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19. December 2019


Lumberyard 1.22 game engine was just released by Amazon.

Highlights of this release from the release notes:

The primary change in this release is the new asset dependency system defined in depth in this blog post.

Enter asset dependency tracking. Lumberyard’s new Asset Dependency Graph provides the means to determine the set of assets a given asset depends on. By recursively walking the entire dependency graph, the engine can easily determine the exact set of assets your game needs to run. So when it comes time to release your game, packaging your assets becomes a simple set of steps as opposed to a several days-to-weeks development effort.

Now that the engine can determine which assets your game needs, our next task was to build a tool that packages a game’s assets into one or more asset bundles (single files that contain many assets packed together). Further, we added the ability to create new asset bundles that contain only those assets that have been added, changed, or deleted since the last asset deployment. This allows a game developer to do incremental content releases with only those assets that have actually changed since the last time they were shipped. Your players won’t have to waste time and bandwidth downloading new content or re-downloading old content.

Finally, because Lumberyard provides source code and encourages developers to modify Lumberyard to fit their needs, we added multiple validation systems that will alert the developer if they have done something that interferes with Lumberyard’s ability to generate a correct asset dependency graph.

Lumberyard is free for developers so long as they self host or use Amazon services for their networking.  You can download Lumberyard here.

GameDev News


18. December 2019


The BuildBox game engine is now available in a free version.  Previously a rather expensive proposition, BuildBox Free enables a much larger portion of the developer community to access this no-code required game engine. 

Details of the BuildBox Free release from the BuildBox website:

What is Buildbox Free?

For the first time ever, we’re releasing a completely free version of our no-code software on December 18th. We’re calling it, Buildbox Free and with it, you can create professional 2D and 3D games without writing a single line of code. Our software features unique creation layers, which makes developing games extremely easy and lightning-fast. As shown in the video above, there are many different creation layers you can choose from when you’re making games with Buildbox.

Smart Assets

The first creation layer option is smart assets. They’re predefined asset templates with pre-canned animations and logic built-in to make building out your games super fast and straightforward. Just browse the Buildbox Asset Library, which is located right inside of the software, and choose a smart asset to start creating. Smart assets let you add popular gameplay mechanics instantly to your game with one-click.

Brainboxes

One of our newest features and the second creation layer in Buildbox is brainboxes. Brainboxes help take your 3D game development to a whole new level. They work much like components did in Buildbox 2, but provide more control over a 3D model. With brainboxes, you can add ‘brains’ to any character or object in your game to give them a specific action or behavior. Choose a brainbox to make a car drive or make your character walk.

Nodes

For even more control, you can also use the third creation layer, nodes. Buildbox has an advanced node system with ‘smart nodes’ that are easy to use. They add a deeper level of complexity to your game by allowing you to easily create logic for any character or object in your game. However, you’re not limited to the nodes available in Buildbox. We went even further and added another layer of creation for our advanced developers.

Low-Code

This fourth creation layer is the low-code option. All nodes are based in JavaScript, making it easy in Buildbox to build your own nodes to use for your games from scratch. They can also be easily shared with the community or even sold in our upcoming asset store.

2D & 3D World Creation

We’ve also vastly improved the software making the user interface more user-friendly with mini-tutorials and easy navigation options. There’s also been over 100 fixes and tweaks to make your game development experience better. We’ve added many new creation layers and features including designated 2D worlds, and a fly mode for moving around 3D worlds effortlessly.

An obvious question at this point is, what are the limitations of the BuildBox Free vs the Pro edition.  This was answered in an earlier blog post:

Buildbox Free is a lighter version of the Pro plan. This means there are some limitations. With Buildbox Free, you’ll be able to integrate only two popular Ad Networks: AdMob and IronSource, with a 10% or less cut taken from each. There is a one-world limitation. Plus, your game’s splash screens will feature the BB logo, which cannot be removed. Also, export is limited to only iOS and Android.

image

BuildBox free should be available for download now right here.  Learn more about BuildBox Free in the video below and stay tuned for a more in-depth hands-on feature on BuildBox in the near future.

EDIT – They have released the following blog post now that the countdown is over.  The form to get a download link and product key is available here.  A warning, they seem to be suffering heavily under demand (not to mention a janky signup process).


GameDev News


18. December 2019


Maxon, the makers of the long running Cinema 4D 3d application have just announced a merger with Red Giant, a provider of tools for the VFX and post processing industry.

Details of the merger from the Maxon news release:

Portland, OR and Friedrichsdorf, Germany - December 17, 2019 - Maxon, the developers of professional 3D software solutions and Red Giant creators of unique tools for editors, VFX artists, and motion designers, today cooperatively announced that the two companies have reached a definitive agreement to merge under the media and entertainment division of Nemetschek Group to better serve the post production and content creation industries. The transaction is expected to close in January 2020, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Maxon and Red Giant are already well known and established in the digital content creation (DCC) industries, and share synergies in philosophy and long-term goals. Both companies have earned a peerless reputation for the quality and accessibility of products, and uncompromising commitment to service and support of the artistic community. Each company's workforce features the industry expertise, organizational maturity, and executive experience needed to fully leverage this unique opportunity.

Maxon, best known for its flagship 3D product Cinema 4D, was formed in 1986 with a passion for providing extremely powerful, though exceptionally accessible 3D software solutions. Artists across the globe rely on Maxon products to create cutting-edge visuals. In April of this year, Maxon acquired Redshift, developer of the GPU-accelerated Redshift render engine.

Since 2002, Red Giant has built its brand through award-winning products such as Trapcode, Magic Bullet, Universe, PluralEyes and its line of innovative visual effects software. Their unique, industry-standard tools are staples in the fields of film, broadcast, and advertising. Red Giant has differentiated itself in the industry through its artist-driven approach to software creation and its popular training and award-winning short films.

The merger should have minimal impact on either companies customers.  You can learn more about each company and the merger in the video below.

Art GameDev News


18. December 2019


Unity have just released a new demo project the Lost Crypt.  Over the last year a large number of new 2D features have been added to Unity and this project demonstrates how to use them all together in a simple 2D game.

Details from the Lost Crypt blog post:

Highly skilled teams have been making gorgeous 2D games with Unity for years, but we wanted to enable everyone, from individual artists to large teams, to have even more 2D tools available to create great-looking games. And many of them will be production-ready as part of Unity 2019.3, which is currently available in beta.

We created Lost Crypt using the complete suite of 2D tools. This lively scene features animation, light effects, organic terrain, shaders, and post-processing, all made natively in 2D. It shows how teams and projects of all sizes, targeting any platform, can now get more engaging and beautiful results faster.

Lost Crypt should run well on any desktop computer and we have also implemented on-screen controls with the new Input System in case you want to run it on an iOS or Android device. In our tests it ran at 30 fps on common devices like an iPhone 6S.

The Lost Crypt example is available in the Unity Asset store.

In addition to the new 2D demo, Unity are also running three Mega Bundles with savings up to 90% off.  Finally a reminder that back in October Unity announced price increases, and those go into effect on January 1st.  Check out more details of the Lost Crypt videos and sales in the video below.

GameDev News


17. December 2019


Last week on Humble the Humble Software Bundle: Filmmakers bundle was launched.  The star application of that bundle is HitFilm Pro 14 by FXHome (although the bundle contains other software, services and tons of stock footage and special FX).  In the time since the bundle was released I have been learning HitFilm Pro and what follows in my review.

Please keep in mind, my use case for a NLE is very casual, so I do not use advanced features such as camera matching, 3D importing and such.   I did however find HitFilm to be extremely easy to use, to perform exceptionally well and to be extremely capable, at least for my needs.  Suffice to say with the current Humble bundle, HitFilm is a gigantic recommendation for anyone needing a video editor.

Art


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