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12. January 2016

 

Corona Labs, the makers of the popular Lua based mobile game engine, just release version 1.6 of Corona Editor.  Corona Editor is a light weight IDE built as a plugin for Sublime Text that enables debugging, code snippets, code completion and more.

Details of the 1.6 release from the blog announcement:

Corona Labs is happy to announce the availability of Corona Editor 1.6. This is an update for the add-on package for Sublime Text 2 and Sublime Text 3 that provides code completion, syntax highlighting, documentation, and debugging to Corona developers.

The release of 1.6 includes the following updates:

Debugger improvements
  • Fixed an issue with a hanging after pressing Shift+F10.
  • Fixed a bug with spaces in project pathnames.
  • Current status is now displayed in the “Console” pane.
  • The “Console” output is now cleaner.
  • Generally improved reliability.
Corona Editor Project improvements
  • On OS X, Corona EditorRun Project now uses the most recent daily build in the/Applications folder by default. It will fall back to the public build if there are no daily builds.
  • Removed project “build system.” The menu command Corona EditorRun Project or the Cmd+F10(Mac) Win+F10(Windows, maybe mapped to FN+F10) key sequence is much more reliable.
  • Added Clear Build Panel command to main menu and context menu.
Editing improvements
  • Fixed indentation of elseif blocks.
  • Latest code completions are up to date to daily build 2016.2803.

Learn more about Corona Editor.

GameDev News


11. January 2016

 

Today Paymentwall released an SDK for the popular game engine Unity that enables developers to accept payments directly within their application.  From the press release:

“We are very excited to release our Unity Integration to allow gamers to make in-game purchases in their local currency, and in their most preferred payment method,” said Jevin Tryon, Project Manager at Paymentwall. “As a result, game developers will be able to increase their revenue, and monetize their games all around the world, easily.

The ability to offer different payment methods and manage in-game purchases will allow developers to reach different markets worldwide and maximize their revenue. This is especially important as the global gaming market is expected to grow at a rate of 9.4% annually, and reach a revenue of 107 billion US dollars by 2017, according to the 2015 Global Games Market Report from Newzoo. Through the Paymentwall SDK, Unity will become the most wanted platform among game developers. In 2015, the number of developers using Unity reached a million, as compared to 60,000 developers in 2014, said Unity CEO John Riccitiello.

The Unity Editor comes with an array of tools for creating and enhancing graphics, animation, as well as 2D and 3D physics for games through effectors and colliders. Editor also supports C#, JavaScript, and Boo to help developers optimize user experience. To save time on game development and updates, Unity’s asset store offers ready-made plug-ins, models, extensions and services; which now includes Paymentwall SDK.

Developers will be able to level up the gaming experience through Paymentwall SDK. Their end-users can now pay for in-game purchases in a manner that is most convenient for them. The SDK also supports customization of the checkout page to reflect the look and feel of the game itself, contributing to a seamless user experience. Fraud protection and risk monitoring services are also part of it, to ensure safety for both end-users and developers in every transaction.

Unity checkout

Example of Paymentwall’s one-click checkout page for Unity

Unity developers will be able to increase their revenue with Paymentwall SDK, while providing their users a better experience within their games. The creation of Paymentwall SDK for Unity makes the game development platform an all-in-one solution for both new and existing developers that seek to earn money from their games.

This is actually different than the myriad of In App Purchase plugins out there, as ultimately IAP make use of the underlying store (Steam, Google Play Store or Apple Store) for processing the payment, while in this case PaymentWall is the processor.  I would actually be somewhat shocked if Apple would allow this past their terms and conditions given their previous attitude towards transactions done on the AppStore (AKA, they want a 30% cut of everything, from app sales to Netflix subscriptions or Amazon purchases).  In fact, I am almost positive that neither Google nor Apple would allow you to use this SDK with their app store, making this desktop only.  I suppose this system could be effective for people directly selling a game they want to monetize in app purchases on.

 

Paymentwall started life in 2010 as a way for developers to monetize Facebook applications, until Facebook effectively shut out outside providers a year later.   The name seems a bit odd to me, as I had always associated the expression “Pay Wall” as derogatory.

GameDev News


7. January 2016

 

Tiled, the popular open source level editor, just released version 0.15.0.

 

From the release notes:

Those who remember the Tiled 0.14 release announcement may remember that I wanted the next release to be Tiled 1.0. We're not entirely there yet, but Tiled took a big step towards being more functionally complete.

The most important changes regarding this made sure that you can now load maps that refer to files that are for whatever reason no longer accessible. Previously, you'd then have to fall back to correcting the map file by hand. Now Tiled will tell you about the problems it found and allows you to fix them:

main.tmx — Tiled_068.png1210x713 91.7 KB

In addition, you can change any of these references through the Properties view after clicking the relevant items. And when changing a tileset image, you can also change its parameters like tile size, margin and spacing.

Enable/Disable Plugins

Another important bit of functionality is that you can now choose which plugins are enabled. By default, only the generic plugins for exporting to Lua, JSON, CSV and for enabling Python import/export scripts are loaded. The project-specific plugins were often leading to confusion and now need to be explicitly enabled.

Plugins can be enabled and disabled without restarting Tiled.

Layer Combo Box

The status bar got a little more useful, since it now allows you to quickly switch the current layer. If you're not actively changing around your layer stack, this can entirely replace the Layers view:

isometric_grass_and_water.tmx — Tiled_071.png1028x120 94.3 KB

Other Noteworthy Things

If you're using an image collection tileset, you can now choose how many tile columns it should have. Eventually I'd also like to add a dynamic wrapping display mode, but this should help in the meantime.

A Terrain Generator tool was added, which helps a lot with generating a certain type of terrain tileset. But, I still need to write the usage instructions and I forgot to include it in the binary packages.

You can now go past the edges of the map when panning with the space bar, middle mouse button or the mini-map. This can be really helpful when you're editing things on the edge of the map.

Change log
  • Allow loading maps with broken external references
  • Allow plugins to be enabled/disabled
  • Allow changing tileset image parameters
  • Allow changing the images of tiles in a collection tileset
  • Allow changing external tileset references
  • Allow panning over the edges of the map
  • Added Terrain Generator tool
  • Added column count property to image collection tilesets
  • Added a combo box for changing the current layer to the status bar
  • Moved the AutoMapping while drawing toggle into the menu
  • Removing tiles from collection tilesets no longer changes tile IDs
  • Unified layer offset handling
  • Default tile layer data format changed to CSV
  • Deprecated pure XML and Gzip-compressed tile layer data formats
  • Fixed random tile picker for tiles with zero probability (by Henrik Heino)
  • Fixed saving of alpha value of the map background color
  • Fixed crash in tmxrasterizer and tmxviewer
  • Fixed tmxrasterizer not reporting write errors
  • Fixed isometric rendering bug with odd tile heights (by Ryan Schmitt)
  • Updated Bulgarian, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish translations

Many thanks to all who contributed!

 

If you want to learn more about Tiled, we have a comprehensive tutorial series here on Gamefromscratch.com to get you started.

GameDev News


3. December 2015

 

Having never used or even heard of sketch based animation you can’t help but feel like a “someone changes something in the matrix” moment, when not one but two stories cross your desk in the same week.

 

The first was release of VPaint Beta 1.5.  It is in their own words:

VPaint is an experimental vector graphics editor based on the Vector Animation Complex (VAC), a technology developed by a collaboration of researchers at Inria and the University of British Columbia, featured at SIGGRAPH 2015. It allows you to create resolution-independent illustrations and animations using innovative techniques.

Or you can watch the SIGGRAPH video:

I checked out the free download, and it is interesting, but I decided not to do a story about it.  Then…

 

Just today, Autodesk announced they are looking for beta testers for Project Draco, which is an iPad app that sounds a hell of a lot like VPaint.  Here is their (year old) SIGGRAPH video:

 

Well now Autodesk is officially ready for testing, so if this looks interesting to you head on over to Autodesk labs to sign up.

 

Are there any other sketch based 2D animation packages in the works?  Anyone excited for this technology to mature?

Art GameDev News


30. November 2015

 

The Visual Studio team at Microsoft just released Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2015.  The editor now supports several more languages such as Go, Swift and Ruby, command line REPL for C#, new NuGet and .Net releases and more.  From the announcement blog post:

  • New Visual Studio Icon. Responding to your feedback on UserVoice, we’ve tweaked the Visual Studio 2015 icon in Update 1 to make it easier to differentiate visually between multiple versions of Visual Studio running side by side on the same machine:
    New icon for Visual Studio
  • .NET Framework 4.6.1. Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 includes the latest version (4.6.1) of the .NET Framework. You can read about all the new features on the .NET blog.
  • Editor support for new languages. The Visual Studio editor now provides built-in syntax highlighting and basic IntelliSense support for languages including Go, Java, Perl, R, Ruby, and Swift. We support the TextMate bundle
    model for language grammars and snippets, allowing you to extend this with support for other languages.
    Editor support for new languages (showing R)
  • IncrediBuild-Visual Studio partnership. With this collaboration and at no additional cost, developers can use IncrediBuild’s build engine to lay out build plans for their applications with more parallelized execution of the build. This leverages hardware resources more effectively and provides monitoring to identify bottlenecks and better understand resource usage. For complete details, see the post, Improving your build times with IncrediBuild and Visual Studio 2015.
  • Tools for Universal Windows Apps v1.2. This update enables you to build and submit apps to the Windows Store targeting Windows 10 SDK Version 1511. It includes several developer productivity improvements to .NET Native, the XAML designer, the manifest designer, Windows Store packaging, and the debugger in this release. If you don't already have Tools for Universal Windows Apps installed, you can enable them by modifying the Visual Studio 2015 installation, or directly installing them from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=619614.
  • Native support for behaviors in Universal Windows apps. Behaviors are an easy way of adding common interactivity to your XAML apps without having to add more imperative code. These are natively supported in Update 1, shipping as a NuGet Package (available for both managed and native projects), and accepting contributions as an open source project. The package can also be installed through the Blend Assets Pane (under “Behaviors”). Learn more from theXAML Behaviors, open source and on UWP post on the Windows Developer blog, start contributing by visiting theGitHub page, or request features by raising issues.
  • MSTest and CodeCoverage support for ASP.NET 5. The Visual Studio testing tools now support MSTest framework-based tests for ASP.NET 5 applications and add support for CodeCoverage with ASP.NET 5 on x86/x64 platforms targeting the CoreCLR/CLR. The MSTest framework components are available from the NuGet gallery.
  • Parallel Test Execution: The Visual Studio testing tools introduce support for parallel execution of test cases leveraging the available cores on the machine, with Test Explorer indicating the progress of parallel tests. The test execution engine is launched on each available core as a distinct process, and is given a container (assembly, DLL, or relevant artifact) with the tests to execute according to the semantics of the test framework. VS supports parallel execution through all launch points (e.g. the command line and IDE commands like Test Explorer, CodeLens, and various “Run” commands). For details on how to enable this feature, refer to the Release Notes.
    Parallel Test Execution feature showing tests running at the same time
  • C# Interactive Window and command-line REPL. We’ve added more functionality and fixed a number of bugs in these features that first appeared in the CTP. For RTM we’ve also cleaned up some of the command-line argument handling as described in the detailed notes on GitHub. (Note that NuGet support and the VB scripting API are not available with this release, but we’re still actively working on them. In the meantime, you can play with the C# scripting API available on GitHub.)
  • Managing analysis issues. We’ve heard from many customers that when they install a Roslyn analyzer from NuGet or Visual Studio Extensions, thousands of code analysis issues end up showing up in the Error List, leading them to abandon the analyzer. With this update you can now suppress all current issues to a global suppression file, view and manage baselined issues (to audit suppressions or review baselined issues), show analysis warnings and messages for only ‘my code changes,’ and remove duplicate instances of warnings in the error list to focus results to the unique set.
    Managing analysis issues
  • NuGet and NuGet Package Manager. NuGet 3.3 is now bundled with Update 1, and we’ve made a number of changes to the NuGet Package Manager interface including a tab-based UI to help filter groups of packages, action buttons in the package list for quick access to common management functions, a Consolidate tab for packages you work with at the solution level, and an Update tab that allows you to select and update multiple packages together.
    Updated NuGet package manager
  • Visual Studio license improvements. Signing in to unlock the IDE with your subscription is one of those features that you do not want to see interrupting your workflow. Towards this goal, Update 1 has improvements that will ensure the IDE stays unlocked for a year or more after signing in as long as you have regular access to the internet to keep the license renewed in the background. More improvements to reduce sign ins are still to come.

Full details are available in the release notes.  I know I’m installing right away, but that’s mostly because I found Visual Studio 2015 to be a bit of a mess, so I’m hoping this is an improvement and I can move up from VS2013 finally!

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