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The Blob: downloadable 3D student game

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#1 Oogst   Members   


Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:18 PM

For the past four months I have worked together with eight other Dutch students on a game called The Blob. The game was a school project for an outside client. The station area of the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands is getting a thorough face-lift, as the station and many buildings around it are being rebuilt. Our task was to make a game that plays in the station area as it will be ten years from now, so that while playing, the audience is informed about what is going to happen. The game was to be played in a centre with information about the changes, but also be downloadable for players at home. This means the main target audience will walk by, play for a few minutes, and then walk on, but it should also be fun for people who download the game. The resulting game is The Blob. It is a 3D game in which the player controls a ball of paint rolling through the city. The ball can absorb coloured NPC's to become larger and change its colour. With the paint, the player can then proceed to paint the entire city. Almost everything is paintable: buildings, trees, cars and using the paint trace even the ground. The main goal of the game is to paint all 17 landmark buildings. Hardcore fanatics can also try to collect all 50 coins that are hidden around the level. The game is finished, so we are hoping many people will play it now! :) It can be downloaded here: De Blob - Dutch version, 97mb The Blob - English version, 97mb De Blob - Dutch version, 97mb - MIRROR 1 The Blob - English version, 97mb - MIRROR 1 The minimum system requirements for a nice framerate are about a 2ghz processor and 512mb RAM. This is the team that made The Blob: Jasper Koning: project lead/level designer/artist Fabian Akker: lead level designer David Vink: sound designer/level designer Gijs Hermans: lead artist Ralph Rademakers: artist Fahrang Namdar: artist Huub van Summeren: artist Olaf Jansen: programmer Joost van Dongen: lead programmer And our supervisor from school: JP van Seventer All of us are third year students in Game Design & Development at the Utrecht School of the Arts, except Olaf, who is a fourth year student in Computer Science at Utrecht University, doing the master Game & Media Technology, and Joost (me) who does both of these studies. The Blob was made using the libraries Ogre for graphics, FMOD for audio and ODE for physics and collision detection. 3D Studio MAX was used for modelling, Photoshop for texturing and Reason and Sound Forge for audio. Interestingly, the only library that gave some problems was FMOD, which is the only professional commercial product of the three. We got some errors that were officially untraceable ("the cause is earlier, the error comes at a moment where it tells you nothing at all, except that some unknown thing is wrong at some unknown point") and some problems with hardware accelerated audio, which gave strange volumes in combination with attenuation, while software mode gave good sound. Nevertheless, all three libraries have been a pleasure to use, because they made a lot of things possible that would not have been possible otherwise. We had only four months and only two coders for 25 hours per week per person, so we really had to do some efficient coding to get things running and complete by the end. This game was my first try at writing shaders that were really used in a game and I had some great fun doing that. The shots below are from the shader that does the paint-transitions. The pixel shader simply calculates the distance to the hit-point and blends the two transitioning textures according to that distance. Very simple, but it really works like a charm. :) Still not very complex, but a whole lot of fun, is the shader that gives the ball its squashy appearance. When the ball bounces or moves very fast, it slightly deforms, and while rolling it slightly sags. On screenshots this is quite a subtle effect, but when seen in action, it really looks fun. An interesting detail about this, is that it changes the feel of the gameplay entirely. Without the squash-shader, the game feels like playing with a ball made of stone. Then with no changes to the physics at all, the squash-shader makes it feel much more like a ball of paint. Nice to see how the player can be deceived about gameplay using graphics only. :D

My dev blog
Ronimo Games (my game dev company)
Awesomenauts (2D MOBA for Steam/PS4/PS3/360)
Swords & Soldiers (2D RTS for Wii/PS3/Steam/mobile)

Swords & Soldiers 2 (WiiU)
Proun (abstract racing game for PC/iOS/3DS)
Cello Fortress (live performance game controlled by cello)

#2 joanusdmentia   Members   

Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:26 PM

Very cool! Perhaps inspired a little by the *really* old horror movie of the same title? [smile]

"Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.".....V

#3 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   

Posted 30 June 2006 - 11:27 PM

Looks great, is it inspired by the game katamari?

#4 metimmee   Members   


Posted 01 July 2006 - 12:30 AM

I really like this, you've done very well in such a short time. I'm impressed with the performance and the completeness of this game. I also like the finishing touches like transparent buildings that occulde the view.

One point though, the mouse-pointer is not visible when the menu is displayed.

Well done.

#5 / The C modest god   Banned   


Posted 01 July 2006 - 01:00 AM

Looks superb!
Downloading it right now.
The brown blob traces reminds of something not pleasent...

#6 hayatosama   Members   


Posted 01 July 2006 - 02:29 AM

what a nice looking game! grats on finishing it!

#7 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   

Posted 01 July 2006 - 09:28 AM

This should be featured on the front page asap.

#8 Oogst   Members   


Posted 02 July 2006 - 09:38 PM

Original post by joanusdmentia
Very cool! Perhaps inspired a little by the *really* old horror movie of the same title? [smile]

We actually only heard about that movie after choosing the name. We tried changing the name then, but could not think of anything cooler, so we left it at The Blob.
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Looks great, is it inspired by the game katamari?

A little bit, but none of us have Katamari, so we were not able to try it to get extra ideas. So it is only inspired a little bit by Katamari, but I agree the games have some big similarities.

[Edited by - Oogst on July 3, 2006 6:38:30 AM]

#9 nOObie dev   Members   


Posted 04 July 2006 - 08:54 AM

thats a dam cool game. makes you feel like you do when on acid.
not that i know thats like..................

#10 Beider   Members   


Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:43 AM

Very well made game, extremely nice art. Maybe a bit difficult controls and you should be able to jump a bit higher (often got stopped by tiny objects on the ground). But concidering the time spent and it's purpouse it's an awesome game, Really cool graphics.

#11 Airo   Members   


Posted 20 July 2006 - 03:08 AM

looks really cool :)

#12 GentlemanHal   Members   


Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:41 AM


I downloaded the english version and installed it but it throws an exception when I try to run it :(

Orge.log file:

16:37:12: An exception has been thrown!

Error #: 8
Function: FileSystemArchive::changeDirectory
Description: Cannot open requested directory Assets\NL/Menus.
File: ..\src\OgreFileSystem.cpp
Line: 141
Stack unwinding: <<beginning of stack>>

I have DirectX 9 installed already and VS2005.

All I did was install and run, let me know if you need any more info about my system or anything.

- Chris

"More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency than for any other single reason - including blind stupidity" - William Wulf

"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that a human can understand"

#13 Oogst   Members   


Posted 20 July 2006 - 05:36 AM

You probably tried to run the .EXE, but you should run the shortcut. The same .EXE is used for several versions and the shortcut gives it the right instructions for this version (several menu options are different for the version for the stand at out clients place).

#14 GentlemanHal   Members   


Posted 20 July 2006 - 07:20 AM


How silly of me to try and run the exe :P

Now that it runs I have to say I'm very impressed, it's a very fun game :)

Keep up the good work!

- Chris

"More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency than for any other single reason - including blind stupidity" - William Wulf

"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that a human can understand"

#15 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   

Posted 20 July 2006 - 01:46 PM

Hi !

I get this error when I try to install the game (english version)

Posted Image


Any tips ? The game looks like it's very fun . I even posted a link to it on my blog. . .


^this is not a shameless plug , I swear !

I'm actually quite ashamed of it , thank you.

But I do really get the error message .. I suppose a screenshot is proof enough of that .. .

#16 Oogst   Members   


Posted 21 July 2006 - 03:56 AM

Wow, that's weird, I have not seen that one befor. That part installs some DLL's from Windows, that was not made by us, but by Microsoft. What version of Windows are you running there?

#17 happybara   Members   


Posted 21 July 2006 - 04:08 AM

Original post by Anonymous Poster

same error here, i am using windows xp pro, w/o SP

#18 hoax   Members   


Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:41 AM

I'm running xp pro without sp2 as well . . .

I'm the guy who posted anonymously , by the way - I thought it might be good if I registered !

It looks like the error was caused by visual c++ ?

#19 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   

Posted 22 July 2006 - 12:50 AM

My best guess is that you don't have Windows Installer 3.0 (or higher) on your computer, which is required for the Visual C++ Redistributable to install correctly.

I recommend upgrading to SP2 (which includes WI 3.0), or upgrade Windows Installer separately by downloading it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5FBC5470-B259-4733-A914-A956122E08E8&displaylang=en

#20 SMP   Members   


Posted 23 July 2006 - 08:08 PM

Looks great. Cool graphics with beautiful theme.

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