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8. June 2020

Cesium, the makers of Cesium Ion and the open source CesiumJS open world data technologies have just announced they received an Epic Megagrant.  This will enable them to create Cesium for Unreal Engine, a free and open source add-on for Unreal Engine that will enable developers to use their 3D Tile world data in games and applications developed directly in UE.

Details of the MegaGrant win on the Cesium blog:

I can’t think of anything that better exemplifies Cesium’s belief in combining geospatial and 3D computer graphics than the support of Epic Games and the Epic MegaGrants program to build Cesium for Unreal Engine.

This marks the first time a full-scale, high-precision 3D globe is plugged into a leading game engine, opening a world of possibilities for Unreal’s users. Together we will advance training & simulation, architecture, games, AR/VR, autonomous driving, and other industries by enabling 3D Tiles to be streamed into Unreal for accurate visualization of real-world locations captured by satellites and drones—using the same 3D geospatial knowledge that has gone into CesiumJS for nearly a decade.

You can learn more about Cesium, the MegaGrant program and more in the video below.

GameDev News

8. June 2020

Unity have just announced a new AR (augmented reality) focused extension, Unity Mars.  This also marks the first time that Unity have charged an additional subscription ($50/month or $600 a year) for additional Unity functionality.  Project Mars is described on the Unity blog as:

Unity MARS is the world’s first authoring solution that brings real-world environment and sensor data into the creative workflow. That means you can quickly build mixed and augmented reality experiences that are context-aware and responsive to physical space. And they will work in any location with any type of data.

From the beginning, we designed Unity MARS to solve the most common pain points across the entire AR development cycle: defining variables, testing scenarios, and delivering AR experiences that intelligently interact with the real world.

More details about MARS are available here and you can sign up for a 45 day free trial here.  Some common questions regarding the new licesning are detailed in the FAQ and are sure to make existing Pro subscribers unhappy:

Which Unity plans offer Unity MARS?

Every Unity plan supports Unity MARS. However, regardless of your plan, access to Unity MARS is by paid subscription.

How much does a Unity MARS license cost?

Unity MARS includes a free trial period of 45 days, after which access to Unity MARS is by annual subscription, billed at either $50/month or $600/year.

You can learn more about MARS in the video below.

GameDev News

8. June 2020

Over the weekend the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe was trending on Twitter, and it gave a seldom seen (and completely unvetted) look at the wages game developers make around the world.  Once such example tweet from @Squiddiez, currently working at Sucker Punch:


You can check the hashtag out on Twitter here.  It is also important to note that costs of living vary MASSIVELY from region to region, so what might seem like a King’s ransom to one person, may be barely a living wage in other areas around the world.  An important part is to keep in mind the amount of competition in the market, something GameDevMap is useful for, providing an interactive map showcasing the location of game development studios.  There are also handy maps for illustrating cost of living for various places around the globe, such as this one.  Another useful resource is this anonymous spreadsheet of North American game development salaries.  You can learn more in the video below.

GameDev News General

6. June 2020 are currently running a charity bundle containing hundreds of indie games, projects and even game development assets, all in support the the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The following is the announcement tweet by


The bundle runs until June 16th and can be had for as little as $5 USD, with proceeds split 50/50 between NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund.  From a game development perspective, there are dozens of gamedev specific assets, including:

64px Textures/Tilesheet
8bit Overworld Tileset
Anime RPG Tile Pack - Vol.1 School [PIXEL OF LIFE]
BearFX Explosions | Pixel VFX Pack
CanariPack 1BIT TopDown
CanariPack 8BIT TopDown
Dungeon Tileset - Top Down RPG
Essential Pool Billiards Table Asset Pack - VR/AR
Hitboxes and Hurtboxes
HPS Cartography Kit
Kenney Game Assets 1
Lil' Dragon - Pixel Art Tileset
Lo-Fi Stellar Skirmish
Low Poly 3D City Builder
Low Poly Auto Racing Car Pack - Devils
Multi Platformer Tileset
Old Man Character Sound Effects
Pixel art Forest
Pixel Art Infinite Runner - Pack
Pixel Art Medieval Fantasy Characters Pack
Pixel Plebes Digital Card Deck
SC: Monster Pack 1 - DELUXE EDITION
Snapshot Shaders Pro (Unity)
Sprite Pack - Fantasy Female Mage
Sprite Pack - Fantasy Male Mage
Tiny Adventure Pack Plus
Top-Down - Interior Tileset
Voxel Currency

You can learn more about the bundle, specifically the game development content in the video below.  You can support a great cause while absolutely loading up on indie games and game development assets!

GameDev News

5. June 2020

Embergen, by JangaFX is a real-time fluid simulation software for creating fire and smoke effects for game and film projects.  You can create and modify fluid simulations in real-time on consumer class graphics hardware and export your results in flipbook or image sequence formats for use in games, or export in OpenVDB format, an open standard Blender 2.83 just acquired the ability to import.

Details from the 0.5.3 release:

  • Improved the fidelity and simulations of ALL presets and added 9 new presets.
  • Pressure solver improvements:
    • Improve base pressure solver accuracy and performance.
    • Slight memory reduction.
    • Expose more pressure solver controls.
    • Increasing the parameters will improve the accuracy and produce better motion, but are more expensive.
  • Volume masking/Simulation post-processing (only visual, not affecting the simulation): Motion blur, Sharpening, Dilate, Stylized.
  • Basic navigation gizmo in the lower left corner to show orientation.
  • Fixed crashes and freezes when previewing some output modes.
  • Fixed the Simulation upscaling parameters being incorrect when loading from a preset.
  • Improved tooltips.
  • Sixpoint and normals fixed for upscaling.
  • Improved background color with transparency.
  • General rendering improvements and speedup.
  • Simulation looping:
    • No longer cuts on the first loop wraparound.
    • Fixed an off-by-one error where later loop iterations did not sync properly.
    • Fixed parameters not animating correctly.
  • Improved accuracy of turbulence advection.
  • Made the ExportVDB node work similar to the ExportImage node. Certain widgets will “multicast” when multiple nodes are selected, e.g. timing controls and export masks.
  • Displays tick in the timeline indicating which frames will be exported.
  • Automatic frame timings when looping.
  • Fixed colors and forces when using multiple emitters and shapes for colored smoke.
  • Fixed a difference in lighting between the basic mode and combustion.
  • UI Improvements: Informational text displayed when necessary per node, e.g. if the license or trial is expired.
  • Disabled buttons now have a red border.
  • Fixed bug preventing timeline key editing.
  • Small visual tweaks to the timeline for user experience and consistency.
  • Stop sliders from keeping focus after submitting.
  • Tooltips no longer display when their respective UI element is occluded.
  • Fix incorrect behavior for color picker widgets.
  • The color picker will no longer lock up and become unresponsive.
  • A bunch of smaller bug fixes.
  • Miscellaneous Improvements: Lots of refactoring and delicious code cleanup.

Embergen has a fully functional 2 week trial available here as well as several free OpenVDB datasets to start with.  You can learn more and see Embergen in action in the video below.

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