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Submitted by Mike Spencer, posted on January 24, 2002

Image Description, by Mike Spencer

Hi, the images you see are of my game 'Space Birdz' It's a modern reworking of several early 80's shoot'em'ups.

I've been working on it for quite a few months now, and keeping up my motivation has been difficult.

The ship and enemies are all modelled in 3D. (if it's not clear) I won't pretend i'm doing anything special, but it's no small project, and there is still so much left to do.

Currently there are only 9 levels and a few power-ups, but hopefully it is still worthy of your attention.

Highlights include a colourful particle system and flare effects, 100% programmer art, sound, and music! (the music sucks, trust me)

Also worth mentioning is that the levels are not hard coded, as you can see from the bottom image, I have a beast of a game editor. The editor has many, many, screens and controls, the shot I have included is of the path editor, currently editing a bezier curve. (the mad camera angle is purely to show it off :)

The editor is also used to create the in-game eye candy, which can be chained together and assigned sound effects.

Most of my time has infact been spent coding the editor rather then the game, and I haven't yet began to use it to it's full potential, especially with regard to attack patterns and enemy behaviours.

Eventually I plan on at least 50 levels, a similar number of power-ups, and a few large bosses to defeat. Hopefully there's still enough people out there like me that appreciate this kind of game.

You can download an alpha version at:

I could be off endlessly perfecting my 3d engine, but instead I am cursed with the task of actually finishing something, it sucks.

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

January 24, 2002, 03:00 PM

Man there is SO MUCH to be said for actually finishing a game. I commend you for sticking with it - and taking care of all the menial details. That means a lot more to me then some flashy tech-demo.


January 24, 2002, 03:06 PM

The download link to the alpha version of your game on your page is broken.



January 24, 2002, 03:15 PM

Hey, you know what? This is really fun! Exactly what I grew up with.
Great job, definitely a finisher. Go for it.

Absolutely lovely death animation, what is the math behind it?
(I have a physics degree, so please tell, if you want)



January 24, 2002, 03:16 PM

Oh, yeah, I forgot to add, the download link worked just fine at 1:17 PM (in Arizona) Thursday

zed zeek

January 24, 2002, 03:19 PM

first 3 shots look like theyre from phenoix (not sure what the triple fire's doing there), the last looks like its from revenge from space invaders (though not 100%sure), actually the first might be from gorf (not but another similar one)
this is definitly one game im gonna have to try out


January 24, 2002, 03:20 PM

Someday, I hope to finish something equally big without losing interest along the way. Truly an amazing piece of work!

Dan Royer

January 24, 2002, 03:42 PM

Terrain engines are the black hole into which mediocre coders get sucked. Congratz on making something fun and interactive. If you have any insights on how to stay motivated, please share. All I have found that works is:

- Make a list of (a)what you have, (b)what you need, and (c)what you want. Follow the shortest path from a to b and let c be your reward.
- Recognize that if you are writing something that you don't like, THERE'S A REASON. rewrite as much as you have to.

Kurt Miller

January 24, 2002, 03:43 PM

That's a pretty fun game, nice job! I'm not much of a fan of wave-based shooters ala Galaga, but I think you pulled it off quite well. My only 'complaint' is the long pause when the player dies or when the next wave approaches. Anyway, I hope you stick with it. It looks very polished; I love the details like that high score entry part.


January 24, 2002, 03:47 PM

Neat style!
I'll play more after posting.

But the system requirements on your page are
inconsistent: DirectX 8.0 is AFAIK not supported
on Win95.
Also it seems to work perfectly well on my XPERT98
card. Not sure if that can be considered a decent
3D card ;-)
Only Alt-Tabbing doesn't seem to work.

Please finish the game!


January 24, 2002, 03:49 PM

Not too bad, but a few complaints...

1. When the title screen says, "Press fire to play", It should mean "press fire to play", not "press any key to play". This will help people like me who just jump in without reading the instructions from hammering the space bar, because it was the key I pressed to start the game.

2. I think you should keep the birds from going off the screen. I had this one little sucker who was sitting off there for a while, and I thought I was done, but "pop!" he comes back on.

Other than that, looks good. :)


January 24, 2002, 04:13 PM

Cool. Very distinct style and a great love for detail.
Only I beat all the levels in just a few tries.


January 24, 2002, 04:22 PM

Just downloaded now; plays pretty good! The death effect is indeed very nice! I didn't play very far in, but some possible improvements would be:

1. RAPID fire (even if it does less damage). Two missiles on the screen @ once is not good karma.
2. POWERUPS rock.

Apologies if you've put this in but I didn't play enough to see it. If so, make sure that from level ONE, you offer the player incentives to come back. In this style of game that usually means bigger, better weapons.

Respect for working flat out on one project. I know how it feels! What I'd like to do in my game, and maybe what you'd also like to do, is implement a Global HiScore board. The app. could pull the latest HiScores from round the world via HTTPS & display them. When the player gets a hiscore, do a HTTPS post. Open to abuse, but cool nonetheless.

The editor looks amazing. Good job.


January 24, 2002, 04:30 PM

And *your* homepage-link, too! :)


January 24, 2002, 05:45 PM

I'm impressed when people get far on projects, and finishing them is so incredibly difficult.

Nice work!


January 24, 2002, 05:57 PM

Looks kewl, it better be full of adrenaline!! :)
Quite a lot of work you've done there, I could'nt have so much nerves...
If you keep the way you've been doing it, you'll be sure to finish it!
Maybe you should find a level editor who will help you designing the levels, it's hard to keep levels interresting in games like this...

Check this device(s) with whose help you could become immortal!!!


January 24, 2002, 07:05 PM

sweet, maybe raptor or tyrian style next? woot, or what was that other game that flunked that was supposed to be a 3d continuation of tyrian?

zed zeek

January 24, 2002, 07:06 PM

download it + played for a while (nicely polished)
a couple of complaints - keyboard input felt very sluggish,
actually the whole game felt quite slow (perhaps have an option for double speed for us guys that like the action fast + furious :P )

nice one u + kurt have inspired me now im gonna have to write me one of those shoot-em-up thingees :)


January 24, 2002, 07:09 PM

Looks very cool, I hope you use this positive feedback to finish the game :)


January 24, 2002, 07:37 PM

Fun game; I liked the 3D background graphics and especially the death particle effects (particularly those of the psycho birds). But I have a couple of minor complaints - some of the enemies, such as the ones in the first level, go down the bottom of the screen and then pop back up. They often collided into me from behind. Also I couldn't figure out how to kill the middle of the mothership, only the sides. I got obliterated if I ventured towards the middle. Maybe I just suck.


January 24, 2002, 08:34 PM

How exactly DID you keep your motivation?


January 24, 2002, 10:44 PM

I'm so loving this game! Great job!


January 24, 2002, 11:35 PM


A very fun game with terrific graphics.

My only complaint (which is one that's been written about before) is that sometimes the birds 'hide' offscreen. Other than that, it's perfect.

Keep up the excellent work!


January 25, 2002, 12:10 AM

Nice game dude! The screenshots made me a little curious, so I downloaded the game, not expecting too much - and I gotta say, I was VERY impressed! It's so much more than a typical 2D cheezy shooter (which I normally can't stand). And the death/particle effects are quite nice indeed :) A couple things it could use though:
1) As someone already mentioned, rapid fire.
2) Even though it's a simple 2D shooter, configurable keys would be a nice extra (or even mouse support).

Still, an excellent accomplishment!

Lion V

January 25, 2002, 12:15 AM

actually the game shots look old-school.

the editor tho looks very, very nice.

keep it up


January 25, 2002, 01:28 AM

Excellent ...

zed zeek

January 25, 2002, 01:39 AM

not gorf but terra creste


January 25, 2002, 03:23 AM

Great stuff!!!

Looks and plays really well great attention to detail.
My only criticism has already be voiced about the first level dudes going off screen other than that super!



January 25, 2002, 03:57 AM

WOW ! That's cool... keep up the great work and don't discourage !


January 25, 2002, 04:37 AM

Actually, DirectX up to 8.0a is supported on WIndows 95. DirectX 8.1 is the first revision to require Windows 98 or later.



January 25, 2002, 06:39 AM

hm, half your download link works and half doesn't :)
(the picture isn't linked correctly) :)

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