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14. August 2019


Today we are checking out akeytsu by Nukeygara.  This is a commercial 3D rigging and animation software providing a quick and simple workflow for setting up and animating characters.  Simply import your character in FBX format, create a rig or use the existing Unreal or Unity rigs then paint skin weights.  Once your character is configured, or if you imported an already rigged character, it is time to begin animating.  If you are used to Max, Maya or Blender’s animation workflow, you will find akeytsu’s approach to be much more streamlined.

It is available on a fully functioning 30 day trial available here.  There are perpetual and subscription based pricing options for both professional and indie (>100K revenue) studios, as well as education licenses available. 

Learn more and check out akeytsu in action in the video below.

Art


5. August 2019


Sketchfab, the online 3D model repository, just got several new features this year at SIGGRAPH.  Major new features of Sketchfab include:

Unfortunately the Sketchfab Blender plugin (previously featured here) hasn’t been ported to Blender 2.80 yet.  Learn more about the update and see the huge data set visualization in action in the video below.

Art GameDev News


14. June 2019


Hot on the heels of the somewhat underwhelming 2020 release, Autodesk have just released the newest update to the seminal 3D modeling application, 3DS MAX 2020.1.  They have also updated their roadmap, showing future development priorities for the application.  The biggest and possibly most game changing new feature of this release is the ability to detach and support up to 3 different viewports, making multiple monitor configurations so much more capable.

Primary features of the 2020.1 release:

There are also several bug fixes and improvements fully detailed in the release notes.  As mentioned earlier, Autodesk also updated their development roadmap, which is available here.

Art GameDev News


28. May 2019

No-code or codeless systems are becoming more and more common among game engines and they offer a few benefits. Using a visual programming language enables non-programmers to interact with the code in a more tactile way, while the code itself tends to be a bit more self documenting then most scripting or programming languages. Make no mistake, you are still programming, you just aren’t typing in lines of code in a text editor, instead you script logic by defining events and properties or by connecting nodes together in a graph.

If you are interested in game engines with traditional scripting options, be sure to check out our guides to C/C++, C#, Haxe, Lua, JavaScript and Python game engines.

In this article we are going to look at the majority of codeless options among modern game engines, both 2D and 3D.

3D Game Engines

Armory 3D

Built on top of the Blender open source 3D application, this game engine has a node based option for game development, in addition to a Haxe based API.  Learn more here.

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BuildBox

BuildBox is a commercial game engine sold on a subscription basis that uses an entirely visual based node programming system.  Aimed at making games without requiring any programming knowledge.

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CryEngine

CryEngine is a AAA calibre game engine with a visual programming language named Schematyc.  It is designed to enable programmers to expose portions of their game logic to designers.  Writing a full game in Schematyc is not really the purpose.

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CopperCube 6

CopperCube 6 recently received a free version.  It is designed to work by attaching and configuring actions and behaviors to game objects.  You can expend the functionality in JavaScript, but creating a game entirely without coding is quite possible.

Learn more here.

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Godot

The Godot game engine has a Visual Scripting Language, with much of the same functionality of GDScript.  You can mix and match between the two scripting styles in the same game.  Honestly though, it’s not really that useful yet.

Learn more here.


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Unity

Unity doesn’t actually support Visual Scripting, although a Visual Scripting language is in the works for a 2019 release.  In the meanwhile there are several addons adding a Visual programming language such as Bolt.


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Unreal Engine

Unreal has perhaps the most robust visual programming language in the form of Blueprint, that can be used for everything C++ can, beyond changing the engine code itself.  It is also perhaps the most complicated visual programming language on this list.

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2D Game Engines

Clickteam Fusion 2.5

Perhaps most famous for making the 5 Nights series of games, this game engine use a tree/spreadsheet hybrid approach.

Learn more here.

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Construct 3

Construct 3 is a commercial, subscription based game engine that runs entirely in the browser.  Uses an event sheet programming model very similar to GDevelop and ClickTeam Fusion.

Learn more here.

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Stencyl

Stencyl is a game engine using a lego style brick approach to programming.  There is a free version available and the visual programming language ultimately generates Haxe code, which you can also code with.

Learn more here.

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Scratch

Scratch is an MIT project aimed at teach programming concepts to kids.  It, like Stencyl, uses a lego brick style programming interface.

Learn more here.

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GDevelop

GDevelop is a free and open source game engine that uses a programming model based on behaviors and events.

Learn more here.

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GameMaker Studio 2

YoYoGame’s GMS2 has been around for decades and is a complete game editing environment with two programming options.  A visual drag and drop programming system, and their own GM scripting language.

Learn more here.

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GameSalad

GameSalad is focused at students and non-programmers and is programmed using a behavior based logic system.  I have virtually no experience with this game engine.

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Pixel Game Maker MV

Pixel GameMaker MV is a complete commercial game making package from the same publisher as RPGMaker.  It uses a visual programming system and property based programming model.  It’s also pretty awful, IMHO.

Learn more here.


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Design Programming


2. May 2019


OGRE, Object-oriented Graphics Rendering Engine, an open source MIT licensed 3D renderer just released version 1.12 after almost a year in development.  The release is heavily focused on internal rearchitecting for future development.

Key features from the 1.12 release:

  • #include directive supported for GLSL shaders
  • PF_DEPTH support for shadows with the RTSS and the Terrain component
  • RTSS 3.0: vastly improved internal API and refactored shader library
  • Per pixel-shading on D3D11/ GL3+/ GLES2 by default (via RTSS)
  • The GL3+ RenderSystem is now used for rendering the reference Test images
  • More precise timings for built-in profiler and support for external profiling via Remotery
  • unified API for fixed-function pipeline and shaders
  • NEON intrinsics for OptimizedMath on ARM (Android)
  • Stable Material library (Media/) that you can reference in your projects
  • the MSVC SDK now also includes the Python and Java components
  • support for loading 1.7 style terrains (aka “terrain.cfg”)

You can learn more about the release in the New and Noteworthy document available here.  Additionally the source code for OGRE is available here on GitHub.  The book mentioned in the video below that covers OGRE for game engine development is Game Engine Architecture.

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