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About this blog

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.

 

Entries in this blog

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 1/14/2018

This week's update will be a bit shorter than usual as I am in crunch mode for my book (which goes to the publisher in Feb).

So just a quick pass on the GameGuru stuff from this last week:

Official GameGuru News
Nothing official but it seems the issues list on Github is climbing ever higher. Maybe we'll see some of those get knocked off soon?  

What's Good in the Store Lots of good things out there this week, notably the RPG pack by moshroom and the music packs shown below.  

However, it seems Dvader dropped a pretty unique 'lockpicking' script that brings to mind a certain game set in post apocalyptia.
I'd love a video of this, but for now, this still will have to suffice!


Free Stuff A free top-down low poly character: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220434
Tarkus1971 put out a new track called 'the realization' - https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/213190?page=5#msg2610573
Piratemyke is continuing to provide interesting free models (in a sense) made with the EBE: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220414


Third Party Tools and Tutorials Nothing new this week.

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs) Karmacomposer posted a sneakpeak of his current work:
Not bad! Though with these entities I'm sure the optimization phase will be an absolute bear.  Good luck on your project, Karma. Details available here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220427

 Maha25 posted an interesting screenshot of a Jungle-based project called N.D.A. -

You can get more details here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220404

Ramiro has a new project (Psalm of Salem)on their way:


For more details, click here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220435.



In My Own Works
My 3 proofers have basically been working at getting their updates done, which I have to incorporate into the book while simultaneously doing a first draft edit.  Initial feedback is very positive. I also have my editor looking at it so he can make appropriate changes to help cram this in as quick as possible.  Next week will be me making pictures and formatting changes.  Then I *crosses fingers* will be done.
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This Week in GameGuru - 01/07/2019

Happy New Year, folks! With a new year undoubtedly will come new changes!

Official GameGuru News
This week we have the official update of PBR assets to the Fantasy Pack -  https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-fantasy-pack-updated-2
And I have to say they look quite impressive indeed.  Much better quality than previous PBR re-skins in my opinion.
What's Good in the Store
This week we have some interesting products available:


It's nice to see Dagored getting back into GG projects.  His attack drones have a pretty nice animation to them and are definitely a solid choice.  M2Design continues to add more buildings and shacks.  I personally would be leery of that suspiciously good looking jet fighter as it likely is someone else's work that snuck it's way onto the store and will likely be removed shortly.

One promising piece of work that isn't yet released yet is Openload's RPG-style inventory system.



The screenshots look fantastic and I'm sure it will end up on the store in the near future so keep an eye out.


Free Stuff
Graphix made some nice stuff you can get from his pack.  Check out some of it here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=13#msg2610284



The new stuff is an ammo bag and a lightsaber-style weapon.

Third Party Tools and Tutorials
A pretty interesting discussion on getting FBX with animations to .X was had over here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220399

You can also glean some really interesting ideas from PirateMyke's EBE structure thread here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220414



Random Acts of Creativity
Guns of solo released an update and I have to say it's looking mighty fine!


Apparently he's hard at work at trying to improve framerate. More details can be found here but overall I like the direction this project is heading! 

Some other new projects have shown, looks like a new year means more projects!

CorzaX has a tropical island game he's working on. It looks like it's coming along well. 

Nier is working on a fantasy/medieval game and so far the screenshots look pretty good.
It's always nice to see someone making a custom HUD.

Maha25 has a jungle-style shooter as well that has some fairly decent atmospherics.

Synchromesh put together a fantastic video of the new AI as a Demo but I have to say the level itself looks great too! https://youtu.be/IxOZ_xvKhto



So all in all it's proving to be a fairly busy January!

In My Own Works
Works is progressing rapidly.  I am doing my first pass over the manuscript, have 3 proof-readers reading the work AND sent the preliminary copy to my personal editor.  Hopefully by next week mid-week I'll be in a much better position for this to move forward.  I also have about 140 pictures to take for the book so that's going to be a solid couple of days progress as well.

Proofers are giving me good reports though, saying it's going to be great for people to have all this info in one place.  Looks good so far!




View the full article
 

This Week in GameGuru - 12/31/2018

Well I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays. Here in Pennsylvania my family had a great Christmas together.  It was nice to see family I'd not seen in a while.

With that, I skipped last week for the Holiday and am back to provide you with your regularly scheduled updates on GameGuru!

Official GameGuru News
The most recent update was here: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-buildings-pack-dlc-updated

Specifically this update fixes some geometry issues with the buildings pack, which many of us received as compensation for our earlier donations to the FPSC:Reloaded project. This is the first release of fixes done by Graphix and it looks pretty dang good.  Like we're finally going to see some forward progress on some very old models that brings them up to a more reasonable standard. 

It sounds like they'll be dialing back on the regular DLC updates for now as it seemed the general consensus was that it was getting out of hand.

What's Good in the Store
A note to store sellers - recently stricter guidelines have been implemented for large media images. You can get the full details here: https://seller.tgcstore.net/doc/marketing-advice

Teabone has been... really busy over his holiday.  Color me impressed.

Some of these are some fantastic scripts, notably the dynamic water droplets and weapon hud wheel.  These are good bits of code and I'm totally in for buying access to them... once I pay off the Christmas gift bills.  That said, he does sell his scripts as a pack for a low price: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11056

Also on the store this week Gtox put up a model that initially looked so-so but having watched the video I have to say the attack animation is great.  It happens akin to a jump scare so it's a fairly unique entity.


You can get a copy or watch the video here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32267

A seller named simply 'ThatModelGuy' put together a pretty nice looking fast-food style booth.  I have several of these but I have to say this one is a nice build with a very good looking model that fits cleanly.


It's on sale for a dollar here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32266

A new composer has placed his works on the store and there are a substantial amount to look at.  Take a look at his artist page here: https://www.tgcstore.net/artist/87213

Free Stuff
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=12#msg2610108 - Graphix put together a great road barrier with an animation for those interested, he also created a full download of every model he's ever done in one easy link here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=13#msg2610187

Honkeyboy made a map massively larger than the basic map and there's some interesting stuff in this thread about how to make it function properly.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220345

Bod made a pretty sweet radio for download: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/215012?page=18#msg2609928

JPH-Games made several building packs for christmas, however there's no zip link so... I guess we'll circle back on this one.


Third Party Tools and Tutorials
How to use Graphix's explosions: https://youtu.be/ngkAqtBN_mM



Tarkus1971 put up his own site with media: https://forum.game-guru.com/outbound?url=https%3A%2F%2Fexigentsounds.co.uk%2F

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs)   De-tachment by "SuperMasGamer" looks promising but lacks any gameplay videos, only has a few cutscenes and promo reels cut.  Check out the pretty well put together cutscene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fMPyHGv_Yg

In My Own Works
The book is in the fun phase, the point where I send it to proofreaders and my personal editor to clean up and revise.  I also get to re-read all 135k words and fix any glaringly obvious mistakes, reorganize, and the like.  The content, however, is essentially done.  I also got good news from someone with respect to building weapons so I'm hoping I can have those added in time for the game itself to be included with it by June. From a content standpoint though, I'm essentially done!  I did a huge amount of research over the past few weeks for how to use the model importer, learned quite a lot about it.  Surprising how much power is actually under the hood when you take the time to learn about it. 


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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in GameGuru - 12/17/2018

This week has a lot of updates to cover.  Let's get started! First a quick reminder that I am not an employee of TheGameCreators (TGC) and as such this opinion piece does not reflect their views. This is entirely a piece based on my own findings. 

Official GameGuru News
So first off, there's the rather beautiful 'Cold War' pack.
A few weeks ago we were offered a preview of the asset list for this one and I have to say it looked really gorgeous.  The demo picture on the above link is also fairly compelling.  I'd say of the recent DLC releases, this one is my favorite.  That said, there's a few things I've picked up in 'chatter' from various model artist friends of mine as I've been slogging through the forums and discord.  Apparently there's some optimization that may need done on this pack and the author was notified of this.  I'm hoping we see that but in the meantime if you notice any performance issues with it, make sure you bring them to TGC support's attention.

Next up with respect to the other PBR updates that have been rolling out regularly, there have been some complaints about how they have come about on the models.  In many cases, people are finding that it's just not sufficient to add PBR to a very old model.  GraphiX demonstrated this on a forum post:


The left is the improved model while the right is the post-PBR update model. Apparently model smoothing groups needed changed, though I'll admit that's a bit above my head from a modelling standpoint. 
Regardless, even a casual user can see a substantial difference. So substantial that lee went and replied on the matter in a way that I can honestly say was very refreshing.  I'd love to see more communication and direct interaction with the community like this:

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220318#msg2609579

Take some time to take a look at this post and really process it, because it means a lot.  First he acknowledges the problems and then says he's going to create a new donation bucket and dump the remaining ones to pay for Graphix's fixes.  The new donation bucket will be for updates.  Make sure you re-update your donations to help support the non-TGC members!


So there we have it.  Definitely some steps in the right direction.  I know a few people are perpetual pessimists in this community and I really can't blame them - but I will personally say I've seen more change this year than I've seen in the last five.

What's Good in The Store
Well let's start with something pretty fantastic  - a release by Slaur3n called 'Santa and the Evil Snowmen'.  It's a really impressive minigame (single level) designed completely in GameGuru.  You don't need GameGuru to purchase it, just a TGCstore account.  It's available for a reasonable price on the store ($2.50).

You can get your copy here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32204

Also we've got even more work by Lotgd (aka Friskon) .. I have to say this one is probably one of his better ones and it's criminally cheap - animated maggots for corpses.  This is one you need to watch the video to get the full effect.  The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol3v6xWSYyo


Now available for 30 cents in USD: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32211

M2Design has put together a background set of ruined buildings which are fairly efficient poly-wise but still have high end textures if you want to showcase them up close.  You can find the entire pack available for a reasonable price here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32210

Third Party Tutorials and Tools
Cybernessence made a modification to the core PBR shader that allows you to completely disable the sun for indoor scenes.  I tested it among many others and it seemed to work brilliantly in that regard.  Instructions on installation and usage can be found here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220297?page=2#msg2609391

M2Design put together some really fantastic instruction on fixing his transparencies for glass which has always been a sticking point for modellers with GameGuru.  Instructions are found here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220333#msg2609551

There's a pretty good discussion going on about importing MakeHuman characters into GameGuru.
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220299


Free Stuff
This week in Free Stuff we have: 
Lotgd (the maggot maker from above) made a free Christmas set.  Should be fun to play around with and hey, you don't have to pay for it so that's always nice :)   Get your copy here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220313#msg2609322

There's a glowing sphere here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220314

Graphix and Amenmoses have brought back the Piano: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217932?page=12#msg2609296

And I have to say my favorite of the Free Stuff this week was from Lafette II with his Chinese Christmas object pack.






You can get your copy here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220328

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs)
Bonesy has been doing more work with his CyberFi game - I noticed one of the skies looked familiar, turns out it's one of my old HD Space Skies :)

Looks like he added a face to the HUD as well.  While the palette hurts me a bit, I have to say his dedication to plodding forward on his project is exactly how things get done.  He just keeps chipping away at it and it's coming along great. 

Duchenkuke continues to wow with his Metro-style game that I am personally very interested in seeing come to completion - keep cracking man - you're doing fantastic! Video available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By13-y6bFwk


Defy put out some pretty impressive NPC behavior.  He's gotten pretty good with making the characters in GameGuru perform specific tasks and it shows:

There's a video available, of course, it appears to be related to 3rd person over the shoulder game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1NCzsUa7f4

Last up we have some screenshots from PirateMyke's work.  This latest stuff is pretty sweet looking and he is really dialing in his lighting:



I have to say, some of these projects are looking like they are really firming up.  The work going on here is fairly inspirational and I'm looking forward to be able to work on something myself (once the book is done).


In My Own Works
So obviously I had this huge update to do, but I've also been having a blast in my weekly tabletop game campaign.  I used to update the blogger page for it but I simply ran out of time.  Regardless, the players absolutely trounced me this round but that only makes the GM (me) want to make it tougher for them :) 

Beyond that the book is coming along, despite the difficult subject matter.  Big special thanks to AmenMoses for being available for my incessant questioning.  He's been extremely helpful for me to get a solid understanding of Physics and Particles as they are implemented by GameGuru.  After this I have the unenviable task of reading through this immense tome and fixing all the minor errors, then reorganizing the book more logically.

It's going to be a massive undertaking that will probably go on through at least the first few weeks of the year.  I'm also going to need to take approximately 130 pictures for the book, which is... also fairly daunting.  Thankfully most of it is fairly straightforward stuff like GUI icons and what not. 

Still, writing a technical walk through book like this is not for the faint of heart.  I'm looking forward to it's impending completion and subsequent release!


View the full article

Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in GameGuru - 12/10/2018

Welcome back to another busy week in the GameGuru community.  Let's dive right in!

Official GameGuru News
This week saw another model kit update - specifically PBR getting added to some of the collectibles and minor doodads of  the Sci-Fi kit. I did notice, however, they are still using the Red Cross on the collectible for the heathkit.  This is considered a no-no in the GameDev community since it violates the Geneva Convention for using the international symbol of the Red Cross.  I brought this to TGC's attention and while no comment has been given thus far on it I'm certain they will take quick and decisive action to remedy this.



As we enter the traditional holiday cycle, don't be surprised to not see any major code releases or updates done for a while.  I've noticed we tend to get 3-4 major releases a year and the most recent one will probably hold us for a while, likely until March or so. In the interim, it appears they are content to continue pushing Add On content and updates.  It can be frustrating for users who want to see steady and complete refinement of the core product.  Well hey, at least it's consistent, right?


What's New in the Store
Recently a TGCStore seller's discord was added.  If you need access, contact 'TheNext' on the regular GameGuru discord.




Not a lot of brand new stuff, though it seems the cartoon-style assets are really taking off.  I like how they look though I worry it's going to saturate the market a bit.  Still, Reliquia and Belidos both are providing really quality stuff you can find right off the main store page.

There's also a creepy Nun and an 'abomination' by Gtox.  
 
Free Stuff
In 2016 , there was a great bit of 'Christmas Giving' done at Wolf's signalling.  I have to say, it was a nice sentiment and I would love to see more of that.

In the meantime, enjoy this 'free little alien'.

If you're looking for Wolf's Christmas Advent Calendar of free stuff from 2016, check it out at this link here! 

Third Party Tools and Tutorials
Well foremost it appears that Epic games is positioning themselves as an indie gamedev marketplace.  This is huge news and deserves some praise.  Steam is a great platform in a lot of respects but the 30% right off the top is pretty brutal for many involved.  Epic is offering a digital platform with 12% costs, but get this - if you use the Unreal engine then the traditional 5% for using that engine will be deducted from the 12% they take.  So you in reality are saving money by using their engine on their platform.  Pretty brilliant marketing though they'll need more than that to defeat a monster as big as Steam.

Also it appears that SegmentAutoWelder (an FPSC conversion tool for GG) is repaired.  You can get your updated copy here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220102

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs) 
Well, interestingly enough as work slows down on the engine, work picks up on people's projects!  Lots of interesting screenies for this week for you.  I hope I caught them all!


Mstockton's in development PBR Assets
Bonesy continues work on his Sci-Fi Shooter
DuchenKuke is putting out some fantastic Metro:2033 style screenshots
Len the man continues to show us how simple methods produce great results for cutscenes
VincentHendricks made this great scene using some dynamic lights set at the right coloration!
Friskon - Lotgd made this bizarre gif which sort of boggles and fascinates simultaneously!
As you can see, there's a lot going in in the community. I'm still waiting for a serious game to show up, something that can really knock the socks off other communities out there.  I think if guys like Duchenkuke can keep working at it, they'll eventually release something incredible.  It just takes perseverance, some tolerance for GameGuru's nuances, and a steady hand.

Beyond that we're seeing some amazing work by the other devs who contribute code wise.  Check out some of the latest works of Graphix and Amenmoses - their particle system now has physics effects!

T-bone is working on stealth mechanics similar to what you find in the old Thief games: Video Here

Amenmoses has made some huge advances to his 'pickuppable' scripts.  Notably now you can actually use them to throw and injure enemies.  Check out the video of it here: https://vimeo.com/305258044

In My Own Works
This week I didn't get as much done as I'd like. The last mile here is proving somewhat difficult as I saved all the more dangerous or difficult tasks to cover for last.  This means particles, physics, advanced engine tricks like camera control - all of that is a bit daunting to write and a lot to research and test.  It'll get there though.  The trick is to just keep plodding inexorably forward.


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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in GameGuru - 12/3/2018

Official GameGuru News   This week a new DLC pack was added, the 'abandoned apartment' which looks fairly well put together.  This is about the time of year when Lee & Company tend to disappear for a bit as they go on holiday so don't be surprised if this section doesn't get updated much.  Besides, we still have a lot to unpack from the last major release that happened just this last week! I personally found some difficulties managing my colors for DNIS textured objects.  Something shader related, I'm sure.  Guess we'll just have to see how it bears out.


What's Good in The Store  


LOTGD has been extremely busy adding several well priced models.  Some do some very interesting things such as shoot cannonballs that can kill or injure a player.  It's worth a look for the price he's asking.

Tarkus1971 has an 'Best of 2018 music pack' available which I have to say is totally worth the $19.99 price of admission (it's on sale currently from @24.99)  as you get 31 top quality background tracks for that price. Even at full price, that's like 80 cents a track!

AlexGCC added some decent looking tools.

Graphix made a nice grenade though I can't tell if this is a weapon or just a set piece.  So I'd say assume it's a set piece until you hear otherwise.

Third Party Tools and Tutorials   This week we got a pretty good discussion on modification of explosions along with a really great replacement decal that's completely worth getting at this forum link:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220232?page=2#msg2608878

And also we've got a really great set of tutorials from KarmaComposer on how to use the S2 building generator (assuming you have S2 Engine, a third party product) and the building generator (A $20 addon) to export and import into GameGuru.  If you're of a more serious bent for creating GameGuru projects this one cannot be ignored.  It's a fantastic two part video.  You can catch them here:

Part One
Part Two

Free Stuff
Nothing really stands out this week as MaiaCombra made something that I won't put here as I don't feel it actually looks any different than some of the stock graphics.  But that said, if you are interested you can find a link to it here:
Please note that it's got a pretty interesting tutorial linked to it that's a bit older but still pretty impressive and good to know: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217933

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs)   Warning - get ready for a wall of text.  There's a massive load of updates this week!

Openload is working on an inventory system that should make a pretty awesome system for those interested when it hits the store: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQmr9yE-PbI
This is due to his current project, 'Memory of Hedolan' which has seen some new updates.  Per a message to me he advised me he's done the following:
"Modified the game map to make it lighter. Created the inventory menu with attached a crafting section (creation of potions, arrows, etc.) Created the soundtrack of the game and soon other songs coming soon."
So lots of updates on that one.  For now, here's a screenshot:


Graphix put up not one, not two, but THREE videos of various particle effects involving water.  Check them out here:  (1)  (2)  (3)

PirateMyke updated his operating theater here:

Schneeky is still working on his Medieval piece called 'The Legend of Sir Schn33ky'.  I'm not so sure about this one but it's looking like it's coming along well enough.

Might want to rework the title so it's not "LOSS" though. Mookai has the obligatory Zombie Christmas Shooter on the way:
Which admittedly has better than average level design and lighting. Shadows aren't quite right though so he's probably going to need to tune that a bit.

Wolf posted some FANTASTIC screenshots (as per his usual) on his Acythian update thread.
These are the must-see project shots of the week I'd say:



Seriously, click the link and check out all those gorgeous pictures.  Now THAT is some quality lighting.  Something to aspire to for the rest of us, right?

Lastly (I hope?) is HellreaperX's 'Death house of Barker Creek'.  This title has some promise but needs polish.  He's updated some of his original levels so check out what he's got here at this thread:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219542?page=1#msg2605095

In My Own Works
This week has been strenuous.  I've had a ton of actual work with my day job but did get the time to have AmenMoses preview my Lua chapters of my book.  While the writing style of 'chatty and casual' isn't his speed he had some good inputs and mostly aside from some things I expected it came back fairly positive.  Last week had some minor touch ups coupled with  some serious work (after much gnashing of teeth, let me tell you) on the "Advanced Engine Tricks" chapter.  This is one I've been avoiding for months and it felt good to finally knock out the section on the setup.ini file and also the one for the settings.fx file.

I also released that tutorial on Lighting which required a few touch-ups.

This week will be me working on getting particles squared away so I can discuss them in the book in depth.  After that I have to do some physics work with a final bit on making my FPE file information up to date and accurate for the appendix.  It's a lot of work but I'm ahead of where I thought I'd be a few months ago by this point so all in all I'm very satisfied with where it is.
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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

Lighting Part 5: Super Advanced Lighting in GameGuru

This is part 5 of a long running series on lighting techniques in GameGuru.  It's advised you read the previous four if you haven't already so you have some fundamental understanding on lighting techniques used up to this point before taking this on.
Seriously advanced lighting (aka lighting, part four)
Advanced lighting, (aka lighting, part three)
GameGuru interior lighting (aka lighting, part two)
GameGuru Lighting Lesson (aka lighting, part one)

extra credit, Wolf's lighting thread: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219206

I should mention that this work has taken me a considerable amount of time and is of significant length.  Please take the time to comment on it if it's beneficial to you!

Before I begin Obviously I've been busy with my book.  Much of these posts will be revisited in the book itself in varying forms, but I was going through my old data and found this post I literally wrote a year ago and I feel a fool for having never actually posted it.
Hopefully it's not a question of too little too late and that many of you can find some use from it. Be aware the book has about 3x the amount of information on GameGuru lighting

Illumination mapping
I've discussed illumination maps in the past, though not in any great detail.

An illumination map is an interesting addition which is, in my opinion, underutilized in Game-Guru games.   Effectively it is an additional step beyond to add luminosity to your levels. Take for instance this screen:

Courtesy of: https://blog.3dexport.com/making-of-final-stand/
Add an illumination map (which is simply a copy of the 3d model's texture with the bright spots lit up in white and the rest in black, renamed to texturename_i.dds):

Yes, this is my hackneyed attempt to make a point.
And you get this amazing difference in visual fidelity:

Courtesy of: https://blog.3dexport.com/making-of-final-stand/

What's important here is that while as of this writing Game-Guru lacks an 'emissive' lighting system such as Unreal/CryEngine has, it does however have a certain little bit of fudge.

Left - regular texture, middle - illumination mapped, right - emissive lighting Emissive lighting is effectively self-illumination mapping which also spreads to the environment.

Bright lights really cause a sort of bleed-over with the bloom shader built in.  So if you put illuminated lights in and you turn up the bloom it gives the IMPRESSION that they are giving off light (note, this WILL EAT SOME FPS):

From my lighting tutorial #3

Now at some point I wanted to  see if I could control the level of brightness in a game-guru illumination map.  Unfortunately it doesn't appear to have any granularity to it.  I had expected the ability to control 'how bright' something was, but alas it's either completely on (255/255/255) or completely off (anything else).  So be aware that when you're using your illumination mapped objects you need to go with an all or nothing approach.

Static Light Mapping to Fake Light Emission
Going back to our previous example - what if you want that same scene to have an emissive effect around the lights?  Sure, you can crank the bloom up, but that only does a fudge on the lighting to make it appear like it's glowing.  The real trick here is to use a static light map.  For example here I have a simple room with a table and a lamp on it.  The lamp has  a static light under it and it should cast a nice 'normal room light glow'. 



See the little lighter spot on the table? That's all I really wanted!
Hey... wait a minute!  That lamp object is casting a massive shadow now! What gives?  Well, if you're like me you spent hours trying to tweak your lights and configure them in such a way that it provides the best experience for your levels.  One little trick I have is to cut out unwanted shadows by placing clutter objects *AFTER* I place my lightmapping.  This way I can produce a much cleaner effect, especially in a well-lit room like this. 

Now we've got the circle on the table and no shadow! After I place my light and bake it using F3.  Now we no longer have a ridiculous shadow.

Note: the darkness on the lamp is a result of my poor placement of a dynamic light. 
Now simply adding bloom will get your room to look more 'emissive' by blending the colors to provide a more natural effect.
Unfortunately, I cannot show this as I lost this level between when I wrote this a year ago and when I released this today.  So here's an example from an older lighting document:

Note the subtle blending of the colors in the textures.  That's due to the quasi-aliasing effect being performed by the bloom shader at lower levels.  Even having at 50 can provide a pretty nice blend though I don't recommend going above 70 in most cases.
Colors, combinations, and why your lights look like crap.

You might be wondering why some lighting examples look phenomenal, while others look lackluster.  There are several reasons for this.  The first (and foremost!) is that the stock color choices in Game-Guru are quite literally HOT GARBAGE.

It's true.  Due to the way the system 'adds' color to each texture, what you end up with if you use the stock White, Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, Magenta, Cyan, etc lights is a train wreck that is simply too much or too little depending on what you are attempting to accomplish.  You almost always will want to modify the colors to be something more realistic.  If you've read my previous articles you know that white translates to a 'brightness modifier', basically a clear color with a scale of how bright the individual texture's existing colors should be are!  Details make the difference, folks.

As some of you know, I have an artist as a wife (www.messinastudio.com) and she's very particular about her lighting.  As such, I've learned a good bit more than I expected and it's been quite telling!  For instance, did you know that natural/artificial lighting is measured on a 'kelvin' scale indicating how 'hot' it is?

 courtesy of: https://ledcorporations.com/kelvin-aka-cct-correlated-color-temperature/ This coloration varies from a deep orange to a cool blue.  A little past the middle (Approximately 6500 kelvin) is natural lighting.  This is the reason I have special 200w 6500 kelvin florescent bulbs in her art studio.


This translates to the following tables from pixelemporium.com:




Light Source Kelvin temperature R G B Values Color Candle 1900 255, 147, 41
40W Tungsten 2600 255, 197, 143
100W Tungsten 2850 255, 214, 170
Halogen 3200 255, 241, 224
Carbon Arc 5200 255, 250, 244
High Noon Sun 5400 255, 255, 251
Direct Sunlight 6000 255, 255, 255
Overcast Sky 7000 201, 226, 255
Clear Blue Sky 20000 64, 156, 255

Light Source R G B Values Color Warm Fluorescent 255, 244, 229
Standard Fluorescent 244, 255, 250
Cool White Fluorescent 212, 235, 255
Full Spectrum Fluorescent 255, 244, 242
Grow Light Fluorescent 255, 239, 247
Black Light Fluorescent 167, 0, 255


Light Source R G B Values Color Mercury Vapor 216, 247, 255
Sodium Vapor 255, 209, 178
Metal Halide 242, 252, 255
High Pressure Sodium 255, 183, 76


In Game-Guru you'll find that often the best results can be achieved by simply blending and letting the engine handle it for you. Despite whatever adjustments you might make, or if you use all the coloring charts on the reference page that I have ... it really helps to simply put two different colors in a room and let them blend together when you compile the static lighting.

From Wolf's WIP Game: Acythian As you can see in the above example, you have two separate light colors.  One a sort of magenta while the other is a 'hot kelvin' type orange color.  While either of these could be used to set the tone by themselves, by shifting the color dramatically he's achieved a very unique effect that clearly separates the room for a person's eyes to see.

Also from Acythian

In the above picture you can see a more subtle delineation, allowing a cleaner combination of two similar colors.  It also helps draw attention to a critical point, where something vital is hiding (near some glowing mushrooms). 

use previous example to show blue/white colors and combination from lamp and overhead lamps.

In this example we've taken the lamp from the previous segment and put in a white overhead light for general room illumination and then underneath the lamp put in a bright blue light to give the simulation of varied lighting.  The result, I think, pays dividends.





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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in GameGuru - 11/26/2018

Well, the American holiday of Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I do love it, not just for the food but the lessons it brings us.  If you're ever interested, take a look at the notes of the Pilgrims from that time.  There's a lot of lessons to be learned there, for sure.

Moving ahead, GameGuru has a lot of ground to cover this week. Let's get started...

Official GameGuru News   So it looks like we got a big release and they just updated the main news page with it.

https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-november-update-released
This information is nothing new, if you've been following my blog.  All of these were covered in the PP release, which is now just following the natural effect of being deployed as a 'stable' version.  Time will tell but I expect some followup patching as it shakes out over a larger audience.

This overshadowed another update as well from earlier last week which was that the construction pack DLC got updated with more PBR textures.

Full details can be found here: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-construction-site-dlc-updated-3

What's Good in the Store
This week in the store we have a smattering of new items.  First we've got some interesting pulleys from Mad Lobster's Workshop: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32169



I have to say I love the work he does on texturing.  I think this product marks a good departure from his more niche products to a more general line that can be used by a broader audience.  I for one welcome the move.

Reliquia's beautiful Toonland Car now is available in a well priced pack: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11060

Teabone continues his work both in modelling (this time on ingots) and on scripting (a mine arming/disarming script).

And lastly we have a Christmas Pack from Colosso who pretty much covers the ENTIRE Christmas spread with gifts, a tree, a snowman, a sled, an igloo and more!



Get the Christmas Pack here!




Third Party Tutorials and Tools
I didn't see any this week, but if I missed one let me know and I'll add it.

Free Stuff
Maiacombra provided some free textures that could easily be added to a terrain setup.
 

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs) VincentHendriks went with a totally different tactic this week, moving to a hitman-style spy shooter with a villa that you assault.  It's a solid first run through though it needs polish and testing.  So far though the results are promising.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjC9k1A0OOU

Note the clever use of an EBE building.
So far, so good. Good foliage, good coloration.  The building is a nice departure from the usual fare with in the bounds of EBE's limitations. 
 
Openload continues his work on 'Memory of Hedolan' (I covered it a few weeks ago here) with some new screenshots.  This is a really solid piece that looks like it's got some serious effort going into it.


The lighting is fairly on point and it looks like a solid effort, which I can always appreciate.

Additional screenshots and details can be found in this thread: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220223#msg2608734

So in a not-so-rare case of me tooting my own horn, I helped Len the Man with some advice on his cowboy shooter. I gave him a really rough copy of my subchapter on how to make deserts and he's really taken and run with it.  Check out this before and after comparison:


What an ENORMOUS difference.  There's still work to do, obviously - I'd add bigger and wider vegetation, maybe some rocks and foreground elements like small shrubs but overall this is miles better and significantly more immersive.  Nicely done Len!

In My Own Works
Well for starters, I updated the cover graphic for the twilight sky freebie I did a while back.  I am not sure how, but the graphic got all screwed up and made the demo picture look awful.  You can get that freebie here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/30955

I also have a lighting tutorial I wrote up nearly a year ago that I cleaned up and will be releasing very shortly (like, later today!) ... and lastly I'm up to 126k words on my book.  I just finished covering how to make cutscenes in game and will be moving on to 'Advanced Engine Usage' which mostly will cover setup.ini configurations and tricks.  I'll admit I'm wearing out a bit on the heavier duty stuff I'm having to cover but it's getting there by god!

Thanks again for everyone's support and I look forward to a final release of this book which I believe will truly help you all bring your projects to fruition!
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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week In GameGuru - 11/19/2018

As you can see, I'll now be cross posted not only at gamedev.net and blogarama but also here on the GameGuru site itself, which is pretty awesome!

So for those of you who are not aware, I've been writing these reports for a very long time at my blog, spanning several years - all the way back to the FPSC Reloaded days.  There's a ton of extra content there such as my tutorial list: http://gamegurureport.blogspot.com/p/my-tutorialstechnique-evaluations.html

and the reference list of everything from FPE errors to light values: http://gamegurureport.blogspot.com/p/reference-list-for-gameguru.html
 
This is a relatively quiet week, so if you missed last week's update (Which is not listed on the GameGuru site as I needed to skip it to get caught up for future content) you can find it here: http://gamegurureport.blogspot.com/2018/11/this-week-in-game-guru-11122018.html

Official GameGuru News
This week was a huge update from the standpoint of actual Game-Guru news as you can see on the front page.  This week we got our third public preview update, which represents a sort of 'last beta' before it actually is released as a final release.  This public preview allows us to test thoroughly all the upcoming changes in the next major release.


https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-public-preview-update-3

The list of changes is substantial and ranges from a better physics shapes, new model changes for better animating and physics responses, better importing, improved particles (a massive update), a HUGE AI update done by smallg & Lee, and of course the usual smattering of minor bugfixes.  It's completely worth taking a few minutes to review the huge list of updates on the actual news link above.

As always I recommend making a copy of your stable version of Game-Guru before downloading the PP update via steam so as to ensure you are secure in case of serious issues with the PP release.

What's Good In The Store
So this week we have some really excellent cartoon cars by Reliquia:

These should be part of a pack!

A very well priced (underpriced, even) monster by LOTGD(80 cents!): 


Teabone's been steadily producing scripts for you to purchase now available as a reasonably priced pack:



And lastly, by 'Moshroom' - probably the coolest thing I've seen in a while - a full JRPG script kit!  It's on sale now for 13.00 which is a VERY reasonable price for such a complete script setup.


Get it here at: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11059

Free Stuff
Not much going on here this week but Maiacoimbra did do several colorings of the medieval weapons and the futuretek shotgun. 

Third party Tools and Tutorials
This week we have a tutorial on how to reduce polygons you can find here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219982
And some interesting image compression software I have yet to test out, might produce better results for DDS files:   https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220248

Random Acts of Creativity(WIPs)
Graphix has been working on his particle weather effects and recently showed off his fog effects.  I'd love to integrate support for these into my weather system!
You can check out a video of it here:  https://youtu.be/IC__yQpDPp8

We also have an update by Vincent Hendricks on his medieval game which is coming together rather well:


Now for my personal favorite of the week.  Teabone made one of the coolest 'monster/trap' entities I've seen in a while, something I've loved for a long time since my early years playing DND:  The Gelatinous cube!


I absolutely love the gelatinous cubes.  They were always some of the most interesting and difficult monsters to fight; nothing worse than a giant living blob of acid to ruin your day!


In My Own Works
Well, I finally hit 120,000 words (122k, to be precise).  This does not mean the book is done, far from it.  I have two major sections to write:  The model importer and the advanced Lua code section.  Once those are done, I'll be sitting around 130,000 words, which I will probably trim down to 125-122k after editing.

After editing (should be wrapped up by mid-December) I'll then start taking the 150+ pictures I need for the book!

Then I get the joy of formatting it and typesetting it for the publisher, sending it to my editor for one last review, then sending it to the PUBLISHER's editor, then so on and so forth until it is finally accepted by the publisher (CRCPress) in February or so.

Still, I'm very happy with how this has come along recently and it's great to finally be making REAL progress on this.




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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 11/12/2018

This week's update may actually make it to the Game-Guru news page, woohoo!

We'll see.  I've been in communication with TGC's marketing person and it's moving forward, albeit a bit slowly.

Official Game-Guru News Well, it doesn't appear they have added anything new as of this writing, though typically news releases seem to be done later today or tomorrow.  In the interim I can say I found this site:
https://www.game-guru.com/news-posts?post_type=guest-authors
Which currently only has one post but hopefully yours truly will see the light of day there soon.

What's Good in the Store This week we've got two entries.  One is a timely turkey, as it were, just in time for the grand American holiday of Thanksgiving were we gorge ourselves on copious amounts of food and then fall into a comatose state.
A little small, by 'murican standards.

Campana productions put this one together and you can find it here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/32155

Next we have a really nicely done pack of snow-themed assets.



It's got everything from buildings to vehicles.  I'm also happy to see he included a few free models for you to trial as well.  It's well priced at $8.00 which is a bargain by any standards.

You can get your copy here: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11058

Free Stuff
In the realm of free stuff we're getting into the giving time of year and it shows!
Lafette, as mentioned, has a few free things on that pack you should grab.  He also made a train station too though.

You can get your copy of the 'Free old German train station' here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220209

It appears GraphiX is making headway on his new kit, though I'm not sure if it will be free (though he keeps posting updates to the free forum so.. maybe?).  You can watch a video on this interesting sci-fi pack here: https://youtu.be/CToyFLW70d0

Mstockton released some free music over at his site.  Definitely head on over and make sure to like the page for him! https://michaelstockton.net/cartoon-casual-game-tracks-volume-1

Honkeyboy released some Lua code for Game-Guru that allows you to setup chatting NPCs relatively easily.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220225#msg2608076
It's mostly to control the animations though so you'll still need to manage all the other elements such as sound and text. 

Third Party Tools and Tutorials I found this ENORMOUS tutorial playlist on Game-Guru related topics on youtube over the weekend while doing book research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjSBCevTnYI&list=PLot9BTdhKKd4KV91P7WkIKVsybktHu1Za

Random Acts of Creativity(WIPs) This has been an absolutely crazy week for updates so if I missed you, apologies.  I *THINK* I got them all.  So in no particular order....

Schneeky has a fairly well done Medieval project put together.  I'm curious how this will bear out.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220228

Honkeyboy started a new project.  Not so sure about this one, but if he polishes it, maybe it'll take roots for him.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220201#msg2607752

A new user "OPENLOAD" made an italian title that looks very promising "Il mio primo lavoro "Memory of the Hedolan": https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220223

Of particular note is DVader, who crawled out of the woodwork to deliver a holiday-themed project.  Why this is noteworthy is DVader is actually a fairly competent coder so you can expect some interesting work from a technical standpoint in this project.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220214

Ertlov released a slice of his game 'Into the Ice' for testing - check it out here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/206985?page=3#msg2608009

Bonesy continues to update Cyberfi and it's actually starting to look like a real game.  This is a great example of what happens when you focus, buckle down and actually WORK on your projects!


Granada's been working on some guns in Game-Guru and I have to say I love the exaggerated look!


In My Own Works
I'm drawing closer and closer to completing my book, now within striking range of my target for completion.  I'm at 110,000 words and counting.  Once I pass 120k I'll probably keep going to 125/130k and then remove about 3-5k for editing.

This week was all about advanced AI control, sales, marketing, and piracy.  Very preliminary editing work began with chapter reorgs and other things.

Further this week will be mostly Lua oriented as I wrap up the 'intro' chapter to Lua, then do a complete Lua command reference for Game-Guru, and if I have time work on the Advanced Lua chapter (which I will admit I am somewhat dreading).

See you next week!



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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week In Game-Guru - 11/5/2018

Official Game-Guru News
While there's not a lot of information floating out there from an official standpoint, it appears that TGC worked with the user 'Wizard of Id' to make a cold war pack that's prepping for release.  Some preview elements were released and it's up to his usual snuff and then some.

You can find a full 24 minute (!!!) demo video of the product in it's pre-release form here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9N5A8JlQw0

I have to say I really appreciate the grungy look of the tiles on the wall.

What's Good in the Store
Looks like M2Design is getting busy with some new shacks.  True story - one of my very first purchased models was one of his original shacks some four or five years ago.  The guy makes good work and you should absolutely take a look at the newest offerings.  You get 17 shacks for $6.50, a steal by any right.



MStockton also been working on updating his textures for his terrain sets and the newest updates look pretty impressive:


Honestly he's the only other terrain creator I trust from the store beyond myself, so if that's not high enough praise for his products I don't know what is.  They were worth buying before - they are in the 'must buy' category for terrains now.

Free Stuff
Maiacombra rehashed a 'modified' flashlight that looks pretty decent: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220189

Amenmoses put up a new script for Bod's buttons: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220055#msg2607706

JPH put up some really beautiful advertising boards for free here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219734?page=1#msg2607741
You can see the picture below:
 

Third Party Tutorials and Tools
Nothing doing here.  Maybe next week!


Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs)
Bonesy continues his work on his sci-fi shooter.  I admire the dedication to a single project and the constant improvement.  So while I think it still needs a lot of polish, as a pre-alpha it's in a good state and could will easily be improved by his constant hard work:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCzcFFv7tr4

PirateMyke put up a very interesting video of a level he's making for another game that I have to say has some really impressive architecture.  The sheer scope of it is pretty awesome.  I did tell him to work on the lighting but that's neither here nor there.  Check out a video of it here: https://youtu.be/5_gK4X7TCaY



The above is a screenshot of VincentHendrik's newest medieval castle work.  I like the design and use of color for lighting.  Seems like he's dialing it in pretty nicely.

And of particular interest it was revealed T-Bone(Aka Teabone) is working on a weapon wheel script that looks like a pretty nice piece of code!



I'd change the graphics but I'd reckon the actual code itself is pretty sweet!  I'm super interested in diving into it myself when it goes up for sale.


In My Own Works
This week I got a metric ton of writing done. I mean it was substantial, probably 13-15k words written last week. You can thank the chapter on optimization which was both enlightening and totally consuming.  It's such a big issue it almost deserves a book unto itself!  That said I was super pleased to hit a major milestone: 100,000 words!  This is officially 20k larger than anything else I've ever written before and I still have 20k more words to go.  That said I'm on track and on time and that is just a great place to be!

I also had fun digging into the actual code on GitHub to answer some of my own questions with respect to Game-Guru's more secretive functions so look for some really great answers to some long standing questions when I hit publication!






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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 10/29/2018

What a crazy week.  Life at home has been absolutely nuts and this week we've got a fairly jam-packed series of updates that I need to unpack here.  So I'm going to blitz through this as quick as I can and hopefully haven't missed anything critical.

Official Game-Guru News: So this week they updated the Fantasy pack again with more PBR assets but also added an 'ally' knight character.  I'll have to take a look at that code, should be fun.

https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-fantasy-pack-updated

Of particular note was this tidbit:
"Back in the main engine, we working on multiple fronts, including our forthcoming GLTF support, improved AI and improvements to FBX importing, which will allow up to 170 bone character models, making extra room for detailed finger and facial animations."

Now that's exciting!

Third Party Tools and Tutorials: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220102 - SegAutoWelder free.  This program, by "BoredOfTheRings" does the following: 'it takes FPSC segments / levels and converts them fully textured and saves directly to Game-Guru without the user needing to do anything'.  Sounds great for old users looking to update their assets to Game-Guru!
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220100 - Another "BoredOfTheRings" creation - a Free DBO to X converter.  Not bad!
https://www.moddb.com/tutorials/lighting-in-game-environments-the-hows-and-whys Someone linked this fantastic demi-chapter from a book on lighting and I have to say having read it it's totally worth the 20-40 minutes reading on it.  

What's Good on The Store  This week on the store, I want to mention first off I've updated the normal mapping for MANY of my terrains (really the only one that hasn't been is the tropic terrain due to some errors in the DDS files).  This improved normal mapping is only noticeable on the 'highest' setting for terrain but fixes some long standing issues I've had with my work's performance on those settings.  The biggest offender was my '1024px HQ Roads' terrain.  Current owners should re-download them in Game-Guru by choosing 'download from store'.



This week has a lot of great stuff.  Teabone has continued to update his value priced Crime Scene Pack and now has an 'all scripts' pack which I believe is a fantastic value for some really great utility scripts.

BSP's put out some excellent PBR animated trees.  Personally I'd prefer static trees but if you want the highest quality available, accept no substitutes!

And lastly I have to say I really love MStockton's 'crystal terrain and model pack'.  I've been playing a lot of ARK: Aberration the past few months and this is just the ticket to create something similar!


Random Acts Of Creativity (WIPs): I'm adding the (WIPs) tag just so new users know what this section is.
Graphix has some really nice new model updates - https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220156#msg2607189
Granada posted a pretty awesome cowboy WIP up:
Very impressive, for a meager 6400 polys! Here's a screenshot from a WIP called 'The Acolytes' by VincentHendriks:
Some work to be done but an interesting first go, reminds me of Quake 1 for color palette. And... a lot of videos..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U1gy1Lq4Ng&feature=youtu.be - AI and Particles
https://youtu.be/ugsHu2-0650 - Bonesy's SCI-FI Shooter is coming along nicely.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEgcRdMpWVQ - MaiaCombra put out this interesting build using stock assets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-MuBNOkz6o - Synchromesh released a video of something he calls 'SmileFPS'.  Interesting stuff.
 =VX=Doggy has a pretty sweet video he posted I felt needed some love about a morning jog:



Now that, I have to say, caught my attention. Really looks smooth and the art, while a little over-saturated on purple for my tastes (you need to throw in some complementary colors like yellow!), is damned impressive.     Free Stuff: 
Nothing here.  Unless you count the 3rd party stuff listed above.

In My Own Works: I've updated the normals as mentioned above for my terrain(s).  I also got a HUGE amount of book related work done with a whopping 11,000 words or so written this week. I'm now sitting just shy of 90,000 words which puts me nearly back on track with where I need to be!

Well, I think I got everything.  If I missed you, feel free to shoot me a comment or a message.  I'll be sure to add you in for next week!


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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 10/22/2018

So I'm back from my business trip and there's a lot of catching up to do.  Let's get started!
Official Game-Guru News: Every once in a while TheGameCreators, makers of Game-Guru, release two press releases inside of a week. Makes it a little difficult for me as a weekly updater but in case you missed them there are two new updates to cover:

https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-buildings-pack-update-released Finally, with all the PBR retexturing done they got to the buildings and... they look... ok-ish?  I guess?  I don't know.  They seem to lack the really high quality finish some of the other PBR redos have.  I use these models regularly as stand-ins or as actual elements and it's just a little disappointing to see that the textures seem marginally better as a result of the PBR treatment.  I'll have to play with it to see if I can improve it, but judge for yourself:


In better news, however, there's a new pack out - the "Medical Pack".  This pack is really ripe with tons of goodies like really well textured models of x-ray machines, gurneys, doors, desks, curtains, etc.  I'd put this in a 'must buy' category.  It's currently on sale for 20% off.



These materials can find a home in a great many different projects so definitely consider picking it up!
Free Stuff: Animated Wooden Crate by Lafette II: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220151
This crate is unusual in that it performs the function of being "a wooden box that opens when you approach it and let all the objects you can pick up in the two rooms float first and then slide into the box after a short while. It can be used excellently in fantasy games, but it also looks great in modern shooter games." ... will need to try this one out myself later.

Third Party Tutorials and Tools

Information on how to make an animated TV monitor: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220149

Random Acts of Creativity

Now in this particular area I have a lot of updates to go over so bear with me as  I cover them all.

New assets are on the way!
First and foremost there are a significant amount of new assets in the pipeline for store users.  If you're interested in purchasing these and want to see what's coming soon - check this subforum and just look at all the big names in there - Lafette, Graphix, Wizard of Id, etc.  Tons of really good stuff is on the way! 

Bellidos meanwhile has been hard at work on something he calls 'mastaba':

It's an interesting recessed temple model.  Not much more to go on but it showed up in the discord while I was out of town and I like the way it looks.  Expect it on the store soon!
A lot of work was done on particles... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLebdDTJgis Preben's at it again with some GG Loader particles that produce excellent weather effects.

https://youtu.be/Tm_u6HsI7Lg  Graphix and Amenmoses have been working on some interesting particle stuff in this video link given as well.

Game-Guru users have been hard at work as well...

Len the man has been hard at work at his cowboy shooter and while I think some may complain about the graphics what he HAS shown limit on talent with are his creation and use of cutscenes.  Check out this gif and just try to figure for yourself how it was accomplished, because I can't manage it shy of frame-by-frame video editing:






Yeah, I wish I could do that.  I've asked him for info on how, so I can maybe write it up in my book but dang.  Good work Len!

New user 'Bonesy' has continued his work on 'cyberfi' and it's starting to look more and more like a real game.  Admittedly it's a bit too spartan and the colors are very polarizing by my standards but it's always good to see people steadily improving their product.  He's even added some mech with custom AI to it, so it's definitely going places though it still needs a LOT of polish.


I'm looking forward to see where it goes from here.

A frequent favorite on here, Duchenkuke won the most recent contest (I was not a participant this time, due to work - though I don't think I'd have beaten this entry) on a ghost town theme with this beauty:



However little did you know he also makes music as well - check out some of his most recent stuff here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHbM5ph8VeU

Oh and lastly, in case you're interested in how NOT to act as a Game-Guru user you can check out some juicy controversy here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220157

In My Own Works I have my work cut out for me, I knew this already but this last week really set me back a LOT.  I now have an additional 5k words I need to write this week meaning I'll be lucky if I can make it to 8k words.  That means long days and longer nights as I try to get caught up.

I have some really great ideas for projects and products for Game-Guru but can't get the time to work on them.  Such is life.  Once the book is clear I have to do the sidecar game to go with it so I'm probably going to be running 100% until next June.  Lovely!


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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 10/15/2018

This week's update was pre-staged because of some real life work obligations. Apologies for any content which was missed in the lag time between staging and deployment here.

Official Game Guru News https://steamcommunity.com/app/266310/discussions/0/1730963192547852809/ - Per synchromesh it appears the long standing 'disappearing model' issue may be resolved.  Time will tell!

Also this came out this last week: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-melee-weapons-pack-updated-2
So apparently more updates to the already really decent melee weapons pack were done. They added 6 more melee weapons.  Pretty impressive stuff for those who already own it!

Lastly all of the incremental AI updates are here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220075?page=2#msg2606583

We also have our list of winners from the Survey (all of these people got free DLC!):
Archor Simon Cleaton Rogy  Very cool, congrats all!
What's Good in the Store The same stuff as last week, sadly.

Free Stuff Nothing new for free as of this writing.


Third Party Tools and Tutorials
There's some pretty good info in this thread about how to use styleguru, which is a fantastic third party program that can help you customize your Game-Guru menus.
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220056

Random Acts of Creativity Particle Test by Kevan Hampton - https://youtu.be/08zG7FczACM

Extraction Point X11 https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220128
Now the above should really get your attention.  Someone put a lot of hard work and care into this but used mostly stock game assets.  They have a very good cutscene and HUD, as well as a neatly modified menu.  Sets a good standard Game-Guru game-making attempts.

Environmental Particles in GG Loader: https://youtu.be/ItEVjI0HX9Q

Pirate Mike's walk through of his upcoming game: https://youtu.be/wFLuupCC5A4

Someone made a kindle e-book with Game-Guru graphics... speaking as someone who's made a kindle book before it's no picnic to arrange those things.  I am fairly impressed!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J1VZRYC
In My Own Works:
Recently this week started work on the 'how to make a desert' walkthrough.  It's coming along well though is tricker than I first thought.  Here's a screenshot:

This is far from final and sadly the book will only include B&W stills, but regardless, the basic shape is there. There's more grasses, background materials and the like to add but atmospherically speaking it's what I wanted.
I also have this for the Semi-Arid type of desert, but it needs even more work:

Piece by piece this book is coming along.  Just two more desert types to do for the book and take all the necessary screenshots, do final cleanup, etc.

I also need to rework my 'how to make a city' section as well, which falls into a similar situation.


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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 10/08/2018

Official Game-Guru News: There is a new survey available which offers users the chance of getting a free DLC pack as incentive for completing it so give them your thoughts! https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-users-enter-our-survey-to-win-a-dlc

There were also some AI improvements made to the most recent public preview. Apparently some input was run by smallg (one of the resident scripting experts) who cleaned it up.

They updated the PBR materials to include mega-pack 3:
Details on the above here: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-mega-pack-3-dlc-updated-2

And lastly there was ALSO an update to EAI's weaponry:https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-mega-pack-3-dlc-updated-2

What's Good in the Store:
Tarkus's music.  I usually like his stuff but this isn't my speed.  That said it would work well for many games seeking some well priced work that can fit a wide range of modern/post modern genre games: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11055
Pasquill's PBR construction vehicles were completed and are now available at a very reasonable price in a pack! https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11054

Free Stuff https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220103 - This beautiful gateway by Lafette II
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220124 - This Bizarre Spongebob/Domo-kun esque character for cartoon style games.  Free, follows waypoints, has Gtox's quality on it.  Nice stuff. Characters are always a fairly expensive proposition so it's particularly noteworthy when one is available for free.


Third party tools and Tutorials There's this interesting texturing tutorial (care of Bugsy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8d6p-E4KSE

Random Acts of Creativity Amenmoses has been working on physics and particles a lot this past week.  He put together a nice demo reel of his physics-based leaves here: https://vimeo.com/292789619

There's this campfire with smoke physics and fire particles: https://vimeo.com/293305766
And he even made an aggregate thread for all of his scripting work (finally!) here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220055
What a busy man!

Duchenkuke detailed his picture below (I promised not to name names but he made a video so it kind of betrays him a bit!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWsEVUgcYIw&feature=youtu.be
He's also updated his web presence, check out his new site here:
https://sites.google.com/view/dkproductions/startseite

In My Own Works:
I created a screenshot for an impromptu private contest for other GG Forumites.
Came in dead last.  Was based on 'forests'.  I gambled on going Alien Fungal and lost big!

That said, it is what it is.  Next time, I guess and no, I will not tell you where this contest was as it was fairly secret/private.  I can't post all of the pictures at this time as it will make this page unreasonably long to load for some.  So here's mine (dead last), the runner up, and the winner!


Mine:



Runner-Up:

Winner:



Congrats to the winner :)

That said I also got about 4500 words done thanks to said contest on how to make a forest, though admittedly I wrote it post-picture as a sort of 'lessons learned by my failure'.  Still, the overall nature of it came out well.  I plan on doing a city and desert/Tundra style one as well.

See you next week!


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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 10/01/2018

I notice (@LeeBamber) that I'm still not showing on the news section.  Not that it's any skin off my back.  I do this for fun, but I wouldn't mind a followup so I'm not twisting in the wind (nudge nudge).



Official Game-Guru News:


This week we got a PBR update to some assets in the Sci-Fi pack and also a new 'ally' AI delivered via a drone.  I'll be interested to dig into that one to see what's different as the current AI is a bit of a slush pile that can be difficult to interpret.

You can find the official news release here: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-scifi-pack-dlc-update-released-2

On the note of AI, it appears that's Lee's primary focus right now and so far I hear the results are promising.  Those results can be found in detail here but essentially there's a demo level out there with a lot of cover objects.  The AI *SEEMS* to be productive and functional, but time will tell.  That said if the vast majority of users are claiming it's improved then I think that's a fair litmus.  I watched the demo video and I noticed a few good changes, notably that it won't shoot through walls and will path far better than it used to.

What I'd like to see:
A system for enemy accuracy; right now they still hit 99% of the time and that's just absurd. Better synching of the movement to animation, which often times is a configuration setting but should be the default.   A system for enemies running away when injured/hiding/etc. A module in the AI itself that allows us to 'hook in' as modders, as it is it's more of a black box with a few function calls outside of it. Forum AI link:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220075 (AI)
Now for those of you who are using the EAI Weapon Pack, which is phenomenal mind you, you may have noticed some errors or bugs with assigning said weapons to enemies or NPCs.  This apparently is going to be resolved in a future release after verification by EAI himself. 
Forum link for EAI Info:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219912

What's good in the store:
You know I was going to say there was nothing going on and just move on, but this week has been a big drop of lots of really great assets.  Of course as the quality goes up you may notice the price increasing but some of these are ... top shelf stuff.  I don't know any other way to put it.  Stuff you'd see in a AAA game.

Let's go over a few.
First of all, Gtox is really into fish... Well, that's true but apparently he's also into porpoises as well.



If you're making a sea-world game, this is probably right up your alley.

What's really intriguing to me is that Teabone, Robert Fitzy and Gamepoly (A new challenger appears!) all created fantastic high quality models this week.  I mean just look at this:



I really like GamePoly's work, this is a new level of quality that is desperately needed in Game-Guru's overly-asset flipped environment.  You can also see some new models by Mad Lobster and Pasquill at the bottom (the exacavator). 

Not bad for a single week!  Make sure you swing by http://en.tgcstore.net and check out the latest for yourself!




Third Party Applications and Tutorials
This week I was poking around on a project I can't discuss at this moment (wait till next week!) but I did end up at this wonderful tool - https://tangrams.github.io/heightmapper/
This is a free heightmapper that I found worked a bit better than the one for terrain.party.  Definitely give it a look, the values on it are fantastic for use with the game-guru 'Heightmap to MDAT' tool.

Also in the forums, Wolf showed an older tool that I wish I'd have had in the past for my own imports - an import scaler tool to help adjust the scale on your FPE files: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/218348

And lastly there was a pretty nice video posted by Bugsy in the discord chat discussing how Mirror's Edge used lighting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0sM7ZU0Nwo


Free Stuff Nothing free that I could find this week.  Sorry guys!

Random Acts of Creativity So in the WIP section we have some things from VincentHendriks who continues his use of the stock assets in the only way they could ever potentially be used - as a desert combat game.  It's looking ... well, like a reasonably good desert combat game!

Reminds me of the photos my buddies would send me from Iraq.
It's coming along well, I'd say.


There's also a new asset flip for us to look at on Steam.  Now I will say while the game itself was a fairly bland and boring flip, the demo video for it was interesting - the guy took live video with some basic video modding to provide a little more oomph to a Game-Guru game than I'm used to.  That said, it's not worth the price asked for and apparently is a buggy mess.
See it here:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/798710/Voltage/

Also another new user showed up, this time with an odd cyber-punk style game where I guess you're on a rooftop?  He took some of the advice I offered him but it needs a lot more polish.  Regardless though it's getting there and at least it doesn't look like the same old same old.  I can respect the effort.

In My Own Works This week I've been working on a special project, which but it's allowed me to focus on getting another segment for the book done - specifically a 'how to do a forest in Game-Guru'.  This is a difficult topic that I think most will benefit from a little personal understanding on.

That said though I'm still behind the curve here.  I need to bang out like 20,000 words this month to stay on track and that's no easy feat.

I also aggregated all the new Lua commands since 5/12/2017 for you here:
http://gamegurureport.blogspot.com/2018/09/new-lua-commands-since-5122017.html

See you next week!












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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

New Lua Commands since 5/12/2017

So recently I’ve found myself back in Game-Guru for more significant lengths of time than I’ve had in a while.  Up to this point I’ve mostly been relegated to occasionally dipping my toes in the water while things are updating at a furious pace due to github contributions.  So I found myself troubleshooting some of my weather system functions and realized there was a significant body of added functions since the last major version (5.12.2017/DX9). The DX9 edition was fairly stable, so a lot of people use it – however since then a large amount of updated Lua commands have been added with no real clear list of what’s been changed between now and then.  So without any further fanfare, here’s a simple list capturing most of the changes listed on github.  They were obtained by checking the history of changes on github so if I missed any, please let me know. Most of this is documented in global.lua itself, albeit not as a straight ‘diff’ as this is intended to be.

ENTITY CONTROL ScaleObject : ScaleObject( obj, x, y, z ) -- Scales object in all axis (Note: uses object id not entity!) ***** The following four functions return multiple values, if you do not need them all just replace ***** the ones you don't need with '_' for example : _, _, _, Ax, Ay, Az = GetEntityPosAng( e ) would ***** just give you last three of the 6 values returned GetObjectPosAng : x, y, z, Ax, Ay, Az = GetObjectPosAng( obj ) -- returns position and Euler angles of object GetEntityPosAng : x, y, z, Ax, Ay, Az = GetEntityPosAng( e )   -- returns position and Euler angles of entity GetObjectColBox : xmin, ymin, zmin, xmax, ymax, zmax = GetObjectCollBox( obj ) -- returns collision cube of object GetEntityColBox : xmin, ymin, zmin, xmax, ymax, zmax = GetEntityCollBox( e )   -- returns collision cube of entity Collision box is defined by coordinates of two opposing corners, from these it is easy to calculate the size of the object GetEntityWeight : weight = GetEntityWeight( e ) -- returns the Physics weight value of the entity GetObjectScales : xs, ys, zs = GetObjectScales( obj ) -- returns scale values of object in all axis (Note: uses object id not entity!) SetRotationYSlowly : SetRotationYSlowly(e,destangle,smoothvalue) -- where e is the entity and a smooth value of 100 is immediate, where 50 takes twice as long to rotate to destangle (Dest Angle) RotateToPlayerWithOffset(e,angleoffset) – Rotates an entity to the player with a euler angle offset. SetHoverFactor(e,v) – Sets E entity’s hover factor by V value. Presumably used for flying objects. SetEntityHealthSilent(e,v) – Unsure of actual function but obviously it sets an entity’s health… silently?  Needs testing.

JOYSTICK/GAMEPAD/VR CONTROLS NOTE: Joystick and VR function before was simply a placeholder.  So these commands were there before but didn’t actually work – now they do, hence their inclusion below. JoystickX: JoystickX() -- returns a value between -1000 and +1000 representing X axis of controller JoystickY: JoystickY() -- returns a value between -1000 and +1000 representing Y axis of controller JoystickZ: JoystickZ() -- returns a value between -1000 and +1000 representing Trigger of controller PromptLocalForVR(e,str,vrmode)– Unsure, bit it does have actual function now. PromptLocal(e,str)– some kind of vr related function unfortunately poorly documented for now. JoystickHatAngle: JoystickHatAngle() -- command used by the default player control mechanism JoystickFireXL: JoystickFireXL() -- command used by the default player control mechanism JoystickTwistX: JoystickTwistX() -- command used by the default player control mechanism JoystickTwistY: JoystickTwistY() -- command used by the default player control mechanism JoystickTwistZ: JoystickTwistZ() -- command used by the default player control mechanism SetGamePlayerStatePlrZoomInChange: SetGamePlayerStatePlrZoomInChange() -- command used by the default player control mechanism GetGamePlayerStatePlrZoomInChange: GetGamePlayerStatePlrZoomInChange() -- command used by the default player control mechanism GetDynamicCharacterControllerDidJump: x=GetDynamicCharacterControllerDidJump() -- returns 1 if controller jumped

SOUND CONTROL SetEntityString : SetEntityString ( e, slot, string ) -- where e is the entity number and slot (0-4) to write the string into.  I believe this probably allows you to change sounds or configure them programmatically. GetEntityString : GetEntityString ( e, slot ) -- where e is the entity number and slot (0-4) is the sound slot index.  The above supposition is confirmed by this. LoopNon3DSound(e,v) – entity/value.  Loops a slotted sound without 3d, so no distance modifiers just same volume at any distance.

WATER SHADER CONTROLS **Water Shader Settings*** Look into the shader for informations about these values(open effectbank/reloaded/water_basic.fx with i.e. notepad) SetWaterHeight(value) – Sets height of water plane. SetWaterColor(red,green,blue) – Sets RGB of water plane. SetWaterWaveIntensity(value) – Sets intensity of waves SetWaterTransparancy(value) – Sets transparency of waves SetWaterReflection(value) – Sets reflection value of water surface SetWaterReflectionSparkleIntensity(value) – Specularity of water surface, I believe SetWaterFlowDirection(x,y,speed) -- small tip: -1 =east/north; 1=west/south - speed is a multiplier of the flowdirection(higher => fast flow) SetWaterDistortionWaves(value) --  Water noise level SetRippleWaterSpeed(value) – how fast the ripples move GetWaterHeight() – returns height of water GetWaterWaveIntensity() – returns intensity of water GetWaterShaderColorRed() – returns water plane R value GetWaterShaderColorGreen() – returns water plane G value GetWaterShaderColorBlue() --  returns water plane B value GetWaterTransparancy() – returns water transparency value GetWaterReflection() --  returns water reflection value GetWaterReflectionSparkleIntensity() --  Returns ‘water reflection sparkle intensity’ value GetWaterFlowDirectionX() – returns water flow direction X GetWaterFlowDirectionY() – returns water flow direction Y GetWaterFlowSpeed() – returns water flow speed GetWaterDistortionWaves() – returns water distortion wave setting GetRippleWaterSpeed() – returns water ripple speed

LIGHT AND SKY CONTROL SetSkyTo(str) : str=foldername of the sky you want to change to (i.e. ChangeSkyTo("dark")) GetEntityLightNumber( e ) --  Returns entity light number (HALLELUJAH!) x, y, z = GetLightPosition( lightNum ) – Presumably returns light XYZ position into 3 separate variables, needs testing. r, g, b = GetLightRGB( lightNum )  -- Presumably fills RGB values into 3 separate variables.  Needs testing. GetLightRange( lightNum ) --  Returns light range. GetLightAngle : xv, yv, zv = GetLightAngle( LightNum ) -- returns the angle vector of the dynamic light specified SetLightAngle : SetLightAngle( lightNum, xv, yv, zv ) -- sets the angle vector of the specified light ( e.g. 0, 0, 1 would be 'North' or +Z axis ) SetLightPosition( lightNum, x, y, z ) – Lightnum=entity light number.  Sets physical position. SetLightRGB( lightNum, r, g, b ) --  Lightnum=entity light number.  Sets RBG value of light. SetLightRange( lightNum, range )   -- range is 1 .. 10000, values outside range are capped; configures output range of light.

FUNCTION FOR FUNCTIONS SetPreExitValue: SetPreExitValue(e,value) -- where e is the entity and a value of 2 will exit preexit function.  This is invoked at runtime and allows a function to return a value if it exits before being allowed to return a code properly – I think.  Needs testing but most of you won’t be using this unless you took actual programming classes :P

PARTICLE CONTROLS (!) ParticlesGetFreeEmitter:  iEmitterID = ParticlesGetFreeEmitter() -- returns the index of a free particle emitter object ParticlesAddEmitter: ParticlesAddEmitter(animationSpeed,startsOffRandomAngle,offsetMinX,offsetMinY,offsetMinZ,offsetMaxX,offsetMaxY,offsetMaxZ,scaleStartMin,scaleStartMax,scaleEndMin,scaleEndMax,movementSpeedMinX,movementSpeedMinY,movementSpeedMinZ,movementSpeedMaxX,movementSpeedMaxY,movementSpeedMaxZ,rotateSpeedMinZ,rotateSpeedMaxZ,lifeMin,lifeMax,alphaStartMin,alphaStartMax,alphaEndMin,alphaEndMax,frequency)-- create a particle emitter under the index iEmitterID and specified parameters (yes, the command really is that long). ParticleAddEmitterEx: (as above with additional parameters) e, limbindex, particle image ID, particle frame count -- where e is the entity to assign particle to ParticlesDeleteEmitter: ParticlesDeleteEmitter ( iEmitterID ) -- delete a particle emitter under index iEmitterID ParticleAddEmitterEx: (as above with additional parameters) e, limbindex, particle image ID, particle frame count -- where e is the entity to assign particle to



DECOMMED AI CONTROLS Lastly, a large amount of OLD AI commands were decommissioned.  This means new ones are likely on the way with the updated AI changes in the pipeline. CharacterControlManual(e)– decommed CharacterControlLimbo(e)– decommed CharacterControlUnarmed(e)– decommed CharacterControlArmed(e)– decommed CharacterControlFidget(e)– decommed CharacterControlDucked(e)– decommed CharacterControlStand(e)– decommed SetCharacterToWalk(e)– decommed SetCharacterToRun(e)– decommed SetCharacterToStrafeLeft(e)– decommed SetCharacterToStrafeRight(e)– decommed SetCharacterVisionDelay(e,v)– decommed LockCharacterPosition(e,v)– decommed UnlockCharacterPosition(e,v)– decommed
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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 09/24/2018

Syndication Notice: I'm adding this just to alleviate some confusion for a few out there.  This blog is hosted at http://gamegurureport.blogspot.com - it is syndicated through several different platforms.

This week is a pretty heavy duty report, so get ready!

Official Game-Guru News: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-construction-site-dlc-updated-2
As with all of the recent 'updates' to the graphical end of things for these packs we also get a tidbit about what's going on with new developments. In this case it appears AI is getting an overhaul and from what I hear on discord from the betas it's actually a big improvement.  Looks like I'll be editing/revising my chapter on AI soon.  With all the updates pushing through github I'd say we're probably looking at a major update dropping in the next 1-3 months.  Keep your eyes peeled.

What's Good in the Store: Not anything new that I saw that really caught my eye and said 'buy me now'.  As such if you missed it I'll simply give last week's recommendation: Teabone's Crime Scene Pack
As it's getting more new things to it and is still a meager 80 cents.  I mean that's in the realm of 'I dropped my change in the couch cushion' territory of cost.
Free Stuff: An Ice Cave  by Lafette II -  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220072
Free download link on the first post, it's a nice little ice cave you can drop wherever you like.  Obviously this is a static asset so you can't modify how it is shaped but it is definitely among the nicer cave systems I've seen and it's free to boot.

Third Party Tools and Tuturials: I've made a sort of condensed list because there's so many to go over here.


https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220053 DannyD put a great 'cubemap to skymap' tutorial up.
https://youtu.be/bpIdErVJwtM  This little video goes over some of the AI simming and memory slimming Defy is getting into for his panther AI module.
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220065 Belidos's PBR Tutorial in PDF format. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxAjmicdeiU&list=PLRDhcp_8c7uAPQfE6WMBo7PCNlkQIOLdO So while this video series is not about Game-Guru 'per se' it is definitely a worthwhile watch.  Bugsy suggested this one in discord and I have to say it's right on the money.  Mirrors a lot of my own experiences but also provides valuable 'time saving skips' if you don't want to get caught in the same loops which simply waste your time.


Random Acts of Creativity: This week we have a beautiful pool by Duchenkuke (sorry Wolf, I can't put yours on here because it's not family/work safe!):



Wow.. I love the use of color and shape on this one.  Though I'd love to see some more detail pieces in there to help round out the image.  Still, very nice for such a simple scene.

Amenmoses has been super-busy on some very interesting code pieces this week.  Firstly he made a piano that has to be seen to be believed:  https://vimeo.com/290376738
At this point I thought wow, amazing.. etc.  Then he kept going!
He added working steam gauges (Art by Graphix) -
The needle's movement is impressively detailed.
Then he did an old-style alarm clock: https://vimeo.com/291164472

Good lord man, do you sleep? 

We've also got a few other updates of 'similar games taking different approaches' - dry dusty westerns. One is Slaur3n's rapidly evolving work which is coming along great:



Notice the simple art style which while simple is completely unique to his game and thus keeps you from thinking 'great... another asset flip'.

There's also this interesting piece which is coming along well:

The above is by VincentHendricks - he seems to be taking a slightly different tact but I still really like where it's going.  Set design is decent with obvious barriers and clutter object usage is where it needs to be.  He's still working on tweaking visuals so hopefully he'll get some traction there.

In My Own Works: About a week ago I got a problem ticket from a user for my Advanced Time of Day and Weather system for Game-Guru.  Turns out the monster update broke things I didn't see in my testing because I have several settings turned off in my build (as I don't normally use them).

A ticket was opened:
https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/issues/379

And in the process of this we corrected an issue with the FPE file but also discovered a code issue with SSAO.  So for now, get the updated version of the system from the download store items button in Game-Guru and make sure SSAO is disabled if you are getting black lines on your weather boxes.

With respect to writing, I'm coming along. Good to be back in full gear, despite the very crazy schedule I have currently.












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Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 09/17/18

So wow, what a busy week!  I have a lot of interesting and exciting things to bring up for you all.

First of all, apparently I'm to be featured on the Game-Guru site.  I've been writing this blog for the better part off and on for 4 years now.  It's primarily for a writing exercise for me; I receive no monies for it and it really doesn't benefit me much.  It's more like a 3 hour headache each Monday, hah!

Official Game-Guru News
The mega pack 1 DLC is being updated to PBR.
So this is a regular occurrence and while overall this is a positive the more important news I believe is buried here:

"Back in the main product, we are looking closer at supporting a new model format, the very modern and exciting GLTF v2.0 format which you will find springing up over the last few years, including popular asset stores such as SketchFab. More news on this as it happens, and we look forward to giving you more powers to import the models you want for your next game making project."

I don't know much about GLTF but I will say this can only help.  One of the major limitations of Game-Guru has centered around the .x model types and their importation.  I hope this brings some serious flexibility to the engine.

Also in other news I found on the site, not sure when this was implemented but they finally put a 'showcase' section in which is good because some really good projects can be found there as a 'highlight' of what you can do in Game-Guru.  No surprise some of the names/faces there, though, right?


You can find the full list here: http://www.game-guru.com/showcase

What's Good In The Store
This week on the store we have Teabone, who once again created fantastic set of criminally low priced objects.
It's literally 80 cents.

This is ironic, of course, because it's a 'crime scene pack'.  Get it here!
On a secondary note I've spoken with T-Bone and you can expect more to be added as well as a slight price increase so if you purchase it now you'll save some money in the long run.  Though admittedly it's so cheap it might not even matter if it goes up.

Next we have Pasquill's 'best in show' train set.  I will honestly say this is gorgeous beyond what it has a right to be.  It's priced reasonably, which you might think it's high priced but personally I've seen assets like this go for MUCH higher on other game engine sites.

You'll notice he's broken it out into separate components of trains and rails.   All I can say is if you're looking for the best looking train and rail setups possible - these are a must have.  You can get them here:

Train pack

Rail pack

Lastly not to clutter this section Mad Lobster made a beautiful console for his Mad Scientist Laboratory set.

You get four versions of it for the price of one if you buy it as an individual object; obviously holders of the pack get this for free.  It's PBR mapped and it just looks amazing.



Get it here:
Mad Scientist Spinning Console


Third Party Utilities and Tutorials
There's some really cool dynamic lighting scripts here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219867

Amenmoses has been working on bringing antiques to life: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220041

Preben has been working on volumetric lighting(GASP): https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220046

New user "DannyD" made a (in my opinion, much needed) Setup.ini gui editor: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220007



Free Stuff
Well.. damn.  I *WAS* going to post a free cargo ship that Bod had put up but some clod went and crapped all over him on this thread here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220042

Bod pulled his entire thread of free stuff.  It's all gone, for pretty much ever.  I can't even blame the guy.  He's been burned by more than one jerk in the past on this stuff and it's just a damn shame someone as generous as he is has to put up with things like this.  The situation in a nutshell was:

Bod made a licensed product available for free under strict rules that you cannot modify, alter, or sell it.  This is a fairly standard practice, actually.
So this user modified it, asked for help with his modification of it, and then when Bod called him out on it got absolutely childish and insulting towards Bod who in turn pulled his massive repository of free stuff.  RIP.

For the user who decided to make a stand over something they were clearly on the wrong in...



In the meantime...

https://serygalacaffeine.com/2018/09/12/redsorceress-skyboxes-archive/ free skyboxes!

http://playerzeek-fpsc2011.yolasite.com/ old assets for FPSC!  Maybe you can import them.


Random Acts of Creativity
Slaur3n's work is coming along wonderfully on his cowboy shooter.



It's positively impressive to see people put this level of effort into a game.  Really solid effort and I hope it sees release!
In My Own Works
This week I spent a few hours working on both chapter 18 and having to go back to chapter 4 and add an entire section on the new water controls on the tab-tab menu.  This is going to be a down to the wire production for my book.  I'm up to around 65,000 pages and need to hit 120k for my deadline.

My Lightkit script is on sale for 1.75!
My CameraKit script is on sale for 2.75!

Thanks again for reading and see you next week!



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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 09/10/2018

This week, I've really been through quite a lot of components to help put this weeks report together.
Thankfully there's a surplus of really great stuff that I can't wait to show you.

Official Game-Guru News As Game-Guru continues it's march towards modernization, there's a continual series of updates that address two separate facets of Game-Guru production.  First, there's the constant GitHub updates, which resulted in things such as the 'monster update' of 7/30/2018.  Secondly there are the asset updates, which are numerous and significant.

Most recently, the 'Death Valley Pack', which many of us old-timers received for free with Game-Guru's release as a thank you, had a significant number of assets updated to PBR.

Now these PBR updates are welcome and interesting, but seem to be a mixed bag, in my experience.  As you may not be aware, the DLCs are generally the work of an artist commissioned by TGC for a product they then resell.  I don't know the specific terms of the arrangement.

As such, artistic skills vary.  Personally I found a few were of 'mediocre' quality with the PBR update.  Yes, the additional detail brought an improvement in some but not enough to measure.  For what it's worth - the Death Valley Pack is one of the better ones.  Still not the best, I'll reserve that for the updates done to the Sci-Fi pack, but very good nonetheless - especially for people who already own it.

Third Party Utilities and Tutorials
This week we have several updates, mostly from my own personal backlog of getting the past month caught up.  Of note, Flatlander has generously picked up where my original project left off and added all the new functions to the Notepad++ Lua API I originally built.  This is a very welcome weight off my shoulders and I just wanted to really thank him for that.  You can get the update here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219215#msg2605239

Also there was a fairly lively discussion on discord the other day regarding the creation of local cube mapping for mirror effects.  This is primarily because cube mapping won't take into account a specific room so we discussed a way of dealing with this.  Graphix came up with a solid method of that worth looking at including a custom tool on his site. 

There's also more here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220031

Next we have a very interesting update to Game-Guru loader which *MAY* make it's way into Game-Guru (this is Preben's work, after all).  It is essentially a dynamic light setup with castable shadows! This would be an enormous change to Game-Guru.  Just check it out:


This kind of lighting effect would really modernize the engine!
That's impressive quality for dynamic lights, especially out of Game-Guru using stock assets.

There's also a few other interesting things I found.  It appears Cybernescence (The creator of the Cogwheel Chronicles) has been doing some really crazy things with shaders.  Notably this:


That's... really good looking.  It still doesn't modify the existing water, but it does a huge amount of work towards getting the ocean to be a living, interesting creature.  His ocean shader isn't for sale yet but should be soon, from the sound of it.

There's also this gem, also by Cybernescence, a PBR heightmap shader.  All I can say is WOW.  I mean this is an enormously powerful shader that will totally destroy lesser CPUs, but yeah.  If you are trying to make something that is on peer with modern high end engines, this is a hell of a start!

There's more info at the link, but this will be a huge boost to certain scenes!
This shader was released for free and obviously is far from complete but is definitely worth tooling around with!  You can find the info on the original link above, along with installation instructions.


What's Good in the Store Not a lot of new things in the store lately.  Things ebb and flow there.  Right now we're definitely in an 'ebbing' phase.

That said, Gtox's new creation - a creepy mutant - did catch my eye.  His animations are getting a lot better, that used to be my only real complaint about his products.  I obviously own a few, in spite of my minor complaints because they're generally pretty good and often downright creepy, like this new guy:

I imagine this reminds people of their mothers-in-law! The animation was real good on it too.  You can pick it up here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/31908


Random Acts of Creativity
Some really good stuff this week.  Dvader/Retrogamebloke (on youtube) created a spy-hunter style minigame in Game-Guru.  I'm currently trying to get the juicy details but on the face it's got a randomizer for terrain and vehicles and a scrolling isometric view that infinitely loops.  Really cool stuff. I should mention Spy Hunter was legitimately my favorite game when I was 8 years old so this was pretty cool to see!

Spy hunter Game-Guru- spy hunter


Next, Slaur3n used a pretty awesome 'retro style' shader to give his current project a very unique look.  This one is another YT video you can find here:  https://youtu.be/JyWnDqMoIx0

One more major update was DuchenKuke's 'post apocalyptic game' is out for testing.  Definitely check it out and see if you can't learn a few things in the process!

He says he's going for a Metro: Last light look - I'd say he found it! Check out the really professional quality here.  There's mirroring in the wet terrain below, superb use of lighting and clutter.. I mean this is excellent work worth learning from.
In My Own Works
Writing is a disciplined activity.  If you don't discipline yourself, you stop writing.  It's why I write this blog, to help assist in that.  It's also important to take time, every day, to write.  I really can't stress this enough.  Even a paragraph of work on a book you're working on keeps the mind active and prevents you from falling into stasis.  In my case, I'm focusing on getting 5000 words a week out.  That's a hefty amount of work, thankfully there's plenty to do so I can always find something to write about.

Personally I work in a very structured way.  I'm an 'outline writer'.  This makes things easier than I think for others, but it also comes with it's own set of complications - like seeing that outline can be rather overwhelming.  For now though, work on chapter 18 is coming along nicely.  That's my 'how to add detail' chapter, broken out piece by piece and starting with vegetation.





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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 09/04/2018

Welcome back after a nice long month hiatus from Game-Guru Reporting.  Unfortunately life's call was pretty strong (and remains so) but at the same time I do need to make sure this report is brought up to speed on what's new and exciting in Game-Guru.

From a real world standpoint I had to do a migration of Redhat Satellite 5.6 to 5.8 for my day job for a very large company.  This was a big part of my time sink along with yearly pentesting, etc.  So again, apologies and without further wait here we go!

Official Game-Guru News

Over the past month steady progress has been made with respect to the engine and it's secondary DLC packs.  Additional PBR assets (to the chagrin of some - some feel that the engine would be better served due to memory constraints with non PBR though I disagree personally). 

There's also been a free weekend, which just ended today, to my knowledge.  Nice to see TGC taking additional steps to bring in a bigger crowd as Game-Guru becomes more feature packed.  I'd suggest a relaunch in media (magazines, online blogs, etc) at a good time, say next year when things are much more solidly done.

What's New in the Store
Teabone's "HUD Stance Script" is in the realm of 'cheap and must have'.
Pasquill did some really fantastic and extremely well priced shipping containers.
The above kind of illustrates what a deal 4 dollars can buy you (6 of these beauties!).
This is an amazing deal.  I've already covered Pasquill's stuff in the past; for this price though I honestly feel like you're shooting yourself in the foot if you choose the old-out-of date freebie containers from FPSC.  Spend the $4 and buy something professional, like these!

There's other stuff on sale, such as EAI's products which I highly recommend. Beyond that, not much new on the store that really caught my eye.  As always if you are a store content creator and want me to check out your stuff in detail with a coupon/reviewer copy, let me know. 

3rd Party Programs and Tutorials
Graphix is working on a simple web script to take 6 pictures and make a cubemap out of them.  No link yet, but he says it should be on his website soon.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219916 Bugsy put up a great little 'displaying pictures in sequence' help script thread which is a good utility script if you have nothing else like it.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220000?page=1 Argent Arts (a new user) put up a pretty nice discussion on the current lighting system.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220018 Which lead to Bugsy putting up a pretty thorough lighting test.  Looks like dynamic 'specularity' is offline again.  There's also a really good discussion on PBR here too.

Random Acts of Creativity
There is a significant body of new work to cover.  I'll do my best, but if I miss you please send me a message and I'll include yours next time!

A nice framework but needs refinement (lighting, in particular)
The above are some very VERY preliminary screenies from VincentHendriks.  Looks like a city slog, which GameGuru is surprisingly good at creating, so should turn out well.  No title that I'm aware of yet.

CodeName:Protoscope by Synchromesh


This project is a solid piece by a very old hat in the Game-Guru community.  Synchro's actually a mod over at the forums and it's got some nice interactivity pieces to it. 

And now of very important note: Acythian is coming along! 
Check out this thread for all the juicy details by one of Game-Guru's premier artists (Wolf).




Above are a few of the many gorgeous screenshots he's put together.  I mean it's totally worth a trip over to the forums, this project is masterfully done (assuming he can keep framerate above 10!)

DuchenKuke is also working on some interesting stuff - he's another 'premier' builder, IMO.  He's got a new project here:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219956



It's... unusual, right?  Reminds me of the art for Hotline: Miami or some kind of retro-new wave album.

Work continues on the 'cogwheel chronicles' but one really amazing thing showcased was this 'dissolve fade' work.  I mean .. WOW.  It's something - definitely click the link and check it out!

In My Own Works
I've been furiously writing for lost time, to get ahead of the curve on my book's publication.  I have a lot of really good stuff, I think though could probably use a proofreader or two soon.  If you are interested in assisting, contact me via the form on the right or leave a comment below!



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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

Sorry guys

I've heard from a few that they're disappointed in my lack of updates  but the simple fact is I'm a man of many means and many obligations.  Unfortunately I'm eating a lot of them right now, including my book as well.  Many work obligations and some personal family stuff have come up. So for the time being this blog is on standby likely for another week until things get caught up.

Once we get back I have a bevy of things I need to do such as:
Review the new EAI weapons pack for Game-Guru
Review the changes in Game-Guru
Update my own project for Game-Guru and release it
Continue my book writing.

Thanks for your patience and see you soon!


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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 8/6/2018

Lots to cover this week!
Official Game-Guru News: Things are really making a lot of progress.

For a long time, the Game-Guru market was fairly stable.  Fairly calm.  We had a crappy boat on fair waters, so to speak.  Sure, the thing had a five horsepower engine, but the seas were as easy as could be.  The past year has been a rocketship to the moon, by comparison.

Each week I'd write up my little report and think "well, that was easy".  I'd hunt down the 1-2 lines of detail about what is going on, put up some stuff from the store and cover the bases.

Then TGC went to github and we never came back.

There have been a whirlwind of changes done over the past year and honestly if you HAD Game-Guru at one point and dismissed it, we're now safely at a point where I can say you should give it another look over.  Literally EVERYTHING is different.

We have dynamic lighting (up to 38 simultaneously, up from 3!).
We have functional PBR.
We have memory issues fixed.
We have modifiable projectiles.
We have quality of life fixes, like needing to press shift-f1/2/3/4 to go to the lightmapper.
We have better weapons systems code.
Almost every single DLC pack has been overhauled.

Seriously, it's a lot to take in.  I highly recommend you give it another go, if you have the time.

Full details on the update can be found here: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-launches-monster-update

The big takeaway here is this isn't the first major update in the past year.  It's more like the third.  Seriously.  There's been a lot of changes and appear to be more in store.

What's New In The Store Recently there was a new kit released, specifically a weapons package.
There's very few times when I have to list something as a 'must buy' but you're insane if you don't pick up this kit.  This ultra-high quality kit is as good as I've seen for Game-Guru and really amplifies your options for game-making.  Some minor changes to the textures and you'll have more than enough to change the game to your liking.  Even if you don't, these are superb weapons.  Check out the demo reel here:


So yeah, that's pretty much the first 'must buy' thing I've seen in a while and frankly I'm not surprised.  I've long maintained that EAI (Errant AI) is the best artist in the Game-Guru community.  This new pack sort of underscores that point.

Not that other artists aren't any good - it's just if you are looking for the absolute best of the best in terms of item/set quality items - he has no real equal (especially since his only real competition has moved on).



Speaking of must buys, there are some other really great items this week on the store.
Notably we have another top shelf artist (BSP) who created some fantastic PBR trees.  If you absolutely must have the best looking trees possible, accept no substitutes!

We've also got a great city pack from Lafette (whose work has been growing leaps and bounds lately) and a very non-ninja oriented set of NPC turtles.  While I can't imagine Gtox is going to see a lot of demand for the turtles, I have no doubt they will be of the same high quality as most of his creatures are.

Random Acts of Creativity I want you all to know that what follows here is.. unusual for me.  I go out of my way to not ever be derisive or condescending but seriously, this can't be helped.




In literally one of the most baffling things I've ever seen, there's something for sale on the TGC store that.. I don't know what it is.
Seriously.
It's called 'Data Bafticomputer'.  It's by a 'Drstewart8klar' though if you google around you'll find he goes by drstewart2klar, 4klar, etc etc.. there's a million aliases.  You also find two books on smashwords.com which are of .. questionable english usage.  I mean I found a read-along on youtube and I literally lost all understanding of what the hell was going on.  My inner Gordon Ramsey is standing around asking "What the $@%! is this pile of *** ****?"

So yeah.  I think this qualifies, probably, as an act of creativity.  I guess.  I mean it's got some pretty fantastic ms paint art... it's marked as 'adult content' but there's nothing even indicating why or what this is... and yeah.  I mean this is a train wreck spaghetti-plate disaster.  It's worth looking at, if only as a cautionary tale as to how not to release a game.

So in a more meaningful set of reviews - Bugsy appears that he's done with Direct Action 2!  Looks great.  His minimalist "high speed low drag" approach to game design is worth taking a peek at - he is a ruthlessly efficient developer and while it's not for everyone it has some serious purpose behind it.  Moreover the cutscene work is pretty impressive, considering the limitations of the engine.

Youtube video of his work can be found here (Don't want to bog down the page with more than one video, sorry!)

Another super interesting one (to me, at least) is Bod (you know, the super prolific free-stuff guy) is making a game and model pack.  It's a different style but honestly I'm ok with that - I like seeing the variety in people's artistic visions.  This medieval style game has promise.  As it is refined it should really clean up well. 

A very Bod-style game, interesting to see it all put together! Lastly we have Len the Man's 'Cowboy Shooter'.  I feel like this is a really good example of what a really concerted new game developer can do with the Game-Guru engine.  His patient and steady improvement of his levels is really showing some promise and I truly hope he keeps at it!.


Tutorials and Third Party Programs
With a lot of third party programs being integrated into the core build due to it being accessible via Github, we have a lot of potential loss for this particular section.  There was a great article a few weeks back that if you map over Game-Guru's development, it takes a very similar tract.

https://medium.com/@eigenbom/how-to-take-7-years-to-ship-a-beta-4fcfc2428d88

Of course, that's all mute now because we're seeing real progress now that the engine's been opened up.

In My Own Works
<REDACTED>

There's a lot going on right now.  Keep your eyes peeled for an old project I never released to make the light of day.  Some interesting code, for sure.  A while ago I uncovered/developed a really impressive algorithm for creating certain randomization within Lua. 

I think it's about time I showcase them!  Also, as an aside my complete time day and weather kit, along with all skies package is on sale at 14.95 this week!




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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 07/23/2018

In an effort to keep things brief but functional here at the blog I'm going to rattle through some of the newest offerings as quickly as I can here.


Official Game Guru News

On 7/18 a public preview release was unleashed which had a significant amount of updates to it in prep for one of the largest mainstream releases to date.  This public preview version features a host of fixes as well as a major lighting overhaul (thank god, bout time!) . 


Further details/specifics can be found here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219880

Also there was an announcement that the sci-fi pack got some extra goodies for it.

And also there was a teaser info drop on the forthcoming update:
"In other GameGuru news, we are almost ready to release the next big update, featuring a massive list of additions and changes. The last announcement for the Public Preview build revealed many of these new items, but we have added more to the list since - such as the new ability to append animation data to models and, perhaps even better, add hundreds of dynamic lights into your game scenes. "

Now we're talking!
Third party tools and tutorials Looks like we have some really great tutorials on the way on using third party utilities to make Game-Guru assets!


Random Acts of Creativity Guns of solo is coming along nicely though I think it needs a good bit more work finishing up visuals and refining textures.  The basic textures provide a good starting point but I'd personally touch them up in an editor to ensure they really look the part.

Still, tthe improved atmospherics are really great and making this move towards a reasonably capable shooter game.


Next we have an interesting update by Tarkus on his vaunted 'Savior' series, with the most recent 'Savior v3'. 



It appears he's begun experimenting with various shaders to give a cartoon or smudgy effect to his graphics.  This is a good technique for working with the often disparate textures and models we end up with as GG developers but can't be relied on to completely resolve any inconsistencies.  Overall his use of clutter is a little much but it's looking good and I'm hopeful he'll complete the project.  It so far looks better than most of the stuff out there and I really think he's on the right track with development - most importantly (he is sticking with the development!).  This is an often overlooked but crucial part of gamedev that people who are dabbling in game-making often miss - STICK with your projects over years if you want to be able to release anything - but don't be afraid to call it done if it's not perfect so you can move on to your next learning experience/game.

Lastly we see some updates by the Cogwork Chronicles which has added a night zone.  This particular change really modifies the dynamic of the quirky but impressive steampunk game and honestly I like the direction it's going.


Personally I think the lighting needs a touch more work to really hammer home the feel but overall it's looking fantastic.

What's new in the Store Corrosion's back at it with his 'Super Enhanced AI'.  I'm... not sure.  I mean what he describes sounds like a solid overhaul in the description (from one AI dev to another), but without seeing any ACTUAL video or comparison directly it makes it virtually impossible to actually tell from a buyer's point of view.  So Caveat Emptor, friends.

I also wanted to mention that I've lowered the prices on ALL of my products going forward.  They've been up there for quite some time and I feel it's about time to reflect that as the progress made by others in the community have brought up the overall quality of products on the store.  I've brought DOWN my prices to reflect that.  So enjoy!


Free Stuff Sadly the free stuff area has really dwindled down in terms of models/etc.  But there's still some stuff out there.  Personally I'm not a fan of taking everyone else's cast offs as they learn, but you can still nab some free stuff if you are in dire need.  JPH Games has put out a few items for download here:

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219734#msg2603156

Though not to a standard I'd personally use in my projects, it could still find a home so definitely take a look.

More importantly though over on the Lua scripting area, we have several major updated pieces of code that are definitely worth grabbing:
Amenmoses updated Dvader's body code:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219891
Amenmoses (a few weeks ago, I missed it) released a text based sprite library.  Really solid stuff, as usual! https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219811
In My Own Works
While the constant updating of Game-Guru has been fantastic from a developer standpoint, it's been HELL from a writer's standpoint.  I have entire sections that have to be rewritten, thrown out, or updated.  It's been a nightmare in that respect and I'm looking forward to when people are resting on their laurels for a bit so I can catch a moment to breathe.  I'll get there though. I just need to wait until a major release and then unload all the writing I can on the book.


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Bolt-Action Gaming

Bolt-Action Gaming

 

This Week in Game-Guru - 7/16/2018

I'll be the first to admit I've been overwhelmed by life and a bit burned out on Game-Guru.   This has coupled to a sort of fallout with doing this blog, which I will have to start making some changes to to make it more functional from my standpoint.  At least, in the near term.

I will try dropping the 'whats new in the store' as this section alone takes inordinate amounts of time for this blog.
Game-Guru Official News:
https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-mega-pack-1-dlc-updated-3

Game-Guru continues their march forward with Github-powered updates.  It's producing a lot more over this last year than it's done in the last 4 or so, so it's a lot to keep up with.  The latest batch of updates resolved the following:

"Back in the main product, we continue to improve existing features as much as adding new ones, specifically an improvement to the depth buffer which controls the fidelity of visuals when viewing objects at a distance.  In the previous update, some camera distance settings could lower the resolution of the depth buffer causing z-artifacts, which has now been solved by a higher quality depth map.
We'll continue to upgrade more entities to PBR assets in the background, and in the meantime, if you want to get your hands on the GameGuru Mega Pack 1 DLC, it's currently on promotion right now:"

However in addition to materials updates for existing 'mega packs' and the addition of a new construction pack, there's also engine-based updates which are pretty regular now.  I wish they'd produce patch notes, however, to help make my job curating it a bit easier as there's simply too much to follow at any given time.

Regardless, it's still coming along nicely.

There's also this gem: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219846


With Preben adding some very big updates to the lighting system.  I've also heard that others are adding 'panther AI' to the game engine as well.

What's new in the store: Check it for yourself this week :P

More seriously though this is the most stand-out item of the last few weeks - pasquill's shipping containers set.  Very well priced, very high quality.

For four dollars, you can't beat that.
Also - I've updated the pricing on my own store items, significantly reducing MANY of the cost of packs as they stand.  Some are down 15-75% in cost.  Check out the packs here today!

https://www.tgcstore.net/artist/190502/packs
FREE STUFF
Notably I found this awesome addition: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219812
A free gun, by Bugsy!  Really awesome stuff.

THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS
Ok so.. yeah. This one I'll circle back to.  There's literally too much to go over and I've already spent hours aggregating a lot of this information.



RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY
Some new games have been released.  It's nice to see DK productions re-working Hunted: A Step too far along with some hush hush stuff I was given some early teasers on.

Bugsy's been especially active lately, with a lot of testing and updates:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219234?page=2


Check out that skyline!


A cartoony western by Slaur3n - https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/217684


IN MY OWN WORKS
Ehhhhh.  Don't make me talk about this.  I'm obviously lagging on this.  But mostly I need to get off my ass and start working on work-related things for Game-Guru. 
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Bolt-Action Gaming

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