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23. November 2015

Infocom logo.png

Today over 4000 documents from Infocom were released on archive.org as the Infocom cabinet.  This collection of documents contains reams of design information from many classic text adventures including:

  • Planetfall
  • Sorcerer
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • A Mind Forever Voyaging
  • Leather Goddesses of Phobos
  • Stationfall
  • Zork Zero

 

From the blog post announcing the release:

During the production of GET LAMP, I spent a lot of time digitizing or photographing all sorts of artifacts and documents related to Interactive Fiction and text adventures. This included books, advertisements, printouts, and various ephemera that various players or programmers had lying around from that era. This would usually involve one or two ads, maybe a map or two that someone had drawn, and one or two photos snapped at a convention.

But not in the case of Steve Meretzky.

If you’re coming into this relatively new, or even if you need a little brush-up, let me state: Steve Meretzky has earned the title of “Game God” several times over, having been at the center of the early nadir of computer games in the 1980s and persisting, even thriving, in the years since. He continues to work in the industry, still doing game design, 35 years since he started out as a tester at what would become Infocom.

But more than that – besides writing a large amount of game classics in the Interactive Fiction realm, he also was an incredibly good historian and archivist, saving everything.

EVERYTHING.

When we finally connected during production (as it turned out, we lived within 10 miles of each other), Steve showed me his collection of items he had from the days of Infocom (which spanned from roughly 1981 through to the company’s eventual closing and absorption by Activision in the early 1990s). And it was a hell of a collection

It’s of questionable use today, game design has changed a great deal, but the huge volume of information is nothing if not interesting!

GameDev News


23. November 2015

 

At the Android Developer Summit, Google just announced Android Studio 2.0 is available for download in preview form.  The two major new features will both be relevant for game developers, Instant Run which enables hot swapping of code on device and a GPU profiler, for profiling OpenGL ES code performance.

 

From the Android Developers blog:

Android Studio 2.0 Preview

Posted by, Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android

One the most requested features we receive is to make app builds and deployment faster in Android Studio. Today at theAndroid Developer Summit, we’re announcing a preview of Android Studio 2.0 featuring Instant Run that will dramatically improve your development workflow. With Android Studio 2.0, we are also including a preview of a new GPU Profiler.

All these updates are available now in the canary release channel, so we can get your feedback. Since this initial release is a preview, you may want to download and run an additional copy of Android Studio in parallel with your current version.

New Features in Android Studio 2.0
Instant Run: Faster Build & Deploy

Android Studio’s instant run feature allows you to to quickly see your changes running on your device or emulator.

Getting started is easy. If you create a new project with Android Studio 2.0 then your projects are already setup. If you have a pre-existing app open Settings/Preferences, the go to Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant Run. Click on Enable Instant Run... This will ensure you have the correct gradle plugin for your project to work with Instant Run.

Enable Instant Run for Android Studio projects

Select Run as normal and Android Studio will perform normal compilation, packaging and install steps and run your app on your device or emulator. After you make edits to your source code or resources, pressing Run again will deploy your changes directly into the running app.

New Run & Stop Actions in Android Studio for Instant Run

For a more detailed guide setup and try Instant Run, click here.

GPU Profiler

Profiling your OpenGL ES Android code is now even easier with the GPU Profiler in Android Studio. The tool is in early preview, but is very powerful and not only shows details about the GL State and Commands, you can record entire sessions and walk through the GL Framebuffer and Textures as your app is running OpenGL ES Code.

Android Studio GPU Profiler

To get started, first download the GPU Debugging Tools package from the Android Studio SDK Manager. Click here for more details about the GPU Profiler tool and how to set up your Android app project for profiling.

Whats Next

This is just a taste of some of the bigger updates in this latest release of Android Studio. We'll be going through the full release in more detail at the Android Developer Summit (livestreamed on Monday and Tuesday). Over the next few weeks, we'll be showing how to take advantage of even more features in Android Studio 2.0, so be sure to check back in.

If you're interested in more Android deep technical content, we will be streaming over 16 hours of content from the inaugural Android Developer Summit over the next two days, and together with Codelabs, all of this content will be available online after the Summit concludes.

Android Studio 2.0 is available today on the Android Studio canary channel. Let us know what you think of these new features by connecting with the Android Studio development team on Google+.

 

I wonder how much of this functionality will be made available upstream to the IntelliJ IDE? 

GameDev News


22. November 2015

 

As per this blog post the first ever LibGDX game jam is happening in mid December and topic voting has begun.  From the announcement:

image

The 10 Rules of Jamming

  1. You must use libGDX to create a game that fits the theme
  2. You may work alone or in a team. Only one submission per person/team is allowed
  3. You may use pre-existing code, e.g. libraries like Ashley, or your own code libraries
  4. You may use pre-existing art, e.g. assets from OpenGameArt, or your own art
  5. You may use external tools like Tiled or Overlap2D
  6. You must not re-skin an already existing game or prototype!
  7. You must submit your game before the end of the 18th of January via the jam’s site on itch.io (to be made public :))
  8. You must publish the source of your game, e.g. to GitHub
  9. You must submit your game to the itch.io libGDX Jam page before the end of day January 18th, UTC-12!
  10. If you want to win one of the sponsored prizes, you must tweet about your game and document its development, using the hashtag “#libGDXJam” and the handles “@robovm” and “@robotality

Prizes & Judging

We are happy to have RoboVM and Robotality as sponsors for the following prizes:

  1. Grand Prize: Mac Mini, sponsored by RoboVM
  2. Silver: iPad, sponsored by RoboVM
  3. Bronze: iPod Touch, sponsored by RoboVM
  4. For 20 random submissions: Steam keys for Halfway, sponsored by Robotality
  5. For another 5 random submissions: libGDX Jam t-shirt, by yours truely

To qualify for any of the prizes, you’ll need to follow rule 10 as outlined above. Judging works as follows:

  • The community can vote on itch.io from the 19th of January to the 2nd of February
  • The Grand Prize will be awarded to the entry with the highest community votes on itch.io. This way the highest quality entry will win!
  • The Silver and Bronze prizes will be awarded to the entries with the best mixture of dev logs and tweets and community votes. Our sponsors and the libGDX core team will pick these entries. This should motivate people to make some noise on the web and document their progress for the greater good of the community!
  • The random awards guarantee that everyone has a chance to win a prize!
  • The winners will be announced on the 3rd of February!

To view suggested comments and to cast your vote, head on over here.

GameDev News


21. November 2015

 

Until now your language choices when using Unreal Engine have either been the high level graphical Blueprints or low level C++.  Today however NCSoft, makers of Lineage, Guildwars and more just release an extension that adds Javascript support to UE4.  Announced on the UE4 forums (login may be required) the extension was released on Github with full source under the Apache2 open source license.  From the readme:

Features
  • Powered by latest V8 (ES6)
  • CommonJS modules
  • Full access to the whole UnrealEngine API
  • Free to subclass existing classes including blueprint
  • Web-dev like UMG (Jade, pseudo-css, pseudo-angular.js)
  • Live reload
  • Communicate with outer world: REST, process(pipe), arraybuffer, ...
  • Bridge API for editor extension
  • Auto-completion for Visual Studio (auto-generated *.d.ts)
  • Dedicated Javascript console on UnrealEditor

The add-on is tightly integrated with Unreal including the ability to subclass existing classes:

class MyActor extends Actor {
  properties() {
    this.MyProp/*EditAnywhere+Replicated+int*/;
  }
  RPC(x/*int*/) /*Server+Reliable*/ {
    console.log('This function is replicated',this.MyProp++);
  }
}
let MyActor_C = require('uclass')()(global,MyActor);
if (GWorld.IsServer()) { 
  new MyActor_C(GWorld);
}


Very cool.  Head on over to the Github page for installation instructions.

GameDev News


20. November 2015

 

RoboVM, the makers of technology that enabled you to run Java applications (such as LibGDX) on iOS, just released version 1.11.  The major features of this release are Bitcode, iOS 9.1 and Kotlin support.

robovm

From the complete release notes:

Experimental Bitcode Support

We’ve been hard at work adding initial bitcode support to RoboVM. Bitcode allows Apple to recompile your app on their servers to exploit new CPU features. Currently, watchOS and tvOS both require apps to be submitted as bitcode. For iOS, bitcode submissions are currently optional. This experimental feature is currently targeted at iOS, and represents the first step towards future watchOS and tvOS support.

This experimental support allows you to submit your apps for iOS to the App Store with bitcode enabled. You can enable bitcode from the IPA creation dialogs in both IntelliJ IDEA/RoboVM Studio and Eclipse:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 14.58.32

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.01.04

You can also enable bitcode-enabled IPA creation in Gradle

./gradlew createIPA -Probovm.enableBitcode=true

or Maven

mvn robovm:createIPA -Drobovm.enableBitcode=true

Note that bitcode support is highly experimental at this point, and we do not yet give support for it. As a next step, we will be focusing on tvOS support, making it a new build target and exposing its APIs.

Kotlin Support

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.04.28

One of the reasons we love the JVM ecosystem is the multitude of alternative JVM languages available. We’ve had an eye on JetBrains’ Kotlin for a long time now. As Kotlin is nearing its 1.0 release, we thought it’d be a good time to give our users Kotlin support as well!

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.12.54

Building on the latest Kotlin Beta, you can now create cross-platform Android and iOS app in Kotlin from within RoboVM Studio or IntelliJ IDEA! Simply update to the latest RoboVM IntellIJ IDEA plugin or RoboVM Studio version and use the project creation wizard to get started.

iOS 9.1 Support

RoboVM 1.11 brings you full bindings for iOS 9.1, including new additions to AudioToolbox, CloudKit, and UIKit and the new 3D-Touch APIs. Check out our API diffs to learn what’s changed!

Bug Fixes & Enhancements

As always, we squashed bugs, improved performance and added some bells and whistles. Here are the most important changes:

GameDev News


AppGameKit Studio

See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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