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Aug 11

DVD Content: Your Choice!

icon1 venomgfx | icon2 DVD Content, Random Fluff, Uncategorized | icon4 08 11th, 2008

So.. the project is coming to an end. 🙁 Today is 10th, Chris’ flight is August 30th, and mine is 31th, that makes 20 days of work from now, we made a daily schedule till the very last day.ScheduleAAAARRGHH

With the time we have from now, we managed to split it in a way we could continue wrapping up the game, and still have enough time to invest in the most important aspect of the Apricot Open Game Project, Documentation!

Basically, on my side I will be working one more week (next one) in the game itself, then move completely to work full day on Tutorials/Documentation (the week after), then the last week will be for making the design for the DVD and content. On Chris’ side, he will work on the game for a bit more, since now there is mostly work to do in the Logic/Python and special effects, something he is very good on 🙂 with the online help of Campbell who is working from home back in Australia, he’s the most busy of all of us i think, among all the additions to Blender and fixes, he made literally magic with the logic, making the gameplay a charm, oh and by the way he already got the BlenderPlayer to work! So Runtimes are possible now with GLSL and complicated Python stuff (Mathutils), all in one double-click-and-run file! 😀

So, as said before, the most important aspect of the project is Documentation, because “ok.. is very nice to have this little game and characters and everything, now you say we could make our own levels and expand the game with more episodes, but how do you expect us to do that?”, and not only that, because you, the people, the main sponsors, need to have something back for your support, not only the finished game but a lot of documentation and tutorials up-to-date with all the new features in Blender, and clear instructions in how to proceed to make new stuff.

At this point, thinking about the DVD content, what is the best way to keep this project as open as it is now? and make it *more* open?, let’s ask them what they want to have in the DVD!, we are not making it for ourselves, we are making it for them!.

So here is the list of tutorials we have in mind till now, tell us what you think about them and drop any suggestions for new ones. We have scheduled to work on them the week after this one, so there is time to think about.

Me (Pablo):

  • Lighting: Baking Lightmaps, AAO, Shadows..
  • Characters: Pipeline, how to make from scratch the modeling, texturing, simple rigging, shapekeys (ipodrivers) in real time, linking. Tips.
  • Overview through new features (there are so many! in UV editor, mesh editing, animation wise, GLSL and sooo on). Tips & Tricks.
  • Logo?


  • Trees: *huge* topic in Game development, making trees from scratch, texturing them, optimizations.
  • Extend YoFrankie!: Explanation in what you need to make a new level, put all the assets on, enemies, power-ups, making ledges to grab on, loop-the-loops, and sooo on.
  • Overview through new features in the BGE, GLSL, splatting, etc.


  • Overview of Frankie’s logic – Explain each state, property and object in frankies group.
  • Break Frankie’s logic into 5-10 blend files each with an element of frankies logic, so its not as confusing.
  • Tutorial on adding a new action – we have tailwhip, kick, throw, you might want to add another ;-)
  • Enemies, overview of their logic – how to use the same logic for multiple enemies, adding some variation.
  • New features in logic bricks and python api, and now we used them.
  • If this doesn’t take too long Ill go into details for the enemies and do some screencasts too.
  • There is some overlap with game logic and level design, Chris and I will share this.

Now is your turn to tell us what you think about this list, and don’t hesitate in leaving your suggestions for more tutorials/documentation.

On the Crystal Space side, Dariusz and Frank already made tutorials, that you will find in the DVD, covering Scripting (main character, NPC’s, interaction), Linking, Shaders making, and so on.
But feel free to suggest/request CS-related tutorials anyway. There’s some chance Frank or Dariusz might have time for them.

Yo Frankie tshirtIs your DVD! you choose what to have inside, and if it is still not yours, go grab your copy here! and support this project, by the way the new Yo Frankie! t-shirts are already in the e-shop, among with the brand new design for the Blender ones. 🙂

That’s all folks! 🙂

PS: First picture: my schedule, slowly starts to get more annotations on it, next to it is my Pocoyo toy I got back in Barcelona, and the reason why I’m awake most of the time.. Coffee!, Red Bull and the nice caffeine gums I got from the guys in Denmark (yes, they are legal).

82 Responses

  1. venomgfx on

    @ Pappenheimer, good to know!, nice tip for the owners of similar cards, the rat crashes blender? What version are you using? remember, the latest, the better.

    @ Deloince jp, that sounds good! and sorry I just talked about your game but didn’t actually answer your question about spot lamps, no support for shadows other than Spots lamps for now, but i think a sun lamp to make shadows to everything would be very heavy for the gpu, but maybe there are workarounds for this, you can always bake! 🙂

  2. Pappenheimer on

    I made several tests with installing different drivers for the ati card, although not everything looks as it is supposed to, I can load now almost all blend files from the svn folders. What are ‘fragment shaders’? – when I load the piranha level blender can’t link them – do we need shader model 3.0 for the piranha level? The piranha level is unbearable slow. Is it possible to sort the textures similar for all models? – this way one can use at least blender multitexture for low end computers.
    (I use Apricot 15606 and Apricot 19532.)

  3. Vexelius on

    For now, I’m stuck with an Intel Mobile card, which is the main reason I’ve been unable to do anything valuable… Not even render sometimes! But in a few days I’ll be returning home, and my PC has an ATI… So, Pappenheimer, does Blender has issues with that card? Do you think it would be better to get an nVIDIA?

  4. Pappenheimer on

    I still hope to solve the issues with the right driver, but when I’m going to buy a new card then I probably choose a nvidia.

  5. oldjim on

    @ venomgfx
    Thanx for answering the Questions so fast.

    With Render to Textur I mean that what a Camera reders is displayed on a Texture:
    Special the part whit the mirror at the end of the video…

  6. Vexelius on


    Alright, thanks… As soon as I get home, I’ll start trying drivers too. Though, as I’ll be on a videogame project soon, maybe it’ll be better to start thinking on an nVIDIA for me… 🙁

  7. Deloince jp on

    So I will experiment with bake, but that it will not slow down the games if there is
    two textures by object in the level, one for the area and the other for shadows,
    with the addition of adding bump maping?
    Thank you for your valuable answer (and everyone said)

  8. Patrick on

    I would like to see as many video tutorials as possible that demonstrate the production work-flow from Blender to Crystal Space.

    For example, a video that shows a simple level with game logic and a character that is exported to the Crystal Space Engine and published as an .exe executable.



  9. Pappenheimer on

    When loading the piranha level from pro/bge/levels blenders notices ‘LIB ERROR: can’t find MAMaterial.001’ and ‘LIB ERROR: can’t find TEI.radialblend_01.png’.
    The other notice is in detail: ‘GPUShader: linking error: Fragment shader(s) failed to link, vertex shaders linked.’

  10. fooguru on


    The game is looking great! Me and my friends are looking for a engine + editor. Does “Yo Frankie” use BlenderGameEngine or CrystalSpace? If not CS then why did you guys switch to BGE? Was there any problems with CS and Blender?

    Thank you

  11. Razvan on

    Working with lights in the current blender2crystal is very hard

    the lights doesn’t look exactly like you see them in blender..

    so i would like to see more tutorials about lights in blender2crystal

    Thank You !

  12. Manuel R. Ciosici on

    @venomgfx on August 12th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Yeap, DTP = DeskTop Publishing, I thought you might need some for the text tutorials .

  13. Campbell (ideasman42) on

    @BMud & friends,

    Regarding game logic, here’s a brief rundown of what Id like to document.

    * Overview of Frankie’s logic – Explain each state, property and object in frankies group.

    * Break Frankie’s logic into 5-10 blend files each with an element of frankies logic, so its not as confusing.

    * Tutorial on adding a new action – we have tailwhip, kick, throw, you might want to add another 😉

    * Enemies, overview of their logic – how to use the same logic for multiple enemies, adding some variation.

    * New features in logic bricks and python api, and now we used them.

    – If this doesn’t take too long Ill go into details for the enemies and do some screencasts too.
    – There is some overlap with game logic and level design, Chris and I will share this.

    PS – Will use for all docs, great markup tool.

  14. J on

    I think it would be neat if you guys could host the New Levels people create (Or at least a page with links to new levels).

  15. oldjim on

    yea that idea of J is great.
    Have a site where all the new levels and Modes of YoFrankie are Hostet.

  16. DS-74 on

    First I want to say that I am very happy to see such massive progres in BGE and
    related areas.I have some questions regarding final version of tools and BGE
    (Blender 2.50 if I remember correctly).I know that this topic is about DVD content, but time
    is short so here we go…

    First question: resolution.
    Usually when you play game and framerate is too low you can set screen resolution
    to lower and that often helps(I suppose this has something to do with:
    Lower resolution of the screen mean less pixels to draw so less processing power needed
    and in effect faster time of drawing frame).

    The problem is that when I tested performance of Blender exe game(compiled from modified
    version of famous FPS template from blenderartist) using BAT file to change resolution
    of window to lower and lower there was no noticeable(or at all) changes in framerate.
    (I think it has something to do with predefined resolution during compilation).
    The other thing is that when you regulate 3d window in Blender by hand framerate
    can change.I would like to ask if you can implement some kind of function for resolution
    switching(triggered from Python or Logic Brick) with predefined set of resolution to chose
    (640×480, 800×600 and so on) and use without need to restart game. I dont know if external
    window would be needed for that purpose but I think that something like that is
    VERY IMPORTANT for performance testing and of course for end user.

    Second question is(again) about performance.It often happens that people with similar setup
    and the same operating system have very big difference in frame rate using exactly the same BLEND
    file even with proper drivers and configuration. Can this problem be solved?
    I’m asking because I’m very curious about effects of optimization mentioned in post
    “Optimizing GLSL” by Brecht.Being unable to say if game will work properly on different
    machine can be serious drawback. If optimisation can solve this problem that would be,
    in my opinion, one of the greatest achievements of Apricot project.

    Sorry if questions above were answered before or answers are so obvious that nobody would ask
    but I really want to know and I think that asking questions here where people working directly
    on Blender can answer is the best way.

    With regard to tutorials – can you include information what to avoid during production
    (like “remember that textures should be power of 2,so blender dont have to scale them in memory
    what takes time” or information on proper setup of logic bricks(for example how to setup them
    in a way without constant triggering every second when they need trigger only once),mistakes which can
    kill performance but are easy to avoid.

    Thank you for this project and best regards for whole team.

    P.S. I know that my english is not perfect, hope you understand ^__^.

  17. Hectichermit on

    Great work Guys Glad to see BGE being amped up. One tutorial I would like to see, That I didn’t see posted in the comments was parallax mapping…I was just wondering if BLender had this capability?

  18. kernel_script on


    “@ kernel_script, thanks for the link!, and the kind words 🙂 have a nice day too!”

    You’re welcome! 😀

  19. MatrixNAN on

    Hey Guys,

    I think a how to for creating Model Libraries for linking for a project. Also how to for doing duplicate link groups. Its simple but still very important. You might want to cover the differences from static mesh and other setups. I know I want to see as much as possible on the Python Blender Game API. How to make the Menus in the BGE would be wonderful.

    How to bake out textures and do self shadowing. How to do animated shaders in real time and manipulate them in real time with user based interactions. Covering the Real Time shading going over the limitations so that we know what we can and can not do. Also would be nice if you could cover performance tricks on the art side and on the python code side. How bind the real time lighting to a character and make the light not visible in game.

    How to turn visibility of objects on and off based on proximity of the character. How To LOD, Level Of Detail, if possible. Effects how to do them in the BGE. Your lava looks awesome and so does the spurts of lava flying into the air.

    How to animate for games might be good for newbies to game development. Probably want to cover counters on characters for points and hit damage etc. How to for Spawning enemies.

    A how to on LOD texture size based on the distance from the camera in the shading network if this is possible. I have an idea in my head on how to do this, but I have not tested it out yet.

    I think most of the topics for how to with blender are already covered in the other DVDs on sale in the blender store. I think people just need to buy them and this DVD should not be the end all for all things in Blender. Not to mention if they buy them then it also helps fund blender further.

    Nate Nesler

  20. MatrixNAN on

    Oh yes I left out one more how to. A how to on end users computer performance test so that recommended default settings can be made in the Menus for the player.

    Nate Nesler

  21. Enger Bewza on

    DS-74, i did not have time to read your post, but it looks like you want to change the game res to get higher fps,

    when you are in you buttons window, press f10, to go to your render settings, in the buble that says “format”, yo’ll see somthing called “game framing settings”, that should do it, at least i think so.

  22. venomgfx on

    thanks a lot for your feedback, I already started working on documentation here, all your responses are very important, hope not to miss anything!

  23. Dawisch on

    I don’t know if you have already covered this, but a level design tutorial would be awsome!

  24. Eduard - Gabriel Munteanu on

    It’s actually pretty hard to take the right decision of which way to go from here. As I see it, Apricot has to do two main things:
    1) Make a very good impression so it’s picked up outside the open source community – this is where graphics comes in.
    2) Make the life easier for the new artist/coder – writing docs and tutorials.

    I think the decision should belong to the developers (both artists and coders). They know what’s missing. And they should pay more attention to attracting new artists, because that’s where open source games lack manpower.

    So I’d say optimizing is not too important. Given the fact that many commercial games are poorly optimized for what visual quality they offer, Apricot can afford to have a slow start here. Code improvements will always come, but it’s important to establish a userbase of gamers.

    And here is an interesting fact that comes to mind here: gamers usually make good quality contributions, even to commercial games, in the form of mods. Probably higher quality than the casual open source art contributer. Making ‘Yo Frankie!’ easily extensible (either through writing good and easy to read docs, or by creating a content editor) will harness this manpower. And they will appreciate the game even more then.

    To see what I’m talking about, just take a look at how Bethesda’s TES games (Morrowind, Oblivion) attract modders, which generate huge amounts and quality of content. Which isn’t all that different from how open source works.

    Hope this helps.

  25. DS-74 on

    Eduard, I don’t agree with you.
    Even if game looks great, but is unplayable on most of machines
    what will come from that?
    Imagine hundreds of people on forums saying “I can play Crisis,
    Unreal 3, PutAnyGameHere, but this
    game is so slow that I didn’t had patience to continue 5 minutes after I started”.
    I know many interesting Demos from Blenderartist and almost all of them suffer
    because of low Framerate, and most of them have quite simple graphic.
    In my opinion game don’t have to be the most beautiful in the world,but should not
    be ugly.Keep in mind that greatest games in history not always had shiny graphic,
    it’s often gameplay makes them unique, and when everything is lagging enjoying
    good gamplay is almost impossible. I agree that good graphic is important to atract
    new people but without proper optimisation it doesn’t matter much.
    I think that bug fixing and optymisation are very improtant.

    By the way, I’m very happy that everything is back online ^__^.

  26. Eduard - Gabriel Munteanu on

    Optimization is surely important, I didn’t mean the game should increase visual quality without regard to performance.

    What I’m saying is Apricot targets gamers and therefore it could be expected to have a, let’s say, GeForce 6600 as a minimum requirement. And gamers usually do buy better hardware than this. I don’t see making Apricot run on lower-end cards as a priority right now.

  27. DS-74 on

    Eduard I know that, but as far as I know there are problems even on setup which meet requirements, if
    you want example look at posts
    number 56 and 57 under “Environment update, shadow maps!”.
    What I mean is if BGEngine
    will not work correctly it dosen’t
    matter what highend computer you
    have,problem will still be there.
    Optimisation here is not only for slower machines, it is to make engine work PROPERLY.

  28. Eduard - Gabriel Munteanu on

    Oh, now I see what you mean. If I understand correctly, this happens when running under BGE. I hope this gets solved once those levels get ported to run under a CrystalSpace-only environment. At least, that’s what I expect, since BGE is a rapid prototyping tool and CS is supposed to scale better.

    Well, I suppose it’s going to be a lot of work to do _after_ the game is released. Porting the other levels and logic to CS could be an important milestone. This is harder for non-coders, but it’s nevertheless very important.

    BTW… although I didn’t take a look at how Apricot reads logic in the CS environment, I think it would be neat to have scriptable level logic (describing goals and such). Let gamers work with a simpler level description language and let coders port worthy ideas into Apricot’s C++ core.

  29. 3D Artist on

    I want to see tutorials on how to make a game with just logicbricks. I am an artist, and the BGE being the easiest game engine to use with logicbricks is the greatest selling point. Show me low-poly cartoon character modelling, shadows, menus, projectiles, particles (rocket trails), animation, rigging, explosions, & an overhead map. The BSOD.pdf was more direct than the GameKit book & I want tutorials that are direct – without opinions, stories, extra fluff. Just show me how to shoot a projectile, change a health bar & make an enemy explode, & keep score, & spawn points. If you can show the world how easy logicbricks are & how easy it is to prototype a game in BGE more people will use it. Every other game engine is discouraging. Make some simple tutorials that people’s moms & little kids can use. Seriously. Plus, some python basics in easy to understand format. I am an artist, not a programmer.
    Great job on YoFrankie. The animations and GFX bring it to life. Your game doesn’t run well on my dual-core Intel mobile GFX machine. Runs well in wireframe mode. I’ll try running the game in lower resolution, or make an .exe in lowres. Why does Intel give me 200MB+ of video-RAM and no Hardware T&L? Bad Intel. My 1.6ghz dualcore would have been a screaming workstation in the year 2000. Now Vista has to eat up my resources. Can someone please compile Blender/Apricot on BEOS/Haiku? I’m gonna buy a UMPC to turn Apricot into a gameboy device so my non-tech friends can play it. Apricot on UMPC/MID would be awesome! – someone try this plz. Most people who are gamers buy GameBoys/DS/PSPs & consoles, not $3000-AlienWare desktops. Great work guys, I’m buying a DVD. Hopefully you have superfast shipping.

  30. Eduard - Gabriel Munteanu on

    @3D Artist
    I think you’re right about making life easier. But please don’t bash Intel, their cards are (very?) low-end and they do advertise them as so. Having more video RAM is cheap and can get you running a few 3D apps and older games decently, but it’s not intended for gaming.

    Regarding running Apricot on BeOS/Haiku… you might have better chances with Haiku (taking into account BeOS is discontinued). Since it’s open source, it could be expected Apricot will be picked up by the Haiku (distro) creators. But I doubt Apricot’s creators will build the full software stack needed to run the game on BeOS/Haiku by themselves.

  31. 3D Legomaniac Artist on

    I’m gonna start a Haiku Bounty for Apricot []. I want a tutorial on flying – 4 both animate creatures and inanimate spaceships.

  32. venomgfx on

    * GLSL:
    – glsl_vertexcolor_ao.avi [01:31]
    – glsl_ambientcolors.avi [02:43]
    – glsl_multicolormist.avi [04:44]

    * Lighting:
    – lighting_bakingaoandshadowmaps.avi [04:41]

    * New Features:
    – nf_ipo_features.avi [07:19]

    and the list continues..