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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


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


6. March 2019


Humble are running another Humble Bundle with software of use to game developers.  The new bundle is Humble Software Bundle: Your Beats. ACIDized.  Unlike most previous Humble bundles, this one is mostly about the top tier choices, ACID Pro 7 and Sound Forge 12.  ACID Pro is a seminal DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) for composing and creating audio, while Sound Forge is a swiss army knife for recording, capturing and editing audio files.

The tiers of this bundle are as follows:

$1 Tier

Music Maker EDM Edition

Soundpool – Trannce Masters

$12 Tier

MP3 Deluxe 19

Soundpool – Dream House

$25 Tier

ACID Pro 7

Sound Forge 12

Soundpool: Discharge


You can purchase the bundle and support charity and GameFromScratch at the same time by using this link.

GameDev News


6. March 2019


GAEA (not to be confused with GAIA for Unity), is a newly released terrain generation tool from QuadSpinner.  They describe GAEA as:

Gaea takes terrain design toe-to-toe with the rest of the CG landscape. Designed with artists and their vision in mind, Gaea brings together advanced toolsets in an easy-to-use package where you can get Hollywood quality results in minutes.

Using either a simple stack of nodes, or a more complex graph of nodes, you can easily compose primitive landscapes, apply millions of years of erosion and other modifiers, mix and match nodes to your hearts content, until you get the perfect terrain for your game.  The ultimate output from GAEA are height maps that can be used in almost any modern 3D game engine.  GAEA is available at a number of different price points, including a completely free but still usable for commercial projects tier.

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GAEA is available for download on Windows PCs here.  For more details of GAEA, a getting started tutorial or just to see GAIA in action, watch the video below.

Design GameDev News


5. March 2019


Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is one of the most popular cross platform open source code editors available today and for good reasons.  It’s fast, free, expandable and incredibly well supported.  Have you ever wanted to run Visual Studio Code remotely or perhaps host it as the editor in your own cloud based product?  Well now you can!

Available at Coder.com, its the alpha release of a completely virtualized hosted version of Visual Studio Code.  Remotely develop from any browser equipped machine by simply navigating to ide.coder.com.  You will be presented a nearly exact port of Visual Studio Code, except running in your browser and with the processing and storage done on a remote machine.  Best of all, it’s also currently completely free.

Don’t want to run your code on someone else’s machine?  That’s completely understandable and also not a problem, as this is an open source project that is MIT licensed and hosted on Github.  There are currently binaries available for Mac and Linux users with Windows coming soon.  You can download the appropriate binary version here.  There are also guides to hosting your own version on AWS or Google Cloud based servers, as well as guides on self hosting.

See Coder.com in action in the video below, including side by side comparisons with the desktop version of Code.

GameDev News


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