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11. November 2016


The Defold Engine folks just announced a developer contest with 6 grand prizes of up to 3 team members can win a trip to next years Game Developer Contest, including travel, accommodations and of course GDC passes.  Submission deadline is January 22, 2017 and you can make as many submissions as you want.  Of course you have to develop your game using the Defold game engine.  If you are new to theDefold Defold engine, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!  We have a complete tutorial series available here on that will get you up to speed.


Some key details from the Defold Contest FAQ:

How many teams will win?

Six teams with three people each—meaning we will send eighteen people to GDC in total!

What type of game should I do?

Why not a Monkey Island reboot set in the Grand Theft Auto universe? Or a MechWarrior pastiche based on Sonic the Hedgehog? Or a Tetris with a Zelda style conversation mechanic in 8-bit? What we’re trying to say is, make whatever you want! Defold is a versatile engine suited for all types of 2D games, and we would love to see this reflected in the entries. We are not looking for stuff of a specific type—just awesome stuff.

Does it have to be a full game?

No, definitely not—technically, it doesn’t even have to be a game. What we are looking for is a reasonably polished playable which should be fun and/or interesting for most users for at least two minutes. Or in other words: we prefer seeing something very small that is awesome rather than a full game that is mediocre.

Does the game have to be made in Defold?


Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes, of course! There is no limit to how many entries you can submit.

Will my team get its own booth?

No, you will share it with the other winning teams. It’s gonna be an amazing indie game showcase booth for yourself as well as the other winners of the competition. Kind of similar to what we did at White Nights in Moscow a while back—a concept that turned out to be a great way to really promote the games and the people behind them.

Do I have to be in the booth?

Yes—we’d hate the booth to be empty, so we require 16 hours presence at the booth from your team, distributed as you wish between your team members during the three conference days. Think of it as 16 hours where you get the unique opportunity to showcase yourself and your game to the 27,000 people visiting GDC!

Am I expected to promote Defold?

No, we would rather you talk about yourself and your game. That’s why you’re there; not to promote Defold.

We are only two people in our team—what happens to the remaining ticket?

We’d hate for the tickets to go to waste, so bring a friend (or recruit a third team member) who you think would be interested!

Will I lose the rights to my game if I submit it to the competition?

No, you will continue to own all the rights to your game. However, we do reserve the right to use e.g. screenshots in our marketing regarding Defold.

Do I have to commercially release my Defold game afterwards?

No, definitely not. But as in the question above, we might use the game in our marketing.


You can learn more about the competition here.

GameDev News

11. November 2016


Bonus Tools is a set of extensions for the Maya 3D application that miscellaneous new functionality in the form of a collection of plugins and scripts.  They have been released annually since 2014 and yesterday the 2016 edition was released.  

Bonus Tools is a free collection of useful Maya scripts and plug-ins. After installing Bonus Tools, an additional pull-down menu will be added to the end of the main Maya menu. This new menu provides easy access to a variety of tools and utilities for daily use. The Maya Bonus Tools menu mimics the layout of the standard Maya menu sets. Each sub-menu contains a number of related tools. Each of these can be torn off and floated just like standard Maya menus.


Unfortunately I couldn’t find a handy list of new functions available in the 2017  Bonus Tools release.  The following video however contains a walk through of the new functionality in action:


Maya 2017 Bonus Tools can be downloaded here.  I suppose it goes without saying that Maya or Maya LT is required.

GameDev News

10. November 2016


In just a few hours the theme for the Unreal sponsored November #ue4jam is going to be announced.  The game jam starts today and runs until November the 13th.


Details from the announcement thread:


  • We will announce the theme on the November 10th stream, when the jam officially kicks-off.
  • Make an amazing game by yourself or with a team (up to 5) around the given theme in Unreal Engine 4.
  • Submit a download link to the Submission Thread (link incoming) before midnight on the night of November 13th/ morning of November 14th including the following:
    • Team Name
    • List of Team Members
    • Name of submission (Please format it with your team's name attached ex. TeamName_GameName)
      After you post your submission, PM me with the email addresses of your team members (up to 5), the name of your team and the name of your project. That makes it easier to get in contact with everyone, so make sure to send that info over!
  • A small panel at Epic will judge entries on the following criteria:
    • Unique use of theme
    • Fun factor
    • Overall Visuals
  • Detailed rules to come!
  • All submissions will be featured in a highlight reel posted to our YouTube and shown on Twitch.

The top 3 submissions will receive an Epic Swag Box with all sorts of goodies, a "Game Jam Finalist" forum badge, a featured playthrough on the December 1st Twitch stream (Sorry for the wait, American holiday the week before!), as well as a highlight on Unreal Engine launcher!

In addition to the Epic Swag Box, each member of the winning teams will be receiving 1-year of Houdini Indie (including the Houdini Engine) provided by SideFX. This amazing tool can be used with UE4 through the official Houdini plugin.

Also in addition to the Epic Swag Box, each member of the winning teams will be receiving a free copy of AIPD. You will have a choice of Xbox One, PS4 or Steam keys.
Happy developing, and good luck!
Theme Announce Countdown
Submission Deadline Countdown

GameDev News

9. November 2016


Unity have just released another patch, this one 5.4.2p4.  This patch consists entirely of fixes, listed below.

  • (845815) - Animation: Fixed an issue where Legacy animations could not be previewed.
  • (830110) - Asset Pipeline: Fixed a regression where AssetDatabase.SaveAssets won't save changes made to a prefab inside OnPostprocessAllAssets.
  • (none) - Audio: Fixed a panning issue with spatialized sounds.
  • (829898) - Build player: Reverted the change, which saved relative paths for build target but introduced issues for targets that needed to browse for folders instead of files (webGL, etc).
  • (824011) - Editor: Fixed a crash in RectTransform because it would send messages on the loading thread.
  • (none) - Graphics: Fixes a memory leak when using the GI visualizers in the scene view.
  • (832368) - IOS: Fixed an input reset in editor when iOS device without Unity Remote is selected
  • (834172) - IOS: Fixed issues with iOS Input.touchPressureSupported incorrectly reporting false.
  • (839037) - iOS: Build and Run now doesn't clean Xcode project for Append builds.
  • (836165) - Mac Editor: Fixed a crash when using Build and Run for iOS projects.
  • (843181) - Mac Editor: Fixed editor hanging if app was already running in Xcode 7.x when using Build and Run.
  • (819998) - OpenVR: Fixed a crash in certain conditions when checking if device is available.
  • (818159) - OpenVR: VRDevice.isPresent now works correctly when HMD is occluded from base stations.
  • (819092) - Shadows/Lights: Fix for dark lightmap when changing sun shadow strenght in mixed mode.
  • (829379) - VR: Fixed a crash when switching between VR mode and non-VR mode with image effects applied.
  • (817835) - VR: Fixed VRSettings.renderViewportScale when single-pass stereo rendering is enabled.
  • (821570) - Windows Store: Fixed a crash in multi scene system caused by internal managers being garbage collected.

The patch can be downloaded here.

GameDev News

9. November 2016


Welcome to the tutorial series covering the BabylonJS HTML5 game engine.  The home page of the series is available here.  For each tutorial in the series there is both a text and video version available.  In this post we are simply going to introduce the BabylonJS engine, the scope of this tutorial series and discuss why you might want to use the Babylon engine and also some of the alternatives available should you decide not to.  If you’ve already decided on using the BabylonJS game engine, jump forward to the next tutorial.


BabylonJS Overview

I’m not going to go into a great deal of detail on the functionality included in BabylonJS as I have already featured this game engine in the Closer Look game engine series.  Instead we are going to take a quick top level look at the engine features.


Why Choose BabylonJS

So, why is the BabylonJS game engine a good choice for you?

  • Open source (Apache 2 license) and free to use
  • Full featured 3D game library (scene graph, physics, particles, models, sprites, etc)
  • Compatible with most modern WebGL browsers
  • Excellent tooling, including level editor, Unity exporter, model converters
  • Good documentation, samples and other learning materials

You can read the full feature set here.


Why Not Choose BabylonJS?

So we mentioned a number of Babylon’s strengths, but why would you *not* choose to use BabylonJS?  Well, beyond the fact you may not like how they implement things the biggest reason all comes down to your priorities.  WebGL performance isn’t on par with desktop OpenGL or even OpenGL ES, so there is a bit of a performance penalty at work here.  While HTML5 applications can be wrapped to run as applications on various mobile devices, again there is a price to be paid, in both performance and labor.

At the end of the day, personally, I think a lot of it comes down to your primary target.  If you are creating a browser game first and foremost, I recommend working in a browser native library such as BabylonJS.  This has the most direct workflow, is easiest to debug, etc.  If on the other hand the browser is just another target for you you are probably better off working in a game engine that also targets HTML5, such as Unreal or Unity.


Alternatives to BabylonJS

Shockingly there aren’t actually a ton of HTML5 3D game engines or frameworks like BabylonJS.  The most direct alternatives are:


By no means is that an exclusive list, but it does represent some of the most common 3D engines with WebGL as their primary target.

In addition to these engines several 3D engines offer HTML5 as a target including Unreal, Unity, Godot and many more.  The primary challenge with these options is the generated code is often illegible, acting almost identically to a compiled binary.  So if things don’t work right you are dependent on the engine developer to fix things.  Or if you wish to use a native browser feature, you are again dependent on the engine developers to support it in some form.


Enough overview, lets jump into the technical details.  I am aiming to keep each tutorial somewhat short and concise, both text and video versions.  Stay tuned for the first tutorial covering getting BabylonJS up and running.


The Video

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Game From Scratch CPP Edition ( Pang ) being ported to SFML v2
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2. May 2012



Nathan, a reader of this site, has graciously agreed to provide his port(s) of the Game From Scratch C++ tutorial from 1.6 to 2.0.  He started with chapter 6, as prior chapters mostly involved simple changes in property/method names, as SFML has moved to CamelCase.  Chapter 6 is the first chapter where more intensive changes needed to be made.



So if you are following along my C++ tutorial, but would prefer to work with SFML 2.0, download these projects instead.  Nathan has promised to make each following chapters code available as well, and once I am up to current, I will edit in the original tutorial posts so you have an option of downloading either 1.6 or 2.0 project versions.


Sometime in the future, I will put together a post on what is required to port from 1.6 to 2.0, I promise… sometime. Smile


This project is exactly like the 1.6 ones.  It is preconfigured ( with SFML 2 release candidate ), so  all you have to do is download, unzip and open the solution in Visual Studio.


Download Pang6 here.   Will update as further chapters become available.


Thanks Nathan.


EDIT: Link fixed.

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