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    khawk

    Amazon Puts Lumberyard on GitHub

    By khawk, in News,

    Lumberyard source is now available on GitHub. You can check it out at www.github.com/aws/Lumberyard. Instead of using the installer, you can now access Lumberyard source code directly from GitHub and use GitHub to manage your code.
    Another benefit: submit code changes back to Lumberyard.
    Learn more at their announcement: https://aws.amazon.com/it/blogs/gamedev/now-available-lumberyard-on-github/.


    jbadams

    Snapdragon Profiler 1.7.1 Available

    By jbadams, in News,

    Qualcomm has released the next version of their Snapdragon Profiler, the mobile profiler for Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset. The new version includes a number of fixes for developers working on rendering optimizations, including:
    Added ability to detect if application has Snapshot capture permissions Improved drawcall list visualization for multi-context applications  Improved tracking of graphics contexts affecting multi-context applications affecting all capture modes Fixed various random crashes affecting connection to device Fixed initial captured screenshot showing artifacts affecting Snapshot captures Fixed application crashing on exit affecting various multi-context graphics applications Fixed correlation issues with trace captures and Rendering Stages metrics on Android O Fixed crash while capturing DSP and system traces simultaneously affecting Trace captures Fixed crash while capturing various multi-context applications affecting Snapshot captures Fixed crash and metrics not reporting data while capturing realtime metrics for multi-context graphics applications Fixed random issue were per-drawcall metrics don't collect data affecting Snapshot captures
    Learn more at https://developer.qualcomm.com/software/snapdragon-profiler.
     

    khawk
    Unity has announced that support for Xbox One X is now available. This means developers can now deploy their projects to any member of the XBox One family: Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. Unity developers can now take advantage of the increased power and 4K HDR output.
    From their blog announcement:
     

    khawk
    The latest version of the Unreal Engine has been released. Version 4.17 brings new tools, workflow enhancements, and performance optimizations for developers. 
    A Composure compositing system and Image Plate plugin allow developers to combine content rendered in realtime with live action footage. The Sequencer has also been improved with better workflow for creating cinematics and linear media.
     
    A new Asset Management Framework helps with managing game-specific content.


    Support for Microsoft's XBox One X has also been added, and for VR the VR Spectator Screen allows spectators to watch gameplay in VR. Android performance has also been improved for higher end devices.

     
    The release includes many more features and improvements. Learn more and view the full release notes from the Unreal Engine Blog announcement.
     
     



    khawk
    Nakama, a distributed server for social and realtime games and apps, has been released by developer Heroic Labs. The open source server features:
    Users - Register/login new users via social networks, email, or device ID. Storage - Store user records, settings, and other objects in collections. Social - Import friends via Facebook, Google, Steam and more. Users can connect with friends, and join groups. Builtin social graph to see how users can be connected. Chat - 1-on-1, group, and global chat between users. Persist messages for chat history. Multiplayer - Realtime, or turn-based active and passive multiplayer. Leaderboards - Dynamic, seasonal, get top members, or members around a user. Have as many as you need. Runtime code - Extend the server with custom logic written in Lua. Matchmaker, dashboard, metrics, etc, etc. Nakama and its source code can be downloaded on GitHub at https://github.com/heroiclabs/nakama.

    khawk
    The developer for Spectrum Break has open sourced their 2D camera tracking plugin for Unity. Called Game-Eye-2D, the plugin is a "component based orthographic camera extension for unity that tracks 2D environments."
    From the description:
    A full tutorial is available on YouTube:
    Learn more and get the code at the GitHub page: https://github.com/JasonHein/Game-Eye-2D.

    TheChubu

    OpenGL 4.6 Released

    By TheChubu, in News,

    The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces from the SIGGRAPH 2017 Conference the immediate public availability of the OpenGL® 4.6 specification. OpenGL 4.6 integrates the functionality of numerous ARB and EXT extensions created by Khronos members AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA into core, including the capability to ingest SPIR-V™ shaders.
    SPIR-V is a Khronos-defined standard intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics, which enables content creators to simplify their shader authoring and management pipelines while providing significant source shading language flexibility. OpenGL 4.6 adds support for ingesting SPIR-V shaders to the core specification, guaranteeing that SPIR-V shaders will be widely supported by OpenGL implementations.
    OpenGL 4.6 adds the functionality of these ARB extensions to OpenGL’s core specification:
    GL_ARB_gl_spirv and GL_ARB_spirv_extensions to standardize SPIR-V support for OpenGL GL_ARB_indirect_parameters and GL_ARB_shader_draw_parameters for reducing the CPU overhead associated with rendering batches of geometry GL_ARB_pipeline_statistics_query and GL_ARB_transform_feedback_overflow_querystandardize OpenGL support for features available in Direct3D GL_ARB_texture_filter_anisotropic (based on GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic) brings previously IP encumbered functionality into OpenGL to improve the visual quality of textured scenes GL_ARB_polygon_offset_clamp (based on GL_EXT_polygon_offset_clamp) suppresses a common visual artifact known as a “light leak” associated with rendering shadows GL_ARB_shader_atomic_counter_ops and GL_ARB_shader_group_vote add shader intrinsics supported by all desktop vendors to improve functionality and performance GL_KHR_no_error reduces driver overhead by allowing the application to indicate that it expects error-free operation so errors need not be generated In addition to the above features being added to OpenGL 4.6, the following are being released as extensions:
    GL_KHR_parallel_shader_compile allows applications to launch multiple shader compile threads to improve shader compile throughput WGL_ARB_create_context_no_error and GXL_ARB_create_context_no_error allow no error contexts to be created with WGL or GLX that support the GL_KHR_no_error extension “I’m proud to announce OpenGL 4.6 as the most feature-rich version of OpenGL yet. We've brought together the most popular, widely-supported extensions into a new core specification to give OpenGL developers and end users an improved baseline feature set. This includes resolving previous intellectual property roadblocks to bringing anisotropic texture filtering and polygon offset clamping into the core specification to enable widespread implementation and usage,” said Piers Daniell, chair of the OpenGL Working Group at Khronos. “The OpenGL working group will continue to respond to market needs and work with GPU vendors to ensure OpenGL remains a viable and evolving graphics API for all its customers and users across many vital industries.“
    The OpenGL 4.6 specification can be found at https://khronos.org/registry/OpenGL/index_gl.php. The GLSL to SPIR-V compiler glslang has been updated with GLSL 4.60 support, and can be found at https://github.com/KhronosGroup/glslang.
    Sophisticated graphics applications will also benefit from a set of newly released extensions for both OpenGL and OpenGL ES to enable interoperability with Vulkan and Direct3D. These extensions are named:
    GL_EXT_memory_object GL_EXT_memory_object_fd GL_EXT_memory_object_win32 GL_EXT_semaphore GL_EXT_semaphore_fd GL_EXT_semaphore_win32 GL_EXT_win32_keyed_mutex They can be found at: https://khronos.org/registry/OpenGL/index_gl.php
    Industry Support for OpenGL 4.6
    “With OpenGL 4.6 our customers have an improved set of core features available on our full range of OpenGL 4.x capable GPUs. These features provide improved rendering quality, performance and functionality. As the graphics industry’s most popular API, we fully support OpenGL and will continue to work closely with the Khronos Group on the development of new OpenGL specifications and extensions for our customers. NVIDIA has released beta OpenGL 4.6 drivers today at https://developer.nvidia.com/opengl-driver so developers can use these new features right away,” said Bob Pette, vice president, Professional Graphics at NVIDIA.
    "OpenGL 4.6 will be the first OpenGL release where conformant open source implementations based on the Mesa project will be deliverable in a reasonable timeframe after release. The open sourcing of the OpenGL conformance test suite and ongoing work between Khronos and X.org will also allow for non-vendor led open source implementations to achieve conformance in the near future," said David Airlie, senior principal engineer at Red Hat, and developer on Mesa/X.org projects.

    khawk
    Today at the SIGGRAPH Conference, Epic Games revealed advancements in real-time CG production workflows. New developments included a technology preview of Datasmith, a workflow toolkit to simplify moving data into Unreal Engine for architectural and design visualizations. Additionally, Epic demonstrated an Alembic-based pipeline for the creation of high quality animated content in real time. These new tools enable content creators to easily add Unreal Engine to existing production pipelines and reinforce Epic's leadership in real-time workflows, blurring the line between production and post-production.
    "We are committed to simplifying the integration of Unreal Engine in content creation workflows across animation production, AR/VR and visualization," said Marc Petit, Enterprise GM, Epic Games. "Unreal Engine is powering SIGGRAPH's most impressive new AR/VR showcases along with the first ever real-time CG shorts at the Computer Animation Festival. Real-time production - with the ability to iterate interactively without render farm delays - is the future of content creation and Unreal Engine is putting that front and center at SIGGRAPH this year."
    Datasmith, which will be available as a private beta in August (unrealengine.com/beta), is designed to help artists and designers simplify the process of importing data into Unreal Engine from over 20 CAD/DCC sources, including Autodesk 3ds Max. Datasmith provides a high-fidelity translation of numerous common scene assets like geometry, textures, materials, lights and cameras. This results in significant time savings as content creators don't need to replicate this work again in the engine.
    This technology was publicly previewed for the first time at the Unreal Engine User Group at SIGGRAPH on Monday July 31 at the Orpheum Theatre. Using data from Italian architects Lissoni and designers at Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Epic's Chris Murray showed how Datasmith's 3ds Max plugin and CAD importers enable users to import files that retain visual fidelity to the source - saving hours in data transfer and preparation time - taking the user most of the way to creating a fully interactive, photoreal, real-time visualization experience.
    The Alembic workflow enables the integration of quality animated mesh transformations with skeletal deformations in the engine, in real time. Developed for the Fortnite cinematic trailer "A Hard Day's Night", the tools are available in Unreal Engine v4.17, due early August.

    khawk
    Humble Bundle has announced the Unreal Engine & Unity 5 Humble Book Bundle. Pay what you want and support charity for $783 worth of DRM-free, digital books. The deal ends in 2 weeks and includes the items below:
    $1
    Building an RPG with Unreal 4.x Unreal Engine Game Development Cookbook Learning Unreal Engine Game Development Getting Started with Unity 5 Mapt Subscription (30 days) $8
    Unreal Engine 4 Game Development Essentials Unity 5 for Beginners (videos) 3D Game Design with Unreal Engine 4 and Blender Blueprints Visual Scripting for Unreal Engine Unity 5.x Game Development Blueprints Unity 5.x Animation Cookbook Unity 5.x Game AI Programming Cookbook $15
    Unreal Engine 4.X By Example Unreal Engine 4 Scripting with C++ Cookbook Unity 5.x By Example Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 5.x Unity 5.x Cookbook Unity Virtual Reality Projects Building an Unreal RTS Game: The Basics (videos) Learn more at the bundle page by clicking here.

    khawk
    The book WebGL Insights is now available for free as a PDF download. Published in 2015, CRC Press has made the book available for free, and it can be downloaded from the WebGL Insights Github page.
    Learn more from the book's website.

    jbadams
    With the growing maturity of open standards such as HTML5, WebGL and others, and dwindling support for the Flash player on various platforms, there has been plenty of discussions around the idea that 'Flash is dying'.
    As of yesterday, it's official.  Adobe has announced in a blog post that they will stop updating and distributing Flash as of the end of 2020, and will be encouraging content creators to migrate their content to open formats.  The flash player will continue to receive updates for security and compatibility until that time.  
     
    Click through for full details in Adobe's announcement, or read what their partners have said in their own announcements:
    Apple Facebook Google Microsoft Mozilla

    khawk
    Austin Game Conference and Intel invite indie game developers worldwide to apply to pitch their game live onstage at the 2017 Austin Game Conference. One again this year, AGC has teamed up with Intel to host this year’s Indie Game Developer Showcase on Wednesday, September 20th. Game Dev Showcase, the official AGC preshow party, is an eventful evening filled with networking, amazing game previews, hands-on demos, and more.

    Indie developers should apply now to be a part of the Showcase! 10 finalists will face-off against their peers by pitching their PC game on stage! If you or your team is selected as a finalist you'll be on stage at Austin Game Conference, gain valuable feedback from our luminary panel of judges, and potentially win hardware prizes from Intel! Plus all 10 finalists get time to demo their game in the Intel booth in the AGC expo hall on Sept. 21-22. The deadline for submission isSeptember 1st. Prizes will be awarded for Best Overall Game, Best Artwork, Most Innovative, and Audience Pick.
    All AGC attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors are invited to attend the Showcase. You won't want to miss it. Doors open Sept. 20th at 6:00pm at Brazos Hall (204 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701). Mark your schedule.
    The Austin Game Conference (AGC) presented by Intel, takes place September 21-22, 2017 at the Austin Convention Center. AGC provides critical insight into online games development with more than 80 speakers across 7 conference tracks: Design, Technical, Production, Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality, Audience Development, Audio and Business. John Hanke, CEO and Founder, Niantic, Inc., creator of the popular augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon GO, will deliver the show’s opening keynote. Super Early registration is now open.

    khawk
    John Romero, one of the original developers of Doom, is heading to Kajaani in Finland to speak at the Northern Game Summit in October.
    The Northern Game Summit (NGS) is a game conference and an annual networking event for the game development trade and associated industries. The event is held in the middle of Finland’s woodland, in the city of Kajaani on October 5th and 6th 2017. Kajaani is located 550 kilometres north from the capital of Finland, Helsinki.

    The NGS's 500+ attendees can engage each other in an  easy-going and intimate environment across three parts of the event – The Business Mixer, Bonus Stage Party, and the NGS 2017 itself. The event has six different tracks: Design, Production, Art, Audio, Business and Tech.
    Speakers from all around the world have enlisted for NGS: John Romero from the US (Industry veteran), Adam Harrington from the US (voice actor, famous from Tales from Monkey Island and Wolf Among Us), Patrick Rose from Germany (Business and Product Analyst at Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe), Eevi Korhonen from Finland (Game Designer at Remedy Entertainment) and Timo Heinäpurola from Finland (Senior Engineer at Reforged Studios).
    This year’s panel discussion is about game psychology and how does games and gaming have an influence on the human mind. 
    The Business Mixer is a pre-party of the Northern Game Summit. Game developers and others can mix’n’match there on October 4th before the conference. The Bonus Stage Party is an official after-party of the Northern Game Summit. It will have great people, Marioke, food, open bar and a small number of exhibitors. The party will be arranged in the evening of October 5th.
    NGS main sponsors this year are Critical Force, Fingersoft and Supercell.
    More detailed information about everything related to the Northern Game Summit can be found at http://www.northerngamesummit.org. Early Bird tickets are available through the website.

    khawk
    Serious games - those designed for education or training - are on a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.2% globally, suggesting revenues will more than double to $8.1 billion by 2022, according to Metaari, the foremost analyst firm covering the market.  In 2017, global revenues will hit $3.2 billion.  And that number includes only retail packaged (off-the-shelf) products.  It does not include revenues for hardware, devices, platforms, tools or custom content development services.
    Several convergent catalysts are driving the global game-based learning market, according to Metaari in its 2017-2022 Global Game-based Learning Market Report:
    Organizational resistance to learning that includes game play is fading fast The growing availability of easy-to-use development tools Exponential innovation in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR, and Mixed Reality (MR) An upsurge of new next-generation educational games coming to the market The impending rollouts of very fast 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) In 2017, consumers were the top buyers of educational games, followed by primary schools and corporations. The three buying segments with the highest growth rates are corporations (35.7%), preschool (30.7%) and higher education institutions (26.3%). 
    By 2022, corporations will the second-largest buyer group after consumers.
    The highest revenue generating educational products are early childhood learning games, brain trainers and language learning games.  The serious games with the highest growth rates are virtual reality educational games, at a breathtaking 47.9%.
    Eight game-based learning buying segments are analyzed in the Metaari report: consumer, preschool, primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary and higher education institutions, federal government agencies, provincial/state and local government agencies and corporations.  The report also lists more than 300 suppliers operating across the globe to help companies identify partners, distributors and resellers.
    Metaari's report analyses size, growth and trends in seven regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America, and Western Europe and has two sections: a demand-side analysis and a supply-side analysis for eight buying segments.  For the U.S., Metaari provides a detailed breakout including information on major serious game studios and market cataysts.
    Sam Adkins, CEO, Metaari, provided highlights of his 100+ page report to attendees at the 2017 Serious Play Conference, an annual gathering of the thought leaders in the serious games industry.  Product revenue forecasts are based on Metaari's proprietary game-based learning pedagogical framework, which identifies 11 unique types of educational games. The framework provides suppliers with a precise method of tapping specific revenue streams and a concise instructional design specification for the development of effective educational games.
    The Metaari report is available for sale at the price of $499 http://seriousplayconf.com/downloads/2017-2022-global-game-based-learning-market/

    khawk
    UBM Tech Game Network is now accepting submissions for the 20th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF).
    The IGF is part of the Game Developers Conference 2018, which takes place March 19th through March 23rd at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. Entries for all of the IGF categories will be accepted now through October 2, 2017, with finalists announced in early January 2018.
    Finalists' games will once again be playable at the packed IGF Pavilion on the Game Developers Conference 2018 Expo Floor, and will compete for over $50,000 in prizes. These awards include the Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, Design and Narrative Awards, which will have six finalists each, with the winner getting $3,000 in each category. There will also be six finalists for the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
    This year also sees the return of the Best Student Game award ($3,000 prize), and the special Nuovo Award ($3,000, eight finalists) will be offered again to honor the game title that 'makes the jurors think differently about games as a medium'. Finally, the IGF Audience Award ($3,000 prize) will be decided by a public vote from all of the competition finalists.
    Organizers are also welcoming the return of the alt.ctrl.GDC Award ($3,000), an affiliated award to be given out during the IGF ceremony, honoring intriguing and inventive games using unique one-of-a-kind controllers. Finalists and the winner for this award will be picked from entries into the popular on-site GDC exhibit, which will open a little later in 2017.
    The Independent Games Festival is the longest-running and highest profile independent video game festival, summit and showcase. It has served as a springboard for several games that have gone on to become critical and cultural hits. Previous IGF prize winners from the past 19 years include Quadrilateral Cowboy, Her Story, Papers, Please, Spelunky, Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter and many more of the game industry's breakthrough independent titles.
    Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with the IGF Pavilion open from March 21st-23rd, and the sister Independent Games Summit event taking place on March 19th and 20th.
    The Independent Games Festival is a part of the 2018 Game Developers Conference, which will be held from March 19th through March 23rd, 2018 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. IGF continues to be the largest annual gathering of independent video game developers, showcasing top talent across the industry and keeping a pulse on the future of independent games.
    Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers. Important dates for IGF 2018 are as follows:
    ●   July 24, 2017 - Submissions are Open
    ●   October 2, 2017 - Submission Deadline
    ●   Early January, 2018 - IGF Finalists Announced
    ●   March 19 - March 23, 2018 - Game Developers Conference 2018
    ●   March 19 - March 20, 2018 - Independent Games Summit @ GDC 2018
    ●   March 21 - March 23, 2018 - IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2018
    ●   March 21, 2018 - IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners announced)
    For more information on the 2018 Independent Games Festival, including submission specifics and frequently asked questions, please visit the official Independent Games Festival website. IGF entries can be submitted here.

    khawk
    Epic Games will host their first SIGGRAPH Unreal Engine User Group and party in Los Angeles on July 31, 2017 at the Orpheum Theatre from 4:30-9:00PM; more information and registration is available online.
    The User Group will feature an exciting lineup of presentations -- from Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney and Enterprise GM Marc Petit to companies as diverse as global architectural firm HOK, self-driving car start-up Zoox and animation production company Digital Dimension, among others. Customer presentations and third party integrations will underscore how Unreal Engine is transforming content creation across animation, feature film, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), architecture, and product visualization.
    “These incredible customers are just a sample of those turning to Unreal Engine to create high quality, interactive content--whether for large-scale design visualizations, children’s animated TV shows, AR, VR or artificial intelligence applications,” said Marc Petit, Enterprise GM, Epic Games. “Visual fidelity in real time is what we’re known for--now we’re adding workflow tools that simplify pipelines considerably and we look forward to demonstrating them at Siggraph!”
    Epic will showcase real-time productions, workflow tools, and interactive experiences at several events during this year’s Siggraph; from Real-Time Live!, to the VR Village, to the Computer Animation Festival, and much more. Highlights include:
    DigiPro: Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri will keynote the DigiPro Symposium on July 29th at the Beaudry Theatre at Los Angeles Center Studios, where he will discuss “Real-time technology and the future of production”. VR Film Jam: Throughout the Siggraph conference, Epic Games will coach the VR Film Jam where teams will convert animated shorts into interactive VR experiences. Computer Animation Festival: This is the first year real-time production is represented and the only two real-time films being shown are both Unreal projects ("A Hard Day's Nite" and "The Human Race").  
     
     
    Meet Mike in VR: Meet Mike in VR is a state-of-the art digital human performance in virtual reality, powered by Unreal Engine. Spearheaded by FX Guide’s Mike Seymour as part of his PhD with the University of Sydney, this is a widely-supported global research project that is pushing hardware and software limitations to provide a glimpse into the future of photorealistic, character-driven real-time production.

    khawk
    Develop:Brighton, announced record attendance figures with a 7.5 per cent year on year increase. The conference and expo which included sessions from industry visionaries including Brenda Romero, Graeme Devine, Tetsuya Mizuguchi and John Romero had 2,171 attendees over the three days, the most in its 12-year history.
    “I’d like to thank all our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for making this year’s Develop:Brighton such a success,” commented Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events. “Each year we strive to improve and deliver an event that provides the game development community with the opportunity to learn, network and be inspired and we intend to continue on this journey.”
     
    Following the conclusion of Develop:Brighton, Tandem Events confirmed that Develop:VR, a one day conference and expo focused on the new commercial opportunities that Virtual and Augmented Reality present for today’s game developers, will return on Thursday 9 November at a new location, London’s Olympia. Tandem Events also announced Sony Interactive Entertainment will be a headline sponsor of Develop:VR.
    On the announcement of Develop:VR, Andy Lane commented, “We are delighted to announce the return of Develop:VR at its new home. Every day we’re learning more about what is possible with VR and AR technology. This is a fast growing sector both inside and outside the games industry and we believe Develop:VR is a destination for developers to learn from and network with those who are making waves in the space. I’d also like to thank Sony Interactive Entertainment for their support of the event as a headline sponsor.”
    Michael Denny, SVP WorldWide Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, added, “Following on from the success of last year’s event, Develop VR promises to be an essential addition to the industry events calendar. As our PSVR ecosystem pushes at the boundaries of VR, with award winning experiences like the Joshua Bell immersive video project and exciting new games like Farpoint, having an event like this is vital to spread ideas, knowledge and best practice to ensure that, across the creative industries, we can truly deliver on the exceptional promise of VR to our consumers.”
    Speaker Submissions is now open for Develop:VR 2017 and prospective speakers have until 23 August to submit proposals at http://www.developconference.com/conference/vr-call- for-speaker- submissions.

    khawk
    Epic Games has announced that the 2017 Unreal Engine Marketplace Summer Sale is officially underway and runs from July 18 to August 1. Over 1,200 items are available at discounts up to 90% off. Blueprints, textures, music, and more are all available. From the blog:
     
    In case you hadn't heard yet, GameDev.net's own GameDev Marketplace also has a summer sale. Until August 31, get 50% off all GameDev Marketplace assets using the code gdnetsummer2017. Browse, buy, and sell at https://gamedev.market.
     

    khawk
    Nearly 5,000 developers and tech professionals across the world responded to Packt’s third annual Skill Up survey to share their thoughts on the latest tech tools and trends, and how they work and learn. Skill Up 2017 also investigated wider questions about the tech industry - from its status and value in organizations and industry today, through to urgent issues around diversity.
    The aim of Packt’s Skill Up survey is to help those working in tech make better decisions about the tools they decide to use, how they use them, and how they learn about them, in order to stay relevant and gain a competitive edge in their careers. 
    Download the full Skill Up report to discover what it’s like to work in tech today.
    Who took part in Skill Up 2017?
    Skill Up was circulated globally to people working across an array of sectors in tech; from mobile developers to big data engineers, and everyone in between. 4,731 respondents from 43 countries around the world took part. The majority of responses came from men aged between 35 and 45 working full-time in software solutions in the United States. 
    A full breakdown of this year’s demographics can be found in the full Skill Up report.
    Skill Up at a glance
    And the number one tool is…
    Python. Its popularity has surged over recent years and it has clearly gained huge mainstream uptake due to its accessibility, fully featured standard library, rich ecosystem of libraries and frameworks, and highly engaged community. Joining Python in the top 5 are Git, Visual Studio, Eclipse, and Java.
    Discover who’s using Python and the tools they’re most likely to use with it in Skill Up.
    What should people be learning next?
    Python’s popularity won’t be waning any time soon – it came in at second place as the tool to learn over the next 12 months. Python was pipped to pole position by Docker. With the growth of containerization, a surge in people learning Docker makes sense. Angular, Visual Studio, and Jenkins also make the top 5.
    Take a look at Skill Up to explore who will be learning what over the next 12 months.
    Why learn something new?
    ‘There is a problem that I need to fix and don't know how’ is the number one reason why developers and tech professionals choose to learn something new. They also cite solving problems more effectively at work, and curiosity about tools and languages they’ve read about online as reasons to get learning.
    18-34 year olds are most likely to learn something new in order to expand their skillset and apply for a new role. Despite this career focus, they are the most likely to say they are not motivated to learn. The over 45s are very practical about their learning, saying that a new update or change to a language or tool they work with spurs them on to learn. Whilst they have the motivation to learn, they find that lack of time is their biggest barrier. 
    Skill Up also revealed that 18-34 year olds are big Stack Overflow fans, whilst the over 45s are into their reading. Packt is committed to learning to suit everyone; offering eBooks, print books, videos, blogs, and an online learning platform, Mapt.
    Discover more about how those working in tech are learning in the full Skill Up report.
    The skills that pay the bills
    The big question – who’s earning the most? The top five roles to be in for ultimate earning power are C-Suite Level Managers, Big Data Engineers, Mid-level Leads/Managers, Security Engineers, and Information Architects. Unsurprisingly, developers and tech professionals in North America have the highest average salary, whilst those in South and South-East Asia are worst off.
    As for the lowest paid roles, hobbyists came out on top, yet we can assume respondents identifying as hobbyists do not work full-time in a tech role. In terms of full-time professions, Game Developers had the lowest average salary, followed by Web Developers, Technical Support Professionals, and Mobile Developers.
    So what do you need to learn to earn? Respondents with Splunk, Hadoop, Kafka, Chef, or SAS under their belt earn more than the average salary. It seems as though Big Data is the industry to be in.
    Does the tech industry have a gender diversity problem?
    90% of respondents to Skill Up were male, which in itself reveals the industry’s lack of gender diversity. Packt asked respondents if they thought the tech industry does have a gender diversity issue, and a majority of 47.2% agreed. 24.3% didn’t think there was an issue, whilst 28.5% were sat on the fence.
    The biggest gap between gender equality appeared in the Financial Services and Software Solutions sectors, whilst Design and Marketing came out on top for diversity. It may come as no surprise that 18-24 year old males were the least likely to agree there is a gender diversity issue. Perhaps a rose-tinted view stemming from a lack of industry experience?
    The full Skill Up 2017 survey report is free and available for download here.

    khawk
    GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a new ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design.
    The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game.
    The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here.
    The Curated Books

    The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell
    Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here.

    A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin
    Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here.

    An Architectural Approach to Level Design
    This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here.
    Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here.
    Did you know?
    GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

    khawk
    Babylon.js v3.0 has been released. The open source framework allows developers to create 3D experiences in the browser.
    The release includes:
    Support for WebGL 2 with more control over the GPU Support for WebVR 1.1 including support for the new Windows Mixed Reality headsets Support for glTF 2.0 including physically based rendering materials Improved physically based rendering (demo) New Babylon.GUI for generating an interactive user interface Support for morph targets Support for live textures using WebCam Documentation improvements and the Playground, where developers can experiment with a live code editor Learn more from the announcement on the Windows blog.