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Falling Sand Game: Pyro Edition

Introduction

    This is yet another version of the famed and highly addictive falling sand game which is believed to be of Japanese origin. The game appears on several websites throughout the net in multiple variations such as the Hell of Sand Game. This version was developed in late May of 2006.

Technical Discourse

     This version of the falling sand game was derived from the reverse engineering of the Hell of Sand Game. The Java source code of the Hell of Sand Game was obtained using the JAD java decompiler [JAD fast decompiler]. The decompiled code was used to determine the exact behavior of all elements within the game. Using this information, I began writing an experimental version of the game in pure Java. I soon discovered that pure Java, even with several tricks and some performance tuning, would not achieve the necessary frame rates (that is, without building some huge framework to speed things up). The experimental version was scrapped and I instead looked into the Processing [processing.org] middleware on which the original game was based. I downloaded the Processing environment and IDE. (It has a very nice interface and a simple masking API which I would recommend to new programmers. Naturally, it's not as powerful as pure Java.) Once I was up and running with Processing, I began to rebuild the game. I gradually incorporated all the resources (sand, water, oil, fire, etc.) and their rules (falling, burning, etc.). Being a lazy programmer, I used a significant amount of generic code in comparison with the original version. Even if I had implemented the full game, my code would have been hundreds of lines shorter than the original. After getting the basic resources and the menu up and running, I added a few other features (oil wells and torches). The primary processing element of the game was complete. The other processing, that is the zombies, snig, and particle systems, were widely unimplemented. I'm lazy so implementing a particle system for the umpteenth time was not a priority. Despite my laziness, I prevailed in implementing one particle system to handle the explosions from the nitroglycerin, another resource added in this variation. This particle system demonstrates all the features needed for a particle system in the falling sand game (a trigger, vectors, updates, active/inactive particles, drawing, location properties). This implementation could use a little work. 90% of the code for this variation is original. I'll clean a few things up and release the code soon.

Update May 29th: Napalm resource added. Enjoy.

 

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