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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Yes, I'm still alive.

Current Status

I've received a few inquiries from interested parties who wanted to make sure I was still alive after my abrupt departure from the Game-Guru community back in March.  

I wanted to assure everyone that yes, I am well and truly still alive.  Life for me, was altered by COVID in a big way though and after a brief explanation you will understand why.

For those who don't know, my primary profession is not Game-Guru or author.  It is being the head Linux geek for Rite-Aid corp.  Rite-Aid is a major, fortune 500 company in the USA that runs a Pharmaceutical chain.  

My job, primarily, is to make sure that the infrastructure of the company which has many core systems worth a great deal of money (millions of dollars) running on a day to day basis.

I cannot go into great detail about what specific circumstances occurred, but I can say that once March hit and things started to go sideways my job (which had already been ramping up in intensity due to internal changes) literally hit the fan in the worst possible way.

I've been running like mad for months now, with every spare inch of my time consumed by work or my three children (we had a new one midway last year which really added to the amount of things we have to deal with at home). 

So, yes, unfortunately I have been completely unable to spare the five or so hours that it takes to put together each weekly report for this site.  It's just time I don't have, time that's unavoidably taken up by work or family issues.  

I want to thank everyone who took the time to check in on me and also to everyone who purchased my book.  I'll never get rich off of it, but it was a great experience and I really am happy that it made it's way to completion.  

And now, a few parting thoughts:

On Game-Guru Max

Game-Guru Max I've followed with some interest having bought in on the original project back when it was first presented. At the time I said, and I will reiterate now, that "Just having a search is worth money."  At this point, all other features and upgrades are gravy.   

I am however very pleased with the direction and leadership that I'm seeing from TGC and the progress being made on what I'd consider mission critical upgrades to the Game-Guru engine - specifically on lighting, the limited terrain system, and core structure of the engine itself.

On COVID

Man I hate COVID.  I'm sick to death of it, no pun intended.

On my own stalled projects

Much like all of my reports, all of my projects have been completely stalled out. I have a whole batch of skies almost ready to go that are just not going to go anywhere.  I have a roguelike kit I'd love to release but can't due to time constraints and feature creep.  I have a number of fixes for existing projects I'd like to implement or adjust (such as improved weather effects using some of the new engine features).  On and on it goes.  In the end, I simply don't have the time.  When I do, trust me, you will all hear about it.

Lastly

Thanks to everyone.  It's been great and I do intend to come back - eventually.  Things need to change though.  I can't keep going at my current pace and until it does, I'm stuck in an endless loop of work, work and more work.

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

This Week in GameGuru - 02/10/2020

This article represents solely the opinion of the author and does not reflect the opinions or views of r The Game Creators, it's employees, or subordinates.  It likewise does not reflect the views or opinions of www.tgcstore.net and it's staff.  The author receives no compensation for this work and it is done solely as a service for the GameGuru community at large.

GameGuru News


The huge news this week was the announcement of GameGuru MAX, which is coming along at a preorder price of $25, with an announced 'release price' of $50.
There's an excellent Q&A thread here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221517?page=1#msg2625799

Lee & TGC have gone above and beyond trying to be ahead of this in a very forthcoming way with their communication going as far as releasing teaser videos, doing 2 hour Q&A's on discord and this forum thread.  It's a really positive improvement that I'm hoping to see continue as a trend.

There's a pretty big featureset being added here aside from already in-progress work.  Announcement of a new renderer being investigated, possible 64-bit upgrades, etc really wet the palette for users like me and I can honestly say $25 is an extremely accessible price for what looks like a more advanced iteration of GameGuru.


What's Good in the Store


This week I'm really limited in how far I can deep dive. Near as I can tell there's some interesting packs getting added but honestly I'm going to withhold judgement until a later time due to limited time resources on my part. 

Free Stuff


Mav3r1ck put out a free 'pulley crane'.  Get your copy here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221550

Lafette put together a HUGE medieval pack you absolutely should grab:  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220474?page=3#msg2626215


Make sure you thank the guy for all his hard work!

OldPMan put out a beautiful Sci-Fi computer/set piece model:
Get your copy here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221548#msg2626328

JPH-Games has been busy producing lots of free models of pretty reasonably good quality for quite a while now:
An electrical panel with buttons: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219734?page=2#msg2625729

Some nice looking old boxes: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219734?page=2#msg2625984

Definitely check out his work.


Third Party Tools and Tutorials


BOTR has announced he'll continue work on his heightmapper for GameGuru Classic.  No word yet on whether it'll be ported to GG MAX.

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs)

Lots of excellent projects are blossoming out of the woodwork.  Take a gander:

Mav3r1ck's project posted some tantalizing screenshots:
He's also finally posted a title ("Heathen: The Paganacht")  and some information in a thread on the forums for those interested in more: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221486

Trollbae continues his impressive work with the EBE:

Amenmoses made a dart tossing game:
I know someone made the models for him, but I forgot to write their name down.  Whoever you were - thanks!
Teabone has been working on a really excellent water-system graphics refresh which uses water droplets, color matching, and DOF to simulate underwater distortion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75yrK0lybv8&feature=youtu.be

There's plenty more too!  Check out wolf's latest work here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/209529?page=3#msg2625148

Honestly there's too much to cover in one go. I highly recommend you peruse the forums yourself!  There's a lot of really exciting work being done right now.  I'm happy to see the community running with the latest updates to GG.

In My Own Works

In my own works, I'm actually due for my first royalty check from the publisher in Feb.  So.. that's sort of exciting, though honestly I will *NEVER* earn the money worth the time I spent in the book.  It's mostly done as a service to you all at this point, with the little bit of money from the publisher as a means to continue funding my hobby.

Speaking of funding my hobby, last week I got a large enough store payout to upgrade some of my tools and have been diligently working on new space skies (4k of course).  Here's some teasers:

This was a test to see if I could simulate an asteroid surface.





This is a 'white hole' in the middle of a globular cluster.
This is a planetary surface with an aurora, star prominently figured with a nebula behind it.
I *DID* run into some issues with shearing on my skyboxes so I'm trying to sort that out.  In the meantime, expect a new run of 4k skies on the store within a few weeks here.

I may also do a low res version for those who are more economically minded.

Monday, February 3, 2020

This Week in GameGuru - 02/03/2020

This article represents solely the opinion of the author and does not reflect the opinions or views of r The Game Creators, it's employees, or subordinates.  It likewise does not reflect the views or opinions of www.tgcstore.net and it's staff.  The author receives no compensation for this work and it is done solely as a service for the GameGuru community at large.


GameGuru News



If you've not been living under a rock the past few weeks, you know about the VR Update being done to GameGuru.  Opinions are mixed but at the end of the day we're getting additional functionality so I suppose that's probably good.  Bugfixes continue on one of the branches done by Preben ... notably this right here:

https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/commit/56037907e098f6e5df71f3194f3ea57846712af1

Hallelujah! I cannot even begin to tell you how long I've been complaining about this particular quirk in GG!  I'm extremely excited to see the 'warp-speed' widget multiply issue being fixed!

Also Lee recently posted something called 'Operation Bug-Free' so it seems like this is going to be the primary focus for the next few months after they add all the features from the VR Quest branch of GG. He's shooting to resolve all 74 bugs listed in Github by March!  Should be interesting, if nothing else.

From a community standpoint - Defy has a full-mem-clearing build that he's working on which we can hope to see integrated soon into GG!

A new TGC branded DLC dropped too - the walled garden: https://www.thegamecreators.com/post/gameguru-walled-garden-dlc-on-sale

What's Good in The Store


Wolf's game, Amytric Pulse is *FREE* on the store.  You are doing yourself a disservice not gettin this and playing the heck out of it.



Get your copy here:  https://www.tgcstore.net/product/33873

Sula has released a Euro Truck pack.  There's a large quantity of beautifully made, fully PBR enabled European trucks in this pack.

This is just a fraction of what you get!


Get your copy here - https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11180

Fredgames77 has put together a beautiful bedroom set here:



Get your copy here - https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11181

There's plenty more. The truth is this section takes so long for me to do I can't spend as much time as I'd like these days checking the store out. Thankfully the Jason's been doing great work improving the interface steadily so I have less work to do as a whole here.  It's much easier for everyone to find what they need than it was even a year ago!


Third Party Tools and Tutorials


BOTR continues his work on his heightmapping utility.  https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221333?page=2#msg2625210

He's notably added youtube links and squashed many bugs.  So it's really coming along as a more mature utility at this point and is definitely worth a look!

Amenmoses is working to solve a long standing issue involving ladders in GameGuru - https://vimeo.com/388717781


Random Acts of Creativity(WIPs)


Wolf's current fantasy project is looking better and better as he fine tunes the details:


You can really see the lighting come together, along with the design of the actual map itself.

Teabone's 'wizardry style' GameGuru RPG is a pretty amazing piece of work.  Duchenkuke did a little demo runthrough of it in this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj3d3Re9eek

The above screenshot gives you a good idea of what you can expect, though if you're a fan of the genre you already know what to expect.  I know he did a significant amount of rewriting for the Lua controls to get it to function as he desired.  It's impressive stuff and I'm happy to see people doing new and interesting things in GameGuru.

Mav3r1ck continues work on his fantasy-based game, which also is coming along impressively.





A user named JALambert came out of the woodwork, apparently a long-time lurker, with two projects that look pretty impressive. One is an open-world style project:

Featuring some unique HUD elements and a beautiful set design.

The second is a Quake-inspired multiplayer Arena game, which is definitely speaking my language as a former ranked Quake III Arena player :)


To be honest, many people upon seeing his screenshots didn't even believe these were made in GameGuru!  That's probably the highest compliment you can give a GameGuru designer.

Free Stuff

The past few weeks have had a number of freebies posted on the free stuff forum for GameGuru. 


You can peruse them yourself here:https://forum.game-guru.com/board/25

In My Own Works


Well, I finally got enough money socked aside to purchase a tool I need to make some truly fantastic skies.  I've been happy with my products to this point but I really want to make some mind blowing stuff so here's to everyone who has purchased my products on the store!  2020 should be a landmark year for space skies and some code releases.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

This Week in GameGuru - 01/13/2020

This article represents solely the opinion of the author and does not reflect the opinions or views of r The Game Creators, it's employees, or subordinates.  It likewise does not reflect the views or opinions of www.tgcstore.net and it's staff.  The author receives no compensation for this work and it is done solely as a service for the GameGuru community at large.

GameGuru News


Not much, unfortunately.  Work goes on behind the scenes, so I hear from those in the know. I cannot divulge the specifics, unfortunately.  Nothing on github but some excellent stuff is coming, near as I can tell almost a generational leap for GG. Time will tell from a public view but all I can say is that from my viewpoint I see a lot of things clicking together right now in a way I haven't seen since early 2016 or so.  

What's Good in The Store

Wolf has released a massive 2019 Sci-Fi pack and I own many of these already. I use them with regularity but a few new items also appeared in the form of a 'booster kit'

Just one of many of the superb assets in the booster pack!
You can get your copy here: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/33832
On to another favorite - a fantastic 'torch light' script by Teabone.  I have to say as someone who wrote up a whole LightKit of my own, I'm impressed by the simplicity and function of the torch kit. Check out this video for an idea of what I mean:

This script is a total bargain at $2 for any fantasy project: https://www.tgcstore.net/product/33858



Third Party Tools and Tutorials

           It bears reiterating that 'Bored of The Rings', a forum user, has been developing many excellent tools that are pretty much a required faire for anyone serious about using GameGuru at this point.  They are reasonably priced and I highly recommend picking up your own copies.

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221333 - This is the heightmap importer he's diligently worked on which is now up to version 5!

https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221285 - This is the FPSC autowelder tool which can LITERALLY IMPORT ENTIRE LEVELS FROM FPSC INTO GAMEGURU.
It also can pull dynamic entities, weapons, etc over.  It fits a critical pipeline for those building indoor scenes - you can build your indoor scenes in FPSC and import them into GameGuru.  Really quality stuff.

In the interim, I know cybernessence (another GG user) has been working on some amazing things of his own.  Per his words:
"Just added wake effects for ships and water and sky (sky scroll clouds) transparency based on configurable co-ordinates so airships can punch through cloud layer and subs can dip below the waterline without texture plane intersects. Looks pretty good. Added numerous lua lcommands such as getting limbs for HUDs, so can add particle effects to FP hands and weapons. Loot chests are now populated by 'add entity' commands - so money (or any asset) can be dynamically loaded at run time ... lost count of all the changes made to make the game better now to be honest"

I for one am still praying he'll include some of those in the core branch of GG on Github.


Free Stuff


Nothing I could find this week, sorry!

Random Acts of Creativity (WIPs)


New user Mav3r1ck has been building some really excellent fantasy dungeon crawls:


The above is apparently a boss fight arena.


I love the dark and red look he's put on using some custom assets and lighting.  Great work!

Avenging eagle's interesting game with torches and lighting as a core mechanic is coming along splendidly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmKBugPxWPM 


And lastly we have more teasers from Duchenkuke's fantastic Dark Skies game:
   

In My Own Works

I've been getting back into the swing of working GameGuru intermittently now that life is making more sense!  I want to thank everyone who has purchased my book, I want you to know it's been very fulfilling to provide something that so many are able to own and appreciate!

My more current works will involve some scripts being released on the store (two of them for free) in the near future.  So keep your eyes peeled!