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Submitted by David Massey, posted on March 27, 2001

Image Description, by David Massey

This is a small project I've been working on for about 3 months now. Right now it's a single player 3d shoot'em space game /w a limited chat ability.

I plan on adding a multiplayer component that will allow people to play against eachother. One player will essentially make the fleets, the other people will then have to defend against whatever formations the opposing player decides to launch at him.

I use OpenGL for the graphics, a custom 3dsmax importer for my ships, FMOD for the sound, and standard Win32 for all of my *necessary* stuff.

The particles are still a bit slow (sub tnt2), but they are so flexible that it makes adding any kind of particle effects a breeze. I hope to use them in a future graphics demo that I can not wait to get around to..

You can download the demo at

I'd really like to hear from anyone with a voodoo3 or a radeon and see if they are having any problems with it.

David Massey

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

March 27, 2001, 02:30 PM

That's pretty neat. Ran at about 8fps on my really cruddy work computer (PII-400, no name video card). Can't wait to try it on my home's a lot quicker ;)



March 27, 2001, 02:35 PM

Oh ... I'm so surprised by this pic that I can't figure out what is going on.
Well, if you see something in this picture I am very surprised. It must be something really horrible.
(no offence, as I'm talking only about screenshot, i've not tried demo yet)


March 27, 2001, 02:44 PM



March 27, 2001, 03:52 PM

Could you please explain the idea behind "single player 3d shoot'em space game /w a limited chat ability"? I don't get it.


Chris Dion

March 27, 2001, 04:07 PM

Just click on the link under STZ's name to appreciate the caliber of his posts and input in this forum.

To David Massey: How easy is FMOD to use? Can it handle recording, or is it only for playback?

Jackson Pope

March 27, 2001, 04:17 PM

Hiya David,

I downloaded your demo (though I couldn't play it - no DX8 under NT), but it looks nice, especially the engine particles. I appreciate the difficulty of getting an actual game working (I have a very simplistic game of my own), so I've got to say good work. Could you give me some details of your particle rendering engine, I know nothing about them.




March 27, 2001, 06:55 PM

Arg. BACK ON TOPIC, I'd just like to say Nice work getting a demo together. If you're planning on a career in this deflating industry of ours, this is one of the perfect ways to go about it. Employers *LOVE* having little tinkered games to play with when going over resumes.
As for the actual game, ran fine on my geforce2MX although I'd have to say I think there's something a lil funny with how your polling the input? are you using some sort of Win32 api call- I have no idea, I use dx8 personally ;). ( Shame it'd be defeating the purpose of using openGL if you switched to DirectInput though :D )
Good work- love to see where this project ends up.

James Matthews

March 27, 2001, 06:58 PM

Hey, that's pretty sweet - I get about 70fps on my machine. The particle system is indeed very nice, what sort of other effects can you achieve with it?


March 27, 2001, 07:07 PM

OK !!!!!
It s all right, your shoot is very cool !!!
with good effect (particul and so on)




March 27, 2001, 07:17 PM

hell yeah,

great work. I couldn't run it on my machine (my opengl is screwed up on my pc) but the screenshots look very mature.


David Massey

March 27, 2001, 07:23 PM

Thanks for the comments good and bad. Getting even a little something together is a lot harder than I thought it would be :) As noted by 2 days of my spring break trying to at least get something into a playable state to get the idea together.

I still have many points where I can make it faster and fix alot of annoying bugs (fixed paths for particles (maybe not so random), and tons of other little things, and ditching stl on the particles), I also have to put in some timer code (I know DOH!)

Lets see if I can answer some questions.
If your getting a gpf could you mail me about when and where it's happening also the message: (you know standard stuff)

Its cool to hear your take on things, we all have different ones. Your points are duely noted. Granted the game is pretty simple and should not take up as much power as a person has. Like some guy said a while back "If you want to avoid criticism don't ever do anything" or something to that effect.

Chris Dion:
FMOD rocks for us people who are essentially doing everything by themselves it saves lots of time and works well, and best of all it's FREE

I'm using directinput for my input, the only problem is that I never quite got around to putting in a buffered input system (it's just polling every frame (not the best solution in the world))

James Matthews:
Pretty much anything I could think off within reason:
-all the particles have different starting and ending colors
-they can change size over time
-you can use any texture for any series of particles or individual
-Movement and direction vectors per particles can be defined however you want (the way I have it now are like NEBULA, FIELDS, LINE, etc..)

Thanks again for the comments any feedback can do nothing but make us examine a few more points we wouldn't normally have considered.


March 27, 2001, 09:46 PM

I like this site quite a bit. I check up on it every day, in fact. One of the things that I like the most is the idea that my peers out there in Internetland are doing this cool stuff in their spare time (however abundant that may be). The shots posted here usually feel like labors of love, and rarely if ever like promos.

David, here, has something that's really pretty neat. Anyone has a right to say otherwise, but to those who know how much work it takes to get from the point of knowing how to code in C/C++ to knowing how to write something like this (myself included) have a bit of authority to back them up.

And even if you don't have a project or two like this under your belt, you can appreciate the fact that the people who post here do something with their evenings other than watch TV (or, *gulp*, go trolling).

Whether it's 5000 FPS or 2, keep up the good work David!


March 27, 2001, 10:31 PM

It looks great!!!

It remember to me the Parsec Proyect ( despite i never downloaded it because of its very big size.

Again, great work.

Hiro Protagonist

March 27, 2001, 10:35 PM

wow. well I for one am very impressed with your demo. Great work. The only advice I'd have is to maybe scale things down a little, it would be easier to play if my ship were smaller. Also, you let the ship leave the screen and that can be disorienting, I lost my ship a couple of times. Other than that, you particles are great, and it runs very smoothly. Great job!


March 27, 2001, 11:35 PM

Cool shot!

I tried this on this demo on my machine (AMD K62 350mhz, 192MB RAM, Voodoo3, DirectX 8). In 800x600 fullscreen mode I got about 2fps, and many of the effects didn't seem to work. My laser shots didn't erase properly as I fired, the ships textures seemed wrong, and the transparent effects shown in your shot (like propulsion trails and the scoreboard) were not transparent on my machine.

Still, it looks like it could be a fun game. Certainly more advanced then anything I've written.


March 28, 2001, 12:32 AM

Runs very smoothly on Win2k/Dual P3/1Ghz/GeForce2DDR64

There is an error "Error acquiring Keyboard" (directInput error), after third run of the game from the menu. Also after keyboard focus is lost, after some times and ship is gone.

Did anybody played STAR RAIDERS for Apple ][ - this game is nearly like this - i like old games. Something about the GAME DESIGN must be improved - it's really not clean when you must be before and after the other ships - you can't react very well to protect yourself from shooting - games are created to make people joyfull of the idea that they can control something - even few pixels on the screen.


Lion V

March 28, 2001, 01:35 AM

As I do not have DX8, i cant run it, but the pictures look outstanding. Better than the most advanced space shooter i have(X-Wing Alliance-1999).
Evidently the FPS is pretty bad, but ifm you could jack it up it would be a beauty....*drool*


March 28, 2001, 04:13 AM

My experience with FMOD is relatively small but you must download and play with it. My system is a PentiumII 400, and playing a 32 channel impulse tracker mod plenty of effects the performance hit is less than 4%. And the best thing: five instructions (initialize, load, play, stop, end), no image jumps (XXX textured cubes rotating under OPENGL at 70fps (3 OpenGL lights, so...)), and high quality sound.


but I don't remember if it supports sound recording. Despite of this it supports all kind of sound mods and MP3 (OggVorbis too? I don't remember, perhaps it's the Alzeimer).


March 28, 2001, 06:20 AM

Nice! Looks like the good old Afterburner!!!!!!
I like those games. Easy to play (no need for reading long tutorials) and with a lot of fun.
I'm getting about 70fps on 800x600 in fullscreen on my T-Bird 1Ghz with an GForce.

btw, give MC BAXTON / STZ a second chance. His commands are much better than before. If you let him do what he likes, perhaps he can prove himself.

I am working on a MMORPG for my own. Its a mixture between Shadowrun and world of Neuromancer with FP-perspective, full RPG-elements, realtime handling and a complete free way to handle your online-live. no restrictions! I will post an IOTD the next few weeks. I will be very pleased about some ideas!


March 28, 2001, 06:28 AM

Just downloaded it to do some testing more than anything else. You;ll see why in a sec.

Loaded it up and the "chat window"? came up fine, clicked on the start menu option, another black window came up, a second later GPF.

Memory at 0x000000000 could not be read. Sound like your not checking your pointers.


PII 300
128Mb RAM
Not a 3d graphics card (I dont even know what it is.)

The pics look nice though



March 28, 2001, 09:11 AM

I have a few suggestion to make this game even better (at least in my opinion)

1. Repair the input code. Right now it's spoiling your game.
2. Decrease the speed of the game. It's too fast to be playable (at least on my athlon 800 + GF2 gts)
3. Change the controlls so that it fires from the mouse buttons.
4. Dont move the ship at once to the place where the cursor is. Insted pitch and yaw the nose of the ship according to the mouse movement and move the ship towards the direction where it's nose points.

Well I hope this is the kind of *constructive* critisism you need instead of stupid flaming...

Keep up the good work.

The Wolf

March 28, 2001, 11:11 AM

Nice pics, didn't see the demo yet I'll check it out and tell you how it's running

Samy: I'm programming in 4D, does the masturbating part still apply to me?
btw next I'll be programming in 7D, but gotta wait for processors to be fast enough.


March 28, 2001, 11:14 AM

Could Samy's post be a result of a language barrier of idioms? I once read where there was a French book that taught Microsoft Excel. They decided to make an English version of the book and thus translated the book into english including the title. The title was a French idiom meaning something like "made easy". So the title of the english version should have been "Microsoft Excel Made Easy". But instead, they translated the idiom literally and it came out:

Microsoft Excel:
Fingers in the nose

Whoops! Anyway, I wonder if this is such a case. If so, what are you French folk thinking?!?! :-)


March 28, 2001, 12:24 PM

The same thing in english.


March 28, 2001, 12:26 PM

I m programming in 3D, 4D 10 40D and so on me too !!
Ok my previous message was not very friendly but just for one or two people who was not very respect about David Massey working.

Ok David Massey can say hitself what he think, but i saw one or two message not very friendly !!.



March 28, 2001, 12:42 PM

What do you mean? You mean there are messed up idioms that translate from english to french? Or do you mean your earlier post means the same thing in english as in french? If it is the former, I'm sure that's true. That's the thing with idioms, they really only have meaning to those within that culture. But don't leave me hanging, (there's one for ya) let me know what you meant by your earlier post. Do you just mean it literally? Did you just make it up yourself? Are you that deranged? :-) Just kidding (oops, another idiom). I mean, I am only joking with you.


March 28, 2001, 01:11 PM

plz forgive me, but I can understand NOTHING from those screenshots ? Maybe those 4d or 5d programmers understand?
And suggestion: when you do screen shots, imagine that you act with camera, not with pistol.


March 28, 2001, 01:28 PM

I hope he will follow your directions
But best direction should be common sense, and I noticed that too many people lacks it. (that's not about you)


March 28, 2001, 01:31 PM

Now try to explain it in french.
teperj poprobuj razjasnitj eto po francuzki
dabar pabandyk paaiskinti tai prancuziskai

David Massey

March 28, 2001, 01:38 PM


I already had the input buffer stuff in my list, and also the timing code of course (as stated in my comment)

But the two other suggestions are really good (maybe even a key binding option for the shooting buttons).

I am also going to limit the movement of the players ship so it can't go off to infinity.

I will use both of them.


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