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Div-Arena Games Studio! - March 20,2000 by JoseQ
"Now It's Your Time!" is what you'll read right away as you visit the Div-Arena game studio. While not exclusivelyrelated to emulation, this development tool might be what you have been looking for if you've considered developing your own game/emulator. By using a 'specially designed' and 'much simplified' coding language, you can apparently get to develop some pretty nice effects. I've heard some great things about it, but I'll save some of the details for the Rumor Mill on Wednesday so that I will then have accumulated more goodies about this product. In the meantime, you can visit the web-page, see some screenshots and even download a few demos. It looks to me like prettypowerful stuff. What do you think?

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Add Your Comments

Name: TJ Posted: Friday, March 24, 2000 - (21:42)
Subject: Div Arena opinion
From:
This sure looks better than Klik & Krash... uh, I meant Klik & Play! Fostiator looks like a decent demo of what DIV can do for a fighting game. There's parallax, sprite scaling, & rotation... this looks like a good tool to make a shmup with.

[Post a reply]

Name: TheLoon Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2000 - (20:27)
Subject: Div-Arena
From:
It really would be nice to have a Virtual Reality Studio for modern systems... I think that "mode-7" like graphics were a strain on gameplay from the get-go. Alas, where art thou domark?

[Post a reply]

Name: Atomic Skull Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (10:26)
Subject: Amiga
From:
The Amiga had a "game development" kit many years back that was all based on a flowchart and icons. While it sounds limiting, it did 2D platformers _very_ well, the showcase game for this was some Indiana Jones style platform/adventure game (that I can't remember the name of)that was actually pretty damned good.

[Post a reply]

Name: Mike Green Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (10:39)
Subject: Re: Amiga
From:
>The Amiga had a "game development" kit many years back that was all based on a flowchart and icons. While it sounds limiting, it did 2D platformers _very_ well, the showcase game for this was some Indiana Jones style platform/adventure game (that I can't remember the name of)that was actually pretty damned good.
>

The Amiga also had AMOS, which was IMHO a pretty darned cool way of making games, demos etc.

Mike

[Post a reply]

Name: Evil Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (9:19)
Subject: Skeptical, but hopeful...
From:
Hello all,

While I'm not going to be as harsh as the first poster, I *am* a little sceptical. I mean, the screenshots look great and all, but I've seen at least a dozen of these "Game Construction Kits" come and go, and all of them had pretty screenshots on the boxes.

In my experience, there are typically two problems with this kind of product: speed, flexibility, and tools. Usually, game construction kits have one or two of these, or neither. I've never seen a product strong on all three (which is why I bit the bullet 15 years ago and taught myself C instead).

The Info page claims that DGS can be used to create any game using sprites or "projected planes" (polygons?) and has a very detailed half-rendered/half-wireframe 3D model beside it, as if to say you can use polygon models. However, I don't see any polygon models being used in any of the screenshots. Fostiator, Soccer, and even the pool game (for which 3D would be perfect) look like they're using pre-rendered or hand drawn sprites, EXCEPT for the soccer field (ahh... projected plane). The features page is similarly heavy on sprite info with no polygon specs.

This is fine, if you want to make the 2D sprite games we grew up with (I love those games), but if your intention is to write a new smash hit... consider how many No.1 games in the last few years have been sprite based.

Again, I'm not saying it can't do it... I'm just saying that they really haven't shown us that it can at this point, so it is possibly a drawback.

3D is not everything though... If you've ever used 3DRad, another game-development kit, you know that it can do great 3D but suffers in the flexibility department (No offense to 3DRad - it's actually very good at what it does, and has great potential for the future). I think that flexibility may be where DGS can shine. I read the info claiming that DGS can be extended with C or C++ with great hope.

As far as speed, who knows? It sounds like you compile your games, so at least it doesn't have the bottleneck of an interpreter. I ran the Fostiator demo on a 400mhz AMD w/16mb TNT video, and it wasn't entirely "hiccup-free". Speed may rely on what you are trying to do in the end.

Tools: Where are the tools? I would have really liked to see some screenshots of the user interface. Maybe they'll add some later.

The price didn't look bad at all. Of course, assuming you don't get such tools (a safe bet), you should get ready to invest in a good paint program (like PhotoShop) and a 3D modelling/rendering program (3D Studio/Rhino/TrueSpace) if you want to create the kind of game that they show in their demos. Of course, that would tag $700 on top of their price... so you might want to look at some of the freeware alternatives on the web instead.

-Evil
[evil_@hotmail.co.m]

(remove the . between co and m if you wish to correspond)

[Post a reply]

Name: JoseQ Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (10:03)
Subject: Re: Skeptical, but hopeful...
From:
> I've never seen a product strong on all three(which is why I bit the bullet 15 years ago and taught myself C instead).

Hmm... Game Developing Kits 15 years ago? Just a funny note I guess. I really liked your post. =)

I would also like to see this product in action as I am also a C Programmer at heart. From what I've heard though is that you can easily do lots of stuff with not as much power as you would think... I haven't personally run the demos since I only run Windows NT, and the tools are DOS based, so I don't think I would be testing them on fair grounds... I'll have to re-boot to 98 some of these nights and see how they move...

Even though at that price, it sure seems like a nice toy to play with for a while. Looks like fun, given that it includes a library of sprites and graphics. =)

JoseQ

[Post a reply]

Name: Evil Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (21:03)
Subject: Re: Re: Skeptical, but hopeful...
From:
>Hmm... Game Developing Kits 15 years ago? Just a funny note I guess. I really liked your post. =)

Heh - they were out back then! Remember EA's Adventure Construction Kit? I also had one on the C64, made by Activision - It came with a demo of Pitfall. "Game Construction Kit" I think it was called. They even had a contest when they released it to see who could make the best game. I couldn't get it to do much better than Pitfall myself. :)

-Evil

[Post a reply]

Name: Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (21:09)
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Skeptical, but hopeful...
From:
>>Hmm... Game Developing Kits 15 years ago? Just a funny note I guess. I really liked your post. =)

Whoops... I thought of another one too: White Lightning. It was a programming suite for the C64, made specifically for games. It came with a nifty sprite/font editor and all... Ah... the good old days.

-Evil

[Post a reply]

Name: kilrathi Posted: Monday, March 20, 2000 - (22:00)
Subject: Dark Basic!
From:
This language is quite crappy considoring there's something called "Dark Basic" at http://www.darkbasic.co.uk/

Why not review that language and see the difference?

[Post a reply]

Name: Pers Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (8:56)
Subject: Re: Dark Basic!
From:
>This language is quite crappy considoring there's something called "Dark Basic" at http://www.darkbasic.co.uk/
>
>Why not review that language and see the difference?
>

A predictable response considering your affiliation: http://www.elitegamer.com/kilrathi/

Pers.

[Post a reply]

Name: Mike Green Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (9:09)
Subject: Re: Re: Dark Basic!
From:

>A predictable response considering your affiliation: http://www.elitegamer.com/kilrathi/
>
>Pers.

LOL


[Post a reply]

Name: Bill Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - (0:12)
Subject: Re: Dark Basic!
From:
>This language is quite crappy considoring there's something called "Dark Basic" at http://www.darkbasic.co.uk/
>
>Why not review that language and see the difference?
>

Why don't you wait until you actually SEE the program before you make foolish comments about it?

[Post a reply]

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