Click for full size cover image

Welcome to Issue 22! This is actually our single largest newsletter ever published, over twice the size of that released in October 2003. This I believe shows the quite remarkable changes that The Game Creators have gone through over the past year, and it just keeps on getting better! I don't know about where you live, but in this part of the world the weather is now decidedly horrible with stormy clouds, heavy rain and gusty wind being the norm. Which is great, because it's perfect coding weather! Instead of thinking you ought to be making the most of the sun, instead you can drive yourself deep into the guts of your latest program as the rain hammers the windows.

That is just what we've all been doing here and you can see the fruits of it this issue. Dave (Ravey) Milton has finished the project he's been slaving on for the past 6 months and you can read an interview with him all about that. Work has also been full-steam ahead on FPS Creator and as promised last issue we have prepared an exclusive 7min walk-thru video for you! It is the easiest way to show you exactly what the program can do, even in its beta state. We also slapped a camera infront of lead FPS Creator developer Lee Bamber early one morning (not the best time for Lee :) and extracted his thoughts via some FPSC related questions, so you can watch the interview as well.

Back in the land of DarkBASIC Professional there are no less than 3 new extension packs announced this month, one of which you may already be aware of (3D Cloth and Particle Physics). The other two being the excellent BlueGUI Version 2 and also a brand new version of the Nuclear Glory Collision System. There is also a new release of TreeMagik, a massive 20MB tutorial on writing DBPro commands in Pure Basic, an exclusive low-level vertex DLL, news from the forums, a great game review, competition details, special offers and more! So dive on in and enjoy the read.

FPSC Insider
DBPro Online Special Offer
3D Cloth and Particle Physics
BlueGUI Windows Plugin
NG Collision V3
TGC Compo - Submit your game
Christmas Posting Dates
DKShop - Massive free DBPro DLL
Retro Remakes 2004
Pixel Perfect Collision Tutorial
TGC Hosting Survey
DTSP Sales Explode
Dave Milton, Secret Agent?
Driving Test Success Road Signs
Game - DUOtris
DBPro DLLs in PureBasic
Coders Workshop
US Convention
From the Forums
This months winner
Advertise on the TGC site

FPS Creator Insider

We're back! and have we got some treats in store for you this month or what?! First of all, the cover of this months newsletter is a render of some of the WW2 theme objects and characters that were built for FPS Creator by one of our 3D gurus, Michael Palm. As we've announced before, FPS Creator will ship with two themes available - sci-fi and WW2 and as we've featured a number of the sci-fi shots before we felt it was about time you got to see the WW2 side of things. Michael has been hard at work for months creating bunkers, artilery guns, weapons, ammo, scenery and lots more to give your game an authentic WW2 feel to it. Heck, you could even combine the WW2 buildings with the high-tech sci-fi weapons and baddies! It's entirely up to you.

FPS Creator Videos
Second to actually giving you a demo, the next best thing is to show you exactly what FPS Creator can do by way of a video. This is a far better method of showing what is happening, that demonstrates far more than static screen shots ever could. So we compiled together this 7 minute presentation for you that literally goes through the steps of building and testing a game with FPS Creator. You'll get to see the editor in action (albeit an older version of it) and more importantly a basic game too. Hopefully this will give you some idea just how easy to use FPS Creator is, whilst not giving anything up in the power department either.

The second video is an interview with Lee Bamber, the head developer on FPS Creator, who answers some common questions about the product. The videos are in Windows Media format (WMV files) and will play using Microsoft Media Player. Grab them by clicking the film images:

7mins Walk-through Developer Interview

The FPS Creator Editor Up-Close
The editor for FPS Creator is moving along in leaps and bounds. It was always going to be a native Windows based editor and over the past few days lots of new features and extended properties have been dropped into it, meaning you can now easily start setting the attributes for all game elements. Here for the first time we'll bring you an exclusive screen shot of the editor in full swing. Click on the thumbnail for a full-res version:

Let's talk briefly about what you are seeing here. First of all, the largest area of the screen is taken up with the 3D view of your game world. This is typically viewed from above, with the icons controlling the level at which you are editting (for example to build a 4-storey building you would edit the first level, click the "move up a level" icon, edit the second level, etc). However in the screen shot you can see that we have activated the "Drop to floor" function so you can see the map from a first person perspective. Although you'll rarely edit in this view, it is useful to check you have tables, boxes, buttons, etc aligned correctly. On the left side of the editor is the object selection pane. We have discussed the different types of object before (Prefabs, Segments, Entities and Markers) but to give you a quick refresher they break down like this: Prefabs are collections of Segments. That is you could have a Prefab of an entire room / building which you just drop into the scene. They are the quickest form of building blocks available. Segments are the lower-level blocks. A segment could be a patch of grass, or a corridor segment, or a curved wall. They allow for the finer details in your levels. Entities are pretty much all of the in-game objects including weapons, ammo, enemies and general objects (chairs, barrels, tables). Finally we have Markers. They control elements such as dynamic lights, player spawn locations, trigger and emission zones.

So now that's explained you can see that we have a few entities stacked up in the left panel. This is just displaying those entities we're actually using in our current game. On the right of the editor is the new Properties panel. In the screen shot the mean looking guy in the middle in a character we affectionately call "Colonel X". On the right you can see his Properties such as the AI scripts bound to his various attributes (field of view, initialisation, etc.) You can also control textures, effects and general statistics. It is just about possible to make-out that he is going to be using the "Patrol" AI script, meaning he'll wander around the current zone, looking out for you the player, and then attacking (and fleeing!) if you happen to stumble into him.

AI scripts are at the heart of FPS Creator. Virtually every single element in the game can have scripts attached to them. We have been very careful not to "hard-code" attributes into entities. For example even things as basic as defining the title page of your game is controlled by a script. Scripts are used just about everywhere, from handling door opens/locks, to hunting enemies to environmental changes. We will be bringing you some script examples next issue.

FPS Creator Forum
We have created an FPS Creator dedicated board to our forum. You can post FPSC related questions there and we'll try our best to answer them for you. Visit the forum here:

FPS Creator Announcement List
There are thousands of readers to this newsletter, lots of you having come from DarkBASIC or DarkBASIC Professional and with the early adopter release of FPS Creator so close we are going to split things up a little bit. To this end we have created a new announcement mailing list specifically for FPS Creator. We will use it for letting you know when FPS Creator is available to purchase, as well as other FPS Creator related news. You will only receive email from us and only related to FPS Creator. Your email address will never be disclosed or sold to any 3rd party. So, want to get onboard? Sign-up here: //

For more information visit: //
DarkBASIC Professional On-line Special Offer

We are pleased to bring all of our newsletter readers this special limited offer: Buy DarkBASIC Professional on-line before the end of November 2004 and receive a 15% discount. This brings the price down from $69.99 to $58.99. There are no limitations with this version, it's the same great product just at a specially discounted rate for newsletter readers. To receive the discount you must follow the link below.

Buy online: //
3D Cloth and Particle Physics Pack

The DarkBASIC Professional 3D Cloth & Particles Expansion Pack provides a set of commands for creating emitters, effectors, colliders and cloth. Using these new commands it's possible to create all kinds of particle and cloth effects within a 3D scene.

Particles, Effectors, Colliders and Cloth

Emitters are used to emit particles. You can choose from three types of emitters; basic, box and spherical. With the basic emitter, particles are produced from a single point in space and are emitted with an initial velocity along the y axis of the emitter. When using the box emitter you can emit particles from within a bounding box region of space. The spherical emitter will produce particles from within a spherical or hemispherical region of space.

Fifteen demonstration programs are included when you buy the 3D Cloth & Particles expansion pack. There are demonstrations to show you how to create a banner, a wavy bridge, using drapes, dropping a cloth object onto the floor with collision, a flag, a flame effect, a ride around a ghost train scene, view a hall with cloth and emitters inside, see how a scene can be drawn onto a cloth, several particle demonstrations, a smoke example, a spider web created from cloth and finally an example of a vortex effector being applied to an emitter. A video is also included that displays a DB Pro scene that was rendered to video in which the scene uses several particle effects.

3D Cloth and Particle Physics Pack costs $29.99 (€24.99, £16.99) and is available now.

For more information visit: //
BlueGUI Windows Plugin V2

BlueGUI (Graphical User Interface) allows you to add windows controls or gadgets such as buttons, tabs, treeviews and even Web Browsers to your DarkBASIC Professional programs. In addition, it allows you to add true windows menus and common dialogs such as File Open/Save, Colour Picker and Folder Picker to your applications.

With BlueGUI you can take DarkBASIC Professional to a new level, whether you want to add a familar interface to your programs, create an editor for a game, or even a fully blown CAD or multimedia application - with BlueGUI now you can! The new version 2.0 of BlueGUI has been rewritten from scratch to provide a significant performance boost when creating or modifying gadgets. The new handles system makes for less code, and all restrictions on how gadgets can be arranged have been removed.

Design as easy as point and click
Designing user interfaces is now much easier under version 2.0, thanks to Rainbow, a simple visual editor which allows you to just click and drag to design layouts for your program. Rainbow can then export DarkBASIC code which you can copy and paste into your applications. Rainbow allows you to create applications faster and with much less hassle. Even better, complete source for Rainbow is included so you can modify it as you see fit.

Internet applications with DarkBASIC and BlueGUI
BlueGUI's web browser gadget allows you to develop internet applications with DarkBASIC. Whether you want to provide access to an online high-scores page, or include web-page based documentation in your program, BlueGUI makes it possible. In addition, BlueGUI allows you to display HTML or scripts generated by your program without having to save it to file. This allows your programs to take full advantage of the power of the web.

BlueGUI 2 costs $20.00 (€15.99, £10.99) and is available now directly from The Game Creators.

For more information visit: //
Nuclear Glory Collision DLL V3

The NG Collision DLL Version 3 for DarkBASIC Professional is a comprehensive suite of commands that will allow you to perform the most complex collision possible directly within your games. No matter how fast your players (or bullets!) are moving, collision will be accurately calculated every time. How about performing sliding collision around a large complex 3D object? Easy. Or having the player collide with a moving platform such as a lift? Again - the NG DLL will do this all for you and The Game Creators are proud to bring you Version 3 of this popular plugin. Here is what V3 has in store for you:

Full feedback commands (fetch detailed info about the geometry you collided with)
Powerful collision response control, all automatically handled.
Ellipsoid-2-Ellipsoid (deformed sphere) collision, great for characters
Ellipsoid-2-Mesh collision - very accurate and fast
Priority settings over the master definitions allows you to control the order in which things are tested to prevent timing problems. The defaults are set for what most games require but, if you need it, it's here!
Ability to fully collision test one object at a time (great for specialty collision purposes or camera timing)
Super fast collision in tight corners, no slow down! (concave checking to perfectly handle opposing faces)
Blazingly accurate in all geometric situations!

There is also: A new internal octree system to improve overall system performance. Active queue settings per object to further control exactly what an object collides with! (An ignore/active switch to allow you to keep the list as short as possible, to save memory). This gives a very big advantage to the performance of your applications. Perfectly handles moving / dynamic geometry. Even large objects (with internal octrees) can be dynamically moved without any extra work on your part! Normal backface skipping for good performance. Precalced backface skipping system, for additional performance in the midst of the action. Optional bounding box creation so it can skip entire meshes in one step! Massive speed boost when you have a lot of detailed objects in one place.

And to make things easier, all of the defaults are set for the most common / fastest settings. So you can plug-it-in and go!

Other New Features:

  • Visibility of the ellipsoids! This is great for debugging your collision.
  • An "object parenting" system to allow you to keep objects easily held to the other objects (ie: great for tires on a car)
  • Volume testing commands. Need to know if a point is within the volume of a cube or other convex shape? This is a one line command to do the job!
  • DBP build-in version of the DLL so you don't have to keep it external of your EXE!
  • Full raycast support against meshes and ellipsoids alike! Perfect for weapons or even toolsets (like lightmappers). A single raycast can even intersect multiple objects at once! All of this data is sent back to you.
  • Slope control per object. You can fine tune the setting for how steep something is before it can be climbed. You wouldn't want your player to go up a wall would you? That's what this eliminates, let them go up slopes, but not walls! And you can control just how steep they can climb! Works great for walking-character and free-flight games alike. Walk on the ceiling if you want!
  • Low level commands to run your own collision tests. So, if you want to design/create your own system, you have all of these commands already done for you! This will help take the grunt work out of your design.

You can use the fully customizable automated system or expand to the low level commands to design your own. A system built for ease that gives you room to grow. This entire DLL is completely yours and usable in all of your productions.

NG Collision DLL V3 costs $24.95 (€19.99, £13.99) and is available now.

For more information visit: //
TreeMagik G2

Designed around the successful TreemagikPro, Treemagik-G2 offers the tree builder a new level of creation control. Limitless creations are at your fingertips!

TreeMagik G2

No longer are tree designers limited to prefabricated trunk mesh and leaf chunk designs, TreemagikG2 offers the designer an easy approach to building unique tree designs. By simply adjusting certain slider bars; the tree in the editor contorts to the new shape in realtime. TreemagikG2 offers controls for every aspect of the tree creation process; poly count, texture detail, texture creation, tree detail and more!

If you are in need of 3d-polygonal mesh trees; whether it is for games creation, presentations, landscape design or simply for the fun factor - then TreemagikG2 is a product you cannot afford to pass up! Compared to other tree making tools, TreemagikG2 is the most cost efficient solution for the 3d-developer, at the same time producing high quality tree-mesh models.

Key Features

Create high quality tree models at low-poly counts.
Controls for every aspect of the building process.
Completely customizable GUI and real-time preview mode.
Export to X, OBJ, LWO, SMD, ASC(3dmax), TXT(milkshape),DBO(dbro), B3D, RAW, WRL, TM2
Flawlessly Save and reload your creations for future editing.
More media included than any other Treemagik product to date!
For the first time ever ! - an optional royalty-free license is available allowing tree designers to package and sell tree bundles made with G2.
TreemagikG2 supports masking, alpha, mipmapping and uv scaling.
Import your own texture files or use the included media.
Unique and easy to use GUI system.
Create your own leaf textures using the included 'LeafDesigner' studio.
Average tree consists of 230 - 320 polys!
Easy to use 'Version Check' feature allows for fast product updating.
Unlimited updates and support for the entire 'G2 version' life-span.
Commercial and Freeware license included as standard usage.
Room for expansion - TreemagikG2's new modular design allows for easy updates to future versions.
Photo-realistic bark, leaf and limb textures included.
Multi-language support (english, french) more to come.

TreeMagik G2 costs $49.99 (€39.99, £29.99) and is available now directly from The Game Creators.

For more information visit: //
TGC Compo 2004 - How to Submit your Game

With not long to go until the competition deadline here is how you can submit your finished game:

There are two ways to send in your finished game/s: FTP and Email, but before you can use either you have to ensure your game is registered on our site.

1. Register Your Game. This is done via our web site. You need to have an account and be logged-in. Go to the following page: // and add your title. Once done you'll be given a unique Entry ID, i.e.: 3f7808dad8019. Make a note of this.

2. ZIP and name your game. Package up your game into a single ZIP file and ensure that somewhere in the filename is the unique Entry ID assigned above. I.e. if your game was called "wolf2004" then the following filename would be advised: If you do not place the code in the filename of your zip file then you MUST include it in a text file somewhere within the archive, otherwise we cannot associate your game with you.

3. Upload your game. You have two choices: FTP or Email. We have set-up a high-capacity email account which can accept the large attachments. So simply mail the zip file to: and put the Entry ID somewhere in the Subject of the email. If you prefer to FTP then FTP to: and place your zip file into the incoming directory. You can login as "anonymous" with your email address as the password. Please note that you CANNOT see any files in this directory (including your own) due to write permissions, this is normal. You cannot upload two files with the same name, so if you need to upload your game again put something like "_v2" on the end of the filename.

4. That's it! You are welcome to email me ( if you would like confirmation that your game uploaded or was emailed successfully, however please note that I cannot give you feedback or even tell if you if the game worked via email.

"I uploaded, but I want to submit a newer version!" Fair enough - just upload or email it again and use a different filename, i.e.

Full details about the competition are available on the Developer Network web site (link below).

For more information visit: //
Christmas Posting Dates

I hate to be the one to say this - but Christmas is coming (yet again!) so if you are thinking about ordering any of our boxed items it is essential you order early to avoid disappointment. The following are the last posting dates as advised by Royal Mail:

All UK Orders21st December
USA and Canada10th December
Germany13th December
France13th December
Australia6th December
Japan10th December
Hong Kong6th December

Due to the significantly larger volumes of mail at this time of the year we strongly suggest you order well in advance of the dates given above.

For more information visit:
DKShop - Free DBPro DLL

Uber-programmer Dmitry has released a free DLL for DarkBASIC Professional that provides stacks of powerful new commands for serious low-level vertex manipulation and object and camera modification.

Working directly with internal object data, commands are available including: DK GET LIMB COUNT, DK GET OBJECT FVF, DK GET LIMB VERTEX COUNT, DK CALCULATE POLY NORMALS, DK GET PICK DISTANCE, DK GET PICK VECTOR X/Y/Z, DK GET OBJECT WIREFRAME, DK GET VERTEX POSITION X/Y/Z and many many more. There are also sets of commands for working with the camera such as DK GET CAMERA FOV, DK GET CAMERA NEAR, DK GET CAMERA FAR and the extremely cool DK CONVERT 2D TO 3D.

Check out the forum thread below for downloads and more information. If you have a requirement for these types of commands and low-level access then you definitely need to take a look.

For more information visit:
Retro Remakes Competition 2004
Retro Gamer Issue 9

Some months back we bought you news of the Retro Remakes 2004 Competition, a yearly event which The Game Creators are proud to be a main sponsor of. Well the deadline for competition entries is over and although the winners will not be announced until December 1st we thought it would be good to show you some of the games made with DarkBASIC and DarkBASIC Professional that were entered:

Retro River Raid by Cleber de Mattos Casali (4th game down the page)
Splat! by Spooky
Still No Escape by TheSquid

Did you enter the compo? If so then please let us know about your games for the next newsletter.

Want to play all of the games entered? You can either download them from the Retro Remakes web site, or they are actually all included on the cover CD of Retro Gamer magazine this month (Issue 9). There is also an interview with the RR team and as a special bonus the magazine comes complete with a brand new issue of Your Sinclair! (Issue 94 no less) which is fantastic reading. Details on the Retro Gamer magazine web site.

For more information visit:
Pixel Perfect Sprite Collision Tutorial

Banshee Studios developer Andy Igoe has released two tutorials onto his web site that should prove useful to most DarkBASIC Professional developers out there. The first tutorial is all about Timer Based Movement - the system of ensuring that things progress in your game world according to your game-timer and not the speed of the PCs processor! This tutorial includes sample code and is free of charge.

The second tutorial is all about Pixel Perfect Sprite Collision with DarkBASIC Professional. DarkBASIC Professional does not include pixel perfect perfect collision but this tutorial will teach you how to optimise collision for sprites using multiple methods from basic range checking right up to different ways of using pixel perfect collision. If you dont want to deal with the complexities of how pixel perfect collision works then the tutorial includes code which does it all for you, so you can use as if it was a native DBP command!

The Pixel Perfect Collision Tutorial costs £1.50 and is available now.

For more information visit:
TGC Web / File Hosting Survey

We often see people on the forums asking where they can upload their games to for everyone else to test, but web space is a varied kettle of fish and often comes packed with features that just aren't required when all you need to do is slap-up a file for people to grab and give feedback on. Here at The Game Creators we are toying with the idea of offering file / web site hosting services specifically aimed to cater for this market. We have created an on-line survey that we would appreciate you taking part in. It's only 7 questions (and you can skip any of them if you want). Your feedback will shape the possible creation of this service in the future.

Take the survey: TGC Web Hosting Survey
DTSP sells over 122,000 copies

As regular readers will know The Game Creators developed a 3D UK driving lesson related program called Driving Test Success PRACTICAL. This product is sold by Focus Multimedia and features numerous 3D driving examples, tutorials, courses, tests and more. Since release it has received glowing reviews and awards and we're pleased to announce that it has now officially shipped over 122,000 copies in its very short lifespan. This almost undoubtadly makes it one of the most successful DarkBASIC created programs ever released and just goes to show that for a language created back in 1999 DarkBASIC still proves its market worth today.

For more information visit: //
Dave Milton, Secret Agent?

Some months ago we ran an interview with new TGC developer Dave Milton. Back then we announced he was working on a secret project that, for non-disclosure agreement reasons, we couldn't reveal. No more was said of it since then but we are pleased to announce that he has now completed work on the project and we can tell you all about it.

Driving Test Success Road Signs

Following on from the massive success of the Driving Test Success PRACTICAL program The Game Creators drew up another proposal for Focus Publishing - Driving Test Success Road Signs. After various dicussions the green-light was given and Dave was tasked with the job of bringing Road Signs to market in just over 6 months. The pressure was on...

Q: Please tell us a little about what Driving Test Success Road Signs does?
A: "DTS Road Signs is an all-encompassing knowledge base for all the UK road signs. It is designed to help both learner drivers and kids with regard to road safety and understanding. There are 980 official road signs in the program, so even experienced drivers can learn something. For me personally (and I suspect most drivers) learning the road signs was never that interesting and usually just consisted of flicking through the Highway Code and trying to make sense of their often 2-3 word descriptions. I hope that DTS Road Signs will make people more informed and knowledgable."

Q: What does DTS Road Signs consist of?
A: "DTS Road Signs is split into different sections, the largest being the database. This contains all of the road signs and is also split into categories (Warning Signs, Signs giving orders, etc) You can filter the database to just show Highway Code signs. There are over 900 signs in 500 sections, making for a huge amount of data to keep track of. There are photos of the signs in real-life situations and fact sheets about the sign - where you'd encounter it, what you should do, etc. Plus lots of the signs also have videos with them. So there are pictures, videos and information in the database. It is all displayed in a 3D style - the signs flip and scale on, dance around, land with a puff of smoke, etc. There are lots of road markings too (also considered as road signs). Each sign can have a "other related signs" option to show you which signs go together. Once you've gone through the database you can test yourself with the Board Game or Quiz."

"The board game is 2D in presentation style, but rendered in full 3D. Think Monopoly, you drive around locations (city, motorway, country road, etc) and roll a dice to move. Landing on a square presents you with a question from 2 packs of cards which you must answer to progress. The questions can be text, image or video based which promotes awarenes of the sign itself, not just "what does this mean?". The board game is also for 1 or 2 players, but in 1 player mode you actually compete against the computer. The Quiz is a quick-fire quiz round, based on the game "You don't know Jack". Again you can play against the computer AI if you wish. A question will appear and you have a short number of seconds to buzz-in with the answer. It's a very quick panic quiz-show style game!"

Q: How long did it take to build DTS Road Signs?
A: "It started with Rick creating the design document which was then tweaked and adjusted over a quite long period of time until it was agreed and ready. I then made a small proto-type which we showed to the publisher (Focus Multimedia), that took around 2 weeks. Once they agreed the concept development started and it took just over 6 months in total. I worked with a Design Manager at Focus who produced the GUI layouts in-line with the rest of the products in the range. I personally created the 3D board game graphics while Rick did most of the photos and videos. He must have taken thousands of them! Driving around the country and going out with the motorway Police (because obviously you can't just stop on the motorway to take a photo of the signs!)"

Q: How many lines of code are in the final program?
A: "The main program has just over 17,000 lines of code, but I built many tools to help with development, so you can easily double that. The program was taking 10 minutes to compile each time towards the end of the project :)"

Q: Did you hit any stumbling blocks with DarkBASIC Professional while developing?
A: "There was one, although it was more a DirectX9 issue than DBPro. I found one important difference between the older versions of DirectX and DirectX9. When working in 2D mode it is easy to forget that although everything looks 2D, DirectX9 is 3D only, which means all 2D is in fact emulated in 3D. One knock on effect from everything being 3D is that all images are textures and must have an even boundary width. This rule is not noticeable on most machines, but for example any nVidia GeForce 4 MX/GO card will show garbage on screen when displaying an image that is not on an even boundary width. I would recommend anyone using 2D commands to ensure all their images are an even pixel to maintain compatibility with the widest possible range of cards."

"I wrote various tools with which the final program was built. For example the database constituted the main portion but there was no way I was going to manually enter thousands of photos, videos, etc! So I created an HTML style language to handle the database contents and built tools that remembered everything for me. When a new bunch of assets arrived I would simply drop them into a directory, start-up my program (DB Edit) and it would say "6 New Photos found" and then automatically resize, crop and save out the images as required and assign them to the road signs. Because of the large volume of text I also spent a long time looking at Word and how that handles text flow around objects, etc. I kept a very tight to-do list as well! I would say that more work went into the tools than the final program, but without them it would have taken me much longer to finish. Focus have a lot of test PCs and it was interesting seeing how it ran on old Pentium3 400s with ATI Rage cards! But it did work, and worked well. I had to fix a few issues relating to 16-bit colour appearing differently on different cards, but overall the problems were easily fixed."

Q: This product is going to be on sale across gaming stores, supermarkets and shops nationwide - as a developer how does that feel?
A: "It's great! Very exciting indeed. Road Signs was actually released on my birthday and I love picking it up and looking at the back of the box and thinking "I made that!". I actually built the master CD while at Focus in the final stages and it was a great feeling knowing that the thousands of CDs that will be distributed across the country all came from that master I built."

Driving Test Success Road Signs is on sale now priced at £9.99 and was created completely with DarkBASIC Professional. Dave is now working on the DarkSDK project.

Built with: //
Driving Test Success Road Signs

The official Focus Multimedia Press Release:

Focus Multimedia is set to release the latest instalment to their prestigious Driving Test Success range of PC CD-ROM software. 'Driving Test Success Road Signs' is an innovative new product that aims to provide both learner and experienced drivers with vital road safety and hazard perception driving skills.

'Driving Test Success Road Signs' is the first consumer product of its kind, aiming to help both experienced and learner drivers recognise and understand the meaning of over 500 road signs throughout the UK in their actual settings. Being able to recognise and interpret road signs whilst on our roads is a vital skill in developing safe driving and hazard perception skills. It is also essential for the learner driver if they want to pass the Official DSA Driving Theory Test.

In 2003, over 214,000 road accidents were reported involving personal injury, of these over 32,000 accidents involved death or serious injury. With this in mind, the government aims to improve driver road safety and bring about a 40% reduction in both road deaths and casualties by 2010. Whilst working closely with THINK! Road Safety, 'Driving Test Success Road Signs' in particular aims to reduce road accidents and casualties by providing all road users, children and cyclists, with vital road safety information to keep them safe on our roads.

This comprehensive study aid offers much more than a book, providing students with over 500 UK road signs in their actual environments to make learning easy.

Categories Include

  • Signs Giving Warnings
  • Signs Giving Orders
  • Road Works
  • Direction Signs
  • Information Signs
  • Signals
  • Markings

Key Features

  • Learn the meaning and relevance of over 500 UK road signs in their actual settings.
  • Over 1,000 photographs, videos and images of road signs and markings to improve your vital road safety and hazard perception driving skills.
  • Sign Chooser - locate any sign from this extensive database instantly.
  • Video Chooser - locate any video from the extensive video library of signs.
  • Highway Code Sign Chooser - locate and sign from the Highway Code instantly.
  • Test your knowledge in the quick fire quiz and discover your weaknesses.
  • Interactive 3D Board Game - play against the computer or an opponent.
  • Vital Road Safety information for Children including going to and from school, The Green Cross Code, walking, cycling and rollerblading.
  • Additional printable content supporting THINK! Road Safety, including activity books and lesson plans supporting the National Curriculum Key Stages 1 & 2.

Inspector Russell Barnes Road Policing Unit for Cheshire Police commented, "Knowledge of road signs is integral to road safety. This is an excellent teaching aid for learning road signs."

'Driving Test Success Road Signs' will be available in DVD style packaging from WHSmiths, PC World, Borders and carrying an RRP of £9.99.

Built with: //
DUOtris review by Dave Milton

DUOtris... Sounds a bit like a fairly well known game right? Right. A lot of games that have grown from other games lack the flair and fun of the original right? Right. DUOtris falls foul of this common trend right? WRONG! DUOtris is a fun and interesting twist on the puzzle genre. In DUOtris you have to match up coloured blocks that fall from not one, but two directions. Two blocks fall at a time, one from the top, one from the bottom, both heading to the centre. The trick is to remember each block is falling on a different screen in affect. Cursor keys move the blocks left and right (moving in an attractive spin), hitting ctrl swaps the blocks over which allows for clever tactics in removing your blocks from the play area. To score points you must match up coloured blocks of the same colour, good news is it need not be a straight line; you can make a successful connection by placing blocks in an "L" shape also. Don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy game by the last statement, remember you have double the trouble to deal with (hence the games name!) and moving one block into a nice spot may mean you move the opposite block into a not so pleasant area.

Once a block lands you can continue to move the other falling block, which again adds more scope for clever tactics (although I will be completely honest and say I am not known for being a puzzle game tactician). Matching up rows in succession brings huge bonus points and as the game recommends this is the best way to achieve the all-important high scores (that is why we play after all!). There are two modes to play on, Classic (a much slower pace game for us oldies) and arcade for the insane, which brings with it a wealth of power-ups which may help of hinder your quest for the top of the high score table. The game has been carefully polished and is presented in a zappy colourful fashion with good use of DBPro's built in particle commands. The music that plays throughout fits the game well and reminds me of the game music of old (which is a huge compliment). The music is created by FK'd Reality which I guess stands for Funked Reality (possibly!). If you find the music is not to your taste there is a neat option to simply plonk your own choice of mp3's into a folder called "My Music" which the game will pick up on and play.

I'm not a big fan of this genre (probably down to my lack of talent for playing these kind of games) but I did enjoy DUOtris, it brings a refreshing twist to the genre and comes with plenty of sparkle. I would highly recommend trying it, you have the choice of relaxed "pipe and slippers" or "bring it on" modes which should ensure it covers different tastes (the "pipe and slippers" mode was definitely for me!).

  For more details:
Creating DBPro DLLs with Pure Basic - Part 3

For reasons of space we left out the 3rd part of the article on creating DarkBASIC Professional DLLs with Pure Basic last month. Unfortunately this issue is proving to be quite sizeable yet again, so rather than explode all of your inboxes we have compiled the tutorial together for you and uploaded it for all to grab! The ZIP file includes the massive tutorial in Word Document format (all 20MBs of it!), accompanying images, the GlobStruct Pure Basic file, an example DLL, INI file and all Pure Basic code resources. It's an invaluable read for anyone trying to build DBPro commands in Pure Basic and well worth downloading.

For more information about Pure Basic please visit:

Download: (1.1MB)
Coders Workshop
Coders Workshop Meet 2

On Saturday 27th November the second Coders Workshop event will be taking place in Doncaster, England. This is a general meet up of indie, hobbyist, freelance (or anyone else!) computer programmers (any language), artists, musicians etc.

UK Coder's Workshop is aimed at anyone involved within the development of games or applications, and is particularly geared towards the back bedroom & Indie programmers through out the UK. Whether your choice of language is Blitz Basic, Dark Basic, C++, JAVA/J2ME, Pure Basic or anything else, then come along... This is a great opportunity for you to show off your latest game projects and demos. Meet other like minded people, win prizes and most of all, enjoy a great evening!

Entrance is free, and we've got complimentary food and drinks, as well as this great line-up including: a Video Game Quiz, Open Q&A session, C64 Retro Game Challenge, a free Raffle and various other prizes up for grabs.

The Game Creators provided 5 copies of DarkBASIC Professional as prizes for the various events of the day and there are other goodies on offer including NVIDIA T-Shirts and more.

For more information visit:
USA Programming Convention - perhaps

DarkBASIC and general game development forum LLRFT is hosting the first USA programming convention for several years. Currently they are trying to find out how many people would be able to make a Minnetonka, Minnesota convention over the July 9-10 2005 weekend. If you are interested in coming, head on over to LLRGT at the following web site and cast your vote.

For more information visit: Vote Topic
From the Forums

October Forum Updates: As we progress steadily towards the "half a million posts" mark in our forum a few new changes have been introduced. First of all, we now allow file attachments to your messages. You can attach any file up to 1MB in size for others to download, so it's ideal for showing screen shots, bits of code, media or other programming related items. We have also created a new board - Programming Talk - where you can discuss non-DarkBASIC languages such as C++, PHP, Blitz and more. This now provides a place for all those threads that used to have to be confined to the corners of General Talk.

Our community forums are, as always, an interesting place to hang out! Here is a short summary of very interesting threads that you may wish to take a look at and perhaps participate in?

Transition Studio v1 - zawran has released a demo version of his new application. It will take two images (ideally textures) and blend them based on a number of gradients and you can save out the results.
Read more: Transition Studio

BSP Factory Level - Jedive (who must have the longest running trial of DBPro ever) has released an example DBPro program that uses an example of a BSP Factor map as reported last issue. Check out the sample level.
Read more: BSP Factory Example

Elimination: Byte-5 - M Gaming have released screen shots of their new FPS looking game featuring various maps, entities, weapons, etc. Screenshots and hopefully soon a demo.
Read more: Elimination: Byte-5

AMOS Source Code Viewer - This is quite cool, it will open up some (not all!) AMOS code files so you can view the code on your PC. Quite what you do with it then is anyones guess :)
Read more: AMOS Code Viewer

Visit our forums:
This months winner

We've plucked one lucky subscriber to our newsletter and for you a completely free copy of DarkBASIC Professional is yours for the asking. The winner is dustmite@????????? - just email us and a free copy of DarkBASIC Professional is yours.

For more information visit: //
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Wow, what an issue! Easily the largest newsletter I've ever published, and it doesn't even contain loads of source code to pad it out! It has been hard work, but the end result is more than worth it. There were some awesome exclusives this issue and for Issue 23 we'll be bringing you another one: DarkSDK. The DarkBASIC Professional functions, interfaced via C++. We'll have some first shots of an FPS game Ravey has been working on with DarkSDK, some product insight and example C++ code.

Next month we will also start seeing the results of the current programming competition, although we don't promise to have the official results announced, we'll certainly have some games ready for you to play :) There will be more FPS Creator news as the product hopefully hits EA release status and plenty more to get you in the festive spirit!

Got something you want thousands of people to read about in the next issue? Then get in touch! Email me: or use our Feedback form.

Contact us: //

Famous Last Words: "I wonder who the fellow with the black armour among the Storm Troopers is. I'll use the Force to find out."
(C) Copyright The Game Creators Limited 2004