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  • Valve has open sourced the source code for GameNetworkingSockets, a basic transport layer for games that is used as the foundation for the SteamWorks SDK. Features include:
    Connection-oriented protocol (like TCP) ... but message-oriented instead of stream-oriented Mix of reliable and unreliable messages Messages can be larger than underlying MTU, the protocol performs fragmentation and reassembly, and retransmission for reliable Bandwidth estimation based on TCP-friendly rate control (RFC 5348) Encryption. AES per packet, Ed25519 crypto for key exchange and cert signatures. The details for shared key derivation and per-packet IV are based on Google QUIC. Tools for simulating loss and detailed stats measurement The project has dependencies for OpenSSL, Google protobuf, and ed25519-donna and curve25519-donna. It's also only been tested on Ubuntu 17.10.
    Learn more at https://github.com/ValveSoftware/GameNetworkingSockets.
     

    Today, Gamebook has announced its new production software for the quick creation of high-quality, episodic, interactive stories, such as “choose your own story” style mobile games, interactive audio dramas, interactive books and apps, eLearning apps, and more. The production software, called Gamebook.io, is browser-based and releasing into closed beta in May 2018. Those interesting in trying Gamebook.io should visit www.gamebook.io to apply.
    GameBook.io is designed for anyone who wants to quickly create interactive stories, including storytellers with little to no technical experience. At the center of Gamebook.io is an easy-to-use graphical, browser-based editing interface with a text editor for writing scripts, and a graphical branching editor to create and track branches in the story. A separate publishing screen enables storytellers to preview (or listen to) the story on their target device, to track various versions of the story (such as localized versions), and to access assets and images used in the story. Once a story is finalized, Gamebook.io can output it to mobile (iOS, Android) and Alexa, with support for PC via HTML5 coming  later this year. Finally, support for multiple F2P monetization options enable storytellers build in ways to monetize their content.
    “For over a decade, our team of game development veterans has created content for other studios around the world. We know how much effort can go into the creation of one interactive game, let alone two or three. Our mission for the last three years has been to change that,” said co-founder and CEO, Prof. Thomas Langhanki. “We want to enable storytellers, whether individuals or teams, to produce high-quality, immersive content and stories in weeks, not years, and to do so far more cost-effectively. The result of our efforts is Gamebook.io, which we?ve been using internally to create our own content and we're thrilled to finally announce to the world.” 

    For current developers of interactive stories, Gamebook.io provides a tested platform to simplify the creation of new content, such as episodes or chapters. For those not currently developing story-driven content, Gamebook.io makes it easy for studios to start. Examples of what can be created with Gamebook.io include “choose your own story” style games, interactive audio dramas on Alexa, interactive books and apps, interactive shows for TV, eLearning and Training applications, marketing and advertising applications, and much more. 
    Gamebook.io can be licensed by anyone and will be sold on a revenue share model. The revenue share kicks in only after the content's monthly income goes above $100,000 USD. The revenue share starts at 5% and never rises above 15%. Licensing includes access to the Gamebook.io SDK and support. For more information, or to apply for the closed beta, please visit www.gamebook.io.

    Video game industry is at its best with $108.9 billion in global revenue for 2017, representing a 8% growth compared to 2016. According to Newzoo, there are currently more than 2.2 billion active gamers across the globe.
    In spite of this massive growth in gaming industry, the video game retailer GameStop has been struggling over the past few years as video game purchases from retail stores continue to decline due to the strong growth in the e-commerce and competition from online giants like Amazon.
    The Grapvine, Texas-based company, which had a total of 7,535 stores at the end of its fiscal 2016, anticipated to open about 100 new stores as well as close about 130 Video Game Brands stores worldwide and 55 Technology Brands stores in fiscal 2017.
    The demand for Nintendo Switch drove GameStop's sales up 15% in the recent quarter. https://news.alphastreet.com/gamestop-q4-2017-earnings/


    Tandem Events, organisers of Europe’s leading game developer conference Develop:Brighton, today announced the first set of speakers to deliver sessions this July. GameDev.net readers get an extra 10% off the Super Early Bird rates available until 25 April! Use promo code DATHUT.
    Speakers from Creative Assembly, Frontier Developments, BBC Studios, Wargaming, Sony London Studio and Unity Technologies help make up the initial announcement of 31 sessions, representing a quarter of the programme, with more to be announced at a later date.
    Highlights from the sessions announced include:
    Enhancing Your game's AI using Unity Machine Learning Agents
    Alessia Nigretti, Unity Technologies
    This session focuses on the implementation of Unity Machine Learning Agents API – No prior knowledge is required.
    Developing New Story Telling Formats
    Bradley Crooks, BBC Studios
    Bradley will be talking about how new technology channels, and particularly VR, are opening up opportunities for content makers to develop new formats for storytelling.
    In Plain English: How to Create and Scale Your Mobile Free-to-Play Game
    David Amor, Mag Interactive
    This session focuses on David’s journey moving from console studios to mobile F2P games, including best practice for current and future games.
    Cryptocurrency in Gaming: Today and Tomorrow
    Alex Amsel, Fig
    This session focuses on the growth of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and how developers can use this new phenomenon for their next game project.  
    World of Tanks: Mixed Reality for R&D, Marketing & PR
    Matt Daly, Wargaming
    Find out how Wargaming (World of Tanks Online Game) uses mixed reality for research, development, marketing and PR
    Rami & Mike One on One
    Rami Ismail, Vlambeer and Mike Bithell, Mike Bithell Games
    This intimate fireside chat will let them discuss their experiences over the last few years, tell you what pit falls to avoid and discuss what they think about the future.
    A full list of speakers can be found at https://www.developconference.com/whats-on/2018-speakers.
    Develop:Brighton is a three-day conference and expo taking place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 July 2018.
    Registration is now live for Develop:Brighton, with delegates able to save as much as £325 on a three-day Super Early Bird pass bought on or before 25 April at www.developconference.com.

    VR Intelligence is bringing its prestigious VRX event to Amsterdam this May 17-18, for VRX Europe 2018 – and GameDev.net readers receive a 15% discount on all passes.
    With previous sell-out events in San Francisco and London, VR Intelligence has announced a list of industry-leading expert speakers for VRX Europe 2018 in Amsterdam, for 2-days of content and insights, innovative demos and premium networking.
    The event will feature over 70 luminary speakers, including C-level and key representatives from companies including Sony, BMW, Google, Jaunt, Sky, Microsoft, The Mill, BBC, KLM, Resolution Games, nDreams, P&G, Rovio, Volkswagen, Media Monks, SuperData, Gensler, Fast Travel Games, R/GA,
    REWIND, Dream Reality Interactive, Foster & Partners, Candy Lab AR, France.tv, Mecanoo, GfK, AksoNobel and many more.
    Designed exclusively for senior-level business leaders from across the immersive tech industry, the event will include:
    High-level industry outlook and future thinking sessions on Day 1, from business leaders, strategists, innovators, investors and analysts Dedicated tracks on Day 2; one on gaming and interactive entertainment; another on enterprise and industry applications, from automotive to architecture, education, retail, healthcare, marketing, engineering and more A full-scale expo and demo area featuring the latest technology, content innovations and solutions from 30 leading VR & AR brands, studios, suppliers and solution providers To claim the 15% discount, just enter the code GAMEDEV15 when registering here: http://events.vr-intelligence.com/europe/register.php.
    “We’re delighted to bring VRX to Amsterdam – expanding our pan-European and global reach in one of the world’s hot beds for VR and AR”, says Conference Producer at VR Intelligence, Jasmine Kees. “Our goal is to create quality content and insight, with real business solutions, in an exclusive networking environment for those leading the way and taking the industry forward. After our previous sell outs in San Francisco and London, VRX is now established as the premier global networking event series for the immersive tech industry.”
    Tickets for VRX Europe can be purchased for the full conference now, from www.vr-intelligence.com/europe.

    DMarket, the world’s first and only working marketplace on blockchain for in-game items trading, today announced the release of its product version 2.0 Beta.
    One of the key features of v2.0 is Steam integration. It allows users to trade and exchange Steam-stored in-game items on DMarket, providing a whole new model of assets monetization. The annual turnover of in-game assets trading is over $10 billion, and it has the potential to reach $450 billion. The average monthly trading volume of skins globally exceeds 60 million items. 
    DMarket v2.0 also features an upgraded version of the Blockchain Explorer that has been supplemented with a cold wallet functionality for enhanced user security.
    The company launched version 1.0 of its marketplace in October 2017. DMarket Founder’s Mark, a unique piece of memorabilia commemorating the marketplace launch, has already risen in price from a few cents to thousands of dollars. To date, the trading volume of DMarket Founder’s Mark is 486,000 DMC.  
    Most recently, DMarket signed a partnership agreement with Unity Technologies, the world’s most widely-used real-time 3D development platform. This will allow any Unity-based game to easily plug into the DMarket API and integrate in-game items into DMarket blockchain for trading and exchange. Under the agreement, DMarket will build a custom SDK for Unity games integration that will be officially certified by Unity and presented and supported in the Unity Asset Store.
    About DMarket
    DMarket is the world’s first and only working blockchain-based marketplace for trading in-game items and turning them into real assets.
    To learn more or test DMarket in action, check out dmarket.com

    The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) announced a relaunch with a new mission statement and changes to its member benefits, as well as the newest additions to the board of directors.
    The new mission statement of the largest organization in the world serving people who make games proclaims the “IGDA supports and empowers game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers.”
    “The shape of game development has changed since the IGDA was founded 24 years ago. It’s the easiest it’s ever been to become a game developer, but conversely harder than ever to succeed as one,” said Jen MacLean, executive director, IGDA. “Consequently, we’re losing talent. This impacts both the short- and long-term successes of individuals and studios throughout our industry. We need to actively support our small and medium-sized studios and the people who work for them because they become the Blizzards, Valves and Bethesdas of the future.”
    Effective starting March 22, IGDA members will have access to a host of new benefits including professional education partnerships, increased support for new and existing IGDA chapters and special interest groups, expanded research including a new developer survey and partnerships with organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League to support diverse communities of game developers and players. The IGDA will also be launching an Expert Resource Library later this year, populated with articles and videos from industry veterans to help game developers at all stages of their careers.
    Joining the board of directors are Hans ten Cate, a 15-year industry veteran who has worked on titles including The Sims and Dante’s Inferno; Bernard Yee, executive producer and TPM at Oculus, with experience at studios including PopCap, Bungie, Harmonix, Atari, Disney Interactive and Sony Online Entertainment; and Christopher Hamilton, a producer at Rovio Entertainment with prior experience at NGOs in the US, Russia, and Europe.
    As part of its ongoing efforts to recognize organizations making great contributions to the game development community, the IGDA is honoring Global Game Jam, the world’s largest game jam event taking place at physical locations, with its 2018 Positive Impact Award.
    Since its inception in 2009, Global Game Jam has expanded from having 1,650 participants make 370 games at 53 sites in 23 countries to having more than 42,000 participants create over 8,600 games at 803 locations in 108 countries. The largest single Global Game Jam site in 2018’s event was in Cairo, Egypt, with more than 2,000 participants.
    For more information, please visit the IGDA website.

    Humble Bundle is currently running an AI Book bundle for the next 5 days, featuring titles from Packt on machine learning, game AI, deep learning, and more.
    GameDev.net is a Humble Bundle partner. If you're interested in purchasing the bundle, you can support GameDev.net by using our affiliate link:
    https://www.humblebundle.com/books/artificial-intelligence-books?partner=gamedevnet

    CGTrader, the world's largest database of 3D models and 3D designers, has introduced the Digital Art Competition, which invites all CG artists (both 2D and 3D): https://www.cgtrader.com/digital-art-competition !

    You can submit up to three works of art to each of the six categories: Character Illustration, Character Concept Design, Environment Illustration, Environment Concept Design, Object Design, and Object Concept Design. Contestants will also have the chance to achieve the Public Award.

    There are no hard requirements, and artworks do not have to be created exclusively for the competition, so feel free to show everyone your best and favourite works. For more details, visit the competition page and be sure to check out the Categories & Prizes section!

    The CGTrader Digital Art Competition gives participants exposure in our 1.2M+ designer community and the chance to win prizes valued over $60,000.

    Today at GDC, AMD announced widened support for Radeon Rays with Unity Lightmapper. Its open-source, high efficiency, high performance GPU-accelerated ray tracing software helps game developers to achieve higher visual quality and stunningly photorealistic 3D images in real-time.
    Radeon ProRender now supports real-time GPU acceleration of ray tracing techniques mixed with traditional rasterization-based rendering, to combine the value of ray tracing with the interactivity of rasterization.
    For gaming, ray tracing is in its early stages. For professional applications, however, real-time ray tracing is a well-established rendering technique. Today, AMD is announcing ProRender support for real-time GPU acceleration of ray tracing techniques mixed with traditional rasterization based rendering.  Now built on Vulkan, ProRender is continuing to enable developers to deliver interactive photorealistic graphics. We are actively engaging with professional developers to make real-time visualization a reality.
    To find out more, please read our blog here. For More information on Real Time Ray Tracing, check out the following video: 
     
    AMD also discussed new technologies and partnerships to help developers squeeze more performance from their hardware and optimize for low-level APIs, including:
    Introducing Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2:  AMD released the next iteration of its ground-breaking low-level optimization developer tool, Radeon GPU Profiler (RGP) 1.2, bringing compatibility with RenderDoc, integrated frame debugging and profiling, barrier reason codes and improved frame overview.  With RGP 1.2, developers can also generate RGP profiles from RenderDoc replays, select events in RGP and view them in RenderDoc, or vice versa. For more information on Radeon GPU profiler, check out the following video:
     
    Support for the new Vulkan 1.1: AMD worked closely with The Khronos Group for the release of Vulkan 1.1 to develop a conformant driver. This major upgrade to the API will delight the existing Vulkan community and continue to broaden the user base. Any AMD APU or Radeon GPU based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture is already Vulkan-compliant.
    Compressonator 3.0 from AMD which allows designers to compress both 2D textures and 3D meshes in one simple UI. Compressonator supports all common file formats and codecs and can display compressed 3D models in DX12, Vulkan and OpenGL. Compressonator also allows in-depth customization of individual assets or batch compression of multiple assets. Users can visually and analytically compare the original and compressed files at each stage of the process.
    Last but most certainly not least, AMD announced the latest development to their ReSX program. A recently announced a special initiative inside the Radeon Software group, Project Radeon eSports Experience focuses on delivering gameplay optimizations to the world’s most popular eSports titles.
    Adding to previously announced optimizations for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch and Dota 2, AMD has another set of impressive performance gains with today’s Radeon Software release: From the launch of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition till today, Fortnite has improved frames-per-second (8%), 99th percentile frame times (7%) and click-to-response (13%), delivering an extraordinary eSports experience.
     

    Imagination Technologies announces a new version of PVRTune, the PowerVR GPU performance analysis tool which provides developers with a deep level of information to help them fully understand the dynamics of their applications on mobile and embedded devices. With the new capabilities in PVRTune 2018 Release 1, developers can create apps and games that take full advantage of the underlying hardware to achieve optimal performance at the lowest possible power consumption.
    Developers use PVRTune to analyze the performance of their applications running on PowerVR GPUs in real-time and use the fine-grain performance information to easily identify bottlenecks. With this release, PVRTune is now ‘API aware,’ able to retrieve and present events that have been generated by the client driver of native programming interfaces such as OpenGL® ES and the EGL™. In addition, UI enhancements make navigation more intuitive than ever and also improve the clarity of data presentation.
    Mark Butler, VP, PowerVR software graphics engineering, Imagination Technologies, says: “PVRTune represents the first time a mobile GPU vendor is exposing so much in-depth driver and hardware information. Across all of our PowerVR developer tools, we are providing as much information as possible and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand. PowerVR GPUs are designed to deliver stunning visual experiences on the most power-conscious products. Developers creating games and apps for devices with a PowerVR GPU can use PVRTune to take full advantage of this leading graphics architecture.”
    How does API awareness work?
    PVRTune lets developers view application-level API calls (e.g. glDraw) in the PVRTune GUI and trace a piece of work from the application level through the PowerVR driver and onto the hardware for execution. In this way they can see how work that was submitted at the application level directly affects the behavior and performance of both the driver and hardware. PVRTune can also provide other information from the client driver such as surface format, size and shader details.
    PVRTune today supports OpenGL ES / EGL client driver, with Vulkan® support to follow.
    Demonstration at GDC
    To see a live demo of PVRTune’s new capabilities, visit Imagination in booth #102 at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), being held in San Francisco from 19th – 23rd March. 
    Availability
    PVRTune Complete v14.145 is available now under NDA. A non-NDA version with some reduced functionality, PVRTune Developer, is still available and is continuing to be developed. Contact devtech@imgtec.com to learn more.

    Amazon today announced Amazon GameOn, a cross-platform, competitive gaming service for developers. With GameOn, developers can easily integrate competitions natively into their games on mobile, PC, and console through a set of flexible APIs. GameOn is built on AWS cloud infrastructure and works on any operating system, giving developers the ability to scale quickly, while allowing them to invest more time in what they do best—designing great games.
    Competitive gaming and esports are growing globally, and with Amazon GameOn developers have an easy tool to bring more players in on the action—allowing them to compete for in-game and real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon. This service also gives developers the ability to drive engagement and increase monetization of their games. GameOn currently supports leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions and gives developers the flexibility to create custom events such as local and regional competitions. Developers can also enable players and streamers to create their own user-generated competitions and invite participants, allowing players to connect with friends and expand their gaming network.
    Today, Amazon GameOn is being used by nWay, Game Insight, Millennial Esports’ Eden Games, Umbrella Games, Nazara, Mindstorm, Mokuni, Avix, and GameCloud Studios in games ranging from casual to core across different genres. Players in these games already experience the amazing benefits of GameOn from leaderboards to leagues to real-world prizing.
    “Game developers have consistently told us they are looking for ways to increase player engagement and retention,” said Marja Koopmans, Director, Amazon Competitive Gaming. “We built Amazon GameOn to give developers simple, yet powerful tools to foster community through competitive gameplay.”
    nWay, the developer of free-to-play mobile multiplayer games, started integrating Amazon GameOn competitions into Saban’s Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. “We were particularly drawn to the real-world prizing aspect of GameOn. In-game tournaments drive player engagement, and prizing creates a stronger incentive for players to participate.” said Jesse Cherry, Senior Product Lead, nWay.  “Administering real-world rewards is complex, and Amazon is a valuable partner who can make the logistics easy and seamless.”
    Millennial Esports’ Eden Games, the developer behind some of the world’s most successful racing franchises including V-Rally and Test Drive Unlimited, uses Amazon GameOn to scale the size of the competitions they run in Gear.Club. “GameOn has made it easy for us to add leaderboards and tournaments in-game,” said Pascal Clarysse, CMO, Eden Games. “GameOn saved us months of development and a whole lot of maintenance and logistical overhead in the long run.”
    Game Insight, a leading global developer of cross-platform multiplayer games, is using Amazon GameOn to better reward their community in Survival Arena. “We’re committed to growing the competitive gaming and esports community, and GameOn APIs give us an exciting new toolset to do this with,” said Anatoly Ropotov, CEO, Game Insight. “We’ve already started using GameOn to provide our fans with real-world prizes and new types of tournaments that allow players to compete against each other across PC and mobile.”
    Amazon GameOn will be powering competitions in highly anticipated sequels from Vector Unit and Lima Sky with the ability to win prizes in both Beach Buggy Racing 2 and a brand-new Doodle Jump title. In addition, new upcoming releases from Canvas Games, Superpower, PlaySide Studios, and Asmodee Digital will leverage GameOn technology to bring competitions to their fans.
    Developers can use GameOn APIs for free until May 1, 2018. After that date, the first 35,000 plays per month are free for a limited time, then developers will pay $0.003 per play. Physical prizing fulfilled by Amazon will only be available in the U.S. at launch. To learn more about Amazon GameOn, our partners, and pricing visit: developer.amazon.com/gameon

    Epic Games today announced that Unreal Engine 4 developers now have access to a full array of assets from Paragon, the company's high-end multiplayer online battle arena game. The assets, built at a cost of over $12 million, include 20 AAA-quality characters, with their respective skins, animations, VFX and dialogue, along with over 1,500 environment components from Paragon. This content is now available free of charge in the Unreal Engine Marketplace, where developers may download Paragon packs to use in their own UE4 projects.
    For those interested in importing Paragon characters into their projects, Epic recommends starting with Shinbi, who comes with an animation Blueprint. This can be used as a framework for animating the other characters in the Paragon packs. Epic is also shipping a sample map that is handy for testing and can be used as a baseline for creating more customized environments.
    Available Paragon assets include:
    Characters: 20 Paragon Hero characters will be initially available including all skins for distinct character variants. The release also includes base meshes, thousands of textures, VFX and animation cycles, and dialogue with hundreds of sound cues. The character Shinbi comes with an animation Blueprint which can be tailored to specific needs. Epic sends special thanks to OTOY and 3D Scan Store for granting permission to keep intact the high-quality character materials using their facial and body scanning technologies as part of this release. Environments: The Paragon release includes over 1,500 environment assets created for the Agora and Monolith maps, including a sample map for developers to use and customize as desired. More to Come: Epic will release millions of dollars worth of additional Paragon asset packs beyond the initial $12 million offering through spring and summer 2018. For more information and to register for updates, visit http://www.unrealengine.com/paragon.
    Visit http://epic.gm/paragonfaq for additional technical guidance on how to get started using the Paragon assets in Unreal Engine 4.

    Epic Games has launched Unreal Engine 4.19, which enables artists and designers to step inside the creative process with tools that become almost transparent so creators can spend more time building beautiful worlds. Improvements to rendering, physics, lighting, terrain, and many more systems make it possible for interactive 3D content to run faster in Unreal than ever before. 
    Unreal Engine 4.19 enables those creating games, linear media, architectural visualizations or product designs to know exactly what the finished product will look like every step of the way. New features include the highly anticipated Maya Live Link, the unified augmented reality framework with AR project template, temporal upsampling, dynamic resolution, material layering and physical light units. There are many significant upgrades in 4.19, including Sequencer cinematic workflow and Landscape level of detail (LOD) improvements. 
    Epic has shipped hundreds of updates in this release, which you can learn more about here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-19-released

    Graphics middleware company Graphine announced today the launch of Granite SDK 5.0, the latest release of its flagship texture streaming middleware for high-quality real-time 3D visualization and video games. Granite SDK 5.0 brings similar video memory optimization and loading time optimization as previous versions while significantly improving iteration times for artists, combined with straightforward file versioning and asset distribution during video game development.
    Virtual texturing, the technology behind Granite SDK, has always resulted in larger atlas files at some point in game production. Granite SDK has now removed these large files by completely redesigning its file format. It now streams from individual texture assets during production.
    “Artist iteration time matters to our partners” says Aljosha Demeulemeester, Graphine CEO. “We found a way to keep working with individually compressed assets during production. Although you could already configure Granite to have no impact on the workflow of artists, we now efficiently allow a distributed approach next to the previous centralised file creation with less integration time required. You benefit from all the memory saving and fast loading during production as well.”
    James Loe, Technical Director at Wargaming Seattle: “With the latest release of Granite SDK, Graphine have delivered a nearly seamless production workflow that makes our content creation process easier than ever.  No other vendor we work with is better at listening to our feedback and delivering effective improvements as quickly as Graphine does, and that means a lot.”
    Granite SDK 5.0 is available as a stand-alone SDK that can integrate into any game engine and as a plugin for Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 3D. The benefits from Granite SDK 5.0 will be available with the next release of the plugins.
    You can find more information about the release of Granite SDK 5.0 in this blogpost. Graphine will be exhibiting at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to present its products and services to the video game industry on March 21-23.

    Hey guys! Enhance has already made SDK integration simple, so now we want to make it simple to find us at GDC this year!
    Stop by and say hello to us at Booth #1913 in the South Hall of the Moscone Center, pickup some swag or see what you could win in the mystery bag!
    Check it out : https://goo.gl/d3yjdP


    Registration is now live for Develop:Brighton (@developconf), with delegates able to save as much as
    £325 on a three-day Super Early Bird pass bought on or before 25 April at www.developconference.com.
    Develop:Brighton, Europe’s leading game developer conference and expo, will consist of eight tracks:
    Design; Art; Audio; Business; Coding; Evolve; Indie and Discoverability across a new three day format
    with the expo open on Wednesday and Thursday.
    The deadline for speaker submissions closes on Wednesday 14 March with the first round of speakers
    announced by the end of March. 2017 speakers included Brenda Romero (Romero Games), Ethan Evans
    (Twitch), Graeme Devine (Magic Leap), Alex Moyet (Curve Digital), Karen Stanley (Ubisoft), Mark Turpin
    (Yogscast), John Romero (Romero Games), Rob Whitehead (Improbable) and Tetsuya Mizuguchi
    (Enhance Games).
    Readers of GameDev.net can receive an extra 10% on all rates using code: DATHUT.
    Develop:Brighton is a three-day conference and expo taking place at the Hilton Brighton Metropole
    from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 July 2018.
    For more information about how to submit a session or to register for Develop:Brighton 2018 visit
    www.developconference.com.

    Epic Games will be at GDC 2018 to support the explosive growth of the Unreal Engine community with more content and learning material than ever before. Along with a booth at #423 South, Epic Games will be taking over the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre on Wednesday, March 21st for the annual "State of Unreal" opening session and a full day of programming offering a deep dive into the latest Unreal Engine developments. Visit http://unrealengine.com/gdc2018 for a preview of where Epic will be throughout GDC.
    State of Unreal -- Epic's annual opening session will be open to the media and all GDC attendees with an Expo Pass Plus or higher. While we can't reveal details quite yet, there will be many surprises along with presentations from Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney and CTO Kim Libreri, Unreal Engine licensees, partners, and special guests. Please note our new location for the GDC 2018 presentation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard Street in San Francisco (adjacent to Moscone Center) on Wednesday, March 21st from 9:30-10:30AM. The presentation will be streamed online via the Unreal Engine YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels. We are taking media RSVPs.
    Unreal Engine Sponsored Sessions -- Join us for a full day of programming with sessions running from 11AM through to 6PM PST at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre. These sessions will cover topics ranging from cinematic lighting in Unreal Engine, and creating believable characters in Unreal Engine, to optimizing Fortnite: Battle Royale and programmable VFX with Unreal Engine's Niagara. More information about these sessions is available online; the content will also be livestreamed to /Unreal Engine on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.
    Unreal on the Expo Floor - Stay tuned for more details on this year's dedicated space on the GDC expo floor for showcasing dozens of exciting new games developed with Unreal. Visit for opportunities to play the latest titles, chat with the developers behind them, and connect with recruiters looking to hire Unreal Engine talent!
    Unreal Engine Partner Sessions -- From a look at the making of ILMxLAB's location-based VR experiences including the Oscar-winning "Carne y Arena" and "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" to a breakdown of how Ninja Theory's small team of 20 delivered AAA quality with "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice", GDC full-pass holders will have access to an incredible range of educational programming from some of the top creators across games, AR/VR and VFX. A complete list of GDC sessions is available online.
    Unreal Engine Technical Sessions -- GDC 2018 sessions offer an incredible range of UE4 educational opportunities from the latest techniques in photorealistic virtual humans, to bridging the gap between UX principles and game design to developing the art of Fortnite to Fortnite's unconventional launch, creating VFX in VR and much more! Unreal Engine GDC Education Summit -- A full day of programming will be offered on Tuesday, March 20 at the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences in San Francisco. This event is open to educators for free and will offer many new learning resources directly from the Unreal Engine education team covering topics including technical art, using Blueprints to teach programming, an introduction to Datasmith, rendering masterclasses, an introduction to the new Niagara VFX editor and more. Advance registration is required; space is limited.

    FES Retro Game Framework is on a 100% sale on the Unity Asset Store until March 13th!
    FES is a retro pixel game framework, built on top of Unity. It aims to create an ideal, low friction framework for making pixel-perfect retro games from the early 90s era. FES takes advantage of the portability, and the ease of deployment that Unity provides, but does away with the Unity Editor interface in favour of a traditional game loop, and code-only development.
    Features:
    Pixel perfect rendering RGB and Indexed color mode, with palette swapping support Primitive shape rendering, lines, rectangles, ellipses, pixels Multi-layered tilemaps with TMX file support Rendering to and from offscreen surfaces with custom sizes Text rendering, with text alignment, overflow settings, and custom pixel font support Clipping Custom shader support Sound and Music APIs Simplified Input handling Optional wide and tall pixel support Post processing and transition effects, such as scanlines, screen wipes, screen shake, fade, pixelate and more Supports an amazing variety of platforms, courtesy of Unity A live WebGL demo of FES can be found at: https://pixeltrollgames.itch.io/fes
    FES can be found on the Unity Asset Store here: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#!/content/102064 


    DMarket, the world’s first blockchain-based marketplace for trading in-game items, announced today a partnership with Unity Technologies, creator of the world’s most widely-used real-time 3D development platform. The partnership allows any Unity-based game to easily connect to DMarket blockchain and make in-game assets available for virtual trading and exchange. The partnership also makes it possible for gamers to connect their game account to DMarket, create their assets inventory on DMarket and start trading, while keeping track of all relevant transactions.
    DMarket’s API is a ready-to-use solution for giving value to any digital item — whether it is armor, sword, gems, or other items — as well as item monetization. It enables any Unity game to generate in-game items on DMarket blockchain, withdraw them to a user account on DMarket, and migrate them back to the game. Gamers can manage items and withdraw them from game account to DMarket without leaving the game.
    Games and experiences made with Unity have reached more than 3 billion devices worldwide in 2017 and were installed more than 20 billion times in the last 12 months.
    About DMarket
    DMarket is the first and only blockchain project in gaming with a live 1.0 version of the marketplace and blockchain. DMarket aims to unlock a new gaming economy cluster worth of over $450 billion and make virtual items trading available for more than 2.3 billion gamers worldwide. See more at www.dmarket.com
    About Unity Technologies
    Unity Technologies is the creator of real-time development platform used to create rich interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences. Unity’s powerful graphics engine and full-featured editor serve as the foundation to develop beautiful games or apps and easily bring them to multiple platforms: mobile devices, home entertainment systems, personal computers, and embedded systems. Unity Technologies serves millions of registered developers including large publishers, indie studios, students and hobbyists around the globe. For more information, visit www.unity3d.com

    The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies creating advanced acceleration standards, announces the release of the Vulkan® 1.1 and SPIR-V™ 1.3 specifications. Version 1.1 expands Vulkan’s core functionality with developer-requested features, such as subgroup operations, while integrating a wide range of proven extensions from Vulkan 1.0. Khronos will also release full Vulkan 1.1 conformance tests into open source and AMD, Arm, Imagination, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA and Qualcomm have implemented conformant Vulkan 1.1 drivers. Find more information on the Vulkan 1.1 specification and associated tests and tools at Khronos’s Vulkan Resource Page.
    “With enhanced developer tools, rigorous conformance testing and the public Vulkan Ecosystem Forum, Khronos is delivering on its goal to develop a complete and vibrant Vulkan ecosystem,” said Tom Olson, distinguished engineer at Arm, and Vulkan Working Group chair. “Vulkan 1.1 is a response to prioritized industry requests and shows our commitment to delivering a functional roadmap driven by developer needs.”
    Vulkan 1.1 will drive increased industry momentum for this new-generation, cross-platform standard for explicit control over GPU acceleration. Vulkan now ships natively on almost all GPU-enabled platforms, including Windows 7, 8.X, 10, Android 7.0+ and Linux, plus Khronos recently announced open source tools to enable Vulkan 1.0 applications to be ported to macOS and iOS. Vulkan has widespread support in leading games engines including Unreal, Unity, Source 2 from Valve, id Tech, CroTeam’s Serious Engine, CryEngine, and Xenko. Vulkan is being used in over 30 cutting-edge games on diverse desktop and mobile platforms, including Doom, Quake, Roblox, The Talos Principle, Dota 2, and is the exclusive API used in AAA titles such as Wolfenstein II and Doom VFR.
    New functionality in Vulkan 1.1 includes Subgroup Operations that enable highly-efficient sharing and manipulation of data between multiple tasks running in parallel on a GPU. Vulkan 1.1 also enables applications to perform rendering and display operations using resources that they cannot access or copy - for secure playback and display of protected multimedia content.
    In addition, a wide range of Vulkan 1.0 extensions have been integrated, bringing significant proven functionality into core Vulkan 1.1, including: simultaneous rendering of multiple image views, use of multiple GPUs in a single system, and cross-process API interoperability for advanced rendering and compositing operations often used in demanding applications such as Virtual Reality. These core functionalities also include advanced compute with 16-bit memory access, and support for HLSL memory layouts, and display, processing and compositing of video streams, through direct sampling of YCbCr color formatted textures produced by many video codecs.
    Integral to the release of Vulkan 1.1 is the new SPIR-V 1.3 specification that expands the capabilities of the Vulkan shader intermediate representation to support subgroup operations and enable enhanced compiler optimizations. The SPIR-V tools ecosystem continues to gain significant momentum with front-end compilers for both GLSL and HLSL, and to expand low-level tooling support from the open source SPIRV-Tools project.
    “We are excited to see the progress developers have made with the SPIR-V standardized IR. Developers are using the shader language of their choice and a variety of open source compilers to ship their games and applications. The Vulkan tools and ecosystem is evolving rapidly.” said David Neto, Shader compiler team lead at Google.
    Open source Vulkan development tools continue to evolve alongside the specification. For example, the LunarG Vulkan SDK and tools layers have been upgraded to support Vulkan 1.1, including the Vulkan Layer Factory (VLF) to enable rapid layer development, the Device Simulation Layer to simulate target device capabilities, without requiring actual physical hardware and the new Assistant Layer to guide developers to best practices and to highlight potential application problems. In addition, the RenderDoc frame capture and introspection debugging tool has added full native Vulkan support on Android with help from Khronos members, and improved support for displaying SPIR-V disassembly using SPIRV-Tools and high-level languages through the SPIRV-Cross cross compiler. RenderDoc has also been upgraded to expose native disassembly and profiling information for vendors who support it, and to support the external memory features that now form a core part of Vulkan 1.1.
    To encourage the collaborative evolution of the Vulkan ecosystem, Khronos has created the public Vulkan Ecosystem Forum to share issues and opportunities, and to coordinate cooperative solutions. The aim of the Forum is to respond to developer feedback and foster cross-functional discussions and engagement between users, tools developers and API designers. Join the conversation at Vulkan Ecosystem on GitHub.
    Industry Support for Vulkan 1.1
    “AMD is very excited about the release of the Vulkan 1.1 specifications. This new iteration of the industry standard builds on its strong foundations and expands its reach by making the API more accessible to developers. New Vulkan 1.1 features such as subgroup access in compute shaders enable console-like optimizations that will empower developers to exert more control on the GPU than ever before,” said Andrej Zdravkovic, corporate vice president of software, AMD. “Vulkan also enriches its connectivity with other APIs by supporting interop operations, and finally enables first-class support for multi-GPU and VR systems. AMD believes that this major upgrade to the API will delight the existing Vulkan community and continue to broaden the user base.”
    “The new additions in Vulkan 1.1 are a game changer for Vulkan,” said Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay Software. “In particular the new subgroup functionality will make a huge difference to our low power, high performance deep learning work.”
    “Continental is delighted to see how Vulkan continues to move graphics technology forward,” said Dr. Ulrich Kabatek, principal expert graphic systems & 3D visualization at Continental. “We appreciate the improvements it offers for more integrated automotive systems and latency critical applications like augmented automotive clusters.” 
    “As a major contributor to the Vulkan API, Imagination is pleased to see the next evolution of the API in Vulkan 1.1. The new specification offers new ways to exploit GPU parallelism and support for protected content - enabling advanced video processing in Vulkan for things like VR Cinema,” said Graham Deacon, vice president of PowerVR Marketing at Imagination. “We are amongst the first vendors to have a conformant Vulkan implementation, with all of our existing Vulkan-capable GPU IP able to support the new 1.1 standard. The new subgroup and protected content features are fully available in many of our newer cores.”
    “Intel is committed to open source driver advances for high performance graphics. Vulkan 1.1 is certified on the latest four generations of Intel® Core™ processors, further developing support for virtual and mixed reality,” said Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corporation.
    “Vulkan is vital to NVIDIA’s business as it enables developers to get the best from our GPUs across a wide range of platforms,” said Dwight Diercks, senior vice president of software engineering, NVIDIA. “Our Vulkan 1.1 drivers, with full subgroup functionality, are available for Windows, Linux, and Android on the day of the specification launch. We will continue to take a leadership role within Khronos to ensure Vulkan evolves to meet the needs of developers and the wider industry.”
    “Vulkan is enabling high fidelity games to make the most out of the capability in mobile, with great titles like Honor of Kings from Tencent running across many Galaxy devices” said Taeyong Kim, VP of Graphics at Samsung Electronics. “Vulkan 1.1 builds on this, adding functionality for VR gaming and 360 video that will enable immersive content on mobile products and VR headsets.”
    “In our non-gaming business, Vulkan 1.1 is a key factor for our success,” said Norbert Nopper, founder of UX3D, “The possibility to utilize simultaneous rendering and multiple GPUs by default does help us to further optimize our engine.”
    "VeriSilicon has adopted the latest industry standard low-level GPU API Vulkan 1.1 and is committed to support Vulkan 1.1 across our OpenGL ES 3.1/3.2 class GPUs," said Wei-Jin Dai, executive vice president of VeriSilicon and general manager of VeriSilicon's IP Division. "We are glad to see the new functionalities of Vulkan 1.1 API, the multi-GPU support, the premium content protection, and the advanced compute functionality, etc. to unleash the tremendous potential for a new generation of Vulkan applications. We are particularly excited about the opportunities the Vulkan 1.1 brings to the automotive customers to have fine-grained control over graphics quality of service and highly desired security levels and features.”
    "Vulkan 1.1 and SPIR-V 1.3 are another step in providing better support for compute, as it adds subgroups, 16-bit numbers and a restricted form of pointers", said Vincent Hindriksen, managing director of StreamHPC. "Adding this to the strong industry support for Vulkan and the recently launched portability project, this allows more types of compute-kernels to be run on more platforms.”
    More Information
    More information on Vulkan is available at https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/
    All Khronos open source projects are available here: https://github.com/KhronosGroup

    Game Eye 2D is a component-based orthographic camera extension for unity that tracks 2D environments. Included are scripts that help you track 2D environments. When set up, the camera will follow objects in your scene or zoom to fit them all, or use input from the player to track the scene, etc.
    Link: https://github.com/JasonHein/Game-Eye-2D

    All talks from the first Power Up Digital Games Conference held in the summer of 2016 are now available for streaming or download on GameDev.net.
    Over 20 speakers, including Rupert Meghnot, Gregory MacMartin,  Rusel DeMaria, Billy Joe Cain, and Kate Edwards, discuss marketing, project management, career management, and working in the games industry.
    Audio from the talks are available from GameDev.net's event coverage at https://www.gamedev.net/industry/power-up-digital-games-conference/. Audio can be streamed from the website or downloaded in mp3 format. Some talks also include slides or supplemental material.
    In the coming days and weeks more talks will be posted from PDGC II and PDGC III.
    What is the Power Up Digital Games Conference?
    The Conference is to be able to educate and inspire new developers, indie developers, aspiring game testers, or anyone willing to listen to words of wisdom among the industry.
    No travel, no hotels, no need to leave the house. Since it’s on Discord, you can attend via your computer or your smart phone. It’s not often you can attend a Conference in your jammies.
    Learn more at https://pdgconf.com.
     

    The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies creating advanced acceleration standards, announces that the Vulkan® Working Group’s Portability Initiative has been working with Khronos members Valve, LunarG, and The Brenwill Workshop to enable Vulkan applications to be ported to Apple platforms. The Vulkan Portability resource page links to a collection of free and open source set of tools, SDKs, and runtime libraries to enable Vulkan development on macOS and deployment on macOS and iOS platforms. Valve is extending Dota 2 using the Vulkan tools on macOS to achieve significantly higher performance than native OpenGL® drivers. Vulkan support for Dota 2 on macOS will be released in the coming months as a free update.
    “We have been running substantial production loads through the Vulkan tools on Mac, including Dota 2 which is now running faster than the native OpenGL version,” said Pierre-Loup Griffais at Valve. “These efforts are aimed toward reducing development and porting costs for any developer supporting multiple platforms.”
    The Khronos Vulkan Portability Initiative continues to refine and define a universally portable subset of Vulkan 1.0 that can be run at native performance levels over Metal and DirectX 12 drivers. Released into open source today is the MoltenVK library from The Brenwill Workshop, which translates calls within the Vulkan portable subset to underlying Metal calls on macOS and iOS. MoltenVK uses the open source SPIRV-Cross cross-compiler to translate Vulkan shaders into underlying native code formats. MoltenVK is being made freely available for all developers, with no fees or royalties needed to ship commercial applications.
    “With MoltenVK, we've worked hard to bring a consistent Vulkan-based API to macOS and iOS while maintaining the performance improvements required by modern game developers," said Bill Hollings, President of The Brenwill Workshop.
    Also available today is the open source LunarG Vulkan SDK for macOS on LunarXchange, which enables developers to build, run, and debug their Vulkan applications on the Apple Mac platform. The LunarG SDK for macOS provides loader and validation layers, which allows programmers to check their code for correct API usage. LunarG will continue to evolve the macOS SDK to add additional tools and features.
    “Running Vulkan applications on Apple platforms has been the number one request from developers and today’s release of the MoltenVK runtime and LunarG macOS SDK brings that capability to life,” said Neil Trevett, VP NVIDIA and Khronos Group President. “Developers are invited to download the open source Vulkan Portability tools today and provide feedback via Vulkan Ecosystem GitHub Issue. The Vulkan Portability Initiative will continue to strengthen the infrastructure and tooling around bringing Vulkan capabilities to multiple Metal and DX12 platforms - our long-term goal is to enable portable Vulkan code to be executed on any platform that developers care about.”

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