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3. April 2020

The Eclipse Foundation have released Theia, an open source desktop and cloud based IDE with it’s targets set firmly on Visual Studio Code.  In fact, it’s even compatible with Visual Studio Code extensions!   Theia 1.0 isn’t actually a downloadable product, instead representing a framework for creating your own IDEs on top of the modular and extensible core provided by Theia.

Details from the Eclipse Foundation press release:

The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world’s largest open source foundations, today announced the release of Theia 1.0, a true open source alternative to Microsoft’s popular Visual Studio Code (VS Code) software. Eclipse Theia is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) with state-of-the-art web technologies that enable developers, organizations, and vendors to create new, extensible developer experiences. Early contributors and adopters span a broad variety of industries and applications, and include companies like ARM, Arduino, EclipseSource, Ericsson, Gitpod, Google Cloud, IBM, Red Hat, SAP, and TypeFox.

“We are thrilled to see Eclipse Theia deliver on its promise of providing a production-ready, vendor-neutral, and open source framework for creating custom and white-labeled developer products,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “Visual Studio Code is one of the world’s most popular development environments. Not only does Theia allow developers to install and reuse VS Code extensions, it provides an extensible and adaptable platform that can be tailored to specific use cases, which is a huge benefit for any organization that wants to deliver a modern and professional development experience. Congratulations to all the Theia committers and contributors on achieving this milestone.”

Started as a project by Ericsson and TypeFox in 2016, the Theia project has become an integral part of enterprise cloud solutions around the world. Its momentum and distribution became significant enough that last year, the project approached the Eclipse Foundation as a potential host and vendor-neutral foundation that could further guide the project’s growth. Today, Theia is one of the Eclipse projects encompassed by the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group  (ECD WG), an industry collaboration focused on delivering development tools for and in the cloud.

The most significant differences between Eclipse Theia and VS Code are:

  • Theia's architecture is more modular and allows for significantly more customizations
  • Theia is designed from the ground to run on both Desktop and Cloud
  • Theia is developed under the community-driven and vendor-neutral governance of the Eclipse Foundation.

Eclipse Theia is designed to work as a native desktop application as well as in the context of a browser and a remote server. To support both situations with a single source, Theia runs in two separate processes. Those processes are called frontend and backend respectively, and they communicate through JSON-RPC messages over WebSockets or REST APIs over HTTP. In the case of Electron, the backend, as well as the frontend, run locally, while in a remote context the backend would run on a remote host.

While Theia isn’t a downloadable product, you can easily check out a Theia implementation in the cloud in the form of GitPod.  You can also learn more about Theia and see GitPod in action in the video below.

GameDev News

2. April 2020

EDIT – It seems we have pushed the download server capacity.  If you want to download Effekseer, use this mirror instead.

Effekseer is an open source particle effect creation tool we covered previously in this video.  They just recently released version 1.5:

New features include:

Material Editor

A new node-based material editor has appeared. Further expression is possible with custom materials!

Added trendy toon effect samples!


Turbulence function has been added.
The Absolute Position window has been changed to the Force Field window and includes turbulence parameters.

Dynamic parameters and expressions

Enables you to control the effect with dynamic parameters.

New format "efkefc"

.efkefc will be used instead of the traditional .efkproj.

Effekseer is available open source under the MIT license on GitHub.  You can download the most recent version here.  Learn more about Effekseer in the video below.

GameDev News

25. March 2020

Serif, the makers of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo are currently offering all of their products at a 50% discount.  Additionally they are now offering a completely functional 3 month demo download.

Full details from the Affinity announcement:

With all that’s going on right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to the many stories we’re hearing from the creative community about how they’re being severely impacted, we felt it was our responsibility to try to offer as much support as possible during this incredibly difficult time.

That’s why we’ve put in place three new measures which we hope will help at least some of you out there. These are:

  • + A new 90-day free trial of the Mac and Windows versions of the whole Affinity suite
  • + A 50% discount for those who would rather buy and keep the apps on Mac, Windows PC and iPad
  • + A pledge to engage more than 100 freelance creatives for work, spending the equivalent of our annual commissioning budget in the next three months (more details of this will be announced soon).

The introduction of the 90-day free trial and deeply discounted pricing is done in the hope that this will make life a little easier for people who rely on creative software to make a living, but may be stuck at home without their usual tools, or for students who might not have access to their Affinity apps on their personal devices.

In addition, by increasing our spend on commissioning work from freelancers we can also put some extra money into a part of the industry which will be particularly affected.

We plan to make the free trial and additional discount available until 20 April, but we’ll continue to review the situation as time goes on.

We know we’re not saving the world, but we hope these measures can at least provide some form of relief to those who need it. We’ll pull through this together…

You can learn more about the deal and promo in the video below.  If you want to learn more about Affinity products check out our hands on video available here.

GameDev News

23. March 2020

NVIDIA just released a new version of their free Texture Tools.  Texture Tools is a handy tool for compressing textures, generating MIP, normal and cube maps and more.  It also includes a Photoshop plugin and can be driven from a command line interface.

Details from the NVIDIA developer site:

Today, we’re releasing the free NVIDIA Texture Tools Exporter, the new version of our DDS texture compression tool, available both as a standalone application and as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop.

This all-new release adds support for modern, CUDA-accelerated Texture Tools 3.0 compression (including ASTC, BC7, and BC6s), support for more than 130 DXGI and ASTC formats, linear-space, slope-space, and pre-multiplied alpha mipmapping, command-line and Photoshop automation, and a unified user interface.

You need to be running a 64bit version of Windows 7,8 or 10 and texture tools requires an NVIDIA GPU.  You can learn more about NVIDIA Texture Tools in this article or by watching the video below.

GameDev News

25. February 2020

Google have just released Android Studio 3.6.  Android Studio is Google’s recommended way to develop Android applications.  It’s an IDE derived from JetBrain’s IntelliJ IDEA IDE with additional tools specifically for Android development.

Android Studio 3.6 changes include:

  • Updated design tools (split screen design view and colour picker)
  • Updates to the Android Gradle plugin
  • Win32 support deprecated
  • Update to support IntelliJ 2019.2
  • Multiple screen support in the emulator
  • Kotlin support improvements
  • Leak detection in Memory Profiler
  • Emulator improvements
  • New Automotive project templates

You can read the full release notes here.  You can download Android Studio for Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux here.  Learn more about Android Studio and the 3.6 release in the video below.

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