Best way to sell blender games?

I know this question has been asked a million times, but most of the times it seems like there’s more gray area than black and white. So I’m asking straight up, what exactly would be required to sell your games commercially?

I have a few projects that are nearing completion which I would like to see put in the Mac App Store. I can handle the technical side of getting it in there, but I’m no lawyer, so to avoid needing to get one I’d like to know what needs to be done to legally get it into the app store (or a similar source, i.e. steam).

Thanks for any help :slight_smile:

I don’t know anything about mac store rules, but here’s generally what you can and can’t do:

Blenderplayer is GPL, so you need to just reference blender.org or something to point people to the source.
You own all rights to .blend files. If you combine a file with the blenderplayer (exporting as runtime for example), everything combined with it falls under the GPL. Avoid use of the blender logo aswell (there’s more info on blender.org about what you can and can’t do with it).

There are several ways you can keep this things straight without letting people steal your files, I’ll let you figure that our yourself, but these are just guidelines to follow while doing it. BPPlayer does a pretty good job at filling that need, although I’ve never tested it.

Good luck.

Hmm. That clears it up a bit. I thought I remember hearing a while back that it was a requirement to also give people the ability to download the source code of your game? Maybe I’m mistaken though. After a lot of thought I actually don’t even think a blender game would be allowed to be put in the app store because of the build rules that need to be applied. I’ll take a look at GameKit though, if that project is still up. As building my game with Xcode would allow me to have control over the build process.

usually it’s enough just to point people to blender.org

I guess you can still sell at mac games store(not app store) or Desura and other indie games stores. I read somewhere a report of a maker of a great indie game, and it seems just 15% of his sales were on app store; the rest was on steam(hard to get in there thought) and other one or two ways I cannot remember. I guess the sales directly from their game site was also around 15%

you do have to share your source code of your game if you save the game as runtime and distribute it with the blenderplayer.
you do NOT have to share the source code if the blenderplayer is only used to start the game, but the game itself is in a .blend file, which then is opened by the blenderplayer.
all output you do yourself with player is yours and you can do whatever you want with it. but everything which contains the blenderplayer falls under the GPL. (blenderplayer is not an output of blender created by you, as it is a part of blender itself)

I honestly find that hard to believe. If your app gets in the mac app store you’ll get a lot of sales, I promise. I have an app in there that’s just a small tool for iOS development, within the first week I got over 60 purchases (at $3.99 a pop). I know that a game could easily double that, which is why I see the app store as being a prime target for my game. I’m actually playing with GameKit now, I’ll look at porting my game over to that. The only problem I see (not really a problem, just an inconvenience) is that I have to save my blend files, then go to Xcode to build, then finally I can test my game. I could see that getting annoying while debugging.

I’m not saying he got few sales on mac app store, but which he got even more sales elsewhere; I do hope I can find again this article to show you. It makes sense, as appstore target is mac, but steam more than once offers windows + mac versions of the same product; and many users of windows, mac and even linux(not official) access steam.

Oh I definitely understand, but the thing is this app I already have developed for iOS (iPhone/iPad) so I’d like to launch on all Apple devices. Obviously windows you’ll get more sales, simply because there’s more users. But for targeting OSX users, there’s no better market than the Mac App Store.

I hope you find the article too, I’m always interested in reading up on other Indie developer’s methods :slight_smile:

So basically to sum up and resolve this thread, in black and white this is the way you have to sell Blender games:

DON’T: Save runtime from blender
DO: Use either BPPlayer or GameKit (or similar external engine)
DO: Have a link to blender.org

Is that about it?

I’d say it’s more like:

DON’T: Save the game runtime from blender

DO: Save the game runtime with loader blend file. The external game blend file should keep separate from the game executable.

DO: Or, use BPPlayer (GameKit doesn’t run blend files like the BGE, if I recall. I think it doesn’t use Python for coding, and can’t read all of the logic bricks)

DO: Have a link to blender.org

Yes, if I remember correctly gamekit uses lua, a very fast programming language; but it is that way because it is just ‘bare bones’ stuff; so you have to code yourself many things which python already provides; it is considered more a ‘glue’ language if I read right before.

Killer, I got a problem with my game and I asked the same thing for this forum.

Yes, if you want to keep the game closed you can save the game as a Runtime, if you do that and distribute it, you ll have to share the source file to the public if requested, the game ll still copyrighted to you, but since its a game, a open game ll not sell if anyone could simply “test” the .blend.

BPPlayer in my oppinion is the best solution, it encrypt your files and load the Blenderplayer without problems, Its fast, easy to learn and you probably ll be abble to sell your games anywhere you want, and Delta is quite an awesome guy, he helped me a lot and my demo is done( I cant release it yet, but its done for about two weeks).

About the link to blender.org, I dont think that the link is totally needed, I think that you only need to link your game with blender somehow, on my game if you click over the BGE logo you are redirected to the blender website, but I dont know exactly if it ll be needed.

There is also another way to lauch your game that is use a .blend that is saved as a runtime that ll serve only to make a link for your game data, you ll probably have to encrypt your game data, otherwise you ll have a .blend there for everyone to open, but this is also another way.

DO: Have a link to blender.org

Is that a must to do, or just optional thing to do? Because as far as i know, a credit to the blender software should be enough, even though a link to blender.org would be better.

If you need to supply the source for the blenderplayer then reference blender.org. Otherwise you do not need to credit them at all.

I found this recently on the blender website, have a look at the “So I can make games without having to worry about the GPL, right?” question, its very straight forward :slight_smile:

http://www.blender.org/education-help/faq/gpl-for-artists/#c2128

Ah, good to know. Thanks.

You need to give acces to the source code upon request (.PY Python Scripts, GL Shader Source),
but you are not forced to give Graphic Arts (Textures, .XCF, .PSD, etc) or Sound Art (Music, Sounds, .OGG, etc).

Desura, Ubuntu Software Center, or Steam can be considered…

Loving all these replies! Thanks for all the information guys.

I’m aware on what GameKit is, it’s not just lua, it supports various languages including c++. Yes python is a higher level language and can do a lot faster, but when it comes to doing more, it’s definitely better (in my opinion!) to use a lower level language (i.e. C++). Not just that, but as I said, if you wish to get a blender game into the Mac App Store you’ll need to be able to use Xcode to compile your game so you can include the correct code signing identities.

I was simply wondering if GameKit would supply a worry-free solution for distribution.

@Juan, is that true? That only your actual scripts have to be accessible? Couldn’t it be argued that your graphics are packaged inside the game, therefore they’re under the GPL as well?

no, you do not need to give any of your files, including python or GLSL shaders. It is also safest to include a link to blender.org rather than nothing to avoid trouble.

GameKit has a better license apparently, but I don’t know much about the license details. I don’t think it’s up to par with BGE in terms of how good the engine itself is though. Again - I don’t know much about gamekit though.

I’m sure gamekit is a worry-free for distribution. This time Erwin seems really cautious about the code patched by the contributors. He takes code libraries with liberal MIT licensed only afaik. Got to respect that man. He designed BGE architecture to be finally stucked with GPL. But still, he doesn’t give up trying to provide game developers with a free liberal licensed game engine. It’s just unfortunate that gamekit is not as easy to use as bge.

Also, depending on what your game is, i think maratis engine is worth consideration. Like gamekit, it supports C++ and Lua. It has level editor and can be used to publish game on iOS as well. Lighting and dynamic soft shadow is pretty good, but there are still missing features like particle system in there. But then again, it depends on what game you are creating.