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13. March 2016

 

BDX is a 3D engine that is hosted inside Blender and uses Java and the LibGDX library for programming.  For more information I took a pretty in-depth look at an earlier version available here.  Basically BDX installs as a Blender add-on, which you use to create your games content and levels, but you use LibGDX and Java to program your actual game.  BDX exposes several Blender features to your game, such as physics properties.

 

Details of this release are available on /r/gamedev, but the heart of the release are:

  • Saving the meshes from Blender has been optimized, which can make the starting process a ton faster.
  • Rendering to a depth texture for depth-based 2D screen shaders is now possible.
  • Additional built-in screen shaders include: Outline, Invert, and Depth-Of-Field shaders.
  • You can now color, tint, and otherwise alter individual materials on a GameObject.
  • Camera functions have been added to allow for view changes (i.e. changing the viewport width of the camera view).
  • Various bug-fixes.

It’s an interesting project, especially if you are working with Blender and Java, and is one you should consider checking out.  It is complete free and open source, released under the Apache 2 license.

GameDev News


8. February 2016

 

This story coming care of /r/gamedev, BDX released version 0.2.3.  BDX is a game engine hosted inside Blender using LibGDX and Java for game programming.  Essentially it enables you to define and create your game in Blender, including complete physics integration, while generating LibGDX code.  I did a pretty in-depth tutorial on working with BDX a while back.

In this release:

Here's a short change-log:

  • Per-pixel sun, point, and spot lighting. As it was before, you can simply create the lights in Blender to have them show up in-game, or spawn them during play.
  • Ability to turn off per-pixel lighting for lower-spec targeted platforms and devices.
  • Improvements to the profiler.
  • GameObjects can now switch the materials used on their mesh. You can specify the name of a material available in the scene in Blender, or you can directly provide a LibGDX material to use, in case you have one custom-made.
  • Various fixes and QOL improvements.

Check it out! We could always use some more feedback and testing.

It’s a cool project and if you are working in Blender and LibGDX is certainly something you should check out!

GameDev News


29. January 2016

 

Gdx-ai, an artificial intelligence library (steering, formations, pathfinding and more)  for LibGDX just release version 1.8.  From the change log:

[1.8.0]

- Updated to libgdx 1.9.1

- API Change and Addition: Pathfinding API

* Added method getIndex to the interface IndexedGraph.

* Removed classes DefaultIndexedGraph and IndexedNode.

- API Change and Addition: Behavior Tree API extended to make it easier to think and design in terms of states, see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Behavior-Trees

* Added ability to guard any task.

* Added branch task DynamicGuardSelector.

* Now the text format supports internal sub-trees that, besides improving reuse and readability, allow you to use composite guards.

* Now the parser is able to report comments, which can be useful for certain tools such as graphical editors.

Gdx-ai can be downloaded from Github or can be installed using the GDX setup utility.

GameDev News


5. January 2016

 

LibGDX, the cross platform open source Java based gaming library, just released version 1.8 today and unlike many recent releases, there is a ton in this release.  The biggest aspect of this release is probably the change to LWJGL 3 on the backend.  LWJGL is a Light Weight (that’s the LW part) Java (the J) based Game Library (GL, tada!) that LibGDX desktop targets were built on top off.  Some of the limits of LWJGL 2 were holding back what LibGDX could do, such as multiple monitor support.

From the announcement blog post, the big wall of text of new features:

[1.8.0]
- API Change: Rewrote FreeType shadow rendering (much better).
- Added spaceX/Y to FreeType fonts.
- Higher quality FreeType font rendering.
- Hiero updated to v5, now with FreeType support and other new features!
- GlyphLayout now allocates much, much less memory when processing long text that wraps.
- Added LWJGL 3 backend, see https://github.com/libgdx/libgdx/issues/3673 for more info.
- Added Graphics#getFramebufferWidth and Graphics#getFramebufferHeight for HDPI handling
- API Change: Added HdpiUtils. Instead of calling GL20#glViewport and GL20#glScissor yourself
  please use HdpiUtils instead. It will ensure that you handle HDPI monitors correctly when
  using those OpenGL functions. On HDPI monitors, the size reported by Gdx.graphics 
  getWidth/getHeight is in logical coordinates as dictated by the operating system, usually half
  the HDPI resolution. The OpenGL drawing surface works in backbuffer coordinates at the full
  HDPI resolution. If you pass logical coordinates to glViewport and glScissor, you only 
  affect a quarter of the real backbuffer size. Use HdpiUtils instead, it will do the right thing, while letting you continue to work in logical (aka returned by Gdx.graphics.getWidth/getHeight) coordinates.
- API Change: Graphis#getDesktopDisplayMode() has been renamed to Graphics#getDisplayMode() and
  returns the current display mode of the monitor the window is shown on (primary monitor on
  all backends except LWJGL3, which supports real multi-monitor setups).
- API Change: Graphics#getDisplayModes() return the display modes of the monitor the monitor
  the window is shown on (primary monitor on all backends except LWJGL3 which supports real
  multi-monitor setups).
- API Change: Graphics#setDisplayMode(DisplayMode) has been renamed to 
  Graphics#setFullscreenMode(). If the window is in windowed mode, it will be switched 
  to fullscreen mode on the monitor from which the DisplayMode stems from.
- API Change: Graphics#setDisplayMode(int, int, boolean) has been renamed to 
  Graphics#setWindowedMode(int, int). This will NOT allow you to switch to fullscreen anymore, 
  use Graphics#setFullscreenMode() instead. If the window is in fullscreen mode, it will be
  switched to windowed mode on the monitor the window was in fullscreen mode on.
 - API Addition: Graphics#Monitor, represents a monitor connected to the machine the app is
  running on. A monitor is defined by a name and it's position relative to other connected
  monitors. All backends except the LWJGL3 backend will report only the primary monitor
 - API Addition: Graphics#getPrimaryMonitor() returns the primary monitor you usually want
  to work with.
 - API Addition: Graphics#getMonitor() returns the monitor your app's window is shown on,
  which may not be the primary monitor in >= 2 monitor systems. All backends except the 
  LWJGL3 backend will report only the primary monitor.
 - API Addition: Graphics#getMonitors() returns all monitors connected to the system. All
  backends except the LWJGL3 backend will only report the primary monitor.
 - API Addition: Graphics#getDisplayMode(Monitor) returns the display mode of the monitor
  the app's window is shown on. All backends except the LWJGL3 backend will report the
  primary monitor display mode instead of the actual monitor's display mode. Not a problem
  as all other backends run on systems with only a single monitor so far (primary monitor).
- Added option to include credentials on cross-origin http requests (used only for GWT backend).
- Added option to specify crossorigin attribute when loading images with AssetDownloader (GWT), see #3216.
- API Change: removed Sound#setPriority, this was only implemented for the Android backend. However, Android itself never honoured priority settings.
- API Change: cursor API has been cleaned up. To create a custom cursor, call Graphics#newCursor(), to set the custom cursor call Graphics#setCursor(), to set a system cursor call Graphics#setSystemCursor(). The Cursor#setSystemCursor method has been removed as that was not the
right place. Note that cursors only work on the LWJGL, LWJGL3 and GWT backends. Note that system cursors only fully work on LWJGL3 as the other two backends lack a means to set a specific system cursor. These backends fall back to displaying an arrow cursor when setting any system cursor.
- API Addition: Added Lwjgl3WindowListener, allows you to hook into per-window iconficiation, focus and close events. Also allows you to prevent closing the window when a close event arrives.
 


There are a lot more details available on the announcement post if you want more details on the specifics of the update. 

GameDev News


17. December 2015

 

The first ever LibGDX Jam starts tomorrow, or today, or yesterday or sometime ago, I suppose it’s all relative to when you read this, isn’t it?  Well temporal factors aside, the first ever LibGDX Game Jam begins/began on Friday Dec 18th.  It is called creatively enough #LibGDXJam.  The rules and prizes from this jam are:

The 10 Rules of Jamming

The jam will be held from December 18th to January 18th. Here are the rules:

  1. You must use libGDX to create a game that fits the theme.
  2. You may work alone or in a team. Only one submission per person/team is allowed.
  3. You may use pre-existing code, e.g. libraries like Ashley, or your own code libraries.
  4. You may use pre-existing art, e.g. assets from OpenGameArt, or your own art.
  5. You may use external tools like Tiled or Overlap2D.
  6. You must not re-skin an already existing game or prototype!
  7. You must submit your game before the end of the 18th of January via the jam’s site on itch.io (to be made public).
  8. You must publish the source of your game, e.g. to GitHub.
  9. You must submit your game to the itch.io libGDX Jam page before the end of day January 18th, UTC-12!
  10. If you want to win one of the sponsored prizes, you must tweet about your game and document its development, using the hashtag #libGDXJam and the handles @robovm and@robotality.

First of all, you can participate in the jam without following these rules! In that case, you will not qualify for the prizes though.

Documenting your progress is a great way of sharing your experience, and an invaluable tool for others to learn. Making a bit of noise on Twitter is also a great way to give back to our sponsors. Chaining those 2 things together via rule 9 is my evil overlord plan to make everyone happy.

Here are a few examples of tweets:

Progress screenshot of my #libGDXJam entry @robovm @robotality

New dev log entry for my #libGDXJam game @robovm @robotality

For the dev logs, we want quality first and foremost! Progress screenshots, descriptions of problems you ran into and their solutions, streaming and so on is what we want to see! Just mindless spamming will not get you anywhere.

Prizes & Judging

We are happy to have RoboVM and Robotality as sponsors for the following prizes:

  • Grand Prize: Mac Mini, sponsored by RoboVM.
  • Silver: iPad, sponsored by RoboVM.
  • Bronze: iPod Touch, sponsored by RoboVM.
  • For 20 random submissions: Steam keys for Halfway, sponsored by Robotality.
  • For another 5 random submissions: libGDX Jam t-shirt.

To qualify for any of the prizes, you'll need to follow rule 10 as outlined above. Judging works as follows:

  • The community can vote on itch.io from the 19th of January to the 2nd of February.
  • The Grand Prize will be awarded to the entry with the highest community votes on itch.io. This way the highest quality entry will win!
  • The Silver and Bronze prizes will be awarded to the entries with the best mixture of dev logs and tweets and community votes. * Our sponsors and the libGDX core team will pick these entries. This should motivate people to make some noise on the web and document their progress for the greater good of the community!
  • The random awards guarantee that everyone has a chance to win a prize!
  • The winners will be announced on the 3rd of February!

Timetable

  • Theme Voting round 1: Nov. 22nd – Dec. 11th
  • Final Theme Voting: Dec. 11th – Dec. 18th
  • Jam: Dec. 18th – Jan. 18th
  • Judging: Jan 19th – Feb. 2nd

You can read the full details here on github.

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