Ball Race – Day 13

Finally got a new graphics card. I had seriously considered buying a GeForce 8800, but given the card’s insane price tag, the fact that I’m developing for XNA (nothing to gain from DirectX 10) and ATI’s recent announcement about their next generation GPU being out soon to lower the prices, I decided to go for a cheap ATI Radeon X1950 card.

Photo of a PowerColor Radeon X1950 and its box

I didn’t totally stop working on the game, however, and wrote a small menu system that I now use to display the game’s main menu and the level selector. Debugging could still be accomplished running the game in a 320×240 window by using the reference rasterizer for rendering, which produces about 1 frame in the time it takes you to wash your car, take a walk or phone a friend…

Aforementioned menu system is already being used to drive the main menu and a level selector, both fully working at the time of this writing. The buttons themselfes are looking rather dull and I’m not sure yet whether I should just try to do my best in Paint.NET or whether I should go looking for an artist…

Screenshot of several maze game boards and buttons to select between them

There will be 10 built-in levels that the player can try to beat in a certain time to complete the game. I think 10 levels are just right to entertain the player for a while and then let him off before the game gets boring. I truly think it’s a nice and fun game, but, after all, it’s just a ball rolling around on a table — hardly enough variety to make 100 levels worthwhile :)

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