Here’s a story gaining a lot of traction since yesterday after it hit Reddit, Twitter, and other sources — and stems from an email (included below) addressing an interest in bringing Blender to Steam and thoughts about Blender as a modding tool of choice for that ecosystem.
We are sharing this news, while still a bit too-early, because:
- a) It is awesome!
- b) Think back to the ripples of influence over time in the Games, Computer Graphics, and Design industries beginning with young game designers, developers, and coders cutting their teeth on clever Half Life 1 and 2 mods. (like these! And this one. Well… and my grav gun watermelon toss arena was awesome, ‘swear.)
- c)Add in the Quake engine as the letter below mentions, and while you are at it Unreal. Did you think these talented creatives and coders were just born writing Siggraph papers?
- d) And now add in the notion of first time designers doing this work … in a “modding tool” that is also a fully featured, professional grade package they can also use to make their own full-scale movies, games, and art work.
Here’s the letter in its entirety that is getting all of the attention right now:
I work for Valve (http://www.valvesoftware.com/company/). We would like to make our digital distribution platform Steam (www.steampowered.com) one of the places where you can download Blender. The long-term goal would be to make it easier for people to build their own mods for PC games with Blender and share these mods with other gamers.
So I was wondering if there are any Blender users on this list who are interested in PC games and could see themselves working on an integration between Blender and PC games that offer official modding support such as DOTA 2.
Valve is a company that is built on modding. The original Half-Life was built on a modified version of the Quake engine. All our major games since then started out as mods which we found cool, hired the people who built them and released them as major game titles. This is true for Counter-Strike, the original Team Fortress, Day of Defeat and DOTA 2 (Portal was not technically a mod but a student project – but you see the pattern).
Similarly, one of the most successful features of our Steam platform is the Steam Workshop (http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/), which is an interface for users to share, discover and install mods for their games. Essentially, you can publish your mod there and other gamers can bring your mod into their games with a single mouse click.
This is something that we think would be a cool feature for Blender to tap into. Like modeling a sword in Blender, pushing a button and having it available to all users of Skyrim. But we bet there are more creative ideas out there than this one.
What we are currently looking at is offering a completely vanilla version of Blender as a free download on Steam that is completely the same as that offered on other websites. We’d hope that this will get enough of our users exposed to and interested in Blender so they will be inclined to work on Blender plugins that would talk to Steam’s backend services such as Workshop.
If you think you might be interested in being part of that, we’d be happy to hear from you!
Are you up for the challenge? Download Blender now and find out!
Why don’t you download the open source awesomeness that is Blender and earn yourselves one of the Blender Skill Badges we offer in our store! Perhaps check out some Blender for 3D printing tutorials from the Blender Foundation, Blender Cookie, or Jason Welsh? (All highly recommended.)
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Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
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