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15. March 2019


Amazon have just released Lumberyard 1.18, their free* AAA quality game engine developed on top of CryEngine.  Highlights of this release are improved asset processor start-up speeds, a new PhysX based gem, render to texture support, layer and slice improvements, ragdoll support, animation and UI improvements. 

Details from the Lumberyard blog:

As games head towards shipping, they grow remarkably in scale. What started as a prototype with a few hundred entities and assets is now thousands or 10s of thousands of entities and assets, with hundreds changing every day. Developers can’t slow down – they need new tools to create, organize, and better manage content at scale. That’s where Lumberyard can help.

Here are three ways Lumberyard 1.18 can help you scale:

  • Component Entity System Layers. As levels get bigger and more complex, you need more and more people to edit the content – game designers, audio designers, artists. To help bigger teams work together, we’ve introduced layers to the Component Entity System. Layers are a way to organize levels so your team can work asynchronously on different parts of the same level.
  • Fast Analysis Mode. As your game grows to thousands of assets, processing those assets can take a long time when starting up Lumberyard. By enabling the Fast Analysis Mode, the Asset Processor can now skip checks on unchanged dependencies, helping you launch Lumberyard faster. In one game with over ten thousand assets, we saw an 85% reduction in the time it takes to launch Lumberyard!
  • External references for AnimGraphs. Creating large complex animation graphs for AAA characters can be difficult to manage, maintain, and scale. But with external references, you can now break up the animation graph into smaller pieces, simplifying them, and allowing multiple team members to work on them simultaneously. You can also reuse these smaller graphs on other characters, accelerating the time it takes to get new characters up and running.

In addition to these features, we’ve added additional support for NVIDIA PhysX, improvements to the UI system, and more.

You can read the full release notes here.  Lumberyard can be downloaded here.

For more details on Lumberyard and the 1.18 release, watch the video below.  For a hands-on view of Lumberyard in action, check out our earlier video.

* Lumberyard is completely free, but requires you use Amazon services for online support unless you host your own servers.

GameDev News


1. January 2019


2018 was an interesting year in game development.  In this post/video, we take a quick stroll down memory lane and look at some of the key stories as they occurred throughoutGameDev2018 the year. 

GameDev News General News Programming Design Art Totally Off Topic


19. December 2018


Amazon have just released beta 1.17 of the Lumberyard game engine, a Amazon developed fork of the seminal CryEngine.  If you are interested in learning more about Lumberyard be sure to check out our previous hands-on video.  This new release contains over 70 improvement, fixes and changes including many quality of life changes, especially in regards to slices (Lumberyard prefabs).

Details of the 1.17 beta from the release notes:

  1. Improved Slice Override Visualization – Now when using the entity outliner, you get a quick visual queue where you’ve made your changes. Changes to a slice entity are now highlighted in orange to notify you at a glance that something has been edited and should be saved or reverted.
  2. WYSIWYG Slice Editing – Manipulate slices by dragging and dropping entities onto each other or pulling them out from a slice to remove them. This more intuitive workflow will help you work faster and accomplish tasks that would have taken several clicks in the past.
  3. Save Dialog Box details on Edits – All details are now presented if you click on the advanced save option. If you’re dealing with many slices, there are now filter controls that help you default to added/removed entities.
  4. Updated Entity Outliner Search/Filtering Options – There are now options to sort alphabetically ascending/descending with additional toggles to scroll to a selected slice and/or expand the hierarchy.
  5. Editor Only Status – Set an entity as editor only and it will not show up in game / at runtime. This is helpful when working across disciplines or teams to drop in markers guiding developers on changes or areas that need lighting addressed.

As well as the following fixes:

Cinematics

The cinematics system has the following fixes:

  • The Track View editor no longer stops working when you use the redo and undo functionality.
  • The redo and undo functionality now works properly in the Curve Editor.
  • The up and down buttons now work properly in the Key Properties dialog box.
  • You can no longer erroneously use quotation marks in the file prefix. Previously this prevented the Render Output tool from generating screenshots and videos.
  • The Simple Motion component is now removed when you remove the Actor component from an entity.
  • The Render Output tool is now disabled when you're in game mode.
  • You can now extend or shorten a looped motion track.
  • Keys on a compound track now report values for subtracks.
  • When you deselect a sequence, it no longer erroneously appears in the Sequence drop-down list.

Slices

Slices have the following fixes:

  • Duplicating slice instance entities is now more stable.
  • Various performance improvements include serializing slices, decreasing the slice save time, and increasing system reliability.
  • Slices now have improved container serialization.
  • The zoom to selection functionality (keyboard shortcut Z) is now unified between the Entity Outliner and the viewport.
  • You can now save slices that have splines with deleted points.
  • Cubemap assets now save properly to nested slices.
  • You can now create an instance from a nested slice within a slice.
  • Component dependency sorting no longer misidentifies objects as being incompatible when a component provides the same service twice.
  • You no longer need to restart the editor to view changes to nested slices.
  • Entering a rotation value in one of the axis fields no longer modifies all of the axes in the viewport.
  • Material and texture asset reference fields are now detectable as an override when you modify these fields from the source slice data.
  • The Thumbnailer component is now self-compatible.

UI Editor

You can now push a new slice instance into a UI slice.

GameDev News


20. September 2018


Crytek have just released CryEngine 5.5.  CryEngine continues to get more developer friendly with new documentation, a Unity developer migration guide, improved C# support, a new beginner sample and more.  Addition the engine has gotten rendering, terrain and plugin improvements, as well as usability improvements in the sandbox editor.  Please note that licensing and royalties have changed with the 5.5 release, so be sure to read the updated licensing terms before choosing CryEngine for your game.


A summary of the major improvements from the 5.5 release:

  • SVOGI Improvements: SVOGI, the feature which allows developers to create scenes with realistic ambient tonality, now includes a major advancement with SVO Ray-traced Shadows offering an alternative to using cached shadow maps in scenes.
  • Documentation Overhaul: As requested by the community, redesigned and updated documentation arrives for designers, artists, programmers, and anyone who uses the Sandbox Editor. Veterans and newcomers alike will be able to quickly find what they need.
  • Flappy Boid: Flappy Boid is a fun, accessible, and now comprehensive onboarding course enabling users to learn core game development concepts while building a finished game.
  • Sandbox UI/UX Changes: The Sandbox Editor improves workflow, performance, and optimization, making the development process quicker and easier.
  • Terrain Object Blending: Users can mark Entities with a Mesh Component to become a part of the terrain mesh, empowering more realism, especially with snow and sand scenes.
  • Updated Entity Components: Multiple new and legacy Components come to the new Entity System, including the porting of legacy rain and water ripple Entities and a new VR Camera and Interaction Component to get users up and running with their VR project quickly.
  • C# Upgrades: C# assets can be created directly inside of the Asset Browser and functions may be exposed to Schematyc for use inside of Entity Components. C# users will now be able to debug through Visual Studio via a new extension.
  • Terrain System Improvements: Blend multiple materials and use a new displacement option in the sculpting tools for even more realistic terrain.
  • Game Platform Plugins: A new Game Platform plugin allows for easy access to common distribution platforms and data transfer protocols, including Steamworks and PSN APIs.
  • CRYENGINE Versions and Full Editor Source Code: Users can submit pull requests, access the full Sandbox Editor source code, and get preview releases via GitHub. Preview releases will also continue to be made available via the CRYENGINE Launcher.
  • Unity Migration Guide: Unity Engine users can transfer their skills and content to CRYENGINE quickly and easily with our easy-to-use migration guide.
  • New Sandbox Level File Format: This feature brings the ability to place level files anywhere within the project directory, and allows for dynamic population.
  • Automated Packaging and Backing Up: Non-coders can simply share and release CRYENGINE content with new package build functionality within the CrySelect interface. A new Backup Project tool makes backing up projects simple.

This release contains over 1000 fixes, tweaks and improvements.  If you are interested in reading the full release notes they are available here.

GameDev News


22. August 2018


CryTek have just released several assets from the game Ryse Son of Rome.  The content pack consists of Egyptian level data from that game and includes several models, textures and a sample level showcasing the included assets.CEExamples

Details of the assets from the CryEngine marketplace:

The Egyptian themed assets in the pack provide large and small-scale elements for dressing your own Egyptian setting with statues and hieroglyphics set next to giant modular pyramids.

Included:
• Pyramids
• Statues
• Houses
• Pillars
• Obelisks
• Temples

This pack was previously provided as part of the Humble CRYENGINE Bundle 2018, and we’re delighted to make them available to everyone for free now.

The assets are released under the CryEngine limited licensing agreement, which seemingly prevent you from using these assets in other game engines.


Too see the assets in action and for instructions on how to use them, be sure to check out the video below.

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