Here are the latest environment shots from the island and the lava levels, with shadow maps(shadows+ao), and props all around like grass that’s the wrong color green, flowers, mushrooms, logs, etc.. There are things that still need to be finished, like fx(note the lava platforms are supported now!), water, lighting, sky, and animated WATER. Make some noise if you’d like to see Brecht add a decent alternative to animation maps for animated textures! No promises, but he’s thinking about it.

I’ll finish up with these levels this weekend and then next week is a big week. Everything starts getting wrapped up into a complete package. Pablo starts working on documentation, Campbell is finishing up with enemy AI, and now we’ve even got pesky rats running around! Moraes Junior (aka mangojambo) has been making brilliant animations and will continue with this too. Next week we’ll be posting a video or two showing some special effects and gameplay.

73 Responses to “Environment update, shadow maps!”
  1. Great work!!!

    Those shadow and amb occ maps really add some depth to the game!

    One question, are they generated automatically, or do you still have to bake then via creating an image, unwrap the mesh, and then bake? It would be neat if there was a tog button in the mat properties which specifies whether or not the object will recieve light baking, and a slider to specify resolution.

    The improvements done in this project have been absolutely amazing, and as it comes to a close,
    I leave you with the personal hope that you’ll do another one:)

    NOISE NOISE NOISE (is that enough noise? :)

  2. awww yeeaa +1 ^ NOISE!!


    Great Job!

  4. Wiii!!! *NOISE* I want to see water in the BGE!

  5. Dr. Dangers says:

    Holy chimichangas that looks amazing.


    I’m getting all excited inside!

  6. so awesome.
    *bangs pots and pans together*
    bring on the water!

  7. The screenshots look wonderful! With those shadowmaps almost no model in the levels need shaders, right? If possible, I would like to see a version of at least one level completely without shaders, because the mess with my ATI card and its drivers don’t let me enjoy the shaders, AND because I would like to have the opportunity to make levels which run on machines with low specs.

  8. Wow I’m impressed. Shadow maps even for the trees?

  9. let me elaborate on that a little more… Even on the leaves?

    Why not have dynamic shadows like in Crysis? Besides the hardware requirements


    Your doing a great Job . cant wait to see what Brecht will come up whit.

    Also I wonder if you have seen my Post in the (DVD Content: Your Choice! #55)
    So I will repeat it here
    @ 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…
    Will this funktion be integradet in to Blender and will you write a tutorial on how to use it?
    This would be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOO

    Thanx for all your awsome work.

  11. Firewater49 says:

    Nice… However several features I would like to see implemented into the BGE are, render to texture, an animated Texture/Video PLayer (That works with, “Use Blender Materials”. And last, probably the Most important is a simple GUI System… So Maybe something simple like PYGAME?

  12. BlenderLovingSquirrel says:


    Hey wow, that looks like PS3 graphics man, no kidding. The graphics look so awesome it’s amazing.

  13. I also hae posted this earyer but nobody replyed to it.

    If somone will make a Frankie with differen colored “Bandana’s” on his head. I would try to make a Multiplayer Game using the WSAG ( or setup for iz.
    The differen differen colored “Bandana’s” are there to make differen Player Teams.
    I think this would be a great Nut trow Multiplayer game :)

  14. quote(Firewater49):
    “…and last, probably the Most important is a simple GUI System…”

    I seconde that!! I’ve been really wanting one for a long time. Making guis manually in Blender is not fun (for me).


  16. Water with reflection and refraction like crystalspace PLEEEEEEASE BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

  17. BlenderLovingSquirrel says:

    come on ya’ll raise da ruuF!

  18. Beautiful Screens! Great work!!

    NOISE * ∞

    Enough noise for you? 😉

  19. Really great screens!! And what about the steam column? is that paticles? Are particles been introduced in BGE?

    NOISE from me too anyway!!

  20. squareline says:

    Nice Work!
    The shadow-map looks a bit dark, may setup col about 0.6, but i think you working on it yet :)

    For the water funs:
    No chance for water reflect/refract, for Brecht only have two hands and need sometime to sleeping :)

    Keep Noise!

  21. great! Go on!

  22. the_last_rookie says:

    Awesome great graphics! It is absoltely a true competor for current games on the market. I can’t wait to make my own level for this project. I have not expected so much new stuff to the game engine.

  23. ahem……


    Looks great! Makes a massive difference!

  24. What the hell just happened! (this is the Blender Game Engine, right?)
    This screws with my brains. They still think Blender can’t handle all of that.

    Thanks for this moment,

    – AniCator

    PS: 😀

  25. NOISSSSSSSSSSSSE.. lots of NOISSSSSSSSSE… wow proper animated textures.. super cool blender games here we come ;-).. looks amazing guys great work.. can’t wait to get my DVD.

  26. NOISE ;-O

    I will make some more next week during my Amsterdam visit…

    Maybe I can even help a bit with writing tutorials…


  27. Deloince JP says:

    Hello everyone

    I download yesterday August 15 (it was my birthday!) Version
    Blender 2.46 SVN 16075 Apricot, and I started to create materials
    maping bump texture with spots in shadows, the result is
    super, making a few problems.

    1)-I get some black mesh when they textured, perhaps due to the import
    blend file 234 version?

    2)-It seems to me it is now possible to employ an endless material
    without the software crash! Is this really possible?

    3)-the addition of functions for the bake as well said DanZMan
    (One question, are they generated automatically, or do you still have to bake then via creating an image, unwrap the mesh, and then bake? It would be neat if there was a tog button in the mat properties which specifies whether or not the object will recieve light baking, and a slider to specify resolution. ) seems to me fundamental and should be equally important
    that the developement shadows worn.

    4)-Having said that, at the risk of me repeat adding shadows brought to the lamps and sun
    are really useful see unavoidable in some landscapes (a character
    holding a torch).

    5) But this is a golden question about me scratching mind for decades!
    Go you add a module in the bricks logics to create backups
    and downloading levels for games? This is essential in
    Most of the gameplay, and all those who have no basic programming
    python risk formally suffer.

    6)-Go you develop reflection in real time? (how many people you have
    she asked the same thing?)

      I love your screenshots of your game is wide open spaces are bucolic
    a delight for the eyes and character have an air of a sacred character,
    Bonne continuation Gang apricot! Have you love!

  28. ooh, ooh, i wanna see an image of the moving water, please.

    like, is it real time?

  29. Wow!!! cool, is that crystal space or blender? either way it’s amazing!

  30. at the end… are you guys keep working in OPTIMIZATION?, for me this is the MOST important feature to have.

  31. some NOISE for Brecht!

  32. I would really really want to Animated Textures please please implement it Bretch!!! That would just be soooooooooooo awesome. Noise Noise NOISE!!! Thats kind of a must have for current gen games.

    Nate Nesler

  33. A little more work and it’ll look like the witcher. (the Franker :P) xD Screens are amazing.

  34. Very nice. The shadows looks almost too dark as squareline noted, but lovely sense of space :-)

  35. while(!animated_textures)


    *starts playing his drums with the AMP on FULL*

  37. squareline, there are rumors that Brecht doesn’t sleep, but that’s not true. He actually does, while bug fixing.

    DanZMan, the setup for shadow maps is not automatic unfortunately.

    RH2, no shadow maps on the leaves, but some of the objects in the level have vertex paint for self shadowing, like the tree trunks.

    oldjim, not for this project.

    Epsilorn, they’re not particles, just planes with halo attribute being added constantly.

    Smelz, it’s the BGE.

    SamCameron, optimization is still highest priority for Brecht.

    Carsten! I’m looking forward to meeting you!

    Deloince JP, 1 and 2 I don’t know, but happy birthday! The rest, not for this project as we still have other things planned, and most development time is allocated for optimization.

  38. NOISE

  39. squareline says:

    @ jonny, Quiet Please! Brecht is sleeping 😀

  40. There appears to be a problem with shadow casting of the trees. I’m not sure how you are doing it, but it looks as if the only the trunks and branches are currently casting a shadow on the ground. Not the leaves.

    Still… I am very impressed guys and very happy about supporting the project.

    I’ve heard some big complaints about the most recent release of OpenGL, namely some big supporters of it saying it sucks. Will there be some kind of DirectX implementation for Blender, either before the end of the project or later after the release of Yo Frankie?

    Thumbs up.

  41. kernel_script says:

    Superb work guys! Keep on the great work!

    Hi blengine, i know it’s a “bit” late, but, please, if you guys could:

    Do some cool Easter Eggs on the game too 😀
    I know one already around here… hehehe…

    Would be great :)

    See ya.

  42. Could the shadows be optimised and blurred please. Instead of the realtime shadows being generated with a high res mesh can we have an invisible low res shadow mesh? I’ve started a thread here on Blender Artists. I’m sure this would help the frame rate.

    thank you

  43. BlenderLovingSquirrel says:

    @fobsta u can change the res of the shadows in order to increase performance, also it’s a fact that detailed shadows in games are demanding on hardware

    really it’s only been the geforce 8 series Radeon HD 3*** series that has been capable of having detailed shadows without too much slowdown.

  44. Deloince JP says:

    Yes actually create a sort of LOD in the shadows, but this is the complexity of the shadows
    which slows down the number of frames in the games, or is it the very nature of shadows
    , the way it was programmed.
    Speaking of LOD (yes, I know I still have questions or subject!) A day may be?

    In my scene there is currently little materiel 60 (+ texture texture bump)
    with two spots with the activation of shadows I 9, 11 frames,
    disabling shadows I get 25, 28 frames.
    By disabling one spot to the number of frames back to 12, 13 frame

    thank you

  45. the shadows add a lot but i think they make the scene way too dark. maybe you could simply add some kind of ambient to the material?

  46. Brecht, make an alternitive to animated maps!!!

    Looks awesome guys

  47. i already played the level 1 home and Lava level!
    … really Cool so far i like it!(i know its not finished)
    The Fx´s also very good!
    Sheep- Ramiro Grabbing- Explosion-Bones-Lava platforms Water and water Splashes fx´s…Environtmets etc!
    Great start menues and Logo animations!
    Great done!!

  48. Is the shadowmap the same like the realtime shadow or the bake one ?
    when (Ricky)pass through the shadowmap (exp: a tree shadow), does it cast shadow?

  49. just to let you know Fobsta found a way of making invisible objects cast shadows.. which is sweet for optimisation. Excellant functionality.. 😉

  50. Any chance of someone uploading a video, to see this in all of it’s moving glory? Esp for us poor non-GLSL graphics card owners :)

  51. Francisco Ortiz says:

    @Carsten: yes please write tutorials! Your tutorials for BGE are awesome :) (Gamekit).

    Beautiful screen shots. My noise goes for documentation…Instead of graphics we would like to know more facts about Brecht’s life, since the topic has a very weak cover inside this blog. Please include some extras about his childhood/kindergarten, that would be great! : ))

  52. Very nice screen shots 😉 great work!

  53. This is looking really nice. I can tell that the lava level has gotten a lot more love since the last time we saw it. Bravo. Also, to Brecht, good luck. I think there’s enough NOISE around here to warrant another sleepless night for you. :)

  54. Inko I. A. says:

    Eh! I’m really impressed with those screenshots!!

    Posting on, posting on twitter, forums…

  55. nowherebrain says:

    Looking good, never thought BGE would shine like this.

    1) animatable U.V.’s
    2) level loading(of course)

  56. cyberdigitus says:

    Great optimisations, i get 35fps, just glsl without any options, but when i turn on the tree layer, physics jump to 85% from 7% with a framerate of 2fps.

  57. @ cyberdigitus, yeah dont turn on the trees!, or if you still want to play with trees in game, convert them to real (select all the trees/emptys, and press Ctrl+Shift+A, if i remember correctly..)

    problem solved! :), the slowdown is caused by a bug (in instances) that is being worked on.

  58. I refuse to make noise, but I’ll leave this comment here stating that I would very much enjoy liquid physics. There has to be some reason I bought a 64 bit dual core 2.2 GHz CPU with 4 MB of L2 and an 800 MHz FSB, right? ..and the GeForce 8400m gs, too.

    Make my hardware gasp for air, so I’ll have peace of mind that when I buy something even more powerful, it won’t just go to waste because I’m a FOSS purist.

  59. Beautiful! BGE has come a long long way. Excellent work all! I would love to see the same kinds of effects available in AAA title engines available in our lowly BGE. How can we keep this pace of development up? What’s the next project? I’m sure that the BGE community will be happy to contribute our $$ to this goal, if the outcomes are well defined.

    I am EXCITED!

    Congratulations on work well done!

    have a day.yad

  60. Yea as amazing as it is and proud as I am of Apricot. Its getting so near the end of the project, that the fanboy in me can’t help but wonder what the next project is gonna be. What are we gonna have Plum? Nectarine? Apple? Pomegrante? Maybe Lemon or Lime? haha ok. Well, I’m excited enough to see how Yo Frankie! turns out.

    Can’t wait to get Yo Frankie! in the mail. You guys have done great work!

  61. wow the game start really looking like a professionnal one :) congratulations !

    i have one question:
    is occlusion culling now supported? or is there any development planned for this?
    because it seems to be an interesting missing feature of the BGE.


  62. Helo Apricot team!
    I have a little idea: Object “off distance” feature!
    This is a very simple trick to speed up the game engine render!
    So if we can set a distance value for every object and in game engine render the object dont render after this distance we will get a speed up of the render.
    No need to calculate the distances of every object in every frame! This calculating can be share among frames or we can use other “sharing” trick.
    Sorry for my bad english, I hope you understand that I wrote. :)

  63. endi, that was planned, but I don’t think there will be time to add it during this project. It’ll get in there one day.

  64. Deloince jp says:

    endi, blengine,
    you talk about the LOD,
    level of detail?

  65. @Deloince jp:
    I think it’s more like a “distance cull” thing they’re talking about. Instead of replacing the object with a simpler mesh, they’ll just turn the mesh “off” once it’s farther than a specified distance.

    @endi: Yeah, I think if they combined that with LOD support, Blender would really get a nice frame rate boost!!

  66. Strange, but many big games dont use LODs only for characters like things (so that uses bones).

    Nowadays the videocards can render many polygons without slowing down. The biggest speed problem is the number of render batches. So many big games uses only object distance off methods without geometry LODing.

  67. @endi:
    Yeah, that’s true. If I understand right, I think your saying that modern hardware has become so fast that the small amount of gain from LOD support has become insignificant, which in most cases I would agree. However, there are still the people, like me, that don’t have modern hardware and need all the effeciency we can get:)

  68. Endi (post 66), DanZMan (post 67),

    Currently, the use of LOD is inevitable even with graphics cards latest, over the years, the games are designed with an exponential complexity in the use of the number of polygons and grandeur of textures. The dream is not done, quantum computers n’existes not today, if now the graphics card can make many polygons without slowing down, tomorrow will be different!

    By the way, hello to all the team apricot and all persons present here!

  69. Deloinc JP,
    Ok, I repeat that I wrote:

    Nowadays many of the big games dont uses LODs. These games uses LODs only for skinned-boned models.
    This is fact. You can debate with facts, but I have no time for this, so, bye.

  70. Endi,
    I do not debate with facts so you n’ayer not have time to respond,
    I try to understand the English translations french, I do
    not a champion of the English language and sense are not
    adequate return.
    When your politeness (This is fact. You can debate with facts,
    but I have no time for this, so, bye.) keep it, thank you!

  71. and what about occlusion culling ? :) (post 61)

    lod can be easily replaced with a simple python script (but less effective than a hard coded one of course) whereas occlusion culling is really complex to code and can open the path to large complex levels

    tell me if im wrong 😉

  72. Yes, the occlusion systems are complex and hard to code.
    So if we need a very simple “lod” system, the distance-off thing is a good choice: simple to code and effective.

  73. Well, LOD systems are fairly easy to code as well, so I still think a combination of the two would be neat. Distance off is good, but the thing is, when there are lots of objects, such as trees, the computer is forced to process all the polys of all the trees from the front to the back, and so you will have to set your “cut-off” distance to a smaller value to enable the computer to handle the scene. This results in a shorter view distance than in an LOD implemenation which will dramatically reduce the number of render batches needed for the scene and allow for a farther “cut-off”(view) distance.

    Anyway, either way, I’m very impressed with the changes done, and any type of occlusion/cut-off system would be fine with me:)