Take a peek at the first game using Oxide's Nitrous engine
The future of AMD's Mantle is up in the air since AMD recently told developers to focus on DirectX 12 instead. However, it doesn't appear as though AMD is ready to completely dismantle its API, which will have a future in Vulkan, the next version of the OpenGL API. You may recall that Oxide Games was a big proponent of Mantle -- check out our interview from a year ago. How does Oxide feel today? To find out, we headed to Oxide's booth at GDC and talked about a number of things.
Epic Games earlier this week announced that it was dropping its subscription fee to license Unreal Engine 4. Now instead of paying $19 per month on top of any applicable royalties, developers can dive in and get access to UE4's complete C++ source code hosted on GitHub. They can even make a little bit of pocket change without sharing the wealth -- up to $3,000. After that, a 5 percent royalty per quarter applies. Not a bad deal, and we caught up with Epic at GDC to talk about this and more.
In a blog post on Monday, AMD's Raja Koduri waxed nostalgic on Mantle and how it "revolutionized the industry's thinking on low-overhead/high-throughput graphics," among other things. But at the end of what reads like a reluctant death sentence, AMD told developers that if they're interested in Mantle 1.0's functionality, they should focus their attention on DirectX 12 or GLnext.
Five percent royalty rate still applies to commercial projects
At last year's Game Developers Conference (GDC), Epic Games made the decision to license its next generation Unreal Engine 4 to anyone and everyone for $19 per month, giving subscribers unfettered access to its complete C++ source code hosted in GitHub. If you sold and/or made money from your creation, you'd end up paying Epic a 5 percent royalty on top of the subscription fee. Nearly a year later, the 5 percent royalty remains in play, but Epic has now removed the $19 per month subscription for Unreal Engine 4.
What a month it's been for Lenovo, the world's top supplier of PCs and generally a well liked company. The OEM put both of those traits at risk by pre-loading adware onto its consumer laptops and desktops, adware that was later discovered to be a serious security threat. We might never know for sure how savvy Lenovo was to the software's nefarious methods of serving up ads, but in the wake of it all, there have been apologies, explanations, a software tool to remove Superfish, a class action lawsuit, and now a promise -- Lenovo wants to be the leader of clean PCs.
Microsoft is bringing back the Start Menu in Windows 10, though it won't look exactly the way you remember seeing it in Windows 7. If that's what you're after, you might be interested to know that Stardock is putting the final touches on Start10, its Start Menu replacement for Windows 10 that makes it look like it did in Windows 7. If you're an Object Desktop subscribers, you can try out the Start10 beta today.
Free Office 365 for education offer extends beyond the U.S.
Microsoft had already been doing teachers and students living in the U.S. a solid by offering them free Office 365 subscriptions, and now that same offer is extending beyond the border. How far? Try all the way around -- if you're an eligible teacher or a student living in a place where Office 365 is available, a subscription is yours for the taking once you provide a valid school email address.
Plugin allows developers to add virtual hands to games
Epic and Leap Motion have teamed up to create and launch an official Windows plugin for Unreal Engine 4 that's supposed to make it easy for developers to integrate virtual hands into their games. The plugin is available in the Unreal Engine 4.7 source code, which they can download from Unreal's GitHub repository to immediately start building and creating a custom VR experience.
Lenovo's been in damage control ever since news broke that it was installing a careless piece of adware called Superfish onto consumer laptops and desktops, but the court of public opinion isn't the only one it has some explaining to do. According to reports, a class-action lawsuit against Lenovo and Superfish was filed at the end of last week claiming "fraudulent" business practices.
Lenovo took to Twitter to issue an apology over Superfish, the visual search software it installed on consumer laptops and desktops without permission, and has posted instructions on how to remove it. Initially Lenovo issued a statement saying that it installed the software with good intentions and that there's nothing to be concerned about from a security perspective, though evidence points to the contrary.