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13. February 2012


On the PlayN discussion forum PlayN 1.1 was just announced.  Complete release notes are available here.



Key new features include:

  • add HTML Canvas backend ( in addition to the WebGL and deprecated DOM HTML5 back ends ) as a fallback for browsers that don’t support WebGL *cough* Internet Explorer *cough*
  • iOS support… probably the biggie of this release
  • removed GAE dependencies ( this was a pain in the butt previously )
  • Android properly supporting mp3
  • various other bug fixes


As was mentioned in this earlier post iOS support isn’t complete, yet.



Good job PlayN team!

News Programming

8. February 2012



A couple days back, PlayN developers posted a handy little tablet showing what the current development status is for each supported platform.  The iOS support seems to be coming along nicely, but as you can see, there is still some work to be done.

  Java HTML5 Android iOS Flash
Analytics Stub Comp Stub Stub Stub
Assets Comp Comp Comp Part Comp
Audio Comp Comp Part Stub Comp
Graphics Comp Comp Comp Part Part
Json Comp Comp Comp Comp Comp
Keyboard Comp Comp Comp Stub Comp
Log Comp Comp Comp Comp Comp
Mouse Comp Comp N/A N/A Stub
Net Comp Comp Comp Stub Stub
Pointer Comp Comp Comp Comp Comp
RegExp Comp Comp Comp Stub Stub
Storage Comp Comp Comp Comp Comp
Touch N/A Comp Comp Comp Stub


  • N/A - not applicable to this platform (i.e. mouse on mobile).
  • Stub - non-functional placeholder implementation.
  • Part - partially implemented with some missing pieces.
  • Comp - fully implemented.

Also see the Roadmap.



Very cool news.  One of the items on the roadmap is better documentation, something I really look forward to.  Supporting iOS is definitely a huge deal, especially for Java developers that don’t want to go within a thousand feet of Objective C but want to be able to target the massive iPhone/iPod/iPad market, while still supporting desktop, Android and web targets.


22. December 2011




I just received an email from Unity announcing the start of their 3.5 public beta.  Generally I wouldn’t get all that excited about a beta ( ok, that’s a lie, I love all things shiny and new! ), but this one is particularly big.






The biggest aspect of the new release is that much awaited deploy to Flash!  How much easier to deploy did Unity just become, considering the massive install base of Flash?  In addition to Flash, this release also adds the ability to deploy to NaCL ( Native Client ), Google Chrome’s new feature allowing native C++ in the browser.




On top of that, there is a new particle system “Shuriken” and perhaps even more exciting, a new built in pathfinding system, a much needed feature.  Re-written occlusion culling and built in LOD management, should both go a long way towards boosting performance, as will the now multi-threaded renderer.  Perhaps the best usability feature, is you can now multi select and edit items in the inspector! 





Full release notes available here.  I think it’s fairly safe to say this is the biggest new release in a very long time.  Good work Unity.  I don’t really have time for it, but I just can’t help myself at downloading this beta….  If you are like me and simply can’t resist the newest and greatest, go and download it now!  Amazingly enough, their servers seem to be coping quite well right now.


14. December 2011



Today the Blender Foundation announced the release of Blender 2.61, details of which are available here.


Easily the biggest feature of this release is the inclusion of the Cycles renderer, that exists alongside the traditional renderer.


The new dynamic paint modifier, wave simulator and motion tracking features are all also major accomplishments, and go a long way towards rounding out Blender’s feature set, especially compared to the “big boys”. Bravo on the new release.


Sadly for realtime game developers, there isn’t much of interest in this new release.  Sadly still no BMmesh.  Soon I I hope, soon.


10. December 2011



Microsoft finally released Silverlight 5.  As I mentioned in an earlier post the future of Silverlight seems to be in question.  This is a shame, as I a really have a project in mind that Silverlight would have been a perfect fit for.


I know there is a big drive to eliminate Flash and Silverlight and move the world to HTML 5, but there are two problems with that.


First off, the developer experiences simply do not compare.  I would much rather develop in C# than HTML5/Javascript, moving “back” to HTML feels like a giant jump backwards.


More importantly, HTML5 isn’t even close to either Flash or Silverlight in performance or even features.  I am sure it will be eventually, especially given all the resources being thrown behind it, but that isn’t the case today.  So I am still trying to decide if I go ahead with my Silverlight project or not… decisions decisions.


These are the new parts that will be of most interest to game developers:


  • XNA 3D API
  • Improved Graphics Stack
  • XNA 3D built-in effects
  • XNA 3D Project Templates with full XNA Content Pipeline
  • 3D surface composition settings
  • 3D multi-sample anti-aliasing



For those of you making tools, there are a number of key ( and handy ) data binding changes as well.  You can get the full list of updates here.  You can download Silverlight 5 tools here.



Now I have to wonder… is this going to be the final Silverlight release ever?  I for one, hope not.


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