In 1997, I left Sheffield and moved to Glasgow to join Digital Animations.
The original plan was to work at their Glasgow office for a year, then head to London where I would form a new games division with three other game developers. Instead, I quickly grew fond of Glasgow and decided to stay in Scotland.
Although I left Digital Animations in late 1998, I returned in 2002. By then they had been rebranded as DA Group and would later rebrand again as Digimania.
Modular Game Engine
My main responsibility was to develop a modular game engine that could be easily repurposed for different genres.
- Scene graph: Managing game entities in a hierarchy, allowing objects to be joined for collision and movement.
- Scripting: A C-like bytecode-interpreted scripting language, inspired by Java, for controlling entities without needing to recompile the game.
- Physics: Collision detection and handling for spheres, cubes, and polygon meshes.
- Space Partitioning: To optimise the collision detection, an octree space partitioning system divided the scene into ever smaller chunks.
Two vastly different game prototypes were developed using this engine:
- TMmy: A 3D platform game that involved the player running and leaping around an abstract digital world, being chased by flying entities and using superpowers to defeat them.
- Aether: A space-based strategy game set inside an asteroid filled with caverns. The player and several AIs fought to control each cavern with terraformers, gradually changing the atmosphere and producing different flight characteristics.