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23. October 2017

LibGDX have just released version 1.9.7.  LibGDX is a popular open source Java based game framework, although releases have been somewhat infrequent of late.  We have extensively covered it in the past with text and video tutorials available here and here if you are interested in learning more.  This release includes several compatibility upgrades including iOS 11 support, RoboVM 2.3.3 support, a bump up to LWJGL 3.1.3 and several improvements and features.  Be aware that in order to support LWJGL code breaking changes were made to the GLFrameBuffer class.


Details from the release notes:

- Update to MobiVM(RoboVM) 2.3.3

- Add iOS 11 support

- Update to Lwjgl 3.1.3

- Update to MOE 1.4.0

- API Change: GLFrameBuffer has been refactored https://github.com/libgdx/libgdx/pull/4882. Create standard FrameBuffers with static methods. Customized FBOS with FrameBufferBuilder

- API addition: Tiled group layer support

- Fix Tiled properties, offset parsing for image layers

- API addition: Added utility methods for Vector equals with epsilon

- Fix Animation backing array type

- Fix Mesh copying with 0 indices

- Fix restoration of pooled particle effects scale

- Fix loss of controller listeners on reconnect

- Added basic kotlin project generation support in the setup tool

- API addition: Allow APK expansion to be used in fragments and activities

- API addition: Added color properties support from tiled maps

- API Change: Added rotation vector sensor support on Android

- API Change: GLProfiler refactored for OOP and lwjgl3 multi windows

- LWJGL3: The creation of additional windows via Lwjgl3Application.newWindow() is now deferred, with postRunnable(), until all existing windows have been updated. This fixes a potential native crash with NVidia GL drivers on Windows, presumably caused by a GL context conflict.

- API addition: Lwjgl3WindowListener.created() is called after a new window has been created. It's unsafe to call Lwjgl3Window functions in between Lwjgl3Application.newWindow() and this callback.

- Updated LWJGL3 backend to 3.1.3.

- Lwjgl3Graphics.setUndecorated() and Lwjgl3Graphics.setResizable() now delegate their work to the respective GLFW functions.

- API addition: ProgressBar.isVertical() - returns whether a progress bar is vertical or horizontal.

- API Change: SplitPane now by default does not allow the split amount to shrink children below their minimum sizes (cropping them). This behavior can be reverted by overriding clampSplitAmount or wrapping the children in Containers set to minSize(0) and fill(). SplitPane also now correctly includes the handle min size in its own min size calculations.

- API Change: SplitPane.getSplit() renamed to SplitPane.getSplitAmount() to match other getter and setter names.

- Improved internal Timer synchronization.

- API Change: List#drawItem, added float width parameter.

- API Addition: Make it possible to disable sound on the GWT-Backend with disableSound=true.

- API Change: ScrollPane setWidget deprecated in favor of setActor to match other APIs.

- API Change: removed JGLFW backend

- Fixed mixed up use of TexturePacker.Settings.stripWhitespaceX|Y.

- Added joystick POV support to LWJGL3 controller backend.

- Added support for 2d particles sprite animation.

- API Change: ParticleEmitter getSprite, setSprite, getImagePath, setImagePath are now getSprites, setSprites, getImagePaths, setImagePaths.

- Added support for 2d particles independant scale X and Y.

- API Change: ParticleEmitter getScale, matchSize are now getScaleX/getScaleY, matchSizeX/matchSizeY. Added scaleSize(float scaleX, float scaleY)

GameDev News

23. October 2017

RayLib is a free C library ideally suited towards beginners.  They just released version 1.8 adding procedural image generation, 3D geometric primitives, PBR material support and more.  If you are interested in learning more about RayLib be sure to check out our earlier hands-on look available here.


Details of the release from /r/gamedev:

  • Procedural image generation functions, a set of new functions have been added to generate gradients, checked, noise and cellular images from scratch. Image generation could be useful for certain textures or learning pourpouses.

  • Parametric mesh generation functions, create 3d meshes from scratch just defining a set of parameters, meshes like cube, sphere, cylinder, torus, knot and more can be very useful for prototyping or for lighting and texture testing.

  • PBR Materials support, a completely redesigned shaders and material system allows advance materials definition and usage, with fully customizable shaders. Some new functions have been added to generate the environment textures required for PBR shading and a new complete PBR material example is also provided for reference.

  • Custom Android APK build pipeline with simple Makefile. Actually, full code building mechanism based on plain Makefile has been completely reviewed and Android building has been added for sources and also for templates building into final APK package. This way, raylib Android building has been greatly simplified and integrated seamlessly into standard build scripts.

  • rlgl module has been completely reviewed and most of the functions renamed for consistency. This way, standalone usage of rlgl is promoted, with a complete example provided. rlgl offers a pseudo-OpenGL 1.1 immediate-mode programming-style layer, with backends to multiple OpenGL versions.

  • raymath library has been also reviewed to align with other advance math libraries like GLM. Matrix math has been improved and simplified, some new Quaternion functions have been added and Vector3 functions have been renamed all around the library for consistency with new Vector2 functionality.

  • As always, examples and templates have been reviewed to work with new version (some new examples have been added), all external libraries have been updated to latest stable version and latest Notepad++ and MinGW have been configured to work with new raylib v1.8.

The complete change log is available here.  To learn more or to download RayLib click here.

GameDev News

20. October 2017


There is a new release of the free Cocos2d-x powered Cocos Creator game engine.  If you are interested in learning more about Cocos Creator, be sure to check out our hands-on video available here or embedded below.


Details of the release from the release announcement.

Major Highlights
  • Building for Web platform, the md5 embedded in file name feature now supports all script files
  • Added option for integrating AnySDK library for either AppStore or jailbreak channel
  • Fixed a lot of native memory leaks
  • Enhance browser compatibility on the Web platform
Specific Details
Editor
  • [Build] When building the Web platform, if you enable md5Cache, all the resources and script file name will have md5 info embedded.
  • [Build] When compiling jsc for native platform, keeps line number in jsc for debugging. Also added js file backup for debug version.
  • [Build] Fix problems with Android Studio debugging failure.
  • [Build] Added option for integrating AnySDK library for either AppStore or jailbreak channel
  • [Build] Fixed on Windows md5Cache option not working when project folder and Creator program is not in the same disk partition.
  • [TypeScript] Fixed 1.6.1 Warning when creating a TypeScript script
  • [TypeScript] Fixed errors that occurs when defining Class’s getter in TypeScript
  • [Properties] Fixed script preview error “can not set property ‘innerHTML’ of null”
  • [Properties] improves the fault handling when the attribute type is failed to find
  • [Preview] Fixed stuck issue when eruda is enabled and printing log.
Engine
  • [JSB] Fixed Spidermonkey v52 frequent switching scenes will not take the initiative GC problem
  • [JSB] support the use of Firefox remote debugger for JSB debugging.
  • [JSB] Fixed scheduleOnce causing memory leak problem
  • [JSB] Fixed Cocos2dxActivity is re-created which causes crash if launching app first time and re-opening from icon
  • [Engine] Fixed WebSocket may crash when there’s no js delegate issue.
  • [Engine] Fixed JS_EncodeStringToUTF8 may cause problems with memory leaks
  • [Engine] Fixed cc.game.restart can not destroy the persistRootNodes problem.
  • [Engine] Fixed Android QQ misjudge cc.sys.browserType issue.
  • [Engine] Fixed Android Opera misjudge cc.sys.browserType issue.
  • [Engine] Fixed the nodes under the Mask may cause click detection failed when works together with Camera.
  • [Engine] Fixed bug that Texture2D.url can not be fetched on native platform
  • [Engine] [iOS] Default audio session mode should be set to AVAudioSessionCategoryAmbient
  • [Engine] Adjust the execution order of requestAnimationFrame to mainLoop before avoiding the operation of setFrameRate -> cancelAnimationFrame.
  • [Action] Fix nested sequence with repeat being considered as reversed issue
  • [iOS] Fixed an issue where the iOS resolution was incorrect due to the launch image setting error
  • [Audio] Fixing a user to log off an event can affect the issue of internal event monitoring.
Components
  • [Camera] Fix bug that affects the coordinates in global event parameters
  • [RichText] Add the handleTouchEvent property to cancel this property to avoid the RichText blocking event
  • [RichText] After the event is being monitored, the event is no longer distributed to the parent node
  • [RichText] Fixed bug with RichText size of 0
  • [EditBox] Fixed EditBox placeHolder text Color setting may not take effect on native platform issue.
  • [EditBox] Fixed EditorBox Enter after responding 2 times editBoxEditingReturn event (Windows platform)
  • [EditBox] Fixed FireFox browser The EditorBox type is Number that can not get the focus
  • [WebView] Fixed Webview loaded web page after playing music, switching the scene will continue to play the problem
  • [Layout] Fix Layout conflicts with Widget, resulting in an unlimited increase in Layout size
  • [Widget] repair RichText by Widget role may cause the editor to report the problem
  • [Mask] Fixes the problem that the mask rectangle type position does not match the display
  • [ScrollView] Added the scroll began and scroll ended events
  • [DragonBones] Fix DragonBones objects in native platform memory does not release the problem
  • [Tiledmap] Fix tilemap culling incorrectly


GameDev News

16. October 2017


The Allegro framework just released version 5.2.3.  Allegro is a C based media/game framework, very similar in scope to SDL or SFML.  Allegro holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first open source game libraries I ever encountered and it was one of the most accessible C/C++ libraries I had encountered.  To get an idea of how long Allegro has been around, the original meaning was Atari Low LEvel Game ROutines.  Yes, Atari, but not the VCS, Allegro started life on the 16bit Atari ST in the 90s.  Now it is an open source and team effort available here.


Details of the 5.2.3 release:

Changes from 5.2.2 to 5.2.3 (October 2017)

The main developers this time were: Elias Pschernig, SiegeLord, Sebastian Krzyszkowiak, Vitaliy V. Tokarev, Simon Naarmann, Bruno Félix Rezende Ribeiro, Trent Gamblin).

Core:

  • Add al_path_ustr (Bruce Pascoe).

  • Handle NULL sections more gracefully with the config API.

  • Add missing glStencilMaskSeparate prototype (Aaron Bolyard).

  • Add al_clear_keyboard_state.

  • Don't add blank lines before config sections when writing them out.

  • Fix fs_stdio_read_directory appending an extra slash.

  • Fix al_set_window_constraints when the flag ALLEGRO_MAXIMIZED is set.

  • Fix al_set_clipping_rectangle when out-of-bounds (Bruce Pascoe).

  • Enable blocked locking of S3TC formats unconditionally.

Raspberry Pi port:

  • Set default file interface when attempting to read /boot/config.txt.

Android port:

  • Replace the old build system that used deprecated tools with a new Gradle-based system.

  • Work around crashes on some Androids when an FBO is bound during egl_SwapBuffers.

  • Fix LocalRef leak when opening files using APK interface.

  • Remove -Wno-psabi switches from Toolchain-android.cmake.

Linux port:

  • Make three finger salute and LED toggle configurable.

  • Fix KEY_CHAR events under X11 with compose key enabled.

  • Fix clearing the ALLEGRO_MAXIMIZED flag under X11.

  • Add al_x_set_initial_icon.

  • Free wm_hints in set_initial_icon.

  • Read Allegro system config from ~/.allegro5rc on Unix.

Windows port:

  • Make bitmap contents persist again after device loss.

  • Add large file support for MSVC.

  • Only test cooperative lavel if device is known to be lost.

  • Don't leak the D3DEffect when attaching multiple sources.

  • Fix al_get_monitor_info (Tobias Scheuer).

OSX port:

  • Various fixes for OSX 10.6.

  • Fix some Bluetooth mice on OS X (Tom Bass).

  • Fixed deprecation warning when starting OSX console app (Tom Bass).

  • Fix OSX magic main with the LTO switch (Evert Glebbeek).

Audio addon:

  • Allow setting the buffer size for ALSA.

  • Don't apply gain twice for sample instances and streams when pan is not ALLEGRO_PAN_NONE.

  • Disallow attaching mixers with different channel configurations.

  • Add al_set_sample_instance_channel_matrix and al_set_audio_stream_channel_matrix.

  • Don't free the extra pointer in DirectSound if voice fails to play for some reason.

  • Add al_lock_sample_id and al_unlock_sample_id.

  • For OpenAL, detach from buffers before deleting.

  • Return true when seeking mod audio streams.

Acodec addon:

  • Free audio stream buffer in flac_stream_close.

  • Add DUMB 2.0 support.

Color addon:

  • Add XYZ, xyY, Lab and LCH color spaces.

  • Remove "purwablue" named color, add "rebeccablue".

Native dialog addon:

  • Improve save dialogs under GTK driver.

  • Improved path behavior in GTK native file dialog ([bk]door.maus).

  • Enable ALLEGRO_FILECHOOSER_FOLDER On Linux (Todd Cope).

  • Use unique ids to identify menu items internally, fixing their event sources.

  • Make the native message box return 2 on Windows when cancel is pressed.

Image addon:

  • Set compression level to Z_DEFAULT_COMPRESSION in png saver by default.

  • Make PNG, JPEG compression level configurable.

  • Make PNG gamma value configurable.

  • Add WebP support with libwebp.

Video addon:

  • Allow calling al_init_video_addon after al_shutdown_video_addon was called.

Build system:

  • Detect and link optional FreeType dependencies.

  • Add a CMake option to prefer static dependencies.

  • Fix SDL platform build.

Python binding:

  • Fix some corrupted regexps in the generation script (verderten).

Documentation:

  • Lots of improvements as usual (Edgar Reynaldo, Mark Oates, twobit).

Examples:

  • Fix various issues with ex_curl.

  • Fix memory leak in ex_audio_simple (Rm Beer).

GameDev News

16. October 2017


The Defold game engine received another update, this one bringing it to verison 1.2.115.  New to this release is the ability to dynamically load/unload any factory resource.  The engine also gained the ability to toggle vsync on and off.  If you are an Ubuntu user, be aware that the minimum version has been bumped to 16.04.  If you are interested in learning more about the Defold engine, we have a complete tutorial series available here.


Further details of this release:

Engine

  • DEF-2760 - Added: Dynamic loading/unloading of collectionfactory and factory resources
  • DEF-1101 - Added: Ray cast response on miss
  • DEF-1785 - Added: Software vsync
  • DEF-2913 - Added: Updated PVRTexLib to version 4.18
  • DEF-1284 - Added: Updated LuaJIT to version 2.0.5
  • DEF-2902 - Fixed: Improve handling of erroneous mesh input data
  • DEF-2915 - Fixed: “ERROR:RESOURCE: Empty resource path” is spammed in console
  • DEF-2907 - Fixed: Spine draw order out of bounds
  • DEF-2891 - Fixed: Fixing invalid MathUtil::decompose and quaternionFromMatrix.

Documentation

Documentation is going through a slow metamorphosis from larva (Editor 1) via pupa (currently) to butterfly (Editor 2).

Work in progress

Native Extensions + Linux

The upgrade of our CI machines was a big step towards supporting Linux as a platform in Native Extensions.

We’ve also decided to remove the 32 bit OSX + Linux support for the engine itself. This will remove two very old platforms for us; 32 bit OSX is obsolete, and Editor 2 only supports 64 bit Linux.

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New book “3D Games Monetization with Unity and Leadbolt” added to Unity book roundup
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29. August 2012

 

As the title says, I have inserted a new book into the Unity book list, 3D Games Monetization with Unity and Leadbolt. I do however use the word book in the loosest terms possible, as it is in electronic format only and it weighs in at a mere 37 pages.

 

That said, it also weights in at a mere 3$, so there is that…

 

I will admit, before discovering this book, I had never heard of Leadbolt. they are a mobile ad provider in the vein of adMob, but with a world more options than simple banners.

 

 

Ads can be added at the application entry point, while running and at the exit point.

 

I personally HATE ads in mobile games, and gladly pay a premium for an ad free version ( which sadly most developers do not embrace, at least not on Android ), but perhaps ads in a different format will make a difference.

 

Anyways, if you are a Unity developer and are interested in monetization, you have a new book to check out.

 

It is my intention to keep the list as comprehensive as possible, so if I have missed a title or you are the author of an upcoming title, please let me know.

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