Not logged in, Join Here! or Log In Below:  
News Articles Search    

Submitted by Jared G., posted on November 17, 2000

Image Description, by Jared G.

I've been experimenting with other things since the NeoTerra screen shot I submitted a while ago... This new project is tentatively called nSpace, and is a very Starfleet-Command "ish" game, with similar focus on tactical combat, etc. I am trying to create an engine that is very cinematic and lends itself to movie-style sequences of phasers searing and torpedoes exploding :)

The image above shows the Defiant and an Enterprise-A class starship taking "chunks" out of a Borg cube. (All intellectual property in this picture is copyright its original owner, and I am in no way going to use the Star Trek-related material for personal profit.

Some of the features at this point include:
  • TnL accelerated VIPM, as ship models are around 20k polygons at their maximum.
  • Dynamic LOD, automatically scaled back triangle count.
  • Fully dynamic lighting on meshes, uses up to the full eight lights in hardware for weapon effects.
  • Easily generated environment/background
  • Designed to be "moddable", so it can easily be changed to other Sci-Fi universes
  • Heavy use of DXTN for ships, using 1024x1024 textures
  • Lightmaps or illumination maps for ships
  • Dynamic damage "scars"
  • Very BASIC AI.
  • Missing features:
  • A HUD :)
  • Autodetection of TnL
  • Sound!!!!
  • Many other things graphicswise...
  • Better AI
  • I've put the demo up for download at my site, and I have compiled a TnL and a non TnL version, though I am targeting polygon-crunching hardware ala GeForces or Radeons. Also, you can run the demo without a DXTN capable card.... but it won't be very pleasing because all ship textures will be corrupted.

    Download the beta at:

    Any feedback is appreciated,
    Jared G. (

    Image of the Day Gallery


    Message Center / Reader Comments: ( To Participate in the Discussion, Join the Community )
    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    November 17, 2000, 03:21 AM

    Cool stuff, man. You made the graphics yourself?


    November 17, 2000, 03:28 AM

    Wow thats nice. I really like how you did the force field.



    November 17, 2000, 03:58 AM

    Looks like a fun/cool game.
    I like the lasers.

    Why is it always space strategy games these days? :)
    I want a space game where players must defend their base and
    each player starts in their own base (quake style) and there they can choose to take control of the base cannons or jump into a spaceship and try to shoot down emeny ships/bases. Ships would be able to dock on enemy bases and run around inside the base and try to destroy the core of the base while evading the players in that base. Maybe there could be a control room on each base where enemies could try to take control of the ship and steer the base into another enemy base and take down 1 in one shot :)

    Now that would be a COOL game :)


    November 17, 2000, 04:04 AM

    Cool Shoot

    BTW how many polys do you need for a Borg Cube =)


    November 17, 2000, 05:26 AM

    Tachion, try that one. They have the features you mentioned, well, most of them.


    Victor Ho

    November 17, 2000, 05:26 AM

    Which website did you get all the meshes from?

    A main stumbling block to my 3D development work is finding good fully-textured meshes.

    Okie, download is complete, gonna try the demo now..... ;)


    November 17, 2000, 06:16 AM

    woa, nice shoots! Keep on! I just had a look at your page! The ships a very high detailed! So whats up with the framerate?


    November 17, 2000, 06:19 AM

    Oh, you mean Tribes?


    November 17, 2000, 06:53 AM

    Hey man, I'm impressed!

    Keep up the good work etc etc


    November 17, 2000, 09:01 AM

    That sounds like a good description of 1/18290409124835019834 of the features in Allegiance. :)


    November 17, 2000, 09:05 AM

    Nice screenshot! I like the lighting on the Enterprise - or is that something taking chunks out of it? :) The background does look a bit blue for space (i haven't played the beta yet, so this might just be in this area). If you want to detect T&L at runtime, i have to suggestions: try to nvidia and ATI sites and see if they have anything/check the DirectX documentation, or use OpenGL to check for extensions that would only be available on the cards that have T&L.

    btw, are you using dynamic geometry to really take pieces out of the ships?


    November 17, 2000, 09:06 AM

    ok, you can't run around in the enemy base in allegiance, but you can do anything in space (fighters, bombers, scouts, cap ships, turrets...)


    November 17, 2000, 11:06 AM

    Wow ... I get envious. How long did (do) you work on this ?


    November 17, 2000, 11:11 AM

    Isn't tribes a FPS? Tachion is a space shooter...

    Hannu Kankaanpää.

    November 17, 2000, 11:34 AM

    Play SubSpace. It's freeware and very much like you described, at least a zone called Trench wars. And it's online only.. But.. It's 2d :).


    November 17, 2000, 11:35 AM


    The Digital Bean

    November 17, 2000, 11:39 AM

    Spectacular, 'nuff said


    November 17, 2000, 02:33 PM

    Awesome, cool, beautiful, nice and very spectacular!!!


    November 17, 2000, 03:32 PM

    Very good, something new!


    Jared G.

    November 17, 2000, 03:53 PM

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    Frame rate is directly "settable" from within the code, and I targeted it for around 0.024 seconds per frame... Which is about 41 fps... This is on a GF2 GTS and P3 500 with 128 MB memory.

    The blueness of space comes from an alpha blended "plane" polygon which I put so that people can get a better feeling of the orientation of the camera.

    In terms of time, I've worked on this for about three weeks now...

    I'm not using dynamic geometry, but I am using a technique related to shadow volumes for damaged areas...

    I recently ported this over to DX8, seems to be more smooth in general...



    November 17, 2000, 06:08 PM

    I love the screenshot. =]

    I tried the demo and it froze the system(nSpace No TNL). I'm running a Celeron 366a with 128MB and an ATI Rage128 with 32MB(Clocks 112/112MHz). I have WinME with DirectX 8 installed and 6.34-CD08C drivers. Probably to much information, but giving you all I can think of thats pertinent. =]

    Jared G.

    November 17, 2000, 06:33 PM

    Thanks for the info krnlp4n1c!

    I guess alot of the stuff I did was HW specific, as I am developing around my GF2... Perhaps the problem is with DXTN? I'll investigate this in the future.

    Navreet Gill

    November 17, 2000, 08:00 PM

    Jared... you're pretty good at this stuff... I don't know how DX works so I won't bother... but doesn't OpenGL support TnL automatically?

    I've been to your webpage a few times in the past month now... you seem to have a good knowledge of this 3d programming stuff? Do you mind me asking how much experience you've had with this area? As I said you seem to be pretty good. Is there any way you can make borg fire a bit more spiffy? They look like lines in the screen shots... maybe some shots in the beginning of First Contact? Cool shots again. Best of luck

    Mark Friedenbach

    November 18, 2000, 12:01 AM

    If I remember correctly (it's been a long time since I've used OpenGL), most hardware drivers automatically make use of TnL on the card. The problem, however, is that the TnL utilities (software or otherwise) provided by OpenGl are purely optional, and (up until now) were not really used by developers. Developers would choose to code their own transformation (and lighting) libraries since the default ones provided by the OpenGL driver were often not very fast.

    The Digital Bean

    November 18, 2000, 01:16 AM

    I just played the demo, and I have to say I am very impressed. Not only are the graphics nice, but the ship handling 'feels' right, its something a lot of game developers don't get right, but your well on your way.

    You might want to lookat applying geomorphs to your progressive meshes to reduce the visible popping that happens with your meshes.

    In all bravo, I can't wait to see how far you take this, looking forward to the next version.


    November 19, 2000, 03:31 PM

    Very, Very nice. I can't wait to try it out. Did you make the models yourself? How much prior experience in 3D programming did you have before making this. How did you learn? Online tutorials only? Books? Or a combination of both? If books, which ones would you recommend?

    Mark Friedenbach

    November 19, 2000, 07:19 PM

    Well I can't speak for Jared, but I can still give you some good tips.

    First of all, online tutorials should not be your primary source of information. I'm not saying that you shouldn't read online tutorials at all, but you should only turn to them when you are having trouble understanding something you read in a book.

    As far as books go, I can recommend this one and this one.

    As for how long it takes before you will be a competent 3d programmer, that really depends on how much prior programming experiance you have, as well as your level of math expertise. If you're new to programming, it might take you a year or two to get just the fundamental ideas needed before you start graphics programming. If you are not very strong in math (to be more specific, linear algibra), it might take you a while just to figure out what the hell they are talking about in the first few chapters of these books.


    November 19, 2000, 11:10 PM

    I guess opinions differ quite a bit, I've found "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice" to be a pretty useless book. The treatment of the real basics of computer graphics -- transformations, projection, splines, etc. -- is ok, but the more sophisticated topics usually just get mentioned with no explaination, or are not present at all. The book certainly shows its age and although it might have some useful bits, I don't think it's worth the price.


    Mark Friedenbach

    November 19, 2000, 11:39 PM

    That's a good point. But at least it goes in depth in a few parts. On the flip side, the other book I always recommend, Alan Watt's "3D Computer Graphics", gives a nice overview of nearly every mainstream technique out there (with an emphasis on CAD and modelling), but gives just that: and overview. No depth.

    'Course I have yet to find a book I can recommend to newbies that both covers (mostly) everything AND goes into depth where needed.

    This thread contains 29 messages.
    Hosting by Solid Eight Studios, maker of PhotoTangler Collage Maker.