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24. December 2019


The year 2019 is coming to a close and there were several interesting events in the world of game development.  What follows is a highlight of some of the most interesting stories from the world of game development.  We skip over some details like regular releases to Unreal, Unity, Lumberyard, Max and Maya as they occur multiple times throughout the year.

Top game development stories of 2019:

For more details check out the video below.

GameDev News


20. December 2019


Krita, the open source drawing/painting/animation package just received a MegaGrant from Epic Games, the makers of Unreal Engine and Fortnite.  The MegaGrant program was announced at GDC 2019 and is a $100M giveaway to game developers, educators, technology companies and perhaps most importantly open source tool makers such as Krita (and Dust3D, Blender and Lutris so far).

Details of the grant from the Krita announcement:

Epic, the makers of the Unreal game engine, have supported Krita with a $25,000 MegaGrant!

Epic has supported other free software projects, such as Blender and Lutris before, and now supports Krita. The purpose of this grant is to fund improvements to our development process so Krita’s development gets more sustainable. This is something we have already started on, and which want to accelerate. With an estimated five million users, making sure that we can release as stable a version of Krita as possible in as dependable a way as possible is pretty important!

The grant represents about 10 months of funding that Krita currently receives, so it should make a tangible impact.  You can learn more about Krita and the Epic MegaGrant program in the video below.

Art


20. December 2019


Qodot is an open source add-on for the Godot game engine that enables you to export .MAP files created using traditional CSG authoring tools.  Qodot is available under the MIT license on GitHub or can be added via the Godot addon market.

Features of Qodot include:

  • Natively import .map files into Godot
  • Supports
    • Brush geometry
    • Per-face textures and customized UVs
    • Precise trimesh collision
    • Entities with arbitrary collections of parameters
  • Extensible tree population
    • Leverages the .map format's simple key/value property system
    • Spawn custom entities and brushes
  • Supports the TrenchBroom editor
    • Simple, intuitive map editor with a strong feature set
    • Includes a simple Qodot game preset
    • Can be built upon with game-specific entities and brush properties

Qodot also includes configurations to make getting up and running with TrenchBroom, however any Quake level editor should work.  You can learn more about Qodot on their wiki or by watching the video below.

GameDev News Design


19. December 2019


Lumberyard 1.22 game engine was just released by Amazon.

Highlights of this release from the release notes:

The primary change in this release is the new asset dependency system defined in depth in this blog post.

Enter asset dependency tracking. Lumberyard’s new Asset Dependency Graph provides the means to determine the set of assets a given asset depends on. By recursively walking the entire dependency graph, the engine can easily determine the exact set of assets your game needs to run. So when it comes time to release your game, packaging your assets becomes a simple set of steps as opposed to a several days-to-weeks development effort.

Now that the engine can determine which assets your game needs, our next task was to build a tool that packages a game’s assets into one or more asset bundles (single files that contain many assets packed together). Further, we added the ability to create new asset bundles that contain only those assets that have been added, changed, or deleted since the last asset deployment. This allows a game developer to do incremental content releases with only those assets that have actually changed since the last time they were shipped. Your players won’t have to waste time and bandwidth downloading new content or re-downloading old content.

Finally, because Lumberyard provides source code and encourages developers to modify Lumberyard to fit their needs, we added multiple validation systems that will alert the developer if they have done something that interferes with Lumberyard’s ability to generate a correct asset dependency graph.

Lumberyard is free for developers so long as they self host or use Amazon services for their networking.  You can download Lumberyard here.

GameDev News


18. December 2019


The BuildBox game engine is now available in a free version.  Previously a rather expensive proposition, BuildBox Free enables a much larger portion of the developer community to access this no-code required game engine. 

Details of the BuildBox Free release from the BuildBox website:

What is Buildbox Free?

For the first time ever, we’re releasing a completely free version of our no-code software on December 18th. We’re calling it, Buildbox Free and with it, you can create professional 2D and 3D games without writing a single line of code. Our software features unique creation layers, which makes developing games extremely easy and lightning-fast. As shown in the video above, there are many different creation layers you can choose from when you’re making games with Buildbox.

Smart Assets

The first creation layer option is smart assets. They’re predefined asset templates with pre-canned animations and logic built-in to make building out your games super fast and straightforward. Just browse the Buildbox Asset Library, which is located right inside of the software, and choose a smart asset to start creating. Smart assets let you add popular gameplay mechanics instantly to your game with one-click.

Brainboxes

One of our newest features and the second creation layer in Buildbox is brainboxes. Brainboxes help take your 3D game development to a whole new level. They work much like components did in Buildbox 2, but provide more control over a 3D model. With brainboxes, you can add ‘brains’ to any character or object in your game to give them a specific action or behavior. Choose a brainbox to make a car drive or make your character walk.

Nodes

For even more control, you can also use the third creation layer, nodes. Buildbox has an advanced node system with ‘smart nodes’ that are easy to use. They add a deeper level of complexity to your game by allowing you to easily create logic for any character or object in your game. However, you’re not limited to the nodes available in Buildbox. We went even further and added another layer of creation for our advanced developers.

Low-Code

This fourth creation layer is the low-code option. All nodes are based in JavaScript, making it easy in Buildbox to build your own nodes to use for your games from scratch. They can also be easily shared with the community or even sold in our upcoming asset store.

2D & 3D World Creation

We’ve also vastly improved the software making the user interface more user-friendly with mini-tutorials and easy navigation options. There’s also been over 100 fixes and tweaks to make your game development experience better. We’ve added many new creation layers and features including designated 2D worlds, and a fly mode for moving around 3D worlds effortlessly.

An obvious question at this point is, what are the limitations of the BuildBox Free vs the Pro edition.  This was answered in an earlier blog post:

Buildbox Free is a lighter version of the Pro plan. This means there are some limitations. With Buildbox Free, you’ll be able to integrate only two popular Ad Networks: AdMob and IronSource, with a 10% or less cut taken from each. There is a one-world limitation. Plus, your game’s splash screens will feature the BB logo, which cannot be removed. Also, export is limited to only iOS and Android.

image

BuildBox free should be available for download now right here.  Learn more about BuildBox Free in the video below and stay tuned for a more in-depth hands-on feature on BuildBox in the near future.

EDIT – They have released the following blog post now that the countdown is over.  The form to get a download link and product key is available here.  A warning, they seem to be suffering heavily under demand (not to mention a janky signup process).


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