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17. February 2016

 

Coppercube 5.4, a full WYSWYG editor experience for HTML5 game development, just released version 5.4 as a free updated.

From the release notes:

This is a free update for all existing users, download it here. New in this update:

  • Heightmap import support for terrain
    If you want to sculpt your 3D world terrain with another software, you can do this now, too. Coppercube now is able to import terrain heightmaps of the formats .raw, .r16, .r32, .png, .tga and .pgm. It also has the option to automatically apply textures to imported terrain and distribute grass onto it.
    heightmap terrain import
  • Integrated Texture Packer
    CopperCube now has an integrated texture packer. This is useful if you are using 3D models (for example downloaded from the web) which weren't optimized for games. Most of 3D models available online have lots of textures applied to them, which slows down your game while rendering. You can now simply right-click such a model in your game, and select "Modify -> Pack all textures of selection into one". This will optimize your 3d model and make it render much faster.
    integrated texture packer
  • Much smaller, compressed files for WebGL
    CopperCube now generates up to -80% smaller files for WebGL (depending on content). Files are now compressed, causing WebGL websites to download and start much quicker. This feature is optional and can be turned off in the publishing settings.
    webgl compression
  • Much smoother first person shooter style camera
    The first person shooter camera now has a new property named 'movement smoothing', which when turned on causes the movement of the player to be much softer, even on very slow systems. This is nice especially for mobile apps and the WebGL target, but movement also on the Windows and Mac OS X apps feels now much more natural, when turned on.
    smoother fps camera
  • Full web page WebGL support
    There is now an option in the publishing settings to enable your game/app to use the full web page size.
  • Footstep sounds
    It is now possible to play foot step sounds easily. Simply attach the 'footsteps' behavior to any object, and once it is moving, one random of three actions is run, after a specific foot step length. Use those actions to play sounds, blow up dust, or similar. The footstep behavior is available as free downloadable extension behavior from the extension download page here.
  • Box testing for "On proximity do something" action
    The "On proximity do something" action now has a setting named 'testArea'. Set this to 'box' instead of the default 'sphere', and your objects will be tested against a box, which is more exact and useful in a lot of cases. Also, the box is rotated and scaled with the object, so you can also test for non-orthogonal areas now.
    integrated texture packer
  • Nicer 2D image drawing
    You can now specify if a 2D image drawn as part of a 2D Overlay will be drawn 'sharp/pixelated' or 'blurry/filtered' when it is scaled. Both options make sense, depending on the type and use case of your 2D overlay. Now you can choose manually which option will be used.
    integrated texture packer
  • New "Recalculate normals" command
    The command for recalculating tangents and binormals, which is intended to be used for normal mapped geometry only now also works for all kinds of static geometry. It has also been renamed accordingly "Recalculate normals and tangents...". You can use it to recalculate and fix normals for all kinds of static meshes now.
  • Possibility to update static Phyics geometry
    The new scripting function ccbUpdatePhysicsGeometry() is able to update the internal collision geometry of the physics engine. If you move a part of the static collision geometry while your game is running, and want the physics engine to respect that, simply run this new command afterwards. You can do this for example with a 'Execute JavaScript' action.
  • Pan support for Model Viewer Camera
    If you are using the model viewer camera behavior, you can now enable pan for it. This works when pressing both mouse buttons at the same time. It is implemented inm the downloadable extension behavior 'Model Viewer Camera Extended' from the extension download page here.
  • Improved .OBJ file loader
    The .obj file importer is now more compilant and can even import corrupt .obj files found on the web. It is also now able to import files correctly, exported with some newer version of a more popular 3d modelling software, which seems to add some unexpected characters into the file sometimes.
  • Increased WebGL performance
    WebGL performance is now much better, on all browsers: Internally, the engine now uses requestAnimationFrame() if this turns out to perform better on the target browser.
  • other, smaller new features:
    • Updated documentation with examples and more details
    • Improved french translation
    • Extension scripts in WebGL now also can handle right mouse button events
    • A handfull of smaller bug fixes.

GameDev News


17. February 2016

 

Unreal Engine just received a hotfix for their stable release of 4.10.3.  The hotfix contained the following fixes:

Fixed! OPP-4947 Installation Error code R-1638 / Unable to upgrade to 4.10.1 through launcher if 4.11 has been installed
Fixed! UE-13030 Crash related to loading sub-level - UEngine::LoadMap()
Fixed! UE-22075 Crash on compile when nodes use same name - FPersistentFrameCollectorArchive::operator<<()
Fixed! UE-22696 Crash on importing specific Skeletal FBX exported with FBX2016
Fixed! UE-22921 Parenting multiple actors under border crashes editor
Fixed! UE-23373 Crash occurs opening some animations - TSharedMapView<FName,FString>::Find()
Fixed! UE-23785 Crash in UE4Editor_Core!FSlowTask::GetCurrentMessage()
Fixed! UE-24169 Crash in PlayerInput.cpp - UPlayerInput::ProcessInputStack()
Fixed! UE-24443 Potential Crash When Migrating Assets - FGenericPlatformString::LogBogusChars<wchar_t,char>()
Fixed! UE-26315 Crash in UE4Editor_Engine!UActorComponent::BeginPlay()
Fixed! UE-26872 Loc gathering can crash in 4.10
Fixed! UE-23231 Can't Upload iOS build signed on PC
Fixed! UE-24972 VR headtracking locked on game start for some templates
Fixed! UE-26158 bIsActorBeingDestroyed incorrectly Commented out
Fixed! UE-26657 Regression on sprite import improvements from 4.9
Fixed! UE-26903 Loc dashboard doesn't export native translations when exporting a single culture

GameDev News


17. February 2016

 

Phaser, the cross platform HTML5 based game library I covered in this tutorial series, just released version 2.4.5. 

image

From the release:

Phaser 2.4.5 is our first release in 2016 and represents several months of fixes and optimizations. As a point release it's a safe update from a previous 2.4 build, but as always please test first before upgrading, and be sure to skim through the extensive change log. There are some great new features including Dolby Digital sound support, loads of updates to Pixi and a new Webpack bundle.

  • 14 new features including Dolby Digital audio support and advanced Text wrapping
  • 30 updates including replacing PolyK with EarCut, Tilemap updates and lots of TypeScript and JSDoc updates.
  • 31 bug fixes including OS X Chrome right-click issues, Sprite mouse over, Tween event order, Loader queue fixes and more.
  • 10 updates to our build of Pixi including CanvasPool tweaks, fixing generateTexture bounds calculations and Filter Texture and GL Viewport fixes.

Due to on-going development of Lazer (previously known as Phaser 3) Phaser is soon to enter the LTS (long-term support) stage of its life. This is when we impose a feature freeze, locking the API down and responding only to bugs. This is a necessary step to allow us to focus on Lazer while still ensuring Phaser is given the support it deserves. Thousands of developers use Phaser and we've no intention of ignoring that. However with the release of 2.4.5 we will now be moderating issues opened on GitHub to this effect.

You can read more here.

GameDev News


16. February 2016

 

Flixel was/is a popular game engine written for the Flash programming language.  It unfortunately hasn’t been updated in many years.  However HaxeFlixel is a port of Flixel to imagethe Haxe cross platform programming language which is very much in fact under active development.  In fact, HaxeFlixel 4.0 was just released today!  This is also the biggest released they have ever done, so HaxeFlixel is still very much alive.

 

From the release:

We are proud to announce the release of HaxeFlixel 4.0.0! This is without a doubt the biggest release yet, with nearly 2000 new commits on the core repository alone since the last release.

The highlights of this release are:

  • an improved API structure
  • a refactored rendering system
  • a much improved gamepad API
  • improved HTML5 support
  • improved OpenFL Next compatibility
  • an improved debugger console (now using hscript) with auto-completion
  • over 20 new demos
  • ...and much more

For a more in-depth breakdown of the changes, have a look at our changelog. If you are mostly interested in the breaking changes to upgrade a project using HaxeFlixel 3.3.x, please refer to theupgrade guide.

We would like to thank all contributors who helped with this release in any way, as well as our Patreon supporters. Check out the Financial Summary 06/15 - 02/16 blog post on Patreon if you're wondering what we do with your donations.

Going forward, there are two things we want to foucs on:

  • A stable API - Breaking changes should be the exception and only happen in major releases. This also means following semantic versioning more closely.
  • More frequent releases - 4.0.0 took longer than it should have. We aim to have smaller releases in the future, but release more frequently.

The HaxeFlixel team

 

I know I’ve said this a few times, but I really do intend to do more Haxe content in the near-ish future.

GameDev News


16. February 2016

 

The next version of OpenGL has been in the works for a very long time, and has taken many forms.  Previously known as GlNext, the project was instead renamed to Vulkan when AMD released the Mantle API.  Vulkan is much lower level than even OpenGL, leaving much more in the hands of the developer.  On the other hand, the vast majority of game engines have announced support for Vulkan so most developers wont have to get their hands dirty to support Vulkan.  However to fully support Vulkan, it needs to be supported in the drivers.  nVidia has already released a driver, as have AMD, although theirs is more of a beta at this point.

The full press release from the Khronos group is available here and excerpt below:

Vulkan is the result of 18 months in an intense collaboration between leading hardware, game engine and platform vendors, built on significant contributions from multiple Khronos members. Vulkan is designed for portability across multiple platforms with desktop and mobile GPU architectures. Vulkan is available on multiple versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and has been adopted as a native rendering and compute API by platforms including Linux, SteamOS, Tizen and Android.

By placing an unprecedented collection of Vulkan-related materials into open source, including the full Vulkan conformance tests, the specification source, and a rich set of software tools, Khronos is enabling strong community participation to drive API consistency and ecosystem evolution. All Khronos open source projects are available here: https://github.com/KhronosGroup.

“Vulkan has a huge potential! We’re only scratching the surface of what can be done with it, and porting The Talos Principle to Vulkan should be seen as a proof of concept,” said Dean Sekulic graphics engine specialist at Croteam. “Vulkan in just one sentence? The endless war between performance and portability is finally over!”

Vulkan minimizes driver overhead for optimal graphics and compute performance and provides the direct GPU control demanded by sophisticated game engines, middleware and applications. Simpler, more predictable drivers provide performance and functional portability across a wide range of implementations. A key advantage of Vulkan over OpenGL is the ability to generate GPU work in parallel using many CPU cores, making Vulkan particularly useful for CPU-bound developers, eliminating a bottleneck in applications from diverse domains including games, computer-aided design and mobile apps.  Vulkan complements the traditional OpenGL and OpenGL ES APIs that provide a higher level of abstraction to access GPU functionality, which may be more convenient for many developers. Khronos will continue to evolve OpenGL and OpenGL ES in parallel with Vulkan to meet market needs.

“The Vulkan working group has been driven by more positive developer energy than any other Khronos project, resulting in the release of specifications, conformance tests, and open source SDK and compiler components in just 18 months,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “Vulkan does not replace traditional APIs, but it provides another choice for developers. In the right hands, Vulkan’s multi-threading and explicit resource management can enable a new class of smooth, high-performance engines and applications.”

Vulkan uses the Khronos SPIR-V™ intermediate representation defined by Khronos with native support for shader and compute kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces GPU driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of shader IP protection, accelerated shader load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving shader reliability and portability across multiple implementations.

Vulkan’s layered design enables a common, extensible architecture to install tool layers for code validation, debugging and profiling during development without impacting production performance. Khronos’ open source materials enable SDKs and tools to be built for any platform.

GameDev News


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