Remember the amazing, jaw-dropping, Shockwave 3D first person shooter (FPS) demo that surfaced last year just prior to GDC? The game was called Phosphor Alpha and it was created by Nick Kang of Rasterwerks. Well, he's done it again.
Phosphor Beta 1 kicks the action into high gear by including multiplayer deathmatch functionality. And it all runs within the convenience of your browser(!), provided you have a computer with a fast processor, DirectX or OpenGL installed, and with a nice video card. Here is what Nick recommends:
Recommended for playback: 1.6+ MHz CPU, 64+ MB video card, Internet Explorer 6, Shockwave 10, Enhancer Xtra required for mouselook, fullscreen.
His recommendations are not requirements, however. I was able to run this amazing piece of work on my measly G4 Mac laptop in Firefox using OpenGL. To play using OpenGL, disregard the initial "DirectX 7 not found" dialog, choose Settings, then Video, then change DirectX to OpenGL and you're good to go.
Additional bullet points that follow are direct from Nick:
- Multiplayer deathmatch in a web browser
- Up to 8 players/bots/spectators per session (peer-to-peer with one player acting as host, using the MU Xtra). Instructions for setting up multiplayer.
- 3 player types with 3 skins each and about 30 anims each (created by the talented guys at AsorsonStudios.com)
- For a controls list, go to Settings/Controls. To re-map, click the box and press a key or mouse button (some keys like ESC and P are not-mappable). Make sure you check Save Settings so your customizations are restored next time.
- If you just want to wander about the world without being bothered, just click Start on the Main Menu (bot count defaults to 0)
- If you just want to watch, go to Settings, hit the Game tab, check Spectator, and add a few bots depending on the speed of your machine (try 3 for <2 MHz, 6 for >3 Mhz CPUs), click OK, then Start. The performance is pretty much CPU bound, due to collision, LOS tests, and projectiles, so the number of bots is the biggest framerate hit.
- In Spectator mode: SPACE = switch view, click+drag to orbit camera, cursor keys UP/Down/Left/Right = camera In/Out/Lower/Higher
- The background audio is an MP3 player, so you can play whatever URL you want (I only recently found out Shockwave doesn't throw that security dialog for this, nifty). To try it out, check Enable, and take a set from these temporary URLs (copy-n-paste into Track fields):
./Propellerheads - Spybreak! (Short One) - The Matrix - 02.mp3
./Rage Against The Machine - Wake Up - The Matrix - 13.mp3
./Prodigy - Mindfields - The Matrix - 07.mp3
./Rammstein - Du Hast - The Matrix - 12.mp3
./Marilyn Manson - Rock Is Dead - The Matrix - 01.mp3
Of course, you would only do so if you own The Matrix soundtrack CD ;-). Not particularly your taste of music? Have a listen to Tom's excellent interview last week at MagicGate
- tilde key brings up the console window, enter ? for list of commands; try "time 0.25" to make everything run sloooow ("time 1.0" = normal speed)
"Any feedback, bugs reports, suggestions (esp. concerning gameplay, map layout, etc.) are much appreciated. My goals are to clean up the bugs (esp. collision), get the networking more robust (such as reconnecting after a drop), improve the AI (fortunately the hard stuff like the waypoints and A* is done, needs a lot of tuning though), get more maps created, and even make a real website one day."
"Here's hoping the game is playable and perhaps fun, cheers!"
Very impressive stuff indeed. If you haven't had the opportunity to check out Nick's previous work, make sure you don't miss this one. As before, you never know when the testing period will end and the game is taken down.