|Realtime Strategy Game - RTS - (January 2009, Nintendo DS):
As one of my hobby projects for the Nintendo DS this one started with a few questions on GBAdev about some technical tidbits of the Nintendo DS. I was working/thinking about a turn based strategy game called Eternal Circle (which is in the hobby project section, too). Then a guy mailed me, called Synthetic, who had a nice, small engine running for something that shared a lot of technical things with the Eternal Circle idea, although it was not a fantasy strategy game but more of a Command & Conquer like game. So, after some mails with James Larson (that's his real name), we started to flesh out the Command & Conquer idea more, as I liked it very much. Even now there's nothing on the DS that is a real time strategy game in the likes of the old EA brand. On the other hand we wanted to test out, if it would be possible to have such a game running with lots of units on screen and with a decent user interface that works very well with the stylus. Plus we wanted to do this hobby project in a professional way. Therefore I'd set up a wiki space to put the documentation at a place that can be easily handled by several people from everywhere. It was really great fun to do a game concept this way, as it was something simple, too as well as a concept that has proven to work for games long ago.
Of course to do such a game with lots of units on screen at once, it was necessary to get the game's spec right early on and to use as less polygons and texture space as possible which was a nice and funny challenge for me as a artist. As you might see in some of the screenshots it still looked quite good for a DS game.
As the RTS game was a hobby project in first place (although we thought about getting a publisher after a good vertical slice prototype was done), we had no official dev kits nor the tools. Therefore we had to use emulators which posed some problems as it turned out that most of them do not replicate 100% real hardware which leads to some bugs. And we had to write tools and exporters, too which turns out to be quite complicated. For me it was a interesting challenge to get everything done in Blender, use handmade tools, trying to find out about certain aspects of either the DS, Blender, converters, texture formats and so on. I learnt a lot. I had a good time doing the design document and the simple meshes and animations. It was really cool.
Unfortunately work became quite demanding in my real job and I had less and less time to work on hobby stuff. As far as I remember James had lot of work to do, too. So, therefore development on the RTS game came to a halt at some point. I'd really liked working on it with James. But right now it seems to make no sense to start over again, as the 3DS has taken over and the market for DS games, even download games is going down fast.
More screens, infos and anims coming soon!