The VR industry took a big step forward with the release of Half Life Alyx earlier this year. Thanks to the development master class of the Valve team, the world now has a triple A quality game that shows just what’s possible in this new and exciting medium. The gameplay sets the necessary pace when introducing challenges to the player and provides instinctive controls that soon become second nature as you journey through the story.

It’s eight years since the Oculus Rift first hit Kickstarter, so it has been a slow burn for the format, with a mix of games of varying quality and experience. More users now own headsets and, with the news that Half Life Alyx is currently Steam’s number one selling game this year, there’s clearly an appetite for decent VR content.

Let’s hope more developers and publishers bring big titles to the world of VR and as Gabe Newell said recently, “We’re way closer to The Matrix than people realise”.

Stay safe and stay well everyone!

May was a busy month in the engine room of GameGuru MAX development as we began the conversion of our existing engine to 64-bit, part of the process of integrating the Wicked Engine and paving the way for our first 64-bit alpha build, which we released towards the end of last month.

The new Alpha demonstrates a typical indoor scene using multiple lights and shadows, high quality assets and a technique called MSAA which smooths out the sharp edges of polygons in a process called Anti-Aliasing and makes the final render look amazing.

We have opened a GameGuru forum thread for you to discuss the new Alpha and report your speed and stability experiences with the demo, and your feedback will help us refine the end result so your games look great and run fast.

We are also hard at work on terrain generation too, with terrain streaming and Level-Of-Detail code running in our early prototypes. Thanks to a node-based approach, you will be able to create extremely large worlds to explore, and the engine takes care of loading terrain details only when you need it, and rendering the geometry at a suitable density for your PC system.

Here's a work-in-progress render of the Zombie we're cooking up. He'll be stalking the dark recesses of the cellar!

Once optimisation and code clean-up is complete, we will be moving to terrain sculpting and texturing, after which we hope to be able to show you some cool visuals of the outside world.

GameGuru DLCs

We've released a NEW DLC today - the Camping Pack - 50 high quality assets to add an adventurous feel to your games!

Another NEW DLC release is the Tool Shed Pack which contains items you'd find in your local hardware store including entire cupboards and work surfaces. From drills to deck chairs, this NEW asset pack gives a wide range of high-quality scenery items to populate your latest game creations.

Also keep an eye out for promotions in June on our other DLCs including:

Last but not least we have the NEW ‘GameGuru Unlimited’ - a comprehensive COMPLETE THE SET BUNDLE which includes all the key GameGuru products!  Buy the main GameGuru game maker application and these add-on DLC media packs in one go – everything you need to get game making!

We’ve recently released an update of AppGameKit VR that now makes it compatible to use with  AppGameKit Studio. If you already own this DLC then make sure you download and update to the latest version of the VR DLC and follow the advice in the updated user guide.

If you don’t own the DLC and don’t own AppGameKit Classic then you can buy the DLC direct from TheGameCreators as a download and then use it in conjunction with AppGameKit Studio.

The following packs will all have discount deals available during May:

Another update was also released for the AppGameKit Studio Particle Editor that makes it compatible with 2D based applications.

Thanks to everyone who took part in our recent survey - we’ve analysed the feedback and comments that hundreds of you so kindly took time to participate in. We’ve learned that you’re enjoying using AppGameKit Studio and that stability is key! There’s still a host of features you want to see us add to the product. The headline features that came top of the poll are:

  • GUI commands
  • 3D editor
  • IDE improvements
  • Visual shader editor
  • Scene editor improvements
  • Asset protection
  • Improved 3D commands

There are also many other features and ideas from you that will keep us busy once we are all into our post-Covid-19 ‘new normal’!

For the immediate future we plan to focus on bugs and tweaks highlighted by the survey. Some users prefer to remain on AppGameKit Classic because AppGameKit Studio doesn’t suit their needs. It’s therefore important for us to address these issues before venturing into new areas.

In this month’s Guest Developer feature we hear from Daniel Egorov (DenZelik), creator of ‘Neir’, an Action-RPG built with GameGuru.

The game "Neir" has many different RPG mechanics, one of them, and one of the most interesting in the implementation, is a trading system. For a very long time, the most varied versions of this mechanics were moving. But after many iterations, the goal was achieved - a flexible system was created that allows you to configure what the NPC sells and at what price, taking into account various dependencies (relations with it, bonuses for pumping, etc.). All the most complicated mechanisms were optimized to a simple array in which links to items sold are stored, and the items themselves are stored in a separate script in which all the properties of the items are set (but this is a completely different story).

In principle, this can be said about all the gameplay mechanics that were made for the game: inventory, magic, skill upgrading, task log, etc.

There were many tests, mistakes, shortcomings, but after a while the desired result was nevertheless achieved (and, I hope, it will not disappoint in the future). And GameGuru provides all the possibilities for this. Lua scripts are quite simple and convenient, they have all the most necessary and basic functions. Only for some reason, many people are afraid to try to write their own big scripts. Guys, this is actually very simple and I advise you to try to make simple scripts, and then complicate everything and complicate them, and you will certainly achieve similar results, and even much better (well, yes, "global.lua" is our everything ;)!

The GameGuru community is expanding with more lessons and advice appearing; the forum can answer all your questions, so there are many opportunities to help you achieve your game dreams.

Watch ‘Neir’ in action:

Read more about the development of ‘Neir’ on the GameGuru forum thread: