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The Blender GameKit: Interactive 3D for Artists Paperback – 14 May 2009

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About the Author

Carsten Wartmann is a 3D designer living in Berlin, Germany, and the author of The Official Blender GameKit, The Blender Book (both No Starch Press), and co-author of The Official Blender 2.0 Guide (Premier Press).

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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
a disappointment 29 Aug 2009
By Brad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will not teach you how the Blender Game Engine works. It just goes through some example games and shows some specific details on how features in those games work. This book is a major step backward from the original Blender Gamekit book as that book did teach how to make games from scratch (unfortunately the version of Blender used in that book is hopelessly out of date). The graphical layout of the book is very well done though. Consult the Blender Wiki if you want to learn how the BGE works.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
It walks the line 22 Nov 2009
By swmagicien - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the books on computer graphics and game programming I've read, this is my favorite. I'm not exactly sure why. One reason, though, is that this book impressed me as practical poetry - or do I mean practically poetic? - compared to most of the others. The book is targeted towards blender artists and to some extent uses that as an excuse to take a non-technical approach to the subject. Unfortunately this means that the book doesn't goes as deep into the subject as most readers would like. Fortunately it also means that the book doesn't go into dreadful detail on subjects that in the long run you are going to have to figure out on your own anyway.

For such a short book, it covers a lot of material. Sometimes as I was reading it I felt like I was being cheated, that it wasn't even answering my most basic questions on the subject. Then I would myself pose a question on a topic that I felt hadn't been addressed and look into the book for an answer. Sure enough, in most cases it was there.

Quite a variety of games are presented in the text and if you want to write your own in any of the genres presented you should be able to use the sample programs as a guide to realize your idea. Expect to do a bit or even a lot of reverse engineering from the examples provided on the disk before you can make use of the techniques presented. The book's text alone will not be enough as most of the games are not presented in complete tutorial format. More often the book's text will just highlight a technique or two from a game so that you will know where to look on the disk for the examples you will need to follow.

The book omits anything significant on the ways of using character animation other than references to the fairly sophisticated blender open game project Yo! Frankie. Chapters in another book, Tony Mullen's Mastering Blender, fill some of the gaps in this area.

Despite the word Kit in the title, the games are not really kits in the same sense as say the Aurora Expansion Toolkit was for Neverwinter Knights. You can modify the games if you want - Yo! Frankie in particular is quite open to additional levels - but in most cases the games serve more like open source software programs that you can cannibalize for parts to your own game.

The book is inexpensive and fun and despite a few faults is still actually a pretty good introduction to creating games with blender. Recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Editable demos, but typos and limited descriptions cause frustration 21 Aug 2009
By JD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First off... thank you Blender Foundation for creating such awesome software!

That said...

(I am only half way through this book...but....)

Pros so far...
-The demos on the cd are nice in that they are editable and you can pack the files onto your HD so you don't need the disk anymore...that's cool
- I forsee the reference section as becoming useful in the future as my experience grows
- Screen shots are in color and clear
-The pumpkin 'game' and tube cleaner game are very nice walk-throughs... I had no problems completing them, and I am a beginner to blender.

Cons so far...
- There are so many typos and so much incorrect grammar that it is sometimes difficult to understand sentences...I don't think they proof-read this book at all. Side note - the authors of each chapter differ, so the verbiage is varied. Makes for inconsistency in readability.
- Many things are not explained at all... for example, the 'Empties' for the guns and engines on the sub in the sub demo... What are empties? It doesn't tell you.
- I was very disappointed that the sub game and yo frankie game are not walk throughs, but merely disjointed discussions on the development of the game (It borders on being self-congratulatory at times :/ )

My recommendation...
Do not buy this book. Get it from the library! Like I mentioned, the reference section seems thorough, and I am learning from this book...somewhat.
This book needs to be at least twice it's length, walking through every aspect of every game mentioned. I found myself often saying "That's nice. Now how do you do it?!"

Lynda.com has an extensive tutorial on Blender but is expensive. Check it out if you have the cash.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2nd Tutorial Crashed Blender, had to re-install Blender 14 Mar 2013
By Shawn Irwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the second tutorial, after pushing "p" to try out the game, it crashed, then Blender, in an attempt to recover the file, kept re-loading the crashed file, I could not get blender to load any of my other files because it kept re-loading the crashed file whenever it opened, and no controls worked, I could not close the crashed file or access any of the menu items, so I had to do a complete uninstall of Blender and then a re-install. I'm using Blender 2.66a, and I realize the books tutorials are older, and this could very well be a lapse in backward compatibility . . . . but I would not recommend this book, it's to old . . . . if the author wants to sell more books, he needs to update it. Take a look at the date of some of the higher review ratings before committing to buy . . . .
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Read 2 Mar 2010
By Rob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book over the Christmas holiday. It was an enjoyable read. All the examples worked, and I found the game kit's methodology to be intuitive. I highly recommend this book for the home enthusiast who wants to learn more on a limited budget. Download and install Blender. Buy this book, and have some fun!
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