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18. March 2019


Unity just wrapped up their GDC 2019 keynote and several new technology previews are now available.  A number of new technologies and downloads were announced during the keynote and they are listed below.  Some appear to still require registration to access, which hopefully is changed shortly or just a quirk of timing.


Game Foundation

A set of pre-built systems common to mobile games, need to apply for early access however.

AR Foundations

Preview access to the new AR (augmented reality) boilerplate projects, including HDRP assets converted to LWRP for use in testing AR titles, as well as AR Remote, allowing you to pull data from a devices camera into Unity editor.

Unity Burst Compiler

A key part of the Unity DOTS (Data-Oriented Technology Stack) will be part of Unity 2019.1, with a new version of the Burst compiler available now.

Unity MegaCity

Full assets of the MegaCity demo have been released today.  It’s a 7.1GB download, so start now before bed!

Unity Physics

In partnership with Havok, Unity have created a new physics system, with the Unity physics portion available now and the Havok system coming in Summer.  Although released today, I do not have a URL and will edit when I receive one.


All of the above URLs are those listed in the GDC keynote for the respective technology as “available today”.  If the URLs are not yet active, please try again shortly.  If the urls change I will edit the values shortly.  Watch the video below for a 12 minute version of the Unity 2019 GDC conference.

GameDev News


18. March 2019


Khronos Group today announced the release of the provisional specification of OpenXR 0.9.  Along side the specification, two implementations were also released, OpenXR For Microsoft Mixed Reality Devices as well as Monado an open platform for AR/VR development on GNU/Linux.

Details from the Khronos blog:

The OpenXR 0.90 provisional release specifies a cross-platform Application Programming Interface (API) enabling XR hardware platform vendors to expose the functionality of their runtime systems. By accessing a common set of objects and functions corresponding to application lifecycle, rendering, tracking, frame timing, and input, which are frustratingly different across existing vendor-specific APIs, software developers can run their applications across multiple XR systems with minimal porting effort—significantly reducing industry fragmentation.

The Khronos OpenXR working group was formed in early 2017 with the support and participation of leading XR companies. Throughout the development of the specification, multiple Khronos members have been developing independent implementations to ensure a robust and complete specification. Many of these implementations are becoming available for developers to evaluate including the ‘Monado’ OpenXR open source implementation from Collabora and the OpenXR runtime for Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Microsoft shipping today. Additionally, the Unreal Engine from Epic plans to continue to support OpenXR.

Several device and engine makers have announced OpenXR support including Microsoft, HTC, Oculus, Unity and Unreal Engine.

GameDev News


18. March 2019


Humble have just started a new bundle, the Humble Web Programming Bundle.  This bundle is a collection of JavaScript, ECMAScript and Python titles all from O’Reilly Press, in support of the charity Code For America (or choose your own).  The bundle includes books on popular frameworks such as React and Angular as well as web topics such as CSS.  As always the bundle is broken into 3 tiers, if you buy a higher dollar tier you get all of the tiers below it.

The tiers of this bundle are:

1$

  • CSS The Definitive Guide
  • Using SVG with CSS3 and HTML5
  • Learning REACT
  • High Performance Images
  • Up & Going: You Don’t Know JavaScript


8$

  • Flash Web Development
  • Angular Up And Running
  • CSS Pocket Reference
  • Data Visualization with Python and JavaScript
  • Vue.js Up and Running
  • ES6 & Beyond: You Don't Know JavaScript


15$

  • Learning JavaScript 3rd Edition
  • Designing Web APIs
  • Learning PHP, MySQL and JavaScript
  • Mastering Modular JavaScript
  • Learning GraphQL
  • Scope and Closures: You Don’t Know JavaScript.


In addition to the Humble Bundle Humble are also offering selected game development software (AseSprite, GameMaker 2, Articy Draft, etc) on sale here.  Purchasing via either of those links also helps support GameFromScratch (and thanks!).  Learn more about the bundle(s) in the video below.

GameDev News


17. March 2019


Quixel have just released Quixel Mixer 2019 which is currently free while in beta.  Quixel Mixer is a PBR texture generation tool that works by blending and modifying existing textures in layers, which can then be modified using a number of different tools, enabling you to create amazing textures in a very small amount of time.  Quixel Mixer is tightly integrated into their own MegaScans texture library, although you can easily import your own PBR materials, such as those found here. We took an in-depth hands-on look at Mixer just last month.  The 2019 release brings several new features to the table, including a ton of new procedural masking tools such as pattern generators and new noise modifiers.

Details on the new Mast Stack from the Quixel blog:

The biggest new feature in Mixer 2019 is the Mask Stack.

It unlocks a whole new level of creativity through a total synergy between scans and procedurals, completely controllable with custom sculpting and hand-painting. This potent combination gives you the best of all worlds, enabling a slew of material authoring workflows, like procedural material creation, stylized textures, scan-based PBR materials from photos, terrain creation and much more.

With the new Mask Stack you can procedurally author, modify, and define your materials completely non-destructively, responsively and instantly. With zero loading and rendering time, you get instant feedback on your actions and adjustments.

We have big plans for Mixer and intend to rapidly expand its abilities with new features and tools together with feedback and learning from you, our amazing community.

Another interesting tidbit from the blog:

The introduction of the Mask Stack opens up a huge and vast platform for us to expand upon. This the first step towards adding Smart Materials to the Mixer and bringing over highly requested and familiar features from Quixel Suite. We will be extending this in the coming months and would love to hear your feedback and input on how you think it can be improved.

So expect more and more functionality from the Quixel Suite to find it’s way into Quixel Mixer as time goes on.

GameDev News


15. March 2019


Amazon have just released Lumberyard 1.18, their free* AAA quality game engine developed on top of CryEngine.  Highlights of this release are improved asset processor start-up speeds, a new PhysX based gem, render to texture support, layer and slice improvements, ragdoll support, animation and UI improvements. 

Details from the Lumberyard blog:

As games head towards shipping, they grow remarkably in scale. What started as a prototype with a few hundred entities and assets is now thousands or 10s of thousands of entities and assets, with hundreds changing every day. Developers can’t slow down – they need new tools to create, organize, and better manage content at scale. That’s where Lumberyard can help.

Here are three ways Lumberyard 1.18 can help you scale:

  • Component Entity System Layers. As levels get bigger and more complex, you need more and more people to edit the content – game designers, audio designers, artists. To help bigger teams work together, we’ve introduced layers to the Component Entity System. Layers are a way to organize levels so your team can work asynchronously on different parts of the same level.
  • Fast Analysis Mode. As your game grows to thousands of assets, processing those assets can take a long time when starting up Lumberyard. By enabling the Fast Analysis Mode, the Asset Processor can now skip checks on unchanged dependencies, helping you launch Lumberyard faster. In one game with over ten thousand assets, we saw an 85% reduction in the time it takes to launch Lumberyard!
  • External references for AnimGraphs. Creating large complex animation graphs for AAA characters can be difficult to manage, maintain, and scale. But with external references, you can now break up the animation graph into smaller pieces, simplifying them, and allowing multiple team members to work on them simultaneously. You can also reuse these smaller graphs on other characters, accelerating the time it takes to get new characters up and running.

In addition to these features, we’ve added additional support for NVIDIA PhysX, improvements to the UI system, and more.

You can read the full release notes here.  Lumberyard can be downloaded here.

For more details on Lumberyard and the 1.18 release, watch the video below.  For a hands-on view of Lumberyard in action, check out our earlier video.

* Lumberyard is completely free, but requires you use Amazon services for online support unless you host your own servers.

GameDev News


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