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This month we talk with a small team that uses A5 standard to create a good looking project.
Q: Who is Alok Productions and why have you started to use the Acknex engine?
A: Alok-Productions is a small German programmer team which consists of two guys from Medenbach / Germany, Steffen Moos and Jonas Schaefer. Steffen does the Gfx and the scripts, Jonas is the level designer. Also, we have a musician, Waywyn (www.cellarroom.de), who makes good music for our game. We’ve started to use the Acknex engine because we wanted to make a game which takes place at our little village. At this time we had no experience with programming. We searched for a game engine and we have found 3D Game studio with its slogan “Make games without programming”. So, we bought A5.
Q: You are developing Blast2 using A5 standard. Do you think that A5 standard is good enough for your project?
A: Hard to say. I think that many of the effects which the better versions of 3DGS have can be faked, for example, in (Blast) ² we’ve got fading water ripples, without the alpha command. Also, many people faked mirrors and so on. There are some reasons, why we’re of the opinion that the standard edition isn’t good enough for (Blast) ², for example the missing network support. We think that it would be great to play (Blast) ² on LAN, but that couldn’t be realized with the standard edition. Also we are missing the true terrain feature.
Q: I have downloaded the movie trailer from your website and I have noticed that the levels include many destroyable objects. How did you do that?
A: Those things are simple events. Every bullet has an ID which depends on the current weapon. When a bullet hits an object, our weapon system checks the ID and starts a function. Things like destroyable walls are simple map entities with event actions.
Q: You have managed to create a good (cartoon) atmosphere in your game. What should I do to make sure that my game looks cartoonish ;) too?
A: First of all, never use any photo textures in your game; that will destroy the whole toon style! Look at other toony games and look how they realized the toony style. It’s very important to draw all the textures in your Gfx program without the use of photos, that means to draw the texture from ground up.
Q: What tools are you using for your models and textures?
A: We’re using Photoshop for all 2D Gfx and CreativeStudio3D, a cheap cinema4D version, for all 3D Stuff. As scripting editor we’re using GST Builder.
Q: You have some nice effects in your game; could you describe them for us?
A: Most effects in our game are simple particle effects. Some are assigned to the vertices of rotating invisible entities, which creates a cool effect for shields and so on.
Q: Which are the advantages of the split screen multiplayer in your opinion?
A: You can even do it with the A5 / A6 standard edition and you need only one pc to make a small multiplayer match. Also we think that it’s big fun to sit in front of the pc monitor with two or more players and to play together.
Q: Do you need more members in your team?
A: We don’t search for new team members, but if someone wants to take part in our team, he should contact us. If somebody skilled and sympathic contacts us, we’ll take him up to our team.
Q: Could you give us some tips for beginners?
A: Learn scripting! Only when you can script you’re able to realize your ideas.
Start with a small project! As a beginner you’re not able to finish big projects.
Don’t give up when you’ll get problems. For nearly every problem you’ll get the answer in the forum.
Thank you a lot.