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12. February 2020


Today we are checking out TextureLab, a free and open source texture generation tool for Windows and Linux.  While fairly early in it’s development, TextureLab aims to be similar in capability to Substance Designer in function.

TextureLab features include:
- Export all textures at once or save them individually
- Unity Export
- 25+ nodes and counting
- Cross-Platform (It's built using electron and vue)
- Fast! All filtering and texture generation operations are done on the GPU
- Free and Open Source

TextureLab is licensed under the GPLv3 open source license with the code written in TypeScript and hosted in an Electron app.  TextureLab is not the only open source alternative to Substance Designer under development, we have already looked at MaterialMaker , TexGraph and Imogen in the past.  You can learn more about and see TextureLab in action in the video below.

Art GameDev News


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


24. January 2020


Tiled, the open source map editing software, just released version 1.3.2.  Along side that release was a development snapshot with new features that will be available in the next release.  If you want learn Tiled we have an in-depth tutorial series available here.

Details of the 1.3.2 release:

  • Fixed initialization of selected layers (#2719)
  • Fixed stamp action shortcuts not being configurable (#2684)
  • Fixed the tileset view to respect the 'wheel zooms by default' preference
  • Fixed insertion position when using drag-n-drop to rearrange layers
  • Fixed displayed layer data format in Properties
  • Fixed repeating of export when map is saved by a custom command (#2709)
  • Fixed issue when multiple worlds are loaded that use pattern matching
  • Issues view can now be hidden by clicking the status bar counters
  • macOS: Fixed black toolbar when enabling OpenGL rendering (#1839)
  • Windows: Fixed context menus activating first item on release (#2693)
  • Windows installer: Include the 'defoldcollection' plugin (#2677)
  • Windows installer: Signed by SignPath
  • libtiled: Avoid inheriting Properties from QVariantMap (#2679)
  • docs: Added some notes to Python and JavaScript pages (#2725)
  • Updated Qt from 5.12.5 to 5.12.6
  • Updated Finnish translation (by Tuomas Lähteenmäki and odamite)
  • Updated part of Italian translation (by Katia Piazza)

As well as details from the developmental release:

Tinting Layers

Layers can now be tinted by multiplying their pixels with a color. This way you can darken or colorize your graphics in various ways without needing to set up separate images for it! The new "Tint Color" property is supported on tile layers, object layers and image layers, and is inherited from group layers.

Object Alignment

Ever since tile objects were added as a feature, their alignment has been inconsistent with the other shapes. Whereas a rectangle had its origin in the top-left, tile objects had their origin in the bottom-left (or even bottom-center, on isometric maps). While useful in some contexts, this inconsistency has annoyed many people over the years.

Now, a new tileset property specifies which alignment to use for tile objects using that tileset. If you set it to top-left, the tile objects will align consistently with the other objects. But of course you could also choose for bottom-center or center alignment depending on your needs.

Object Reference Properties

This change is a big step towards the Connecting Objects feature, which is planned for Tiled 1.4. You can now choose "object" as the type when adding a custom property, and the property will be interpreted as a reference to an object on the map, referring to it by its unique ID. A special dialog makes it easy to search for the object you want to refer to and the name of the referenced object will be displayed.

Tiled is available as a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux here.  The source code for Tiled is available on GitHub.

GameDev News


18. November 2019


OGMO is a free and open source level editor, written in Haxe by Matt Makes Games the makers of Celeste among other games.  The level editor is available on GitHub under the MIT open source license.  OGMO 3.1(.1) was just released.

Details of the new release from the changelog:

  • 3.1.1
    • Added entity image to entity palette
    • Move broken levels to trash instead of deleting them permanently
    • Fix image previews leaking out of the popup
    • Fix a typo in the popup box-shadow
    • Don't show the "delete" option for image popups
    • Added .ogmo file association metadata
  • 3.1.0 
    • Improved non-json file handling in the level manager panel
    • Added the ability to use an image for Entities

If you are interested in checking out OGMO, be sure to check the documentation, which also includes instructions on how to build the Haxe code yourself.  If you would like to see OGMO in action, be sure to check out the video below.

Design GameDev News


15. November 2019


Tiled, the open source map editor, the open source map editor just released version 1.3, the first major release in almost a year.  Details of the 1.3 release from the release notes:

Scripted Extensions

The biggest change in this release is the introduction of the scripting API, which allows you to extend the functionality of Tiled with JavaScript. Scripts can implement custom actions, custom editing tools and add support for additional map or tileset formats.

Almost everything that can be modified through the UI can be changed through a script as well. Scripts can also connect to certain events to automate actions, for example on loading or saving an asset. Any changes made by scripts automatically create appropriate undo commands, which can be grouped together using the Asset.macro function.

Scripts can be grouped in folders to make it easier to share them with others, for example by cloning a git repository into the extensions folder. Tiled automatically reloads the scripts when it detects a change to any loaded script file.

Issues View

A new “Issues” view was added, where reported warnings and errors are displayed persistently and can be searched. Many of the issues reported here can also be double-clicked to jump to the relevant location for fixing the issue. The error and warning counts are displayed on the status bar to make sure they don’t go unnoticed.

While Tiled may encounter many issues of itself, for example when AutoMapping or exporting to certain formats, issues can also be reported through the scripting API. This could be used to add sanity checks to make sure your map won’t trigger an error in your game.

Configurable Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts of most actions can now be changed from the new Keyboard tab in the Preferences. Shortcut schemes can be imported and exported and potential conflicts are marked in red.

New Update Notifications

Tiled now features a native up-to-date check, which displays an unobtrusive notification in the status bar whenever it detects that a newer version is available. This replaces the previously used 3rd-party solutions Sparkle and WinSparkle. For those who don’t want it, it can be turned off in the Preferences, in which case you can still manually check for a new version by opening the “About Tiled” dialog.

The new system does not automatically download & install the new package. For automatic updates, I recommend installing Tiled through the itch.io app.

Be sure to check the full release notes for an in-depth change log.  You can learn more about this release in the video below.  Additionally we have done a complete tutorial series that will get you up and running with Tiled.

Art GameDev News Design


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