Light Racer 3D - Days 12-14 - A Frantic Race to the Finish

Light Racer 3D is complete! So much happened in the past 3 days that it's very difficult to write about one thing. I had decided on about day 9 to try to get Light Racer 3D finished in time for the Android Developer's Contest 2. It was a very ambitious goal, especially because that game was only partially working with about 25% of its total content just a day before. For 6 days I slept only about 4 hours per night and only took breaks when I absolutely had to. The hard work paid off because on Monday, Aug 31, we finished the game, submitted a trial version to the ADC and put the full version online on the Android market. I'm happy with how the game turned out, despite our lack of real artistic capability. While there are still a few bugs which will be fixed in a future version, the overall feel is good and the game is really fun.

Day 12 - What was done:

Added code in to render power emitters
Modeled electricity
Rendered electricity for basic power lines
Modeled/textured the portal
Rendered power box
Rendered laser cannon
Rendered laser
Render portals
Made explosion rendering much quicker using 512x512 tiled texture for all frames of animation
Rendered BigExplosion, spin around during them then view from side and drive off.
Added loading screen
Fixed resource releasing issues
Shaded racer textures and reduced size to 256
Changed decimator texture

Day 13 - What was done:

Stopped screen dimming on game activity
Fixed bug w/only human player losing
handles activity lifecycle changes better (currently getting black screen)
Created new logo
Added LR3D to leaderboard server
Updated OnlineGateway to use LR3D leaderboard
Updated instructions
Fixed bugs in multiplayer, tested all configurations
Limited game to 50 speeds.
Switched soundpool to actually stop looping streams and no longer re-init (was hacked for Android 1.0/1.1)
Configured levels for campaign modes
Fixed performance issues with Medium and Hard AI
Added tilt-view as a preference with a warning
Tested leaderboard server for both LRE and LR3D
Added a little depth to frustum (looked weird when blacked out triangles on back wall on rotate)
Designed new main menu logo and background
Designed new app icon
Changed all menus to landscape

Day 14 - What was done:

Changed button border colors and button text color to match new aesthetics
Put in New Music
Finished custom backgrounds for result screens
Put in yet another new icon
Created trial version of the game for ADC2
Did final tests of both the regular and trial version


I apologize for not documenting these days better. We were in such a hurry and were totally sleep deprived so writing about the project was just not a priority. We weren't sure if we were going to have time to do all new menu graphics or music but by Monday morning we were done with all critical components so we decided to go for it. The music is all original by me, written a few years ago. My brother and I worked on the menu graphics for a few hours and he came up with the idea for the app icon. He said, "Make the racer coming out of the portal," so that's what it is.

The electricity is 7 models. I made the models, put each one as an object, which translated to a group in the obj file, so they can all be in one file. They are all centered on 0,0 but are at the same Z as the emitter tops so that makes it easy to render because I only have to transform them to the same x,y.

here's how all of the electricity models look when rendered at the same time:

Power Model MessPower Model Mess

I also had to do something really quick to make the laser work because there wasn't time to do anything right. The model has 3 objects, a base, cannon and laser. The renderer transforms to the base location, renders the base, then rotates and renders the cannon and the laser if the laser is on. Here's how the model looks in the tool:

Laser Cannon FiringLaser Cannon Firing

Once we got all of that working, the portals were fairly easy. Figuring out what to make them look like was the hard part but Dan came up with an idea to make them look like there are portal emitters floating over them and the portals themselves are a weird plasma looking thing. I think it worked out really well. I like how they look and it's fun to drive in to them and come out somewhere else.

Finally there were the menu graphics. Here's the first concept for the main menu:

Main Menu Concept 1Main Menu Concept 1

But that didn't look right. I messed around with perspectives, then settled on one that goes up toward the top center but sits squared up more with the buttons. That still didn't look right and I didn't like the gap on the upper left so I came up with an idea for putting the racer on there. Here's the next iteration:

Main Menu Trial 2Main Menu Trial 2

The perspective didn't seem right and the colors were off so once that was corrected, we ended up with this - which is the final menu that is in the game now:

Main Menu FinalMain Menu Final

Here's a video of the first 6 levels of an easy campaign and then 6 or so of speed mode.

Thanks to everyone for your support. Game development is hard and doesn't pay well. We do it because we love making games. I hope you try and enjoy Light Racer 3D. It will be in the ADC2 so if you like it, please vote accordingly!

We'd also love your feedback. We had no time to do any kind of a testing process so there may be some parts of that game that people just don't like. It's hard to please everyone but we try so if you send us your feedback and we get an overwhelming response in one direction or another, we'll make adjustments for an update.

Update - 10-16-2009:

6 weeks after the 1.0 release, we've finally finished version 1.2. Details can be found here -

Here's the v1.2 demo video.


Post a comment here or discuss this and other topics in the forums

one thing you could add to the 3d version

As Ian said, this development journal is inspiring. Great job!
Just wanted to mention one thing you could add to the 3D version
so player to add to the classic feeling. You could add a mini map so they
could know where they are going and plan their next move.
Just my two cents.


Nice chin. ;)

Nice chin. ;)


Thank you so much for documenting your efforts in such detail. I read your journal from beginning to end during a few (overly long) lunch breaks. I'm working on my first Android game myself, so it was a compelling read.

As soon as I get a blog running on my own server, I'll start journalling too. Your work will definitely serve as an inspiration!

(Due to switching banks I don't have a working credit card right now, but I'll buy a copy of LR as soon as I can.)

Great! Keep me posted!

Great! Keep me posted!


I really like the game and appreciate the effort you have been putting in to try and help people understand how to develop games. It has inspired me to develop my own games for the Android platform, you are indeed a star!

Thank you! I'm really happy

Thank you! I'm really happy that you've found inspiration here. Make sure to post your game when you're done so we can all check it out!

Very Crazy

Hi man,

Thank you for the gift.

Is a nice work, and I'll do this tutorial.


This is not a Tutorial.


Correct. It is a development

Correct. It is a development journal that contains bits of wisdom from the experience.

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