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Submitted by , posted on 15 March 2002



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As you can see from the image, this IOTD has to do with particle effects. One big problem with images of particle effects is that particle effects generally only look good when they're moving. But seeing as the main reason for this post is not to show off the particle effects themselves, but to present a means of creating them, it's perhaps not such a problem.

The tool has been designed to allow the user to create particle effects which can be exported from the app straight into the game engine. A particle effect is composed of a number of particle systems, and each system may be influenced by any number of so-called affectors (gravity, faders...). This structure is represented in a tree view which you can make out on the right hand side of the images. The particle effect runs the whole time in the display window, with any changes and additions to the effect taking place on the fly.

The thing that makes the tool interesting is that the affectors have a generic interface to both the tool and the game engine, which allows the particle engine to be extended by new affectors without having to make any changes to either the engine or the particle tool (at the moment it's all statically linked, so I do have to recompile).

A small demo is available at http://nwaldren.bei.t-online.de/other_stuff.htm. It includes a few affectors, a couple of (meaningless) samples and supports saving and loading in an ascii text format.



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