Posted 2000-12-21 08:45:12 by
I love platform games. Super Mario 64 is the my most favoritest game ever, with Super Mario Bros 3 being not far behind. I've always wanted to
So I did.
The problem with creating a game just because you want to make a game is that
there's no driving force behind the design. Which is fine when you're coding
the engine, but when it comes time to make enemies that aren't just blobs,
you get stuck (though I do have an excellent sense of the FEEL I want out of
a platform game, which helps).
And I've actually tried to do design. On-paper design, even. The problem is,
whenever I sketch object animations, or lay out levels, or write what happens
when you touch the teleport pad, I feel like a seven year old kid who's just
played Super Mario Brothers for the first time and really wants to design his
own game... it doesn't help that my handwriting looks like that of a
That's not why I stopped work on Swarm, though. I stopped because I have no
attention span. I can't work on a project for more than a month unless
there's external pressure somehow (like was the case with
In any case, a year or so later I rewrote it, because the old code really was
pretty bad and I felt like working on it again. Again, I just got the basic
engine done. I never got as far as the game switching between levels, but
it's really quite fun to just run around in the one level I made for it. And
it has a level editor, so you can play with that, too. It's not documented,
but it's not particularly complicated either.
The same situation has come up again -- the code for the latest version really
is pretty nasty. I don't know if this means that I'll be rewriting it again,
but I can always hope.
Here's the latest version, written in March 2000:
MS-DOS binary (211k) and
DJGPP source (85k) (requires allegro and zlib). If you
get the source, you'll probably want to get the binary as well, unless you want
to figure out how to use my "utilities" to rebuild the main data file.
And here's the original version, written in February 1999.
Watcom source and MS-DOS binary (63k)
You can tell that this code was just begging for a C++ implementation -- a
lot of it is already object-oriented. Or object-based, at least. I'm really
not sure what either of those terms mean.
Incidentally, people have asked me why it's called Swarm. Well, same as
Rolf, it's the first word that popped into my head after typing "mkdir".
I think it may have something to do with the "this is the level where you
have to jump over bees" quote from
Gregg Tavares' essay:
Game Design Secrets of the Greggman.