"Help the Boros reclaim their precious artefact and solve the mystery of the Starlight Isles. You will face unique and challenging puzzles that will require all your logic and reasoning skills; often there is not just one solution to the problem you face."
Here's the introduction of one of the most original Blender games I've seen so far. It was created by a team of only five people during the high-profile British 'Dare to be Digital' contest.
We talked to Graham Ranson to find out how he and his team used Blender.
I thought you and your readers may be interested that I have just finished taking part in a games development competition as part of the group DarkMatter Designs. The competition is called Dare to be Digital, and we used Blender as our game engine. We were one of the three winning teams and thought that as we used Blender it might spur a bit of interest in the engine.
Q: Why did you choose Blender for this project?
A: We decided to use Blender primarily for the physics engine and also because of the rapid prototyping.
Throughout the course of development we had lots of ups and downs in regards to the engine but I believe that we couldn't of got the game completed as well as we did if we had just used something like OGRE or XNA like the other teams in the competition.
Q: Were you all familiar with Blender when you started? If not, was it hard to learn?
A: I had only heard of Blender as a 3D modelling and animation tool as had the rest of the team. It was only by chance we found out about Blender Game Engine (a few days into the competition we still hadn't got an engine until we stumbled upon Blender). We managed to get stuff up and running very quickly which was useful because we changed lots of the design quite regularly throughout development and Blender allowed us to do this relatively easily. None of us had ever used Python before but the other programmers and myself picked it up quickly because of its similarity to other languages.
Q: Were you aware of the Blender Institute working on their game 'Yo Frankie!' at the same time? Did you contact them for any help along the way?
We kept up to date with the progress of the Apricot project because when ever we saw something new come from them it spurred us on to think that if they can do that we should be able to make something pretty special as well. Although we never asked them for help I believe we borrowed a texture from their repository (fully credited of course).
Q: Is this related to 'Gamers get creative - Blender on the BBC, again!'?
Yea that news report is us, we are the team from Wolverhampton (I'm the guy with dreadlocks).
Q: What's next?
A: As for the future, we're currently looking into our options, we will probably be going down the route of the newly announced XBOX Live Community Games just so that we are able to gain some more exposure for the game and then hopefully we can find a way onto WiiWare. So watch this space :-)
Q: Is there a downloadable/playable version of the game somewhere?
A: If you want to play the game you can download it here [100MB RAR, Windows .exe] - and you will also need python. I don't know the exact rules or anything but basically the rights to all game materials and resources etc are all currently the intellectual property of the organisers of the competition so they are not in the public domain.
In order to run the game you will need to run the BoroToro_Keyboard.exe
If you have a wii remote, nunchuk, sensor bar and bluetooth adapter you can play the game with your those, in order to do that you will need to pair the wii remote to your PC as you would usually and then run the Wii_Below.exe or Wii_Above.exe depending on the position of the sensor bar. If all is well the wii remote should rumble for a second. Once that is done just run the BoroToro_Wii.exe
The controls for the wii version are displayed in game but they are not for the keyboard version. If I remember correctly the controls should be:
- Player movement: Left and right arrow
- Cursor movement: Mouse
- Grab object: Left mouse button (hold to grab, release to let go)
- Jump: Right mouse button (double click for double jump)
- Rotate object: Up and down arrow (while holding an object)
- Free camera look: Hold the C key and move the mouse around
I think that should be it.