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Submitted by , posted on 18 July 2001

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I'm a seventeen year old student from Germany approaching the 12th grade. In March 2000 I decided to design a real 3D computer game after I have had spent the time before writing smaller games and database applications to earn some money. Fortunatly my school gave me the opportunity to get a higher score in my A-levels next year if I present and illustrate my project in an oral test. That's given me another motivation to work harder:-)

Because of my philosophy not to use "foreign" programs I have attempted to do everything myself. And it has worked until now ...

In March 2000 I started to write a 3D level editor called 'Worldbuild' (image at top left). I have worked with several editors before so I followed the aim to create an easy-to-use but highly effective editor. The work space is seperated into three 2D views and one 3D view. The user inserts primitives into the 2D view. These can be modified by cutting, moving, rotation etc. Additional objects like lights, lens-flares and sprites can also be created here. All these elements are directly rendered in the 3D view. It is responsible for all texturing operations as-well. The most important actions can be done by mouse and/or a few keys.

It needed nine months to get the editor into the beta stage. After that I began to implement special functions like a landscape-generator, a texture interpolation function (to correct smaller texturing errors) etc. The program interacts with DirectX. The 2D view uses the DirectDraw components of DirectX7, the 3D view renders using DirectGraphics of DirectX8.

In November 2000 I decided to create my own texture format to be independant from standard formats. So I developed the 'Texture container'. It is used to create a container of imported bitmaps. A special function of this program is the possibilty to do image animation.

A compiler (image top right) is integrated into Worldbuild which converts the maps into a format which is faster to read. Moreover it pre-creates an OcTree structure which is used by the game.

Some other programs followed like a file container (to group and contain files) and an updater program called 'Phalanx Updater' which can be used to download the newest components of the project. This was designed and created for the beta-testers.

On June 22nd I started with the core game: the 'Racer' (I'm sorry about that stupid name. I'm still searching for a better one.) It is (or will be) an action racing game: you will fly races with small futuristic space-ships, armed with several weapons you can shoot your enemys. I think, I'll write this part of the game in Autumn :-) At the moment I'm writing my own 3D engine. The first screenshots are shown in the image above (images bottom left and right).

The progress of my project can be "viewed" on the homepage: I'm sorry that it's mostly in German. But the screenshot and statistic sections might be of some interest for you:-)

I'm still searching for a better name for my game ... I welcome every idea ;-)

Malte Weiß

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