Bgmc 13 | theme announced!


The blender game making challenge is pretty simple. Make a complete game, using the blender game engine, start and finish, in a week. The official start is Sunday the 17[SUP]th[/SUP], 12:01 AM and it ends Saturday the 23[SUP]rd[/SUP] at midnight. The challenge is a competition amongst your peers, but also a challenge to yourself, to push your planning, game making, and polishing skills out of your normal comfort zone. This is how we improve.


It’s easy to make a game using the full force of your modern computer, but it’s harder when you must develop for a specific platform/console. This game making challenge will revolve around hardware requirements and resource allocation for one of the first consoles capable of 3d: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This way you may not be fully able to rely on amazing graphics and HD modeling to make your game good (prove me wrong) so your game might have to rely on solid gameplay mechanics instead. Here are the slightly modified SNES hardware requirements (aka contest rules):

  • No textures bigger than 64 x 64 are allowed
  • Screen size/resolution must be no larger than 512 wide x 480 tall
  • No more than 250 polygons (faces) are allowed in the active scene (This is not how many are on the screen, but how many are in all the active scenes, excluding hidden layers. So the sum of all the active scenes and active layers. Do not count hidden layers, or inactive scenes.) (also, use the honor system) (also, this number really doesn’t take into account LODs or instancing, just try and keep it as best as you can, this is supposed to be a challenge, so challenge yourself. If you accidentally go over, it’s not the end of the world.)

Other than those 3 rules, anything else goes. I encourage you to use previously made scripts and assets, advanced shaders, filters, and materials, use lighting and shadows! And the game can be whatever kind you want, whatever genre you want. You could even remake a SNES game if you wanted! Just follow the 3 development rules.


I think that some of the best people to judge these competitions are those who participate in it. So, the week after the contest will be judging week, where I would kindly ask the community/participants to play the submitted games (ugh! Forcing me to play games?!) and message me scores (from 1 to 10) of each of the 4 categories below:

  • Gameplay
  • Graphics
  • Polish

The community vote will constitute 60% of the entry’s total score, and my small judging panel’s vote will be the remainder. I think that the best prize for these challenges is the satisfaction and experience of squeezing out a game in a week, along with the INFINITE GLORY you get from winning and the GLORIOUS HONOR to choose the next theme and having your name engraved in the PRESTIGIOUS HALL OF FAME. However, I will not be the one to abolish prizes, so the 1st place winner gets INFINITE GLORY plus a $20 steam card plus the GLORIOUS HONOR of hosting the next challenge and choosing the theme, and the 2nd placer will just get a lowly $20 steam gift card.

Pictures for inspiration!

Edit: Don’t forget to create a post about your game in the Work In Progress section. We want to watch you develop it!

If you have any questions, post them here.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Good luck! Have fun!

I don’t know how to set the size of the screen. Also that 64 X 64 how does that work with UV unwrapping. Thanks for responses


you can set the screen size in the “render” tab (make sure the tab at the top-middle of the ENTIRE window is set to “Blender Game”, not “Blender Render”); however, I’m pretty sure that only affects the standalone. Correct me if I’m wrong.

As to the 64x64, that’s just texture size; it shouldn’t affect your UV mapping in any funky way except if you transfer the mapping from a higher- or lower-res image; that’ll just resize it. So, basically, it’s completely normal.

So the competition starts at 12AM on Sunday the 17th? Wouldn’t it have been good to wait until then to announce the theme? Well, anyway, this sounds like it could be cool. Would it be okay to use a higher definition resolution and use a shader to pixellate the screen to be the equivalent of 512x480? Or perhaps render the game out to a 512x480 sized video texture?

EDIT: This is because full-screen mode doesn’t work with custom resolutions on Linux and Mac, as far as I remember, and I would like to be able to play entries at full-screen or maximum window size if possible.

EDIT 2: For anyone who might be interested and need some assistance in the compo, I’ve got my BGHelpermodule up and available on my Google Code page. As the compo hasn’t officially started, this might be a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with it if you choose to use it. It’s got some useful features like input control mapping and sprites, which would definitely be useful in a “low-res” challenge like this one.

EDIT 3: I’d like to do this up really nicely, so if the shader or videotexture approach is supported (I’d probably just go with a shader), I’d like to contribute a little template scene / blend file for everyone to download and work off of if they wish. Is that okay?

I would have waited longer; however, folks on the other side of the world are 18 hours ahead of me and I wanted Saturday to be some kind of a planning day. In an attempt to be fairer, some of us will end up seeing it earlier, and some will see it later.

And of course, SolarLune, a template would probably be appreciated for those who need it. Post it and I’ll link to it on the main post.

Edit: Oh, and you can use a pixel shader if you wish. Just make sure you hit the correct resolution.

Sounds great. I’ll be starting planning right away.

I’ve been looking at the SNES specs and it says it could handle up to 4 1024x1024 backgrounds as well as the regular 64x64 textures for sprites and models. Is it OK to use higher resolution images for backgrounds?

Also, although I usually use small texture sizes for terrain and sprites, I generally use a single 1024x1024 texture and pack everything on to that, rather than trying to use 16 different textures. It saves a lot of time when adding textures to materials or laying out sprites for animation. Is it OK to use such a system as long as the sprites and textures themselves are less than 64x64 resolution?

wow I didn’t get an email notification. Good luck everyone !

Smoking_Mirror, if you want to use a texture atlas that’s fine, just be sure that each texture is 64x64. As for the backgrounds, I didn’t mention that because I didn’t want to confuse anyone, but we might as well allow that. So for additional clarification, a complete skybox texture must be no larger than 1024x1024, NOT 1024x1024 per side.

Josip, sorry I was in a hurry and totally forgot to message you!

Thanks for the reply. I think I’m going to use the competition as an opportunity to rapid prototype a game Idea I’ve had floating around. The graphical restrictions should help me to focus on gameplay rather than getting bogged down in making art assets and polishing code. It’ll be interesting to see if I can get the game working by the end of the week.

Good luck everyone! :slight_smile:

@Shogun Lloyd
No no its fine, the forum should send me email updates because I’m subscribed to this thread.

The graphical restrictions should help me to focus on gameplay

I was hoping someone would say this!

Is it too late to enter this thing? =o

I am getting started tonight I think, (Is that what the rules say? 12:00 your local time?)

I was thinking it would be nice if someone made a sprite angle map generator , to make isometric sprite atlas animations based on a 3d animation?

frames 1-12 = walk up

frames 13-25= walk up/left

etc? in a atlas?

@Michelle - No, I don’t think it’s too late.
@BPR - I believe it is based on your local time. I think someone did that already, but I’m unsure.

EDIT: Here’ssomething that will generate a sprite sheet from an animation render. I think there was something in the Resources forum that dealt with it, but I can’t remember at the moment.

Thats pretty cool, thanks SolarLune :smiley:

No problem.

OK, so I’m trying to make a template, but it seems that it’s a choice of a couple of different approaches with their own issues when it comes to the resolution.

  1. Using a pixellation shader is nice, but isn’t accurate, since it’s pixellating a full image (i.e. I can’t pixellate every other pixel or something to have it be really accurate. It won’t look the same as upscaling a 512x480 image to 1366x768, for example).

  2. Using the bge.texture approach and displaying the game on a plane with a 512x480 texture leaves kind of a fuzzy viewport showing things, which isn’t ideal, but is kind of realistic (like a CRT monitor).

EDIT: However, this isn’t good because refreshing the texture pulls on the frame-rate too much.

I guess I wonder if the resolution really matters that much since you can just push it to full-screen or maximize the window? Unless you want to lock the resolution to 512x480 using code…?

About rule 1, if we use a sprite sheet is it’s max size 64 by 64 or is the max size of one sprite 64 by 64.

About rule 3, if we unload a model do from a scene do we regain it’s polygons?
A car is in the scene of 200 polygons, once it’s out of the scene it’s deleted.
Can we now bring in a other car of 250 polygons?

It says in the scene, so I assume it means everything loaded into the scene. So if you delete or turn objects invisible, then you regain those polygons to use on other things. That’s just my thoughts, though.

Ok, let’s get some clarifications here:

  1. The contest starts and ends with your local time. You can start later too, but you must submit your game by Aug 23, midnight, your local time.
  2. Sprite maps and such can be larger than 64x64, but the individual sprite itself cannot be more than that
  3. 250 polygons means the total amount loaded into the scene. If you have a 200 poly object and instance it twice (giving you 400 polygons) you are over the limit.
  4. Obviously, the 512x480 resolution is a little arbitrary, as when you run the game within blender it will be at whatever your 3D Viewport size is. However, for judging purposes we will be running it in a standalone window, so just be prepared for that.

Here’s a few questions.
1: How many scenes are we allowed?
2: Are we going by cartridge storage space as well as render limit, or no?
3: Do objects on hidden layers count towards poly count in a scene?