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Jun 19

Progress update, GLSL, shape keys, speedups in the BGE!!

icon1 blengine | icon2 Development, Media Gallery, Screenshots | icon4 06 19th, 2008

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

66 Responses

  1. dusty on

    Wow! This looks wicked awesome!!

  2. RH2 on

    The shading looks pretty cool.

  3. Blendiac on


    Speed increases in BGE…
    New features…
    Cool looking open source platformer (not FPS! yay!)
    People from blender actually working on the BGE…

    It’s enough to make me cry with happiness!

    OK, that’s it. Now I’m definitely ordering the apricot DVD. I wasn’t sure if Apricot would actually kill off the BGE with CS. This has shown me it’s worth supporting. (OK I still wanted it bad before, but hey… 🙂

  4. Pitel on

    Can he climb the tree? I think he could.

  5. Clint on

    WOW!!! That looks fantastic! I love how he’s not just a run-and-jumper, but that he can walk and run and ledge-hang and double-jump and my favorite — gliding! Top notch stuff — I’m so glad to have bought the DVD, and I can’t wait for more!

  6. Mataii on

    Wow! nothing to say but GOOD WORK! the artist and developers working in the game engine are just doing a great work 🙂

    Go Apricot! Go! 😉

  7. DingTo on

    This really looks cool. I am happy that the bge gets more attention now.
    Keep going. 🙂

  8. Alexander Ewering on

    It is about bad time that the incredible mess that the 3D viewport / game engine drawing is right now (Wire, Solid, Shaded, Textured, GLSL Soc 2007, GLSL, “Use Blender Materials”, “Don’t use Blender Materials”) is cleaned up, so this is a very welcome addition.

    Just tried it out and it feels really great being able to see the rendered result right in the 3d view. Now, add support for bumpmaps, and I’ll even smile a bit 😉

  9. Patrick on

    Very cool!

    In the notes you say,
    ” Grab yourself an apricot build and go nuts.”

    Where can I download one of these builds?

  10. chris on is a good place to get an apricot build.

  11. Alexander Ewering on

    What I’m wondering is though, if you’re adding pretty much everything imaginable now to the BGE, what’s the point in using Crystal Space at all? It seems like it just doubles the amount of work. It would probably be more beneficial to concentrate on ONE way to do it, and the easier one obviously would be going 100% BGE. Add shadows to it, and it’s pretty much complete now.

  12. Vexelius on

    Doubtless, this post has made my day! With all those new features being implemented in such a short time… and the quality of this game, soon, Blender will be able to surpass even the most popular (and expensive!) software packages.

    This really means a lot for me, because, last weekend I went to the “opening” of a mexican videogame-creation contest. And it was utterly disappointing, at least for me. 95% of the conferences focused around money, and only a few references were made to actual videogames! Some guy which introduced himself as a great videogame advisor said that games “are not about creativity, but about money.” However, his reaction when someone mentioned SquareEnix really made me laugh.

    Now, in order to prove my point around games, I’m gonna do my best to win the contest using open-surce tools. Of course, I thought on Blender for modelling, but this project demostrates that I can trust the demos, and maybe the entire game to it! Thanks to everyone involved on this project!

    Too bad that I will not be able to help the project directly -it would have been a dream come true-, but I’ll definitely pre-order the game!

    PS: Hey! Greetings to you, venomgfx!!! Haven’t seen you since NicoDigital!

  13. ZooRocket on

    Looking really great guys! Nice to hear that you have really been able to move forward with the BGE. The character actions are top notch. Looking forward to seeing more.

    If you need an experienced game artist for help… please let me know 🙂

  14. Deloince Jean-Pierre on

    Bonjour à tous, Abricot!
    GLSL Fantastique!

    La fonction climb est elle pleinement intégré à blender ou est ce un
    script python écrit pour ce jeux?

    Une seul fois, la camera semble traversé les mesh dans des endroits confinés
    comme l’intérieur du tronc d’arbre, il y aura il un système de collision
    spécifique pour les cameras?

    Il y aurait il prochainement l’ajout du stencil shadow ou d’une autre technique
    d’ombrage en temps réel dans le blender game engine?

    Un grand merci pour toutes ces nouvelles technologie d’affichage,
    bonne continuation au projet!!

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Hello everyone, Apricot!
    GLSL Fantastic!

    The function climb it is fully integrated into blender or is it a
    python script written for this game?

    A single time, the camera appears through the mesh in confined spaces
    as inside the tree trunk, there will be a collision system
    specifically for the cameras?

    There he would soon adding the stencil shadow or another technique
    shading in real time in the blender game engine?

    A big thank you for all these new display technology,
    bonne continuation project!

  15. Anonymous on

    Very nice movement code. Reminds me of Zelda and Mario 64 since Franky can glide and grab the sides of ledges.

    Something that I have to ask though; Does the collision detection use the exact same mesh as the map? In my experience, a lot of games that do can cause the player to become stuck and require the player to either restart the level or use an ‘unstick’ command.

    Also, in the video, Franky’s shadow is far too dark (for a bright sunny day.) Other then that, it looks good.

  16. daphzart on

    holy crap this is so awesome. all this progress sin a single week? thats just insane.

  17. Flo 05 on

    After seeing this video I really want to play this game. Good job!

    I hope you will improve the ways the character can move even further.

    Maybe climbing and surrounding trees, jumping from trees? Or a flat jump?

    Is the video scripted or is it really so easy to run around in a level?

    The cliffs are nice looking too by the way.

  18. Todd A McCullough on

    I’m upset. My card does not seem to be supporting the GLSL shaders. I am scared of updating my drivers though, because all the new versions seem to wreck havoc on my system.

    I’m very happy to see all this progress. I have for a very long time now wanted to make real time shorts.

    Looks like you guys will make that a reality.

  19. James Endland on

    Woah! Woah! Woah! The movement system is awesome! I like the way he floats around XD Plus the graphics are neat 😛 Keep at it guys! XD

  20. Teddy Krulewich on

    how do i run one of these builds.. all it did was open up blender.. where is the game?

  21. Vexelius on

    Teddy, the builds don’t include the game yet… they only implement the new development tools. I know, it isn’t as great as having a game demo included, but it’s still good for testing!

  22. D on

    great work thus far. its quite encouraging to see so many developments in so little time. Many commercial apps dont see this much development in such timeframes.

    pardon me while I share my thoughts on possible improvement suggestions. I’m sure some are on your list already.:

    is it possible to make the transition of the shadow of the character be less jumpy when the character jumps/falls to a platform of a higher/lower height. The shadow seems to jump quite quickly, and seems to also not be apparent on the vertical faces of the platform the character is climbing up or falling down to. I hope my portrayal of this thought makes sense.

    the apricot/blender teams are doing a GREAT job so far. I’m happy to be able to consider BGE over the other options I was considering for my next project.

  23. Kirado on

    Fantastic vid! Will we be able have some kind of GLSL LOD function so those nice bump mapped pixel lit shaders can fade to vertex lighting in the distance? Also will fog and texturing using ramps be added..? pretty pls pretty pls.

  24. squareline on

    Excellent stuff Apricot Team! 🙂 I like it!

    I build a linux apricont version who want to testing the new features:

    1 question, will be possible write own glsl multipass shaders in Blender GLSL Materials mode?

  25. MrE on

    Just like everyone who reacted in this thread already said IT’S AWESOME!!

    The fact that I don’t know anyone in my neighbourhood who really appreciates the work that you people are pulling keeps me from ordering a second copy of the DVD.
    Hell! I don’t know when this project is going to finish I’ll just come by before that time and bring some refreshments because this is AWESOME! did I say AWESOME already?

    please make a multiplayer option with a last man standing option or something because then this game will be a guaranteed hit on LAN parties. And that may just mean more attention for possible future projects.
    (and increase the chance there will be add-ons made by fans).

  26. Mal on

    Simply STUNNING!

    When I ordered the Apricot DVD ( I think I’m 2nd or 3rd on the list :), I knew that there would be changes made to Blender itself that would benefit GE users, but this is simply amazing!!!

    While I can’t use GLSL ( and many other users with integrated intel chipsets – I have a Mac Air! ) under Windows, it’s great to see that this option is now available – it’ll hopefully encourage more chip companies to support it!

    Also, the speed ups and new features ( shape keys ) are unbelievable, and I’m very sure the GE will be getting a lot more generic bug fixes and features as the Apricot project comes to completion.

    Regarding using CS, initially I had hoped that the GE would have been used, but I can also see the major advantages in having the GE support a 3rd party 3D engine in a more integrated fashion. Hopefully the code to integrate CS will be generic enough to also support other 3D engines ( eg Ogre3D, Shockwave 3D, mobile phone browser ), so that the artist can see the resulting content, with all of the particular 3D engines limitations.

    I’m seriously considering purchasing a 2nd or 3rd DVD now 😉

  27. Temujin143 on

    You rock dudes!!!!

  28. jorrit on

    To Mal: why can’t you use GLSL under windows? GLSL support is for all platforms.


  29. Konrad on

    I love the Video!

    You rock!!!!!

    But, there is a small mistake with the shadow, when walking through the trunk: The shadow is casted outside.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to play the game and use all the cool new features in Blender myself.

  30. Mal on

    Hi Jorrit,

    > To Mal: why can’t you use GLSL under windows? GLSL support is for all platforms.

    Only if the drivers support it. The Intel G945 X3100 driver ( as created by Intel ) doesn’t support GLSL, but the OSX driver ( as modified by Apple ) does support it.

    As Intel integrated graphics have the largest installation base, it’s very strange that they don’t seem to have the resource ( or want ) to support GLSL if their hardware can actually support it.


    Many PCs, and many macs ( Macbook ( non-pro ), Air ) have this chipset, so it’s worth being aware that if you’re making something with the GE, then not to use GLSL if you want it to run on casual machines. If you’re targeting a non-casual gamer, then you can pretty much be guaranteed a fairly powerful nVidia or ATI graphics card, and so GLSL would be the best solution.

    My company constantly has this issue of creating content to work on older machines, and many times the drivers for lower cost / integrated hardware from the likes of Intel just suck big time.


  31. Steffen on

    i said it once and now twice. brecht, yuo`re a sun of a gun! thank you for pushing the GE development!

  32. venomgfx on

    you’re truly an ultimate glider blengine!

  33. blenderman345 on

    WOnderful! But is that just a test? Or is that a real level?

  34. TBOL3 on

    Wow wow wow wow wow!!! I wasn’t going to buy the dvd, but now I’m going to try to scrounge up some money to buy it!

    That is amazing. So happy to see something decent coming from the bge.

  35. Alexander Ewering on

    blenderman345: Learn to read, it can be useful!

  36. Amir Hossein Bakhtiary on

    Now that I’ve got the blender, where do I get the version of the b2cs that you are using?
    I’d also be thankful to know the version of cs that you’re using.

  37. Ronald Patino on

    Great Job, very impressive video.

  38. jonny on

    Really nice! The character seems to be loosely coupled to its shadow (was already mentioned I think). Great work.

    When will the svn be opened, so that we can test/look at the progrees?

  39. lsscpp on

    somebody mentioned other engines in addition to crystalspace. i absolutely mention a (multi)browser plugin!!! (i remember a working active-x iexplorer plugin used to exist some time ago…)
    Just think at the boost in popularity that this could lead Blender to.
    It could be an answer to the need for a ‘real’ 3d visualization plugin as well as a solid 3d-game platform on the internet.

  40. lsscpp on

    btw: good job guys!!!

  41. exile on

    Kudos!! great job, the game looks really good.

  42. centx on

    Holy …

    I’m truly amazed by how good this looks, it’s incredible!

    May the force be with you

  43. horace on


    will there also be realtime shadow mapping support?

    i hope there will be continuous effort to improve the blender game engine even after this project because there isn’t that much missing in my opinion to compete with quest3d and unity3d and the like. with the blender game engine you even have a full modelling and animation environment included. something the others probably never will have.

  44. Francisco Ortiz on


    I am first to use this adjective inside this post!
    Yay! 🙂

  45. Kota Weaver on

    WOW! This is GREAT! I have been anticipating Apricot to come out, but this is more than I would have asked for.

    Also, is it possible to combine blender and crystal space into one project? I was sort of wishing there was an option of using C++ in blender game engine + scripts…

  46. centx on

    There are some posts asking for a build of apricot. I have dl’ed all various builds of new blender, but I’d really like to try the game itself. Someone could point me in the right direction on how to accomplish this?

    I can handle building from source, but I’d (and certainly a lot of others, i belive) like a binary.

    (I’m running ubuntu hardy x86_32)

    And again, awesome progress, awesome cg, awesome everything =)

  47. Blender Loving Squirrel on

    yo, this is street yo


    you guys are awweeessomeee!

    real shadows, real shadwos!!

  48. Kukanani on

    sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I don’t usually put this many exclamation points, but this is a special occasion!)

  49. Glenn Melenhorst on

    Hmm.. not finding the “Shape Action” actuator. Got the latest build from Graphicall and can see everything else.
    Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?


  50. blender_rocks on


    This has got me and lot of friends talking about using Blender for game dev. 😀

    I hope it does the same for game dev using Blender as BBB has for animation side!

    To do that, seems the game play logic needs a little polishing. If I missed this, or you are doing it (even different way – I love surprises), ignore my comments below.

    Just a few first impressions re your demo (just ‘community constructive criticism’=) :

    1. Grass Platforms: seem to be too large, flat/plain, and easy to access.

    If they were smaller, it would add to game play – as the player would have to make sure they didn’t fall off.

    Making it trickier to get onto them would add to play too – especially if they allow the player to take a quick break from play on the ground. It’s always more rewarding to have a challenge to rest than just be able to quickly find higher/safer ground and sit out a game beat or two while you adjust strategy in your head.

    This could be done by having a rocky edge poking through the grassy edges of platforms, which enable the player to grab hold of and climb up. That way, that grassy edges become areas where it is too slippery to climb up. A simple difference, but one that the player would learn after trial and error, force player to use memory to remember side of platform where they can climb up, and make it more challenging – fun – game like. (In one or two places, the grassy edge cold slope down platforms to a lip/bump/ramp rock with grass on it to act as a slide with jump at bottom to launch character to other place.)

    Even if platforms will be populated with other creatures, making them smaller and trickier to get onto and between (eg some obstacles in between ie a tree or two) would add to game play a lot. The difficulty of getting onto platform is then balanced by how many enemies there are on a platform.

    If you just pull some of existing rocks out of the base of the platforms and made us choose to jump/climb onto the right ones to get onto a platform, would be more fun/challenging way of accessing them.

    2. Flying

    The character animation, particularly flying looks very cool – but too powerful – easy to avoid ground play paths.

    For good game play – it would be great if you can’t fly everywhere – but may need to run up a tree and jump off a branch to fly to another area. The log example was okay, but still seems too easy to get to and fly from.

    Imagine a tree that sticks between platforms gaps. You climb up tree from platform, and then go up branch. The branch goes part way over the main ground at base of platform. It is only path to another game point/place and way over enemy. As you walk over it, it bends to ground and in reach of enemy (sheep?), so you have to learn to jump/fly at a point along branch, using branches bounch up, and then make leap off it at right time to new game point/place.

    Or imagine that character can’t fly somewhere, so has to go inside log and running around it (like in demo), make the log roll one way. Enemies can’t get inside while log is rolling, or perhaps can only stick their biting mouths in once log is stopped. This would be good game play.

    Even if you had to jump/fly from platform to rock sticking out of middle of ground surrounded by enemy and then to a tree of platform from there would be cool.

    3. Environment

    Like a film, each frame/shot should help a scene.

    Same thing applies to objects in game.

    Apricot game world looks cute, but should also show more of what Blender and gaming can do.

    Eg grass clumps should not just show-off what game engine can render but do something ie slow player down when character tries to run through, after all, they are quite tall/thick compared to characters size.

    Or if flying were difficult at a point in play, because character has too many items (nuts) in inventory, grass clumps could be good bounce/jump zones. If character runs/walks into, they are slowed down and jump not possible, but if they do little jump onto grass clump, they can jump very high, for example onto a grass platform or even a low tree branch.

    My point is:

    Game play isn’t just about greater degrees of freedom/movement but having to use these in a changing restricted space, which challenges us to think/re-act/act to beat restrictions to win.

    The obvious restrictions in this game should centre around the characters size relative to the scale of the environment eg platforms, enemy, ground, etc.

    The game world objects become not just pretty but useful or not at different points/times of game eg grass clumps helping character jump to higher area.

    Again, really nice demo – I just hope some of the points above come through in the final game.

    I’m sure you are aware of all ideas above, just seem to be missing in demo.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Thanks for all the great work.

    Looking forwared to the game!

  51. Christiaan Bakker(AniCator) on

    Shape Keys! That’s awesome. Facial animation will now be much easier!

    Awesome still I can’t really handle the normal maps that well. They’re pretty sensitive and loose depth when using a low Nor value. I also have to set the Normal map settings to Object or World.
    When the Nor value is too high the specular highlights on the object are displaced in a weird way.

  52. AppleGrew on

    “Support for nodes, multiple uv layers, all blending modes, stencil maps for splatting, color ramps for that precious falloff, …”

    quite a mouth full. He He…..

    I looking forward to this game.

  53. Satish 'ILuvBlender' Goda on


    Great going Team Apricot.

  54. Verb on

    Could someone explain why Apricot is using BGE instead of CS? That’s against the rules set at the beginning of the project!

  55. rogper on

    O_O It’s looking way coll!!!

    The only thing that I find not to be working at 100% is the shadow of the character that pops up and down the terrain in a somehow “something fishy” way 😛

  56. Alexander Ewering on

    Brecht: I’ve just seen your recent addition of shadowbuffer support for OpenGL views.

    While I can’t understand why a person as talented as you works for this BF bunch ;-), I must pass you a million compliments for what you’re achieving for Blender.

  57. André on

    Está ficando muito bom, parabéns a todos, não vejo a hora do projeto apricot esteja pronto.

  58. hmike on

    Great Work!!!
    Verb: Apricot is only using CS for the main game, but there is also work being done on the BGE, along with another version of the game w/ the BGE.

  59. campbell on

    @Verb, I agree its very disappointing. CS is too much in development, and the features are not stable enough for us to finish with.
    Its still possible for the art assets to be used to make a game in crystalspace so c’mon CS developers, help them out! – Darek is in discussion with CS devs about these issues.

    just to clarify, We were relying on CrystalSpace, Crystal Entity Layer (CEL) and Blend2Crystal. I gather that CS as an engine is capable/stable enough, but getting a game running from the components proved to be quite complex.

  60. ton on

    Verb: if you scroll down, read my “Last 6 weeks” post here. It gives details about what we do now.

  61. Verb on

    I see, Ton and Campbell thanks for the clarification.

  62. FuzzMaster on

    Wow. I won’t lie, I was getting concerned over where this was going, but seeing the game in motion FINALLY is quite nice.

    My only critiques are that the gliding could be smoother, and the run animation looks slightly clunky, but apart from that, great work!

  63. Francisco Ortiz on

    BTW what’s the difference between GLSL materials and Blender multitexture materials 😕

    Thank you everyone!

  64. Mark Hannessen on

    Very nice demo.

    Other then the shadows everything looks lovely. Great to see the blender game engine work so well.

    I was wondering though. Is the game going to ship with both engines as well? Or will the final game be build using CS only.

    Anyways, keep up the good work.

  65. Jh0nny on

    awesome, great job!

  66. Mario Mey on

    Hi, I’m interested in the shape key editor. I’m working in a digital pupetter and I want to animate the shapes keys with bones with drivers… but I read that in BGE, this is impossible. I must use the shape key editor… and it is more complicated… I have to launch an action AND a shape action, every time I want the character doing something. But… I look inside the frankanim.blend in other post, and it has driver bones.

    Can I use this driver bones to animate the shape keys? Or I must use the shape key editor? Or both? How?