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Blender is one of those applications that you either love or hate. I know it is great for 3D modeling and and animations and there is a lot said about the UI and its steep learning curve.

I am more interested in how Blender stands out as far as Game Development goes. So my question is, what would be the Pros and Cons of choosing to use Blender to develop a high performance 3D game?

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Is this a question about The Blender Game Engine? (If so, perhaps you should mention it/tag it.) Or just using Blender for modelling? –  Andrew Russell Jul 16 '10 at 0:37
    
I would guess (and I'm most interested in) Blender for modeling. The game engine went stagnant for a significant period of time and is just being renovated, last I checked; I never had much faith in it. –  Ricket Jul 17 '10 at 6:24
    
I dont have enuogh points to create a blender-game-engine tag. But I think this question is working out coz there is great information coming in. –  Steve Obbayi Aug 2 '10 at 8:34
    
I'll add it for you. (You did have enough rep during the beta ;) –  Andrew Russell Aug 2 '10 at 15:22
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7 Answers

Blender is great if you know how to use it. (I suppose you mean as a modeling software, not the GE)

Here's some reasons:

  • It can export to many file formats out of the box, and many you can find, and many you can write your own scripts for importing
  • You can usually find a lot of free models to build on or use as placeholders
  • It's free (as in speech)
  • Due to the Python interface, you can find a lot of extra features implemented by someone, and build your own collection tailored to your needs
  • You get a huge community for support.

Of course, these are reasons Blender works, not reasons Maya or 3DS doesn't.

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last time I checked it was also free as in beer, meaning you don't have to pay for it. –  Raoul Jul 22 '10 at 11:18
    
It's both, though some companies have been known to rebrand and sell Blender. blender.org/press/re-branding-blender –  Toby Feb 2 at 14:59
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I have worked in various companies that used blender extensively for their game development. Most of them used their own exporters, but the reasons for that start to diminish, since blenders collada exporter is becoming better.

If you are talking about GameBlender ("running games in blender") I like it for rapid prototyping, but not for final products (due to the plugin dependency).

If you just want it to create assets, then it doesn't matter where your data comes from, since your engine will make the difference.

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I've never been terribly impressed with the Blender Game Engine (though I haven't worked with it enough to have a strong opinion), but as part of a content pipeline for a game, Blender is great.

I've been using it for nearly 4 years and it's a fine piece of software. It's free, and while the interface is a bit menacing at first, it's very efficient once you get a feel for it (and 2.5 looks like it's cleaning it up a lot). The python scripting API is great, and allows you to automate all sorts of things, write exporters/importers and so on. I've even used it as a simple map editor for a project or two, with a script to export to the appropriate map format.

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If you want to use Blender as a game development platform, check out the GameKit: http://code.google.com/p/gamekit/

Created by Erwin Coumanns from Bullet (and others), it features tight integration with IrrLicht/Ogre3D.

It's still in the early stages, but it does look promising! :)

The basic idea seems to be to create a scene in Blender, and then directly load that blend file into your engine (powered by either IrrLicht or Ogre3D).

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I heard blender was considering doing away with their game engine in favor of sing Ogre, do you have any information about this rumor? –  Steve Obbayi Aug 2 '10 at 8:36
    
No, they're not. :) Erwin Coumanns is one of the BGE authors, and he's not going to compete with himself. There was some brief talk/experiments years ago, but it faded out. Of course, it would be cool having Ogre as a renderer for the BGE, but IMO it's way cooler to unencumber the Blender Game Engine and let IrrLicht and Ogre 3D handle the gritty rendering affairs! And the license is much clearer too. –  jacmoe Aug 2 '10 at 16:20
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If you want to see how you can use Blender to make a next-gen game, check out Project AfterShock.

Start by reading issue 21 of Blender Art Magazine, page 31: http://issuu.com/blenderart_magazine/docs/blenderart_mag-21_eng

Then visit their site: http://www.liquidrockgames.com/

And browse the showcase topic in the Ogre3D forum: http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=37377&start=0

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Blender can be easily extended via python and so it fits in virtually every content creation pipeline. You can write your own custom exporters, or even add your own UI-elements for tweaking game-specific properties. With version 2.5 the UI has got a major overhaul and is much more intuitive now.

On the con side, many existing game engines don't provide really good exporters for blender, especially the commercial ones (but then, you can always write your own).

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I have seen a lot of Z-Brush artists use Blender for unwrapping UVs. It seems particularly good at things like creating the seams on low poly characters

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