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13. December 2018


In modern AAA games you often have a staggering amount of control over your character’s creation.  As a game developer you may think, “Why can’t we do this for creating game assets?”.  Simple answer, you can and that’s exactly what Character Creator 3 from Reallusion enables you to do.  Starting from a base mesh you have a staggering amount of control over just about every single visual aspect of your character.  You can flesh this out by adding a variety of clothing items, props, hair and more, all via simple drag and drop.  Best of all, your character is full rigged and ready for export and animating.

This approach to character creation is nothing new, several other packages we have covered in the past such as Fuse, MakeHuman and the recently cancelled Manuel Bastioni Labs all take a very similar approach to character creation.  Character Creator 3 however has some key advantages.  One of the biggest is it’s game engine focus, with the ability to create game friendly meshes (both in terms of polygon count and UV layouts) and export them to a number of game engines and applications including Unreal Engine, Unity, Maya, Max and Blender.  There is also functionality for tweaking your generated mesh right down to the vertex level, substance designer integration for materials, fine level PBR texturing control, templates for creating your own clothing and tools for automatically creating multiple LOD meshes.

Watch Character Creator 3 in action in the video below. 


If you are interested in checking out Character Creator 3, there is a 30 day trial available here.

Until December 31, they are also having a holiday sale with savings up to 50% available here.

Art Design


12. December 2018


Fresh on the heels of releasing their new online store leverage the technologies they developed creating Fortnite, Epic Games have announced plans for a cross-platform online multiplayer game service, that is game engine agnostic and completely free for developers!  Rolling out in stages, it will start life as a C SDK, with Unreal and Unity (yes, that Unity) game engine implementations starting with cloud saves and online storage and adding new features such as logins, achievements, friends lists, voice communications and more as time goes on.

Details of the roll out strategy from the Unreal blog:

The service launch will begin with a C SDK encapsulating our online services, together with Unreal Engine and Unity integrations. We’ll start with a core set of features and expand over time. Specifically:

  • Cross-Platform Login, Friends, Presence, Profile, and Entitlements (coming Q2-Q3 2019 to PC, other platforms throughout 2019): Provides the core functionality for persistently recognizing players across multiple sessions and devices; identifying friends; and managing free and paid item entitlements. This will support all 7 major platforms (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch) to the full extent each platform allows per-title.
  • PC/Mac Overlay API (coming Q3 2019): Provides a user interface for login, friends, and other features in a game-agnostic, engine-agnostic way.
  • Cross-Platform Voice Comms (coming Q3 2019 to all platforms): Epic is building a new in-game voice communications service supporting all platforms, all stores, and all engines, which will be available for free. (For developers needing an immediately-available voice solution, check out Discord, Vivox, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, and Mumble.)
  • Cross-Platform Parties and Matchmaking (coming Q3-4 2019 to all platforms)
  • Cross-Platform Data Storage, Cloud-Saved Games (coming Q2 2019)
  • Cross-Platform Achievements and Trophies (coming Q3 2019)


The services described above are just our first steps. As you can see from our game and engine efforts, we’re also working on further support for user-generated content, enhanced social features, anti-cheat, and more.


Simply put, there has to be a catch here, but I cannot determine exactly what it is.  This could potentially be a massive opportunity for game developers looking to support multiplayer in their game and a huge shot across the bow for technology providers that make their living providing such services now for a fee!

GameDev News


12. December 2018


A new version of AppGameKit was just released today, the logically named 2018.12.12 release.  This release is primarily composed of bug fixes and minor improvements detailed below.  If you are interested in learning more about AppGameKit be sure to check out our somewhat aging Closer Look at AppGameKit for an idea of how this framework works.  Since that was released, AppGameKit has gained a great deal of functionality including AR support, that we demonstrate in this video.


New features and improvements from the 2018.12.12 release:

New Features

  • Added support for animated GIF images with the LoadImage command!
  • Added GetRawJoystickName to return the OS assigned name for a joystick on Windows and Linux
  • Added PlayYoutubeVideo for iOS and Android to play the video in a popup, desktop platforms will open the browser to play it
  • Added ShareFile command for iOs and Android

Fixes

  • Fixed cloud data commands on Android sometimes failing to connect to Google Drive
  • Fixed iOS export with a blank Universal Link field causing the IDE to crash
  • Fixed retina display on Mac causing AppGameKit apps to render in the lower left corner of the window
  • Fixed IPAs exported from the IDE causing errors about transparent icons during upload to iTunesConnect
  • Fixed warning about iOS spash screen being stretched when it was actually fine
  • Increased Android keystore generator certificate validity from 10,000 days to 20,000 days for Google Play store changes
  • Fixed crash when loading a Spirter file that contains an image without a bone parent
  • Fixed Amazon IAP causing a crash at startup



12. December 2018


There is a new Humble Bundle that could be of interest to developers looking for audio and video editing software.  The center piece of the bundle is certainly MAGIX VEGAS Pro 15, a high end video editing package.  While this is one release behind the most current version, it also entitles you to improved upgrade pricing to the most current version should you desire.  VEGAS is not the only item in this bundle however, there is also an audio editor called AUDIO STUDIO, as well as an easier to learn (but compatible with VEGAS) video editor called Movie Studio 15.  Rounding out the bundle are Fastcut, Vegas DVD Architect and HitFilm Movie Essentials.

If you are interested in seeing what you get with this bundle be sure to check the following video that goes hands-on with main software in this bundle and helps you determine if this bundle is right for you.  If you are looking to get into video editing, this is an excellent opportunity while also supporting this channel and charity at the same time.

A bit of a warning during each installation, you will have the option to install other programs during installation such as MAGIX Connect and Music Maker.  Neither are required and both would be considered bloatware by most.  Additionally a valid registered email with Magix is also a requirement to activate your applications.  Additionally you can get a 30 day trial of almost every application in this bundle here.

GameDev News


10. December 2018


The book Game Engine Black Book Doom was just released by Fabien Sanglard just in time for the 25th anniversary of the release of Doom.  The book, with forwards by John Carmack and Dave Taylor, is an in-depth look at the details and techniques that went in to creating the classic game Doom.  In addition to dissecting the code in the idTech game engine, the book looks at the hardware and software of the day as well as a details of porting to a variety of different consoles.

Details from the author’s homepage:

From November 2017 to November 2018, it took one year to complete. Both John Carmack and Dave Taylor kindly wrote forewords. The result is 427 pages, full color, to describe in great detail the PCs of the era (Intel 80486, VESA Local BUS, Dos Extenders, Watcom Compiler, ...), the NeXT hardware (and especially the NeXTStation TurboColor), the engine, and the console ports to the Jaguar, Sega 32X, Super Nintendo, Sony Playstation, 3DO, and Sega Saturn.


I wish the paper version could have been priced lower. A black and white version would have been cheaper ($39.00) but given the many screenshots and drawings, readability would have suffered. I tried to look around but all printers gave me roughly the same price for a 400+ pages full color book. If anybody has an idea to lower the price I will listen carefully.


The book is available in print form on Amazon, as well as on Google in DRM free e-book form.

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