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27. January 2013


LibGDX is a popular Java based open source cross platform game programming library that supports desktop, Android, HTML5 and now… iOS.


Other details about this release:


  • Minor changes to the Livewallpaper API. Note that the LWP support is still a little buggy. It’s a contribution, and while i did quite a bit of clean-up it’s still not entirely where it should be. I’d be super happy if someone took on that backend!
  • If you want to deploy to HTML5 you now need to use GWT 2.5!
  • We have rudimentary Maven support. Thanks a ton to Team Gemserk for libgdx mavenizer and all their help with this!.
  • Android Daydream support, a contribution by talklittle! This one is stable.
  • Gdx controllers extension, for Android/Ouya and desktop. HTML5 could be an option too! Volunteers? (looking at you Nex) Some notes on the current stub backend for HTML5
  • The gdx-net API is now part of core. Fetching things via HTTP should work on all backends. Here’s a little test. Big thanks to Noblemaster and Gemserk who led this effort!
  • Not exactly part of the release, but here’s a quick rundown on how to make your libgdx game work with Ouya!
  • Again, not exactly part of the release, but here’s an awesome guide by Swarm on how to integrate Swarm with your libgdx app! Note that you should probably interface the Swarm API so your desktop project continues to work.
  • First release of the iOS backend



The iOS release does have some caveats though.  You need a Mac, XCode and ( here’s the stickler ) a MonoTouch license, just like the PlayN project’s iOS port.  Unfortunately, MonoTouch costs 400$, so this is one of those things you should be aware of upfront.


That said, iOS is often the biggest market place, so being able to port your game could be easily worth the 400$ price tag. 


The following features are in the queue for the 0.9.9 release:



You can read the entire release notes here, and access the source code here.


Nice work LIBGDX team.

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25. January 2013


Rim have released Gameplay 1.6, a 3D cross platform library for writing games for Blackberry 10, Playbook, PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices using C++.  gameplayThis is a project we have been following here at GameFromScratch for quite a while, and given the complexity, its amazing just how fast you can get up to speed.


If C++ is your language of choice ( or LUA for that matter ), you really should check out Gameplay, it’s completely free and open source.


The following are the release notes of the 1.6 release:

  • Adds file Stream interface for reading/writing files instead of using fread/fwrite.
  • Adds Terrain class to support for heightmap based terrains featuring LOD, multiple surface layers, loading from PNG, RAW8/16, full transform, physics, patch culling and verticle skirt for cracks.
  • Adds object-space normal map generation to gameplay-encoder for terrain normal map generation.
  • Adds scene support for loading .terrain files in .scene files.
  • Adds scene support for inline cameras to .scene files.
  • Adds suppoft for defining .scene files without 'path' to gpb. New node can not be create in .scene file.
  • Adds static Scene::getScene(const char*) to query currently active scenes in a game, helpful for script access.
  • Adds support for multiple translate, rotate and scale commands in a single node entity within .scene files, processed in-order they are defined.
  • Adds scene support for material auto binding scene ambient color, light color and light direction.
  • Adds support for setting the depth compare function on materials.
  • Adds support for texture/sampler arrays being passed to materials.
  • Adds support for loading uncompressed DDS textures for the following formats: R8G8B8, A8R8G8B8, A8B8G8R8, X8R8G8B8, X8B8G8R8
  • Adds improvments to prefer higher quality mipmap generation.
  • Adds improved Gamepad API support for button enumeration, triggers and some mobile Gamepad support on BlackBerry.
  • Adds additional gameplay-tests for billboards, forms, gamepads and lights.
  • Adds support for launching the browser via launchURL(const char*).
  • Adds physics support for setLinearFactor and setAngularFactor on rigid bodies.
  • Adds methods to PhysicsCollisionObject to allow conversion to subclass types (i.e. PhysicsRigidBody, PhysicsCharacter, etc) from script.
  • Adds option for fullscreen without width/height config to use native desktop resolution.
  • Adds Linux support for OpenAL PulseAudio back-end.
  • Adds support for latest Bullet Physics 2.81 with NEON optimizations for mobile targets.
  • Adds support for preprocessor directive NO_LUA_BINDINGS in the gameplay project to omit inclusion of generated lua bindings in compilation for developer mode value.
  • Adds optimizations to Lua generator to only write generated files if they differ from existing files, reducing both build times and committing of unchanged script binding files.
  • Adds changes to Slider for setValueTextVisible, setValueTextAlignment, setValueTextPrecision and getters.
  • Adds Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit support.
  • Adds Apple iOS 6 support.
  • Fixes to external-deps to reduce the size of the libraries on Windows.
  • Fixes for Android to no longer need to copy files to the SD card before reading them. None of the Android samples require an SD card.
  • Fixes for animation of opacity on UI and fonts.
  • Fixes in UI for removing controls and also setVisible(bool).
  • Fixes for UI controls missing on MacOSX.
  • Fixes for setting UI alignment programmatically.
  • Fixes for lighting shaders.
  • Fixes to the texture minification mode from GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR to GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR for newly created textures with mipmaps.
  • Fixes minor memory leaks and possible access violations when calling Game::exit() from script.
  • Fixes physics debug drawing for large scenes causing the internal MeshBatch to grow to an enormous size.


This release certainly makes Gameplay on the desktop seem much more viable.  Terrain support is certainly a nice new addition as well.


Good job Gameplay team.

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22. January 2013

Amazon have released Game Connect a system for offering DLC and other game purchases ( subscriptions? ) using Amazons infrastructure.


At first glance this seems pretty minor, yet another payment processor, but it is actually a rather large deal… why?  Because your purchasable game content will be included on, bringing massive exposure to small players in the free to play space.  Additionally, people trust Amazon and can use their existing account, gift cards, etc to make payments.  In some ways this might be one of the biggest developments for small indie developers looking to monetize their games.


What is Game Connect?

Game Connect is a service provided by Amazon which enables customers to discover and purchase virtual items on and have these virtual items sent directly to their linked game account.

How does Game Connect help you find more customers?

• Convenience: Customers can link their existing accounts with their account in your game to purchase digital items, delivered directly to their linked game account.

• Trust and Security: Game Connect enables Amazon customers to purchase your games and virtual items using existing and trusted order processing and payments technology. 

• Discoverability: Your games and virtual items will benefit from the familiar Amazon personalization and recommendation engine, surfacing your products where it makes the most sense for customers.


Amazon mention that during beta, developers took an average of 2 weeks including testing to implement Game Connect in their game.  Unfortunately there is little developer information available, you need to email if you want more details or to enrol.  EDIT:  Some developer information is available after all.  SDKs exist for Java, PHP and .NET.


The store is already only and you can browse it here.  As you can see, there is a fair bit of support already, including Second Life and Air Mech.

Amazon Connect


Is this a game changer, or just another payment processor?


Amazon have become a bigger and bigger player in the game development space, without many people realizing it.  Already their EC2 and S3 cloud solutions power the back ends of a large number of games.  Additionally their Kindle store provides an alternative to the mostly dismal Android App Store.


Some more links care of Reddit.  Here is the link to the In App Purchases documentation page.

Included are this tidbit

For In-App Purchasing for PC, Mac and Web-based games, please contact us to discuss revenue share.

For In-App Purchasing on Kindle Fire or through the Amazon Appstore for Android, developers earn 70 percent of list price on each paid app as well as on each in-app purchase. The fee for distributing apps through the Mobile App Distribution Program is $99 per year, which we are currently waiving.

 They currently support Pc, Mac and Web targets, as well as Kindle Fire and Android.  Notably absent is iOS.

The full Amazon press release is available here.


21. January 2013


This one is a big one.  If you have never heard of it, monoGame started life as a way to port XNA applications to the various Mono targets (including iOS and Android), built on top of OpenGL.  With Microsoft basically retiring XNA, monoGame has basically become the future of XNA.

The biggest and most obvious addition in this release is 3D support, but there are a number of other great new features:image


What's New?
  • 3D (many thanks to Infinite Flight Studios for the code and Sickhead Games in taking the time to merge the code in)
  • New platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, OUYA, PlayStation Mobile (including Vita).
  • Custom Effects.
  • PVRTC support for iOS.
  • iOS supports compressed Songs.
  • Skinned Meshs
  • VS2012 templates.
  • New Windows Installer
  • New MonoDevelop Package/AddIn
  • A LOT of bug fixes
  • Closer XNA 4 compatibility

    The also added a new installer that will install a binary release of Monogame on Windows for use with Visual Studio.  MonoDevelop users can update with the Add-in Manager.

    Head on over here for the release announcement.


    Nice work Monogame team!

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    21. January 2013

    I am testing my blogging software in a different mode.  That is what this post is all about, nothing exciting, sorry.




    Testing concluded and working mostly well.


    If anyone is curious, a while back I did a series of posts about blogging on MacOS and the search for a Windows Live Writer alternative.  Ultimately I choose to go with MarsEdit.


    Over time I've really enjoyed working with MarsEdit, much more so than WLW actually, but I still do a lot of work on Windows and MarsEdit has a pair of pretty heavy downsides.  I use BlogEngine for this sites blog, and it supports blog API seems to be catered towards WLW, it used the Metablog standard, but with extensions.  Those extensions are to support Pages and Tags, two things I used heavily.


    This means if I published using MarsEdit, no TAG support.  Even worse, if I edited an existing post, it removed the tags.  This was to say the least a bit of a bummer.  I also can't create Pages, which are basically just posts that are outside the timeline of the blog.  I use these for table of contents posts, like the index page for almost any Tutorial post I write.


    So I fired off a support/feature request to Red Sweater.  Impressively I go a response, not a form letter, an actual response with suggestions to try setting my blog type to Wordpress and trying again.  It somewhat worked, but isn't quite perfect.


    I am hoping to get there eventually, but in the meanwhile, a gigantic tip of my hat to Red Sweater, that is exceptional support!  I certainly wouldn't expect the same from Microsoft, and they are a company I hold in incredibly high regard when it comes to customer service.


    So, there you go.  If you are looking for a Mac based blogging software, give MarsEdit a shot.  If you are running MarsEdit with BlogEngine and run into issues, try setting your blog type to WordPress.


    That is all.

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    Marmalade Platform 8.5 Release Adds Updated 2D Editor
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    27. July 2016


    Marmalade is a cross platform C++ based game engine that just release version 8.5.  The biggest feature of this new release has got to be heavily updated 2D editor, Marmalade 2D kit.  Other features of this release include support for OpenAL and Windows Live Tiles.


    From the release announcement:

    All-new 2D Kit editor experience

    Since the first release of Marmalade 2D Kit we have been working hard to improve the editor's appearance, user experience and functionality, based on feedback from users.

    In this release the look and feel of the 2D Kit editor has been completely overhauled, including new style objects, intuitive icons and adjustable colors using a preference panel.

    The core user experience has also been dramatically improved with changes such as:

    • Dockable panels
    • Custom editor layout preferences
    • Layout guide helpers
    • Context menu for node creation
    • Clearer animation timeline
    • Multi-key selection
    • Relative animation key frames by default
    • Intuitive zoom control
    • Clearer messaging
    • Easier 9-slice texture setup
    • Improved asset thumbnails
    • Improved animation panel 
    • Improved player interface
    • Improved resource panel
    • Improved object inspector
    • Improved anchoring support for stretching nodes

    Rounding out the changes we have added some other useful functionality such as a command line interface for exporting scenes and optional automated upgrade of existing projects.

    All of this is accompanied by significantly improved documentation, such as the user manual and tutorials, and a raft of general bug fixes.

    New OpenAL support

    OpenAL is very popular in the game dev community, allowing you to create immersive sound fields with built-in support for positional audio.

    We have now added official OpenAL support, based on OpenAL Soft, to the Marmalade Platform as a cross-platform middleware module.

    This new middleware module builds on top of s3eSound and is therefore available to all supported platforms, from iOS and Android to Windows and OS X. 

    Whether you're starting a new project or porting an existing one to Marmalade, providing a more engaging audio experience just got much easier.

    For an overview of OpenAL support in the Marmalade Platform, see here.

    New Windows live tile support

    One way to make your Windows apps more engaging is through the use of a live tile for your app.

    With this release we are introducing a new s3eWindowsLiveTile extension to make this as easy as possible.

    Interested? Find out more in the overview for S3E Windows Live Tile support.

    Improved C++11 support

    The previous Marmalade Platform release saw the addition of C++11 support to the main release, with the initial focus on Windows/Mac OS X Desktop and Simulator.

    In this release, we've made some minor improvements in C++11 support, primarily to provide better support for the latest version of Visual Studio 2015: Update 3.

    We have also significantly reduced the size of the C++11 add-on packages so you can now get started with C++11 support even quicker.

    Beyond this release, the next major update to C++11 support will focus on iOS and Android so keep an eye out for it!

    Improved EDK documentation

    The EDK can be one the trickier areas of the Marmalade Platform to master so we've improved our EDK documentation in a couple of key areas to help make the learning curve a little less steep.

    Please take a look at the updated getting started guide and a new section on debugging extensions.

    Download now!

    We think there's something for everyone in this release so head over to the Developer area to download now or check out the release notes for full details.

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