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Aug 25

As usual, we will thank the the early dvd-pre-sale sponsors with a prominent credit. There will be a special section on the DVD, but also in the game itself!

On the link below you can find the dvd pre-sale sponsors, who have ordered and paid before we started in February (but we’ve been flexible a bit!).

https://apricot.blender.org/?page_id=316

Please check for errors! If your name is missing, please email me (ton at blender org), preferably with order ID from blender shop. Thanks!

-Ton-

(Note: some names don’t start with capitals yet, or are capitalized entirely, will be fixed. There will be also no nicknames, nor corporate names added!)

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Aug 16
Environment update, shadow maps!
icon1 blengine | icon2 Screenshots | icon4 08 16th, 2008

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.

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Aug 11

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?

Chris:

  • 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.

Campbell:

  • 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! 🙂
venomgfx


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).

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Aug 2

GDC Students and PabloLast weekend I’ve been out of the Blender Institute, spending it in what would be a presentation of Yo Frankie! on the Game Development Campus 2008, in the University of Aalborg, Denmark.

The goal of the Camp was to share ideas about games, get to know each other, make groups, and then each group (7 groups in total, with 6 people each) will have to develop a game for the end of the week, using Blender as the Game Engine where all the games will run.

It ended up being lot more than that!  met a lot of people and made very good friends over there.

But the good news are that they are releasing all the games under the Creative Commons license! quoted from the Press Release:

“Inspired by the open-source game project, Yo Frankie!, all the teams have decided to release their games under the Creative Commons license.
The teams decide on the specifics for the licenses individually. This means that the games created at the summer camp will be made available on the website, along with all the code, 3D models and textures. All the games will run on all operating systems (Mac, Linux and Windows).”

And is all thanks to you people for making this game as Open as it is, sharing characters, animations, textures, and helping with constant feedback.

Also, the Game Development Camp is going to be giving away each student in the camp a copy of Yo Frankie!, and the Essential Blender book. Isn’t that awesome?

GDC CrewSadly I had to hop back to Amsterdam and couldn’t spend the entire week there, we have to finish a game here!, but I will love to attend next year 🙂

Here you can see the Official Press Release.

Games OnLine!:
Check them out here.

Each game have its own section there, where you can see:

  • Group’s Blog (Danish)
  • Download Source Code (.blend file)
  • Download Game (.zip)
    It’s .exe, but they run perfectly under Wine, however you can always download the blend file and press P, or save your own runtime file. 🙂

Updated the Press section in this site as well.

Thanks to everyone there, I had a great experience and learned a lot, see you next year!
(charlieee!)

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Jul 31

dsc01169.JPGWith a good Mexican dinner, and the Dutch premiere of WALL-E, we’ve said goodbye to four of the Blender Institute crew.

Margreet Riphagen, Blender Institute producer for a year, accepted a great job at the Institute of Network Cultures. It’s also in Amsterdam center, so we’ll see her around regularly!
Campbell Barton, Blender developer and TD , went back to his girls in Melbourne Australia. He’ll be working wrapping up Apricot remotely for a month, at least.
Dariusz Dawidowski, 3D game artist and level designer, goes back today to his hometown in Poland. He’ll help wrapping up the Crystal Space game level(s) during next month.
Frank Richter, Crystal Space 3D engine developer, already found another room to live in Amsterdam, he’ll keep coding on CS and is currently seeking for a game developer job in Amsterdam (know any? contact him!).

Thanks a lot Margreet & guys! we’ll miss you!

Currently still here: Chris + Pablo to wrap up the Apricot project, Brecht to do cool coding work, and myself… in a week I’ll leave for Siggraph, and when I’m back we should pick up the mythical 2.5 coding project… 🙂

Picture: see us walking to the restaurant in the cool new Apricot memorial Yofrankie shirts! People from left to right: Frank, Chris, Dariusz, Brecht, Campbell, Ton, Pablo (half), 2nd picture: Chris, Campbell, Pablo. More pictures in Gallery)

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