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14. November 2019


Two completely unrelated stories (beyond the Oculus commonality) in one today.  First, Unity and Oculus have teamed up to launch an 11 part, 20+ hour course on all aspects of creating a VR game using the Unity game engine with the Oculus Rift SDK and hardware.

Details from the Unity blog:

We’ve partnered with Oculus, to launch an extensive intermediate level course guiding you through all aspects of building a virtual reality (VR) game. As the VR industry continues to grow and mature, developers are asking more questions about making the switch to VR, and developers who already work in VR want to improve their skills. That’s why we teamed up with the experts at Oculus to build this comprehensive VR course, “Design, Develop, and Deploy for VR.

In more than 20 hours of hands-on course content, you’ll learn about programming, user experience (UX) considerations for VR, optimization, launching your game and more. Twelve experts from Oculus and Unity give you in-depth lessons to help you build your own vertical slice (think, level of a game) of an escape room game. Plus, after you complete the course, you can submit your vertical slice for feedback from Oculus.

Even though this course is centered around creating a game, the principles and learnings apply to almost any type of VR content, whether you’re building practical business applications or immersive experiences as art or entertainment. You’ll find this course useful even if your interests go beyond making a game. 

The course is hosted on the Unity Learn platform.  You can learn more about Unity learn here.

In additional Oculus news, John Carmack (of id fame) has announced he is stepping down as CIO of Oculus.  His announcement came via Facebook post, excerpt below:

Starting this week, I’m moving to a "Consulting CTO” position with Oculus.

I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time.

As for what I am going to be doing with the rest of my time: When I think back over everything I have done across games, aerospace, and VR, I have always felt that I had at least a vague “line of sight” to the solutions, even if they were unconventional or unproven. I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn’t in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old.

I’m going to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Thankfully John is leaving Facebook before working on artificial intelligence!  You can learn more about both announcements in the video below.

GameDev News


13. November 2019


Back at GDC 2019, Crytek surprised the world with a demonstration that showcased real-time raytracing without the need for modern RTX enabled hardware.  Today CryTek released that benchmark into the wild.  You can learn more about the benchmark here.


CryTek did an in-depth interview describing the process of creating the benchmark available here:

Crytek has released a new video demonstrating the results of a CRYENGINE research and development project. Neon Noir shows how real-time mesh ray-traced reflections and refractions can deliver highly realistic visuals for games. The Neon Noir demo was created with the new advanced version of CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination showcasing real time ray tracing. This feature will be added to CRYENGINE release roadmap in 2019, enabling developers around the world to build more immersive scenes, more easily, with a production-ready version of the feature.

Neon Noir follows the journey of a police drone investigating a crime scene. As the drone descends into the streets of a futuristic city, illuminated by neon lights, we see its reflection accurately displayed in the windows it passes by, or scattered across the shards of a broken mirror while it emits a red and blue lighting routine that will bounce off the different surfaces utilizing CRYENGINE's advanced Total Illumination feature. Demonstrating further how ray tracing can deliver a lifelike environment, neon lights are reflected in the puddles below them, street lights flicker on wet surfaces, and windows reflect the scene opposite them accurately.

Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12.


The benchmark is available on the Crytek Marketplace and requires you to have the CryEngine launcher installed.  You can check out the benchmark running on rather antiquated hardware (at a respectable clip!) in the video below.  According to the CryEngine Roadmap we should expect to see raytracing support (with or without hardware) in CryEngine 5.7, scheduled for a Spring 2020 release.

GameDev News


13. November 2019


The open source MIT licensed game engine Xenko just released version 3.1.  We have featured Xenko several times in the past including this somewhat outdated tutorial series.  The 3.1 release is somewhat difficult to nail down what is new, as the release blog post primarily focuses on the new NuGet features:

Xenko was always a big proponent of NuGet: since first version, Xenko was distributed as a NuGet package.

However, due to limitations (hello packages.config and project.json!), we were leveraging NuGet more as a distribution medium than proper NuGet packages: Xenko 3.0 is still a monolithic single package and it would not work out of the box when referenced from Visual Studio without using Xenko Launcher and Game Studio.

Xenko 3.0 paved the way by making Xenko compatible with the new project system (game projects were referencing Xenko using a PackageReference).

Today, Xenko 3.1 brings Xenko as a set of smaller NuGet package, each containing one assembly, with proper dependencies:

GitHub

As a result, it is now possible to create a game project that references only the packages you want.

You can learn more about the release, as well as a complete unfiltered change long here.  One other thing to be aware of before upgrading to Xenko 3.1 is the requirement to use Visual Studio 2019!  You can learn more about Xenko and this release in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


There is a new bundle of interest for game developers on Humble, this is the Humble Unreal Engine Game Development Bundle featuring GameDev.tv.  It’s a collection of courses and assets (as well as the games QUBE 1 and 2) for use with the Unreal game engine.  As always the bundle is split into different tiers, where you buy a higher dollar value tier, you get all of the tiers below it.

In this bundle the tiers are:

1$ Tier

  • Unreal Cinematics Training Course
  • Q.U.B.E
  • Star Sparrow Modular Spaceship
  • Another Stylized Material Collection 8

16$ Tier

  • Math For Games Training Course
  • Unreal C++ v4.1X Training Course
  • QUBE 2
  • Master Control Material
  • Rusty Barrels Volume 2
  • Another Easy Terrain Material

20$ Tier

  • Unreal Multiplayer Training Course
  • Unreal C++ 4.22 Training Course
  • Unreal Blueprint Training Course
  • Unreal VR Training Course
  • Steampunk/Victorian Environment with Vehicles
  • Gamemaster Audio – Prosound Mini Pack
  • Slum Village Environment

As with all Humble Bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated between the publisher, humble, charity or if you so choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS using this link.  Learn more about this bundle in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


In addition to the Quixel acquisition news, Epic Games had a number of other announcements today, mostly in regards to non-game development uses of Unreal Engine.  The first news is that Unreal Studio and it’s associated Datasmith functionality are being rolled into Unreal Engine 4.24.  Details from the announcement blog:

As of our upcoming Unreal Engine 4.24 release, the features of Unreal Studio are being rolled into Unreal Engine and will be made available to everyone for free. Unreal Studio, which has been in open beta since March 2018, is a suite of tools and services designed to augment Unreal Engine for architecture, manufacturing, and product design; however, its features have applicability across broader markets.


The most notable Unreal Studio feature that will now become a standard feature in Unreal Engine is Datasmith, a workflow toolkit that enables you to efficiently aggregate and optimize 3ds Max, Revit, SketchUp Pro, Cinema 4D, and a wide range of CAD and BIM data in Unreal Engine.


Making Datasmith available to all Unreal Engine users brings high-fidelity, whole-scene conversion to the masses! In addition, the new Visual Dataprep makes automating data preparation workflows more accessible so smaller, design-focused teams can benefit from them.


As part of this integration all Unreal Engine users will gain static mesh editing, basic UV projections, jacketing and defeaturing optimization tools, and a Variant Manager.

Additionally they announced that the free period for TwinMotion (acquired in May) would be extended into 2020:

Previously, we’d announced that Twinmotion would remain free until November 2019; once downloaded, you can continue using the free version indefinitely. Today, we’re extending the free availability until our next release of Twinmotion, which is anticipated to ship in the first quarter of 2020. The new version will offer even greater photorealism, improved assets, tools to facilitate collaborative workflows, and more.

Twinmotion is a toolset that makes it easy to create interactive architectural scenes powered by Unreal Engine, you can check in out in action in this video.  You can learn more about both of these announcements in the video below.

GameDev News


AppGameKit Studio

See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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