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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!

GameDev News Programming


23. November 2015

 

At the Android Developer Summit, Google just announced Android Studio 2.0 is available for download in preview form.  The two major new features will both be relevant for game developers, Instant Run which enables hot swapping of code on device and a GPU profiler, for profiling OpenGL ES code performance.

 

From the Android Developers blog:

Android Studio 2.0 Preview

Posted by, Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

One the most requested features we receive is to make app builds and deployment faster in Android Studio. Today at theAndroid Developer Summit, we’re announcing a preview of Android Studio 2.0 featuring Instant Run that will dramatically improve your development workflow. With Android Studio 2.0, we are also including a preview of a new GPU Profiler.

All these updates are available now in the canary release channel, so we can get your feedback. Since this initial release is a preview, you may want to download and run an additional copy of Android Studio in parallel with your current version.

New Features in Android Studio 2.0
Instant Run: Faster Build & Deploy

Android Studio’s instant run feature allows you to to quickly see your changes running on your device or emulator.

Getting started is easy. If you create a new project with Android Studio 2.0 then your projects are already setup. If you have a pre-existing app open Settings/Preferences, the go to Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant Run. Click on Enable Instant Run... This will ensure you have the correct gradle plugin for your project to work with Instant Run.

Enable Instant Run for Android Studio projects

Select Run as normal and Android Studio will perform normal compilation, packaging and install steps and run your app on your device or emulator. After you make edits to your source code or resources, pressing Run again will deploy your changes directly into the running app.

New Run & Stop Actions in Android Studio for Instant Run

For a more detailed guide setup and try Instant Run, click here.

GPU Profiler

Profiling your OpenGL ES Android code is now even easier with the GPU Profiler in Android Studio. The tool is in early preview, but is very powerful and not only shows details about the GL State and Commands, you can record entire sessions and walk through the GL Framebuffer and Textures as your app is running OpenGL ES Code.

Android Studio GPU Profiler

To get started, first download the GPU Debugging Tools package from the Android Studio SDK Manager. Click here for more details about the GPU Profiler tool and how to set up your Android app project for profiling.

Whats Next

This is just a taste of some of the bigger updates in this latest release of Android Studio. We'll be going through the full release in more detail at the Android Developer Summit (livestreamed on Monday and Tuesday). Over the next few weeks, we'll be showing how to take advantage of even more features in Android Studio 2.0, so be sure to check back in.

If you're interested in more Android deep technical content, we will be streaming over 16 hours of content from the inaugural Android Developer Summit over the next two days, and together with Codelabs, all of this content will be available online after the Summit concludes.

Android Studio 2.0 is available today on the Android Studio canary channel. Let us know what you think of these new features by connecting with the Android Studio development team on Google+.

 

I wonder how much of this functionality will be made available upstream to the IntelliJ IDE? 

GameDev News


18. November 2015

 

Microsoft is a different sort of company these days.  Starting back in 2014 they released the free community edition of Visual Studio.  Then in April of this year they launched the light weight and cross platform (and completely free) Visual Studio Code.  Today they announced the launch of Visual Studio Dev Essentials.

So what exactly does Dev Essentials include?

 

Tools

  • Visual Studio Community
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Visual Studio Express
  • Team Foundation Server Express

 

Of those products only Team Foundation Server is new I believe.  So mostly it’s a rebranding of the tools we’ve already got.  However it’s the add-ons that make the package.

 

Training

  • Pluralsight 6 month subscription
  • Xamarin University Mobile Training
  • WintellectNOW 3 month subscription
  • Microsoft Virtual Academy
  • HackHands Live Programming Help $25 Credit
  • Priority Forum Support

 

Cloud

  • Azure Credits ($25/month for 12 months)
  • Visual Studio Team Services account with 5 users
  • App Service Free Tier
  • PowerBI free tier
  • HackeyApp free tier
  • Application Insights free tier

 

For Mac Developers

  • Parallels Desktop Pro 3 months subscription
  • Parallels Acceess 3 months subscription
  • Windows Platform VM 60 days
  • Office Online Apps

 

Now many of these services are either limited time or coming soon, so not everything is available today and not everything is available for ever.  So if this program sounds interesting to you, head on over here for more information.

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