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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


    29. November 2012

     

    Alright, in the what not to do with DRM category, this one rates right up there with the Sony rootkit fiasco.  The popular game development program GameMaker by Yoyo Games recently released a DRM update, that resulted in this happening to some paying users assets:

     

    (Image source reddit user passa91)

     

    Oh and for the record, those changes are permanent… it isn’t some overlay they’ve done, GameMaker actually physically altered the source images.  The story was originally broken on ArsTechnica and is currently being discussed on reddit.

     

    Also from the comments on reddit ( completely unconfirmed by the way ) is this scary comment:

    Also this admission from developer Mike on the forum:

    For those who CAN afford it, but find it just as easy to copy it. Well, rest assured, we know the games which get made, and if something does well.... I'm sure we'll be in touch.

    In other words, all games compiled with GM Studio report back to YoYo HQ. Not cool, at all.

     

    You know what, I’m all for protecting your product, but that combined with this horrible screw up, let’s just say Yoyo really ought to rethink their strategy on DRM!

     

    Where you effected?  Does this misstep discourage you from ever using GameMaker in the future?  At the very least has this taught you a lesson in backups and version control?

    News


    14. November 2012

     

    Ok… is it engine release day? 

     

    Anyway, again the title says it all, CryEngine 3.4.3 was released today.  If you are un-aware, CryEngine is a 3D game engine like UDK or Unity, which is available for free to get started ( 20% royalty on shipped titles ).  In addition to the FarCry series of games, Mechwarrior Online is powered by CryEngine.  If nothing else, this engine is capable of creating extremely pretty games!

     

    Top Features:

    • Dedicated Server
    • Revamped Launcher menu
    • Sandbox Welcome screen, link to docs & smart open
    • Terrain precision/smoothing improved
    • Many tweaks/fixes/cleanups to the Sandbox UI
    • SSAO improvements
    • Improved SSR
    • Terrain shadow casting support
    • Box projected cubemaps
    • Improved DX9 support for Environment Probes

     

    Other than the briefest look, I haven’t looked all that closely at the CryEngine SDK.  Therefore I have no idea if this is a big release or not…  dedicated server sounds like a handy addition…

     

     

    Anyway, you can read full details here.

     

    You can download it here.

    News


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