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Submitted by Dicu Stefan, posted on January 06, 2005




Image Description, by Dicu Stefan



PPTactical Engine. the upper image is taken from release 0.9.0 and shows a scripted mission, the blue soldiers have zone attacking scripts and support scripts while the brown soldiers have defend scripts.

the lower image is taken from release 0.9.5 and shows a layered building (the fans are animated ;) , a helicopter and a dropship.

few general words about pptactical:
  • engine for real-time strategy/tactics game
  • LGPL license
  • support for SDL and DirectX
  • the engine compiles with C++ Builder6, C++BuilderX, MSVC6, Gnu g++ and Sun Forte CC
  • tools (map editor and others) were developed using VCL in C++Builder
  • few technical words about pptactical:
  • has air and land units: infantry, tanks, recons, transports, artillery, fighters, helicopters, dropships, buildings (with layers - can be animated)
  • detailed configuration of units (lots and lots of parameters to be set)
  • map supports altitudes
  • altitude and ecosystem generation
  • scripting support for all units (comes with a few samples implementing AI)
  • scripting support for battlegroups
  • scripting for mision
  • GUI
  • particle system (experimental)
  • few words about this release:
  • added aircrafts
  • added layered buildings
  • various other non-visual features
  • more screenshots:
    http://aspc.cs.utt.ro/~karg/ppt/visual.html

    webpages:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/pptactical
    http://aspc.cs.utt.ro/~karg/ppt

    i'm looking for a level designer to build one (or more ;) showcase mission for the engine. if you're interested please contact me.


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.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

    January 06, 2005, 08:37 PM

    Hey that's pretty cool! Keep up the good work! Impressive list of platforms/compilers that you can build it on too!

    sam.

     
    hplus1104

    January 06, 2005, 09:47 PM

    Your artist is pretty good. Or did you draw the art yourself? Congrats if that's the case!

     
    Bumper

    January 07, 2005, 02:52 AM

    Nice work guy!

    I am currently starting a such project.. strategy games rocks but there is too few resources about them on the web.

    Your project is the welcome!

    Do you plan to add network and 3D support?

     
    Stefan Dicu

    January 07, 2005, 04:08 AM

    bananaboy: since the engine inception (in 1999), *nix was one of the targets. i aquired the goal much-much later, this year :)

    hplus1104: i modelled/rigged/rendered part of the art myself (gui, soldiers, some vehicles that are on other screenshots). the process was modelling in truspace, rendering in lightwave, postprocess in photoshop.

    bumper: well, hope this project will help ;) regarding network and 3d support, yes, i plan adding them, up to the end of the year (2005) they should be in (that's the benefit of having a day-job in the gaming industry :o) some 3d research was performed and the transition should be smooth, given the fact that all assets are 3d models.

     
    Juan Carlos Arevalo-Baeza

    January 07, 2005, 04:14 AM

    :) Cool.

    How's performance? IMHO, that's one of those prickly problems for RTS engines... having hundreds of units running just fine with all their AIs, without eating all the virtual memory and bogging down the computer. Give that a thought, too.

    Salutaciones,
    JCAB

     
    Stefan Dicu

    January 07, 2005, 04:44 AM

    the first screenshot featured somewhere around 15 units, all with scripts (finite state machine, roughly 6 states) and it had 30fps.

    i designed the engine with the following ideas:
    - if a unit as a script, process the script
    - the script is not processed on a "per-frame" basis, but with a fixed-randomized timestep (so that it's rather unusual that two units will have a script processed in the same frame)
    - if the unit does not have a script, fallback to default hardcoded behaviour
    - it is possible that a unit does not have a script but act intelligent as part of a battlegroup (a battlegroup is an entity containing several units, this battlegroup may have scripted behaviour, thus saving the 1 unit - 1 script situation and gaining speed where mass behaviour is required)

    the scripting language is not optimized and is one of the few parts i haven't written myself (it is a stripped version of CSL - http://www.sf.net/projects/csl). optimizing it would probably gain some more speed.

    i tried to keep a balance between tactics and strategy games and offer support for both type of games. but i don't know if i accomplished the goal, as success would be proven by a game based on the engine. which haven't happened :-D

    i haven't insisted too much on optimizations because i still had features to add and this would invalidate any optimization effort. besides, as it is not a game but just an engine, i want to keep it as generic as possible and let the optimization part to a potential developer. sacrifice is necessary ;-)

     
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