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Issue 2.4



A real-time 3D game engine

Issue: 2.4 (March/April 2004)
Author: Joe Strout
Author Bio: Joe Strout works on REALbasic on weekdays, and works in REALbasic on weekends.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 24,014
Starting Page Number: 18
Article Number: 2411
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Excerpt of article text...

For over a year, during lunch hours, evenings, and weekends, Jeff Quan and I have been working on a secret project. This project is finally ready to be unleashed, and you'll be among the first to know the details.

The project is a 3D action/adventure game, in the style of modern games -- there are puzzles to solve, a story line to follow, power-ups to grab, and plenty of bad guys to avoid or destroy. However, our purpose was never just to make a game; it's also a game engine, a foundation on which other REALbasic developers can build their own games.

In this article, I hope to equip you to give form to your own game vision, based on the engine and tools developed for the Renegades project. It's not for the faint of heart -- making a game is a big project no matter how you look at it -- but many of the most difficult issues have been solved. By using our code as a starting point, you may be able to achieve more ambitious goals than would otherwise be practical.

I'll readily admit that the current code is as much "game" as it is "game engine." As you crawl through the code you will certainly encounter concepts specific to our game, which includes several kinds of robots, particular power-ups, doors that work the way we needed them to, and so on. Over time, as people develop other games on the same foundation, the dividing lines between game-specific code and general engine code will become more clear. It was important to develop it this way, in the context of a real game; that's the only way to be sure that the engine can handle the problems a real game encounters.

A few words about the current state of the project are in order. At the time of this writing, the game (to be called "Renegades: First Strike") is not quite finished. However, there are several months between when a magazine article is written, and when it is printed; our expectation is that it will be done by the time you read this. So, it's possible that some of the details will have changed a bit. You can get the version of the code discussed in this article from the RB Developer web site, or you can get the very latest from the Renegades web site. For the most part, the content of this article will apply to both.

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