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  • TheFever716
    Valve recent released the Interactive Recommender with Steam Labs, giving consumers the freedom to see what kinds of games they want from the most popular to the nichest of niche.
    This update has been doing extremely well and is pretty favorable among independent developers. With almost ten thousand being wishlisted thanks to the recommender, Valve has given us a teaser of what's to come with their system.
    Valve briefly teased a "fourth" experiment in their Steam Labs program.
    General updates to the Interactive Recommender include a new exclusion feature, UI updates and the fact that the recommender is continuously growing and adapting.
    Steam's full announcement can be seen on their community page.

    khawk
    Luna Labs, a game technology company dedicated to enabling studios with tools to create high-quality HTML5 content from their games, has officially launched its services. The Luna toolkit, which is the first technology of its kind, allows developers building in Unity to streamline the development process, and easily create lightweight experiences for HTML5 game platforms and the next generation of playable ad creation. 
    “Luna was born in a gaming studio, where we saw first hand that there was an increasing need for HTML5 content, but inefficiencies in the processes used to create it,” said Steven Chard, CEO and co-founder of Luna Labs. “This gap is especially prominent in the playable ad market,  where the work is often outsourced. This takes time, and ultimately results in creatives that don’t look or feel like the game and are misleading for the user. We believe we can solve both of these problems by focusing on a toolchain which allows the creation of these ads directly from the game. Luna is here to lead a step-change in playable ad quality, and unlock the true potential of the format.” 
    Luna addresses the prevalent need for game developers to efficiently and accurately create mobile advertising that reflects actual gameplay. Mobile games advertising is currently a $100B market, and playable ads are the natural successor to rewarded video which has dominated ad spend in recent years. The Luna toolkit has been available to select partners in the last year, among them Kwalee and Voodoo. 
    “Luna is solving a real pain point for our studio, and the initial results have been tremendous. Integrating the Luna service has allowed us to significantly scale our campaigns by a comfortable margin, to the best results so far,” said Jason Falcus, CRO, Kwalee. “We’re very proud to be showing new users a truly accurate representation of the game before they download it,” 
    Voodoo, the leading mobile games publisher with more than 1.5 billion yearly downloads, publishes a third of Top 10 games in the App Store. 
    “When we first heard about the Luna technology we thought there must be a catch,” said Thibault LeDuc, Head of User Acquisition and Monetisation, Voodoo. “Their team and technology has consistently wowed us and we’ve now embedded Luna into our concept testing and playable ad production. Luna makes it simple to produce lightweight high fidelity ads straight from the source.”
    Key investors in Luna include Ben Holmes, formerly of Index Ventures and early investor in social mobile game giants King and Playfish, and Chris Lee, who has backed prominent game makers Space Ape and Hello Games.                     
    To learn more about Luna, please visit https://lunalabs.uk. 

    TheFever716
    Brand new, fresh out the gate is Unity 2019.2, and it comes packed with a bunch of new and improved features for Unity developers.
    Some of the biggest changes involve ProBuilder 4.0, Polybrush, DSPGraph and improved UI overall. Here's just a snippet of what's offered:
    For the full announcement, list of changes and a download link, check out the Unity blog.
     

    TheFever716
    Amazon rolled out the latest version of Lumberyard, 1.20. Some of the newest features and updates in this version include updates in its asset processor, Event Bus (EBus) system, audio, animation editor, as well as a mobile integration and PhysX Force Region Component. One of the most notable features, as cited on their blog, is how asset processing time has been cut by 90%. There are also another 200 minor fixes that have been made between versions 1.18 and 1.20.
     
    The update log can be found here, as well as the blog post from Amazon.

    khawk
    Sporting a fresh new look, Blender 2.80 has been released with a redesigned user interface that puts the focus on the artwork. A new dark theme and modern icon set were introduced along with a refresh of keyboard, mouse, and tablet interaction. In addition, new templates and workspaces allow artists to get started quickly with tasks and can be customized by the user.
    Also introduced is Eevee, a new physically based real-time renderer. It works as a renderer for final frames and the engine driving Blender's realtime viewport for creating assets, including advanced features such as volumetrics, screen-space reflections and refractions, depth of field, and more.
    There's a ton more new in the Blender 2.80 release. Check out the release page to learn more and download at https://www.blender.org/download/releases/2-80/.

    khawk
    Today at SIGGRAPH 2019, AMD announced new integrations, plug-in updates and open-standard rendering functionality for Radeon ProRender, AMD’s physically-based rendering engine that allows CAD designers and 3D developers to easily produce stunningly photorealistic images. Additionally, MAXON announced the next major update to Cinema 4D™, Release 21, available this fall, which includes a host of new Radeon ProRender features like volume rendering support and updated motion blue options.
    Radeon ProRender is now natively integrated into the following applications:
    ACCA® Edificius, a Building Information Modeling software supporting AI-accelerated denoising, and featuring a comprehensive PBR material library bringing architectural ideas to life with photorealistic renders. InstaLOD® Studio XL, enabling fast and easy photorealistic visualizations from within Studio XL to simplify workflows. AMD’s Radeon Image Filter Library with AI-accelerated denoising filters assists with tone mapping and motion blur (planned availability in Q3 2019). Z-Emotion Z-Weave, the next-gen virtual clothing sampling engine, transforms 2D clothing patterns to 3D samples for viewing on both traditional displays and in VR. The integration of Radeon ProRender generates photorealistic renderings of clothing with physically-accurate cloth simulation that can simulate multiple layers of fabric (planned availability in 2H 2019). For developers, Radeon ProRender now features AMD’s new Full Spectrum Rendering technology, announced at NAB earlier this year, for every state of the rendering pipeline. This technology includes rasterized rendering, hybrid rendering, biased photorealistic rendering and path traced rendering for final output. Full Spectrum Rendering is now available as a preview for developers in the Radeon ProRender SDK, part of the Radeon ProRender Developer Suite, and is coming soon in beta for the Radeon ProRender plug-in for Blender.
    In addition, the Radeon Image Filter Library has been updated with Microsoft® DirectML-based AI-accelerated denoising and upscaling image filters. DirectML AI-accelerated denoising helps developers improve their application’s viewport interactivity by up to 18x.
    Finally, new Radeon ProRender plug-in updates include the production version of the new Radeon ProRender plug-in for Blender 2.80, featuring hair rendering, AI-accelerated denoising and adaptive sampling. Updates have also been made to the plug-in for Autodesk Maya with tile rendering and portal light support, as well as improved viewport interactivity.
     

    khawk
    Unity 2019.2 is now available for download.
    Highlights include:
    Artist Tools
    Polybrush: Now available as a preview package, this versatile tool lets developers sculpt complex shapes from any 3D model, position detail meshes, paint in custom lighting or coloring, and blend textures across meshes directly in the Editor.  ProBuilder 4.0: The latest version of ProBuilder, Unity’s unique hybrid of 3D modeling and level-design tools, ships as verified with 2019.2. The latest version includes multiple improvements aimed at making it easier for rapid iteration and prototyping.  Next-Level Rendering 
    Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP): Unity 2019.2 adds OpenGL support to Unity’s Scriptable Render Pipeline batcher for iOS and Android, improving CPU performance for objects using LWRP. The new version also adds the experimental 2D Renderer, which contains 2D Pixel Perfect and the new 2D Lights, to the LWRP, helping developers creating in 2D achieve the right look when designing their 2D games.    High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP): Unity brings gorgeous graphics to VR developers with support for Windows 10 or Direct3d11-based VR projects. Lightmapping: Unity 2019.2 now supports the Intel Open Image Denoise library and improved performance for the NVIDIA OptiX AI Denoiser. Additionally, lightmap denoising now works on all Editor platforms regardless of GPU manufacturer. The Editor has also been modified to be more modular with several existing features now available as packages such as Ads, Unity UI, 2D Sprite Editor, and 2D Tilemap Editor.
    Learn more from the full blog post or watch the video below:
     

    Liaison
    Full Body Performance Capture Data Streamed Directly Into Game Engines, New File Formats Added; Live Booth Demo at SIGGRAPH 2019
    LOS ANGELES, Calif. – SIGGRAPH – July 29, 2019 – Vicon today announces the upcoming release of Shōgun 1.3, the latest addition to its industry-leading performance capture platform for entertainment, including games and VFX. Shōgun 1.3 introduces the world's most precise finger solving, enabling artists to create and see fully animated characters in real-time, saving both time and money. Users will also be able to stream their own characters directly into game engines, and support for the Universal Scene Description (USD) format has been added, opening the door to mobile devices and augmented reality.
    The addition of the new finger solving in Shōgun 1.3 means that users can record the entire body – from skeletal movements to the smallest hand gestures – for use in projects ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to AAA games. To create this highly sophisticated finger solving, Vicon partnered with Framestore, the Academy Award-winning VFX studio whose resume includes films like Gravity, Blade Runner 2049 and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
    “For several years we’ve worked with Vicon on a host of projects, so the opportunity to work with their team to address something that artists have been waiting on for years was an easy decision,” said Richard Graham, Framestore’s virtual production supervisor. “We have already successfully deployed it on a number of projects, and given that it is part of the whole-body solve, it fits straight into our real-time and offline pipelines."
    For more than 18 months, Vicon and Framestore worked to perfect Shōgun’s finger tracking, based on a dense 58-marker set capable of tracking finger and knuckle movements. Users can choose a reduced set to animate the fingers; that data can then be combined in real-time with a user’s digital rig, producing a fully animated digital character capable of intricate movements, from writing a letter to playing an instrument. A process that used to take weeks of painstaking animation can now be done instantly.
    “Capturing full five-finger motion capture data has been at the top of customers’ wish lists,” said Tim Doubleday, Vicon product manager. “This is a milestone for Vicon and motion capture.”
    New Retargeting Pipeline for Game Engines
    Along with finger solving, Shōgun 1.3 grants users the ability to record data directly into a game engine – including both Unity and Unreal Engine 4 – without the need for third-party packages. Shōgun users can retarget a performance onto any FBX skeleton in Shōgun, and within seconds see an animated version of their character, adding full performance digital avatars in the game engine. Through virtual production workflows, users can then change settings on the fly and alter the scene in real-time as needed. This allows for a new form of film and game development, delivering intricate and realistic projects in a fraction of the time.
    New File Formats
    Shōgun 1.3 is now the only motion capture platform on the market that can export skeletal data using the new Universal Scene Description (USD) format, a file type currently used by major VFX companies around the world, including ILM, Framestore and Pixar. By using the USD format, Shōgun 1.3 can export data directly to iOS devices, giving users the ability to view Vicon’s data directly on an Apple device, while also supporting Apple’s new AR kit technology for use in augmented reality. 
    Shōgun Live & Post Highlights
    Shōgun Live users will find several improvements to the overall functionality, including multi-machine support, allowing scaling of processes across multiple PCs and improving performance for large captures. The addition of “camera mask painting” also means users can block out background noises like reflective objects and additional light sources.
    Shōgun Post will feature a new gap list function, allowing users to first identify individual users and then separate a single performer. From there, Shōgun will identify any gaps in the performer’s movements and automatically fill them in based on the expected movement. A waving hand missing a marker on a finger will add that finger or a gap in a moving fist will be filled, all without forcing artists to spend precious time individually filling in these gaps one by one.
    Shōgun 1.3 Showcased at SIGGRAPH
    At SIGGRAPH 2019, Vicon will demonstrate the Shōgun platform by letting people direct their own animated movie starring live actors, all in real-time. The actors will work with the attendees while utilizing the latest virtual production tools, including real-time capture from Apple’s new AR Kit technology.
    All data will be captured in Shōgun 1.3 and streamed into Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. The actors will appear as animated characters, with digital assets added to the scene courtesy of the Epic Marketplace. Something that normally takes weeks or months can now be done instantaneously.
    Vicon will host its interactive SIGGRAPH demo July 30 – August 1, with sessions taking place at Vicon’s booth #741 throughout the day. Between sessions, Vicon’s Tim Doubleday will offer a closer look at the new tools, with scheduled demos taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 p.m., and Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

    Availability
    Shōgun 1.3 is currently in closed beta, with a roster of users that includes Electronic Arts, Framestore, ILM, Pixar, Ubisoft and more. The beta will be available to the public in September, with the full version expected later this year. 

    About Vicon
    Academy Award-winning Vicon is the world’s largest supplier of precision motion capture and tracking systems. It serves customers in the CG animation, object-tracking, virtual and augmented realities, engineering, biomechanics, sports and clinical sciences arenas.
    Vicon is a subsidiary of Oxford Metrics (LSE: OMG), the international software company servicing government, life sciences, entertainment and engineering markets. Other holdings include Yotta, a provider of software and services for infrastructure asset management.
    Amongst many others, Vicon global clients include:
    Entertainment: Framestore, Audiomotion, The Imaginarium, Quantic Dream, Ninja Theory, Konami, Activision, Sony, Dreamworks, ILM, USC, EA, Capture Lab, CD Projekt, Digic Pictures, IO Interactive, Creative Assembly, Plarium Games, Mocap Lab, Seasun
    VR: Artanim, VR Tech, Dreamscape VR, Canon, Samsun

    TheFever716
    With all the talk of game developers working hard hours and the beginning of unionization in certain games studios, one group of MachineGames devs have taken it a step further. Michael Paixao and Joel Jonsson have worked on many titles for MachineGames, but have now taken a step back to start their own studio titled Bad Yolk.
    The full story can be seen here via Escapist Magazine.

    khawk
    Informa Tech, the organizers of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020, are now accepting submissions to present lectures, roundtables, and panels for the Core Concepts part of the event, taking place from Wednesday through Friday of the GDC week. 
    Proposals will be open from now until Thursday, August 15th at 11:59 PM PT. GDC 2020 marks the 34th edition of the conference, which returns to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, March 16-20, 2020. 
    Today’s call for submissions specifically involves the sessions that take place on Wednesday through Friday of the conference, encompassing these discipline-based tracks:
    Advocacy Audio Business & Marketing Design Production & Team Management Programming Visual Arts The above content is now known as the Core Concepts or ‘Core’ content, changing its previous branding from “Main Conference,” to emphasize the essential nature of the talks that take place later in the GDC week alongside the Expo Hall. So if you have a discipline-focused talk idea, we want to hear it!
    Separately, the Monday and Tuesday content at GDC 2020, previously known as “Summits”, “Tutorials,” “Bootcamps,” and “Dev Days,” are also undergoing a clarifying name change. All Monday/Tuesday content will now be named Summits, and there will be more than 20 Summits to choose from for GDC 2020, including traditional offerings such as the Indie Games Summit and newer programs such as the Machine Learning Summit. The Summits will be open for submissions starting August 29th through September 30th, 2019.  
    The labels for the GDC 2020 passes will also reflect these new simplified names (Core Pass, Summits Pass, and All Access Pass) when registration opens later in the year. 
    The GDC Advisory Board is currently seeking submissions from game developers with expertise in any of the following Core Concepts tracks: Advocacy, Audio, Business & Marketing, Design, Production & Team Management, Programming, and Visual Arts.
    Those looking to submit Core content should first review the submission guidelines and track topics prior to submitting. They should also know that the submission process is divided into a three-phase system:
    Phase I - open call for submissions and initial advisory board review Phase II - submission declines or conditional Phase 2 acceptances sent, pending the submission of additional requested materials for advisory board review Phase III - review of Phase 2 resubmissions and final acceptances and declines sent The GDC Advisory Board will review and determine submissions based on the criteria of concept, depth, organization, credentials and takeaway.
    GDC organizers aim to achieve diversity of voice, experience and perspective. When considering who would be best to speak on behalf of your company or department, it is strongly encouraged to take this goal into consideration.
    For more details on the submission process or GDC 2020 in general visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook or Twitter. The GDC Vault website - www.gdcvault.com - offers access to a wide variety of free GDC 2019 slides & session videos, and GDC All Access Pass holders and individual Vault subscribers get access to hundreds of video sessions from this and previous GDC events.

    TheFever716
    The YoYo Games Blog recently published a list of best practices for using GML. The blog post notes that this isn't a perfect, definitive list for writing code, but, "generally more on the organizational and micro-optimization scale and should be incorporated into your coding habits when you feel comfortable with GML and think that they are appropriate."
    The full post can be read here.

    TheFever716
    The YoYo Games Blog recently published a list of best practices for using GML. The blog post notes that this isn't a perfect, definitive list for writing code, but, "generally more on the organizational and micro-optimization scale and should be incorporated into your coding habits when you feel comfortable with GML and think that they are appropriate."
    The full post can be read here.

    danys
    'Wilderness - Flowing Water Sound Effects' from Bluezone Corporation contains a selection of 40 carefully recorded calm and rushing mountain river sounds, running stream sounds, small and large waterfall sound effects. Created with a large selection of high quality recordings (24 bit / 96 kHz), all ambiences included in this sound library (1.2 GB) are carefuly processed and designed to give you ready-to-use elements. All samples are royalty-free for all your commercial projects.
    Editor : Bluezone
    Reference : BC0259
    Delivery : Download link
    Download size : 1120 MB
    Extracted size : 1180 MB
    Format : WAV
    Resolution : 24 Bit / 96 kHz
    Channel : Stereo
    License : Royalty free
    Total files : 52
    Total samples : 40 WAV
     
    More info and download : Wilderness - Flowing Water Sound Effects

    TheFever716
    Fantasy console Quadplay, from CasualEffects, has been released for free under the LGPL3 license.    A fantasy console is a virtual console that usually contains specifications comparable to the classics, like an NES. They are often equipt with an easy to use programming language. The source code for quadplay is available here via GitHub. 
    See more on Quadplay, including specifications, here.
     

    TheFever716
    Toolbag 3 owners will now be able to access the Toolbag 3.08 update. Toolbag 3 is a 3D real-time rendering, animation and baking suite, and is claimed to "provide artists a powerful and efficient workflow for all stages of production." It also includes exports for Unity and Unreal Engine 4.
    Some of the features in this update include:
    Support for the latest Substance file format Inclusion of a few additional Python hooks Resolved a number of problems with texture baking Miscellaneous bug fixes You can download the installer for Toolbag 3 here. For those who want to give it a whirl, they're currently offering a 30-day free trial.

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