Sixth Age: A New Spirit

Anonymous Oct 25, 2005 at 14:00


During the last three semesters of school at the Art Institute of Vancouver | Burnaby students are required to team together and build a game using their combined knowledge of programming, art, design and sound. Most teams use the Unreal engine and build a mod for their project, but our team decided to build our game from the ground up, using no pre-built engine. With lots of doubt surrounding our group and with only a single programmer we went to work….and work we did. For nine months our team of ten students spent night and day, mostly night, working away on Sixth Age.

In the end it all paid off as we were left with an amazing project that blew everyone away. We’ve now taken our game and entered it into the IGF competition as well as the Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker competition.

A bit about the game:
Sixth Age offers deep game play that is easy to learn yet hard to master for casual and die hard strategy fanatics. Players choose from a diverse selection of playable characters, each one possessing unique spells and abilities. Then utilizing chess-like strategy on a hex based grid, players use a selection of melee weapons and magical attacks to devestate their apponent. Victory will prevail to those who utilize the tactical advantage that each member of their army offers.

You can find a demo as well as more screenshots and information at my website here.

Engine features:
* Graphics
- DirectX 9.0b
- Vertex and Pixel Shaders 2.0
- Supports full-screen post-processsing effects.
- Support for normal mapping of static | animated meshes.
- Character animation via matrix palette skinning with vertex shaders.
- Advanced particle system, fully customizable through the Particle Editor.

* Terrain:
- 128x128 grid with no LOD
- Octree for fast culling of terrain
- Four texture layers + one lightmap over the whole terrain
- Create and modify, then save and load in game with Terrain Editor

* Input & Sound:
- DirectInput for mouse | keyboard control.
- FMOD used for loading | playing .wav, .ogg, .mp3 files.

* Sky:
- Dynamic sky-sphere that cycles from day-to-night, using just a small 128x128 texture.
- Skybox encloses sky-sphere so stars | planets can be seen.

13 Replies

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roel 101 Oct 25, 2005 at 14:04

very impressive! great job!

Sagor 101 Oct 25, 2005 at 14:59


TheNut 179 Oct 25, 2005 at 17:06

I downloaded and tried your game but it crashed on startup, which I’m guessing is due to your engine’s reliance on shader support. I tried Swift Shader and it only helped get me up to the splash screen, but still no luck.

corey 101 Oct 25, 2005 at 18:24

Interesting game. How come the winning team gets all the turns in the end?


rgaule 101 Oct 25, 2005 at 18:26

The requirments for the game are:
2.0 Ghz CPU
512 RAM
DirectX 9 Compliant Video Card with vertex/pixel shader 2.0 support.

Thanks for all the compliments.

  • Ryan Gaule
NomadRock 101 Oct 25, 2005 at 20:56

Interesting use of hex terrain. Is this turn based? I was unable to view your site since it apparently is totally flash.

Methulah 101 Oct 25, 2005 at 23:14

Crazy! This looks like an amazing game and a very worthwhile project! Well done to all involved, and it looks like the hard work really payed off.

corey 101 Oct 26, 2005 at 01:01

What causes the 512mb minimum requirement?


rgaule 101 Oct 26, 2005 at 01:50

The 512 ram ensures a nice smooth playing experience, however my home computer will run the game with 256 and only a 1ghz cpu. As for why the winning team gets all the turns in the end was probably just a strange coincidence in your game. Depending on how many Action Points each character uses per-turn will result in a longer wait for their next turn.

Yes the game is stricly turn-based, but given more time we’d love to make a variation that wasn’t! The hex-grid is just overlaid on the terrain and controls movement/defense/collision. As well my web page is strictly in flash (surpised you don’t have it!) but if you want to download the game you can go to this link here: which won’t require flash.

-Ryan Gaule

NomadRock 101 Oct 26, 2005 at 16:29

Oh how a great many of us wish we had a team of artists to follow our projects :)

corey 101 Oct 26, 2005 at 16:34

Well, it ran perfectly fine for me although I was hoping for a 1920x1200 mode!

The animation and targetting effects worked great. The zoom controls threw me off a little but not unuable for gameplay.

The defense and other ground overlay were interesting … do they work on single planes only?


rgaule 101 Oct 27, 2005 at 04:12


The hex-grid overlay conforms with the terrain. Each hex is made up of a triangle fan with with all vertices positioned at the same height of the terrain. When rendering I render the hex-grid with z-buffer off so there is no clipping between them and the terrain.


Yeah our artists/modelers/animators did an awesome job. Couldn’t have asked for anyone better.

_6_a 101 Oct 27, 2005 at 19:59

I just played this game and have to say I think this is amazing. Very well done. I’m building a hexagonal based TBS too, but its nothing as good as this!

Are you planning on finishing the game off by adding an A.I component and releasing it as shareware or something?