Christian Game Dev Speedgame 2013 – Salvation

The theme for this year’s Christian Game Dev Speedgame was “Salvation”.  My idea was to create a Faster Than Light clone where the goal is to escape the blast radius of an exploding star.

Source Code:
Download Game (Windows only sorry):
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Live broadcasts during speedgame:

The Storyline

Ye Title Screen with random background!

Your uncle sends you a message one day saying the star in your solar system will explode and he gives you a space ship called “Salvation” and tells you to fly it to the outer-most planet in the system to escape the blast radius.  Along the way you may need to fight hostile attackers, upgrade your ship, and complete various missions to fund your journey.  Also, you should pick up passengers along the way to get as many people to safety as possible.

The Gameplay

Space battle – go.

It’s all RTS-style gameplay using menus with no first person stuff.  You manage your ship’s upgrades and passengers and plot a course out of the danger zone.  Randomly, when entering a new system you will encounter a hostile ship and you can choose to engage or run.  The game code also randomly generates missions in each system in which you deliver cargo, eliminate hostile ships etc.

The Content

Planets, spaceships, stars oh my! And this time I made it a priority to include audio also.  I also spent a good bit of time on the gui because I knew it would take up a lot of the screen most of the time.  Given enough time I would have created space stations, futuristic cities and asteroids.

Skybox look familiar?  I tweaked some spacescape skyboxes for the game and think they add a lot.
One thing you may not see so well in the screenshots is that I added some bokeh, shadows and animated screen lines on top of everything, something I’ve never done before but think it turned out well.

This game was brought to you by

Graphics: Ogre3d
Audio: SFML
Input: OIS

Content created with:

Skybox: Spacescape
Spaceships: Blender3d
Planets: PlanetCreator
Editor of choice: Photoshop

The Good The Bad The Ugly

Ogre3d has always been a nice engine to work with and this time was no exception.  It rarely gives me grief and there is so much help online that I found samples for just about every problem I ran into.
Example:  I wanted to overlay bokeh and shadow box images on top of the scene but under the GUI.  This was a problem because MyGUI is hardcoded to use the overlay renderqueue, which is also the render queue that overlay in Ogre are hardcoded to use and you can’t change either without coding the change into the libraries themselves.
Solution: Just create your own Ogre::Rectangle2D entity and manually set the renderqueue to be just before the overlay render queue. #boom.
MyGUI has come a long way since a few years ago when I used it last.  It has a layout editor and skin editor that are really slick.  The biggest issues I faced with MyGUI were the lack of support for Ogre Materials and the lack of tutorials, code snippets online.  Some day I would love to write some howtos for MyGUI basic implementation.
SFML is a great audio library.  It is EXACTLY what I needed because it works cross platform and was super easy to set up, literally a couple lines of code to have background music and effects playing.  Underneath it uses openal and sndlibrary so it is based on some solid code.
The last super great find was the Planet Creator tool.  This thing is amazing, it randomly generates planets based on a large selection of templates (planet types like arid, earth-like, moon-like, etc.) and then it exports the texture maps, normal maps, specular maps and more!  I’d really like to see spacescape and this planet creator get bundled together somehow to make some epic space game content creator.

Other Stuff

I’ve actually done a lot more work on the puzzle game and I expect to have that out on the app store this fall.  No OGE updates or other game updates so far.  I am considering entering the August Ludum Dare, so if you are going to participate I’ll see you there!
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