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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. 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.

GameDev News Programming


10. February 2020


The Clockwork Pi GameShell is a build it yourself hand-held console aimed at indie game developers and retro gamers.  Late last year I cove red the unboxing and assembly while today we are going more hands-on with the device.  In the second half of the video we show step by step how to develop and deploy Godot games on the GameShell device.  This tutorial should also work for most Raspberry Pi based boards that support Godot development.

If you are following the instructions to build Godot Engine games on your GameShell you will need a build template.  The two options mentioned in the video are the Clockwork export template or the more generic frt export templates for Pi devices.  I have tested with both export templates successfully.

The only documentation on building Godot games for the GameShell is this forum thread.  The Clockwork GameShell is available on Amazon currently for $139 USD.  Check out GameShell in action in the video below.

GameDev News Programming


17. January 2020


JetBrains, the makers of programmer tools such as IntelliJ, WebStorm, CLion and Rider, as well as the programming language Kotlin have been working on a font specifically designed for code.  JetBrains Mono is an open source font family consisting of 8 fonts specifically designed with reading and writing code in mind.

Details from the JetBrains blog:

For the most part of our day we, as developers, look at the code. And it is no wonder that we are always on the lookout for the best font to make looking at the text on the screen easier on our eyes. However, the logic in many popular fonts does not always take into account the difference between reading through code and reading a book. Our eyes move along code in a very different way, often having to move vertically as often as they do horizontally, which is opposed to reading a book where they slide along the text always in the same direction.

Therefore, while working on JetBrains Mono we focused, among other things, on the issues that can cause eye fatigue during long sessions of working with code. We have considered things like the size and shape of letters; the amount of space between them, a balance naturally engineered in monospace fonts; unnecessary details and unclear distinctions between symbols, such as I’s and l’s for example; and programming ligatures when developing our font.

Today, we proudly present JetBrains Mono – a new open-source typeface specifically made for developers. Check out what makes JetBrains Mono unique in the big family of monospaced fonts and try it in your favorite code editor. Have a look at JetBrains Mono, your eyes will thank you for it.

More details about Mono are available here.  It is the default font on all 2020 JetBrains IDEs and is available as an option in version 2019.3 and beyond of all JetBrain products.  If you use another IDE you can download the zip here.  Learn more about JetBrains Mono, including how to install and configure in Visual Studio Code in the video below.

Programming GameDev News


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