31 Jan 2009

Current problems of the two developing games

In the last semester, we create a game called Monster Manager (This name will be changed). Although the game program seems complete and is playable, however there are some major drawbacks.

  1. No accelerometers support
  2. Slow game flow, not exciting enough
  3. Less variation in the game

We are now currently trying to eliminate them with the following methods…

  1. Owing to the limitation of the game rules, there are no way for us to use accelerometers. Up to now, we think that the only way to support accelerometer is to use the approach that allow players to change the gravity using the accelerometer, and all icons would be under the current force of gravity. However, we do not want to use this approach since all other similar games use this approach.
  2. Shorten the length of each animation. Set up a timer. Remove the rule that allow players to rotate icons without any matches afterwards.
  3. Introduce a new way to change the position of icons after having matches instead of just trigger another rotation. Let see the following example.

(“x” - frame, “o”, “s” and “z” are any icons) When “s” is single tapped, the icons “o” will perform a clockwise shifting so that they will rotate around the center “s”. If there is a match afterwards, the matched icons are replaced directly. Up to now, we just illustrate our old way, and here comes the differences. Then, the icons “z” would perform a anti-clockwise shifting so that they will rotate around the center “s”. This process repeats again once there is at least a match or the rotation cannot be performed due to the frame. This method certainly can create more variations in the game and it is more interesting.

# of cycles # of icons that will change their positions
1 8
2 16
3 24
4 32

On the other hand, another game “Dice Mania” that we are developing now also consists of a big problem. The 3D performance of iPhone is much lower than that of a PC, or even PSP. Therefore, we cannot use high polygons models. Also, in order to maximize the frame rate, vertex buffer object (VBO) instead of vertex array should be used. VBO just manages to store the vertex data inside the video memory so that there is no needed to transmit the data through the bus channel whose speed may properly determines the rendering speed. So, in order to obtain a high frame rate, we not only need to reduce the number of triangles of models, but also make use of VBO to maximize the throughput of video hardware of iPhone.

12 Jan 2009

Why “Bombastic” (PS2) is chose

- Last time we made a 2D game, and now we want to make a 3D game.
- Rolling the dice in the game can be performed perfectly by controlling the accelerometers.
- Some of the works done in the first semester can be reused. For instance, the matching algorithm, score system, timer, etc.

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