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:
Semi-finalists have been announced for the $500,000 Developing Beyond competition organized by Epic Games and Wellcome. The Europe-based competition, themed "Transformations", runs over the course of a year, awarding finalists increasing funds through each stage to help complete their game. Each semi-finalist receives $15,000, and they are matched with a scientist to help further develop their concept.
The next milestone is in July, where three finalists will be selected and receive $60,000 to continue development. The winning game will be announced in January 2018 and receive $150,000.
The six semi-finalists include:
Cure Me! by Sluggerfly, a multiplayer game where three scientists try to prevent an evolving entity's breakout from quarantine
Ecce Homo by Holy Warp - 3D action adventure game that explores the evolution of humans.
Seed by All Seeing Eye - Virtual reality game where players are able to discover, grow and engineer generative plant life.
Singularity by Random Logic Games - Interactive story game where an AI transforms constantly in order to adapt itself to new obstacles.
Terramars by Untold Games - A game in which the player adapts the environment of Mars by exploring the physiological changes required for humans to live on a different planet.
Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games - Narrative exploration game about the legacy of the Black Death.
The 2017 Game Developers Conference has announced the eight winners of the Best in Play award program that is part of the GDC Play 2017 event allowing developers to exhibit their games at GDC. All GDC Play exhibits - in-development or complete games - were judged by a panel of veteran GDC organizers. The winners receive 2 All Access Passes to the 2018 Game Developers Conference.
Winners also receive a "Best In Play" designation at their table where any GDC attendee can play their game - all games are available to play in the GDC Play onsite exhibit at GDC Play 2017. The exhibit will be open Wednesday through Friday, March 1st through 3rd, and will occupy a prominent spot in the Moscone Convention Center.
Best In Play 2017 Winners
Auto Age: Standoff by Phantom Compass
Dual Universe by NOVAQUARK
Riverbond by Cococucumber
Beholder by Alawar Entertainment
Far: Lone Sails by Mr Whale's Game Service
The Frostrune by Grimnir AS
World to the West by Rain Games
Little Lords of Twilight by Bkom Studios
Battlecursed by Codex Worlds Corporation
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Good news for indie developers hoping to get on Nintendo's latest console.
GamesIndustry.biz Japan reports that the Nintendo Switch developer kit price is approximately 50,000 yen, or $450 USD, according to Nintendo representative Masaru Mitsuyoshi. Mitsuyoshi made an appearance at the Japanese Game Creators Conference 2017 and let slip the developer kit price, which is slightly higher than the cost of the Switch.
For comparison, the Wii U developer kit is rumored to be around $5,000 USD, and the Nintendo 3DS developer kit coming in around $3,950 for full functionality.
Developers interested in the Nintendo Switch should register on the Nintendo Developer Portal.
Google's inaugural Indie Games Contest has been won by Reigns, a mobile medieval swiper decision game where you are the King and must survive the exercise of power and craziness of your advisors. You're only given two choices in each decision - in many ways like Tinder - as you attempt to balance between the influential factions of your kingdom.
Reigns developer, Nerial, beat out 20 other finalists to claim the top prize, including a YouTube influencer campaign worth 50,000 EUR, a feature in an Android Developer Story video promoted on Android Developer / Play Developer channels, Two tickets to attend GDC San Francisco 2017 and Google I/O, Google Cloud Platform Credits ($20,000 USD), a 12 month Unity Pro subscription, two tickets to a Unite event, a month's premium placement on Google Play, and a Pixel C tablet.
Runners Up included The Battle of Polytopia, by Midjiwan AB, and Causality, by Loju.
Unreal Engine 4.15 was released with significant gains in overall stability, enhancements to developer workflows, and improvements to runtime performance - including 79 improvements submitted by UE developers on Github.
The full list of new features is extensive, so here are a few of our favorites:
Nintendo Switch Support
Mobile Rendering Preview (OpenGL ES 3.1, Metal, Vulkan)
Preview high-end mobile features in the editor's viewport using improved Mobile Preview feature. This mode emulates the feature set available to iOS Metal, Android OpenGL ES 3.1, and Android Vulkan devices.
Physically Based Default Post-Processing Settings
Default tonemapper provides more film-like color tone and response.
Improved Texture Streaming
Optimized to reduce CPU usage, memory usage, and load times.
Cooking Blueprints to C++
Reduce Blueprint overhead.
UI Blur Rects
Blur other UI and the 3D scene.
Material Editor Reroute Nodes
Reroute nodes are now available to help simplify and better organized Material graphs. No impact on final instruction count of materials.
Sequencer Animation Blending
Now supports weighted blending between multiple animations for complex animation sequences. Any number of animations can be blended at any time.
Significantly improved support for reloading packages from disk on the fly. All in-editor source control operations are more stable, and a "Reload" option is now available to force asset reloads from disk.
HDR Display Output
UE4 can now output to High Dynamic Range displays taking advantage of higher contrast and wider color gamut displays.
Playstation(R) VR Aim Controller Support
UE4 games on PlayStation(R) VR are even more immersive with support from the PlayStation(R) VR Aim Controller.
For the full list of features, preview screenshots, videos, and the full release notes head over to the Unreal Engine Blog.
The U.S. video game industry employs more than 220,000 individuals according to new data released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Video Games in the 21[color=rgb(121,162,189)][size=2]st[/color] Century: The 2017 Report states that the U.S. video game industry is creating high-paying jobs and generating revenue for communities across the nation. Employment in the video game industry grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent, more than double the rate of the U.S. job market. Employees in the industry earned an average compensation of $97,000 per year in 2015 - nearly double the average U.S. household income.