Switching gears- time to make a game?

Several weeks have gone by without me updating this blog. To explain why, I haven’t put much work into my rendering engine so there wasn’t anything I considered significant enough to write a whole post about. There have been some changes to my SSAO code and I rolled back my shadow mapping code because I still wasn’t satisfied with the results, but that’s mostly about it.

When I did put some time aside to work on my programming projects, I’ve mostly been doing stuff to take me away from graphics for a while. There’s a point where every game developer working on other projects has to realize- hey, how about making a game for once? So to get me going in a game-making mood, I’ve done other things, like downloading the Platform Game Sample and making my own changes and gameplay tweaks, and brainstorming ideas for my next game, which I will talk about now.

Initially I was going to work on a Super Monkey Ball like clone, because the graphics and levels for it are easy to make. I chose Super Monkey Ball for inspiration it is more about quick reflexes and less about slow-paced puzzle solving, like for example, SwitchBall. But now that’s not what I’m going to work on first. Lately I’ve been wanting to make a futuristic vehicle racing game- more ambitious, I know, but that’s what I’ve gotten an appeal for lately.

Here are two reasons that I want to make a futuristic racer. First, I want to make a type of game that’s not found much on the XBox 360 platform. Playstation has its WipEout series, and although F-Zero still seems to be missing in action after Nintendo’s GameCube, there’s still some good, fast racing action to be found in FAST Racing League, on WiiWare. That leaves the XBox 360, which seems to offer nothing similar to those other two platforms. The last time Microsoft had games like that were the XGRA series on the original XBox. XGRA was the successor to N64’s Extreme-G series. While it’s hard to make a futuristic racer without being subject to comparisons to F-Zero or WipEout, they were decent competitors to those games, and had their own twist in the fast and futuristic themes.

In upcoming posts, you’ll be seeing more talking about the progress of my as-yet-unnamed racing game, and many of the current stages of development and problems I’ll be encountering. I think it would be more interesting to push my blog more in that direction, as I felt that it still hasn’t covered much actual game development as opposed to engine development. However, I will be using my graphics engine and see how well it does when put alongside some real game code. The racing game will be more in style of the Wipeout series, and I will be designing a lot of the graphics myself, but hopefully I can get some other people to help along as I make more progress in my game.

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