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  1. Bolt-Action Gaming

    This Week in GameGuru - 01/21/2019

    Apologies for the short weekly review here, I am in crunch mode for the book for the next few weeks. Official GameGuru News: Looks like more updates are happening with the PBR quality improvement passes. Unfortunately the issues log continues to grow. Here's to hoping Lee and team can get some of those big ticket items knocked off the list. What's Good in the Store: Looks like Graphix put up a nice looking radio and BSP added his first new weapon pack in a while. I love the Pancor Jackhammer, aesthetically so I'm looking forward to picking this pack up myself and testing it out! Free Stuff:Graphix put out an amazing looking light-sword (cough not a saber, more like a rapier, honest). Make sure you get a copy here: Third Party Tutorials and Tools: Nothing new here, sorry kids. Random Acts of Creativity (WIPS):I'm getting absolutely bombarded with everyone's post-new years works - so apologies if I missed anything pertinent. Current the big news is Synchromesh put out a new copy of Protascope and it looks great! I'm really looking forward to this one, as it presents interesting game mechanics for the GameGuru genre of games. The menu alone looks much better than previous iterations so definitely keep your eyes open! I'm also happy to report Bonesy is still working on his yet unnamed project. Ramiro put a new demo video up for Psalm of Salem. Here's a link for those interested: It looks pretty nice and doesn't appear to be having framerate issues so that's a huge boon for a Forest map. He's definitely gotten my attention, at least. Guns of Solo got a demo video uploaded as well. Check out the information on the post here: 3com is putting up a new project. His take is different but the texturing is definitely going to hold him back unless he can find a way to improve the graphical fidelity. Still, it's a solid effort in a new direction. In My Own Works:I've gotten a TREMENDOUS amount of work done over the past week. I literally added another 5000 words to the book by simply updating the appendixes that I have added. I have to say if you had no other reason to buy the book - this would do it. I've torn apart code, read internal documentation, tested, verified with others and a host of other things just to answer questions that simply are assumed by most of the coders involved. My personal editor continues his trek into my book and while there's been some very large cleanups overall feedback has been really positive. I'm looking forward to being done with this phase, though this week it's all about taking pictures for the book. View the full article
  2. Bolt-Action Gaming

    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 StoreLots 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 StuffA free top-down low poly character: Tarkus1971 put out a new track called 'the realization' - Piratemyke is continuing to provide interesting free models (in a sense) made with the EBE: Third Party Tools and TutorialsNothing 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: Maha25 posted an interesting screenshot of a Jungle-based project called N.D.A. - You can get more details here: Ramiro has a new project (Psalm of Salem)on their way: For more details, click here: 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. View the full article
  3. Bolt-Action Gaming

    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 - 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: 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: You can also glean some really interesting ideas from PirateMyke's EBE structure thread here: 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! 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
  4. Bolt-Action Gaming

    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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Free Stuff - 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: 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. Bod made a pretty sweet radio for download: 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: Tarkus1971 put up his own site with media: 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: 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. View the full article
  5. 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: 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: 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: Now available for 30 cents in USD: 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: 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: 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: There's a pretty good discussion going on about importing MakeHuman characters into GameGuru. 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: There's a glowing sphere here: Graphix and Amenmoses have brought back the Piano: 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: 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: 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: 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
  6. 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: 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: 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. View the full article
  7. 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: 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: 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: 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: 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. View the full article
  8. 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: 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 beginObviously 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: 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 Yes, this is my hackneyed attempt to make a point. And you get this amazing difference in visual fidelity: Courtesy of: 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 lightingEmissive 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 ( 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: 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 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: AcythianAs 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. View the full article
  9. 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. 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: 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: 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: 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. 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: 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: 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! View the full article
  10. Bolt-Action Gaming

    This Week In GameGuru - 11/19/2018

    As you can see, I'll now be cross posted not only at 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: and the reference list of everything from FPE errors to light values: 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: 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. 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: 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: And some interesting image compression software I have yet to test out, might produce better results for DDS files: 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: 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. View the full article
  11. 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 NewsWell, 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: Which currently only has one post but hopefully yours truly will see the light of day there soon. What's Good in the StoreThis 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: 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: 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: 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: Mstockton released some free music over at his site. Definitely head on over and make sure to like the page for him! Honkeyboy released some Lua code for Game-Guru that allows you to setup chatting NPCs relatively easily. 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 TutorialsI found this ENORMOUS tutorial playlist on Game-Guru related topics on youtube over the weekend while doing book research: 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. Honkeyboy started a new project. Not so sure about this one, but if he polishes it, maybe it'll take roots for him. A new user "OPENLOAD" made an italian title that looks very promising "Il mio primo lavoro "Memory of the Hedolan": 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. Ertlov released a slice of his game 'Into the Ice' for testing - check it out here: 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! View the full article
  12. 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: 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: Amenmoses put up a new script for Bod's buttons: JPH put up some really beautiful advertising boards for free here: 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: 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: 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! View the full article
  13. 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. 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: - 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! - Another "BoredOfTheRings" creation - a Free DBO to X converter. Not bad! 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 - 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.. - AI and Particles - Bonesy's SCI-FI Shooter is coming along nicely. - MaiaCombra put out this interesting build using stock assets. - 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! View the full article
  14. 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: 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: 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: 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... Preben's at it again with some GG Loader particles that produce excellent weather effects. 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: 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: In My Own WorksI 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! View the full article
  15. 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 - Per synchromesh it appears the long standing 'disappearing model' issue may be resolved. Time will tell! Also this came out this last week: 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: 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 StoreThe same stuff as last week, sadly. Free StuffNothing 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. Random Acts of CreativityParticle Test by Kevan Hampton - Extraction Point X11 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: Pirate Mike's walk through of his upcoming game: 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! 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. View the full article
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