Thursday, January 13, 2005


Orbyk was a PocketPC game that I wrote in college. It is like the game breakout, except upside down and in 3D. The view of the game is directly over the top of the game area so you see the ball bounce up towards you and then fall back down to the floor. The bricks are layed flat on the floor and are not stacked. The paddle was removed. To move the ball, you would use the stylus to give the ball spin in the direction that you wanted the ball to go. When it would move in the new direction when it hit the floor. So you had to think one bounce in advance.

The 3D part was simulated. The walls and bricks were designed to look like they have depth. The ball was rendered on the fly. It was like a 4 colored beach ball. The colors made the spin easy to see. We also shaded it to give it more depth.

The rendering was all done manually. We worked directly with the raw display memory. All of our images, tiles, and fonts were hand crafted in NxN arrays, one RRGGBB hex pixel at a time.

Redrawing the whole screen would tear. You could see the rip on the display if we cycled all the colors. To account for this, the only time we would redraw the whole display was at state changes ( menus, pause, or lost and gained focus). The ball was in constant motion. We rendered the ball directly over the existing seen and rubbed out only what was left of the ball from the seen before. We tried clearing the ball before drawing it again, but we could see it rip each frame. The ball rendering was optimized as much as possible.

It was a very addictive game and it quickly ran the battery out on my PocetPC every chance it got.

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