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A Game-Guru specific indy dev blog which covers a weekly report on Game-Guru, lightweight analysis on AAA titles, tutorials, and custom content for the Game-Guru engine.

## This Week in Game-Guru - 4/23/2018

I don't have a lot of time this week, regrettably.  As mentioned previously this is when my real day job reaches it's crescendo and so I'm going to throw together something for this week and maybe post something more detailed later this week.

Thanks for bearing with me!

### Game-Guru News:

Work continues on people trying to find errors and problems in the latest public preview.  Nothing really stand-out, just testing, testing and more testing!

### What's New in The Store:

This stuff:

I really like TMG's diner pack - I'm interested in some nice PBR screenshots.  Gtox is continuing to make animals and Ken Charles Long is making new and improved buildings.  His previous work was good but since he's upgraded his tools it's really come a long way!

### Third Party Tools:

Nada.  Sorry can't dig too deep.

### Free Stuff:

Sorry guys, this one is going to have to wait.  It usually takes an inordinate amount of time to do and I can't afford that right now.

### Random Acts of Creativity:

A few minor updates on the forums here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219549 - an update to Tarkus1971's urban exploration game
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219588 - an interesting, fairly well done horror game

But of particular note, I missed the update screenshots to Wolf's shooter Acythian which look PHENOMENAL!

That is some top shelf stuff, visually.  Nicely done Wolf!

### In My Own Works:

Work continues on my book though it's taking a while.  I'm hoping to get a few thousand words pounded out this week as I am going to have a lot of hours doing nothing otherwise.

## This Week in Game Guru - 4/16/2018

### Official Game-Guru News:

I really dig the constant release cycle we're seeing from Game-Guru and TGC now that it's gone to GitHub.  Here are the full details on the 04.14.18 PP (Public Preview) release available on steam:

This one seems to be more of a bugfix/legacy components fix and users are reporting good results.  That means we're inching closer to a production stable build.

There's also some good PBR work being done on Mega Pack 2 (one of my favorites) - get the info here: https://www.game-guru.com/news-post/gameguru-mega-pack-2-dlc-update

### New Products On The Store:

Not a lot going on but some interesting stuff.  GraPhix continues his PBR work with a nice looking bus stop.  One thing that stands out is that the glass isn't suffering that awful 'everything past the second pane gets deleted' bug so it should work flawlessly by the look of it.

There's a house set if you're interested by relative newcomer 'Homewreckers studio' and some very nice snow decals by RoseMadder (I always love innovative uses of the decal system).

Lastly there's a Randomized Sound System by Corrosion, who continues his utility scripting.  This particular one looks really useful and I might consider getting it myself.  Definitely give it a view!

### Free Stuff:

Honkeyboy has some free mechs (WOO!) here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219571
JPH-Games keeps adding to his "Industrial PBR pack": https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219529#msg2599080
Graphix has honestly got too much for me to list. See his megathread here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=10

### Third Party:

There's a pretty big update for AGK but that's really only useful for people using GG Loader, at least from this blog's standpoint.  Beyond that, apologies but I haven't sifted through the mountains of posts on the forum about updates.  Suffice it to say we should expect a lot of integration of utilities in the near future into GG public releases.

Random Acts of Creativity:

So this is the area I'm *MOST* excited about.  We have two mega updates here that need some attention.  Firstly, of course, is Dimoxinil's "Space Losers".  This game continues it's march towards completion and there's also a recipe for cooking eggs buried in there?  That's definitely a new one.
He's added a savegame feature, day/night transition, a friendly NPC, and a village.

Next I noticed on the Game-Guru Discord (Yes, that is a thing - it can be found here: https://discordapp.com/channels/332652927082692609/332652927082692609  )

That DuchenKuke had posted a pretty awesome update and test video for his upcoming fallout/STALKER style game.  You can watch that video here (highly recommended as it's informative just in the sense of learning how to use terrain effectively):

This is absolutely gorgeous and he's done a great job.  My comments in full can be found at the video.

### In My Own Works:

Ugh.  Don't remind me that I have more work to do.  I added about 3000 words last week to my book, which is pushing 145 pages now, unformatted.  There is a ton of extra work to do.

## This Week in Game-Guru - 4/9/2018

Apologies for last week.  I missed the update completely as my day job as Chief Linux Systems Engineer is reaching it's yearly crescendo (culminating in early May) and so I'm finding myself exceptionally busy, compared to what I would only term the 'off season' where it's much easier to focus on secondary tasks, which unfortunately this blog falls into.

As such you may notice for a few weeks a reduced focus on this blog but I promise you it will return as soon as I can steadily manage it.  I'd like to give a quick shout-out to Graphix for a freebie he sent me (unsolicited) as thanks for the blog.  Give his products a look here - he's been doing some great things with the new PBR system.

### OFFICIAL GAME-GURU NEWS:

Not sure what I can say here.  Work continues, Preben is doing a lot of fantastic things with the shaders for DX11 but there's some serious issues that are still being worked on.  So as such we're stuck with a more updated public preview edition but hopefully will see movement forward towards a stable 'release' sometime soon.  To be sure, this is not the upgrade path I'd have chosen if I were Lee.

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE:

Teabone (the king of clutter objects, IMO) has released a few new pieces of high quality clutter objects, notably some paintings.

There's also some interesting medieval horror objects by Lafette that literally the first words out of my mouth were (and I quote): "Wow!  That's.. really really nice.  I mean that's absolutely top shelf stuff."  And the best part is?  They're EXTREMELY WELL PRICED.  I mean the entire pack is something like 7 dollars, US.   This is something on the level of Wizard of ID level of quality, for a fraction of the price.  Definitely worth the investment.

### FREE STUFF:

There's a fairly large body of 'free stuff' to go through:
First of all, Bod has made some new PBR remakes of his old stuff that look great!
Second we have Lafette (same one as above) making some 'free little mountains' which honestly are fantastic!  I hope to be able to include them with my book!
Thirdly we have a 'free PBR industrial pack' by JPH Games
Here's a script for making a MOHAA (Medal of Honor, Allied Assault man I haven't played that game in a lonnnng time) style bomb script: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219519
And lastly there's a pretty great script set of RPG style functions.

All in all, a pretty solid week for freebies!

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS:

Some news:  The Heightmap Importation tool is being integrated into the GitHub source - eventually!  Still, this is a huge bit of news and I'm excited to see it finally getting it's day in the sun.

Also GG loader by Preben has gotten another update of some underwater shaders.  That guy has a lot of free time.  I don't know how he does it.

RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY:
There's too much to cover (cries quietly)...*takes a deep breath*

Bugsy added cubemapping to some objects in his Redacted2 shooter - https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/216903?page=3#msg2595699

Murmia, that weird game by 'beanz' is coming along nicely: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/218909?page=1#msg2597459

Death House of Barker Creek by new creator 'HellreaperX' looks like a solid first attempt: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219542

Urban Explorer by Tarkus1971 looks promising but needs some fine tuning: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219549

Lastly there's a really fantastic update by Cybernessence that needs to be seen to be believed for his Cogwheel Chronicles masterwork.  His day night transitions are looking good! https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/213870?page=4

### IN MY OWN WORKS:

The book is making steady progress though a lot of the lower hanging fruit is taken.  One interesting tidbit I posted online which readers of this blog might find interesting is my analysis of what's wrong with using the base AI without a navigation mesh for it:

Check it out.  I'll discuss it in more depth in the book, by a large margin.

## This week in Game-Guru - 3/26/2018 (Released 27th)

### Official Game-Guru News:

This past week marks the latest release of the public preview updates, specifically bringing us to a 3rd major update with PP.  The full list of commits are available here:

https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/commits/master

There's a lot of good stuff in there ranging from updates to scripts to making sky a scriptable change via Lua.  Most importantly of course work continues on updating fixes for broken default items.

I personally noticed my rain system and some other weather effect systems I have available on my Advanced Time of Day and Weather system aren't functioning normally.  I'll have an update for that as soon as I can but unfortunately am bombarded with my day job's work right now.

For now play around with the newest update and make sure you are submitting problems via the issue tracker here: https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/issues

It appears the Fantasy Pack is including more character creation gear, notably headgear for male/female models.  This is a welcome improvement over a system that has a lot of underused potential.

### New Products on the Store:

Nothing really new here.   Some minor scripting items, a swing set, and some music.  At this point though, nothing to really write home about unless you need some of this stuff.  Expect more of an uptick during the summer months, especially after PP goes live.

### Free Stuff:

Graphix continues exercising his increased prowess with 3D models.  There's some miscellaneous free items here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=9

Lafayette II put up a free tree here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219495

### Third Party Tools:

Looks like BOTR has finally started to settle back into regular daily life after having his first little one and has begun working on his suite of third party programs.  Notably work has been done on his DBO/.X data importer.

### Random Acts of Creativity:

*crickets*.

No real updates here to write home about.  More next week, maybe.  I guess people are prepping for Easter or winding down from a long winter.

### In My Own Works:

My book has slowed down; I'm at 50,000 words or so but having to rewrite a segment which I was borrowing too heavily from my blog cost me about a weeks worth of writing.  I am re-writing it from the ground up and that's unfortunately a costly affair.  Overall I'm on track for being in 1st-2nd draft territory by September (which is my personal goal).  Onwards and upwards!

## Weekly report delayed until tomorrow

Apologies but there's a lot going on which is preventing me from dealing with putting up a rather lengthy post about what's new in the Game-Guru world this week.  I will have one for you all tomorrow though!
Lots of new changes that need discussed so definitely make sure you check in!

## This Week in Game-Guru - 3/19/2018

Welcome to another weekly wrap-up on all things Game-Guru.  Things continue to shape up post-public preview v2 and we're seeing most of the artists develop a workflow around PBR assets which really add a level of depth and dimension pretty far beyond what Game-Guru has been known to do.

### Official Game-Guru News:

Game-Guru now has a donation link for 3rd party development.  It's about time!  Remember, these monies won't go towards Lee & Company.  It will actually go for people who are doing contracted work outside of TheGameCreators to fix up long-standing issues in Game-Guru.  I've already put a few bucks towards it and encourage you to do the same to help reward those who are really getting this project moving again!

In other news, the Easter DLC is also free so grab it while it lasts!
It's also got some new models added so existing owners of it who bought it last year should have that in their inventory as well.

Beyond that, work continues on the pending 'regular' release of Game-Guru.  Bear in mind beyond public preview editions, we have seen NO real updates to Game-Guru since May of last year.  That's quite a long time to wait.  So I think a lot of us are really hoping to see something magical though I think it's fair to expect we'll run into some snags as well.  Hopefully Lee and team are agile after the fact and fix whatever whack-a-mole bugs pop up.

New Products on the Store:

This week we're starting to see the current crop of PBR related assets coming forward as more and more artists get used to working with the new medium.  Some of this stuff looks really great!

 Most, if not all of these are PBR enabled.
I noticed Mad Lobster Workshop's Mad Scientist Lair now has a second 'kit' to it which is an 'essentials/lite' pack.

 I love this brain in a jar, Mad Lobster!

This is a good idea to corral the ever-expanding inventory and help break it out though I still would have made pack 1, 2, 3 instead of his method.  To each their own though.

Graphix's work on a playground set is really turning out nice, about time for us to get an updated one.  I have been using an older one for years and it's about time to update.

### New products in the store:

More trees  from M2design... interestingly they are PBR assets.
More clutter items (batteries) from Teabone
A completely modular house kit of.. very similar looking houses from a new guy named 'homewrecker studios'.  Anyone else see the irony of him selling houses on the store?
More PBR assets from Mad Lobster
A pretty clever Ricochet script kit from Mstockton

### Free Stuff:

Graphix put together a nice punching bag: here
Nothing else going on, seriously.

### Third Party Tools:

There's a inventory system here that I missed last week: here
Looks like a solid WIP.

### Random Acts of Creativity:

The bizarre but intriguing title "Visit to Murmia" is getting some new updates.  I'm curious about this one but without a plot (by the creators own admission) it's going to be a hard sell as a completed work.

### In my own works:

Still grinding out this book.  I'm about 1/3rd through the first rough draft and not quite to the territory where it's a slog.  Life is hitting me hard right now though so I'm having trouble putting words to paper when I'm dealing with the constant difficulty of living in my own head.  Soon enough though the fog will clear and I'll move forward again with my usual aplomb.  For now, I'm sitting just over 40,000 words of a projected 120,000.

## Some forward progress worth reporting!

Just a quick little update post:
I've got a source for my Legal, Marketing and Distribution catch-all chapter that's been very forthcoming.  He's one of the premier artists and creators in the Game-Guru community who has actually had good success so it's important to me to get his details on how he was able to achieve that.

I also contacted a former artist in the Game Guru community who has been kind enough to provide me with my first batch of art for my book.  This custom art is something he had already created but since he's done with Game-Guru he'll allow me to distribute it with the book freely :).   So thanks Mio!

I am still looking for more artists and providers.  I don't have a lot to offer at this point so if you're interested in helping out (and a place in the acknowledgements section) let me know!

## This week in Game-Guru - 03/05/2018

Just a reminder that I spend a few hours on this site every week and new subs are appreciated greatly.  I don't make a cent on it and just want to keep interest in Game-Guru alive so spread the word and use the subscribe link on the right for more expert analysis and weekly reports :)

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

I think it's fair to say we've been waiting a while for a real update.
Public Preview 2 is out and we've had some time to evaluate it.  It's not as bad as the first public preview, in my opinion, but it still has miles to go as evidenced by the github repo issues log: https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/issues

This is disturbing because I think when we started down this road to DX11 we never expected we'd be sitting on the same FUNCTIONAL stable version of Game-Guru for nearly a year.  We're going on 10 months now since the last real update to Game-Guru.  I cannot understand why the decision was made to not at least offer simple proven bugfixes to the base DX9 edition.  I cannot also understand why the DX11 edition wasn't spun off into a separate purchase option but that's just me being my usual Capitalist pig self.

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

My LightKit is on sale this week for $2 USD: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/30936 This week can be boiled down to two distinct updates of new content: First - we have a whole western themed town, which is a fantastic addition to the store and really fits a pretty empty niche.  This is just a fraction of the immense asset list. On top of that, it has a significant degree of quality that makes it worth the$19.99 pack price being asked.  The kit includes around 80 models in varying levels of quality from 100 to 6000 polys with one outlier in the 9000+ range.  Some of the models have an extremely simple design but the texturing is expertly done.  For this guy, that's hugely important.
The artist Sula has the pack available on the store here: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11009

Second we have a sort of 'dueling tree competition' between m2design and honkeyboy.

I'm not sure why, but both of them have submitted trees to the store for your perusal.  There's already a lot of trees on the store but hey, what's a few more right?

### FREE STUFF

- GraphiX continues his free weapon parade with this awesome drill-bit shooting gun: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219394
I'm always in favor of new free weapons, as they are time consuming to make and usually cost a fair amount on the store.  So anytime someone is generous enough to provide even something halfway decent, it's a boon for the rest of us.  This however is a really nice piece with excellent texturing.  Not wild about the colors but the actual textures look great!

- Dvader came out of the woodwork to provide some interesting water wave code with the new PP water lua functionality: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219404

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Just a reminder I haven't updated my Notepad++ API yet for the newest PP commands.  I'll get to it soon enough :)

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l39r6rnaFo - A new developer put together a solid looking ' lush forest ' in Game-Guru.  Good stuff.
Dimoxinil updated again with respect to his PBR work.  Still looks phenomenal.

Wolf's change to Acythian - He updated saying he's renaming the project listed as Acythian to... something else.  He's going to start a new project for Acythian that he feels is better suited for it.
'Guns of Solo' - Not a bad first try for a project, in fact a pretty good one.  Levels look well designed, use of custom assets is decent enough.  I have to say it's a pretty good attempt and I hope he takes the time to finish it.

### IN MY OWN WORKS

- added several thousand words to book, almost finishing one of the final chapters on selling, legal information and dealing with hostile customers.
- current word count sits at 37,000+ out of a projected 120,000+.

Getting there :)

## This Week in Game-Guru - 02/26/2018

So this week I am proud to say that I've signed a book deal for my Game-Guru book (title withheld) with CRC Press.  It's going to be a monster.  450 pages, minimum and it's already well on the way.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates on it.  If you are a content maker for Game-Guru, be aware I'm looking for assets to include with the book.  Namely some weapons, buildings, and clutter objects.  Contact me via this site, email, or PM me on the forums for more details.

Now on with the show :)

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

While not necessarily an 'engine progress' report, it's worth noting that some of the freelancers working on the git branch of GameGuru are  looking to get a donation stream started.  There's some contention about where it should go and how it should be disbursed but there's a lively discussion on the matter here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219376

Beyond that we're looking at the newest build being pipelined out as a 'main' build (no longer public preview) very shortly.  I think they're just looking for the results of this latest PP build which I have found personally to be very stable.

### NEW PRODUCTS  IN THE STORE

On the store we have a few new interesting items.  Mad lobster workshop is.. STILL ADDING THINGS NEARLY A YEAR LATER TO HIS KIT.  I mean.. it's cool, I appreciate the value but I almost feel like this guy is shooting himself in the foot at this point.  He'd make more and it'd be more appealing to purchasers if he started doing a new pack. Anywho we have a new set of PBR assets from him that look great.  I'm excited to try them out.

Next we have a stogie that looks fantastic by master of clutter himself, Teabone.

And lastly there are some helicopters by AlfredX10.  Not my cup of tea but overall decently done enough.  Alfred's got a lot of skill with modelling so I'm looking forward to see him work more on new models for GameGuru.

### FREE STUFF

Lots of great new stuff this week.  Graphix has made some phenomenal models which are free for use.  They include two new weapons.  Namely a really nasty looking hammer and a barbed-wire baseball bat!

 Looks nasty, doesn't it?

Tarkus1971 has added something a little different, namely a creepy basement audio track for free use.  Audio tracks are hard to find, harder still to get for free.  Definitely don't miss it!

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Entity welder has received an update.  Per BOTR: (here"version 1.7.3 now uploaded and available. Emails sent to all relevant users. Any issues, please let me know."

RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

This week we see some interesting new projects as well as some updates by the older and more established creators.

The first new project is by 'noahuk '.  It's called 'Evil of Asylym' and actually looks fairly well put together.  You can view a video of it by going here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QayycyzjZ5c

Next we have "schneeky's maze" which I have to say is an impressive departure from the typical first person shooter game we see.

 Definitely not your usual GameGuru game!

This maze game uses a robot navigating VR-style terrain from a top-down view.

In terms of updates we have an update from the increasingly chatty Dimoxinil who has added more PBR textures to his work.

 Looks great!

Lastly Wolf has made a rare appearance, though if only to unlock a thread on one of his ongoing projects.  I'm hoping to see an update there soon.

### IN MY OWN WORKS

Gotta keep my cards close to the vest at this point.  I have a lot going on, though a reminder that the Camerakit was recently made available on the store.  Give it a glance, let me know what you think!

As mentioned previously - there's a book coming.  It'll probably be in print middle of next year, but in the meantime I am looking for interested authors to help me provide materials with the book.  If you have something you'd like to donate, please don't hesitate to contact me (use the contact form on the right)!  I also have a very small budget to work with or will trade you free copies of my own products.  You'll also get a mention on the acknowledgements section.  Up to you how you want to try to get in on the ground floor of something unique in the GameGuru world!

## This Week in Game-Guru - 02/19/2018

This week's update will be short and brief.

A few major components that are worth mentioning in my area at the end about my own works.

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

This week was a HUGE week for Game-Guru.  Lee dropped a new public preview update onto our heads and aside from a minor issue with one of my levels loading a strange view (due to something wonky with the AI waypoint system causing my camera to screw up) it is a MASSIVE improvement.  Speeds are way up.  Weird stutter and lag is gone.  Crashes caused by decals are gone.  Other associated fixes are still on the way.  Impressively, Preben (a forum member who does a lot of code fixes for us) has been getting increasingly involved and it shows.  Updates to the update came in quick succession with minor bugfixes deployed often times in several same-day hotfixes.  It's a huge jump.  Expect a little delay before the next major release as they transition this PP to an actual Game-Guru release around April.  For now, it's a great gift and seems to really run well on my system.

Full notes and information can be found both here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219024
And on the news update here: https://www.game-guru.com/news-post/gameguru-new-public-preview

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

This week on the store we have several new items.

 You're not dreaming, my name is actually up there for once.
Mstockton has put in a low-priced 'burn pile' for junkyards.  I like it though I do wish the texturing was a little better.  That said it's impressively low priced so it could definitely find a home in your inventory.  https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11005

Also we have several updates - Teabone has added a 'gain health by drinking water' script.  It's expressly listed as being similar to the ones in Skyrim and Fallout.  https://www.tgcstore.net/product/31049

Graphix has also included something eerily reminiscent of fallout - a 'mech hangar'.  This is a nice piece though I do wish he'd have done a little more to differentiate it from Fallout 4's power armor station.  I worry that one might run into some snags legally if they used it in a product for sale.
https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11006

AlexGCC has put together a DAMN fine building called the 'derelict building'.  This building unfortunately has a slightly ajar door but the overwhelmingly high quality output of the model makes up for that little misgiving I have.  It's priced to sell.  https://www.tgcstore.net/product/31046

Lastly my own product - the Camerakit (aka camkit) is on the store.  This product is expressly designed to make camera work for security monitors, cutscenes, etc much easier for the average user.  More on how and why down below but for now, check out this video:

It can be picked up from the store here:  https://www.tgcstore.net/product/31048  (NOTE - IT'S on sale until 2/25!)

FREE STUFF

The realm of free stuff has really slowed down a lot.

This is all I could find this week - an updated copy of the sandstone building that comes with the base Game-Guru system: https://forum.game-guru.com/attachment/18255

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Looks like OldPman is still improving the normalizator utility which I understand will have full PBR support if not now, then soon.  Latest update is as follows:

Hey. Pirate Myke and Earthling45 , thanks for the feedback.
I'm working on expanding the toolkit at the moment and there will be many opportunities added. A square brush, applying text, stamps is the first on my desktop. Adding the color of the texture and several other filters are now also in development. If you had in mind the choice of the color of the brush, then to the left of the alpha under the paint button, there is a rectangle clicking on which you open the colorpicker.

- OldPMan

This is a really good utility I need to get my mitts on when I get some free time.

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

There's a lot of stuff on youtube.  I found a new project with a purported '239 hours' of development.  That's quite a lot for a single project!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP4I-Xq1auA

There's also this great lighting tutorial by DuchenKuke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6-7m6QLQMA

He also made a pretty good mountain-making tutorial showcasing an interesting method of using the flattener tool to create realistic shapes.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlLS7Kts9mI

And a totally Russian (I think?) tutorial.  Feel free to watch it if you dare, though I recommend using auto-translate to read it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb1zCS8kPxw

Lastly Teabone (a generally awesome forum-bro) has been doing some really great scripting work of his own: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVjoOoSRzwg

### IN MY OWN WORKS

So I just wanted to bring up a few things, things which are going on in my world here.  Foremost, I have my Camera Kit (shown above!) on the store.  This project has been a while in the making and has some really cool features such as tracking, re-use, multi-camera setups, cutscene style location triggers and more.  I may add a trigger zone in the future but for now I have more than enough to get people started.  This kit came from my work with the Notepad++ API I made.   I realized camera controls in this game engine could be fairly complex.  I wondered if maybe it'd be easier to have a camera that had a place you could easily point to instead of calculating Euler angles and rotations.  I mean who really wants to use a rotation matrix just to figure out where to place a camera?!  So I created a very simple camera system which sort of blossomed from there into an easy to use kit for the 'everyman'.

Simply place an object, attach the camera initiator, then choose it's target.  Easy!

The multi-cam system works the same, except the camera and initiator are separated so you can multiple cameras.

Next, I submitted my proposal to a publisher.

Let me say that again - I submitted my Game-Guru book proposal to a publisher.  I've been in contact with several prominent forum members,  Lee, Rick V, and a publishing house (CRC Press).  I am currently working on a very lengthy print-on-paper book which will be a start to finish guide to Game-Guru.  I'm looking forward to working on that over the next year.  It will be eating a lot of my spare cycles but I don't mind even in the slightest.

The book is probably going to be on the order of 430 pages, tons of pictures, tutorials, a complete walkthrough of how to build a high quality game, and more.  Keep an eye out for more details as I complete the work on it.

## This Week in Game-Guru - 02/12/2018

Sorry for the delayed update this week.  Family's been sick and I'm not feeling that great myself.

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

Currently the engine appears to have a PP version brewing for mid-February which should resolve many of the issues we've seen with a quick followup (hopefully) to a regular release.  That'll put us on track for Lee's usual 6 month release cycle for major changes.

Beyond that it appears there's ongoing work on previous download content and add-ons for Game-Guru getting the 'PBR treatment'.  This includes now the Mega Pack 1 DLC as mentioned here.

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

Mad lobster keeps adding more and more to his laboratory kit.  I'm astonished he'd continue to give current owners extra value on what was ALREADY a good value.  The price of the kit HAS gone up to reflect that, but if you're a current owner make sure you download the latest goodies for the laboratory kit.

It looks like the venerable (and somewhat wacky) Colosso has increased his proficiency at modeling considerably and his newer objects continue to add quality and value to his portfolio.  His newest pack and objects are proof of that.

Teabone has added some fine clutter objects, including the best looking food object I've seen in a long time.  Not sure how he does it, but definitely worth a purchase for that low of a price.

Also, as a side note, purchasers of my Advanced Time of Day and Weather kit will have an update available to them.  It's a fairly major bugfix and update.  You can see the details below in the 'in my own works' section.

### FREE STUFF

The big news here is that Lafette has given away a very major piece of work for free out of what seems to be boredom with the project.  It's an extremely high quality science fiction kit that can be found here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219315

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Heightmap import (HIMP) tool is on hold due to BOTR having a newborn son.  Congrats!
Entity welder is also on hold for the same reason.

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

Looks like Dimoxiland is doing some more work on his project "Space Losers" for GG.  These updates are always exciting because he's pretty much the cream of the crop for Game-Guru developers.  Check out this screenshot!

That's what I'm talking about. All custom code, graphics, etc. It's impressive beyond any reason and if he finishes it will probably put Game-Guru on the map.

### IN MY OWN WORKS

As mentioned my Advanced Time of Day and Weather kit has had some fairly major updates.

02/12/2018
• Added specular effect for snow to give it whitish appearance for terrain objects on highest values.  I basically changed specularity to 50x for white.  This can be commented out if it's not desirable but overall I think it works well enough considering the engine itself.
• Repaired broken build with files specifically from PP dev build of mine cross-pollinating live non-pp (DX9) build.
• updated test map file
• Fixed/repaired time function(s), they sync to states now and also rollover seamlessly day to day
• Fixed broken cycleloopcounter pointers which were still working in old code (singleuse/singlestate/etc).
• Fixed bag_w_indoors script, huzzah!
• Added 'pp' versions of the weather effects.  If they don't work, let me know the error you get.
So to sum up I basically had a non-pp build get mixed with a pp build that accidentally got uploaded. I basically made separate FPE files at this point for the PP weather effect decals which can be used in place.  The script remains the same for both as it will function on both.  I'm also including both .fx files for the effectbank folder which should resolve any conflict between the two versions.  The biggest fix is the resolution of the w_indoors script, which now functions seamlessly.

Camerakit is almost ready to be bundled up and posted to the store, expect that very shortly!

## ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

If you keep an eye on https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/issues you can get an interesting sense of what is being looked at and what isn't. Currently there isn't a huge amount of 'buy in' for the github repo but it is coming along and in 6-10 months I expect it to be trucking along fairly well.  There's a good body of issues being brought to the attention of Lee and company.  So we'll see but for now, mum's the word.

## NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

What you see above is the whole of it.  Gtox is adding new weapons (this knife apparently has an alt-attack, which is pretty cool!) and M Stockton has done some great work making a skate parka nd some parking blocks.  High quality models are always good thing!

## FREE STUFF

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219294 - DuchenKuke has offered a really great variety of free music from his old fallout work.  I love this type of thing and highly encourage people to use it to help differentiate their product from stock offerings.
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/215012?page=15 - Bod has given us a great deal of things over the years and he continues to deliver.  This time it's a Mallard train, carriage, and a really fantastic looking train station (check out the picture below!).  Make sure you tell him how much you appreciate his work - I think he's getting fatigued a bit and it always helps to hear some encouraging words.

 This is a really brilliant new piece, in my opinion!

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219211 - In HonkeyBoy's thread about his survival system, there's a new Lathe that's been added by GraphiX which is pretty impressive and definitely worth a download.

## THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Nothing really new and exciting here.  Preben did make an interesting change to GG Loader which apparently improved framerates significantly by reducing draw-calls.  Hopefully this will have some future implementation in Game-Guru.  I have more to do for my notepad API but it's going to be a bit.  I simply have too much on my plate at the moment..

## RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219296 - DuchenKuke's new project looks promising.

I love post-apocalyptic games and this one looks like a solid piece.  It's interesting, I've asked him what his method is and he mostly just wings it.  I guess some do have a natural talent for level-building.  Lucky bastard was apparently gifted with it more than I was, apparently.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217908?page=3#msg2595102 - Dimoxiland has done some major reworking to his "Space Losers" game and I think it's really going places.

Check out the above video for details.  Very cool stuff.  Check out how clean the scripting and game play is!  Definitely one to keep an eye on.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219258 - Honkeyboy's latest creation - Death by Daylight shows a remarkable increase in level design and proficiency for Game-Guru's most prolific author.  He's got rapid development down to a science at this point and it's really starting to make strides.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219277 - Teabone has done some... very curious...  things with scripting and automobiles in Game-Guru.  Definitely worth a look.

## IN MY OWN WORKS

I've made some progress on the Camera system I'm working on.  I have 3 out of 4 of the major pieces I want before I release it.  Once I get the last piece in play, I will build a demo level, zip it up, and sell it (for about \$4).  It'll start off on sale at 3.50.  The camera kit will have some very interesting components which I believe most will appreciate.  I may add some niceties to it but that's not required at this point so it may get added down the road.

After that I have to finish my other two kits.  So keep an eye out for some interesting news there.

## Lessons Learned from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (DEMD)

Minor update: In the lower portion I have some errors which were corrected by Sylvain Douce, the Senior Technical Designer @ Eidos Montreal (who made DEMD).  He states:

"Very good piece! One minor things: AI middleware we used for DXHR and DXMD is Navpower ( http://www.babelflux.com/ ), everything else was built in-house."

Also, it's extremely awesome of him to read it, enjoy it, and retweet it! Thanks a lot Sylvain!

---------------------------------------------------

I don't think it's any great secret that I love Sci-Fi, especally cyberpunk dystopian themed sci-fi.   While I find Bladerunner a bit droll, the environment it helped create persists as one of my favorites.  So Deus Ex games have long fit into my inventory of favorites and this game was no exception.  I absolutely loved Human Revolution so it was only natural I'd eventually get around to playing through Mankind Divided.

Now for reference I should mention this was played through on PS4.  This means it almost always is going to be somewhat graphically optimized to improve the speed and provide a fluid experience on a console.

I've decided to do a rather lengthy deconstruction of the game as it pertains to Independent Gamedevs specifically using Game-Guru.  Others may find it useful, your miles will invariably ... vary.

First of all, it bears mentioning this game was developed using the 'Dawn Engine.' created by Eidos- Montreal.

The engine is not without some controversy due to some issues with load times.  Overall though, it's a fairly stable engine that ran relatively well in my instance.  It did, however, seem to lack some of the really high end features that can set apart an engine.  From what I could tell though:

• It seems to have been developed directly for DEMD as no other games have used it since it's inception in 2014.
• it has reasonably high graphical fidelity with low framerate cost.  I will discuss this in greater detail below.
• The AI package used was very good, albeit it's middleware (APEX AI).  There's actually a fair amount of middleware, but that's not tremendously surprising. (SEE ABOVE)
• The game engine is apparently a heavily modified glacier 2 engine.  For those not aware, that's the 'Hitman' game engine.  I recommend reading the linkthrough for a highly technical summary of what the Dawn Engine encompasses.

That all aside, let's begin our lesson.

## Graphical/Lighting tricks

Deus Ex: Human Revolution gave us great gameplay in a fantastic looking game.  Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is no exception.   There are a lot of extremely fancy tricks used to produce great framerates while providing a very impressive visual experience.

The first thing you'll notice, if you're new to Deus Ex, is there is no more 'gold filter'.  This means the scenes feel less cohesive if they're not built specifically to match.  While the gold filter is a bit of a bludgeon, it did give a sense of character to DEHR that is somewhat lost in DEMD.  DEMD however makes up for it in spades by having a significant amount of purpose built coloration in the scenes while at the same time using giving identity to each area.  On one hand they lose the 'Deus Ex' filter but gain individuality in each scene.  It was a reasonable tradeoff.

 Modders removed the gold filter and added some fidelity in DEHR, but it also serves as a good example of the type of difference you see between DEHR and DEMD.

I am big fan of using colors to 'unify' the palette so that a scene feels more cohesive.  This technique artistically speaking is useful for helping to help join together disparate textures which I have a massive quantity of due to many different artists providing many different assets for my use over the years.  In my case, I'd have kept the gold filter or color tone map (assuming you are using reshade).  All in all though if you have a ton of custom art in a lot of wildly different locations like DEMD did, it makes more sense to not filter them all through a gold lens.

### PBR and resource management.

DEMD uses a physically based rendering pipeline which allows for some really impressive visuals.  While mirrored surfaces don't look particularly impressive, the shine on the floors is really good.  Certain elements of the environment really stand out, notably pipes.  These shiny surfaces help you realize that in terms of our own engine (GameGuru) which recently obtained PBR capabilities we'd want to use them selectively on things that BEST show them off.  While it's nice to have every single thing in your game use it, it simply eats too many resources.  Selectively choosing the best scenes for it (shiny metal, hardwoods, glass, etc) is a much more attractive option than putting it on bland surfaces where you receive minimal visual 'pop' like concrete.  This in turn helps us save vital resources, which is a struggle with a 32 bit engine like Game-Guru.

The reflections used localized cubemaps which are definitely available in Game-Guru so that's a nice addition on Lee and Preben's part which will allow us to create beautiful reflections  on pipes and mirrors.

### Transparencies on light planes

DEMD cleverly uses light planes with alpha-transparencies to create the illusion of 'dust' in the air.  The game supposedly has volumetric density for the engine, but I suspect they de-tuned it for the PS4.  If that's the case, at least it's given us a specific example we can draw from.

 Those streaming beams of light look more like vertical 'planes' from head on.

Take for instance the above picture.  I walked back and forth and noticed several clear planes (2 dimensional flat objects in a 3d space).  Now granted, it was probably algorithmic or volumetrically done but we can reproduce the same effect with this basic texture for our plane in Game-Guru:

 Yeah, I got lazy and made the last line too wide.
So basically what we have here is a series of blank spaces that are alpha masked completely open.  Then I took the 'filled' areas, put in a white to grey gradient, then created an alpha mask off those as well.  This gives us a semi-transparent 'beam' of shadowed area.  So we basically get the OPPOSITE effect of what we see above.  Give it a try with your own plane.  I'll probably put one of these on the store (for free) once I correct the mistakes made in the above file.

### Flares on lights that  get a lot of attention

In the opening area of the main game you begin in Adam Jensen's house, which acts as a sort of technical demo for the game.  In that location if you look up you'll see a significant amount of studio lighting but notably they use a flare decal that is facing the player.

 Those are circular lights with a line-shaped flare.
We can achieve this same effect using a decent flare and the player_facing.lua script that is included with game-guru.  One thing that DEMD did really well though was it's occlusion; when you are NEAR a corner the flare switches off subtly so that it looks seamless.  Overall, a fairly simple but nice looking effect is achieved.

### Baked lighting 90% of the time.

These days, a lot of games really rely on  dynamic lighting.  It's fancy, it looks nice, and it's GPU intensive.  It also has clear limitations which are another topic for another time.   Deus Ex uses an updated older technique, notably Tiled Lighting that's baked in.  This allows high speed renders of scenes where the light is not likely to change and also allows the artist a great degree of control if they're willing to invest the time.

 You start to see it everywhere the more you start looking for it.

Unfortunately Game-Guru cannot do dynamic lighting very well and as such it leaves us in a pickle a lot of the time. However in DEMD they do a LOT of baked lighting and it shows.  This game is virtually a showcase for 'how to do static lighting the right way'.  Color choices are not obtrusive, are placed to provide windows with indoor light.

 The red circle shows where the light is, outside (approximately 30ft behind the wall).

Note the placement of the light and how it streams in through the window.  It bakes cleanly onto the surface and gives it a nice 'early day' feel.   This same technique can be done with Game-Guru, rather than relying on 'sunlight' - we pre-bake static lights outside of a window to provide the building interior with realistic lighting.

### Clever transitioning

One interesting element I think is worth mentioning is, as the heading suggests, 'clever transitioning'.  While many levels simply pop you to a loading screen, moving about the main city of Prague gives you a varied scene (depending on where you are going to or coming from).

 The screen changes perspective several times and the characters all move around to provide a sense of 'aliveness'.

### Have a mini-game

The hacking mini-game remains mostly unchanged from DEHR but really felt at home in this game. While it's a lot of extra work, at the same time it can really provide a payoff for the player who needs some variety in their game beyond the usual 'shoot or sneak' methodology.

 Oh no, only 2 seconds left! ABORT! ABOOOOOORT!

Often I found myself in a higher sense of tension from the hacking minigame than the actual game itself.  Sometimes even the threat of discovery while hacking (the world doesn't just stop while you're hacking) provided it's own 'sinking feeling' while you were ferociously attempting to subvert system nodes to bend an non-compliant computer to your will.  While the additional 'sink' of adding a mini-game is seemingly unnecessary, it also adds a lot of play value to a game.

### A living city

I have a good friend who also is very into Deus Ex; he's actually the one who first pointed me at Human Revolution, even bought my copy back when I was flat broke.

I asked him what he thought of Mankind Divided, without spoiling anything.  He replied "it's a great game, they really did a great job of making it feel like a living city."

I felt that was worth mentioning here given how spot on his analysis is.  This game really does a great job of making you feel like you are in a living, breathing, ALIVE environment.  Each area has tons of sandboxing and detail which makes every single space different and independent.  So how did they do it?

 The red light district, for instance, really takes it's name to heart.

Well, foremost - each area is it's own 'scene'.  It's as if they built one overarching area, built the major components, then filled in the rest with minor story pieces.

 This room exemplifies the microcosm within macrocosm feel.

There's a world of microcosms within the macrocosm of the individual 'global' level and it really provides this deep sense of uniqueness to each specific room.  The stories for these rooms aren't anything significant most times.  Often they are simply something as simple as 'this is the asshole gang dealer who doubles as your local black market shop' room.  Other times small rooms take massive twists and turns, such as the crazy cat lady who ends up having her own miniature story that makes her a much CRAZIER cat lady.

While often the rooms are 'revisited' for story purposes and such you can pretty usually boil them down to a basic, simple story.   Obviously the indy dev can't afford the time to write a massive, engrossing story for each sub-mission in their game.  Which apparently, neither can AAA devs.  Which brings me to my next point.

### Secrets are simply unexplored areas

In my "Lessons learned from Doom's Level Design (part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4) " I discuss use of secrets and their necessity for gaming.  It's something that helps reward a player for investing even more time in their game than absolutely required.  I mean let's face it, most people play games to feel rewarded, to enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishing a challenge.  Deus Ex rewards this in spades by ensuring that every single hidden area is replete with it's own set of rewards ranging from extra ammo to hidden secret rifles.  I still remember being in the ARC headquarters level and going down literally 5 or 6 stories on tiny rails just to find a hidden rifle.  It was an insane amount of detail for a single secret, but these are the types of things players remember.

 I was being literal in the literal sense.  That yellow dot is where you start at before worming down to the gun.

Try to use your dead ends and open spaces to provide the players with additional reward for looking at your hard work.  Open up your single alleyways into branching paths that lead them to interesting rooms that really are just there to provide life and depth to the game.

### Open ended level design

Deus Ex games have been renowned for their  open ended level design but it's worth discussing, at least briefly here how it was implemented in DEMD.  DEHR had a fair amount of 'open-endedness' to it, but I think in this case DEMD gets the upper hand.  You literally had piles of avenues to perform different possibilities.  Missions had more than one failure or success condition and you often had branching trees that could spell serious disaster later on.

I remember in mission one, I was helping out an agent (Singh).  You are to save his life at the end which is no small feat as you're attacked by masked assassins in a sandstorm.  It is, in short, a train wreck of a situation. Keeping him alive is incredibly difficult.

 I'm sure you'll see him if you just keep staring long enough.
I did this, but only to have him die later in the game because I neglected one small sub-objective on that same mission of disabling a communications tower.  This causes him to get killed while undercover as his cover was blown.  Little things like this are like a spaghetti plate of decisions, which require lots and lots of planning.  That means writing things down.  Which also means, you guessed it, a design document - and we all know that's basically the same thing to an indy dev as garlic to a vampire.  Sure, it won't kill you... but it's damned uncomfortable.

### Multiple answers to singular problems.

Moreover level design is incredibly fluid; you have lots of answers to single problems.  This means you often have the choices of going in loud by shooting everything in sight, hacking your way in via a console, taking rooftop access stealthily, running through vents to come up behind your foes, or a myriad of other alternate choices that often boil down to 'get from point a to point b'.

 There are about a dozen ways in and a dozen ways through the 'uncrackable' Palisade bank.

This depth of level design is a big draw for this game type, allowing players to really dig in and pick how they want to do things.  Sometimes you just want the pure visceral thrill of unloading a 28 round magazine from a fully automatic pistol into some poor bastard who dared to wander too close.  Other times hitting people with tranquilizer darts in the neck out of sight of others is the better tactical choice.  These types of dynamics often aren't so much planned as they are a result from thorough level design and planning with a focus on building multiple avenues of approach for a single objective.

### Intelligent AI design

The AI in this game is something else.  There are a lot of times where you feel like you want to really get in there and mix it up and find yourself dealing with attacks from both sides.
While a lot of this has to do with level design (alternate routes, enemy placements, the location of an enemy taking the shortest route to your location) it also has a lot to do with an intelligent system that is attempting to find the best way to kill you.  It's impressive and not easily duplicated.  Maybe one day we'll have that depth in Game-Guru, though at this point in time your best method will be use of lots of navigation nodes and good enemy placement.

## Wrapping up

All in all, I found myself least interested in the main story, which is the unfortunate side effect of having an impressive game with great mechanics.  I can't think of anything about the game I really hated.  Everything played well and it served as a great teacher to a willing student.  I highly recommend you give it a run through and see what you can learn from it too!

There's a pick up objects script you can use to create a similar style to Deus Ex found here:

## This Week in Game-Guru - 1/29/2018

There's been a lot of changes this week; things that sort of shattered the situation as it stood and put us in a very interesting place.  One that could either be precarious or one that could be a significant boon.  Time will really tell.  Check out the Engine Update Progress Report section below for more details.

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

This week Lee made a massive update by placing all of the source code to Game-Guru live on github.  He's created an issues tracker (link here) which can be used to publicly follow all of the ongoing developmental issues and bugs.  He's got old hats who worked on FPSC (classic) code working on Game-Guru now.  He's literally paying outside developers to work on features that are taking him too long to develop personally.  This is what you do, folks, when you truly want to reinvent a brand.  Game-Guru has stalled in development and has had a massive amount of 'under the hood' changes.  Unfortunately as a usable product, it's maybe 30 or 40% more than what I could use a few years ago when it was FPSC:Reloaded.  That's only because of additional Lua extensibility.  The core engine itself hasn't really added much in terms of functionality within the GUI driven IDE.

So this is a huge step and in a sense a massive gamble at the same time.  It's what's needed though, if Game-Guru is going to thrive in a market increasingly dominated by AAA providers like Unreal, Lumberyard, and Unity.

I believe Game-Guru has a lot of potential.  It's easy to get into, easy to work with.  It's got too many flaws to be functional though and until those are addressed, it's really caused a lot of project stagnation for many, many people.

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

This week on the store can be summed up in the following picture:

So a few things here.  First, it really looks as if Colosso has improved a lot.  His newer stuff is coming along well and that's saying a lot - I can plainly say his art style was not my cup of tea previously.  This current style fits him well.

Second we have a relative newcomer putting up an interesting looking boat.  While I can appreciate anyone trying to market their first real go on the store... it's plainly not up to spec for the price they're asking.  If I were 1CE I'd lower the price by at least 50%  until my texturing matched other artists pushing that price point.

Of particular note is the fact that Wizard of Id has put his newest sewer pack up as both a PBR and Non PBR asset sets.  This is important because frankly a lot of people may not want or need PBR.  While I'm a little disappointed in his pricing (it always is a lot higher than this crowd can afford, initially), I am happy with the quality of his work.  If you're going to spend 29 dollars on a product Game-Guru, usually you want one of his.  I've spent the money and have been satisfied.  His are the closest to 'professional grade' products available on the Game-Guru store.

### FREE STUFF

Free stuff this week is pretty substantial.  We got not one, but TWO free weapons!
Weapons are like solid gold.  They are something we don't get a lot of, that are expensive on the store because they take just so much work to do.  We got two of them!  It's really awesome of both Graphix and Gtox to produce these for us.
First we have a chainsaw provided by Graphix: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219263

 Vrrrrrrrrrm!

All I can say is FINALLY.  Being a Doom 1/2 freak, this is something that's been desperately missing.  I could nitpick the sort of rapid animation and overly chromatic textures, but I mean comon - it's a freaking chainsaw!  Best part is there's no hands rigged to it so it can literally be used with any other game.

Next we have Gtox's damn fine work on a crowbar, Ala Gordon Freeman.

This thing is freaking gorgeous.  I mean it just looks fantastic.   And Gtox even included an alt-attack (he's done this for some of his other weapons too) where when you hit left-alt it will do a secondary attack.  Very good stuff indeed.

Some freebies by Honkeyboy were posted as well.  One is a set of  'English trees' , the other was a few items for his crafting survival script: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219211 which include things like a furnace and workbench.

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

This week in third party tools we have  nothing really new.  I need to update my Lua API for Notepad++ to include global variables like g_Entity and g_PressKeyE(etc).   That should show up later this week in a separate post.

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

'Death by daylight' - Honkeyboy's latest creation.  This zombie shooter looks promising and while it lacks the maturity in graphical refinement it does offer a crafting system which should help tilt the balance in favor of this being a more interesting title.  What impresses me most about Honkeyboy is how many irons he can keep in the fire and how many he keeps throwing in.   The guy has endless energy, which is a good thing to have when you're an Independent Gamedev.

'Cowboy Shootout' - Len the Man has been working on this title for quite some time but it's coming along well. He's obviously putting a lot of effort into it and it's really  starting to show.  Lots of custom models and interesting components in a much needed cowboy action game.

 Pretty high end for GG!

As you can see, the quality is definitely there.  Nice to see someone sticking with it, through all the ups and downs.

### IN MY OWN WORKS

I have too many irons in the fire myself.  I really ran into some stumbling blocks with my upcoming kits and it's just.. frustrating trying to find the time to sit down and work on them uninterrupted.  Life has been hectic enough, but it just keeps adding more and more to my plate.

Currently I have too much going on and need to clear some items before adding new ones.  Look for any of the following to have something on them later this week:

• any of 3 different scripting kits
• a new sky pack for 2018
• a new terrain PLUS very interesting foliage (includes custom script)
• one of two books I'm writing
• one of two tutorials I'm writing on this blog
• A final(?) update to the notepad ++ Lua API.
You get the idea.  There's simply too much going on upstairs and I need to clear some room.
I'm glad I am able to keep all this rolling and was able to get the Lua API workable.  The scripting kits are about 10%, 30% and 40% there, respectively.  Any one of those could get completed this week depending on how my brain decides to plop out it's workload.

## Just throwing this out there..

In response to a pretty high quality developer for Game-Guru saying he was done with Game-Guru after making a fairly phenomenal piece of work, I replied with something I think a few more would benefit from.

Example of his work:

 Game is 'Cold Contract' by DuchenKuke

So I'm posting it here too :)

"I'll just throw this out there:
I've used a lot of different game engines over the years. I've worked in modding the original quake 1 engine going back to 1997/98 making a 10000 line AI program (500 pages or so of code) which someone else took to use to make the core 'reaper bot code' everyone knows and loves, worked in the MW4 engine making a mod called siege that the developers then used as the basis for a new multiplayer mode they added in the black knight expansion, I've worked in pie 3d gcs DOS/windows (required learning fortran/forth for ai programming!), worked in Acknex 7, 8 using their Lite-C system.

More recently I've worked in Unity, Unreal, heck I even played around in Lumberyard (not recommended for the average indy dev, btw) ... but the one thing that is a CONSTANT for all engines:

They all have problems. Every single one has stupid, obnoxious problems that require constant mucking around with to make them function. GameGuru is no exception.

That said, when you've exhibited the level of proficiency you have and then drop a project because you're frustrated with the errors - I get that, I do.

However you are going to run into problems in other engines too. I recommend taking a short break then getting back to it. Finishing a project, no matter how bad it is, is a skill a lot of indy devs lack. I myself suffer from 'I got bored and annoyed' syndrome. In spite of that, if you want to be successful you have to power through it and grind it out.

Use innovative solutions to deal with your memory issues or problems with long load times.

Also, best advice I can give for fixing your errors:
Read the log files! Enable logs if they aren't setup to (I think you have to modify a setting in setup.ini) and read the logs. There's a lot of info in there that's pretty plain to see like 'error loading model such and such.'. Great - then remove that model! Done. Problem solved.

I've made a lot of games I don't release that are just private endeavors. I'll post my most recent one here shortly, which has a whole 'five nights at freddy' vibe to it. It's all doable. It requires testing and fixing. It requires reading log files. It requires 'adding things the standalone builder missed'. It's all there part of the game making process.

In the end I have functional games that play well. You will too, if you don't take the easy way out and quit.

Good luck either way, I enjoy your work and look forward to more."

--------
Unrelated, on an aside I have a lot of really great coding projects for Game-Guru in the works.  Then I will, most likely be taking a move up to bigger and better things by adding Lua functionality to Unreal 4.18 and bringing my coding skills with respect to Lua over the Unreal.  My most major hangup with Unreal has been that god-awful blueprint system.  I get it's meant for the non-programmer but I don't like being stuck choosing that or straight up C++.  No ... thank... you.  Call me spoiled, but Lua is just so damn nice it's hard to not want to KEEP working in it once you get a handle on it's dynamic typing.

Projects should be complete within the quarter.  I also have a larger, longer term project being done for Game-Guru that only a few are aware of.  Once I get further along (80% of the way) I'll post here about it.  In the meantime the current rash of projects to watch for on the forums and TGCstore will be:
• A very easy to use camera scripting system
• A roguelike toolkit
• Another toolkit I refuse to mention currently (separate of other project I won't mention).
And that'll be all!  Anyways, take care everyone and  keep up the good work, independent developers.

## This Week in Game-Guru - 1/22/2018

As mentioned previously I should probably get off blogger soon.
Is it just wordpress these days or is there anything else of value out there?

It dawned on me I'm basically doing the job Lee and crew did years ago back when Game-Guru was still fresh and had life to it.

The following video has all of the latest details and updates on the Game-Guru engine.

That's right, literally nothing, zip, zilch, nada.  Just one cryptic post from Lee about another unrelated project (here) that was received rather poorly by the increasingly salty natives.

### NEW ON THE STORE

https://www.tgcstore.net/product/30999 - BSP made a new m9 pistol.  Looks very decent!
https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11002 - Tarkus continues his efforts in the world of audio for Game-Guru.  It's a smart move and he could easily translate it cross platform if he so chose.  I like his work thus far. This 'star cluster music pack' has a really professional feel to it.  The tracks are well done and have a heavy ambient-style synth vibe to them.  It's slower than his other stuff but definitely has a good feel to it for a space-based game that is not fast paced.  The free samples practically sell it for him.  Even though I'm an owner of his previous work(s) I feel this one has a real good flow to it.  I may purchase it myself soon!
https://www.tgcstore.net/product/31002 - Corrosion's 'enhanced AI'.  Probably is enhanced but I'd prefer to see a video if I'm spending that kind of money on an unproven product.  I'm an AI geek myself; I spent several thousand lines of code writing a pretty landmark AI program that went on to be the basis for the Reaper bot code.  Color me hard to impress, if you will.  Without a video to show the differences, it's hard to justify spending 7 dollars on something that could only be marginally better.  Considering how bad the AI is currently, this is significant.  If anyone purchases this, please let me know what your results are!

### THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS:

So in more relevant news (to me, that is), there's a lot going on with third party programs.  To me, this and Lua coded items are where the action are at.  Lee simply takes too long to push his updates and as a result, we're forced to do a lot of the heavy lifting if this thing is ever going to be a functional product.

So first off we have OldPMan's excellent "Normalizator" (wow, what a mouthful) tool starting to beta PBR support.  This is a huge boost to people like me who haven't got the time to invest in learning a whole new workflow for PBR assets!

Also we've had some lively discussions on voice synthesis (robo-talk) software: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219214

And also we have a great thread on converting assets from Makehuman to Mixamo to 'FBX2GG'.

Lastly, I should also mention my own work here.  I recently created a Notepad++ Lua API for Game-Guru.  It's a simple piece but was a time consuming slog with 2400+ lines of XML code to write up.  It will basically auto-complete, give hints, etc for Game Guru and it's associated Lua functions. You can get more info on that here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219215

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219234 - Bugsy continues his work on his Wolf's previous FPSC game: Direct Action.  The sequel is called "Direct Action 2" (surprisingly enough) and has some pretty good teaser screenshots:

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219060 - Duchenkuke has given up on his flagship product 'Cold Contract'; This is unfortunate.  Another high quality potential Game-Guru developer is taking an undefined hiatus from Game-Guru due to production issues.  This is, in my opinion, the biggest plague we have ongoing right now.  We really have a significant hurtle in using Game-Guru with respect to producing titles, primarily our ability to actually 'convert into standalone' and memory issues.  The memory issues, in particular, really cause serious problems in larger projects.  It's a damn shame that yet another great project is being dumped because this issue couldn't get resolved.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219206 Lastly, while it's not a WIP, Wolf made a pretty great lightmapping tutorial.  This is the type of thing we need more of.

### IN MY OWN WORKS

As mentioned, there's my Notepad++ API that is free for download to help developers get the most out of their Lua coding in Game-Guru.  On top of that I've been intermittently working on my upcoming kit(s) for Game-Guru.  They're heady projects though so it's really eating up cycles to do the things I want to do.  I realize that if I was a slightly better programmer in Lua this probably wouldn't be so tremendously difficult.

That said I've made a lot of progress.  I've integrated weapons and healthkits into my system (ammo was the first thing I used) and now need to find a way to get the enemies to do what I want them to do.  All in all, I'm a solid 2-4 months away from being able to release either of them at this pace.  Maybe as things clear up I'll be able to allot more time.  As it is though, it's only a little here and there.

That wraps it up for this week.  Keep an eye out for an update coming down the pike.  We should see some really great stuff soon if Lee ever deems to open the floodgates.

## I think I need to get off the blogger platform.

There's virtually no value to me being on this platform.
Might be time to switch to wordpress.

I'm obviously shadowbanned on most of Google's services (probably due to my heavy conservative bias elsewhere in the internet); my view rate is virtually nil despite the fact I know approximately 30-50 regulars come here.  Searches on google.com make it nearly impossible to find this blog, despite it being such a singular purpose and having a specific focus that it's almost shocking.  I mean google vs bing, bing shows me as 2nd for results whereas google shows 7th-8th on a similar search.  I'm also unable to use adsense at all, so really I do this for writing practice and literally nothing else.

The blogger widgets are a joke.  Etc.  Etc.  There's just poor integration across the board and I'm not really sure what the purpose of using this platform is.

For now I'll continue as usual but don't be surprised if there's a switch in the future.

I'm going to play with some settings, revisit previous pages that had better labeling, metatags, etc.  Overall, however, this site is frustrating to maintain primarily because of the restrictions imposed by both a bad platform and one that seems specifically intent on crushing my readership's accessibility.

## Game-Guru Lua Notepad++ API

So while it wasn't tremendously difficult to implement, I made a simple XML Game-Guru Lua ANSI API for Notepad++.  Most of us Lua scripters for Game-Guru are already using NPP(Notepad++) for coding as it has built in Lua support, allowing autocomplete of functions and encapsulation of loops. That said, I desired something that would allow me to autocomplete common functions (which already was happening on projects I have of substantial size) for Game-Guru specific Lua work.

I realized this must be a fairly simple thing to do in NPP as many other groups have done it (Noteably Love, which is a Lua extension that I used as a framework for my work here).

What I've done is gone on and created a Lua API for Notepad++ that will simply and easily configure NPP to auto-fill Game-Guru functions for you, give you a list of functions to browse and give you a simple bit of detail about each function as well as it's inputs and outputs (for instance, if it returns a number or what not).  It's all completely free for anyone interested.

## This Week in Game-Guru - 1/15/2018

This week will be a little brief as well.  Not much overall going on as people still recover from winter.  However, you will definitely want to check out the 'In my own works' section as I've been doing a LOT of really interesting things this week.

ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

So a few little things have come to our attention; first of all it seems Lee has an issue tracker he's working on.  This should help keep things more organized and help him knock out bugs quicker.  He will also be able to isolate and track things that are getting out of hand or have a lot of complaints.

And while this isn't 'new' engine news, I did discover that global.lua has a significant amount of fairly new Lua commands.  I mean probably on the order of around a hundred or so new commands.  Things that are exceptionally useful.  I highly recommend you check them out.  ForcePlayer is a fun one, for example.  I created a riverbed with a current, a tornado effect, a conveyor belt, etc.  Lots of interesting stuff now that there's some physics enabled commands in Lua!

NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

There's a few new things on the store.  Teabone has put out a few new scripts, notably an in-game clock system, useful for those who don't want to spend more for my Time of Day and Weather system but just need a simple clock.  It can be found here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/30991

Also of note, the ever-strange Colosso productions has put out a decent pack if you like a colorful, retro style.

I personally like his work on skies though the models for me are not my cup of tea.  Artistically, I understand his desire for bright, crazy colors.  It's not my cup of tea, but it might be yours.  The pricing is decent enough and can be found here: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11001

FREE STUFF

While it looks like Bod is working on a few new things, he hasn't released them yet.  Once they're released, they'll be here first thing.

Beyond that not really seeing much else at this time.

THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Someone posted a virtual voice creator by IBM.  Apparently it's pretty sophisticated though I've not had a chance to play with it yet.  Robovoice is not my favorite thing but does have it's uses from a gamedev's perspective.  Check it out here: https://ivva-tts.sl.haifa.il.ibm.com/welcome

RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

This week brought a pleasant surprise in the form of a new face taking an ambitious series of first steps towards a Game-Guru project.

Peri posted a video for an out of the ordinary promo for a game he's working on.  Overall, I like it.  It lacks polish, but has promise.  If he can clean it up, keep it functional (a big difficulty in Game-Guru!) and produce it he might have a winner.

IN MY OWN WORKS

So in my own works, I'm working on several plug-in and go kits for Game-Guru.  The one I will discuss today will be the 'RogueLike' kit.  The RogueLike kit is coming along nicely, with some interesting code fixes to make it work within GG's Lua framework.

I learned several very interesting things Lua related recently; things which have been a total game-changer with how I handle tables.  First off, is that you can specify the table name with a hashtag in front to get the most recent element of it.   I don't want to say too much without giving away the farm, so ... bing is your friend here (screw google, the goddamn commies).  Second, you can get your object id for direct manipulation by simply using variable 'e'.  So ... if you are trying to build a level you don't have to use g_Entity[e]['obj'] or anything like that.  Just use e.  Then you can call functions off 'e' which will in turn allow you to disable/enable things, hide/show things, etc.  It's really pretty impressive and much better than the hardcoding I did for the lightkit.  I may even go back and redo the code for it to make it more dynamic.

It's really brought me forward pretty far.  Now with respect to the RL kit, the idea is that Game-Guru has significant difficulty with moving between levels and unloading resources.  Memory problems abound.   Ideally we'd do much of our work on several major levels, then build links between them, right?  Unfortunately in implementation this results in frequent crashes.  However what if you didn't have to leave the level?  What if you just kept working with existing resources, over and over again?  You could frame out a single level and just beat it to death with random numbers and automatic generation.  Granted, there's limits to this type of system but it's fairly popular and I can see people wanting to buy it.
At this point I've developed a very sophisticated teleportation system and also an item spawner.  The item spawner I just solved last night and it will really open up the doors to all the other items of this product I plan to add.  Once I can implement it fully we'll have some really cool stuff available!

I plan on posting an update video later in the week to give you guys something more visual to chew on.  That all hinges on whether I can get the enemy spawning code working the way I want.  I'm going to take a few pieces from smallg's stuff but mostly it'll be 90% my own work because unfortunately what I am asking for from Lua is HIGHLY specific.

What this will, in the end, allow you to do, however is build several rooms that link to each other, build enemies, treasure, etc automatically and have some basic systems to use off that.

## This is the one I missed.

Lee basically added a ton of Lua commands a while ago and I didn't even see it.

"Added 483 new LUA commands to the scripting system to support Player Control Mechanics
Added SetSurfaceIntensity, SetSurfaceSunFactor, SetGlobalSpecular, SetBrightness, SetContrast
Added SetPostBloom, SetPostLightRayLength, SetPostLightRayQuality, SetPostLightRayDecay
Added SetCameraPanelDistance, SetCameraPanelFOV, SetCameraPanelZoomPercentage, SetCameraPanelWeaponFOV
Added SetTerrainLODNear, SetTerrainLODMid, SetTerrainLODFar, SetTerrainSize
Added SetVegetationQuantity, SetVegetationWidth, SetVegetationHeight"

... ugh, gonna be a long day.

## This Week in Game-Guru - 1/10/2018

I'll admit that I'm being a bit lazy again with this stuff but the fact is I get maybe 50 hits on a good day to this blog and that's being generous so I don't feel an overwhelming pressure to put these things out on time.  You get them, plainly, at my leisure, which is fairly inconsistently available at this point.  That said, the community is fairly quiet as of current.

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

I got an update from Lee on a question I asked, basically asking me to wait and that an update may *knock on wood* be scheduled for later this month.  That is literally all I have at the moment.

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

Not a lot going on here.  Corrosion appears to be putting a bunch of scripts up which have good utility.  You can find his store here:

https://www.tgcstore.net/artist/221852

### FREE STUFF

Graphix did an 'elf girl' for download (NON COMMERCIAL ONLY). https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=6#msg2593436

No new scripts that I saw, anyways.

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

Nothing really new here but there was an excellent infodump by Preben on his shader/GG Loader thread here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/215236?page=4#msg2588372  .. he did recently add PBR support which is fairly impressive given it's capabilities.  Preben continues to amaze the rest of us.

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

Not a thing.  Pretty quiet all around. As usual, updates generally cause a big uptick in activity, a flurry of new posts then it goes silent again for a bit.

### IN MY OWN WORKS

It's like 'in my own words' but it's talking about my works so it's very clever, right? RIGHT?  SO CLEVER!  *Pats self on back*.

So I'm adding this section to keep people apprised of what's going on with my own stuff.  I have two new code kits coming, both are pretty nifty stuff but they will take some time to create.   They both will have fairly reasonably large impacts on two different game genres so it should be interesting to see who will purchase them.  I don't want to give away too much before it's ready.  Bottom line is simply keep your eyes peeled in this space for more details later as we approach a point where I can release the code on the store.

## This Week in Game-Guru 1/3/2018

Happy New Years, everyone. I hope you all had a great holiday.

I'm super busy getting caught up but I have a few updates to go over.  From my standpoint, I completed several interesting projects in Game-Guru I'll post shortly.  I'd like to wrap up some minor bugs but I am pleased with the results.  That aside, I ran into some serious issues with the engine's ability to make standalone files.  While standalone exports have always been an issue, it seems the latest public preview edition had more and more issues as time went on.  It felt like I was hitting snags on every export, with every third or fourth being the 'good' one.  Really hoping we see an update soon.

### ENGINE UPDATE PROGRESS REPORT

No news to report here, sadly.  Holiday usually means Lee disappears off the face of the earth for an inordinate amount of time.  We'll probably hear from him again in march.  :(

### NEW PRODUCTS IN THE STORE

In the store, there were a few new products with only a few notable updates.  Mstockton put up some nice locks and keys, which are always useful. On top of that Mad Lobster put up some interesting medical equipment for download.  They're well priced and look great.

Grobyken's new stuff is starting to pop up on the site as well and I highly recommend giving it a look as his latest models are a massive leap forward over his previous stuff.

FREE STUFF

The past few weeks have been relatively bereft of any real freebies aside from a few nice ones that found their way onto the scene:

First we have Bugsy's free scooter.  I like Bugsy's models and this one is no exception.  Should be a good city prop.

Next we have something a bit more simple that came as a request from a user, a series of 'street party flags'.  The kind of little celebratory banners they post to make a city seem more festive.  Looks like these freebies came out well:

Going back a few more days we find a nice free set of characters from Lafette, who has generously provided something that would normally cost a fair amount on the store for free:

 They've got lots of custom animations as well!

### THIRD PARTY TOOLS

While not necessarily a third party tool, this thread on PBR workflows is similar in the sense that it provides a good bit of information on using third party tools to create PBR assets within Game-Guru, something I'm still struggling with.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219159

### RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY

Some interesting stuff out there but mostly the same old projects.
I did find a new trailer for Kshatriya by Bugsy though:

I'm looking forward to posting some of my own recent work online so keep an eye out for that in the near future.

## Time of day and weather issues

It's come to my attention that the latest download of the time of day and weather system is busted on the store.  There's a file missing that's necessary.  I've set it unavailable for now.

So I'm going to take some time tonight and modify the zip files accordingly, then upload them again.

I'm also going to see if I can make the time of day system work with public preview while retaining compatibility with previous versions.

We'll see how that goes.
Apologies to those inconvenienced.