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PlaneShift Project Recruiting Blender Artists


Planeshift ScreenshotAre you a Blender artist looking for a good project? If so, then take a look at PlaneShift, a free and open source MMORPG under heavy development. In case you're not already familiar with the PlaneShift project, Wikipedia has some useful information:

PlaneShift is a cross-platform fantasy MMORPG in development. Client software is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It is produced by a developer community, founded by Luca Pancallo, and guided by the Atomic Blue non-profit organization. The engine code is based on the Crystal Space engine and therefore free software. The content is released under another license.

The game is currently in the pre-alpha stage of development, at version 0.3, codenamed Crystal Blue. The first version, 0.1, was codenamed Atomic Blue and the next version, 0.2, was codenamed Molecular Blue. Molecular Blue was very feature limited, but drew a number of players because of its close-knit community. The Molecular Blue server was shut down on December 16, 2004. The current version, Crystal Blue, was released to the public as an open beta on December 24, 2004. The next version, 0.4, is codenamed Steel Blue.

As of March 2007, the game main server,, has some 358,400 registered user accounts and 100,000+ characters. The game forums have approximately 23,570 registered accounts.

The Project Director, Luca Pancallo, recently visited the forums to solicit 3D art and animation help from the Blender community:

[...]PlaneShift is a Free Open Source 3D MMORPG in Development, created by a talented and dedicated team, which has a high level of professionalism within its ranks. Our target goal is to be the biggest free MMORPG available, with a growing community of developers that can expand the virtual world into experimental directions where no commercial product can dare. The client and server code are cross-platform, designed for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

We have a strong organization and will, good guidance and task assignment. We developed tools to track all our progresses based on a master plan shared in all departments. A separate license for art ensures all graphical assets can be used only in PlaneShift. We already achieved some good goals, having 3 tech demo released. The latest release has now 350,000 registered accounts.

The current release version of PlaneShift has a detailed char creation, allows players to visit a part of the main city, the city of feline race, the arena and more. You can already collect objects, buy weapons, fight, cast spells, do quests, and more.

We are searching talented and innovative 3D artists to join us. We are seeking junior/senior modelers, senior animator and we are also seeking a stable 3d department leader which will really shape the future of PlaneShift. If you want to be part of the team please check our recruitment page ( and send us your information!

Preferred tools are 3dsmax and Blender. Maya and Lightwave can also be used with some export/import tools.

Contact: [email protected]

Luca Pancallo,
PlaneShift Project Director.

You owe it to yourself to look into this opportunity to make a real difference with a project, make a name for yourself, and improve your Blender skills!


  1. If anybody is keen on this, please read the game's content license.

    Here's an explanation of it...

    Any other work (such as 2D graphics, 3D models, music and sounds, character descriptions or fantasy world histories) will be the property of Atomic Blue once you submit it, but you will continue to have the right to display the work as part of a personal portfolio. You are not allowed to display or use the work in another game or application and you are not allowed to use derivative works owned by Atomic Blue.

    Other then that, the game is decent but has a long, long way to go until it resembles a commercial MMORPG.

  2. I've also heard that once you leave the project, your name will be removed from the game's credits. I'm not trying to bash this project or anything, I just want to make sure that people understand the way this project development works.

  3. Seems like a nice idea, not sure about credits being removed tho, most studios operate with freelancers (as such as this would) and they come and go all the time from company to company. Their credits are always maintained even after their gone. Thanks for pointing that out. Saves any pre-conceptions/mis-understandings later down the line. ;)

  4. This is a realy good project, in wich I have already wandered some hours discovering the world already there ... but the licence for art assets is realy too much restrictive for me.
    I cannot think about freely contributing to a project and not having the liberty to do wathever I want with what I've created .... if it was payed, ok, but free? ... no way... (being in the credits of a very niche project has not much values... it's not enoegh)
    I understand the needs for planeshift to protect it's originality, but I think it's too much that way.... If I would contribute and use my own contributions somewhere else, I do not see where is the problem, as long as I do not use other people work.
    I think that as the proberv say : "the whole is more than the sum of its parts" so the only fear they could have would come from a major "fork" ... and if it was realy to come, even this licence would be useless.....

    (but hey, I'm not everyone, and the fact that I already spend lot of time on other "free" projects is surely something of importance in my point of view..... other could find it as a good "free time" project aside of some other well payed one..... )

    So I say "good luck" to this, but without me .... (I'm rather considering contributing to a possible FMMORPG from if it happens one day)

  5. When will people learn that we need a free database of objects, under free licenses, such as the GPL such that game projects can pick and choose from a variety and still contribute back.

    Does each game need to create every **** object, even a phonebooth 20 times over?.

    Free software games would start popping up if we had a good library to select from and contribute to, now that we got a free game engine, such as Crystal Space.

  6. @ Esben. That is Clip Art. I personally don´t like it but nobody really stops you or anybody who wants to do it from realise that idea of a big, free objects repository.
    Personally I like the fact of each game having unique elements. Sure it takes longer and requires more people involved, but results are more memorable.

  7. "...but you will continue to have the right to display the work as part of a personal portfolio..."

    Oh, many thanks, guys, I was afraid my contribute could be erased from my mind, like in Pay Check!

    I think that such a restrictive licence is the main reason for planeshift still being at an early developement state. When wanting others to work on a common project, you're looking for contributors, when wanting others to work on something that will be yours and yours only, then you're looking for slaves!

    No matter what are the reasons, that's what one perceives by reading their conditions... Artists are not encouraged to partecipate.

  8. > I've also heard that once you leave the project,
    > your name will be removed from the game's credits.

    Man, that bites. So what? One does work for them that gets included in the game, but just because you go on to other things they no longer credit you even if you've done the work. No thanks. I think that if you're using someone's work that you should have to credit them, even if they're not going to do any more for you. Or you should be obligated to not use their work after they leave. But I guess that's my own opinion.

  9. @ Santi & Esben,
    I don't agree with the Clip Art reference. Planeshift looks good but is still alpha which means kinks are still being worked out. Esben makes a good point in that freely available 3D resources shorten the amount of volunteers needed to reach each milestone and they help all of us as a community. Granted it may not look exactly the way you want the phone booth to be but it's easier to change 5% of a model then start from scratch. Plus reuse can test ideas before spending lots of time refining models, textures, animation, etc. Quite frankly that's why I grab free models from Turbo Squid to prototype gameplay. I need a character not a cube.

  10. Francisco Ortiz on

    Again: there is a lack of documentation for realtime rigging and animation.

    Could someone point a link on how to prepare our models? What are the standart for 3d models and animations inside this project?

    We don't have rigging working the same way inside different Blender versions cosidering real time simulations.
    Now imagine THE PAIN to prepare a model for such a project external to Blender. If you are not a programer, will be a lot. Trust me.

    By the way Planetshift managers do not return emails.

  11. I have to agree with everyone, I'd jump on board if it wasn't for that darn license. :/
    Only reason I would contribute to a free project like this is so everyone can have access and freedom to use what I produced, but with this I would have to worry about using it myself.

  12. I was about to complain about the license for all the art, but it seems like everyone else did that already. No way I'm going to just give away all the rights for my work. But if there was some kind of Open Source license for the art too...

  13. Francisco Ortiz on

    @Dread Knight,

    This is not the point. Of course we are glad to help. This is just a matter off how things could be done.

    As i said before we need more feedback on how to rig and animate our models for Planeshift using Blender. Could you show us some documentation related to artists?

    Considering the licence many of us are NOT worried about copyright. We just want to maintain our work "copyleft" like the animation project Elephants Dream was done.
    (Please check out Creative Commons for more details ;)

    That said, i think many of us are worried about to make exclusive models to Planeshift.

    See you,


  14. Hi,
    thanks for your comments. Let's clear out some wrong rumors about the project:

    1) All contributors are listed in the credits, and they are not removed. We have a "short" list displayed in the game itself to give evidence of the people that worked most on it, and more recently. There is a "full" list shipped with the game on text file will all names and accomplishments.
    2) The proprietary license is nothing special or new to the free gaming world, many other projects have used it, and in our opinion is the best way to preserve your work. Leaving content as free and open, we will lose the chance to be unique, also we will be exposed to abuse, same for the artist providing the material. Will you be happy to see your models used in a project that you completely dislike (for quality, or purpose, or audience, or else)?
    3) We are providing FREE gaming at good quality, and you can contribute to that. If you want to have something freely usable, freely playable, PlaneShift is one way, surely there are more open ways, like project on Creative Common license, but there few (or none) with good chances to deliver real games.

    On the other side of the coin we received many applications to contribute to PlaneShift in these days, and I want to thank the community for that. Let's create together something special and enjoyable!

  15. Looks like a good game , im downloading it now lol so you have a new member ingame

    Well im just starting programming and 3d stuff , coz i made 2 simple games , 1st person shotting game and a car game.

    but this planetshift looks great and may help me see what blender can do and stuff


  16. Francisco Ortiz on

    "...Leaving content as free and open, we will lose the chance to be unique, also we will be exposed to abuse, same for the artist providing the material..."

    I know that Elephants Dream is an animation project but it is also Creative Commons and remains unique. Sometimes we need to take the risk.

    "We are providing FREE gaming at good quality, and you can contribute to that."

    Ok... but to contribute with some FREE models we need a few details on HOW to do that. Because models and animations could be done in diferent ways for different purposes.

    Do you need our help to make simple modeling like chairs, brushes, tires, windows and books or full animated rigs decently maped?

  17. I'm currently serving as 2d art lead on PlaneShift. The license comes up frequently as a sore point for potential contributors.

    As a professional illustrator I frequently have to deal with issues of ownership and copyright. So that you know where I stand, I am very adamant about maintaining copyright to all of my original works, and have no interest in placing my illustrations in the public domain. This may not be precisely the issues at hand with the Atomic Blue license, but it gives you an idea of my position on copyright in general.

    I am comfortable working with the Atomic Blue license for two specific reasons: I am not producing narrative illustration for them of the sort that I make a living with, and working on PlaneShift serves my own self interest.

    For me, PlaneShift is an opportunity to produce textures for a 3d game environment. The team provides support for me in areas that I am unknowledgeable, so I don't need to be expert in all aspects of game development. To date I have learned a lot, not only about creating textures, but general game development as well. In that regard I AM being compensated for my efforts.

    This may serve to illustrate the reason Atomic Blue has adopted this license for the creative assets. I work a lot in marketing and ad graphics. Stock photography is often used when clients cannot afford custom photography. It's a reasonable solution to budget issues, the client gets to select a high quality image for their print collateral, and they don't pay an arm and a leg for it. However, they also don't gain exclusive rights to it. This means that someone else may use it as well. It's rare, but if you happen to spot a seemingly familiar photo in an ad somewhere, think really hard, you've probably seen it in another ad as well. If someone is using a stock photo as a primary brand image for their company, having that image show up in someone else's ad can be unfortunate. In the same way, having items from PlaneShift appear in other games make PlaneShift less unique, less original.

    PlaneShift exists to provide a gaming experience unique and free to the public. Atomic Blue has set up the creative content license in the manner it feels will best serve PlaneShift and it's public.

    There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with the license, and, with all sincerity, anyone who is not comfortable with the license should not contribute. But the license is in place to protect PlaneShift in the long term. The team has seen members come and go over time, but the project continues. I'm confident that it will continue long after I, too, have moved onto other things.

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