Subscribe to GameFromScratch on YouTube Support GameFromScratch on Patreon

1. February 2016

 

Wave Engine, the cross platform C# based 2D/3D engine we looked at a while back, just released version 2.0.5.  The following new features were added in this release:

 

    • Viewport Manager is now VirtualScreenManager
    • Per Scene View Configuration
    • Anchors – position elements using screen coordinates
    • 64 bit support

 

You can read more details, along with in-depth examples of each new feature in this release, by clicking here.

GameDev News

1. February 2016

 

Ever answered the question “If you could have any super power, what would it be?”  Myself, I’d go with whatever Superman has, as he seems to have the power to do whatever the heck he needs to have the power to do at any given time, so long as people don’t shove rocks from a dead planet at him...  However, if you answered “I want to have the power of collaborative game development!”  1) you need to think bigger 2) you are in luck!

 

Superpowers is a recently open sourced collaborative game engine for making 2D and 3D games, using TypeScript initially with Lua a WIP.  It’s built around HTML5 web technologies but isn’t really a browser game engine.  It’s available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS and it’s completely free, although I’m pretty certain the devs would appreciate some financial support should you find yourself digging it.

 

This on the other hand, as in this document you are reading right now, is the first part of a multi part tutorial series teaching you how to use Superpowers.  We are going to break this tutorial series across several posts, each covering a particular theme.  By the end though, you should be pretty well equipped to make your own game using the Superpowers engine.  So without further ado, let’s begin.

 

Gaining Superpowers

 

Getting the Superpowers Engine

First things first, we need to download and install the Superpowers engine.  There are two ways to go about doing this, from source on Github or the easy way.  We will take the easy way, because hey, it’s easy.  Simply click here and download the most recent Superpowers release.  You have the option of kicking in a bit of cash to help the developers at this point, but you don’t have to.  The key thing is, grab the version that is right for

image

 

I personally chose the Windows 64-bit version, mostly because I’m running 64bit Windows... 

Now that you’ve got the file downloaded, simply extract it to whatever directory you want to run Superpowers from.  In my case I chose d:\dev so Superpowers is installed in D:\Dev\superpowers-0.19.0-win-x64. 

And done.  Not exactly the most difficult install process you are going to encounter, eh?

 

Using Your Powers Wisely

Now locate the file superpowers (+ .exe on Windows) and double click it.

image

This is the Superpowers welcome screen, it may not be immediately obvious but click on the image of the kids to launch the engine proper.

Now we are brought to the Superpowers server window.

image

Creating a Server

Next create a server.  Simply click the ‘Add server’ button.  Don’t worry, we only need to do this part once.

image

You will then be prompted to name your server, do so.  By the way Superpowers team, you’ve got a bug in your button label here...  Once you’ve named your server, click ‘Add Server’

image

It will then prompt you for an IP address, and defaults out to 127.0.0.1:4237, which is a loopback or friendly way of saying “this machine”.  If you don’t have any reason to change this, don’t.  If you are running on a server and are going to be working externally with other developers you will use whatever your servers external IP address is instead. Click ‘Add server’ again.

image

 

TADA, you’ve got your own Superpower server:

image

 

Now double click your server to launch the Superpowers project manager.  We will be asked to create a user account:

image

 

After you click Log in:

image

 

Creating a New Project

Now we create a new project... bet you can’t guess how.  Ok, here’s how, click New project.

image

 

Next name your project, optionally describe your project and pick wether to use a template or not.  When complete click Create:

image

And finally, TADA, the Superpower editor:

image

 

Alright, that’s it for this tutorial.  We now have Superpowers installed, running and created our first project.  Click Next Part below to continue on to the, um, next part.

 

Next Part

Programming , ,

1. February 2016

 

PBR, Physically-Based Rendering, is the new hotness in the CG world, especially with the increasing popular of Substance Painter.  The end result of that process is a number of textures specifically for channels such as Roughness, Metallic, etc.  Taking the results from Substance to Blender however hasn’t always been the easiest.  Now there exists a plugin for easily consuming PBR textures in Blender using the Cycles renderer.

From the product page:

Easy PBR right inside Cycles!

With the rise of PBR in the AAA game industry and Allegorithmic’s wildly popular Substance toolset, it’s about time someone created a simple solution for implementing PBR textures inside of Blender. Finally, no more fiddling for hours with material nodes trying to vaguely make something that looks good. Now there’s one solution that gets it right every time and in every lighting condition! Liberate yourself as an artist to focus on your art!

Plug and Done!

Based on a PBR Metal/Rough workflow, all you have to do is import your textures, plug them in, and you’re ready to go! This node group supports maps for:

  • Base Colour (Albedo, Diffuse…)
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Roughness
  • Metallic
  • Normal
  • Emission


It adds a new shader node to Blender that makes it easy to wire up the appropriate maps:

Substance_PBR.blend

While not free, it does cost less than 5$.

Art, GameDev News

31. January 2016

 

Kha is a cross platform, open source, cross platform game engine for Haxe developers.  Also, as was just recently covered, they also launched Kode Studio, an IDE for Kha and eventually Haxe development.  With all of these recent launches, they also just relaunched their website at kha.tech.  The new design is much cleaner and better organized:

image

 

I intend to do some more Haxe coverage in the future and was considering using Kha or Snowkit.  Which framework would interest you most?

GameDev News

30. January 2016

 

Tiled, the open source map editor, just release a minor update in the form of 0.15.1.   This release added/fixed/changed the following features:

 

You can download Tiled here.

 

If you are interested in learning more about Tiled, we have a comprehensive tutorial series available here.

GameDev News

Month List

Popular Comments

Subscribe to GameFromScratch on YouTube Support GameFromScratch on Patreon

5. June 2011

 

When I was starting out, I was just dying to earn my “real programmer badge™”.  At the time “real programmers” used assembly and I was taking the lazy easy way out using C.  So, in my quest to earn my real programmer badge I taught myself assembly.  Now it took me 10 times as long to write my code and it sure was more difficult; no doubt my badge would be in the mail!  Sadly… no, it didn’t arrive.

 

 

The years went by and assembly became more and more niche.  In the meanwhile, higher level languages came to the fore.  There were even languages that hacks and simpletons could rapidly create programs in, like Delphi ( pascal ) and Visual Basic.  Of course real programmers looked down upon these amateurs, everybody knew that this wasn’t real programming.  Hell even C++ was looked down upon, it was way too high level and slow for real programmers to use, so being a real programmer I kept using C.  Things sure were slow and painful, lots and lots of work, no doubt my real programmer badge was on it’s way! 

 

 

Another generation of languages came along, new pretenders like Java and C# rose in popularity and the lazy and weak flocked to them like mad.  Real programmers of course knew that C++ was the one true language.  Sure, those class libraries and the freedom from memory management sure looked tempting, but I am a real programmer damn it, so I continued working in C++.  My god was it difficult so I truly must be getting close to getting my real programmer badge.  When it didn’t arrive I decide their surely must be a mistake at the post office!

 

 

Then the current generation of languages came to the forefront.  Scripting languages had risen in popularity, to the point that it seemed more people were “scripting” than programming these days!  Scripting?  What real programmer in their right mind would ever work in a lowly scripting language?  I am a real programmer, I will leave scripting for the hacks and newbies, thank you very much!  Real programmers work in C++!  Oddly enough, I still haven’t received my badge…?

 

 

Recently a funny thing happened… I took to a project under a tight deadline, it absolutely had to ship on a given date.  There was no way I could possibly succeed in time using a real programming language, so I took to using the plebian tools.  Working in C#, the wonderful class libraries sure did make development fast.  At times I actually slunk to the lowest of the low and used scripting languages!  It felt so dirty but I have to admit the rapid turn around and interactive tools sure did things quick.  In the end, it was a challenge and I had to prostitute my pride, but I shipped on time!  The following day, a FedEx truck pulled up to my front door and delivered my prized Real Programmers Badge™!

 

 

 

Official-Seal-of-Awesome

 

( Image totally stolen from a middle aged drama queen. )

Of course, this story is completely full of crap but the moral is completely true.  When I was starting out C was truly looked down upon as being a tool of “fake” programmers. Through the years the language has changed but there has always been an “IT” language that new programmers to the field think they have to work in to be a real programmer.  It sadly often takes years of experience to realize how stupid this mindset actually is.  Can you imagine a carpenter that wouldn’t use a drill because “real carpenters” use screw drivers, would you hire this person?

 

 

A real programmer uses the right tool for the job.  For those of you just starting out, “the job” very much includes “learning to program”.  In the end a real programmer makes the best product they can, as efficiently as they can, using whatever tool works best.  Sometimes, that tool might even be C++!

Programming ,

30. May 2011

 

So, until this point I have been using Microsoft’s Expressions Encoder to do video capture for tutorials on this site.  I am an MSDN subscriber and already had the Expression Studio installed, so even though I was really (…….. really ) pushing the bounds of my license I went ahead and used it.  Then I ran into a pretty big snag, see the encoder that ships with my Expression Ultimate version is the “free” version, which you can download here.  It is an impressive product, that makes for very small file sizes that are surprisingly detailed.  That is, until you hit the 10 minute mark.  That… is a sizable gotcha.

 

So, I started looking into alternatives.  Camtasia Studio is easily the big player in this space, but with a pretty severe 350$ price tag.  The before mentioned Expressions Encoder can be had for a more modest but still too high 200$.  The I found Cam Studio which is a free and open source alternative, but it really wasn’t a viable option.  My first test was 15 seconds long and a little over a GB in size!  Plus frankly, it looked awful.  I just don’t think Cam Studio is set up to do HD video.  I played around with various codecs and settings but frankly never got anything that approached usable. 

 

I was really starting to fret that I would have to put out a couple hundred bucks to simply capture video and frankly me and my money are rather tight friends and don’t want to part so easily.  Then a moment of serendipity occurred… I came across a shareware product called FastStone Capture which effortlessly recorded my screen, at > 15FPS directly to WMV.  After a minute of recording at 1080p I was well under 20MB!  What is so serendipitous about that you ask?  Ironically enough, I had already purchased this product a couple years back for helping me with screenshots!  SCORE.

 

Anyways, if you are looking to do video/screen capture on a Windows machine, I highly recommend you check out FastStone.  Comes with a fully featured trial and is only 20$ if you register it.  Keep in mind, it is NOT a video editor and isn’t even in the same league as Expressions Encoder or Camtasia for features, but if you want to just capture the screen in a high quality but small size, this is the best product I’ve seen.  Actually as I am using Blender for NLE and not Expressions, my work flow just became a heck of a lot faster, as I lost an encoding step!

Totally Off Topic

29. May 2011

 

Well here is one out of nowhere.  StudioGPU have released their flagship product MachStudio Pro 2 for free.  Real free too so far as I can tell, not free with an asterisk free.  For those of you that have never heard of MachStudio, it is in very rough terms a near to realtime renderer that makes use of your GPU.  In their own words:

 

StudioGPU's MachStudio Pro reinvents the 3D visualization production pipeline by putting the power of real-time graphics processing at your fingertips.

Render times that typically take hours or days are reduced to minutes and even seconds, limiting artists only to the scope of their creativity.

MachStudio Pro lets you truly Work at the Speed of Thought!

 

 

A Blender exporter is coming soon, but for now it does support importing FBX files.  Previous to this announcement, MachStudio sold for 4 grand!

 

Now the downside… you need a 1GB Direct X 11 GPU to run it.  In the world of desktops, that’s not too demanding.  For people like myself that buy only laptops, then it gets a bit trickier.  My best GPU is currently 512MB, but I am downloading it anyways to see what happens.

 

At that price though, if you have the system to run it, what are you waiting for, go download it now!

 

 

For those who ignore minimum requirements, just an FYI, it simply refused to run on my non-DX11 card.

Art

28. May 2011

 

As YouTube allows videos up to 1080p in size and does a very good job of providing downsampled versions, from now on I will try to publish all future videos in 1080p.  The only exception are videos capture on my 720p laptop…. which will obviously be 720p. Only downside is, some of these can get pretty blasted big!

 

Also, I am now using a utility to display what keys and buttons are being pressed, which should make it easier to follow along with what I am doing, while minimizing the amount of explanation I have to make.  Well, that’s the plan anyways.

General

27. May 2011

 

I am struggling a bit on how to format a “book” in blog terms.  What is the best way for me to get information across.  One of the big goals of this site is to guide a beginner through the entire process of creating a game.  At the same time however, as I come across problems, interesting things or just simply something strikes my fancy, I want to post it here as well.  This leads to a serious continuity problem, especially for someone just starting out.

 

As a proposed solution, I am going to keep things as they are, but “on topic/ordered” posts are going to be organized by chapters around a common theme.  That way a person can come in and view content on a chapter by chapter basis, even though a chapter is actually just a series of posts.  So, there will be a link on the right hand side Chapter 1/ Chapter 2/ etc… as well as each post being tagged by which chapter it belongs to.  Hopefully this will provide a solid structure to follow along by.

 

In addition, for each video posting, I will attempt to merge all chapter video together into a single video for people that want to consume it all at once.

 

I am currently working on chapter 1, which shows the entire pipeline in action.  Setting up your modeler, creating a model in Wings 3D, exporting to Blender, texturing and animating, the exporting to Unity.  By the end of chapter 1, you should be able to get your content from nothing to Unity with ease.

General

Month List

Popular Comments