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19. March 2019


Today at GDC 2019, Allegorthmic, recently acquired by Adobe, announced the open beta of Substance Alchemist to existing Substance customers.  Alchemist is a tool for authoring and managing materials and is part of the Substance subscription.

Details from the press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – March 19, 2019 – Today at Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019, the Substance team announces the start of the Project Substance Alchemist open beta. Effective immediately, all current Substance subscribers have exclusive and unrestricted access to the latest Substance material tool, uniting the Substance ecosystem like never before. Artists now have a SubstanceAlchemistplayground for creating and augmenting entire libraries of materials with ease.

Project Substance Alchemist advances the art of making and managing 3D materials through instinctive simplicity. Creators can rely on a powerful, streamlined workflow and an intuitive user interface. It’s simple, fast and it uses some of the most advanced technology around. By hiding its complexity through easy-to-use tools like parametric sliders and filters, Project Substance Alchemist brings efficiency to artists and designers, without giving up any of the power that helps them thrive.

Starting today, artists are able to leverage the power of a tool that can quickly be adapted to meet their needs. Users can access materials in several ways, including downloading materials directly from Substance Source, find materials offered up by the Substance community or even upload real-world photographs. From there, they can quickly elaborate their own libraries of materials. For instance, a cobblestoned street can be honed to an artist’s exact specifications within Project Substance Alchemist, whether they desire a brand-new look with polished surfaces, or a broken down feel with moss and damaged tiles.

Project Substance Alchemist puts powerful tools into the hands of artists who work with scans, with quick and reliable tiling, as well as an AI-powered delighter. Trained with thousands of images, the delighter can instantly balance the shadows and light tied to photos and scans, so that lighting remains even and consistent. Designers who need to iterate rapidly on a material can also enjoy a vast array of variations with the instant creation of material collections based on a single image or a moodboard. Project Substance Alchemist can analyze the artist’s material and automatically generate suggestions on colors and textures, ensuring compatibility and additional creation options.

Although it is designed as a standalone tool, Project Substance Alchemist is deeply tied to the existing Substance ecosystem. Artists can search through their Substance Source downloads, import materials and filters made in Substance Designer or swap creations through the Substance Share artist exchange. Imported materials can then be added to the artist's personal library for later use, or applied to an asset in Substance Painter. Thanks to the standardization of the Substance format, materials created in Substance Alchemist can be exported and used in every major 3D tool, including Unreal Engine, Unity, 3ds Max, Maya and many others.

Based on years of industry-leading research, and built with the help and feedback of the Substance community, Project Substance Alchemist will continue to develop in order to adapt to the evolving needs of artists and designers. The open beta is available now. For a video walkthrough, click here.

Pricing/Availability

Project Substance Alchemist is available at no cost to current Substance subscribers. Subscriptions come in Indie or Pro plans, priced at $19.90/month and $99.90/month respectively. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.

In addition to the release of Alchemist, Allegorithmic also did a blog post on the status of their acquisition by Adobe and the effects it will have on future licensing terms.  The key details are as follows:

Since the acquisition, we’ve heard lots of questions from our community about licensing and pricing. Our goal with licensing and pricing has always been to be fair to everyone and we’re continuing that philosophy. We're planning to introduce new offerings late this year, but until then, our licensing and pricing structure will not change.

These future offerings will be primarily subscription-based, but we will continue to offer indie perpetual licenses. We believe that when the content and services offered in a subscription package evolve and improve at a steady pace, the subscription model is the best way for us to innovate fast, continuously improve your tools, and bring you more value.

I know perpetual licensing is important, especially in the indie space, so this should be taken as good news.  That said, it’s Adobe calling the shots now so who knows what will ultimately happen.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Following on the heels of Google GDC reveal of the Stadia platform, both Unreal and Unity Technologies have announced their support for Stadia game development.  Stadia is a new server side platform for hosting and streaming games to any Chrome supported device.  Below are details from both game engine manufacturer. StaidaLogo


First the Unreal Engine announcement from their blog:

“We’ve been building our support for Stadia to ensure that developers using Unreal Engine can hit the ground running and be successful on the platform,” said Arciel Rekman, Senior Platform Engineer at Epic Games. “Today we’re releasing a fully-featured integration with Stadia to help developers bring their games to an even broader spectrum of players.”


Designed with cross-platform support in mind, Unreal Engine leverages Stadia features through familiar interfaces, resulting in an easy setup, with visual quality and workflows that are consistent across all target devices.

Thanks to Unreal Engine’s cross-platform capabilities, developers can iterate on their game code locally on their Windows PC for Stadia, a Linux and Vulkan-based platform, before deploying to the cloud.

While Unity announced the following:

One of our core missions is democratizing game development. That means enabling developers to build for the platforms of their choice with accessible tools and workflows that make the process of creating easier.

Though we still have technical and engineering work ahead to ensure Unity developers have a smooth experience building for Stadia, here’s what our community needs to know.

What can I expect in building Unity games for Stadia?

Developers familiar with Unity today can expect recognizable tools and a very similar development process when building for Stadia.

What unique Stadia or Google features will be supported by Unity?

We expect to support all native features unique to Stadia that are required to publish your game and make use of platform capabilities. Stay tuned for more details on feature support later this year.

With either platform, before you can start developing for Stadia you need to be a registered Stadia developer, you can apply here.   You need to have a Employer Tax ID if American, and an email with a custom domain address (ie, not Hotmail or Gmail).  Once registered with Stadia, you can then confirm your credentials with Unreal here, while Unity developers have no additional steps to perform.  The Unity Stadia SDK is expected to ship toward the end of 2019.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Today at their GDC 2019 keynote, Google announced Stadia, their upcoming “gaming platform”, a server based streaming game service that runs on any Chrome enabled device.  Powered by custom GPUs designed by AMD using Vulkan on the Linux OS and spread across the same networking powering the Google search engine, Stadia promises to bring 4K at 60FPS gaming to the masses, with future support for 8K and 120FPS promised.

Being entirely server side, Stadia offers a number of innovative features.  Combined with their newly announced Stadia Controller, you can play games across any Chrome device and seamlessly transition your game between devices.  Since all the work, client and server are done on Google’s servers, they claim this will make cheating virtually impossible, while being able to scale existing game play up to thousands of users over night.  It also offered unique features like Streaming multiple sessions to the same endpoint, enabling flawless couch co-op, or the ability to use multiple server side GPUs for a single game instance enabling advanced special effects.

Stadia is built on top of familiar developer tools:

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Unreal Engine

Epic Games' official support for Stadia means you’ll have access to the latest technology and features of the world’s most powerful creation engine.



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Unity

Unity is the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, enabling developers to create rich, interactive experiences.



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Custom tools

A suite of debugging and tuning tools help you get the most out of our platform, from fine-tuning streaming performance to diagnosing GPU crashes

Industry tools


Current dev tools include Havok®, RenderDoc, Visual Studio, LLVM, AMD RadeonTM2 GPU Profiler, IncrediBuild, UmbraTM 3, FaceFX and Intelligent Music Systems, plus we’re constantly expanding to deliver a familiar development experience

For developers interested in getting started with Stadia, you can sign up at Stadia.dev.  For gamers interested in learning more visit Stadia.com for more details.  If you missed the GDC keynote, you can watch our condensed developer focused version in the video below.  We have done a similar treatment for the Unity keynote as well, available here.

GameDev News


18. March 2019


Unity just wrapped up their GDC 2019 keynote and several new technology previews are now available.  A number of new technologies and downloads were announced during the keynote and they are listed below.  Some appear to still require registration to access, which hopefully is changed shortly or just a quirk of timing.


Game Foundation

A set of pre-built systems common to mobile games, need to apply for early access however.

AR Foundations

Preview access to the new AR (augmented reality) boilerplate projects, including HDRP assets converted to LWRP for use in testing AR titles, as well as AR Remote, allowing you to pull data from a devices camera into Unity editor.

Unity Burst Compiler

A key part of the Unity DOTS (Data-Oriented Technology Stack) will be part of Unity 2019.1, with a new version of the Burst compiler available now.

Unity MegaCity

Full assets of the MegaCity demo have been released today.  It’s a 7.1GB download, so start now before bed!

Unity Physics

In partnership with Havok, Unity have created a new physics system, with the Unity physics portion available now and the Havok system coming in Summer.  Although released today, I do not have a URL and will edit when I receive one.


All of the above URLs are those listed in the GDC keynote for the respective technology as “available today”.  If the URLs are not yet active, please try again shortly.  If the urls change I will edit the values shortly.  Watch the video below for a 12 minute version of the Unity 2019 GDC conference.

GameDev News


18. March 2019


Khronos Group today announced the release of the provisional specification of OpenXR 0.9.  Along side the specification, two implementations were also released, OpenXR For Microsoft Mixed Reality Devices as well as Monado an open platform for AR/VR development on GNU/Linux.

Details from the Khronos blog:

The OpenXR 0.90 provisional release specifies a cross-platform Application Programming Interface (API) enabling XR hardware platform vendors to expose the functionality of their runtime systems. By accessing a common set of objects and functions corresponding to application lifecycle, rendering, tracking, frame timing, and input, which are frustratingly different across existing vendor-specific APIs, software developers can run their applications across multiple XR systems with minimal porting effort—significantly reducing industry fragmentation.

The Khronos OpenXR working group was formed in early 2017 with the support and participation of leading XR companies. Throughout the development of the specification, multiple Khronos members have been developing independent implementations to ensure a robust and complete specification. Many of these implementations are becoming available for developers to evaluate including the ‘Monado’ OpenXR open source implementation from Collabora and the OpenXR runtime for Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Microsoft shipping today. Additionally, the Unreal Engine from Epic plans to continue to support OpenXR.

Several device and engine makers have announced OpenXR support including Microsoft, HTC, Oculus, Unity and Unreal Engine.

GameDev News


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