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Submitted by John Loehrlein, posted on April 14, 2005

Image Description, by John Loehrlein

"Mexican Motor Mafia" is the first game I've programmed. I've done art for a number of commercial titles. The engine was built from scratch while I learned game programming. There is one other artist working on it doing all the character illustration.

It's sort of an updated version of the old Autoduel game and borrows a lot of elements from Pirates! The goal was to make a fun and simple yet complete game with the resources I had at hand. It's 2d and it takes advantage of that.

The weapon system is unusual. All the guns shoot out the sides from the windows. This keeps the game from turning into "ram and shoot" and rewards the player for driving around the map without needing to add racing elements.

The two pieces of preexisting tech I used are Lua and Fmod. Lua has been invaluable in setting up the higher level game functions and one could just modify the game's Lua scripts to make an entirely different game.

I'm not sure if the title "Mexican Motor Mafia" is offensive, I was just going for edgy. If you have an opinion by all means speak up.

I've just created a website at for the game at The illustrator's website is

I'm not planning on putting out a demo until the game comes out, but I have made an old test version available at

This version is very old and a lot has changed since then, but I really wanted to share something playable with the flipcode crowd. The project has been code complete for a while now, except for the copy protection so I can't share that.

-John Loehrlein

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

April 14, 2005, 09:24 AM

Im loving the name an look of your project,
Good to see an artist doing some coding! - Where are you at
now? Remember me from back in the day? Still working with Ken??



April 14, 2005, 10:19 AM

Sach mal wie wär's mit 'nem richtigen Coder? Vllt könnten wir uns da auf was einigen:)


April 14, 2005, 10:33 AM

Can you give us any technical details on how you handle this and that.
Like any special 2D effects you might use. If there is some kind of physics in the game. Etc.

Otherwise, your game looks great. I used to work on a 2D game before (Disciples 2 if you know about it) and by the screenshots on your site it looks like programming the game was fun.


April 14, 2005, 10:35 AM

@LordDelvin: You're from Leimen/Heidelberg ? I'm studying maths in HD, do you happen to be a student too ?


April 14, 2005, 11:26 AM

That looks really awesome! I was planning to make a game that would look and feel the same, but it was going to be a racing game. I spent way to much time trying to perfect the car physics, and I was never 100% happy with it. My other problem was that I could never create art that good. I'll definitely be giving your demo a try tonight...


April 14, 2005, 11:50 AM


Good to see you are still around. I've worked with Ken on a few other projects but not right now.


A lot of those things are exposed if you go through the lua code in the public download. But here are some details:

I'm not using any pixel shaders, just because I don't want super high requirements for a 2d game. Here are some of the gfx effects:

1)Lighting on the cars. Each car is composted from 4 source images with light coming from different directions, this keeps the cars from looking flat.
2)There is a fairly full featured particle system I use for the explosions and what not.
3)Different types of terrain cause the cars to have different skid marks and noises.

The physics engine was built from scratch; it handles two types of objects circles and quads. I use deferred collisions so that all the collisions in a frame are reported before they are resolved, I think this keeps things a bit more stable. It's biggest limitation is that torque can't be converted into linear force, but linear force can be converted into torque. Most people probably won't notice but you can get some twitches from time to time.

The car physics are designed to slide a lot. It almost feels like a boat game at times but the wheels do hookup so the physics are there for a more traditional high friction feel.

Oh there are a lot of hidden weapons in that tech demo, you can get at them by editing control.lua with tags from weapons.lua

-John Loehrlein

Chris 12345

April 14, 2005, 02:17 PM

If you're gonna call it mexican motor mafia you need to have an element that allows you to rear end people and flee to the border before being caught.


April 14, 2005, 02:46 PM

It looks inspired by the original GTA, which was even an anachronism back then.
Good luck.


April 14, 2005, 05:11 PM

Excellent. Can't wait to download the new demo!



April 14, 2005, 06:00 PM

WOW, the tech demo played great!

It's interesting to see more examples of artists becoming game coders... I think that they are both very creative jobs, and involve a lot of the same logical problem solving issues.

Can't wait to see the finished game, nice one!


April 14, 2005, 07:12 PM

Wow! That looks really nice! Almost Death Rally/GTA-ish.. Can't wait for it to be released!


April 15, 2005, 12:23 PM

Hey All,

I noticed my sight went down due to excessive bandwith usage. Turns out my host had it set to 1 gig a month by mistake. I called them up and got it fixed back up to the correct 60gigs a month, so the downloads should work again.

-John Loehrlein


April 15, 2005, 05:57 PM im at 12th grad at KFG-HD and have about 4 years of C/C++ experience...ok at the very beginning I didn't do that mutch...but I began to code:)
Is there any good german book about Lua?

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