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    InnovateHer is teaming up with Sony’s PlayStation brand to expand its eight week tech programme for teenage girls to more locations across the country. The Digital Bootcamp programme aims to give girls aged between 12-16 key tech and interpersonal skills whilst encouraging them to consider STEM subjects and careers in tech.
    Currently, girls make up only 20% of computer science entries at GCSE, and just 10% at A-level, with nine times more boys than girls gaining an A level in Computer Science this year. InnovateHer, whose mission is “to get girls ready for the tech industry, and the industry ready for girls”, recently pledged to tackle these figures by committing to work with schools to reach over 1,000 girls by 2020.
    PlayStation previously worked with InnovateHer’s sister brand Liverpool Girl Geeks to deliver a similar educational programme in Liverpool in 2016. The programme saw 20 girls take part in technology themed workshops across 6 weeks, and included an invitation to PlayStation’s Wavertree offices to meet technical staff and learn more about how games are developed and tested.
    Now, InnovateHer is working with PlayStation again to develop a scalable 8-week Digital Bootcamp programme in order to reach more girls in new locations across the UK. The after school programme will teach girls technical skills, build confidence, and highlight local opportunities within the tech and digital industries. Working with PlayStation has allowed InnovateHer to extend the programme further afield, including Guildford and London.
    Programmes will start in selected schools during January 2020, and graduates of the programme will have a chance to showcase their work at next year’s Develop conference in Brighton.
    Chelsea Slater, Co-founder of InnovateHer says, “We’re proud to be working with PlayStation again on our tech programme for girls. The issues we see around the gender pay gap and low numbers of women in the tech community are the culmination of the seeds that get sown early in young women’s academic careers. Our mission is to get girls ready for the tech industry, and to get the industry ready for girls, and a huge part of this is challenging the misconception that girls “can’t do” STEM subjects like Computer Science, equally that the STEM industry doesn’t cater for women. That’s why it’s important for us that our programme reaches girls not just locally, but nationally, too, and that it aims to show young women just what opportunities are open to them. Thanks to PlayStation’s support and recognition, we are able to do just that.”
    If schools in the three areas wish to have the InnovateHer programme, then an expression of interest form can be found at; http://bit.ly/iher2020
    To find out more about InnovateHer, or to enquire about partnerships, visit: www.innovateher.co.uk
    If your school is based in London, Liverpool or Guildford and wishes to take part in the InnovateHer programme, then an expression of interest form can be found here: http://bit.ly/iher2020
    To find out more about InnovateHer, or to enquire about partnerships, visit: www.innovateher.co.uk

    Jeremy continues October with some more Halloween spirit by attempting to go bodyless and pass off green screen artifacts as monster makeup! Reggie Fils-Aime enters the Video Game Hall of Fame and is honored with a lifetime achievement award. The industry mourns the loss of John Kirby, who at one point saved Donkey Kong and possibly Nintendo as we know it today. Jeremy also covers the latest PixelFest 2020 developments and gets techy with Castlevania IV ... though he's still not done yet.
    And... drumroll... Jeremy completely forgets to mention that there will be a PixelFest Devs meetup on Tuesday, October 15th at Pixels = Pints + Bytes in Norfolk, VA. Be there ... or you're going to need an extra life MUAHAHAHA!

    The full interview with Pixelbite was originally published on the LocalizeDirect's site.
    The creators of the “amazingly animated” Space Marshals, Reckless Racing, and Xenowerk, Swedish studio Pixelbite is launching its tactical mobile strategy game Xenowerk Tactics today. LocalizeDirect briefly talked to Pixelbite co-founders Mattias Olsson and Anders Blom about their new game, game localization secrets, and their ad-hoc game testing on the couch.
    LocalizeDirect: Tell us a bit about your new game - Xenowerk Tactics.
    Anders: It’s sort of a mix between our previous games Space Marshals and Xenowerk. It’s built on the story of the Xenowerk but Xenowerk was more of a shooting and action game, this one is a bit more strategic and tactical. There is a strategy element where you manage a basecamp, upgrade and recruit new operatives, and then you send then into the field, and in the field it becomes a tactical game for you.
    What inspired you?
    Mattias: It’s a mix of many games. We were inspired by games like Darkest Dungeon and XCOM, especially for the base management and recruitment parts. If we could get the player to care for the recruits the same way we did when playing those games it would be great. To hopefully achieve this we added unique traits and mutations to make each recruit feel more unique and valuable. For the combat side of things, we took inspiration from various RTS games and old-school RPG games like Baldur’s Gate.
    What markets performed best for your game Space Marshals?
    Mattias: We don’t know why but Chinese market liked us. We had some publishers looking at us before we were listed (1st and 2nd round), and they told our game and the theme wouldn’t work in China. And then we were nominated for the game of the year on the App Store. Now China is one of our best regions in the world. We also hope it’s gonna be success for Xenowerk Tactics.
    Space Marshals was a P2P game. Besides China, what are other regions that performed best in terms of revenue and downloads?
    Mattias: The US, Russia, South Korea, Germany, China are definitely top 5 for us.
    To continue, check out the entire conversation. 
    Images: Xenowerk Tactics, Pixelbite

    'Black Project - Mysterious Cinematic Samples' from Bluezone delivers a wide range of experimental ambiences, intriguing drones, dark stylized sound effects, disturbing impacts and unreal textures. This enigmatic sound effect library (1.23GB / 99 WAV files in 24 bit 96 kHz) was created from hardware synthesizers and field recordings, then processed to give you complex, hyper-detailed and ready-to-use cinematic / trailer sounds.
    A large variety of unexplained sounds to create your own sequences: Sounds include background ambiences, strange and quiet atmospheres, deep and tenebrous drones, tortured metal sounds, impulsive impacts and spooky textures. 'Black Project - Mysterious Cinematic Samples' is the perfect choice for modern music compositions, movie scores, trailers, video games, commercials, documentaries, advertising and background music.
    Reference : BC0262
    Delivery : Download link
    Download size : 1119 MB
    Extracted size : 1123 MB
    Format : WAV
    Resolution : 24 Bit / 96 kHz
    Channel : Stereo
    License : Royalty free
    Total files : 118
    Total samples : 99 WAV
    More info and download: Black Project - Mysterious Cinematic Samples

    Cubic Motion is proud to announce a major hardware update to Persona – the technology behind the world's first high-fidelity digital humans across video games, films, broadcast media, and immersive technologies.
    Known for bringing to life characters such as Siren, Meet Mike and most recently Akali, Persona continually captures and translates an actor's performance onto a computer-generated counterpart. This enables immediate animation in real-time engines such as Epic’s Unreal 4. Persona’s core technology also drives facial animation for the iconic game characters seen in Marvel’s Spiderman, God of War, Anthem and other AAA titles.
    Steve Caulkin, CTO at Cubic Motion, comments: “Persona continually evolves to deliver the world’s best capture and live animation solution. This new release, which makes the hardware even more actor-friendly, is especially significant for immediate broadcast and live events.”
    New features and functionality
    Many of the improvements to Persona are based on customer feedback, gathered since its initial release in April 2019. Persona’s latest update focuses on performer flexibility and ease-of-use. Most significantly, the helmet-mounted camera system (HMC) and on-body animation system are now 70% smaller – going from 2.3kg to 1.25kg. Additional features include:
    Quick-release on body mounting system for rapid setup and ease of use
    Smart battery device with 1.5 hours run time on a single battery, or infinite lifetime with hot-swap capability
    Physical record button for quick, manual capture in emergency situations
    LED indicators that allow everyone on set to monitor whether the system is idle, recording or streaming to UE4
    Basic audio recording capability to aid animation quality and allow for quick turn around on set
    Persona’s update will be available from 1st October 2019, paving the way for a new era in digital performance and virtual production. An era where characters, actors and audiences all co-exist and interact. 

    Expanding its offerings for the global videogame industry, ALIBI Music Library (“ALIBI”) has launched a new label for game developers. ALIBI Orange features an initial 16 albums across numerous genres (Action, Adventure Fantasy, Casual, Horror, Sci Fi and Kids), with all tracks formatted especially for game play. The ALIBI Orange label – now available in both the Unity Technologies’ Asset Store and Unreal’s UE4 Marketplace  – brings developers music with the same professional quality that has made ALIBI a leading partner to the film and television industry, but with a looping structure catering to the nuances of the gaming experience.
    “Getting the chance to work with and really listen to game developers over the years, we created this label with their unique interests in mind,” said Kent Carter, ALIBI’s Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. “We’re proud to be able to share these albums, which are first-of-their-kind offerings for this industry, with Unity and Unreal developers.” 
    Included with each expertly crafted loop are instrument stems, musically-related stingers, multiple endings and beat-mapped transitions that give game developers maximum flexibility and make implementation easy. At a price point of $39.99 per album, the ALIBI Orange label offers Unity and Unreal developers non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use the music and associated assets for any video game or VR/AR project worldwide and in perpetuity. This pricing reflects ALIBI’s commitment to music creators, with 50 percent of all sales going back to the composers.
    Unity is the creator of the world’s leading real-time 3D development platform, giving users the most powerful and accessible tools to create, operate, and monetize experiences for the real-time world.
    Epic Games' Unreal Engine technology brings high-quality games to PC, console, mobile, AR and VR platforms. Creators also use Unreal for photorealistic visualization, interactive product design, film, virtual production, mixed reality TV broadcast and animated entertainment.

    Yoyo Games has released v2.2.4 of GameMaker Studio 2. This release includes an update to the build toolchain to match the requirements of Android 10 and macOS/iOS/tvOS following Apple's recent announcements. IAP support has also been updated with subscriptions support and receipt verification. The release also includes additional Websocket support for HTML5 games and a long list of additional updates.
    View the full announcement on the YoYo Games blog.

    NVIDIA is the latest high profile company now contributing significant funds for advancing the open-source Blender 3D modeling software. 

    NVIDIA has joined Epic Games at the premiere "patron" level in which they are contributing at least €120k per year. NVIDIA and Epic are the two companies contributing the most to Blender's Development Fund but also making significant contributions are the likes of Ubisoft, Google, Ubuntu, Intel Software, Valve, and others. 

    Blender shared that NVIDIA's contributions will allow two more developers to work on Blender full-time and helping to ensure NVIDIA GPU technology is well supported. 

    Blender already supports CUDA and OpenCL well with NVIDIA GPUs while Blender 2.81 already has an RTX OptiX back-end for NVIDIA Turing GPUs that was contributed by the company. 

    The Pixel Game Maker MV Game Development Challenge, a contest seeking talented developers using the intuitive yet fully-featured 2D game engine from Playism and Kadokawa Corporation, is now underway.   Taking place until March 30, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. PT, the competition offers a grand prize award of ¥1,000,000 JPY (approx. $9,332 USD) and opportunities to be among the first Pixel Game Maker MV creations published on Nintendo Switch. In addition to the grand prize, there are award categories for side view, top view, multiplayer games, and more. Winning entries may also be adapted into books, comics, and more.   Sister software to RPG Maker, which sold more than 2,000,000 copies worldwide, Pixel Game Maker MV puts 2D game development in the hands of first-time developers with no programming knowledge while maintaining the flexibility, power, and depth required by long-time game creators through extensible scripting.    Featuring native physics and local multiplayer support as well as 20 sample games and a host of modern, sci-fi, and fantasy assets, Pixel Game Maker MV makes it easy to get started prototyping. Developers can carry their games through to completion using the assets to hand or import their own to create top-down or sidescrolling action games in any genre.   “If you can imagine it, you can create it with Pixel Game Maker MV,” said Noboru Mogami, producer, Kadokawa Corporation. “With this contest, we’re hoping to find amazing talents to highlight and nurture. We’ve already seen some truly wonderful things come out of our community so far and we’re looking forward to the delights our creators still have in store for us.”   Pixel Game Maker MV is available now on Steam in Japanese, English and Simplified Chinese for $84.99 USD/€71.99.   The full official rules can be found on the Pixel Game Maker MV Game Development Challenge page. For more information about the engine, please visit the Pixel Game Maker MV official website, Facebook page and follow @PixelGameMaker on Twitter.

    For mobile games and applications performance analysis, Qualcomm has released Snapdragon Profiler 2019.3. This looks to be primarily a bug fix release addressing several crashes and graphics debugging issues:
    Speed up the connection process Added ability to auto connect if a single device is detected Added support to display YUV EGL images Clarify when Launch Application button should be used Fixed issue where Vulkan returns no data after a few captures Fixed SDP crash when switching between trace and snapshot Fixed issue where used resources shown for a snapshot were incorrect Few other bug fixes Learn more at https://developer.qualcomm.com/software/snapdragon-profiler/.

    Unity has acquired ChilliConnect, which provides cloud-based game services to enable backend operations at scale, allowing anyone to add online game features without needing to stand up individual servers. With the acquisition Unity also acquires the full-stack toolkit with LiveOps capabilities and real-time analytics.
    According to Unity, ChilliConnect will continue to operate its engine agnostic services independently, but with the support and backing of Unity. 

    Humble Bundle has two bundles that people that are just starting out with game development could use:
    A Unity Bundle with over 1000+ dollars of amazing stuff for just 15 dollars
    Buying this bundle will support the charity Gameheads via United Roots!
    A Corel Graphics Design Bundle!
    Gravit Designer PRO + Corel Painter (and plugins): Graphic design software. 998 dollars of software for 25 dollars!
    By buying the bundles you will also be supporting Make-A-Wish Foundation and Game Changer!

    Lastly, there is a Python Bundle available!
    867 dollars of Python goodies for 20$.
    By buying the bundle you will be supporting the Python Software Foundation as well as another charity of your choosing. 

    During the Unite Copenhagen keynote, Unity  announced new graphics tools, Unity Simulation, and more.
    Unity Simulation is a new cloud-based simulation product for running multiple instances of a Unity project in parallel, at scale on Google Cloud. Unity Simulation can be used to accelerate applications across industries like gaming, automotive, and robotics, allowing developers to test, train, and validate any projects, prototypes or concepts in a simulated world without being bound by the challenges of reality – like insufficient data, inadequate resources, or safety concerns. Using Unity Simulation, game developers can test a game's soft launch scenario, for example.
    On the graphics side, Unity introduced the new High Definition Render Pipeline, the Universal Render Pipeline, improvements to 2D tools, and more.

    Learn more from the Unity blog or watch the Unite Copenhagen keynote here:

    NVIDIA Nsight Systems 2019.5 is now available for download with refined user experience with CLI sessions for simultaneous usage of more commands, improved GUI timeline zooming levels of detail, enhanced Vulkan API coloring, and Linux GPU context switch trace. 

    Nsight Systems is a system-wide performance analysis tool, designed to help developers tune and scale software across CPUs and GPUs. Find out more at https://developer.nvidia.com/nsight-systems 

    Ben Cloward
    Several years ago I made a series of training videos to teach artists how to write real-time shaders in HLSL.  The series starts out with very simple concepts so that someone with no programming experience at all can start right from the beginning and learn to write shaders.  Further into the series, I cover more advanced topics such as parallax mapping, global illumination, reflection and refraction, and vertex animation. Everything is explained step by step so it's easy to follow.
    Originally, the videos shipped on 3 DVDs that sold for $60 each.  Sales were pretty successful, but the company that sold them went out of business just a short time after the 3rd DVD was released.  So I've decided to upload them to YouTube so that everyone can watch them for free!  My hope is that they'll help aspiring artists and programmers learn the art of shader creation.  Although some of the material is out of date, almost all of the principles taught are still valuable to learn and understand as a foundation to learning to write shaders.
    Here's my channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/bcloward
    The series consists of 40 videos.  I'll be releasing a new video each weekday starting this week - so if you're interested, be sure to subscribe to the channel and check back often.  If I get enough interest, my plan is to start creating new videos that demonstrate more recent shader techniques.
    Let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear your feedback!

    Pixel Game Maker MV, the intuitive yet fully-featured 2D game engine from Playism and Kadokawa Corporation, leaves Steam Early Access on Windows and launches into 1.0 today, alongside the debut of a free trial demo.   Debuting with the 1.0 release are two new sample games including archaeological metroidvania La-Mulana 2 remade in Pixel Game Maker MV, bringing the total number of sample games to 20.    This sister software to RPG Maker, which sold more than 2,000,000 copies worldwide, simplifies 2D game development so first-time developers can craft the game of their dreams with no programming knowledge, while maintaining the power, depth and flexibility required by veterans.   Create a variety of 2D games including side-scrolling beat ‘em ups, pixelated metroidvanias, top-down survival horror adventures, puzzle platformers and much more. With Pixel Game Maker MV, imagination is the only limit.   Bring side-scrolling or top-down dreams to life with a built-in physics engine, local multiplayer support for up to four players and support for extending the engine with add-ons built-in JavaScript, among other features. The 20 example games come with premade sci-fi and fantasy assets developers can use to jump right into prototyping or in their own commercial releases.   The free trial demo will allow the transfer of work-in-progress projects to the full version. Version 1.0 has Steam Workshop support as well as other improvements requested by the Early Access community and will continue to receive patches and new features as time goes on.   An update in 2020 will add Nintendo Switch porting functionality, allowing Pixel Game Maker MV creations to be sold on the Nintendo eShop, published by Kadokawa Corporation. In celebration, Kadokawa Corporation is holding a Pixel Game Maker MV Game Development Challenge from Oct. 3, 2019 – March 31, 2020 to find fantastic works from the platform’s most talented creators for publishing on Nintendo Switch.   “This launch is not the end of development on the Pixel Game Maker MV engine,” said Noboru Mogami, producer, Kadokawa Corporation. “Although Pixel Game Maker MV asks for a one-time payment instead of a subscription, we’re committed to supporting our developer community with continuous updates so they can tell their stories with any game mechanics they can dream up.”     Pixel Game Maker MV is available now on Steam in Japanese, English and Simplified Chinese for the regular price of $84.99 USD/€71.99, with a 30% launch discount for a limited time.   For more information, please visit the Pixel Game Maker MV official website, Facebook page and follow @PixelGameMaker on Twitter.

    The Game Creators have just added more content to their newly released AppGameKit Studio. Studio released earlier this year and acts as the newest iteration of game engine created by The Game Creators. For owners of this software, they've just bundled in a MEGA Media Pack which adds a bunch of new assets and features, the full list can be seen here.
    If you don't have AppGameKit Studio and are curious as to what it's all about, you can find an intro video below. There's also a trial version available on their website, linked above.

    Lumberyard Beta 1.21 was released on September 12 and comes with a bunch of new improvements. According to their post, this version of Lumberyard was made thanks to collaborating and receiving input from game developers "in the thick of their development cycle."
    Here are some of the new features in 1.21:
    Additionally, Lumberyard Beta 1.21 now uses NVIDIA’s PhysX 4.1. The full release notes can be seen here.


    PixelCast 2

    By JeremyAlessi, in News,

    In episode #2, Jeremy adds some formatting by covering the news, reflecting on the inspiration for PixelFest, and delving into an important developer lesson; that period of time everyone faces when they have to decide whether to play a game or make a game with their time.

    Unity has introduced a new program to help teams reduce project update wait times by 90%. The Unity Accelerator is a local network proxy and cache service that speeds up iteration times for asset pipeline importing and source code download via Collaborate. This is claimed to substantially reduce waiting times for blockers.
    The Unity Accelerator can be downloaded on OSX, Windows and Linux. The Collaborate source control feature requires a Unity Teams Advanced subscription.

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