Is there really a point to the BGE? Enter SourceSDK

For me it’s the licenses that often bug me, like the Torque license essentially forbids you to make anything other than a game (if you so much as get near educational software you bet your behind that you’d have to buy the…heavily priced, other Torque license scheme).

The thing with the BGE is that you are absolutedly free to make whatever you want with it, without having to worry of a big company suddenly getting “interested”(IP-wise) in what you’re doing with it.
It’s true it’s not the most flashy engine out there, but as an indie making games for the casual market you wouldn’t need it anyway (it’s a nice bonus, but still a bonus).
If you want to get into the game industry it’s true having some familarity with the tools is a big plus… but making your own (polished) game or demo reel will make you much more valuable than putting “knowledge of xyz software” on your resume (to me, others might disagree, as a resume is the first thing they see when processing your application).

Finally when you compare the ease of use of the BGE and look around you for alternatives of a game engine that doesn’t require programming knowledge…eeehm…quest3d…virtools… know what I mean?

Now if we could get Crystal space (yes I know people are working on it), or even better a way to standardise BGE logic output to any other engine (built with blender, runtime in “insert game engine name here”)… then again, Crystal space is already really really nifty*.

Have a nice day…
(Current hobby: trying to crash the BGE…without much success).

*it’s the spaz man, completedly shwaaay, over the top into lalaland, “aaah vaaaaah”, and so on.

I like what OTO said (I think it was OTO) about how we need to realize the advantages of Blender and its “style” as compared to other solutions.

Pros (not all)

  1. Free
  2. OSS (if you know how, you can code in whatever feature is missing)
  3. Code is kept to a minimum (if you don’t like code…).
  4. You do get experience in python, if you do code, and Python is used in lots of places (even in professional gaming companies).

Cons (not all)

  1. Slow
  2. Not feature rich

Blender is good for the indie game developer who isn’t making a next-generation title for the xbox 360/playstation 3. I think that the best way for the Blender game engine to enter the “pro” market is for us to create innovative games with interesting gameplay, and not try to measure up to Half Life 2/Doom 3. They have their area of expertise, but as some people have said, they have their gameplay problems, too. Tetris is/was not a graphic wonder, but it’s still played today and has sold millions and millions of copies.

Us Blender people need to focus on gameplay, I think, but that’s just my opinion. I know that Transdecent and Radiance seem to be breaking new ground with their graphics.

How about you don’t guess, and instead actually find out what the licensing fee is. Also, you guys don’t have to worry about licensing fees, since they only apply if you are selling your game (you guys don’t care about money, so now you don’t have an excuse).[/quote]

Actually can you find out for us? I’ve checked everywhere, not posted at all. Also emailed the email given in the .pdf, no reply.

I’d dabble with the valvle HL2 engine, but things start getting massively complicated and unfriendly for the amount of time I have free. Lol, better time spent making something innovative in blender or just gaming for fun.

Jason Lin

I looked around for the licensing fee, and found nothing except that email link that you talked about. Licensing fees for game engines can be anywhere from $10,000, to $250,000. Since the source engine is one of the top leading in the industry, it would be fair to assume that it resides somewhere in the high end of that range. Although I won’t know until I get the email back.

I think that the reason they don’t state the price is because it ussually differes in nature, dependant on how you use the engine, the priceing is always different.

On a more general note: I am sorry that I posted this in a manner such as that it looked as an “attack” on BGE, which was not my intention. My goal was simply to inform people of the sourceSDK, nothing more. I still love blender and I have the greatest respect for it’s developers and users, but facts are facts. Source is better in every possible way other than specific legal (money) matters, but since most of the people here make games for the love of games I thought that wouldn’t matter much.

Remember the saying “if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it”?

Source is one of those things it applies to. Its price is a guarded secret, and if you want to know it, you’d better be prepared to convince Valve that you’re a serious developer with funding and willing to sign an NDA.

Now, I’ve just been working full-time with Source for a month. In some ways it’s nice to work with, in others it’s a pain. It’s very badly documented, and some features seem really rushed. On this project we had three programmers, and they were pretty frustrated with not having access to the code. There’s just no way to get at the main loop without buying a license. FPS controls are hardwired.

The bottom line is that if you want to do something similar to HL2, Source is fine. But if you want to do something just a little different, it’s going to be hard.

Just found this thread and found it quite interesting. I can’t claim to know all that much about the various game engines (my only experience with 3D graphics programming is Java3D and I have no experience with proper game engines). But the little research I have done shows it as quite an interesting area. The big advantage of the BGE seems to be that very little coding is required and it fits very nicely with Blender for the modelling aspects. Also, that it is open source and no money is needed to use it. The downside seems to be that it is not as feature rich as some of the professional studio engines such as Source and Unreal.

I do agree that the liklihood of a HL2 equivalent game being made in the BGE is unlikely purely because it is not getting used by any of the game studios.

So, to the point of my post. A lot of what is being said about the BGE is similar to what was being said about Blender itself not so long ago. i.e., a nice product for free, but nobody uses it for professional grade stuff. Blender has come on by leaps and bounds and is now up there with the big boys. And to prove it, the Orange project came along and made a professional grade movie with it (while at the same time making a lot of improvements to the program to support any required features for this, and we all get the benefits). So what I’d be interested in would be a similar project (the Tomato Project perhaps?) which did a similar thing with the BGE.

Anyone think it’s an interesting idea? Or do I really not know what I’m talking about?

(P.S., a subtle point, I know, but there are other open source game engines out there. Not really trying to make a point with that, but no one seems to have mentioned it yet).

Can’t argue with you on that, you are %100 right. The lack of documentation is really bizzare, especially for something as commercial as source. Also, one other let down is their reservation of the core source code for actual contract developers. I have been using the sourceSDK for about 3 months now, and I have encountered all theese problems.

Although, I must say. It is a very nice feeling when I am making an FPS type game, to simply import my models, textures and sounds, and not have to worry about how to set up collision detection, or how to properly implement a set of physics modules. Also having the ability to choose from existing HL2 AI sets is such a guilty pleasure. It’s a nice feeling to just be able to go in and make your idea work within minutes. Yes, it bothers me that I have to go through steam, and that some of the aspects are “hardwired” as you have noted, but its just so easy, to the point where I am willing to except some limitations on originality.

I think its a great idea, but it’s not one to be entertained by someone like you or me. As with “Project Orange” a similar project for a game would need a group of very talented individuals who have had significant previous experience with the BGE. Also, this project should be rigorously documented, and by that I mean they should not only make the game, but they should also write a set of tutorials explaining exactly how they made it, including a list of new features that were developed, and how we as regular users can go about implementing those features ourselves.

The project you are suggesting has been suggested before, and as a result nothing happened, leading me to believe that people are either not interested, or that this idea just isn’t being put out as much as it should.

Either way I believe that a project such as that would be the best way to further the development of the game engine. Now if only someone with the skills would step forward and start a project.

I must say, all this discussion is really getting me in the mood to play about with some of the game engines out there. I have had a look at the GameKit book for Blender and played about with the example games. But I’ve never seen a particularly grand scale game done in any of the open source engines. The biggest amateur projects still seem to be mods for other games.

In particular, does anyone know of any good FPS games made with Open Source technology by amateurs? Or I suppose any 3D game really (Tux Racer, Armagetron and that multiplayer tank game are all that is coming to mind).

(P.S., I think all your points are very valid Social, thanks for taking the time to clarify them when prompted and for responding to my query)

…The Blender game engine is quickly getting there, by 2.42 if the new GLSL shaders are in…

I don’t mean to “butt” in, but I just want to make a small correction: GLSL shader support is already here (it was released with version 2.41). I think many of us (myself included) assumed, based on a thread that discussed the shaders in 2.42, that it wasn’t possible in 2.41. It -is- possible in 2.41 and there are sample .blend’s that demonstrate it (the 2.41 “Game Engine Demo” files at One of those sample files is the “Pond Demo” that I’ve posted about here, and it demonstrates both vertex and fragment shaders.

What 2.42 will bring (I hope) will be even better shader support (plus all the other things that others have posted about).

Social, I think you are right that it is easier making a mod for HL2 if you’re making an FPS anyway. Yes, it’s nice seeing your models etc. just work in a context right away, and you can tweak and experiment with the modules that are already there. All well and good.

What I see as BGE’s strength is the versatility - you could do an RTS or a turn-based game, point-and-click adventure, racing game etc. - or, as I have, experiment with making it into a live VJ tool, complete with homebrew hardware. So in my mind, the BGE has its niche.

Plus, on the project previous to the one on Source, where we ended up using CryEngine, one of our game designers was a Blenderhead - and he did gameplay mockups in BGE before we even started content production. It’s a quick and easy way to test stuff, if you know how.

I meaning the new ones that will be possible in 2.42, like bump/normal/parrelax mapping.

They’re not currently possible in 2.41.

I know we have them in 2.41, but things like bump mapping aren’t possible.