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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/23/18 in Stories

  1. 4 points
    Ray Tracing Gems, a book with the goal of educating developers at all levels about important concepts and the state of the art in ray tracing, is due to be released mid-March in hardback form, but the contents are being made available at no cost as the chapters reached a finished state in the weeks leading up to the hardbook release. Today NVIDIA Developer Zone posted Part II of the book here. Keep an eye on the book's page as the schedule shows new parts released every few days until February 25, 2019.
  2. 3 points
    This week, the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC) released the results of the seventh annual State of the Industry Survey, revealing trends in the game industry ahead of GDC 2019 in March. The survey compiles responses from nearly 4,000 game developers, and reflects that nearly half of game developers support game industry unionization, as well as uncertainty around Steam’s revenue-sharing model, and insights into the amount of time developers have spent working overtime hours in so-called “crunch.” The State of the Industry Survey is the seventh entry in the ongoing series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the game industry, illustrating industry trends ahead of GDC 2019. Organized by UBM, GDC 2019 takes place March 18-22 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. Nearly half of game industry professionals think game industry workers should unionize Unionization is a hot topic in the game industry these days, and nearly half of the game industry professionals surveyed think it’s a good idea. When asked whether they thought game industry workers should unionize, 47 percent said yes. 26 percent said maybe, 16 percent said no, and 11 percent said they didn’t know. However, when asked whether they think video game workers actually will unionize, only 21 percent said yes. The largest share (39 percent) gave an uncertain “maybe.” 24 percent of respondents said they don’t think it will happen, and 15 percent said that they don’t know. “It is critical that people who work in games are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, live normal lives, and be able to enjoy a high quality of life that will work well for their spouses and families,” wrote one respondent. But: “There is too much supply: too many people want into the industry,” claimed another. “Those who unionize will be shoved out of the way as companies hire those with fewer demands.” Steam is the storefront to beat on PC, but some devs thrive on smaller competitors Given how many notable new game storefronts debuted in 2018 (such as the Epic Games Store and Discord Store), this year, survey respondents had the option to disclose which PC/Mac game storefronts they sell their games on, and what percentage of their platform sales came from each. As expected, the most popular answer was Steam, with roughly 47 percent of those who responded to this question saying that they sell games on Valve’s storefront. Of the respondents who said they sell their games on Steam, the majority (54 percent) say Steam accounts for 75-100 percent of their sales revenue – and another 17 percent say it makes up 50-74 percent of their total revenue. Conversely, GOG, Humble, and Discord each accounted for less than 10 percent of revenues earned by a notable majority of the respondents who sell games there. Interestingly, while indie-centric store Itch had a similar ratio (52 percent of devs who use it say it generates less than 10 percent of their revenues), it also had a surprisingly high number of respondents (28 percent) who said Itch accounts for 75-100 percent of their earnings. This shows that Itch’s open approach has likely attracted smaller indies who sell exclusively on it. Most game makers aren’t sure Steam still justifies its 30 percent cut In light of how competition is heating up for PC games marketplaces, the Survey also asked respondents whether they felt that Steam -- in its current form -- justifies a 30 percent cut of their game’s revenue, which it currently takes. Only 6 percent said yes, and 17 percent said maybe. The rest either said no or weren’t sure, with the largest share (32 percent) saying Steam currently does not justify Valve’s revenue share. 27 percent said such a large cut probably isn’t justified, and 17 percent said they just didn’t know. “Take less revenue from sales and curate their store better for visibility for real games,” is what one respondent wrote when we asked what features respondents felt Steam could add to better serve developers. “Better support for amateur, hobbyist, and independent creators,” wrote another. “More fostering of things like game jams and actual development communities to be created on the platform.” Nearly half of game makers work over 40 hours a week on games To get a sense of the of the current labor conditions in the game industry, the State of the Industry Survey incorporate questions asking game developers – from corporate to indie - to share their average work hours in a week in the past twelve months. Including all respondents, the results look fairly balanced, since half of respondents (44 percent) say they spend more than 40 hours a week working on games, and 56 percent said they worked 40 hours or less. The most common work week proved to be 36-40 hours per week, with 24 percent of respondents saying that was their average. 21 percent of respondents said they worked on games 41-45 hours per week on average and 17 percent said they averaged 0-20 hours per week on games (with a number of these likely being part-time or hobbyist workers.) However, 3 percent of respondents said they average over 60 hours of work per week on games, and 5 percent said they average 51-60 hours. The Survey also asked about maximum hours per week worked during a single week in the last 12 months. While the largest response was 51-60 hours in a single week, responses ranged as high as more than 110 hours in a week (1.4 percent), with a small spike at 76-80 hours in a week (6 percent), suggesting that deadline-related crunch can go far beyond normal working hours. With new consoles rumored, some devs are making games for unannounced platforms With the current generation of now several years into their cycle, the 2019 survey now incorporates questions asking respondents whether or not they’re developing their next game for any upcoming, unannounced platforms. Predictably, very few (under a hundred, or less than 2 percent of) respondents said their next game is being designed exclusively for an unannounced platform. 16 percent said their next game is being developed for both existing and upcoming, unannounced platforms and the largest share (46 percent) said their next game is only coming to existing platforms. 36% said they didn’t know at this time. The full survey, which includes lots more detail on what game platforms developers are creating for, iOS vs. Android, and a multitude of other facts and detail, can be downloaded for free here. For more details on the Game Developers Conference, please visit the GDC’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS
  3. 3 points
    Christoph Schied has released the source code for Q2VKPT - a Vulkan-based path tracer integrated into "the first playable game that is entirely raytraced and efficiently simulates fully dynamic lighting in real-time". Consisting of about 12,000 lines of code that completely replace the original Quake II rendering code, it was originally prototyped in OpenGL with contributions by Johannes Hanika, Addis Dittebrandt, Tobias Zirr, and Florian Reibold. The project is released as open source on Github and integrates the Vulkan path tracer into the Q2PRO client. More information and downloads are available at http://brechpunkt.de/q2vkpt/.
  4. 2 points
    The Unreal Engine Marketplace has announced its free February 2019 content: CCG Toolkit A customizable card game framework to create single and multiplayer experiences Hand Painted Textures Starter Kit 21 hand-painted textures that are mobile and PBR ready Luos's Particle Toolkit Vol. 1 Particle toolkit of meshes, noise textures, material functions and more with over 67 sample particles Platformer Kit 2D 2D platformer creation toolkit with fully customizable player character and 21 animation states Scifi Kitbash Level Builder Collection of SciFi assets, including walls, doors, props, and decals Medieval Dungeon Collection of modular meshes and props to build a medieval dungeon and crypt Particles and Wind Control System Wind control system with environmental particle effects
  5. 2 points
    The fallout from Unity TOS changes continues as Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, and Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable, pen a joint blog post to reaffirm their commitment to developers. Not content with highlighting their differences with Unity, Sweeney and Narula go a step further to setup a $25,000,000 fund dedicated to helping developers in limbo with the events of the day. Key phrase: more open engines, services, and ecosystems. View the full blog post here. Learn more from our post and discussion about Unity's TOS changes and impact to Improbable:
  6. 1 point
    NVIDIA has announced a christmas present with the release of PhysX SDK 4.0 later this month, open sourced under the 3-clause BSD license. The big technical change in the physics engine appears to be the temporal Gauss-Seidel solver, enabling faster and more robust handling of contact points and constraints. For full details, please see https://news.developer.nvidia.com/announcing-physx-sdk-4-0-an-open-source-physics-engine/
  7. 1 point
    Epic Games today released Unreal Engine 4.22, including new features to push the boundaries of photorealistic and cinematic quality for real-time experiences. With features including real-time ray tracing, and improved build times of up to 165%, UE4 workflows continue to help game developers, enterprise users, and content creators produce world-class results on any platform. Key new features and updates available in Unreal Engine 4.22 include: Real-Time ray tracing (Early Access): Selectively ray trace just the passes that benefit from it, to achieve subtle, accurate effects that contribute to the realism of your scene, like true reflections and refractions, soft area shadows, and ambient occlusion--at blazingly fast speeds. Watch the 90-second "Troll" short film to view unprecedented cinematic-quality lighting using UE 4.22 ray tracing features. Simultaneous multi-user editing (Early Access): Collaborative editing allows multiple developers to simultaneously make and view changes to the same Unreal Engine project, facilitating effective collaboration that eliminates bottlenecks and inspires creativity. Faster mesh drawing: UE 4.22's rendering code refactor significantly improves mesh drawing performance, with more aggressive caching of drawing information for static scene elements, and automatic instancing to merge draw calls where possible. Faster C++ iterations: Unreal has licensed Molecular Matters' Live++, and integrated it as a new Live Coding feature (Experimental). UE 4.22 also optimizes UnrealBuildTool and UnrealHeaderTool, drastically reducing build times and resulting in up to 3x faster iterations when making C++ code changes. Enhanced sound design: Among the new tools for creative sound design are TimeSynth (Early Access) for sample-accurate audio clip management; a spectral analyzer for Submixes; layered sound concurrency for better control of how many sounds will play simultaneously; and spectral analysis baking. Virtual production tools: New Composure UI: With a new UI in Unreal's built-in compositing tool Composure, users can achieve real-time compositing capabilities directly within Unreal Editor- ideal for on-set visualization. Sequence Take Recorder: Enables users to record animations from motion capture linked to characters in the scene, and from Live Link data, for future playback, enabling faster iteration and review of previous takes. OpenColorIO (OCIO) color profiles: Unreal Engine now supports the Open Color IO framework for managing multiple color spaces across a film, TV series, or animated project. Hardware-accelerated video decoding (Experimental): On Windows platforms, UE 4.22 can use the GPU to speed up the processing of H.264 video streams to reduce the strain on the CPU when playing back video streams, resulting in smoother video and allowing the use of higher resolution movie files and more simultaneous input feeds. New Media I/O Formats: UE 4.22 ships with new features for professional video I/O input formats and devices, including 4K UHD inputs for both AJA and Blackmagic; support for both 8bit and 10bit inputs; single-link, dual-link, and quad-link; AJA Kona 5 devices; HDMI 2.0 input; and UHD at high frame rates (up to 60fps). nDisplay improvements (Experimental): Several new features make the nDisplay multi-display rendering system more flexible, handling new kinds of hardware configurations and inputs. See the Childish Gambino case study to see nDisplay in action. Animation Sharing: This new plugin reduces the overall amount of animation work required for a crowd of actors. It is based upon the Master-Pose Component system, while adding blending and additive Animation States. The Animation states are buckets for which animation instances are evaluated. The resulting poses are then transferred to all child components part of the bucket. Microsoft HoloLens remote streaming support: UE 4.22 supports streaming to HoleLens, with full support coming to HoloLens 2 coming in May 2019. Read more here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/epic-games-announces-unreal-engine-support-for-microsoft-hololens-2 Google Stadia support: Unreal Engine supports Google's new game streaming platform, Stadia. With Unreal's cross-platform capabilities, developers can access Stadia features through familiar interfaces for consistent workflows across any device. Read more here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-support-for-google-stadia-now-available For a full feature list and additional details, visit: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-22-released
  8. 1 point
    IndieCade is returning to Santa Monica and hosting its 12th annual festival on October 10-12 at the Center for Media and Design. This year, IndieCade is spotlighting new categories honoring design, performance, adaptation and more. To provide independent developers with the opportunity to be considered for these new Spotlight Awards, IndieCade is extending the submission deadline to Thursday, April 25th. For more information on entry requirements or to submit a recent project, visit: https://www.indiecade.com/submissions. IndieCade celebrates excellence in achievement annually with a dozen awards honoring top talent across independent gaming. Our New Spotlight Awards for the 2019 festival include: Social Impact The Social Impact Award honors a game which explores social, cultural, and/or political issues in a whole new way. It may take us out of our comfort zones, and confront us directly on social progress yet to be done, or mark a real change in the industry. Social Impact for games encompasses creating new access points for unlikely players engaging with unlikely topics, new points of connection for people across the globe, or new shared experiences that resonate in our modern culture. Performance The Performance Award honors a game with a unique or particularly sublime performance: voice, motion capture, video, live and more. As games grow in cultural weight and professional development, the field of independent development has involved a larger variety of artists from all disciplines. The brilliant pacing, empathy, and understanding of the best actors have been harnessed this decade to make some of the most arresting play experiences we have ever seen. This award celebrates the performers doing the amazing work in the field of play. Location Based Design The oncoming frontier of play and experience design includes the amazing worlds of immersive theater, themed experience, virtual and augmented reality spaces, escape rooms and more exploration of bespoke, physical experiences often designed for groups of people and social engagement. The Location Based Design award rewards experiences innovating in these spaces and creating magical new spaces for play. Competitive Design Athletic and Mental Competition are amongst the oldest pastimes in the world. Experiences designed to create inventive and unique fields for competition, that drive their players to perfect skill and strategy, that breed active and mobile metagames all play to this ancient practice. The Competitive Design award rewards experiences innovating in these spaces and creating magical new spaces for play competition and making us itch to create new organizations of play. Cooperative Design Playing with others, driving with friends and allies toward a shared experience is at the heart of many of the experiences we have engaged with over the course of human history. Experiences designed to create inventive and unique interactions that bring us together, working towards a shared goal. The Cooperative Design award rewards experiences innovating in how we play together. Tabletop Design Staring across a board, a hand of cards, or even a chaotic pile of detailed paper notes, games played at the table, often with friends, leveraging the imagination of players to create unique and companionable experiences is the heart of games for many of us. The Tabletop Design Award celebrates an indie tabletop games of the year that innovates, surprises, and delights the heart. Procedural Design The Procedural Design Award honors a game that leverages randomness and algorithmic content or behavior to create unique and innovative interactions. Procedural Design is a growing skill with new discoveries made in many fields related to game development - graphics, narrative, level design, meaningful randomness, artificial behavior, and more. This award celebrates the amazing design of procedural and random chance that drives amazing discovery in the field of play. Adaptation The inspiration for games comes from wildly different sources and places, and games that interpret the world of another piece of media, reflect a documentary of real world systems, or adapt the experience of other places and stories explore the innovative edge of why we play. The Adaptation Award celebrates a game that examines and interprets using the logic of play and the power of interaction. Returning Jury Awards for the 2019 festival include: Innovation in Interactive Design Innovation in Interaction Design honors the specialized artistry and innovation required to engage with games on a new level. This may be in the form of original controllers, unique interface design, or bold new mechanics. At its utmost, the Interaction Award acknowledges a work that asks us to reconsider the ways in which we play. Innovation in Experience Design Innovation in Experience Design honors a game that provides a unique, curated experience. This can come in the form of a rich narrative or be entirely 'story-less'. It takes the player on an emotional arc that can't be had anywhere else. IndieCade Jury Prix The IndieCade Jury Prix is for a game the jury wishes to confer honor for separating itself from the pack through its craftsmanship, innovation, and /or design. IndieCade Grand Jury The IndieCade Grand Jury Award represents the best of IndieCade’s best. This is the one game out of 36 nominees, and the hundreds and hundreds of submissions to the festival, that not only captures how far independent games have come, but how much farther they can still take us. Past winners include Her Story, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, and last year’s Oikospiel Book I. An international jury comprised of past IndieCade finalists, independent and mainstream game developers, artists, researchers, academics, curators, game writers and journalists will review all submissions and select the 2019 nominated titles and official festival selections. If a game is selected for the festival, the developers will have the opportunity to showcase their title before an international audience, be considered for awards categories and receive two all access IndieCade passes and invitations to events and parties hosted throughout the festival. For more information, visit: https://www.indiecade.com/
  9. 1 point
    Today at GDC, AMD has announced the release of several updates to its Radeon software developer tools for game developers. Based on open standards and designed to help maximize gaming performance, the following AMD developer tools are now available on GPUOpen: Radeon GPU Profiler (RGP) 1.5 – AMD added three new features to its low-level optimization tool for DirectX 12, Vulkan and OpenCL including: Instruction Timing to allow developers to see instruction durations; Shader ISA to allow developers to see shader code in the pipeline state; and User Market Display to give developers better insights about what the GPU is working on. Radeon GPU Analyzer (RGA) 2.1 – Updates to AMD’s offline compiler and shader performance analysis tool include a new GUI interface for Vulkan and OpenCL analysis and the ability to use the shader compiler directly from the installed Radeon Software driver – rather than the one included. Microsoft PIX AMD-specific GPU Data Support – Microsoft’s premier tool for debugging and analyzing DirectX 12 game performance on Windows 10 now enables developers who primarily use PIX to debug and analyze their DX12 performance to better optimize their games for Radeon graphics, with access to AMD GPU-specific high frequency counter data. OCAT (Open Capture and Analytics Tool) 1.4 – Updates to AMD’s lightweight open source capture and performance analytics tool include an audible indicator that capturing is taking place, and an expanded in-game overlay featuring a rolling frame time graph and API display. AMD TrueAudio Next (TAN) – AMD’s SDK for GPU-accelerated audio signal processing for realistic spatial audio is now supported in the latest Steam Audio Beta 17, which was released in February. AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR samples – To help game developers better optimize their games for Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR, AMD will make sample code available through a series of technical blogs.
  10. 1 point
    Google's rumored gaming announcement was announced this morning during the Google keynote at the Game Developers Conference. Called Stadia, the new generation gaming platform leverages Google's 20 years of data center and network capabilities across 7,500+ edge node locations globally to change how people access and enjoy video games across multiple platforms, including TV, laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phones. No downloads, updates, patches, or installs. The goal is to make these games available at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with HDR and surround sound. Specs for Stadia include custom AMD GPUs with 56 compute units, 10.7 TFlops with applications using the Vulkan API on 2.7 Ghz hyperthreaded x86 CPUs. Games will have 16 GB of RAM available and will run on Linux. Stadia includes a WiFi connected controller with built-in capture and Google Assistant buttons. The controller has a direct connection through WiFi to the data centers driving Stadia for the best possible gaming performance. It will launch later this year in the US, Canada, UK, and much of Europe. There is not much information yet how developers bring their games to Stadia, although it appears they are targeting AAA developers to start. Google is working with a variety of Middleware partners, and more announcements are certain to roll out through the rest of this week. Watch the keynote:
  11. 1 point
    Today, the Substance team releases the first Signature Series collection of 2019, introducing 15 new materials created exclusively for Substance Source by gaming veteran and Senior Material Agent for PlayStation Visual arts Service Group, Javier Perez. Each material is fully customizable and shares a theme that ties back to one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments: the conquest of space. Despite the appeal of working with digital scenes above the Earth, making realistic digital 3D space vehicles and habitats is a daunting prospect for even the most experienced artist. The real-world composites needed to make space accessible are highly complex in their makeup and look, forcing artists hoping for photorealistic recreations to start from scratch. Perez’s collection offers a head start for anyone looking to create digital scenes featuring man-made objects that exist in space, from spacecraft to satellites to modern-day space stations and beyond. “As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. The environment of space always captivated me, and even as life took me in a different direction my love for it remained,” said Perez. “When I was approached to create my own Signature Series release, I wanted to share my enthusiasm for space exploration and offer something that artists of all levels could appreciate.” The 15 materials that comprise Perez’s collection fall into three distinct, and yet connected categories: “Living Quarters,” “Space Station” and “Space Shuttle.” Like all materials in the Substance Source library, each of Perez’s materials are full tweakable, and each serves a different purpose for artists looking to create a scene in space. All materials were procedurally created specifically for this collection and take their inspiration for real-world images and reference points connected to NASA missions. The materials under the Living Quarters banner feature unique and detailed shapes and forms, and include everything an artist would need to create the functional and rugged look of an astronaut’s habitat, including reinforced walls and built in storage to combat the effects of zero gravity. The Space Station materials offer slightly softer edges, mixing in cloth and hi-tech polymers like those found onboard the International Space Station (ISS). As in real-world space exploration, everything serves a purpose, and combinations of materials can be used to mimic the sophisticated and often fragile feel of living in space. The third set includes materials inspired by the Space Shuttle. Although NASA’s shuttle was retired in 2011, its inspiration lives on for artists, astronauts and space agencies around the world. The materials found in this category can help recreate the complex and unique look of the shuttle, from its distinct heat-resistant tiles to the massive and well-worn engines. Artists can also use the materials to create replicas of modern spacecraft or create something original capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of space. All materials are available now. Perez brings nearly a decade of game design experience to his collection, with a resume that includes blockbuster hits like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Planetside 2 and many others. His connection with Substance goes back several years, and includes both tutorials and a presentation at Substance Days 2018. To celebrate the release of the collection, two materials – “Space Station Cargo Rack” and “Thermal Insulation Panel” – are available now at no additional cost for Substance subscribers. Perez’s new collection joins the ever-growing Substance Source library, which now features nearly 1,750 ready-to-use materials available to download. Perez will also join Allegorithmic product manager Wes McDermott on Wednesday, March 20, to offer a deep dive into the making of the collection while offering tips on how best to use them. Pricing/Availability Access to Substance Source is available through a monthly subscription. Subscribers receive 30 Substance Source material downloads per month, along with Substance Designer, Substance Painter and Substance B2M for $19.90 (Indie) or $99.90 (Pro). Professional users and teams can also buy the entire Substance Source library, along with one year of updates, for $4990. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.
  12. 1 point
    Lumberyard Beta 1.18 has been released with over 150 features, improvements, and fixes. New features in this release include: Asset Processor Fast Analysis Mode Edit texture settings for individual images Render a scene from a camera to a texture Organize commonly used slices with the slice favorites feature Use layers to separate content in your level Updates to the Lumberyard PhysX system New Animation Editor features New UI Editor features Check out the release notes for more details.
  13. 1 point
    Esenthel Engine http://esenthel.com/ a high-performance cross-platform game engine is now Free. Grab the source code here: https://github.com/Esenthel/EsenthelEngine Enjoy!
  14. 1 point
    Epic Games will return to the Game Developers Conference, March 18-22 at San Francisco's Moscone Center, to reveal the latest advancements in Unreal Engine technology, and also to support the wider development community with plenty of content, hospitality, and learning opportunities. Epic will once again have two booths, with South 349 hosting Unreal Engine tools demonstrations and learning sessions, and South 327's "Games. Jobs. Beer." destination serving as an oasis filled with playable games, free food and beverages, giveaways, and career networking. Epic will also return to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater (700 Howard Street, adjacent to Moscone) on Wednesday, March 20, 9:30-10:30am PST for the annual "State of Unreal" opening session with founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, CTO Kim Libreri and special guests, followed by tech talks -- all of which will be livestreamed to Unreal Engine channels. See below for more details and a link to the full blog post, which will continue to be updated as Epic announces additional GDC plans. Epic Games: State of Unreal: Epic's annual opening session at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater will demonstrate the latest advancements in Unreal Engine technology, and also reveal what Epic is doing to help all developers be more successful. Hear from Epic's founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, CTO Kim Libreri, and special guests. Attend in person at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater with an Expo Pass Plus or higher, or watch the livestream at /UnrealEngine on YouTube,Twitch or Facebook. Unreal Engine Tech Talks: Following the State of Unreal on Wednesday, Epic will host a full day of programming at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater from 11:00am to 6:00pm PST. Sessions will cover topics ranging from the future of physics and destruction in Unreal Engine to ray tracing and refactoring the mesh drawing pipeline in UE 4.22. Tech talks occurring during this time will also be livestreamed to Unreal Engine channels. Unreal on the Expo Floor: Epic's booth at Moscone South 327 will showcase dozens of the most exciting new titles developed with UE4. Visit for the opportunity to play a curated selection of both indie and AAA games, grab a beer, meet developers, and connect with teams looking to hire Unreal Engine talent. For more information on Epic's learning theater talks, additional GDC sessions featuring the team, and the Unreal Engine Education Summit, visit today's Unreal Engine blog post: https://unrealengine.com/en-US/events/experience-everything-unreal-and-more-at-gdc-2019.
  15. 1 point
    Vivox has announced that the Vivox SDK now supports the Nintendo Switch. This allows all authorized Nintendo Switch developers the choice to provide in-game voice chat capabilities over a headset plugged directly into the console. Developers interested in utilizing the Vivox SDK in their Nintendo Switch titles can reach out to Vivox through the developer’s existing account on the Nintendo developer portal, and from there can download and begin integration of the SDKs. Development teams have already brought Vivox into their Nintendo Switch ports with outstanding results, including Epic Games’ Fortnite. Hi-Rez Studio will also be leveraging the Vivox SDK for SMITE and Paladins in forthcoming game updates. That same functionality is now available to all publishers. With the addition of Nintendo’s latest console, Vivox now officially powers crossplay-ready voice and text communication across every major gaming platform, allowing game developers to engage their audiences in the games they love through quick and easy communication. For more information about the Vivox SDK and how to download the software for Nintendo Switch, please visit www.vivox.com.
  16. 1 point
    Windows Central has found a GDC 2019 session suggesting Microsoft is going to debut a new cross-platform XDK to bring Xbox Live support to Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch. The GDC 2019 schedule includes a session entitled, "Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms", by Jeffrey Shi, Principal Program Manager of Team Xbox, and Ramsey Khadder, Software Engineer of Team Xbox. At the time of this posting it looks like the Takeaway and Intended Audience have been removed, but the description states: Windows Central reported the original description with much more detail, suggesting expansion of the PlayFab services and Xbox Live connectivity across new platforms: View the original story on Windows Central.
  17. 1 point
    Unity follows up last week's Improbable controversy with an update to the Unity Terms of Service Section 2.4, concluding that Improbable is no longer in violation of the Unity ToS and licenses have been reinstated. In a blog post detailing the Unity ToS update, Unity co-founder and CTO Joachim Ante, outlines the new updates to the controversial 2.4 clause and reaffirms Unity's commitment to providing developers with an open platform. The blog post goes on to say that a developer can use any 3rd party service they would like - but it's possible, if the 3rd party service is not an official partner - that Unity will not be able to support it for you. These changes also mean Improbable is not in violation of the ToS, but Unity makes it very clear that they are not a Unity partner: On Twitter, GameDev.net has asked Unity for clarification on the criteria for being a partner and how Improbable failed that criteria. Presumably, Improbable violated one of the three items in the new Section 2.4: Previous news and discussion: https://www.gamedev.net/news/unity-tos-changes-impact-improbables-spatialos-potentially-thousands-of-devs-r728/ https://www.gamedev.net/news/in-light-of-unity-tos-changes-epic-games-and-improbable-reaffirm-commitment-to-devs-r730/
  18. 1 point
    Buckshot Interactive has launched the FirstShot Games program to help new game writers create and publish their first short game - for free. FirstShot Games is a free program that will help people write their first piece of interactive narrative. Through the program developers will write their game, receive feedback, education, and assistance from a professional game narrative designer/writer, release the game, and put that game up for sale. This program is ideal for writers who want to create something interactive for the first time, a gamedev who wants to try narrative, or both. Projects must be story-focused and interactive, take less than a year to make, and should be a gaming experience of no more than two hours, or for book-style experiences, less than 200 pages. The program is free. You can learn more about the program and apply with a project through the FirstShot Games Application.
  19. 1 point
    Intel has announced the Intel Graphics Performance Analyzer 2018 R4 release. New in this release are updates to the Trace Analyzer with a new UI and an improved capture system, additional features in the Graphics Frame Analyzer, and an enhanced Graphics Monitor workflow. From the release notes: Learn more from this video:
  20. 1 point
    Do you have experience working on mobile games? GameDev.net needs your input on this survey for Improbable as they look to develop their mobile offering. For your help we'll give you one free month of GDNet+ and we're giving away twenty $25 Amazon Gift Cards. We will need your email to identify your GameDev.net account, so please provide your email address if you want to claim your free month of GDNet+ and be entered into the Amazon Gift Card drawing. Click here to take the survey. Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! We will randomly pick 20 $25 Amazon Gift Card winners from all participants who enter their email and take this survey. See full Survey Rules here. Your privacy is completely guaranteed. Your email is only used to contact you if you win a gift card. No personal information is associated with your entry. Learn about Improbable We're featuring an interview with Improbable about their SpatialOS GDK for Unity launch. Click here to view it. Haven't heard about SpatialOS? Learn more about it here. Click here to take the survey.
  21. 1 point
    Today, Allegorithmic announces Substance Painter’s third update of 2018, including a complete overhaul of the engine that has helped make the texturing tool an industry leader. From large-scale VFX scenes to high-quality mobile projects, the Substance Painter Fall Update improves performance across the board while simultaneously lowering the hardware requirements for all users. In order to handle large amounts of data without a drop in performance - an increasingly common requirement for VFX professionals and anyone working with massive scenes - the Substance Painter engine has been rewritten to incorporate Sparse Virtual Textures (SVT), a method of simulating large textures using less texture memory. The new memory and management system will allow for up to 300 tiles running at once, moving Substance Painter one step closer to its inevitable goal of unlimited UV tiles support. And while the new engine can easily handle massive scenes, projects of all sizes will benefit from an immediate increase in speed and ease of use. The Fall Update also brings with it new tools for mobile users, including a 2D viewport exporter designed to increase the possibilities for mobile games. High-quality PBR shaders can now be baked into a single high-resolution texture, before final exportation into an artist’s game engine of choice. Using dithering, artists will also be able to remove artifact or banding issues in their 8-bit exports, ensuring solid normal maps up and down the creation process. “Our goal isn’t just to have the best features, it’s to make sure our users have the best experience – even if that means completely rewriting an engine that has served us well for years,” said Allegorithmic founder and CEO Sebastien Deguy. “Hardware should never be a limiting factor, so Substance Painter helps them do more with less.” The Substance Painter Fall Update also introduces a host of user-requested additions, beginning with an updated Baked Lighting filter, capable of presenting environment maps that are near-perfect copies of a PBR shader. Environmental maps can now be rotated horizontally and vertically, and artists no longer have to manually account for painted details on the normal and height channels. New anisotropic patterns have also been added to help create anisotropic patterns. Additional feature sets include: Viewport Improvements Mipmapping – Textures now use mip-maps to avoid flickering on noisy surfaces. New Anisotropic Shader – New anisotropic highlights can help create realistic hair, satin, brushed metal, and glossy reflections using native Iray support. New Temporal Anti-Aliasing – New anti-aliasing methods ensure smooth edges at all times; automatic smoothing of dithering effects caused by sub-surface scattering or transparency shaders. Updated Clearcoat Shader – Adds control over coating thickness and roughness; Iray parity with new MDL shader automatically applied when selected. Symmetry and Layer Stack Improvements Deactivating Multiple Layers – Multiple layers can be clicked and dragged vertically through a stack; blending modes can be scrolled through by hand or mouse. Enhanced Symmetry Tool – Introduces ability to move the axis freely using a 3D Gizmo or within the Symmetry panel; Symmetry plane now displays as an intersection. Layer Stack UI and UX – New color swatch system allows for easy assignment and differentiation of folders and layers Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deal Allegorithmic will also be participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with a sale aimed at new users. Beginning on Friday, November 23, first-time Substance users will receive a 33-percent discount on annual subscriptions, which includes Substance Painter, Substance Designer, the Substance Source material library and the upcoming AI-powered Substance Alchemist. The discount will last until November 26, making it an ideal gift for friends and family interested in digital design. Pricing/Availability The new update to Substance Painter is available today. Following the 30-day trial period, individual users will be able to subscribe to the Substance Indie or Pro plans. Substance Painter is also available for individual-license purchase, which includes 12 months of maintenance. Excluding the Black Friday deal, Subscriptions to Substance Indie cost $19.90/month; Pro plans cost $99.90/month. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.
  22. 1 point
    Mike Acton from Unity shared the slides from his Unite LA talk on LOD and Culling Systems that Scale, where he described the method used for culling and HLOD for the MegaCity demo. Labelled as a talk about what he "didn't do", Acton lists 7 points about how he went about with the optimizations. View the full twitter thread: Presentation as a PDF: culling.pdf
  23. 1 point
    Excitement is gathering for the 4th edition of VRX 2018 in San Francisco this December 6-7. As always, the organizers have brought together a stellar line-up of many of the world’s biggest companies and investors across industry, entertainment and tech to cut through the hype and get to the heart of what’s really happening in XR. You can see the full line-up on the VRX website. But the focus of VRX is not just the content – it’s also the people who attend and the networking the event provides. This year will see 800 top-tier XR business leaders in attendance over the two days. Here’s a snapshot of who’ll be there: Game, film and content studios: The VOID, Paramount, Skydance Interactive, Survios, Digital Domain, GREE, Dave & Busters, Felix & Paul, Sansar, Cloudhead Games, Vreal, Penrose Studios, MediaMonks, Dreamscape Immersive, Fake Production Oy, Nomadic, nDreams, Zerolight, REWIND, Happy Finish, HBO Hardware and software providers: Oculus, HTC, Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, AMD, Unity, HP, Bose, Tobii, Talespin, Almalence, Intervoke, Siemens, LG, Flex, Adobe, Varjo, Intuitive Surgical, Neurable, Ultrahaptics, Ubiquity6, Microsoft Enterprises and brands across multiple verticals: Gensler, Nationwide, ExxonMobil, Merck, Audi, Nestle, Israel Aerospace, General Motors, Allergan, DHL, Ball Aerospace, Jacobs, CDM Smith, Siemens Energy, Lowe’s, GE Power, HDR, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Applied Materials, State Farm Insurance, United Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, BASF, Honda Analysts, media and financiers: Deloitte, Comcast Ventures, SuperData, Digi-Capital, Fortune, Techcrunch, Road to VR, Capital Group, Vive X, Boston Consulting, Boost VC, HP Tech Ventures, Headlight Investments, TDPI Ventures, Maveron The organizers have also included the job titles of those attending from these companies here: http://events.vr-intelligence.com/vrx/conference-attendees.php GameDev.net has a discount for you to use, to get 15% off tickets to the event. Just enter the code GDN15 when you register here:https://events.vr-intelligence.com/vrx/register.php .
  24. 1 point
    Epic Games today released Unreal Engine 4.21 to bring developers greater efficiency, performance, and stability for any project on any platform. With this latest release, it's easier for users to work smarter, create faster, and produce world-class results with Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine 4.21 builds upon proven tools for creativity and efficiency, adding even more mobile optimizations to both Android and iOS, up to 60% speed increases when cooking content, and more power and flexibility in the industry-leading Niagara effects toolset for real-time VFX. In addition, the new production-ready Replication Graph plugin enables developers to build multiplayer experiences at a scale previously impossible, and Pixel Streaming allows users to stream interactive content directly to remote devices with no compromises on rendering quality. Updates in Unreal Studio 4.21 also offer new capabilities and enhanced productivity for users in the enterprise space, including architecture, manufacturing, product design, and other areas of professional visualization. Unreal Studio's Datasmith workflow toolkit now includes support for Autodesk Revit, and enhanced material translation for Autodesk 3ds Max, all enabling more efficient design review and iteration. Key features across Unreal Engine 4.21 include: Replication Graph: The Replication Graph plugin, which is now production-ready, makes it possible to customize network replication in order to build large-scale multiplayer games that would not be viable with traditional replication strategies. Niagara Enhancements: The Niagara VFX feature set continues to grow, with substantial quality of life improvements and Nintendo Switch support added in Unreal Engine 4.21. Sequencer Improvements: New capabilities within Sequencer allow users to record incoming video feeds to disk as OpenEXR frames and create a track in Sequencer, with the ability to edit and scrub the track as usual. This enables users to synchronize video with CG assets and play them back together from the timeline. Pixel Streaming (Early Access): With the new Pixel Streaming feature, users can author interactive experiences such as product configurations or training applications, host them on a cloud-based GPU or local server, and stream them to remove devices via web browser without the need for additional software or porting. Mobile Optimizations: The mobile development process gets even better thanks to all of the mobile optimizations that were developed for Fortnite's initial release on Android, in addition to all of the iOS improvements from Epic's ongoing updates. With the help of Samsung, Unreal Engine 4.21 includes all of the Vulkan engineering and optimization work that was done to help ship Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is 100% feature compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1. Much Faster Cook Times: With the release of 4.21, the cooking process has been optimized, resulting in up to a 60% speed increase in cook times. Low-level code avoids performing unnecessary file system operations, and cooker timers have been streamlined. Gauntlet Automation Framework (Early access): The new Gauntlet automation framework enables developers to automate the process of deploying builds to devices, running one or more clients and or/servers, and processing the results. Gauntlet scripts can automatically profile points of interest, validate gameplay logic, check return values from backend APIs, and more! Gauntlet has been battle tested for months in the process of optimizing Fortnite, and is a key part of ensuring it runs smoothly on all platforms. Animation System Optimizations and Improvements: Unreal Engine’s animation system continues to build on best-in-class features thanks to new workflow improvements, better surfacing of information, new tools, and more. Blackmagic Video Card Support: Unreal Engine 4.21 also adds support for Blackmagic video I/O cards for those working in film and broadcast. Creatives in the space can now choose between Blackmagic and AJA Video Systems, the two most popular options for professional video I/O. Improved Media I/O: Unreal Engine 4.21 now supports 10-bit video I/O, audio I/O, 4K, and Ultra HD output over SDI, as well as legacy interlaced and PsF HD formats, enabling greater color accuracy and integration of some legacy formats still in use by large broadcasters. Windows Mixed Reality: Unreal Engine 4.21 natively supports the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform and headsets, such as the HP Mixed Reality headset and the Samsung HMD Odyssey headset. Magic Leap Improvements: Unreal Engine 4.21 supports all the features needed to develop complete applications on Magic Leap's Lumin-based devices -- rendering, controller support, gesture recognition, audio input/output, media, and more. Oculus Avatars: The Oculus Avatar SDK includes an Unreal package to assist developers in implementing first-person hand presence for the Rift and Touch controllers. The package includes avatar hand and body assets that are viewable by other users in social applications. Datasmith for Revit (Unreal Studio): Unreal Studio's Datasmith workflow toolkit for streamlining the transfer of CAD data into Unreal Engine now includes support for Autodesk Revit. Supported elements include materials, metadata, hierarchy, geometric instancing, lights, and cameras. Multi-User Viewer Project Template (Unreal Studio): A new project template for Unreal Studio 4.21 enables multiple users to connect in a real-time environment via desktop or VR, facilitating interactive, collaborative design reviews across any work site. Accelerated Automation with Jacketing and Defeaturing (Unreal Studio): Jacketing automatically identifies meshes and polygons that have a high probability of being hidden from view and lets users hide, remove, or move them to another layer; this command is also available through Python so that Unreal Studio users can integrate this step into automated preparation workflows. Defeaturing automatically removes unnecessary detail (e.g. blind holes, protrusions) from mechanical models to reduce polygon count and boost performance. Enhanced 3ds Max Material Translation (Unreal Studio): There is now support for most commonly used 3ds Max maps, improving visual fidelity and reducing rework. Those in the free Unreal Studio beta can now translate 3ds Max material graphs to Unreal graphs when exporting, making materials easier to understand and work with. Users can also leverage improvements in BRDF matching from V-Ray materials, especially metal and glass. DWG and Alias Wire Import (Unreal Studio): Datasmith now supports DWG and Alias Wire file types, enabling designers to import more 3D data directly from Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Alias. For a full feature list and additional details, please visit: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-21-released
  25. 1 point
    Jean Simonet is an indie developer who moved away from the AAA space in 2013 after delivering Skyrim and realizing that Fallout 4 just had him doing more of the same. Jean challenged himself and succeeded. In this talk, Jean runs a counterstrike on every piece of indie gaming advice you've ever been told.
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