Today's Indie Priced Game Software is all about Substance by Allegorithmic.
More specifically, an entire bundle of Substance software called the "Substance Indie Pack" - containing Independent licensing, meaning Steam Workshop licenses as well as sub $10,000 per year commercial work. There are fully commercial options available from the official website, as well as Steam. They are quite pricey - but for up and coming, as well as established, independent developers - this should do perfectly.
Inside this great bundle is (Updated for 2016) :
- Substance Designer 5
- Substance Painter 2
- Bitmap2Material3 (as featured previously)
All of this for £229 - (at the time of posting) - from the Steam page.
If you are unfamiliar, Substances are essentially a new way of handling textures and materials. It is relatively new technology and seems to be growing exponentially more popular due to it's vast amount of utility. With substances, it is possible to have an entire material based around a single diffuse texture - meaning it could be less than 1MB in size - whilst still having normal, specular, roughness, metallic and height outputs.
So, in essence, Substance allows you to create dynamic effects whilst reducing filesize. Normally the more varied effects would actually increase filesize beyond limitations, especially when working to output to mobile or web devices. Substances are also resolution independent. This allows you to change and increase the resolution of the entire material to ensure it fits the needs of not only your quality, but your performance. This, again, is especially true to mobile and web output.
Currently - Substance supports Unreal Engine 3/UDK/Unreal 4, Unity, Autodesk Maya/Maya LT, Autodesk 3Ds Max and MODO.
It is, admittedly a lot of new things to learn, possibly shaking up your existing workflows, but so far I can honestly say I am having great results and it is worth the extra investment of both time and money.
Below is a feature video explaining what Substance is, as well as trailers for each individual piece of software in the pack.