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(Project name - final might be 'grinder' or 'toaster' or something)

What?

While waiting for ludum dare's 4th two-day game design contest to start, I pondered upon the possible themes. One of them was 'swarming', and I got this great idea for a 'star control' style game with a twist stolen from certain star-trek parody - you can't beat the enemy heads-on; instead, you need to attract some heat-seeking (or whatever-seeking) mines and collide them with the enemy.

As it happens, the theme was 'infection', so I didn't write my mine-swarming game then. But I still liked the idea.

At this writing I've worked on the 'swarm' project on my free time on and off for over a month; I'm not sure whether I would have been able to build any kind of a game from that idea in the 48 hours (especially considering that I was ill at the time); it's hard to say, since I've been writing the game in a completely different way without that extremely tight deadline. There's a pretty nice level editor, for instance.

Since I've started showing people previews on the project, I figured I might as well create a web page about it as well. From the 'log' line downwards, new entries will appear on top.

Log

June 14, 2004

swarm preview 10

Started writing this log in the net.

The latest preview (number 10) was here. Read the readme for instructions. There's no source, and only win32 binaries are included.

At this point, the game is built using just "drawfilledrect" calls, so it's not visually too brilliant. I'll probably start working on the OpenGL front-end next, before continuing on with the gameplay.

Please don't ask me what to do in the game - there's no real "game" in there yet, this is purely a "star control" style engine at this point. I do have ideas where to go with this game though..

swarm preview 10 editor

One of the reasons why the game has moved so slowly is that I saw early on that I'd need an editor for it. Currently, the editor code takes about 50% of the project, and that's not including Jetro Lauha's TurskaUI widget library.

Another reason is that I've spent some time optimizing things. When you have a world - granted, a 2d world - with 3000 objects which all can interact physically, things start to slow down a bit. In the current version things are tolerably fast most of the time..

Yep, this project stalled immediately after I decided to blog about it.

For some reason I haven't blogged about any other projects ever since - before they've been in more or less releasable state.

I still feel 'swarm' had potential, and may pick it up at some point. Maybe. Don't hold your breath.

Any comments etc. can be emailed to me.

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