bSerene is a first person shooter with artificial life monsters. When the game was released, it was ahead of its time: Monsters that are placed randomly in the game arenas, then self-organize themselves into groups that hunt down the player - all game objects can be destroyed, and objects can also be placed by the player - very intelligent flocking and pathfinding routines - monsters that evolve to adapt to a players style of play. In some respects this is still a cutting edge game, but game AI has improved much in the last years, and you will see smarter monsters than these in some current games.

The game arenas are 3D-worlds rendered with Microsoft's Direct3D technology. Such games normally are difficult to program because the fullscreen mode does not allow the display of debugging information on the same machine. We have overcome this problem by writing the program so that it runs windowed in debug mode, and fullscreen in release mode. If you just get into game programming, you can use that as a template for your own projects, even if you throw out the rest of our code.

We have not tried to compete with the current crop of first-person shooters by creating a world that looks very much like the real world, but have focused on creating a game world where everything you see is significant and might have an influence on what you do next. Fighting in one arena typically lasts 10 to 20 minutes, and during this time your attention is fully engaged. You can take a look at our screenshots to get an idea what the game is like visually. However, having played other shooter games does not prepare you for our monsters, who don't look like much (being made up of 9 polygons each) but whose behavior quite lifelike. If you want to get good at fighting them, you will have to observe their behavior until you understand what makes them tick, and you can manipulate them. This is a unique challenge, and you can look forward to some engaging gaming. Have Fun !


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