Valve Steam Workshop donations – 2 devs get hired

Thanks to the first Steam Workshop donation payment, we can now invest quality developer time for getting Blender work better in game creation pipelines. I”m happy to announce that Blender developers Dalai Felinto and Bastien Montagne have accepted a 6 month contract to work half-time on supporting game artists! Their contract will become effective this week.

First thing Dalai and Bastien will do is investigate with artists out there (via Steam Workshop too) a nice priority list of topics to handle. This will be publicly reviewed in our many channels and become part of the weekly meetings in IRC too.

Valve expects that Steam Workshop is going to be earning us a sizeable share. We”ll learn more about this during the next months though. But if this continues, more projects for developers can be funded this way. Main focus will be on good tools for game artists though, including features that benefit everyone well too. This also opens up an opportunity to realize a bigger project related to our Game Engine. That”s something we”ll discuss with the current GE team first though.

Exciting times ahead! Many many thanks to Valve and to the Steam Workshop members who decided to support Blender Foundation this way!


Added note: there”s a new mailing list to discuss and organize this all:

  1. I want to join steam

  2. Excellent news!

    We are a small studio making iOS games and we are seriously looking at ditching Maya after many years. A few things that would help us moving to Blender:

    – FBX export with support for materials, including custom properties.
    – FBX import.
    – Edit vertex normals, including smoothing normals across 2 different objects.

  3. Alembic!

  4. I’ve opened a mailing list for game developement related topics:

  5. better workflow for retargetting animation and baking keyframes would be nice.
    You could improve rigify script, so it exports a more game-friendly skeleton. Right now it exports all kinds of crap and is not very useable. Someone made a unity plugin that cleans it up a bit, but that is still a dirty hack.

    A good game friendly rig generation script is invaluable to a pipeline. Ideally such a rig has 2 systems- a motion system and a deformation system. The deformation system is the one that gets exported with the baked keyframes- it’s driven by the motion system. Ideally the deformation system is nothing but a bone hierarchy that the mesh is binded to.

    I made a video to explain this:

    So yeah, improve rigify to be more game friendly. Check some of maya’s free rigging scripts for reference.

  6. If we could incorporate something similiar to CatRig that would be incredible help eliminate my rigging headaches!

  7. Nice! I’ve working inside BGE a lot of time. I think that it will be a nice stuff.

  8. I have been preaching Valve as our game engine solution for over a year now! Just glad someone listened!

  9. the HIVE system from Sjoerd should be officially supported by the foundation and helping him to finish it. Specially if the foundation wants to have a nodal system for most of the features in Blender in the future.!

  10. yea, edit vertex normals!!
    i’m stuck with this at the moment:
    would be great to see something more convenient

  11. Thanks Valve for the initiative, this makes everybody’s world better. I’m developing in Blender for UDK and look forward to tighter integration/understanding of environments outside of Blender, such as lightmaps being build better, editing vertex normals, and as JSM said, cage baking. I’m sure that Bastien and Dalai are going to bring some amazing new functionality and/or improvements to Blender. Thanks again Valve!

  12. Awesome!!

    Here’s one thing that blender really needs to implement for it’s game creation pipeline. We need cages when doing baking. This would cut down on errors when baking as well as being more precise. I’ve had to end up using xnormal instead of blender because of a lack of cage baking.

  13. This is great to hear!

    We’re struggling with getting a Linux friendly workflow for getting models from Blender compiled into .mdl files that Source can use. That’s currently our major hurdle in releasing a playable version of the Source engine mod that the SteamLUG team worked on for the 7 Day FPS challenge. It would be neat to have a blender plugin that could do the conversion that studiomdl.exe does on windows without involving external utilities.

  14. Now thats a dream job. I wish I was doing that,

  15. Think we will ever get Blender to be released through steam as well? It would be nice to have a release build and a beta build from current SVN letting steam handle all the auto updating and multiplatform support.

  16. Since FBX is the standard interchangeable format for games, I hope this means some extra time can be spent to improve the FBX-Blender pipeline.

    Incredibly psyched about the workshop donations, what a cool initiative by Valve!

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