- By admin
Between the summer of the first and second year of University there was a competition to write a game, it was the first time that I had the chance to write my own game for a purpose, which meant unlike the other countless games I’d started, I had to finish this one and I had to finish it to a deadline, it had to be polished and it had to be good, interesting and fun.
This was before i really had a re-usable framework so the first task was to write one, I based one on Richard ‘superpig’ Fines Enginuity articles on GameDev and although it was a very interesting engine it was a very bulky one and took a long time to write, in fact it ate into a lot of my development time. Then started a long list of tasks…
- I converted my 3D spatial partitioner into 2D for it.
- Created a home-rolled sat collision system for it.
- The particle system and the particle system editor.
- I added input support for a JoyPad as I had decided that it would work better on tha.
- Took me a while to get the feel right for the control system I was going for.
All of this pre-framework work seemed to take forever, a lot of it was to do with my in-experience with SDL, physics, JoyPads and really being a serious coder in general, I was making it all up as I went along, for example what I now know as a spatial partitioner (a grid lattice one to be exact), I had simply made up! At the time I thought I might have done something revolutionary…was a long time before I found out that spatial partitioners are already a pretty well visited ground =P.
Sparc was a lot of hard work and it wasn’t until I had completed the level editor and started making levels that any of it seemed to come together. Originally it was going to have enemies and guns in it; I was envisioning a space version of n game by Metanet (p.s thanks to Metanet for the great tutorials on physics and the separating axis theorem). However as the deadline grew nearer I decided to focus on what made the game unique, the steering controls for the spaceship, so I made the levels into tricky courses to navigate and gave points for going round courses quickly and for collecting gems (or star squares I’m not really sure what they were meant to be =p).
All in all Sparc is in here because it was the first game that I really pushed to be commercially good, by the time it was finished it was something I was really very proud of and people enjoyed playing the game when I play tested it, peers were impressed with it and it generally makes me feel good. I’m even thinking of re-writing it for Xbox community games to see how it does up there. With all that, the fact that it won the competition is simply a nice bonus =].
Sparc was developed in C++, it used SDL, SDL_Draw, SDL_tff and SDLpng.
Download Run-able: sparc release
Peek at some code:Sparcsp
You can also download my C.V. from here