Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Game Making History

You read it right. I am interested in game programming. It started with Klik & Play. I actually bought the whole diskette stack together with the manual back in 199+. Back then, it was the only thing that can really make games without much programming. I actually learn simple logic scripting with that thing. I was back in university (UPM-anyone?) then and everything was done with my laptop. It was during that time that I discovered the pain joy of making a game. Not only you have to crack your brain thinking what to do but... I was all alone back then with my Pentium 133Mhz (yes it was the state of ark) running 3D Studio 4 (nope not 3D Studio Max 4.0 but 3D Studio 4 for DOS, way before 3D Studio Max 1 or was it Lightwave 4.0 hmmm ) I rendered myself a few images of what looked like a ball with an inverted ball for two eyes of a weird looking character, animate them a bit and import them image by image into Klik & Play. Anyone who actually did this would felt the hardship I went through and cried on this very moment. You would then said something like .... 'Actually there is another way'

I got into creating a clone of Snow Bros, something I called Fire Bros. The gameplay is similar, jumping from platform to platform and shotting red flaming balls of fire at the enemies insted of snowballs in Snow Bros. It was fun and nice (in a way if you think burning cute animals is fun... ). My sis got to play with it and dare I say it was additive. That fueled me further and it was shaping out to be a good game with boses at the end of the level (I used the gaint ant animation which came with Klik & Play). Then I did something stupid back then with my laptop. I installed Windows 2000 ( Cursed Unofficial ALPHA Releasessss ) over my Windows 98. Seeing how Windows 2000 have the tendancy to switch to FAT 32 from the existing FAT 16 in Windows 98, it formatted my entire harddisk. I was thinking that it was an upgrade and my stuff would have stayed intact so no backups were made. (There were no such things as thumbdrive, only floppy disk and CD writer cost a bomb on a laptop). To my most dismay, I lost all my stuffs including a half done shoot them-up. I cried overnight at my university dorm. Nah... I didn't. I just went blank and hope that I might be able to recover the info. After trying for about a month, I lost all hope together with Fire Bros. (Internet was not the norm back then so none of my work was uploaded anywhere and I use rocketmail - later bought over by yahoo to be yahoo mail) What a sad ending. The tools I used were

  • Klik & Play
  • 3D Studio 4.0 (DOS)
  • Paint Shop Pro
  • ~a very old sound editing software which I have forgotten

These 3 tools were good... very good for what I did back then. Very good friends of mine they were... good friends they were (ok enough gibberishing). Klik & Play is still available from http://www.clickteam.com/.
My second big attempt weren't that glorious. It was for a course in Multimedia Design. I took screenshots from the animation Anastasia and created a point and click kinda game. And what did I use?

  • Multimedia Fusion
  • Paint Shop Pro
  • Cakewalk (midi music)
  • Media Studio Pro (Ulead)

Klik & Play was off the board as Multimedia Fusion kicked in. You can still find the later versions of Multimedia Fusion at http://www.clickteam.com/. Anyway I got a freakingly bad not so good grades due to some errr volume problem. (I still can't believe they rate based on the number of diskettes and CDs handed in)
Then came the big final year project! I took the challenge of creating a game. It was something I never did before (hahaha yeah right..) and I do not know what came into my brain when I took up that project. Oh wait.. I do. It was that Final Fantasy 7 game that was released on PC on that year. 3D animated character on 2D background! That was awesome back then! I played and played and played (finished and restarted again and again) until my laptop motherboard melted and burn down the entire dorm along with our papers. I went on a wild research and bought a whole lot of books on OpenGL and Direct3D. Finally it was done in Direct3D. It was DirectX 5 back then and the only major game worth mentioning was Diablo, Warcraft, Red Alert, Quake, Doom.. (Halflife does not exist yet OMG!!! ) Halfway through my project, DirectX 6 was released but I didn't upgrade. I sitll did my stuffs in DirectX 5 with C++. The tools used were

  • Visual C++
  • DirectX Library
  • Lightwave3D (Switch from 3D Studio)

I wasn't into sound so the project was without sound until the very last part where I passed the stuffs to my partner to add in the sound department. I got an A. It was one of it's kind. It was called The Sanctuary. It was just a POC (proof of concept) demo game where a 3D character actually walked around a 2D rendered room similar to Final Fantasy 7 and only consisted of 4 areas to walk around. After graduation, I got students emailing me about my project. I passed on the codes and became a regular at http://www.putera.com/ for Q&A for game programming until they revamp the site.

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