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1. April 2020


Today we are going hands-on with Asset Forge 2.0 by Kenny.nl.  Asset Forge is an extremely easy to use 3D modeling application where you can quickly create models using building blocks.

Details of Asset Forge:

You'll have access to a large library of pre-made blocks (about 600 currently), they're each categorized in different categories. You can place an unlimited number of blocks in your creation after which it's possible to export and use in the game engine of your choice.

  • Position, rotate, mirror and resize blocks
  • Export to common 3D file formats (see below)
  • Render your model as a 2D sprite
  • Apply colors, materials and textures
  • Batch export a sprite in multiple directions

The exported models are compatible with most game engines including Unity, Unreal Engine, Blender and ThreeJS. The 2D sprites (PNG) are compatible with all game engines that support sprites.

Asset Forge 2.0 is currently available, with Mac and Linux versions coming soon.  The 2.0 release adds Lua scripting support, making procedural content creation in Asset Forge a breeze. 

Asset Forge is available in Standard ($19.95) and Professional($39.95), with the pro edition containing an addition 10% more blocks.  Both editions including ongoing free updates and possess no DRM.

Check out Asset Forge in action in the video below.

GameDev News Art


31. March 2020


At GDC 2019 Epic Games announced their $100M Epic MegaGrant program supporting among other things, open source efforts in the world of game development.  Prior winners have included Blender, Godot and ArmorPaint.  Today, the open source cross platform sprite tool Laigter has joined that list!  If you are a regular of GameFromScratch, Laigter may sound familiar as we featured it in the Summer of 2019.

I spoke via email and Twitter with the author Azagaya about his experiences with the Epic MegaGrant program and on the future of Laigter:

I applied to the Epic Games MegaGrant project in April 2019. About three month later, i recieved an e-mail from them, stating they would
need more time for reviewing the tool. This year I received another e-mail stating that my project was approved for the MegaGrant! It was a
couple month ago, but I didn't make it public until I revived the official badge from them.


The process was very simple. For the application, I just had to fill in an online form. They reviewed the project without any question or
notification. Once approved, they sent me two forms (one for taxes and another one for banking information), and a digitally signed letter. I
filled all the forms and signed the letter and send all the documents back to them, and that was all. People from Epic were always very
gentle, and helped me a lot if I did not understand something from the forms. They answered all my e-mails soon, and in a very friendly way.


The only problems I had were with my bank, because strict regulations exists in my country about receiving money from another country.
The process overall is really simple, and people from epics helps you in everything you need.

As to the near future of Laigter:

- Ability to preview animations with lighting. For now, only framed based animations are going to be supported.
- Brush for painting textures. You will be able to use textures from sites like https://3dtextures.me/ to paint textures into your sprites.
- Toon lighting preview.
- Theming support (dark and light themes for now)
- Ability to change display language in runtine (now, the language from your system is selected, if available)

Laigter is available on Itch.io and is open source under the GPL v3 license on Github.  Check out Laigter in action in the video below.  Congratulations on the Epic MegaGrant win!

Art GameDev News


30. March 2020


Pixologic have released version 2020.1 of their long running sculpting application ZBrush.  Along side the ZBrush release they now have a fully functioning 30 day trial available for download here.

Details of the 2020.1 release:

  • XTractor Brushes - Convert detail from your model into a new alpha or texture for reuse elsewhere.
  • HistoryRecall Brush - Project a model’s Undo History to another model regardless of topology differences.
  • Sculpt & Paint in Morph UV - You can now paint and even sculpt directly on a model’s flattened UV shell.
  • Move Infinite Depth - Affect anything that is directly inline with the brush cursor, no matter how far from the camera.
  • Texture Adjust Color - Adjust the colors in a model’s texture on the fly, modifying hue, intensity, contrast, gamma or tint.
  • PolyPaint Adjust Color - Same as above, but for PolyPaint. These features include eight color channels to easily restrict your changes to certain areas.
  • Wall Thickness Analysis - Instantly know what parts of a model are too thin for successful 3D printing, or thicker than necessary.
  • Real-Time Draft Analysis - Easily identify and fix portions of the model that would lock up when used in two part molding or CNC printing.
  • Calculate Surface Area - ZBrush can now provide you with the bounding box size, mesh volume and surface area, check for watertight integrity and help calculate real-world material needs.
  • Cam View - Always know how your model sits relative to XYZ space. Includes one-click buttons for snapping to orthagonal views.
  • Real-Time Silhouette View - Turn on a picture-in-picture window that displays your model’s silhouette in real-time, or see how it “reads” from a distance.
  • ZeeZoo - Mannequins have gone wild, with a library of animal figures to help you compose scenes of all kinds.
  • Deco Curve Brush - The classic Deco Brush for 2.5D painting is now available as a 3D sculpting brush.
  • Model Paint Fade Opacity - If a model’s PolyPaint or texture is making it hard for you to see the sculpted details you can now partially fade the color or even hide it altogether.
  • No Back & Forth Mode - Zigzagging brush strokes can now build up in one direction, only. This mode also combines with LazyMouse Backtrack for unique effects.
  • New Import/Export Options Window - Easier control when importing or exporting and support for even more formats, all in one place.

You can learn more about the 2020.1 release and free trial in the video below.

Art GameDev News


20. March 2020


Kenney.nl assets are pretty much synonymous with indie game development.  Starting today, March 20th, 2020, for the next 24 hour until 7PM EST the collection of assets are available for free on Itch.io as part of the 10th anniversary celebration.

Lets celebrate 10 years of free game assets! Three of our most popular premium packs are now available for free, for one day only. Thanks for your support through the years!

image

The asset packs are a huge collection of sprites, tiles, dialogs, fonts and more in a single file download for each asset pack.  If you miss out on the giveaway it’s not a huge deal, as Kenney.nl assets are mostly all available for free right here, if perhaps in a slightly less convenient download format.

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

Art GameDev News


11. March 2020


With the massive recent releases of Blender 2.8x it is time to start looking towards the future and that is exactly what the Blender Foundation have been done.  With a pair of posts to their developer blog addressing the upcoming future of Blender.

First is the announcement of LTS versions and with Blender 3, adopting a more standard numbering convention:

The first proposal is to do one Long Term Support (LTS) release every year. This release would be supported for two years with important bug fixes and updates for new hardware, while strictly maintaining compatibility.

A good reason to do an LTS now is the focus on fixes and patches of the past months. The next release (2.83) although big, will be relatively less experimental, thus a good candidate to keep supporting for a while.

LTS versions also will help to ensure that a project that started with an LTS version can be completed with the same version in a reasonable amount of time. Nice for studios with large projects, but also for add-on maintenance.

As well as details on the new versioning:

Along with this, I also propose to accelerate a bit our release numbers this decade.

This summer we’ll do Blender 2.90 (new particle nodes), and in summer 2021 the Blender 3.0 series begins! By then we will implement a more conventional release numbering.

I suggest to do minor releases (3.0, 3.1, 3.2, … 3.7) for two-year periods, and then move to a new major release. Blender 4.0 could be there in 2023 already!

Additionally there was some discussion on the “biggest projects” over the next year, the type of features you can expect to see in the next few releases of Blender.  There was also some tentative discussions on upcoming User Interface changes from their User Interface Workshop.

Finally there is some unfortunate news about Blender founder Ton Roosendaal who is taking a bit of a break due to help issues:

Last week Monday night I was hospitalized with an acute immune system failure. It was critical and severe but quickly fixed up and diagnosed to be excellently treatable with common medicines. Because of my weak immune system I’m confined to a special over pressured area in the hospital, to prevent germs or viruses from reaching me. Basically it’s the safest place in Amsterdam now!

Last week I migrated all Blender Foundation/Institute operational tasks to Francesco Siddi. He will take over ongoing projects and communication for me until I’m back in April. I would appreciate it if everyone would respect my rest for this month. I can’t handle thousands of good health mails or personal messages now! Social media will do fine :) I know you care!

Wishing you a quick recovery Ton!  To learn more about all of the above be sure to check out the video below.

Art GameDev News


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