Author Archives: CooLMinE

Unity 5 has been released

Unity is a cross-platform game creation system developed by Unity Technologies, including a game engine and integrated development environment which is used to develop video games for web sites, desktop platforms, consoles, and mobile devices. Unity has been extended to target more than fifteen platforms and is now the default software development kit for the Wii U.

This release brings forth a lot of new sought out features like:

  • The Physically-based Standard Shader to make your materials look consistent in any lighting environment, cross platform.
  • Real-time Global Illumination, built on Geomerics Enlighten technology.
  • The Audio Mixer, to massively improve audio in your game.
  • HDR Reflection Probes to enhance visual fidelity.
  • PhysX 3.3 to bring massive performance improvements to 3D physics.
  • Major updates to the animation system.
  • WebGL preview.

If you would like to take a closer look at the new features Unity 5 comes with head out to Unity’s Blog post which has all the details.

There are two main versions of the Unity engine, personal edition and professional edition. Unity 5 personal edition comes with all the features the engine has. The main difference between the two versions is that the personal edition does not have the following features:

  • Customizable Splash Screen
  • Access to Unity Cloud Build Pro
  • Unity Analytics Pro
  • Team License
  • Prioritized bug handling
  • Game Performance Reporting
  • Beta access

System Requirements

  • Windows XP SP2+, 7 SP1+, 8; Mac OS X 10.8+.
  • GPU: Graphics card with DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities. Anything made since 2004 should work.

If you would like to download the Unity 5 game engine, click the link below.

Download Now

Google Earth Pro is now free

Google has announced that Google Earth Pro, which was before priced at $399 per year before, will now be available for free.

Google Earth Pro is of course a fairly known, perhaps a bit forgotten by a lot of people, 3D interactive globe that can be used to aid planning, analysis and decision making. In a nutshell you can think of Google Earth to be a more advance version of Google maps.

If you are interested in trying out Google Earth Pro, you can download it for free. The process is fairly straight forward and only takes a few minutes for you have everything up and running.

How to uninstall Windows Phone SDK

Windows Phone SDK is included in Visual Studio 2013 now. If you are lucky enough you might have an entry for it in “Programs and Features” which will allow you to uninstall it. Sadly for me, this was not the case as there was no visible way to uninstall it from my system.

One solution that allowed me to uninstall Windows Phone SDK was to navigate to the packages folder that can be found in the Virtual Studio CD or .ISO file then look for the WindowsPhone81SDK folder, or something with a similar name in case the version is different.

Inside you will find some .msi files, simply right click on the files then select “Uninstall”. If Windows Phone SDK is installed on your computer the uninstallation process will begin.

How to keep your screen always on

On most systems this can be configured by going to Control Panel --> Power Options --> Choose when to turn off the display, but there are always some situations that this solution will not suffice. As an exmaple, the last time I faced this problem, Active Directory’s settings were overriding my system’s settings, which caused my display to turn off every 5 minutes regardless of how much I tried to tweak it using the Power Options.

As a workaround I decided to create a small application that would just keep the screen from turning off. I decided to share it with you in case you ever find yourself in a similar position.

You can download the program here.

If you know a bit about programming you can take a look at the source code below that will give you an idea on how this is achieved.

The theory behind this solution is very simple. We are using the SetThreadExecutionState windows function to notify the system that the screen should stay on.

Flags Descriptions
ES_AWAYMODE_REQUIRED (0x00000040)
Away mode should be used only by media-recording and media-distribution applications that must perform critical background processing on desktop computers while the computer appears to be sleeping. See Remarks.

ES_CONTINUOUS(0x80000000)
Informs the system that the state being set should remain in effect until the next call that uses ES_CONTINUOUS and one of the other state flags is cleared.

ES_DISPLAY_REQUIRED(0x00000002)
Forces the display to be on by resetting the display idle timer.

ES_SYSTEM_REQUIRED(0x00000001)
Forces the system to be in the working state by resetting the system idle timer.

How to uninstall Microsoft Advertising SDK

Microsoft Advertising SDK is included in Visual Studio 2013 now. If you are lucky enough you might have an entry for it in “Programs and Features” which will allow you to uninstall it. Sadly for me, this was not the case as there was no visible way to uninstall it from my system.

One solution that allowed me to uninstall Microsoft Advertising SDK was to navigate to the packages folder that can be found in the Virtual Studio CD or .ISO file then look for the AdsSDK10 folder.

Inside you will find some .msi files, simply right click on the files then select “Uninstall”. If Microsoft Advertising SDK is installed on your computer the uninstallation process will begin.