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8. December 2018

The open source Duality game engine just received a 3.0 release.  The duality engine, that we featured previously in the Closer Look series is a complete 2D game engine built on top of a C# framework that also includes a comprehensive game editor, a modern component based design, as well as good documentation and a decent sized community.  The only real flaw I can think of is that it is currently Windows only, so that limits the audience to a certain degree.  The 3.0 release is loaded with features, the largest of which is due to the complete rewrite of the rendering pipeline and underlying design, which resulted in a more modern shader based approach and up to a doubling of per frame performance.


Rewrote the entire rendering pipeline, allowing massive improvements in efficiency, ease of use and feature coverage while at the same time shifting towards more modern, shader-focused rendering techniques.

  • RenderSetup resources allow replacing how Duality renders a frame, providing a simple entry point for pre- or post processing steps, as well as completely customized rendering behavior.
  • Self-contained scenes allow using Scene resources as isolated simulation spaces independently of the active main scene.
  • Focus on performance and a more data-oriented design of both rendering and update cycles. A worst-case rendering benchmark comparing v2 and v3 performance went down from 13 ms to 6 ms per frame, as well as 2000+ (gen0 to gen2) GC collections per minute to about 5 (gen0) collections.
  • Refactored core API, replacing many “first iteration” designs with more streamlined ones. The most prominent example might be the deprecation of manual context checks in ICmpInitializable in favor of a simple OnActivate / OnDeactivate method pair, but many similar improvements were done as well.

Be sure to check out the full change log, as the above summary only scratches the surface of what’s new in this release.  As mentioned earlier, the Duality game engine is open source and available on Github.  If you want to see a quick hands-on introduction to Duality, be sure to watch the video embedded below.

GameDev News

14. November 2018

Tiled, the open source 2D map editor, just released version 1.2.1.  The new release is entirely focused on bug fixes and stability improvements.  If you are unfamiliar with Tiled, it is an excellent 2D map editor, able to create 2D, isometric and even hexographic maps and is supported by almost every single modern 2D game engine in use today.  You can learn more about how to used Tiled through our complete tutorial series available here.

Details of the Tiled 1.2.1 release:

  • Fixed JSON templates not being visible in Templates view (#2009)
  • Fixed Maps view to show all readable map formats
  • Fixed crash when deleting a command using the context menu (by Robert Lewicki, #2014)
  • Fixed crash after a world file failed to load
  • Fixed Select None action to be enabled when there is any selection
  • Fixed disappearing of tile types on export/import of a tileset (#2023)
  • Fixed tool shortcuts when using Spanish translation
  • Fixed saving of the “Justify” alignment option for text objects (#2026)
  • Changed Cut, Copy and Delete actions to apply based on selected layer types
  • Windows: Updated builds to Qt 5.9.7
  • Updated Russian translation (by Rafael Osipov, #2017)

You can download Tiled here and learn more here.

GameDev News

3. October 2018

Today we are taking a look at two different tools for creating particle systems, BlastFX and Pixel FX Designer.  Both ultimately create the same result, rendered particles that can be used in your game, but both accomplish it in vastly different ways.

BlastFX – Windows, MacOS, Linux – $15 USD (Store Link)

Pixel FX Designer – Windows, MacOS – $30 USD (Store Link)


27. September 2018

One of the most challenging things when just starting game development is handling art in your game.  Most programmers have the artistic ability of a slightly blind tree toad, so what are they to do?  Well, you can scour the internet, tons of great free content out there, but there’s 100x more garbage as well.  Then you have the struggle of trying to get all of your content you grabbed from disparate sources to look good.  Or you can use one of the free content packs linked below.  Most of the follow assets have all you need, in a consistent art style, to create a game… and they are free!

Free game art pack resources:

Additionally the following two sites are great collections for finding resources like those mentioned above:

For more details on these resources, be sure the check the video below.  If you have an additional recommendation for complete free game art kits, please let me know in the comments!


24. September 2018

A little over a year ago, we checked out GDevelop in the Closer Look game engine series.  Since that review was published, GDevelop 5 was released.  Today we took a quick look at the new version of GDevelop 5, a massively streamlined and easier to use version.  If you checked out GDevelop earlier, I highly recommend you check again.  If you haven’t, and are looking for an open source, cross platform, no programming required 2D game engine, GDevelop is a great option.

Click here to get started with GDevelop.


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