Game Development with Blender and Godot
Packt, September 2022
330 pages, from EUR 24.99 (print and e-book)
Many developers dream of creating their own game. With “Game Development with Blender and Godot”, Packt is launching a textbook that takes into account the needs of developers oriented towards 3D games.
The creation of three-dimensional models often proves to be a serious obstacle. In the first chapter, the author Kumsal Obuz demonstrates the use of Blender by modeling a beer keg model, which is short but sufficient. In the reviewer’s opinion, it is commendable that he also includes information about the “polygon number” and the disadvantages associated with high-polygon models (keyword performance) at this point.
In the following sections, the beer keg is used to introduce colors, materials, textures and even dynamically generated textures. Due to the length of this sub-section of only around 50 pages, it goes without saying that it cannot replace a complete explanation of shader programming. This is followed by considerations for lighting the scene created in Blender and for using the animation engine implemented in Blender.
From Blender to Godot
The Unity game engine has radically transformed the game development process: if scenes were previously coded by hand, Unity provides a dedicated scene for each “game operating state”. Godot is based on this procedure, which is often used thanks to Unity. The next act of the tutorial turns to how to make a scene that looks good in Blender responsive to Godot. In addition to tips on how to correctly configure the export wizard, Obuz explains how imported scenes can be managed and sound effects can be written. The reviewer finds the considerations on which format to use optimally for background music and how to configure the media player commendable.
From game to practice
After presenting the handling of Blender and Godot, Obuz turns to the realization of an example game: The point-and-click game known as Clara’s Fortune will keep readers busy from about page 164 of the work.
This chapter begins with the creation of the actual level, in which the protagonist can later let off steam. The author lets developers assemble the level in Godot from individual parts, which means a much higher didactic teaching value than direct import from a Blender source.
The manual generation of the lighting demonstrates various shader effects at a high level. In this context, it should be positively emphasized that at the end of almost every chapter there are references to literature, which enable readers to deepen their own experiences.
User interfaces and interaction
Since a computer game without a status screen is only half the battle, Godot offers an embedded GUI stack, which the textbook explains extensively. Setting up the status screen results in a “pivot” in the direction of using the various cameras, because if you can’t let your protagonist look realistically through the levels, you’ve created most of the game’s graphics for nothing.
The last act is the implementation of various animation and sound effects: The work also addresses the event bus to encourage developers to create a flexible architecture for their game.
At this point, the only thing missing is a click on the Compile button to obtain a deliverable .exe file. Users of modern game engines – the reviewer explicitly includes Godot here – have to take more into account at this point: The work demonstrates the various export settings in detail and also goes into detail where the beta testers, who are immensely important for testing and checking the concepts, can be found.
To round things off, there follows a roughly two-page list of genres in which the use of the Godot engine leads to particularly fast or particularly impressive results. Obuz presents “building blocks” of the engine, which are particularly useful in the respective genre and serve as an entry point for your own training measures.
Is it worth?
There is no question that special interest engines, regardless of whether they are Unity or Godot, impart comparatively little general programming knowledge. However, if you have already decided on Godot or if you find that the engine suits your needs well, you will find a guide through the jungle of beginnings here. A complete discussion of the engine cannot be accommodated in 330 pages, but starting with just the documentation would be much more work-intensive. In the opinion of the reviewer, a purchase recommendation is therefore entirely justified.
has been dealing with handheld computers and electronics since 2004. His current focus is on interdisciplinary applications of information technology.