You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

iPhone game developed using SIO2 and Blender: Townrs Defender


Townrs4Earlier about this week we wrote about the SIO2 game engine for the iPhone and iPod Touch. We got in touch with Prohetic Sky, who have just released their first production 'Townrs Defender', a realtime 3D fantasy game.

Oscar Baechler wrote:

Prophetic Sky Inc. is thrilled to announce the immediate release of Townrs Defender, a new game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Open Source software played a major role in the game's creation. This release brings a challenging strategic fantasy realm to the iPhone where players must defeat ruthless enemies and save their town. Choose between several magical weapons and master arcane spells, and use the terrain to your advantage. But watch out, the advancing armies outnumber you a thousand to one!

Blender was used extensively for the creation of Townrs. All of the 2D sprites are renderings of a 3D Blender pipeline, including the characters, environment and particles used for the magical spells. The Open Source SIO2 engine served an important role as well.

The SIO2 engine played a vital role in our resource management systems, including our image compression and management, sounds (coming in our next update), user control input, and iphone rendering of the 2D sprites. Additionally, in a coming update we'll be using the SIO2 particle system to have weather systems rendered over the game. In other words, almost every bell and whistle of SIO2 except its 3D capabilities :P

Play against three modes of difficulty on your iPhone or iPod Touch, and unlock a variety of hidden characters. Townrs Defender is the perfect fantasy roleplaying game for players of all ages, with hours of adventure packed into a single app.

Prophetic Sky Inc. was founded by Microsoft alumni Nick Elliott and Evan Moran in 2007, with a simple commitment to tell the world's stories through games. Prophetic Sky is located in Bellevue, WA. Townrs Defender is their debut product. For more information visit the Prophetic Sky website. The third member of their team is art director Oscar Baechler, who loves Blender with all his heart.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
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 ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I think maybe it would be reasonable to call this game a 2D isometric view hack and slash... (like Diablo? that would be a compliment :p). "Realtime 3D" is a bit misleading no? I don't know...

    It's funny to see that news because yesterday, I think Blenderhead who also own Valve's Steam have seen that another game made with Blender has appeared in the Steam store (remember Bucket of Blood?, yup, that's it...).

    I pondered if it was newsworthy for BN, but after the mini "peacenik riot" for "bucket of blood", I figured it was better jsut to mention it here...

    Anyway it's interesting to see that the market is opening for indie games and especially indie game maker using Blender.

  2. i agree. compared to car racing games and flight sims on the iphone this is not at all revolutionary graphics :P

  3. @Xenon, You can get the SDK for free, and run the app on the bundled iPhone emulator. But to put the app on a physical device(even your own for testing), you need to cough up $99USD.

  4. Hello Mike Pan - your renders are great!

    And 99$ is reasonable price for working devs, but I will rather for now search for some engine that wold alllow me produce anything without paying licenses... Blender game engine have issue with executables covered by GPL,
    that unity engine is considered standard for indie games?

  5. Thanks everyone for your feedback!

    I am the art director at Prophetic Sky, and wanted to let you know about some updates coming in the first update (coming in about a week, if Apple's approval process takes the usual amount of time.) We will be adding many things:

    1. Sound
    2. Additional levels
    3. Save & Load
    4. Balance improvements
    5. A free version
    6. And more!

  6. @Yata: because even if the BGE seems wonderful it still cannot be used for commercial project, and game devs also must eat something...

  7. @Yata: during preproduction we looked at a variety of options for how to develop the game, including a 3D version with the SIO2 engine. We wanted a high-energy, chaotic maelstrom of combat and a sense of urgency for the game, which meant throngs of enemies, lots of spells, and robust environments for the levels. On the iphone's hardware, you are looking at around 6000 polygons max, and probably 2000 to play it safe without crashing. A sprite-based pipeline looked fantastic by comparison, and better yet it meant simply rendering our existing assets, rather than painfully retooling them. This definitely helped us maintain a level of visual quality we would have otherwise lost.

  8. Congrats to the Prophetic Sky team!

    And great to read from you Oscar!!

    This really is a 'profesional game' - in appearance and game play.

    It's very very inspiring to see a company, especially partly formed by ex MS employees, use Blender as a core game pipeline too!

    It advertises Blender to other game developers and motivates people like myself who work in related media and have been planning to start developing a commerical game in the future.

    I'm very appreciative, and I'm sure everyone else here is, of your contribution to this forum and in progressing the use of Blender.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge about the polygon rendering limits of the iphone. It's this kind of information that really helps a new team save a lot of time and money by making better informed development decisions!

    Would you please be able to answer the following questions?

    1. Have you thought about sharing more development information? I know time is money, and knowledge is power (sometimes it seems we should protect what we have had to learn the hard and expensive way ourselves), but as you are already using a free tool - Blender - that has been contributed to by many many hours of free work from others...
    >>>Would your team consider open sourcing some of your development knowledge?
    Perhaps not everything - so no one can immediately jump in and make a copy-cat game - but just the basics on integrating Blender into your pipeline, for example, working with Blender and SIO2?
    There was a recent post on this forum by a flash game team who blogged on their game page with some information on the development process.
    This reciprocal sharing - you get to use Blender for free and contribute back at least 1 blog page on developing some basic parts of your game with Blender etc, would really increase your 'cool' in this community, increase your site traffic, and potentially get you more customers at least from curious developers!

    2. Has your team looked at using Blender for developing games for other platforms? If so, which platforms? (Have you checked out and looked at potentially developing for this platform?)

    3. What are the good/bad things your team has found working with Blender and SIO2 and what could be improved?

    Just 3 questions - sorry for the long desciption of number 1.

    We look forward to your reply!

    And thanks again.

  9. @blndrusr--Thanks for the feedback! We try to put out quality products, and it wouldn't have been possible without Blender's terrific framework, and also the support of Blender's community.

    To answer your questions:

    1. Why, funny you mention this...I'll be submitting a presentation proposal for Blender Conference 2009 later tonight ;)
    2. Once again, funny you mention this, and once again Blender Conference ;) Suffice to say, we will definitely be providing some polished tours and resources about our production pipeline and business solutions at a later date.
    3. I unfortunately didn't handle any of the coding side of things, so I couldn't tell you much about SIO2. As for Blender, I love it! The one tool I really yearned for is thankfully coming in Blender 2.5. I am a poor hand at coding, but in college when I used Maya, I nonetheless picked up much of the basics of MELscripting just by seeing what got spat back at me in their macro recorder. I had wanted for some time to learn Python using the same method so I could learn how to make quick automation tools, but haven't been able to. Luckily, it's shown off in the newest Blender 2.5 tour!

    I know that for now these are totally cop-out answers or NDA related :p But I hope they help, and expect more information on Prophetic Sky's processes in weeks to come.

  10. Thanks Oscar!

    I look forward to reading/watching your presentation and tour sometime. Please email Bart once you've have that info up!

    Yeah - 2.5's realtime feedback from the editor - if this is what you are refering to - will help a lot of artists.

    Cheers for the quick reply and good luck with future ventures!!

  11. I'm not sure if this would be considered a full 3D game. It's more like a 2D game with 3D graphics. Maybe you should call it 2.5D? :D

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.