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Submitted by Alexander Luddy, posted on March 17, 2002

Image Description, by Alexander Luddy

The images above are from Volume War, a GPL'd game that I have been working on in my spare time. Volume War is best described as Worms in 3D. It is practically finished, at least as far as I am concerned. There is still some content to be added and some tweaking/polishing to be done before 1.0 though (the explosion particles for example).

With regards to the FPS, my machine is a P3 600, TNT 2.

At this point I am extremely keen to get some feedback so as I can maximise the all important fun factor. The levels I have created have all been put together without much play testing, I am hoping that in time the factors that make a fun level become clear (if there is a demand I shall release a level editing guide). I have also not done much play testing with regards to weapon balance, some of the weapons need quite a bit of tweaking/polishing. At the moment the AI is probably a bit too mechanical.

I found that while aiming in 2D with 1D wind is one thing (Worms), aiming in 3D with 2D wind is quite another. I have attempted to address this issue using a "Helper" (explained in tutorial), however the feedback so far is that it does not help a lot.

Describing my art as "programmer art" is probably a bit too flattering and most likely insulting to fellow programmers, the stuff that looks reasonable has been taken from the Internet.

Here is a feature list.
  • dynamic terrain and corresponding vertex lighting
  • bounding box frustum culling
  • some nice physics
  • 3D sound using FMOD
  • 1 and 2 player modes
  • tutorial and campaign (story coming soon)
  • I am satisfied with the way the game has turned out. Having started it about 10 months ago my skills have developed quite a bit. In any case it is a finished game (practically), and we all know the value of that. Thanks heaps to those who download it and provide me with feedback.

    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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.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 17, 2002, 03:24 PM

    Nice shots !
    Game sounds like fun, downloading it now ;)

    Hiro Protagonist

    March 17, 2002, 03:29 PM

    Very cool. Just a couple of comments.
    1) Your FPS seem to jump around a lot, just from looking at these images and the one on your webpage. They could all be from different machines, in which case thats cool. You should make sure you have a relatively stable framerate though.

    2)Could you post an explanation of what is happening in these shots? I understand its like a Worms3D game but I'd like to see a little more explanation specifically detailing whats going on in these pictures.

    Good work!


    March 17, 2002, 04:21 PM

    the menu is too sluggish
    i have to keep pressing the up / down to get a response (if any)

    the FPS (15fps) seem to be wrong as it screen updated about once every 1.5 seconds.

    i do like the texture effect.

    just too slooowww.

    and the tutorial text was travelling at the rate a 1 maybe 2 pixels a second. (sloowww)

    amd k6-2 450MHz
    312 MB ram
    win 2K
    savage 4v pro graphics card (latest drivers).


    March 17, 2002, 05:18 PM

    I downloaded it, and it looks like a cool idea, but the tank REALLY obstructs the view, and it crashes on anything but the first tutorial when loading the map.

    Alexander Luddy

    March 17, 2002, 06:11 PM

    Thanks for downloading it.

    Hiro: The framerate is not stable, it is closely dependent on the level and what is currently in the view frustum. I agree this is not an ideal situation.

    Obble: You are correct, the FPS value is wrong. It does not go below 15. This is a side effect of minimising the time between frames for the sake of the physics.

    shrike: Agreed. Holding the left aly key stops the obstructing character from being rendered (explained in second tutorial level). This is not an ideal solution, I am still thinking about it.

    The first picture is from the Reverse Pyramid level and the second is from the All Seeing Eye on the Fortresses level. In both cases a game is in progress.


    Roch Denis

    March 17, 2002, 06:33 PM

    Only the tutorial works for me, any map crashes.


    March 17, 2002, 10:12 PM

    I really like your terrain deformation, cool stuff. Though I noticed if the character is moving when you shoot, it walks off to infinity =D

    All we need now is some megaton nukes codenamed sally and robots with attitude and cigars =D


    March 17, 2002, 11:03 PM

    I can only give you my honest opinion here...

    It sux. Only the tutorial map works and the rest crash
    (my comp: AMD XP1600+, 64MB Hercules 3D Prophet 4500).
    I don't see a point to the game and the controls are a bit weird.

    Don't think I'm a bad person cuz of my comments and that I'm trying
    to put you down. You can't go through life expecting nothing but
    positive criticism.

    I can say you made a good effort here, and Im sure your next
    project(s) will be better.


    Gautam N. Lad


    March 18, 2002, 02:09 AM

    Everyone who's more or less finished a game now
    seems to get a pat on the back and no real feedback.

    It's ok to say that you don't think much of a game.
    But it's important to explain exactly why you dislike
    it, so the author can learn.


    March 18, 2002, 04:43 AM

    You can't knock this game because it crashes. Its an alpha.

    Say something meaningful about the game itself next time you criticise.


    March 18, 2002, 04:49 AM

    Looks nice, haven't tried it yet. How does it crash? An error message?


    March 18, 2002, 04:51 AM

    Hi nice job, however I have some criticism which I hope you don't mind hearing :)

    -Your skybox must be using a much larger resolution texture than this.
    It's all blocky and the bilinear (or better) filtering doesn't make up things that good with such low res you still see blurry big pixels :) Also try using bigger distances and smaller heights for the skybox so perspective isn't that obvious that it's a box like thingy :) Also the space theme doesn't really add up with the style of the levels I see in above pictures :)

    -Upgrade your skills in graphics and such, game programming is not a programmers event only :) or when you don't feel like diving into graphics, you might consider looking for someone that would make you some graphics or something.

    -Maybe adding some lightmaps and using a higher resolution will make things nicer.

    -The above pictures doesn't make sense to me what and how the game should be like, maybe you must try making gameplay more obvious. Like in a platform game you run the game and see a character standing and waiting. You immediately know that that guy should be running when pressing a key. From the above pictures I just more feel like pressing escape or killing myself than trying to get things to move :)
    Take worms for example (as it's the same concept of your game), when you see a level you immediately see some nasty opponent which you want to splat with your big nasty kamikaze sheep :) It's self explaining which above pics aren't.

    But I haven't seen anything live yet so these last words aren't that constructive in a way so if I'm wrong don't sue me ;)

    Hope you don't feel offended or something, it was just my 2 cents, but I think by hearing you say your game is finished, that it's a pitty for the time you spend in it, cause with just a little more investing you get much better results ! And you have lots of potential making this a great game and finishing it as a good game so hope you will take this and other people's criticism into account.

    Good luck !

    PS. Sorry for my bad english.
    (voor de nederlands sprekende buitenlanders: mijn moeder heeft geen baard :P)


    March 18, 2002, 06:19 AM

    Thats funny - I was looking at doing a similar game (just done a deformable terrain engine). In fact I did such a game some years ago, only without the deformable terrain. The 3D worms concept is certainly an interesting one and I wanna see how Team 17 deal with it - good luck with polishing up Volume War (the alien things are a little bizarre)! Whats the resolution of your terrain engine / height map - it got 50fps on my P4 TnT2(!) machine.


    March 18, 2002, 08:28 AM

    This is completely uncalled for. Gonad - apologize.


    March 18, 2002, 09:59 AM

    I don't see why you expect that he should apologize. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. He does explain why he dislikes the IOTD. It seems that everyone thinks if someone criticizes something they are being a mean person. I bet you are going to think I am mean for criticizing what you said :p


    March 18, 2002, 10:27 AM

    The screenshots are really bad so I am not going to try the game. I could imagine that worms in 3d is not going to be much fun. The are some game types which simply do only work in 2d because it's much harder in 3d (real 3D chess anyone?). The sooner one realizes this the better. BTW the website says its beta but that does not matter if the concept is wrong.
    And I agree with Gonad that Alexander's next project is very likely to be much better since he probably learned alot here and he now has a codebase which seems to be worth working on.


    Rasmus Christian Kaae

    March 18, 2002, 11:19 AM

    by GPL do you mean Gnu Public License or Generally Pretty Lame?


    March 18, 2002, 12:13 PM

    Why should I apologize? It's not like it's gonna make his
    game any better if I say "I'm sorry, please forgive me".

    What's said is said. Like I said, you can't expect everyone
    to say something positive all the time. If you want your
    game/app to be better, take in any criticism you can get.
    Hell, if anythign I make blows goats, I want to know.

    I'm not knocking him or anything. But come on, be serious,
    you think this game is good? You can say all the good things
    you want but I don't think he's gonna get any better if no one
    tells him what he could do to improve.

    So what should he improve?
    - Game play/controls. Even looking at the tutorial, I think the
    controls should improve)

    - Graphics. Sure this is the biggest hurdle, but Im sure with
    a bit more time and effort, they can improve

    - Story behind the game. I don't see any point to this game. I mean
    what am I playing for? What do I achieve?

    Dunno what else to say.


    Gautam N. Lad

    Alexander Luddy

    March 18, 2002, 05:29 PM

    The height map resolution varies from level to level. The height maps are packed as bitmap files so you can check them out (datamaps). The biggest is probably about 100 x 100 (that is to say 100 x 100 actual terrain pixels).


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