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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

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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.

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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.

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Creating a Server

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

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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’

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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.

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TADA, you’ve got your own Superpower server:

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

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After you click Log in:

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Creating a New Project

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

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

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And finally, TADA, the Superpower editor:

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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:

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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

30. January 2016

 

NeoAxis, a C# based game engine with a rich tool suite including a full map editor, just released version 3.4.  A somewhat minimal release in anticipation of version 4.

Features from the release:

  • Updated tools skin.
  • Latest PhysX 3.3.4. Works faster and is more stable. Good character physics, improved car physics, fixed terrain problems.
  • OS X support has been improved. New Mono Runtime 4.2.1 with new Generational GC (SGen) support. OS X 10.8 now is the minimal supported system.
  • Sound backend has been improved. OpenAL Soft updated up to 1.17.2. Internal SSE optimizations.
  • All example maps have been updated.
  • Better object selection algorithms in Map Editor. It's now easier to select zones, portals and other volumes.
  • Post processing: Color correction lookup table support.
  • Exporters: support of the latest Autodesk 3ds Max 2016 and Maya 2016. Ability to install exporter for yet unpublished versions of 3ds Max and Maya (2017+) added.
  • Exporters: Ability to install exporters to a specified folder.
  • File system: The ability to load archives during simulation. As example to use it for downloadable content.
  • Map Editor: Ability to open the type of selected object in Resource Editor. Use context menu.
  • MapCamera: Ability to set orthographic camera.
  • Web Browser Control: You can now configure a local HTML start file. Zooming and mip maps generation for in-game 3D GUI.
  • Bug fix: Native memory manager: Crash Memory_AllocAligned on 64-bit applications.
  • Bug fix: Exporters: Unable to override material in some cases.

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The First LibGDX Jam is a Go. Topic Voting Begins Now
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22. November 2015

 

As per this blog post the first ever LibGDX game jam is happening in mid December and topic voting has begun.  From the announcement:

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The 10 Rules of Jamming

  1. You must use libGDX to create a game that fits the theme
  2. You may work alone or in a team. Only one submission per person/team is allowed
  3. You may use pre-existing code, e.g. libraries like Ashley, or your own code libraries
  4. You may use pre-existing art, e.g. assets from OpenGameArt, or your own art
  5. You may use external tools like Tiled or Overlap2D
  6. You must not re-skin an already existing game or prototype!
  7. You must submit your game before the end of the 18th of January via the jam’s site on itch.io (to be made public :))
  8. You must publish the source of your game, e.g. to GitHub
  9. You must submit your game to the itch.io libGDX Jam page before the end of day January 18th, UTC-12!
  10. If you want to win one of the sponsored prizes, you must tweet about your game and document its development, using the hashtag “#libGDXJam” and the handles “@robovm” and “@robotality

Prizes & Judging

We are happy to have RoboVM and Robotality as sponsors for the following prizes:

  1. Grand Prize: Mac Mini, sponsored by RoboVM
  2. Silver: iPad, sponsored by RoboVM
  3. Bronze: iPod Touch, sponsored by RoboVM
  4. For 20 random submissions: Steam keys for Halfway, sponsored by Robotality
  5. For another 5 random submissions: libGDX Jam t-shirt, by yours truely

To qualify for any of the prizes, you’ll need to follow rule 10 as outlined above. Judging works as follows:

  • The community can vote on itch.io from the 19th of January to the 2nd of February
  • The Grand Prize will be awarded to the entry with the highest community votes on itch.io. This way the highest quality entry will win!
  • The Silver and Bronze prizes will be awarded to the entries with the best mixture of dev logs and tweets and community votes. Our sponsors and the libGDX core team will pick these entries. This should motivate people to make some noise on the web and document their progress for the greater good of the community!
  • The random awards guarantee that everyone has a chance to win a prize!
  • The winners will be announced on the 3rd of February!

To view suggested comments and to cast your vote, head on over here.

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