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Axel Gaming Software - an ambitious team developing a good looking project. Let's find out more about them and their work.
Q: What type of game is Biyu Biyu Rocket?
A: Biyu Biyu Rocket is an action / adventure/ rpg game inspired by The Legend of Zelda series. It emphasizes whimsical ideas and a very none-linear storyline. For the most part it sticks to traditional rpg gameplay; lots of action, complex riddles, important characters, evil villains, and luscious 3D worlds. The fighting system consists of hand-to-hand combat rather than a turn-based form.
Q: Why did you choose the Acknex engine?
A: I literally went to the store, saw A5 standard on sale, and bought it. For a while I just fiddled with WED, before I actually realized how great the engine was. When I got into some more advanced artwork and coding, I created Axel Gaming Software in order to develop my dream game, BBR. Since I started game design I have had my eye on many other game engines out there (Torque, Dark Basic, and others) but none proved to be at all as easy and powerful as 3D Gamestudio.
Q: Who is developing BBR?
A: BBR is primarily being developed by Axel Gaming Software, a small team started around december 2002. The majority of our group is still in high school, with a few exceptions. Our team members are all located through out the east coast of the United States. We do all of our developing at home and communicate back and forth through chatting programs and the phone. Being so far apart is a big disadvantage, but considering the circumstances it is the only possibility.
Q: What features make your game special?
A: Well we are really taking advantage of A6's new shaders. Our biggest new feature is true Cel Shading, rather than the usual black outlines that you may see in most 3DGS cartoon games. We are also taking advantage of other effects, such as environmental mapping and bump mapping. The best part about them is that they use the fixed function pipeline and are vertex based, so you don't have to worry about a 3D card that supports Pixel Shaders when playing the game.
Q: How did you (your programmers) learn C-Script?
A: I'll let Ryan Lewis, our lead programmer, answer this one: "Well, I started out with a good friend who knew a lot about programming, he began to teach me the basics. He was (and still is) there whenever I need help. After I knew basic functions, actions, variables, and such I just kind of went off and learned every different aspect on my own. My advice to readers looking to learn is to first take up to your freshman year of high school's worth of math. Be very open minded when it comes to the code, and ask as many people around as well as reading the tutorials."
Q: What additional tools are you using to develop BBR (excepting Acknex)?
A: My favorite tool of all would be Adobe Photoshop, it is the most powerful too that I have come across so far for 2D art. We use it for textures, logos, sprites, model skins, and much more. Most of the models are done in 3D Studio Max, with a few exceptions. That, for the most part, is about it.
Q: What new features would you like to see being added to the engine in the near future?
A: We are so far satisfied with the Acknex engine, though I suppose some new stuff would be interesting. For example Stencil Buffer Shadows would have helped a great deal (the main reason why we chose block terrain over hmp). Another issue is that at times Acknex renders levels that are not that complex at a low fps, which takes a big hit on the gameplay for low-end computers.
Q: Do you need more people in your team?
A: AGS is always looking for new members. If someone skilled is out there, and is looking for a place on a team, we'd be happy to hire them. Keep in mind that Axel Gaming Software is not a paying team, at least until we get some published titles.
Q: Can you give us some advice for the beginners out there?
A: Stick with your game! Find ways to motivate yourself or you'll never get it done. We struggled for many months with BBR because we were not motivated, until we finally pulled it together. This caused a ton of losses, in fact we originally planned to have the game done by now. It pays off much more to have some discipline when designing. Another tidbit of advice: graphics are good, but gameplay is even better. Don't over kill the graphics or no one will be able to play your game. If you want it to sell, don't only make it what your computer can handle, but also make it what everyone else's can.
Thank you a lot, Nadester.