Not logged in, Join Here! or Log In Below:  
 
News Articles Search    
 


Submitted by Jose Lucio Gama, posted on December 26, 2004




Image Description, by Jose Lucio Gama



First, let me introduce myself: My name is Josť Lucio Gama (a.k.a. SLotman) I am one of the few graduated developers from Brazil in "game developing" - I finished last year one of the first Brazilian courses to create professional game developers, created by "Universidade Pontifica Catolica of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ)". As the final project for this course, I've developed a "demo", entitled "Penguin Racer".

As the name suggests, the game is a racing game with Penguins - The story: "Princess Marina decided to get married, and since she has now boyfriend, she asked her father King Rico to help her finding a husband. The king then created a series of tracks with obstacles, and the Penguin that can win all the races will be entitled to the hand of Princess Marina, and also will become the prince of Penguin Kingdom"

The game demo is currently available in Brazilian portuguese and in English. You can see the web-page I made for the game, and download the demo itself right here: http://www.icongames.com.br. The site has more pictures, a low resolution video of the demo and even an wallpaper =) (please if you encounter any problem downloading the demo from the site, use a brazilian proxy and everything should work fine)

The game uses openGL and the brazilian 3D engine Fly3D on it's core, and thanks to that, the game does not require a very powerfull computer: a CPU with 500mhz, 64mb of RAM and a 3D card (geforce 1 or higher) is enought to run the game.

I am now looking for publishers, and I have a team ready to finish this game. I think the game can be finished in 5 or 6 months, having at the end a total of 10 racing tracks in several locations (including underwater) - plus the locked character of the princess, which are not in the demo, but will be unlocked when the player wins the game, so he can race with her.

Also, the game contains no violence at all, so it can be played by all kinds of audience, from children to grown ups without any problems.

Thanks in advanced,

Jose Lucio Gama
ICON Games


[prev]
Image of the Day Gallery
www.flipcode.com

[next]

 
Message Center / Reader Comments: ( To Participate in the Discussion, Join the Community )
 
Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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.
 
knackered

December 26, 2004, 09:55 PM

You have a degree in games development but you've never heard of tux-racer?!
You've used an existing (old, out of date) game engine to create your final year project? Just exactly what were they marking you on? Your ability to make function calls correctly?
Ignore me, I'm of the old school that expects a game developer to have an in-depth knowledge of all game related things, like renderers, linear algebra...if they then make the decision to use middleware, at least they know why. I would have thought that for a degree you'd have to "do it the hard way" at least ONCE in your working life.

 
Oliver

December 27, 2004, 06:05 AM

expecting a single developer to have in-depth knowledge of as you say ALL game related things is not old school, it's just unrealistic nowadays imo.

 
RAZORUNREAL

December 27, 2004, 06:53 AM

Thanks knackered, that was great fuel for my superiority complex ;).

 
Chris

December 27, 2004, 07:39 AM

The engine may be outdated (I don't know), and the used techniques may not be state-of-the-art. Blame that on his university, maybe don't exactly provide top-notch education (I also don't know).

Still, if I had done it, I'd certainly be proud of it. If he got his degree for it, then it served it's purpose well.

While I don't think the story is very original or that the game stands any chance to catch the interest of a publisher, I DO think it's a great and respectable achivement for a single person to create such a game.

 
knackered

December 27, 2004, 08:20 AM

We can do without more career games developers in this industry...it's already full of people in it for the money, we don't need any more.
It's like people who do music degrees...when was the last time you heard of a great songwriter/performer with a degree in music? It's a contradiction in terms.
We need people who LOVE video games, people who've played them all (including tuxracer), people who know what makes a good game because they've played sh*t loads of them. We need more Quentin Tarantino's (director of classics like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs), not more Roland Emmerich (director of such master pieces as Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow).

 
knackered

December 27, 2004, 08:26 AM

Err....I have, and I'm sure there are many others here who have. Oliver, you want to try "reading stuff", you might find you'll make great strides. Doing a degree in "games development" is, in my opinion, the same as doing a degree in The Spice Girls....by the time the first term is finished your course work is out of date.

 
Rui Martins

December 27, 2004, 09:52 AM

As anyone actually tryed the game ?

It may have the same action figures and racing context of Tux-Racer, but it can be a completly different game.

I haven't tryed it myself yet, but one should try both, tux-racer and pinguin-racer, a see the differences and then establish an opinion.

The fact that another similar game exists, and that the author of this game didn't knew this other similar game, doesn't invalidate the work put into this game.

This forum is supposed to make constructive criticism, and encourage improvement on a developers work.

None of the above comments addresses this (neither does this one). But when I have time to test it, that will change.

See ya

 
Oliver

December 27, 2004, 10:14 AM

knackered: it depends on what kind of development you are talking about. for hobbyist projects you're absolutly right. however as physics and ai become more and more complex in commercial games, you certainly agree that specialized people or middleware are needed. Just "reading stuff" won't make you able to code killer ai AND physics AND rendering for half life 3.
Of course "penguin racer" is not what I mean by commercial game. :)

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 10:53 AM


knackered wrote: You have a degree in games development but you've never heard of tux-racer?! You've used an existing (old, out of date) game engine to create your final year project? Just exactly what were they marking you on? Your ability to make function calls correctly? Ignore me, I'm of the old school that expects a game developer to have an in-depth knowledge of all game related things, like renderers, linear algebra...if they then make the decision to use middleware, at least they know why. I would have thought that for a degree you'd have to "do it the hard way" at least ONCE in your working life.


I Hearf of Tux Racer, but if you had took the time to actually play the game, you would know that it has nothing to do with it. This is a racing game, with 5 chars to choose, and you have to win the races to marry a princess... that's Tux Racer? I Dont see how. And the penguins skate through the tracks, jump and slide - Tux Racer as far as I know just slide all the way through the track.

I HAD to use a game engine, because we only had a MONTH to create, model and program a demo. And btw, game developers dont have to reinvent the wheel (aka, allways create their own engine) for every game, you know?

And BTW: The engine is not THAT old - and did exactly what I want for the game, so where's the problem? Only because there are newer ones I HAVE to use them, even if I don't need?

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 11:03 AM



Chris wrote: The engine may be outdated (I don't know), and the used techniques may not be state-of-the-art. Blame that on his university, maybe don't exactly provide top-notch education (I also don't know). Still, if I had done it, I'd certainly be proud of it. If he got his degree for it, then it served it's purpose well. While I don't think the story is very original or that the game stands any chance to catch the interest of a publisher, I DO think it's a great and respectable achivement for a single person to create such a game.


It's not an state-of-the-art engine (but it is a good one), and I really don't think why it should be. I used an engine that fits my needs, and since I got the "visual" I wanted, what's the problem?

I am really proud of it. I worked day and night to do almost everything in the game (modeling, programming, music...), in a month.

The story is not very original (duh, wina race to marry a princess! heheheh) but the game is quite fun, and every kid that played, just loved it :)
If that's not worth publishing (And I have seen some very bad games published) I don't know what it is.

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 11:08 AM



knackered wrote: We can do without more career games developers in this industry...it's already full of people in it for the money, we don't need any more. It's like people who do music degrees...when was the last time you heard of a great songwriter/performer with a degree in music? It's a contradiction in terms. We need people who LOVE video games, people who've played them all (including tuxracer), people who know what makes a good game because they've played sh*t loads of them. We need more Quentin Tarantino's (director of classics like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs), not more Roland Emmerich (director of such master pieces as Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow).


Well, I for once am for the love of games. I started with computers 18 years ago - with my beloved MSX, and now am programming games for the PC. All I want (really) is to make a fun game that people can remember some years after it's released, like: "Remember that game? It was fun..." - then I can die a happy guy :)

And Knackered: I PLAYED TUX RACER. YOU DIDNT PLAY PENGUIN RACER. So stop judging before trying the actual game. Gee, every penguin game now is a Tux Racer clone?

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 11:13 AM



Rui Martins wrote: As anyone actually tryed the game ? It may have the same action figures and racing context of Tux-Racer, but it can be a completly different game. I haven't tryed it myself yet, but one should try both, tux-racer and pinguin-racer, a see the differences and then establish an opinion. The fact that another similar game exists, and that the author of this game didn't knew this other similar game, doesn't invalidate the work put into this game. This forum is supposed to make constructive criticism, and encourage improvement on a developers work. None of the above comments addresses this (neither does this one). But when I have time to test it, that will change. See ya


Thanks Rui, that's all I ask! Play the game and you will see it has nothing to do with Tux Racer!

Even the chars has nothing to do with Tux (ok, they're all penguins, but that's it!) There are 5 racers in the game: A fat rocker penguin (with spiked hair and some piercings), a small penguin (blue one, not very tall), the "good" penguin (just a normal penguin), a "bad boy" penguin (the one with the red hat - pun intended) and a romantic penguin (the grey one). Each of them with a different animation if they win and lost any race.

I actually know about Tux Racer, but Penguin Racer is absolutly nothing similar in terms of gameplay! Just try and see it!

P.S.> Rui: I'm looking forward to see what you say about the game, after playing it :)

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 11:19 AM

For everyone thinking this is a "Tux Racer clone", well it isn't. The game has 5 chars to choose from, the penguins SKATE through the tracks, can jump and even slide (you choose when to slide!) - Tux Racer only slides all the way.

Before making any judgement, please try the game.

And for some saying it's an outdated engine... who cares? I think the FUN in the game is what counts, and the game has the "looks" I wanted, so please point me where all this is wrong?

Oh, btw - The game won the first "Brazilian Independent Gaming Festival" =)

And the engine is NOT outdated, I personally know the developers behind it, they keep updating it often, but they just release new versions as they are stable enough.

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 11:22 AM



RAZORUNREAL wrote: Thanks knackered, that was great fuel for my superiority complex ;).


Don't mind him, this guy can't possible know what "gaming" is about :)
Never take seriously someone who starts thrashing a game just by looking at some screenshots :P

 
Chris

December 27, 2004, 12:26 PM

> ... but they just release new versions as they are stable enough.

Doh, everyone does that. Doesn't serve as an excuse.

Still, if you read my first answer properly, you'll see I wrote it in defense of you. I do think it's a great achievement to complete a game on your own, and you're absolutely right to show it here. I also do think it's fun to play it.

Just be realistic about publishing, they most probably want to see decent graphics techniques, and the game doesn't yet look very state-of-the-art.

Also don't be over-ethusiastic when it comes to the Fly3D engine. Look at the site, the last update is almost a year old. Maybe it supports all the nice features that make a game look good, but they're not yet used in the game.

Anyway, I'll shut up now, I've not event got anything ready that'd be comparable to your work.

 
sAmvdP

December 27, 2004, 12:40 PM

Don't you bash Emmerich! I enjoyed ID4 far more that Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs (the first was okay, the latter wasn't)

Obviously, these are only my .2$, but I think making entertaining (both movies and games) is just as okay as doing "indie" films.

 
SLotman

December 27, 2004, 12:48 PM



Chris wrote: > ... but they just release new versions as they are stable enough. Doh, everyone does that. Doesn't serve as an excuse.

It is when there are big changes involved :)

Chris wrote: Still, if you read my first answer properly, you'll see I wrote it in defense of you. I do think it's a great achievement to complete a game on your own, and you're absolutely right to show it here. I also do think it's fun to play it. [/i]

I understand that, and sorry if my message sent out the wront message. I'm not fighting you or blaming you for anything.

Chris wrote: Just be realistic about publishing, they most probably want to see decent graphics techniques, and the game doesn't yet look very state-of-the-art. [/i]

My point is that the game doesn't have to be state-of-the-art, it's a kids game. The game should be simple and fun. The rest is the rest :)

Chris wrote: Also don't be over-ethusiastic when it comes to the Fly3D engine. Look at the site, the last update is almost a year old. Maybe it supports all the nice features that make a game look good, but they're not yet used in the game. [/i]

Well, you havent seen the private betas I saw =)

Chris wrote: Anyway, I'll shut up now, I've not event got anything ready that'd be comparable to your work.[/i]

Please don't! Constructive comments and exchange of ideas is what everyone is in here for!

 
George McBay

December 27, 2004, 01:02 PM

His game is somewhat similar to Tux Racer.. so what? Tux Racer wasn't even the first ice-racing 3D game like this. Ever hear of Pen Pen Tricelon?

And the rest of your post is off-base too. Yes, I'd expect the hardcore graphics programmer on a game development team to know all those nuts & bolts you describe, but guess what? Most real game development companies have *one* developer like that (at most) and then a bunch of developers who work at a higher level or on non-graphics technology like sound or networking. Not everyone needs or should have an extreme graphics focus.

 
[-WD40-]

December 27, 2004, 01:40 PM

After reading all the posts here I decided to give it a try.
For a month of work only I think it's a somewhat great acheivement, especially if you had to learn Fly3D and all that stuff at the same time. On the other hand, I wouldn't try selling this game honestly...it needs a LOT more polishing to it.

I found the gameplay somewhat lacking strategies, you can't really get some boosts and it looks like everyone is going at the same speed all the time...it feels as if you're on a train and cannot do anything to win over some places.

But then maybe I'm somehow biased since I just played Burnout 3 just before that ;P

 
RAZORUNREAL

December 27, 2004, 06:47 PM

I thought he was mostly trashing your qualification, not the game, and based on your description not the screenshots. I'm not sure if that affects your opinion of his judgement but I thought it worth pointing out.

In your position I wouldn't have answered my post, but seeing as you did (heck, you answered them all) I'll say why I felt superior, which will likely side me with knackered. I'm sorry I ended up doing this because I do think that is a great achievement, even if it's not what I think should be done to get a qualification.

I spent a few months making a game engine between school and everything and in the month of holidays before christmas I made 2 games. Simple games, without anything like the content you have, but playable. I sent an image of the day about one of them, so you might actually see my work soon. Now heres the thing. I'm no qualified game developer. I'm only 15. I taught myself everything I know about graphics programming, engine design, you name it using 2 books and the net. I don't even have any books specifically on game programming. You have a very good chance of getting a game developing job, I have practically none. But I can't help feeling I fought my way through problems at 5 in the morning you have probably never experienced. I'm sure your game was alot of work, you must have been working on it almost non stop for a month. But does doing large quantities of work make you qualified? I thought being able to do difficult things would be better proof of your potential. Right now I can't think of anything very hard about writing a game engine, let alone a game. But there's a good reason for that. I don't find it that hard any more because my coding skill has increased 10 fold. For that reason, if no other, I think everyone should do it the hard way once.

Once again, I'm sorry to be saying bad things about good work. I have nothing against you, only your university.

 
surrealix

December 28, 2004, 02:47 AM

I downloaded and played the game. It was quite depressing.

There is no difficulty level, and I could not manage to win the first race no matter how many times I played, and what penguin I chose. I agree with -WD40- , the penguins seemed to move at the same speed.

Not wanting to be too critical though, it was programmed in a month.

 
Oscar Forth

December 28, 2004, 05:47 AM

Sorry i love people saying it is not polished enough. You should see some of the game demos that get passed to publishers as an attempt to sell a game. They are quite often a lot LESS polished than this one.

I personally quite like the stylised look to it :) Could do with a doubling of detail on the worlds (at least). But as a pre-production demo (or indeed a months work!) this really isn't surprising. Should be able to push your poly rates through the roof with your minimum spec too :)

Btw Slotman ... have you considered shareware? Release a demo on the net with a few characters and the more people that pay the more money you have to develop more levels and add characters. Might be worth considering ...

Good luck :)

 
knackered

December 28, 2004, 11:41 AM

I wish I could say that it's a matter of taste, but in the case of someone 'enjoying' Emmerich films, someone not swallowing back the foul taste of vomit from the back of their throat whilst watching them - well I think it's more a matter of a complete intellectual numbness, absense of imagination, jingoistic masterbation, indifference to absense of dramatic narrative, and well...I guess that pretty much describes the average american (notice the use of the word AVERAGE, before you start accusing me of racism).
So Pulp Fiction is an indie film now is it? That reminds me - not one Martin Scorsese film has won an oscar....how odd is that? In europe he would be heralded as a national hero, but in america he's reviled because he exposes the ugly underbelly of some dark areas of american life. A country where a film like Titanic receives months of histerical standing ovations in the media. A country where someone has to publically apologise for getting their tit out at a sporting event, because most of the money is controlled by fundamentalist christians.
And it's all Emmerich's fault :)

 
knackered

December 28, 2004, 11:43 AM

But be sure to pay the Fly3D guys a share! After all, they undoubtedly put a little more that a months effort into their 'small' part of your great achievement.

 
t0y

December 28, 2004, 12:16 PM

knackered:

What's up with the bitterness? Did you make tux racer and feel ripped of, or what?

Josť:

You've got a nice little game there, despite some of the faults others have pointed out, at least you made something tangible and shared it with the community, which is more than most of us crawling through flipcode will ever accomplish ;).

If I were you, I would take some of the advice here and polish the game a little bit more. Commercial publishing is out of your reach IMHO, but you can try to get it distributed as public domain in computer magazines. I'm sure there are plenty of those in brazil.

Make sure that you pay attention to the engine's license and give them full credit. You should also put somewhere in there your name, email and your university's name. Just don't say it's a school project because potential employers might think this is your final project or something... :)

Brazillians aren't too shy to load up the mail client so you'll probably get some comments (and flames) and this will only help you achieve your goal.

good luck,
Jorge

 
jonas lund

December 28, 2004, 02:10 PM

it's a very cute style, so imho you should target it to the console market (on the other hand the console market is prolly stuffed already with titles like this).

if you are interested in starting a studio and feel like selling your soul then you should definetly present it and be open to remaking the graphics for some franchise like pokemon :)

altho, the negative side might be that if you do sell out then you might have a harder time getting "novel" projects sold in. (but most studios has problems with that anyhow)

/ Jonas Lund

 
Rui Martins

December 28, 2004, 02:47 PM

Well, I got to download it and play.

First let me say that I couldn't say the game is actually playable for me, since the frame rate I got on my Laptop had something to be desired (My 1GHz laptop builtin Graphics Chip to blame).

Technically, you have to improve the graphic quality of the Game and I don't mean the polys or stuff like that, I would start from the basic, for example the Pinguins on the Menu, you really have to soup up those graphics, they are too pixelated, as well as some of your textures.
Try some Image Editor filters for example.

When trying lower resolutions (hopping for a better framerate), the game also isn't prepared for that. i.e. the menu, for example, uses the same textures on a correctly scaled quad, but the problem is that the actual pixels available are far less, making the menu text difficult to read.
Try mipmapping or prefilter those textures to smaller sizes.
Another option is to not support such small and so many resolutions 8).

In the Game, depending somewhat on the resolution and color depth in use, I can see the texture borders in all GUI elements, being the Speed bar the most visible due to its form. There seem to be some problem with the texture edge or clamping method.
Note however that in high resolution/color depth, I can't see it, or it's too small to be seen.

About game play:
- I also think that some improvement is required, since the skill of the player doesn't seem to influence the outcome of race, at least not as much as it should.

- I also expected to acelerate when sliding down a slope, but that wasn't the case!
You should try to fullfill the user expectations, so that the game feals natural to them, this is of major importance for a successfull game.
When the game does what is expected, the player doesn't notice it, but the outcome is valued. However as soon as the user notices something that goes against his expectations that will work against the game.

- I also couldn't see any benefit or downside to make the pinguin jump!
I know you can use it to avoid some objects, instead of going arround them, saving time, but it doesn't seem to be a feature fully explored in the game play.

- In the middle of the race, there is a bifurcation, with shallow water on each side, and I though that the white snowy hill in the middle was a ramp to lift off and fly/soar for a while, but I bumped my pinguin hard on the hill. (my expectations damaged again)

- I liked the idea of going underwater, near the ship, although I lost the race then.

All in all, You have done some nice work, but to sell it you still have to polish it a lot.

Another very important thing is that you should review the game play, put the love for your hard work aside and think about what a player would like to see/play. That is what makes a user/player buy a game.

I think the inovation you should explore is the under water racing (kind of flying under water), and eventually some flying/jump/ramps/slopes.

Have you though about under water feeding festival, pinguins catching fish, in a race like manner. The one who eats more fish will win.

Also, you could explore the surface racing, but more on down hill kind of way. Pinguins running that fast brakes the connection with the expected reality, which in this game I think is important (everyone knows pinguins and how they behave).

What about using the ramps/slopes as a way to explore the correct timing of dive in the exact middle of a bunch of fish.

I also think that it would be better to explore the game play, in the context of sports, like a Pinguin Triathlon or something like that. Where you would have several contests with point scoring, with several stages.
I don't think that the Princess context works for the game play I think you have in mind.

Hope to have been of help with some constructive criticism.






 
Samuel

December 28, 2004, 02:51 PM

"We need more Quentin Tarantino's (director of classics like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs), not more Roland Emmerich (director of such master pieces as Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow)."

Actually what we really need is less people like you knackered, who seem to devote their time to meaningless debasing of people's hardwork without any sort of backup or evidence whatsoever and more people like.. well... everyone else here. People that may still say what's on their minds but use a technique known as "constructive criticism".

Anyways I played the game and it was fun. I should point out a few things though. The game is lacking in strategy. By that I mean advanced techniques to move the player faster... nitros located in the area possibly, items maybe to accomplish this. I know you are going for no violence, but when I play this game, I think Mario Kart (except this game is cuter). Also, I notice visual artifacts when driving (on the ground mostly). I don't know if they are related to your engine or to your level design, so I don't know if it's fixable or not, but I thought I'd mention it.

Anything else I'd mention you are probably already working on (better graphics, more levels, ect), so good luck :)

 
Rui Martins

December 28, 2004, 02:57 PM

I forgot to mention on my previous post, but you should support mouse and joystick (at least mouse), since keyboard control for this kind of came isn't enough.
It's possible to make it work better, but it will never compare to an analog control.

 
knackered

December 28, 2004, 08:14 PM

My argument is aimed at games developer courses, not specifically this lad.
Blaming me for not giving constructive criticism to him isn't going to help rescue the industry from being overrun with see-one-do-one-teach-one robotic souless so-called professional games developers, sammy dear boy.
You mark my words - the growing popularity of these kind of courses is going to be the final nail in the coffin of games creativity...as software houses start to require these kinds of qualifications, with the excuse that they require a standard form of dialog and design between employees, so the door slams shut on any opportunity to progress the art....and it really is an art, in the same way as film, television and theatre are art.
Genre's become set in stone. Risk taking stops. Even though the games industry is unique in that it's obvious there's a huge number of genres yet to be discovered...but who will discover them? People like this lad? Or people who piss around interpolating flocking and gravitational algorithms into the early hours just for the fun of it, rather than thinking of money?

 
This thread contains 35 messages.
First Previous ( To view more messages, select a page: 0 1 ... out of 1) Next Last
 
 
Hosting by Solid Eight Studios, maker of PhotoTangler Collage Maker.