If you can recall a previous article, the Blender Game Engine is currently undergoing huge developments led by Entertainment Arts Research. Here's a 'brief' update of some of the new things we're seeing appearing currently, plus a more recent demonstration video of Yo Frankie.
First off Ben2610 has finished approximately 5 rounds of BGE optimizations, bringing huge speedups to the engine, with more optimizations to come. So far the Scenegraph, Rasterizer and Logic have all been optimized and Modifier support has been added. See this thread for the discussion and links to more details on each individual optimization. Of course we now also have these updates, which includes occlusion culling and view frustrum culling (with manual setup) plus loads of other smaller things and a good bunch of bug fixes (listed at the bottom of the page).
Here's a list of threads on BA demonstrating some more new stuff:
- New Shaders
- Soft Shadows + Alpha Shadows
- Iterative Parallax Mapping
- Steep Parallax Mapping
- Tweaked Parallax Mapping
There's also a couple of new sensors: a advanced collision sensor and a 'Tap' sensor (see the quote below)
"You guys should also be getting excited about the new "Tap" sensor option which makes it easy to do jump logic with just 2 sensors and an actuator, no properties, states, python which were needed before."
And finally there has been a '2.49 demo pack' call for content, to replace the older graphics and physics demo available for download on the Blender.org download page. So if you have anything cool which demonstrates new features be sure to submit them to this thread.
MatrixNAN writes about some of the things we can expect to see happening soon:
"Next up this month after the logic speed up from Benoit is the Rasterizer. Yeah we know about the problems with the rasterizer and its several areas about 10 or so that need to be optimized with regards to the rasterizer some of them have to do with Blender itself and not even the game engine. The lighting needs more work for the BGE and I think some optimizations with regards to the lighting will be needed.
Benoit will be implementing the LOD system this month so don't worry about the LOD system. We have done a lot of planning with the LOD system and its a very good one. Also Campbell is finishing up the Path Finding logic system and its very very cool. Jason Fu has the Iterative Mapping working also. Mike Pan is working on the Real SSS Skin Shading in Real Time it looks very very good. We have been looking through the managed shader system and we are starting to implement some of the features. Don't know how many features we will implement but we will do as many as we can I think. The white box is coming along more and more and big thanks for all of the help from the community on the white box template.
As far as the Physics are concerned thats very welcomed. The Physics is something that we have not been working on so any improvements to that or integrating Bullet further into Blender would be very welcomed. We have also contracted Benoit out to do the Multi-Threading so you can expect that in 3 months from the end of this month. Campbell will be implementing the DXT5 after the path finding system is done. "
Recently posted on the Yo Frankie site is a new video: (note that this is not using 2.49, yet)
"Here's a new run-through of the game in the Blender game engine, this time with the music playing in the game, 4x antialiasing, and a decent frame rate. There's also a multiplayer demo at the end. ENABLE HQ after pressing play.
Seen the massive surge in BGE projects and development after Apricot? We're trend setting rockstars."
Mind-blowingly awesome. I don't want to skip over that fact.
Just curious, through... As of 2.48, the BGE is still using the old fake ortho camera, instead of the "new" (version 2.37a) scale-based "True Ortho" (Release notes, scroll down to read about the feature I'm talking about.). With all of these BGE improvements in 2.49, will we finally get True Ortho in the BGE?
Regardless, though, this is massive. I can't wait to play with all of these new goodies!
Alex, the Yo Frankie video isn't using 2.49, and doesn't show any of the latest advancements. It's just a better quality video than we had before, that's all. Campbell has been keeping on top of Yo Frankie though, making sure everything is running in the latest Blender and optimizing the scenes to take advantage of the massive speed-ups and other developments.
Sounds like some very sweet stuff!
Been following the E.A.R thread since it started and I'm so excited by the progress!! I just brought the Blender Game Kit 2 and I'm really looking forward to the progress this project is going to make on the BGE.
It's good that Campbell and others are enhancing Yo Frankie and working closely with the enhancements done so far!
CHEERING YOU ON FROM THE UK GUYS!!!!
Sorry Blengine, I misinterpreted your post on the blog. Ive corrected it now.
While it is certainly nice that the game engine gets faster, this doesn't change the fact that Yo Frankie is unplayable. I do play jump and run games like Super Mario (64, Sunshine, Galaxy...) but Yo Frankie is just not fun. Frankie moves like a freaking car! Absolutely not like one expects from a jump and run. When I push the analog stick to the left, the character has to run to the left (in relation to the screen!!) not *turn* left. WTF!? I just wasn't able to adapt to that strange kind of character movement. Who had THAT idea??
Oh and I also wasn't able to pick up a sheep. How do you do that? Also navigation and jumping in general is extremely difficult. Franky just doesn't move like one would expect. And why is it not possible to reassign the keys of a gamepad?
Well I really like blender, but Yo Frankie is a completely failed experiment in my opinion. Sorry.
panzi, you bring up a wonderful point. The CrystalSpace version of the game had what you and I would call proper controls. Press left, run left. Press up, run up. Unfortunately, only one level was set up for CrystalSpace, and it has some glaring hardware compatibility problems.
I've tried and tried to set up a rig in Blender's game engine for a natural (non-tank) control style, but I haven't been able to do it. If someone has, PLEASE tell me how or send me a sample .blend. (owenswerk-AT-gmail.com)
I loved the ambition of Yo Frankie, and a lot of great tools development came out of it, but here's hoping the next open game has usable controls and better compatibility.
PS: Latest trunk (revision 20320) seg faulted on exit when running Yo Frankie directly from the DVD using this command:
./install/linux2/blenderplayer /media/Yo\ Frankie\!/game/blender_game_engine/levels/start_menu.blend
A seg fault on exit isn't that of an annoyance, I didn't even mention that there was a seg fault until I took a deeper look at the shell output. Still, a segfault means there is an issue.
It failed to be a game, but it was good enough as proof of concept for the game engine to help save it from the gallows and inspire a revolution. That's not a complete failure in my opinion, especially when the main goal of the project was blender development. So go suck a lemon. The one and only good thing about that crystal space travesty was how fantastic it made the bge look by contrast, though there's a lot to be said about an ability like that.
Great! Are these updates going to be in the completed 2.49 build?
I'm not speaking about the BGE. I'm only speaking about Yo Frankie. However, I bought the DVD and I would do it again, just to sponsor blenders development.
Alex Delderfield (AD-Edge),
Guys, all these advances, I am unable to participate in these ambitious projects
that will revolutionize every faith the Blender game engine, because I do not have
any theoretical knowledge in programming, this limit my work to create real time
I am a consumer of software and not a creator. You are magicians without which,
we sculptors from Worlds virtual, we would not ... And I have this question in my
closet for the moment only the spots have brought shadows, you will soon have
for the Lamp, Aera, Sun, Hemi, shadows in real time in Blender GE?
Sincerely Deloince Jp
"Frankie moves like a freaking car! " - lol, Ok some improvements to do for sure. Im still going to maintain it and add some features every so often. Some time I might rework the movement and add strafe though with a simple gamepad this is tricky.
Something missed in this report is the huge number of BugFixes that have been done to the BGE since 2.48a. Even though users think in terms of Features mostly, keep in mind that developing a game should be a much less frustrating experience in 2.49.
With LOD and other improvements GE gets more and more suitable for my purposes with virtual reality :)
Only if it was possible to dynamically load models during execution, Blender would be an excellent tool for VR also. Are there any plans for this?
Deloince jp, I'm not a blender developer, just a consumer of software as well that meandered into a favorable position to apply some leverage towards bge development. The sculptors are a force for software marketing and its development. There's a lot of influence there. That's the point behind the open projects at the BI, to get artists in a room with a goal and subject the devs to their every whim. Tools making tools for tools.
Panzi, I was speaking about both.. But either way, here's looking forward to another and more successful open game project... which doesn't seem completely ruled-out anymore. BGE from day one this time, no screwing around with B2CS and its pipsqueak dev.
Blengine your comments on CS always make me laugh :)
"It failed to be a game, but it was good enough as proof of concept for the game engine to help save it from the gallows and inspire a revolution. That's not a complete failure in my opinion, especially when the main goal of the project was blender development. So go suck a lemon. The one and only good thing about that crystal space travesty was how fantastic it made the bge look by contrast, though there's a lot to be said about an ability like that."
Exactly, all good points. Yo Frankie was successful in more ways that most people realize, and started the BGE down a new path which I don't think anyone could have foreseen (we're only just seeing the start now).
Good times ahead for the BGE!
regarding 'Yo Frankie', I did not pre-order it because the fact that it would not use Blender Game Engine. I felt sore when it turned out that the game did in the end use BGE. Meh.
Good to see the BGE getting the attention it deserves as not that long ago even the regular Blender devs looked down on it. Now the only problem left is finally being able to produce protected blend files or non GPL game executables to finally get this engine used for real in the indie marked.
@Campbell Barton (ideasman42):
Strafe is not what we (jump-n-run gamers) want either. Strafe-left/-right and turn-left/-right are both movement types you've got in FPS games. Yo Frankie is no FPS. You cannot play a 3-person jump and run with FPS controls. No 3D jump and run I ever tried did use such controls (and I played/tried others than Super Mario, e.g. Rayman). I made some illustrations to show you what I mean (images+descriptions).
Strafe (FPS like):
Jump and Run:
Because my internet connection sucks again I have no idea whether my last posting was successful and only awaits moderation therefore I post it again. Or the parts I can remember (gah!).
"Strafe" isn't right for a jump and run either. That would be a FPS. Movement in jump and runs is like I said. Here I made illustrations to make it even more clear (images+description text):
Tank like (current behaviour):
FPS like (strafe):
Jump and Run like:
This is such a wonderful time for real time graphics.