Submitted by , posted on 10 December 2002
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Here's several screenshots of the 9 month project I'm currently wrapping up
as a job demo. It's an indie game currently without publisher. And no
fear, I won't bore you with the engine checklist. :)
But, one highlight of the game is the use of a blended skeletal animation
system similar to one fleetingly described in the May '02 Game Dev Mag.
About a dozen nodes are used for each character, and the system seamlessly
transitions between them. The mesh is then overlaid on top of this blended
The hard part of the whole thing was to get the aim posing (like aiming
rifle left, right, up, down) to work across the entire front half-hemisphere
of the person. Corners (eg up-left) don't do well with a linear blend
between up & left. The system employed uses a cake-slice approach, which
actually fixes this problem with the traditional linear blending. It breaks
the pose space into band slices and performs a two-pass interpolation within
and between the slices.
The rest of the game is also home-rolled. The sound system is built on top
of DirectMusic, for it's 3D and interactive music capabilities. The
graphics extensively use the D3DX extension libraries in DirectX 8. D3DX is
a very good boot-strap system, especially when dealing with meshes.
While most material dealing with DirectX usually leans towards left-handed
systems, I've opted to use the right-hand - OpenGL style. This ends up
making integration with the physics engine less tedious as you don't need to
always flip your coordinates around. Which for this game, is most
important, since getting the physics right has more effect on giving a
'correctness' feel to the controls.
The game has it's homepage at