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4. February 2019


Today Ludei announced that their product Cocoon is being shut down.  Cocoon is a project I’ve been following since 2013 with great interest.  It’s basically a wrapper layer that enables you to “cocoon” your HTML5 code in their WebGL and Canvas accelerated runtime, essentially enabling you to make native binaries for iOS and Android that performed substantially better than using the standard WebView controls.

Details of the shutdown:

It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service, Cocoon.

We started Ludei/Cocoon because we believed the future of app and game development would be based in HTML5. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and native development is stronger than ever.

Along our journey we have laughed and cried with you, and learned valuable lessons. And it is now inevitable to wind down the service as we never managed to make it profitable.

It has been a long journey and we sincerely thank each one of you for your years of love and support for Cocoon.

The shutdown is going to happen quickly, with the following timeline announced:

  • 2.4.2019 : Notice of Cocoon service discontinuation. Billing stopped.
  • 2.11.2019: Unable to perform compilations.
  • 2.18.2019: Unable to log in to Cocoon.
  • 2.28.2019: Termination of the Service. Unable to access Cocoon. Customer service closed.

If you are currently a Cocoon user, they have published a guide to migrating over to Cordova.

GameDev News


2. February 2019


In the February release of free Unreal content, two assets stood out in particular.  One was the CCG Toolkit, a card game creation kit covered here, as well as the Platformer Kit 2D.  Both are interesting projects because they illustrate how to create non-traditional style games in Unreal Engine.  The Platformer Kit is described as:

The 2D Platforming Kit is the ultimate tool for creating action platforming titles!  Includes a fully customizable player character complete with 21 animation states and editable parameters for every individual action. Features multiple heavily commented blueprints that allow for easy customization .

With the following features:

Movement System

  • Full On-screen touch controls
  • Customizable movement speed,acceleration and more.
  • Sprint
  • Multi/Wall Jump
  • Wall Slide
  • Dash
  • Ladders

Combat System

  • Melee Attack and Ranged Attack
  • Timed Block
  • Multiple enemy varieties
  • XP and level-up
  • Collect and swap weapons
  • Timed Power-ups Item Drop System

Others

  • Collectables
  • Moving Platforms
  • Save/Load Game
  • Enemy loot Drops
  • Floating Combat Text for player & enemies Health & Damage System
  • Dynamic Health HUD for the player & enemies
  • Fully Functional damage system
  • Colour tinting, temporary invulnerability and knock-back effects after taking damage
  • Audio SFX
  • Menu System

The content is only free until the end of February 2019, so be sure to “buy” it now.  The kit is available here on the Unreal Engine marketplace.  Once it is “purchased” it is yours forever.  We go hands on with the Platformer kit in the video below.

GameDev News


2. February 2019


Currently free as part of the February Unreal content giveaway, we take a hands-on look at CCG Toolkit.  The CCG Toolkit is a collection of blueprints and assets that provide a framework for easily creating digital card games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.  CCG Toolkit is described as:

The CCG Toolkit is an extensive card game framework that allows developers to create their own single and multiplayer card games. Whether you are looking to develop an idea or want to move your existing tabletop card game into the digital space, the CCG Toolkit provides the essential tools, interactions and functionality to see your own card experience come to life… fast.

With the following features:

- 100% Blueprint Framework

- Multiplayer support

- Customizable Card Game AI + Debug UI

- Highly customizable card creation

- Deck builder - Create, Edit, and Save limitless custom decks

- Card Manager which feature interchangeable positioning profiles

- Card sets with 35+ example cards

- In-game card positioning editor and game tools

- Deck Generator - Filter, Shuffle, and Weigh cards in deck

- Customizable card placement

- Board Players

- Mouse-over card previews

- Card graveyard

- 10+ included card abilities with multiple settings variations

- Player and opponent UI framework

- Turn-based gameplay system

- Player health and mana systems

- Cards and board player interactions

- Basic card movement and visual gameplay cues

- Basic win and loose conditions

- Turn and game timer's

- Simple main menu, deck selection, arena selection, and server selection menus

- Several custom function libraries

- In-game Notifications manager

- 2D and 3D card art and assets

- 7 Included arena's

The toolkit is also extremely well documented, with the PDF documentation available here.  Be sure to “buy” it before February ends to get it for free, as the offer is a limited time only.

GameDev News


1. February 2019


Starting back in November 2018, Epic Games started giving away monthly Unreal Assets, which continues today.  Most of the content is free but must be “purchased”, at which point it is yours forever.  Some of the assets will remain free forever, no just for this month.

February free assets:

CCG Toolkit

Hand Painted Texture Starter Kit

Luos’s Particle Toolkit Vol 1

Platformer 2D Toolkit

Scifi Kitbash Level Builder

Free forever assets:

Medieval Dungeon

Particles and Wind Control System


You can learn more about the assets on the Unreal blog here.

GameDev News


31. January 2019


VReal is a application for broadcasting and watching supported VR applications.  It enables you to participate in the game you are watching, freely navigating the game world while potentially communicating with other spectators.  This required the broadcaster and audience to use VR headsets, greatly shrinking the possible audience, until today.  Today VRreal announced “Desktop Mode”, that enables people without VR headsets to get in on the fun.

From the news release:

Hello friends,We’re starting off 2019 with a big update: We’re introducing a new way for everyone to watch their favorite VR content creators in Vreal – no VR headset required! (WHAAAAT?)

That’s right; we’re introducing Desktop mode, which gives you an immersive, two-dimensional look into the VR content made in Vreal. Using the WASD keys and your mouse, you can move around anywhere within the game, giving you full control of where you want to watch from; your very own spectator mode for VR game content.

The viewing experience is cross-platform; so you can watch with friends in Desktop mode or in VR from your own headset.

Simply download the application on Steam, then launch in Non-VR mode when prompted.  VReal is currently in early access and is free.  There are developer kits for Unity and Unreal Engine if you wish to integrate VReal into your VR title, but sadly the developer website does not appear to be working.

GameDev News


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