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15. June 2016

 

Today Trimble just announced the beta of My.Sketchup, a version of their popular 3D modeler Sketchup, that runs entirely in the browser.  Previously owned by Google and used to make 3D models for their Google Maps solution, Sketchup is a 3D modeling application that makes modeling extremely quick.  Sketchup also has the 3D warehouse, a massive collection of models that are free to use directly in Sketchup.

My.Sketchup is currently in beta, if you are interested in joining you need to sign up and wait for an invite.  They aim to bring the entire Sketchup experience to the browser.  From their own announcement:

What is my.SketchUp? Why my.SketchUp?

One of SketchUp’s greatest strengths is its accessibility. Pretty much anyone can sit down in front of SketchUp with little or no prior experience in 3D modeling and be up and away in a few minutes. A little experience with drawing helps, and it is always motivating to have a project in mind that you want to model… but SketchUp is about the easiest tool available today if you want to visualize your ideas in 3D.

Since the beginning, SketchUp has relied on the presence of a desktop computer running an operating system from either Microsoft (Windows) or Apple (Mac OS X). And while that has been a great platform for SketchUp for the last fifteen years, it just doesn’t cover today’s spectrum of computing platforms like it used to.

For the last ten years, we’ve seen the inexorable rise of the Internet as a full-fledged platform for development. In our time at Google, we learned a new way to think about computing -— cloud first, respecting the power and ubiquity of the browser. And the Internet has (finally) matured in the last few years to provide a platform for development to support something as technically complex as 3D modeling.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the next big thing for SketchUp. We’re extending it to the cloud, bringing a full 3D modeling tool to anyone with a modern web browser.

My.SketchUp is a full implementation of SketchUp. All the tools you know, working exactly the same way they do on the desktop. This isn’t a watered-down, partial implementation. It’s the full shebang, running in your web browser with no special plugins or extra stuff to download and install. Just good old SketchUp.

My.SketchUp is also something entirely new. Working together with Trimble Connect, it is the most connected and collaborative version of SketchUp we’ve ever shipped. Your models are automatically stored in the cloud, available from anywhere. You can easily share them with others, combine your models with others, and manage changing versions, clashes, and comments over time.

If you’re already using SketchUp on your desktop computer, this isn’t meant to be a replacement. my.SketchUp is 100% compatible with SketchUp on the desktop, and you’ll have no challenges moving your models back and forth. They are just plain vanilla “.skp” files. We’re committed to keeping that true forever.

All that said, we’re still working out some details, polishing up the UI, and tuning the performance. Our release today is a public beta and a preview of my.SketchUp. We’re not done with this thing yet. Here’s a my.SketchUp FAQ that will give you a clearer expectation as you get started.

 

You can request an invite here.

GameDev News


13. June 2016

 

Today there was a new release of the Defold Lua powered cross platform 2D game engine, release 1.2.83.  One of the major features of this release is IPv6 only support, a requirement of the Apple App Store.  They also changed the default behavior of the escape key, no longer exiting the engine on press.  There were several other fixes and changes in this release:

Engine

  • DEF-1842 - Added: IPv6 support
  • DEF-1846 - Changed: Escape button no longer quits the engine
  • DEF-1760 - Changed: Switched to HTTPS for analytics server
  • DEF-1550 - Fixed: Refactoring GUI correctly updates texture paths
  • DEF-1828 - Fixed: gui.get_size() returns correct size on init
  • DEF-1624 - Fixed: Support for importing meshes with double type
  • DEF-1903 - Fixed: Facebook login UI is only shown if user is not logged in on HTML5
  • DEF-1661 - Fixed: filters field in facebook.show_dialog is handled correctly on HTML5
  • DEF-1722 - Fixed: Crash handling code froze on some platforms
  • DEF-799 - Fixed: Better logging when trying to stop ParticleFX that could not be found

Service

  • DEF-1781 - Updated: "Invite a friend" email has been updated

 

Let me know if you are interested in me doing a tutorial series about working in Defold.

GameDev News


12. June 2016

The following is a recap of major events in the world of game development for the week ending June 5th, 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


11. June 2016

 

As Phaser moves closer and closer to their final release, Phaser 2.4.9 RC4 was just released.  For a release candidate, this one has several features.  Here is the change log for this release:

* Phaser.Line.intersectsRectangle checks for intersection between a Line and a Rectangle, or any Rectangle-like object such as a Sprite or Body.
* Group.getClosestTo will return the child closest to the given point (thanks @Nuuf #2504)
* Group.getFurthestFrom will return the child farthest away from the given point (thanks @Nuuf #2504)
* Animation.reverse will reverse the currently playing animation direction (thanks @gotenxds #2505)
* Animation.reverseOnce will reverse the animation direction for the current, or next animation only (thanks @gotenxds #2505)
* The way the display list updates and Camera movements are handled has been completely revamped, which should result is significantly smoother motion when the Camera is following tweened or physics controlled sprites. The `Stage.postUpdate` function is now vastly reduced in complexity. It takes control over updating the display list (calling `updateTransform` on itself), rather than letting the Canvas or WebGL renderers do this. Because of this change, the `Camera.updateTarget` function uses the Sprites `worldPosition` property instead, which is now frame accurate (thanks @whig @Upperfoot @Whoisnt @hexus #2482)
* Game Objects including Sprite, Image, Particle, TilemapLayer, Text, BitmapText and TileSprite have a new property called `data`. This is an empty Object that Phaser will never touch internally, but your own code, or Phaser Plugins, can store Game Object specific data within it. This allows you to associate data with a Game Object without having to pollute or change its class shape.
* TilemapLayers will now collide properly when they have a position that isn't set to 0x0. For example if you're stitching together several maps, one after the other, and manually adjust their `scrollX/Y` properties (thanks @Upperfoot #2522)
* There are a bunch of new Phaser consts available to help with setting the angle of a Game Object. They are `Phaser.ANGLE_UP`, `ANGLE_DOWN`, `ANGLE_LEFT`, `ANGLE_RIGHT`, `ANGLE_NORTH_EAST`, `ANGLE_NORTH_WEST`, `ANGLE_SOUTH_EAST` and `ANGLE_SOUTH_WEST`.
* Math.between will return a value between the given `min` and `max` values.
* InputHandler.dragDistanceThreshold gives you more fine control over when a Sprite Drag event will start. It allows you to specify a distance, in pixels, that the pointer must have moved before the drag will begin.
* InputHandler.dragTimeThreshold gives you more fine control over when a Sprite Drag event will start. It allows you to specify a time, in ms that the pointer must have been held down for, before the drag will begin.
* InputHandler.downPoint is a new Point object that contains the coordinates of the Pointer when it was first pressed down on the Sprite.
* There are two new Phaser consts available, for help with orientation of games or Game Objects. They are `Phaser.HORIZONTAL`, `Phaser.VERTICAL`, `Phaser.LANDSCAPE` and `Phaser.PORTRAIT`.
* InputHandler.dragStopBlocksInputUp is a boolean that allows you to control what happens with the input events. If `false` (the default) then both the `onInputUp` and `onDragStop` events will get dispatched when a Sprite stops being dragged. If `true` then only the `onDragStop` event is dispatched, and the `onInputUp` is skipped.
* Group.inputEnableChildren is a new property. If set to `true` will automatically call `inputEnabled = true` on any children _added_ to, or _created_ by, the Group.
* PIXI.DisplayObjectContainer.ignoreChildInput is a new property. If `true` then the children will _not_ be considered as valid for Input events. Because this has been applied to `DisplayObjectContainer` it means it's available in Group, Sprite and any other display level object. Using this boolean you can disable input events for all children in an entire Group, without having to iterate anything or deep-set flags.
* InputHandler._pointerOverHandler and _pointerOutHandler have new arguments `silent` - if `true` then they will not dispatch any Signals from the parent Sprite.
* Pointer.interactiveCandidates is a new Array that is erased and re-populated every time this Pointer is updated. It contains references to all of the Game Objects that were considered as being valid for processing by this Pointer, during the most recent update. To be valid they must have suitable a `priorityID`, be Input enabled, be visible and actually have the Pointer over them. You can check the contents of this array in events such as `onInputDown`, but beware: it is reset every update.
* Pointer.swapTarget allows you to change the `Pointer.targetObject` object to be the one provided. This allows you to have fine-grained control over which object the Pointer is targeting.
* Input.setInteractiveCandidateHandler allows you to add a callback that is fired every time `Pointer.processInteractiveObjects` is called. The purpose of `processInteractiveObjects` is to work out which Game Object the Pointer is going to interact with. It works by polling all of the valid game objects, and then slowly discounting those that don't meet the criteria (i.e. they aren't under the Pointer, are disabled, invisible, etc). Eventually a short-list of 'candidates' is created. These are all of the Game Objects which are valid for input and overlap with the Pointer. If you need fine-grained control over which of the items is selected then you can use this callback to do so. The callback will be sent 3 parameters: 1) A reference to the Phaser.Pointer object that is processing the Items. 2) An array containing all potential interactive candidates. This is an array of `InputHandler` objects, not Sprites. 3) The current 'favorite' candidate, based on its priorityID and position in the display list. Your callback MUST return one of the candidates sent to it.
* Group.onChildInputDown is a new Signal that you can listen to. It will be dispatched whenever any immediate child of the Group emits an `onInputDown` signal itself. This allows you to listen for a Signal from the Group, rather than every Sprite within it.
* Group.onChildInputUp is a new Signal that you can listen to. It will be dispatched whenever any immediate child of the Group emits an `onInputUp` signal itself. This allows you to listen for a Signal from the Group, rather than every Sprite within it.
* Group.onChildInputOver is a new Signal that you can listen to. It will be dispatched whenever any immediate child of the Group emits an `onInputOver` signal itself. This allows you to listen for a Signal from the Group, rather than every Sprite within it.
* Group.onChildInputOut is a new Signal that you can listen to. It will be dispatched whenever any immediate child of the Group emits an `onInputOut` signal itself. This allows you to listen for a Signal from the Group, rather than every Sprite within it.
* Phaser.Weapon is a brand new plugin that provides the ability to easily create a bullet pool and manager. Weapons fire Phaser.Bullet objects, which are essentially Sprites with a few extra properties. The Bullets are enabled for Arcade Physics. They do not currently work with P2 Physics. The Bullets are created inside of `Weapon.bullets`, which is a Phaser.Group instance. Anything you can usually do with a Group, such as move it around the display list, iterate it, etc can be done to the bullets Group too. Bullets can have textures and even animations. You can control the speed at which they are fired, the firing rate, the firing angle, and even set things like gravity for them. Please see the Documentation for more details, or view the [Weapon examples](https://github.com/photonstorm/phaser-examples/tree/master/examples/weapon) in the Examples repo.

### Updates

* TypeScript definitions fixes and updates (thanks @wingyplus @monagames @marineorganism @obamor @BaroqueEngine)
* Docs typo fixes (thanks @seanirby @johnrees)
* The TypeScript defs ambient declaration has been updated to make it compatible with the SystemJS loader (thanks @monagames)
* You can no longer intersect check a Body against itself (thanks @VitaZheltyakov #2514)
* The mobile template has been updated (thanks @cryptographer #2518)
* Video.onComplete wouldn't fire on iOS if the user hit the 'Done' button before the video had finished playing. It now uses the `webkitendfullscreen` event to detect this, and dispatches the `onComplete` signal should that event fire (thanks @kelu-smiley #2498)
* Sound.addMarker now has a default value for the `duration` argument (1 second) to avoid the DOM Exception 11 error if you accidentally miss it out (thanks @mari8i #2508)
* Removed the `Stage.updateTransform` calls from the main game loop, because it happens automatically as part of `Game.updateLogic` anyway, so was duplicating the workload for no reason.
* TilemapLayer.postUpdate could potentially be called several times per frame (depending on device frame rate), which would cause multiple texture redraws, even though only the last texture is used during rendering. This has now been modified so that the local TilemapLayer canvas is only re-rendered once per frame, during the rendering phase, and not during the logic update phase.
* Group.preUpdate now iterate through the display list forwards, instead of in reverse, to match it with how `Stage.preUpdate` works.
* Stage.postUpdate is now a lot smaller, with no conditional branching if there is a Camera Target or not.
* Within RequestAnimationFrame both `updateRAF` and `updateSetTimeout` now only call `game.update` if `isRunning` is true. This should avoid asynchronous Game destroy errors under environments like Angular (thanks @flogvit #2521)
* Group.removeAll has a new argument `destroyTexture` which allows you to optionally destroy the BaseTexture of each child, as it is removed from the Group (thanks @stoneman1 #2487)
* PluginManager.remove has a new argument `destroy` (defaults to `true`) which will let you optionally called the `destroy` method of the Plugin being removed.
* Cache.getJSON used to incorrectly bring back a deep-copy of the Phaser.Utils object, instead of just a clone of the JSON object requested (thanks @drhayes #2524 #2526)
* The `DisplayObject.renderOrderID` used to run in reverse. I.e. in a display list with 10 sprites on it, the first sprite (at the bottom of the list, rendering behind all the others) would have a `renderOrderID` of 9, where-as the top-most sprite, rendering above all others, would have a `renderOrderID` of 0. While this didn't cause any side-effects internally, it's arguably illogical. So the process has been reversed, and `renderOrderID`s are now accumulative, starting at zero each frame, and increasing as it iterates down the display list. So the higher the ID, the more "on-top" of the output the object is.
* `InputHandler.validForInput` and `Pointer.processInteractiveObjects` have been updated to reflect the new `renderOrderID` sequence (see above).
* Group.add has a new optional argument `index` which controls the index within the group to insert the child to. Where 0 is the bottom of the Group.
* Group.addAt has been refactored to be a simple call to `Group.add`, removing lots of duplicate code in the process.
* Group.create has a new optional argument `index` which controls the index within the group to insert the child to. Where 0 is the bottom of the Group. It also now makes proper use of `Group.add`, cutting down on more duplicate code.
* Group.createMultiple now returns an Array containing references to all of the children that the method created.

### Bug Fixes

* Arcade Physics Body incorrectly positioned if the Sprite had a negative scale (see http://www.html5gamedevs.com/topic/22695-247-248-body-anchoring-any-migration-tips/) (thanks @SBCGames @icameron @Nuuf @EvolViper #2488 #2490)
* InputHandler.checkPointerDown had an incorrect single pipe character |, instead of an OR check ||, and an `isDown` check, causing Button Over events to fail (thanks @pengchuan #2486)
* BitmapText objects with lines greater than `maxWidth` now handle alignment values correctly, causing them to properly center align (thanks @kevinleedrum  #2499 @crippledcactus #2496)
* Text has a new private method `measureLine` which is used to calculate the final Text line length, after factoring in color stops and other style changes. This should prevent characters from becoming truncated (thanks @TadejZupancic #2519 #2512)
* Sometimes the browser would cause a race condition where any connected Game Pads were being detected before the callback had a chance to be established. Also sometimes the rawPad references would become stale, and are now checked constantly (thanks @cwleonard #2471)
* Sound.isPlaying was set to false when doing an audio loop, but never set back to true if it's a sound not using a marker (thanks @TheJasonReynolds #2529)
* Phaser.Rectangle.aabb would fail if the Rectangles used negative offsets. It now calculates the bounds accurately (thanks @fillmoreb #2545)
 

Full details of this release are available here.

GameDev News


9. June 2016

 

Today on Steam Valve just released the Destination Workshop a free application for building VR environments.  Designed to work with any OpenVR headset, this toolset is built on top of the Source 2 engine and is available for free.  From the Steam store page:

Destinations Workshop Tools lets you create, share, and explore both real and imaginary places in virtual reality. This is a beta release of a set of content creation tools that users can use to construct worlds and share them on the Destinations Workshop – then explore them with the included Destinations Viewer.

Destinations Workshop Tools includes:

  • The Source 2 tool set used internally at Valve. Once installed, you can find theDestinations Workshop Tools in the Library under Tools.
  • Several example Destinations created with photogrammetry
  • An example map that users can copy and modify which highlights how to use Source 2 tools to add interactivity to a Destination
  • The Destinations Viewer, where users can browse and explore Destinations downloaded from the Steam Workshop. Once installed, you can find the Destinations Viewer in the Library under Software.

 

More information is available on the Destinations Wiki.  Are we entering the age of VRML 2.0?  (Actually technically VRML2 was actually released, but you know what I mean...)

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