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3. December 2019


Every month Epic Games give away several assets for their Unreal Engine Marketplace and this month is no exception.  The only catch is you have to “buy” the assets before the next giveaway starts, although the purchase price is zero.  Once you have purchased an asset it is yours forever.

This months content consists of;

Normally they also release a few assets permanently free at the same time, however this month… at least at the time of writing, there are no such free assets.

You can learn more about the assets in the video below.

GameDev News


26. November 2019

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This is a very common question, so this guide and video is setting out to answer why *I* might choose to use Godot over those other engines. Keep in mind, this isn’t me saying Godot is better or worse than those engines. Additionally, I have a video on Unreal vs Unity in the works, so if you want to decide which of those engines to use, stay tuned for that.

Without further ado, let’s jump in.

Free

Obviously, the lack of a price tag is one of the most obvious features of Godot. Yes, you can start for free with both Unity and Unreal Engine, but both ultimately have a price tag. With Unity, you pay a per seat license fee if you make over 100K a year. With Unreal Engine you pay a fixed 5% royalty after the first $3000 dollars earned. If you’re not making money nor plan to, this obviously doesn’t matter… but the more successful your game is, the better a deal free is!

Open Source

On the topic of free, we also have free as in freedom. Godot is free in both regards, to price tag and license, being licensed under the MIT license. Unity trails in this regard having only select subsets of the code available. Unreal Engine has the source code available and you can completely build the engine from scratch, as well as being able to fix problems yourself by walking through a debug build and applying fixes.

UE4 however is under a more restrictive proprietary license, while Godot is under the incredibly flexible and permissive code license.

Another aspect in Godot’s favor… it’s also by far the smallest code base and very modular in design from a code perspective. This makes it among the easiest engines to contribute code to. The learning curve to understand the source code is a fraction of that to get started contributing to Unreal, while contributing to Unity is frankly impossible without a very expensive negotiated source license.

Language Flexibility

Over the years Unity have *REMOVED* language support. Once there was UnityScript and Boo, a python like language, in addition to C#. Now it’s pretty much just C# and their in development visual scripting language.

Unreal on the other hand has C++ support, with the C++ thanks to Live++ usable very much like a scripting language (although final build times are by far the worst of all 3 engines!), as well as the (IMHO) single best visual programming language available, Blueprints.

For Godot the options are much more robust. First off there is the Python-lite scripting language, GDScript. You can also use C++, although the workflow for gameplay programming may be suboptimal. Additionally, C# support is being added as a first-class language and there is a visual programming language available here as well, although I can’t really think of a reason to use it as it stands now.

Where Godot really shines though is its modularity. GDScript itself is implemented as a module, meaning making other custom scripting languages is a borderline trivial task, as is extending or customizing GDScript. Additionally, there is GDNative/NativeScript it makes it fairly simple to link to external code, without having to jump into the guts of Godot (nor having to compile Godot) or to write performance critical code in C or C++. Finally, you have the ability to create C++ “modules” that have access to all of the C++ classes available in Godot without having to make changes to the underlying codebase.

Ease of Use

This one is obviously subjective, but if you are looking to create a game, especially as a beginner, the learning curve and ease of use with GDScript make this the easiest of the 3 engines to pick up, at least in my opinion. Unreal Engine is frankly fairly appalling for 2D titles, having basically abandoned Paper2D (their 2D API) on the vine. Over the last couple years Unity have really been focusing heavier on dedicated 2D support, but you still must dig through a lot of cruft and overhead to get to the meat of your game.

With Godot you pretty much everything you need for 2D out of the box and the ability to work directly with pixel (or % based) coordinates.

It’s Tiny

Unreal and Unity are multi GB installs and both have a hub or launcher app. Godot… a 50ish MB zip file (plus templates for a couple hundred more MB needed when deploying). Download, unzip and start game development!

You Like it Better?

You may, or you may not like the coding model of Godot. Chances are if you like the Node based approach to game development, you will love Godot. All three game engines (and almost all modern game engines) take a composition-based approach to scene modeling. Godot takes it one step further, making everything nodes, trees of nodes, even scenes are simply nodes. The approach is different enough that users may either love or hate the approach. If you love the approach Godot takes, you will be productive in it. If you don’t like it, you’re probably better served using Unity or Unreal.

Why Not Pick Godot Then?

I am not even going to pretend that Godot is the perfect game engine and ideal in every situation… there are certainly areas where Unity and Unreal have a small to huge advantage. This could be its own entire video, but a quick list include:

  • Performance concerns, especially on large 3D scenes (hopefully resolved with proper culling and the upcoming Vulkan renderer). In 3D, both engines out perform Godot quite often
  • Platforms… Unity and Unreal support every single platform you can imagine, Godot supports most of the common consumer categories and takes longer to get support for devices like AR/VR. Hardware manufacturers work with Unity and Epic from the design stages, while Godot pretty much must wait for hardware to come to market and then for someone to implement it. Another huge difference, and one of the few downsides to open source software, it isn’t compatible with the closed proprietary licenses of console hardware. While Godot has been ported to run on console hardware, it isn’t supported out of the box and probably never will be.
  • Ecosystem. Godot has a vibrant community but can’t hold a candle to the ecosystem around Unreal and especially Unity. There are simply more users, more books, larger asset stores, etc.
  • The resume factor… this is a part of ecosystem continued. It’s easier to get a job with Unity experience or Unreal experience on the resume than Godot. While many people wouldn’t (and really for a full-time hire, shouldn’t) care what engine you use, when people are hunting for employees, they often look for Unity or UE experience specifically. The other side of this coin is the number of people with Unity or UE experience is larger if you are the one doing the hiring.
  • As with many open source projects, it’s still heavily dependent on one or two key developers. If the leads left the project, it would be a massive blow to the future of Godot. Meanwhile there are hundred or thousands of people being paid to develop Unity or Unreal and the departure of any individual member isn’t likely to have a tangible impact.

The Longer Video Version

Programming General


12. November 2019


There is a new bundle of interest for game developers on Humble, this is the Humble Unreal Engine Game Development Bundle featuring GameDev.tv.  It’s a collection of courses and assets (as well as the games QUBE 1 and 2) for use with the Unreal game engine.  As always the bundle is split into different tiers, where you buy a higher dollar value tier, you get all of the tiers below it.

In this bundle the tiers are:

1$ Tier

  • Unreal Cinematics Training Course
  • Q.U.B.E
  • Star Sparrow Modular Spaceship
  • Another Stylized Material Collection 8

16$ Tier

  • Math For Games Training Course
  • Unreal C++ v4.1X Training Course
  • QUBE 2
  • Master Control Material
  • Rusty Barrels Volume 2
  • Another Easy Terrain Material

20$ Tier

  • Unreal Multiplayer Training Course
  • Unreal C++ 4.22 Training Course
  • Unreal Blueprint Training Course
  • Unreal VR Training Course
  • Steampunk/Victorian Environment with Vehicles
  • Gamemaster Audio – Prosound Mini Pack
  • Slum Village Environment

As with all Humble Bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated between the publisher, humble, charity or if you so choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS using this link.  Learn more about this bundle in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


In addition to the Quixel acquisition news, Epic Games had a number of other announcements today, mostly in regards to non-game development uses of Unreal Engine.  The first news is that Unreal Studio and it’s associated Datasmith functionality are being rolled into Unreal Engine 4.24.  Details from the announcement blog:

As of our upcoming Unreal Engine 4.24 release, the features of Unreal Studio are being rolled into Unreal Engine and will be made available to everyone for free. Unreal Studio, which has been in open beta since March 2018, is a suite of tools and services designed to augment Unreal Engine for architecture, manufacturing, and product design; however, its features have applicability across broader markets.


The most notable Unreal Studio feature that will now become a standard feature in Unreal Engine is Datasmith, a workflow toolkit that enables you to efficiently aggregate and optimize 3ds Max, Revit, SketchUp Pro, Cinema 4D, and a wide range of CAD and BIM data in Unreal Engine.


Making Datasmith available to all Unreal Engine users brings high-fidelity, whole-scene conversion to the masses! In addition, the new Visual Dataprep makes automating data preparation workflows more accessible so smaller, design-focused teams can benefit from them.


As part of this integration all Unreal Engine users will gain static mesh editing, basic UV projections, jacketing and defeaturing optimization tools, and a Variant Manager.

Additionally they announced that the free period for TwinMotion (acquired in May) would be extended into 2020:

Previously, we’d announced that Twinmotion would remain free until November 2019; once downloaded, you can continue using the free version indefinitely. Today, we’re extending the free availability until our next release of Twinmotion, which is anticipated to ship in the first quarter of 2020. The new version will offer even greater photorealism, improved assets, tools to facilitate collaborative workflows, and more.

Twinmotion is a toolset that makes it easy to create interactive architectural scenes powered by Unreal Engine, you can check in out in action in this video.  You can learn more about both of these announcements in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


Today Epic Games have announced the acquisition of Quixel, the maker of the massive MegaScans PBR texturing library as well as texture creation and management tools Quixel Bridge and Mixer.  The acquisition is a gigantic boon for Unreal Engine developers, as they will get access to the massive texture libraries for free!  Additionally, even non-UE4 users benefit from this deal, as Megascans subscriptions are being improved and Mixer and Bridge 2020 are both being released for free!

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

Today we are thrilled to announce that Quixel, creator of the world’s largest photogrammetry asset library and bundled toolset, has joined the Epic Games family!
Founded in 2011, Quixel is based in Sweden, and over 100 employees across six countries worldwide are joining the Epic Games team. Quixel’s products include Megascans, an extensive library of 2D and 3D photogrammetry assets, supported by companion applications Bridge and Mixer.

[SNIP]

As part of making the Quixel Megascans library of more than 10,000 assets free for all use with Unreal Engine, ten high-resolution packs have been shared today for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, as well as assets from the popular Iceland collection used in the “Rebirth” cinematic short. Additional asset packs will be made available for free on the Marketplace at a future date within the Unreal Engine 4.24 release timeframe.

And more details from the Quixel blog:

Megascans becomes free for use with Unreal Engine

The Megascans library is now completely free for use with Unreal Engine.

That means that if you are using Megascans with UE4, you get free, unlimited, and instant access to all of Megascans through Bridge and Mixer, and a wealth of Megascans packs on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. Ten high-resolution packs have been shared today for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, with additional asset packs being made available for free on the Marketplace at a future date within the Unreal Engine 4.24 release timeframe. This way, you can access the content in whatever way you prefer.

If you’re using Megascans only with UE4, we’ll refund all of your subscriptions for 2019. If you have an active subscription, log in to find out how to obtain a refund. If you have made Megascans purchases in 2019, but do not have an active subscription, we’ll reach out to you regarding refunds.

Megascans subscription prices lowered for everyone

Furthermore, with the generous backing of Epic, we’re immediately slashing the pricing of Megascans, giving you nearly twice as much content to download, and removing the resolution cap—for everyone, regardless of what engine, DCC or renderer you love and rely on. We’re also giving you a refund for the remaining duration of your subscription period to allow you to hop onto one of our new plans. If you have an active subscription, log in to find out how to obtain a refund.

Bridge and Mixer 2020 will be 100% free for everyone

But that’s not all. Epic is helping us make the upcoming 2020 versions of Bridge and Mixer 100% free for everyone, with no subscription required and both fully featured. We are releasing these new free versions within a few weeks from now and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share with you the upcoming updates.

Excellent news all around!  If you want to learn more, be sure to check out our video below.  If you want to see Quixel in action, be sure to check out our earlier hands-on video.

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