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8. January 2019


Back in June of 2018, Microsoft acquired GitHub for an eye watering 7.5 Billion dollars.  This transaction took several months to make it through regulatory approval, with Microsoft finally taking control near the end of 2018.  Yesterday, we saw the first official impact of the ownership change and for end users, it’s a pretty good change.  The free tier of GitHub now offers unlimited private code repos!  This was arguably the biggest reason for many small developers to actually pay for a premium account, so for these developers, they can downgrade to free and save their money.  Now the major limitation between Free and Pro accounts is the number of collaborators in a private repo, with the free tier have a limit of 3, while the pro tier has no such limit.

Details of the new changes from the Github blog:

  • GitHub Free now includes unlimited private repositories. For the first time, developers can use GitHub for their private projects with up to three collaborators per repository for free. Many developers want to use private repos to apply for a job, work on a side project, or try something out in private before releasing it publicly. Starting today, those scenarios, and many more, are possible on GitHub at no cost. Public repositories are still free (of course—no changes there) and include unlimited collaborators.

  • GitHub Enterprise is the new unified product for Enterprise Cloud (formerly GitHub Business Cloud) and Enterprise Server (formerly GitHub Enterprise). Organizations that want the flexibility to use GitHub in a cloud or self-hosted configuration can now access both at one per-seat price. And with GitHub Connect, these products can be securely linked, providing a hybrid option so developers can work seamlessly across both environments.

Pricing for individuals now breaks down as follows:

image

Not a bad first move…

GameDev News


7. January 2019


Over the weekend, Esoteric Software released version 3.7 of their Spine animation software.  Spine enables you to create complex 2D animations using a bone and mesh based workflow, much like working and animating in 3D.  It is a software that we have covered several times on this site including this step by step tutorial as well as in our recent round-up of bone based animation packages.  The 3.7 release brings several new features and improvements including new audio support, improved exporters, new skinning functionality and a new C++ based runtime.

Major new features of the 3.7 release include:

  • Audio support
  • Stretchy, compressed and uniform inverse kinematics
  • Mesh whitespace stripping
  • Revamped exporters(Gif, APNG, Range and Crop limiting)
  • Pixel rendering
  • Skin combining
  • Type to Search
  • Skin duplication
  • Vertex copy/paste
  • CLI improvements
  • Runtime improvements
  • New C++ based spine runtime (will power UE and Cocos)


You can learn a great deal more about this release on the Spline blog or by watching the video embedded below.  In addition to the new 3.7 release, a Spine Web Player was also released, with the announcement being lost in the holiday noise!

Art GameDev News


5. January 2019

MIT have just released version 3 of Scratch.  Scratch is a visual programming language and game engine aimed at helping kids learn how to program, I previously featured it in the GameFromScratch Guide to Getting Kids Started in Game Development.  It uses a system similar to virtual lego blocks for coding games that respond to events, sensors and more.  Additionally Scratch comes absolutely loaded with content such as sprites, sound effects and backdrops that help you get started right away.

Scratch 3 brings new behaviours, a new extension system and more.  Details from the 3.0 announcement on Medium:

Scratch Extensions

With Scratch extensions, you can keep adding new coding blocks to Scratch. Program motors, lights, and sensors with the LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3, and micro:bit extensions. Program characters to speak in other languages with the Google Translate extension, or to talk out loud with the Amazon Text-to-Speech extension. You can even program characters to respond to your body movements using your webcam and the Video Sensing extension.This library of extensions will continue to grow over time, expanding what you can create with Scratch.

To help kids get started with Scratch, there is a new collection of tutorials and “how to” videos.

New Tutorials and Activities

Whether you’re just getting started or looking for inspiration, the new Ideas section of the website includes tutorials for everyone. Animate a character, make music, or create an adventure game with Cartoon Network characters. You can find more activities and full coding curricula from Raspberry Pi Code Club, Google CS First, and the ScratchEd Creative Computing Curriculum Guide.

Scratch 3.0 comes with new, easily remixable characters, backdrops, and sounds.

New Characters, Sounds, and Backgrounds

Tacos, dinosaurs, mermaids, and shoes! Beats, sneezes, squawks, and squeaks. Jungles, concert halls, mountains, and stadiums. We worked with artists to create lots of new, easily remixable characters, sounds, and backgrounds. There are also improved paint and sound editors for creating and editing your own images and sounds.

Scratch Everywhere

Scratch 3.0 is designed to work in any current browser and on a wide variety of devices — including touch devices like tablets. No internet? No problem. Scratch 3.0 has an offline editor called Scratch Desktop.

Scratch has always been more than a coding platform. What makes Scratch special is the global community of kids, educators, families, and organizations who are creating and sharing projects, developing tutorials and resources, and hosting in-person events, workshops, and conferences. We’re looking forward to seeing what you all do with this new generation of Scratch.

You can read more about the 3.0 release details here.  Scratch is a fully open source project with the Github repository available here.  If you are interested in creating JavaScript extensions, you can find code examples here.

GameDev News


3. January 2019


Corona is an open source Lua powered cross platform game engine, first released way back in 2009.  Back in 2017 Corona was released for free, after being acquired by AppoDeal earlier in the year.  Yesterday they announced that Corona will now be available under a dual licenses, GPLv3 and a proprietary commercial license.  If you require more details on the various open source licenses, be sure to check out our guide to open source licenses available here.

Details of the open sourcing:

“The transition of Corona to the open source model of development has been our long-term vision since Corona Labs was acquired by Appodeal in 2017. We believe that this move will bring transparency to the development process, and will allow users to contribute features or bug fixes to make the project better for everyone,” said Vlad Sherban, product manager for Corona Labs.

The open source model will bring more visibility and flexibility to the development process by allowing visibility into exactly what the engine team is working on and where the project is going, and by contributing valuable new features that will help spearhead Corona to the next level. Additional benefits for businesses include the potential to acquire a commercial license for source code and customize the engine for specific commercial projects.

“Corona Labs will continue to have a dedicated team and infrastructure to support our flourishing plugin ecosystem and infrastructure, as well as to keep up to date with the ever-changing requirements and updates coming from applications stores. Powered by the new open source model and supported by the development of new features and bug fixes will make Corona more community driven — but not without our help and guidance. Ultimately, going open source will provide confidence in the future of the engine and an opportunity to grow community involvement in engine development,” said Vlad Sherban, product manager for Corona Labs.

Corona is available under a split license:

  1. You can download the Corona source code under the GPLv3 license and build your games and apps, however, those games have to be distributed under the GPLv3 license, i.e you have to make your source available. Games and apps based on the open source distribution of Corona have to be distributed using the same license (GPLv3).
  2. You can download the Corona source code, negotiate a commercial license agreement with Corona Labs, and build a version of Corona that has a custom feature. You can then distribute your games and apps without opening your own source.
  3. This does not apply to daily builds and releases. Their license remains unchanged. You can download builds to freely build and distribute your apps as before. The new changes only apply to the source code of the engine which is now available.

The last point is important, as it means existing customers using the free engine can continue to use the binary releases for free, so long as they don’t touch the source code.  Speaking of source code, the code is now live on GitHub.

GameDev News


2. January 2019


Back in November, Epic Games announced they would be giving away content from the Unreal Engine marketplace.  Yesterday they announced the January content that would be made available for free.  While half of the content released is available free forever, the other half is only available for free during the month of January, so be sure to add it to your cart before then!


The January free content includes:

All of the above are available for this month only.  The following assets have been made permanently free:


Learn more about the above packs in the video below.

Art GameDev News


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