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Friday, October 28, 2011


Blasteroids is a reinterpretation of the popular game Asteroids.  It was built as a Flash project for school.  It controls like the original: you propel in your pointed direction, you wrap around the screen, and you press spacebar to shoot a projectile.  It features new artwork, and special seeker asteroids that explode and deal extra damage on impact.  Shooting them early can trigger an explosion which will damage any surrounding asteroids.  The game also features variable levels of difficulty selectable before the beginning of the game.

A remake of an old classic

Flash embedding and Blogger don't always seem to get along. You can play the game online here. The game may require Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to work properly. I personally had issues getting it to work with Firefox.  This isn't an issue with the game, merely a problem with the way Flash content is embedded into different browsers.  I will try to offer a better solution, embedded on this page, when I get the chance.


My sophmore year I spent ~9 weeks working on a project called Resonance.  Our lead's pitch was green lit, and we quickly went to work on the project.  I was one of the two lead programmers on the game, working on low level rendering, animation, physics, and the like.  My fellow programmer also dedicated a significant amount of time helping me with these things and writing the game logic for all the game objects.  You can find more details about the game, including our design document and first playable on the lead's blog here.  Here's some footage of the first level in the game, which was mostly designed by myself (with feedback from the group and our professor).


Said level was built with the game editor I created.  Of course, I owe a lot of credit to the designers and artists who helped make it possible.  Here's some footage of the editor, with a voice over by yours truly explaining some details about the way it operates and the lessons I learned from creating it.
NOTE: I apologize for the audio quality.  You will likely have to turn up your volume to hear me clearly in these two videos.


And here's part two of the editor related videos showing the completed level used for the gameplay footage above, only this time loaded into the game editor.

A lot of the lessons learned from this project have directly influenced my XNA Game Engine (which I may introduce here sometime in the near future).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Randomized Prim's Algorithm and MineCraft

I recently implemented a procedural maze generation algorithm for MineCraft.  Using the Bukkit/CraftBukkit API with my own Chunk Generator I was able to create some awfully vast and daunting mazes inside the game.  Due to the way the API likes to write things one chunk at a time, I had to create the maze on the first chunk, store it statically, and convert the units of later chunks to create the blocks correctly.  The results were pretty encouraging:

A Bird's Eye View of a Procedurally Generated Maze

I used a variant of the Randomized Prim's Algorithm.  The basic algorithm, as described on Wikipedia is actually one of the most clear and concise explanations I have found.  The problem I had with most algorithms I found was that they used lines for walls rather than blocks themselves, which simply won't work in a 3D world of this sort (but are fine for things like online Java Applets).  Nonetheless, resources like Think Labyrinth and Daedalus are excellent references for exploring this line of algorithms.