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7. December 2018


The Epic Game Store, first announced a few days back is now live and additional information is available for those interesting in publishing their game on Epic’s new store.  Beyond the incredibly generous 88/12% revenue split, there are a number of advantages to the new store such as an affiliate program, completely customizable store pages and of course… Fortnite.  As an additional draw to the store, Epic are offering a free game every two weeks, with the first free offering being Subnautica on Dec 14th, then Super Meat Boy (oddly no link) two weeks later.


Additional details on how the store functions are available in their about page:

Why is Epic Games opening a store?

As a developer ourselves, we have always wanted a store with fair economics that connects us directly with our players. Thanks to the success of Fortnite, we are now able to share our capabilities with other developers and make that store a reality.

What’s the catch? Is this 88% revenue share a special introductory rate?

There is no catch; the 88% share to the developer is the permanent rate. Epic’s 12% share covers the operating costs of the store and makes us a profit.

Will the Epic Games store be an overnight success?

This will be a long term effort. Epic Games has been around for 27 years. We expect to invest in and work to grow the store for many years to come.

How are you selecting titles for the Epic Games store?

We are prioritizing developers who have flexibility in timing and a willingness to work through the early phases of a store with us. We consider many other factors as well, so there is no set formula.

How can I make Epic aware of my interest to put my game on the store?

Complete and submit the form at the bottom of this page or if you have an existing relationship with Epic through Unreal Engine licensing, reach out to your business contact.

When is the store launching for all developers?

We are planning to open the store for all developers in the second half of 2019.

Which platforms does the Epic Games store support?

We are launching with PC and Mac support. Support for other open platforms, such as Android will come later.

What does it mean when Epic wants to give me direct access to my audience?

Players who own your games will see your news posts in their newsfeed, providing you a direct connection to your players. When purchasing a game, players can choose to share their email addresses directly with developers of games they purchase.

My game is built with Unity or another engine, can I bring it to the Epic Games store?

Yes, the Epic Games store is engine-agnostic. Epic is aiming to bring great games to players, regardless of your engine choice.

My game is built with Unreal Engine. Why should I ship on the Epic Games store?

Beyond the normal ease of shipping on every platform, there are no engine royalties for UE4-based games sold on the Epic Games store. If you’re using the default free license with a 5% royalty, for example, you won’t pay the licensing fees from your sales on the Epic Games store. Royalties from sales on other platforms would remain the same 5%.

What is the Support-A-Creator program? What does it mean to me?

Support-A-Creator is the program full of amazing content creators who will help promote games on the Epic Games store. Creators earn a share of revenue from each attributable sale. Developers set the rate of the revenue share and Epic pays the first 5% for the first 24 months. Developers get immediate access to thousands of creators who can promote their titles with no friction. We believe this will make a more direct and sustainable connection between game developers and content creators (streamers, influencers, etc). There are currently more than 10,000 content creators in the program, with tens of millions of supporters, and that number is growing every day.

Where is the Epic Games store available?

The Epic Games store is available to players in most countries in the world except for China and where prohibited by US law, such as North Korea and Iran. Certain regions, such as South Korea, may have additional legal requirements that you may need to implement in your game in order to be compliant and to be distributed there.

Does the Epic Games store have regional pricing?

Yes, we do support regional pricing. We also have a set of suggested regional discounts based on local norms that are regularly reviewed.

Which currencies do you accept and in which currencies do you display prices?

We currently support local pricing in USD, Great British Pound, Euro, Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble, South Korean Won, Japanese Yen, Turkish Lira, and Ukrainian Hryvnia.

Does the Epic Games store have mandatory sales?

No. While we do plan to offer multi-game sales events, they are voluntary.

How will player feedback and game ratings work on the Epic Games store?

We will offer developers an opt-in ratings system for games on the store in the future.

How do refunds work on the Epic Games store?

We will offer two no-questions-asked refunds per player within two weeks of purchase.

Which payment methods are supported?

The Epic Games store supports credit cards, Paypal, and a variety of alternative payment methods. Approximately 80% of store transactions use credit cards and Paypal. The other 20% comprise alternative payment methods, primarily in countries where credit cards aren’t widely available. Some of these alternate payment methods carry payment processing fees, which Epic charges directly to the purchaser, and are not included in revenue-sharing calculations. This is a list of the alternative payment methods we currently support. Methods carrying additional payment processing fees are marked with an *asterisk.


The about page is also where you find the submission form if you want to publish your own game on the Epic store.

GameDev News


4. December 2018


Steam just got another major competitor and this one is pretty amazing.  Fresh on the success of launching their own store and payment ecosystem to support the game Fortnite, Epic Games are opening that system up to other game developers.  Perhaps most impressive, they are doing it with a 88/12% revenue split, massively lower than the standard 70/30% cut at other game stores such as Steam, Google Play and the Apple App Store.  It will initially launch for Windows and Mac, with Android and other platforms coming soon.  You are not required to use Unreal Engine to publish your game on the store, however if you do the deal gets even better.  As part of their 12% royalty, they will also cover the Unreal Engine 4 license costs!  Additionally they are also launching an affiliate program to help encourage influencers to drive traffic to the game store.

Details of the new program from the Unreal Engine blog:

Soon we'll launch the Epic Games store, and begin a long journey to advance the cause of all developers. The store will launch with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, then it will open up more broadly to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019.

The Epic Games store will operate on the following principles:
All Developers Earn 88%
Developers receive 88% of revenue. There are no tiers or thresholds. Epic takes 12%. And if you’re using Unreal Engine, Epic will cover the 5% engine royalty for sales on the Epic Games store, out of Epic’s 12%.


Have a Direct Relationship With Players
People who buy your games automatically subscribe to your newsfeed so you can reach them with game updates and news about upcoming releases. The newsfeed is front-and-center.  You’ll also be able to reach your players through email, if they choose to share it.


Connect with Creators
YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, bloggers, and others are at the leading edge of game discovery. The 10,000-strong Epic Games Support-A-Creator program helps you reach creators, so they can help you reach players. If you opt to participate, creators who refer players to buy your game will receive a share of the revenue that you set (tracked by code or affiliate marketing link). To jumpstart the creator economy, Epic will cover the first 5% of creator revenue-sharing for the first 24 months.


Developers Control Their Game Pages
As a developer, you control your game page and your newsfeed. There will be no store-placed ads or cross-marketing of competing games on your page, and no paid ads in search results.


All Engines Are Welcome
The Epic Games store is open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines.


When You Succeed, We Succeed
We’ve built this store and its economic model so that Epic’s interests are aligned with your interests.  Because of the high volume of Fortnite transactions, we can process store payments, serve bandwidth, and support customers very efficiently. From Epic’s 12% store fee, we’ll have a profitable business we’ll grow and reinvest in for years to come!


Watch the following video for details of why I think this move is going to be absolutely game changing!  The words “Steam Killer” are said a lot, but I honestly think this one is the biggest competitor yet.

GameDev News


3. December 2018


NVIDIA just announced that their upcoming (December 20th) release of PhysX 4.0 will be available under the BSD3 open source license.  Additionally effective today, the existing PhysX 3.4 will also be available under this open source license.  It is important to note however that this is for desktop and mobile consoles only, as PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions are all still under the existing EULA (this I believe).  In addition to the license change, the 4.0 release has a number of new features including:

  • Temporal Gauss-Seidel Solver (TGS), which makes machinery, characters/ragdolls, and anything else that is jointed or articulated much more robust. TGS dynamically re-computes constraints with each iteration, based on bodies’ relative motion.
  • Overall stability has been improved with reduced coordinate articulations and joint improvements.
  • Increased scalability via new filtering rules for kinematics and statics.
  • New Bounding Volume Hierarchies support fast scene queries for actors with a huge number of shapes.
  • Infrastructure can now incorporate Cmake projects.

You can download PhysX 3.4 here and stay tuned on December 20th to download PhysX 4.0.

GameDev News


30. November 2018


Cocos Creator has just taken the jump into the world of 3D with the release of Cocos Creator 2.1.  While still a 2D game engine, the underlying renderer is fully 3D.  This release adds a new 3D node, a new renderer component, a new animation node, a new 3D camera as well as the ability to load 3D content in FBX file formats.  This release also marks a bit of a fork in Cocos Creator development, with the existing 2D only game engine staying on the 2.0.x versioning scheme, while the new 2.1.x will develop more rapidly in the future.  This hopefully will fix some of the bad backward compatibility changes they have made in the past, but it will be interesting to see how much development both branches receive.  If you are interested in learning Cocos Creator, be sure to check out our comprehensive tutorial series available over on DevGa.me.

Full release note details of the 2.1 release:

What’s New

3D Node
In v2.1, newly created Node objects are still 2D by default. When needed, you only need to click the 2.5D button at the top right of the Node to switch to 3D mode. After switching, you can edit the z axis. See 3D Node 8.

3D Camera
Like Node, Camera is also divided into two modes. When you add a Camera component to a normal 2D node, it becomes a 2D Camera. When you switch Node to 3D mode, Camera will also enter 3D mode, and then you can edit Camera's FOV and other parameters in 3D mode.

3D model import
Currently, Cocos Creator supports importing 3D model formats for a very wide range of .fbx files. .fbx is the de-facto standard in 3D modeling software. The process of importing is very simple, just drag the .fbx model into the Explorer and wait a few moments for the import to complete. After the import is completed, you can see that the imported model is a folder that can be expanded in Explorer. When importing the model, the editor will automatically parse the content of the model and generate a Prefab, a Grid, a Bone Animation and other resources. See Import Models 1

Mesh Renderer Component
Mesh Renderer is used to draw grid resources. See Mesh Renderer 1.

Bone Animation Component
The Skeletal Animation component inherits from the Animation component. The Skeletal Animation component is not much different from the Animation component. The exception is the Skeletal Animation component uses a clip that can only be a Skeletal Animation clip. The Skeletal Animation component is automatically added to the model’s Prefab when it is imported. See Bone Animation Component for details.

For more 3D instructions, please consult the documentation 3D System 1.

Optimize automatic gallery build speed
v2.1 greatly optimizes the speed of auto-atlas construction. If the atlas has not changed, the results of the last build are used.

Further improve rendering performance
Between v2.0 compared to v1.x, there are some cases where the engine does not render batches, resulting in an increase in draw calls. v2.1 re-optimized these conditions. If the previous color or opacity cannot be batch processed, sliced and non-sliced share the same texture and cannot be batched. The problem that the opacity 0 node still occupies the draw call is solved.

Add simulator debugging function
In the Project Settings -> Preview Run Panel, the Open simulator debugger panel option and the Wait for debugger connect option have been added. The purpose of the Open simulator debugger panel option is to automatically open the debug window when the simulator previews the project. The Wait for debugger connect option is used to suspend the boot process until the debugger connection is complete for debugging the load process.

Texture Auto Compression
The compression required by the texture can be set directly in the editor, and Cocos Creator will automatically compress the texture when the project is published. Exporting multiple image formats simultaneously on the web is supported. The engine will automatically download the appropriate format according to the different browsers. See Compressed Textures 4 for details.

Enhancements

Editor
  • Dashboard is closed when the project is opened, and automatically opened when the project is closed.
  • Dashboard will automatically record the last created project path.
  • Optimize the preview of the Button under the editor.
  • Optimize the way Button Click Event indexes components, avoiding the loss of indexes after scripts are renamed.
  • QQ light game construction allows direct packaging of zip files for uploading servers.
  • The new plug-in mall automatically prompts the user to install after the plug-in download is completed.
  • When building a WeChat mini-game main domain project, the subdomain will not be emptied again.
  • Modify the API Level selected by default when building the Android platform to the current highest level (Target API Level).
  • The node path bar in the scene editor is removed, and the node path can be obtained through the node right-click menu of the hierarchy manager.
  • The animation editor defaults to Constant curves for values ​​of type cc.Enum and cc.Integer, without interpolation.
  • Animation editor key frame addition and deletion experience optimization.
  • The optimization engine automatically compiles the experience.
  • Added a series of other experience optimizations.
Engine
  • [UI] Added the affectedByScale property to the Layout component. If the developer wants the scaling of the Layout subnode to affect the layout, you can turn it on manually.
  • [UI] supports fnt files in XML format.
  • [UI] The Content Size of the node will be refreshed immediately when the Label node is onEnable.
  • [UI] When the target of Button is not defined, the current node will be used by default.
  • [UI] ToggleContainer adds a checkEvents event property similar to Toggle, which fires only when Toggle’s isChecked state becomes true.
  • [Action] Added support for four actions of cc.Rotate3DTo, cc.rotate3DTo, cc.Rotate3DBy, cc.rotate3DBy.
  • [Native] Rejoined WebView and VideoPlayer support removed in v2.0.0 on iOS and Android platforms.
  • [Native] The Mac native platform switches to the V8 engine. If you need to use JSC, you need to manually modify the macro. For details, see #1515.
  • [Native] Add the missing key and length properties of the native platform LocalStorage, see #1371 1.
  • [Native] Adopts Pinyin input behavior unified with Android on iOS native platform, does not retain input of unfinished pinyin.
  • [Android] Upgrade Android compilation to NDK r16+ Clang, and compile Android pre-compiled library with Clang.
  • [Android] Upgrade the Android build tool to configure Gradle to 4.4, plugin to 3.1.4. (Gradle 4.6 has a known issue that will cause resource packaging to fail).
  • [Android] Optimize Android input box experience.
  • [Android] Squeeze Android empty package body, the minimum package body is reduced from 7.0MB to 6.3MB.
  • [Web] Increase transparency support for WebView on the web platform.
  • [Web] Optimized display position of WebView components.
  • [Web] Optimizing the performance of VideoPlayer on the X5 browser.
  • [Wechat] Supports getting the res and referrerInfo parameters passed to the platform when responding to the cc.game.EVENT_SHOW event on WeChat games.
  • [VideoPlayer] Optimized the performance of VideoPlayer full-screen playback.

Bug Fixes

Editor
  • Fix an issue where the animation editor node list may not be updated.
  • Fix the problem of selecting the RichText subnode in the scene editor.
  • Fixed an issue where the error code always returned 0 when building a project using the command line, whether or not an error occurred.
  • Fixing the background of the mesh in the scene editor will penetrate above some translucent images, causing some differences in color and runtime.
  • The editor will report an error when repairing an external drag resource to an invalid location in the resource manager.
  • Fixed remote server ip getting error when publishing Android Instant platform.
Engine
  • [Core] Problem with activeInHierarchy being true after fixing node destroy.
  • [Core] Fix filter in RenderTexture, premultiply alpha setting is invalid.
  • [Core] Fixed an issue where the scene introduced by the plugin could not be loaded.
  • [Web] Fixed a problem with white afterimages on Chrome 69, 70. (Since 2.0)#3357 1.
  • [UI] Fix Button may have some state invalidation when multiple states are superimposed on each other.
  • [UI] Fix LabelOutline setting invalid color problem.
  • [UI] Fixed an issue where setting Toggle.isChecked to be invalid in the start method.
  • [UI] Fix the problem that the LabelOutline component is not synchronized when the state is modified.
  • [Animation] Fixed an issue where the parameters of AnimationState might be parsed as a string type.
  • [QQPlay] Fix the problem that QQ light game does not respond to the background background switching event.
  • [QQPlay] Fix the problem that the font will become very small if you use italics on QQ light games.
  • [QQPlay] Fix the problem that the QQ light game can’t replay when the lock screen re-enters or the front and back switches.
  • [QQPlay] Fixes the problem of the ended event after the audio setCurrentTime is fixed #3373.
  • [Native] Fix native platform connection socket.io server may report Bad Request error.
  • [Native] Fix iOS and Android can’t detect gravity sensor.
  • [Native] Fix iOS call cc.game.restart Restart the game and then enter text will crash.
  • [Native] Fixing the problem that the opacity attribute of Label on Windows native platform does not work.
  • [Native] Fixed an issue where Android could not listen to onKeyUp.
  • [Native] Fix the problem that the Android phone will fail to load if the built-in SSL certificate expires.
  • [Native] Fixed an issue where server redirection was not supported when downloading images from Android native platform #PR.
  • [Physics] Fixed an issue where MouseJoint failed to respond to touch cancel.
  • [Spine] Fixes the problem that textures may be lost when Spine is reloaded under Mask.


GameDev News


29. November 2018


The hotly anticipated Blender 2.80 release just got one step closer with the first beta being made available.  A bit of a warning, their servers are taking a beating so it might take a bit of time to download your copy.  This release is one of the biggest changes Blender, possibly ever, with new features such as a new real time PBR based viewport called EEVEE, a new 2D animation system built around the expanded grease pencil, cycles improvements, a new glTF exporter and of course a vastly changed user experience and workflow. 

New to the Blender UI is a new consistent high contrast icon set, pie menus now enabled out of the box, improved context sensitive tools, a massive overhaul to the hotkeys and yes… left click select is now finally the default.  Of course the 2.80 release also marks the removal of the Blender Game Engine from Blender.


You can download Blender 2.80 here.

You can get an overview of Blender 2.80’s major new features here.

You can read the complete WIP release notes here.

The Blender foundation have put out a video showcasing the top 5 features in Blender 2.80 which can be viewed here.


Plus of course you can watch my own overview of the 2.80 release here or embedded below.  Sadly no hands-on footage of Blender 2.80 in action, as the Blender servers are getting absolutely slammed right now.  Stay tuned for more Blender 2.80 coverage in the near future.

GameDev News


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