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Submitted by , posted on 15 October 2000



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My name is Isaac Vanier, I'm the Lead Developer for Satellite Moon. SM is an internet based (at least for now) independant game developer.

The screenshot you're looking at is from our first game Wave 49 which we are self-publishing (we had the option for budget retail), and was just released. It's a budget game, but it ended up taking a whole year to build due to some problems and delays, not including earlier work on the general purpose graphics engine.

As far as the scene is concerned, there's a lot of little things going on that you can't tell from the screenshot. The alien formation is "waving" using a simple sine wave, they squish vertically and horizontally to give a "soft and pliable" appearance, and to seem as if there is animation, when there really is none. The shields drift slowly around a point in space. And the ship banks as it moves from side to side... All of these things together really add a lot to the game's "environment". Remove them, and it seems "static".

I'll admit that the lensflares are a bit overdone, but I like the results ; )

Regarding the graphics, there's a fair amount of transparancy, some self illumination in the plasma shots etc, billboards, texture UV translation, texture animation, and the lens flares, but all the rest is for the most part basic 3D - texturing, translation, rotation, etc. It's all done with DirectX 7.0. I love the API, but am dying to try v8.

The engine, called "lightspeed", has been built from the very beginning to be very modular, and work for building any type of game, 2D, 3D, any genre. Of course there can be speed trade-offs to making a "generic" engine, but it seems to be the way everyone is moving, and has always been the direction I've been interested in going. The engine can do a fair amount more than what is shown by this game.

Well, I could go on almost forever talking about the game, and the whole adventure of developing it, but I won't bore you ; ) If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Isaac@SatelliteMoon.com. Feel free to check out the game info and play the demo at www.SatelliteMoon.com.



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