RenaMe released: A Unity editor utility for quick bulk-renaming

RenaMe (say “ree-nay-mee”) is a compact Unity editor utility to quickly rename anything in your project at once; from GameObjects to Assets to Folders. All without losing any prefab connections, asset links, etc... It's available now on the Glitched Polygons store. The Unity Asset Store version is coming soon.

Consider the following situation: you start a new project and everything is going fantastic. After a few months of work, you start hiring new people that work on the same project. Then you start adding 3rd party assets to the project and things get messy from there on. We all know that different people have different ideologies and understandings when it comes to the meaning of the word “tidy”, let alone “naming conventions”. And now, before you know it, within only a few weeks the project’s structure is completely wrecked and messed up. The code base is spaghetti, the folder hierarchies are based upon everyone’s favorite project structure standard, and most of the assets are promised to be only “temporarily” stored in a specific location... under a name such as “TEMP_run_anim (WIP) 1 (1) test 5”.

Let me interrupt the description of this catastrophe right here. There’s nothing worse than that kind of work environment. I don’t like working on this kind of project. YOU don’t like working on this kind of project. NOBODY does! And yet, sadly, the above described scenario happens all the time nonetheless. It’s inevitable, it’s because we’re humans, we’re lazy, we’re in a hurry and sometimes we don’t have the energy it takes to keep a project clean. Which is fine! Because if you clean your project up every once in a while, you can keep that entropy level down at a minimum. But the problems arise if you’re cleaning slower than you’re filthying. The resulting chaos can cripple a project, and inflict severe (perhaps even irreversible) damage to it and the team working on it.

This is where RenaMe comes in. This utility solves a big bunch of these problems by providing a cool, simple and efficient functionality for renaming and managing your various project’s items with one click (okay, maybe not just one click, there might be some dragging ‘n’ dropping involved, but that’s all!).

I hope you all enjoy the news... and now that this is released, I can finally get back to work on the main game dev project.

Check out this RenaMe YouTube playlist. It contains all RenaMe relevant videos, and future updates as well as release note videos will be posted in there.

New productivity tools available on the Glitched Polygons store

Hi all,

I'm super glad to announce the launch of our new productivity line of tools on our store. For now there are two Windows applications for compressing folders and spreading files: the sick packing utility and the dank file spreader (trust me, it's the dankest!). They're both super small programs, and the two dollars they cost each are more of a contribution/donation than "actual" price. We think it's fair. 

Our team uses the tools actively for the automation of packaging backups and spreading them to the various target locations such as cloud sync folders, external hard disk drives, etc... It's a nice set of tools to have that save you a few seconds every time :)

Furthermore: there are some news from our donation page too. We now also accept donations in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Monero (XMR).

Hope you all enjoy, and wish you all a Merry Christmas. Have a fantastic 2018!

VertPaint made it to the Store!

My newest creation for the Unity Asset Store has just been accepted and is available from now. I'm so happy about this! Check it out if you want to, or check out the related forum thread. Also stay tuned for some tutorial videos, which will follow asap (within a few days, hopefully). VertPaint will be up for sale on the Glitched Polygons store too.

This has been one hell of a ride, but I'm so glad everything worked out just fine. Have a great time everybody!

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Submitting content to the Unity asset store

So I just finished working on VertPaint V1.0, my newest creation for the asset store... 

Screenshot_VertPaint_submission_confirmation_mail

I thought I'd write a few words and thoughts about this procedure, since it kills me each time. I work hard on the assets I publish on the store, because people end up spending money for them and I want them to be perfect. I give my best trying to test everything and improve the workflow inside the Unity engine with nifty little tools like this one. But the creation of the assets is just one part... when it comes to releasing (after months of passionate work), the worst part begins! 

With VertPaint you can paint vertex colors on any mesh in the scene with a cool interface and intuitive controls. By using fancy vertex color blending shaders (like the example ones included in VertPaint), you can achieve awesome things like blending materials as seen in this screenshot.

If you've ever submitted content to the Unity asset store, you know how their guidelines are and how MUCH content you really have to create. One can't just create a nice asset and submit it and call it a day. You need key images, metadata like description, tags, etc... and stuff like documentation, release notes and tutorials don't create themselves either. And since I'm not the best artist around, this kinda shit takes maybe almost as long as the creation of the asset itself. I remember sitting 2 hours in front of an empty Photoshop window, trying to generate ideas for the icon. How the hell do I represent a vertex color painting utility with custom height-based blend shaders and an included texture repacking utility all in a 128x128 icon?

VertPaint_Icon_Bad.png
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VertPaint_Icon_not_horrible_but_still_not_awesome.png

You can clearly hear the programmer in me screaming in agony. Maybe I make it sound worse than it actually is, because in the end it's worth the effort. Having at least acceptably professional art representing the product is mandatory in my opinion. But it was, once again, painful for me (and I'm still relatively unhappy with the result).

Once you have all that additional stuff done, you submit everything to the store and notice only afterwards (after rechecking 5 times) that you've forgot one screenshot. Fantastic :')

You can check and re-read as many times as you want, don't worry: there is always something you forget anyway. What follows that disappointment is the fact that now, for approximately 3 weeks, you won't know if your asset made it to the store, or if for some reason it was rejected. The tension that builds up as you have other things in life to do than fixing minor things in an asset's metadata (or similar) is just unnecessary, considering some terrible, terrible garbage that can be found on the store nowadays... Nonetheless, all of my assets have been rejected at least once for things that I consider extremely trivial and that could be found in that exact configuration with that exact mistake on the store, multiple times! Won't say anything else about that.

Instead of making this a rant, I'd actually want to promote people to invest time in creating assets to make the Unity environment more customizable and pleasant to use, because at the end of the day it's still so damn worth it! That satisfactory feeling you have when your asset actually made it to the store... The feeling when you receive customer emails with positive and constructive feedback, when you provide support and the devs are just happy. Man!

Also: by working on assets for the store, what you actually do is accelerate the development time of other creative game developers out there and help them deliver cooler games in less time, which is even greater. And as a nice side effect, you get to know the engine even better, which is always useful. These things are what keep me going in the end, so hopefully they can turn out to be useful for you as well!

Painting vertex colors on meshes can be so much more awesome if you can customize things like brush falloff to create nicer results. With VertPaint, level designing is even more fun!

I hope you liked reading this, and stay tuned for more updates. It felt good sharing these thoughts and typing them here. Also hope you like the idea behind VertPaint, which will be available for $10 on the Unity asset store asap. I'll publish it here on the Glitched Polygons store as soon as it's live on the Unity asset store, and until then, have a great time and enjoy autumn!

Cheers

 

3 and 4-way blend shaders: done

K. Now also the 3 and 4-way blend shaders are done. The result is kinda nice, and even though I realize I might haven't selected the finest textures available to perform the tests and create this example scene, I'm still happy with the result nonetheless.

There are now shaders for a few scenarios that might appear whilst level designing (the toolset will be even more complete once I finish working on the angle based shader). Each of the 2, 3 and 4-way vert color blend shaders have 3 levels of quality which linearly affect performance, meaning that an ugly simple lerp between the materials will be more efficient than the height based check (simple cutout)... and the height based check with smooth transition phase will be more performance heavy. But all three variants are 100% PBR.

A better custom material inspector will follow soon, as well as a custom mesh vert color painting utility. What's also on my personal wishlist is a vertex position editor like the displacement tool in Valve's Hammer Editor, which always brings back many good old memories, but that will have to wait for now. Because for now, this glass of delicious Caol Ila 12y single malt whisky is more than just well earned and will suffice for today.

Stay tuned for more!

Cheers

Working with shaders - welcome to hell :')

After two long evenings of hard work we finally made it! We got the 2-way vertex color blend shader to work (simple lerp + height based) and actually look acceptable. Here's some background info:

For our projects, we need an awesome level design workflow (which Unity sadly doesn't offer by default). And what is more important than the placement of meshes in the map? The look of them!

Most engines have it, Unreal Engine has it, CryEngine has it... hell! Even Source Engine had its own way of painting vertex colors onto displacements and blending two materials together. That's why we decided to implement this feature into our Unity development environment.

Working with shaders is, at least for me personally, painful as f***. It's just super tedious. Especially with Unity where you have to write them kinda manually. But the cool thing is, you have a much higher satisfaction/time ratio, and you see the actual effects of your programming so much faster. While I prefer working with C# or C++, I do have to admit that working with shaders turned out to be rewarding (and useful!) nonetheless. The learning curve is a bit bumpy and badly documented, but once you know how stuff works out you can get usable results up and running pretty fast.

For this specific shader, we used the heightmap to blend two materials together based on the painted red vertex color. If you want to know more about shaders and how to write them, check out the official nvidia CG tutorial and Unity's documentation.

Stay tuned for more updates and have a great time everybody!

Perhaps we need a custom inspector for that material for a more simplified and pleasant setup (like some sort of a wizard utility that goes through each material channel step by step).

Currently, only the 2-way blends are functional and we're using TOZ to paint the vertex colors, but 3-way blend shaders are coming, as well as a custom vert color painting utility.

MeshBrush - Update finally done - V1.9 officially available for download.

Hey devs out there!

I'm glad to announce that MeshBrush V1.9 is now officially available for download on the Unity Asset Store or here directly in our store.

It's been a bit longer than promised on the forum thread, and I apologize for that. But in return, I added so many more features to the point that V1.9 is the biggest update MeshBrush has ever seen so far. You get a completely rewritten code base, 100% runtime compatible and implementation-friendly API with way better and cleaner code, new UI sliders with range handles, curve driven scale randomization and two pages of release notes more stuff to help you create awesome landscapes and better levels for your Unity projects.

You can find more information in the official new V1.9 tutorial video.

Let me know what you think of this update.

Merry game dev! Cheers :>

Glitched Polygons Website. Cool stuff incoming!

It has finally happened! Glitched Polygons gets its own website.

It features a contact form that allows you to get in touch with us, a portfolio to show off our work and projects, a store where you can buy stuff to accelerate/enhance your own game projects and support us financially, and then there's this blog, which will serve the purpose of keeping you up to date with our newest game dev related progress.

I really hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for more content!   :>

Have a great summer everybody!