I’ve yet to meet a SketchUp modeler who doesn’t—at least just a little bit—want to work in the video game design industry. I get a stupid grin on my face when I think about how much fun it it would be to make battle tanks and exploding oil drums and secret doors for hidden basements full of zombies. In the gaming world, boring things like gravity and cost take a backseat to novelty and sheer coolness.
But how to turn your SketchUp habit (and job cranking out toilet stall details) into days full of armor design and wandering through bad neighborhoods looking for interesting photo-textures to shoot?
Google SketchUp for Game Design is Robin de Jongh’s newest book; he also wrote SketchUp 7.1 for Architectural Visualization. It presumes that you’re a SketchUp beginner, but then quickly gets on to the good stuff:
- Finding good resources for photo-textures
- Using Meshlab to convert your models in useable 3D game assets
- Working with the Unity 3D game engine (which is widespread, free-or-low-cost middleware for designing game levels)
- Creating high-quality textures for games
- Adapting your models for use in video games
- Authoring custom levels
- Modeling low-poly game assets (including cars) and selling them online
Robin’s writing is accessible and easy to follow. He packs a lot of information into each page, but manages to keep the tone friendly and even funny at times. While the book’s in black and white, color versions of the images are available from the publisher’s website.
Earlier this year, we introduced interactive weather information in mobile search results and now this feature is available in 33 more languages. Now when you search for ‘météo’, ‘tempo’, ‘날씨’, or ‘weather’ in your language, you’ll see the current temperature, humidity level and wind speed for your location. You’ll also get an overall forecast and the weather outlook for the next few days. To see weather conditions at various times throughout the day, move the slider across the next 12 hrs; that way you’ll know if you’ll need a light jacket in the afternoon or perhaps an umbrella in the evening.
Give it a try by searching Google for ‘weather’ in your language on your Android or iOS mobile device.
took part in its 7th year as a mentoring organization for the Google Summer of Code
. Thanks to Google’s generous funding and KDE’s mentors we were able to work with 51 students over the summer, once again making KDE the largest organization taking part in Google Summer of Code
. Choosing the right students was hard but the selection turned out well. The students coded in nearly all areas of KDE from Calligra
. Their projects turned out very well, and we’ve once again been impressed with the talent and dedication of the students. All 51 students passed their mid-term evaluation and 47 successfully passed their final evaluation. Valorie Zimmerman, KDE Administrator for Google Summer of Code
, says: “KDE got forty-seven completed projects, which is tremendous. Our focus though is not on the code itself, but on the students and their involvement with KDE. However, their projects enrich KDE immensely, and you’ll be seeing their code integrated into our codebase over the next few months. “
Similar to previous years, KDE received many more great student applications for Google Summer of Code than we were able to accept into the program. To welcome these remaining students to our community and to give them mentoring, support, and a project to work on, we ran Season of KDE again. It is a program similar to Google Summer of Code where students receive a certificate and limited-edition t-shirt for completing their project successfully. The response was overwhelming this year and we had to close applications after 100 submissions. Nearly all of them were matched up with a mentor and project to work on. The students still have a few more weeks to work on their projects but results are looking fantastic so far.
Lydia Pintscher, KDE Administrator for Google Summer of Code and Season of KDE, says: “What makes me proud about this is the fact that KDE as a community is able and willing to teach newcomers to Free Software on a scale like few other projects while delivering high-quality results in terms of code produced and students mentored. What makes me even more proud is the overwhelming success of Season of KDE even without the monetary incentive but just because people want to work on something amazing in an amazing community.”