A visual history of real-time

A two-hour compilation of the Nvidia PC benchmarking test-runs over the years, providing a visual history of the capabilities of real-time game engines over the years…


Elite: Safe

I must say that I’ve rather gone off videogames in the last 12 months, other than the occasional bout of UT2004 and theHunter. A couple of games I might have wanted to play in 2012 were delayed (X: Rebirth, Grim Dawn). Perhaps it was the behemoth Skyrim which spoiled my taste for lesser games in 2012. I’ve tried a number of new titles, but I couldn’t even get into Risen 2 having been a rave fan of the excellent first Risen on the PC. And looking through the 2013 release schedule this week, nothing really grabs me.

But now… there’s awesome news for PC gaming, and something to very much look forward to in 2014. There’s going to be a modern Windows 7 version of Elite. Yup, with just 45 hours to go, the Kickstarter campaign for a remake of the famous Elite space-trading videogame has reached its crowd-funding target. The well-known British game designer David Braben has raised a whopping £1,277,927 (about $2m). He and his Cambridge based development team will now create a modern Windows version of Elite (effectively, the fabled Elite 4). Elite: Dangerous will be faithful to the original game, and be made free of the publisher interference and demands which crippled previous versions of Elite such as Elite: Frontier. Sadly, planetary landings are something that will be added only after release of the new version — but hopefully players of the first release will at least get seamless planetfall from orbit, even if they won’t be able to do more than skim the surface.

This fundraising success is also an early vindication of the choice to launch Kickstarter to the UK, which I understand was quietly helped along by top-level interest from the British government.


There should a deal of opportunities for iClone Elite fan machinima, too, to tell the back-stories in the run-up to release and beyond. If you have £4,500, there are even two Kickstarter slots left to write and publish a royalties-free novel set in the Elite universe.

Diablo-icly good!

Lovely demo of a $70 top-down environment assets pack for the free Unity game development software, for a Diablo / Titan Quest -like videogame environment. Worth seeing just for the art direction…

You can, of course, now bring iClone characters into Unity via a robust pipeline…


Warlord munches on the Gamesalad

New post from Warlord, on using Gamesalad with iClone

“for rapid game development [to send] a testbed for a proof-of-concept demo to a client.”


Gaming and the Halo Franchise

Academics looking at machinima might be interested in the symposium “Gaming and the Halo franchise” from 29th October – 2nd November 2012. Call for participants/proposals, deadline 28th September 2012. Full information from: inmediares.gsu@gmail.com


Vertex #1

Free (legit!) 400-page book/mag on game art, including an interview with game-art master Sparth. Get Vertex #1 free…


Machinima Expo opens for submissions

The fifth Machinima Expo is now accepting submissions for the 3 day festival (16th November 2012). Guidelines and submission form will be available from today, the 1st of July 2012.


Valve Software Source Filmmaker goes to beta

Valve Software’s Source Filmmaker is available now as a semi-closed beta for Windows 7. It’s the real-time tool used to create Valve’s own promotional animations for games such as Team Fortress 2.

It’s licenced for commercial work, provided you don’t pinch any of Valve’s in-game assets. To snag a beta licence key now, contribute a shiny 3D item to the Team Fortress Workshop, TF2′s internal marketplace for fan-made items. Doing this gives you a better chance of getting a licence key.

For a complete set of tutorial videos, take a look at the YouTube channel.


Meet the Pyro

“Meet the Pyro”, Team Fortress (no wait, it’s good, really good) machinima…


Air Buccaneers HD

Sooo… perhaps it is possible to do Unreal Tournament 2004 in HD… here’s a video of the alpha of the HD version of the UT2004 total conversion called ‘Air Buccaneers’…


Unreal horsing around

G5 Chuck and one of the Reallusion horses, in the Unreal game engine — showcasing the new 3DXChange 5 Pipeline FBX export possibilities…


Unreal Engine 4’s Elemental Demo

The Unreal Engine 4 ‘Elemental Demo’. All video captured live and “in game”…



The beautiful new $10 Botanicula game (PC/Mac/Linux), reviewed at Don’t Panic. It’s from the makers of Mechanarium



Lovely concept art for the forthcoming Halo 4 console game… such a pity there’s no Windows version…


TheBlu goes to public beta

TheBlu real-time ocean simulator has gone into public beta. It’s an interesting idea, done in the free Unity game engine, but the new screenshots suggest that they haven’t yet got the lighting and level of detail of the undersea world right. The caustics (complex patterns of sunlight filtered down through the water, and bouncing up from the sand) are missing.


Witcher 2 cinematics walkthrough

The CGSociety has an exclusive production walkthrough of the ‘making of’ The Witcher 2‘s cinematics…

“CGSociety is proud to make available an exclusive breakdown video of the creation of The Witcher 2 cinematic, produced by Platige Image in Poland.”


Current best graphics card

Readers might like to know that a detailed multi-page lab test of graphics cards, in the latest issue of the highly respected British magazine PC Pro, flags the Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 Ti 448 card as the best mid-range card (i.e: between the pocket-money prices and the astronomically silly prices).


Real-time facial emotion animation – video demo

Sony’s new Kara demo animation of CG facial emotion in real-time, running live on a Playstation 3…