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24. January 2020


Tiled, the open source map editing software, just released version 1.3.2.  Along side that release was a development snapshot with new features that will be available in the next release.  If you want learn Tiled we have an in-depth tutorial series available here.

Details of the 1.3.2 release:

  • Fixed initialization of selected layers (#2719)
  • Fixed stamp action shortcuts not being configurable (#2684)
  • Fixed the tileset view to respect the 'wheel zooms by default' preference
  • Fixed insertion position when using drag-n-drop to rearrange layers
  • Fixed displayed layer data format in Properties
  • Fixed repeating of export when map is saved by a custom command (#2709)
  • Fixed issue when multiple worlds are loaded that use pattern matching
  • Issues view can now be hidden by clicking the status bar counters
  • macOS: Fixed black toolbar when enabling OpenGL rendering (#1839)
  • Windows: Fixed context menus activating first item on release (#2693)
  • Windows installer: Include the 'defoldcollection' plugin (#2677)
  • Windows installer: Signed by SignPath
  • libtiled: Avoid inheriting Properties from QVariantMap (#2679)
  • docs: Added some notes to Python and JavaScript pages (#2725)
  • Updated Qt from 5.12.5 to 5.12.6
  • Updated Finnish translation (by Tuomas Lähteenmäki and odamite)
  • Updated part of Italian translation (by Katia Piazza)

As well as details from the developmental release:

Tinting Layers

Layers can now be tinted by multiplying their pixels with a color. This way you can darken or colorize your graphics in various ways without needing to set up separate images for it! The new "Tint Color" property is supported on tile layers, object layers and image layers, and is inherited from group layers.

Object Alignment

Ever since tile objects were added as a feature, their alignment has been inconsistent with the other shapes. Whereas a rectangle had its origin in the top-left, tile objects had their origin in the bottom-left (or even bottom-center, on isometric maps). While useful in some contexts, this inconsistency has annoyed many people over the years.

Now, a new tileset property specifies which alignment to use for tile objects using that tileset. If you set it to top-left, the tile objects will align consistently with the other objects. But of course you could also choose for bottom-center or center alignment depending on your needs.

Object Reference Properties

This change is a big step towards the Connecting Objects feature, which is planned for Tiled 1.4. You can now choose "object" as the type when adding a custom property, and the property will be interpreted as a reference to an object on the map, referring to it by its unique ID. A special dialog makes it easy to search for the object you want to refer to and the name of the referenced object will be displayed.

Tiled is available as a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux here.  The source code for Tiled is available on GitHub.

GameDev News


8. January 2020


BrashMonkey have just launched a Kickstarter campaign Spriter 2 Alchemist.  Alchemist is an extension to the upcoming Spriter 2 Pro 2D animation system that adds procedural content generation and animation support.  Existing Spriter Pro customers are offered a preferred rate when backing Spriter 2 Alchemist.  The tiers break down as follows:

As of writing the Kickstarter is about 10% of the way towards it $50,000USD goal with 27 days to go.  Full details of the features of Spriter 2 Alchemist are available on the Kickstarter page, as well as discussed in more detail in the video below.

Spriter is not the only 2D animation package available and we have covered a number of them previously here on GameFromScratch.  A run-down of free 2D animation tools is available here on DevGa.me, while we have done feature videos on Spine, Creature(video), COATools for Blender (video) and Dragonbones(video) if you are looking for an alternative.

GameDev News


7. January 2020


The open source 2D game engine GDevelop just released beta 84 of their 5.0.0 branch.  Major features of b84 are BBCode formatting support, dozens of new layer effects, improvements to the integrated pixel graphics editor and more.

New features in beta 84 from the release notes:

  • Add dozens of new effects for layers, and allow developers to easily create extensions bringing new effects.

    • See an (incomplete!) list of effects available on the wiki.
    • Thanks @Bouh and @blurymind for porting, trying and setting up these new effects for GDevelop: Black and White, Noise, CRT, Godray, Tilt shift, Advanced bloom, Kawase blur, Zoom blur, Displacement, Color Map, Pixelate, Reflection.
    • Want to add a new shader effect to GDevelop? Take a look at the explanations about effects here.
    • Support for effects on objects will be added in a next version
  • New object BBText (thanks @blurymind!)

  • Improvements in Piskel sprite editor (thanks @blurymind!)

    • Color index shift brush (useful for cell shading sprites)
    • Ability to source all layers when using the bucket tool
    • Palette transfer tool (apply the currently selected palette colors to the frame you are on)
  • Add an option to automatically resize game resolution to window or screen size. It's recommended to activate it especially for games on mobile phones.

Be sure to check the complete release notes for more details of the release.  You can learn more about GDevelop in our hands-on video embedded below.

GameDev News


6. January 2020


The free NeoAxis game engine, previously covered in-depth in this hands-on video, have just released NeoAxis 2019.4.  The 2019.4 release brings an impressive number of new features to the engine including the beginnings of a new 2D game engine, a game framework for handling common game development tasks, improvements to the 3D Builder tools and more.

Details from the 2019.4 change log:

  • Game framework. Managing characters, various types of cameras, a set of more specialized game objects. The ability to configure game mode, camera type in the editor. First person camera, third person camera, free camera are supported.
  • 2D game engine. 2D physics, sprites, tools, demo scenes. 2D game engine is implemented as extension for NeoAxis.
  • Character component. The set of classes and tools for creation characters.
  • Particles.
  • Terrain paint layers.
  • Primitives have been added: Arch, Door, Pipe, Prism, Stairs, Torus.
  • Builder 3D has been improved.
  • Optimization: GPU instancing for transparent objects.
  • NeoAxis Baking: The ability to disable compression of archive. That makes loading baked resources faster.
  • The ability to set color multiplier for decals in the scene.
  • Add Collision: Convex mode has been added.
  • Surface Area has been added. The object represents an area that filled by surface. An object is used to automatically fill with a large number of objects in a given area.
  • Bug fix: Invalid management of Color property of meshes and billboards with enabled GPU instancing.


You can learn more about the future of the NeoAxis engine by checking the roadmap available here, and learn more about the 2019.4 release in their more in-depth blog post or by watching the video below.


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).


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