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21. March 2019


After doing keynotes for Google, Unity and Unreal, some people have been asking when the Godot keynote is going to be.  The answer is basically never… these things cost millions of dollars and that’s just not compatible with the way Godot’s open source development works.  That doesn’t mean that exciting things haven’t been happening in the land of Godot, some big and some small enough they didn’t merit their own coverage.  So here we are!


Godot 3.1 Was Released

Obviously the big news is, after a year in development, Godot 3.1 became a reality last week!  You can watch our video on the subject here and read the official blog here.  Usability improvements across the entire engine, a GL ES2 renderer, CSG support, optional static typing and much more were added to the engine.


Rust Language Bindings

Want to use the Rust programming language in Godot?  Now you can thanks to this set of GDNative language bindings available on Github.


GDScript Playground

It’s an interactive browser based way to run and test GDScript.  Check it out here.


Battle for Wesnoth Porting to Godot

First teased in a tweet it seems the popular open source turn based strategy game Battle for Wesnoth is being ported from C++ to the Godot Engine.  Link to the Wesnoth 2.0 prototype on Github thanks to Feniks Gaming.


Offline Documentation Builds

Got spotty internet or just want an offline copy of the Godot documentation?  Now you can get it from this nightly build source.  It’s basically the online documentation built for offline use.


GameDev News


20. March 2019


The Unreal Engine 2019 keynote just ended with several new Unreal Engine announcements.  Just like we did with Unity and Google, we have created a condensed version of the keynote presentation available here and embedded below.  Highlights of this keynote include a new mega grant program worth over $100,000,000, additional exclusives to the Unreal store, a Humble Bundle partnership, new and completely free online services we previously discussed here, the new Chaos physics system, Live++ hot reloading in C++ and more. 

MegaGrants

To kick off this year’s Game Developers Conference, Epic Games announced the creation of Epic MegaGrants, a new $100 million commitment to support game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers worldwide who are doing incredible things with Unreal Engine or improving open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

Epic MegaGrants marks an evolution from the earlier Unreal Dev Grants program, a $5 million fund initially launched in 2015, which just awarded its final grants earlier this week.

Awards from Epic MegaGrants will range from $5,000 to $500,000 and will cover a wide variety of endeavors to further strengthen creativity and innovation within the 3D community. This includes projects built with Unreal Engine or developers enhancing open-source 3D content creation, whether or not it integrates with or relates to UE4.

Chaos Physics

Revealed onstage during the “State of Unreal,” Chaos is Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system coming in early access to Unreal Engine 4.23. The real-time tech demo is set within the world of Robo Recall. With Chaos, users can achieve cinematic-quality visuals in real time in scenes with massive-scale levels of destruction, with unprecedented artist control over content creation. In addition to the initial feature set, Epic will release demo content for Chaos physics and destruction within the 4.23 window.

Online Services

Epic Online Services are free offerings that will make it easier and faster for developers to successfully launch, operate and scale high-quality games. Built from Epic’s experience with Fortnite, which has nearly 250 million players, Epic Online Services provides a single SDK that works across any platform, game engine, and store to help developers give their players a unified, cross-platform social experience. In addition to game analytics and the ticketing system, the growing library of tools includes sentiment analysis, cloud storage, voice communications, and matchmaking. To access the SDK now, visit dev.epicgames.com/services.

Epic Games Store

The Epic Games store launched in December 2018 with the goal of achieving a more open, fair, and profitable platform for developers and publishers, disrupting the industry by offering an 88% revenue share, a great free game every two weeks, and major exclusives. Today Epic announced that the store has grown to 85,000,000 PC players, with its Support-A-Creator program surpassing more than 55,000 creators. Epic also revealed nearly two dozen games coming to the store, along with store performance metrics.

Epic Games is also partnering with Humble Bundle to enable developers to sell their Epic Games store titles on the Humble Store, including Epic store exclusives. Epic will receive no revenue share from the sale of those games purchased through the Humble Store. The partnership will launch with keys redeemable on the Epic Games store, and soon Epic will enable players to link their Epic and Humble accounts for direct purchasing.


To watch our condensed down to under 12 minutes version of the keynote, check out the video below.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Today at GDC 2019, Allegorthmic, recently acquired by Adobe, announced the open beta of Substance Alchemist to existing Substance customers.  Alchemist is a tool for authoring and managing materials and is part of the Substance subscription.

Details from the press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – March 19, 2019 – Today at Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019, the Substance team announces the start of the Project Substance Alchemist open beta. Effective immediately, all current Substance subscribers have exclusive and unrestricted access to the latest Substance material tool, uniting the Substance ecosystem like never before. Artists now have a SubstanceAlchemistplayground for creating and augmenting entire libraries of materials with ease.

Project Substance Alchemist advances the art of making and managing 3D materials through instinctive simplicity. Creators can rely on a powerful, streamlined workflow and an intuitive user interface. It’s simple, fast and it uses some of the most advanced technology around. By hiding its complexity through easy-to-use tools like parametric sliders and filters, Project Substance Alchemist brings efficiency to artists and designers, without giving up any of the power that helps them thrive.

Starting today, artists are able to leverage the power of a tool that can quickly be adapted to meet their needs. Users can access materials in several ways, including downloading materials directly from Substance Source, find materials offered up by the Substance community or even upload real-world photographs. From there, they can quickly elaborate their own libraries of materials. For instance, a cobblestoned street can be honed to an artist’s exact specifications within Project Substance Alchemist, whether they desire a brand-new look with polished surfaces, or a broken down feel with moss and damaged tiles.

Project Substance Alchemist puts powerful tools into the hands of artists who work with scans, with quick and reliable tiling, as well as an AI-powered delighter. Trained with thousands of images, the delighter can instantly balance the shadows and light tied to photos and scans, so that lighting remains even and consistent. Designers who need to iterate rapidly on a material can also enjoy a vast array of variations with the instant creation of material collections based on a single image or a moodboard. Project Substance Alchemist can analyze the artist’s material and automatically generate suggestions on colors and textures, ensuring compatibility and additional creation options.

Although it is designed as a standalone tool, Project Substance Alchemist is deeply tied to the existing Substance ecosystem. Artists can search through their Substance Source downloads, import materials and filters made in Substance Designer or swap creations through the Substance Share artist exchange. Imported materials can then be added to the artist's personal library for later use, or applied to an asset in Substance Painter. Thanks to the standardization of the Substance format, materials created in Substance Alchemist can be exported and used in every major 3D tool, including Unreal Engine, Unity, 3ds Max, Maya and many others.

Based on years of industry-leading research, and built with the help and feedback of the Substance community, Project Substance Alchemist will continue to develop in order to adapt to the evolving needs of artists and designers. The open beta is available now. For a video walkthrough, click here.

Pricing/Availability

Project Substance Alchemist is available at no cost to current Substance subscribers. Subscriptions come in Indie or Pro plans, priced at $19.90/month and $99.90/month respectively. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.

In addition to the release of Alchemist, Allegorithmic also did a blog post on the status of their acquisition by Adobe and the effects it will have on future licensing terms.  The key details are as follows:

Since the acquisition, we’ve heard lots of questions from our community about licensing and pricing. Our goal with licensing and pricing has always been to be fair to everyone and we’re continuing that philosophy. We're planning to introduce new offerings late this year, but until then, our licensing and pricing structure will not change.

These future offerings will be primarily subscription-based, but we will continue to offer indie perpetual licenses. We believe that when the content and services offered in a subscription package evolve and improve at a steady pace, the subscription model is the best way for us to innovate fast, continuously improve your tools, and bring you more value.

I know perpetual licensing is important, especially in the indie space, so this should be taken as good news.  That said, it’s Adobe calling the shots now so who knows what will ultimately happen.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Following on the heels of Google GDC reveal of the Stadia platform, both Unreal and Unity Technologies have announced their support for Stadia game development.  Stadia is a new server side platform for hosting and streaming games to any Chrome supported device.  Below are details from both game engine manufacturer. StaidaLogo


First the Unreal Engine announcement from their blog:

“We’ve been building our support for Stadia to ensure that developers using Unreal Engine can hit the ground running and be successful on the platform,” said Arciel Rekman, Senior Platform Engineer at Epic Games. “Today we’re releasing a fully-featured integration with Stadia to help developers bring their games to an even broader spectrum of players.”


Designed with cross-platform support in mind, Unreal Engine leverages Stadia features through familiar interfaces, resulting in an easy setup, with visual quality and workflows that are consistent across all target devices.

Thanks to Unreal Engine’s cross-platform capabilities, developers can iterate on their game code locally on their Windows PC for Stadia, a Linux and Vulkan-based platform, before deploying to the cloud.

While Unity announced the following:

One of our core missions is democratizing game development. That means enabling developers to build for the platforms of their choice with accessible tools and workflows that make the process of creating easier.

Though we still have technical and engineering work ahead to ensure Unity developers have a smooth experience building for Stadia, here’s what our community needs to know.

What can I expect in building Unity games for Stadia?

Developers familiar with Unity today can expect recognizable tools and a very similar development process when building for Stadia.

What unique Stadia or Google features will be supported by Unity?

We expect to support all native features unique to Stadia that are required to publish your game and make use of platform capabilities. Stay tuned for more details on feature support later this year.

With either platform, before you can start developing for Stadia you need to be a registered Stadia developer, you can apply here.   You need to have a Employer Tax ID if American, and an email with a custom domain address (ie, not Hotmail or Gmail).  Once registered with Stadia, you can then confirm your credentials with Unreal here, while Unity developers have no additional steps to perform.  The Unity Stadia SDK is expected to ship toward the end of 2019.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Today at their GDC 2019 keynote, Google announced Stadia, their upcoming “gaming platform”, a server based streaming game service that runs on any Chrome enabled device.  Powered by custom GPUs designed by AMD using Vulkan on the Linux OS and spread across the same networking powering the Google search engine, Stadia promises to bring 4K at 60FPS gaming to the masses, with future support for 8K and 120FPS promised.

Being entirely server side, Stadia offers a number of innovative features.  Combined with their newly announced Stadia Controller, you can play games across any Chrome device and seamlessly transition your game between devices.  Since all the work, client and server are done on Google’s servers, they claim this will make cheating virtually impossible, while being able to scale existing game play up to thousands of users over night.  It also offered unique features like Streaming multiple sessions to the same endpoint, enabling flawless couch co-op, or the ability to use multiple server side GPUs for a single game instance enabling advanced special effects.

Stadia is built on top of familiar developer tools:

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Unreal Engine

Epic Games' official support for Stadia means you’ll have access to the latest technology and features of the world’s most powerful creation engine.



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Unity

Unity is the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, enabling developers to create rich, interactive experiences.



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Custom tools

A suite of debugging and tuning tools help you get the most out of our platform, from fine-tuning streaming performance to diagnosing GPU crashes

Industry tools


Current dev tools include Havok®, RenderDoc, Visual Studio, LLVM, AMD RadeonTM2 GPU Profiler, IncrediBuild, UmbraTM 3, FaceFX and Intelligent Music Systems, plus we’re constantly expanding to deliver a familiar development experience

For developers interested in getting started with Stadia, you can sign up at Stadia.dev.  For gamers interested in learning more visit Stadia.com for more details.  If you missed the GDC keynote, you can watch our condensed developer focused version in the video below.  We have done a similar treatment for the Unity keynote as well, available here.

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