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29. December 2015


So over the holiday I joined the VR revolution with a Samsung GearVR while I wait for the Oculus Rift to be released.  The good news is, it’s really quite cool, except a full review shortly.  However, one of the challenges of reviewing something like the GearVR on the web is taking a screenshot…  How can you demonstrate the experience if you can’t take screen shots?  Well fortunately you can, but it’s a bit of a hack/workaround to get there.


First off, you need to have an external keyboard.  Personally I used a Logitech K810 I have sitting around.  Next be sure to pair it with your Galaxy phone, simply select Settings->Bluetooth and locate the keyboard.  Now fire up the GearVR like normal.  Then when running simply hit the Print Screen button on your keyboard and the screenshot will automatically be saved to your photo roll.


Now, the screenshot may not look exactly like what you expect.  Here for example is the dashboard:


Notice the tilting???  Well that’s because I didn’t have my hand on the print screen key when I started the app, so I had to remove the goggles to find the key.  Oops.


And here is Netflix running, slightly less tilted:



As you can see, you get a screenshot for each eye and they aren’t square like you’d expect on a PC.  There may be a way to take a screenshot without requiring an external keyboard, but I don’t know what it is.  If you know an easier way, please let me know in the comments below!

General ,

28. December 2015


A couple months back I got sick of having to wear a headset when doing video recording.  I had been using a set of Astro A30 headphones which gave solid results, but I found them uncomfortable after extended periods of recording and didn’t like being tethered to my machine.  So I decided to try out the ubiquitous Blue Snowball, which I demonstrated in this video.  Many people love this microphone… I am not one of these people.  There are virtually zero settings available to you, so if your setup isn’t ideal, the snowball fails.  More than a foot or two from the microphone it picks up nothing, to mention nothing of the horrific echo I was getting in my environment.  I ended up getting so many bad recordings that I switched back to my headset while hunting down an alternative.


Shopping around at most local stores it seemed the only options were Blue Snowballs and Yetis.  I certainly didn’t want to double down on that particular mistake.  Then I came across the Seirēn from Razer.  Other than the price tag and technical support, I’ve long been a fan of Razer products.  They are one of the few true premium brands in the PC space, from laptops, keyboards and mice and hopefully to microphones.  A quick search revealed mostly good reviews, so I decided to give it a shot.  What follows is an unboxing of the Razer Seiren.  It is not a proper review however as I haven't spent nearly enough time with it.


The Specs


@$200 USD MSRP (purchased for $200 CDN)

Microphone specifications
• Power required / consumption: 5V 500mA (USB)
• Sample rate: 192kHz
• Bit rate: 24bit
• Capsules: Three 14mm condenser capsules
• Polar patterns: Cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional
• Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
• Sensitivity: 4.5mV/Pa (1kHz)
• Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)

Headphone amplifier
• Impedance: > 16ohms
• Power output (RMS): 130mW
• THD: 0.009%
• Frequency response: 15Hz – 22kHz
• Signal-to-noise ratio: 114dB




The Box






Cables and Manual











Audio Samples

Here are two sets of recordings, one at 1.5” foot range, the other at about 4”, done with the Blue Snowball and the Raer Seiren, both in the exact same spot and with out of the box settings:


Blue Snowball

Near Recording

Far Recording


Razer Seiren

Near Recording

Far Recording


Video Test

The following video is a test recording on YouTube, again with default settings.


27. December 2015


This series is a recap of GameFromScratch’s previous week activity on YouTube.



This week was pretty sparse because it was the week of the Christmas holiday.  Happy holiday folks!  There were however still four videos this week:


A Completely Random Look at 123D Sculpt a freely available tablet based sculpting application from Autodesk.


A Completely Random Look at 123D Sculpt


Next up we have another episode in the Closer Look game engine series. This one looks at the early access Atomic Game Engine

A Closer Look at the Atomic Game Engine


Next up we have another entry in the GameDev toolbox series. This time it's Webstorm, the excellent JavaScript IDE from Net Brains

GameDev Toolbox: Webstorm


And of course, this weeks news:

This Week in GameDev -- Week 6, Dec 27/2015


19. December 2015


You may have noticed this year that GameFromScratch was increasingly active creating videos on YouTube.  Inititally it was pretty much a 1 to 1 relationship with  That is, for every video on YouTube, there was a corresponding post here on GFS.  Recently however I have found some topics are more video friendly or more text friendly and that 1 to 1 relationship doesn’t always exist.  Therefore I’ve decided to launch this weekly recap series which simply brings together the last weeks YouTube videos in a single place.




This week saw the launch of a new video series, Bad GameDev!  No Cookie!  Which looks at game development mistakes in actual games.  So far there are two videos in the series. 

The first series looks at the bad 3rd person camera in the on-rails iOS shooter Freeblade.  Unfortunately Camtasia picked up the wrong mic for voice over in this video, so the audio quality is horrid.  Sorry about that.

Bad GameDev! No Cookie! Game Design Mistakes: Freeblade


Next in the series we looked at Space Marine and show the folly of a bad FoV.

Bad GameDev! No Cookie! Game Design Mistakes: Space Marine


We also had 3 additions to the GameDev Toolbox Series, an ongoing video series showcasing the tools of the game development trade:

Texture Packer


Tiled Map Editor


We also took a quick look at the AirPlay/Google Cast desktop server, Reflector2



And of course the recap of last weeks game development news.

Week 4 News Recap


26. November 2015


Each year Black Friday has more and more game development deals.  Each year it also gets earlier and earlier… Black Thursday, Black Wednesday, you name it and of course they are trying to stretch it out with Cyber Monday.  This post is an attempt to capture the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals most relevant to game developers.  If you know of a applicable sale I missed on this list, please let me know!

I will edit this list as new deals are located.  Have a gamedev deal to announce, email me at, leave a comment below or in this reddit conversation.






3D Coat


YoYo Games






Microsoft Store


Misc PC Manufacturers Black Friday Sales Pages (US Store links)


The Foundry






Smith Micro




CG Axis






Mobile Game Graphics


Game Salad

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