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28. September 2018

In Unity 2018, Unity released a new programmable graphic pipeline.  Alongside this release they implemented two pipelines, the new HD pipeline and the Lightweight Render Pipeline(LWRP).  Today they released a new version of the LWRP, 4.0.0 preview.  If you are using the existing lightweight pipeline in your project be sure to pay close attention as there are code breaking changes in this release.  This release includes a switch to physically based lighting that will see lighting reduced from three render passes to one.  The forward renderer in the LWRP also has the ability to reduce draw calls by half.

Details of the new pipeline from the Unity blog:


This version changes the light attenuation computation to be physically based. This change means that you don’t have to increase the range of your light to control the attenuation. Instead, you should control the attenuation with the light intensity. Baked GI has changed to match the realtime attenuation. When you upgrade to LWRP 4.0.0-preview, it is likely that you have to upgrade your light settings as well.


We are pushing work to have LWRP out of preview as soon as possible. Therefore for this version, we focused most of our time in API design to implement much feedback we received over the past months and evolve both our C# and shader API to be more easy to use, extensible and flexible.


This version introduces API breaking changes. Breaking changes are the reason we bumped the major version number. If you didn’t fork LWRP or authored custom shaders without using ShaderGraph, upgrading your shaders to this version requires some work. We apologize for the nuisance, but this is required so we can evolve. Once out of preview, there won’t be any more breaking changes.


Please check the changelog to help you upgrade shaders to version 4.0.0-preview and reach out in this thread with upgrading issues so we can help you.

Be sure to watch the following video for details on how to install and configure the 4.0.0 preview LWRP.

GameDev News


27. September 2018


Today Google announced the release of ARCore 1.5 as well as Sceneform, a real time 3D framework with a physically based renderer for Android.  The 1.5 release comes with runtime support for loading glTF models, the ability to ID individual point cloud points, and a newly open source UX library in Sceneform.  In addition to the Android release, there are builds of ARCore 1.5 for Unity and Unreal Engine developers as well.

Details from the Google developer blog:

Today, we're releasing updates to ARCore, Google's platform for building augmented reality experiences, and to Sceneform, the 3D rendering library for building AR applications on Android. These updates include algorithm improvements that will let your apps consume less memory and CPU usage during longer sessions. They also include new functionality that give you more flexibility over content management.

Here's what we added:

    • Supporting runtime glTF loading in Sceneform
    • Publishing the Sceneform UX Library's source code
    • Adding point cloud IDs to ARCore
    • New devices (plus Chrome OS in the form of Chromebook Tab 10)

You can download the source for Sceneform here on Github, the code is released under the Apache 2.0 source license.  Unity developers can click here, while Unreal Engine developers should click here.

GameDev News


27. September 2018


One of the most challenging things when just starting game development is handling art in your game.  Most programmers have the artistic ability of a slightly blind tree toad, so what are they to do?  Well, you can scour the internet, tons of great free content out there, but there’s 100x more garbage as well.  Then you have the struggle of trying to get all of your content you grabbed from disparate sources to look good.  Or you can use one of the free content packs linked below.  Most of the follow assets have all you need, in a consistent art style, to create a game… and they are free!


Free game art pack resources:

Additionally the following two sites are great collections for finding resources like those mentioned above:


For more details on these resources, be sure the check the video below.  If you have an additional recommendation for complete free game art kits, please let me know in the comments!

Art


26. September 2018


SKIP, previously known as Reflex, is a general purpose programming language developed as a research project at Facebook over the last 3 years.  Facebook have finished development and authorized the language lead developer to release the project as open source.  SKIP is available on Github under the MIT source license.

The leader developer made the following Tweet announcing the release today:

image


You can learn more about the language at http://skiplang.com/.  The language can be downloaded as a Docker image, with full installation instructions available here.  There is also a web based playground application for trying out SKIP on the website.  SKIP is described as:

Skip is a general-purpose programming language that tracks side effects to provide caching with reactive invalidation, ergonomic and safe parallelism, and efficient garbage collection. Skip is statically typed and ahead-of-time compiled using LLVM to produce highly optimized executables.

Programming News


26. September 2018


Today at Oculus Connect 5, Oculus announced the upcoming Oculus Quest headset.  What makes this headset special is it is full 6 degree of freedom tracking, without base stations while being completely wireless.  It slots into the lineup between the cheaper but less capable Oculus Go, and the more expensive but wired Oculus Rift, which requires a full desktop PC to function.

Details of the Oculus Quest from the Oculus blog:

We’re excited to usher in the next era of VR gaming with the introduction of Oculus Quest, our first all-in-one VR gaming system. Oculus Quest will launch in Spring 2019 for $399 USD. Offering six degrees of freedom and Touch controllers, Oculus Quest makes it easy to jump right into the action—with no PC, no wires, and no external sensors. We have over 50 titles lined up for launch, with even more in the works including some of your favorite Rift games like Robo Recall, The Climb, and Moss.

Oculus Insight
We also unveiled Oculus Insight, our breakthrough technology that powers inside-out tracking, Guardian, and Touch controller tracking. This innovative system uses four ultra wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms to track your exact position in real time without any external sensors. Insight gives you a greater sense of immersion, presence, and mobility, plus the ability to go beyond room-scale. And we’ve brought over Guardian to help keep you safer while in VR. It’s easy to setup and experience whenever you want.

The Best VR Games Deserve the Best VR Controllers
With the same buttons, thumbsticks, and sensors that have defined VR gaming, our intuitive Touch controllers bring your real hands into VR and let you easily and naturally interact with the world around you. By shipping Oculus Quest with Touch, everything developers have learned about game design for Rift applies to Oculus Quest. Now you can enjoy the best that VR gaming has to offer, starting at $399 USD for a 64GB headset—with the convenience and portability of all-in-one VR.

Quality Meets Comfort
Oculus Quest includes the same best-of-class optics as Oculus Go with a display resolution of 1600x1440 per eye, while incorporating a lens spacing adjustment to help maximize visual comfort. And we’ve improved our built-in audio, so you get high-quality, immersive sound with even deeper bass.

GameDev News


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