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Me and My Airship

23

bpic9-th.jpgI stumbled upon a game project called 'Me and My Airship' by Joel Moktar on the BlenderArtists forums. The graphics and animation were amazing. I contacted Joel to learn more about his project. Here is his report.

Often Blender GE gets overlooked by many blender users, and is frequently underestimated by those wishing to developed games. However, recent improvements in the GE have lead to the creation of numerous innovative projects, such as ClubSilo.

Me and My Airship is a game project that is as beautiful as it is ambitious. It is being undertaken by two young Canadian brothers, who have been using blender for the past three years. Although some significant progress has been made, the game is still in its early stages. However, some details of the game have emerged.

bpic14.jpg bpic11.jpg bpic10.jpg bpic8.jpg

Work in progress images of 'Me and My Airship'

The setting of the game takes place within one city, which is built around a mountain jutting out of the sea. The city is divided into three main quadrants, each accessible by a railed tram. The main character of the game is a young boy, who has three "days" to collect, assemble and then finally race an airship on the morning of the fourth day. The game will also feature many NPC interactions, and the main character will have to run errands, solve mysteries and help the town's citizen in order to collect the parts for his airship. The game will feature 24 minute days, each divided into daytime and nighttime. Throughout the three days the maps will change as the town and its citizens prepare for the eve of the race.

Although it is always difficult to balance graphics and game play depth, with frame rate performance, exciting new developments such as OGRE integration will hopefully further increase blenders GE performance. Hopefully more games like Me and My Airship will begin to develop to show the world blender, and the blender GE's potential.

Links

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)

23 Comments

  1. Exactly what we need! More good games that aren't about shooting the living f*** out of everything that moves!

  2. If this is considered a reference for the Blender game engine, I don't see a very bright future for it. The modelling is OK, but all scenes in the screenshots totally lack lighting, specularity, or anything that would make them look slightly realistic. And no, please don't tell me that "with OGRE integration, it will all be better". Blender's game engine is capable of and was used in the past for amazingly realistic game scenes which are hardly discernible from the most current commercial games.

    There is either a lack of understanding how the game engine does / can do various forms of lighting, or it is all attributable to the game being in 'early stages'. But then, I would skip showing screenshots until they're remotely worth it.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. Good scenes, good animation, really gives a great cartonish ambient easy to the eyes (not an easy thing to be done in 3D) and the best of all... real good stuff(TM).

    Very good job.

    Regards

    J.

  4. In response to gamedood, the screens you see there don't have lighting b.c. they're WIP screens, if you watch the videos, or follow the link to the blenderartists forums you'll see images with lighting

  5. Very nice! The only crit I have is the title, which should be "My Airship and I," for it to be proper English. But, then again, it could be stylistic choice for the current title, and I know that "My Airship and I," doesn't have the same ring to it, so you can safely ignore me.

    Great job, I'd like to see this finished!

  6. OK, the screenshots in the forum look *much* nicer, I apologize.

    However, I would suggest that for the next time, you do not publish the *worst* screenshots of your project on the frontpage of a news magazine, but the best shots instead ;)

    The lighting is nice, especially in the sunset scenes. However, there are no shadows. I would suggest either using radiosity to solve the lighting (which will give proper shadows) and then making seperate collision/display meshes, or painting the shadows manually - I'd suggest using alpha polygons directly above the floor / in front of walls, rather than vertex painting.

    Good luck, and sorry for not having looked at the forum before posting ;)

  7. Tynach - Me and My Airship works fine. It's even legitimate anglaise...kinda. The Me/I condition is only applicable in valid sentences. 'Me and My Airship' isn't a sentence. The best way to think about it is to take out the 'me' or the 'I' in the sentence and see how it works.

    For example: This is...me and my airship!

    That's correct english. As is: This is...my airship and me!

    'This is...my airship and I!' would in fact be wrong. You'll see that if you remove the word 'airship' (and associated words) from the sentence you get 'This is...I!', whereas the previous sentence still works, because you'd get 'This is...me!'. Incidentally, you would be right in a sentence like "My airship and me think you suck big time, DJ!", because removing the airship phrase would leave you with "Me think you suck big time, DJ!". That's when you swap the 'me' for an 'I'. (But like I said, this title doesn't qualify as a sentence, so it's all irrelevant.)

    God, how irritating am I?

    Err...back to stuff people actually care about, I guess. I think this looks cool. Loving the style of the locations.

  8. No prob. gamedood, actually I didn't choose which pics got published here that was up to the editor of the site.

    Lol, thanks DJ for clearing that up I thought it was wrong too.. just more catchy

  9. I've been following the developement of this game for a while, and I really love the mood in the screenshots and overal style. Maybe the Game Engine may not be up-to date with graphics and all another nifty features, but at least it triggers the creativity of a huge amount of Blender users.

    I also have been playing for a long time with the game engine, just because I thought it would be cool to make your own 3D game. I really hope the developement of Blender's engine and Ogre will continue. Also I hope someone will take a look at the performance of the game engine. When these things are little bit updated, I'm sure people will enjoy making games with Blender even more then before. Maybe you'll never be able to create a game like WoW, Unreal Tournament, or GTA, but at least it inspires people, make them enjoy the tought of there own 3D game and it's surely a good start when you want to know more about 3D game developement, not because you need programming, but just because it gives you a quick blink on game creation and how stuff works. :D

  10. With OGRE, you can make graphics that are as good as WoW, Unreal Tournament, etc. OGRE will also increase the speed that it works at.

  11. This is very, very nice! Even if there are some this and that about light, etc... the ambience is excellent, just watching the videos you already feel the mood. And it seems to me that the behaviour of this little guy and his tracking camera is pretty coherent and playable... Marvellous work!

  12. Hi! Very good Job!

    I like the atmosphere a lot. There are amazing details (Birds...)

    I am very impressed by these videos, because they show what is possible with Blender GE with some skill.

    I wish I could make a game (I have started to make a small one), but I'don't master some important parts of the game Engine. I have no problems with the main character moved by the player, but creating artificial intelligence for the secondary characters is a nightmare (I'm not a programmer at all).

    after having read a lot on Blenderartists, I can't find if there are too many lacks or bugs in the sensors, or if I'm really hopeless at making games !o(

    Philippe.

  13. I was playing around with Blender GE, but could do nothing... physics whorks some unpredictable way... and there was a lot of other thingth i couldn't handle...

    But that guys really rocks...
    Very good job!

  14. Richard Olsson on

    I'm sorry to be an ass, but this is my opinion: I want the game engine out of blender.

    Why? Well, let me try to explain (and I should probably leave this rant to some other place, like a blog of my own.) I don't do game stuff. And on those projects where I have been doing game content, it has been for an external game engine. Therefore I don't want a "game engine" in my modeling/animation application. I don't have anything against the engine but make it a seperate plugin or whatever. Or even better yet, have the BGE developers join OGRE instead and make something worth competing with.

    This project though, looks great! But it would probably look even greater in OGRE. :)

  15. @Richard: I wonder why, if you don't use the function anyway, it bothers you that it's in there? I'm sure you use all kinds of software that have many more features than what you actually use.

  16. The game looks excellent!

    Richard, as Bart mentioned, lots of software contains features that you never use daily.

    I never use the spell checker in this browser software, but I wouldn't want it to be remvoed just becuase i dotn use it freqeuntly.

  17. actually, the game engine is one of the main reasons why quite a lot of people use blender at all - and certainly, if it hadn't been for the game engine, I would have never even heard of blender; true, I don't use it much either; but I do give a shot at games on occaisions and it would be sad to see it go. originally, blender was used primarily for game creation; it's only since all the render features and the cool modelling tools were added, that it's switched its main focus to stills and animated shorts - some people still make use of it as a game creation tool though, as is evident by this post! ~epat. :)

  18. Well, as I said, sorry for being an ass :)
    Bet that shows some of my remorse in feeling as I do, but I can't really change it. It bothers me less now than before, but still some, to have the game engine buttons etc in there. But even more it bothers me to feel that blender may come off as something of a "phone, calculator, chainsaw and milk-pouring-device"-thingie, and therefor focus may be taken off of the awsomeness of it all. I would just like to see the engine being made into a seperate project, so that both may grow independantly and unhindred by eachother.

    But then again, you are right. But I can't really help my feelings about this matter, now can I? :)

  19. For my own, I'm not good at all in making games, but I like a lot the Game Engine included in Blender, because it allows to use Physics in animation, and the ability of Baking simulations into Ipo Curves is a very usefull feature !

    These past days, I was working on a sequence that I would like to include in the next version of my Police Chase movie.

    I' am trying to animate a realistic car crash and the robber's car hitting trash cans and pushing them away.

    I have created simplified objects for the cars and trash cans (The detailed meshes are parented to them), and after running the simulation, I can use the Ipos to animate the detailed models, adding deformations when necessary.

    Even if the Physical engine is not very accurate, the Game engine is a really helpfull tool for animation, and removing it from Blender would be really a waste a huge loss for the animators, I think!

    Philippe.

  20. No one has commented on this yet, so let me add: I really like the little touches and details. For example, notice he blinks his eyes when he starts running? And the flock of birds every now and then. Nice touches that add eye candy and professionalism. Good job guys.

    You are an inspiration, especially to those of us who run into problems getting the basic stuff to work; it is good to know that it is US who are the problem and not Blender, so we can keep trying to learn and understand and use effectively. Except, of course, the game engine by Richard. Everyone else, feel free to use all features.

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