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Submitted by Christian Ofenberg, posted on September 07, 2001

Image Description, by Christian Ofenberg

AblazeBall is an skillfull game with random generated levels. The game goal is to bring up two big fire balls into an ablaze space in the middle of each level. This could be done by pushing them there.

Because your 'passengers' are not loaded at the beginning and therefore couldn't be moved you first have to give them fire by collecting sparks which you have to hand over to the big balls. This task is complicated by steady increasing water... because fire and water donīt like each other and therefore you should avoid the water as good as possible.

But fortunately you have got the ability of terraforming, and so you have the possibility to build something like an 'marble path' on which you could move your protege in a save way. Further game objects will make your life more comfortable...

Some technical details:
  • Using Fmod for sound and music
  • Hardware-multitexturing
  • Use field of view culling to cut of the stuff which isn't visible
  • Using quadtrees to optimize the field of view culling
  • The terrain could be manipulated by the player (update of the quadtress required...)
  • The balls burning the earth using vertex colors
  • The game speed could be changed using an cheat to create the well known 'slow-motion'-effect
  • Pictures created of animated particles
  • Lightmaps
  • Correct collision detection and response if two balls collide
  • Lens flare effects
  • Using the Intels-Jpg-Library to load in jpg pictures
  • Using the funny lock array function which has no influence on the framerate...
  • Buh, I think that enought for now...
    The game is freeware and could be found at:
    The source-code is also free available!

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    September 08, 2001, 02:01 PM

    4 sparks... you could also see that in the upper right screenshot :)

    Dave A

    September 08, 2001, 02:13 PM

    I just tried the two testers and the intensities are identical. I tried this with a TNT, 12.40 drivers, DirectX 8.1, and 32-bit color.


    September 08, 2001, 03:37 PM

    I love the concept of this game! And the colorfulness isn't that bad! I think it gives this game a special atmosphere. (BTW, Quake3 is also too colorfull ;)

    But I did find the controls very unwieldy. Moving the sphere with mouse movement and rotating the camera with right mouse button+mouse movement is unpractical. I would've like it if the camera stayed 'behind' the sphere like a chase cam. (Where the "front" of the sphere simply means it's movement direction.)


    September 08, 2001, 06:51 PM

    Well, I played it, and at first, I had no idea how to play the game. I finally figured out that the mouse moves the ball and the keyboard moves the camera. And I probably should have read your thingy a little better because I was just going around collecting sparks, not giveing those sparks to balls.


    September 08, 2001, 10:09 PM

    q3 is by far not as colourful as this :)
    Anyways, Im not bashing it at all! Mebbe its just that the colours don't fit together too well.
    Love the game though


    September 09, 2001, 02:43 AM

    But you've got to admit, Quake3 was a lot more colorfull than it's predecessors. ;)


    September 09, 2001, 07:19 AM

    >> Using the funny lock array function which has no influence on the framerate...

    Read this, which can be found on NVidia's OpenGL GPU performance document.

    7. What do compiled vertex arrays (CVAs) buy me in terms of performance?
    Although your mileage may vary, compiled vertex arrays can yield a large increase in performance over other modes of transport Ė specifically, if you frequently reuse vertices within a vertex array, have the appropriate arrays enabled and use glDrawElements. Only one data format is specifically optimized for use within CVAs:

    Vertex Size/Type Normal Type Color Size/Type Texture Unit 0 Size/Type Texture Unit 1 Size/Type
    3/GLfloat - 4/GLubyte 2/GLfloat 2/GLfloat

    Note that there is no corresponding glInterleavedArrays enumerant for this format (i.e. you must use glVertexPointer, glColorPointer and glTexCoordPointer to specify the arrays).

    When using compiled vertex arrays with this format, itís important to maximize use of the vertices that have been locked. For example, if you lock down 100 vertices and only use 25 of them in subsequent glDrawElements calls before unlocking, you will have relatively poor performance.

    For more flexibility in accelerated data formats, itís recommended that vertex_array_range extension be used (see below).


    September 09, 2001, 09:40 AM

    Awesome! Well done.

    *very* professional looking, i thought.

    Also, very original game concept. Not completely intuitive (will have to read the readme), but never seen it before.


    September 09, 2001, 09:56 AM

    Here is a page I found, showing performance increase using CVAs :

    I just begun working with OpenGL extensions but can't figure what's the difference between glVertexPointer ( which have 4 parameters ) and glVertexPointerEXT ( which have 5 parameters ) ? Which one is fastest ? Or are they the same ? Is anyone having a clue ?


    September 09, 2001, 09:58 AM

    Tristan, can you give us the link to this NVIDIA document ?

    Thank you.


    September 09, 2001, 12:19 PM

    can probably be found in under the white papers, or programming resources section

    Ben Vinson

    September 09, 2001, 02:33 PM

    Hey I tried running your game under WindowsXP RC2 and it just didn't work :) Didn't crash or anything, I just got no display. I could hear the music etc, but the window is just blank. I haven't played around with your config much but I wonder if it's a problem with compatibility with XP. Anyone else tried this? I have a Radeon 64MB.


    September 09, 2001, 08:22 PM

    and then follow the 'OpenGL T&L Performance FAQ v2.0' link

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