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Criterium: Particle Systems and Advanced Effects

Today, I was thinking about the "advanced" effects that would most benefit the realism of the game:
  • Motion blur, to give the illusion of speed.  Ogre compositors are most likely the best solution.
  • Dust particles, which would be thrown up occasionally when the bikes cross sandy portions of road.  Dust, IMO, is one of the easiest particle systems to implement well.  My Asteroids demo has some dust particle systems and textures.
  • Rain, which is also easy to implement, given Ogre's built-in particle scripts.
  • Bloom effect, one of my favorite effects, and definitely necessary for a setting sun.  I plan to use bloom to boost glare from specular highlights on the bike frame.  I used this affect in the Asteroids demo as well, and it looks quite good for highly reflective surfaces.  This can be easily done using HDR + high pass filter + Gaussian blur, and Ogre might have a compositor plugin for it.
  • Shadows, which are completely trivial with Ogre.  Awesome!


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So, it turns out that I didn't use Criterium for the video game competition at Stanford.  I actually met a partner and went with another concept instead -- Warp.  It's kind of like Starfox and it's inspired by Rez, one of the first PS2 games.  Explosions and missiles fire in time with the music; we used ChucK , an audio processing language, to achieve this. We also made some destructible objects using rigid bodies, and I added some particle explosion effects.  We used Lua to for enemy AI, and wrote a small TCL-like script parser that reads in data for the level layout.  The buildings in the background are procedurally generated.  We used OGRE for the graphics (this was a loose requirement of the project) and Bullet for the physics.  I had a lot of fun with this project, and I've posted a video capture below.