How to register a global hotkey for your application in C#

How to register a global hotkey for your application in C#

Register a hotkey for your application that can be triggered even if your form is minimized and does not have focus. More »

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013 is now available. Make sure to upgrade to the latest version of Visual Studio. More »

How to download a file in C# (progressbar and download speed)

How to download a file in C# (progressbar and download speed)

Learn how to download files in C# while displaying the percentage and the download speed. More »

UDP hole punching implementation in C#

UDP hole punching implementation in C#

Learn how to implement UDP hole punching so you can make your clients life a lot easier by not forcing them to open ports on their end. More »

 

Unreal Engine 4 is now free

Epic Games has announced on their blog that they decided to provide Unreal Engine 4 for free to all people, without any limitations of its features.

There is something you will need to keep in mind if you plan on using the Unreal Engine 4 for commercial reasons. In Epic Games’s blog post is clearly states that: “When you ship a game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter.

Depending on your needs this might be a deal breaker.

The current latest version for Unreal Engine 4 is version 4.7. This version comes with various new features, such as:

  • Realistic Foliage Lighting
  • Foliage Rendering for Large Worlds
  • In-World Component Editing
  • Placeable Empty Actors
  • Blueprintable Components
  • Automatic Asset Importing
  • Blueprint Editor UI
  • HTML5 and WebGL Support (Windows Only)
  • OpenEXR: High Dynamic Range Textures
  • Android Development on Mac
  • Virtual Reality Support
  • Leap Motion Plugin *Beta*
  • Morph Target Exaggeration
  • Animation Editing System
  • Instant Bone Controller Preview
  • Creating Animations from Physics
  • Git Source Control Plugin (Beta!)
  • AI Perception System: Blueprint Scripting

and a lot more ! For a more detailed explanation of the features, visit https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/unreal-engine-47-released

Unreal Engine 4 Recommended System Specifications

  • Windows 7 64-bit or a Mac with Mac OS X 10.9.2 or later
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Quad-core Intel or AMD processor
  • DX11 compatible video card

Unreal Engine 4 will run on hardware below what is shown above but you might experience issues with the performance.

If you would like to download Unreal Engine 4 please visit unrealengine.com and click the link on the top right where it says “Get Unreal”. Registration is required.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on TumblrDigg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone

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

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on TumblrDigg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone

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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on TumblrDigg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone

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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on TumblrDigg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone

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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on TumblrDigg thisPrint this pageEmail this to someone