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21. November 2019


Only a few months after the massive Blender 2.80 release, the Blender foundation have just released Blender 2.81.  Blender is an open source 3D application that is gaining a ton of traction in both film and games media.  The 2.81 release brings several new features including several quality of life improvements such as outliner and file dialog modernization as well as excellent new features like vastly improved sculpting and grease pencil brushes.

Highlight features of interest for game developers in this release include:

  • Massively improve sculpting with new brushes, masking support, better usability and more
  • Poly Build tool for rapid polygon creation and editing, excellent for retopology
  • Quadriflow and Voxel remeshing
  • Improved and more powerful mirroring support
  • UI improvements including:
    • Outliner selection improvements, easy to select, multiselect and deselect objects
    • Modern file browser that opens in a floating dialog window
    • Powerful regex powered rename feature (F2 key)
  • Grease pencil improvements including several new brushes
  • Denoising improvements
  • NVIDIA RTX support for realtime raytracing in Cycles
  • and much, much more.

You can learn more about the release in the Blender 2.81 release notes available here.  Additionally CGCookie have put together a nice introduction to new features in this article.  Blender 2.81 is available for download here.

If you want to see Blender 2.81 in action, including the new Poly Build, sculpting tools, file dialog, outliner and more be sure to check out the video below.

Art GameDev News


19. November 2019


There is another Humble Bundle of interest to game developers, this one is the Humble Music and Sound Effects for Games, Films, and Content Creators Bundle.  It is a collection of audio resources including music packs, special FX and voice overs.  As always the bundles are organized into pricing tiers, where if you buy a higher dollar value tier, you get all of the lower value tiers below it.

The tiers of this bundle are:


1$

  • Cute GUI Sound Set
  • Christmas Music Pack
  • Christmas Ambience Pack
  • Christmas SFX Pack
  • Sassy Character Sidekick Voicepack
  • Aggressive Female Celebratory Phrases
  • Voice Over Young Male
  • RTS Game Orc Troop Voice
  • Game Jingles and 8-Bit Sound FX
  • SHMUP Music Pack
  • Casino SFX Pack Lite
  • Home and Office SFX Pack Lite

13$

  • Pirate Game Sounds Pack
  • Horror Music Atmospheres
  • Fantasy Game Sounds
  • Evil Alien Tech Sound Pack
  • Horror SFX Pack
  • Short Female Interjections
  • Sword & Knife SFX
  • Horror & Halloween Character Voice Pack
  • RTS Game Builder Goblin Voice
  • RTS Game Hero Troop Voice
  • RTS Game Hero Builder Voice
  • WW2 Soldier Voices
  • Retro Platformer SFX Pack
  • 8Bit Brave Adventure 4 Pack
  • Footstep Sounds

25$

  • Mega Music Collection
  • Dark Fantasy Studio Megapack
  • Puzzle SFX Pack
  • Puzzle Music Pack
  • Zombie Voice Samples
  • Cowboy Voice Samples
  • Gun Sound Pack
  • Sci Fi Sounds and Sci Fi Weapons
  • Aggressive Female MOBA Style Voicepack
  • Aggressive Female Guiding Voice Voicepack
  • Fighting Game Announcer With Effects
  • RPG Magic SFX Pack 2
  • Casual Game SFX Pack
  • Fantasy/RPG Music Pack
  • RPG Battle Themes
  • Pixel Platformer Music Pack


As with all Humble Bundles, you get to decide how your money is allocated, between the publisher, Humble, charity, or if you so choose (and thanks a ton if you do!) to support GameFromScratch using this link.  You can learn more about the bundle in the video below.  The license terms of the bundle are available here.

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


14. November 2019


Two completely unrelated stories (beyond the Oculus commonality) in one today.  First, Unity and Oculus have teamed up to launch an 11 part, 20+ hour course on all aspects of creating a VR game using the Unity game engine with the Oculus Rift SDK and hardware.

Details from the Unity blog:

We’ve partnered with Oculus, to launch an extensive intermediate level course guiding you through all aspects of building a virtual reality (VR) game. As the VR industry continues to grow and mature, developers are asking more questions about making the switch to VR, and developers who already work in VR want to improve their skills. That’s why we teamed up with the experts at Oculus to build this comprehensive VR course, “Design, Develop, and Deploy for VR.

In more than 20 hours of hands-on course content, you’ll learn about programming, user experience (UX) considerations for VR, optimization, launching your game and more. Twelve experts from Oculus and Unity give you in-depth lessons to help you build your own vertical slice (think, level of a game) of an escape room game. Plus, after you complete the course, you can submit your vertical slice for feedback from Oculus.

Even though this course is centered around creating a game, the principles and learnings apply to almost any type of VR content, whether you’re building practical business applications or immersive experiences as art or entertainment. You’ll find this course useful even if your interests go beyond making a game. 

The course is hosted on the Unity Learn platform.  You can learn more about Unity learn here.

In additional Oculus news, John Carmack (of id fame) has announced he is stepping down as CIO of Oculus.  His announcement came via Facebook post, excerpt below:

Starting this week, I’m moving to a "Consulting CTO” position with Oculus.

I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time.

As for what I am going to be doing with the rest of my time: When I think back over everything I have done across games, aerospace, and VR, I have always felt that I had at least a vague “line of sight” to the solutions, even if they were unconventional or unproven. I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn’t in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old.

I’m going to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Thankfully John is leaving Facebook before working on artificial intelligence!  You can learn more about both announcements in the video below.

GameDev News


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