Charlie (snailrose) and Erwin (erwin) are overhauling the Blender Game Engine by integrating Ogre as the primary graphics engine and using Bullet as the primary physics engine! Erwin also mentioned that "the logic system and Python will initially mostly be compatible with the current system. Apart from that, there is the plugin interface that allows external game engines."
Charlie was nice enough to put together a webpage about the goals of the Ogre plugin project. Since it is a given that this upgrade to the game game engine is very big news, I asked Charlie a few questions I had about the project:
What was the driving force behind using Ogre has the graphic engine of choice?
I realized that it would take an eternity to bring the rendering side of the current engine up to par with more current engines like CrystalSpace. Then listening to talk about wanting to separate the game engine into a plug in system, I began testing out ideas to see how this would be possible. With a little advice from Erwin the Ogre3d plug-in was born. Ogre is a really good piece of software which makes working with it a blast.
Is this addition/update to Blender slated to be in the next release?
No this project is still in the very early stages of development. The goal is to have a working prototype by the end of august, maybe longer depending on what speed bumps are encountered.
What advantages will this bring Blender?
For one it's Ogre, an extremely powerful rendering system! The plug in interface will provide a means for other developers to extend the real-time side of blender in any way they choose. Whether it be developing tools or integrating a new game engine. The interface will be as generic as possible to allow for this to be true. When finished expect a tutorial and documentation on the plugin interface and its uses.
Charlie and Erwin's project is definitely going to be a giant leap for the Blender Game Engine, so keep your eyes open for more news on the forums and here at BlenderNation!