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29. November 2016

 

Version 1.3.2 of Cocos Creator was just released.  Cocos Creator is a full game engine and editor built over top of the Cocos2d-x game framework.  It is cross platform, free and open source.  I did a hands on video shortly after Cocos Creator was launched if you want more details.  This release is primarily composed of fixes and improvements.

 

From the release notes:

Cocos Creator 1.3.2 released!

We are excited to release version 1.3.2 of Cocos Creator. Cocos Creator is a new, unified, development tool that handles every step in the game development process.

This version offers an incredible performance increase for both Web and native platforms. There are 6 major features and numerous small changes in this version that will help Creator meet the needs of more and more types of projects! The following is the highlight of this update:

  • [RichText] Added custom TTF font support
  • [DragonBones] Fixed an issue initialize the dragonAsset property of the DragonBones component will report error and cause crash。
  • [Engine] Fixes the problem of inconsistent viewsport after using renderTexture to capture screen.
  • [Label] Fixed a bug where LabelOutline and RichText underline style has incorrect color on iOS and Android platforms
  • [Loader] Fixed cc.loader.loadRes andcc.loader.load may not recognize the same resources correctly using caching.
  • [Loader] You can pass in url to cc.loader.release to release texture assets that don't have uuid.
  • [Engine] Detect WeChat version on iOS, in iOS 9 or before use Canvas rendering (due to the WeChat UIWebView bug), in iOS 10 on use WebGL rendering
  • [Action] Fixed rotateBy parameters in the native platforms can not control the two axial rotation at the same time issue.
  • [Prefab] Fixed issue that when Prefab node Size is 0 while the positions are greater than 100, double-click the Prefab will cause scene view not properly display.
  • [Builder] When building a native project, if the C ++ engine version changes, prompt the user to delete the build project to regenerate
  • [Builder] Add building process monitor to reduce the possibility of process stuck situation.
  • [Builder] The build target path now supports relative paths
  • [Collider] Fixes the bug that CircleCollider computes the error of boudingBox after it has modified anchor
  • [Editor] Fixed the problem of displaying the account information in the main menu when switching account login
  • [Animation] Improve the sample method to operate on a particular animationState and automatically update the animation state by callingsample after setCurrentTime
  • [Layout] Padding margins can now be customized in different directions
  • [PageView] adds a new page layout mode, support for irregular page size

Important upgrade instructions

  • The Windows version now uses use a 64-bit architecture, there is no longer support for 32-bit Windows systems. The advantage is that the editor can deal with a large number of image resources and improve the efficiency by at least 5 times, but also to support the emerging image format Webp.

Cocos Creator is maturing nicely.  Is this a technology you would be interested in seeing tutorials for?

GameDev News

28. November 2016

 

The following is a recap of major events in the world of game development for the week ending November 28th, 2016.  I do a weekly video recapping the news available here with this week’s video embedded below.  This post is a collection of links mentioned in the recap.

 

 

The Video

GameDev News

28. November 2016

 

The open source level editor Tiled just released a new version, 0.17.2.  Entirely composed of bug fixes, it does fix a rather nasty Qt incompatibility that was causing Mac OS X crashes.  If you are interested in learning more about Tiled, we have a comprehensive tutorial series available here.

Tiled 0.17.2 is just a small release with a few bug fixes. Potentially most importantly, it downgrades Qt from 5.7 to 5.6.2 for the OS X release because of crashes reported when Tiled is compiled against Qt 5.7.

Changelog

  • Fixed bug with editing type and name for multiple objects
  • Fixed ability to change the image of a tile in an image collection tileset
  • Fixed wrong layer name getting edited when switching maps (#1396)
  • Fixed possible crash when missing tileset images and using tile animations (#1393)
  • Compiled against Qt 5.6.2 on macOS to avoid crashes with Qt 5.7 (#1354)

Thanks a lot for the support through Patreon and on itch.io! I'm only able to keep improving Tiled because of this support. If you are not supporting me yet, please chip in towards my next goal of being able to actually afford working on Tiled two full days per week! Thanks!

 

Tiled is available for download here with the source code available here.

28. November 2016

 

Organized by DevDog, a Unity asset publisher, there is a Christmas giveaway of Unity assets and resources, with several Unity asset publishers, and Unity themselves contributing.  Simply register via your email address and each days winners are notified, every day leading up to Christmas.  Prizes include various asset store assets, conference tickets and even a Unity Pro license.  Drawing will begin December 1st and conclude of December 25th.

 

From the email I received:

Sune from Devdog here. We’re a Unity Asset Store Publisher, and we got a crazy ideaimage the other day.

What if we reach out to Unity themselves, fellow Asset Store developers, and other industry folks and ask them to sponsor a Christmas Calendar event for game developers?

Well, we did… and wow, has it snowballed since then! So many said yes that the total present pool is now well above $15.000 in value and includes over 300 presents.

With so many presents to hand out, however, we really have to get the word out there, and I was wondering if you’d help by sharing the event with your followers? :)

It’s naturally free to participate, and doesn’t require you to create an account anywhere.

Here’s the link to the Christmas event: http://christmas.devdog.io

And just as an example of a Tweet: https://twitter.com/DevdogUnity/status/803219246083870720

Game developers have delivered hours on end of entertainment and joy to many a gamer on Christmas Day, but now it’s time that the game developers themselves get an early Christmas present, don’t you think? :)

 

Of course, as with any time you have to register an email address, there is always the possibility of spam, but in this day and age, is that really even an issue anymore?  You can read more details about the give away here.

GameDev News

26. November 2016

 

Following hot on the release of Unity Patch 5.4.3p1 earlier this week, we just received patch 5.3.7p2.  Notice that these are two completely separate branches of Unity, 5.3.x and 5.4.x.  Both have seen the Oculus VR SDK updated to 1.10 with the most recent patches.

 

From the release notes:

Improvements
  • macOS/iOS/tvOS: Allow developers to use Xcode's manual signing paradigm by specifying a provisioning profile in Player Settings.
  • VR: Updated Oculus to version 1.10.
Fixes
  • (832578) - Audio: Fixed an issue which prevented streaming audio loading on 32-bit Apple devices which were upgraded to iOS 10.
  • (814160) - Editor: Fixed the logType passed to LogCallback in the event of an unhandled exception.
  • (833866) - Editor: Tweaked the output of the generated Visual Studio solution file to better match Visual Studio standard format to fix problems opening Unity generated projects with Rider GUI.
  • (832595) - Graphics: Fixed a crash when switching scenes whilst reflection probes are updating.
  • (769758) - Graphics: Fixed selection of objects in Scene View if the scene contains reflective water.
  • (849701) - IL2CPP: Fixed a crash that could occur in the player when a virtual method was called on a value type and that value type implemented an interface which had an overload of that virtual method.
  • (849072) - IL2CPP: Implemented the array SetValue method for arrays of nullable types.
  • (847838) - IL2CPP: Prevented a compiler error in generated C++ code when calling Interlocked.CompareExchange from some managed code.
  • (845174) - IL2CPP: Prevented a stack overflow exception in the player at run time when an infinitely nested generic method is used.
  • (845448) - UI: Fixed Sprite Packer not packing sprites with ETC1 when compressing sprites for android.
  • (846096) - UI: Fixed threading problem when computing bounds which could lead to an infinite loop in the UI system.
  • (721071) - UI: Fixed Transparency not being applied to UI Elements if ETC1 compression is used combined with having specified a Packing Tag.

As always the patch can be downloaded here.

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Facebook and Unity Team Up On New Game Market
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21. August 2016

 

Facebook used to be an absolute powerhouse in the game publishing space before mobile games became so dominant.  Many now gigantic companies like King got their start on Facebook as did many of the most popular mobile IP (Candy Crush, Clash of Kings, etc.)  So it should come as no surprise that Facebook is keen to become a bigger player in the gaming space.  This is doubly true considering their multi-billion dollar purchase of Oculus.  The approach they have taken is however somewhat shocking. 

 

Earlier this year Facebook launched the beta of their Facebook Arcade, a downloadable client for playing several of their most popular games.  It seems that Facebook is intending to morph this service into a more Steam like service.  One part of this strategy is a newly announced partnership with Unity that will enable Unity developers to publish directly to Facebook’s new service.  From the Unity forum:

Sign up to be a closed-alpha partner! Unity is partnering with Facebook to lower the cost and friction of bringing your games cross-platform, with the power to reach over 650 million people who are already playing Facebook-connected games every month. With over $2.5B paid out by Facebook to game developers last year alone, Facebook will be selecting developers building in Unity 5.4 to join as closed-alpha partners to test a new export functionality within the Unity editor. With this new functionality, Unity developers will be able to easily publish their games onto a brand-new Facebook PC gaming distribution platform to help drive additional growth and monetization.
Sign up here (fb.me/FBUnityAlpha) by August 31, 2016 to help us test and provide feedback on an alpha build of the new functionality we're in building into the Unity editor. Don't miss this opportunity to help shape an exciting new venture that we're investing in and reap the benefits of being an early partner*.
* Once selected, closed-alpha partners will need to agree to the the following minimum requirements:

  • Sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
  • Use the alpha build and report bugs in order to help make this a better product
  • Once you've built your game for the new Facebook PC platform, submit it to Facebook for review

Please share any questions you may have in this forum thread.

 

Details of this new service are quite scarce.  Given the requirement to sign an NDA to sign up, it seems likely it will remain that way.  As loathe as I am to link to them (the TMZ of tech “journalism”), TechCrunch currently have the most details available:

Facebook was apprehensive to reveal details about the specs and plans for the PC platform, but here’s what we know from talking with Facebook and Unity:

  • It will run on different types of PCs, not just Windows like the Games Arcade test
  • The desktop platform provides a distraction-free gaming environment uncluttered by other Facebook features like the News Feed
  • It will support the traditional casual Facebook games, mobile games ported from iOS and Android, and Unity says it will likely support more “immersive” hardcore games like you typically see on Steam or consoles, as there’s no plans for a limit on genres or specs right now
  • It will offer discoverability so gamers can find titles to play
  • Facebook will provide a revenue split for game publishers, though it’s unclear if it will deviate from the industry standard 30% it’s used in the past

So basically Facebook appear to be launching their own marketplace to compete with the likes of Steam with both casual games and an eye towards more hardcore games in the future.  If you are interested in signing up you have until the end of August.

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