Submitted by , posted on 31 October 2003

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It's been a while since I posted an IOTD, so I figured I'd show you some things we've been doing at work.

Tapwave is soon shipping their first device, the Zodiac, and we made couple of games for it. Bundled with every device is Stuntcar Extreme (the pictures on the left), and one of the launch titles is Spyhunter (pictures on the right).

Stuntcar Extreme is a racing game with fun physics factor and interesting race tracks, and features a championship mode where you race against different opponents to unlock cars and tracks.

Spyhunter is not a port from any other platform, but built from scratch to take advantage of the mobile platform. It features an arcade mode which is closer to the original Spyhunter games (while still being full 3d), and a story mode which is closer to the PS2 titles.

Both games also support two-player wireless realtime head-to-head gaming modes using Bluetooth.

The games are built with X-Forge, the mobile 3d game engine we're making. A "lite" version of X-Forge is also included in the Tapwave Zodiac SDK, which is available for free from Tapwave.

X-Forge enables developers to do majority of their development with normal desktop PC tools, which greatly shortens development cycles. While mobile device emulators are nice to have, they're still a pain to debug with (especially if the problem is something application-specific that has pretty much nothing to do with the underlaying OS).

This also helped our artists and scripters, as they could simply plug their changes into the desktop versions to see how things look, without having to upload everything to the actual devices all the time.

The Zodiac itself is a great device, and it has so high-resolution screen that I actually had to scale the above screenshots down due to Flipcode IOTD image size limitations =). It also features analog joystick, touchscreen, greatly expanded version of palm OS, rumbler, dual mmc/sd slots, and more.

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