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24. March 2020

Epic Games have just announced a massive giveaway of asset packs from Project Nature.  This is a collection of trees, bushes, grasses and controlling blueprints for creating nature scenes in your Unreal Engine games.

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

In collaboration with Project Nature, Epic Games has released over 20 environment and vegetation products for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace.

The collection includes over 75 varieties of plant species, many of which were photoscanned from real-world vegetation, ranging from towering trees to the smallest of ground plants and flowers. Create a refreshing oasis retreat, escape to a serene meadow, or adorn a warm desert landscape for your audience to explore; with more than 550 optimized models, the sky, or the ground, is the limit on what you can grow!

The pack consists of:

  • Hundreds of optimized plant models and materials
  • The shader-based Project Nature Wind System 2.0
  • The Project Nature Interaction System 2.0, including replicated animations
  • A dynamic low-poly grass system
  • A dynamic ivy creation pack
  • And more!

You can download the assets using the Epic Game Launcher or via the website available here.  There is no time limit on this giveaway, all 21 packs are available free forever.  If you want to learn how to export from Unreal Engine to another engine or tool (such as Blender) you can learn more here.  Learn more about the asset giveaway in the video below.

GameDev News

23. March 2020

Announced at Google’s virtual GDC 2020 event, CryEngine will be receiving Android support in beta form this summer.  However if you check out the beta signup page, you will notice another key mobile OS is also shown.


More details are available on the CryEngine news page:

Crytek is pleased to announce that developers everywhere are invited to experience the power of CRYENGINE on mobile first by registering for a beta program at The beta program will launch later this year. CRYENGINE is the cutting-edge 3D game development platform famed for its industry-leading renderer, real-time lighting, and optimized VR support, and Crytek has partnered with Google to bring the engine to the Android ecosystem.

The technology behind CRYENGINE is platform-agnostic by design. Starting with the Android pipeline, the mobile beta program is the first step in bringing the engine that powers some of the most ambitious and beautiful games on console and PC to more mobile platforms, following the Oculus Quest launch of Crytek’s award-winning free solo rock climbing game, The Climb.

You can learn more about the upcoming mobile support in CryEngine in the video below.

GameDev News

23. March 2020

Found yourself with a lot of free time on your hands lately?  Yeah, you’re not alone.  Why not spend the time improving your programming ability, which is exactly what you can do with the Software Development by O’Reilly bundle on now.  A collection of e-Books on a broad range of subjects including better programming habits, test driven design, algorithms and design patterns.  As always this bundle is organized into tiers:

1$ Tier

  • Technology Strategy Patterns
  • Apprenticeship Patterns
  • 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
  • The Art of Readable Code
  • Algorithms in a Nutshell

8$ Tier

  • Test-Driven Development with Python
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Becoming a Better Programmer
  • Regular Expressions Cookbook
  • Head First Agile

15$ Tier

  • Learning CoreDNS
  • Programming Quantum Computers
  • Cloud Native
  • Real-World Software Development
  • Head First Design Patterns

All of the books are available in PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats.  As with all Humble Bundles you can decide how your money is allocated, between the publisher, Humble, charity and if you choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS using this link.  You can learn more about the bundle in the video below.

GameDev News

23. March 2020

NVIDIA just released a new version of their free Texture Tools.  Texture Tools is a handy tool for compressing textures, generating MIP, normal and cube maps and more.  It also includes a Photoshop plugin and can be driven from a command line interface.

Details from the NVIDIA developer site:

Today, we’re releasing the free NVIDIA Texture Tools Exporter, the new version of our DDS texture compression tool, available both as a standalone application and as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop.

This all-new release adds support for modern, CUDA-accelerated Texture Tools 3.0 compression (including ASTC, BC7, and BC6s), support for more than 130 DXGI and ASTC formats, linear-space, slope-space, and pre-multiplied alpha mipmapping, command-line and Photoshop automation, and a unified user interface.

You need to be running a 64bit version of Windows 7,8 or 10 and texture tools requires an NVIDIA GPU.  You can learn more about NVIDIA Texture Tools in this article or by watching the video below.

GameDev News

22. March 2020

At not-GDC this year, DirectX 12 Ultimate was announced.  DirectX 12 Ultimate is a new baseline version of Direct X for new Xbox consoles and PC’s, to make development as easy as possible.  In addition to existing features including DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading, Ultimate includes the new features of Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback.

Details of DirectX 12 Ultimate from the Microsoft developer blog:

Microsoft’s Game Stack exists to bring developers the tools they need to create bold, immersive game experiences, and DX12 Ultimate is the ideal tool to amplify gaming graphics. DX12 Ultimate is the result of continual investment in the DirectX 12 platform made over the last five years to ensure that Xbox and Windows 10 remain at the very pinnacle of graphics technology. To further empower game developers to create games with stunning visuals, we enhanced features that are already beginning to transform gaming such as DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading, and have added new major features such as Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback.

Together, these features represent many years of innovation from Microsoft and our partners in the hardware industry. DX12 Ultimate brings them all together in one common bundle, providing developers with a single key to unlock next generation graphics on PC and Xbox Series X.

Of course, even the most powerful features are of limited use without the tools necessary to fully exploit them, so we are pleased to announce that our industry-leading PIX graphics optimization tool and our open-source HLSL compiler will provide game developers with the ability to squeeze every last drop of performance out of an entire ecosystem of DX12 Ultimate hardware.

NVidia are currently the only video card maker with DX12 Ultimate compatible devices detailed here.  AMD however are the company behind the GPU of the next generation XBox and will be supporting DX12U in their upcoming RDNA 2 hardware.

If you are interested in learning more about DirectX 12 Ultimate you can start with the Getting Started guide available here.  You can learn more about the release in the video below.

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