Happy new year everyone - I'm back!  I realize it's been an extended absence and for that, I do apologize.  I cannot be 100% sure that I will not have further absences but at this point I will do my level best to continue this project for the time being.  Unfortunately, life sometimes simply gets in the way as it did the past few months for me. I've got a lot to catch up on as December was a highly productive month.

GameGuru News

TheGameCreators produced a 'December update' which was a welcome change from many years of long holidays with no communication from them.  This welcome change fixed a lot of persistent code issues including one of my own issues - that of projectile caching not working properly and causing erratic behavior with projectile systems like the ones included with my "Cybernoir Weapons Kit".

What's most encouraging is a renewed focus on attempting to improve the engine.  I'd liken this to the 2015-2016 era when we had a number of big fixes and changes on a fairly regular basis.  It's an exciting time. Moreover, they appear to be hiring freelancers to help bugfix.  If you are interested in this position, see this post here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221436

What's Good in the Store

AlexGCC's 2019 pack - this combines many decent elements into a well priced pack worth a look:  https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11169

I really love Sula's City Construction pack as well for its wide variety of PBR assets with just the right amount of 'grunge' to them: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11163

Lastly I have point at belidos isometric kit, which looks positively awesome: https://www.tgcstore.net/pack/11161

Third Party Tools and Tutorials

There are few people in the GameGuru community who don't know Wolf; he's a long-standing member stretching back over a decade or so with tons of experience putting together many tutorials on lighting.  He's recently come back to GameGuru and found the static lightmapper is working to his liking again and as such has written an updated and fairly expansive guide on how to use it: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219206

A new version of BOTR's superb and pretty much 'must have' heightmap utility can be found here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221333 

Free Stuff

December is usually overwhelmed with 'free stuff' due to the infectious Christmas spirit. This December was no exception with a huge mass of free models and media available.

Firstly we have Wolf's beautiful 'Sci-Fi archway': Get your copy here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221444

Belidos put up a number of cartoon-style assets for free you can retrieve here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/218362?page=2

Mav3r1ck1981 made a fantastic sci-fi medical table here: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/221371 

Lafayette put out this awesome butcher store horror-style pack: https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/220474?page=3#msg2623695.

Random Acts of Creativity

This is where I saved my bandwidth, folks.  Lots of really good projects have started to creep their way into the daylight and it's definitely worth showcasing a few.

Let's start with Wolf's own project since returning.  He sent me several screenshots and elected to let me pick the best one.  I settled on this beauty:

I like the style and design; he uses a lot of the same techniques I illustrate in my book to reuse common assets intelligently as well.  Overall the lighting and contrast is a classic RGB wheel blue and yellow which works exceptionally well.

Duchenkuke's project Dark Skies, the Nemansk incident is another prime example of what can be done with competence and a good eye for artistic flair.  It's got a brutal, dark, gritty feel that really gives you a sense of Metro-style depth which really pops in this engine.

He's using some excellent Sepia tones and great modelling choices to help accentuate the atmosphere along with a completely custom HUD that looks fantastic!

Other big hitters have dominated the scene as well with Cybernessence posting a significant December update showing his own work with the engine and the heightmapper by BOTR:

I like the touch he has there of calling his build the 'cogwheel engine'.  Seems accurate, given the massive number of updates and changes he's made to GameGuru essentially drives it to be its own entity at this point.

That's not all either.  There are many dozens of project updates this month so swing on over to the forums and check them out!

In My Own Works

I got to see a cool 'present' of my own this month - someone who purchased a hardcover copy of my book!  I don't even have one of those - I'm a touch envious!  So far reviews have been positive though with the rate of change in GameGuru, I may have to write a revised copy in a year or so.

A few final notes - if you HAVEN'T received your free models and media as a purchaser of the book, contact me on discord or via the forums and I will see to it you receive it promptly. 

Purchasers of the book get free demo maps, models, character creator assets, my cybernoir entities, and my cybernoir weapons pack - and much more!

Lastly - please leave a review at Amazon for me.  This greatly assists in online sales of the book and will help boost my visibility to others who are looking for it.

Michael Messina (AKA Bolt-Action Gaming) is a native of central Pennsylvania, currently residing near York. He is a Linux Systems Engineer, part-time author, part-time Indy game-dev and full-time father. He is author of a start to finish guide for GameGuru via Taylor and Francis (via CRCPress).

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