Game and Engine Designed and Implemented By Chris Allar, Crystal Dragon



The Game: Details of game play, game mechanics and implementation and general engine information.

The Engine - VantEdit: More in-depth explanation of VantEdit, the graphics engine, and world creation systems.

The Editors and Tools:  The high level tools used to maintain, implement, and create new engine and game play data




The Game:


-         Pre-historic simulation

o       Your main objective, to survive!

§     Build fires, make spears, hunt animals and just try to stay alive in the harsh new world

·        Forage for food, hunt bears, and go spear fishing

·        Create a shelter protect yourself from the harsh weather

o       First-person view in a fully 3D world

§     Full “seamless”, “zoneless” world with no load screens

§     Beautiful full day/night cycle

§     Randomly generated worlds of nearly infinite size

§     See “The Engine” section for more detailed information

o       Educational yet fun game play system

§     All crafts, items and skills are implemented as realistically as possible to give the most accurate representation of prehistoric times

o       In-depth and very detailed crafting and skill system

§     Collect specific items for crafting.  Item properties like quality and durability matter

o       Realistic crafting models

§     For example, the items and skills needed to create a fire in game are the same in the real world

o       Excerpts on the origins, methods, and other information about items and crafts involved in the game.

§     Learn real world facts as you craft!

§     Tool tips and item details give history, uses, and other valuable real world information.

o       Over 100 items, 40 crafts, and 20 skills to improve, and constantly growing!

§     Editor tools allow for open modifications and additions to infinitely expand these (See the Tools section)

o       Beautiful and well organized in-game HUD

§     Windows with well placed information, customizable item lists, and much more



The Engine - VantEdit:


-         Database-driven architecture

o       The game is set up to be database driven so as to be converted to client/server architecture as easily as possible


-         Seamless, and world wrapping terrain engine

o       Walk in the same direction forever and never hit an invisible wall

o       In-depth terrain and object loading algorithms make for smooth loading and display of graphics without stopping the game to load large amounts of data


-         Full day/night cycle, and sky dome

o       With ranging color cycles from dawn to dusk, blended into a nighttime sky

o       Accurate sunlight colors throughout the day and night


-         Real-time streaming of terrain and objects

o       No “zones” no game-stopping loading, no in-game loading screens


-         Massive World Generation Tool:

o       Capable of generating infinitely sized worlds in extremely small amounts of time.  Complete with terraforming, erosion and world objects (trees/shrubs/buildings), all automated.

o       World created using fault line and plate collision algorithms

§         Simulate over hundreds of thousands of years of plate movement and collisions to create mountain ranges, hills, islands, and plains.

o       Terrain created by using USGS geological height data

o       Objects placed using generation algorithms based on temperature, altitude, and rainfall values of the world.

o       Specific USGS data is then rotated, scaled, eroded, then placed in the world based on the data collected from the plate collisions

o       See the Tools section for more specific information


-         Terrain Rendering

o       Defined by “Page Size” (a square grid of size X points of terrain).  Pages are stored as X by X size of terrain data when created and rendered.

o       Dynamically textured terrain

§         Can support infinite number of terrain textures on each page of terrain using a unique shader algorithm

§         Using temperature and rainfall data, textures are applied in real-time on creation of the specific terrain page.

§         Normals calculated in real-time

o       Terrain pages are generated and displayed using an LoD algorithm based on distance from character

o       Dynamic terrain LoD system: Define LoD distances of terrain that best suit the engine and performance


-         Object placement

o       All objects and animations currently use the DirextX .x mesh configuration

o       Meshes and animations are registered into the game as items (See Tools: Mesh Editor for more information)

o       Specific objects can be given specific spawn and generation parameters which allow it to be instantly created all over the world (See Tools: Mesh Generation for more information)

o       In-Game Mesh/Item Editor:  Add or place any meshes or items in run-time to add specific objects to specific areas

o       All objects have optional normal map and specular map properties


-         Animation System

o       Fully implemented animation system

o       All animation objects operate exactly like mesh objects in terms of usage (See ‘Object Placement’ above )


-         HUD System

o       Custom created 2D HUD system, includes all basic interface functionality of a window type interface.

o       Supports text, buttons, edit boxes, progress bars, tool tips, user interaction, movement of windows, and more

o       Extensive tree-list style graphical system for inventory, skill lists, etc..


-         AI System

o       State-based AI system used to give realistic AI to animals and other objects.  Animals will move, graze, idle, and run death animations based off of the AI it is given


-         Database storage system

o       Aside from terrain point data stored in binary files, all game data is currently stored in SQL databases

o       Extremely easy access to all data during run time with no constant file loading and access

o       The game is set up to be database driven so as to be converted to client/server architecture as easily as possible


-         Other engine details

o       Full lighting support

o       HLSL shader support

o       SQL Database support

o       FMOD Sound System

o       An extensive amount of editor tools for game creation









The Editors and Tools:


-         Game Engine Editor tools

o       World Map Window

§         Overhead view of the world, color shaded to represent the land

§         Move to any part of the world my navigating and clicking on the map

§         Additional values tell the page and position of the player in-game

o       LoD Editor

§         Display and change LoDs displayed, LoD sizes, and memory usage statistics at run time to fine tune terrain performance



-         Game Play Editor tools

o       Mesh/Item Manager

§         Tool allows for editing, adding, or removing all in-game game play elements, both offline or at runtime with an in-game editor:

·        Meshes and Animations

·        Physical in-game items

·        Item properties

·        Mesh and object world generation parameters

·        Sub-mesh world generation properties

·        Mesh/object collision system

o       Crafting Manager

§         Tool which allows for editing and adding of new in-game crafts

·        Craft definitions

·        Item requirements, bonuses and quantities needed

·        Craft stages needed

·        Specific craft stage definitions

·        Item wear, bonuses for items in each stage

·        Skill lists and bonuses

o       Skills Manager

§         Allows for management of players stats and skills

·        Skills and stats editor

·        Leveling scale and properties

·        Skill and crafting unlocking based on previous skill requirements for player



-         World Generation Tools

o       World Formation Window

§         This window allows for the initial definition of the in-game world size, and other parameters such as:

·        World size in pages

·        World database page size

·        Number of terrain LoDs to be generated

§         A simulated world size definition area to define the 2D simulated world to perform plate collisions.

§         Faults and continents tabs define algorithmic values to change how fault lines, and plate creation and movement are applies when simulating plate collisions

§         Simulation displayed a general graphical view of the plate collisions in progress.  Several values for displaying certain data are available.

§         Final values are saved out into a .wff file.

o       Generate New World Window

§         Uses information for a .wff (World frame File) from the World Formation Window generation

§         Displays a list of “nodes” created from the plate collisions from the world plate collision parameters.

§         Terraform tab displays modifiable values which determine how the terrain itself will be terraformed.

§         World view window is a graphical display of selected nodes from the node list which can be moved, changed, added, and values like rotation and erosion can be modified.