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Tutorials - Blender Game Engine

Game Engine Text Made Easy

Requirements: Mariano's Blender Library script

Step 1: Install the Blender Library script

If you don't have Blender Library yet, right-click the link above and select "Save Link As" in Firefox or "Save Target As" in Explorer. When prompted, choose your blender scripts directory (example: C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender2.41\.blender\scripts\). Make sure it is saved as a Python (.py) file. Placing the Blender Library script into the scripts directory is all that is required to install the plugin.

Figure 1. Starting Blender Library

Step 2: Start Blender Library

In Blender, open a Scripts window. Now select "Blender Library" from the Scripts >> Objects menu (see Figure 1).

(If you don't see "Blender Library" in the list, you'll need to update your scripts. You can do this by selecting "Update Scripts" from the Scripts menu in the Scripts window.)

Step 3: Import a Text Object

Pull down the Blender Library menu button located on the title bar (highlighted in Figure 2a). Select "Import an item..." as shown in Figure 2b.

Figure 2. Importing a Text Object

Choose a Blender Library item to import from the Folder window (must be .tar format). You will get a confirmation message telling you that the Object was successfully loaded. For this tutorial I will be using Alpha Mack by Astigmatic One Eye Foundry. More fonts are available in Downloads.

Figure 3. Loading Alpha Mack

Step 3: Load the Item Into the Current Scene

Navigate to "Objects >> GE Text >> Alpha Mack" using the pull down menus or the arrows. Click the "Load" button (highlighted in Figure 3), then select whether to load at the origin or at the cursor from the popup menu (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Select Load Position

Important Note About Scaling or Rotating GE Text:

If you plan to use text in the Game Engine, you certaniny will want to change the default position, scale, and/or rotation. Be sure to modify the text object in Object Mode to achieve correct results. Scaling or rotating in Edit Mode will alter the spacing, size and direction of individual letters. (Of course, you may want to do this at some time. For example: rotate -90 degrees in Edit mode, 90 degrees in Object Mode for vertical text.)

Step 5: Read the Font License

Many fonts are completely free for any use, but others are free only for non-commercial work. A small amount are only free for personal use. Most fonts come with a license file explaining which category they fall into. Blender Library will prompt you (see Figure 5) when you load the object to make you aware of any licenses. Licenses can be viewed in the Text Editor window.

Figure 5. Blender Library Prompts you to read the license

Step 6: Change the Text Variable

Figure 6. Change the value of "Text" in the Game Logic context
By default, every text object you download from blendenzo.com will have its "Text" variable set to "www.blendenzo.com" (kinda like the credits at the beginning of a movie). You might come across a situation where you would want to change the variable setting to display some text which is a bit more pertinent to your game. The "Text" variable is a game logic property of the text object. To change the variable, select the text object in a 3d View window, then bring up the Game Logic context in the Buttons window. You will see a property named "Text" listed. Change its value (highlighted in Figure 6) to say what you need it to say. You can use a simple logic brick setup to change the text as the game is being played.


I hope this tutorial has helped those of you who have not been able to figure out Blender's game engine text in the past. If you have any questions, or if you're interested in helping build the BGE Font Library, please contact me using the "contact" button in the main menu.

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