Apelab has announced a real-time virtual environment creator 'SpacialStories', which is intended to reduce the challenges that creators are now facing in Virtual and Mixed Reality pipelines through a toolset that improves the workflow with interactive environments.
The 3.6 version of the popular C# MonoGame library is now available. MonoGame is an open sourced and cross-platform implementation of Microsoft's XNA4 framework which now supports multiple platforms and has been used for titles such as PlayStation 4 games Towerfall Ascension, Mercenary Kings, and numerous others.
Version 3.6 includes numerous changes including an updated Xamarin Studio, a new SDL2 backend for desktop platforms, and various bug fixes and performance improvements. View the full changelog, or download the update today.
Microsoft today announced their partnership with Acer to bring Mixed Reality headsets to the developer community. These are the first Mixed Reality headsets to feature inside-out tracking, and while Microsoft is shipping the developer kits to partners, developers can sign up to receive future kits.
From their blog:
GitHub Enterprise 2.9 is now available with improvements for both developers and administrators. With this release, administrators will see improvements in reliability and developers can get more out of pull requests.
Load balancer support
Resolve merge conflicts in the UI
Dismiss pull request reviews
Rebase and merge pull requests
Search commit messages improvements
Progressively loaded diffs
?Check out the Github announcement for more information.
Now, any developer can integrate Xbox Live into their game and publish to Xbox One and Windows 10. At GDC this morning, Microsoft announced the Xbox Live Creators Program. Developers can download the SDK and start configuring, coding, and testing today, towards a future submission date.
No concept approval is required, and developers only need to complete a short and simplified certification process.
Check out the program at the Windows Dev Center by clicking here.
Atlassian has announced integration of Bitbucket with Unity Cloud Build. The integration significantly simplifies code collaboration for game developers, and enables non-technical users to easily access game builds as well as test and deploy new builds right from Bitbucket.
From the announcement:
Epic Games will be live streaming their yearly State of Unreal keynote today live from GDC 2017 in San Francisco. The keynote will discuss the latest developments for the Unreal Engine. Tim Sweeney, Epic's CEO and Founder, will host the event which will be livestreamed on the company's Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook accounts starting at 9:30am PST/5:30pm GMT.
Today at GDC Google announced the availability of new ad formats, improved monetization, and new game analytics for game developers. The announcement is the latest in Google's offerings for game developers - a demographic expected to capture half of the $189B global market for in-app purchases and advertising by 2020.
The new ad format, called Playables, is an interactive ad format in Universal App Campaigns that allows users to play a lightweight version of a game or test out an app
Qualcomm has released Snapdragon Profiler 1.6.1 and has made it available on their developer website. The release includes the ability to import captures and improvements for mobile VR profiling. According to Qualcomm:
Today at GDC Unity Technologies announced that Unity 5.6 will release on March 31, 2017, marking the final installment of Unity 5. The company also provided an early look at Unity 2017, the next generation of Unity with version 2017.1 Beta arriving in April.
Twitch announced it is partnering with several developers to sell games directly to players through streams. Viewers will be given an option to purchase a game through a button below the video on the channel page if the game or in-game content is available on Twitch.
In addition, if the streamer is a partner who has opted into the program then he or she will get 5% share of the revenue. The implementing this as an alternate way for viewers to show support for their favorite streamers.
The new program is set to launch "sometime in the spring of 2017".
Improbable, the London-based startup behind the SpatialOS computation platform, which allows developer to create worlds of unprecedented size, density and simultaneous player interaction, is today announcing and will show at GDC significant updates to the SpatialOS platform, including demonstrations showing Unreal Engine integration.
Improbable is also officially launching the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, in partnership with Google Cloud, and has named the first studios who will be developing with subsidised access to SpatialOS.
Thousands of developers have already signed up to use SpatialOS and are already developing games on the platform, some of which will be showcased on Improbable
The First Round Review has posted an excellent article applicable to game development and game prototyping. Six Steps to Superior Product Prototyping: Lessons from an Apple and Oculus Engineer is an interview with Caitlin Kalinowski, Head of Product Design Engineering at Oculus, where she discusses her prototyping strategy, pitfalls, and how to iterate your way to success.
Also intriguing is the background information on the design strategy for the Oculus Rift headset and controllers:
NVIDIA reports a story about an AI bot developed by students at MIT and New York University that beat professional gamers during the Genesis 4 Super Smash Bros tournament last month. The bot taught itself how to play in two weeks.
The AI was trained with CUDA, Tesla K20/TITAN X GPUs and the TensorFlow deep learning framework. The creator, Vlad Firoiu used reinforcement learning by having the bot play itself repeatedly, learning which techniques worked the best. Firoiu coauthored the paper with William F. Whitney.
From the story:
Valve has announced the release of Steam Audio, a free spatial audio solution to recreate realistic sound game sound. The royalty-free SDK is available to download and works on PC, Linux, macOS, and Android.
Steam Audio includes such features as Binaural Rendering, Occlusion, Physics-based Reverb, Real-time Sound Propagation, and Baked Reverb & Propagation. Plugins are also available for popular middleware.
Silicon Studio Corporation has announced the commercial release of its Xenko game engine, an open source engine designed for development teams of all sizze, from indies working on mobile games to full studios working on AAA virtual reality titles.
Xenko was created and refined by a group of international developers working under the oversight of the Japanese studio known to game creators for its industry-standard middleware, and to gaming fans for development of the 3DS Bravely Default RPG series for Square Enix Co., Ltd. While the engine is accessible to users of all skill levels, it is created by developers for developers.
HTC VIVE[sup]TM[/sup] has announced the winners of the Viveport Developer Awards (VDA), representing the best in VR content outside of games. The awards are organized by Viveport, HTC's app store for VR, and offer $500,000 in cash prizes in five categories.
Winners were chosen by the VDA jury in categories feature on Viveport: Explore, Create, Connect, and Experience. A fifth Community category chose winners based on votes from the VR community.
1st place: $50,000 + an HTC Vive
2nd place: $30,000 + an HTC Vive
3rd place: $15,000 + an HTC Vive
Runners-up (2 total): HTC Vive
Community Choice Award: $10,000 (in addition to any other prizes)
1st place: Apollo 11 VR, by Immersive VR Education Ltd.
2nd place: Realities, by Realities.io
3rd place: The Body VR, by The Body VR
Runners-up: A Chair in a Room: Greenwater (Wolf & Wood Interactive) Mars Odyssey (Steel Wool Studios)
1st place: Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games
2nd place: Soundstage, by Hard Light Labs
3rd place: Paintlab, by LAB4242
Runners-up: Kodon (TenkLabs), Arcade Artist (Groove Jones)
1st place: Cloudlands: VR Minigolf, by Futuretown
2nd place: AltspaceVR, by AltSpaceVR
3rd place: Engage, by Immersive VR Education Ltd.
Runners-up: World of Diving (Vertigo Games), SurrealVR (SurrealVR)
1st place: Allumette, by Penrose Studios
2nd place: Pearl, by Google Spotlight Stories
3rd place: [url="https://www.viveport.com/apps/b701bb19-88a0-4324-9ffe-af81025b2ecf"]Firebird
In a public Facebook post today, industry veteran and Oculus CTO John Carmack shares important tips to improve performance of VR applications on mobile GPUs. In the post, John discusses results found when profiling Pinball FX2 VR with Qualcomm's Snapdragon Profiler, and discusses the resulting tips which may be non-obvious to PC or console developers but can potentially increase rendering speed by up to 40%.
Amazon has announced the release of Lumberyard Beta 1.8. The release includes 234 new improvements, fixes, and features, and introduces the Cloud Gems Framework, a new framework designed to help developers build cloud-connected features quickly - Amazon claims in as little as 30 minutes per engineer.
From their blog:
Valve has made it easier for peripheral designers to license its SteamVR position tracking hardware by removing the $3,000 training fee and instead offering an online certification course that designers can take for free.
Once a designer completes the online course they will receive a license to use Valve's tracking technology. Of course, if in-person is your choice then that is still an option.
The steps to get started are now very simple. From the SteamVR Partner website:
Epic Games is inviting all developers to attend Unreal Engine GDC Education Summit, their annual event that is open to educators for free. The 2017 summit will feature a keynote address by Epic Games' Marc Petit, general manager of the Unreal Engine enterprise team, which supports many industries from aerospace (NASA) to automotive (BMW).
Learn how Epic is helping companies innovate, and hear about the increasing range of opportunities available to those with skills in Unreal. Epic recruiter, Emily Gabrian, will present the Epic Games Internship Program and outline what educators and students will need to know to apply.
Our top community leaders, including Mathew Wadstein and Michael Allar will lead featured presentations. We'll also be sharing new learning resources from Udemy.com, Udacity.com, Lynda.com, and GameSchoolOnline.com. Mark your calendar and please plan to join us on Tuesday, February 28 if you'll be in town.
The Four Seasons Hotel is a 5-minute walk from Union Square, 4 minutes from the Yerba Buena Gardens, and 1.1 miles from the Ferry Building Marketplace, in downtown SF.
For more information on the summit and to RSVP, head here.
Big Bad Waffle just open sourced their game Isleward, a multiplayer roguelike game with the art of a classic 1980's dungeon crawler. The game is based around forming a party and exploring different islands, spelunking and completing dungeons in search of treasure, while strengthening your character through looting for better gear and leveling up.
From the original reddit post: