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Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:22 am
by opiette
WxSand: The Falling Sand Game ported to wxWidgets!

Honestly, the original version, written in Java, was pretty good. I invested/wasted a lot of time playing it. But there were a couple of features that it really needed, and seeing as I use wxWidgets every day at work, I took my lunch hour(s!) and ported it.

My version was just posted on and has, right now, 700 diggs.

If anyone can compile it on OSX, 64-bit windows, 64-bit linux, Nintendo DS, etc., let me know!

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:39 am
by protocol
Wow, I didn't even know it existed. I am definitely going to play around with it. Amazing.

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:03 am
by Jorg
I played with it all day yesterday (a bit at work too ;-) I love it! But I couldn't help notice that a couple of things are 'strange':

- The salt and water do not mix properly (or is that the dark blue around the salt and is the salt simply too much flowing?)
- The water does not really behave like water. I would assune it to level out like real water does, meaning if you poor it, it stays too long as a big 'hill' so to say.

It is a very interesting concept though. and it immeditately cought my creative mind. Are there any "game" challenges for this? I noticed on the forum that there are some challenges about mixing salt with water and seperating them again. I miss a 'game' element in this. As you can solve a puzzle as you will.

If you do not object I would share some ideas I had while playing:

- Allow other substances to be added. That would be fun. Describe the material and how it behaves and interacts with other materials, in an XML file, sort of like alchemy. E.g. iron can hold water, but when touched by a 'fire' particle it heats up the substance above the iron material (just a thought.
- I once was thinking about a game that would look like "scorched earth" I do not know if you heard about that. There was wind in there, and you had to calculate where a turret would blast a canon ball to. The earth behaved like real earth (just like the sand game) and would make piles and blast the earth away. This would be great for multiplayer (or single player) games. Ofcourse blasting a canonball on rock would spatter it, and blasting it on iron would only dent it, and the ball would fly along (making fun levels to shoot the ball just right)

Anyway I can ramble on and on as something like this was a long time pet project of me. I like the wxSand version, I hope you improve upon it and make it fun to play :-)

Here is a link to an image of Scorched Earth. The idea of the game was that shooting the sand would make it landslide. It would be fun to incorporate an action aspect in something as cool as The Sand Game.

- Jorgen

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:34 pm
by opiette
The next big release will have the ability to save/load physics definition files.

I'm also working on speeding it up a little bit (Should take care of the water/hill of water issue). After that, I'll implement some more elements and interactions, and will probably be adding a wind component.

Good? Would it be playable then? :)


Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:11 pm
by Jorg

I played with it some more today and yesterday and for the average geek that studied electrotechnics and physics it is quite amazing to watch.

I noticed the hangup here too, and wondered if it would speed up if you simply rendered the picture in a raw bitmap (where every colour is a color index) and blit it in one go to the screen instead of constantly switching brushes. I was till amazed that it went so fast even with the brush switching.

I added an iteration count to my compiled version to see how many pixels are drawn over and over again and it is neat to watch that number increment every time.

I think the key to it's success would be indeed physics files where people can 'design' a material and it's behaviour, share it with others, and e.g. have to solve a puzzle (like the Java game has the goal to eliminate the yellow bnall before it eliminates you), you could so a lot with the plants where the user has to eliminate the plants by figuring out a way to kill them (ofcourse in this case it is trivial, but with new materials that would be fun!)

Anyway, I will be keeping an eye on your work as it is fascinating! Good job!

- Jorgen

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:49 am
by protocol
I'll try to compile it on my mac os x box. Maybe you can use sourceforge to compile it on Macs also. Great job, I can't wait to see the next version.

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:48 pm
by Davros
Just lost a couple of hours playing your game!

Nice one!

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:56 pm
by Ksmith22
In keeping with what Jorg said, some puzzles would be extremely cool.

As an example:

Say you have a pre-built level with water flowing through it. The objective of the level is to have the water collect in some container (a jar or |_| shaped object). To accomplish this, you are only given say, the wall brush and X amount of "paint" to draw with. So you have to draw walls in the appropriate places to make the water flow through the right tunnels and reach the container. And maybe some of those tunnels have plants that would grow and block the water flow, etc.

And different levels would have different objectives taking advantage of the different material types and how they interact with each other.

Something like that would make for a very fun game :D

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:58 pm
by opiette
In the latest version, Feb 20th, I added the ability to create custom elements and interactions that can be loaded from a file. The community at has really taken this feature and build some very neat physics. Go there and see some of what they've developed.

-Owen Piette

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:28 am
by emarti
very nice!

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:43 am
by Jorg
Very neat!

I must say what I do miss is a list of what elements actually mean. Now I am playing with Uranium and it does not seem to do anything.

Good job!

- Jorgen

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:57 am
by Jorg
Small additions / suggestions ...
I looked at the physics files a bit ..

1) Maybe a default physics file could be loaded from the application dir? Now i have to re load it all the time

2) Add something like this to the physics file;

# desc This material spawns plants spontaneausly.
# desc When fire is put on the wood, it will turn the wet wood into wood
# desc which will eventually burn when heated enough

WetWood 160 82 45 1 0 0 Eraser 0
WetWood Plant Plant 0.00000000001
Fire Wood Water 0.2
Wood WetWood WetWoood 0.2

In the GUI then show a description field that shows how the elements interact. This will help the creative minds to play around with it I think.

Is there a description of all fields in the physics file?

- Jorgen

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:53 pm
by opiette
I think you've pointed out the biggest bug: No User Help. I'm working on that. :)

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:31 pm
by Jorg
It's great how dedicated you work on it. I subscribed to the forum, and played with the materials a bit. It is very neat how people are so enthousiastic!

- Jorgen

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:36 pm
by Ksmith22
opiette wrote:I think you've pointed out the biggest bug: No User Help. I'm working on that. :)
Yeah, I went to and looking over the material descriptions, there were quite a few interactions I didn't know about, like how sand destroys sprouts. So user help would definately be a good thing.