Submitted by , posted on 08 April 2005

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One of my recent interests has been the usage of game controllers on the computer. A problem with PC gaming vs. console gaming is that there is a lack of human interaction. In console games, it is commonplace for games to be designed so that multiple players can sit next to eachother and play together on the same screen. PC games on the other hand tend to be much more isolating, with the focus being more on playing against other people through the internet. I would like to explore using the PC to make multiplayer games that bring people together.

The setup that I use is with Playstation controllers attached to the computer through USB adapters. I don't have any other sort of controller, so I haven't some games may possibly not work well with other controllers.

I wrote LineDancerUltra in the summer of 2004 in about 2 weeks. It is a game with a simple concept and is probably a ripoff of the classic snake games, but with a twist. The movement of the lines is controlled by the joystick on a playstation controller. As well, there are menus for creating player profiles that keep track of win records, player color, and other statistics. Theoretically, the game can handle as many players as there are controllers, and I have successfully played with as many as 3 players at the same time. If anyone manages to play with more people, I would love to hear about it.

One of the cool effects of the game is the ether that the lines travel through. If you observe the particles they have a slight jiggling to them, and the head of the line leaves a wake. As well, there are powerups that make a splash as they appear. The trails are stored as a series of line segments that change in resolution according to the curviness of the trail. I was originally storing one segment per frame, but every segment has to be drawn and hit checked against per frame, so it became obvious that some simplification was needed. This is done by setting a maximum segment length and otherwise, only adding segments when the direction has changed.

The source and windows binaries can be found at the following URL.

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