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14. May 2019


Epic Games have acquired Twinmotion, a archviz solution built on top of Epic’s Unreal game engine technology.  Even better, Twinmotion is being made available for free Until November of 2019, with the license remaining valid past that date.

Details from the announcement blog:

We’re excited to announce that Epic Games and Twinmotion have joined forces! Powered by Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, a high-quality, easy-to-use real-time visualization solution, is now part of the Epic family. And the best news? Our new version of Twinmotion is absolutely free to download and use for all customers until November 2019.


Twinmotion makes compelling design visualization easy! Whether you’re in the architecture, construction, urban planning, or landscaping industry, its highly intuitive interface enables you to assign PBR materials, set up lighting, and even choose the season and the weather with just a few clicks. Populate your scene from a library of ready-to-use assets, including animated characters, and trees whose foliage blows in the wind. With as few as two clicks, you can create paths of walking people or moving cars, and then vary their appearance to suit your scene.


Twinmotion can be downloaded using the Epic Game Launcher, under the newly added Twinmotion tab.  Learn more about Twinmotion on the recently updated UnrealEngine site.  You can see Twinmotion in action in the video below.

GameDev News


13. May 2019


Another Humble Bundle of interest to game developers, this one is the Humble Book Bundle: Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning by Packt bundle.  This is a collection of e-books (and 3 videos) in mobi, epub and PDF formats around the topics of AI and machine learning from the publisher Packt.  As always, the Humble Bundle is broken up into tiers, where you get all of the books at and below the current tier you purchased.

The tiers in this bundle are:


1$

  • Machine Learning For Mobile
  • Python Deep Learning
  • Unity Artificial Intelligence Programming
  • Python Machine Learning By Example
  • Mathematical Foundations for AI and Machine Learning

8$

  • Hands-On Reinforcement Learning with Python
  • Hands-On Artificial Intelligence for IoT
  • Artificial Intelligence by Example
  • Hands-On Machine Learning for Algorithmic Trading
  • Python Machine Learning Cookbook
  • Deep Learning with PyTorch
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence Projects with Python
  • Hands-On Python Deep Learning

15$

  • Deep Learning for Computer Vision
  • Natural Language Processing with TensorFlow
  • Advanced Deep Learning with Keras
  • Mastering Machine Learning Algorithms
  • Deep Reinforcement Learning Hands-On
  • Deep Learning with TensorFLow
  • Hands-On Transfer Learning with Python
  • Hands-On Deep Learning for Games
  • Python Deep Learning Projects
  • Deep Learning Architecture for Building Artificial Neural Networks (Video)
  • AI For Finance (Video)
  • The Complete Machine Learning Course with Python (Video)


As with all Humble Bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated, between the publisher, charity, Humble and even help support GFS (thanks!)  The bundle is available here or learn more in the video below.

GameDev News


12. May 2019


Unity have just released their latest beta, Unity 2019.2, now available in the Beta Releases tab in the Unity Hub.  So shortly after GDC 2019, there aren’t many surprises in this release.

Highlights from the Unity 2019.2 release:

  • Optimized frame pacing on Android
  • Screen brightness control on iOS and Android
  • Improved screen cutout support (notches and chins)
  • Polybrush 1.0.0 package
  • Several features moved from editor to packages
  • LWRP improvements with experimental 2D renderer with pixel perfect and lighting
  • Intel Open Image Denoise support
  • GPU Lightmapper Improvements
  • NVIDIA OPTIX Denoiser improvements
  • New Cloud User Diagnostics
  • Unity Distribution Portal

Learn more about this release in the video below.

GameDev News


11. May 2019


The Phaser HTML game framework just released version 3.17.0.  Phaser is an excellent open source MIT licensed 2D game framework.  If you are interested in getting started with Phaser, we have a tutorial video to get you started available right here.

The headline features of the 3.17.0 release include:

  • New Shader and BaseShader game objects make it even easier to use shaders with Phaser
  • DOM element game object to integrate DOM UI elements into your game
  • Camera Masks, for creating easy camera special effects

There are of course dozens of other improvements so be sure to read the full release notes here.  The complete change log is available here.  Phaser is available here, while the source code is available here.

GameDev News


10. May 2019


While Unreal Engine doesn’t provide C# support out of the box, it does provide an exceptional plugin system, so it was only a matter of time until C# plugins arrived.  Today we are looking at the open source USharp extension, which is based on the MonoUE plugin project.  Using this plugin, UE4 gains C# functionality with the following features:

  • Write C# using UObject exposed types (AActor, AGameMode, UActorComponent, etc). Define new UObject types and inherit existing ones. Exposed C# types can then be used in (or extended by) Blueprint.
  • Access to Unreal's reflection system (UClass, UFunction, UProperty, etc).
  • Hot-reload
  • Dynamically switch between .NET Framework, .NET Core and Mono for an improved debugging / runtime experience without having to reopen the editor
  • Supports Windows, Mac and Linux

There are however some downsides:

  • This project depends on a lot of PInvoked functions which could potentially behave differently on different C++ compilers. This project may not work on some target platforms.
  • Like mono-ue this project depends on lots of generated code and IL weaving. It probably isn't the best for performance and there is a huge amount of generated code everywhere.
  • The weaved IL currently seems to break edit-and-continue debugging (issue with cecil?)
  • There is currently too much marshaling on structs / collections (list, map, set). Marshaling needs to be redesigned to avoid copies of entire collections / structs on trivial calls between C# / native code. Additionally marshaling of delegates needs to be redesigned (various issues such as being referenced as a copy of the delegate).

If you are interested in checking out USharp, you can find the installation instructions here.  One potential problem to be aware of, the project creator doesn’t seem to have attached a license to the code repository!  While this code is not production ready, if you intend to use it in any capacity, I would make sure the license is suitable.  See the results of the plugin in action in the video below.

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