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27. January 2013
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LibGDX is a popular Java based open source cross platform game programming library that supports desktop, Android, HTML5 and now… iOS.

 

Other details about this release:

 

  • Minor changes to the Livewallpaper API. Note that the LWP support is still a little buggy. It’s a contribution, and while i did quite a bit of clean-up it’s still not entirely where it should be. I’d be super happy if someone took on that backend!
  • If you want to deploy to HTML5 you now need to use GWT 2.5!
  • We have rudimentary Maven support. Thanks a ton to Team Gemserk for libgdx mavenizer and all their help with this!.
  • Android Daydream support, a contribution by talklittle! This one is stable.
  • Gdx controllers extension, for Android/Ouya and desktop. HTML5 could be an option too! Volunteers? (looking at you Nex) Some notes on the current stub backend for HTML5
  • The gdx-net API is now part of core. Fetching things via HTTP should work on all backends. Here’s a little test. Big thanks to Noblemaster and Gemserk who led this effort!
  • Not exactly part of the release, but here’s a quick rundown on how to make your libgdx game work with Ouya!
  • Again, not exactly part of the release, but here’s an awesome guide by Swarm on how to integrate Swarm with your libgdx app! Note that you should probably interface the Swarm API so your desktop project continues to work.
  • First release of the iOS backend

 

 

The iOS release does have some caveats though.  You need a Mac, XCode and ( here’s the stickler ) a MonoTouch license, just like the PlayN project’s iOS port.  Unfortunately, MonoTouch costs 400$, so this is one of those things you should be aware of upfront.

 

That said, iOS is often the biggest market place, so being able to port your game could be easily worth the 400$ price tag. 

 

The following features are in the queue for the 0.9.9 release:

 

 

You can read the entire release notes here, and access the source code here.

 

Nice work LIBGDX team.

News


25. January 2013

 

Rim have released Gameplay 1.6, a 3D cross platform library for writing games for Blackberry 10, Playbook, PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices using C++.  gameplayThis is a project we have been following here at GameFromScratch for quite a while, and given the complexity, its amazing just how fast you can get up to speed.

 

If C++ is your language of choice ( or LUA for that matter ), you really should check out Gameplay, it’s completely free and open source.

 

The following are the release notes of the 1.6 release:

  • Adds file Stream interface for reading/writing files instead of using fread/fwrite.
  • Adds Terrain class to support for heightmap based terrains featuring LOD, multiple surface layers, loading from PNG, RAW8/16, full transform, physics, patch culling and verticle skirt for cracks.
  • Adds object-space normal map generation to gameplay-encoder for terrain normal map generation.
  • Adds scene support for loading .terrain files in .scene files.
  • Adds scene support for inline cameras to .scene files.
  • Adds suppoft for defining .scene files without 'path' to gpb. New node can not be create in .scene file.
  • Adds static Scene::getScene(const char*) to query currently active scenes in a game, helpful for script access.
  • Adds support for multiple translate, rotate and scale commands in a single node entity within .scene files, processed in-order they are defined.
  • Adds scene support for material auto binding scene ambient color, light color and light direction.
  • Adds support for setting the depth compare function on materials.
  • Adds support for texture/sampler arrays being passed to materials.
  • Adds support for loading uncompressed DDS textures for the following formats: R8G8B8, A8R8G8B8, A8B8G8R8, X8R8G8B8, X8B8G8R8
  • Adds improvments to prefer higher quality mipmap generation.
  • Adds improved Gamepad API support for button enumeration, triggers and some mobile Gamepad support on BlackBerry.
  • Adds additional gameplay-tests for billboards, forms, gamepads and lights.
  • Adds support for launching the browser via launchURL(const char*).
  • Adds physics support for setLinearFactor and setAngularFactor on rigid bodies.
  • Adds methods to PhysicsCollisionObject to allow conversion to subclass types (i.e. PhysicsRigidBody, PhysicsCharacter, etc) from script.
  • Adds option for fullscreen without width/height config to use native desktop resolution.
  • Adds Linux support for OpenAL PulseAudio back-end.
  • Adds support for latest Bullet Physics 2.81 with NEON optimizations for mobile targets.
  • Adds support for preprocessor directive NO_LUA_BINDINGS in the gameplay project to omit inclusion of generated lua bindings in compilation for developer mode value.
  • Adds optimizations to Lua generator to only write generated files if they differ from existing files, reducing both build times and committing of unchanged script binding files.
  • Adds changes to Slider for setValueTextVisible, setValueTextAlignment, setValueTextPrecision and getters.
  • Adds Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit support.
  • Adds Apple iOS 6 support.
  • Fixes to external-deps to reduce the size of the libraries on Windows.
  • Fixes for Android to no longer need to copy files to the SD card before reading them. None of the Android samples require an SD card.
  • Fixes for animation of opacity on UI and fonts.
  • Fixes in UI for removing controls and also setVisible(bool).
  • Fixes for UI controls missing on MacOSX.
  • Fixes for setting UI alignment programmatically.
  • Fixes for lighting shaders.
  • Fixes to the texture minification mode from GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR to GL_NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR for newly created textures with mipmaps.
  • Fixes minor memory leaks and possible access violations when calling Game::exit() from script.
  • Fixes physics debug drawing for large scenes causing the internal MeshBatch to grow to an enormous size.

 

This release certainly makes Gameplay on the desktop seem much more viable.  Terrain support is certainly a nice new addition as well.

 

Good job Gameplay team.

News Programming


21. January 2013

 

This one is a big one.  If you have never heard of it, monoGame started life as a way to port XNA applications to the various Mono targets (including iOS and Android), built on top of OpenGL.  With Microsoft basically retiring XNA, monoGame has basically become the future of XNA.

The biggest and most obvious addition in this release is 3D support, but there are a number of other great new features:image

 

What's New?
  • 3D (many thanks to Infinite Flight Studios for the code and Sickhead Games in taking the time to merge the code in)
  • New platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, OUYA, PlayStation Mobile (including Vita).
  • Custom Effects.
  • PVRTC support for iOS.
  • iOS supports compressed Songs.
  • Skinned Meshs
  • VS2012 templates.
  • New Windows Installer
  • New MonoDevelop Package/AddIn
  • A LOT of bug fixes
  • Closer XNA 4 compatibility
  •  

    The also added a new installer that will install a binary release of Monogame on Windows for use with Visual Studio.  MonoDevelop users can update with the Add-in Manager.

    Head on over here for the release announcement.

     

    Nice work Monogame team!

    News


    13. December 2012

     

    Some months back we announced that Torque3D had gone open source, now it’s 2D cousin has gone open source as well. 

     

    Torque2D is a 2D version of the Torque game engine that also includes WYSIWYG level editing tools and it’s own scripting language, TorqueScript.

     

    As you can see from the picture to the right, iTorque2D, the iOS version of Torque2D, is being folded in to this release.  Torque2DMIT will be released early next year.  However there is one gotcha with that release date:

     

    In order to work in an open source environment as soon as possible, we made a decision to publish our initial version of Torque 2D MIT without the editors; in other words, the initial version will be an API only engine with tool development to follow thereafter.

     

    So basically that WYSIWIG level editor I just mentioned?  Well, it wont be ready day one.

     

    As to the license, the MIT license is one of the least restrictive open source licenses available.  Basically you can do what you want with it.

     

    You can read more details about Torque2D here.

     

    Pretty cool news over all.  When Torque3D was open sourced, they moved pretty quickly to release the source code, so hopefully the same happens here.

    News


    4. December 2012

     

    OK, I will start off by saying “cloud” is one of those massively abused terms and beyond Adobe wanting to catch some buzzword hype, this suite has very little to nothing to do with the cloud.  Do you consider 7zip a cloud based solution because you download it from the internet?  Didn’t think so…  Anyways, let me continue pet peeve aside.

     

    So, what exactly have they released?  Well, we have:

     

    Adobe Scout

     

    Adobe Scout

    Adobe Scout is a Flash based profiler.  In pure, unadultarated marketing speak, it is:

    Adobe Scout is the next-generation profiling tool for Adobe Flash Player and AIR. It revolutionizes ActionScript development by showing you what's going on inside your content, in mouth-watering detail. Scout is simple and intuitive to use, freeing your mind to create sleek and immersive games! Try it today, for FREE!

    So, yeah, it’s a profiler for ActionScript applications..

     

    Plus it is free, which is of course nice.

     

     

     

     

    Adobe Gaming SDK

     

    Let’s starting with the marketing description:

    The Adobe Gaming SDK provides the essential building blocks you need to create and monetize incredible ActionScript 3 games across devices, available in a single package from the Adobe Creative Cloud

    In reality its the Adobe AIR SDK with a few open source frameworks ( Starling, Feathers, Away3D ) bundled in, plus a few iOS plus a native 3D file format and documentation. 

     

    Flash C++ Compiler

     

    Again, starting with the marketing speak:

    Combine the power, familiarity, and high-performance of C/C++ with the unparalleled reach of the web.

    With the Flash C++ Compiler (FlasCC) you can bring your native C/C++ from consoles and PCs to over a billion people on the web—across browsers, with no additional install.

    Stunning native games, welcome to the stunning reach of the web.

    This of course isn’t a new product, it used to be a product named Alchemy, but it is a new release.  Essentially it is a C++ to FlashVM compiler.  Think Google NaCL, just targeting the Flash player instead of Chrome.  If your game is written in C++, or if C++ is your weapon of choice, it is worth checking out.  The Flash VM may be a dying platform, but its a dying platform with one hell of an install base!

     

     

    So what the hell does this have to do with the cloud?

     

    Nothing, not a damned thing.  Well, that’s not completely true.  If you sign up ( free tier ) you can get 2GB of web based file storage and 1 private PhoneGap builds.  They are also bundling all of the above with their “cloud” based subscription offerings, but considering every single thing I just mentioned is free, that seems fairly pointless.  For an idea of what you get and what you have to pay for:

     

    image

     

    So, if you are interested in Flash based game development, be sure to check it out.

    News


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