CryEngine 3 SDK Out now for free!

The engine is now available for free here.

Read the terms and conditions, but they sound pretty good for those that just want to tinker around with it.

To get started, the official documentation can be found here.

The community developed documentation, which is well worth a browse can be found here.

A simple guide to get started on creating a level can be found here.

More indepth knowledge can be found in the wiki here.

Now go and enjoy!

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Boston Blender User Group

>BBUG

Not to be confused with BUG (Boston Unity Group).
Good opportunity for Blender users to get together and talk about work flows, tools and other tips and tricks. This is especially good for indie devs to network as well as new comers who get the chance to meet a variety of skilled artists.
The next meet up is planned for 23rd of June, next week.
This group is organised by K. White Adam, who you can follow on twitter as @kadamwhite he also has a really interesting blog here, which covers indie game development and web design development.

Boston Unity Group – The Winter Showdown

>The Winter Showdown was the third meeting of BUG at the Microsoft NERD Centre, held last night, 30th November.

The presentation was held by, Trevor Stricker, of QuickHit, talking about their NFL licensed game and the combination of using Flash and Unity3D as well as looking a little into their monitisation routes of micro transactions and adware.
Following the presentation, their were a handful of demonstrations by people, many of these were updated demo’s that had previously been shown so they were not recorded, but one that was new I will mention as I thought it was brilliant, a cloud based asset server.
But first, here is the presentation, the intro followed by 5 parts, the last two parts were from the Q&A session which was especially interesting and well worth watching.
Intro –
The cloud based asset server was created by Defective Studios. The website doesn’t contain very much information about the asset server, which is a big shame, but they are offering beta testing for free, email Matt Schoen for details at schoen@defectivestudios.com
What made this really interesting was the simplicity and cost, they were planning on offering a monthly subscription to the service at $10 and the cloud being run from Amazon, but if you wanted to run your own servers they were working on another license fee for that.
This platform is a cheap alternative to the Unity Asset Server, much simplified and something that works very well across platforms via a web interface with no real learning curve. Meshes and textures are uploaded to the cloud and people can sync the whole build or specific items and can get them running in Unity immediately, meshes and textures being very robust with all scaler and modifier information remaining intact.

Boston Post Mortem – Indies Will Shoot You in the Knees

>The last Boston Post Mortem meet up was recorded by, Darren Torpey.

Information about the talk can be found here. The discussion panel was talking about indie game development, a repeat subject from the PAX East discussion, but an awesome talk by 3 Boston indie studios on the subject.

The youtube video is in six parts –

Link to the Youtube page with info is here.

iPhone Dev Resources

>Some sites everyone should have bookmarked – The Ultimate Toolbox for iPhone Development.

That site is such a great resource covering tools and tutorials on getting you started, heavy slant on the app side rather than games but it does also cover the basics of doing games.

iPhone Dev Made Easy – Short slideshow going over some tools.

35 Free Icon Sets for your iPhone projects – Does what it says on the tin…handy collection to get you started.

Developers Rally Round Colleagues Besieged by "Trademark Troll"

>In an unprecedented show of support, members of the game development community from several countries have come together in support of French independent game developer Mobigame. Mobigame is involved in a legal dispute with former publisher Tim Langdell, who conducts business as Edge Games. Langdell has a history of confrontation with game companies using the word “Edge” in games titles.

Dispute Between Langdell and Mobigame

On July 15th, Langdell forced iPhone platform-holder Apple’s hand to block the sale of the award winning and triple IGF award nominated iPhone game ‘EDGE’. Langdell’s claim was that the product infringes on his trademark of the word ‘Edge’. Initially, when Mobigame voluntarily removed the game from the store they were receiving several emails per day from Langdell; some of which even went as far as threatening to sue the owner of Mobigame (David Papazian) personally, stating that it could cost David “millions of dollars”.

Mobigame actually own the trademark ‘EDGE’ in France, and the registration is on-going in Europe. Despite this, Langdell threatened to sue unless they remove the game from the AppStore entirely, even in the regions where Mobigame own the trademark. On May 14th, Mobigame proposed renaming the game to ‘EDGY’ for the UK and the US market, stating that their trademarks could co-exist since Mobigame will have the trademark in Europe, and they would rename the game to ‘EDGY’ for the UK & US markets. Langdell refused to accept this, and on May 16th he applied for the trademark ‘EDGY’ in the US.

As a small company, without access to substantial legal resources, Mobigame was keen to avoid a protracted legal dispute, and have tried on many occasions to reach an amicable solution. Unfortunately, negotiation with Langdell proved fruitless. Mobigame is currently evaluating their options, but are denied the income they were depending on from iPhone game sales.

Langdell’s History of Threats and Litigation

Langdell has a history of similar tactics with other small companies. He lists credits for games containing the word ‘Edge’ on his website, and claims credit for their development. In reality his involvement is limited to demanding money for the use of the word ‘Edge’. His legal relationship with renowned British development magazine EDGE is unclear, but claims that he “spawned” the publication were recently removed from his website. Even after the outrage among the international community of developers began to rise, Langdell applied for a trademark on the phrase, ‘Edge of Twilight’, days after Australian company, Fuzzyeyes Studio announced they were soon launching a game of that name.

Community Reaction

Game developers around the world have taken a dim view of Langdell’s actions, as trademark disputes have a far more profound effect on small game companies with limited resources for legal support.

To try to combat this, members of The Chaos Engine, a game industry professionals’ think-tank/forum have started a fund to aid Mobigame in what could be a lengthy legal dispute, during which time sales of EDGE are being restricted. There is also a Facebook group set-up to show support for Mobigame and EDGE.

“We think it’s important that Langdell not be allowed to bludgeon small companies with esoteric trademark laws,” says Paddy Sinclair, CEO of Proper Games Ltd. “Games may be a fun and light-hearted product, but this is still a professional industry. There’s no room for schoolyard tactics to extort money and claim unearned fame.”

Finding no support from their professional association, the IGDA, developers have taken the case into their own hands – organizing creative ways to help Mobigame with their plight. They hope to see industry luminaries speak out, and are galvanizing all their supporters to stand up against this unethical use of trademark law.

“Langdell needs to be stopped and anyone else who thinks it’s okay to take advantage of small game companies needs to know we’re not isolated, easy targets,” said Yacine Salmi, an industry veteran and current IGDA member.

IGDA Controversy

In further controversy, Tim Langdell is also a board member of game development advocate body International Game Developers Association (IGDA). Here he has a hand in guiding the professional association’s policies on aiding small game companies and improving the industry for all developers. So far the IGDA has officially taken no action and made only a short statement saying they don’t see a need to act.

“Just because Langdell managed to bluff his way onto the IGDA board doesn’t mean we as members support his unethical strategies, and we’re doing what we can to have him removed,” said Corvus Elrod of Zakelro Studios, an IGDA member and part of a small game company himself. He has started a petition for IGDA members to sign, calling for a special meeting where Langdell could be voted out of the IGDA board.

Donations

Paypal donations to mobigame@gmail.com

The Chaos Engine is a virtual community of game developers from around the globe. Launched in 2003, it has grown to include 7,000 game developers representing views from across the industry.

Indie Handheld Gaming?

Just looking at the GP2X Wix – At $180 it’s not a bad priced open source handheld gaming machine, touch screen and what is basically a dual d-pad set up, this could lead to some interesting projects.

There is also the Pandora, which does look promising, but far to clunky I think to take off.

Another alternative is the Dingoo A-320 but this looks even less appealing as a device.

Ultimately, this is a great arena for home game makers to get some easy exposure, release something fun that’ll get you possibly noticed, it will even play flash games as well as be a emulator so you can get some of those old home brew projects you wanted to make out there on this platform. The makers are also launching a digital online store similar to Apple’s, which would allow you to sell your creations if you didn’t want them released as freeware, which could be a nice bonus feature for anyone who might have released a game on any other platform.