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16. January 2019


The ongoing saga of Unity vs Improbable has finally come to an end, with Unity reinstating Improbable’s Unity licenses, rewriting the controversial Section 2.4 of their EULA and also implementing a change so EULA/Terms of Service agreements are perpetual to the attached Unity version.  This change makes developers mostly immune to retroactive EULA updates, a big point of contention in this entire ordeal.  If this entire event is new to you, you can read about how it started here, then how Unity responded here, how Unreal Engine took advantage here and finally an update from Improbable on how their technology worked with Unity here.   With the clarifications from Unity, I think we can declare this entire conflict resolved.

Unity blog on the update to the terms of service:

Today we have updated our Terms of Service, Section 2.4. The language is at the bottom of this post.

The TOS update highlights that developers can use any third party service that integrate into Unity.

Some of these services will be supported, others will not.

The distinction is that with a supported service, we understand the technology. We make sure the service and Unity work better together for developers. We also ensure that the supported service always runs well on the latest version of our software, so we can help future proof your project in Unity and ensure access to the latest tech.

Additionally we have created, and will continue to create our own services. We will integrate our own services, but we will not block developers from using competitive third-party services.

Details on the change regarding retroactive terms of service changes:

When you obtain a version of Unity, and don’t upgrade your project, we think you should be able to stick to that version of the TOS.

In practice that is only possible if you have access to bug fixes. Thus, we now allow users to continue to use the TOS for the same major (year based) version number, including Long Term Stable (LTS) builds that you are using in your project.

Moving forward, we will host TOS changes on Github to give developers full transparency to what changes are happening, and when. The link is https://github.com/Unity-Technologies/TermsOfService.

And finally, an update on the status of Improbable:

Today’s change in our TOS means Improbable is no longer in breach by providing you a service, and that we are able to reinstate their licenses. But we do not consider them a partner, and cannot vouch for how their service works with Unity as we have no insight into their technology or how they run their business.

We know Improbable was in violation even before the December TOS update and misrepresented their affiliation with us. Although SpatialOS is not a supported third-party service, it can continue to be used for development and shipping games.

We are holding an AMA on r/Unity3d at 10 a.m. PST to discuss this TOS update in more detail.

And finally, the new and much improved section 2.4:

Unity developers are free to use any service offered to Unity developers (each, a “Third Party Service”).  Unity does not have any obligation to provide support for any Third Party Service provider or Third Party Service under this Agreement.

Third Party Service providers may not, without Unity’s express written permission: (1) use a stylized version of any Unity name, trademark, logos, images or product icons, or other Unity-owned graphic symbols; (2) use a product name confusingly similar to a Unity product or that could be construed by Unity developers as being a Unity product or service; or (3) create or use any marketing materials that suggest an affiliation with, or endorsement by, Unity.  All use of Unity’s trademarks must comply with Unity’s Trademark Guidelines.

This… is why you never watch the sausage being made… it ain’t pretty until it’s done, but in the end, you’ve got a delicious sausage I suppose.

GameDev News


15. January 2019


Today Autodesk have released the 2019 edition of both Maya and the stripped down indie edition, Maya LT.  The big theme of the 2019 release is performance, with 2019 having performance improvements across the entire application, from start up and selection speed, to animation playback improvements.  This release also includes tools to better track how Maya is using your computers resources, including Evaluation Toolkit and Profiler, which should help you track down bottlenecks to your scene’s performance.

Details from the Maya 2019 release notes:

This release focuses on letting you work faster than ever before through new workflows and numerous performance enhancements.

A myriad of improvements to Viewport 2.0 enhance its performance when doing everything from loading scenes to selecting objects, to handling dense meshes.

Additionally, cached playback speeds up your ability to preview animation changes by intelligently redrawing only what's changed rather than updating the entire scene. This greatly improves viewport playback performance, removing the need to constantly playblast your scenes.

This release also gives you the most powerful tools yet for tracking exactly how Maya is using your computer's resources. New features in the Evaluation Toolkit and Profiler allow you to pinpoint exactly where there may be inefficiencies or problems that are slowing down your scene.

Improvements to Render Setup enable you to better organize your render layers by coloring and isolating them in the Render Setup editor, or by controlling whether lights are included in each layer by default. In addition, more options are available for exporting and importing scene Render Settings and AOVs.

You can also now render Arnold right in the viewport, including all its RenderView options such as Debug Shading, AOVs, and region rendering.

New Graph Editor filters have been added to help you refine animation curves quicker and easier than before.

Plenty of examples and presets have been added to the Content Browser covering a variety of areas, from motion capture, to motion graphics, to characters. Use them as-is, or as a jumping-off point for your own work.

This covers just the top level new features, be sure to consult the full release notes for more information on improvements in the 2019 release:

Maya LT also has a dedicated release notes available here.

GameDev News Art


15. January 2019


GDevelop 5 beta 62 was just released.  In this release we get a vastly improved physics system with support for several join types, more physics body and shape options and more.  Additionally recently added Functions are now no longer an alpha feature and are shown in the project manager.  If you are interested in learning GDevelop 5, be sure to check out our hands-on video with GDevelop 5, also embedded below.

Details from the release notes:

New features

  • Functions are now "out of alpha testing" and always shown in the project manager. Functions are a powerful way to create new conditions, actions and expression using events. This allow to make your events and the logic of your game easier to understand and create. This also allow you to share common functions between games and create advanced features that are easy to use. Learn more about functions on the wiki

  • A brand new Physics engine: Physics Engine 2.0. (Thanks @Lizard-13 for creating it, testing it, improving it and creating examples and tests, and @zatsme for various update and examples!). While still based on the same internal physics engine, it is much more complete and powerful than the previous one:

    • Support for a lot of joints (revolute, gear, mouse, prismatic, rope, pulley, wheel and more!)
    • Support more options for bodies
    • Support more shape and even custom polygons for objects.
    • Look at the updated and new examples to learn how to use it and to see what's possible!

    Your existing games will continue to work with the old physics engine. You can still continue to use it. For new games, prefer to use the new Physics Engine 2.0. In your existing game, you can also replace the behavior of all of your objects by the new behavior, and replace all the conditions and actions by the conditions and actions from the new engine.

  • New Screenshot action, to take in-game screenshot for games running on Windows/macOS/Linux. (thanks @Wend1go!)

    • This also come with new expressions to access to the file system paths, useful to save the screenshots in a folder of the user.

Improvements

  • Display missing files in resource editor as red (thanks @blurymind!)
  • Add option to set scale mode ("sampling") of the game to nearest (for "pixel perfect" or 8bit games) in the game properties.
  • Usability: autoclose project manager when opening an editor (thanks @blurymind!)
  • Add button to choose a new file for a resource in the resource editor (thanks @blurymind!)
  • New "Pixel perfect platform engine" example.
  • Usability: add shortcut to open Project Manager and focus search field when opening it.
  • Updated "Isometric Game" starter game to have better collision handling and mobile support.
  • Add GetAngle/GetXVelocity and GetYVelocity expressions to top-down movement behavior.
  • Extensions written in JavaScript can now be used to create new type of objects.
  • Usability: icons in the list of instructions or expressions are now displayed.

Bug fixes

  • Update Facebook Instant Games export to have the now required bundle file (fbapp-config.json).
  • Fix the sentence in the events sheet of a Facebook Instant Games action. (thanks @Bouh!)
  • Fix descriptions of Storage actions to make clear that no "real" files are written.
  • Fix Left Shift key
  • Fix middle mouse button (thanks @Bouh!)
  • Fix visual artifacts when rendering rescaled games
  • Fix platform engine 1-pixel offset bug
  • Fix initial opacity undefined for text objects (thanks @Lizard-13)
  • Fix the condition checking if the cursor is on an object (thanks @Lizard-13)
  • Avoid crash of the debugger with Particle Emitters
  • Add explicit "OK" button in message box to fix issue on Linux
  • Usability: hide object drop-down list after an object is selected
  • Fix login dialog not showing on top of export dialog

GameDev News


14. January 2019


With the recent release of Godot 3.1 beta, it’s a good time to look at the future.  That is exactly what Juan Linietsky, lead developer on the Godot engine has done.  On Twitter he laid out his current roadmap for development priorities in Godot 4.0/4.1.

In a pair of tweets, he first discussed general Godot improvements, mostly around the renderer:

Godot

Then in a second tweet, he discussed Physics improvements:

Physics


Keep in mind, although Juan is the lead and perhaps most important developer on the Godot team, he is by no means the only one.  This means even though you don’t see a feature on the two above lists doesn’t mean it wont happen, as there is a vibrant community of developers adding new features to Godot.

GameDev News


10. January 2019


Well… this has certainly been an interesting day.  It started off with Improbable blogging about how their license with Unity had been terminated due to ToS changes and that they would no longer be able to function as a cloud based networking layer for Unity game developers.  Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney chimed in on Twitter about how bad of a mistake this move was.  Then at the end of the day, Unity responded essentially saying Improbable was lying, clarifying what the news terms of service mean for mean for Unity developers and “platforms”.  So that’s the end of the story… right?

Wrong.

Enter Epic Games, announcing a partnership with Improbable, and a $25 million dollar fund to “help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems”.  Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

First, we want to reaffirm our partnership. Unreal Engine provides full C++ source code for everyone, and its license (https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/eula) ensures it remains open to all game developers and middleware providers, and enables all to collaborate together through SDKs, services, and forks of the source code. Likewise, Improbable is developing a completely open Unreal integration for its online game development platform, SpatialOS. The combination enables developers to rapidly build and deploy both session-based and persistent online worlds across all platforms with the functionality of Unreal Engine and the increased possibilities of distributed computing and cloud services.


Epic Games’ partnership with Improbable, and the integration of Improbable’s cloud-based development platform SpatialOS, is based on shared values, and a shared belief in how companies should work together to support mutual customers in a straightforward, no-surprises way.


We believe we are at the beginning of an unprecedented age of inclusive online games that become parts of our everyday lives. Enabling this will take much more than Epic or Improbable; it will take a vastly more mature, broad-based industry to enable this future: a community of companies connected by values such as fair and openly disclosed business terms, respect for developer choice, and full interoperability between platforms, software, and services. We encourage others with a similar vision to reach out, so we can find ways to make it come sooner.


To assist developers who are left in limbo by the new engine and service incompatibilities that were introduced today, Epic Games and Improbable are together establishing a US $25,000,000 combined fund to help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems.  This funding will come from a variety of sources including Unreal Dev Grants, Improbable developer assistance funds, and Epic Games store funding.

Ouch!

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