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5. February 2019


With the recent Adobe acquisition of Allegorithmic, I researched alternatives to Substance Painter and Designer.  One of the most prominent entries was Mixer by Quixel, which is currently available completely free while in beta form.   Quixel Mixer is a PBR texture creation tool where you create textures using an easy to use layer based system.  It integrates with their Megascans texture collection, although it also supports importing your own PBR textures, plenty of which are available here for free.


Quixel Mixer Features:


Mix & match.


Mix textures to quickly come up with brand new materials, and match colors and reflectance values with a single click. The non-destructive layer system keeps things simple and tidy, and happy accidents have never been easier. Texturing is more fun than ever!

Seamless painting experience.


Unleash your creative potential with buttery-smooth painting. Accurately perform straight brush strokes with canvas or camera aligned painting in orthographic mode. With multi-channel painting and 32 bit sculpting, designing tileable PBR materials has never been easier.

Zero learning curve.


Mixer is designed from the ground up to be artist-friendly, intuitive, and extremely fast to pick up. Whip up stunning mixes in minutes, or design deeply advanced materials with incredible control—whether you are in a hurry or want to indulge, Mixer has got you covered.

Complete Megascans integration.


Instantly access the entire Megascans library directly within Mixer. Leverage Megascans to guarantee photorealistic base textures, or transform them into fantastic stylized assets effortlessly. Mixer and Megascans together give you virtually limitless creative possibilities.

Design any material imaginable.


With its advanced painting, sculpting, masking and blending features, Mixer transforms the creation of realistic and hand-painted textures into a rich, creative and boundless experience. Organic or hard-surface, modern or medieval, man-made or alien—anything is possible.

Channel pack & export.


Create custom channel-packed export presets with your own naming conventions, and export in 8, 16 or 32 bit in any file format. Or save your materials directly to Quixel Bridge, to leverage powerful integrations with all major 3D software.


Quixel is currently completely free while in beta, with downloads available for Windows and Mac OS… sorry Linux users.  Watch Quixel in action in the video below.


Art


4. February 2019


The folks over at Humble Bundle are running another bundle of interest to game developers.  This one is the Humble Book Bundle: Break into the Game Industry by CRC Press, a eclectic collection of interest to artists, designers and programmers interested in getting into the Game industry, either at a studio, or producing their own indie title.  As always with Humble Bundle’s, a portion of the proceeds go to supporting charity, with this bundles featured charity being Girls Make Games.

Bundles are broken into tiers based on price, where paying the higher price gets you all of the books in the previous tier as well.  The books in each pricing tier include:

1$ USD Tier

  • Creative Character Design
  • Vintage Games 2.0
  • Becoming a Video Game Artist
  • Digital Mayhem 3D Landscape Techniques
  • Honoring the Code (Game Designer Interviews)

8$ USD Tier

  • 3D Game Environments
  • Designing the User Experience of Game Development Tools
  • The Indie Game Developer Handbook
  • Creative Direction in a Digital World
  • Digital Mayhem 3D Machine Techniques
  • Vintage Game Consoles

15$ USD Tier

  • Women in Game Development
  • Game Design Theory
  • A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing
  • Mobile & Social Game Design
  • The UX Careers Handbook
  • Write Your Way Into Animation and Games
  • White Space is Not Your Enemy


In addition to supporting charity, purchasing this bundle through this link also helps support GameFromScratch, so thank you!  You may have noticed this Bundle is light on content for programmers… there is currently the Humble O’Reilly Programmer Book bundle running as well.  If you are interested in learning more about the books in this bundle, be sure to watch the video below, where we go through the table of contents for every book in the bundle.

GameDev News


4. February 2019


Today Ludei announced that their product Cocoon is being shut down.  Cocoon is a project I’ve been following since 2013 with great interest.  It’s basically a wrapper layer that enables you to “cocoon” your HTML5 code in their WebGL and Canvas accelerated runtime, essentially enabling you to make native binaries for iOS and Android that performed substantially better than using the standard WebView controls.

Details of the shutdown:

It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service, Cocoon.

We started Ludei/Cocoon because we believed the future of app and game development would be based in HTML5. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and native development is stronger than ever.

Along our journey we have laughed and cried with you, and learned valuable lessons. And it is now inevitable to wind down the service as we never managed to make it profitable.

It has been a long journey and we sincerely thank each one of you for your years of love and support for Cocoon.

The shutdown is going to happen quickly, with the following timeline announced:

  • 2.4.2019 : Notice of Cocoon service discontinuation. Billing stopped.
  • 2.11.2019: Unable to perform compilations.
  • 2.18.2019: Unable to log in to Cocoon.
  • 2.28.2019: Termination of the Service. Unable to access Cocoon. Customer service closed.

If you are currently a Cocoon user, they have published a guide to migrating over to Cordova.

GameDev News


2. February 2019


In the February release of free Unreal content, two assets stood out in particular.  One was the CCG Toolkit, a card game creation kit covered here, as well as the Platformer Kit 2D.  Both are interesting projects because they illustrate how to create non-traditional style games in Unreal Engine.  The Platformer Kit is described as:

The 2D Platforming Kit is the ultimate tool for creating action platforming titles!  Includes a fully customizable player character complete with 21 animation states and editable parameters for every individual action. Features multiple heavily commented blueprints that allow for easy customization .

With the following features:

Movement System

  • Full On-screen touch controls
  • Customizable movement speed,acceleration and more.
  • Sprint
  • Multi/Wall Jump
  • Wall Slide
  • Dash
  • Ladders

Combat System

  • Melee Attack and Ranged Attack
  • Timed Block
  • Multiple enemy varieties
  • XP and level-up
  • Collect and swap weapons
  • Timed Power-ups Item Drop System

Others

  • Collectables
  • Moving Platforms
  • Save/Load Game
  • Enemy loot Drops
  • Floating Combat Text for player & enemies Health & Damage System
  • Dynamic Health HUD for the player & enemies
  • Fully Functional damage system
  • Colour tinting, temporary invulnerability and knock-back effects after taking damage
  • Audio SFX
  • Menu System

The content is only free until the end of February 2019, so be sure to “buy” it now.  The kit is available here on the Unreal Engine marketplace.  Once it is “purchased” it is yours forever.  We go hands on with the Platformer kit in the video below.

GameDev News


2. February 2019


Currently free as part of the February Unreal content giveaway, we take a hands-on look at CCG Toolkit.  The CCG Toolkit is a collection of blueprints and assets that provide a framework for easily creating digital card games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.  CCG Toolkit is described as:

The CCG Toolkit is an extensive card game framework that allows developers to create their own single and multiplayer card games. Whether you are looking to develop an idea or want to move your existing tabletop card game into the digital space, the CCG Toolkit provides the essential tools, interactions and functionality to see your own card experience come to life… fast.

With the following features:

- 100% Blueprint Framework

- Multiplayer support

- Customizable Card Game AI + Debug UI

- Highly customizable card creation

- Deck builder - Create, Edit, and Save limitless custom decks

- Card Manager which feature interchangeable positioning profiles

- Card sets with 35+ example cards

- In-game card positioning editor and game tools

- Deck Generator - Filter, Shuffle, and Weigh cards in deck

- Customizable card placement

- Board Players

- Mouse-over card previews

- Card graveyard

- 10+ included card abilities with multiple settings variations

- Player and opponent UI framework

- Turn-based gameplay system

- Player health and mana systems

- Cards and board player interactions

- Basic card movement and visual gameplay cues

- Basic win and loose conditions

- Turn and game timer's

- Simple main menu, deck selection, arena selection, and server selection menus

- Several custom function libraries

- In-game Notifications manager

- 2D and 3D card art and assets

- 7 Included arena's

The toolkit is also extremely well documented, with the PDF documentation available here.  Be sure to “buy” it before February ends to get it for free, as the offer is a limited time only.

GameDev News


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