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14. July 2020

Today we are checking out FamiStudio, a lighter weight alternative to programs like FamiTracker, that make it easy to create 8bit style musical scores.  Features of FamiStudio include:

  • Modern DAW-style UI with sequencer and piano roll, no hexadecimal anywhere
  • Instrument & Envelope edition
  • NSF import
  • Full Undo/Redo support
  • Copy & Paste support
  • Note drag & drop with audio preview
  • Import from FamiTracker FTM & Text (official 0.4.6)
  • Export to various formats (WAV, ROM, NSF, FamiTone2, FamiStudio Text, FamiTracker Text)
  • Volume, fine pitch, vibrato effect tracks
  • Slide notes (portamento)
  • Basic MIDI input support
  • Audio expansions supported: VRC6, VRC7, FDS, MMC5, Namco 163 & Sunsoft S5B.
  • Low CPU usage (Direct2D for graphics, XAudio2 for audio)

FamiStudio is open source under the MIT source license, with the C# based code available on GitHub.  You can learn more about FamiStudio in the video below.

GameDev News General

13. July 2020

Dust3D is an open source 3D modeling application we first looked at back in April of 2018.  Since that time Dust has improved a great deal, including winning a Epic MegaGrant award.  Dust3D is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is open source on GitHub under the MIT open source library.  Key features of Dust3D include:

Free and Open-Source

Yes, it's free. And it's cross-Platform, no matter you are on Windows, Linux, or MacOS, the same experience you'll get.

The Easiest Game Asset Pipeline

With Dust3D, you'll see yourself finish a game asset in a blink! Dust3D also supports export your model as FBX and glTF format, so that you can then import the files into softwares like Unreal Engine, Unity, and Godot for further development.

Start Modeling with Zero Experience

Believe it or not, you don't need any experiences to make a 3D model with Dust3D, all you'll need are good reference photos. There're more videos on this.

You can learn more about Dust3D and see it in action in the video below.  You can download several example Dust3D projects here.

GameDev News Art

9. July 2020

Epic Games, creators of the popular Fortnite series, as well as Unreal Engine, have just announced they have received a $250M investment from Sony, makers of the PlayStation consoles.  It was announced in June that Epic Games were looking for investments valuing the company at 17B dollars.  While this does not appear to be that investment, it does in fact value Epic Games at over 17B USD.

The $250M dollar investment represents an ownership stake of 1.4%, a far cry from the 40% Tencent received for it’s 2012 $330M investment.  The ultimate question is… what does Sony get out of this?  Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat discusses exactly that subject:

The deal is important for Sony because it needs allies in the upcoming console war. Later this year, Sony plans to launch the PlayStation 5 game console in competition with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. But Epic has said that its Unreal Engine 5 and Fortnite will work with all game platforms, as Epic has generally been neutral when it comes to making cross-platform technology. If Sony gets any advantage from investing in Epic, it isn’t clear from this deal.

In a statement, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that Epic’s technology keeps it at the forefront of game development and that is exemplified in the features of Fortnite. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, meanwhile, said in a statement that both Sony and Epic have created businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology and they share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences that will lead to a convergence of gaming, film, and music. He also said the parties plan to build a “more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators.”

The bolded point above is perhaps the most important part for game developers, Unreal Engine should not be affected by this investment.  You can learn more in the video below.

GameDev News

9. July 2020

FNA is an open source project making it easy to port and maintain XNA based games to several different platforms.  FNA has been used to port a huge number of indie games including the likes of Celeste, Bastion, Axiom Verge, FEZ, Owlboy, Rogue Legacy and more. 

The goal of FNA is described as:

Our goal is to preserve the XNA game library by reimplementing XNA itself, with an incredible focus on accuracy. We want to reproduce XNA as it was made by Microsoft, while providing an experience that feels "at home" on all of our target platforms. We don't use game-specific hacks in our code: either we do it right or we don't do it at all.

Because our platform focus is exclusively on fully open platforms, our primary focus is on the desktop. To that end, FNA supports Windows, macOS, and GNU/Linux with a single assembly file. We don't use preprocessor conditionals for platforms; our platform model requires that we build a library that works on any platform, regardless of where it was built. When you build an FNA title with Visual Studio, you can expect it to function on Windows, Mac, and Linux with that one set of output assemblies. Additionally, FNA has support for iOS, tvOS, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia.

A more recent development reported on Gaming On Linux, is the creation of FNA3D, a new backend supporting different 3D back ends, including new alpha level support for the Vulkan framework.  The one thing FNA does not support is the Content Pipeline, although you can use the MonoGame content pipeline.  The reasons why FNA didn’t implement the XNA pipeline is described here.  There is a project to make getting up and running using FNA and MonoGame’s content pipeline available here

If you are interested in learning more about XNA/FNA/MonoGame, we have a tutorial series available here.  You can learn more about FNA in the video below.

GameDev News

9. July 2020

Unreal Engine have just launched a new iPhone App called Live Link that enables real-time facial capture for Unreal Engine using an iPhone 10x or newer.  The requirements are Unreal Engine 4.25 or higher as well as an iPhone with a “True Depth” front facing camera.

Details of the App from the Apple App Store:

Virtual production-ready facial animation in real time from your iPhone -- Live Link Face for UnrealEngine.

Stream high-quality facial expressions to characters and visualize them with live rendering in UnrealEngine. Record facial tracking data that can be further fine-tuned in animation tools to achieve a finalperformance and assembled in Unreal Engine’s Sequencer. Shoot professional-grade performance capture with an integrated stage workflow.

Facial animation via front-camera and ARKit:

    • Stream out the data live to an Unreal Engine instance via Live Link over a network.
    • Drive a 3D preview mesh, optionally overlaid over the video reference on the phone.
    • Record the raw facial animation data and front-facing video reference footage.

Timecode support for multi-device synchronization:

  • Select from the iPhone system clock, an NTP server, or use a Tentacle Sync to connect with a master clock on stage.
  • Video reference is frame accurate with embedded timecode for editorial.

Control Live Link Face remotely with OSC:

  • Trigger recording externally so actors can focus on their performances.
  • Capture slate names and take numbers consistently.
  • Extract data automatically for archival.

Browse and manage the captured library of takes within Live Link Face:

  • Delete takes, share via AirDrop.
  • Play back the reference video on the phone.

You can learn more about the new Live Link application on the Unreal Engine blog and learn more in documentation available here.  Learn more in the video below.

GameDev News

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