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SKIP Programming Language Released By Facebook

SKIP, previously known as Reflex, is a general purpose programming language developed as a research project at Facebook over the last 3 years.  Facebook have finished development and authorized the language lead developer to release the project as open source.  SKIP is available on Github under the MIT source license.

The leader developer made the following Tweet announcing the release today:

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You can learn more about the language at http://skiplang.com/.  The language can be downloaded as a Docker image, with full installation instructions available here.  There is also a web based playground application for trying out SKIP on the website.  SKIP is described as:

Skip is a general-purpose programming language that tracks side effects to provide caching with reactive invalidation, ergonomic and safe parallelism, and efficient garbage collection. Skip is statically typed and ahead-of-time compiled using LLVM to produce highly optimized executables.

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Programming News


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Rust for Game Development

C++ has had a long run as the primary programming language for games, after taking the crown from C and ASM well over a decade back.  In recent years more and more developers are moving towards more productivity oriented languages such as C#.  What about developers that want to have the fine level of control of memory and low level access C++ provides, but want to get away from the complexity and cruft C++ has accumulated over the last 30+ years?  That is the niche the Rust programming language hopes to fill.  Rust is a systems programming language originally sponsored by Mozilla for use on the Firefox browser.  Game developers have long been interested in Rust, but last week one rather large game developer became the first to adopt the Rust programming language.

Last week, Ready at Dawn CTO Andrea Pessino released the following tweet:

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Ready at Dawn is a well established game studio known for games such as The Order: 1886, Daxter and various God of War titles.  This tweet launched a far bit of interest in Rust, so I decided to start doing some research into the Rust echo system, a look at game engines and libraries available then promptly stopped…

Because this site, AreWeGameYet already did an excellent job of exactly what I was setting out to accomplish!  So there… if you are interested in checking out Rust for game development, be sure to start there.  Additionally if you are interested in learning a bit more about the state of Rust game development, as well as a quick tutorial on getting a Rust development environment up and running on Windows using Visual Studio Code using the Piston game engine, be sure to check out this video!

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Programming


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New Cocos Creator Tutorial Series

A brand new tutorial series just went live on devga.me (to join the existing Armory 3D series), the Cocos Creator Crash Course.

Cocos Creator Crash Course - Devga.me Tutorial Series

The series currently consists of the following tutorial parts:

Cocos Creator Tutorial Series homepage

There are a few more tutorial chapters in active development.  The existing content should already be enough to get you up and running using the Cocos Creator game engine!  There will also be at least one video tutorial covering basically everything covered by the text series.

GameDev News, Programming , , ,

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Armory Game Engine Tutorial Series

If you’ve recently been to the GameFromScratch tutorial series page recently you may have noticed the addition of a new Armory game engine tutorial series.  It’s not actually hosted on GameFromScratch, instead it’s on our newly launched sister site (watch out, the paints still wet!) DevGa.me.  Don’t worry though, nothings changed, it’s just a newer, cleaner, ArmoryDevGame900x600mobile friendly home for tutorial series, I’ll explain more about this later.  For now, just be aware there is a new text and video based tutorial series on the Armory game engine under development!

Armory (or Armory3D) is a newly free open source cross platform game engine that runs inside and tightly integrates with the Blender application.  If you are interested in learning more about Armory and why I’m so excited about it, be sure to check out Introduction to Armory video.  The series is still quite young but already there is a fair bit to get you started.  Right now the series consists of:

The entire series homepage is available here.

Additionally the video series has begun, lagging slightly behind the text series.  So far videos consist of:

There is a (very small for now…) playlist available here.

DevGa.me is not a blog format and does not have any news, it’s just home to tutorials.  I will however announce new tutorials here on GameFromScratch, so stay tuned!  If you want to discuss the new series, there is a conversation over on the Armory discussion forums or leave a comment below or on YouTube.

Programming, Art ,

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A Pixel Perfect Camera in Unity

If you are a pixel artist, one of the most challenging tasks you have to deal with is handling multiple resolutions and aspect ratios that your game might run at.  Thankfully if you are using the newest (Unity 2018.2b3 or later) version of Unity there is now a new component that makes this job borderline trivial.

Announced in the following tweet:

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You can download the component and a couple sample scenes here on Github, and you can read more about it here.

The 2D Pixel Perfect package contains the Pixel Perfect Camera component which ensures your pixel art remains crisp and clear at different resolutions, and stable in motion.

It is a single component that makes all the calculations needed to scale the viewport with resolution changes, removing the hassle from the user. The user can adjust the definition of the pixel art rendered within the camera viewport through the component settings, as well preview any changes immediately in Game view by using the Run in Edit Mode feature.

Using the camera is simple, once the package is installed, it’s simply added to a camera and configure:

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Your game should now scale gracefully across resolutions and aspect ratios.  To see the Pixel Perfect Camera in action be sure to watch this video, also embedded below.

GameDev News, Art, Programming

Blender Game Engine In Blender 2.8–Life After Death

Last month we reported that Blender Game Engine (BGE) was being removed entirely from the source code of Blender for the upcoming major 2.8 release.  Judging by the comments section this was certainly a polarizing decision, with replies basically falling into two camps.  On one side there was a lot of “good riddance to bad rubbish” type replies, while in the other camp it was mostly “I’m done with Blender if this happens”.  Clearly the decision impact enough people that something had to be done.  Well, that something was just announced on Twitter:

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The linked article from the developer mailing list:

Hi all,

The Blender Foundation Development Fund has reserved a number of bigger donations (also on donator’s request) for game engine and interactive 3D related features.

Now 2.8 is getting shaped up, it was time to check on this topic. Yesterday afternoon I met with Benoit Bolsee and a couple of Code Quest participants, to discuss the future of Blender’s real-time 3D needs and “interaction mode”.

The outcome is that Benoit accepted a grant to work as designer and lead developer for one year on bringing back a good real-time interactive 3D system in Blender. He will do this part-time, in average 1.5 days per week, starting July 1st.

Obviously all work and further discussions will be done in public; using our regular channels (mailing lists, code.blender.org, developer.b.o, devtalk.b.o). Help from other Blender developers is very welcome. This will be further announced when Benoit starts.

To summarise, work will first be done in two areas;

– Implement a high quality real-time viewport with physics/event handling. This should result in a pleasant & usable environment to setup and bake simulations.

– Design and prototype a new nodal logic system.

Related to this work is also to enable good support (export or some kind of integration) for external game engines such as Godot, Armory, Blend4Web, Unreal, Unity, etc.

I especially invite the first three (open source) projects to connect with us to find ways to keep a high level of compatibility.

Work on typical GE features such as super-fast drawing (LOD, etc) are welcome too but should be part of the regular work on Blender’s viewport and our internal drawing engines. That way everyone benefits. Laters,

-Ton-

Blender Game Engine is not coming back, but a great deal of the functionality that was removed with it will be returning. Additionally Blender will be working directly to support Blender as a game development tool for existing game engines.

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Art, GameDev News, Programming ,