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17. August 2019

One of the most requested features in Unity, beyond dark mode in the free edition, is some form of Visual Scripting language like Blueprint in Unreal Engine.  Unity have been working on an experimental version of Unity Visual Script and earlier this week dropped the 3rd experimental version as well as a sample to demonstrate how it all works.  Keep in mind, this is extremely early and in no way is it for use in production code, nor is it documented… at all.

Another thing to keep in mind is the Visual Script in Unity is only for their new DOTS system, meaning it wont work with existing MonoBehaviour code.  It was explained why in the 2nd drop:

In this particular case we realised that there are quite a few mature solutions that most of the community is using successfully for visual scripting. We didn't think that what we can build on top of MonoBehaviours in terms of visual scripting would have been a massive improvement over solutions in the asset store.

On the other hand we saw an opportunity to focus VisualScripting on DOTS. Specifically enabling artists & level designers to write incredibly efficient multithreaded game code, by expressing their intent simply and the code being generated taking advantage of DOTS. The data centric nature of DOTS opens many new opportunities for visual scripting and interop with other code based systems.

We think a combination:
* Generating high performance visual scripting code out of the box (C# job + Burst + great memory layout)
* A UX language that reduces noodle graph-ness, by supporting stacking and other dedicated UX paradigm
* A straightforward path to transition from Visual Scripting -> well organized DOTS C# code
* Amazing debugging tools deeply integrated into DOTS & Visual scripting

If you are interested in a Visual Scripting system that works with existing Unity code be sure to check out Bolt or PlayMaker on the Unity store.  Check out the new Visual Scripting system in action in the video below.

GameDev News

14. August 2019

There is another Humble Bundle of interest to game developers.  The Humble Beat Goes On Bundle is a collection of audio production applications from MAGIX (a lot of which was previously Sony).  As with all Humble Bundles, it is organized into tiers.  Buy a higher dollar value tier and you get all of the tiers below it as well.

The tiers for this bundle are:

1$ Tier

  • Music Maker EDM Edition
  • Voucher Code for Producer Planet

13$ Tier

  • ACID Music Studio 10
  • MP3 Deluxe 19

25$ Tier

  • SOUND FORGE Pro 12
  • ACID Pro 8

As with all Humble Bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated, between the publisher, Humble, charity or if you choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS.  Be VERY careful with this bundle however, much of the software featured has been in prior MAGIX Humble Bundles, although never in this exact combination.

Completely unrelated to game development, they also launched an awesome Warhammer: Dark Heresy PDF RPG bundle at the same time.  As a huge RPG fan, this one actually has me much more stoked! Winking smile

GameDev News

14. August 2019

Today we are checking out akeytsu by Nukeygara.  This is a commercial 3D rigging and animation software providing a quick and simple workflow for setting up and animating characters.  Simply import your character in FBX format, create a rig or use the existing Unreal or Unity rigs then paint skin weights.  Once your character is configured, or if you imported an already rigged character, it is time to begin animating.  If you are used to Max, Maya or Blender’s animation workflow, you will find akeytsu’s approach to be much more streamlined.

It is available on a fully functioning 30 day trial available here.  There are perpetual and subscription based pricing options for both professional and indie (>100K revenue) studios, as well as education licenses available. 

Learn more and check out akeytsu in action in the video below.


10. August 2019

With the release of Blender 2.8, there is a ton of interest in using Blender 2.8 with Godot.  The process of importing/exporting has always been one of the biggest challenges for game developers and the newest version of Blender 2.8 is no exception.  We already created a step by step tutorial on creating, texturing and animating a model in Blender 2.79 and successfully import it to Blender.  This video is slightly different, in that we are going to be looking at the options available to export from Blender 2.8. 

There are three primary options available, each with their advantages and disadvantages:

  • glTF
  • FBX

In this video we look at the process with each format when using Blender 2.8.  For this example we use the model Laiku freely available on Sketchfab, that is non-trivial, fully textured and simply animated.  Please also note that FBX import to Blender requires Godot 3.2 which is as of writing in development still.  If you don’t want to build Godot yourself, you can get nightly builds here.

Art Design

9. August 2019

Phaser, the popular open source 2D HTML 5 game framework, just released version 3.19.  Phaser 3.19 brings several new features and improvements Phaser319including a new Spine (learn more about this bone based 2D animation system here) plugin offering greater performance in a smaller package, a complete new Tweening system and several other new features.

Details from the Phaser blog:

This version will properly batch Spine skeletons where possible, potentially saving hundreds of draw calls. The plugin is fully documented and exports both debug and minified files, suitable for ES6 'importing' or ES5 plugin inclusion. The whole plugin is just 68KB in size (min+gz), or a paltry 57KB if you only need the Canvas renderer! That's a really tiny payload for such a massive feature-set. You can find out more about Spine from the Esoteric Software website.

3.19 also introduces a huge overhaul to the Tween system. Tweens now have 100% documentation and we've extended their capabilities significantly. There are lots of new Tween Events to listen for, such as 'COMPLETE' or 'REPEAT' to allow you to trigger actions without needing to create callbacks. Tweens can now tween both 'from' and 'to' a value, with the ability to set a starting value for any tweened property. There are lots of new handy methods and properties, such as Tween.hasStarted and a rewrite of the Tween seeking function, so it now allows you to seek to any point in time across a tween.

Finally, we've added in the great new 'StaggerBuilder'. This allows you to easily add staggered offsets to a bunch of tween targets, including all kinds of options such as staggering across a grid layout, stagger directions, starting values and a lot more. Please see the docs and examples for more details.

Be sure to check the Phaser blog for complete details of this release.  Check the change log for an even more in-depth description of what is new and changed in the 3.19 release.  You can get an introduction and overview of Phaser 3 in our slightly dated Introduction To Phaser 3 video available here.

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