The Burner Effect – Development vlog – Episode 2

Have your volume control ready, because the start of the
audio in this is broken!

In this video, if you can hear it – we have a look at the Peace Enforcer model I teased about in the last videos title, and optimising your renders for sales on Redbubble.

My microphone volume is incredibly low (and I can’t be bothered to rerecord it), so I’d turn your volume up _after_ the first musical segment to actually hear what I’m saying.
To save you damaging your eardrums, the first sentence is:
‘Hello, I’m David – and this is the second instalment: aaand I’ve rendered this way too fast, so straight on with the mu–‘

I will be looking at using the blender-osm plugin by Prokitetkura which can import OpenStreetMap data from within Blender, and I’ll be attempting to compile it with the Armory game engine so I have the basis of a first-person-shooter level layout.

We explore Laycock House and Premier House on the map, and compare the building shapes to how they are in the real world, and I don’t want to spoil it for you – but we have some success with exporting to the Armory engine!

Music (Peace Enforcer):
Henry Homesweet – Joshy

Music (Armory export):
David Guetta Ft Kelly Rowland – When Love Takes Over (Buzzby & Dane Robson Remix)

The Burner Effect – Development vlog – Episode 1

25/11/19 – Update

In this update, I’ll talk about the huge Sheffield map that you have read about in my first post, way back in February: we’ll get to have an actual look at the map, see how it is organised – and explore it a little

I’ll also show you a fix for those who may be trying to run Blender on an old Intel i915 chipset (and others, though I’ve not tested this on any other chipsets), have a flick through some fiction, and I do a little speedpaint.

Terrain elevation, osm2world, basic WASD, Solarus, Bananaman reboot.

Horizontally split screen view showing a red box object and a camera.
The bottom window is where on the map it is positioned.
The Player entity is the red object in the top panel, and the bottom shows their relative position on the map.

Sheffielders will recognise the area, but it doesn’t look right – does it?
In reality, the region in the middle isn’t flat – they’re connected by Park Square Bridge, and has a busy road below it (and there aren’t any roads)

I’ve purposely selected this area to show how they are interpreted (at least on my machine) – I strongly suspected that this feature does work in the addon, but it is too intensive for my netbook to run.
In the real world, there is a complex road system, and a tramline and a trainline that run alongside it – even a bridge to connect the tramline into the city center and beyond.

What also isn’t shown, is that there is Park Square Bridge connecting the two areas.

OpenStreetMap view of Park Square – the circular-type buildings (Park Hill flats) would be off to the right of this image.

This does bring me on to another method I have been using to work around this, at the moment unsuccessfully: though I have been busy with work.
There’s not really much I am allowed to say about my job , so I won’t say anything.

These are hobbyist projects I’m working on in my own free time and volition, the two are completely separate and I intend to keep it that way.

I digress, the other method I’ve been using is a free package called OSM2World. This is a small Java tool that scrapes OSM data from OpenStreetMap, much the same as the Blender addon from my last post

I had hoped that using this tool would be much more lightweight than having a full Blender session open, and less demanding on system resources. I’ve tried running in an ultra-minimal window manager (my firm favourite, i3.) – but still, it crashes once half way through terrain generation.

In this article, I’m going to be using a free piece of software called OSM2World; currently in my development process, I plan to use a hybrid of exporting OSM files from this application and blender-osm to import into Blender: the reason for this, is that I want a copy of the geographic data I’ve downloaded, and not for it to be embedded in my Blender savefile.

I’m assuming you have downloaded and installed the packages from the Requirements area of the post; if you are wanting to play along, if not – that’s cool, too. I don’t want to go too deep in the installation here, and entrust the relevant applications’ documentation will get you where you need to be if you get lost.

Open OSM2World, and you’ll have a black screen with a menu bar along the top. If you have already selected your region, and downloaded a file from the OpenStreetMap website, you can open this with File -> Open and selecting the file.

I already have one, but for the purposes of the exercise, I’m going to redownload it through the application.

Select File -> Download OM data:
On the test I did with blender-osm, I used these latitude and longitude parameters:

Min-Lat: 53.3766, Min-Lon: -1.4726 / Max-Lat: 53.3837, Max-Lon: -1.449 
A 3d model of a city, with several lines coming from it, where it has incorrectly interpreted multi-level areas as flat.
The terrain mesh here is trying to tell us something is wrong.

As it stands, this is as far as I have gotten with the level editing portion of the game, knowing that until I can generate the correct terrain height-maps, it’d be pointless modelling the buildings. Again, I revist the idea of having a set number of maps and levels but can’t let go of the free-roaming idea, and don’t want to have to break it down.

I have set my sights towards having a control system. At the moment, I have a rudimentary WASD and MouseLook enabled, and can (sluggishly) walk through the city. I perhaps need to look at optimisation and culling of objects that aren’t in view.

Basic setup of WASD keymappings in Blender’s logic editor; Game mode.

This kind of works, but I really need to slow everything down as far as the movement, you run through entire streets in seconds!

Top: Logic editor / Bottom: Overhead view of the city


This has been so much fun to play with! It’s a Zelda-alike RPG maker; which doesn’t come bundled with any Zelda assets, but they are downloadable from their website – and there is a big community fanbase that are doing fantastic work with reinventing Zelda games with this software.

I’ve been using it for something a little bit different, I’ve downloaded a tileset from of Beavis and Butthead on the Gameboy, brought it into GIMP, and have gone around selecting any portions of the map which are tileable, and creating a tileset from it, and importing it back into the game.

Bananaman reboot

I’ve been waiting ages for a Bananaman reboot, and nobody has made one – so I want to make my own: to draw comparison for where I’d like to take it, would be a cross between The Tick and Love, Death and Robots.

Short videos utilising existing storylines from Beano and Funday Times comics, each episode has two stories and no two animation styles are the same.

Title in ‘Comica’ font
Title in ‘HVD Serif Comic Pro’ font
Title in ‘Comic Queens’ font
Title in ‘Comic Kings’ font
Title in ‘Comic Cover’ font

Which do you prefer? Should episode titles vary in the fonts? Leave a meaningful comment to share your views so I don’t overlook it as Spam.

For inspiration, I selected a lot of images and pasted them all into one big reference sheet, so that with it imported into Blender as an image – I can quickly look around and use the colour picker to ensure I use accurate, canonical data from the original source.

The original is much higher resolution than this: I’ve pixelated and blurred the image so I’m not sharing other peoples content, and it keeps the web crawlers happy

Sheffield FPS

Sheffield street map data imported into Blender using the blender-osm plugin.

This is a proof of concept first-person-shooter I’m working on based on OpenStreetMap data of Sheffield.

The picture you see above was generated using the premium version of blender-osm – which is available on the developers’ gumroad page: prokitetura.

I will go into much further detail about using this plugin in later posts, as it is a core factor in producing our maps, and will also look at a couple of alternative (free) methods to use.

I’ll be documenting my progress, what I’ve learnt and musings in the form of a devjournal: not just for the maps, but the entire game production process.

I’m no stranger to 3D software, but this will be my first video game project; and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you, and hope that as well as creating a high-quality, immersive game on as little budget as possible – I hope that having a transparent and public development process, I can help other people learn from what I’ve learnt, too.

Currently, it is being developed in Blender Game Engine due to hardware constraints, I’m using a netbook which will not run Blender 2.8.
Once I’ve overcome this obstacle, I’ll be working using theArmory engine, which is absolutely fantastic: except my little Toshiba NB250-10G can’t handle the crunch when I try to run the game. Not that it’s a bad machine, it’s served well over the years, but this is too out of its’ league.
The ambitious idealist in me would love to carry on developing a BGE version too – because people with crap computers need to game too, right?