I always need something to be working on in my free time. All this year it has been my University projects that have been keeping me busy. But now all i have left is one exam I have been seeking a new project that I can undertake.
I was looking for a specific kind of project. It had to be something that I am passionate about (i work so much better when i enjoy the project). It preferably had to have something to do with tools and it had to have enough new things in it that I had never done before so that I could learn new stuff.
With that said it took alot of head scratching and many weeks passed. I watched many videos of up and coming games and watched several videos related to new PS3 games and in particular "little big planet". This is exactly the type of project I wanted to work on, its a tool but its a game at the same time. If you havent seen it then you can check it here. Basically all the content in the world is created in an interactive fun tool by the community which then gets uploaded and others can play.
I asked myself how can I take the idea of little big planet and game 3.0 and apply it to a project I want to do? Well it dawned on me while i was playing a Tower Defence (TD) on Warcraft 3, I can make this!
For those of you that dont know, TD’s are mini games that happened by accident. When Blizzard released Warcraft 3 they also released their powerful map editor with it, soon the community were making their own maps and campaigns. Soon people started to notice other features of the map editor like the ability to link triggers together. Duke Wintermaull invented the first TD (i think), basically you and 7 other people have to stop waves of monsters that spawn at the top of the map from getting to the bottom of the map by placing defencive fortifications along the way. As you kill more monsters you get more gold so you can build more defences, simple concept but HIGHLY addictive
Soon there were hundreds then thousands of these different "mini-games" some were TD’s others were completely different. Hundreds of thousands play these custom games every day even now some 5 years after its release.
So after all that, the new project! Well infact its not a new project at all, its taking the TD idea and expanding, elaborating and improving on it. Users will be given a friendly editor that they can use on thier Windows machine to build the levels in an easy, interactive and fun way. The levels can then be saved and exported out for use on the X-Box and PC. Levels will be given high scores and multiplayer abilities (eventually) encouraging others to replay the levels to get better scores to become the "pro" at a certain TD.
Well thats the basics of the idea, I have a great many more ideas of ways to improve the way TDs work. But I will detail these in the weeks to come.
So the project has now started, I have enlisted the help of my flatmate and course mate Graham ‘Golden’ Furner for his specialisation in terrains. Expect to see some excellent work from him in the coming weeks.
I have been working on getting an engine up and working and the basics of the tool ready for furthur development. So far there isnt a whole lot to see, I have been working through Michael Schuld’s exellent tutorials on 3D XNA games engines. And have now got a basic 3D engine up and running although it doesnt look much like a tool yet, but expect more very soon!