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27. May 2016

 

RPGMaker, the seminal, um... RPG (role playing game) maker, is currently available for free on Steam over the weekend and available for a sale price of 50% off.  image

 

RPGMaker is a complete game engine and toolset geared towards making JRPG style games.  First released in 1992, RPGMaker has been used to make several commercial games such as To The Moon and the Aveyond series.  Up until recently scripting was done using the Ruby language.  However with the move to MV, the language was changed to JavaScript.  Another major feature of the MV release is the ability to target both iOS and Android.  One nice thing about RPGMaker is it ships with a ton of game assets that should ease the getting started process.

 

To go along with the free weekend sale, the RPGMaker folks have put together an introduction:

So you’ve downloaded the program, opened it up, and are seeing the Engine for the first time. RPG Maker is not hard to use, but at first glance, there is so much to do that it can be a bit overwhelming. That is why we’ve prepared this quickstart guide, to get you on your way to making your game, your way.

What makes RPG Maker special, and what drew me to RPG Maker to begin with is that it allows anyone to make a game. You don’t have to know how to code, you don’t have to know how to make art, you don’t have to know how to make music. I don’t know how to do any of those things. But I can make a game, and you can too. All it takes is getting to know the three main parts of the RPG Maker engine. This won’t be a tutorial. It won’t explain how to do everything, but it will give you the basics of where to get started and how things work together.

 

Click here to read the full post.

GameDev News


26. May 2016

 

Houdini is a 3D content creation application with a procedural bent.  Substance is a Physically Based Renderer (PBR) for creating real world materials and texturing them.  The two products just came together:

VENICE, CA. – May 26, 2016 – Today, Allegorithmic announces the immediate integration of Substance Engine into Houdini 15. VFX artists can now import, visualize and tweak materials with the same freedom AAA game developers have enjoyed for years.

By employing the same nodal system as Houdini, Substance Engine arrives in a format Houdini artistsezgif-852304504 already understand. Materials can be created, customized and applied to any Houdini asset, including characters and environments. When finished, assets can be exported to the Unity game engine or sent to Mantra, Arnold or RenderMan (with a simple script) for a final render.

Using Houdini Expressions, variables can be attached to Substances, making the process of manipulating textures even more fluid for animated sequences. These expressions can also help artists produce thousands of randomized objects quickly, with all the scale and realism VFX requires.

“We’re thrilled to see this collaboration between SideFX and Allegorithmic spring to life,” said Rob Stauffer, Senior Production Consultant at SideFX. “Artists can now stretch the capabilities of both Houdini and Substance, with interactive workflows that cover the entire process - modeling, texturing and rendering."

“This integration makes Substance feel like it’s been in Houdini for years,” said Dr. Sébastien Deguy, Founder and CEO of Allegorithmic. “It’s truly plug-and-play.”

 

Pricing/Availability
The Substance Engine integration is free, compatible with Houdini 15.5 and available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It can be downloaded now via Allegorithmic’s website: https://www.allegorithmic.com/content/substance-houdini.

GameDev News


25. May 2016

 

The developers over at Thunderbeast Games just released their fifth developer digest detailing the recent updates to the Atomic Game Engine.  The Atomic Game Engine is an open source (now) MIT licensed 2D/3D game engine that was built on top of Urho3D.  I did a Closer Look of both the Atomic Game Engine and Urho 3D should you wish to learn more about either engine.

 

Atomic Game Engine has gained several new features, including:

 

  • Chromium web view integration ( Webview with both 2D and 3D support)
  • Improved multiplayer support including NAT punch through support
  • Per project asset import settings
  • DXT compression
  • JavaScript editor plugins
  • Typescript integration
  • Extensibility hooks in the editor
  • Physically Based Rendering (PBR) support in the renderer (WIP)

 

 

Much more details about all of these features are available in the digest.

GameDev News


25. May 2016

 

Valve have just released version 1.0.0 of the OpenVR SDK on Github.  The OpenVR SDK is the primary API for developing VR applications that adhere to the OpenVR standard, most notably the HTC Vive. Changes in this release taken from the release notes:

IVRApplications:

  • Added VREvent_ApplicationListUpdated event. This is sent whenever an application manifest is added, removed, or updated.

IVRRenderModels:

  • Added VREvent_ModelSkinSettingsHaveChanged event. This is sent when the user has selected a new controller or base station/camera replacement model. If your application uses the IVRRenderModel interface to load the user's actual controllers it should reload them after receiving this event.
  • Added GetRenderModelOriginalPath function. This returns the non-overridden full path to the render model so controller/base station/camera skinning can be avoided if the application requires it.
  • Added GetRenderModelThumbnailURL function. This returns a URL (usually to a file) for a 4x3 aspect ratio thumbnail image that can be used to preview the render model.
  • Added GetRenderModelErrorNameFromEnum so applications don't need to provide their own lookup table to interpret these errors.

IVRCompositor:

  • Added cumulative stats tracked per-application and associated accessor.
  • Added interface to access the mirror textures (per-eye). This is the undistorted view with chaperone and overlays (e.g. dashboard) drawn on top.
  • Added preliminary support for screenshots. This interface is not stable yet and should be ignored for now.

IVRTrackedCamera:

  • Exposed the initial version. Provides developers access to poll streaming frames from the HMD front facing camera with the associated tracked HMD pose. The image is available as either a pre-corrected distorted view or corrected undistorted view.
  • Added a thin Qt example for getting and showing the camera image/pose.

IVROverlay:

  • Added interface to get size of a texture used by an overlay. This is useful when setting the overlay texture by filename.
  • Added ability to render side-by-side stereo content and panoramas.

Driver Interface:

  • IVRCameraComponent is still in a development phase.
  • Added provider method GetInterfaceVersions. This contains all the version numbers of the other interfaces in the driver. Drivers should return vr::k_InterfaceVersions from the version of openvr_driver.h that they were compiled against.
  • GetTrackedDeviceDriver and FindTrackedDeviceDriver no longer take an interface version. The caller will expect the version of the interface returned in GetInterfaceVesions()

HelloVR sample:

  • Fixed compile error around glDebugMessageCallback that could happen with certain versions of the OpenGL headers.
  • Fixed compile error from LoadRenderModel->LoadRenderModel_Async name change.
  • Fixed compile error from LoadTexture->LoadTexture_Async name change.

GameDev News


25. May 2016

 

This week brings another Unity patch, this time 5.3.5P1.  This release is primarily composed of fixes with some minor Windows Store functionality improvements and better stack reporting on crash.  The patch is available here.

 

Patch Release Notes:

 

Improvements
  • Runtime: During crashes even if the stack walking is aborted with error (RtlLookupFunctionEntry returned NULL function. Aborting stack walk), Unity will display stripped stack trace instead of displaying zero stack frames.
  • (791792) - Windows Store: Expanded UnityEngine.WSA.Cursor.SetCustomCursor, if you pass 0 to this function, it will restore the cursor to arror icon.
  • (792507) - Windows Store: Improved 'NULL != certificate' errors, it will now provide a human readable message why it failed to create a certificate.
Fixes
  • (778825) - 2D: Generate sprite mesh correctly for sprite with outline data after changing texture's max size setting.
  • (770093) - Android: Pause choreographer when activity is paused to fix CPU usage of Unity apps when the app is in background.
  • (790261) - Animation: Fix for animation stopping before reaching designated position.
  • (780289) - AssetBundle: Fixed the issue that failed to asynchronously load the object with script that had the same name as other assets in a bundle.
  • (780836, 761626) - AssetBundles: Fixed intermittent crash due to thread-safety issues.
  • (784401) - Editor: Fixed: No auto license updates since Unity 5.1.
  • (784822, 794090, 759483) - Graphics: Fixed some cases of incorrectly "Releasing Render Texture that is set as Camera.targetTexture", resulting in losing Camera.targetTexture - e.g. in case of device resume after sleep on iOS/Android, context-loss on DirectX or changing Emulation Layer in the Editor.
  • (787701) - IL2CPP: Load the stack value as unsigned for the conv.r.un opcode in IL.
  • (789160) - iOS/IL2CPP: Corrected managed stack traces which could have one incorrect frame when a NullReferenceException occurred.
  • (792606) - iOS: Fixed a crash when releasing WebRequest components.
  • (788483) - Samsung TV: UnityEngine.Ping has been fixed and will no longer report permissions issues.
  • (784481) - Scripting: Avoid allocating GC memory during Coroutine iteration.
  • (none) - Substance: Avoid re-generating ProceduralMaterials twice when switching color space.
  • (780071) - Substance: Fxed "Mismatched LayoutGroup.Repaint" error message appearing in console when assigning a ProceduralMaterial to a mesh.
  • (776052) - Substance: Fixed baked ProceduralTextures being serialized without their baked data.
  • (779560) - Substance: Fixed a crash in VisibleIf expression evaluation caused by looking up an input by label instead of by identifier.
  • (781118) - Substance: Fixed a crash when undoing a modification of the shader assigned to a ProceduralMaterial .
  • (762285) - Substance: Fixed GetProceduralXYZ returning 0 when used with an input's label instead of its identifier.
  • (none) - Substance: Fixed normal maps textures being incorrectly processed when used as image inputs to a ProceduralMaterial.
  • (779574) - Substance: Fixed ProceduralMaterials being stuck in "Generating..." state when leaving playmode as they are being computed.
  • (795563) - Substance: frozen ProceduralMaterials can now be cloned. Procedural properties of a cloned frozen ProceduralMaterial cannot be changed anymore, but regular material properties can.
  • (none) - Substance: ProceduralTextures being cached to disk/flash now have their size correctly taken into account when querying Caching.spaceOccupied.
  • (776803) - Substance: Speed up the processing of BakeAndDiscard materials when loading scenes.
  • (none) - Substance: Now warn the user when an input of a BakeAndDiscard ProceduralMaterial is being set at runtime.
  • (774423) - UI: Fixed occasional crashes when modifying elements of non-Overlay Canvases.
  • (790264) - UI: Fixed World canvas not rendering in editor game view.
  • (507878) - Windows Standalone: Launcher will correctly display unicode symbols for input bindings.
  • (none) - Windows Store: Added command line argument -dontConnectAcceleratorEvent, which could help to solve issues with XAML controls used together with Unity.
  • (790408) - Windows Store: Do not overwrite solution file when building on top.
  • (778842) - Windows Store: Fixed DisconnectedException while pluging/unplugin joystick from usb multiple times.
  • (792589) - Windows Store: Fixed an issue where user couldn't enter @ symbol with touch screen keyboard when spanish language is selected.
  • (790319) - Windows Store: Fixed an issue with generics, causing access reduction exception at runtime.
  • (792618) - Windows Store: Fixed Screen.orientation sometimes reporting incorrect value on startup.
  • (786277) - Windows Store: NetworkTransport.ConnectEndPoint will work correctly on UWP (required by secure sockets), note this function will not work on older Windows Store SDKs.
  • (790537) - Windows Store: Workaround a driver bug in Lumia 950, the screen was flickering when navigation bar was spawning or despawning. Basically we replace ID3D11DeviceContext::ClearDepthStencilView (which corrupts stencil buffer somehow) with a full screen quad draw call which clears depth/stencil.

GameDev News


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