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Submitted by , posted on 06 August 2003



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Here is some screenshots from my games Stair Dismount (Porrasturvat) and Truck Dismount (Rekkaturvat). Upper left image is taken from the Stair Dismount, which was released a year ago in August 2002. Rest of the images are from the sequel Truck Dismount which has just been released. Stair Dismount won the Assembly 2002 game development competition, and the Rekkaturvat is taking part in the Assembly 2003 game development competition. Check out http://www.assembly.org.

I didn't post an IOTD of the Stair Dismount last year as I thought that I'll write a more lengthy post mortem about it. But time passed and I was busy all the time, so I never got around to doing that.

Development time was just about 1,5 weeks for each. Both of the games use OpenGL for the rendering. As can be seen from the images, the graphics are very simple. They are still good enough for the games to be fun, and focusing on other things made it possible to develop these games in such short timeframes. For Stair Dismount it took noticeable part of the development time to just tweak the physics setup and get it somewhat stable and behave well enough. I used the same base for Truck Dismount so I saved some hassle, although I also made usage of some new features I hadn't touched before in the ODE physics engine.

I made also heavy use of available libraries to put up the game and all the features in it, which saved me a lot of time. Usage of extra libraries isn't always a good thing though, especially if you don't have any knowledge of them beforehand. Before starting to make Stair Dismount I spent quite some time trying out several GUI libraries and found out that none of them seemed to actually fit my purposes this time, or at least not without some extra time to get a good enough grip of the libraries not to get badly stuck while deadline is getting closer. I could have used that time to make own GUI stuff, which I ended up doing anyway. Due to lack of time I ended up doing the GUI for Stair Dismount in horrible way. As I learned something from this, I did it a bit better for Truck Dismount - in middle of the development I stopped and took two days to make a simple GUI framework. This is still not very much time to do a GUI system so it's not very comparable to any actual GUI libraries, but it was good enough this game and still a bit nicer to work with than the stuff I used in Stair Dismount.

You can check out some development screenshots of Stair Dismount from here with timestamps and small comments about the progress. I have took some similar screenshots from Truck Dismount as well, but I'll show them up somewhere later.

Here's a list of libraries I found useful when developing these games:
  • SDL, SDL_image, SDL_mixer (http://www.libsdl.org)
  • ODE (http://opende.sourceforge.net/)
  • Ogg Vorbis (http://www.vorbis.com/)
  • libpng (http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/)
  • libjpeg (http://www.ijg.org/)
  • libcurl (http://curl.haxx.se/libcurl/)
  • FMOD (http://www.fmod.org/)
  • CFL (http://iki.fi/sol/)
  • zlib (http://www.gzip.org/zlib/)
  • expat (http://www.jclark.com/xml/expat.html)
  • I also used tool called Juice to model the guy from physics primitives. The body parts are kept together with spherical and hinge joints. The guy can still get to some poses which don't look very realistic even that some of its joints are properly limited. This is because I chose to limit the amount of required joints because using lots of them pumped up the CPU requirements.

    Truck Dismount also has net top scores for comparison with other players. The net scores can be viewed in the game and also from the game home page. Stair Dismount also used to have net scores, but I disabled them after too many hacks as I didn't have enough time to make an updated version of the game with more preventions for that. I took a bit effort to make cheating slightly harder in Truck Dismount, but still it didn't last long. People just don't count their hours when they have fun with a game and some good debugger software. I don't validate the scores directly on the server from the hit parameters as it would be quite CPU intensive, but I have taken that into account and might make an external validation software later.

    The home page URL for the game is: http://jet.ro/dismount/



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