Maybe some of you remember Gyruss, a Konami game from the year ???.I think, it was a quite unusual game, unique, and as far as I know the only one in this style. For everybody unfamiliar with the game I'll try to describe it. Gyruss is a space shoot'em up. What makes it special is the way it is played. In contrast to all other shoot'em ups, which scroll either horizontal or vertical Gyruss is played circular! Your ship is fixed on a circle and rotates around the center of the screen. All enemies and powerups appear from the deep center of the game (very much like in Tempest but without the lines). Enemies come come from the depth of space in very creative formations. It's almost like Space Invaders but in circular shapes. They fly from the inside towards the screen and form groups. As soon as they have taken their places they start to attack, fly towards the player and even outside the screen, just to appear back from outside and take their places again. Of course they attack you by shooting at you from any place. If they are in the formation inside the space you may have time to dodge the bullets. But if they are close to the players position, it really get's dangerous. There are of course powerups (better shot and so on), too. Even getting a power up is a cool thing. You have to shoot the powerup object. Then it will explode and send two blobs around the screen 'till they reach the player ship. It's really cool.
Another great thing is the music and the sound effects. At least the C=64 music and effects are still outstanding. There's a NES version of the game, too.
So, what's the meaning of that retro-talk? I was working on a "modern" remake of the game as a hobby project. Ok, it's not so modern anymore nowadays. But back then, it was quite cool.
We started off in 1999, as the title might suggest. The entire project was meant as a way for our programmer Michael Haebich the get into the "new" 3D stuff. As you might remember, it was the same guy with whom I worked on Game Machine, the jump'n run for the Amiga. So Gyruss '99 was for the amiga, too. But we also decided to create a engine, which worked crossplattform on the PC, too. The Amiga was already dead and Juergen Koch, a very good friend of mine with whom I've worked at Boris Games, too, jumped in and made his first steps in programming on a PC.
I have to admit, that I had almost no experience in 3D at that time. I got a PC and 3D Studio Max 2.5 and made my fist steps in 3D (and it was horrible). I worked on the interface stuff for the game: the scoreledge on the left and the main menu. Max really drived me crazy (didn't know how to get the boolean functions to work properly. They still suck). But in the end I managed to get some nice meshes, textures and even some effecst like the glows (via posteffect manager in Max) and some basic animations. Just imagine that I had no clue on how animations work and how to map or unwrap a object. Considering this, I think the stuff came out quite well.
Besides the Max things we needed to get some game objects, too. But we had no idea how to get the objects in our engine. Finally we used the well known ASE format. But it was not possible (or we did not know) to add vertex colors to the objects. That's why Michael wrote a object editor to do this stuff. It was a crude tool where you could select vertices of the object. But it was difficult to get the right one. Unfortunately I do not have a screenshot of the editor, but it was a pain in the ass. But hey, it worked. So by selecting every vertex I was able to assign a rgb-color to it. Thats the way I did the shading of the objects by typing in color values for every vertex. Ahhh, the old days.