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Submitted by Ron Frazier, posted on August 09, 2002




Image Description, by Ron Frazier



It's been 18 months in the making, but my IOTD is finally here. Kronos Software proudly presents Miko & Molly.

First, lets get an overview of the game. Miko & Molly is a fun, challenging, original, and completely non-violent level-based logic-puzzle game. Miko & Molly takes puzzle games to A Whole New Dimension by taking this classic game style to 3D. Now you can solve puzzles in the third dimension. Can't get around an obstacle? Try to find a way over it. You get powerups such as boots and bridges, which you must use to make your way through worlds filled with teleporters, ice fields, water, stone blocks, and so much more.

Miko & Molly is fun for one player but is the first of its kind to offer a unique 2-player mode. In 2-player mode, players work together to solve puzzles as fast as possible. Competition will only slow you down. Cooperation is the name of the game. Miko & Molly also saves your fastest time for each level. Replay the levels over and over, trying to find the fastest solution. Then upload your scores to the Miko & Molly All Stars web site. The All Stars web site records the 3 fastest times for each level.

Now for the more technical info. It was developed in Visual C++. The game isn't the most graphically complex: Single textured, flat shaded, rather simple tile based board. A far cry from some of my per-pixel lighting tutorials, but the game is meant to be very hardware compatible (runs on almost any 3D card). A lot of work went into developing a pluggable architecture. The graphics, audio, input, and math libraries are all replacable. The game queries each plugin at startup and selects the most appropriate one. The plugins indicate their relative level of performance to the application (so a DirectX8 plug would say "pick me", and the DirectX1 plugin would say "pick anyone but me"). Initially I developed DirectX 8 audio and input libraries, but because of the pluggable architecture, I was able to swap them out with DirectX 1 compatible libraries (for old computers) without touching a line of code in the main application. It currently uses OpenGL for graphics, and I haven't yet developed a Direct3D plugin (though its on my list, possibly with a software rendering plugin). I also haven't bothered with an SSE math library yet (and probably wont, since the computers that support SSE are already plenty fast for this graphically simple game). In order to implement these pluggable libraries, I of course has to write an abstract wrapper API to which every plugin interfaced.

Graphics in the game are all TGA textures and Milkshape 3D models. Music is done with midi files, and sound effects are done with wav files. The in house level editor was a good 6 or 8 months or so of the development time, but is nothing terribly complex. It is a GUI interface written in Delphi which loads a C++ DLL that handles all the editing logic, and itself uses the graphics plugin for rendering to a TPanel. A lot of the time was actually spent handling all of the tile picking and texturing interfaces.

Miko & Molly is available for purchase from the Kronos Software as is a free demo. Just go to: http://www.kronos-software.com


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