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13. November 2019


Back at GDC 2019, Crytek surprised the world with a demonstration that showcased real-time raytracing without the need for modern RTX enabled hardware.  Today CryTek released that benchmark into the wild.  You can learn more about the benchmark here.


CryTek did an in-depth interview describing the process of creating the benchmark available here:

Crytek has released a new video demonstrating the results of a CRYENGINE research and development project. Neon Noir shows how real-time mesh ray-traced reflections and refractions can deliver highly realistic visuals for games. The Neon Noir demo was created with the new advanced version of CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination showcasing real time ray tracing. This feature will be added to CRYENGINE release roadmap in 2019, enabling developers around the world to build more immersive scenes, more easily, with a production-ready version of the feature.

Neon Noir follows the journey of a police drone investigating a crime scene. As the drone descends into the streets of a futuristic city, illuminated by neon lights, we see its reflection accurately displayed in the windows it passes by, or scattered across the shards of a broken mirror while it emits a red and blue lighting routine that will bounce off the different surfaces utilizing CRYENGINE's advanced Total Illumination feature. Demonstrating further how ray tracing can deliver a lifelike environment, neon lights are reflected in the puddles below them, street lights flicker on wet surfaces, and windows reflect the scene opposite them accurately.

Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12.


The benchmark is available on the Crytek Marketplace and requires you to have the CryEngine launcher installed.  You can check out the benchmark running on rather antiquated hardware (at a respectable clip!) in the video below.  According to the CryEngine Roadmap we should expect to see raytracing support (with or without hardware) in CryEngine 5.7, scheduled for a Spring 2020 release.

GameDev News


10. October 2019


CryTek have released version 5.6.3 of CryEngine, primarily a bug fix release.

Details from the release notes:

Animation

  • Optimized: The attached characters cache to only update when attachments change.
  • Fixed: An issue with the max view distance render node property (not being propagated through attachment hierarchies).

AI

  • Fixed: Saving the level and generating an environment probe, triggers an assertion failure (NavigationSystem.cpp L 1172) and a warning which will pop up endlessly (Editor background thread is still running) making the Editor unusable.

Audio

  • Tweaked: Updated to Wwise SDK v2019.1.4.

Core/System

  • Fixed: Work around for compiler error with rsqrt_fast in VS 2019 16.3.
  • Fixed: Compiler error with if_else_zero. if_else and if_else_zero are now overloaded to optimally use int or float version of SSE "and" intrinsic.

Default Entities

  • Fixed: Added missing include for RoomscaleCamera.

CMake

  • Fixed: Disabled Oculus VR plugin when using VS2019 16.3.0 (due to compilation issue)
  • Tweaked: Fix Oculus VR plugin version check and comments.

Core Systems

  • Tweaked: Build error when using MSVCs Edit And Continue feature.

Graphics and Rendering

  • Optimized: (Particles) Removed ILINE on huge SNoise and other functions.

Sandbox

  • Fixed: (EE): Unable to switch between presets open in two docked EE instances.

Plugins and Projects

  • Fixed: The player entity is not correctly spawned when loading subsequent levels in the Sandbox.

The 5.6.3 release also has some know issues to be aware of:

  • Oculus VR Plugin cannot be compiled with Visual Studio 2019 v16.3.0.
  • Starting a C++ Plugin only project in Editor/Game Launcher causes a crash.
  • Drag and dropping brushes or entities with children into another layer crashes the Editor.
  • Turning on the "Ambient" light option for the Point Light entity component triggers asserts and sometimes causes crashes.


If you are interested in learning more about CryEngine 5.6 in general, be sure to watch the video below.  The update is available in the CryEngine launcher.

GameDev News


16. September 2019


Amazon have released a new version of the Lumberyard game engine.  This release includes 70+ features, changes and improvements.

Highlights of the release from the Lumberyard blog:

  • We continue to add new features and make workflow improvements to Script Canvas visual scripting to save you time. In this release, Script Canvas gets greater flexibility working with dynamic types, new comment and group presets so you can define color code comments and groups, and the ability to disable nodes so you can test different graph structures more quickly. We’ve also added three new nodes for increased functionality: Repeater, Switch, and Ordered Sequencer. (A few months ago we released the Project N.E.M.O sample to help you get started with Script Canvas. Check it out here.)
  • The EMotion FX Animation Editor can now dynamically simulate physically-based secondary animation for your actors. This lightweight solver provides realistic looking motion for items like backpacks, holsters, and even long hair, as your actor moves. Using the Simulated Objects node, you can adjust an objects stiffness, gravity factor, colliders, and more.
  • Lumberyard Beta 1.21 now uses NVIDIA’s PhysX 4.1. This latest version of PhysX boasts increased performance, stability, and accuracy.
  • We’ve also refactored Lumberyard’s cross-platform architecture. We removed heavy reliance on cascading platform #ifdefs by reorganizing platform-specific code into a parallel directory hierarchy. This makes cross-platform feature development and maintenance easier and also significantly reduces the effort required to add new platforms to Lumberyard. (Note that public APIs were not changed as part of this refactor.)

You can read full details of this release in the release notes available here or by watching the video below.  The example N.E.M.O demonstrated in the video below is available here.

GameDev News


29. August 2019


Crytek have just released CryEngine 5.6 featuring over 1000 changes and improvements including several developers for the game Hunt Showdown.  There are a number of new features in this release including new project management features directly in the Sandbox editor, a new AI Behavior Tree tool, area lights, ragdoll physics and ADX2 support.  Details of the release from the CryEngine blog:

This major release packs in over 1,000 changes and includes production-proven features which have been used to deliver Hunt: Showdown. The entire team here at Crytek would like to thank the entire CRYENGINE community for all the feedback and suggestions that have helped shaped the direction of development. This engine is for you, and we couldn’t have done this without you.

CRYENGINE 5.6 is designed to put more power in your hands and make game creation quicker and easier. We’re sure you’ll agree that it marks a big step forward for the engine. As you know, work doesn’t stop, and we’re already looking at the roadmap for CRYENGINE 5.7. Make sure you keep your thoughts and feedback coming as it really does make a difference.

The full release notes are available here, additionally Crytek have released a short video trailer showcasing the new features available here.  You can learn more about this release in the video embedded below.

GameDev News


30. July 2019


Amazon have just released beta 1.20 of their Lumberyard game engine.  The release contains over 200 improvements, fixes and features with the biggest features being every day quality of life changes.  The lead two features are improved Asset Processor performance as well as performance improvements to the Event Bus system.

Highlight features from the release notes:

Asset Processor
  • Asset Processor Faster Scanning Mode significantly reduces the time required to analyze the asset cache on startup. This enables Lumberyard to launch more quickly.

Event Bus (EBus) System

EBus performance improvements have reduced the overhead of invoking functions through the EBus API by at least 20% in most cases. Using EBuses to send events between different game systems and components now performs closer to that of calling the event as a raw function call, thus reducing update time.

Audio

Audio has the following new features:

  • Wwise External Sources – You can now use the Wwise external audio source feature to specify a loose collection of audio files to be played back dynamically.

    Note

    The Wwise External Sources feature isn't supported in Wwise LTX.

  • Audio System Component – You can now perform audio operations at a global scope (as opposed to entity scope).

  • Input Streaming Support – You can now stream data from a variety of input sources for playback by the audio system. For example, you can play back the audio stream from a video file.

  • Sound Duration – You can now obtain the duration of a sound at runtime by registering with the AudioTriggerNotificationBus function and overriding the ReportDurationInfo function.

  • Setting the Panning Mode – You can now use the Wwise SetPanningMode method to shift panning between speaker mode (60 degrees) and headphone mode (180 degrees).

Animation Editor

The Animation Editor has the following new feature:

  • Interrupting Transitions – You can now interrupt a transition that is in progress with another transition and smoothly blend into the new state. With this feature, you can quickly blend towards a new state without waiting for a transition to complete. A purple line shows the transition being interrupted. A green line shows the new transition in progress. The ability to interrupt a transition is useful when you want to rapidly interrupt a character attack with another attack, or interrupt a jump with a run forward motion.

Mobile

Mobile has the following new feature:

  • AWS Device Farm Integration – AWS Device Farm can now be used as a deployment target in the Deployment Tool.

PhysX

The PhysX system has the following new features:

  • PhysX Force Region Component – You can use the PhysX Force Region component to specify a region to apply physical force to entities. The component applies force at each frame to any entity that is in the bounds of the region. For example, if an entity moves into the force region of a sphere, force is applied to the entity.

    For more information, see the PhysX Force Region component in the Amazon Lumberyard User Guide.

  • In Script Canvas, you can obtain the value of the net force exerted on an entity by using the On Calculate Net Force method of the PhysX Force Region Generation Notifications node. This callback is invoked when the force region calculates the net force exerted on an object.

In somewhat belated news, Amazon also released Project N.E.M.O, a complete demo game showcasing how to use slices and script canvas.  This is the source of the game data in the video below.

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