Ghost Maze – A game about ghosts in mazes

For the month of October I have been working on a way to randomly generate a world that is interconnected in a way that I can drop the functionality into my Space Wars game to manage jump gates between Star Systems. The result has been this maze game. Some of the behind the scenes stuff isn’t really used by the maze game and the wall building stuff probably won’t be used in Space Wars but its still coming along pretty well. Here is a video of the gameplay so far…

At some point you could see the maze generation. I used Conway’s Game of Life to generate the structure. Then I had to test which squares need walls. I am also using the Respawn system to drop in Ghosts and objects to help you navigate the maze. The exit portal ends up also being spawned randomly. Here is a pic of early maze generation —

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 6.37.17 PM


Originally, I was building 100×100 mazes, but with the game in action 50×50 currently runs best. Also it seems pretty impossible even in the smaller size. I built a pseudo occlusion culling system as well which disables renderers for rooms that aren’t super close. It definitely helped speed the game up.


Dev Log: The State of Space Wars and October’s Game

Over the last few months I’ve been teaching myself various programming strategies and concepts so that I might one day put together a complete version of Space Wars (or whatever it will officially be named.) I have made a a few 3D space combat games, a 2D multiplayer space combat game, some mobile games, some first person shooter games, even some games that were more about explosions and effects than anything else. All of these games are stepping stones to help me work out problems and figure out what will ultimately make my game the way I want it.


Last month, I created a rendition of a space dog fight game as well as procedurally generated star systems linked by jump gates. The map system was never implemented and thus you can never really travel back to previous locals. In fact, the game is so randomized, you might not ever see the same star system again! One sticking point was that I wanted to link the systems so you could fly back and forth, but in the end didn’t code the algorithm to make it work.

Things that really stumped me were: if the system is generated randomly, how do you know you have enough jump gates, if no real map exists how do things link, can you randomly generate a map and fill it with random star systems? How do you account for cool stuff like space stations or enemies if everything is generated randomly? What about planets? How will the game know what type it is, if there are cities there or animals or mining resources? We were getting into Dwarf Fortress level thought experiments like — what about history generation, empire generation, colonial expansion of factions, ancient civilizations wiped out with remnants on desolate planets like that scene in Guardians of the Galaxy. All these things are possible, but they will need some thoughtful coding.

This month I want to do some random map generation that I can apply to the space system problem in the future. However, since it is October, I think it is necessary to do a horror themed game! My idea is a procedurally generated ‘castle’ map of corridors and rooms with doorways. The map will build on the fly, have a starting point and at least one exit or goal. The castle will be haunted, of course, by 3D pacman style ghosts who will chase the player, but will also be easily fooled making for a stealth hide and seek element of gameplay.

In the end, this map generator will be able to port to my space games because doors will become jump gates, the rooms will be the random star systems. Perhaps the starts and finishes could be starting points for home systems of various factions. Whatever method I use to store data about the maps might be my way of implementing space stations and things. At least some of the needed code will be generated this month despite not working on a ‘Space Wars’ game.

When my #1GAM challenge is over, I plan to devote most of my programming time to working mainly on a real space wars game — exactly what I was doing before I started the challenge. Of course, now I know a lot more than I did back then!

Space Wars Team Battle Demo is Here

The month of September was devoted to experimenting with procedurally generated space areas, hyperspace jumping, and dog fighting AI.

The result is affectionately named Space Wars Team Battle Demo. The team means AI teammates, no online play for this one… yet. Technically, if you fly long enough you can arrive at the planets. The game will eventually feature some sort of landing, probably not seamless atmosphere flight as that is just magical to me.


There are also jump gates that are functional. Again they require flying far into space. They are glowing spheres. Hit one and you will jump to a new system. These will eventually link between systems in a way that makes sense. For now they are random… The main ‘game’ of this demo is just destroying the enemy fleet and then auto-jumping to the next round. It’s hard. Here is the link to the Webplayer (PC and Mac Coming soon)… Frame rate seems ok when I play it, but mileage may vary –should run real fast on the standalone build.

On the web version – Right click and Go Fullscreen. This will allow the mouse to lock and give you the ability to use the right mouse button to do a barrel roll.

Here is a video of some gameplay: