TowerZ was done as a one year project all students at my university have to do in our second year. The timespan for this was summer 1997 til spring 1998.
To begin with, I've got to say that neither of us had any real world experience in creating computer games - or even in modelling and animating.
Some of us, including me, had had a little experience on Softimage and 3D Studio (release 4 and MAX, lateron).
As we had Virtual Laser Systems as an industry partner with us, we could rely on the shark3D engine as the basic platform for the game.
The restrictions we had to meet with the final projects were:
- multi-user for VL-Systems own play system
- a 'non-destructive' storyboard suitable for children of minor ages
- easy gameplay, to be understood in only a few seconds
- compatibility with VLS hardware (game input devices, target devices)
VLS has developped a unique hardware solution enabling up to 100 players to join in on the same game, displayed on a gigantic canvas via LCD beamer technology. Every player gets his own input device (a small handheld device with a simple knob to fire a pulsed laser). The laser impulses sent out by the player are detected via a special target device. Back in the time of our project, this device could only handle a small spot at a time.
As you can imagine, these conditions were'nt easy to meet - but I personally think that the result was well worth the effort all of us put into the project.
Please see the project documentation (available in German only, I'm afraid) for further information.
My tasks in the project were project coordination, concept, graphics (level toyland, artwork for other levels, user interface, introduction, level selection), development with NxN Designer and integration of finished parts. As we swapped tasks from time to time, nobody had to stick with his | her task.
Greetings go out to the project team:
- Bastian Baumeister
- Ralph Eisenhardt
- Uwe Frank
- Kerstin Jumpertz
- Daniel Miericke
Once again I was kind of surprised to find the game still works with nowadays hardware :)
download project definition [german]
download final report [german][2 MB]