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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

 

… however the ultimate question of price remains unanswered.  In an interview on the Guardian, HTC CEO Cher Wang announced the February 29th pre-order date, with wider commercials sales beginning in April.  Perhaps of more interest from the interview is just how much HTC is betting the company on Virtual Reality.  Suddenly HTCs involvement with VR seems a great deal more…  significant.

 

From the Telegraph article:

HTC will start taking pre-orders for Vive, its virtual reality headset, from February 29, its chief executive has confirmed.

Cher Wang told the Telegraph the company had chosen to refocus on virtual reality (VR) and away from smartphones, saying the company was now "more realistic".

Vive has been developed with game maker Valve, designed to fully immerse its wearer in their virtual environment while playing games. It will go on wider commercial sale in April, and will compete with Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and Sony's PlayStation VR as the technology finally enters the mainstream. Its price remains unknown.

 

From the linked interview:

When asked what went wrong, Wang doesn’t dodge the question. “Our flagship is in direct competition with several others, we have had some problems with it for two years,” she admits.

“I think the problem was competition – Apple, Xiaomi, these companies spend tons of money on communications and marketing, they pump a huge amount of investment into the market. There are a lot of Chinese competitors.”

--snip--

So will HTC finally fold up its smartphone business this year?

Wang doesn’t deny this as vehemently as expected. “Now we are more realistic. We feel that we should apply our best design to different type of sectors,” she says. “Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important.”

 

I have been an HTC fan for several years, starting back with the HTC TYTN right up until the HTC One, which I recently gave up on and replaced with a Galaxy S6.  They are capable of making a high quality and innovation devices when they set their mind to it.  As I mentioned just a few days ago HTC has the opportunity to win the VR war before it begins.  Seeing now that they are basically betting the company on it, I can’t help but cheer for them.

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


8. January 2016

 

Special thanks to @Dillybob on Twitter for bringing this engine to my attention.  QICI Engine is a HTML5 game engine and toolset layered over top of Pixi and Phaser, a library I am a huge fan of.  The engine is well documented and completely free.  The source is available although oddly enough the Github page just contains prepackaged archives.

 

In their own words, QICI Engine is:

QICI Engine is a free and open source JavaScript game engine library with a web-based comprehensive suite of toolset for making HTML5 games.

With QICI Engine, creating HTML5 Games just like Web Development, use your favorite code editor, use your favorite web browser, leverage JavaScript language and all the best web development tools. QICI Engine takes care of the complexity of the underlying technologies, so you just focus on what's important - making your game!

Technology Stack

QICI Engine is based on the free and open source HTML5 game framework Phaser, which uses Pixi.js for WebGL and Canvas rendering across desktop and mobile web browsers.

Phaser is actively developed and maintained by @photonstorm, but QICI Engine uses the specific version Phaser 2.3.0. We keep track of bug fixes and performance improvements for Phaser, so you can use the customized Phaser version that QICI Engine provides safely.

QICI Engine is made up of three parts: QICI Core, QICI Widget and QICI Editor:

  • QICI Core: A JavaScript Game Engine library that is based on Phaser.
  • QICI Widget: A JavaScript UI library for creating rich application.
  • QICI Editor: A web-based editor with a Node.js server for accelerating HTML5 game development.

The QICI Core is the core of QICI Engine, the QICI Editor would not work without it, but the QICI Core can function on its own to be used to make a HTML5 Game by writing code without QICI Editor. But for complex UI, it’s really hard to build and maintain without the help of WYSIWYG visual interface, with QICI Editor even artists and designers can help to build the game’s UI.

QICI Widget provides the HTML5 UI widgets for making the GUI in QICI Editor.

QICI Core is a JavaScript Game library, QICI Widget is a JavaScript UI library, and QICI Editor uses Node.js for accessing the file system, so QICI Engine is a Full-Stack JavaScript Game Engine.

Features

 

 

Very cool project and certainly one I am checking out.  Oddly however, when you download the current version from their website, on first run they tell you an update is available and you download it.  I hate when this happens.

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.

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