Editorial - January 2011

Issue 96 cover

The passing of another year always persuades us to reflect on what has gone by, and what we have achieved. In the world of TGC it amounts to numerous updates to products, a wealth of models and media, countless new plugins for DarkBASIC Professional, some great games from the users of FPSC and the various programming languages, giant leaps into the Netbook and mobile markets, and a whole lot more.

If we look back a whole decade for just a moment, there was a very exciting and pivotal moment for budding game creators everywhere. The games industry was exploding with 3D titles, getting bigger, better and more innovative with every release. DarkBASIC Professional opened the door to anyone who wanted to taste the excitement of joining that world, not just as a player but as a creator. 2011 looks set to recreate the dawn of a new era of development with AGK. Mobile devices, portable netbooks and high-powered PCs are already out there, and AGK will transform the complex world of multi-platform development into something that is achievable by anyone who wants to be part of it.

If you're still looking for a new year's resolution, why not pledge to make it your year for success? You can get started by joining NaGaCreMo, the details of which you'll find in this edition. You can reflect on the success of the Very Best of the Best in FPS Creator which you'll also find announced this month, along with Lee's tutorial on taming MeeGo development and much more. Enjoy the newsletter, and we wish you every success for 2011!

Until next time,

Steve Vink


(1) App Game Kit (2) DarkBASIC Pro (3) TGC Store (4) MP51 (5) Games (6) VBOTB (7) Lee's Blog (8) From the Forums (9) Winner

Free Your Apps With the App Game Kit

App Game Kit Platforms

App Game Kit - Coming SoonWork continues at a furious pace on the development of our new game making tool - App Game Kit.

App Game Kit (AGK) primary aim is to take away the pain of cross-platform development and let you focus on what matters, your games! Using powerful and simple to learn commands like LoadImage, Sprite, and PlaySound, developers can quickly code their games and have them running on multiple devices in no time. Games can be made to scale to different screen sizes, so you'll be sure your game will work on any size of device.

Development of apps across different platforms is complex and time consuming. The Game Creators will be releasing the App Game Kit in early 2011 to provide a truly frictionless cross platform solution.

At launch AGK will support iOS, Samsung Bada, Windows and Symbian^3, allowing developers to deploy games instantly for the Apple App Store, Samsung Apps, Ovi Store and Intel's AppUp store.

Later in 2011 Phase 2 will see extra platforms added, including Android, Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry and MeeGo. No changes to the games will be required, just select a new platform and the games can be deployed to these devices.

The Game Creators' CEO, Lee Bamber said "AGK is a tool we needed at TGC, it's already saving us
time and money developing new apps. We're sure other developers will find it invaluable and it's also easy for hobbyist and indie developers to get started making games.

Main Features



With AGK, you can test your game on multiple platforms...all at the same time! See how your game plays on your Netbook, Symbian phone, and your friend's iPhone alongside one another. The deployment methodology allows you to continually distribute your development version as and when you need it, to whichever device you choose, or all of them at once.


App Game Kit Chatter

AGK is finding it's way onto many developer and blogging sites, despite being announced just a month ago. You'll find it mentioned on Develop, Pocket Gamer and GameDev to name but a few.

To be the first to hear about App Game KitThe App Game Kit - to be released in Spring 2011- you can register now and receive new information as it is published by signing up at the website: http://www.appgamekit.com/

TGC at Apps World

TGC at Apps WorldThe Game Creators were invited to Apps World, by Intel where we featured our award winning Goals app on the Intel stand, amongst other applications.

TGC attend the majority of the big conferences and events to ensure we are always up to date with the latest technological advances and ready to embed them in our products, often before the technology comes to market.


DarkBASIC Professional News

DarkBASIC Professional

Lee Bamber is TweetingEverything you need to know about both DarkBASIC Professional and FPS Creator development can now be found via Lee Bamber's Tweets. You'll get to hear about every bug fix and feature as it's implemented! In fact if you had been signed up earlier in July, you would have been notified about BETA 6 of FPS Creator while it was being uploaded for public consumption.

Start following Lee now to get the latest news about your favourite development tools as it happens.

Random Realms for Roguelike Fans

Random RealmsRandom Realms is a Roguelike dungeon crawler developed by Ibol. Fight your way through randomly generated levels, to the throneroom of a terrible monster who has stolen a great treasure from your people. Download this great game from the Forums now!

One unique feature of Random Realms is that with each new game, an entirely new host of creatures is generated. Animals, undead, golems, oozes, plant-creatures, and intelligent monsters, with many power combinations, are created for each game. All dungeon levels are randomly generated, and there are many types.



Box2D for darkBASIC Professional 

Box2D is receiving some additional features as requested by the community. The enhancements are already in place, and will be available in the next update. Existing users can get the update for free when it becomes available, via their Order History. New users will get the improved version on ordering.

Bug fixes and functional updates

The following bugs and coding updates have been implemented:

What's new?

The following features have been added, and as you will see these add substantial capabilities to the command set:

  • Attractors and Deflectors. These affect other entities in the scene by either attracting them towards a point, or deflecting them away. They can be switched on and off; the strength can be set; effective falloff can be linear, cubic or quadratic; inner and outer radius limits can be used to implement explosion effects; and finally raycasting allows static barriers to be taken account of.
  • Added commands for altering a shape after it has been created, and some additional helper functions.
  • Added the ability to store a piece of data with an object.
  • These new commands take the total to 310, and the abilities endless!

    NaGaCreMo 2011 - Have you Signed Up?

    by Jeremy Gardner 

    It's that time of year again! NaGaCreMo: interNational Game Creation Month was started back in 2008, and returns again to generate more applications than ever before. The goal is to motivate programmers of all skill levels to complete a programming project before January 31st, 2011. There are no monetary rewards, this event is purely about personal accomplishment and a great way to start the new year.

    Any programming project is accepted as well as any language and game making tool, but there are a couple of guidelines:

    [1]-If you're programming/making a game with anything besides a TGC product you won't be able to start a WIP thread, although you can still add the project to the NaGaCreMo thread.

    [2]-Make sure you're programming something that will run on Windows.

    [3]-You can use your own hand-crafted media (music, graphics, textures, anything) or royalty-free media. The choice is up to you, as long as you don't infringe any copyright.

    There are already over 20 people signed up, all of whom have pledged the following:

    I, ____________, pledge to complete a working game/game demo/general
    project before January 31st, 2011

    There are already a number of WIP threads appearing in the forums, including:

    Global : Web LinkIf you are in need of some motivation and a productive start to the new year, sign up now and commit to making anything from a small utility to a fully fledged game.

    Daniel Foreman's Tutorials

    Daniel has a range of tutorials in video format to speed up your DarkBASIC Professional learning curve, and allow you more time to focus on your game. This month we're featuring his publication on building an art program from nothing, to a fully fledged program. Part 1 is featured here, the full tutorial can be found on Daniel's website

    Daniel has 3 full volumes of tutorials on DVD, available from the Amazon store. The DarkPRINCIPLES DVD Multidisk set is also now out on Amazon, saving you 20% on the whole collection.

    You can buy the multidisk set directly and save 30% by using the exclusive discount code MWWC69T5 at the checkout.


    Dark Game Studio Bonanza


    Special offer while stocks last: Dark Game Studio, Dark Physics, Dark Lights, Dark AI and Extends for an incredibly low price of $49.99. Save over $170!

    Creating your own PC games is now easier than ever with this special compilation of game making tools:

    Order Now

    Order the BonanzaSave over $170 on this special deal. Be sure to check out the screen shots and the online videos. You can of course order safely and securely online, for delivery via postal mail.

    Free Products from The Game Creators
    FPS Creator   -   DarkBASIC   -   2000 Store Points

    The Game Creator Store - Updates and New Additions

    The Game Creator Store 

    New Store Additions

    CowboyCowboy for FPS Creator

    This specifically themed character will make western-styled games easy to create. Alongside the numerous entities and segments already in the store along the same theme, you can mix and match the various items to make your game unique.



    Shark FPSC CharacterThis waterbound enemy swims very calmly until it sees the player; on sight it will attack. It's deadly bite paralyses, and you will be unable to retreat as blood spreads like fog around the scene. The smell of blood will encourage it to attack all the more. Includes the sound of cracking bones of the player.




    Tome Item for FPS GamesTome

    This medieval tome is an ideal pickup in your games for triggering scripts and features. It can also just add simple decor to your level due to the low poly count. The store has many low cost items such as this to make populating your game affordable and easy.


    Desert Storm Wall Section Low Poly Game ModelsDesert Storm

    Artist BeFun has created numerous items to create the Desert Storm War camp. There are 20 wall segments and intersections in various states of destruction to form your camp, allowing a huge scenario to be constructed with no chance of any particular section being repeated.

    All of the above models are available to purchase and download through the inbuilt Game Creator Store in FPS Creator and DBPro, and also using the standalone store for other game-making tools.

    Pick up free Store Points

    The Game Creators have teamed up with the leading providers of virtual currency; perform a few simple tasks and top up your Store points. As well as being able to take up exciting offers and receiving potentially thousands of points, there are a host of other tasks to earn rewards. Watch a movie trailer, rate search results, answer questions, tag photos or choose from a host of activities that will ultimately earn you any of the high quality models and resources to make your game shine.

    Open the Store, through FPS Creator, DBPro or the standalone version. Log in to your account and select the Buy Points option. Below the regular payment options you'll find links to gWallet, Offerpal, DoubleDing and TrialPay. You'll immediately find yourself in amongst the tasks and offers available, and can start earning immediately by watching a movie trailer or two!

    Upload Your Assets to The Game Creator Store

    Did you know you can sell your models, segments, music and sky boxes in the Game Creator Store? We already have dozens of artists selling their media, and we welcome anyone with the talent to provide our community with quality assets to do the same. If you are interested in becoming a store seller, please contact Janet, our Store Administrator directly.

    Model Pack 52 - Viral Outbreak

    Viral Outbreak

    The pack includes 15 characters, many of which have been inspired by characters from various games and films, and then had an extra layer of eye candy applied. From the glaring eyes of Grendel to the flickering motions of Twitcher, there is plenty of scope to put fear into your players from the darkness of every corner. You'll even have to expand your dungeons to fit in Medusa who stands two levels high!

    Ragdoll physics add the ultimate layer of realism to the final throes of each enemy as they are defeated, including the fiery death of Medusa.

    Buy Wastelanders for FPSCAll of these new creatures and features are available as Model Pack 52 for FPS Creator, available now on the website.

    Using the Shadow Shader

    Shadow Shader InstructionsOnce you've bought the pack, you will want to use the shadow shader for your own characters. If you haven't bought the pack, you may want to get hold of it just to use the shaders! The artist Bond1 has included a template to allow you to do just this. The template is in the effectbank folder included in the model pack. Opposite is a diagram from DarkSHADER explaining how it can be modified to suit your own characters and games. Click on the image for the full size diagram. Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you create with this great new bundle of characters and functionality.


    Games at The Game Creators

    The Game Creators have a number of games to download and enjoy, including titles from a number of independent developers. Over the past few months we've given you a look at each and every one, so to start the new year, here is the full list of all of the games available to buy and play now.

    The game stars Leon the Chamelon who must eat his way through fruity, fiendish puzzles, licking fruit to change colour and choosing the right combinations of fruit to finish each level. Leon must also rescue his babies along the way. Click here for details.

    Ongaku is a 2D rhythm action game infusing original music and stylized artwork. Progress through the fantasy kingdom of Melody, paint the worlds by popping paint bubbles in time to music. Click here for details.

    Project Aftermath is an Arcade RTS game where you command up to four squads of soldiers in exciting battles in a retro-futuristic world. Equip your squads to suit your playing style, researching new items using the spoils of war; choosing from over 100 different weapons, armour, power-up augmentations and spell-like special attacks. Click here for details.

    The Golden Buccaneers are in deep peril. Their ships are sunk, their territory lost and their chests contain barely enough gold to stave off a mutiny! Do you have what it takes to turn their fortunes around? Take command of your first ship and pillage your way into the Pirate Hall of Infamy, where your name can stand with the likes of Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach. Click here for details.

    Experience great soccer game play in this enjoyable football game. You're at the heart of the action as you direct your players with the keyboard. Pass between team members and then shoot at goal to score! You can even add swerve to the ball as it leaves the foot of the player, bending it beyond the reach of the keeper. You can play out your own world cup fantasies with Goals! Click here for details.

    Lost in a world of school paperwork is 'Mr Dork' your doodled stick man who needs help to escape the reams of homework sheets that are his prison. Mr Dork is very sensitive and has to avoid many dangers across 63 levels of play. You draw lines for him to walk and jump across so he can reach the rip in the paper where he can make his escape. Click here for details.

    Clover: A Curious Tale is a new and enhanced version of the political platform puzzler. Rendered in hand-crafted watercolour, featuring a remastered piano score and laced with political themes, Clover: A Curious Tale sees players solve mysteries through both exploration and talking to a range of fully voice-acted characters. Click here for details.

    Immerse yourself in this addictive puzzler that's all about strategically twisting and connecting mismatched dials to save precious droplitz. Just making a single junction is child's play; can you master the art of the combo or will you let your pipes runneth over? Be warned: losing too many droplitz can be hazardous to your ability to win. With four unique play modes, a variety of board sizes, and infinite replayability, Droplitz promises to drain all your time away. Click here for details.

    The aim of the game is to help as many butterflies to freedom as possible. You achieve this by creating matches of four or more butterflies of the same colour. A great game for young kids. Click here for details.

    KrissX is a captivating and relaxing mix of puzzle game and word game. Swap letters and decipher clues to solve a series of clever puzzles. Click here for details.

    Mole Control! The ultimate test of brains and bravery! The people of Molar Creek have lived alongside the region's infamous exploding moles for hundreds of years but the night before the village's annual Mole Control competition and a mystery villain has set the exploding moles loose within the town itself. It's now down to you and local inventor Dr Kraft to find the moles and reclaim Molar Creek. Click here for details.

    Over-the-top arcade soccer action! Bicycle kicks, headers, one-touch passes, slide-tackles, instant replays, it's all here. New enhancements include mouse controls, and a two-button 'Casual Mode' for more laid back gamers. An RPG-style leveling system is used for the multi-season Career Mode featuring 64 teams from around the world. Play co-op or solo as you lead your team all the way up to the Division 1 Championship Game! Click here for details.

    Very Best of the Best - The Results

    Very Best of the Best

    by Keith Caldwell 

    We've really seen FPSC grow in scope and ability over the course of 2010. Version 1.18 is shaping up to be quite the package, and a few Mods have added much needed abilities and stability to FPSCreator. The entries this year were all excellent, and really showed how much both FPSC and FPSC Developers have come. I'd like to give a big thumbs up and thanks to both the BOTB Developers as well as all of you out there who have supported them throughout the year! Again...without further ado; here is the Winner of the VBOTB: 2010

    The following is a breakdown of the results; Judge's Results, followed by the Community Vote

    As you can see Alpha Project and Euthanasia tied. Deprivation: DA, though well done and well presented, played like many of the other "run and gun" shooters out there. Virus 2 was similar to many other shooters done with FPSC; however it had some newer elements, such as the compass and the voice-overs...which were very well done. It suffered from lack of Custom items, such as a custom HUD.

    Alpha ProjectAn observation made about Alpha Project was that it is the type of game that more gamers choose to play; which is possibly why it dominated the Community Vote. It also brought some new elements into FPSC, such as the PDA and Swipe Card System (which has some excellent animation "flare" to it). Lewis has also gone the extra mile by creating a website that showcases the game (among other things), and continues to develop it...with an eye on a commercial release. It's definitely one you'll want to keep an eye on in the future!

    Wolf has to be given credit though; he chose to submit a second title into the BOTB (which I readily accepted), and in doing so he split up his Community Vote. Because a developer cannot combine his scores from multiple BOTB titles, he received a lower score overall. But we all know what Wolf is capable of, and I'm sure he'll be back to wow us (and perhaps take the title) next year...if his recent threads are any indicator!

    All around, every one of the BOTB holders competing this year did an outstanding job; not only in showing what they could do...but also in showcasing how far FPSC has come as an Engine.

    Community Vote and Final Scores

    VBOTB resultHere you can see the community vote (opposite), where almost 200 people made the effort to make their opinions heard! This combined with the judges marks gives the following rundown:



    With a 32 point lead, Alpha Project beats out Euthanasia for the Title of Very Best of the Best: 2010! Yet again, the community vote made all the difference this year!

    Thanks again for all who voted, and all those who showed support; and a big thanks to TGC for supplying the generous prize of a $250 Voucher and 4,000 Store points!

    With Bond's continuing work on Shaders and the new V.1.18 coming out shortly, as well as all the great media out there and continuing work on Engine Mods (such as Project Blue and RPG Mod), 2011 should be another exciting year for the Best of the Best...as well as the Very Best of the Best: 2011!

    Lee Bamber's Blog of the Month - MeeGo In Dublin

    Kelly, Lee and Bob enjoying a well earned pint in the fabulous Guiness Stonehouse in Dublin

    Intel kindly invited TGC to the MeeGo conference in Dublin having appreciated the speed with which we ported our game 'Goals' to the MeeGo operating system. Your intrepid representitive, Lee, went along to show off Goals and learn more about MeeGo. Far from being a seasoned conference go-er, Lee found the message coming from the presentations quite different from the Windows centric fair he was used to. An emphasis on dealing with multiple platforms, about open sourcing projects to allow collaboration and re-enforcing the importance of an 'upstream' approach to development. Given that MeeGo is still a relatively early platform, the turnout for the event was overwhelming and there was no denying the momentum behind the technology.

    Rather than expound on the merits of this emerging platform, we felt it much better to write a video tutorial on the subject of getting started with MeeGo so you can find out for yourself. We find the largest hurdle when investigating a new technology is the setup work. Once you are setup and configured, code will flow thick and fast, shaping your application around the idea and the technology in front of you. It's usually the first few days that stop you, sometimes faced with incomplete hardware, drivers, documentation, support materials and a myriad of other elements you need for effortless development. To conclude, here is a video which might smooth the road into the world of MeeGo should you choose to try this route:



    From the Forums

    FPSC Community Rules 

    FPSC Info and GuideThe Community Rules and Information thread is the most comprehensive guide to the FPSC forums you will need. It has been compiled over many weeks by KeithC. It covers 17 categories from forum Rules to finding the perfect FPSC Mod for your project.

    This issue we highlight the section on Community Events, which you'll find in the thread.

    Community Events

    From time to time, you will spot a community sponsored competition or event in the Forums. These are started and maintained by one or more Forum Members, and the prizes for each one usually come from the Community as well. Some of the more well-received Community Competitions in the past, have been: Screenshot Competitions, Level Design Competitions, Media Creation Competitions, etc.

    Though TGC holds no liability to any of the Community Competitions, it will occasionally post about them in the Official TGC Newsletter. The TGC Newsletters (old and new) can be found here.

    So who can start a Community Competition or Event? Well, any TGC Forum Member can do so; however there are some things to think about, before jumping in.


    3D Modeling Competition

    Food Game Modeling CompetitionWe don't have time to fully feature the 3D Modeling competition this month, but we need to announce the two latest recipients of the awards.

    3D Master 

    Poloflece Games: Cucumber. This is a simple, clean, low poly, with both model and texture available for viewing. Nice job.

    3D Best Model

    fancy music: Icecream cone. The model has lots of detail and is obviously quite involved. Unfortunately the texture wasn't included which excludes the model from being the 3D Master, but fancy music is to be congratulated for his modeling skills.


    Seamless Hex Tile Generator

    For anyone who wants to create a hex-based strategy game, creating seamless tiles can be a pain. This tool lets you specify a seamless image, and it creates a seamless hex tile that you can save.

    2D Line of Sight

    This code works well for tile based maps or rogue-like rpg text adventures. You simply pick one point of the map and then a second point of the map to see if there is anything blocking the view in between the two points.


    Monthly Newsletter Winner - $100 voucher up for grabs every month!

    Find us on Facebook to discover more about The Game CreatorsJoin over 2,900 TGC fans on Facebook for the chance to win a $100 gift voucher each month. Simply add yourself as a TGC Fan using the "Like" button and then actively participate in the discussions at least once a month. We'll pick a random winner from all who input into the TGC Facebook discussions. The voucher can be spent on any of the products on our site. Sign up now, and good luck!


    Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.