Submitted by , posted on 04 February 2005

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These are two screenshots from my new mac combat game Lugaru. I programmed the engine using C++ in Codewarrior 8 for Mac, and I used OpenGL for graphics and FMOD for sound and music. I am working on a PC version, but for now the Mac demo is up at

I could not use new hardware technology such as pixel and vertex shaders because when I was writing the engine they did not exist for Mac yet, but I did use some interesting graphics techniques:

A) Full and partial ragdoll impacts
I know that ragdoll physics are becoming just another checklist feature in modern games, but Lugaru uses them in an unusual way. Whenever a character is knocked off his feet he blends into a physics-based fall, and takes damage based on how he lands. I.e. if you kick an enemy into a snow drift, he takes much less damage than if you throw him and he smashes his head on the corner of a stone block. Characters can recover seamlessly from physics-based falls, even while in the air.

B) Dynamic blood effects
If a character is hit in the head exceptionally hard and loses some teeth, then blood will drip from his mouth down his body, and stay there for the rest of the level. For example, here the main character has been clawed in the face and stomach, and the blood has dripped down to other areas. Also blood spreads using a changing alpha mask cutoff, allowing it to expand in an organic way rather than as a uniformly-scaling decal.

C) Transparent fog
I have a skybox of pre-rendered distant terrain, and the local terrain becomes more transparent as it approaches the far clipping plain. This makes the real-time terrain blend into the skybox, allowing smooth gameplay without decreasing the apparent view distance too significantly.

In addition, the context-sensitive combat system is unlike any other game that I have seen. If you press attack while running you use your momentum to perform a powerful spin kick, and then if the opponent crouches under your kick and stands up, he will catch your leg and kick you away.

Check out the Lugaru gameplay movies and free mac demo at

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