Excitement continues within the Virtual Reality universe with the recent release of the Oculus Quest 2, not least because it takes another convincing step to making VR affordable and accessible, while at the same time putting out a better product than its predecessor.

The decision to include the Oculus Link, a method of playing PC VR experiences through the otherwise standalone headset, may very well set the trend for the future of VR in much the same way that low-end Android phones entered the market to compete with the high-end Apple phones, making smart phones an essential part of modern life.

You can be sure there is vision driving this potential trend; a future world where the new normal is not only playing games and experiences in VR but communicating and working there too!

This month we're releasing a maintenance update for AppGameKit Studio which includes:

  • Updates and fixes to the main IDE
  • Performance improvements
  • Firebase, Chartboost, AdMob SDK updates
  • iOS and Android fixes

Watch out for the release in the coming days!

For the next two weeks we're running a 50% discount on the Mega Media Pack. It’'s packed with lots of assets that you can use royalty-free in your projects.

If you’ve worked on a AppGameKit project and would like to show it off to our great community (and further afield) please do load up your app or game to our Showcase page – we’d love to see what you’ve been working on!

We'll be releasing a maintenance build this month to all AppGameKit Classic users. This will match the main changes seen in the new Studio update mentioned above.

We’re running a BLACK NOVEMBER deal on the AppGameKit Bumper Pack with a massive 75% discount! Watch out for this going live imminently ?

Giant Asset Pack 2 is currently on offer and later in the month the VR DLC will be discounted 60%.

As you will no doubt have read by now we have opted to switch the GameGuru MAX development to an open release plan, which means we have decided to put a priority on getting each of the major components of the software fully complete and solid to a high standard, even at the cost of missing our anticipated release dates. The response from the community has been supportive and we very much appreciate your encouraging comments as we transition the development to focus on completeness and polish.

That said, we still maintain strict internal milestones and ensure enough time is given to each of the development areas - from UX, visuals, performance through to overall stability.

As always, we will be keeping you informed through the social feeds, the forums and of course the weekly live broadcast which covers latest developments right up to the minute. We host our broadcasts every Wednesday at 4PM GMT on the GameGuru YouTube Channel and you are most welcome to attend and ask any questions during the session.

We are planning one last bug fixing update for 2020 on GameGuru Classic so if you are struggling with something you think is a bug, please post it in the GitHub issues tracker so we can look at it when the time comes to blast through those bugs for the Christmas Fixes update.

With the recent release of the NEW Furniture Pack DLC we now have a lot of game-making content for you to choose from and we’re planning to bring you some great promotions in November including:

We have an exciting newly created apprenticeship role up for grabs!

  • Apprentice Programmer
  • Aged between 16 and 24
  • Lives in the United Kingdom
  • Have some AppGameKit programming knowledge (and can prove it with project files)
  • Don’t mind working remotely from home (the new normal!)
  • Are PASSIONATE about programming
  • Have good time keeping/project management skills
  • Want to work within a team
  • Keen to learn new things and be adaptable
  • Love technology and keeping up with new trends

Our new Apprentice Programmer will work closely with the team here using AppGameKit Tier1 as the main development language. An ability to program efficient code, with minimal bugs, with competent design results is desired. They’ll be tasked with clear project goals and helped and guided along the way.

If you know anybody who might be interested please do send them this information and ask them to apply with their CV and with links to or examples of their own demo projects HERE

This month we’re featuring a topical project by AppGameKit developer Jan B.

Jan is a 28-year-old German-based developer who lives close to the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands. He’s been programming since he was a teenager. If you’ve purchased the AppGameKit Shader DLC then you might be using some of his code in your own projects!

Jan enjoys developing AppGameKit prototypes because it’s such an easy tool to get something working quickly on screen. If a prototype shows potential, then Jan will advance it into something bigger. Users of the TGC forums are sure to have read some of his posts, he’s very popular in there and tends to help with many shader related questions. Other areas of expertise include multiplayer coding and exploring complex algorithms.

His latest project, and the one we’re featuring in this month’s newsletter, started with a request from forum member Santman who asked in the TGC forums if anyone had made a Minecraft clone with AppGameKit. So Jan decided to step forward, and using what he had learnt in a previous project, started the development of his Minecraft clone project that can be found here within the TGC forums.

Already knowing the theory of how to produce such a 3D world from many previous researches he’d undertaken, Jan moved on to learn what was needed to ensure a flexible and especially, a fast voxel terrain system. It also helped to already know the ins and outs of AppGameKit's method for building 3D meshes.

Jan started the development from scratch and has shared and hosted the project on GitHub so anyone can follow his steps to learn for themselves.

The project began with a basic cube object that’s generated via AppGameKit's mesh memblock commands.  The code expanded and makes many uses of his own mesh-memblock-manipulation library that he coded for his shader pack a few years ago. The project then grew fast until he had the basics working, such as removing and building with different block types, terrain generation with caves & ores and also experimenting with normal mapping and physics on the generated meshes.

Community member Xaby joined forces with Jan at the very beginning and soon after Nonom joined the project team too. While they didn't write much of the code, they definitely helped him create a better structure and provided some good ideas.

Jan’s currently at a stage where single thread noise calculation is too slow for a good gaming experience, and so he’s ventured into alternatives like creating a noise atlas image with a shader first and reading the data back via memblock commands, so it doesn't take up all the CPU time. While this is rather a cumbersome method, he is considering writing a plugin that calculates the noise to generate the terrain if necessary.

Jan wishes AppGameKit had functions that can run in separate threads but beside this, AppGameKit offers him enough commands to create great results in a fast way.

As to the future of this Minecraft project, Jan says that there isn't really a long-term plan for it, except for somehow finishing a fast and flexible enough voxel engine so the community can create many different games with it. He’s not sure when he can call it finished and hopes to have many more discussions with many different community members on features which should make the way into this engine.

If you want to help evolve this fun project then head over to the forums and get involved!