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15. January 2020


The Khronos Group have just announced the release of Vulkan 1.2.  Containing 23 extensions, there are plenty of quality of life improvements for Vulkan developers in the 1.2 release including HLSL support, the new timeline sempaphore, a formal memory model and more.

Details of the Vulkan 1.2 release:

Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces the release of the Vulkan® 1.2 specification for GPU acceleration. This release integrates 23 proven extensions into the core Vulkan API, bringing significant developer-requested access to new hardware functionality, improved application performance, and enhanced API usability. Multiple GPU vendors have certified conformant implementations, and significant open source tooling is expected during January 2020.

Vulkan continues to evolve by listening to developer needs, shipping new functionality as extensions, and then consolidating extensions that receive positive developer feedback into a unified core API specification. Carefully selected API features are made optional to enable market-focused implementations. Many Vulkan 1.2 features were requested by developers to meet critical needs in their engines and applications, including: timeline semaphores for easily managed synchronization; a formal memory model to precisely define the semantics of synchronization and memory operations in different threads; descriptor indexing to enable reuse of descriptor layouts by multiple shaders; deeper support for shaders written in HLSL, and more.

All three major GPU providers support Vulkan 1.2 today, as well as Mesa drivers on AMD devices.  If you are a developer looking to learn Vulkan Resources Page on GitHub is perhaps the best place to get started.  If you want to learn more about Vulkan 1.2’s release be sure to check out the video below.

GameDev News


10. January 2020


ArmorPaint is an open source competitor to Substance Painter, from the creator of the Armory game engine (tutorial series available here).  It is available for just 16 Euro in binary form, but can also be built from source code.  This guide walks you step by step through the process of building ArmorPaint from source.

There are a few requirements before you can build.  Download and install the following programs if not already installed:

First step, we clone the repository.  Make sure to add the –recursive flag(that’s two ‘-‘ by the way).

Open a command prompt, cd to the directory where you want to install ArmorPaint’s source code and run the command:

git clone –recursive https://github.com/armory3d/armorpaint.git

Depending on your internet speed this could take a minute to several minutes while all of the files are downloaded. 

In Explorer, go the installation directory, then navigate to armorpaint\Kromx\V8\Libraries\win32\release and using 7zip extract v8_monolith.7z to the same directory as the .7z file.

Next in the command prompt run the following commands

(Assuming you are reusing the same CMD that you did the git clone from)

cd armorpaint

node Kromx/make –g direct3d11

cd Kromx

node Kinc/make –g direct3d11

explorer .

If you receive any errors above, the most likely cause is node not being installed.  The final command will now open a Windows Explorer window in the Kromx subdirectory.  Open the build directory and load the file Krom.sln.

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This will open the project in Visual Studio.  If you haven’t run VS yet,you may have to do some initial installation steps.  Worst case scenario run through the initial install, close and double click Krom.sln again.

First make sure that you are building for x64 and Release mode at the top:

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In the Solution Explorer, select Krom then hit ALT + ENTER or right click and select Properties.

Then select Debugging, in Command Arguments enter ..\..\build.krom then click Apply.

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You are now ready to build ArmorPaint.  Select Ctrl + SHIFT + B or select Build->Build Solution.

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Assuming no errors, are exe should be built.  Now go to the folder armorpaint\Kromx\build\x64\Release and copy the file Krom.exe, then copy to armorpaint\build\krom.  You can now run Krom.exe and you’re good to go. 

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Step by step instructions are available in the video below.

Art Programming


6. January 2020


3DBuzz is one of the original online learning resources for computer graphics, programming and game development, first launching way back in 2002.  Until recently the site was completely commercial, with prices set on a per course basis or available under a monthly subscription.  They announced they will be shutting down, for the most unfortunate of reasons, and have released all of their content for free download.

Details from 3dbuzz.com:

Hello everyone,

The 3D Buzz community has been amazing and inspirational for 2 decades. However, all good things...

3D Buzz, Inc has closed its doors. Subscription and recurring payments have already been suspended. This page is our final gift to such a wonderful community. Below you will find download links to all of our available material, free of charge.

Thank you for so many years of support. You are all, truly, the best community anyone could hope for. May we see each other again somewhere in the ether...

From all of us to all of you,

Remember to always look, listen, and learn.

Goodbye, good health, and good luck.

If you visit 3DBuzz.com you may get a security warning, this seems to be linked to an invalid SSL certificate and can be ignored.  The entire content of the site add up to over 200+GB in size.  As a result, some readers over on Reddit have been working to set up torrents, so if you are interested in grabbing the entire archive of video tutorials, be sure to check out that thread.  Otherwise you can download each video one by one in zip format.

Thank you for your generous gift 3DBuzz and our condolences on your loss.

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.

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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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