Blender is quite simply put, a fabulous thing, and I intend to write about it more in 2013. The Blender Game Engine has a long way to go, and I intend to write about that more too. In his post 12 December Nilunder confirmed what I already suspected: (http://www.nilunder.com/ Note: his site is a bit tricksy with links going nowhere at time of writing, I’m hoping that’s just maintenance) only he says it more succintly. Paraphrasing what I understood from his post: to get it to do anything really worth playing, one has to write an engine on top of the engine, which will then also be pretty specific to the game you are working on. It so happens that process is perfect for me – I’m out to revise, and I need to look at good source as I go. But like him, I won’t take it further than makes sense within the context for which I intend it. In my case that might be a bit further than he goes depending on what I want to relearn.
Now I understand fine that film is all glitter and stars and fame, and I also get that creating an animation is a far, far easier process than all the clutter that needs to be tied together for a game engine. It has made sense to concentrate on the animated visual side of things. It’s faster, gets better results in a shorter period of time, for less work and still publicises the lovely Blender very well thanks to people’s efforts on YouTube.
Even if Blender becomes the best of the best in that well-ploughed field, film remains an innately passive form of entertainment. Passive entertainment is fine and won’t go away anytime soon, only it’s not the only thing around nowadays and hasn’t been for quite some time. Interactive entertainment has far enough to go for that to be where the new stuff is, the innovation. It’s where the thinkers are congregating and I should think it’s probably even where “Art” is heading. It seems to me very silly to sit poised at the edge of a bungee jump with all the equipment, and not bother to take the leap. Essentially everything needed for Blender to shine in the game engine and interactive art field is there already – the thing that’s missing is all the joining up.
If that was seriously and systematically tackled, this thing has the “I win” button of course – no other game engine would have the (seamlessly integrated) graphics (and other systems) to compete. So I’ll be adding my little voice to the campaign to push for some attention to that neglected but very cool little engine which has more than just potential, (so nearly there!) to command the market and floor the competition.
And of course there is a gap in the market about the size of the San Andreas fault due to other engines being half a package and way, way overpriced.
Meanwhile Blender Game Engine suits me very well as a revision tool. (I will be donating as appropriate.)