Today in Max Level Tech, we’re going to be talking about the logitech/saitek X56-Hotas flight stick. This flight stick is everything that any kind of flight enthusiast could ask for on a budget. In this article we are going to go through the pro’s, con’s, and everything that someone needs to know about this piece of tech.
As one can see by the picture of the Logitech/Saitek X56-Hotas, there are more buttons that most people will know what to do with. Not even getting started on the fact that this flight stick is separable! To give a brief overview of the control capabilities of this flight stick combo, the left piece will be referred to as “the throttle”, and the right as “the stick”.
Control Schemes Galore!
To give an idea of just how many control schemes that the X56-Hotas is capable of, first we must go through the buttons. The throttle in its entirety, has twenty-two press-able buttons and flip switches, ten axes for variable control, two directional pads and three programmable modes.
As for the stick, four axes for variable control, three directional pads, two triggers, and two buttons. So as one can tell, the picture above does not do a justice to the actual capabilities of this device, and we’re just getting started.
What else can it do?
As seen above, the throttle can split apart to assist in multi-engine control of either aircraft and spacecraft. Also, this flight stick is separable in terms of usage, so its user can plug in the stick, and leave the throttle unplugged, and vise versa.
Once it is set up, and all the proper software is downloaded onto the user’s PC, this stick throttle set-up becomes completely programmable to how each control reacts to the user’s input. As well as coming with adjustable springs for the flight stick’s resistance in hand. This thing is also equipped with RGB abilities, with a back glow around all of the toggle switches and lighting on the flight stick as well. All adjustable via download-able software.
Okay, what are it’s downfalls?
As with any piece of gaming equipment, everything has its downfalls. With the Logitech/Saitek X56-Hotas, it has a few issues that seem to be a matter of personal preference. One of its issues is that unlike the Thrustmaster variant of the Hotas design, this set does not have quite the weight in its bases. Therefore if they are not secured, then during heavy or intense play, they may move on the user. Next, the RGB function is stand-alone, which means that if you have Razer’s “Chroma” or Corsair’s “ICUE” this device will most likely not sync with those.
The X56-hotas is in my personal opinion, the best flight stick that a person on a budget can get. Typically they run about $240-$250. This is still pricey, however there are some flight sticks that are generally the same design that cost close to $500. These are flight sticks that Myself and Yotsune use, both of us have no real issues with these devices. They work perfectly with games that we like to play, like War Thunder, Aerofly FS, and Star Citizen. I would personally recommend to anyone that wants a complicated flight set-up, without completely breaking the bank! Feel free to check it out for yourself here. It also has a list of every game that is completely compatible with this flight stick.
Kara Edwards is an amazing voice actress that I was able to meet at the Dragon Boat Festival in Denver, CO. I was able to talk with Kara and also go to the Q and A, and it was the best time. The whole festival was amazing, from seeing the boat to all the Asian culture, but to see a voice actress I listened to back when I was a kid on radio Disney, absolutely made my day.
Kara Edwards grew up in Dallas, TX. She got her start when she was teaching Inline Skate class. One day someone had asked her if she was interested in being on the radio. With her degree in broadcasting, it was a stepping stone into the world of voice acting. The building next door to her class was the Disney Radio Station and they asked if she would like a job as a DJ. She took it and became one of the two DJ’s of Squeege and Kara Show. Squeege being Kyle Hebert, who voiced Kiba Inuzuka in Naruto Shippuden.
Eventually she moved to Charlotte, North Caroline for a few years to do more radio with another company until one day, she decided she was no longer happy with radio. Kara decided to move back to Texas where Funimation was located to work with them on more animes. There are many animes that she has been involved with, from Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Acidamea, and Fruit Basket.
There were many questions asked of her, but I will list my favorite answers.
She loved playing Videl from Dragon Ball Z. It was the first character she voiced and she also grew up with her. At the time she was only two years older than Videl when she was voice acting her. Kara was pregnant with her little boy when Videl was also pregnant with her boy. The story Kara told us about Videl was when she went in to try out for the character, Kara saw Videl, she was wearing pigtails and had blue eyes and she took one look at Videl and knew she was going to get the part because they both looked so similar. Kara also loved Kana from Fruit Basket as well. She was able to be very emotional during her reading and felt she could be a part of her.
She is also the leading voice of Highlights magazine, which helps others from different nations learn English, and they also use her for their commercials as well. Kara also lends her voice for many Ads as well, from Uber, Goodwill, and Toys-R-Us. She did say that money wise, commercials are the best for voice actors and will keep doing them.
Did I mention Video Games? I almost forgot! I mean this is a video game website after all. Kara has voiced Videl from Dragon Ball Z as well, as Athena and Aphrodites from Smite. Kara had said that she was told to do a Greek/Moracan accent for the part, but she feels she is not good with accents. From there, Athena was more of a semi Russian accent and many of the other characters made fun of her for having that accent, and it became a joke now. Kara also mentioned that she will be the main character of a new game coming soon, that i plan on playing as soon as i find out the game. She could not tell us what game it was yet!
There is a lot left for her in the future from new commercials, video games, to animes. I can’t wait to see what other voices she has in store for us, but for now at least I can put a face to the characters she has voiced, and me that is the best. I hope I get a chance to meet other voice actors and get some more stories that I can share with the world.
We have over 1000 developers dedicated to extending and improving Unity for you. In this release, you get more than 170 new features and enhancements for artists, designers, and programmers. We’ve updated ProBuilder, Shader Graph, 2D Animation, Burst Compiler, UI Elements, and many more. Read on for the highlights.
But before we tell you about all the great new additions and improvements, note that we’ve revamped our release announcement too. You no longer have to scroll/scan a super-long post just to find what’s most pertinent for you or your team. Here we give you just the highlights, plus handy links to dedicated webpages featuring all the update info organized by an overview, artist and designer tools, programmer tools, graphics, and supported platforms.
But before you dive in, why not start downloading 2019.2 now.
See the Unity 2019.2 highlights in this video.
ProBuilder 4.0 ships as verified with 2019.2 and is our unique hybrid of 3D modeling and level design tools, optimized for building simple geometry but capable of detailed editing and UV unwrapping as needed.
Polybrush is now available via Package Manager as a Preview package. This versatile tool lets you sculpt complex shapes from any 3D model, position detail meshes, paint in custom lighting or coloring, and blend textures across meshes directly in the Editor.
DSPGraph is the new audio rendering/mixing system, built on top of Unity’s C# Job System. It’s now available as a Preview package.
We have improved how UI Elements, Unity’s new UI framework, renders UI for graph-based tools such as Shader Graph, Visual Effect Graph, and Visual Scripting. These changes provide a much smoother and responsive feel when you author more complex graphs in the Editor.
To help you better organize your complex graphs, we have added subgraphs to Visual Effect Graph. You can share, combine, and reuse subgraphs for blocks and operators, and also embed complete VFX within VFX. We’ve also improved the integration between Visual Effect Graph and the High-Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP), which pulls VFX Graph in by default, providing you with additional rendering features.
With Shader Graph you can now use Color Modes to highlight nodes on your graph with colors based on various features or select your own colors to improve readability. This is especially useful in large graphs.
We’ve added swappable Sprites functionality to the 2D Animation tool. With this new feature, you can change a GameObject’s rendered Sprites while reusing the same skeleton rig and animation clips. This lets you quickly create multiple characters using different Sprite Libraries or customize parts of them with Sprite Resolvers. Now you can swap Sprites to create characters that are completely different visually but use the same animation rig.
Tools for programmers
The Burst Compiler came out of Preview in 2019.1. With this release, Burst Compiler 1.1 includes several improvements to JIT compilation time and some C# improvements.
TypeCache provides a fast way to access types or methods marked with specific attributes, as well as types derived from a specific class or interface. It utilizes an internal native cache that is built for all assemblies loaded by the Editor.
For developers of mobile apps we have introduced screen brightness controls via the new Screen.brightness property (iOS and Android) and improved the ReplayKit API (iOS). We’ve also made it easier to adjust your UI by adding support for detecting the bounding box around the notch(es).
We’ve migrated the PhysX Cloth Library from the previous PxCloth to NvCloth as part of our transition from PhysX 3.4 to PhysX 4.x.
We’ve removed the old .NET 3.5 Equivalent Scripting Runtime. Any projects that use the .NET 3.5 Equivalent Scripting Runtime will be automatically updated to use the .NET 4.x Equivalent Scripting Runtime.
This release also includes support for the Intel® VTune™ Amplifier for the Windows Standalone Player (x86, 64-bit) and Windows Editor, including sampling profiling of C# code.
In this release, our High-Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) includes an Arbitrary Output Variables (AOV) API, allowing you to output material properties only, lighting only, depth buffer, and other passes from the Scene. As well, this API is now used in the Unity Recorder, which makes it easy to export specific outputs for rendering with HDRP.
We’ve also added Dynamic resolution, which allows you to scale the resolution at which the world is rendered, with hardware dynamic resolution support. This gives you better performance compared to software dynamic resolution.
The MatCap debug view mode replaces the material and lighting of objects with a simple environment texture. This mode is useful for navigating and getting a sense of the Scene without having to set up the Scene lighting. For example, if you are editing a dark area, like the inside of a cave, this makes it easier to navigate in low lighting.
The new Ambient Occlusion effect is a screen-space shading and rendering algorithm that improves the quality of ambient lighting simulation in your Scene, especially for small-scale details, while providing good performance. You can choose from several options to optimize for performance and quality.
There are new 2D features in the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP) such as the experimental 2D Renderer, which now contains 2D Pixel Perfect and 2D Lights. The new 2D Lights enable you to easily enhance visuals of 2D projects directly without having to use 3D lights or custom shaders.
Shader Graph now has 2D Master nodes to create 2D Unlit and Lit Sprite Shaders. Additionally, precision modes let you set nodes to use less GPU memory, which helps increase performance on diverse platforms, including mobile.
Lightmap denoising now works on all Editor platforms, regardless of GPU manufacturer. We have also made a fundamental change in how you configure the baking, giving you new possibilities for speeding up lightmap baking. As well, we’re introducing new probe workflows.
With Probe-Lit GI Contributors, you can choose if objects that Contribute Global Illumination should receive GI from Light Probes or lightmaps. This allows Mesh Renderers to contribute to bounced lighting calculations without occupying texels in the lightmap, which can lead to huge improvements in bake times and reduced memory usage.
This release also includes major speed improvements in our GPU Lightmapper, especially during lighting iterations. New features include Multiple Importance Sampling support for environment lighting and increased sampling performance when using view prioritization or small/low occupancy lightmaps.
The NVIDIA OptiX AI Denoiser has been upgraded for better performance and lower memory usage, and to add support for NVIDIA Turing GPUs. It is supported in the GPU Lightmapper.
Lightmapping now supports the Intel Open Image Denoise library, which is a machine-learning-based filter. It will improve your lightmapping workflow and lightmap quality by post-processing lightmaps. Noise and unwanted artifacts are removed so that you can get smooth, noise-free lightmaps that use far fewer samples.
Platforms and Editor workflows
Optimized Frame Pacing for Android, developed in partnership with Google’s Android Gaming and Graphics team, provides consistent frame rates and hence smoother gameplay experience by enabling frames to be distributed with less variance.
Mobile developers will also benefit from improved OpenGL support, as we have added OpenGL multithreading support (iOS) to improve performance on low-end iOS devices that don’t support Metal (approximately 25% of iOS devices that run Unity games). We also added OpenGL support for SRP batcher for both iOS and Android to improve CPU performance in projects that use the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP).
We’re also introducing a revamped SDK loading and management system for your target platforms to help streamline your development workflow. The system is currently in Preview and we’re looking for users to try out the new workflow and to give us feedback.
The updated AR Foundation 2.2 includes support for face-tracking, 2D image-tracking, 3D object-tracking, and environment probes. See this recent blog post for details about AR Foundation support for ARKit 3 features.
We’re continuing to make the Editor leaner and more modular by converting several existing features into packages, including Unity UI, 2D Sprite Editor, and 2D Tilemap Editor. They can be easily integrated, upgraded or removed via the Package Manager.
As with all releases, 2019.2 includes a large number of improvements and bug fixes. A special thanks goes out to our alpha and beta community for using and testing all the new tools and capabilities. Your pertinent and timely feedback helped us fix a large number of issues and finalize this release.
You can find the full list of features, improvements, and fixes in the Release Notes, which are available here. You can also use the Issue Tracker to find specific ticket information.
2019.2 beta sweepstakes winners
We are happy to announce that we’ve declared the five lucky winners of our Unity 2019.2 beta sweepstakes. They each won a Samsung Galaxy S10+, and all winners have been contacted. Stay tuned for updates about future sweepstakes and other beta news by signing up for our newsletter.
What’s coming next in Unity?
Are you curious about what’s going to be in Unity 2019.3? You can get access to the alpha version now or wait for the beta, which we expect to launch later this summer. The full release of 2019.3 is scheduled for the fall of 2019. If you’re interested in knowing more about our Preview packages, check out the overview here.
Not only will you get early access to the latest new features, but you can ensure that your project will be compatible with the new version. You can also help influence the future of Unity by sharing your feedback with our R&D teams in our forums or in person. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to get invited to Unity events, roundtables and much more. Start by downloading our latest alpha or beta and have a look at this guide for how to be an effective beta tester.
Fortnite Streamer Ninja Writing A Book About How To Become An Unstoppable Gamer
As video games become bigger and bigger business, and the esports world nips at the periphery of that business, it makes sense that people will write guides on how to profit from these things. Enter Ninja, also known as Tyler Blevins off the internet, who has made somewhat of a fortune by becoming one of the most popular streamers on said internet. Now, he’s going to teach others how to do it.
Titled Ninja: Get Good, the upcoming book from Blevins sets out to teach readers how to become unstoppable gamers. In theory, there’s actually some good topics to cover here, like setting up a streaming strategy, what kind of equipment you need, things like that. Nothing that would make you unstoppable per se, but maybe that’s more of a marathon than a sprint. Ninja: Get Good releases in August.
But let’s be clear here. That’s not the only Ninja book that exists. There are in fact two more on the way from what Ninja’s publisher, Edbury, calls “the best player in the world.” One is a notebook with contains Ninja stickers, protips, and prompts to get your mind going, also available in August. As far as books go, that’s an alright bit of licensed whatever.
The other book, scheduled for this December, is entitled the incredible Ninja: The Most Dangerous Game, seemingly invoking Richard Connell’s historically significant short story of the same name about a Russian aristocrat that hunted humans on an island as a criticism of big game hunting. The graphic novel begins with Ninja receiving a mysterious invitation to take part in “an impossibly realistic, challenging, and addictive game.”
All three books are being published by Edbury publishing.
Agent 47 is heading out on a new mission tomorrow with the release of the new Siberia map for the game’s Sniper Assassin mode. He might want to pack a jacket, because things are going to be chilly.
In the new Siberia map, players have to take out a pair of targets at a Siberian prison and several members of an elite mercenary force. Roman Khabko is a Russian mobster (and inmate), and Vitaly Reznikov is the warden who runs the place. Taking them out undetected from your sniper perch won’t be easy, especially with members of Reznikov’s Siberian Tigers posted as guards.
Players can take on the challenge solo or with a co-op buddy. You’ll be able to unlock new challenges and mastery levels for the ICA Druzhina 34 Arctic sniper rifle. Complete the highest mastery ranking and you can unlock the rifle in the game’s sandbox modes.
The DLC is available as part of Hitman 2’s expansion pass and its Gold edition. The Siberia map will be available tomorrow on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
A free to play mobile game made by Plarium , a MMO and MMORPG mobile gaming company. Shadow Legends is a game that has a great balance of PvE and PvP. At first I thought I was not going to like Shadow Legends when I started to play. Now though, I am having a blast with the game and what it has to offer.
Collect champions, and build your team to help you team and solo missions. Join a guild to help and be a team. The game helps you gain experience and helps you level your champions just by fighting in battles and doing the story mode.
When playing the game longer you get rewards, i am still not sure how i feel about that, but it is a nice way to get people to play longer. Leveling up your champions you can offer weaker characters to level up or fight in battles, depending on how fast you want to level up. There are challenge battles to help level up weapons and abilities for your champion. There is also the sparring pit that you can place a champion and leave there to slowly gain exp until they hit max. When you hit max you can level up your character to make them stronger.
When playing you will get shards of different ranks and you can go to the portal, and summon a new or champions that you already have so that you can offer and level up or train. Their are 16 clans with 5 tiers in each clan from common to legendary.
They do have PvP events that are held all the time, they are fun way to fight others and see how your team is up to par or needs to be worked on. As well as clan battles so it will help when you are leveling, and getting items to level.
The champions in the game have a few types, like HP for that tank like feel. As well they have Attack for DPS and pure damage, Support that will increase attack damage or heal, and defense to help with tanking and supporting your team. So build your team and inter the world of Raid Shadow Legends it is a fun game and I do recommend picking it up to try it out.
Watch Quixel and SideFX explain how they developed the photorealistic real-time cinematic Rebirth
To break down how the photorealistic real-time cinematic Rebirth was made with UE4, we recently invited representatives from Quixel and SideFX to elaborate on how they produced the groundbreaking short.
In the first of two livestreams, embedded above, Quixel’s Head of Evangelism Galen Davis came to Epic HQ and gave viewers a high-level overview of Quixel’s Megascans library, which represents the largest photogrammetry scan library on the internet.
In Davis’ presentation, he delves into how they developed the movie-like trailer. He explains how the team visited and captured photogrammetry of Iceland back in June of 2018. The subsequent month, they got the idea to use what they captured to create Rebirth. The company began working hard on the project in late August of 2018, which lead to the launch of the cinematic short at GDC the following March. This represents a quick turnaround for the project, especially when you consider the quality of execution.
While Rebirth looks stunning, the demo was actually built to be very performant. Despite running at smooth framerates, however, Davis asserted that the environment is completely 3D and that no billboarding shortcuts were used.
In the presentation, he shows viewers how to use Quixel Bridge and Quixel Mixer. Specifically, Davis demonstrated how to construct gravel, how to build wet and dry sand, and how to import Quixel assets into UE4.
In our second livestream, embedded above, we invited SideFX Technical Artist Paul Ambrosiussen and Games Community Manager Ben Mears. SideFX’s Houdini software was instrumental in helping Quixel develop Rebirth and the Toronto-based company stepped into help with the project from October to December of last year.
For the uninitiated, Houdini is a procedural modeling, animation, effects and simulation rendering, and compositing package that was vital to Rebirth’s strict time constraints.
In the livestream, Ambrosiussen shows off a variety of smart digital assets that feature modifiable attributes, which allows users to adjust their size and proportions. The SideFX Technical Artist delves into the studio’s contribution to Rebirth across five main categories, which include:
Delving into specifics, Ambrosiussen details how they designed the fog in Rebirth and talks about how they created the floating car. Along the way, he shows how fast baking is in Houdini. Ambrosiussen then delves into how they experimented with erosion and created foliage in Rebirth to get the look they were going for.
Moving onto the big megastructure building featured in the short, the technical artist explains how Houdini provided essential procedural generation tools that minimized a lot of the manual time-intensive work that would normally be relegated to artists.
Towards the end of the livestream, Ambrosiussen announced version 2 of the UE4 Houdini plugin. Version 2 will support Blueprints along with numerous improvements that include:
As of the morning of July 23rd 2019 Giants Software has released it’s latest DLC. Only this time, it’s all about the cotton!
As most of the die-hard Farming Simulator 2019 players are aware, in the beginning of the development stages of the game, Giants Software went above and beyond to secure new licenses for real brands to be able to have in game. One of those is John Deere.
About the New DLC…
Upon the release of this DLC, players have been able to use yet another iconic piece of American agriculture equipment on their virtual farm. This DLC features the John Deere CP 690 cotton harvester, as well as an array of cotton bale handling equipment from brands like McCormack Industries and Giants Software’s in-house brand “lizard” to go along with it. With that they are adding in a new cotton bale type, the cotton round bale!
What Are All the New Implements?
To go into detail regarding new equipment, allow me to start with the McCormack individual bale handlers. In this pack, there are three types of implements for individual bale handling, one is a bale fork, used for picking up cotton bales from the unwrapped side profiles. The next is an undercarriage style, picking up from the same side as the bale fork, while lifting the bale from underneath, reducing damage to the inside of the bale. The third is an over the top carrier, which grabs from the wrapped round part of the bale, which allows for a different loading style on other vehicles.
As well as individual bale handlers, they are also adding in bale trailers. In total they are adding in three cotton bale trailers, one from McCormack Industies and two from lizard. The McCormack trailer is designed to pick up bales from the wrapped round side and hoist them onto the trailer so they are “sideways”, meaning it has to use rollers and some tipping to offload. The other two are clones of the in-game trailers, but scripted to take round bales.
This DLC adds a few new items to the player’s arsenal of agricultural heavy lifting. It does appear to be a good deal as all the items that were listed above are only five dollars on the Farming Simulator website. Also If you click Here, you can swing over to the official website where you can check it out for yourself and maybe even purchase it!
Chess Rush is a fast paced mobile game for the auto chess genre of gaming. A game mode that fights on it own, you will pick the characters you want to play and what strategy you want to use. To me this is a great game to get started in the auto chess genre.
Made by Tencent Games, a company that are known for Mobile online games, like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile, Blade & Soul, and World of Fantasy.
From the vary start you are playing against players not only in the your nation but all over the world. When the rounds start you can see where everyone is and it is amazing. They do have quests for winning or losing, as well as just logging in for the day. They are not of major importance to the main game play but for the cosmetic like the way your character is or to the way the field looks for you.
It plays like any auto chess game with synergy that complements each other. Chest Rush is a game that takes influence from Dota2 auto chess. It has three major game modes, a classic mode, ranked mode, and a rush mode. Rush mode is a excellent way to play the game quickly instead of a 45 min game; it will mostly be under 30 min for the whole game.
What makes this game special is it helps out new people get started in the game. It allows you will suggest you synergy to do as well as set up for the champions to be placed. With the synergy it allows you to pick from a large amount of sergyes with what you have at the moment so you can build something. When it comes to they buying and characters it will tell you to buy certain ones that go with the comp that you have picked if you play like that.
When playing the game the characters go from one star to three stars. To rank the characters up you need to have 3 of the same tier champion and it match and tells you to upgrade. You do have a level and it goes up per round as well you can buy more exp to level up, and put more champions on the field to help you fight.
To gain gold you need to play rounds, you will gain a small amount per round. When you keep winning more games in a row you will get a winning streak and will get more gold when you are a winning streak. As well if you need the money quickly for a certain champion you can sell champions on your bench to get some cash quick. When playing the turbo mode the gold comes more quickly then the regular mode s well. When you have a variable of 10 you can gain more gold per round.
I hope that you try to play this game, it is a great game to play that can be quick or long. As well, it is a free game and that makes everything better to have. It is a game on both android and apple store. Give it a try I cant wait to see you on the field.
The Train Tycoon game Railroad Corporation from Iceberg Interactive released a new Sandbox Update on July 18. The new sandbox mode will allow players the option to experiment without timers or objectives. In sandbox mode players have access to two new maps with extra settings options, starting with a ‘Best Friend’ locomotive or having everything researched and more. In addition to the sandbox mode, players also have the option of playing a previously completed campaign in the new sandbox mode.
Check out the new Sandbox Update game play below:
Read the full press release from Iceberg Interactive below:
Experiment without timers or objectives in brand new game play mode
Haarlem, the Netherlands: Developer Corbie Games and indie publisher Iceberg Interactive are happy to announce the first major update to train tycoon strategy game Railroad Corporation, currently available through Steam’s Early Access program.
The new update will appeal to players wishing to fully focus on expanding their train network and growing their corporation, by featuring a sandbox mode.
In the sandbox mode, players can:
Play two new sandbox-only maps with extra settings, such as random city locations and random production buildings.
Choose between starting the game with the ‘Best Friend’ locomotive or by having everything researched.
Enable or disable contract generation, the buying or constructing of production buildings and laws spawning on and off.
In addition to the sandbox mode, players now have the option of playing previously finished campaign missions in sandbox mode. This means that players can:
Enjoy the same missions as in the campaign but without deadlines, overdraft limits or objectives.
Play the missions without any prior research or portfolio progression being carried forward into subsequent missions.
The update also brings with it some multiplayer tweaks, such as an alternative scenario for the current multiplayer map with an extended goal, a starting capital of $200k and two pre-researched locomotives.
If you would like more info about Railroad Corporation head over to the Steam page –> HERE!