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10. February 2020


The Clockwork Pi GameShell is a build it yourself hand-held console aimed at indie game developers and retro gamers.  Late last year I cove red the unboxing and assembly while today we are going more hands-on with the device.  In the second half of the video we show step by step how to develop and deploy Godot games on the GameShell device.  This tutorial should also work for most Raspberry Pi based boards that support Godot development.

If you are following the instructions to build Godot Engine games on your GameShell you will need a build template.  The two options mentioned in the video are the Clockwork export template or the more generic frt export templates for Pi devices.  I have tested with both export templates successfully.

The only documentation on building Godot games for the GameShell is this forum thread.  The Clockwork GameShell is available on Amazon currently for $139 USD.  Check out GameShell in action in the video below.

GameDev News Programming


3. February 2020


TerreSculptor is a free Windows based application for creating landscapes and terrains for games and other media.  Starting life in 2005 as a tool for creating maps for the Unreal Developer Kit, the tool has come a long way in the years since.

On Demenzun Media homepage, TerreSulptor is described as:

It all started back in 2005 with the HMCS HeightMap Conversion Software, as a need to convert various heightmap file formats to Epic’s proprietary Unreal Engine G16 format.  As an Unreal Engine licensee, developer, and consultant, I wrote this utility for free use for Engine Licensees and Community Mappers.


2008 saw the release of HMES, an updated build of HMCS with limited editing capabilities.  Both of these tools are still available for download.


In 2010, TerreSculptor was born out of the desire to create a powerful 3D application that rivaled all existing terrain heightmap software.  The initial public alpha release was delivered in 2012.


Since then, TerreSculptor has continued to evolve and become more powerful and feature rich.  TerreSculptor is now one of the main terrain tools available to the industry.  Over it’s lifetime to-date, TerreSculptor has had more than 50,000 downloads, and like its predecessors, it remains free software for any use.

TerreSculptor is still under active development, with the recent 2.0 release happening earlier this year.  In the following video we go hands-on with this powerful tool and show how quickly and easily you can create terrain for your game.  As part of the video below, we showcase how you can import real world data-sets, in this case captured from the massive USGA Earth Explorer website.  TerreScultpor is available as a free download here and is comprehensively documented here.  If you like the software, consider supporting the developer on Patreon where you can get early release access, as well as access to sample projects and more.

GameDev News


17. December 2019


Last week on Humble the Humble Software Bundle: Filmmakers bundle was launched.  The star application of that bundle is HitFilm Pro 14 by FXHome (although the bundle contains other software, services and tons of stock footage and special FX).  In the time since the bundle was released I have been learning HitFilm Pro and what follows in my review.

Please keep in mind, my use case for a NLE is very casual, so I do not use advanced features such as camera matching, 3D importing and such.   I did however find HitFilm to be extremely easy to use, to perform exceptionally well and to be extremely capable, at least for my needs.  Suffice to say with the current Humble bundle, HitFilm is a gigantic recommendation for anyone needing a video editor.

Art


27. November 2019


I was just sent a Clockwork GameShell, it’s a build it yourself open source raspberry pi powered handheld computer.  What’s most appealling to me is how heavily focused on indie game developers this device is.  This is not a review of the device but instead a description of the build process (stay tuned for a proper review!).  So let’s take a look at the process from beginning to end and I’ll point out the few snags I encountered on the way.  If you are interested in getting one of your own, they are available on Amazon.

The underlying specs of hardware are as follows:

New ClockworkPi V3.1:Powered by Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, MaliGPU, Wi-Fi &Bluetooth, 1GB DDR3 Memory, 16GB MicroSD, HDMI output, GPIOs.

Keypad: Programmable Keypad and powered by an ATmega168P [email protected] with 30Pin Arduino compatibility GPIOs.

Audio: 2 Channel Stereo Speaker

Visual: 2.7-inch [email protected]

Rechargeable Battery: 3.7v, 1200mAh

Lightkey module: 5 independent IO extended keys for shoulder buttons

GameShell Shells: 1 front shell+2 back shells

MicroSD Card: 16GB

OS: ClockworkPi OS,Linux  4.1x

Debug cable: 14PIN GPIOs

Let’s look at what you get and how you assemble it.


The Box


This is a extremely minor point, but I was quite impressed with the packaging the GameShell came in.  Right away it’s generally just a higher quality of packaging and branding than I am accustomed to for these kinds of products, it does have a premium feeling as a result. Click any photo for a much higher resolution version.


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The Contents

The inside of the box is several other boxes and a collection of plastic punch out components.  In terms of equipment you need to do this build you are going to want a sharp knife at the very least.  A fine file and pair of side cutters to remove the plastic attachments are also recommended, but I got by with just a knife.


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Assembly

Now it’s time to start putting things together.  The instructions are IKEA style (but thankfully better than most IKEA!) step by step pictographic instructions.  The assembly is module by module.  The primary modules are the screen, the battery, the main system board and the controller as well as the speaker (not shown).

IMG_20191127_121439IMG_20191127_114819

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Once these 5 modules are completed, its its time to mount the modules into the backplate and connect the various power wires between the devices.  This is probably the trickiest part with one exception I will discuss in a minute.

IMG_20191127_125731

Finally it’s a matter of attaching the front plate, attaching two thumb screws and praying you did everything right.  And the final completed product!

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The Gotchas

Assembly was extremely straight forward with only two snags.  The first step is when creating the display module illustrated below.

ScreenStep

Notice the inset diagram shows the cable being bent backwards, while the layer diagram does not show this?  This is vitally important, you do in fact have to bend the display cable 180 degrees.

The second problem is actually around the same issue.  Connecting the display ribbon cable to the main board should be done *BEFORE* you close the case around it, making it insanely difficult connect unless you open it.

The only other issue I ran into is occasionally they mounted the plastic pieces to the plastic frame at less than ideal locations.  For example there was a mount point where the display cable needs to be fed.  I had to make a special point of filing down the excess plastic to keep it from rubbing against or puncturing the fragile ribbon cable.  It would be ideal if pieces were mounted slightly different, but its a small issue.



Now that I have the GameShell built, it’s time to start trying to develop games for it.  Stay tuned for that video in the near future.

General


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


AppGameKit Studio

See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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