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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:

Screenshot_2015-12-29-15-43-39

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:

Screenshot_2015-12-29-15-44-25

 

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

Price

@$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

 

Images

 

The Box

ProductBox

 

Opened

boxOpen

 

Cables and Manual

 

CablesAndDocs

Front

 

Front

 

Back

 

Back

 

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.

General

27. December 2015

 

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

IMG_1826

 

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

General

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 GameFromScratch.com.  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.

IMG_1826

 

 

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

Sculptris

Tiled Map Editor

 

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

Reflector2

 

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

Week 4 News Recap

General

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 news@gamefromscratch.com, leave a comment below or in this reddit conversation.

 

Steam

 

Amazon

 

Phaser.io

 

3D Coat

 

YoYo Games

 

Udemy

 

Adobe

 

Microsoft Store

 

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

 

The Foundry

 

Daz3D

 

Allegorithmic

 

Smith Micro

 

XFrog

 

CG Axis

 

Marmoset

 

3DRt

 

Mobile Game Graphics

 

Game Salad

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Godot Unity like game engine going open source
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5. January 2014

 

There is a new entrant in the game engine space, the Godot game engine from Okam Studio.  The engine was apparently used for in-house projects and is over a decade in the making.  The editor runs on Linux, Windows and OSX and can target desktop, mobile, consoles as well as HTML.

godot1

godotss2.png

godotss1.png

 

From observation, the engine appears to be similar to Unity, but powered by C++.  It uses a custom scripting language that appears LUA like.

 

In the developers own words:

We’ll be opening a game engine that has more than a decade of work (and several iterations) as MIT license soon.

It’s not an engine made by hobbyists, this is a production tool used to develop and publish plenty of games for PC, Consoles and Mobile. It’s currently in beta stage, meaning it’s feature complete and fully usable, but lacks very little fine tuning and testing. It has a similar feature set to Unity (little less stuff on 3D front, much more stuff on the 2D front, debugging). and runs on all the popular desktop and mobile platforms, as well as on the web (through asm.js).

Unlike almost any other game engine with this level of features, the editor runs fine in Linux, as well as Windows and OSX, and supports one click deploy.

 

Apparently the engine is being released under the MIT open source license ( a very generous license ) and is undergoing polish before complete release.  If you are interested in early access, contact juan@okamstudio.com.

 

I’ll be keep an eye on this one… a C++ powered Unity like engine is sure to be interesting to many.  Not sure exactly when it will drop but for now we are … Waiting for Godot.

 

Ok… that was bad.   More details as I get them.

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