DreamLight Interactive

Shockwave Game Design

DreamLight.com

Search/Index Help
Click to view DreamLight's 3D Animation Demo Reel
20+ Years of Award-winning Multimedia, 1987-2007

Watch as the Award-winning DreamLight Verttice Evolves Before Your Very Eyes

Previous Contents Next

The Evolution of DreamLight Verttice

Top

The following images take you through the development of DreamLight Verttice from rough initial stages through the released game. Each image is taken from an actual alpha version of the game, as it was being developed in Macromedia Director. The images seen here have been reduced in size and dithered to the common 8bit palette for easier distribution in this document. Each may also be viewed full size as originally intended, by simply clicking on an image.

BlastOff! The Award-winning 3D Animated Short film by Michael Scaramozzino - Special Edition DVD

Please Support Our Continuing Independent Film Making Efforts!
Order your Award-winning BlastOff! Special Edition DVD today!

BlastOff!™ Merchandise Available @ Telebites.com BlastOff! T-Shirts BlastOff! Hats BlastOff! Mugs BlastOff! Calendar, Prints & Posters BlastOff! Mousepads

Verttice 0.01 The Beginning

Top

Verttice 0.01 The BeginningFrom the very beginning of Verttice’s development, we had settled on the key mechanisms of play, particularly that the ball would follow the lines of the grid, turning at each intersection. The user could control the grid by clicking on the intersections which would switch the direction, much like a railroad switch. We then set about turning the initial concept into an interactive computer game.

Verttice began life as a strategy game. Initially you would play against the computer or an opponent, each taking turns. There were initially two balls on the grid. The goal was to traverse the grid and hit one of the goal boxes, at the top and bottom of the grid, before your opponent did.

Verttice 0.03 Thinking

Top

Verttice 0.03 ThinkingHere you can begin to see the development of the laser beam idea and that of energy. The balls have now been changed into glowing spheres. In this version we had implemented artificial intelligence. The computer kept a version of the board in its memory and would play through different moves to figure out how to beat you. There were 6 different levels of thought from random moves, through great moves where it really would think pretty far ahead. We were now running into technical difficulties, however. This AI code was really slowing down the game. It had the feel of a board game like checkers which was a bit too slow.

Verttice 0.15 Color

Top

Verttice 0.15 ColorWe now rethought the game a bit and wanted to get some “arcade style” excitement into it. We then analyzed some popular computer games to see what made them click. The best games were based on a simple device like the switches that we already had, so we were fine on that front. They were usually focused on one moving item at a definite pace and made the user think and react faster, rather than speeding up the movement itself. So, we then decided to have one photon appear at a constant speed and allow the user to manipulate the grid to direct its path.

This is where we introduced the idea of filling up the eight end nodes to advance to levels. We also made the middle end nodes, on each side, either warp you to the other side, or bounce you back the way you came. At higher levels we now introduced the idea of different types of switches (now called VertNodes) There were invisible nodes where you had to remember the direction of the beam. There were AutoVerts that would switch by themselves as the photon passed through them. We also added the concept of a time limit. The photon would run out of energy over time, changing colors to let you know, and finally explode.

Verttice 0.27 Configurable

Top
Verttice 0.27 Configurable A Verttice 0.27 Configurable B

Here we introduced a 3D effect to the game grid and allowed the user to configure the grid themselves. You could try different combinations of nodes to have different degrees of difficulty. This idea eventually became incorporated into the advancing of lattices and levels.

Verttice 0.40 Tilt Buttons

Top

Verttice 0.40 Tilt ButtonsWith this version we worked on redefining the interface a bit. We designed “Tilt Buttons” that float above the plane of the game. As you press on them they tilt under your cursor. It’s a neat effect.

You’ll also notice the introduction of a readout in the upper right of the board. This went through many revisions but the concept survived to the final game. It signifies the “minimum” number of photons that you must keep alive on the grid to keep the game going. If you drop below the minimum number of Photons, the game ends.

Verttice 0.50 New Layout

Top

Verttice 0.50 New LayoutWe now redesigned the entire layout of the game. We wanted to break from the traditional approach of having all the controls in a “control area” and the board in a separate area. We wanted all controls within easy reach while playing the game. We organized them in functional clusters much the way controls are organized around a steering wheel of a car in a well-designed dashboard layout. This basic layout survived through to the final game as well.

 

Verttice 0.60 Crystals

Top

Verttice 0.60 CrystalsWith this version we introduced the idea of the lasers passing through crystal nodes that diffract the lasers. With this version, all the elements of the game are included. From here on out we started the final refinements of the interface, graphics, sound and scripts.

Verttice 0.70 New Buttons

Top

Verttice 0.70 New ButtonsHere we redesigned the controls. You can see some of the final buttons in this version. We also reworked the game grid a bit. We lowered the end nodes to remain consistent with our conventions. All active buttons float above the board. Inactive items rest on the board, and readouts are recessed in the board or control. This gives the lasers more of a curved 3D appearance.

At this point, we froze the functional specifications and set out to completely rewrite all the lingo code for better efficiency. (This version has functional controls but the photons had not yet been reprogrammed.)

Verttice 0.85 Player Info

Top

Verttice 0.85 Player InfoBy now, most of the visual design was done and we were in the process of finishing up the code rewrite. In this version, we implemented the player info panel. This is where you may enter your name. The top ten players are recorded and remembered. The game will also start with the sound level and game level of the last player when it starts up. The preferences file keeps this data.

Verttice 0.90 Almost Done

Top

Verttice 0.90 Almost DoneAt this point we were almost finished with Verttice. The code had been rewritten by now. We added custom sound effects, toned down the colors a bit and finished most of the graphics. Final touches were put into the game and the documentation was finished. The icons were finalized and the entire package was compressed and uploaded to various on-line services.

Verttice Current Version

Top

Verttice Current VersionSince DreamLight Verttice’s initial release, we have updated it a few times. The current version is fully cross-platform compatible for Macintosh and Windows. It runs under the latest version of Shockwave on-line. It pixel doubles to fill a large screen monitor. It also has a user registration key so that it may be downloaded and tried for free and then have a registration key entered to unlock its full functionality.

BlastOff! The Award-winning 3D Animated Short film by Michael Scaramozzino - Special Edition DVD

Please Support Our Continuing Independent Film Making Efforts!
Order your Award-winning BlastOff! Special Edition DVD today!

BlastOff!™ Merchandise Available @ Telebites.com BlastOff! T-Shirts BlastOff! Hats BlastOff! Mugs BlastOff! Calendar, Prints & Posters BlastOff! Mousepads

Silver Sage Scrolls™ inspiration through the ages Available @ Telebites.com

To view this site properly, please upgrade to a browser that supports current Web standards.

 

BlastOff! Wins a Silver W3 Award in the Pioneering Category of Web Video - 3D Animation

BlastOff! Wins an Official Honoree Webby Award in the category of 3D Animation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DreamLight Incorporated, 323 Andover Street, Suite 6, Wilmington, MA 01887 USA, Telephone: 978-658-5110
Search/Index Top Help