Archive for the ‘blender’ Category

Top 3 Open Source Pinball Games

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The first flipper pinball machine was released 68 years and 1 month ago and yet there is only a handful of open source, cross-platform pinball video games available! Oh well, let’s take them for a spin, shall we?

 Dec 1st, 2015: 1. Added Libre Pinball, see Honorable Mentions below. 2. Added conclusion section.

 Jul 17th, 2016: Updated Emilia Pinball links

Nexus Pinball

Started only a month ago, Nova Pinball‘s simple sole 2D table is a lot of fun and development has made good progress.

Emilia Pinball

The ancient 3D Emilia Pinball project has a recent fork on GitHub that adds more tables (the last official release had only 2, the new one has 5). The code is the ancient but consistent original SourceForge project and some new tables are flowing around patches/mailing list posts

The game has 4 perspectives (F5-F8)

The models are very low-poly, which is fine and fast but the textures are sinfully low-resolution. However editing textures appears to be simple in existing tables, simply by overwriting them with higher-resolution files, as demonstrated with the angry gnu head in the screenshot above.

Creating new tables requires an editor, which I unfortunately was not able to compile yet (possibly due to lack of old Qt libraries).

There is a zombie/horror/Halloween table, which unfortunately contains non-free content.


The 2D Linball table is crazy fast but suffers from some sounds ripped from proprietary games (maybe there’s more non-free content).

Honorable mentions

Libre Pinball (thread) is very atmospheric but has no missions and only very few table elements right now. It was made using the Godot Engine.

Sadly, Visual Pinball only runs on Windows (wine page).

Vector Pinball for Android unfortunately has no instructions for desktop/Linux compilation.

Devil’s Pinball is a Blender-made pinball table. It’s quite buggy when played in recent Blender and there is no license information.


I find the open pinball games on Linux more entertaining than I expected them to be. The major downside is decoration and context: while the themes of some tables are intriguing, they unfortunately exist in a widescreen world without a proper background that adds to the experience.

And of course some accessible (video) documentation on how to create new tables would be a huge plus.

Got theme ideas for open source pinball tables? Write them in the comments!

Using Blender to Create Simutrans Graphics

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Sarlock, a fellow member of our community, published an interesting and detailed step-by-step tutorial that teaches you how to use Blender, a free 3D computer graphic tool, to create graphics for Simutrans, focusing on buildings. The tutorial also introduces you to the basic functions of Blender. If you were wanting to learn Blender but you […]

Blender Game Making Challenge starts on the 20th of this month

Monday, October 7th, 2013

While not necessary only for FOSS games, all will be done with the Blender3D included game engine (BGE). Check out their website here and/watch the video below:

The overall theme will be announce on the 20th when the contest starts.

DevCorner: Liberate some great Blender game art!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

UPDATE: First set of files has been released (license CC0) and on my advise he added some stretch goals:

  • 600$ > 3 game ready Enemies! (models, sfx, animations, effects)

  • 650$ > Dynamic optimized lighting system! (rich dynamic lighting with low resource usage )

  • 750$ > 4 new weapons!(model, texture, sound)

  • 850$ > Triple the amount of the actual props! (interactive objects,explosibles, new walls, doors windows etc.)

  • 900$ > New player model (model, textures)

Currently it is standing at 530$ and there are 22 days to go, so chances are we will see some more nice stuff out of this.
Way too many closed-source game projects never see the light of the day, and their code and assets are forever lost. Now at least one developer thought he could at least make a few bucks by liberating this content under the CC0 license:

There is some seriously nice stuff in that pack, and the 500 US $ he is asking for on his indigogo page is a bargain for it.

At the time of writing this, 200$ have been already pledged, so with your contribution it should be easy going to reach the goal. Update: 515$ contributed, thanks to everyone! Maybe the guy should think about strechgoals 😉

But I sure wish more developers of failed projects would release their assets like this.

SuperTuxKart accepted in GSoC2013!

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Google’s Summer of Code, is an annual sponsorship of programmers to improve selected open-source programs (or games 😀 ).
This year, quite a few interesting FOSS game projects got accepted (again) and one being our very own friends of the SuperTuxKart project.

Read more about their role as a mentoring organization here. So how about applying as a participant yourself and helping out this great FOSS game?

You can also browse other accepted mentoring projects here, if SuperTuxKart isn’t your thing. Other notable FOSS game (engine) projects accepted are:

Nice summer of coding ahead 🙂

DevCorner: Blender Game Engine

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

While Blender3D is one of the premier FOSS projects out there, its integral part the Blender Game Engine (BGE) is often belittled as not a serious game engine.

While the criticism is certainly not completely unfounded  and the integration of limited “non-programming” game code creation (via logic bricks) gives it a bit of a “RPG maker” image, it really is a quite interesting platform to work on it seems.
Ok, probably as of now the BGE is really more of a rapid game prototyping engine, but previous experience during the Yo, Frankie! project has actually shown that at least compared to some other well known FOSS engines, it is a serious contender (that Blender Foundation project originally started on Crystal Space, and after many problems was implemented in the BGE in a few weeks only).

So what makes it so interesting? Well for one there is the full integration with a creation tool (obviously Blender3D) so that getting your content into the game is only a matter of making it. No exporters or anything needed… it just works. Then of course there is the fully scriptability via Python, also integrated tightly. Basically you never have to exit Blender, and testing your game can be done right in the editor with one click (no compiling etc. necessary). Oh and did I mention the great physics capabilities via Bullet, also build right in?

In addition your created game will be immediately available on any platform the Blender Game player has been ported (all major desktop operating systems, with an Android port under development and a browser plugin, too). In addition you can choose to publish your game as a single .blend file, giving the users a direct access to all the source files of the game; a wet dream of any true FOSS game developer!
The tight integration with the GPLed Blender Player, has been a major source of discontent with the predominately propitiatory game developing users of the BGE however. Thus there now exists also a few options to encrypt your game and/or run it on an external engine that can be kept close source (but I will not go further into that here). 

You can find a lot of (sometimes really awesome looking: 1, 2, 3) game projects on the forum. Now as I said, most of it is sadly closed source with propitiatory artworks, but I also have the feeling that some simply don’t know or care about the legal implications of their “freeware” game (which sadly shows that even many people who use a great FOSS tool, mostly care about the “free as in beer” aspect of it). 

One of the more interesting projects right now (which might or might not become a full FOSS game) can be seen in this video:

It shows the most recent work by Martinesh, who is basically BGE’s resident game art guru. Two years ago we already featured previous awesome work by him, but sadly that Air Race project is by now canceled.
What he is now working on is however rather a show-case for the really nice new graphical features in the BGE which he and others are developing in the so called “candy” development branch (on his blog there are also more details and nice videos from some time ago).

Another cool recent project it the rewrite of the the logic bricks visual programming idea via nodal logic blocks called Hive.

While not completely integrated into Blender yet, you can already try it via an external editor (the created python code works fine inside Blender). There are also some tutorials and a documentation for it.
Since my programming skills also lack somewhat, I find that an interesting tool… however most likely it is rather a nice way to do some level scripting, than actually programming the real guts of a game with it.

So where can you get started with developing your own game using the BGE? Well, the sub-forums are always helpful, with some nice beginners video tutorials linked here, here, here and here 😉
There are even some books available (this one in particular is quite recent, which is a plus given the fast development of Blender3D) and there is of course the official Blender documentation.
Oh and a good source of content is (besides our friends of course) Blender Swap (nice interview with one of the creators here).

If you have further questions please comment below or ask over at!