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15. December 2015

 

Back in October I had the following Twitter conversation with Nat Friedman of Xamarin.

image

 

It appears that this process has begun, at least for a limited time and for published developers.  From this announcement at Xamarin:

Christmas comes early for indie game developers

Because we love seeing indie games succeed, Xamarin wants to support indie game developers all over the world in bringing their games to billions of mobile gamers. We want every indie game developer to enjoy the power of C# and Visual Studio, so we have an amazing special offer this December:

Free, community-supported subscriptions of Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android, including our Visual Studio extensions

Indie game developers only need to have published a game in any framework on any platform to qualify. We’ll use your published details to verify your indie status:

This offer is limited to independent game developers who have published a game on or before Tuesday, December 15, 2015 in any reputable public store for indie games, such as Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows Store, Xbox Store, PlayStation Store, or Nintendo eShop. No more than one subscription will be granted to any given publisher. This offer expires on December 31, 2015 at 9 pm ET.

 

The published title restriction is a bit of a mind twister for me…  isn’t this a matter of preaching to the choir?  Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to try and attract aspiring developers instead of a group that already committed to the .NET ecosystem?

GameDev News


11. December 2015

 

Don’t you just love it when someone else does your job for you?  As part of my recently completed Tiled tutorial series I was considering doing a pretty detailed tutorial on integrating it into one of the modern C# based game engines.  One engine certainly up for consideration was the Wave Engine, somewhat recently featured in the Closer Look At series.  Well thankfully I didn’t, because they went ahead and did it for me!

 

From the WaveEngine blog:

Using TiledMap to create your 2D game level

With TiledMap, developing 2D games in WaveEngine will not be the same anymore. Tiled maps have been used for a long time in games, now you can load and integrate TiledMap (.TMX) files, created by theTiled Map Editor (http://www.mapeditor.org/), the most popular map editor based in tiles. With Tiled, you can easily design your 2D map levels and run in WaveEngine like a charm.

Load a TiledMap (.tmx) in WaveEngine

1. Install WaveEngine.TiledMap NuGet package

First of all, you need to install WaveEngine.TiledMap NuGet package into your Game solution. This action allows you to use the TiledMap components into your project:

 

series continues here. 

 

With the NuGet TiledMap package, the process is actually quite simple.  They also have a Tiled map example available on Github.

Programming


7. December 2015

 

Last week I announced the Xamarin port of Urho3D to .NET and in the resulting /r/gamedev conversation it was discovered that the license it was released under required you to use Xamarin products.  This obviously caused a great deal of annoyance within the community.  Fortunately today Miguel de Icaza CTO at Xamarin announced that the license was a mistake at that it was being changed.

 

From the /r/gamedev conversation:

Hello lovers of Urho and .NET,

I just found out about this thread. It was not really our intention to annoy anyone, I used the license that was published as a blend of expedience and flexibility. It would have allowed me to decide when and where to license the code.

We have now released the source to our Urho bindings and put them under the MIT license:

http://github.com/xamarin/urho

https://github.com/xamarin/urho/blob/master/LICENSE

The NuGet package still has the old license purely because I do not want to break all the samples (NuGet hardcodes a reference to the version in project, we still need to figure out a good strategy to release NuGet packages). But you can regenerate your own from the sources now.

Thanks to everyone that participated in this thread and voiced their opinion.

I can not wait to see what people do with this.

Miguel.

 

This is certainly a positive development and makes UrhoSharp useful to a much larger audience of developers.

GameDev News


2. December 2015

 

Today on the Xamarin blog, they announced the release of Urhosharp.  You may recall I covered Urho3D a while back in the Closer Look at Series.  From the announcement:

Building 3D experiences and games using a high-level framework that works across all of the major platforms is now as easy as installing a single NuGet package.

UrhoSharp brings the Urho3D game engine to C# and F# developers targeting Android, iOS, Mac, tvOS, and Windows. It delivers scene management, a component-based architecture, actions, animations, 3D and 2D physics, audio, mesh navigation, and networking richly blended into .NET with all of the idioms that you’ve come to know and love.

To learn more, check out our introduction to UrhoSharp, take a look at oursamples, or add a level or challenge to SamplyGame, our homage to ShootySkies written in UrhoSharp.

From the introduction:

UrhoSharp is a powerful 3D Game Engine for Xamarin and .NET developers. It is similar in spirit to Apple’s SceneKit and SpriteKit and include physics, navigation, networking and much more while still being cross platform.

It is a .NET binding to the Urho3D engine and allows developers to write cross platform code that can target Android, iOS, Windows and Mac with the same codebase and can render to both OpenGL and Direct3D systems.

UrhoSharp is a game engine with a lot of functionality out of the box:

 

Between Urhosharp and Atomic Game Engine, Urho3D derived engines are certainly becoming more common these days!  You can get the SDK on nuget here.

 

EDIT: User /u/marynate on reddit’s r/gamedev noticed the license for Urhosharp

You may only use the Software, as expressly permitted herein, in conjunction with Your Primary Xamarin Software. As used herein, “Your Primary Xamarin Software” means Xamarin.iOS software or Xamarin.Android software that is both (a) covered by a separate valid Xamarin software license agreement under which You are the licensee (Your “Primary Xamarin License”) and (b) for which You have acquired an Indie license, Business license, or Enterprise license under Your Primary Xamarin License.

So basically they took an open source project and tied it to using their commercial product.  Bad form Xamarin, bad form.

 

EDIT2: Xamarin have fixed the license and it is now released under the MIT open source license.

GameDev News


1. December 2015

 

Paradox the C# based cross platform game engine we featured a few months back, as just announced a major version release and a name change to Xenko.  First about the update:

Xenko

New Features With This Release
Users Can Now Edit Documentation!

We’re so glad to have added this feature that allows users to share information about how to best use Xenko. We know our documentation is not entirely complete yet, so we are really looking forward to hearing and sharing information through the community.

The process for adding to Xenko documentation is real simple. ‘Edit on Github’ in the top right hand corner and you will be able to edit our documentation. If the user-submitted information passes the verification process, we will add it to the documentation.

Edit documentation on GitHub

Automatic Symbols and Source Code Download

Being open source is great, but only if you can find the sources matching the binary version you are using. From now on, Xenko will download the right sources and symbols for an optimal debug and programming experience so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself.

The process is simple. All you need to do is open Visual Studio options, go to Debugging > General, and check “Enable Source Server Support”:

Enable PDB

 

Next some news on an upcoming December release:

New Animation System

We’ve added a new animation system that allows you to animate any game property throughout the engine. Animating models is great but why limit animation only to the models? With the newest version of the engine, you will be able to animate material color, UI transparency, and generally any property of your game!

Simple, In-Game Profiler

As good as a game engine can get, at some point, you’re always going to be limited by the hardware’s performance. To help with this, we’ve added a built-in profiler so that you will easily be able to identify problems and bottlenecks in your game. Even better, you will be able to turn on the built-in profiler at any point during the process of making your game.

Debug Physics Collision Shapes At Run-Time

Debugging physics is never easy. To streamline this, you will be able to display all the physics collision shapes at any time in your game.

Built-In Scripts

Writing scripts takes time and is not necessarily accessible to everyone. To improve on this, we added some built-in scripts to the engine so that users will be able to do basic operations with ease. Things like animating the camera, displaying physics debug shapes, and adding profiling information can be done in just a few clicks.

 

Finally on the name change:

So, on to the big news! Paradox is officially changing its name to Xenko. We wanted to show our roots a bit more since we are one of the few Japanese-based gaming engines. Xenko was inspired by the Japanese word, Zenko 善光. The Japanese characters signify perfection and light. Sticking with the Xenko theme, we will strive to improve your experience with the Xenko engine (ah, feels good to say the new name).

We know this is a big change, and we truly appreciate your patience as we have been honing in on this transition. Please note that support and download access to any previous Paradox releases will end on December, 25th, 2015.

You can read the full release here.

 

Not sure what I think of the new name, but the old one was certainly confusing.  Whenever I posted Paradox related news in the past there would always be a comment or three expecting that it was Paradox Interactive releasing their game engine.  These transitions can often create a fair bit of pain, especially if they rename at the code level too.

GameDev News


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