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Submitted by Les Bird, posted on February 20, 2002

Image Description, by Les Bird

Here's a shot of a game that started out as a Direct3D learning experience. It was written in Visual C++ using many useful functions from the D3DX utility library. Also some of the art and sounds were taken from the DirectX SDK (most of you will probably recognize the 3D models). Basic Direct3D features (nothing fancy here) were used including multitexturing, spherical environment mapping, 2 pass back-to-front sorted alpha blending, specular and diffuse lighting, full scene antialiasing and lots of polygons. I wouldn't recommend running this game on anything less than a GeForce2 GTS. On my development system, PIII733 w/GF3, it sustains 60fps and can have as many as 100,000+ polygons on screen at once. Some textures can be as large as 1024x1024 so be sure your card can support it should you decide to play the game. The game is based loosely on an old classic vector graphic arcade game from the 80's called Rip Off. Basically you defend 10 fuel pods from waves of incoming pirate ships. The 13mb freeware game and more screen shots can be found at (DSL connection).


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

February 20, 2002, 02:26 PM

looks cute!


February 20, 2002, 02:37 PM

Uhm, I thought it was a fish sim when I saw the preview on the main page :)

I think either the shots do not show the potential of the game or your required system specs are little too high.



February 20, 2002, 03:35 PM

It flunked out when it should have started :(
p4 1.7ghz 512mb
creative geforce 2 titanium 200
w2k dx8.1

I wanna play :(


February 20, 2002, 04:22 PM

Nice work !

From the screenshots above I only have a few comments, first the lens flare is maybe a bit too flarey :) and the skybox texture is, well, a really close-to-the-viewer-skybox texture :)

Kewl to see a game finished even it's a small one for testing :)


February 20, 2002, 04:27 PM

*Grumbling old man says: cute my hairy ass.*


February 20, 2002, 06:48 PM



February 20, 2002, 07:57 PM

The world seems to be inside a skybox....
maybe the texture of the space can be enhanced.


February 20, 2002, 08:34 PM

384mb RAM
Geforce II Ultra 32mb

Runs @ 60fps some of the time, 30fps others. I think the drop is due to those absurdly high poly planets.. why not employ some simple lod to reduce to poly count based on the distance from the camera?

Is the 3rd number on the high poly test the polys/sec? Seemed to be getting ~10-11 million which is fairly impressive if thats true. Full-scene antialising works very nicely for virtually no speed hit which is nice!


February 20, 2002, 09:06 PM

lol, I definately saw the fish too! :P


February 21, 2002, 04:23 AM

Congrats on finishing this! Looks and plays great here:

1Gig Thunderbird
1Gig Mem
All In Wonder Radeon

All we need now is radar. Better still, start writing Homeworld II. :)



February 21, 2002, 07:47 AM

Dude, turn your v-sync off, and it won't be locking at 60/30 fps. If you disable v-sync in your drivers (make it disabled by defualt) you will see how fast the engine is actually running, and it won't make such a drastic jump (60 -> 30). Anything over your monitors refresh rate will be pinned at the rate (standard is 60hz), and anything that's between refresh rate and refresh rate/2 (60/30) will be 30... so, if it's hitting 59.999 fps, it will delay to run at 30.

Billy -


February 21, 2002, 08:38 AM

OK that evens out the framerate.. now 50-85 fps. Just comparing poly rates, seems to drop from 4.5MTris/sec -> 3.5 when looking at the sun (rendering around 70k polys/frame in each case). I still think LOD is worth doing, poly count seems to jump between 25-80k. But I spose if everyone has 1.2ghz athlons and gf3/radeon, there's no need :)

Garett Bass

February 21, 2002, 11:13 AM

I enjoyed playing this game. I especially liked being able to use my gamepad ;) Keep up the good work!

Wojtek Podgorski

February 21, 2002, 12:51 PM

Is this a self admiration club or what, with these "look cute"-alike comments? The screenshot looks horrible. Everything from colors through skybox to models looks like somebody wanted to do a live show about what he ate yesterday. Yes, by throwing up.


February 21, 2002, 01:58 PM

Honesty's good :) I think it's safe to assume that the graphics are quick placeholder graphics though, given that they were taken from the DXSDK. It's funny to see that quick placeholder stuff get complimented.. which isn't helpful to the author. People should be looking at the design and technical merits instead of the artwork.


February 21, 2002, 02:19 PM

lose the lens flare


February 21, 2002, 03:36 PM

This, my friend.. is what they call 'programmers art' ;)

Seriously, the specs _are_ cute, so why complaining about the graphics.. not everyone can make such nice models + textures as you maybe can do.. (I assume you can? why don't you show us _your_ work?)

Nate Miller

February 21, 2002, 03:57 PM

You're an idiot. He clearly stated in the IOTD description that this was a learning project.

Wojtek Podgorski

February 21, 2002, 04:09 PM

GENERALLY, I'd say a good comment, I was expecting 100% flames :D
Good point about quick placeholder getting, complimented, here's what I think:

First of all, this is called "Image of the day". Not "spec of the day", not "my listing of features of the day". I'd assume people would want to show you things that look great - and we do see some amazing things here every once in a while. This is what I want to see! Things that are worth to take an image from, and not something that belongs to IOTD just because somebody learned to press PrtScn + Paste. And as it's an IMAGE of the day, when I see it - I'll judge the IMAGE! :)

Second (and probably last) of all, let's look at this particular IOTD entry I dared to comment. WHAT design? WHICH technical merits? So it can render front to back , so it has diffuse+specular, so the author can enable antialiasing. So he achieves 60fps on GeFroce >3

Les Bird

February 21, 2002, 04:45 PM

You are brutal. Sorry you didn't like the screenshots but as I stated the artwork is from the DXSDK (except for the sky sphere images which were downloaded from the NASA site). No resources were put into making new art and I'm sure it's obvious.

Anyways, it was a learning experience and fun to do.

Les Bird

February 21, 2002, 04:46 PM

Hmm.. after looking back at the main screen I think I did see a fish too.

Les Bird

February 21, 2002, 04:48 PM

Yeah, I think the flare is a little exagerated. If you play the game you can press LSHIFT-L to turn it off. Sorry about that.

Les Bird

February 21, 2002, 04:53 PM

Hey Doz, the sun texture is 1024x1024x32. Press LSHIFT-L to turn off the flares which may eliminate the framerate drops. Sorry for not having any kind of LOD in the game. I just never spent time on doing that plus I wanted to see how many polys I could pump out and still have a playable game.

Wojtek Podgorski

February 21, 2002, 05:31 PM

Les this is nothing personal.
I understand no resources were put into making new art, but saying this does not make the screens LOOK any nicer. That's the whole point.


February 23, 2002, 08:15 AM

I can't change the cameras location, I see the ship from the front so everything is backwards=) Makes the game a bit boring for me;)

Les Bird

February 24, 2002, 01:08 AM

Check the controls on your gamepad. If you have 2 joysticks one is for moving the camera around the ship and the other is for moving the ship. If you have one joystick you may have a slider switch that is moving the camera. Try moving some of the other controls on your gamepad to see if that fixes it.

If you don't have a gamepad/joystick then something else is wrong so send me the debug.txt file from the debug executable and I'll see if I can find out what the problem is.

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