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Submitted by David Olsen, posted on December 30, 2004

Image Description, by David Olsen

Hi all, It feels good to be submiting one of these, makes me feel like a real game developer.

My creation is yet another copy of good old asteroids. I worked on it specifically for about a month after getting my engine into a state which didn't crash (or deallocate memory for that matter) often. Wrote it in c++ and opengl with a couple of other libraries. I'd like to thank for all the free artwork, almost everything you see in those shots was taken from there. I had a friend helping me but I think the only thing that got into the game was his music, and you can't see that here. But it was great moral support too, I'm sure I would've gone crazy. I was hiding this all from my brother the whole time I was working on it you see, so I could give it to him for christmas. That was tricky and at some points hairy I can tell ya, but extremely rewarding.

But seing as this is flipcode I better get technical. About the most spectacular piece of graphical work is the dot3 bump mapping on the rocks. Fairly typical but effective technique, put to shame by terrible uv mapping. Next come the particle effects. I wrote most of this bit before I could render models, and as a result it's the probably the nicest piece of work in the engine. Less time pressure you see. I read the properties of the particles from my own custom file and use a vertex array of quads for rendering them. I kept the file as simple and powerful as I could and it payed of later when I could add a new particle effect in 10min. Right... about the only other interesting thing is that I kept the wrap around universe despite it being 3d. You can't tell in the game (at least you weren't meant to be able to) but if an asteroid gets too far away it appears on the other side of you. I used black fog to blend them into the background but I realise real blending would have been better.

So, not bad for a 15 year old huh?

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Rui Martins

December 30, 2004, 12:45 PM

Yes, nice work for one your age and experience.

Does it actually work like a full game, you can blow the asteroids and get points for that ?

Where is an explosion for us to see ?

Do the asteroids split into smaller ones when it, until small enought ?

How do you control the Ship ?
Keyboard, Mouse or Joystick ?

What is the Flight Mechanism you use ?
Plane like, or Spaceinsh ?

You should check your SkyBox, since the textures you are using, or the way you are tilling them to form the cube (Box) is not matching correctly. The Top Picture presents obvious evidence of this (that oblique seam line on the left of the thruster).


December 30, 2004, 01:01 PM

Excellent work for a 15 year old.


December 30, 2004, 03:04 PM

Nice job dude!


December 30, 2004, 03:20 PM

Yes very fucking good work for a 15 year old! I wish i would have found some good tutorials/books when i was 15 =)


December 30, 2004, 04:10 PM

I agree with the others - it's looking really nice! Especially when taking your age in consideration.
There seems to be a discontinuity in the background texture on the upper picture, but still - nice work. Did your brother appreaciate the game?

Aaron Wirtz

December 30, 2004, 09:42 PM

Just a suggestion on skybox textures: if you want an easy way to make a fully seamless skybox, you can construct the environment in a 3D modelling program and then do 6 renders with a square aspect ration camera in the 6 cardinal directions. For something like a starfield with nebulae, you might try a hollow sphere with a procedural function texture a la POV-Ray. You can of course add additional touches in a graphics program as long as when editing anything near a seam, you merge the two textures while editing, and split them again when done. (still hard to edit corners, and perspective distortion is hard to get right that way, so if possible it would be better to do everything in the original 3D environment renders.)
Of course for something primarily black and repedative like your stars, you could cheat: in a paint program, use a filter that does seamless edges on your texture (like you see on tiling website backgrounds,) then make four copies of this seamless texture. rotate them by 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees respectively. Combine these as a stack of layers and get an equal average of the stack. Adjust contrast to make the stars bright enough again, and you should have a single texture that you can use for all 6 sides of the box. (i.e. any side of the texture will form an invisible seam with any other side of the texture.)


December 30, 2004, 10:14 PM

keep up the work. considering or not considering if you are a 15 year old, its really a good piece of work.

*damn if i could have half the patience to give my game a shape*


December 31, 2004, 04:21 AM

Hi all, sorry for being so late to reply, just got back from holiday.

Rui Martins wrote: Does it actually work like a full game, you can blow the asteroids and get points for that ?

Yes, although not a very polished game. There is a highscore text file, but you have to enter your name in an option file before playing because I have no menu, so thats a pain. You also get points for just plain surviving.

Where is an explosion for us to see ?

I never got around to adding explosions for when you break asteroids or your ship is destroyed, even though it wouldn't have taken me long. My time management needs some work...

Do the asteroids split into smaller ones when it, until small enought ?

Yes, they split into 2 when you shoot them, and even bounce of each other (losing a little size).

How do you control the Ship ? Keyboard, Mouse or Joystick ? What is the Flight Mechanism you use ? Plane like, or Spaceinsh ?

You use the keyboard mainly because it's simple to implement. Originally I had it set up so you rolled the spaceship with the left and right arrow keys
and pitch with up and down, but my brother found that hard to handle, so I changed left and right to yaw instead. I hope that makes sense to everyone, I know theres plenty of different names for the parts of a eular angle. Part of me screamed that now there were some rotations you couldn't get to, but I convinced it it was wrong and it went away.

About the sky box, that was a bit of a thrown together job... I practically modeled the box in a text editor and ripped a texture off limefly. Problem being, as Rui pointed out, it doesn't line up. That annoyed me, till I realised the texture only tiles at one rotation and as such it's impossible to map it to a cube without seams. I couldn't be cheesed making a texture (it would have looked... you know) so I just left it as it was. Thanks for the suggestions Aaron I'll remember them next time I'm faced with a sky.

vipura wrote: damn if i could have half the patience to give my game a shape

Screw patience, get a deadline ;).

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