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14. March 2019


SideFX Software have just released Houdini 17.5.  You can learn more about the 17.5 release here with more detailed release notes being available here.  Houdini is such a unique procedural 3D software package that the release notes will make little sense, unless you are already familiar with Houdini.  Houdini is “built from the ground up to be a procedural system that empowers artists to work freely, create multiple iterations and rapidly share workflows with colleagues.”  Traditionally known for special effects work, Houdini is becoming more and more commonly used in game development.  In fact, they ship a runtime version, Houdini Engine, that enables you to bring their procedural approach directly into game engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity.

Perhaps more importantly, Houdini is also now available in the much cheaper Houdini Indie version (also on Steam), bringing Houdini within the price range of indie developers, so long as they make less that $100,000USD per year.  They also have the non-commercial but completely free Houdini Apprentice for people looking to learn or evaluate Houdini.  To go along with Apprentice they also have tons of free learning resources to get you started.  Be forewarned though, Houdini is a very unique application with a very harsh learning curve!

For a better idea of Houdini’s game related capabilities, be certain to check out their games reel and details available here.

Art GameDev News


14. March 2019


The Esenthel engine, previously previewed in this video, have moved from a license based business model to a donation supported one.   Additionally the source code has been released and is available on GitHub.  The source code is not under a recognized FOSS license, instead releasing under a proprietary one with one particularly poisonous condition:

Esenthel Engine code/algorithms/designs may NOT be used for development/improvement of other Game Engines.
You may NOT browse Esenthel Engine source code if you work on improving other Game Engines, in that case
you may only compile it with the included tool and work with the compiled binary version of Esenthel Engine.

If you are working on or contribute to a game engine then you want to stay far away from this source code! Other than this clause, the license is fairly liberal and allows you to use Esenthel freely and without requiring a splash screen or watermark.

The key features of the Esenthel engine include:
  • Very Easy to Use
  • Advanced Graphics and Physics
  • High Performance
  • Low Memory Usage
  • Unlimited Sized Worlds
  • Collaborative Development
  • Auto Publishing
  • 100+ Tutorials and 90+ Documentation Pages Included
  • Esenthel Store to sell your own Items
  • Frequent Updates
  • Rock Solid - Zero Bug Tolerance
  • Free!

Essenthel can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux here.

 

GameDev News


13. March 2019


Just last week we announced the first Release Candidate for Godot 3.1 and things must have gone smashingly well, as after a year in development, Godot 3.1 is finally here!  The biggest feature of this new release is the arrival of an OpenGL ES 2 renderer that works alongside the GL ES3 renderer that shipped with Godot 3.0.  This renderer should enable Godot developers to target a large swath of devices with different drivers and performance characteristics and should remove one of the biggest hurdles preventing developers from upgrading from Godot 2.x.

The new renderer is by no means the only new feature of Godot 3.1, with a massive number of new features added.  A highlight of new features from the Godot blog:

In addition to the above summary, the detailed change log is available here.  Be aware, while 3.0 and 3.1 are mostly compatible, there may be some breaking changes.

We have created featured videos on several of these new features as they were developed, including:

If there are other new features you would like to see us cover in more detail, let us know!  Godot 3.1 is available for download on Windows, Linux and MacOS right here.  If you are interested in learning Godot development, we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive tutorial series as well as this step by step game creation tutorial.

GameDev News


11. March 2019


Humble have just launched another Humble Bundle of interest to game developers, and this one is all about everyone’s favorite open source operating system… Linux.  Among several books about configuring and using Linux there are also titles about programming, including one about programming in Assembly, a rare breed these days!

Humble Bundles are broken into tiers, with the Humble Book Bundle: Linux by Wiley being organized as follows:

1$ Tier

  • Linux Essentials
  • Ubuntu Linux Toolbox 2nd Edition
  • Linux All-in-One
  • Beginning Linux Programming 4th Edition

8$ Tier

  • Linux BIBLE
  • Shell Scripting
  • LINUX Server Security
  • CompTIA Linux + and LPIC Practice Tests
  • Professional Linux Kernel Architecture

15$ Tier

  • Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible
  • CompTIA Linux+ Powered by Linux Professional Institute Study Guide: Exams LX0-103 and LX0-104
  • LPIC-1: Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide: Exams 101 and 102
  • LPIC-2: Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide: Exams 201 and 202
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Administration: Real World Skills for Red Hat Administrators
  • Assembly Language Step-by-Step: Programming with Linux


If you purchase a higher priced tier, you get all of the books from all the tiers below it, so if for example you purchase the 15$ tier, you get all of the books in the collection.  Additionally a portion of your proceeds can be directed toward charity (Freedom to Read Foundation) as well as to supporting GFS.  Purchasing the bundle using this link helps support GameFromScratch (thank you!).  For more details on the file formats and contents of the bundle, be sure to watch the video below.

GameDev News


11. March 2019


The Haxe powered Heaps game engine just updated to version 1.6.0.  The Heaps game engine is a battle tested game engine responsible for such titles as Dead Cells, Northgard and Evoland.  It was created by the same developer as the Haxe language, Nicolas Cannasse.  The game engine is open source under the MIT license and is available on a number of different platforms including most modern game consoles.

The 1.6 release brings several new features, including:

2D:

  • added DomKit support
  • added h2d.Camera
  • review h2d filters wrt alpha handling
  • added h2d.Flow.layout
  • support for SDF fonts
  • support for sub pixel Tiles (various coordinates/sizes are now Float instead of Int)
  • added h2d.Interactive.onReleaseOutside and .shape for custom shape handling
  • h2d.Object.onParentChanged is now onHierarchyMoved
  • handle multiple Interactive onOver

3D:

  • added h3d.col.Capsule
  • added h3d.col.Collider.inSphere + changed inFrustum
  • added Driver.capturePixels sub region
  • added h3d.scene.MeshBatch
  • optimized shadows maps culling
  • optimized internal pass lists handling
  • moved h3d.scene.DirLight/PointLight/LightSystem/Renderer to h3d.scene.fwd package
  • more work on pbr renderer and terrain system
  • various optimizations (less allocations)

Other:

  • [js] heaps now defaults to canvas instead of window for events
  • review hxd.prefab.Prefab API
  • added mp3 sound support
  • added S3TC dds texture support
  • new samples : Camera2D, Domkit, Flows, FXView, Interactive2D, MeshBatch, Lights


If you are interested in learning Heaps, we have a few tutorials to get you started:

Additionally there is an excellent Database/Level editor for Haxe called CastleDB that you should certainly check out.

CastleDB Introduction

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