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18. March 2019


Humble have just started a new bundle, the Humble Web Programming Bundle.  This bundle is a collection of JavaScript, ECMAScript and Python titles all from O’Reilly Press, in support of the charity Code For America (or choose your own).  The bundle includes books on popular frameworks such as React and Angular as well as web topics such as CSS.  As always the bundle is broken into 3 tiers, if you buy a higher dollar tier you get all of the tiers below it.

The tiers of this bundle are:

1$

  • CSS The Definitive Guide
  • Using SVG with CSS3 and HTML5
  • Learning REACT
  • High Performance Images
  • Up & Going: You Don’t Know JavaScript


8$

  • Flash Web Development
  • Angular Up And Running
  • CSS Pocket Reference
  • Data Visualization with Python and JavaScript
  • Vue.js Up and Running
  • ES6 & Beyond: You Don't Know JavaScript


15$

  • Learning JavaScript 3rd Edition
  • Designing Web APIs
  • Learning PHP, MySQL and JavaScript
  • Mastering Modular JavaScript
  • Learning GraphQL
  • Scope and Closures: You Don’t Know JavaScript.


In addition to the Humble Bundle Humble are also offering selected game development software (AseSprite, GameMaker 2, Articy Draft, etc) on sale here.  Purchasing via either of those links also helps support GameFromScratch (and thanks!).  Learn more about the bundle(s) in the video below.

GameDev News


17. March 2019


Quixel have just released Quixel Mixer 2019 which is currently free while in beta.  Quixel Mixer is a PBR texture generation tool that works by blending and modifying existing textures in layers, which can then be modified using a number of different tools, enabling you to create amazing textures in a very small amount of time.  Quixel Mixer is tightly integrated into their own MegaScans texture library, although you can easily import your own PBR materials, such as those found here. We took an in-depth hands-on look at Mixer just last month.  The 2019 release brings several new features to the table, including a ton of new procedural masking tools such as pattern generators and new noise modifiers.

Details on the new Mast Stack from the Quixel blog:

The biggest new feature in Mixer 2019 is the Mask Stack.

It unlocks a whole new level of creativity through a total synergy between scans and procedurals, completely controllable with custom sculpting and hand-painting. This potent combination gives you the best of all worlds, enabling a slew of material authoring workflows, like procedural material creation, stylized textures, scan-based PBR materials from photos, terrain creation and much more.

With the new Mask Stack you can procedurally author, modify, and define your materials completely non-destructively, responsively and instantly. With zero loading and rendering time, you get instant feedback on your actions and adjustments.

We have big plans for Mixer and intend to rapidly expand its abilities with new features and tools together with feedback and learning from you, our amazing community.

Another interesting tidbit from the blog:

The introduction of the Mask Stack opens up a huge and vast platform for us to expand upon. This the first step towards adding Smart Materials to the Mixer and bringing over highly requested and familiar features from Quixel Suite. We will be extending this in the coming months and would love to hear your feedback and input on how you think it can be improved.

So expect more and more functionality from the Quixel Suite to find it’s way into Quixel Mixer as time goes on.

GameDev News


15. March 2019


Amazon have just released Lumberyard 1.18, their free* AAA quality game engine developed on top of CryEngine.  Highlights of this release are improved asset processor start-up speeds, a new PhysX based gem, render to texture support, layer and slice improvements, ragdoll support, animation and UI improvements. 

Details from the Lumberyard blog:

As games head towards shipping, they grow remarkably in scale. What started as a prototype with a few hundred entities and assets is now thousands or 10s of thousands of entities and assets, with hundreds changing every day. Developers can’t slow down – they need new tools to create, organize, and better manage content at scale. That’s where Lumberyard can help.

Here are three ways Lumberyard 1.18 can help you scale:

  • Component Entity System Layers. As levels get bigger and more complex, you need more and more people to edit the content – game designers, audio designers, artists. To help bigger teams work together, we’ve introduced layers to the Component Entity System. Layers are a way to organize levels so your team can work asynchronously on different parts of the same level.
  • Fast Analysis Mode. As your game grows to thousands of assets, processing those assets can take a long time when starting up Lumberyard. By enabling the Fast Analysis Mode, the Asset Processor can now skip checks on unchanged dependencies, helping you launch Lumberyard faster. In one game with over ten thousand assets, we saw an 85% reduction in the time it takes to launch Lumberyard!
  • External references for AnimGraphs. Creating large complex animation graphs for AAA characters can be difficult to manage, maintain, and scale. But with external references, you can now break up the animation graph into smaller pieces, simplifying them, and allowing multiple team members to work on them simultaneously. You can also reuse these smaller graphs on other characters, accelerating the time it takes to get new characters up and running.

In addition to these features, we’ve added additional support for NVIDIA PhysX, improvements to the UI system, and more.

You can read the full release notes here.  Lumberyard can be downloaded here.

For more details on Lumberyard and the 1.18 release, watch the video below.  For a hands-on view of Lumberyard in action, check out our earlier video.

* Lumberyard is completely free, but requires you use Amazon services for online support unless you host your own servers.

GameDev News


14. March 2019


SideFX Software have just released Houdini 17.5.  You can learn more about the 17.5 release here with more detailed release notes being available here.  Houdini is such a unique procedural 3D software package that the release notes will make little sense, unless you are already familiar with Houdini.  Houdini is “built from the ground up to be a procedural system that empowers artists to work freely, create multiple iterations and rapidly share workflows with colleagues.”  Traditionally known for special effects work, Houdini is becoming more and more commonly used in game development.  In fact, they ship a runtime version, Houdini Engine, that enables you to bring their procedural approach directly into game engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity.

Perhaps more importantly, Houdini is also now available in the much cheaper Houdini Indie version (also on Steam), bringing Houdini within the price range of indie developers, so long as they make less that $100,000USD per year.  They also have the non-commercial but completely free Houdini Apprentice for people looking to learn or evaluate Houdini.  To go along with Apprentice they also have tons of free learning resources to get you started.  Be forewarned though, Houdini is a very unique application with a very harsh learning curve!

For a better idea of Houdini’s game related capabilities, be certain to check out their games reel and details available here.

Art GameDev News


14. March 2019


The Esenthel engine, previously previewed in this video, have moved from a license based business model to a donation supported one.   Additionally the source code has been released and is available on GitHub.  The source code is not under a recognized FOSS license, instead releasing under a proprietary one with one particularly poisonous condition:

Esenthel Engine code/algorithms/designs may NOT be used for development/improvement of other Game Engines.
You may NOT browse Esenthel Engine source code if you work on improving other Game Engines, in that case
you may only compile it with the included tool and work with the compiled binary version of Esenthel Engine.

If you are working on or contribute to a game engine then you want to stay far away from this source code! Other than this clause, the license is fairly liberal and allows you to use Esenthel freely and without requiring a splash screen or watermark.

The key features of the Esenthel engine include:
  • Very Easy to Use
  • Advanced Graphics and Physics
  • High Performance
  • Low Memory Usage
  • Unlimited Sized Worlds
  • Collaborative Development
  • Auto Publishing
  • 100+ Tutorials and 90+ Documentation Pages Included
  • Esenthel Store to sell your own Items
  • Frequent Updates
  • Rock Solid - Zero Bug Tolerance
  • Free!

Essenthel can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux here.

 

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