This week's issue is a little more philosophical with the how and why behind designing a game. Once you've read that, there is of course more great content on the implementation side and some great deals and assets at the end to get you started. Good luck out there!
Why do video games matter? 20 books every player should read - Why do we play? How do games work? From games philosophy to sci-fi, here are 20 delightful and essential reads for gamers
Companions & Creating Player Bonds - In this article, I'm turning my back on the main protagonists who usually bask in the limelight of our stories and our conversations. Because today I'm going to talk about the video game characters hidden in the shadows of the heroes, yet always at our side when we need them: Companions.
"But How Do I Actually Start?" Making Games on Your Own as an Engineer - [also read the Hacker News discussion]
Using Unity's New 2D Animation Package for Traditional Sprite Animation - The components and ideas introduced in the package significantly change the 2D animation workflow in a way that makes working with 2D in Unity a lot more reasonable, and in some ways, I believe, fundamentally change how to do 2D in Unity for the better.
Experimenting with Shader Graph: Doing more with less - You can improve the runtime efficiency of your shader without sacrificing the quality of your graphics by packing physically based rendering (PBR) material information into a single texture map and layering it into a compact shader. Check out this experiment.
Recreating the Drawing Mechanic from Half-Life: Alyx in Unity - Daniel Santalla explained how he set up the mechanic that allows the player to draw on a blackboard in VR and how it can be done with the glass surface similar to the effect in Half-Life: Alyx.
C# Coding Guidelines & Practices - This repo highlights the list of software engineering guidelines in general. Most of these are industry-wide conventions, thus using them will ensure that your code is easily readable by people who are not you.
Use the results of RaycastCommand.Schedule on another Job. Accessing instances. - A little advanced hack to fix the impossibility of reading the results of RaycastHits returned by RaycastCommand.schedule in another job.
Lidia Martinez's Blog
Failing to Fail: The Spiderweb Software Way - In this GDC 2018 talk, Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel presents a retrospective on his company's history and how they've managed to stay in the game-making business since 1994.
Game Development in 2021 - If you are looking for insights into the world of game development from 2020, and at greater trends going into 2021, the 2021 Game Development Report released by Unity is an invaluable resources. It looks at what types of games players are playing, how often and when they play, how they spend money, IAP or Ads and much much more. [Read the Unity blog post]
DOOM ETERNAL BFG-9000 SHOT VFX in Unity - Doom Eternal is a massive-fps-demon-slaying game with so many cool visual effects. So after a poll to choose which VFX to recreate in Unity, the BFG-9000 shot effect was the chosen one! And I made a tutorial about it too! Enjoy!
Gabriel Aguiar Prod.
How to build beautiful landscapes in Unity using Terrain Tools | Tutorial - In this video, we are going to walk you through Unity's Terrain Tools to show you how you can easily create beautiful landscapes in your own projects!
Blade Grass! Generate and Bake a Field Mesh Using a Compute Shader | Game Dev Tutorial - Grass is one of those things most games need, but is really difficult to get right! In this video, I return to grass to try to conquer it! I lay the groundwork here, using a compute shader to generate blades of grass in a mesh, while randomizing and animating it in a graphics shader. I also try out level of detail to speed up rendering.
Ned Makes Games
Parallax camera mapping effect in Unity 3D - A quick look at parallax camera mapping in Unity 3D. We use a simple script as well as object parenting and an orthographic camera to create a sense of depth and movement to the environments. This gives a flat 2D level background and foreground movement based on our camera position.
Exporting data in Unity to open in Excel as a spreadsheet - writing using CSV format, Super Easy! - Exporting data in Unity to open in Excel as a spreadsheet - writing using CSV format, Super Easy!
Destined To Learn
Protofactor Publisher Sale! - We're excited to announce a new sale featuring assets by Unity Asset Store publisher, Protofactor!
PROTOFACTOR, Inc is a 3D Art Studio based in Southern California specialized in creating royalty free higher end animated 3D models for the video game industry. They have an extensive library of more than 200 products related to Science Fiction, horror or Heroic Fantasy genres and some of their packs include up to 30 models making them a very advantageous solution for developers on a budget.
All assets from Protofactor will be on sale for 50% off from February 22, 2021 through February 28, 2021.
UModeler Lite - UModeler Lite gives you a chance to try core features of UModeler for free. UModeler provides you with the best convenient environment for 3D modeling and prototyping within Unity.
HUMBLE SOFTWARE BUNDLE: BIG MUSIC 2 - We’re bringing a serious set of royalty-free musical magic in our newest bundle for game developers, film and content creators! Get music packs like Fantasy Adventure Orchestral Loops Pack, Electronic Industrial Music Pack, and Space Music Themes - Puzzle & Casual Games. Plus, your purchase helps support the Prevent Cancer Foundation & Save the Children!
$295 WORTH OF AWESOME STUFF
PAY $1 OR MORE
Humble Bundle Affiliate
Free After Effects Glitch Template - You can’t have enough After Effects glitch templates, so here is another one from Videolancer. This template was previously sold on Videohive but now is available for free on his Youtube channel.
Houdini Engine Now Free! - Houdini Engine is now completely free for Unreal Engine and Unity developers. Houdini enables you to make massive procedural animations, special effects, 3D scenes and more, and the Houdini Engine is a runtime enabling you to use them in your game engine or 3D tool of choice. With this change, Unity and Unreal Developers can now use Houdini Engine completely free!
Houdini (video via Gamefromscratch)
ParrelSync - ParrelSync is a Unity editor extension that allows users to test multiplayer gameplay without building the project by having another Unity editor window opened and mirror the changes from the original project. Test project changes on clients and server within seconds - both in editor
VeriorPies Open Source
Entitas - The Entity Component System Framework for C# and Unity. - [Now FREE!] Entitas is a super fast Entity Component System Framework (ECS) specifically made for C# and Unity. Internal caching and blazing fast component access makes it second to none. Several design decisions have been made to work optimal in a garbage collected environment and to go easy on the garbage collector. Entitas comes with an optional code generator which radically reduces the amount of code you have to write and makes your code read like well written prose. [read the blog post]
Simon Schmid Affiliate
A Minimal FSM for Unity - Finite-state machines (FSMs) are an effective way to structure your code. They’re popular in the world of game development. We often use them when developing character controllers, among other things. [jump straight to the code on github]
bronsonzgeb.com Open Source
ObjectPreviewer.cs - Ever wanted an "object placement preview" without the silly need to copy and manage duplicate objects? Yes, you heard me right, almighty ObjectPreviewer.cs directly draws any complex nested object at your desired location:
Ivan Notaros Open Source
Unity Package Template - This is a Unity Package Template made according to Unity's layout convention. It works as a dotnet template.
Install the template.
Create a directory. Choose the name carefully; its name is your package's name.
This creates the following files (meta files excluded for clarity):
shanecelis Open Source
Augmented Reality - Generate a 3D model that looks like you - Highavenue is a mobile app that takes three photographs of a user as an input; namely, a selfie, a T-pose, and a sideways T pose, to generate a 3D model similar to that of the user using multiple Machine learning technologies. [also read the Hacker News discussion]
After The Cloud - After a pandemic decimated the world, destroying businesses and governments, conflict, hatred and fear increased year after year. A new World War began – people had had enough of the fighting and arguments and wanted an end to it all.
After The Cloud
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