As I told Dave

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the artist, if we start development on the remaining features now, we can make the IGF deadline in two months.

Dave: “That’s why you’re no longer the producer. Two weeks! Let’s do it in two weeks! Hey!!!".

At that point, "The Final Countdown" played from my computer speakers "magically". He threw 100 pennies at me as well.

On a more serious note, we only have 2 months until the IGF deadline. Can we do it?

Answer: Yes, probably...

The Secret of Zero Gear

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'll tell you a secret, Zero Gear is not a kart racing game.

That might be surprising if you have been reading this blog for a while. All of the images and videos we have released so far make it look like a kart racing game.

If it isn't a kart racing game, what is it? It is many games disguised as a kart racer. Yes, we do have a racing game mode. We also have two other game modes right now, with a few more to come before we release.

Zero Gear is more of a game platform than a game itself. All of the gameplay is actually written in a script. This allows us to quickly prototype and create new games. It will also allow anyone who owns Zero Gear to create their own game and play with other people online.

We aren't the first to do this, nor will we be the last. We see a lot of potential in kart games that hasn't really been explored yet. We hope to do that exploration through Zero Gear.

By the way, The Behemoth's game Castle Crashers just got released on XBox Live Arcade today. So congrats to them! I personally can't wait to slash, smash, and crash some cute enemies tonight.

Level polish time!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I have been spending a lot of time polishing up the tracks in our game in preparation for the race mode that Brian is working on. One of the fun parts is adding particles to the level, here is a shot of the mine from Spaghetti West with lots of glowy particles.

Sometimes my car crashes for no reason at all

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This will only be of interest to a small group of people using Bullet for vehicle physics. I actually spent a few days tracking this bug down so I am posting it here just in case it helps somebody else.

If you are trying to create a "sensor" or "trigger" type object using Bullet so you can detect if your vehicle enters or exits an area, you might notice your vehicle's wheels colliding with the otherwise invisible, "non-collideable" sensor. Read more about it here.

bitburo interview and technical STUFF

Friday, August 15, 2008

bitburo just posted a little interview with Dave about Zero Gear.

Here is the full link to the article

On the technical side of things, I decided today was the day to finally get my networking code threaded. Dave is touching up some of our maps and one of them was taking a bit too long to load which caused the client's connection to the server to timeout. This no longer will happen...

The latest version of Boost came out yesterday for you C++ programmers who use it. The Thread library has been improved greatly from pre-1.35 versions.

Also, Bullet 2.70 was released a few days ago. I haven't updated yet but I will be soon. They are doing some really cool stuff with soft bodies in newer versions of Bullet. Check out this video:

Will you see soft bodies in Zero Gear? Perhaps ;)

Zero Gear marks 1 year of development

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The other day we were trying to figure out exactly how long we had been working seriously on Zero Gear, so I went into my backups folder and lo and behold - the first backup of "kart game" I have is dated August 13, 2007. Things have come a long way since then, and there is a long way to go as well.

Apart from doing all we can to get a build of our game ready for the IGF, we have been distributing alpha builds of our garage editor to salivating artists who are hell-bent on creating all sorts of custom items for the game. As part of that process I have been writing documentation for creating those assets on our new Wiki. We are already building a great community with lots of talented artists around Zero Gear which is very exciting. Here is just a sampling!

If you would like to see what other stuff these talented guys are cooking up, go check out the polycount thread (23 pages long! might want to skip towards the end ;)

Also, a sneak peek of our main menu:

Delicious Zero Gear cake

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Last weekend was my birthday, and in celebration my girlfriend made me this awesome Zero Gear cake! How cool is that?