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12. March 2015

 

I absolutely LOVE version 1.0 releases.  Yeah, it’s just a number but it’s a critical number.  One that says “this is no longer just a toy and we are ready to stand behind it!”.  It’s not really the product that changes, but the attitude attached to it.

 

Well, RoboVM just hit that critical milestone.  What the heck is RoboVM you may be asking, especially if you aren’t a Java/LibGDX developer.  Well, from a game centric perspective, RoboVM is the technology that enables the Java based LibGDX to be run on iOS.  Basically it’s a set of tools that allows you to compile Java code, using the various Java libraries, and have it run on iOS.  If you think “Hey, that sounds a lot like Mono from Xamarin!”.  Well yeah, the Mono VM is basically the same thing for the .NET runtime instead of the Java development stack.

 

Well anyways, RoboVM just turned one yesterday.  Now one really crappy thing about software turning one is that’s often when they start charging for it.  This is “kinda” the case with RoboVM, but not in a bad way.  Basically you can use it as you use it today free of charge.  There are now some value add and support related options for commercial licenses…

 

Heck, why don’t I just post the announcement after all…

 

After months of hard work we are proud to announce our first stable release, RoboVM 1.0! This would not have been possible without the help from our fantastic community who provided feedback, filed issue reports and worked with us to track down bugs. A big THANK YOU to all of the over 2000 beta subscribers!

 

With the 1.0 release, we hope to grow our community even further. For this reason, we’ll also take a look under the hood of RoboVM today, giving newcomers a bit of insight what RoboVM is, how it works, and what our motivation behind it is. If you want to know more, jump to “What’s RoboVM?”

 

What’s new?

Many new features and bug fixes went into 1.0:

  • The debugger has received another round of updates. All JDWP functionality is now implemented.
  • Support for RAM disk caches. This can help speed up the compilation and linking process on slow HDDs.
  • Support for HFS+ file compression. All files put into the cache are now compressed, further speeding up the compilation process and reducing the amount of space used for the RoboVM cache.
  • Initial project template and Maven archetype support.
  • A new Eclipse project wizard, using the templates project
  • Support for invoking tools via robovm.xml. We currently support the TextureAtlas tool, with more to come.
  • Cleanup and simplification of Objective-C bindings, see the binding status page
 
Announcing Commercial Licenses

First off: nothing will change for users of our OSS core! You will continue to be able to create apps without any artificial limitations, free of charge. With our new commercial licenses we add convenience features and support services on top of the OSS core. This will allow us to support our work on the free OSS core and ensure the longevity of the project as a whole.

Our commercial license scale with the size of your business, covering solo developers, startups, SMEs and big enterprises. Depending on your plan, you’ll get access to the following features and services:

  • JDWP compliant debugger for both simulator and on-device debugging
  • Improved crash reporting
  • Private e-mail support, with and without SLA
  • JavaFX support
  • Hotfix support
  • Alpha channel access to new commercial features

Our full pricing information is available at http://www.robovm.com/buy.

Over 2000 developers have subscribed to our beta program over the last few months. You have provided invaluable feedback for which we’d like to thank you with more than just words.

 

All beta users are eligible for a discount of 50% for the solo and startup license tiers (one year subscriptions)! Please sign up for a trial with the e-mail address you used for the beta. We’ll get back to you with a discounted license in the next 14 days!

 
What’s next?

The 1.0 release marks an important milestone for us. But we are far from being done. We’ll continue with our fast paced releases, with the following features scheduled for the near term future:

  • Improved documentation, users guides and screencasts
  • Intellij IDEA & Android Studio integration, a preliminary Gradle-based plugin is available
  • Interface Builder integration (commercial feature)
  • Support for extensions (dynamic libraries) to enable peripherals like Apple Watch
  • Support for statically linking RoboVM into Objective-C apps

 

Exciting times ahead! With all of this out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s under the hood of RoboVM.

 

All told, good news for the LibGDX community and congratulations to RoboVM on the critical release!

News


11. March 2015

 

Copperlicht, a somewhat recently open sourced WebGL game engine has just released version 1.9.

 

Release notes are, shall we say…  terse.  Here they are in the entirity from the Copperlicht forums.

 

Hi,
CopperLicht 1.9 is now available for download. Get it here:
http://www.ambiera.com/copperlic...


Added support for realtime reflecting water surfaces, rendering to textures, inverting the depth test, shader callbacks, pointer lock, and more clearly rendered 2D Overlays.



Have fun with it!

 

Although the archive itself has slightly more detailed release notes:

 

---------------------------------------------
CopperLicht 1.9
---------------------------------------------

- Added realtime reflecting water surfaces.
  There is now a special scene node which renders water surfaces, which can be used to create rivers,
  lakes, and oceans. It is highly configurable, so it can be used to create various,
  realistic looking water surfaces.
 
- Added support for rendering to textures.
  See CL3D.Renderer.setRenderTarget() and CL3D.Renderer.addRenderTargetTexture() for this.

- Added support for inverting the depth test.
  See CL3D.Renderer.setInvertedDepthTest() for this.
 
- Introduced the option to use callbacks for shader settings constants when creating your own materials.

- Full screen with pointer lock now works again on Chrome. Previously, this stopped working
  after Google changed their implementation.

- Fixed 3D sound node to play sound looped even if set to 'play once'

 

Copperlicht is from (one of the?) creator of the popular IrrLicht game engine.  They also have a number of other tools available, such as the CopperCube world editor and irrKlang a cross platform audio library.  It’s one of those products I’ve intended to take a closer look at for some time.

News


3. March 2015

Allegorithmic, makers of the popular Substance 3D painting suite among other products have just announced an excellent new way to purchase their products.

 

They announced a new program, Substance Live, details below were taken from this forum posting:

 

NewImage

 

Basically, like many other packages, you can now subscribe to Substance Designer/Painter for a monthly fee. Then the cool part… once your subscription hits the purchase price… you own the product!

 

Yes folks, rent to own has come to the game dev world, and it’s an awesome thing!  Let’s hope this catches on!

Art News


3. March 2015

 

With GDC on, after Unreal’s announcement I think this will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody…  Unity 5 is here and it now has a new, more indie-friendly license.

 

Here is the release from their blog:

 

Unity 5 is here. For everyone.

Today is the big day. We’re launching Unity 5 globally.  Today.  Yes, you can all download it now.

There are literally over a thousand improvements in Unity 5 that we’d love to talk about.  My quick blog today is not the place to do that.  This note is being posted just as I go on stage to officially launch Unity 5 at GDC in San Francisco.  We’re live streaming the launch and you will see Joachim, Ralph Hauwert, Todd Hooper, Will Goldstone go deeper on the technical upgrades in Unity 5.0.  You will also see David, of course!  And, there will be a few ‘guests’ from the industry on stage to talk about Unity 5 in their own words.  Visit our website at Unity3d.com for the latest details and explanations.  Also — Joachim will post some thoughts later this week once he gets through the craziness of the start of GDC.

Watch the launch event live right here:

 

 

While I can’t get into all the technical detail on Unity 5 in a short post, I do want to share with you the big ideas that we think define Unity 5.

  1. It is a graphics powerhouse capable of rendering beautiful, complex and detailed scenes.

  2. The highly extensible and feature rich editor is now 64-bit and is even more robust than ever with additions like our huge suite of integrated audio design tools*.  (* full multi-track audio mixer.  very cool.)

  3. Unity’s industry leading multiplatform support grow with WebGL and improves with better console platform support and the introduction of IL2CPP.  Unity now supports 21(!) platforms.

  4. With the launch of Unity 5, we are launching Unity Cloud Build which is providing an option to developers to boost their productivity and efficiency through the cloud. You can learn more about Unity 5 here.

The business model…. one of the big questions for everyone.  We’re evolving the best licensing model in the business into something even better. We’re adding value and power so that everyone has the creative freedom they need to succeed.  Before I describe our pricing model, I want to take a moment and describe the philosophy behind the new pricing. I know I am on tricky ground in describing pricing philosophically.  For many, I am sure you’d rather just see the numbers.  Here goes.  First, know that our pricing for Unity 5 is as much about Unity and our values at Unity as it is about anything else. This is entirely different than with any company I have worked with in my life.  We did not start with setting a profit goal and working backwards.  We started with two goals and worked forward to our developers.

Goal #1 — One of the founding principles of Unity is the idea that we work hard to solve very hard technical problems so our developers / users won’t have to.  For this to be at all relevant, our best tools need to be a great value.

Goal #2 — Deep in Unity’s culture is the principle of Democracy. The goal is to price in such a way as to reflect our principles.  Democracy is the principle we were founded on, and it means we do our best to put Unity in the hands of developers, Indies or Pros, that may not have the resources to pay for it.  Its about enabling most everyone to create with the best tools we can make.  I won’t get too soppy in this post — but is is an honor for me to work in a company so mission driven and principled.

So, on to the pricing model.  We have two.

Unity 5 Professional Edition

With Unity 5 Professional Edition, we’re adding incredible value for teams of all sizes.  Unity 5 Pro will have same starting price point as with Unity 4 Pro, at  $75/month subscription or $1500 perpetual. Pro customers get all the power of Unity 5 plus:

  • Team License

  • Unity Cloud Build Pro (12-month subscription)

  • Unity Analytics Pro (currently in beta)

  • Game Performance Reporting (currently in preview)

  • Asset Store Level 11 (a new collection of free assets available each month)

  • Access to previews and betas

  • No revenue limit, no revenue share

We think this is a huge value.  Unity 5 Pro provides a huge upgrade from Unity 4, and it comes with a bunch of extra services and a team license, all for the base pricing of Unity 4.  Inflation gone backwards… or, put another way, better value than ever before.

Unity 5 Personal Edition

Democracy is something we believe in. It’s in the DNA of those that work at Unity. It’s one of the things that drew me to the company. It’s also one of the things that is most important to the games industry. So with that in mind, we are launching Unity 5 Personal Edition. Unity 5 Personal Edition provides all the power of Unity 5 engine and editor. To clarify — this is important — it is the same Unity 5 engine and editor as in the Pro Edition.  It comes with all the features including  Profiler, Occlusion Culling, Render-to-Texture, and Post-Processing Special Effects as well as all the big Unity 5 features like Physically-based Shading, Enlighten, reflection probes and much more.

Unity 5 Personal Edition is free.  No royalty.  Free.

Unity 5 Personal Edition is for professional developers, Indies, hobbyists and studios with revenue under $100,000 and funding under $100,000.

You can see a full comparison of the licenses here.

Download Unity 5, play with it, experiment with it, and create something beautiful and lasting.

Today is a big day.  I hope you are as excited about it as we are at Unity.

John Riccitiello

 

So what exactly does the new license mean? Well for small time developers it's absolutely awesome. Unity Personal edition is basically the exact same product as Pro now, except completely free.  What’s the catch?

 

Well, maximum revenue AND funding of $100,000.  Over that and you need to buy the Professional edition.  So essentially, if you are profitable or well funded, you need the pro version.  If not, it costs not a cent and you get the full version, free.  Not free plus royalties… free.  Up to 100K.

 

There are a couple catches though…  probably the biggest deal is you will have a Unity splash screen on startup.  You don’t have access to the team server, cloud builds and pro analytics tools, but for most people that should be a non-factor.

 

All told, it’s a pretty sweet day to be a game developer!

Programming


2. March 2015

Gotta just love GDC eh?  Hot on the heals of Unreal Engine getting rid of it’s subscription fee, we now learn the Corona, a popular cross platform Lua based mobile game engine, has gone free.  Of course there is still a subscription tier, that’s how they make money, but you get a great deal more than you did before at absolutely no cost.  Additionally they finally added Windows and Mac OS/X Support.

 

Full announcement below:

This week, to coincide with GDC, we’re making some very exciting announcements!

Corona SDK is completely FREE

freeFirst, Corona SDK is now completely free! Starting today, anyone who registers on our site will get the full power of Corona SDK (existing users can just logout and then re-login to the Corona Simulator).

Previously, you had to pay to get access to things like daily builds, in-app purchases, premium graphics, Pro-tier plugins, Windows Phone 8, etc. — now, everyone will get those for free. If you’re familiar with the old subscription tiers for Corona SDK (Starter, Basic, and Pro), everyone will now get the functionality that was available in Pro. There is now a single “Corona SDK” — one tier to rule them all.

It is worth noting that Corona Enterprise, CoronaCards iOS, and CoronaCards Android will continue to be paid products.

If you’re an existing subscriber — Basic, Pro, or Enterprise — see Free Upgrades for Subscribersat the bottom of this post to learn about some great upgrades.

Mac App and Win32 App support

Mac+WinIn my State of Corona address, I mentioned new platforms as a major theme for 2015 and our strategy to make it happen.

And that brings us to our second major announcement: We are bringing Mac App and Win32 App support to the Corona platform!

Yes, you read that right.

We are going to make it incredibly easy for you to create apps that run everywhere — from desktop computers to mobile devices!

Currently, we are in the early stages. Our next milestone is to be able to package this up into a form that can be shared in a beta. More on this soon.

But we have some demos: come by the Fuse Powered/Corona Labs booth at the GDC Expo (Booth 1244, South Hall) this week if you’d like to see a few really great Corona apps running on desktop computers — as apps! We’ll also publish some videos of these here on the blog very soon.

Fuse Powered monetization

treasure-chestFinally, our parent company, Fuse Powered, is taking monetization to a whole new level with a its player-centric monetization engine. See some recent coverage in VentureBeat.

With this engine, you’ll be able to do 3 things. First, you’ll be able to analyze your players, and make meaningful conclusions from their in-game behavior. Next, you’ll be able to segment them based on these behaviors and figure out the most relevant offer to show them. Finally, you’ll be able to deliver targeted IAP offers, dynamic rewarded video, and ads.

On top of it all, you’ll also be able to mediate your own ad networks and leverage AdRally, Fuse’s competitive ad marketplace.

There’s nothing on the market like this today, and it all translates into helping you make significantly more money!

While select Corona developers are already in private beta with Fuse Powered, we are working hard to nail down all the moving parts — there are a lot of them. Rest assured, we want to get this into your hands as quickly as possible.

If you’d like to learn more, come to Jon’s session at GDC on Tuesday, Mar 3: Player Centric Live Ops Monetization.

Or come by the Fuse Powered/Corona Labs booth at the GDC Expo (Booth 1244, South Hall).

Free Upgrades for Subscribers

Now that Corona is free, we do realize there are many of you that have bought/renewed your Corona subscriptions recently and we want to make sure we take care of you. If you were an existing Basic, Pro, or Enterprise customer as of this morning, we’re going to give you some amazing, free upgrades:

  1. Current Corona Enterprise customers get CoronaCards iOS and CoronaCards Android licenses (1 month for each month you have left).
  2. Current Corona SDK Pro customers have been upgraded to Corona Enterprise (1.5 months for each month you have left) and will also get CoronaCards iOS/Android.
  3. Current Basic customers have been upgraded to Corona Enterprise (1 month for each month you have left) and will also get CoronaCards iOS/Android.

All these upgrades should be in place NOW, but it’s possible some of you may have to wait a day or so to see the full upgrade.

However, if you’re a Basic or Pro customer who bought in 2015 (Jan 1, 2015 or after), and you do not want these upgrades, you can request a pro-rated refund. Email us at [email protected] by Mar 15, 2015 11:59pm PST. If you meet the conditions, we will issue a refund within a few days.

If you have any questions, please review the FAQs. If you still have questions or want to discuss, feel free to post in this thread in the forum and we will do our best to make it all clear!


We are super excited about making Corona SDK free and opening it up to an even bigger worldwide developer community. This, together with our expanded platform coverage and the work we are doing with Fuse Powered is making for the start of a great year!

And, as always, we want to thank all our developers for using Corona and for making some amazing things with the Corona platform!


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