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8. June 2020

Over the weekend the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe was trending on Twitter, and it gave a seldom seen (and completely unvetted) look at the wages game developers make around the world.  Once such example tweet from @Squiddiez, currently working at Sucker Punch:


You can check the hashtag out on Twitter here.  It is also important to note that costs of living vary MASSIVELY from region to region, so what might seem like a King’s ransom to one person, may be barely a living wage in other areas around the world.  An important part is to keep in mind the amount of competition in the market, something GameDevMap is useful for, providing an interactive map showcasing the location of game development studios.  There are also handy maps for illustrating cost of living for various places around the globe, such as this one.  Another useful resource is this anonymous spreadsheet of North American game development salaries.  You can learn more in the video below.

GameDev News General

6. June 2020 are currently running a charity bundle containing hundreds of indie games, projects and even game development assets, all in support the the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The following is the announcement tweet by


The bundle runs until June 16th and can be had for as little as $5 USD, with proceeds split 50/50 between NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund.  From a game development perspective, there are dozens of gamedev specific assets, including:

64px Textures/Tilesheet
8bit Overworld Tileset
Anime RPG Tile Pack - Vol.1 School [PIXEL OF LIFE]
BearFX Explosions | Pixel VFX Pack
CanariPack 1BIT TopDown
CanariPack 8BIT TopDown
Dungeon Tileset - Top Down RPG
Essential Pool Billiards Table Asset Pack - VR/AR
Hitboxes and Hurtboxes
HPS Cartography Kit
Kenney Game Assets 1
Lil' Dragon - Pixel Art Tileset
Lo-Fi Stellar Skirmish
Low Poly 3D City Builder
Low Poly Auto Racing Car Pack - Devils
Multi Platformer Tileset
Old Man Character Sound Effects
Pixel art Forest
Pixel Art Infinite Runner - Pack
Pixel Art Medieval Fantasy Characters Pack
Pixel Plebes Digital Card Deck
SC: Monster Pack 1 - DELUXE EDITION
Snapshot Shaders Pro (Unity)
Sprite Pack - Fantasy Female Mage
Sprite Pack - Fantasy Male Mage
Tiny Adventure Pack Plus
Top-Down - Interior Tileset
Voxel Currency

You can learn more about the bundle, specifically the game development content in the video below.  You can support a great cause while absolutely loading up on indie games and game development assets!

GameDev News

5. June 2020

Embergen, by JangaFX is a real-time fluid simulation software for creating fire and smoke effects for game and film projects.  You can create and modify fluid simulations in real-time on consumer class graphics hardware and export your results in flipbook or image sequence formats for use in games, or export in OpenVDB format, an open standard Blender 2.83 just acquired the ability to import.

Details from the 0.5.3 release:

  • Improved the fidelity and simulations of ALL presets and added 9 new presets.
  • Pressure solver improvements:
    • Improve base pressure solver accuracy and performance.
    • Slight memory reduction.
    • Expose more pressure solver controls.
    • Increasing the parameters will improve the accuracy and produce better motion, but are more expensive.
  • Volume masking/Simulation post-processing (only visual, not affecting the simulation): Motion blur, Sharpening, Dilate, Stylized.
  • Basic navigation gizmo in the lower left corner to show orientation.
  • Fixed crashes and freezes when previewing some output modes.
  • Fixed the Simulation upscaling parameters being incorrect when loading from a preset.
  • Improved tooltips.
  • Sixpoint and normals fixed for upscaling.
  • Improved background color with transparency.
  • General rendering improvements and speedup.
  • Simulation looping:
    • No longer cuts on the first loop wraparound.
    • Fixed an off-by-one error where later loop iterations did not sync properly.
    • Fixed parameters not animating correctly.
  • Improved accuracy of turbulence advection.
  • Made the ExportVDB node work similar to the ExportImage node. Certain widgets will “multicast” when multiple nodes are selected, e.g. timing controls and export masks.
  • Displays tick in the timeline indicating which frames will be exported.
  • Automatic frame timings when looping.
  • Fixed colors and forces when using multiple emitters and shapes for colored smoke.
  • Fixed a difference in lighting between the basic mode and combustion.
  • UI Improvements: Informational text displayed when necessary per node, e.g. if the license or trial is expired.
  • Disabled buttons now have a red border.
  • Fixed bug preventing timeline key editing.
  • Small visual tweaks to the timeline for user experience and consistency.
  • Stop sliders from keeping focus after submitting.
  • Tooltips no longer display when their respective UI element is occluded.
  • Fix incorrect behavior for color picker widgets.
  • The color picker will no longer lock up and become unresponsive.
  • A bunch of smaller bug fixes.
  • Miscellaneous Improvements: Lots of refactoring and delicious code cleanup.

Embergen has a fully functional 2 week trial available here as well as several free OpenVDB datasets to start with.  You can learn more and see Embergen in action in the video below.

GameDev News Art

4. June 2020

ShaderMap 4 is a Windows based commercial application for rapidly creating texture maps. You can start from a single diffuse map and rapidly generate normal, height, ambient occlusion and other maps. You can also generate maps from a 3D object, using a very quick and easy workflow.

Key Shadermap 4 features include:

  • Fast Map Generation

Select a mode and source type then load the source file – ShaderMap will create a project generating maps from the source. It’s that easy.

  • Bake Maps from 3D

Load a 3d model into the project grid and render normal maps, AO, curve, color ID, and depth from the model geometry.

  • Speed and Memory

Maps are rendered using 32 bit floating point pixels and stored in 16 bit memory to ensure both speed and efficient memory usage.

  • Editor Exchange

Export any map to your favorite image editor at any time. Once done, save the map and the it will be brought back into ShaderMap.

  • Scripting with LUA

Export LUA scripts for any project. Control batch scripting of multiple source files, map rendering, setup lighting and more with the LUA API.

  • Map Filters

Use the Filter Tab to add additional filters to any Map. Auto Edge, Brightness, Contrast, Blur, High Pass, Shadow, Highlight and more.

  • Normal Map Editor

Paint normal and displacement to the SM4 layer system. Transform, scale, paint, and use tools to modify normal vectors.

  • PBR Materials

Generate Roughness and Metalness maps. The Start screen PBR Mode automatically packs maps into RMA and RMAD formats.

ShaderMap has a free version available with a Pro version available to buy for $49 USD. You can check Shadermap out in action in the video below.

GameDev News

3. June 2020

Blender 2.83 is now available now in LTS or Long Term Support version.  Described a few months back, the long term support version of Blender is meant to remain stable but well supported for two years:

The first proposal is to do one Long Term Support (LTS) release every year. This release would be supported for two years with important bug fixes and updates for new hardware, while strictly maintaining compatibility.

A good reason to do an LTS now is the focus on fixes and patches of the past months. The next release (2.83) although big, will be relatively less experimental, thus a good candidate to keep supporting for a while.

LTS versions also will help to ensure that a project that started with an LTS version can be completed with the same version in a reasonable amount of time. Nice for studios with large projects, but also for add-on maintenance.

So if you are on the verge of starting a long term game or movie project, Blender 2.83 LTS may be the ideal version for you.

Of course long term support isn’t the only new feature in Blender 2.83, with highlight features including:

  • New Cloth simulation sculpting brush, as well as other sculpting improvements
  • NVIDIA Optix denoiser now works in the viewport as well as renders
  • A completely rewritten faster and more powerful Grease Pencil
  • Import and render OpenVDB files
  • Initial VR Support, specifically the ability to navigate around your scene in VR
  • New face set system enabling new visibility options
  • EEVEE improvements
  • Updated shader nodes
  • Performance improvements across the entire application
  • Updates to several modifiers
  • Video sequencer improvements
  • Much, much more

You can learn more about Blender 2.83 in the release notes here or by watching the video below.

Art GameDev News

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