There are many Holy Grails in the world of computers. From Neural software that teaches itself to powerful distributed applications that can cure cancer or find alien life, you will encounter many magnificent projects. For the casual games programmer, one of the big issues has to be working out which platform to develop for. iPhone is popular, but too expensive to grab the entire smart phone market. Android is making itself known at breakneck speed, but isn't compatible with Symbian, which has had a strong foothold for many years. And none of them comfortably share the same physical characteristics as a Netbook or iPad. Surely the Holy Grail in this arena has to be finding a way to program for as many of them as possible without increasing your development overhead.
Do not get cross-platform development confused with multi-platform applications and games. Many big titles are available on PC, Xbox and Playstation; but each one has been coded independently, and each has a separate codebase. It is this codebase that holds the key to true cross-platform development.
This month The Game Creators announce the upcoming App Game Kit. The essence of AGK is one codebase, multiple platforms. It will enable you to develop once and deploy many times over the platforms you choose to publish to. If, like me, you're already using Eclipse IDE then you'll be familiar with the environment in which AGK is implemented. Eclipse is the software platform originally created by IBM and is one of the most stable and well-supported commercial development environments on the market. App Game Kit is set to become the one-stop cross-platform development zone for everyone wanting to create games and leave behind any concerns over which language to use.
You'll find all the details about AGK in this newsletter. You'll also be able to catch up on new iPhone and PC games, Best of the Best games, competition winners, FPSC Model Packs and offers, and discounted products to treat yourself this festive season. Have a happy and productive end to the year, and we hope to bring you more great news in the new year!
Until next time,
The TGC team are proud to announce the development of a new game making tool - App Game Kit.
App developers are struggling to get their creations deployed across different platforms because they are required to re-code to cater for the various differences on each platform. Editing apps so that they work on different platforms requires developers to use a range of programming languages and it can mean total re-writes of code.
App Game Kit (AGK) takes all this pain away and lets developers focus on what matters, their games! Using powerful and simple to learn commands like LoadImage, Sprite, and PlaySound, developers can quickly code their games and have them running on multiple devices in no time. Games can be made to scale to different screen sizes, so you'll be sure your game will work on any size of device.Developers simply code their games in AGK script using the industry standard Eclipse IDE and then
At launch AGK will support iOS, Samsung Bada, Windows and Symbian^3, allowing developers to
deploy games instantly for the Apple App Store, Samsung Apps, Ovi Store and Intel's AppUp store.
Later in 2011 Phase 2 will see extra platforms added, including Android, Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry, MeeGo and XNA. No changes to the games will be required, just select a new platform and the games can be deployed to these devices.
AGK makes the task of deploying apps across the most popular app platforms extremely easy, saving an enormous amount of time and energy so that developers can work on other things such as promoting their apps or working on their next creation.
The Game Creators' CEO, Lee Bamber said "AGK is a tool we needed at TGC, it's already saving us
time and money developing new apps. We're sure other developers will find it invaluable and it's also easy for hobbyist and indie developers to get started making games."
The App Game Kit will be released in Spring 2011- you can register now to be the first to receive new information by signing up at the website: http://www.appgamekit.com/
Apps world is a two day event taking place on the 30th November & 1st December at Olympia 2 in London, UK. It has been designed to create a unique platform to bring together the next generation of this rapidly developing sector. It is an event for App Developers, Network Operators, OS Vendors, Brand & Marketing Managers and Technology providers who are looking to connect, build partnerships and network whilst becoming educated and inspired by the latest developments within this exciting industry.
The Game Creators will be at the exhibition, with Rick Vanner and Lee Bamber talking to the industry about their experiences of publishing onto Intel's AppUp store and revealing details about the new App Game Kit. If you're visiting, you may also find them on the Intel stand.
Help Santa with his Christmas preparations. All the presents are gift wrapped and ready for delivery on Christmas Eve. But one of Santa's elves is being naughty, he's trying to steal a present for himself. You need to keep watch and tap the screen if you see him escaping with a present. This will warn Santa and the present will be saved.
This simple touch game builds into an adrenalin pumping experience as your reactions are tested to the limit. Can you catch the Bad Elf or will you be fooled by the good Elf who dresses so similar? The game speeds up as time passes so you'll have less time to react. One wrong tap and your score will be depleted by a third!
Santa's Bad Elf is a great game to play while you wait for 25th December to come along. Can you beat your friends or even be the best in the world? With Open Feint and Game Center support you can share you progress online.
The Compilation Pack of TGC iPhone games gives you ten great games for just 99 cents! Make it your last gift to yourself before the year is out, and add a whole new suite of games to your iPhone.
This compilation contains TEN of our best apps from 2009, we hope you enjoy them at this incredibly low, low price! There's hours of fun to be had by all - from the frantic finger stabbing game play in iDare Deluxe to blasting aliens in Retro Shoot. There's something for everyone in the family in this quality packed compilation.
Enjoyed by over 7.5 million PC users worldwide, Dropsum will stretch your mental agility and give your brain a good workout. Match up tiles that add up to 9 in this addictive maths tile game.
We've taken the great gameplay from the 80s and brought it bang up to date with vibrant neon graphics and pulse pumping music and sounds. There are 15 levels of action to play in this fast moving space shooter.
iDare Deluxe tests your finger dexterity to the max. In this fully featured version of the Five Finger Fillet game you can impress your family and friends with your accurate touch skills. The FREE version of iDare has been played by over 3.5 million gamers, now you can own the full version with 5 game modes, 4 combinations of stabbing and 6 different hand styles.
It's nice and bright outside and the Looney is stuck inside with nothing but the voices in his head to keep him company. Looney is making a run for it; only one thing stands in his way - you! This turn based game with its great lunatic voice over will make you laugh and challenge your ability to think ahead like a crazy dude in a straight jacket!
The application that lets you blow realistic bubbles on your iPhone. Simply blow gently and steadily into the microphone and your virtual bubble will expand in size. When it's just the size you want, give an extra strong blow and it will release and wobble around. You can then gently push it with your fingers or hit it in the centre to pop it. iBlow is a fun and creative app that you and your family will love. You can even blow bubbles that contain your own photos.
This is a fun and innovative match 3 casual game that uses the touch input of your device to the max. The rules are simple, drag the blocks and throw them together. When three or more of the same color collide they all explode. Just don't let the blocks pile up too high. If they stack to the top then your game is over. Touch & Go is a great time filler and has beautiful graphics too!
In this exciting and fast paced game your reactions are tested to the maximum. We all love Wack-a-mole from the arcades and this game uses the same hit reaction game play. Kids will love Smack It Deluxe as they compete to be the best.
In this game you've been employed to direct the flight paths of all incoming and outgoing ships. Rise through the ranks from a lowly Rookie to the respected role as a Mission Controller. The game needs keen concentration as you direct multiple ships to and from the refuelling depots.
The lights are low, the atmosphere is electric, the music is on, the dance floor is gleaming, there is only one thing missing - You! Help move the feet of the dancer as fast as you can in this simple and fun speed and dexterity challenge game.
Lost in a world of school paperwork is iDork, your doodled stick man who needs help to escape the reams of homework sheets that are his prison. iDork is very sensitive and has to avoid many dangers across 20 levels of play. A great adventure game awaits you!
Everything you need to know about both DarkBASIC Professional and FPS Creator development can now be found via Lee Bamber's Tweets. You'll get to hear about every bug fix and feature as it's implemented! In fact if you had been signed up earlier in July, you would have been notified about BETA 6 of FPS Creator while it was being uploaded for public consumption.
Start following Lee now to get the latest news about your favourite development tools as it happens.
Daniel has a range of tutorials in video format to speed up your DarkBASIC Professional learning curve, and allow you more time to focus on your game. This month we're featuring his publication on 2D collison, how you can detect it and just as importantly, how to react.
Daniel has 3 full volumes of tutorials on DVD, available from the Amazon store. The DarkPRINCIPLES DVD Multidisk set is also now out on Amazon, saving you 20% on the whole collection.
You can buy the multidisk set directly and save 30% by using the exclusive discount code MWWC69T5 at the checkout.
Hands On DarkBASIC Professional 2 Goes Electronic
This month sees the release of Hands On DarkBASIC Professional Volume 2 in Ebook PDF format following up on the very well received release of volume 1 last month.
Volume 2 covers all aspects of 3D programming as well as more advanced topics such as network programming and how to create your own DarkBASIC instructions. The two volumes are almost 1500 pages in length - no wonder this publication is known as the DarkBASIC Pro bible!
It's time to speak nicely to someone about what you'd like for Christmas! The book is available for 14.95 GBP from Digital Skills website.
Special offer while stocks last: Dark Game Studio, Dark Physics, Dark Lights, Dark AI and Extends for an incredibly low price of $49.99. Save over $170!
Creating your own PC games is now easier than ever with this special compilation of game making tools:
Save over $170 on this special deal. Be sure to check out the screen shots and the online videos. You can of course order safely and securely online, for delivery via postal mail.
The "Pioneering" series of games started out life as a simple experiment in FPSC, a personal challenge to create an episodic RPG in an engine more geared towards Halo than Fable. The challenge paid off, however, and earlier this year the first Pioneering demo was awarded a best-of-the-best award. Since then, the game franchise has expanded and a new commercial version of the game has been launched. Pioneering: Explore the Early American West and a spin-off, Pioneering: Virtual Boonesborough are now available. Both of these titles combine RPG-style game play with puzzle solving, exploration and the discovery of historic knowledge. For Christmas, both Explore the Early American West and Virtual Boonesborough are available as a package for just $6.95 from the game website, http://www.thehistoryforge.com
Pioneering: Explore the Early American West is a first person RPG in the mould of the Fable series of games. Set on the early American frontier during the years of the Revolutionary War, Pioneering gives players a chance to step into the role of an aspiring pioneer where they can explore the local frontier, buy property, complete quests, solve puzzles, fight for survival and even marry. As players explore the west they will discover the conflicted world of the early frontier and the moral challenges that await them.
Pioneering: Virtual Boonesborough is a mini-adventure set in a historically accurate reconstruction of Fort Boonesborough, the town founded by frontier legend Daniel Boone. In this title players are able to explore the fort town, meeting its inhabitants and discovering a wealth of historic factoids hidden throughout the fort.
At the moment new episodes in the Pioneering series are being planned as well as other games based upon historic periods, including Piracy, a game which explores the real world of pirates in the sixteenth century Caribbean. For more information on the Pioneering series please visit http://www.thehistoryforge.com
Take advantage of this whopping special offer! Get FPS Creator and 9 Model Packs for an incredibly low price of $29.99 USD (€22.00 EUR, £19.99 GBP). This deal includes:
Click here to purchase the Bonanza pack, including FPS Creator
for just $29.99 / €22.00 / £19.99
November saw a very quick seasonal competition. We asked you to create a fun, horizontal or vertical scrolling game in a similar style to that of games such as Doodle Jump for the iPhone. With Christmas approaching, Santa just has to be the central character.
What we've based our judgements on
The Prize Pot
The competition fired up the imaginations of many people within the TGC community and led to some creating threads in which they documented the progress of their games whilst others provided feedback. As ever, we were very impressed by the level of dedication from the community and the excellent and constructive feedback that others gave on their work.
We enjoyed the range of styles of game that were submitted. For example, some opted for the vertical style of game whilst others went for a traditional horizontal platform game. We also enjoyed listening to the various Christmas related music that was used in them too!
We had a lot of fun playing all of the entries and hope that we get at least as many impressive entries in the next competition! We are now proudly able to announce the top three winning games:
($100 TGC voucher and involvement in TGC's next project)
Santa Rush is great fun to play. With its superb level design, great menu, sound and addictive gameplay we simply had to place Santa Rush in first place! Other details such as superb level backgrounds and a satisfying sense of progression add up to making this a wonderful gaming experience.
We loved the various aspects of Chimney Capers' game design such as the need to collect items, jump up onto higher platforms and avoid enemies! The fact that the game features a great version of Santa was the icing on top!
In Bomber Claus, we are "Armed with nothing but presents and Christmas cheer". Using that we had to navigate through Bandito_Walrus' horizontal platform game. We were particularly impressed by the use of the enemies here and how addictive it was to avoid or destroy them!
Congratulations to all for entering the ever growing TGC Hall of Fame.
One of a number of instruments from artist Hardcore, including a drumkit and keyboard. Kit out your studio before wreaking havoc in true seventies hardcore style.
A wooden bow with arrows from Model Pack 18. This weapon can be used by both the player, or assigned to an enemy character. Includes a weapon and ammo pickup. Uses 2048x1024 textures, and includes diffuse-normal-specular maps for shader use.
An entity pack of 8 different blood overlays. These have been available separately but you can now save 30% by buying in this pack. Combined, you can portray your tale of horror through the trails that describe what went before. These are 512 x 512 diffuse textures with full alpha transparency.
This huge creature enjoys eating while idle and will run away when approached. It will lose patience if you continue to approach and warn. When attacked, it will return your animosity with violence.
All of the above models are available to purchase and download through the inbuilt Game Creator Store in FPS Creator and DBPro, and also using the standalone store for other game-making tools.
The Game Creators have teamed up with the leading providers of virtual currency; perform a few simple tasks and top up your Store points. As well as being able to take up exciting offers and receiving potentially thousands of points, there are a host of other tasks to earn rewards. Watch a movie trailer, rate search results, answer questions, tag photos or choose from a host of activities that will ultimately earn you any of the high quality models and resources to make your game shine.
Open the Store, through FPS Creator, DBPro or the standalone version. Log in to your account and select the Buy Points option. Below the regular payment options you'll find links to gWallet, Offerpal, DoubleDing and TrialPay. You'll immediately find yourself in amongst the tasks and offers available, and can start earning immediately by watching a movie trailer or two!
Did you know you can sell your models, segments, music and sky boxes in the Game Creator Store? We already have dozens of artists selling their media, and we welcome anyone with the talent to provide our community with quality assets to do the same. If you are interested in becoming a store seller, please contact Janet, our Store Administrator directly.
Wastelanders is a new character model pack for FPS Creator. It is designed to enhance any post apocalyptic themed game projects. It contains a collection of all new characters with varying configurations and custom animations. You not only get the Wastelander Characters, but a set of new retro-styled robots to invade your ruined city levels. And if that were not enough, the pack also includes all new custom segments, and 4 new vehicle entities.
Bring your post apocalyptic games to life with "Wastelanders" model Pack for FPS Creator, available now on the website.
Get 24 model packs and take advantage of a massive 80% discount! These packs contain a wide variety of entities, segments and characters that will fit into your FPS Creator levels. Themes include modern day, warehouse, sci-fi, western, ruins, cartoon, medieval, horror, vikings, romans, tropical, middle east, industrial and much more!
This offer contains far too much content to consider listing here. We have set up a special ordering page where you can review all of the included packs. Here is the condensed list, check out the specific details on the site.
Go to the Deal Page now, this is a time limited offer and we don't want you to miss out this Chrtistmas!
For the next two weeks, starting 1 December 2010, you can grab Genetica for just 50% of the usual price. This is a huge saving on one of the best texture-generating applications out there. From seamless tiles to animated and HDRI environment maps, this is one tool you can't afford to be without. Go to the Genetica Web Page now for full details of the product, and to order at this very special price.
Genetica 3.5 is available in two editions, Basic and Pro. Both versions include:
The Professional edition extends these features further:
HDRI and 32 bit Output. Export images from Genetica in formats supporting high dynamic ranges and ultra-high color precision.
The Game Creators have a number of games to download and enjoy, including titles from a number of independent developers. This month we see the addition of Super Yum Yum Puzzle Adventures. You can already take advantage of this and many other games on our site.
A fruit monster has run off with your juicy fruit and kidnapped your babies. Help Leon chase after Ms. Tum Tum in this off-the-wall puzzle adventure spanning 4 worlds and 48 brain-tingling levels.
Eat fruit, change your colour, and lick your babies to make them follow you. Remember, more chameleons means more eating power, and that means it's GIANT FRUIT time!
These and many more games, including some of the Classic Game Creators publications you have come to know and love (Goals! and Mr Dork) can be found on the newly created games page on the site.
In Euthanasia, you play Shaun Randall. After your time in the military, you live a quiet, sometimes too quiet life. Working as an office employee in a preserved food facility, happy with the pay, you enjoy family life with your son Mike and your attractive wife, Kelly. Life takes a bitter turn when you are hospitalised in a freak accident with a taxi. Surviving the accident - but at the cost of your lower limbs - you find yourself bound to a wheelchair for the rest of your life.
After a series of failed attempts at your life and being commited to a mental institution, a therapist offers you a compassionate but controversial way out.
Patient Shaun Randall: Died 21 January 1965. This is where your adventure begins.
Join the forum discussion now, where you can view more screenshots, videos, and download the full game.
After a very long time in development, the public release of PureGDK 2.0 Beta is announced. You can download the most recent version here:
What's so special about PureGDK 2.0?
The new engine is extremely lightweight and highly customizable. Best of all, it's fully compatible with DBP's plugins.
For those of you new to the product, here is a quick rundown of the currently available version.
PureGDK is a 3D game and application developer's dream come true - it streamlines the entire process of incorporating powerful DirectX 9 capabilities into your software. Create and update your software faster, with more time to focus on fun. With PureGDK you can get instant results with human-readable code without the difficulty imposed by other languages and hard-to-program graphics APIs. Build the software you want now!
PureGDK is an intermediary compiler and a set of command libraries that interfaces the DarkBASIC Professional and PureBasic language at compile-time. This allows DarkBASIC Professional commands to be compiled to an executable and debugged right out of the PureBasic IDE. It also bring a powerful new command set to both PureBasic and DarkBASIC users alike. Both DarkBASIC Professional and PureBasic are required to compile.
A PureGDK executable will run as fast or faster than a native DarkBASIC Professional executable. This is because the machine code produced by PureBasic is designed for maximum speed and compactness. The execution speed of code produced by PureBasic can match almost any professional compiler like Visual C++.
PureGDK comes with support for 20 third-party plugins which adds over 1,000 new commands to the already impressive DarkBASIC Professional command set. PureGDK also provides a plugin framework which allows anyone to effortlessly add support for their favorite plugin.
PureGDK offers you the power of DarkBASIC Professional, with complete integration into the PureBasic development environment.
PureGDK is available from The Game Creators Website now, where you will also find full details of the product and purchasing instructions.
You can now find a YouTube channel dedicated to The Game Creators. Any new videos published will now be found here, you can expect to find previews of new model packs and of course Lee Bamber's monthly blog.
If you have any suggestions or comments about our new channel, then log in to the forums and let us know in the YouTube feedback thread.
Make sure you subscribe so you hear about any new videos as soon as they are posted.
Not only is TGC on YouTube, but YouTube is now in the TGC Forums. Jeku has enabled this new feature to allow you to post game previews for your Work In Progress, or use it to illustrate a problem you're having. You no longer have to tab back and forth between the two sites, it's now all in one place.
Embedding a YouTube video is easy. Simply enclose the YouTube video ID between two tags:
Enjoy the new feature, we hope it improves your productivity and becomes part of your development tools.
As mentioned in the Forums section, here is a demo of this incredible bloom effect. If realism in games is your goal, this is one of the biggest steps you can make.
In the second video, you can learn exactly how this effect is achieved. This is a great insight into the inner workings of shaders, and also some interesting ways to simplify problems and processing requirements.
The Community Rules and Information thread is the most comprehensive guide to the FPSC forums you will need. It has been compiled over many weeks by KeithC. It covers 17 categories from forum Rules to finding the perfect FPSC Mod for your project.
This issue we highlight the section on FPSC used in conjunction with other TGC products, which you'll find in the thread.
The Game Creators have numerous other products that can be integrated into your FPSCreator pipeline. From Trees and Foliage, to unique Skylines, and even programs to create totally custom level geometry, you are sure to find something to enhance your creations.
Not every tool is made to work seamlessly with FPSC; but with some tweaking and help from other developers, you can make things work. Here is a list of a few Programs that can help you get the look you're going for:
This Adaptive Bloom shader by Bond1 analyzes the brightness of the scene automatically, to determine how much bloom to apply. Great for HDR style effects! It will ultimately make it's way into FPSC
DVader has created an easy-to-follow tutorial on saving and reloading games. This is a question that is asked often and is simple - once you've seen how it is achieved, which is what this thread illustrates.
Join over 2,600 TGC fans on Facebook for the chance to win a $100 gift voucher each month. Simply add yourself as a TGC Fan using the "Like" button and then actively participate in the discussions at least once a month. We'll pick a random winner from all who input into the TGC Facebook discussions. The voucher can be spent on any of the products on our site. Sign up now, and good luck!