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About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

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'Torque Game Engine' Expands

by Judy on Oct. 11, 2004 @ 12:38 a.m. PDT

GarageGames announced the third party expansions, code and content packs for the Torque Game Engine to be showcased at IndieGamesCon '04 including Timothy Aste's Content Pack, Synapse Lighting Pack, Torque RTS Starter Kit, Forest Pack, David Wyland's Looking Glass, Torque 2D, BraveTree's Girl Pack, Troy McFarland's Mocap libraries and the release of the Maya Exporter.
Timothy Aste's Content Packs

Timothy Aste's Castle Pack, Building Pack, Furniture Pack, Outside Accessories and Environment Pack are designed as part of a whole interchanging system of packs that will integrate together to build fully immersive game worlds. The assets in the content packs are made to be used in a variety of game genres from RPG to FPS and even RTS.

"Tim's art is some of the best I've ever seen in more than twenty years of making games," said Jeff Tunnell, President of GarageGames. "Tim's content packs will help improve the visual quality of any games they are incorporated in."

Synapse Gaming Lighting Pack - Preview

Previewed at IGC will be the new version of the Synapse Gaming Lighting Pack. Lighting Pack licensees can take advantage of its advanced rendering effects, such as overexposure and simulated bump and specular highlights, as well as its powerful lighting toolkit, which significantly improves Torque's flexibility, ease of use, and visual impact. Games being shown that feature the enhanced lighting pack include: Dark Horizons: Lore, GravRally, TubeTwister, Looking Glass, Micro Warrior, Marble Attack and Trajectory Zone.

In addition, brand-new Lighting Pack support for the Torque Shader Engine will be shown-off for the first time. "John Kabus is a pioneer in third-party Torque development," said Josh Williams, 3rd Party Development Director for GarageGames. "He developed the first Torque technology expansion pack, and continues at the forefront of Indie technology development, incorporating what already looks like incredible support for TSE's next-gen graphics systems."

Torque RTS Starter Kit - Preview

The Torque RTS Starter Kit provides foundational technology and modifications to the Torque Game Engine to make it easier for Indies to quickly produce their own strategy games. Some of the Torque RTS Starter Kit's most exciting features include:

  • Efficient RTS networking, allowing developers to create multiplayer RTSs with hundreds of units.
  • Simple to use RTS unit customization scheme, helping developers quickly prototype and play-test most any kind of RTS unit they can dream up.
  • RTS-style, customizable camera, selection, mini-map, and GUI systems, enabling game makers to create their RTS look and feel in no time.

"Our motivation for building this starter kit was simple: we want to see some awesome RTS games made by Indies," said Josh Williams, GarageGames 3rd Party Development Director. "Working with the Torque Game Engine gave us this hugely powerful base to build from, so we just had to provide some of the most important and difficult RTS-specific extensions and enhancements needed to make this kind of game."

Forest Pack - Preview

The forest pack for the Torque Game Engine is an advanced renderer that integrates with Torque to draw big, realistic forests. The Forest Pack significantly enhances realism in game environments and will save on content creation effort because developers don't have to hand populate whole forests. The Forest Pack provides the flexibility to render trees, ferns and other collection of dense, similar shapes. The Forest Pack will integrate with BraveTree's tree packs, as well as any other DTS shape you like.

David Wyand's Looking Glass - Preview (TGE ShowTool)

The Looking Glass ShowTool streamlines the art development pipeline for the Torque Game Engine, allowing artists to quickly view and test their DTS objects to ensure they have been correctly exported. Using multiple rendering formats such as textured shaded, flat shaded, textured wireframe, front face wireframe and vertex-only, developers can fully test and review their art in an intuitive interface. In addition to the standard perspective view, a number of orthographic views are available. Light sources may be moved around with the mouse in a "trackball'-like fashion, or turned off for unobstructed viewing of the applied textures.

"Looking Glass is a huge boon to artist working with the Torque Game Engine," said Alex Swanson, Artist at GarageGames. "Looking Glass will simplify and streamline a big part of the Torque art pipeline. The tool will help game developers get their games done faster, and that's an important issue for Indies."

Torque 2D - Brand-New Retro

Torque 2D brings the world of 2D gaming back in full-force. Built on the Torque Game Engine, Torque 2D provides hardware-accelerated 2D routines, allowing developers to unleash the full power of today's hardware in 2D game worlds. Torque 2D is designed for ease of use and flexibility, so both novice and experienced game-makers can take advantage of its systems to create their own games.

"Like a lot of people, I grew up on 2D games and they'll always hold a special place in my heart. So, how could I resist the chance to make something like Torque 2D?" said Melv May, developer of Torque 2D. "With its simple to use game creation system and technical prowess, I can't wait to play the games people will produce once Torque 2D is released."

BraveTree's Girl Pack

BraveTree Productions is nearing release of a character content pack containing a stylized female character and weapon. This pack will contain a complete mesh and full animation set and lays the groundwork or the introduction of a new, more generalized character skeleton into the Torque Game Engine. The Girl Pack contains a fully functional movable girl model with all the scripts that make it work within the Torque Game Engine. The Girl pack provides 3DSMax files, DTS Shape files, full documentation and the complete textures for any aspiring game developer to use. This girl pack is perfect for those learning how to build human models as well as those needing to quickly prototype their games.

Troy McFarland's Mocap Libraries - Preview

At this year's Indie Games Con, participants will get a sneak peek of the new motion capture library made specifically for the Torque Game Engine. This library is the result of a new partnership between GarageGames, Elemental Motion and Bravetree. Using the same type of Vicon optical motion capture system that was used on movies such as "The Mummy", Elemental Motion was able to get incredibly realistic human motions that seamlessly fit together to enable rapid prototyping for indie game developers.

Maya Exporter - Launch

The Torque Game Engine (TDK) DTS Exporter SDK has been upgraded so that common exporter code base now supports triangle strips, sorted/translucent, skinned as well as billboard meshes and scale animations. The Maya exporter is now the primary modeling package along with Blender that is supported on TGE and supporting Maya 4.5, 5.0 and 6.0 on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and is included in the Torque Game Engine 1.3 SDK.

"In building top-level support for Maya and looking forward at enhancing the art pipeline it was important to give Torque a robust exporter SDK that will be consistent for all the art tools Torque supports," comments Clark Fagot, Technical Director of BraveTree Productions. "Maya is the leading cross platform 3D artist tool of choice and the TGE exporter is designed to take advantage of its full capabilities and to support future enhancements."

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