthly dollar amount (starting at 1$ USD I believe) to help support the work of artists and writers you want to support.  This pledge amount would greatly exceed average royalties I would earn from writing another book and of course far more people would benefit from the results.  I personally like to believe that as a whole GameFromScratch provides more value than most book purchases.

 

It is customary to offer sponsor rewards on Patreon and this is an area I am struggling with.  The single biggest reward I can offer is first off my thanks.  The most tangible reward is more of my time dedicated to create more and better content for GameFromScratch.  These rewards of course benefit everyone, not just backers.  There are other options, like removing ads or walling off exclusive content or source code access.  Removing ads isn’t generally that effective as the majority of people that dislike ads already run adblock software.  I hate disruptive ads, like landing pages, interstitial or audio ads, the really annoying stuff, so I try to keep them non intrusive to start with.  I don’t really like the idea of exclusive content either, I obviously want my work to help as many people as possible as much as possible.

 

There are a few reward ideas I have considered, such as making PDF versions of long tutorial series available to backers.  Another option would be to open up the future direction of GameFromScratch.com’s content to voting.  As it stands right now, I decide what to work on next based on community requests coupled with what I find new, shiny and exciting at the time (part of why I love this job so much!).  I could possibly make this process democratic, to let backers vote on what contet GFS should focus on.  As of right now there are no rewards, other than my gratitude and of course more time focused on GameFromScratch!

 

So that’s my spiel.  I just want to say in closing, that each and every one of you supports GameFromScratch.com simply by visiting.  Your time, support, tweets, links and comments are all deeply appreciated by me.  If however you want to help GameFromScratch thrive and grow going forward, please consider becoming a Patron.

 

My Thanks,

Mike

GameFromScratch.com

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