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24. July 2018


Back in May of 2018, Pixel Game Maker MV was first announced, a new 2D game engine from Kadokawa, the makers of the seminal RPGMaker series of game engines.  Instead of targeting the JRPG style of game, Pixel Maker is aimed at top down and side scrolling platforming games like Zelda, Metroid or Castlevania.  These tools are aimed at people who want to do minimal programming, however they can be extended using the JavaScript language. 

Pixel Maker is now available on Steam in early access form.  Here is the description of Pixel GameMaker MV:

Create action games with ease - no programming necessary
You can now create your very own full action games without the need for any programming whatsoever. Compatible with JavaScript extensions, anyone from total beginners to seasoned developers can enjoy game creation to the fullest.
Create endless fun with “Multi-Viewpoint/Multi-Versus”
Allows for both top- and side-based views, as well as cooperative or competitive local play between up to four players. Works with any genre, so the games you can create are limited only by your imagination!
A simple way to create rich and beautiful game graphics
Using the graphic import feature, physics engine, particle effects, and multiple layer combination, you can create your own ideal game in exactly the way you want to make it, easily and without all the hassle.


If you are interested in learning more, I purchased the engine and did a brief hands-on, mostly walking through the interface.  That video is available here as well as embedded below.  The early access release is currently available at %20 off the retail price, currently just over $60USD.  As you will see from the video below, this is an early access product and some features are certainly missing, incomplete localization certainly topping the list!

GameDev News


24. July 2018


Most scripting languages, GDScript included, are type-less.  Instead of explicitly declaring variable types in script, it is inferred by the compiler or interpreter.   This can make code easier to write but can also make it harder to maintain, especially as complexity increases.  This is why you see solutions like TypeScript for JavaScript, this adds a type layer on top of a type-less language.  If you were hoping to see type support added to GDScript, well great news, that’s exactly what just happened!

In the upcoming release of Godot 3.1, a completely optionial type system has been added to Godot 3.1.

From the Godot news page, details of how the new type system can help:

It is quite common to use a variable only with values of the same type. With the dynamic nature of GDScript, you can inadvertently overwrite a variable with a different type and break your code logic in a way that might be hard to realize.

For instance, if your function expects a number, but you missed an input validation somewhere and is passing a string to it instead, you only will see an error at runtime (and only if you reach that point). In a larger code base, it's quite easy to miss things like that.

With type hints, Godot can know beforehand that you are passing the wrong type and show an error while you are editing the related code, even if you never run it.

You can learn a great deal more about the new type system in Godot 3.1 here.  To see the syntax in action, check out the video below.

GameDev News


22. July 2018


Raylib is a cross platform open source C based game framework that is absolutely perfect for beginners that want to get started with game development using C or C++.  It provides a complete C/C++ turn key game development setup with tools, editor and framework all pre-configured, just download and start coding.  If you are interested in learning more about Raylib be sure to check out our earlier video available here.  Raylib just released version 2.0, which now has less external dependencies.  Perhaps the most exciting new feature of this release is support for various Linux and *nix based operating system, a long requested feature.

The highlights of this release from the Raylib forums:

  • Complete removal of external dependencies. Finally, raylib does not require external libraries to be installed and linked along with raylib, all required libraries are contained and compiled within raylib. Obviously some external libraries are required but only the strictly platform-dependant ones, that comes installed with the OS. So, raylib becomes a self-contained platform-independent games development library.
  • Full redesign of audio module to use the amazing mini_al audio library, along with external dependencies removal, OpenAL library has been replaced by mini_al, this brand new library offers automatic dynamic linking with default OS audio systems. Undoubtly, the perfect low-level companion for raylib audio module!
  • Support for continuous integration building through AppVeyor and Travis CI. As a consequence, raylib GitHub develop branch has been completely removed simplyfing the code-base to a single master branch, always stable. Every time a new commit is deployed, library is compiled for up-to 12 different configurations, including multiple platforms, 32bit/64bit and multiple compiler options! All those binaries are automatically attached to any new release!
  • More platforms supported and tested, including BSD family (FreeBSD, openBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly) and Linux-based family platforms (openSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, NixOS...). raylib has already been added to some package managers! Oh, and last but not less important, Android 64bit is already supported by raylib!
  • Support for TCC compiler! Thanks to the lack of external dependencies, raylib can now be easily compiled with a minimal toolchain, like the one provide by Tiny C Compiler. It opens the door to an amazing future, allowing, for example, static linkage of libtcc for runtime compilation of raylib-based code... and the library itself if required! Moreover, TCC is blazing fast, it can compile all raylib in just a few seconds!
  • Refactored all raylib configuration #defines into a centralized config.h header, with more than 40 possible configuration options to compile a totally customizable raylib version including only desired options like supported file-formats or specific functionality support. It allows generating a trully ligth-weight version of the library if desired!
  • A part of that, lots of new features, like a brand new font rendering and packaging system for TTF fonts with SDF support (thanks to the amazing STB headers), new functions for CPU image data manipulation, new orthographic 3d camera mode, a complete review of raymath.h single-file header-only library for better consistency and performance, new examples and way, way more.
  • As always, examples and templates have been reviewed and improved to work with new features; some new examples have been added and templates have been prepared for real multiplatform support including Android and HTML5.

These are only the highlight features, for complete details of the 2.0 release are available in the changelog.  Raylib is available here, while the source code is available on Github.

GameDev News


19. July 2018


No, that was not a typo, Godot 2.1.5 RC2 was just released.  While 3.x is obviously the future, there are tons of developers with projects in progress that can benefit from these fixes.  This is especially true as many developers are waiting for OpenGL ES 2 support to be added back to Godot 3.


Highlights of this release from the Godot blog:

  • Android: APKs no longer include placeholder permissions that Google Play started complaining about
  • Android: Minimum SDK raised to 18, target SDK raised to 27.
  • Debug: New crash handler to generate backtraces when crashing on all desktop platforms (as in 3.0).
  • Editor: Tons of improvements to the "Godot 2 to 3 converter" tool, which can now convert many more resources than the one in 2.1.4. It even has an option to tentatively convert your scripts and change things like get_pos() (2.1) to get_position() (3.0) automatically.
  • Editor: Add class members overview in script editor.
  • Editor: New contextual menu in FileSystem dock.
  • Input: Hardware cursor support.
  • Input: Multitouch support.
  • iOS: Minimum SDK raised to 9.0, target SDK raised to 11.4.
  • OSX: Exporting for macOS from a Mac now generates a .dmg package.
  • Windows: New WASAPI audio driver (as in 3.0).
  • Performance optimisations.
  • Several crashes fixed, especially in Android backend.

You can read the entire change log here.

You can download the RC2 build here.  If you run into a problem with the build be sure to report it here.

GameDev News


18. July 2018


It has only been about 5 weeks since Unreal Engine 4.20 preview 1 was released so today’s full release of Unreal Engine 4.20 is impressively quick.  Some of the star features of this release include the new Niagara particle system, support for Visual Studio 2017 and beta Leap Magic support.  Perhaps the biggest new improvements in this release however come from Epic’s work on the mobile version of their smash hit game FortNite.  This release contains a massive number of mobile target improvements they gained from porting their own game to run on iOS and Android devices.

Mobile improvements alone include:

  • Improved Android debugging
  • Minimum Static Mesh LOD per platform
  • Minimum Skeletal Mesh LOD per platform
  • Hardware occlusion improvements
  • HLOD tools and workflow optimizations
  • Audio quality node
  • Audio variation culling
  • Audio downsampling per platform
  • Audio compression quality per platform
  • Shading model tweaks to better match PC
  • Reflection capture brightness fix
  • Landscape support for four layers
  • Landscape tessellation improvements
  • No memory cost for unused LODs, including:
    • Static Meshes
    • Skeletal Meshes
    • Material quality levels
    • Grass and foliage
    • High detail components and meshes
    • High detail emitters in Cascade
  • Settings based on device memory
  • Material memory reduction
  • Editor scriptability for bulk asset changes
  • Particle component pooling
  • Material parameter collection update cost

As always Epic have released a massive and comprehensive release note available here.  You can download the 4.20 UE4 release using the Epic Game Launcher.

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