Announcing the Epic Games Store

December 4, 2018

By Tim Sweeney

For the past five years, we’ve been building tools enabling Epic to bring our games directly to players. We built the Epic Games launcher on PC and Mac featuring Fortnite and Unreal Engine; we built a worldwide digital commerce ecosystem supporting dozens of payment methods; and we gained great economies of scale thanks to Fortnite’s growth.
EpicGamesStore.jpg
As developers ourselves, we wanted two things: a store with fair economics, and a direct relationship with players. And we’ve heard that many of you want this too!

Soon we’ll launch the Epic Games store, and begin a long journey to advance the cause of all developers. The store will launch with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, then it will open up more broadly to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019. 

The Epic Games store will operate on the following principles:

All Developers Earn 88%
Developers receive 88% of revenue. There are no tiers or thresholds. Epic takes 12%. And if you’re using Unreal Engine, Epic will cover the 5% engine royalty for sales on the Epic Games store, out of Epic’s 12%.
EpicGamesStore_InfoGraphic.jpg
Have a Direct Relationship With Players
People who buy your games automatically subscribe to your newsfeed so you can reach them with game updates and news about upcoming releases. The newsfeed is front-and-center.  You’ll also be able to reach your players through email, if they choose to share it.

Connect with Creators
YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, bloggers, and others are at the leading edge of game discovery. The 10,000-strong Epic Games Support-A-Creator program helps you reach creators, so they can help you reach players. If you opt to participate, creators who refer players to buy your game will receive a share of the revenue that you set (tracked by code or affiliate marketing link). To jumpstart the creator economy, Epic will cover the first 5% of creator revenue-sharing for the first 24 months.
 
Developers Control Their Game Pages
As a developer, you control your game page and your newsfeed. There will be no store-placed ads or cross-marketing of competing games on your page, and no paid ads in search results.

All Engines Are Welcome
The Epic Games store is open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines.

When You Succeed, We Succeed
We’ve built this store and its economic model so that Epic’s interests are aligned with your interests.  Because of the high volume of Fortnite transactions, we can process store payments, serve bandwidth, and support customers very efficiently. From Epic’s 12% store fee, we’ll have a profitable business we’ll grow and reinvest in for years to come!

More details on upcoming game releases will be revealed at The Game Awards this Thursday, December 6th.

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What is Open Source? Webopedia Definition


Main»TERM»O»

By Vangie Beal

Related Terms

(1) Generically, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge, i.e., open. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.

(2) A certification standard issued by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) that indicates that the source code of a computer program is made available free of charge to the general public. The rationale for this movement is that a larger group of programmers not concerned with proprietary ownership or financial gain will produce a more useful and bug -free product for everyone to use. The concept relies on peer review to find and eliminate bugs in the program code, a process which commercially developed and packaged programs do not utilize. Programmers on the Internet read, redistribute and modify the source code, forcing an expedient evolution of the product. The process of eliminating bugs and improving the software happens at a much quicker rate than through the traditional development channels of commercial software as the information is shared throughout the open source community and does not originate and channel through a corporation’s research and development cogs.

OSI dictates that in order to be considered “OSI Certified” a product must meet the following criteria:

  • The author or holder of the license of the source code cannot collect royalties on the distribution of the program
  • The distributed program must make the source code accessible to the user
  • The author must allow modifications and derivations of the work under the program’s original name
  • No person, group or field of endeavor can be denied access to the program
  • The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program’s being part of a particular software distribution
  • The licensed software cannot place restrictions on other software that is distributed with it.

Learn more about Open Source in Webopedia’s “Did You Know…?” section.

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The 5 Best Computer Chess Engines

Computers are the future of chess. Almost everyone agrees on that.

But the statement doesn’t go far enough. By and large, computers are also the present of chess.

With the question of man vs. machine long-ago settled over the chessboard, the field of computer chess is now a collaboration between some of the most dedicated chess teachers in the world (the developers), and the best students in the history of chess: the engines themselves.

Gobbling up every bit of chess knowledge given to them, computer chess engines are getting better at a faster rate. The machines have left humans to play among themselves as the computers probe further into the chess unknown.

Best Chess Computer Engines

They are playing higher levels of chess than anyone imagined, and sometimes even the best humans can scarcely understand the insanely nuanced maneuvers the computers play seemingly without effort. Behind the scenes, of course, the engines are busy calculating millions of variations, which — added to their superior ability to judge resulting positions — allows them to play chess more accurately than ever before.

Chess Engines

Nowadays, there is no human player that can beat one of the top chess engines…

While any decent chess program could easily beat the world’s top humans, there are vast differences in strength among the ranks of the engines.  

Just as Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Vishy Anand, Veselin Topalov, and Hikaru Nakamura (et al.) rule the world of human chess, so too do the elite engines dominate computer chess. 

Here are the top five strongest computer chess engines. The rating of each of them has been obtained from the Computer Chess Website.

The article was originally published on May 15 but it has been updated to show latest changes on the 5th of March 2018.

5. Gull 2.8b (Rating= 3214)

Gull is a relative newcomer on the elite computer chess scene. This free and open-source engine is helmed by Vadim Demichev and was inspired by two older chess programs, Ivanhoe and Strelka.

Gull Chess Engine

A gull is the symbol of the Gull Chess Engine, the 5th best chess engine in the world by rating.

Gull gained 11 rating points in the new CCRL 40/40 pure rating list (a method that allows only one version per engine family, removing distortion), earning it the number-five slot in the ranks of the known universe’s best chess players.

4. Fire 6.1 (Rating: 3293)

Fire is a free engine that used to be (but no longer is) open source.

Fire Chess Engine

With 3329 rating points, Fire is considered the 4th best chess engine. | Photo via Fire

In development since 2010, Fire is another fast riser in the world of computer chess. It gained 16 rating points in the CCRL pure list compared to its normal database rating, the most of any engine in the top 15.

3. Komodo 11.2 (Rating: 3406)

Komodo, the leading commercial program, was the undisputed champ of 2014 before being briefly eclipsed by the new version of Stockfish this year. Its developers then released Komodo 9, which is about 50 rating points better than its predecessor.

Komodo Chess Engine

The Komodo is the official symbol of the Komodo Chess Engine.

Here’s what the popular Chess.com video author GM Roman Dzindzichashvili has to say about Komodo:

“I am extremely impressed by Komodo’s play. I watched and analyzed every game and it was absolutely flawless positional chess, the likes of which has never been seen before by an engine or human.”

2. Houdini 6 (Rating: 3415)

Houdini, a commercial engine, used to be the strongest in the world, and remains a very formidable chess program.

Houdini Chess Engine

Official logo of the Houdini Chess Engine. | Photo via Houdini

According to its creators, “the name Houdini was chosen because of the engine’s positional style, its tenacity in difficult positions and its ability to defend stubbornly and escape with a draw – sometimes by the narrowest of margins.”

1. Stockfish 9 (Rating: 3452)

This article is about the top five computer engines, but really it’s the top two and everything else. That’s how far Stockfish and Komodo are ahead of the rest of the field. The computer king title regularly changes hands between these two engines, easily the two strongest in chess history. The best thing about Stockfish is that it is completely free, open source, and cross-platform.

Stockfish Chess Engine

Official logo of the Stockfish Chess Engine. | Photo via Stockfish

Stockfish even won Chess.com’s craziest game of 2014 award, earning the engine a nice mention in the Wall Street Journal.

Stockfish also emerged victorious in one of the most entertaining Chess.com events ever, beating a “cyborg” Hikaru Nakamura, who played against Stockfish with the help of an older, weaker chess engine.

What do you think about computer chess? Let us know in the comments. Below, you will be able to find all the download repositories where you can get these chess engines.

Download Repositories:

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49th #ebaytechtalk : Vespa — the open-source big data serving engine

Offline and stream processing of big data sets can be done with tools such as Hadoop, Spark and Storm, but what if you need to process big data at the time a user is making a request? This talk introduces Vespa – the open-source big data serving engine. Vespa allows you to search, organize and evaluate machine-learned models from tools such as TensorFlow over large, evolving data sets with latencies in the tens of milliseconds. Vespa is behind the recommendation, ad targeting and search engines at Yahoo, where it handles billions of daily queries over billions of documents, and was recently open-sourced at http://vespa.ai.

Jon Bratseth is a distinguished architect at Oath (formerly Yahoo), and the architect and one of the main contributors to Vespa, the open big data serving engine. Jon has 20 years experience as an architect and programmer on large distributed systems.

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Epic judge permanently restrains Apple from blocking Unreal Engine, but won’t force Fortnite

Fortnite won’t be coming back to the App Store any time soon. On Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers refused to grant Epic Games a preliminary injunction against Apple that would force the game developer to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store, while simultaneously granting an injunction that keeps Apple from retaliating against the Unreal Engine, which Epic also owns (PDF). In other words, we now have a permanent version of the temporary restraining order ruling from last month.

That means the state of affairs, in which Epic is banned from publishing new games on iOS and cannot distribute Fortnite on the App Store in its current form, will remain in place for the length of the trial — unless Epic decides to remove its own in-app payment mechanism that initiated the bitter legal feud in August. Rogers had previously suggested a jury trial might be appropriate as soon as next July, but ahead of today’s ruling, both parties said they would rather have the case decided by a judge.

Today’s decision still prevents Apple from revoking Epic’s developer tools in a way that could have harmed its broader business.

“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate this action for the future of the digital frontier, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders. Thus, the public interest weighs overwhelmingly in favor of Unreal Engine and the Epic Affiliates,” said the judge, keeping Epic’s Unreal Engine business from being harmed.

  • August 13th: Epic introduces a new direct-payment system in Fortnite to circumvent Apple’s 30 percent fee. Apple kicks Fortnite off the App Store for breaking its rules. Epic responds with a civil lawsuit against Apple.
  • August 17th: Epic reveals that Apple has threatened to terminate its developer account. This would stop Epic from developing any future games for iOS or Mac.
  • August 24th: Epic wins a temporary restraining order against Apple. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rules that Apple can’t terminate Epic’s developer account, but that the iPhone maker does not have to restore Fortnite to the App Store.
  • September 8th: Apple countersues Epic, seeking damages for the company’s breach of contract. In a court filing Apple says Epic has started this legal battle to draw attention to the flagging Fortnite franchise.
  • September 28th: Judge Rogers hears arguments from both Epic and Apple, and recommends a jury trial to settle the case in July.

“Epic Games is grateful that Apple will continue to be barred from retaliating against Unreal Engine and our game development customers as the litigation continues,” an Epic spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue to develop for iOS and Mac under the court’s protection and we will pursue all avenues to end Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.”

“Our customers depend on the App Store being a safe and trusted place where all developers follow the same set of rules,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “We’re grateful the court recognized that Epic’s actions were not in the best interests of its own customers and that any problems they may have encountered were of their own making when they breached their agreement. For twelve years, the App Store has been an economic miracle, creating transformative business opportunities for developers large and small. We look forward to sharing this legacy of innovation and dynamism with the court next year.”

Apple and Epic met in federal court again in September for another round, where the merits of the Fortnite developer’s antitrust case against Apple were argued before Rogers for a second time since Epic filed its lawsuit in August. Epic had a particularly rough go of it, as Rogers singled out the company for what she characterized as dishonest behavior that may prove the company poses a security risk to the iOS platform.

“You did something, you lied about it by omission, by not being forthcoming. That’s the security issue. That’s the security issue!” Rogers told Epic, according to a report from CNN. “There are a lot of people in the public who consider you guys heroes for what you guys did, but it’s still not honest.” Rogers also brought up the fact that walled gardens and their standard 30 percent cuts are commonplace in the game industry, with console makers like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony implementing similar rules.

Rogers said the case should likely go to a jury to decide and suggested a trial time frame of next summer. “It is important enough to understand what real people think,” said Rogers. “Do these security issues concern people or not?”

The other benefit of a jury trial is that it may result in a stickier, more definitive ruling. The likelihood this case sees numerous appeals is high, and appellate courts are more likely to uphold a jury decision when appealed. That could avoid the case bouncing between courts for years to come. “I know I’m just a stepping stone for all of you,” Rogers added.

Apple and Epic’s legal fight has become a larger touchstone in third-party developers’ worsening relations with the iPhone maker, with many using the situation to complain of unfairness or in some cases even join with Epic in protesting Apple’s policies and enforcement. In September, companies like Epic, Spotify, Tile, and the Match Group created the Coalition for App Fairness, which will try “defend the fundamental rights of creators to build apps and to do business directly with their customers,” according to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.

Update October 9th, 7:50PM ET: Added statement from Apple.

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Open Source Autopilot for Drones

PX4 is an open source flight control software for drones and other unmanned vehicles. The project provides a flexible set of tools for drone developers to share technologies to create tailored solutions for drone applications. PX4 provides a standard to deliver drone hardware support and software stack, allowing an ecosystem to build and maintain hardware and software in a scalable way.

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Open Broadcaster Software®️ | OBS

The OBS Project is made possible thanks to generous contributions from our sponsors and backers. Learn more about how you can become a sponsor.

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High performance real time video/audio capturing and mixing. Create scenes made up of multiple sources including window captures, images, text, browser windows, webcams, capture cards and more.

Set up an unlimited number of scenes you can switch between seamlessly via custom transitions.

Intuitive audio mixer with per-source filters such as noise gate, noise suppression, and gain. Take full control with VST plugin support.

Powerful and easy to use configuration options. Add new Sources, duplicate existing ones, and adjust their properties effortlessly.

Streamlined Settings panel gives you access to a wide array of configuration options to tweak every aspect of your broadcast or recording.

Modular ‘Dock’ UI allows you to rearrange the layout exactly as you like. You can even pop out each individual Dock to its own window.

OBS supports all your favorite streaming platforms and more.

Choose from a number of different and customizable transitions for when you switch between your scenes or add your own stinger video files.

Set hotkeys for nearly every sort of action, such as switching between scenes, starting/stopping streams or recordings, muting audio sources, push to talk, and more.

Studio Mode lets you preview your scenes and sources before pushing them live. Adjust your scenes and sources or create new ones and ensure they’re perfect before your viewers ever see them.

Get a high level view of your production using the Multiview. Monitor 8 different scenes and easily cue or transition to any of them with merely a single or double click.

OBS Studio is equipped with a powerful API, enabling plugins and scripts to provide further customization and functionality specific to your needs.

Utilize native plugins for high performance integrations or scripts written with Lua or Python that interface with existing sources.

Work with developers in the streaming community to get the features you need with endless possibilities.

Browse or submit your own in the Resources section



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