story of evolution | technology | models | not realised

In the beginning the project started out with the task to find out whether it would be possible with help of the Linux Kit released for Playstation 2 to develop a game. If it would be, we should at least try to do so. The project was planned to last for one semester.

An idea was found quite quickly: Based on a classic computer game from the late eighties called Space Wars (whose game principle had inspired numerous other games), we came up with an Arcade-Racing-Game, where everything on the course would be "influenced" by strong magnetic forces. We imagined a kind of story that would take you from level to level, racing courses but also classic dogfights inside of arenas. Because of what we imagined the Playstation 2 to be capable of the game should be realised in 3D graphics. Though some of us already had experience in 3D-Modeling, the C programming language and/or the Linux operating system together we approached a whole new world with this very enthusiastic idea. Because of technical issues but also due to the amounts of time some problems took to be solved many ideas had to be given up over time. It finally took us about one year to give birth to what is now a working game still far beyond most expectations.

This website should introduce you to the results of our work, how the game was made and will also give you a brief overview of ideas that didn't make it into the final game.

The technical foundation for every good game always is the engine. Because there didn't exist an engine for our special hardware-software-combination it was quite clear from the beginning that we needed to come up with something ourselves. Based on the (still) incomplete incarnation of OpenGL called PS2GL, which was programmed by people at Sony and then released OpenSource so we could use it for this project, we developed our engine "Emotion" that allows us to displays common 3D models on the Playstation 2. For sound and other hardware interaction we used SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer), which is an API like DirectX but available for many different systems.

During developement of the engine it became fact, that we wouldn't be able to use the complete hardware power the PS2 has to offer, simply because the whole linux environment hindered us in doing that which means adressing special parts of the hardware was not possible.

While even the graphical routines for the engine took a really huge amount of time to come up with we also needed to add the physical effects and an artificial intelligence to the engine

More detailed explanations of the whole "backstory" and technical specifications can be found in the documentation available for download.

The probably most creative part of the work was the design for the different models. It was obvious that we needed to limit amount and complexity of the models because of the efficiency of our engine. That's why we e.g. just used one model for the hovercrafts and modified it by using different textures.

The main model of course is the hovercraft which as also the ship the player "sits in". The base consists of the cockpit and the ring and can be upgraded with different weapons and add-ons.
For a realistic presentation of the physical forces the hover ring connected to the cockpit is able to spin around independently from the rest of the ship. By turning the cockpit and using thrusters and brakes the player is able to steer the movement of the ship.

Additionally the arena and other props had to be designed. There have been many changes to design and textures during the developement until the final look as it is now in the game was created.

Many ideas we had for the game were laid aside for different reasons. One of them was the initial concept of a complete story-line throughout the game which we were simply not able to realise in time. Apart from a little introduction and the backstory of the player characters we added no further story-related elements to the game but still tried to create the intended atmosphere.
For not breaking the limits of the hardware resources we also needed to use as few details as possible. While some objects had to be reduced to the smallest amount of polygons others were taken out of the game completely.
Some of those "rejected designs" can be found under <<Shots>> or in the Forum.