DarkCubes

darkcubes-large-case
Client
Platform
Genre,
Released1st October 2009

Code by Richard Davey

Graphics by Richard Davey. 3D logo by Yann Parmentier

Music by Andy Sikorski (DSX / TRSI) - used with permission

PLAY

About

What do you get when you combine the superb Away3D, the Flod soundtracker replay library, and a heavy dose of late 80s Atari/Amiga demo scene influences? You get this oddity of a game, that’s what :)

The initial code was put together over the space of one lunch break. The demo effects are all from pre-existing libraries I had written. The graphics I either created or had already (the background was purchased from Renderosity Marketplace for example). The music took a while to select though, I went through a number of tracker mods before settling on the final tune. I then tweaked, tested, Mochi wrapped and kicked out into the night. All in, 12 hours work. And I’m perfectly happy with that. It’s not exactly an earth shattering game, but it’s a nice 10min mental challenge if you’re up for it.

History

DarkCubes PC originalI wrote the original PC/Windows version of this on Feb. 8th 2001 in DarkBASIC Classic v1.07. It was released on my web site DarkForge (no longer active).

It was quite different to the Flash version. You couldn’t rotate the scene. You couldn’t click the cubes (you had to press 1-9 on the numpad to toggle them), it had no music or graphics so to speak of. But still it was only 3k in size and a fun little experiment.

Then a friend of mine at the time (Yann Parmentier) for some reason decided to totally pimp it out. He added a lovely title page, some great music he had composed, buttons, GPU options and generally tarted it up to the max. It was still the same game, it just looked a lot better. This version was released on the DarkBASIC Archive CD later that year.

You can download the pimped version from here. Be warned it doesn’t like Windows Vista much at all.

I had been looking at the Away3D library for some time, and the release of Away3D Lite was the motivation I needed to really start playing with it. Not knowing what to code first I turned to my old DarkBASIC files, found the DarkCubes source and figured it would be a good test of Away3D. A few hours later and I had it working just the way I wanted. Sadly Away3D Lite doesn’t feature lights, or enhanced materials (like PhongBitmap) so in the end I swapped out Lite for the full-fat release, but I’m still glad I played with it.

I then spent some time pimping my version out to the max and this is the end result :)

Development Trivia

The scroller comes from PixelBlitz (it’s my BlitzFont class). The starfield and logo drop-down effect at the start come from my DemoFX lib. The VU meter is the flectrum from Flod. DarkCubes is of course Flash Player 10 only.

The main title tune is called “Banja!” and is by DSX of TRSI. TRSI are an Amiga demo crew formed from TriStar and Red Sector Inc. The music was never actually used in any of their productions. I contacted the composer (Andy Sikorski) to ask his permission to use it, which he gave happily in exchange for a link to his web site from the Credits screen. A fair trade if ever there was one :)

There are lots of keys you can press in-game:

  • 1 – 5 Change the music
  • 7 – 9 Change the cube textures
  • M Mute
  • R Reset Cubes
  • T Toggle scroller
  • D Toggle debug info display (frame rate, memory)
  • S Toggle starfield
  • F Toggle flectrum
  • Left and Right Arrow keys – change the stereo separation (useful if you wear headphones)

Make yourself heard