Editorial - February 2011

Issue 97 cover

Technology, how it is harnessed and how it is applied is changing rapidly. The way we live our lives is impacted with every new invention and idea. This may sound deep and philosophical, but I've just emerged from helping my daughter with her English homework, and learned as much as she has. Did you know that shortwave radio was invented in 1919, less than 100 years ago? The observant amongst you will realise that was the year after the end of World War I. I hadn't realised until today that everything that everybody knew about the war was always 2 or 3 days old, and was only available if newspapers were getting distributed. Today, if a bullet is fired on the other side of the world, we know within the hour, and from several sources; often with images, video footage and eye-witness interviews. We cannot imagine a world where war is all around you and yet you have no knowledge of the current state of affairs.

Short Wave Radio changed the face of communication to the masses. Today, we can all afford the raw materials to change our world through computers in all their forms and accessibility. We simply need to find the killer app. The App Game Kit, still being internally developed by the TGC team, has relit my imagination as a new form of distribution is about to be made accessible to me. I have my first killer app in mind, and look forward to it as a way to get to know AGK. I realise my idea is one amongst thousands out there, most of which never come to fruition. But with the right tools at our disposal, maybe there are several of us reading this newsletter that will make a difference.

This month, you can read about two developers who are already realising the strength of their development tools combined with the ease of publishing through AppUp. There are questions and answers around AGK; A new model pack with never-seen-before features is released for FPSC; and many of the regular articles fill the remainder of the newsletter with plenty of inspiration to create your killer app!

Until next time,

Steve Vink


(1) MP 53 (2) App Game Kit (3) DarkBASIC Pro (4) BlitzWerks Terrain (5) Quiz Comp (6) TGC on AppUp (7) PureGDK (8) TGC Store (9) 3D Compo (10) Dark Storm (11) Lee's Blog (12) From the Forums (13) Winner

Model Pack 53 - Task Force 341

Model Pack 53 for FPS Creator

This force's task is to help you make that modern war or tactical shooter idea you've had into a reality. Part of a planned series of game assets, this pack features a LCAC-load of USMC inspired characters and weapons. This pack also puts many of the latest and greatest FPSC features to use.

39 new character models

Character features

10 player weapons!

Weapon features

Please note: this pack will be tuned and updated once v1.18 is out of beta.

Buy Model Pack 53 for FPSCAll of these new characters and features are available as Model Pack 53 for FPS Creator, available now on the website.


Free Your Apps With the App Game Kit

App Game Kit Platforms

App Game Kit - Coming SoonAs development of our new game making tool - App Game Kit - continues, we have introduced a forum board dedicated to the application. With over 8,500 views in the first few days of opening the board up, we're excited about the interest that is already being generated. The primary aim of this area in the forum for the time being is to ensure we create the product that you want to use. There is plenty of opportunity to let us know what you think.

The Application Game Kit Survey

AGK Survey at The Game CreatorsWe want AGK to be the tool you want. So to avoid us designing how we think it should be, we have created this short survey which covers some key areas on how the scripting system will work. From the platform you prefer to develop on, to the intricacies of the command set, you can let us know your preferences.

AGK Frequently Asked Questions.

AGK FAQIf you have a question, you may find it's already been asked, and already been answered. We have (and still are) collating the questions in one forum thread. Here are some of the questions we've received so far:

What is AGK? 

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 free yourself of cables when debugging your latest creation. By using your local wifi network, you can deploy your application from your Windows development PC to the device in debug mode. As the application runs, the same network is used to transmit debug data back to the development machine to track where you are in your program, the state of variables and overall resource usage. 

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!

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

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 creating Pong, a complete game. 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.


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

Landscapes Never Looked so Good

BlitzWerks Terrain for DarkBASIC Professional 

Blitzwerks Terrain is a plugin for Dark Basic Professional which allows you to load and render high detail terrains at very high speed. Blitzwerks Terrain features level of detail terrain rendering along with its own rendering engine to provide super fast terrain rendering. Blitzwerks Terrain also offers the ability to modify terrains in real time which is useful when you want to create your own editor or make craters appear on your terrain where an explosion has just happened.

Realtime Panoramic Views with Blitzwerks

Buy Blitzwerks TerrainBlitzwerks Terrain is available to purchase now from The Game Creators, delivered electronically to your desktop.

Quiz Game Competition

Quiz Games

by James Yorke 

Here at The Game Creators, we're giving you the opportunity to show off your coding skills with small, fast-paced competitions. Keep an eye out in the Community Competition board for all of the details.

In the last month, we asked you to come up with a superb quiz engine that provides questions and also allows players to add their own ones. Here are the winners and their creations:

Odds On Quiz Game1st Prize - Odds On

by Jammy

($100 TGC voucher)

This quiz has an alternative approach by connecting the scoring system to a horse race. The better you perform in the quiz, the faster your horse races. You can even place bets on how fast the questions will be answered!


Quixle Quiz Game2nd Prize - Quixle

by Phaelax

($50 voucher)

This is a well presented game, with some fluid animations between screens and questions. It would be great to see the quiz creation element become part of the main application.

Congratulations to both of you for entering the ever growing TGC Hall of Fame.

Forum Badges to Wear with Pride

Now that our mini competitions are running on a regular basis, we think it's only right that the current champions are honoured in the forums with a badge.
 Coding Competition Badges

Just like the 3D Modeling competition you can now show off your skills with the coding competition badges. These are unique, only the current holder of the title will be seen at any given time, so you'll have to fight to retain your title! Thanks to Adam, aka BiggAdd for the badge designs.

Intel AppUp is the Market for Game Developers

As reported a few months ago, there are many new opportunities for independent developers to publish their work through the Intel AppUp Store. The Game Creators have provided you with the tools and the knowledge you need to get your game AppUp-ready. With DarkBASIC Professional and DarkGDK, you already have the tools to create quality content. 

Searching the forums, we've found that there are a number of games quietly making their way into the AppUp store. Here are a couple you may have missed.

CardShark - a DarkBASIC Professional game on AppUp  

CardSharkCardshark by GrumpyJedi, is designed to provide hours of fun. You can simply pass the time, or sharpen your skills with this Blackjack game. It is simple to play, but difficult to master.

CardsharkYou can get the full details of this game on the Absurdly Logical website, where you will also find the link to the AppUp store and download.


Life Tracker 

LifeTrackerLifetracker, also by GrumpyJedi, is a personal task manager, that also works as a game of life. Keep track of your daily needs, and be rewarded for achieving them. In LifeTracker you level up in real life as well as on screen! Use LifeTracker to get yourself motivated in the new year.

LifeTrackerYou can get the full details of this game on the Absurdly Logical website, where you will also find the link to the AppUp store and download.


LeapFrog on AppUpLeapfrog is a modern take on the centuries old wooden ‘Peg-Solitaire' game. This game includes seven playable games from the traditional English game to one of six European board layouts including "The Corsair" and "The Apostles". Your best completion times are recorded for you to try to beat next time you play!

You can download LeapFrog from the AppUp store. You will also find a free demo of LeapFrog, along with demos of The Last Stand and Search-Lite, also by Steven Holding (BaxSlash).

"I have been making demo versions of all of my games and have had hundreds of downloads of the demo versions over my first two/three months on AppUp" says Steven. "A percentage of these become sales which will be a healthy number over the first year. I urge anyone considering developing for AppUp using TGC products to just have a go! The $99 yearly fee is still being waived but I figure anyone with a few games they could export to AppUp could make that much without too much trouble. You might even make a hit game and never look back!"

AppUp - Real Experiences Shared 

We asked Scott (GrumpyJedi), the author of CardShark and LifeTracker about his experiences with AppUp and DarkBASIC Professional as his choice of development language. What Scott has to say is essential reading for anyone venturing into AppUp for the first time, as you will learn from his experiences:

A great source of information that helped with getting my apps into the AppUp store was "Lee's Tip of the Month - Stepping Up With AppUp", which can be found in Issue 86 - March 2010 of The Game Creators Newsletter. In it he explains the process of getting your application ready for submission to the AppUp store. Be sure to get the appupplugin.dll that Lee wrote. It adds a command to DBPro that simplifies the process of integrating the AppUp SDK into your application.

Validation Pitfalls and Solutions

Something I would recommend that potential DBPro AppUp authors do, is to double check the requirements of any plugins or addons they may be using with DBPro. You may find that you get your application ready, complete the installer package and submit it, only to fail validation because required dlls are missing. This can happen when you don't notice the error on your development computer because they are already present.

Another potential pitfall can be including an older version of the DirectX redistributable to keep file size down and not realize that a plugin/addon requires a more recent version than DBPro itself calls for. Again, this is easy to miss if your development machine has the latest version of DirectX, and it most likely does.

A good way to avoid these problems would be to test your installer and application on a completely clean factory fresh Netbook, without DirectX or any dlls beyond whats included with the OS (of course this isn't going to be possible for everyone and consequently is exactly what the validation 
team does when you sumbit your application to them).

If your application does fail validation, go over the report carefully to try and determine why it failed. In one case I had submitted an application, and the validation team was reporting that it failed to run. I tested and could not locate the problem. So I contacted support and one of their engineers took a look and reported a piece of information, a KEY piece of information, that the validation team failed to provide. The program was simply looking for a missing dll. The fix took minutes, but the lack of that key piece of information had me puzzled for a couple of days. If you fail validation, and don't receive a clear reason why, it's a good idea to investigate with technical support. They have people ready to help you get your application into the store, that may be able to provide more information on an error than the validation team did.

Make sure to go over the application readiness checklist and the validation guidelines on the Intel AppUp developer program website. Making certain your application adheres to all the rules will prevent avoidable validation failures.

Last but not least, take advantage of the forums, both on The Game Creators and Intel's App Developer websites. You will find plenty of useful articles and tips, as well as solutions to problems you may be having yourself.

The last Word 

I'm looking forward to seeing what The Game Creators upcoming "App Game Kit" has in store for us. It looks like this could open the door to some new possibilities with simplified cross platform development. I'd like to wish everyone the best of luck with their development projects.

Get Involved

If you're new to the AppUp store you can read up about the developer web site here - Intel's AppUp Developer site and you can download the AppUp store for netbooks here at the AppUp Centre. If you have an application that fits the criteria for a successful Netbook publication, then don't hesitate to get in touch.

PureGDK is in Beta Phase


PureGDK 2.0 has progressed to Beta 2 since the last newsletter update. In this latest version, there is now support for C++. This is based on DBP's plugin architecture so that it is 100% compatible with DBP plugins. They do not have to be compiled specifically for PureGDK.

PureGDK 2.0 Beta 2You can get the full details of the product and beta program on the forums, where you'll also find additional information on the included Visual Studio projects and a video demonstration.

What's so special about PureGDK 2.0?

The new engine is extremely lightweight and highly customizable. Best of all, it's fully compatible with DBP's plugins.

The Game Creator Store - Updates and New Additions

The Game Creator Store 

New Store Additions

ChainsawChainsaw FPSC Weapon

A strange, old chainsaw which never seems to need fuel but does consume a large quantity of spare parts in order to remain functioning. Includes VWEAP and pickup weapon and ammo entitities. Compatable with hand skins from FPSC model packs 9-10.

There are alternate idle and move animations included which do not include the engine vibration for developers who either don't like the shaking, want to script the vibration independently or who can code the chainsaw to run out of fuel.

Apache Helicopter

Helicopter Low Poly Game Model

Complete your military scenes with these apache helicopters. Use them in your military bases or for that final leap from the exploding building to safety!

The object comes with 2 Models. One is static with dipped blades and the other is animated with moving blades, comes with 1 texture and has a custom built script for the animation model to run automatically.


FPS Creator Incubator Game ModelIncubator

The Incubation Chamber complements the CloneRed character. The model includes a mutated half-man / half-dinosaur figure in the back incubation vent. Perfect for science fiction, secret laboratories and action games. Uses a 1024x1024 diffuse texture.


Demon Sceptre Weapon for FPS Creator GamesDemon Sceptre

This is a player weapon, it shoots a magic beam at your enemies.  It inlcudes a weapon pickup, and also a magic jar entity that is used as ammo for the weapon.  It also includes a custom shader that will make the orb glow!  Make sure full shader effects mode is turned on for this effect.



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.

3D Modeling Competition - Under Construction

By David Gervais, BiggAdd and MikeS

Under Construction - 3D Modeling CompetitionGrab your tools of choice, the 'BUILD' is on! This month's competition banner has been created by David Gervais, to fire your imagination!

After a small break from the 3D competitionss in January, we're back with an all new challenge. This time the theme is 'Under Construction'. What does this mean to you? Show us what comes to mind, whether it be tools, buildings, bridges, machinery, clothes, anything you can come up with under this theme will work. Now get building and impress us with your constructive designs.

This competition will run through to February 25th 2010,  here is a quick reiteration of the rules:

To Impress the judges:

and the final rule:

How the 3D Modeling Competitions Work 

Competition EntryThe accolades for the winners are retained until the next competition winners, and are as follows:

3D Champion3DMaster - Champion awarded to the overall winner in the competition, an entry which displays both modeling and texturing excellence.

3D Best Model3DMaster - Best Model awarded to the runner up who demonstrates the finest modeling skills in the competition.

3D Best Texture3DMaster - Best Texture awarded to the runner up who demonstrates texturing wizardry in the competition.

The awards will cling to your Avatar until the results of the following competition are announced. So to keep your award, you must defend your honour in battle once again!

Squadron AIU - Dark Storm

Squadron - A full game made in FPSC

Comic BookSquadron AIU is a Sci-Fi action game set 200 years in the future, created by David Graham. The game Squadron AIU - Dark Storm started life as a paper based role-play game which David created over 10 years ago. He has created a lot of detail based around this world, now incorporated in this FPSC-created game.

The game's main character is part of a secret group called Squadron AIU or their official name: Alien Investigation Unit. Their task is to investigate alien plots and conspiracies against the Union of Planets. As the player investigates the activity of a company called The Russian Science Company, they will uncover a plot by a cult group, but it is unclear at first what they are trying to achieve.

Squadron WebsiteAs well as the game - which is free - the short Comic book is also available online at David's website. Visit his site now to download the game, read the book and also visit the forum thread to get an insight into some of the technicalities of the game, including the Multi-Talk script. 



Lee Bamber's Blog of the Month - Making a Splash

This month you can watch Lee Bamber taking a sneak-preview tour of one of the great new features of V1.18 - water. Don't be confused by the voice over though, Rick had to add the narrative to Lee's video clips! :-)

In this video you can see just how simple it is to add water, and how it automatically interacts with all of the elements you're already using in your games. You'll also see the great ways you can add new challenges and puzzles, by changing water levels right in the middle of your game action.

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 The FPSC Community Guide, which you'll find in the thread.

Community Guide

Back in the summer of 2008, Nickydude (FPSC Mod, and all around great guy) graced all FPSC Developers with the finalized version of his Guide to FPSCreator. It became the "Official" and definitive guide to FPSC.

The Guide is chock full of useful information for new users of FPSC, as well as veterans. It also contains numerous hints, tips and techniques from other FPSC Developers.

To view the Online Guide, click here.

To grab the Downloadable Guide (7MB), click here.

The Official FPSCreator Guide is in PDF format.

You can also own your very own printed and bound copy of this great Guide, for a small price! Check out the thread here for more detailed information, and ordering info:FPSC Community Guide in Paperback

FPSC Community Guide Part II - Hot off the press!

Community Guide Part IIYou can now download the latest version of the FPSC Community Guide. It's so up to date that it covers V1.18 which is still in Beta phase. This isn't a rewrite of the first guide but more of a follow on so you won't find stuff repeated in here.

Nickydude would like to take this opportunity to thank the FPSC Community itself for driving forward the advancements of FPSC and taking it from a virtually unknown small hobbyists' tool to something that can now make commercial games...and things can only get better!

Click here to get the PDF version of the latest and most essential Community Guide.

Valued Member Status

AirslideThis month we see Airslide join the ranks of Valued Member. His election is primarily due to his work over the years with the Airmod enhancements, which are now a standard feature of FPS Creator. If you haven't had the opportunity to use the features of the mod yet, you'll find that it includes down-the-sights aiming, alternate fire (such as grenade launcher attached to a rifle), improved support for melee weapons (blocking, alternative attack animations) and an improved accuracy system. Of course, the open source nature of this development, the possibilities are fantastic, and many others have used it to enhance and improve FPSC in many ways.

Diggsey, Box2DDiggsey is also rewarded with Valued Member status for his continued helpful attitude and indepth knowledge. Author of the Box2D plugin for DarkBASIC Professional, the support has been second to none, including a raft of new features added within days of the suggestions being made in the forums. If you haven't experienced Box2D yet, check out the thread in the DarkBASIC Professional board and view the demos.



The App Game Kit Board

Everything you want to ask and need to know about the upcoming AGK can be found here. There are already threads about the language syntax, features and much more to come.

Cirrus X

This is the full version of Globbits' puzzle game, an entry for the Intel AppUp competition, complete with all 10 levels and a level editor, rather than the 4 provided in the demo.


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

Find us on Facebook to discover more about The Game CreatorsJoin over 3,200 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!


"Working as a game designer is like the mouse on your computer; some days it clicks and some days it drags."

Alan Emtich