Xiotex

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Byron
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Xiotex

Postby Byron » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:02 am

Every game coder (well, most of us anyway) has at least one game in them that they are just itching to make. For me this game is 'Xiotex' (working title - never really known what to call it). I decided recently that I would actually get around to making this game soon - especially since Introversion for some insane reason decided to make me the producer of Darwinia+ and while I am still not really sure what a producer does, I do know it means less coding. So I need to get my coding fix somewhere!

This game idea spans back from the 80's from a demo effect I used to do on the Amiga. Back then the Amiga didn't have the power to do the game idea I had spinning around my tiny brain but now there is no reason not to make it. So, when IV broke up for the Xmas holidays I sat back and gave myself the challenge to see how much of it I could get done before the 5th of Jan. I had to get permission from the Grande Fromage before blogging about it here but this is a screenshot of how far I have got to date:

Image

Getting to that stage was murder. You can read up on the exact details here: www.xiotexstudios.com but in short it involved one Mac that decided to die on me at a very crucial point on New Years eve and tonight a chair that decided that my mass far out-weighed it's upper weight limit and promptly decided to meet the great chair maker in the sky. Still, the chair kicking the bucket prompted me to go on a diet so not all bad.

So far everything is a work-in-progress which means that the graphics you see there are likely to change drastically before I reach the final version - especially the HUD. I kind of like the style of rendering I have the AI units - which is currently represented by a Torus but like the rest of the game I am working on a procedural system to provide the form of the final AI units. Like Chris has mentioned in the past lots of content can kill a game and it's just myself working on this in my spare time so everything that can be procedurally generated is procedurally generated - even the gameplay to a certain extent. This is especially important in this game because the gameplay takes place across unlimited number of infinite 'planes' and obviously I can't produce enough content to fill that lot up. There will be a certain amount of pre-generated stuff in there to allow me to drive the main gameplay element of the game and to avoid the obvious balancing issues that a procedurally generated game can raise.

As can be seen from the screenshot the viewpoint of the player is similar to an FPS game and to a degree this game has a 'feel' of FPS about it but at its core is strategy mixed with a free-roaming 'do what you want' exploratory aspect. I basically want a vast world the player can get lost in. Each plane has it's own set of rules about how it looks and behaves and also the type of AI that you can encounter. As I mentioned above I have been playing with a procedural system for generating the form of AI, how it looks rather than how it behaves but that may be way off being in a form that can be demonstrated but my hopes are high!

- CW09
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Postby Xeon06 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:49 am

This looks both interesting and weird at the same time. Good luck, and I hope you have as much fun developing it as we will playing it!
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:07 am

It definitely has graphic appeal.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:07 am

Reminds me a bit of Interphase, a game for the Amiga and ST (and, apparently, PC) visually. Had the interesting graphical concept that in addition to the usual polygon and sphere primitives, they had, if memory serves right, cones and cylinders. And it had a juggling frog on a unicycle as one of the enemy types.
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Postby martin » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:21 pm

Sounds like an interesting game. One which I've always wanted to build is one in which different levels have different types of geometry (euclidean, hyperbolic etc) and players have to figure out how to use these different rules to beat the levels/other players. Sounds like this might be a similar kinda idea
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Postby Byron » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:08 pm

bert_the_turtle wrote:Reminds me a bit of Interphase, a game for the Amiga and ST (and, apparently, PC) visually. Had the interesting graphical concept that in addition to the usual polygon and sphere primitives, they had, if memory serves right, cones and cylinders. And it had a juggling frog on a unicycle as one of the enemy types.


I hadn't seen that game before but it has given me ideas now :) Ironically, the guys who were Assembly Line later became SN Systems - who I used to work for.
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Postby Weatherproof » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:24 pm

I also like the look so far for the AI. Even a procedural system where it just generated different primitives (cones, cubes, spheres, torus) of different parameters would be an awesome start for this project.
And yeah, it really does remind me of an Amiga demo!
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Postby Romanu » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:36 pm

That looks really interesting - i'll definately follow it :)
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Postby X-reX » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:18 pm

Looks interesting. Out of this world.
I didn't know you have a blog, and now that I know that I'm going to read there.
Good luck advancing with this game.
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Postby skull13 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:33 pm

Reminds me a lot of Parsec. (Its open-source now)
Here! THE SOURCE CODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Taedal » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:32 pm

Reminds me a bit of Interphase, a game for the Amiga and ST (and, apparently, PC) visually. Had the interesting graphical concept that in addition to the usual polygon and sphere primitives, they had, if memory serves right, cones and cylinders. And it had a juggling frog on a unicycle as one of the enemy types


Yes just what I was thinking! I didn't know anyone else remembered it. In fact some aspects of subversion have also put me in mind of interphase ie the way it is (or seems to be) about disabling security style stuff.

The games looks interesting and ticks all the boxes for me with its free roaming, fps ideas. Interested to see more as it comes...
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Postby Byron » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:21 am

Ok, time for something daring. I've only been working on this game since December and since being back at Introversion working full time on getting D+ out of the door I am spending 1 or 2 hours a week on it but somebody left a comment on my blog:


Do you mean to tell me, that we can't even download the game, and try it?

So what's the point of having to hear you talk about it if nobody can download a beta and comment on that.

I regret having wasted the time to come to this site, just because you created some expectations on the Introversion blog.


Now, while I am really flattered that this person thinks I am a really fast coder I ain't that fast. Beta is the stage you are at when you are ready to test just before the next stage which is you are releasing the game because it is finished. Just under a months development isn't nearly enough to be at Beta :shock:

However, having said that, while there is pretty much NO gameplay and stand-in graphics you can fly around shooting stuff. So, if you have a Mac and you fancy playing around with what I have done so far then send me a mail at byron (at) introversion.co.uk and I will see about getting a build to you. I haven't even attempted a PC build of it yet but that will come soon, so for now - sorry PC people.
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Postby sfericz » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:03 am

Byron wrote:Now, while I am really flattered that this person thinks I am a really fast coder I ain't that fast. Beta is the stage you are at when you are ready to test just before the next stage which is you are releasing the game because it is finished. Just under a months development isn't nearly enough to be at Beta :shock:
I think most of the people that would read this blog, and keep up to date with the games being developed by the IV members are just as happy reading the progress and seeing the beautiful screen shots. Even though I don't understand 'much' about what your working on here, I look forward to any more updates with screenies.

Byron wrote:So, if you have a Mac and you fancy playing around with what I have done so far then send me a mail at byron (at) introversion.co.uk and I will see about getting a build to you.
This might be one of the few times I wished I owned a Mac :P

Byron wrote:sorry PC people.
At least we might be confused for Politically Correct people. :P

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