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20. December 2016

 

There was a new release of the Defold engine, 1.2.96.  This release was entirely composed of bug fixes, bringing no new features to the table.  Defold is a mobile focused, cross platform Lua powered game engine that includes a complete game editor.  We have a complete Defold Engine tutorial series available here.

 

Defold Engine release notes:

Defold 1.2.96

With this release we have fixed a couple of issues related to model and spine animations, both in runtime and some minor editor fixes.

We also fixed an old issue related to Windows bundles; the console window will not be displayed for bundles anymore.

Engine
  • DEF-2343Fixed: Spine rendering and transform issue
  • DEF-2342Fixed: Fixed bug with bezier curves in Spine animations
  • DEF-2331Fixed: Input devices sometimes registered as an invalid Gamepad
  • DEF-1774Fixed: The console windows removed for Win32 bundles
  • DEF-2348Fixed: Missing editor controls for alpha, inherit alpha and blend mode for Spine GUI nodes
  • DEF-2358Fixed: Label could not go.set on color(s)

GameDev News

19. December 2016

 

A pair of game development libraries have just been released for Haxe, OpenFL 4.5 and Lime 3.5.  Lime is a low level framework that provides access to the underlying hardware including graphics, audio and input, very similar in scope to SFML, LWJGL and SDL.  OpenFL is then built on top of Lime and provides a Haxe based implementation of the Flash API including game oriented frameworks like Stage3D.  This new release brings improved SWF support, improved HTML5 DOM support, increased GPU functionality and pre-loader improvements.  You can read the full release notes here.

 

Individual release notes follow.

OpenFL changelog:

  • Revised the custom preloader system to use an ordinary Sprite
  • Preloader Sprites now receives PROGRESS events and a cancelable COMPLETE
  • Improved SWF-based assets to use self-contained asset libraries
  • Removed support for new Vector<T> ([]) as it breaks on C++
  • Improved C++ performance on debug builds, added -Dopenfl-debug
  • Fixed support for custom preloaders on the Flash target
  • Fixed issues with hit testing on scaled vector graphics
  • Fixed hit testing for Video objects and some other hit test issues
  • Fixed support for centered SWF-based text
  • Fixed file-type detection in Loader when using a query string
  • Fixed support for single-pass custom shader filters
  • Fixed the initial scale for high DPI windows on OpenGL rendering
  • Fixed the position of touch events on high DPI windows
  • Fixed creation of framebuffers if filters are not used
  • Fixed a regression in shape.graphics quality

 

Lime changelog:

  • Made major changes to Assets and the behavior of asset libraries
  • Made progress on a better asset manifest system
  • Made significant improvements to the iOS project templates
  • Moved lime.Assets to lime.utils.Assets
  • Added lime.utils.AssetLibrary, lime.utils.AssetType, lime.utils.AssetManifest
  • Added static "loadFrom" constructors for core types
  • Improved C++ performance on debug builds, added -Dlime-debug
  • Updated CFFI bytes to better support C# target
  • Fixed the 'cannot find build target "by"' error with current Haxe releases
  • Fixed support for *.hxp projects
  • Fixed some compile errors when core types were used in macros
  • Fixed a minor issue with HTTPRequest on HTML5
  • Fixed Android template so READ_PHONE_STATE is not a required permission
  • Fixed support for <haxelib name="" path="" />
  • Fixed a regression with the quality of generated SVG icons

GameDev News

16. December 2016

 

Unity have released another patch for the 5.4 branch of Unity, patch 5.4.3p4.  This patch adds support for Direct 3D feature level 11.1 which enables several native RenderTexture formats.  Of course the patch also includes the usual swath of fixes, including:

Improvements
  • (757055) - Graphics: Added support for feature level 11.1 on D3D11/D3D12. This brings native support for RGB565, ARGB4444 and ARGB1555 RenderTexture formats.
Fixes
  • (856822) - Editor: Fixed a rare crash in the BuildReport system when building standalone data.
  • (840591) - Game Performance: Fixed a potential crash on player exit if Game Performance Service is enabled.
  • (853627) - Graphics: Added Material.SetBuffer with nameID overload.
  • (851359) - Graphics: Fixed a crash when deleting a Shader that was used by some Materials in the scene.
  • (849344) - Graphics: Fixed a crash when using Material.SetColor and similar functions with some built-in Unity variable names.
  • (851689) - Graphics: Fixed memory leak when instantiating materials (e.g. via renderer.material).
  • (836947) - Graphics: Fixed a rendering bug when grab pass was used with forward rendering and graphics jobs are enabled.
  • (none) - IL2CPP: Emit proper C++ for unsafe methods that cast a void pointer to a type pointer and access a field from that type.
  • (851793) - IL2CPP: Fixed a runtime crash when trying to call interface methods on integral pointers in unsafe contexts. Issues seemed to only show up when code was built outside of Unity with the Microsoft .NET compiler.
  • (856410) - IL2CPP: Prevent a stack overflow in the player runtime when metadata for an infinitely nested recursive generic type used (like the FullName of that type).
  • (763240) - iOS: Fixed Module Registration and Code Stripping for builds using the Mono scripting backend.
  • (814493) - iOS: Fixed an issue where the keyboard could lose focus when rotating the device
  • (828762) - iOS: Fixed audio ducking when background applications sound were muted after running Unity application.
  • (852363) - iOS: Fixed crash(es) in WWWConnection.
  • (none) - Metal: Improved handling of transparent rendering after post-opaque image effects when using MSAA.
  • (849681) - OpenGL: Fixed image mask when running in upscaled fullscreen mode.
  • (824508) - VR: Fixed a memory leak when using a canvas and VRFocus is lost.

 

As always, the patch is available for download here.

GameDev News

15. December 2016

 

Allegorthmic just released Substance Designer 5.6.  Substance Designer is a tool for making PBR (Physically Based Rendering) based materials, often used with sister application Substance Painter.  This release brings seven new tools and filters to Substance Designer, including:

  • Height Blend: Blend multiple materials or scans using their height maps for added realism. Output includes blended height and a mask to easily blend other channels of your materials.
  • Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion: Artists can now generate an accurate ambient occlusion with real-world scale and depth of surface, simulating a raytraced bake in milliseconds.
  • Color Match: Fine-tune the overall tint of your scans without destroying the color of small elements.
  • Real-World Height to Normal: Set the width, length and/or maximum height of a surface to generate a world space accurate normal map, perfect for precise displacement or parallax effects.
  • Snow Cover: Add a snow cover to any pre-existing material and create realistic effects like a windy blizzard or snowmelt. All snow piles realistically and can be adjusted via multiple parameters including thickness.
  • Water Level: Adds an artificial water plane to a material. Tweak the water’s height, dirtiness, fogginess and freeze.
  • Material Blend Height: Use the Height Blend method to blend two full materials using their height map, as well as making sure the albedos match properly, all in a single node.
  • Non-Uniform Histogram Scan: The Histogram Scan node is a favorite of artists wanting to create nice animated masks and weathering. This new version adds custom inputs to drive the contrast and level of the mask on a per pixel basis, allowing for the generation of much more complex and rich masks

 

A 30 day free trial is available here.  You can read more about the 5.6 release here.  Below is a video demonstrating the new filters available in 5.6.

GameDev News

15. December 2016

 

Godot are launching their third game jam starting tomorrow, December 16th, 2016  and running until the 31st of January 2017.  The theme of Jam as voted by the community is “Two Buttons”.  The Jam is entirely for fun and there are no announced prizes.  It is encouraged to submit source code withGodotJam your submission so the community can hopefully learn from your experience.  The game jam itself is hosted on itch.io.

 

Some details of the Godot Jam from the Godot announcement blog:

After the success of our previous games jams in March 2016 and June 2016, and since the community seemed pretty motivated for a new one, we are organizing a new Godot Community Game Jam that will run from 16 December 2016 to 31 January 2017.

As the previous one, it is an informal jam with relatively loose rules, and not much to gain apart from international fame within the Godot community and more experience with using our great engine! This is why this jam will run for a month and a half, giving everyone plenty of time to experiment with the engine to create something new, beginners and experienced users alike.

Check the game jam's page on itch.io: https://itch.io/jam/godotjam122016

JAM THEME AND RULES

The jam will take place from Friday, December 16th 2016 to Tuesday, January 31st 2017, i.e. for one month and a half. It is hosted on itch.io.

The guys from the Discord channel took the initiative and gathered some theme proposals, which were then submitted to the vote of the community. The proposal that received the most votes is Two buttons, and it will therefore be the main theme of the jam. The other proposals were Demake, No-death, Rust / decay and Round-based - those are not part of the voting criteria, but you are free to take them as an additional source of inspiration for your games.

Contestants are free to interpret the theme as they want, but keep in mind that your interpretation should be understandable if you want voters to give you many points for it.

Contestants can partake alone or as a team. Reusing existing code and assets is allowed.

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Radial “Pie” Menus in Blender
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9. November 2015

 

This is a feature that was quietly added in Blender 2.72 that will be a massive game changer to many potential Blender users.  The Blender UI has always been very keyboard focused and quite daunting especially for beginners.  Over the last couple releases we’ve seen some nice tweaks to the UI to make Blender a great deal more user friendly. The addition of radial menus is another step down the road of usability.  If you come from a Maya background this feature will be immediately recognizable.  Now keep in mind this feature is still under development and not enabled by default and there is certainly a reason for this.  Expects some bugs and growing pains, although personally I found it well worth enabling.

 

Before I show you how to enable pie menus in Blender, let me show you them in action:

Gif1

 

Enabling Pie Menus

To turn the menus on, go to File->User Preferences…

image

 

Next select the Add-ons tab, search for pie then click the enabled checkbox on “User Interface: Pie Menus Official”

image

 

You are now done.  However before you close the menu, there are some settings you may want to configure in the Interface tab.  In the bottom right corner you will set settings for configuring the Pie menus:

image

 

Personally I like setting the radius to around 40-50, which results in the menu being a lot denser, like so:

image

 

Available Menus

Now that pie menus are enabled, you will find several hotkeys perform differently.  Basically all of the things control via this toolbar are now available via pie menus:

image

Simply hit the right key(s) and the menu will appear.  You will notice a number next to each menu item, which can also be used instead of clicking the menu.  For example TAB + 6 will enable edit mode.  Right click or hit ESC to cancel a menu without selecting anything.

 

TAB key – object interaction mode

image

 

Q key – view selection

image

 

Z Key – shading mode

image

 

Ctrl + SHIFT + Tab – Snapping

image

 

. (Period Key) – Pivot

image

 

As with almost all things in Blender however, the bound keys can be configured to the users preference.

 

Again, this feature is under development and can be a bit buggy.  I found the shader menu a bit problematic on my computer for example.  However I view that even today it is worth the pain, especially if you like me work on a laptop without a dedicated number pad.  The new view navigation is a great improvement over enabling numpad emulation.

 

Never nice new feature, great job Blender team!

 

The Video

 

This video, available in HD here, illustrates mostly the same material we just covered if you prefer video form or if I missed a detail.

Art ,

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