Monday, April 03, 2006

Transporter at Pyweek2



I had done a lot of thinking about whether i would take part in pyweek2 challenge or not.. but then.. i wanted to see if i could really pull it off i actually never had a chance to write a whole game all by myself .. i was always teamed up with somebody or the other.. so here was a chance to see what i really could do.. :). The themes for this time were very good.
  • Somebody else's trash
  • It runs on steam
  • Mind the gap
  • A fraction too much friction
And finally the theme selected after polling was "It runs on steam".. I did not expect this theme to be selected and did not think much about it.. but then.. finally i could come up with a good idea for the theme.. It goes something like this.. You are an upcoming smuggler.. you are unique because you have a steam powered robot which can be used for doing the job. Since there are many competetors in this business.. you are put through a series of challenges... which you have to complete to get the job.
With this basic idea... i started off writing the game.. first wrote a simple editor.. for creating the maps.. from my experience in the past games.. it has always been the map generation that was problematic for me.. so i wrote the map editor first.. and then started off with the renderer... I did not want to complicate things in the rendering engine.. so made the camera position kinda constant with a limited movement. The one week of development.. actually (5 days + 10 hours to be precise) was really awesome.. i did not know i could work so much :)) any way...

i first tried loading the map with some cubes instead of actual 3D models.. and then the art work started.. That was most frustrating part of all... I had to spend hours and hours together just to get one texture right.. and to apply it to the models. It was fun though.. making models and textures from scratch and using them. Any way I was pretty impressed with the final output. Then came the problem of ai to the cops... I had to break my head over that issue for about 2 days.. i did not know how to manage it.... the algo had to be fast.. coz it had to be called after each frame render. So did some basic city block distance based algorithm :) it worked pretty good.
The menu screen was another head breaker.. to render 3D or just a texture... finally stuck with just the texturing.. since i did not want to spend much time on that :) well rendered the screen using povray. One more astonishing thing this time was that i had to write every thing on windows.. coz of the new graphics card... which did not have linux drivers. I could not get to check the game on linux and hence the obvious mistake of putting upper case for data files names.. and loading them with lower case names.. :(( this caused a problem for one of the peers who was testing the game on linux :( I just hope ill' be in the top three atleast this time.. You can download the binary of the game for windows from Here . You can download the source from Here.
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