While the program bounces around a couple of playtesters, I decided to make a post about the programs used in this project.
DarkBASIC – http://www.thegamecreators.com
When Turbo C++ added the Object Windows Library (OWL), it brought programming Windows apps to a new level for me. I no longer had to code all of the tedious and redundant construction of windows and various needed components. A lot of the low level stuff was handled by OWL and the Windows API, allowing me to pretty much to concentrate on the meat of my app more and the building of its framework less.
DarkBASIC made the same leap for me. Prior to DB, the last time that I used DirectDraw or WinG (or whatever it was back then) I had to define a draw surface, create the surface, manage the blitting of the objects on the refreshing of the surface, and do many other time consuming tasks that took away from the actual writing of the program. In DarkBASIC, there are several areas where I can execute in one line of code what I previously had to write an entire function to do. It removes the unnecessary task of cutting and pasting the same functions from program to program when the only changes those functions ever see are just a handful of variables – basically the resolution and color depth.
AC3D – http://www.inivis.com
Easy to learn, inexpensive, support for multiple formats. As a complete novice at 3D modeling, I really found AC3D to be a great program to work with. I wasn’t overwhelmed with menus of options and features that I would probably never use for years to come, and the tutorial gave a great overview of everything that was available to me inside of a few dozen pages.
Almost every object in Ghostball is made using primitives, so the main reason for using AC3D was basically to actually create an original 3D object and texture it for the project.
Adobe Photoshop CS2 – http://www.adobe.com
Although it is complete overkill for this project, my Wife owns it so it seemed silly not to use it. All the environment and object textures were created using Photoshop. The biggest advantage of programs like Paint.NET, GIMP and Photoshop over just using MS Paint is the ability to quickly create layers, which makes it very easy to generate walls and other textures that have minor variations.
Microsoft Music Producer - (no longer available)
By far, the most entertaining and frustrating part of the project. This program can easily and instantly create horrible music. After a few hours, my goal shifted from creating good music to creating remotely-less-than-terrible music. Since I’m not a musician, my only alternative here was Hip-Hop eJay 5, and… yeah.
So that’s the arsenal I took to war with me, and they all performed wonderfully under fire. With the exception of Photoshop, it is a suite of tools that is extremely inexpensive with a very low learning curve to it.All in all, the ease of use greatly sped up my ability to actually use the programs to get the project done.