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18. February 2020


Cocos Creator, the free Cocos2D-x powered cross platform game engine, just released version 2.3.  The 2.3 release adds more 3D functionality to the previously 2D game engine including 3D physics and particle systems, as well as other improvements such as DragonBones and Spine mount point support, an upgrade to the material system and more.  Cocos Creator is available as a free download for both Mac and Windows.

Details from the Cocos Release Notes:

After a long period of development and preparation, and after a memorable Spring Festival, Cocos Creator v2.3 is officially released. v2.3 is a very important version that officially integrates support for 3D physics, collisions, and 3D particles, and is capable of developing more types of 3D games! At the same time, the material system has been upgraded from the experimental version to the official version, which can greatly improve the expressiveness of a game. It is recommended that all developers upgrade! Please perform the necessary technical evaluation and backups before upgrading.

Major new features include:

  • Qutoutiao (QTT) mini game support
  • 3D physics support(rigid body, Box/Sphere collision components, trigger and collision events, physical materials, ray detection, etc)
  • 3D light weight collision system “Builtin”
  • 3D Particle Systems
  • Material System upgrade
  • Spine & DragonBones mount node support
  • Spine binary format support
  • Build Scripts Only option
  • 3D viewport options (Wireframe, Normal)
  • Plus several other fixes and improvements

If you are interested in learning Cocos Creator, check out our complete tutorial series available here or our hands-on video available here.  To learn more about the 2.3 release check out the video below.

GameDev News


14. February 2020


After several years of changing business models and ownership changes, Corona Labs have decided to shut things down.  Thankfully for Corona users they full open sourced the engine and tooling and changed to the MIT license.

Details of the closure process from the Corona Labs site (warning, it’s having trouble right now):

  1. Some of the Corona Labs staff have expressed an interest in continuing to work with Corona as an as-available hobby project, so some engine development will continue. There is a possibility that engineers would seek funding through platforms like Patreon or Github Sponsors to continue work in larger capacity.
  2. Appodeal will continue to fund infrastructure costs and work with the open source staff to keep the Appodeal plugin up to date.
  3. The Corona open source license will change from its current dual license state (Commercial + GPLv3) to a single, much more permissive license: The MIT License will make building the open source version of Corona easier for you and lift distribution restrictions on your apps and games. If you are using the GPL version of Corona, you can continue doing so in your fork.
  4. Corona Labs will remove Splash Screen restrictions and plugin license checks from Native and Simulator builds. All first-party plugins will be open sourced and be available on GitHub. Corona’s “daily” builds will be built using tools available for Open Source projects, and would be available on GitHub releases.
  5. We will change the Corona Simulator to be an offline tool, building for all supported platforms using local storage as a source for plugins.
  6. Marketplace sales will cease. Vendors will be paid what they are owed, and will have to distribute updates for their plugins themselves. Users will be able to download purchased plugins and assets before the store closure. Corona Labs will stop accepting new submissions to the Marketplace on February, 15. 2020. Self-hosted plugins will be turned on for everyone so community plugin developers can continue to provide plugins.
  7. We will migrate the forums and coronalabs.com website content to another platform, since the current setup is tied to an expensive infrastructure. We may need several community members to volunteer to administer the new Forums. We are still working on what the coronalabs.com website access will become.
  8. The community is welcome to spin up discussion forums. Possibilities include using GitHub’s Issues, Reddit’s /r/CoronaSDK page, a Facebook Group, etc. The community Slack will remain.
  9. The Corona Labs maintained social media accounts will remain open, and we will turn them into sources of useful information for developers (i.e., industry news, development and monetization tips, etc.).
  10. All these will not happen overnight. We are working on changes to the parts of the engine, and will release them gradually, moving the build process offline as well as migrating content to different platforms. We will post updates on the progress, as well as send out one more final email with all the details Feel free to follow Corona on Github or get involved in development. Progress will be reflected in this Github Project.

Learn more about the Corona Labs closure in the video below.

GameDev News


14. February 2020


Just two and a half months after the release of Blender 2.81, Blender 2.82 is now available.  While nowhere near as massive an update as Blender 2.80, there are still a number of improvements to be found in Blender 2.82 including:

  • New Mantaflow powered gas and liquid physics simulation engine
  • Improved cloth simulations with support for internal air pressure and internal springs
  • UDIM tiled texturing support (learn more here and here)
  • PIXAR USD format export support
  • Cycles improvements including new nodes, faster rendering on Windows and more
  • AI DeNoiser support on RTX hardware powered by NVidia OptiX for faster cycles renders
  • Preview pass support in EEVEE renderer including ambient occlusion, mist, combined, normal and more
  • Transparent materials now blend properly with volumetrics
  • Sculpting improvements including new multi-plane scrape brush and slide relax brush as well as pose brush improvements
  • Grease pencil improvements including new polyline tool and multi stroke modifier
  • Plus several other new features and improvements

For complete details on what’s new in Blender 2.82 be sure to check out the complete release notes available here.  You can also learn more and see several of the new features in action in the video below.

GameDev News


13. February 2020


Nearing the end of 2019, Epic Games announced they had acquired texture provider Quixel and as part of that announcement, released 10,000+ high quality textures from the Megascans completely free for Unreal Engine users.  Around the same time Epic also announced the archviz product TwinMotion would be integrated into Unreal Engine 4.24.  Today, they took that one step further and released 1,000+ high quality textures from TwinMotion completely free for Unreal Engine users.

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

Since Epic Games acquired Twinmotion last year and made the high-quality, easy-to-use real-time visualization solution freely available to the general public, we immediately started thinking about how we could best make it interoperable with Unreal Engine. While we’re excited to reveal more on how we’ll be integrating the two workflows together in the future, we wanted to begin bridging that gap today by offering Unreal users a free material collection that’s based on Twinmotion materials. There’s a wide variety of categories here including:

  • Bricks
  • Concrete
  • Fabrics 
  • Glass
  • Grass and dirt
  • Wood 
  • Plastics

Available now on the Marketplace, we’ve ensured that these rich and powerful master materials support the latest ray-tracing advancements and have used best practices to define how the nearly 500 PBR materials were used. This work includes:

  • Specific optimizations for ray tracing
  • Advanced shading techniques, such as parallax occlusion mapping for materials needing relief, which is useful for surfaces like bricks 
  • Ability to use an object’s UVs or to use tri-planar mapping, which can assist texture alignment by automatically aligning textures on objects that might not have been given proper UV coordinates 
  • Ability to define real-world scale

The materials are available in a large 8GB+ download on the Unreal Engine Marketplace.  You need to be running the most current version of Unreal Engine (4.24.2+ ) for the assets to work properly and expect the importation process to take a fair bit of time, as over 4000 shaders need to be built.  If you want to check it out but skip the long download and importation process, you can see the new materials in action in the video below.

GameDev News


12. February 2020


Humble are running a new bundle of interest to game developers, this one is the Humble Best of POLYGON Game Dev Bundle.  It’s a collection of 3D model packs from Synty, with projects in both Unreal and Unity formats.  As with all Humble Bundles this one is organized into tiers, where if you buy a higher dollar value tier you get all of the lower value tiers as well.

Bundle Tiers

$1 USD

  • POLYGON Prototype
  • POLYGON Adventure
  • Simple Town

$15 USD

  • POLYGON City Pack
  • POLYGON Samurai Pack
  • POLYGON Knight Pack
  • Simple People
  • Simple Dungeons

$20 USD

  • POLYGON SCI-FI City Pack
  • POLYGON  Western Pack
  • POLYGON Heist Pack
  • POLYGON Vikings Pack
  • Simple Military
  • Simple Apocalypse
  • $10 Synty Discount Code


When you purchase a Humble Bundle you decide how your money is allocated between charity, the publisher, Humble and if you choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS if you use this link.  Learn more about the bundle in the video below.

As with any asset purchase, it’s important to read the license if you intend to use the assets in a commercial project.  The Synty Store license for Humble is available here.  It appears the Humble license is on a per seat basis and includes just a single seat license, so if you are working with a team, you may have to purchase multiple bundles.

EDIT – Since the bundle was released, it has been updated to now include a Source Files download on Humble. 

image

These zip files contain model data in OBJ or FBX formats, enabling you to easily use this content in other game engines, as well as importing into DCC tools like Blender or Max for editing.

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