This past weekend, I made a game in 48 hours! It was part of Ludum Dare, which holds a competition to create a game as a single person team in 48 hours, from 6 PM (PST) Friday to 6 PM Sunday.

So, lets take a look at the game. It’s called “Serendipity with Cubes”, and available to download (and rate, if you’re kind enough) from the Ludum Dare page.

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April 25, 2012 Games

I just recently got picking working using the Bullet Physics Engine. Picking is a way to “pick” an object via a primitive (triangle) using a cursor from the camera’s perspective. Hovering your mouse cursor for example of a window and clicking on an object is a very intuitive way to interact with a scene. However, it’s not as intuitive to program, because the location selected is in 2D screen coordinates, and not 3D world coordinates. The difficulty in picking really lies in somehow determining the 3D coordinate space of the object to select. First, lets see what I’m talking about.

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February 13, 2012 Games, Physics

Well here is every blogger’s obligatory post about being too busy to blog. I’ve been working hard on the game engine for quite a while, but haven’t made many posts as there’s not too many visually interesting things going on. I’ve been testing out a lot of technology in the game engine and working on robustness. Here’s a short list of the things I’ve been up to since the last post:

  • I added, then removed a GUI using TweakBar.
  • The camera class was fleshed out and support for camera tweening and flythroughs.
  • It’s now possible to aim trajectory of bullets using the cursor position in screen space.
  • The input class was abstracted to support both DirectInput (which is pretty outdated and nasty to use) and SDL.
  • Similarly, the windowing system was abstracted to allow native windows or SDL.
  • The engine can now toggle fullscreen on the fly.
  • There is now a decent mechanism for doing something on collision detection.
  • OpenAL was integrated to add full 3D audio support, although currently it’s just set up to play stereo background music.
  • Added a basic flat shading model (native D3D9) in addition custom shaders.

I’ve tried to add whatever is necessary to allow prototyping of a game in a short amount of time, without compromising the structure of the engine. I’m quickly realizing that I’d like another layer of abstraction between the engine and the scripting system that contains just gameplay logic. For example, the engine might handle rendering assets and simulating physics, but the gameplay layer is responsible for describing the notion of a “player” or an “enemy”. This is further abstracted into a scripting system that allows rapid level creation.

So to test out the engine, I decided to try to make a quick game for the Global Game Jam 2012. The point of the game jam is to make a game in 48 hours. This year, the prompt was simply an image of .


The Global Game Jam 2012 Prompt

I interpreted the snake eating itself as a prompt for recycling, revolution, reincarnation. So I started working on a type of “Jenga” game, using my particle system to place blocks in the shape of a tower. The objective is to pull blocks out of the tower and place them on the top to make the tower taller, without falling over. The tallest tower yields the highest score. I worked as a single person team, and did all of my work from home. The game isn’t finished, but I’m fairly happy with the result after just a couple days work.

February 6, 2012 Games

In the last few months, I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time fleshing out some tedious but necessary parts of my game. I realized that since I’m a one-man army, I need the ability to very quickly get all of my ideas out and into a playable form without a lot of process and layers of tools. Unfortunately, the only way to achieve a very seamless workflow is by specializing your tools, which means rolling my own level editor and game formats. These things are nice to have anyway, but I believe that the time I invest in these tools will pay off in even the very first game I end up writing using them. I decided I needed a quick and easy way to import models and other game assets, a scripting language (in my case, Lua) for data definition and eventually scripted events and possibly game rules, and a level editor that allows rapid building and playtesting of open 3D worlds.

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July 10, 2011 Games

So it’s been quite a while since my last post, but rest assured I’ve been hard at work. I recently attended GDC, met with a lot of game programming superstars, had far too much food, too little sleep, and overall had an excellent time. For anyone seriously interested in developing games or working in the game industry, it is most certainly the place to go. I was fortunate enough to hang out with some very cool people that seemed to know everyone, and it was great to talk with folks that had different opinions and outlooks on the game industry. I found the indie talks to be the most inspirational. Everyone likes a good story, and the indie developers naturally have strong personal ties to their work, and just about every tale each developer told left you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

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March 25, 2011 Games