Sep 282015
 

Hello UE4 devs!

Last week I bought you this post, Lightmapping 101, however, I neglected to add a section on auto-generation.

Would you like to know how to never worry about lightmaping for the rest of your life?

If you’re working in Unreal Engine 4, you can start by watching this, the shortest video ever.

Disclaimer! While this is a must for prototyping, a sharp project may need custom authored lightmaps, check out last week’s post for a quick intro into the world of lightmaping in 3Ds Max, Maya and Blender!

Loads of Love
//Jona

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Sep 202015
 

Hello fellow artist!

About a year ago I created a tutorial in which I showed people new to Unreal Engine 4, how to get around a pesky lightmapping error while saving time and doing as little as possible.

Now EPIC has a much nicer pipeline for lightmaps so I’m creating a new video which shows the how to create lightmaps swiftly inside of 3D Studio Max, Maya as well as Blender.

There’s some more reading below the video, but check it out first, I hope it’ll be helpful to beginner/intermediate users of the applications.

First of, the parts which are not filmed in Unreal can be applied to other engines as well, Unity for example uses the very same setup.

Keeping the post short and sweet, there is a huge amount of materials on creating amazing lightmaps, for small projects where every kb of texture memory doesn’t have to be account for and areas which are small enough to allow for high resolution lightmaps, semi-auto-generation is enough even in a AAA-setting, and an artist in a small indie team just doesn’t have the time to author pixel perfect lightmaps.

I hope you’ll enjoy the video and if you don’t agree with me, leave a comment on our Facebook page!

Peace, Love and Understanding
//Jona

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Sep 132015
 

It is truly amazing all the wondrous things you can do with some math and spare time.

After someone posted this Cat Purr generator on Facebook I had to try and make something with sound, not really knowing anything about the subject except for the basics.

To just create sound was easy, all you need is the OnAudioFilterRead method which will give data to manipulate, which you can place on either an AudioSource or AudioListener component and if you don’t have a playing clip in which to modify you get a clean silence to do with what you want.

In programming we have the tradition of always starting with typing a Hello World program the first thing we do when we try out a new language, it is a thing just like what I suppose is a thing to always make a sound from a sine curve in audio programming which I did quickly follows by generating white noise and then I flipped out with no regard for anyone’s safety, I went full rebel following no rules or train of thought and this is what happened.

What is difficult is not getting sound but to control it, it is a big subject and fun to try out, this is not I will ever master but I have seen some awesome stuff people have made and I want to know more about it so if you have made something really cool in this field please let me know!

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Sep 112015
 

Today we bring you, the most generous and ingenious happening in the world of game development since Epic turned Unreal Engine 4 into a free tool for anyone to use.

Once again, Epic gives something to the community which is barely possible to believe, thousands of assets used in the creation of the Infinity Blade series!

This includes art and sound assets worth an estimate of $3.000.000, check it out, it’s already on the Marketplace.

KJ Interactive, of course! Does not want to be worse than Epic so, remember the introductory post by Jona? At the end of that post, there was a bag!

We might not be Epic but we can give things away for free as well!

We might not be Epic but we can give things away for free as well!

Well, we’re giving that bag away, for free! Here’s a direct download link to the Unreal Version and here’s one for Unity 5 and one for Unity 4!

For more information regarding the reason you clicked the link, here’s the Unreal Press Release.

 

Sep 062015
 
Working on Chummy Fishes game

Working Hard

We are students our entire lives, not perhaps enrolled in a school per say but everyday we learn, experience and grow, or this would be true if you applied some thought into it.
Active learning put the responsibility of learning into the hands of the student whom actively trues to learn by engaging in activities such as reading, writing, discussing, analyzing, reflection etc, etc. It is this blend between acquiring the theoretical base with putting your knowledge into practice and ending with thinking about what you learned and how you learned it.

You can read all you want about walking but unless you put one foot in front of the other you will be standing still and unless you think about how you got from point A to point B you might find yourself not being able to apply your new experience to similar situations, you will stuck walking between point A and B never reaching that green grass over by the C side.

I believe this to be true on all subjects, you can read about history but formalizing your thoughts and putting them on paper will help the theory stick in your memory and you just might gain some deeper knowledge thinking about why and how something came to be rather then just when it happened.

We as gamers/game developers or aspiring to be might already know the importance of game and play in learning, much of my English comes from playing tabletop RPGs and playing computer games and this same idea can be applied to learning with gamification, encouraging engagement by having fun. This seems to be something our brains love and I would like to take the time to recommend a book called Theory of Fun for Game Design by Ralph Koster, now I would say that this book is worth reading despite the fact that you might not want to learn game design.

Moving on… There is one more major factor in achieving that level of skill in whatever subject you want to master and that is time, time spent in practicing and reflecting about a subject will bring you that much closer to your goal and that is what I take with me from Malmcolms Gladwells book the Outliers where he talk about how it requires 10 000 hours of practicing in the right way to to achieve world class expertise in any skill. Now whether that is true or not might be up for debate but I believe he is correct that it takes time.

This is why I made this small code example letting you see when you might be an expert if practicing the right way by calculating how long it would take for you to have reached those 10 000 hours if you spend x numbers of hours per day.

Taking a break from work.

Relaxing after a hard days work.

So take a look at what you have to do and happy practicing just don’t forget that enjoying life is key for a long healthy career as well so do not forget to have fun every once in a while like us.

Practicing hours per day if starting today you would be finished in 2017-07-26
You would be going for 0 years and 0 days.


P.S. And of course you can have the code as well, I have written it in C# so if you want to code then please enjoy.

[expand title=”C#”]
using System;

namespace _10kHours
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            UInt32 hoursPerDay = 0;
            DateTime finishedDate = DateTime.Today;
            TimeSpan timeSpan;

            Console.WriteLine("How many hours per day do you want to practice?");
            string answer = Console.ReadLine();

            while (!UInt32.TryParse(answer, out hoursPerDay) && hoursPerDay > 0)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("Invalid input, please try again.");
                answer = Console.ReadLine();
            }

            finishedDate = finishedDate.AddDays(10000 / hoursPerDay);
            timeSpan = finishedDate - DateTime.Today;
            int years = timeSpan.Days / 365;

            Console.Clear();
            Console.WriteLine("Practicing {0} hours per day if starting today you would be finished in\n{1}.",
                hoursPerDay, finishedDate.ToShortDateString());
            Console.WriteLine("You would be going for\n{0} years and {1} days.", years,
                (finishedDate.AddYears(-years) - DateTime.Today).Days);

            Console.ReadKey();
        }
    }
}
[/expand]
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