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Submitted by , posted on 17 July 2002



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SENTINEL ISLANDS: TANK is a spare time game project by 2 people, Karl (gfx) and Toxi (code). It started out as a learning experience for both of us; I wanted some experience with low poly modeling and texturing, and Karsten wanted to get into 3d programming. As we're both into these kinds of games, a simple strategy/action approach seemed the natural choice. (And tanks are good because they have few moving parts, move at a reasonable pace, and their weight rules out any need for complicated physics, as they just hug the ground.)

We've just posted our first "playable" demo, (v0.37, url below) which means you can drive around, get shot at (without any harm), "deform" the terrain (build roads) and call over the dropship.

Planned 1.0 features includes:
  • platform independent client (mac/pc/OpenGL/DirectX) technology
  • web-based online multiplayer vehicle combat
  • fully deformable complex terrain
  • different terrain types affect accessibility
  • build roads, construct tanktraps and plant mines
  • AI controlled enemy forces
  • kick ass action/strategy combo =)
  • CODE: The entire game is written in Lingo, using Macromedia Director 8.5. Our choice was mainly due to having no previous experience in 3D programming, cross-platform availability (i.e. we develop on Mac G3's/G4's). Director/Shockwave is a very stable environment. You can run the game in your browser. Multiuser server side scripts are currently Lingo too, but might be ported to Java in future.

    GFX: All models were built in shapeshifter, a crossplatform "clone" of milkshape which runs as an xtra inside director. (Most of you should be familiar with milkshape. It's basically an editor aimed at building and animating meshes. It's ideal for low polygon work.) Textures were done in photoshop and UV-mapped in shapeshifter.

    About the screenshot: 1 is a beach shot, with the tank sitting in shallow water, facing the carrier. Carriers are used to lift the tank across deep water, and also for repairs, refueling and rearming.

    2 is a close-up of the tank moving through some hostile terrain. You can just about make out an AI enemy machine gun turret among the pine-trees in the background.

    3 shows the tank taking serious damage by a machine gun while tryiing to negotiate a series of tanktraps. Just ahead is a swamp, which will seriously impede movement. Time for an evasive manoeuver.

    4 is a shot from the map room, the "hub" where games are set up, hosted and joined. As the name implies, the map room also provides a strategic overview of the different islands available for campaigns.

    We're aiming to have the game finished by Q4 this year, but everyone who's ever started a game as pet project will know how hard it is to finish it. If you want to have a closer look at the project and try out the online demo, please check out http://www.sentinelislands.co.uk.

    Enjoy!

    karl + toxi.



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