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5. November 2018


The Tombstone Engine, the successor to the C4 Game Engine, just got a new update, it’s first since 2017.  The Tombstone game engine is a commercial game engine that runs on 64bit Windows machines, and is capable of targeting major desktop platforms as well as the PlayStation 4.  The 2.9 update is free for existing developers and focuses heavily on new font related functionality, as well as bumping the OpenGL version required to 3.3 or higher.  Full details of the update from the release notes:

Core Engine

  • All of the unsigned integer types that previously began with unsigned_ have been changed to begin simply with u. For example, unsigned_int32 is now just uint32.
  • The Array::FindArrayElement() function has been renamed to Array::FindArrayElementIndex() to make it clear what kind of information is returned.
Graphics Manager
  • The Graphics Manager on Windows and Linux now require OpenGL 3.3 plus the GL_ARB_clip_control, GL_ARB_direct_state_access, GL_ARB_multi_bind, GL_ARB_texture_storage, and GL_ARB_texture_storage_multisample extensions. Since Apple does not support some of these extensions (and never will), this means that Tombstone 2.9 does not run on the Mac. We are planning to implement a Metal back end for the Graphics Manager in version 3.0.
  • The projection matrices used by the engine have been modified to produce device-space z coordinates in the range [0,1] with reversed depth. This greatly increases depth buffer precision and eliminates Z fighting artifacts when parallel surfaces near each other are viewed from far away.
  • Generalized depth offset modifications and depth bounds test optimizations have been implemented to handle oblique near plane projections. This can improve the appearance of decals in reflection or refraction images, and it can improve performance of point/cube/spot light sources in reflection or refraction images.
  • The motion blur algorithm has been improved and now generates better results. The velocity buffer has been changed to a two-channel format using 8 bits per channel, using half the space it previously used.
  • The method used to split linear 32-bit depths into two 16-bit depths for the floating-point structure buffer has been improved. This gives better precision farther from the camera position.
Interface Manager
  • The font format has changed in this version. Any custom fonts that were previously imported must be imported again before they can be used.
  • There are many new text rendering capabilities, including underline, strikethrough, horizontal stretch, transform-based subscript/superscripts, right-to-left writing directions, bidirectional layout, adaptive supersampling, rectangle primitives, fraction formatting, and hyphen-minus substitution. Settings have been added to the Text Widget that can be used to enable these in the Panel Editor, and new embedded format directives have been added to control them within a block of text. See the Slug User Manual for details about all of the text rendering features.
Effect Manager
  • A new Text Effect node has been added to the engine. This is used to place text on surfaces within a game world and apply materials to the glyphs so they appear to be painted on the surfaces. (This is completely different from using text in a panel effect.)
Terrain
  • The functions that build terrain geometry have been improved so that vertex sharing occurs as often as possible. Rebuilding terrain geometries can reduce the data size by roughly 5–10%.

Tools

Font Importer
  • The Font Importer contains new settings for the size and position of underline and strikethrough decorations and the transforms for subscripts and superscripts. These are initialized to the values specified in the input TrueType font file.

Tutorials

  • Two basic game projects called SimpleBall and SimpleChar are now included with the engine. See Simple Games.
  • Several new tutorial worlds are included in the Data/Tutorial folder. Some of them are starting points for tutorial articles on the wiki.

The following video goes hands-on with the downloadable demo, a quick showcase of what the Tombstone engine is capable of, as well as a look at the tooling that is included.

GameDev News


2. November 2018


It seems 2019 is almost upon us, and this is especially true if you are a Unity developer.  They just released Unity 2019.1a07, the first alpha release of next years edition of the Unity game engine.  Do be aware this release is marked as an alpha, which is even less stable then a beta release and simply should not be used in a production environment.  Unlike the first 2018.1 Unity release, 2019.1 isn’t a game changer, containing relatively minor improvements like a new short cut manager.

Summary of the releases major features from the Unity forums:

  • New Keyboard Shortcut Manager configuration interface
  • More GPU Lightmapper Functionality:
    • Support for double sided GI flag on the materials
    • Support for shadow casting and receiving on meshes
  • Android: Added OpenGL ES 3.2 support
  • Graphics: Native rendering plugin support for Vulkan
  • Physics: Added methods to determine the closest point to a Collider2D

The release also contains a large number of fixes and improvements typical to a new beta release.  You can read the full details of the 2019.1a release in the release notes available here.  If you are interested in checking out the alpha, you can download it using the most current version of the Unity Hub.  If you do not upgrade to the most current version, it will not show that newest releases.  If you are interested in learning more about this release, or seeing Unity 2019.1 in action, be sure to check out the video available here and embedded below.

GameDev News


1. November 2018


Epic Games have announced a very cool new promotion where they are collaborating with Unreal Engine Marketplace developers to make their assets available to the broader community completely free for a limited time.  For the month of November you can get the follow assets completely free:

You can add the above assets to your account for free for the remainder of the month of November 2018, and they will remain yours to use forever.  In addition to the above 5 assets, they have also made a number of other assets free for all time, such as water materials, voice packs, soundtracks and more.  Be sure to check the Unreal Engine blog for details on all of the newly free assets as well as for more details on the above assets.

They are also intending to do this again next month, and hopefully continuing into the future.  If you are an Unreal Engine marketplace developer and are interested in having your content featured, be sure to visit this site for more details.  While this is certainly amazing news for Unreal Engine developers, it will be interesting to see what it will do for the Unreal Engine marketplace going forward.


GameDev News


30. October 2018

Unreal Engine 4.21 just got one step closer to reality with the release of Preview 4.  This update is composed entirely of fixes, adding no new content the UE4.  These preview releases are not meant to be used in a production environment.  As always, you can download the latest releases and previews using the Epic Game Launcher.


Details from the Unreal Engine forums:

Fixed in Preview 4
Fixed! UE-60171 Crash Occurs When Importing a .ABC File as Skeletal Mesh Into Project That Already Contains Asset's Materials
Fixed! UE-51935 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Engine!FSkeletalMeshObject::UpdateMinDesiredLODLevel() [skeletalrender.cpp:81]
Fixed! UE-59914 Editor freezes after reimporting alembic asset
Fixed! UE-61761 Importing an Alembic File with "Skip Empty Frames at Start of Alembic Sequence" Enabled Causes Crash
Fixed! UE-62036 Merge Actors tool leads to crash when the selected list is not matching current existing objects due to construction script.
Fixed! UE-62176 Regression: Importing an Alembic File with Geometry cache or Skeletal leads to crash.
Fixed! UE-64886 LODTo Frame Skip Map isn't causing asset to skip frames
Fixed! UE-64873 ThirdPerson AnimBP arm not affected by Fake Velocity as expected
Fixed! UE-64845 QAGame Get Transition Crossfade Duration Node to Blend Result setup does not produce expected result
Fixed! UE-62337 Alembic Problem - Missing keys in animations when selecting time range
Fixed! UE-61429 Assert importing an ABC as GeomCache
Fixed! UE-63401 Cant save HLODs for an unsaved level & opening mesh causes assert/crash
Fixed! UE-65832 Crash when adding invalid preset chain
Fixed! UE-64622 TestEqual(TCHAR*, TCHAR*) function is testing pointer equality instead of values
Fixed! UE-64484 Garbage is not collected increases during CompileAllBlueprints test
Fixed! UE-65620 Cooked game crashes when launching with -memoryprofiler argument in the command line
Fixed! UE-65572 Engine - Ensure GIsRequestingExit is set before broading termination delegate in FWindowsPlatformMisc::RequestExit
Fixed! UE-63571 Cook-on-the-fly generates corrupt materials
Fixed! UE-65430 Missing Receipt' error after disabling plugin in binary build and repackaging
Fixed! UE-65286 Unable to GenerateProjectFiles with multiple client targets
Fixed! UE-65278 Binary editor and projects compile shaders during first open
Fixed! UE-65771 Add ShowdownDemo to the Wait to Build Launcher Samples Mac job
Fixed! UE-65432 GitHub 5180 : Fix wrong .natvis file path in generated Visual Studio solution
Fixed! UE-65702 Remote Building for iOS with Nativization fails with "ERROR: Precompiled rules assembly '...QAGame_4.21/Intermediate/Plugins/NativizedAssets/IOS/Game/Intermediate/Build/BuildRules/NativizedAssetsModuleRules.dll' does not exist."
Fixed! UE-65617 GitHub 5200 : Log file path issue
Fixed! UE-65588 New plugins include developer modules by default
Fixed! UE-65539 ShooterGame build from the launcher does not include client target
Fixed! UE-65006 Packaging failed with disabled plugin
Fixed! UE-65413 Match 3 - Edges of screen are cut off during gameplay
Fixed! UE-65426 [ActionRPG] Spamming potion button decreases potion count without consuming them
Fixed! UE-65235 ActionRPG has For Distribution enabled in Packaging Settings
Fixed! UE-65562 ActionRPG - Can't find file '/Script/EnvironmentQueryEditor'
Fixed! UE-65559 ARPG Linear Color Curve Warning
Fixed! UE-50730 SunTemple quality is low on iOS tablets
Fixed! UE-61752 ARPG trail emitters render with solid blue texture on Mali GPU
Fixed! UE-61751 ARPG roll no longer has a trail emitter
Fixed! UE-61323 Having an empty slot between weapons only lets player use top weapon in ActionRPG
Fixed! UE-60454 ARPG - Removed unused assets
Fixed! UE-65783 Content Examples MathHall - Error: T_1x1_Grid T_1x1_Grid Same lighting guid
Fixed! UE-65715 Deprecated DOF Warning When entering Post Processing Volumes
Fixed! UE-65861 Content Examples - Lighting needs to be rebuilt in Niagara level
Fixed! UE-65449 [ActionRPG] Weapon swapping does not update icons in HUD
Fixed! UE-65456 Crash when changing the UDP Messaging Tunnel Unicast Endpoint address
Fixed! UE-65634 TP_MultiUserViewer misc issues
Fixed! UE-65551 Duplicate nDisplay template project
Fixed! UE-65646 FlakesAccess shader doesn't compile on vulkan
Fixed! UE-65442 Crash running a game with Variant set - Assertion failed: RecursionNotAllowed.Increment() == 1
Fixed! UE-64661 Blackmagic sync output hiccups sometimes
Fixed! UE-65576 STUN and TURN servers needs start scripts for first time users
Fixed! UE-65014 Multi-User Template Project holds at 95% for a very long time
Fixed! UE-65611 Crash indexing Blueprints- LongPackageNameToFilename failed to convert 'None'. Path does not map to any roots.
Fixed! UE-65586 //UE4/Release-4.21 failing to compile - error in KismetReinstanceUtilities.cpp
Fixed! UE-63310 Sky box renders as black when packaged with nativization enabled.
Fixed! UE-63834 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Kismet!FBlueprintCompilationManagerImpl::ReinstanceBatch
Fixed! UE-64888 Packages with Inclusive/Exclusive Nativization crashing referencing AsyncLoading.cpp
Fixed! UE-65759 (Regression) Risk of PostLoad() assert crash in all cooked, nativized builds with async load thread enabled.
Fixed! UE-65389 Ensure reopening map after changing a blueprint's component to a derived class and keeping the same name
Fixed! UE-64576 Pawn Velocity dramatically different on server and client with Client Authoritative Position
Fixed! UE-64544 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Engine!AGameSession::RegisterPlayer() [gamesession.cpp:235]
Fixed! UE-64431 When a client sends an Unreliable RPC to the Server in same frame with a Reliable RPC, Unreliable RPCs are Reliable
Fixed! UE-62952 "Enabled per poly collision" under "Support compute skincache" is ON causes a crash at runtime
Fixed! UE-61399 Objects get stuck when hit location is same as start ray location
Fixed! UE-62714 Physics replication is not working correctly and clients receive different results
Fixed! UE-62345 Replicated Movement doesn't replicate itself to all clients on Dedicated Server
Fixed! UE-65390 CrashReportClient callstack has cut off text on Linux
Fixed! UE-64312 Vulkan projects crash when alt-tabbing on Linux
Fixed! UE-64798 Crash when Fracturing Mesh - Assertion failed: (Index >= 0) & (Index < ArrayNum)
Fixed! UE-58866 Tooltips are not readable on Linux with Vulkan and NVidia drivers
Fixed! UE-62199 AArch64 server crashes when opening
Fixed! UE-65567 Linux: initial movie is not scaled full screen
Fixed! UE-65656 Cannot rotate camera while shooting if mouse cursor is over the edge of Mac window
Fixed! UE-65343 Skeletal Mesh with more than 75 bones crashes Mobile Preview
Fixed! UE-65311 SunTemple - package crashes on device when initializing on iPhone 6+
Fixed! UE-65464 Typo in Support Software Occlusion Culling tooltip in Project Settings
Fixed! UE-65622 CLONE - Add detection and device profiles for iPhone XS / XS Max / SR
Fixed! UE-65540 TextureFormats list in GameActivity for PVRTC has comma in wrong place
Fixed! UE-61970 Templates fail to package for Android - AAPT: error: resource android
Fixed! UE-63725 Blueprint Projects can't make APK without compiled .so Error when packaging for Android with any Plugin Disabled
Fixed! UE-63682 There is no force feedback on iPhone 6S devices
Fixed! UE-65016 OpenGLES API deprecated warnings when packaging AR Samples
Fixed! UE-64536 iOSClient is not built. Just creates {OS}Client target.
Fixed! UE-65647 Crash starting Strategy Game in OpenGLShaders.cpp
Fixed! UE-65022 Vulkan template project crashes on Android
Fixed! UE-65459 Remote Building for iOS Fails During Build Step: "File for download 'UBT-UE65273Verif-IOS-Development_Remote.txt' is not under the engine or project directory"
Fixed! UE-65860 tvOS crash on launch: "this class is not key value coding-compliant for the key"
Fixed! UE-63540 Black bars seen when launching app on iPhone X packaged with DebugGame build configuration
Fixed! UE-40545 TVOS images are throwing errors when attempting to deploy to iTunes Connect
Fixed! UE-65417 iPhone X devices do not use all available screen space causing black bars in game
Fixed! UE-65825 Rect lights emit backwards light to volumetric lightmaps from the rect backside.
Fixed! UE-65513 Crash when switching to windowed mode in OpenGL with Media Textures
Fixed! UE-65458 Texture Painting in -vulkan throws an ensure and blacks out the texture
Fixed! UE-65129 Samples rendering darker than expected or ideal
Fixed! UE-65694 Crash opening TM-Decals in -DX11 with Forward Shading enabled
Fixed! UE-65711 Instant crash when selecting viewmode "Material Texture Scales"
Fixed! UE-65697 Crash opening TM-Decals in -DX12 or -Vulkan with Forward Shading enabled
Fixed! UE-65533 One off crash launching packaged Infiltrator Demo with -dx12
Fixed! UE-64820 Hang when Merging Actors QAGame asset SM_Proxy_Box with Merge Materials Enabled
Fixed! UE-64695 Lighting from Directional Lights Dims While Moving Around in Editor with Forward Shading Enabled
Fixed! UE-65102 Exposure Metering Mode "Auto Exposure Basic" Disables Histogram Min/Max Control
Fixed! UE-65717 Crash in PostProcessAmbientOcclusion.cpp when opening TM-Decals with -DX12/Vulkan/OpenGL4 and ForwardShading
Fixed! UE-65730 Decals with Forward Shading Render Black
Fixed! UE-65470 Crash opening package with Forward Shading
Fixed! UE-65585 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Engine!FMaterial::GetShaderMapToUse() [materialshared.cpp:562]
Fixed! UE-62873 UMG Animation spin box not updating when key is at the end of the playback range
Fixed! UE-65672 Tracks with empty space sometimes do not compile correctly in Sequencer UI
Fixed! UE-63336 Fix ranges in 4280319
Fixed! UE-64742 Crash opening ActionRPG with -game
Fixed! UE-65097 Unreal Studio: Multi User Viewer Template Menu: Next Arrow Bug
Fixed! UE-65351 QAGame Samples Build - Various errors in Rob Gray map preventing job from completing successfully
Fixed! UE-65355 Recursion crash creating a child of a blueprint component and giving it the same name
Fixed! UE-65257 Scrollbars in Output Log can become incorrectly sized when scaling the window horizontally or clearing the output log
Fixed! UE-65543 Copy & Paste are missing from Static Mesh Asset Picker List
Fixed! UE-65521 Editor crashes when attempting to reimport multiple Data Table assets that do not have an associated data source file
Fixed! UE-64838 Reset Layout option does not reset layout to default in Subeditor Windows
Fixed! UE-64981 Morph Targets have black sections when animating
Fixed! UE-64501 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_UnrealEd!UReimportFbxStaticMeshFactory::Reimport() [editorfactories.cpp:5426]
Fixed! UE-65302 SyncPathsFromSourceControl crash
Fixed! UE-65570 Generate and Invalidate Project ID do not function fully
Fixed! UE-65554 Disabled High Resolution Screenshot option still functions as enabled
Fixed! UE-65548 FBX Import Options has missing space on an option
Fixed! UE-65427 Media Texture source file browse button does not open the file explorer
Fixed! UE-61968 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_MediaAssets!UMediaPlayer::GetPlaylistRef() [mediaplayer.h:890]
Fixed! UE-65400 Niagara InitRHI crash when opening QAGame TM-ShaderModels
Fixed! UE-65279 Custom HLSL nodes crash the editor when dragging any output onto empty input pin
Fixed! UE-65510 Crash when cooking Niagara for DirectX 10
Fixed! UE-65693 Ensure occurs when attempting to create a blank emitter from the New Emitter Wizard
Fixed! UE-65568 TM-ShaderModels game crashes in DX11 if Vulkan or OpenGL is included in package
Fixed! UE-65552 Niagara GPU particles do not render in Dx12
Fixed! UE-63380 The options drop-down arrow for inputs in the stack shouldn't be a tab-stop.
Fixed! UE-63496 Niagara GPU Particles do not render in Vulkan
Fixed! UE-64927 Niagara GPU emitters are not displayed in non-cooked game
Fixed! UE-65110 Renaming a Niagara emitter from the Selected Emitters dialog clears module parameters
Fixed! UE-65796 Niagara Systems in world fail to reinitialize when DataInterface parameters are changed
Fixed! UE-59768 Crash: spawning more than 6k particles in this nearly empty map results in a crash
Fixed! UE-65768 Skeletal Mesh DI does not post an error in stack when a Skel Mesh is not assigned
Fixed! UE-65794 Log Spam from some DataInterfaces that fail to initialize
Fixed! UE-65199 Widget blueprint details continuously shift when moving objects in the widget designer
Fixed! UE-65490 Crash when undoing a copy in VRMode
Fixed! UE-65393 Empty Controller Json Files Generated by the Editor Are Not Being Recognized by SteamVR Input As Binding Options
Fixed! UE-65495 Magic Leap: Red tint on vulkan media player
Fixed! UE-65476 Editor Crashes when running with -Vulkan and a Connected Vive Headset
Fixed! UE-65107 Orientations are inverted on GoogleAR
Fixed! UE-65099 Spawned actor does not remain in fixed world location when device moves
Fixed! UE-65479 Decals are only rendering in the left eye
Fixed! UE-65720 Haptic Feedback Effect must decompress before submission
Fixed! UE-61753 Excess deferred depth copy added in for 4.20
Fixed! UE-64034 Scene Depth Buffer corruption with VR on AMD GPUs
Fixed! UE-65726 Lumin updates for 4.21
Fixed! UE-65550 Crash when physical size is 0 for a candidate image to be detected in a scene
Fixed! UE-65780 Image Write - Improve cryptic error message

GameDev News


26. October 2018


From Raspberry Pi, the home brew computing manufacturer, comes a new magazine called Wireframe.  While a game about gaming in general, it is going to have an indie developer focus, and more importantly, focus heavily on game development, both by interviewing game developers, as well as focusing on the tools and techniques of game development.  If you are interested you can get a free copy of the first issue mailed to you (plus shipping) by signing up here.  Issues will also be available on line in PDF format starting November 9th.  The website for Wireframe magazine is wfmag.cc.


Details of the magazine launch from the Raspberry Pi blog announcement:

Cutting through the hype, Wireframe will have a more indie-focused, left-field angle than traditional games magazines. As well as news, reviews, and previews, we’ll have in-depth features that uncover the stories behind your favourite games, showing you how video games are made, and who makes them.

On top of all that, we’ll also help you discover how you can make games of your own. Our dedicated Toolbox section will be packed with detailed guides and tips to help you with your own game development projects.

If you are looking for great but now somewhat dated Game development magazines to bide yourself over until November 9th, be sure to check out the archives from Game Developer Magazine in the GDC Vault.


GameDev News


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