Book Image

Game Development with Blender and Godot

By : Kumsal Obuz
Book Image

Game Development with Blender and Godot

By: Kumsal Obuz

Overview of this book

Game Development with Blender and Godot is a comprehensive introduction for those new to building 3D models and games, allowing you to leverage the abilities of these two technologies to create dynamic, interactive, and engaging games. This book will start by focusing on what low-poly modeling is, before showing you how to use Blender to create, rig, and animate your models. You will also polish these assets until they’re game-ready, making it easy for you to import them into Godot and use them effectively and efficiently. Next, you will use the game engine to design scenes, work with light and shadows, and transform your 3D models into interactive, controllable assets. By the end of this book, you will have a seamless workflow between Blender and Godot which is specifically geared toward game development. Alongside, you’ll also be building a point-and-click adventure game following the instructions and guidance in the book. Finishing this game will help you take these newly acquired skills and create your own 3D games from conception to completion.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Part 1: 3D Assets with Blender
Part 2: Asset Management
Part 3: Clara’s Fortune – An Adventure Game

Advantages of low-poly models

Here is a quick list of the benefits of following a low-poly modeling practice:

  • Fewer polygons
  • Small file size
  • A certain artistic style
  • Easy to prototype
  • No or minimal texturing

Working with fewer polygons certainly means fewer things to change and worry about. Shortly, you’ll learn how to create a barrel, and by the end of that exercise, your model will have close to a thousand polygons. This number may seem high at first but imagine working with a hi-poly barrel model with more than 10,000 polygons. So, if you are new to 3D modeling, low-poly modeling is a great place to start.

Should you decide to alter your models, working with a higher number of polygons will force you to be more careful. So, in essence, having fewer polygons is comforting since you will feel like you have more control over your creation. Naturally, fewer polygons will result in a smaller file size too.

The artistic style advantage is a non-technical item in the advantages list. Nevertheless, it might be an important decision. Let’s focus on Figure 1.3, for example. You’ll see why lack of detail doesn’t always mean lack of imagination:

Figure 1.3 – Low-poly model landscape

Figure 1.3 – Low-poly model landscape

Here, you can see just enough details to figure out that there is a church. Perhaps this church is looking onto a town square. The mountain tops have some snow. Is this a peaceful town that’s appealing to tourists for winter sports? Perhaps the townspeople are currently hiding in the church from a villain? Our imagination fills in the details. Whatever the case and the game genre is, the low-poly aspect of the 3D models doesn’t induce a penalty for creativity. In fact, in the last few years, we’ve seen more games with low-poly assets making headlines.

If you are working in a small game development team or if you are the only developer, you’ll sometimes want to focus on game mechanics first to see if the idea is fun. In situations like these, you’ll want to prototype objects quickly so that you can embed them into your code. When the model you are working on has a generic shape of the object you would like to design and has enough details, then you might be done. That’s why it’s a highly sought-after choice among indie developers since you can move forward quickly to the next model, then to programming your game. In essence, low-poly modeling is like prototyping but it’s a few steps more refined than placing a cone for a tree, a cylinder for a barrel, or a cube for a crate.

Last on the list is texturing. This is a process where you give a certain look and feel to your model. A sandy beach usually looks yellow. If it’s a rocky beach, then the rocks will most likely have different tones of gray. Thus, it’s about mainly applying color information to the surfaces of your model. Sometimes, this color information will be complemented by additional data such as reflectivity, metallicity, and roughness. We’ll discover all this in the next chapter.

It’s often said that most things in the computer world are a trade-off. Speed versus quality versus price is a common example where you can most likely have two out of three but not all three. Despite all the benefits a low-poly workflow provides, there are some limitations, but recognizing them will help you to find workarounds or plan ahead.

Limitations of low-poly models

If your models need to show damage such as missing parts along an edge or some chunks blown out of a face, then you need to introduce more polygons in those areas. This still won’t make it a high-poly model, but you’ve got to consider additional polygons if you fancy some dynamic details.

Also, if you decide to animate your low-poly models, you’ll need to introduce more geometry by adding more polygons in the areas where there will be bending and twisting (depending on the model you are animating).

Additionally, since there are fewer polygons, you may have to be creative with the lighting of your scene to give the illusion of detail. Although the color of the water in Figure 1.3 is the same throughout the composition, the designer used a couple of clever methods to make the scene look more interesting. First, the water’s surface looks fractured. This gives the illusion that there is some slight movement in this water’s body. Perhaps there is a gentle breeze. Second, some of those fractures have a reflective material applied. This makes the surface reflect the objects further ahead on the horizon.

We’ll look at ways to overcome these limitations in the following chapters, but for now, let’s learn how to create a few low-poly models of our own.