2D RPG: Would you recommend the BGE?

A friend and I have begun discussing plans for a relatively large scale computer game project which we will be carrying out next year as our “Independant Senior Project” (ISP) as seniors in highschool. We will have around six weeks at the end of the year with no other school activities, for the sole purpose of creating this game. I am fairly experienced with the BGE and would like to use it for the project, but my friend, who is not familiar with Blender, would like to create a 2D RPG with the simple controls of older Gameboy games (i.e. flat camera view from above, four directions of motion, etc.). However, I think that we should still use the BGE for the following reasons:

-Better physics system (for projectile attacks, rebound of objects and the like)
-Easy to program both with built-in logic bricks and with Python scripting
-It would look better to have smoothly animated 3D characters, even if they are only viewed from above, than to use a series to still images to mimic motion and depth, as a 2D game engine would
-Works cross-platform (I use a Mac, he uses a PC)
-There is a highly knowledgeable and helpful support base (thanks to everyone on these forums!)
-I already know how to use Blender
-Blender is free

My friend, however, thinks we should use a dedicated 2D game engine instead, for the following reasons:

-If the gameplay and graphics are primarily 2D, it would just be a waste of memory and processing capacity to use a 3D game engine, decreasing the speed the game can run at
-It would be faster and easier to design the game if we only dealt with 2D shapes, and so we would have more time to focus on developing the worlds, weapons, storyline, etc.
-It would be easier to program AI if we only dealt in two dimensions
-If we used the BGE, we would have to go out of our way to simulate two dimensions from three

This weekend I’m going to try creating a simple 2D RPG control system in Blender to see how easy it is, but I would really appreciate your opinions on whether sticking with the BGE is a good idea, or whether we should consider looking for a 2D engine and learning how to use it over the next year or so, until we begin our project in earnest. Thanks!

there would be ALOT of work for two people and also developing the story to make a GOOD rpg would require as much work.

If you are doing any type of 2d game I highly recomend either blender or Scrolling Game development kit…

Blender is a bit more easy because of logic blocks…

SGDK is cool, because you can script things in either C# or Basic…
SGDK is a True 2d game engine… it can handle lots of tiles…

Blender is great for prototypeing too! you can have a logic block demo in a matter of a few afternoons rather than days of codeing!
Also, you can use GLSL shaders!!!

with a 2d engine you will have lots more work doing every frame of the animations into tiles… I used blender and did pre rendered graphics, and it still took me lots of time to put everything together…

With blender you can tweak the animations in a matter of seconds, a 2d engine you will have to load GIMP, or P$.

the 3d engine will have better lighting effects as well for your magic and for fires and stuff…

Also, if Filesize is a concideration, you can use vertex colors in blender, rather than haveing to include a bunch of bitmapped tiles.

I am totaly sold on BGE for demo/prototype deveopment! :slight_smile:

Setting the player view to ortho, will solve your “will it look 2D” problem. After that you don’t have to make actual 3D characters/objects in order to use BGE features, because you can just use planes on which to animate your character sprites (in form of textures). It will look pure 2D, only smoother, which is awsome.

As for the speed issues, it should run just fine under anything with a GPU (Like a nvidia geforce 2 would be more than enough in that case), because it’s just planes displaying textures, which results in a truly minimal geometry level to calculate, yet makes managing conditions ideal.

Go with the BGE, and save yourself the headache.

Also, some other alternatives would be to use Pygame with SDL, or if you want even faster performance use SDL alone, but both will take quite more work then just plain BGE development.

I should point out that modeling your characters in 3D will save you from having to redraw them in all sorts of positions.

I say blender. But im too tired to say why. If your experianced then you should know all the right reasons.

Yeah, go with Blender. If you do want a 2D engine, I personally prefer GameMaker over the Scrolling Game Development Kit. It’s much easier to publish to executable form with GameMaker (though you have to pay a small, one time fee to have the little advertisement removed at game start up).

Anyway, Blender would be a better choice because:
-You already know how to use it
-It shouldn’t run any slower than the games you’ve already made with Blender
-If you model in 3D, you’re already set to make a 3D sequel if you so desire
-It will take less time to make the game in Blender
-Also, it will run smoother, look nicer, and have realistic physics if you so desire

-It would be faster and easier to design the game if we only dealt with 2D shapes, and so we would have more time to focus on developing the worlds, weapons, storyline, etc.

This is really not true at all. 2d animation is very hard. Yes, you could use 3d figures and output them as 2d in blender, but it’s something that doesn’t quite go over. Normally people expect to see hand drawn images in 2d games. I gave up doing a game in 2d just for that reason. If you do it, however, I would definately recommend using Blender and not doing hand drawn images. They’re a pain in the neck and no matter how good you are, people will compare them to high quality 2d hand drawn animation and they’ll look bad.

There are reasons for going either way. A lot of people won’t be able to play your game in Blender because they don’t have a decent graphics card, but still, people just kind of expect rpg’s to be 3d anymore so a lot of people will just pass it by if it’s 2d. Ask yourself if these are games that you still play. If they are, then do 2d. If you just play 3d rpg’s, then use Blender.


with the right graphics card on a PC, you can play with blender and the game engine from a knoppix or KANOTIX live CD 8) !

I am at work on a crappy 256meg ram system, and my game still runs under kanotix live CD with sound 8)

blender rulez!!!
be sure to get the static version for playing on linux live CD… the dynamic one never seems to run for me untill I install linux to the hard drive.

“be sure to get the static version for playing on linux live CD… the dynamic one never seems to run for me untill I install linux to the hard drive.”

Static means all libraries needed are included in the exe, where as dynamic requires seperate libraries installed on your computer which probably aren’t on the live cd but are installed when you install Linux If that makes any sense to you.

Thanks for the replies, everyone; I’ll be sure to discuss them with my friend. I’m glad that I probably won’t have to pay for entirely new game engine software, let alone learn how to use it! It will be awhile until this game is finished, but I’ll be looking forward to sharing it here when it’s done. My friend and I are both something of perfectionists, and we’ve both played a number of games ourselves, so we’ll be working towards a high level of quality.

How good are you two at texturing Ebogs?

That’s hard to say. My experience in texturing has mostly involved combining photographs and making them tileable. I made a virtual corn maze, and had to texture the ground, corn, sky, wooden bridges, and a number of other things as well. I’ll have to figure out how to create maps for the ground plane in the RPG. From what I’ve seen in other games, the trick is to make a grid and have set types of textures that occupy each square of the grid (i.e. side wall, corner wall, indoor floor, outdoor dirt, outdoor grass, etc.). I don’t plan on using photographs, but rather making the appearance more stylized. My friend has never textured before, but he has done a good deal of sketching on his own of such things as blueprints and mechanical designs, so he may be able to supply some drawings that we can scan in and put into the game.

Someday, I’ll have to figure out how to use Python to change UV coordinates…