Train2Game News VR and AR for Unity

Parkerhill Reality Labs is making public its plans for the BridgeXR Pro Toolkit for Unity, a lean SDK manager for developing cross-platform VR and AR applications.

BridgeXR is for developers implementing virtual reality and/or augmented reality applications using the Unity 3D game engine. BridgeXR manages multiple VR and AR SDKs in a thin device-independent layer within the Unity editor, while leveraging the best of breed software from leading VR and AR vendors.

“BridgeXR is designed to stay out of your way, permitting you direct access to performant vendor-supplied toolkits while keeping your project device-independent,” says Jonathan Linowes, president of Parkerhill. “With BridgeXR, you can avoid the industry’s API fragmentation that can disrupt your development.”

Using BridgeXR, you define platform bridges in the Unity Editor. A bridge is a platform-object mapping in your project providing dynamic in-editor serialization and runtime instantiation. Types of bridges include scene loader, player rigs, prefabs, input gestures, and plug-ins.

Developers continue to use the world-class optimized toolkits from leading tech giants. Rather than try to replace them, BridgeXR builds on top of the high level tools you know and trust, including SteamVR Interaction System, Google Daydream Elements, Oculus SDK, Windows Mixed Reality Toolkit, Google ARCore, and Apple ARKit. There is even a VRTK bridge for transitioning apps away from that toolkit.

With BridgeXR, you are encouraged to use Unity’s latest features and best practices, including in-editor developer tools, Unity events, scriptable objects, playables, timelines, and asset bundles.

BridgeXR also includes a reaction semantics framework using Unity Events. Translate device input events into your application’s semantic events. Assemble reusable reaction collections, including audio reactions, particle effects, timeline sequences and animations.

Parkerhill is taking inquiries to participate in the BridgeXR private beta release. Preference will given to collaborative contract clients interested in hiring the studio’s development services that build upon Parkerhill’s technology and Unity 3D. For more information, visit http://www.parkerhill.com/bridgexr/ or email info@parkerhill.com.

Train2Game News Blockchain ecosystem coming to Unity


GameCredits, a Blockchain company driving innovation in the games industry, today announced the company has signed a deal with Unity Technologies, creator of the world’s most popular creation engine, that will bring the benefits of blockchain to more than 3 billion devices and millions of game developers worldwide.

Through this deal, both companies will introduce novel forms of game distribution for the $100 billion gaming industry, placing a particular focus on the fast-growing world of mobile gaming and eSports. GameCredits’ mobile game store, GPlay, will be integrated with Unity’s game-development ecosystem and developers will be able to effortlessly publish their games directly into GPlay. GPlay will share 90% of gross revenue (instead of the industry standard 70%), and will pay developers within 60 hours (instead of 60 days).

“Unity is known for aggressively adopting new technologies that democratize game development, solve hard problems and enable success for developers. With GameCredits, we intend to bring about a paradigm shift in the gaming industry. Blockchain solutions will help disintermediate game publishing and give better returns to creators,” said Hubert Larenaudie, President Asia Pacific, Unity Technologies.

“Our partnership with Unity Technologies is a major step forward for both the gaming industry and the blockchain world. With GPlay and our eSport platform, we are bringing the benefits of blockchain and digital assets to the largest global audience yet, enabling true mainstream adoption of these technologies for the first time,”  said Sergey Sholom, GameCredits CEO and GPlay President.

Unity exists to democratize development, solve hard problems and enable success – three core values that are the driving forces of Unity’s adoption by millions of creators. Unity powers more than 50% of all new mobile games and over 2/3rds of all AR and VR content. Interactive content made with Unity reaches nearly 3 billion devices worldwide.

Following a record-breaking $53 million crowdsale earlier this year, GameCredits has been developing a suite of blockchain products for the gaming industry, all under its GPlay initiative. GameCredits recently joined Hyperledger, a Linux Foundation blockchain consortium whose members include IBM, Intel, Cisco, American Express, JP Morgan and other leaders from various industries.

GamesCredits will introduce its blockchain solutions at Unite the popular developers conferences in Melbourne, Singapore and India in the next few weeks.

Train2Game News Game moment GIFs on mobile

Megacool, a mobile game technology startup based in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway, has today announced that the company’s API, which allows mobile game developers to add a seamless way to share game moments through GIFs, is now available for iOS, Android and Unity developers. 

Addressing a need in the mobile game market for cost-effective marketing tools, the Megacool API has exited beta with nearly one million GIFs already shared and is now available for all developers at megacool.co.

Megacool’s technology lets players record a short clip of the gameplay, for instance a high scoring round or a winning move, in the form of a GIF without impacting game performance. With only a few quick taps, players can send that GIF as well as a download link for the game directly to a specific friend or contact via SMS text message and other social channels. This helps spread the game organically and virally through digital word-of-mouth between friends, which players trust more than traditional in-game advertising.

Similar to the way that Snapchat lets users capture 10-second clips of what is going on in their lives, Megacool lets users capture one to 10-second clips of what is going on in their mobile gaming life, and share it with friends just as easily. Developers who have participated in the Megacool beta with deep integration in their games have seen a 10% conversion rate of shares to installs, as well as a 10% rate of re-engaging lapsed users.

“Traditional user acquisition for mobile games, consisting of in-game advertisements in the form of disruptive video and static interstitials, is fundamentally broken,” said Nicolaj Broby Petersen, founder and CEO of Megacool. “In a system where the biggest publishers on the market can buy up advertising inventory and drive pricing up, only they can compete. Developers needs new and innovative ways to spread their games in a cost-effective way.”

Megacool’s API has been developed to address the specific needs of mobile game developers and marketers who have been squeezed out of the high-cost mobile game advertising market. Founded in June 2015 by the creators of Dirtybit, a leading Norwegian mobile game studio that launched and grew the Fun Run series of games to more than 100 million downloads, Megacool represents a new and unique option for developers to grow their player base and drive downloads. Megacool has grown directly out of the team’s experience and success in growing the Fun Run series without a single dollar spent on marketing or user acquisition.

“We found early on that the key to the success of Fun Run was how it was being shared virally between users, driving downloads without a single advertisement,” Petersen continued. “Our goal with Megacool is to give developers the tools to make the most valuable method of sharing, word-of-mouth between trusted friends, easier than ever inside of their games.”

“Megacool consistently drives new users for us that spend more and retain better than organic users at a fraction of the cost of traditional UA channels. We see double digit conversion from GIF referral to install,” said Kevin O’Neil, founder of Candywriter, a mobile game developer with nearly 30 games and apps in their portfolio that have been downloaded more than 60 million times.

In the months ahead, Megacool will continue to refine and add new features to its API, including further customization options for developers around what types of clips can be recorded and what can be included when a clip is shared. In a future update, Megacool will also add the ability for players to edit their GIF recordings by overlaying their own text, similar to pictures and video shared on Snapchat and Instagram.

To learn more about Megacool please visit www.megacool.co . 

Train2Game News Unity plugin supports EditorVR

VR game development on the Unity platform just received a massive productivity boost. 
Today, KinematicSoup Technologies announced that Scene Fusion now officially supports EditorVR. The announcement was in response to Unity Technologies’ latest update to the platform, released on March 11th, 2017.

Scene Fusion is a Unity plug-in that adds real-time collaboration for level design to the Unity engine, which reduces the amount of time it takes to build and ship a game by up to 33%. With the growing popularity of VR, the decision to support it in Scene Fusion was an easy decision for Justin McMichael, CEO of KinematicSoup.

Unity launched the first publicly available experimental build of EditorVR for Unity, on December 15, 2016. Since this launch, the team at KinematicSoup has made efforts to ensure Scene Fusion builds have supported the continuous development of EditorVR, and plans to continue this trend.

 “Our goal is to provide complete interactivity to game developers so that they can bring games to market sooner and work more efficiently. We see VR as a natural next step to the evolving landscape of game development. The benefits of real-time collaboration have never been greater than they are in VR. Being able to have people in and out of VR interact together on a single scene creates a very fast and efficient workflow that results in faster game development.”

 Justin McMichael, CEO, KinematicSoup

Scene Fusion has been in development since 2015 and has since become popular among many Unity-based game studios.

Interested in learning more about Scene Fusion? Visit https://www.kinematicSoup.com/scene-fusion 

Train2Game News articy draft Unity Beta

​Bochum-based tool developer NEVIGO launched a closed beta for their under development articy:draft Unity Plugin and the articy:draft Macro Devkit.
NEVIGO invites all developers interested in testing its articy:draft Unity integration and the Macro Devkit to write to beta@nevigo.com to actively take part in the development of these tools.

All you have to do, as an interested developer, is to tell NEVIGO why you want to test the software and what you plan to do with it. If you qualify as a beta partner, they’ll contact you with further instructions on how you can participate in this closed beta to test the new features of the upcoming version 3 of articy:draft and give feedback.

In short the articy:draft Macro Devkit allows you to develop your own customized plug-ins and helps to integrate articy:draft in your individual workflow.

The Unity integration is a plug-in that allows you to import your articy:draft content hassle-free into Unity.

On NEVIGOs news blog you can find some quick information videos for both of the new upcoming features.

The Unity plugin: http://www.nevigo.com/en/fast-track-into-unity/

The Macro Devkit: http://www.nevigo.com/en/feature-in-development-articydraft-internal-api-video/

articy:draft is a visual environment for the creation and organization of game content. It unites specialized editors for many areas of content design in one coherent tool. All content can be exported into various formats, including XML and Microsoft Office. With the help of our integration components, you can even export into your game engine. Regardless of whether you are an individual user, an indie team, or a large studio, articy:draft adapts to your team size and ensures a smooth collaboration.

Train2Game News 3lb Games create VR movement script

​3lb Games has created a movement script for the Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive to help abate the motion sickness endemic to virtual reality (VR). 
3lb Games built a suite of tools to aid developers in choosing the most appropriate movement system for their game or application.

The system allows users to better signal their intent to move. It improves the connection between their intention and their perception.

By eliminating sensory conflict, you can significantly reduce one of the biggest contributors to motion sickness. When intent is aligned with action, the process of VR movement feels both intuitive and natural. 

Unlike other movement systems, this package contains a number of different movements for a broad range of games. You can even mix and match some of them to create a unique locomotion system.

This is the first asset ever approved for the Oculus Touch in the Unity Asset Store.

The movement system is a comprehensive package for the Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive. It can also be modified for other VR headsets. It includes the following modes:

●       Hand-Guided Movement

●       Point and Shoot Rotation

●       Teleportation (NavMesh)

●       Flight/Grounded

●       Stick Rotation (Oculus Touch only)

●       Quick Stick Rotate (Oculus Touch only)

●       Forward Blink

●       Non-Touch (Oculus Touch only)

●       Line Arc System

●       Rubberband Movement

●       VR Fade System

Sources are included.

The goal in creating this system and making it available to other developers is to create a common language and experience base for VR development. The studio intend to build a natural, immersive VR experience that will eliminate motion sickness in this exciting new medium.

You can find the Oculus Unity Asset Store link here.

You can find the HTC Vive Unity Asset Store link here.

Train2Game News Facebook partner with Unity

Recently Facebook have said that over 550 million people play games that are connected with Facebook every month on desktop, mobile and console, now it’s hoping to grow that number with a new partnership with Unity.
“Our mission is to give people the power to discover, play and share the games they love with the people they care about,” said Facebook’s Leo Olebe.

“Unity is the world’s leading game development platform. It’s great to be working with them to help developers find new audiences for the games they pour their hearts into.”

The alliance will include Facebook integration within Unity and a new PC gaming platform. Developers can apply now to be involved.

“Developers channel their talent and passion into creating amazing games, but development is only part of the challenge,” added Elliot Solomon, VP of Business Development at Unity.

“Integrating tools that provide effortless access to Facebook’s network is a key part of helping developers find the success they deserve.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Train2Game News Catch up with Ben Stoneman

Ben Stoneman now at Unity talks to Train2Game about his time with T2G, Game Jams, One Game A Month, Unity and his ongoing games making journey 
Ben is a favourite of Train2Game and studied with T2G for a number of years, taking part in game jams is a strong part of the wider community. It’s always great to speak with this young man who has a passion for games and is extremely well driven. Since finishing with Train2Game he’s gone on to a career in games and we caught up with him to hear how he’s getting on.

Ben enjoyed Train2Game and it was a catalyst in his gaming career.  He found he learnt on the course but experience in making games and having good mentors are essential to developing as a games maker and therefore a career in the games industry. Taking part in Train2Game Game Jams taught him about the development process. He’s gone on to mentor at Game Jams and be part of the judging process. Ben still regularly attends game jams and sees it as essential to becoming a better game developer. 

Ben now takes part in one game a month, a collective of games makers that share their projects in creating a title a month. Creating nice simple games and he encourages players to first make the first ever game: Pong.  He sees it as a way to train yourself as a developer which highly recommends. Through the experience he’s learnt a great deal and made a huge variety of games. He’s not going to release any games as yet as he is still aware that he is growing as a developer.

Ben works in the support team at Unity providing answers to any enquiry from any Unity user. He’s enjoying it a great deal, providing assistance by day and making games by night. He’s found that his skills as a rounded developer have continued to grow.

Ben Stoneman, Unity Support Team: ‘Train2Game is a catalyst in your game development career. However, I do believe that if you are not honing your skills without T2G’s help (in your personal/free time) then you will not make it in the industry. You need to want to do it, like an alcoholic wants to go to the pub.’

‘In my first T2G game jam, I learnt about the development process. Most of what I know now, the skills that make me a good game developer come from mentors and personal projects (make an inventory system that looks cool). The learning material helps only a small amount but having mentors is very important in life.’

‘I did go on to judge at a game jam, only a small game jam at “Insomnia” Games Festival. It was okay, but the fun was not in judging but in helping people with their Unity and general game development questions.’

‘One Game a Month, well it is exactly as it sounds. Starting from now, you begin making a game and the deadline is the last day of the month. The game does not need to be “call of duty” it can be as simple as pong, in fact I recommend that you make pong to start.’

‘After a year you will find that you have made 12 games and you have experience in making different games. It is a good way to train yourself. A body builder goes to the gym every week to get bigger muscles, a game developer makes a game every week/month to become better.’

‘I’m keeping to it. I never really show off the games as they are for my own personal learning. It’s taught me a lot. Through it I’ve made boss battles, memory games, inventory systems, quest logs, networking/multiplayer systems, graphical shaders, dialogue systems and so much more!’

‘I’m not currently looking to develop the games further, there are game ideas that I love and hold in my mind, but I’m not really looking to make a game to sell yet. Rovio (makers of angry birds) made over 40 games before angry birds, I’m getting my first 40 games done now and out of the way 😉 I would encourage Train2Game to help its students to achieve it!’

‘I am attending plenty of Game Jams. Game jams are the staple diet of any game developer. If you are not making games, then you are doing it wrong. Game jams are a really good way to practice; they prompt you by giving your ideas (the theme) and a deadline (T -48hours). It is surprisingly hard to give yourself a deadline in the same way.’

‘I work in the Support team at Unity. I’m currently a support specialist; I deal with any question that anyone wants to ask. I help users that do not pay for premium support with technical questions or other general questions. It is going great, I’m the happiest I’ve been. I get to help game developers all day and make and play games in my spare time.’

‘I’m learning all the time. I went from someone who could only design games to someone who can make games all by myself. It is easy to stop learning and just settle but if games are your passion then even if you are a billionaire, you would still make games. I feel like I can make any game that is presented to me. The key to this is not in knowing all the answers already but in knowing how to find the answers by myself when I need them.’

‘In the future I plan to progress in Unity and ensure that Unity stays strong and helps anyone who wants to make games. I also like to mentor and teach others C#, blender3d and the Unity editor itself.’

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry

Read the Train2Game blog at www.train2game-news.co.uk Train2Game is a proud supporter of www.gamatier.com

Train2game News 3D Scene Creator

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After 3 years in development Sceelix has finally been launched.

This software allows you to create 3D scenes – and other content – more efficiently and with less hassle using procedural generation technology. After you can export or integrate your creations directly into Unity game engine – support for other engines coming soon.

Procedural generation technology consists of creating digital content from algorithms, rules and parameters, allow you to simulate the growth patterns of vegetation or mimic the architectural style of a city. Because of its parameterised nature, it makes it easy for you to change the size of your seen to something 10 times bigger with a simple change of a parameter. Sceelix lets you define all the aspects of your scene through its very own visual language, making it easier to manage and control.

Procedural generation can also be used to generate scenes at runtime, method used in several game types like roguelikes and infinite-runners, and specific games like Diablo 3, Minecraft and the highly anticipated No Man’s Sky, that is coming out this June.

The Early Access price is $75 with 20% off until the 15th of May with the promo code ‘RELEASE20’. More information at www.sceelix.com and check the video here https://youtu.be/ViberNfXBGg.

Train2Game News Kudan AR Unity Support

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Kudan, the Augmented Reality software provider, release a version of their AR Engine that unlocks the potential for over 4.5 million Unity® developers to integrate professional Augmented Reality into their games and apps.

The Kudan AR SDK has solved some of the biggest challenges with Augmented Reality today. Until now apps have generally been reliant upon expensive data connections, a problem that Kudan neatly avoids with the ability to store assets and recognize hundreds of images locally on the device. 3D content can be highly realistic, with multi-million polygon models and HD videos.

Next-generation features of the Kudan AR SDK include the ability for developers to add occlusion to real world objects, adding depth and interactivity to a scene.

The SDK also offers a capability to position AR content on any surface. Known as Markerless Tracking, this is a new type of AR that doesn’t require a trigger image or location, allowing for AR anywhere, anytime.

The magic of the augmented reality can now be easily added to new or existing Unity® projects. Unity® customers include Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nexon, Nickelodeon, Square, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.

Kudan CTO, John Williams says, “The Unity plugin is another milestone in the development of our engine and represents an important step towards the continued growth of our developer ecosystem. We’re committed to providing the millions of Unity developers a professional solution with which to enable AR in their games and apps.”

Unity® is the game developer’s software of choice in every major market in the world. An overwhelming majority of the top-grossing 3D mobile games made with third-party tools are created using Unity Technologies’ engine.

The fully featured Kudan AR Engine is a relative newcomer onto the scene, arriving at a time of great disruption in the AR software provider landscape. With Apple Inc.’s buyout of Metaio and Qualcomm’s sale of the Vuforia platform, developers have been faced with some difficult choices.

The lightweight Kudan AR Engine Unity Package is available to download, for free, at the Kudan Website:
https://www.kudan.eu/downloads/kudan-ar-unity-package/