Blender3D returns to Realtime!

Blender3D and CrystalSpace are sponsoring Apricot: the Open Game project. Building on the experiences they had with Project Orange which yielded the Open Movie, Elephant’s Dream. They hope to make a full “industry qualtiy” game using Blender’s game engine and give the results, source code, assets and all, away to the community for purposes of education and inspiration. This is good news given that the software grew by leaps and bounds and copious bugfixes during the Project Orange phase!

Some of their goals:

* Targets
— Validation: create full functional game prototype, industry quality
— CS engine: HDR lighting, game logic modules
— Blender: animation prototyping, pipeline improvements (option: using Verse?)
— Realize in Open Source, deliver in Open Content (CC?)
— Education. (Training/workshops, presentations, documentation, DVD)

* Core Team
— five to seven people (they get fee + travel + housing)
— 2 CS developers, 1 Blender developer
— 1 content related developer (AI, logic, …)
— 2 artists / game designers
— plenty of online support from CS/Blender developer and artist communities
— external support for music, voices, audio edit

Their schedule of 6-8 months looks a bit optimistic in my view, unless what they plan to make is another car racing game… (*shiver* :p)

We made several projects with the Blender game engine back in the day. Both of these projects are from around 2000. (Back then they used to work online too, via the now defunct Blender3d browser plug-in.)
My favorite was Guernica which used the game engine to parse data on a network packets or parsed text from a webpage to generate a distopian world.

Then there’s also The Kiss which is a 3d scan of Michael and I… yes, kissing. But we used the Blender game engine to create a way to explore the space inside the model.

We love the idea of Blender with the integrated game engine and it’s seriously about time it was updated to work as well as the rest of the wonderful (and free) Blender3d package. There isn’t anything else like it out there, where you can model, texture, animate, and build an interactive realtime standalone application in one place. Sadly the game engine has become the, forgotten step-child of the rendering and movie-making portions of the software. And more sadly, there probably won’t be anything else made with such a unified schema. The idea of not having to export/import and code in separate apps seems so futuristic!

Let’s wish them luck on the modernization of the Blender Game Engine! Better yet, cotribute or contribute!