• FES Retro Game Framework is now available on the Unity Asset Store for your kind consideration!
    FES was born when I set out to start a retro pixel game project. I was looking around for an engine to try next. I tried a number of things, from GameMaker, to Fantasy Consoles, to MonoGame and Godot and then ended up back at Unity. Unity is just unbeatable in it's cross-platform support, and ease of deployment, but it sure as heck gets in the way of proper retro pixel games!
    So I poured over the Unity pipeline and found the lowest levels I could tie into and bring up a new retro game engine inside of Unity, but with a completely different source-code-only, classic game-loop retro blitting and bleeping API. Months of polishing and tweaking later I ended up with FES.
    Some FES features:
    Pixel perfect rendering RGB and Indexed color mode, with palette swapping support Primitive shape rendering, lines, rectangles, ellipses, pixels Multi-layered tilemaps with TMX file support Offscreen rendering Text rendering, with text alignment, overflow settings, and custom pixel font support Clipping Sound and Music APIs Simplified Input handling Wide pixel support (think Atari 2600) Post processing and transition effects, such as scanlines, screen wipes, screen shake, fade, pixelate and more Deploy to all Unity supported platforms I've put in lots of hours into a very detail documentation, you can flip through it here to get an better glimpse at the features and general overview: http://www.pixeltrollgames.com/fes/docs/index.html
    FES is carefully designed and well optimized (see live stress test demo below). Internally it uses batching, it chunks tilemaps, is careful about memory allocations, and tries to be smart about any heavy operations.
    Please have a quick look at the screenshots and live demos below and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear some opinions, feedback and questions!
    I hope I've tickled your retro feels!



    More images at: https://imgur.com/a/LFMAc
    Live demo feature reel: https://simmer.io/@Dafu/fes
    Live blitting stress test: https://simmer.io/@Dafu/fes-drawstress
    Unity Asset Store: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#!/content/102064

    ManaKeep is the first website builder made specifically for indie game developers.  Designed to take the hard work out of creating an official game site, the service includes game focused templates, forums, media galleries, news, custom pages and most other features a typical indie game needs.
    ManaKeep can act as your store front to sell games as well.  Create products you want to sell (versions of your game), upload your game files, set your price and you can be selling in minutes.  With support for multiple currencies and the option to bundle Steam Keys, ManaKeep can be a great distribution channel for your game (bonus points: ManaKeep charges no transaction fees!)
    A few features not mentioned above:
    Stats Dashboard: track stats important to your game, including sales, downloads and order stats. Easy Parallax: popular on AAA game sites, add parallax to your backgrounds with a simple toggle. Scroll Animations: animate elements (such as text and photos) as they are scrolled in to view. Social Integrations: automatically post your news articles to twitter HTML, CSS & JS: can all be used if you love to tinker and do it all yourself Custom Domain Names: supports using your own domain name Free SSL Certs: all sites get a free ssl cert and are served over https For indie developers considering WordPress or SquareSpace, ManaKeep is worth a look and may be exactly what you need.  Learn more at manakeep.com


     

     
    Game School Online™ Announces Winter Enrollment Open Through December
    Los Angeles, CA - December 2017
     
    Free Winter Term Enrollment!
    Free Winter Enrollment:
    Game School Online™, the first and only free online game development school of its kind, has opened enrollment for the winter term, which begins in January of 2018. GSO™ currently offers curricula in environment art and lighting for games, focusing specifically on Unreal Engine 4. GSO™ will be adding two new courses for the winter term, “Advanced Lighting Concepts with Unreal Engine 4” and “Advanced Hard Surface Modeling.”

     
    Free Workshop!

     
    December Free Workshop:
    In addition to winter enrollment, GSO™ will have a free online workshop, “Animating For Games and Movies”, with Veara Suon, Senior Animator at Double Negative. Veara has worked in the AAA games industry, working on franchises like Destiny and Bioshock. Veara also works in the film industry, having worked for famed studios like Weta, ILM, and Sony, contributing to films like Pacific Rim 2, Spiderman, and Avengers. In this month’s free GSO™ workshop, Veara will be discussing topics such as:
    Sharing techniques on how he animates for games and film
    Advice on how students can get a job in games or film
    Advice on how working professionals can switch from games to film, and vice versa
    Job relocation
    The workshop will last for an hour, with allocated time for Q & A from the audience. The workshop will take place on December 14 at 8pm PST. As usual, our monthly workshops are absolutely free and anyone is welcomed to join us. To RSVP, please visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/139461393377301/?active_tab=about

     
    Scholars Available For Mentoring!
    Scholar Lineup:
    Scholars are our mentors, working industry professionals currently working on your favorite games and franchises- here to help you learn to be a professional game dev, with one on one live private sessions. Our current lineup of scholars includes:
     
    Brian Yam - Director of Visual Development @ Section Studios
    https://bdyammer.artstation.com/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yambrian/
     
    Olaf Piesche - Senior Engineer @ Epic Games
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/olaf-piesche-0938292/
     
    Kevin DeBolt - World Artist @ 343 Industries
    http://kevindebolt.com/index.html
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-debolt-52058844/
     
    Rosie Katz - Senior Game Designer @ EA, Visceral, Sledgehammer Games
    http://www.rosiewrede.com/index.php?nav_bar=level_design
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosiewrede/
     
    Leo Gonzalez - Senior Artist @ Certain Affinity
    https://leog.artstation.com/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/leo-g/
     
    Brandon Pham - Lead Environment Artist
    https://brandonpham.artstation.com/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandon-pham-a490497/

     
    We believe that education should be free for everyone! Come join us at Game School Online™ and see what the future of game development education looks like today! For more information about Game School Online™, available courses, scholars, and events, please visit http://gameschoolonline.com/


     
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gameschoolonline/
    Twitter: @GSOscholar
    Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/BzU5Fq2
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/gameschoolonline


     
    About Game School Online™ (GSO™)
    Game School Online™ is the first ever, completely free game development training program. GSO™ was founded by veteran developers working in the AAA games and entertainment industries. Featuring courses authored by working industry professionals, students are able to learn production techniques and workflows used to ship some of the biggest IPs and AAA franchises. Industry pros known as “scholars”, work with students providing private live sessions to help you become “industry” ready. All courses are available for free, no trials or demos- it’s completely free for anyone that wants to learn how to become a skilled game developer. For more information, please visit our website: http://gameschoolonline.com/
    Game School Online™ and GSO™ are registered trademarks Game School Online, LLC. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
     
    Contact
    Game School Online, LLC.
    info@gameschoolonline.com


    Ho ho ho
    Tis the season of Christmas surprises, and we have a awesome one for you! 🎅  
    Sponsored by all your favorite Unity Asset Store developers, Nordic Game Jam, Pocket Gamer Connects, and co-hosted by Game Analytics, we (Joris and I – Devdog) are launching the second edition of our yearly Christmas Giveaway Calendar for all Unity game developers!
    You can already now sign up right here.
     
    So what’s this all about?
    For the past weeks, we’ve been collecting sponsored gifts related to Unity (asset vouchers, product keys, conference tickets etc.), and throughout each day of December leading up to Christmas Day on the 25th, we will be sending out these sponsored gifts as early gamedev Christmas presents via e-mail to hundreds of lucky winners.
    The total prize pool is at $35,000, with over 1200 presents donated by the awesome sponsors!
     
    Merry Christmas from Devdog, Game Analytics, and every single one of the sponsors.

    itSeez3D, a leading developer of mobile 3d scanning software, announced today a new SDK for its automatic 3D avatar generation technology, Avatar SDK for Unity. The Avatar SDK for Unity is a robust plug-n-play toolset which enables developers and creatives to integrate realistic user-generated 3D avatars into their Unity-based applications. SDK users can allow players to create their own avatars in the application or integrate the SDK into their own production processes for character design and animation.
    “Virtual avatars have recently become increasingly popular, especially in sports games and social VR apps. With the advance of VR and AR, the demand to get humans into the digital world is only increasing”, said Victor Erukhimov, itSeez3D CEO. “Our new Avatar SDK for Unity makes it super-easy to bring the avatar technology into any Unity-based game or VR/AR experience. With the Avatar SDK for Unity now every developer can bring face scanning technology into their games and allow players to create their own personalized in-game avatars, making the gameplay much more exciting and immersive.”
    Key features of the Avatar SDK for Unity:
    Automatic generation of a color 3D face model from a single selfie photo in 5-10 seconds (!). Works best with selfies, but can be used with any portrait photo.
    Shape and texture of the head model are unique for each person, synthesized with a deep learning algorithm crafted by computer vision experts
    Head models support runtime blendshape facial animations (45 different expressions)
    Generated 3D heads include eyes, mouth, and teeth
    Algorithms synthesize 3D meshes in mid-poly resolution, ~12k vertices, and ~24k triangles
    Six predefined hairstyles with hair-recoloring feature (many more available on request)
    Avatar generation API can be used in design-time and in run-time, which means you can allow users to create their own avatars in your game
    Cloud version is cross-platform, and offline version currently works on PCs with 64-bit Windows (support for more platforms is coming soon)
    Well-documented samples showcasing the functionality.
     
    Availability
    The Avatar SDK for Unity is offered in two modes - “Cloud” and “Offline”. The “Cloud” version is available at http://avatarsdk.com/ and the “Offline” version is available by request at support@itseez3d.com.
    ###
    About itSeez3D
    At itSeez3D, we are working on the computer vision technology that turns mobile devices into powerful 3D scanners. itSeez3D has developed the world's first mobile 3D scanning application that allows to create high-resolution photorealistic 3D models of people's' faces, bodies and objects. The application is available for iOS and Windows OS mobile devices powered with 3D cameras. In 2016 the company introduced Avatar SDK that creates a realistic 3D model of a face from a single selfie photo. To learn more about itSeez3D scanning software and 3D avatar creation technology, please visit www.itseez3d.com and www.avatarsdk.com.

    The 14th IMGA Global is open for entries until 31 December 2017. Mobile and VR game developers, studios and publishers are invited to submit their games for free in a few clicks. Enter your game now!

    http://www.imgawards.com/
     


    Bluezone releases 'Alien Spacecraft Sound Effects', a new sample library offering a wide range of inspirational spaceship sfx. Backed with complex and varied sounds, this sci-fi sample library brings you production-ready elemants as: alarms, alien synthetic textures, exterior and organic interior background sounds, reactor rumbles, explosions, futuristic interface and beep sounds, spacecraft passby, machine room ambiences and more. Every sound in this cutting edge collection will stimulate your creativity: All these samples were created from hardware synthesizers and field recordings, and have then been twisted to add an inspiring alternate-reality sonic character. WAV files are provided as 24 Bit / 96 kHz and sorted in 11 folders. In order to give you ready-to-use sounds for your productions, all samples are royalty-free for all your commercial projects.
     
     
    Editor : Bluezone Reference : BC0242 Delivery : Download link Download size : 893 MB Extracted size : 922 MB Format : WAV Resolution : 24 Bit / 96 kHz Channel : Stereo License : Royalty free Total files : 206 Total samples : 193 WAV Additional details : 11 folders More information : Alien Spacecraft Sound Effects

    Allegorithmic debuted the public beta of Substance Plugin for 3ds Max at Autodesk University 2017, in Booth D211. With better performance, 8K visuals, and a brand-new user interface, the experience of authoring photorealistic materials in 3ds Max just got a lot easier.
    By linking the product to Substance Engine technology, Allegorithmic has been able to dramatically increase the number of professional features available to 3ds Max users. As a standalone plugin, Allegorithmic will be able to update the product even faster, ensuring that 3ds Max users get updates at the same time as the rest of the Substance Designer community.
    Used in combination with Substance Designer, Substance Plugin for 3ds Max gives users the ability to open and tweak Substance files, a simple method for creating physically based materials. Resolution rates have also been increased to 8K, providing users with enhanced visual quality when creating high-end renderings.
    “When we started this process, we were dealing with an outdated version that didn’t reflect how far our technology had come in recent years,” said Dr. Sébastien Deguy, founder and CEO, Allegorithmic. “We wanted to change that, and change it soon. With this new plugin, that gap has been filled, turning a great tool into the powerhouse the rest of our users know and love.”
    To increase productivity, Allegorithmic has redesigned the UI, offering a more modern and user-friendly take. Filled with sliders and color-coded mouse-over effects, the new UI prioritizes ease-of-use, making the process of dialing in settings an intuitive one. Batch importation, preset management and support, and one-click material creation for V-Ray and Arnold have also been added to further simplify the creation process.
    In partner news, Autodesk will also be integrating Substance Source, Allegorithmic’s ever-growing library of physically based materials, into 3ds Max. Now, users will be able to search Substance Source via Autodesk’s own 3ds Max Asset Library, and select from more than 1,200 PBR materials explicitly designed for architecture, design, visual effects and game-related projects.
    Allegorithmic will be showing both advancements at Autodesk University, from November 14-16, in Booth D211.
     

    YoYo Games, the studio behind leading 2D game development engine GameMaker Studio 2, today announced the launch of its Creator Editions for Windows and Mac, a new easy to learn package that has been specifically designed for first time game makers, both young and old. With the Creator Edition, users can unleash their creativity and turn their idea from a simple concept into a finished video game.
    “At YoYo Games with GameMaker Studio our mission is simple - create an accessible, robust set of tools for everyone who wants to give game making a shot,” said James Cox, general manager, YoYo Games. “With over 10 million downloads of the GameMaker Studio family of products, the Creator Edition is the perfect present for families who want to unleash their creativity over the holiday period and make the next Angry Birds”.
    GameMaker Studio 2 is an award winning, professionally used game engine tool for making of video games across desktop, mobile and console platforms. More people, including children, are playing games than ever, and with the Creator Edition, YoYo Games has introduced the technology at a $39/£30 price point to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to try their hand at making games. The software has already found a home in over 1000 schools across the UK and USA across a range of ages.
    GameMaker Studio 2 features simple-to-use drag-and-drop tools, tutorial and game assets, enabling users to quickly and easily create 2D games, letting their imaginations run wild in the process. The Creators Edition also allows users to publish their games to either Windows or Mac Desktop allowing family and friends to play their creations.
    The Creator edition is the perfect platform for creators to take their first steps into games development and publishing onto digital platforms. It gives users all the options they might need to create characters, environments, props and levels as well as integrate sound, movement and other actions. The GameMaker Studio 2 Creator edition 12-month licence is now available for
    $39 (approx. £30) through the YoYo Games website.
    To access GameMaker Studio 2 tutorials visit: https://www.yoyogames.com/learn.

    Double Fine and iam8bit’s Day of the Devs is tomorrow, and they’ve released a video highlighting some of the highly anticipated games that will be at the event, including Untitled Goose Game, Dead Static Drive, CHUCHEL, Eden Obscura, 29, Griftlands, Hot Lava, Minit, Crossing Souls, UFO 50, Wargroove, Ni No Kuni 2, Nour, Small Talk, The Rig, Into the Breach, and Knights and Bikes. 
    Day of the Devs is a FREE indie games festival, open to all ages, returning for its fifth year at The Midway in San Francisco on Saturday November 11 from 1-8. The festival unites gaming and development communities to celebrate the year's biggest indie hits and discover upcoming titles. The event will have tons of exciting activities and also feature several games that will be playable for the first time, including Untitled Goose Game, Into the Breach, The Rig and Session among other new and unreleased indie titles (full list of playable games at the event can be found here) as well as food trucks, art exhibits and live music sets by Baiyon, Ben Prunty, Jim Guthrie, Darren Korb and Slime Girls.

    Retrospect is an inspector history system which not only gives you a list of things you have been inspecting, it also lets you make changes to them directly from the compact and easy to use history view. I think it is a excellent new way to inspect objects and it could save you from a lot of tedious jumping around your project.   I have a limited number of free copies to give away, if you would be happy to write a review!   Check it out on the Asset Store!: http://bit.ly/2htXIZp  

    Discord has launched their Rich Presence SDK, allowing developers to integrate with the chat application to make it easier for players to jump directly into game clients and play with friends or spectate. By offering the SDK, Discord is providing developers with another way to engage players with each other and the game.
    The Rich Presence SDK is available for C, C++, Unity, or Unreal. Learn more from the Rich Presence SDK website at https://discordapp.com/rich-presence.
     

    Strange Engine is a 2D KIT for Unity Developers, which can be used to create a top down game. Or use its modules in other projects. This KIT is easy to modify as many variables can be tweaked, the scripts are neat and well documented, and Editor Extensions will help you to create new maps and weapons in one minute. You can use existing graphics or replace it with your own.
    Key Features
    > Fully Mobile Support.
    > Fully PC Support.
    > Randomly Generated map.
    > Pickups (Ammo).
    > Object Pooling.
    > Explodable walls.
    > Saves your highscore.
    > 14 different weapons.(Lasers, Lightning Bolts, Machine Guns, FlameThrowers, GrenadeLaunchers )
    > Extended Enemy AI.(fly mode, search , atack, pursuit mode, passive mode.)
    > Different enemy types (Duck, Monster, Raven).
    > Editor Extensions.
    > Mobile and PC player and shooting controls.
    > Well Optimized.
    Store Link.
    Youtube Link.
    Soon new 2D weapons pack.
    Get all news in my Twitter.

    Thanks for your time,
    Denis Arhipov
    CHE games.

    If you have any questions, please contact me here, or debrice@bk.ru.


    Oculus CTO John Carmack has posted the latest Public VR Critique: Daedalus, running on the Gear VR. Daedalus is a platformer and exploration game set in a surrealist world. 
    Carmack appears to really enjoy this game, mentioning that at "OC4, one of the VR apps presented for my review session was Daedalus...I played through the first couple training segments on stage, giving some of my common feedback, but what was noteworthy was that I didn't want to quit - I had to make myself stop to get on to the rest of the slate lined up."
    In the critique, Carmack covers Daedalus' gameplay, artistic feel, and the pros/cons of the art style in mobile VR. He also reviews performance on Gear VR:
    Check out the full critique here.

    Epic Games’ Unreal Engine Enterprise team will be at Autodesk University (AU) revealing the latest developments to the Datasmith workflow toolbox for experiencing design. Datasmith provides a frictionless import of CAD data from over 20 CAD/DCC sources, including Autodesk 3ds Max, into Unreal Engine. Datasmith demos will be presented throughout AU, November 14-16, in booth A211 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
    Real-time engines allow customers in design, engineering and construction to experience a virtual prototype of their design intent. Datasmith, currently available in a beta release, focuses on breaking down the barrier to exploring interactive 3D experiences for architecture and design. Bringing non-game data into Unreal Engine is now faster and more seamless, with Datasmith automating many manual processes, such as setup of lightmap UVs and conversion of materials.
    “Datasmith’s biggest advantage is its ability to bring in objects, add lightmap UVs and generate working materials with minimal cleanup. This has cut our time to around 60%. Datasmith is definitely proving to be a game changer,” said Austin Reed, 3D Visualization Team Lead, HNTB Corporation.
    In just three months, over 7,000 people from over 4,000 companies have registered for the Datasmith beta. Visit Unrealengine.com/beta for a chance to participate in the Datasmith beta.
    During AU, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine Enterprise team will host “Epic Conversations” where a panel of individuals from Harley Davidson, HOK, Soluis and Steelcase will discuss how Unreal Engine is radically transforming their creative workflows. Unreal Engine brings new forms of visual communication to these markets by incorporating interactivity and real-time production technology adapted from the game development industry.
    For more information, visit unrealengine.com/enterprise.

    Effekseer Project develops "Effekseer," which is visual software for creating open source games; on November 1, I released "Effekseer 1.3," which is the latest major version release. With Effekseer, you can easily create various visual effects simply by specifying different parameters.
     
    Effekseer is a tool to create various visual effects used in games and others. You can create various visual effects such as explosion, light emission, and particles. Effekseer's effect creation tool works only on Windows. However, the created visual effects can be viewed on Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and other environments using plugins runtime / plugins such as DirectX, OpenGL, and Unity.
    Effekseer 1.3 is an updated version of Effekseer 1.2 released in June 2016.
    This update contains the following changes:
    -Addition of a file viewer that makes it easy to manage effect files;
    -Improvements in UI such as adding icons for easy understanding of editing status;
    -Addition of a function to read FBX as a 3D model file;
    -Addition of parameters for easier control of the effects.
    In addition to Unity, I have added plugins / libraries to UnrealEngine 4 and Cocos2d-x.
    This makes it possible to play effects in most major development environments.Besides that, more than 70 new sample effects have been added and many bugs have been fixed.
    Effekseer 1.3 is available on the project website.
    The license for the software is the MIT license.

    Effekseer 
    http://effekseer.github.io/

    Github
    https://github.com/effekseer/Effekseer
     
     


    Reallusion partners with Persistant Studios, PopcornFX, the multi-platform & cross-engine realtime particle effects industry leader. iClone 7 adds particle realism with the PopcornFX runtime integration, particles library, and extensive VFX creation through PopcornFX's powerful editor. 
    The PopcornFX engine now tightly integrates with iClone's lighting, physics and timeline animation systems, while retaining full custom import and attribute adjustment capabilities. Achieve top-level quality VFX with PopcornFX, currently in use in a wide variety of game productions, from indies to AAA.
    The iClone realtime animation and virtual production engine combines with PopcornFX to deliver dynamic visual effects that can interact with models, physics, and audio. 3D particle effects from PopcornFX also interact and affect lighting dynamically with iClone Global Illumination and High Dynamic Range (HDR) Effects. Physics in iClone powered by NVIDIA Physx enable PopcornFX to collide, bounce, emit and accumulate in realtime.
    Reallusion iClone and PopcornFX together equip studios of all levels from indie to AAA with a total realtime 3D animation and visual effects combo. Create and import custom particle effects using the PopcornFX multi-platform & cross-engine editor that enables creation of realtime FX on-demand, compatible with iClone.
    PopcornFX 3D Particles inside iClone     Billboard: Use texture image or sprite list as your particle source. Ribbon: Connect particles into continuous ribbons for trailing effects. Mesh: Select props or load 3D objects as your emitter source.       Realtime Particle illumination     Global illumination (GI): Transform particles into dynamic light sources that naturally light up the scene. Manage the light bounce strength and times High Dynamic Range (HDR) Effects: Control particle bloom scale, tone maps, and exposure level, delivering sophisticated glowing strength.       Particle Physics - Emit, Collide, Bounce and Accumulate     Integrate PopcornFX particles with NVIDIA PhysX engine. One-way Collision: you can choose to bounce particles off from 3D objects, or accumulate them on their surface. Two-way Collision: Use particle impulse to push away physics ready objects.       Free Editor & PopcornFX Import for Limitless Particles      Create brand new particle behaviors using the powerful script-based PopcornFX Editor. Learn by samples, Wiki, and free tutorials. Directly load PopcornFX projects into iClone via the PopcornFX plugin.       Timeline Editing to Fine-tune Particle Effects     Precisely control particle on/off, timing, scale, opacity, color, density, impulse, etc. All Attributes have their own timeline tracks. Users can set keys for each attribute. Effects are grouped for easy track management.       Save & Reuse Custom Particles     Combine several primary effects to form more complicated effects. Save custom effects with your own attribute values and sampler data (mesh/texture/sound). Attach particles to target objects, save them with props, accessories and characters.  

    Qualcomm has released Snapdragon Profiler 2.0, the latest version of the profiling tool for mobile developers. Included in the update is a new CPU sampling mode, allowing Android developers with simpleperf to view CPU function sampling in a flamegraph, and a number of CPU-based metrics for CPU cache and instruction performance. The release also includes a number of fixes for mobile game developers using the OpenGL ES, Vulkan, and OpenCL APIs as well as any developers working on mobile VR applications and games.
    Download the latest release from the Qualcomm Developer Network and view the full release notes here.

    IDV has released SpeedTree Cinema 8, the latest version of its standalone tree, plant and foliage modelling suite of tools. New features include:
    PBR workflow and rendering. Supports non-destructive material editing, allowing artists to adjust textures on the fly. A new library of 150 models with thousands of 3D surface-scanned PBR textures. Each model contains multiple polygonal resolutions and adjustable seasonal variations. Improved export pipeline. Exports of both meshes and wind animations now run much faster and use less memory. Other improvements include UDIM support, better mesh unwrapping, hierarchical exports, and better bone weighting for skinned meshes. New leaf batching system. Leaf rendering in the SpeedTree Modeler is up to 1,000 times faster than version 7. This greatly speeds the modeling process and supports the creation of more complex models. Improved wind realism. Cinema 8 captures the complex dynamics of wind among leaves and branches more naturally. The overhauled system features a realistic rolling wind effect, is much easier to tune, and includes a new wind wizard. Many more improvements, including a new art director tool and an overhauled mesh cutout system. This release sees SpeedTree Studio and SpeedTree Architect discontinued. In their place SpeedTree Cinema is offered in various versions with both rental and perpetual licensing options. Find out more on the SpeedTree website.  
     

    In a NY Times op-ed yesterday, Jason Schreier tackles the long-standing problem of crunch in the games industry and the toll it takes on developers' lives.
    Schreier provides several anecdotes from developers across the industry - including emergency room visits, memory loss, and being unable to walk - and cites a 2016 survey from the IGDA where "crunch" was considered the norm in the industry.
    Read more of the op-ed here.

    Epic has released Unreal Engine 4.18. From the blog announcement:
    New features include:
    Lighting improvements - volumetric lightmaps, precomputed lighting on volumetric fog, improved static skylight directtonality, multi-bounce indirect light from skylights Apple ARKit support Google ARCore Developer Preview support Clothing Tools Media Framework improvements Sequencer improvements Improved physics asset editor multi-convex generation for physics asset bodies RigidBody Anim Node improvements Blendspace Editor improvements Global Find in Blueprints and more... Full release notes available in the UE4 forums.

    Today, Allegorithmic launches “Materialize: The Digital Material Contest,” a competition that challenges artists to digitally reproduce photorealistic materials from real-world references. Starting with Allegorithmic’s popular Mattershots Instagram account, contestants select from one of the 750+ materials available and then recreate it in Substance Designer for a chance to win one of several prizes.
    Allegorithmic created the Mattershots social media account as a way to introduce a daily dose of material inspiration to the Substance community, offering new ways to think about colors, textures and other design options. The Materialize contest is an opportunity for both artists with experience using Substance Designer, and those new to the tool, to show how closely they can recreate and creatively interpret materials that match their real-world counterparts. Submissions will be accepted fromOctober 24 through November 24 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
    Once contestants have selected an image to model their design on, they'll have the option to either start from scratch or select an existing texture from Allegorithmic’s Substance Source PBR library as a starting point. All entries must be designed in Substance Designer, and contestants must also specify which of the two categories they wish to be judged in, general or MDL.
    Once the entry is complete, contestants should send in a copy of the newly created material alongside an image of the original source, one image of the created texture in Iray render mode on Plane HD and their SBS or MDL file to demonstrate the craft behind the design.  
    Three winners will be selected in each category, with the top entries judged by a jury of industry experts, including:
    Don Arceta – Lead Artist, Playground Games Marc Austin – Build Supervisor, Double Negative Scott DeWoody – Firmwide Creative Media Manager, Gensler Pierre Hulot – Digital Manager, French luxury industry Nicolas Paulhac – CMF Designer, Substance Source Project Manager Nicolas Wirrman – Substance Designer Product Manager, Allegorithmic Winners will be announced on December 6, 2017. The winning entries will be based on following criteria: reference matching accuracy, material level of details (complexity and technical quality), material tweaks and exposed parameters.
    Prizes include:
    1st Place (General) – HP DreamColor Z23x Professional display monitor 2nd Place (General) – NVIDIA M5000 3rd Place (General) – X-Rite Photo Pro 2 ColorChecker 1st Place (MDL) – NVIDIA P6000 2nd Place (MDL) – NVIDIA P5000 3rd Place (MDL) – NVIDIA M5000 All winners will also receive one year of Substance, and a one-year subscription to ArtStation TBC. For interested parties unfamiliar with Substance Designer, Allegorithmic is currently offering a 30-day free trial.
    For a complete set of rules, including how to enter, please visit the Materialize contest page.
    A video tutorial designed especially for the contest is also available:
     

    Bluezone Corporation has released 'Sci Fi Interface Sound Effects', a new sample library delivering a wide range of UI sounds ready to be injected in your movies, video game and multimedia projects.
    This downloadable sample pack contains 153 meticulously recorded WAV audio files ( 24 bit / 96 kHz / stereo ) and offers a large variety of elements to create your own sequences: alarms, data processing, beeps, buzzing high pitch sounds, transmission clicks, transitions, sonar pings and more.
    All sounds were recorded using various sources (hardware synths, electromagnetic field sounds...) and processed meticulously using high-end gear. All SFX are named according to their content and sorted thematically. In order to give you ready-to-use sounds for your productions, all samples are royalty-free for all your commercial projects.
    More information : Sci Fi Interface Sound Effects

    Middleware technology and game development company, Silicon Studio Corporation has released the newest version of global illumination technology “Enlighten” for Epic Games, Inc.’s game engine, Unreal 4. Enlighten is a proud partner of Unreal, and the release of new version, 17, marks Silicon Studio’s dedication to releasing reliable and timely updates for new Unreal versions and continuing the tradition of providing high quality customer support, and a great customer experience for both domestic and overseas customers.
    One of the main features of this version update is development capability for Nintendo SwitchTM on Unreal 4 allowing for real-time Global Illumination. For all versions and platforms, Enlighten is constantly looking to the future with many plans for development and advances in both technology and usability. To improve on the overall customer experience new Enlighten SDK documentation instructing on how to quickly build an effective real-time GI workflow utilizing Enlighten, and new UE4 Enlighten tutorials on how to configure level to achieve the best results while working in Unreal. These are just a small glimpse into the improvements planned for Enlighten with many more to come from now and throughout 2018. Also with version 4.18 set to release, this version will go into development immediately upon release.
    Learn more at http://www.siliconstudio.co.jp/en/.