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23. February 2020


Verge3D is a toolkit for enabling artists to create web experiences with minimal or no coding using Blender, Max or Maya.  Founded by team members from the Blend4Web project Verge3D allows you to create content using your graphics application of choice, then using their (locally installed) web based tools you can add logic using their visual programming language Puzzles.

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Verge3D is available in a free fully functional trial version (watermarked) available for download here.  Verge3D is available for Windows, Mac and Linux for Blender 3D as well as Windows only for 3DS Max and Windows and Linux for Maya.

Check out Verge 3D for Blender in action in the video below.

GameDev News Art Design Programming


21. February 2020


Global Illumination describes several algorithms used to calculate non-direct lights in game engines.  In Godot, it’s implemented using the GIProbe node, which can calculate emissive lights and secondary reflections, giving you more accurate lighting in your scene at the cost of performance.  In this tutorial we will go step by step through the process of setting up a GIProbe.  You can learn more in the video embedded below.


The first step for setting up global illumination is to go through the scene, select each model that will participate in the calculations and select Use in Baked Lighting in the Geometry Instance section.

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Once you have your models set to participate, it’s time to create a GIProbe node.  Add a new Node to the Scene (doesn’t matter who it is parented to) of type GIProbe.

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Now size the GIProbe box using the red/pink control handles, so that it envelops your scene.  You can have multiple GIProbes per scene and having them overlap serves no purpose.

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Now with at least one light source in the scene, with GIProbe selected, click Bake GI Probe in the menubar.

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This will calculate the indirect lights in your scene.  You can also have a GIProbe calculate the effects of emissive lights in your scene.  Emissive lights are lights that are projected from textures.  In a SpatialMaterial you can turn emissive on in the Emission tab by selecting Enabled.  Emission is the color of the light emitted, while energy is the strength of the energy emitted.

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Emissive lights will only be shown after being baked by a GIProbe.  Emissive lights cannot move without baking the scene again.  You can cause a GIProbe to bake lights in code using the following code:

	get_node("../GIProbe").bake()

This is an expensive operation and should not be performed lightly.

There are a couple of ways to control the quality of the lighting generated by a GIProbe.  The first is by setting the Subdiv property in the GIProbe.

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The higher the resolution, the better the results but more expensive the calculations.  You can also change the quality of lighting in Project Settings by enabling High Quality in Voxel Cone Tracing. 

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Once again, this is a trade off between quality and performance.  Finally I should point out that GIProbe only works with the OpenGL ES3 renderer, not in ES2.  On ES2 you are instead stuck with traditional Light Baking, which takes less processing power, but produces inferior and less dynamic results.

Another thing to be aware of is dealing with the GIProbe inside the Godot Editor.  The GIProbe, as shown above, is a giant green lattice, which can make viewing your scene somewhat difficulty.  You may be tempted to hide the GIProbe like so:

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Unfortunately this turns the GI off completely!  If instead you want to hide the GIProbe in the viewport, you turn it off in the viewport menu.  In the viewport, select View->Gizmoes->GIProbe.

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This value is a toggle and controls ALL GIProbes in the scene.

You can learn more about Global Illumination and GI Probes in the video below.

Programming Design


20. December 2019


Qodot is an open source add-on for the Godot game engine that enables you to export .MAP files created using traditional CSG authoring tools.  Qodot is available under the MIT license on GitHub or can be added via the Godot addon market.

Features of Qodot include:

  • Natively import .map files into Godot
  • Supports
    • Brush geometry
    • Per-face textures and customized UVs
    • Precise trimesh collision
    • Entities with arbitrary collections of parameters
  • Extensible tree population
    • Leverages the .map format's simple key/value property system
    • Spawn custom entities and brushes
  • Supports the TrenchBroom editor
    • Simple, intuitive map editor with a strong feature set
    • Includes a simple Qodot game preset
    • Can be built upon with game-specific entities and brush properties

Qodot also includes configurations to make getting up and running with TrenchBroom, however any Quake level editor should work.  You can learn more about Qodot on their wiki or by watching the video below.

GameDev News Design


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


AppGameKit Studio

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