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17. October 2018


Back in August, Discord announced a limited launch beta of their upcoming game store.  Yesterday, that store came out of beta and became available world wide.  With it’s heavy focus on indie games, this is a development most smaller game developers should certainly pay attention to.  In addition to a new game store, they are also launching an exclusivity program for developers called First on Discord, where developers promise Discord a timed exclusivity Window on PC (console launches are not included) in exchange for unspecified assistance in bringing your game to market.  The first batch of First on Discord games was announced the end of September.  The program must have been somewhat of a success as their Discord Store blog launch announcement contains the following:

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In addition to a new indie focused store, Discord have also launched Discord Nitro with a new $9.99 price tag, that also includes several titles in a Netflix/EA Origin like subscription service.  There are currently 42 titles in the program including titles like Shadow Tactics, Metro Last Light Redux, This War of Mine, VVVVV, Psychonauts, System Shock 2 Enhanced and more.  

You can learn more about the store, details about platforms, refund policies, communication features and more right here or by watching the video below.  The store link is available here.

GameDev News


16. October 2018


Adobe have just released Adobe Animate CC 2019, the product previously known as Flash Professional.  This vector graphics drawing and animation package gained a number of new features in the 2019 release including auto lip syncing, new free form mesh deformations, webGL gltf export  (in beta), improved export options, a new launch window and more.

New features from the Adobe blog:

Asset sculpting for vector and raster content

Create new poses faster for vector or raster content using handles on a shape to change the mesh. No need to redraw assets on every frame — just tween between poses and create animations.

And yes, asset warping works with Raster content as well.

Layer parenting and layer effects

Organize your assets on different layers in a parent-child hierarchy. When an object on the parent layer is moved, the child layer moves along with it.

In addition, the layer effects feature provides you the capability to add filters and tint effects on frames. Create interesting in and out fades, depth of field, etc.

Auto Lip-Sync

Don’t waste time matching mouth poses to sound inflections. The new auto lip-syncing feature will use machine learning to make it happen automatically.

Animate After Effects workflow

Use the new simplified workflow to carry your Animate compositions into After Effects. Just drag and drop an FLA file into the new After Effects and proceed to add cool effects.

VR authoring and publishing (beta)

Use an existing 2D skill set and export 360 or Panoramic VR animations. Stitch your existing 360 or panoramic images and create a virtual walkthrough, or let your imagination run wild and create a 360 animated experience using the drawing tools.

New start screen

The all-new start screen in Animate provides a new intent-based onboarding experience. In addition, learn more about the existing or new features using the training videos in the learn tab — without leaving the product.

Other new features

  • Export to GL transmission format (glTF).
  • Texture publishing to enhance the performance of HTML5 Canvas compositions.

Key enhancements

  • Paint bucket tool,
  • Quick tween creation,
  • Support for Microsoft Surface Pen,
  • Redesigned timeline,
  • And much more.

You can learn a great deal more about this release on in the What’s new document available here.  You can see Adobe CC in action in the video embedded below.

Art GameDev News


16. October 2018


Materialize was just released for free.  What exactly is Materialize?  In the creators own words:

Materialize is a stand alone tool for creating materials for use in games from images. You can create an entire material from a single image or import the textures you have and generate the textures you need.

Materialize is production tested, having been used to generate metallic, smoothness and occlusion textures for the Uncharted collection.  It is very similar in scope and functionality to Substance’s B2M or the free ModLab.

Essentially you start by feeding it a diffuse map, which you can then edit as you desire, then create a height map, normal map, edge map, smoothness map, AO map and metallic map automatically.

image

Each step of the way you have fine tune control over how each individual map is created.  For example, here are the controls governing the creation of the normal map.

image

You also have the ability to provide your own maps from file if you have them, simply use Materialize to generate the maps that you are missing.  There are also features in place for creating tiled maps.  Of course to go along with all of it, there is a real-time preview of the map you are creating, including multiple skyboxes and control over the post processing effects show in the preview.

realtimePreview


When you are done you are able to export your generated maps to a variety of different texture formats.  Just an all around amazing application and one that should be added to every texture makers toolkit!  Watch the video below to learn more and see Materialize in action!  There are also some tutorials available here if you wish to learn more.


Art GameDev News


15. October 2018


The academy award winning book Physically Based Rendering from Theory to Implementation 3rd Edition is now available free online in it’s entirety at http://www.pbr-book.org/.  This book is hugely important to the game and film industry as this is where the expression Physically Based Rendering (PBR) was coined, and it is the underlying rendering technology behind every major modern 3D game engine.

Description of PBR 3rd Edition from the book homepage:

Physically Based Rendering, Third Edition describes both the mathematical theory behind a modern photorealistic rendering system as well as its practical implementation. A method known as “literate programming” combines human-readable documentation and source code into a single reference that is specifically designed to aid comprehension. Through the ideas and software in this book, you will learn to design and employ a full-featured rendering system for creating stunning imagery.

This new edition greatly refines its best-selling predecessor by adding sections on bidirectional light transport; stochastic progressive photon mapping; a significantly-improved subsurface scattering implementation; numerical robustness issues in ray-object intersection; microfacet reflection models; realistic camera models; and much more. These updates reflect the current state-of-the-art technology, and along with the lucid pairing of text and code, ensure the book's leading position as a reference text for those working in rendering.

The author team of Matt Pharr, Greg Humphreys, and Pat Hanrahan garnered a 2014 Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences based on the knowledge shared in the first and second editions of the book this book. The Academy called the book a “widely adopted practical roadmap for most physically based shading and lighting systems used in film production.”

Additionally you can still buy print (and digital) copies on Amazon via this affiliate link, should you desire the feeling of paper in your hands.  This is not an easy text, and isn’t required reading for everyone, but if you are working on rendering technology or want a peek behind the curtain this is definitely a book you should check out today.

Click here to read the book now.

GameDev News Programming


13. October 2018


Nevercenter, the makers of Silo and CameraBag, have just released Pixelmash, a new take on how to create pixel art.  Pixelmash includes tools to create your own pixel art from scratch using a resolution independent editor, or by importing photos which are pixelated automatically.  Additionally the package contains animation and transformation tools, special layer effects and more that all work in a non-destructive workflow.  You are able to export your work to a variety of image formats, sprite sheets and even as animated gifs.

Pixelmash is currently $25 and is available for Mac OS and Windows.  There is a fully functioning 7 day trial available if you want to give Pixelmash a try.  If you are interested in seeing Pixelmash in action, be sure to watch the video below.

Art GameDev News


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