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16. December 2015

 

Today Ludei released a new version of their game focused HTML5 app wrapper Cocoon, now called Cocoon.io and based on Cordova.  I was beginning to think Cocoon was no more, so it is nice to see a new release.

 

From the announcement:

Cocoon.io has been designed from the ground up to try to include many of the cool features users have been demanding for quite some time. Let’s review the main advantages and differences of Cocoon.io:

      • The main structural change is that Cocoon.io is completely based on Cordova. When Ludei started working on HTML5, Cordova wasn’t as widespread as it is today. It also was completely tied only to the system webview. Cocoon has always defined itself to try to overcome some of the original Cordova limitations but it was not built on top of it. Cordova is the de facto standard in the industry to setup HTML5 to native project compilations and we have decided to embrace it and contribute to the community with our approach in Cocoon.io. This new Cocoon mixes all the benefits that have made Cocoon great plus all the advantages of Cordova.
      • Select the best webview runtime for your needs: There are different needs when it comes to HTML5 games and apps, and the new Cocoon is designed to allow you to easily select between the best webview runtimes depending on your needs. We still provide our state of the art runtime called Canvas+ specifically built and well suited for games based on 2D and WebGL canvas. We also have our full DOM support using WebView+, an advanced webview based onChrome for Android and Safari for iOS. Cocoon.io even allows to select the regular systemWebView for those developers who still want to use it.
      • Redesigned UI/UX to simplify and improve the user experience. We really hope you like it. The user feedback has been very positive so far and we will continue to improve it in the future.
      • Easy Cordova plugin setup as Cordova has tons of plugins to select from. Cocoon’s new search engine plus easy to use UI will certainly help you navigate through this sometime tedious process. Of course, you can add your own plugins to your projects!
      • Github integration to tell Cocoon.io to compile your projects directly from the content of a git repository. A very convenient way to ease the process of developing, committing/pushing and compiling your apps.
      • Let Cocoon.io help you with the signing of your final native apps. Signing your final projects both on iOS and Android can be a bit tedious. If your provide your signing keys, Cocoon.io will be able to compile a final signed app ready to be uploaded to the stores.
      • Login with different types of accounts like Google or Facebook accounts for your convenience. Of course, you can still use your current Cocoon user and password or even create a new account.
      • Web2App: We are trying to redefine the ease of use to create native hybrid apps based on responsive websites. We will provide great plugins to create native apps based on a website in order to create a compelling native app with all the advantages of mobile applications regarding performance and user experience. Directly from your responsive website URL!

GameDev News


15. December 2015

 

Back in October I had the following Twitter conversation with Nat Friedman of Xamarin.

image

 

It appears that this process has begun, at least for a limited time and for published developers.  From this announcement at Xamarin:

Christmas comes early for indie game developers

Because we love seeing indie games succeed, Xamarin wants to support indie game developers all over the world in bringing their games to billions of mobile gamers. We want every indie game developer to enjoy the power of C# and Visual Studio, so we have an amazing special offer this December:

Free, community-supported subscriptions of Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android, including our Visual Studio extensions

Indie game developers only need to have published a game in any framework on any platform to qualify. We’ll use your published details to verify your indie status:

This offer is limited to independent game developers who have published a game on or before Tuesday, December 15, 2015 in any reputable public store for indie games, such as Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Windows Store, Xbox Store, PlayStation Store, or Nintendo eShop. No more than one subscription will be granted to any given publisher. This offer expires on December 31, 2015 at 9 pm ET.

 

The published title restriction is a bit of a mind twister for me…  isn’t this a matter of preaching to the choir?  Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to try and attract aspiring developers instead of a group that already committed to the .NET ecosystem?

GameDev News


13. December 2015

 

GDX AI, a Java based AI library that works with (but doesn’t require) LibGDX just released version 1.7.

 

From the change log:

[1.7.0]

- Updated to libgdx 1.7.1

- API Addition: added GdxAI service locator that reduces coupling with libgdx and allows you to use gdx-ai

out of a libgdx application without having to initialize libgdx environment, so avoiding the waste of resources

and the need of native libraries; see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Initializing-and-Using-gdxAI

- API Change and Addition: Messaging API

* Removed delta time argument from the update method of the MessageDispatcher; the new GdxAI.getTimepiece().getTime() is internally used instead.

* Added return receipt support, see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Message-Handling#return-receipt

* The report method of PendingMessageCallback now takes an additional argument for the return receipt.

- API Change and Addition: State Machine API

* Now the StateMachine interface has a generic type parameter for the state.

* Added owner's getter and setter to the DefaultStateMachine; also, the owner is now optional in constructor.

- API Change and Addition: Behavior tree API revised and improved, see https://github.com/libgdx/gdx-ai/wiki/Behavior-Trees

* Now tasks have a status that is updated each time they run.

* Added enum support in behavior tree files.

* Now parallel task can specify sequence or selector policy.

* Added cancel method for task termination, mainly used by the parallel task.

* Now you can add listeners to the tree in order to be notified when a task has run and a child is added.

* Now task methods setControl, success and fail are final.

* Now method addChild is final and Task's subclasses have to implement addChildToTask.

* Added decorator tasks Repeat and Random.

* Added leaf tasks Failure, Success and Wait.

* Added branch tasks RandomSelector and RandomSequence; removed deterministic attribute from Selector and Sequence.

* Now the UntilFail decorator succeeds when its child fails.

* Added ability to clone tasks through third-party libraries like Kryo.

* Added support for custom distributions in behavior tree files.

* Now LeafTask usage is less error prone thanks to the execute method.

GdxAI is available on Github or as part of the LibGDX setup.

GameDev News Programming


11. December 2015

 

On the heels of the recent acquisition of Corona by Perk, Corona just announced the private beta release of Corona Ads:

 

Only a few weeks have gone by since Corona Labs joined the Perk team and we already have some exciting news for developers. We are announcing the Beta for Corona Ads!

Corona Ads features easy monetization via banner ads, interstitials, and video ads. Integration is simple – you can add ads into your app with just a few lines of code. Corona Ads presents a turn-key solution for Corona developers to start monetizing their apps today.

We’re looking for developers to participate in the private Corona Ads product beta.

If you’re interested in signing up for the beta program, please visit our signup form on ads.coronalabs.com.

 

If you’ve never heard of it, Corona is a Lua based game engine aimed at mobile game development.  It was featured years ago in the Lua Game Engine round up although a massive amount has changed since that comparison was authored.

GameDev News


9. December 2015

 

Thunderbeast games just released their 4th development digest announcing some pretty major changes to the Atomic Game Engine, including a license change to MIT for the runtime.

 

From the release:

We’ve been focused on improving the Atomic Editor’s content pipeline, workflow, and usability, and are thrilled to announce a new binary is available on the download page!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the exciting updates since the last Development Digest!


New Atomic Editor Binary Available for Download

A new Atomic Editor binary is available on the download page! This version is loaded with new editor features and enhancements, including:

  • New code signed Windows installer for the Atomic Editor
  • Multi-node and component editing with full undo/redo
  • Cubemap generation in the editor
  • Submesh hiding and animation sharing between FBX and Blender files
  • Resizable player preview window that remembers its position, enabling 2 monitor workflow (thanks @rsredsq)
  • Shortcuts for toggling Translate/Rotate/Scale (W/E/R) and between Global/Local transform (X)
  • Hotkey support for common editor tasks: Build, Cut, Copy/Paste, Save, and Play
  • Gizmo translation/rotation/scale snapping (Edit Menu - Snap Settings, hold down Ctrl(Cmd) while dragging gizmo to snap)
  • Frame selection (F key)
  • Orbit selection (F to frame selection, Alt + Left Mouse + Drag to orbit)
  • Navigate the Project and Hierarchy panels using up/down arrow keys (left/right to close and expand nodes)
  • Translate the camera up/down (Q/E keys)
  • Move camera towards mouse position (Alt + Mouse Wheel)
  • New and updated examples available in the editor and on GitHub, including several examples with virtual DPad support and the new 2D Breakout example with touch controls, again thanks to @rsredsq!
  • … bug fixes, and much, much more!!!


Atomic Runtime Now Under the Permissive MIT License!

The Atomic Runtime is now under the permissive MIT license! This gives developers complete control over every line of code in their shipped products and is a reflection of our core philosophy. The full C++ source code is available on GitHub.


Community License (Free!)

We’ve introduced the free Community License which includes the: 2D Module, Windows, Mac, and WebGL deployment, full source code and the choice of one Atomic Pro feature: 3D Module, Android, or iOS. The Community License is available to both individuals and entities. More information is available at The Atomic Store.


WebGL is Now Free for Everyone

WebGL deployment is now free for all Atomic Pro and Community licensees!

We’ve also significantly reduced the initial download size for the Atomic Web Player down to 2.5 megs (2D) and 3.3 megs (3D), compressed. This includes UI, networking, physics, the JavaScript VM, etc. The player caches, so this is only for the initial download of the page.

A big thanks to the Microsoft Edge Dev team for their assistance, the demos now run blazingly fast on the Edge browser!


Lifetime Upgrades for Atomic Pro Licensees Extended

Lifetime Upgrades for all Atomic Pro licensees has been extended, for a limited time. This includes all features, all platforms, and all versions of Atomic Pro, forever, and is available to both Indies and Studios. Learn more at The Atomic Store.


Developer Snapshots Available to All Licensees

Developer snapshots are now available to all Community and Pro licensees. These snapshots come directly from the GitHub repo and provide access to the latest Atomic features, for testing and feedback. Download the latest developer snapshot!


Atomic Community Contributions

Thanks to the Atomic Community for these, and other, awesome contributions!

Type1J - WebSocket and new Web subsystem:https://github.com/AtomicGameEngine/AtomicGameEngine/pull/342

mattbenic - Added the ability to bind static C++ functions to script:https://github.com/AtomicGameEngine/AtomicGameEngine/pull/446

Shaddock Heath - Announced the TypeScript Project Seed:http://atomicgameengine.com/forum/#/discussion/159/ann-typescript-project-seed

Shaddockh is also building a dungeon crawl with 2D lighting, and a dungeon and terrain generator using his blueprint system for Atomic. Check out the Atomic Playground for more cool stuff from shaddockh!

CTrauma - Linux build updates: https://github.com/AtomicGameEngine/AtomicGameEngine/pull/305

rsredsq - Added a high performance Haxe vector math library which was featured in Haxe Roundup #334.

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