Bushfires, Qodot, and 3D platformers

At the beginning of 2020, I was just trying to process the catastrophe that was the ‘19/‘20 summer bushfires which had laid waste to much of the bush land near my home on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. The village I live in was luckily unaffected, but people living in surrounding towns and regions weren’t so lucky. Our landscape was to forever be changed, and I was only beginning to come to terms with the reality of such devastation.

Above is a series of photos from my deck looking down the street on the 4th of January 2020, a day I will never forget. The first photo is from 5:07pm, the last from 5:39pm. The only reason the last photo looks brighter at a glance is because we had to turn the outside light on to see. Our surroundings were darker than night, pitch black with smoke on a day when the sun was supposed to set at 8:23pm!

After the initial panic and mayhem of these days subsided and the immediate threat gone, it was still difficult to shake the sense of urgency after such a prolonged period of uncertainty.

During this time, one of the things I would do to take my mind off things was to listen to the QuakeCast. One episode dropped fresh at this time: episode #44 from January 10 2020, featuring Shifty explaining his new creation, Qodot.

Qodot is a BSP map importer for the open source game engine, Godot.

Serendipitously, during the months leading up to me listening to this episode of the QuakeCast, I had been experimenting with Godot and I was trying to work out how I could get 3D levels into the engine. Until then, I had only been working in the 2D space in Godot, but with my experience building maps using TrenchBroom, a 3D experience in Godot using Qodot to import my maps was all of a sudden going to be a reality. Using a tool that can import my existing BSP maps into Godot made perfect sense.

Good. Another thing to take my mind off the disaster that had unfolded over the summer. I was off to work in TrenchBroom, Godot and Qodot.

TrenchBroom, Qodot, Godot workflow
TrenchBroom, Qodot, Godot workflow

Since then, I’ve spent time on and off tinkering with the tool chain making a couple of short levels of a concept 3D platformer. I would love to spend more time developing this game and other projects, but yeah, life.

I have another barrier as well; I seriously need to learn lots more about 3D modelling and rigging in Blender. All in good time as they say.

Anyway, that’s all I had to say. I just thought I’d give the Qodot project a mention and some history and context as to how I came across it. I still find it funny how I was playing around with the same two tools that Shifty was also playing around with at just the right time for me to start using them. Synchronicity perhaps. It is just fortunate for myself and for the rest of the community that brilliant minds like his exist to develop tools such as Qodot for us all to use.

I hope at some stage I’ll be able to do some follow-up posts showing some things I’ve made and perhaps write up some tutorials. In the meantime, the links below should lead you to some useful content.

Check out all the links: