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Just one and a half weeks since we started using the bge, and the progress has been insane. There’s way too much for one post.

GLSL is now integrated in the BGE, just enable it in the game menu to preview it in the 3d view, and it’ll look exactly the same when you press P. Support for nodes, multiple uv layers, all blending modes, stencil maps for splatting, color ramps for that precious falloff, and much more. One more week like this and my grin will be permanent.

Ever wanted shape keys to work in the game engine? Well support for shape keys has been added! There’s a brand new actuator called “Shape Action”. Grab yourself an apricot build and go nuts. And there’s been some really impressive speedups to the game engine. Just enable “Vertex Arrays” in your preferences and “Generate Display Lists” from the game menu for the fastest performance. Our test scene gets almost twice the frame rate. The devs helping us are really doing amazing things.. Things are really progressing quickly.

Have a look at our latest demo from the BGE, showing some new gameplay and playing with new features like glsl. Most of the main actions for Frankie have been added, plus a small environment to play around in while we work on the world for the game. Things are getting really exciting around here. We’ll post more progress this weekend, and, if anyone is interested, we may be looking for help soon. More info on that later. Of course one really big way to help this project is to pre-order the DVD!.



Download the ogg file

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GLSL shading is now in blender, thanks to the work of our rockstar coder Brecht. Just enable it in your preferences under System & OpenGL, and change to the shaded draw type. Among other amazing things, this means normal maps in 3d view!

Along with this also comes the ability to paint multiple textures directly onto your objects using texture paint mode in the 3d view. Because with glsl blender can draw materials with texture stacks that contain stencil maps, splatting grass and dirt onto your terrain is as simple as using texture paint mode with a stencil map assigned to the uvs. It’s such a beautiful thing. Watch the video to learn how this is done. The idea is that this same texture stack will then be exported to crystal space for splatting for the game.




Download the .ogg file
Download the blend file from the video

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After reconsidering the level design we settled on the more practical and beneficial approach to split up that massive terrain into a set of 5 ‘islands’, each of them themed, and, perhaps one for the community. Here are some basic level shots of the first island in blender. We’ll have some in-game screenshots posted soon. The ground textures are not splatted yet, just blocked in. You’ll hear more about this later, because there’s actually a lot of exciting information to share.

There’s also Mandy, the latest addition to the Apricot cast. Fur is something still to be worked out, so no texture for now. We have big plans for Mandy.


screen4 screen4 screen4 screen4


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Here’s a peek at the base terrain for the Apricot world. As it stands now, the dimensions are around 3km by 3km. Platform objects like slabs of rock and other terrain features are being created separately. Feedback is welcome but will be totally ignored, because I’m an artist and can’t handle criticism. No, if anyone has any ideas, of course we’d love to hear them, especially at this stage and especially about terrain. Although more comments about apricot rocket launcher cheat codes will still be considered.

To create the terrain, I started by painting a pretty simple black and white height map in Gimp and then applied it to a subdivided plane through the displacement modifier in Blender. After modifying the height map a bit to produce a result that was good enough to work with, I applied the filter and then used sculpting for then on. It had taken a few attempts to figure out an efficient technique to create a massive chunk of terrain while still having a decent amount of control over the proportions, which was extremely important and difficult in this case considering the main character(Frankie) is only like half of a meter long.

This week we’ll be working on texturing this with splatting and getting it all into Crystal Space. Also below is some concept art.

world2t world1t

wellt tree1t platformt house2t house1t bridge2t bridge1t

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