Submitted by , posted on 18 September 2003

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The image contains some shots of Hellhog XP, a 3D orbital combat shooter by StateVector Games, an independent game developer based in germany. Hellhog XP is a fast-paced straight arcade-style action game using my current game engine 'Phoenix'.

Phoenix is an advanced, high-quality generic engine with a full set of features like:
  • hardware abstraction layer for rendering (current renderer based on D3D7)
  • hardware independent shader/material pipeline
  • modular architecture (core,objects,gamedll,...)
  • generic object/unit implementation model for entity classes and 'functions'
  • terrain subsystem
  • CSG-based interior (with static and dynamic lightmaps)
  • portal-based visibility system
  • scripting subsystem based on LUA
  • xml-based configuration /campaign scripting /player and ai class definitions
  • a complete toolset (opengl based level editor, material/shader editor, particlefx editor,..)
  • and of course lots more .. but I don't want to get too boring here. (BTW.: all implemented in C++ using VC6)
  • Hellhog XP does not use too many features of the engine as it is a relatively simple (I prefer the term uncomplicated :)) arcade shooter. It has got pre-rendered environments made with Povray and Terragen , combined with realtime flare units and particle effects (for nebulas and stuff).

    Sound is an important aspect , so music playback is currently done using mp3 via Amp11Lib, but i consider changing to Ogg Vorbis. 2D/3D sound effect units are implemented using pure DirectSound.

    Game weapons / weapon effects (like explosions and firetrails) are based on a generic multilayer effect system that groups together various types of components like 2D/3D sound sources , D3D light sources, mesh models or particle fx to build complex effects. As these multilayer effects are defined using xml, it is now very easy to create new game effects in a data-centric manner.

    Upcoming games will make use of more engine features to implement ground-based outdoor or indoor scenarios and multiplayer modes. There are already 2 more projects in the lab which are about 70-80 % done.(I know .. it's getting really painfull at 99% :))

    If you are interested in more information about my current and upcoming projects visit The latest demo for Hellhog XP is also available for download and the full registered version of the game will soon be available for purchase online there (as my games are distributed under the shareware concept). Contact me at
    Your feedback is always welcome.

    Best Regards,
    Nicholas Balke

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