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Francisco Tufro

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  1. Francisco Tufro

    A Brief Introduction to Lerp

    Nice article! I loved the visual examples. I can't say how many times lerp has been the tool of choice to achieve zillions of nice looking effects using shaders, plus is the basis of rasterization! Keep the good work
  2. The second book in the series is finally out! In this book I delve into four illumination techniques that go from static illumination to fully dynamic using normal maps. If you're interested head to and click "I want it". As a way of thankig the whole community I wanted to share a 50% discount code for the next two days: illumination-release-discount I'd love to hear your opinions on the book and any suggestions would be happily taken into account
  3. Francisco Tufro

    Engines starting off (again)

    Thank you so much!
  4. Francisco Tufro

    Engines starting off (again)

    Hi there, Francisco here with the first update for 4drop. For those of you new to the project, I wanted to give some background on it. 4drop is, as its description states, a multiplayer game built for 2/4 players where you have to compete with each other to grab a flag and take it to the base. This is fun and games, until you notice that the environment moves in sinchronization with the music and it becomes a puzzle-like experience. The game is really fast-paced and intense. At least that's what we're aiming for! Some background Ourocytosis (2012) 4drop is the last instance of an idea that originated on a Global Game Jam back in 2012, a game called Ourocytosis, a weird game where you had a tail that you used to capture minions that gave you powers. Super caotic, and not really accessible, but was fun enough to think about doing some progress with it. Glitchhiker's fight for the galaxy (2013) After that gamejam, the project got archived for a while since I started working on The Insulines, a game we build with some friends, then worked on Moai SDK and finally moved into Counterspy. In 2013, when done with Counterspy, I started thinking about the project again, but this time I removed the weird mechanic and wanted to explore something different, I wanted to make a fast-paced space battle game with DubStep music and some music / gameplay sinchronization. The result was Glitchhiker's fight for the Galaxy. A local-multiplayer space fight game, still uberly caotic and not accessible. 4drop (2015) After working on Glitchhiker's for a couple of months, I joined Nastycloud and went to GDC in 2014, we showed the game a little bit but I was not really happy about it, so we focused on working on a new version for Nubarron. We made a kickstarter that failed, then started working on 4drop. After working for a couple of months on 4drop, we signed a publishing deal to work on Nubarron, so 4drop got archived again. A little bit sad for me since I had so much love for this project. 4drop (2018) So, now after three years of working on Nubarron, I left Nastycloud and started working on 4drop again. I gave some thought about what I wanted to do, I wanted something challenging, since I was really tired of working on a platformer that had no technical challenges for me. So I decided to go remote multiplayer (something I haven't done before) with the worst kind of game you can go multiplayer with: a fast-paced one. But I know I'm up for the challenge, I also want to get better at game design and that's the reason why I'm opening the game to the public so early, because I want to work on the design with a small community of gamers that will help me decide how to make this game great. Current State So, what's been going on this week? Since the local-multiplayer version of 4drop has been done in an old Unity version (remember 2015!), I started the project from scratch. I gained a lot of insight in the past few years about game programming in general, so I wanted to test some ideas on architecture and they were not compatible with the way the demo was coded. This week I've been working on getting the movement going. Inspired by an interesting talk on Rocket League's architecture, I started working on a deterministic movement system, ignoring Unity's physics and implementing everything from scratch. It's not a big deal since, for now, the movement is pretty simplistic and we'll see where we're headed in the future. I want to wait until we have the aesthetics figured out (more news on this next week!) before spending too much time in player input. If the need for a fully-fledged physics system arises I'm probably going to use Bullet Physics or something like that. The plan for next week is to get a single level playing with music synchronization and the basic capture the flag logic going on in local-multiplayer. After that, the nightmare of networking! By the way, the ships you see in the screenshot are temporary from the assets store. If you're interested in more technical updates, let me know in the comments below, I'd be happy to post some on my blog and reference them here (want to keep this as programming-light as possible)!
  5. Francisco Tufro


    4drop is a 2/4 multiplayer game that features a hybrid gameplay mixing competitive capture the flag elements with puzzle-solving in an environment that constantly moves to the music. The downloadable demo is a prototype we created back in 2015. Now we're working on the game again to create an awesome experience with your feedback. We're re-building the game from scratch with networked multiplayer in mind and would love to have your feedback on it. We have quite a few features in mind, but would love to hear your opinions! If you want to know more, please join our Discord server and head to the #4drop channel.
  6. Francisco Tufro

    2D Shader Development Book Series

    In the past few years, while working on Nubarron, I got really frustrated about the lack of information on how to design shader effects in 2D. Most of the books and tutorials are about 3D, and one may thing that transfering that knowledge to 2D is easy. Well.. not really.I found out that there is a sub-set of basic techniques that are pretty useful in 2D, and don't require you to learn a lot of the 3D stuff, specially lighting models, the first thing that every shader tutorial/book talks about.The series is aimed at independent game developers that want to make their own 2D games visually unique. You’ll need some understanding on programming. If you can code your own logic in C# scripts inside Unity you’re good to go.If you haven’t coded a game in the past it’s likely that these books are not for you. I suggest you take an introductory Unity course first, work on some prototypes until you’re comfortable with programming and then read the books.The series will help you differentiate your games from others that use nothing but built-in shaders, make use of the GPU to generate movement and effects on static sprites, generate full-screen effects and learn techniques to do illumination on 2D scenes.
  7. Thank you so much for all the help! You're awesome! Thank you sooo much! I will
  8. Francisco Tufro

    Where to get good knowledge to write shaders?

    If you focus on Unity, that may be an issue. There are many many sources, but generally examples are in OpenGL or DirectX. I suggest you learn OpenGL or something more broadly used in the computer graphics world. Links to take a look at: I'm writing a book series on 2D Shader Development, but I don't think that's what you're looking for, but in my "Where to go now?" section in the website there are links to some books: If you need any help let me know
  9. Thank you soooo much! The full projects would be awesome! Regarding the assets, they're in the exercises repository for the Unity version. You can ping me whenever you want to ask me for any other asset that you see in the books and are not in the repository.
  10. Awesome! Have you signed up to the forum? If you haven't please do Let me know the user when you do it, and I'll give you review permissions. Thank you soooooo much!
  11. I'm happy you agree with the current solution! I'd be eternally thankful if you help with the GameMaker version of the shaders. Let me know if/when you have something and I'll create the repository and give you access to it. I'd love to see what you're working on if you have something to show please show You're correct about the other books. I have a lot of material already (I already gave 4 workshops on the topic), but I'm sorting all of these things into coherent chunks of data and expanding them to make it more useful in general. I'm now working on the illumination book, which will include techniques with normal maps for dynamic 2D lighting Regarding timetable, I hope I'll get the Illumination book done by mid/late May. That said, if you want to help with the shader translation to GameMaker I can add you to the beta reader team, which will give you access to the book while I'm writing it. Let me know. I guess the best way to be up to date with the book is both the mailing list (which you're already in if you downloaded the first book) and by following me on twitter. I'll be sending monthly newsletters in the mailing list, and posting every now and then to twitter. Let me know how else I can help
  12. I thought the same as you before. Actually I started the project by using OpenGL and GLSL, but changed my mind in the process. The reason is that most people I talked to and helped with these topics before I decided to move forward with the book were using Unity. Sadly, it's quite a standard these days, especially in the mobile world, which is one of the places where these techniques can be really helpful. Not only that, using Unity allows me to focus on the important stuff, because all the engine side of things is done. OpenGL has quite a few steps before you can actually see a textured quad on screen. I'm not a big fan of Unity myself though. I just wanted to make the book accessible to as many people as possible, and I decided to go with it. Now, what can we do to solve your problem? That being "I use something that is not Unity, and I don't want to use Unity because I know what I'm doing and just want your stuff in [insert environment here]". For now I've one (temporary) solution. And that is, rely on the community to create these alternative versions of the exercises and examples. As you can see on GitHub, one reader (@KelsamGames on twitter) helped with translating the exercises to MonoGame, which I'm eternally grateful for, since I haven't used XNA or any derivative since 2008. If you manage to port the exercises / examples to GameMaker, I'd ask you to let me know and I'll more than happy to upload the code to GitHub and credit you in the repository description and For a longer-term solution, after writing the first four books with examples in Unity, I may create workbooks in several different platforms, talking about the specifics of those platforms, but I'll need to team up with other developers for that when the time comes. Let me know what you think about these solutions, do you have any other idea? Thanks a lot for making me re-thing previous decisions, it's always good to revisit them. You're awesome.
  13. Awesome! Let me know if you need any help with that
  14. Hi everyone! I'm currently working on a series of books about 2D Shader Development. The idea is to synthesize a bunch of techniques that are specifically useful for 2D, even if they work on 3D as well. I released the first book last week. It's 4.99 on Amazon or free on the series website, This is an independent initiative, I don't work for any publisher whatsoever. The contents of the books are the result of a 4-year span where I started teaching this in Argentina and USA, always making the workshop better. Now I'm expanding it to make more sense in book form. I'd love to hear your opinions on the idea and if you get the book let me know what you think. By the way, the examples are in Unity, but the concepts from the book should be easily transferable to any graphics api/engine. Hope you like it!
  15. Francisco Tufro


    Album for 4drop
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