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27. March 2019

Autodesk have released the newest version of their popular 3D application, 3DS Max 2020.  This is an incremental release bringing new features such as an improved chamfer modifier, new and improved Open Shader Language (OSL) shaders and more.

3ds Max 2020 highlights include:

- Performance enhancements support more accurate playback in the Viewport Framerate, faster playback speeds with Validity Intervals, accelerated SetNormals MaxScript function, and more.

- New Create Animation Preview features enhance the user experience and enable faster local drive creation, AVI codec selection and unlimited capture resolution, among other capabilities.

- Chamfer Modifier updates, including a Fixed Weight Chamfer, presets, inset feature, end point bias and added depth, facilitate efficient, predictable modeling.

- OSL Shader improvements like an enhanced viewport display of OSL maps, automatic conversion of OSL shaders to viewport shaders, Quicksilver Hardware Renderer support for OSL Maps, and new and extended OSL maps introduce greater rendering flexibility and customization.

- Enhanced Revit import functionality accelerates data imports and simplifies scene management and organization, delivering options to combine files by material more selectively, the ability to import older Revit files into 2020 without upgrading, more accurate conversion of imported IES lights, and other features.

- 3ds Max to Arnold (MaxToA) integration updates streamline workflows, offering the ability to export Export Points as Arnold point primitives, faster PFlow instance rendering, and distribution of the Python API to edit, write, and render .ass files without relying on kick only.

You can check out the new OSL features in this video and the new chamfer modifier in this video.

GameDev News

25. March 2019

A new game developer friendly Humble Bundle is currently running, this one is the Humble Book Bundle: Coder’s Bookshelf.   As always, Humble bundles are a collection of similar themed items, often Books, Games or other media, increasingly of interest to game developers.  Portions of the proceeds go to charity, humble, the publisher or to support GFS.  Each bundle is broken into tiers, and if you buy a higher tier item, you get all of the items below it.

This bundle consists of:

1$ Tier

Understanding ECMASCRIPT 6

Learn Java the Easy Way

Think Like A Programmer

Python Playground

8$ Tier

Doing Math with Python

Wicked Cool Shell Scripts

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

The Art of R Programming

The Principles of Object-Oriented Javascript

15$ Tier

The Rust Programming Language

The Book of R

Cracking Codes with Python

Practical SQL

20$ Tier

The LINUX Programming Interface

GameDev News

22. March 2019

At GDC 2018, Microsoft unveiled DXR, or Direct X 12 Raytracing, an SDK enabling real-time raytracing, followed closely by NVIDIA announcing hardware support.  This year at GDC 2019, those technologies have come of age, with major raytracing support coming from 3 major game engine manufacturers.  Additionally NVIDIA have announced some potentially game changing news as well.  Let’s break down the announcements and demonstrations one by one.


CryTek started the raytracing announcements off with their amazing real time demo Neon Noir.  Even more impressive, it was done using an AMD card without real-time raytracing support!  Unfortunately, the demo was never released to the public.


Unity showed an impressive demo Reality vs Illusion which intercuts real world footage and real time raytraced BWM footage that is nearly impossible to discern the difference.  Unity’s technology is sadly several months from being available in a future HDRP release.

Unreal Engine

Unreal is the closest with their real time raytracing implementation, in fact it’s available now in Unreal Engine 4.22.  They also had a presentation in the form of the short movie Troll.


NVIDIA also had a real time raytracing demonstration in the form of Project Sol, Part 3.  Their announcement may have been the most significant however, as they announced that DXR driver support will be shipping in April to older generation NVIDIA GPUs, such as the 1060/1070 and 1080 cards.

GameDev News

21. March 2019

Earlier at their GDC 2019 keynote, Unity announced the beta release of Unity Distribution Portal, or UDP for short… thank goodness that acronym isn’t taken!  So what exactly is UDP?  Its a combination of a beta package in Unity that integrates with their existing analytics and IAP packages and enables you to submit to the UDP.  The UDP itself is an online portal for managing publishing, IAP and tracking of multiple different online stores around the world. 

Described succinctly as:

Create once, publish everywhere

UDP reduces the engineering complexities associated with publishing to multiple app stores, enables you to distribute and operate games in local markets, and connects you with hundreds of millions of players worldwide through participating app stores.

Currently limited to the Android platform and only a few live app stores ( Catappult and MOO Store), with more coming online soon.  Essentially it allows you to publish to more stores with very little extra effort, all managed and reported in a single interface.  More interesting, is the following question and answer pair from the FAQ:

Does UDP support non-Unity games?

Currently, UDP only supports games made with Unity. However, in the future, UDP will be engine-agnostic. More details on this will be coming soon.

For more details on the Unity Distribution Portal beta visit here.  See it in action in the video below.

GameDev News

21. March 2019

After doing keynotes for Google, Unity and Unreal, some people have been asking when the Godot keynote is going to be.  The answer is basically never… these things cost millions of dollars and that’s just not compatible with the way Godot’s open source development works.  That doesn’t mean that exciting things haven’t been happening in the land of Godot, some big and some small enough they didn’t merit their own coverage.  So here we are!

Godot 3.1 Was Released

Obviously the big news is, after a year in development, Godot 3.1 became a reality last week!  You can watch our video on the subject here and read the official blog here.  Usability improvements across the entire engine, a GL ES2 renderer, CSG support, optional static typing and much more were added to the engine.

Rust Language Bindings

Want to use the Rust programming language in Godot?  Now you can thanks to this set of GDNative language bindings available on Github.

GDScript Playground

It’s an interactive browser based way to run and test GDScript.  Check it out here.

Battle for Wesnoth Porting to Godot

First teased in a tweet it seems the popular open source turn based strategy game Battle for Wesnoth is being ported from C++ to the Godot Engine.  Link to the Wesnoth 2.0 prototype on Github thanks to Feniks Gaming.

Offline Documentation Builds

Got spotty internet or just want an offline copy of the Godot documentation?  Now you can get it from this nightly build source.  It’s basically the online documentation built for offline use.

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