|02||Happy New Year|
|04||The Magic Land 1.1.0|
|05||DBPro Help System|
|08||Texture Maker 2.7|
|10||Alienware All Entries|
|11||Alienware Top 10|
Welcome to the first issue of 2004 and we are packed to the seams with the fruits of the Alienware Competition. They have been sizzling away on the judges hard drives for the past few weeks and we've gone through them all, every single game has had screen shots taken from it, a showcase entry created on our web sites and a lengthy review written. The Top 8 even have comments (pros and cons) from Lee Bamber and Mike Johnson! So work your way through the news this month and then get stuck into the 60 games on offer, we know you'll enjoy them.
Although New Year was a few weeks ago (except for our Chinese users) we still wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and bring you these words of developments from The Game Creators Commercial Director, Rick Vanner:
The Game Creator team are very excited about the future products we have lined up for release this year.
Our number one priority project which has been in development for well over a year now is looking very hot indeed! It's called FPS Creator and it's by far the best game creation system we've ever developed. With this game making tool you will be able to quickly construct complex 3D worlds using its powerful and flexible world editor. We have also spent a lot of time ensuring that the system is very open so that you can direct what happens with your own game. Utilising the latest pixel and vertex shaders and maximising frame rate with a powerful visibility engine, FPS Creator will allow you to design all manner of 3D First Person Shooter games. In spring 2004 we will start to showcase some of the technology behind this exciting new development. Please don't worry, you will not be limited by it, you will be able to add-in your own code to customise your creations!
Dark Basic Professional has proved it's worth this past year we've seen some wonderful creations that have recently been submitted for the Alienware competition. The flexibility and power of DBPro will be enhanced significantly as we release new add-on packs for the language, including an amazing set of Physics commands! More details on this and other packs will be announced in the Newsletters during the year. We will also be releasing Update 6 in spring 2004, so watch out for that.
We also have some other cool products in development, more news on them when they are closer to release.
Once again, a Happy New Year to all our customers, we look forward to seeing your game making creations!
Following on from DarkMATTER, our hugely successful range of low-poly 3D models, comes SoundMATTER. A collection of high-quality, royalty free, game orientated sound effects available in four different packs. Everything from gun shots, explosions and alien deaths to card shuffles, die rolling, swords clashing, food munching and more!
SoundMATTER uses custom programmed audio software to create original sound effects for games. All sounds are 100% original, sampled from the actual sound source or synthesised from original samples or raw wave forms.
The end result is deep, vibrant sound effects created specifically for gaming. There are four packs available with some great money saving offers on multiple purchases. The four packs are: Arcade, Casino, FPS and RPG Game Styles.
Find out more on the SoundMATTER web site: //www.thegamecreators.com/?m=view_product&id=2108
We received update from Magnus Esko about a new patch and demo for his game The Magic Land:
"The new demo for TML has been uploaded and there is also a patch as well."
My site is filled with info and shots about the patch and the game etc.
Check it out at: http://int.digaw.com/index.php?nav=announce&id=4
Glenn Carter of Eclipse Development sent us a link to an on-line version of the DarkBASIC Professional help files where users can leave comments about each command, sort of like the annotated manuals you see on php.net.
Visit the site here: http://www.eclipsedevelopment.co.uk/dbphelp/Main.asp
Jonathan Gover has released a full version of his 20-line code entry "Mini Space Battle". This updated version runs as a screen saver and features vastly improved graphics and sound effects. The camera pans around the battlefield while little AI ships chase around, blowing each other up with lasers. Also is the inclusion of a cruiser, which sits just off the battlefield blasting the little ships with its beam laser turrets. The little ships will attack the cruiser until its shields fail and it explodes! Boom!
The screensaver is fully customisable, you can change the number of ships, have a team battle or a free-for-all, add or remove the cruiser, set the cruiser shield strength etc. Also there are options to change the display settings, and have sound and music.
Screen shots and downloads can be found on Jonathan's web site: http://www.thedarthster.co.nr
From the Apollo forums, Jeroen writes: "I've just released version 0.8.2 of my free 3D modeller DeleD. New in this version: polyline primitive, prefab viewer, speedbuttons to all edit functions and a number of small improvements."
DeleD is a free 3D editor, find out more at: http://www.gamefortress.com/delgine
Developer Tobias Reichert has been hard at work on the 2.7 release of the ever-popular Texture Maker. This powerful texture generation and manipulation package will see many new updates including:
2.7 will be available shortly, for now see the web site at: //www.thegamecreators.com/?m=view_product&id=2131
This issue of the newsletter marks the end of the Alienware competition - and what a competition it has been! We've had no less than 60 entries taking up a staggering 1.07 GB of drive space, spread over 5,509 files. Those of you who remember the previous Retro Competition know that this is around half the number received for that - however, the quality of every single title submitted in this competition totally outshines the Retro games. This time we've seen professionalism in DarkBASIC games taken to the next level. Now to hand over to Lee Bamber, developer of DarkBASIC and DarkBASIC Professional and one of the judges:
"It never ceases to amaze me the quantity, strength and depth of talent in the DarkBASIC community these days. Gone are the days of poor little Lee writing small space invader games that might raise an eyebrow. Now we are seeing full-blown racing, first person shooter and dogfighting epics all from the minds of game authors who are creating them just for the fun of it."
"However in this case the added motivation of a stunning Alienware PC gaming system might have helped encourage things along. I personally would find myself challenged to knock a few of these authors from their podiums, as the quality is just amazing. I see glimpses of commercial quality work in these entries. One game might show awesome visual polish, another would reveal addictive gameplay whilst others manage to propose a great game idea that would find its way into retail with the right assets behind it."
"In judging the short-list for this competition I was very careful to follow the criteria and rank my decisions according to these rather than my own personal favourite which involved the abduction and slaughter of poor innocent grass chewing creatures. With the scope of talent in the community now, the TGC team knew we would get a good turn-out for this competition, and I am pleased to report we were not disappointed. To the winners go the spoils, and to the non-winners you can pat yourselves on the back for doing what only a percentage of your neighbors have achieved; write a complete game and furthered your skills in all the key areas of game development. I would also suggest that you take a really long look at the winning entries and ask yourself why oh why did 'that' game win. Look for those qualities that made it into a winning game, and focus on those aspects next time you assume the role of game author. You will find improvement around every corner, and before long you will be the one judging competitions and offering snippets of advice to up and coming game designers."
Here it comes.. the moment of truth, what have we decided should be the Top 10 games entered into the Alienware Programming Competition? Well before we show you those here is a complete list of every single game entered into the competition. You can click the title of the game to be taken to the showcase page on our web site from which you can view a nice high resolution screen shot, read an in-depth review of every title and download the game.
|Alien Gunslinger||Shanon White||DBPro|
|Alien Invaders||Adam M||DBPro|
|Alien Missions 1: The Plague||Joe Cooning||DB|
|Alien Penetration||Red Death||DB|
|Alien Race||Hector Guerrero||DBPro|
|Alien Racer||Robin Biddlecombe||DBPro|
|Alien Rampage||Chris Knott||DBPro|
|Alien Team||Ongard Kanjanamaytheerut, Pongtham Nantapan, Napat Keng, Wasin Pirom||DBPro|
|Alienware Duel||Jonathan Lessard||DBPro|
|Alpha Centuri 500||John Judnich||DBPro|
|An Aliens Tale||Brandon Demeria||DBPro|
|Ascender||K-One W-One Studios||DBPro|
|Aurora the Alien||Andrew DeWitt||DBPro|
|Captain Zed||Luke Brown||DBPro|
|Children of the Gods||David Westfall||DBPro|
|Clone Wars||Joey Gentry||DBPro|
|Cold Sails||Brandon Smith||DBPro|
|Collectatron||Hussein Duvigneau, James Rowe||DBPro|
|Cow Abductor||Beausoleil Samson-Guillemette (BuZySoft)||DB|
|Dark Moon||Yves Guilland||DB|
|ETV Racer||Oliver Studios||DBPro|
|Extreme Alien Pong||Tom ReD_eYe Pierce||DBPro|
|Invaders from Earth||Scott D Nelson||DBPro|
|Martian Idol||James Liljenquist||DBPro|
|Operation Genocide||Carlos Wilkes||DBPro|
|Operation: Invasion Evasion||Andrew Vanbeck||DBPro|
|Room War||Damjan Minovski, Ervin Tahirovic||DBPro|
|Roswell Racer||ShellShocked Entertainment||DBPro|
|Soul Captor||Guo-Hao Lay||DBPro|
|Soul Defender||Guruchild Entertainment||DBPro|
|Space Ball Arena||Paul Hansen||DBPro|
|Star Thing||James Maston||DBPro|
|Super Alien Bash||Yellow||DBPro|
|Terra Ignis||Paul Rohde||DBPro|
|The Artifact Wars||Jean-Luc Vion||DBPro|
|The Bad Side||Ludic Productions||DB|
|The Last Huntsman||Henrique Luna||DBPro|
|Triple A||Steve Vink||DBPro|
|UFO Catcher||Tim Fitzrandolph||DBPro|
|UFO Racer||Greg Blunt||DBPro|
|Vergaz||Anil Yigit Filiz, Sinan Tuncali||DB|
|X.T. Checkers||David Carraher||DBPro|
|X.T. Gladiators||David Carraher||DBPro|
So now.. on with the 10 winners!
Here we have the Top 10 Winners of the Alienware Programming Competition. Congratulations to everyone below.
1st Place - Room War
2nd Place - Roswell Racer
3rd Place - Cow Abductor
4th Place - X-Truder
5th Place - Operation: Invasion Evasion
6th Place - ETV Racer
7th Place - The Last Huntsman
8th Place - Alien Rampage
9th Place - AlienGP
10th Place - Operation Genocide
We couldn't end this feature without bringing to your attention some of the other spectacular games that were entered into the competition. We feel that the following entries are all more than worth checking out and strongly suggest you invest a bit of time into downloading and playing them. Click each screen shot to read a full in-depth review of the title and access the downloads.
|Soul Captor||Grunt||Invaders from Earth||Extranjero|
Our thanks to Alienware for sponsoring this event and to you for taking part.
The dust has finally settled on another issue - and what an issue it has been! I can't think of a better way to start the New Year than with a whole bunch of fantastic games showcasing exactly what DarkBASIC and DarkBASIC Professional can do. It's time for all the developers who took part in the competition to pat themselves on the back and take a well earned rest - you've deserved it. Hopefully their efforts will inspire the rest of you to code. At the time of writing there are only a few days left until my wedding which means I will be away for the rest of January and the first few weeks of February. So it's vital you email me news items for next issue during my absence - email me: email@example.com or use our Feedback form.