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1. March 2020


Today we are looking at ShaderED, an open source MIT licensed cross platform GLSL and HLSL shader editor.  We previously covered ShaderED back in July and a fair bit has changed since that release.  ShaderED now includes a full debugger enabling your to step line by line through your shader code.  Additionally ShaderED added a plugin API and now ships with two plugins.

One plugin makes it simple to import shaders from Shadertoy to ShaderED.  The other plugin enables Godot developers to write shaders using the Godot shader language.  Currently only CanvasMaterial is supported.

You can learn more about ShaderED in the video below.

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25. February 2020


Google have just released Android Studio 3.6.  Android Studio is Google’s recommended way to develop Android applications.  It’s an IDE derived from JetBrain’s IntelliJ IDEA IDE with additional tools specifically for Android development.

Android Studio 3.6 changes include:

  • Updated design tools (split screen design view and colour picker)
  • Updates to the Android Gradle plugin
  • Win32 support deprecated
  • Update to support IntelliJ 2019.2
  • Multiple screen support in the emulator
  • Kotlin support improvements
  • Leak detection in Memory Profiler
  • Emulator improvements
  • New Automotive project templates

You can read the full release notes here.  You can download Android Studio for Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux here.  Learn more about Android Studio and the 3.6 release in the video below.

GameDev News Programming


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.

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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. February 2020

Google Summer of Code 2020 organizations have just be announced.  Every year since 2005, Google have sponsored the Summer of Code, an opportunity for university students around the world to contribute to open source projects and get paid.  In this years list of recipients, there are a few related to game development, including:

As well as dozens of prominent open source projects including several programming languages such as Lua and Dart and plenty more.  Both Godot and Blender participated last year and it directly resulted in several improvements throughout the year.

If you are a student interested in signing up, that process begins March 16th and you can learn more in the FAQ available here.  Learn more in the video below.

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