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7. March 2016

 

Today FMod had a pair of announcements.  If you’ve never heard of it, FMod is probably the preeminent make of audio middleware for game development. The first announcement was the release of FMod Studio 1.08, an audio creation tool compatible with many major game engines.  The new version adds PlayStation VR support, new asset management workflow, Dolby Atmos support and more. As part of the same announcement, they also announced Fmod.io, a cloud based repository of audio sound effects.  Probably the most impressive part is, the audio files all have the same price... 99 cents.  Essentially FMod is aiming to become the TurboSquid of the audio world providing a one stop shop for sound effects.  They have also announced that music is going to be added to the service in the near future.  There is a promotion right now where your 50 first sounds are free to download.

image

A couple obvious questions that remain are:

  • how many sound effects are there?
  • what’s the license?

Well, as to how many, they claim a library of over 500,000 sounds, which is a pretty solid amount!  Granted, this is all pretty meaningless if the license sucks... so, what can you do with the sounds you buy?  Well according to the Fmod.io page:

What can I do with sounds I buy on FMOD.io?

The sounds you buy are yours to reuse as many times as you like and in any kind of project (not just games). You just can’t give away or resell the individual sounds.

So basically you can use them again and again across different project, commercial or otherwise.  You just cant give them away or resell them.  I do assume you can give away a product made using the sounds, just not the sounds themselves.  All told, it’s a pretty liberal license.  So, are you stuck using the sound fx in FMod only?

Can I use sounds in my library with other tools or game engines?

Yes. The sounds are yours to use anyway you like.

Nope.

 

I have to say this is actually a pretty impressive development, especially for indie developers who often don’t have access to quality sound engineers.  You can learn more (but not much more) on the fmod.io website.

 

EDIT – Added a video of FMod.io in action available here and embedded below.

 

GameDev News


7. March 2016

 

MaxPlay is an upcoming game engine that is focused on cloud based collaboration.  So far they have been running mostly in stealth mode with very little information available.  Today they announced several of the partnered technologies that will be integrated into the engine.  Those technologies include EMotion FX (an animation engine),  FMOD (advanced audio), Popcorn FX (real time particle systems) and PhysX (physics engine).   We are of course still missing critical information such as platforms supported and of course, price!

More details from the announcement:

This week we are proud to announce our initial set of premium technology partners.

MysticGD has been evolving the industry-leading animation engine, EMotion FX for years. They’ve not just refactored, but completely rebuilt their system to better leverage hardware on more than one occasion. Don’t believe me, check out theirvideo of 3000 animated characters. To go with that performance, they’ve built an accessible interface and debugger that will make all aspiring Walts as happy as a mouse on a steamboat. And did I mention that every single bone and blend is addressable procedurally?

If you’re not already familiar with FMOD Studios, it’s pretty simple: imagine an intuitive audio system that lets you mix live in-game, has the best debugging tools, is performant enough to never have you wondering “should I trim the audio?,” and allows you to work at the speed of sound (get it?).


Persistant Studio’s highly performant particle system, PopcornFx lets you harness the magic like a true wizard.  PopcornFx is a full solution for all of your visual effects needs with a dedicated effects editor and a multiplatform runtime built on a highly parallel stream processing architecture, which is at the core of its high performance and flexibility. Like our MaxCore™ architecture, it effortlessly threads across multiple cores with minimal data contention.  

And then there’s nVidia's PhysX. For over two decades, nVidia has been the industry’s leader in graphics rendering and middleware that takes games to new heights.  Their PhysX real-time physics engine is used by the majority of today’s games, which means you’ve definitely seen it’s fully multi-threaded, hardware-accelerated action.  Just have a look at this reel. ‘Nuff said.

At the end of the day, we’re fans; checking out each other’s tech and figuring out how we can collaborate to make the best possible game development suite. Each of these systems is incredible by itself, and when integrated into our GDS and high performance MaxCore™ runtime, richer and more immersive worlds are now at developers’ fingertips.

GameDev News


5. March 2016

 

Another Unity patch has been released, this one is Unity Patch 5.3.3p2.  It contains the following new features, as per the release notes:

Improvements
  • Android: Audio - Don't select OpenSL output if the native device params are too bad for fast path (fixes audio issues on buggy devices).
  • Android: Buildpipe - Updated SDK tools requirements for the Editor.
  • Android: Editor - Added Marshmallow to the list of APIs.
  • Android: IL2CPP - Use Android NDK x64 on x64 Windows Editor.
  • Android: SoftInput - Get rid of hardcoded text color, switch to Light theme.
  • Windows: Added a new command line argument for standalone builds: window-mode. Options: borderless, exclusive. It lets users override the default fullscreen window behavior.
Fixes
  • (768974) - Android: Fixed alignment crash on some Android ARM devices.
  • (734124) - Android: Fixed an issue where Ping wouldn't work in release mode.
  • (762875) - Android: Fixed black screen or crash during startup on old PVR devices (Samsung Galaxy S I9000).
  • (759195) - Android: Fixed bug in Texture.GetPixels for ETC compressed textures.
  • (763447) - Android: IL2CPP - Fixed build errors on NDK paths with whitespaces.
  • (766698) - Android: IL2CPP - Fixed crash on second startup after installation.
  • (714661) - Asset Bundles: Only reimport when setting asset bundle name if cache server is connected.
  • (none) - Crash: Fixed GenerateSecondaryUVs crashes on certain meshes.
  • (759231) - Editor: Don't call OnLevelWasLoaded on the first scene when entering play mode.
  • (747856) - Editor: Fix for clustering allocation while navigating.
  • (767728) - Editor: Fixed an issue when opening a scene from the Project Browser while in playmode it resulted in that scene being loaded even after going out of playmode.
  • (766469) - Editor: Fixed a crash when selecting prefab.
  • (756004) - Editor: Fixed the issue of GUI.Windows background not being tinted by GUI.colors anymore.
  • (754127) - Editor: Fixed an issue that made GameObjects disappear from the Editor if they have an associated editor script that made use of DontDestroyOnLoad.
  • (758409) - Editor: Fixed the issue of marking scene dirty when creating prefab by dragging from Hierarchy window to Project.
  • (757027) - Editor: Fixed the issue of marking the scene dirty when pressing the apply button on a prefab instance.
  • (760112) - Editor: Fixed misleading decompression warning in emulation.
  • (765159) - Editor: Fixed startup when Unity is in a path with multi-byte characters.
  • (767222) - Global Illumination: Fixed crash when building lighting with a specific scene setup.
  • (771292) - Graphics: Fixed an issue where setting a material's shader to null would crash the editor.
  • (723960) - iOS: Fix redirect for WWW
  • (753888) - Mecanim: Fixed an issue with Animation clip length for bundled clip.
  • (760612) - Mecanim: Fixed AnimationClip.SampleAnimation memory leak.
  • (756129) - Mecanim: Fixed Animator with statemachine behaviour runtime compile error not firing callback on the right SMB.
  • (none) - Mecanim: Fixed assert when using Animator.MatchTarget.
  • (769964) - Mecanim: Fixed long start play mode for scene with a lot of controller.
  • (765141) - Mecanim: Fixed StateMachineBehaviours on layer not being called properly.
  • (754510) - Networking: Send Error: val > 0 on user disconnect, results in memory write violation and editor crash.
  • (none) - Networking: Fixed a crash due to wrong initialization of connection.
  • (762687) - OpenGL: Fixed Graphics API switching between different OpenGL versions.
  • (762687) - OpenGL: Fixed Graphics API switching to OpenGL ES.
  • (767857), (766778) - OpenGL: Fixed Mesh skinning artifacts in editor.
  • (763875) - OpenGL: Fixed point size support using GLSL snippets.
  • (none) - OpenGL: Fixed various shader compiler issues for OpenGL ES 3 / Core.
  • (none) - OS X: Fixed OpenGL performance regression on NVidia GPUs.
  • (740580) - Trails: Fixed an issue where trails would randomly vanish/flicker.
  • (none) - UI: Stopped raycast from traversing up the hierarchy when a canvas with override sorting is encountered.
  • (767206) - Wii U: Fixed a crash on secondary error confirmation.

GameDev News


2. March 2016

 

As part of their recently launched GPUOpen collection, AMD have released a beta preview open source implementation of Khronos OpenVX.  OpenVX is an API for computer vision.

 

Features from this release:

Features

  • The code is highly optimized for both x86 CPU and OpenCL for GPU
  • Supported hardware spans the range from low power embedded APUs (like the new G series) to laptop, desktop and workstation graphics
  • Supports Windows and Linux
  • Includes a “graph optimizer” that looks at the entire processing pipeline and removes/replaces/merges functions to improve performance and minimize bandwidth at runtime
  • Scripting support allows for rapid prototyping, without re-compiling at production performance levels
  • Interoperates with the popular (open source library) OpenCV

The current release version is 0.9 (beta preview).

GameDev News


2. March 2016

 

Sp3 for 3ds Max 2016 has been released, updating the popular 3D content creation package.

The service pack makes the following changes:

Animation

  • MAXX-24066 Changing Frame Rate Breaks Default AutoKeyframe When Greater Than 0
  • MAXX-27784 CAT Motion Editor Spinner Y and Z are buggy.
  • MAXX-29434 Program error when user saves bip without extension
  • MAXX-27484 skinOps.ReplaceVertexWeights not working

Core

  • MAXX-28752 Customer Error Report: Program error on File Open in UpdateSnapDisplay
  • MAXX-28406 Memory leak with Animation playback

FileIO

  • MAXX-24692 No mapping during import of Autocad
  • MAXX-29250 Program error while exporting a scene created in 3ds Max 2014
  • MAXX-29125 FBX: custom attributes lost while importing fbx from MotionBuilder
  • MAXX-28897 DWG Import of dwgs containing negatively scaled blocks displays incorrectly.
  • MAXX-29186 Program error with Container Operation
  • MAXX-26606 Scenes with many xref objects take exponentially longer to load

Materials ShaderFX

  • MAXX-29612 Undo break connection Program error
  • MAXX-27846 ShaderFX in Max 2015/2016 doesn't receive Shadows

Maxscript

  • MAXX-28959 Add filename being imported/exported to NOTIFY_POST_IMPORT and NOTIFY_POST_EXPORT

Modeling

  • MAXX-28623 Linked Objects Inherit Parent Object Scaling
  • MAXX-29452 Customer Error Report: Program error with Mesh Optimize

Rendering 

  • MAXX-28428 Arch & Design templates not working anymore
  • MAXX-28958 Expose RenderElement from OpenEXR Layer

Text tool

  • MAXX-25232 Object Scaling / Frame #0 seems to not being transferred to the preset.

Viewports

  • MAXX-23386 Nitrous reflection display buggy/partly broken

Service pack 3 for 3ds Max 2016 can be downloaded here.

GameDev News


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