- ATTE3 -
An unfinished Egyptian adventure

(by Roel Tempelaar)

After releasing ATTE2 Aleksander Trojanowski started with developing a new epos of the ATTE-series. A lot of new features were added to the original engine, and this game appeared to become a new step in the genre of first person-shooters.
Unfortunately, to the Alpha-version was the following message attached:

Sorry guys, I quit. This project will newer be finished because I'm already fed up with programing in QB45. The source code of ATTE3_ALPHA has been attached to the ZIP so as that anyone of you could use it to make his own 3D game if he wishes to.

So ATTE3 would never be a full game. And of course that's a pity, especially when you take a look at the ALPHA version, the only available example of ATTE3.


The features of the engine

Indirectly ATTE3 is based on the engine of IDKFA; the first shooter by Trojanowski. With the support of the DirectQB library this engine is capable of executing 3d polygon routines with a acceptable speed. During the releases of the ATTE-series this engine has been improved again and again.
At the moment of the ALPHA-version of ATTE3 the engine had the following features:
  • orthogonal walls with different height, floor and ceiling
  • 128x128 textures
  • flat shading
  • dynamic and scrollable textures
  • transparant textures
Of course these extra's slow down the computer a bit, and I have to say that the engine of ATTE3 is remarkably slower than the one ATTE2 used.

The demo levels

The ALPHA-version exists of 4 levels in Egyptian style. You start, facing a pyramid and short after that you dive into the catacombs full of dangrous mythical enemies. This demo contains two different kinds of opponents: a two-headed monster armed with a club, and a fire-spitting dragon. To survive you are armed with a dagger, a short sword, a battle axe and a heavy sword.


To defeat an enemy you need to use a special tactical way of fighting. For me it took some time before I actually got that tactic. Because you have short ranged weapons you have to approach an enemy carefully. He will move into your direction. When the enemy is at a certain distance you have to hit the enemy, but when you're too late you will be hit yourself.
The levels contain elixers that you can pick up easily by walking over them. When you use an elixer your health will increase. The system with this elixers really stimulates the tactical way of handling in this game.


The graphics

Like the graphics in ATTE2, the graphics of ATTE3 look great. The difference is that now the textures have a 128x128 resolution. The weapon textures are in an even higher resolution and fill up the whole screen. They also are very detailed and well animated. The game uses a 320x200 screenresolution in a 256 colour-mode, like its predecessors. Animated and scrolling textures are supported and that really give the enfironment surplus value.


The tools

Trojanowski announced in his message to distribute the sourcecode, and he did. Moreover, he also added several utilities he used to create the game. For exampe there are a map-editor and a spriteloader.

Especially the map-editor is very interesting because it explains a lot about the structure of the maps, and the way the engine will translate the information to a 3d-like world. A map is build up around a central point. It is cell-based, and every cell has a X, Y and Z value. The Z value (which can vary from -3 up to 5) gives the height of a cell. Thanks to this a map can contain high walls, towers and things like that.
The map-editor also offers the possibility to add enemy's to a map, as well as other static objects.

Is there a chance that someone will pick up this engine and make it his (or her) own 3d-like game, like Aleksander suggested? Probably there are two factors that play a role. Firstly, I've studied the engine a bit and I think it is good possible to mutate it to your preferences, and likewise the level- and texture-editors are in a rather user-friendly state. Besides you will have to figure out which combination of libraries (DQB, Dash) you will need to run the progs.
Secondly the question is if somebody really want to use this engine. Most of the QB coders probably prefer to create a (UGL) raycaster or 3d-engine theirselves, or use a more plain engine like RTE.


However, for the time being ATTE3 will be the last example of the ATTE-series.


Download: ATTE3 Alpha version


Article written by Roel Tempelaar, June 2004
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