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The Tools Used to Write the Game

I wanted to stick to 256 colors because I've used 256-color modes in the book to keep things simple, but I still wanted a really clean look for the objects. Hence, I decided to render almost everything. I used Caligari TrueSpace IV (TS4), which in my estimation is the best 3D modeler in the world for its price. However, price aside, TS4 can give 3D Studio Max a run for its money. There's a demo copy of TS4 on the CD, so make sure to check it out.

The 2D artwork and touchup was done using JASC Paint Shop Pro 5.1, which is a killer paint package that supports plug-ins and has the easiest interface I have ever seen. Again, there is a demo copy on the CD.

Finally, the sound effects were taken from various sources and processed with Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge XP, which is one of the best sound-editing packages for PCs.

You can also find a demo copy of Sound Forge on the CD. That's just about all the tools I used, in addition to VC++ 5.0, 6.0, and DirectX.

Table 15.1 lists all the game objects and how they were created.

Table 15.1. The Objects in Outpost
Object Technique
Asteroids Rendered with TS4
Player's ship Hand-drawn with PSP
Outposts Rendered with TS4
Predator mines Rendered with TS4
Gunships Rendered with TS4
Power-ups Rendered with TS4
Plasma pulses Hand-drawn with PSP
Star field Single pixels
Explosions Digitized Pyrotechnics Stock Media

The meshes for all the 3D models were created by hand, and each took less than an hour with TS4. The hand-drawn images took about an hour each. I rotated the player's ship using the software rotation algorithm in PSP rather than doing it manually. All sounds were sampled down to 11 KHz, 8-bit mono.

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