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Blender is an open source 3D modeling, rendering, animation -and- realtime 3D game/simulation development system. Blender is continuously upgraded with new features and is supported by an active and helpful community ( http://www.blenderartists.org/ ).
Python scripting API for sophisticated control and AI, fully defined advanced game logic
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Blender is an invaluable tool, but it takes more than that for game development.
It could turn out to be a trap for total newbs to follow the dream of easy developing.
It takes knowledge of inner workings of things to really have them working.
Like with the plugin system Blender adopts to import/export various model formats.
Most of the times you are forced to work things out with python scripts to have Blender import your preferred model ( 3ds files to name one since latest release, not sure if fixed).
It can be fun if you get the right mood.
Python is not like any other scripting language.
It isn't some scripting language off in it's own world, but more of a reflection of all the good scripting engines, and is very easy to use.
You get an engine that is about eight times the commercial engine FPS creator in all features, for no cost.
And a modeler. The modeler is very easy to use. The name "Blender" suits it well, with features from just about any good program you can imagine, from the very first verticle in edit mode to the wrinkles on the face in sculpting mode.
The features are like no other, this program comes with everything you need.
Lets say you want a Doom 3 model.
You can even scuplt the model in multires to make extreme detail.
It isn't easy, as it is a game engine, and a modeler, it isn't going to be a point and click run.
The support is great, fast forums, fast updates.
With blender, you can go from the first verticle click, to the
very last line of code, in half the time.
Once again, this isn't exactly a cakewalk, as you actually have to type a line of code in for something to happen.
It is also not the easiest thing to learn, nothing like 3ds max, or maya or something, but still isn't a cakewalk.
However, there are more tutorials, even a "Noob-to-pro" wiki, from how to make an object to professional coding.
There are 300 page books on this program.
While blender may not be suitable for a next-gen super-game, it is good enough to get a good game based around an X-box or PS2, and definitely a game based around your own hilarity.
And definitely suitable for a movie, in any case.
Features: Model editor that is friking hard to use
Ease of Use: How can i use this? I can't even make a gun with this.
Stablity: Its okay
Support: Its okay
Its more a model editor(a really BAD one) than game maker
Blender, while possibly the greatest free modeling package----maybe the best under 500$, for that matter----is not easy to use.Period.Maybe for someone who uses gmax or 3dsmax, then it'd be easy to use, but for those of us who are only used to WYSIWYG editing, like quark, unrealed, gtkradiant....etc...then the hidden buttons(windows users do not like to "drill down" incessantly; they do that enough as it is), wacky save system,confusing screen,tiny tiny tiny buttons on the bottom of the screen and just overall Linuxness of it , make it not really an option for newbies , or those who have a bit of experience modding games, or those who want something they can see results in quickly.
I know, you blender guys hear it all the time "fix yer interface!!!" Well, that is going to continually bog Blender's acceptance as a true game engine down until you guys do so.
Blender DOES have the tools, and ability to be great.....as does this engine....but for right now, until the interface is un-linuxed....and a better save dialog is created, then this will just be for those who already know Blender.(I'm now a full linux user, BTW.....tired of windows hangups, heh.)
I have previously tried many game libraries(engines) , but Blender is simply superb !
It combines Modelling,Animation,3D WYSIWYG real-time editor,Physics,Sound and Python for programming.Simple Game logic can be implemented using GUI (no programming ! ).
Most of game engines have no Built-in editors , also you require additional libraries for physics and audio , but in Blender you get all in a pack.You can roll out a Bowling game with Blender in 30 minutes !!! , and you dont need to #include those heavy physics libs.
Workflow is excellent , since all this is under 1 Program .
I simply wonder why Blender doesnt simply sits on the top of all Open Source engines ( or maybe top 10).
For full starter book , download Blender Basics 2.42a
from here ,
There are 100 time more books and videos on the net for Blender than for any other Game Engine .
You must definitely try out this nextGen 3D Game Creation suite.
There are 3 free software products you'll need to get started into 3D development: Blender, Python and Yafray!
These 3 software downloads will enable you to:
- model everything you can imagine
- animate your models
- UV map and texture them
- apply shadereffects
- render them
- bring them to life in your games made with Blender!
Blender features 3D (will soon be replaced with a OGRE plugin for next generation graphics and speed), audio, input, game logic through Python (the easiest language in the world!), realtime physics and network functions. It's fully cross compatible, you only need one computer (doesn't matter if it's a PC with Windows or Linux or if it's a Mac) and you can compile your game to every of the supported operating systems. Blender is for everyone and everyone will be able to play your games! It's rock stable, performance wise it's not that good (it's not slow but could be faster and WILL get faster with OGRE). I would rate Stability & performance a 4.5 but since you can't give that and stability matters more then performance in my opinion, I gave it a 5. Featurewise it would be a 3 but the cross plattform support makes it go up to 4. Once OGRE will be ready for Blender this will be a 5. Ease of Use is a 3.5. It really depends how fast you understand Python. There are some good tutorials and documentation so I gave this a 4. Support is superb. Go to the blenderartists forums and you'll get any information you want. Everyone will help you - great community!
The BGE is one of the best open source engines ive came across, Great features, actauly has a GUI unlike some game engines where you have to learn a coding language to use it at all. great selection of O.S's for your games so no one gets excluded from the games you make, it isnt one of those engines where you have to go through a terrible compiling process to use, huge amounts of support, documentation and tutorials for reference
overall id give it 9.5/10
If you are a budding game developer on a limited budget, then look no further than Blender, it is everything you need. Most folks who do 3D are aware of Blender's 3D modeling and animation abilities, but many folks don't realize that Blender also has a world class game engine, complete with modern shader support (GLSL), a new physics engine (Bullet) and an easy WYSIWYG game editor. Add that to Blender's amazing 3D modeling toolset, unmatched support (at blenderartists.org) and the fact that it's free (open source) this is one hard to beat engine. Although a lot of engine's claim they are intended for "non-programmers", I found most really aren't. You can do as much or more without coding in Blender as any engine I've tried.
If you're an experienced Python programmer looking for a fast development tool, this is it. In addition to all the other features, Blender is one of the very few engines that allows you to use the exact same project on Windows, OSX and Linux machines. There are also several new developments in Blender's future (ie: integration with Ogre3D) that will make it even more attractive. I've used and evaluated about a dozen commercial game engines in the under $1,000 category and I'd rate Blender as one of the very best.
For some reason Blender has gotten a reputation for being "hard to use", something I used to think this as well. But after a couple days of digging around the interface and asking questions on the forums, I was starting to feel pretty comfortable with it.
But don't take my word for it, visit blender.org and download the latest version of Blender, then visit blenderartists.org and join the community.