Bithack’s Apparatus and Tesla Plushies

I was contacted by Emil from Bithack today. He told me about two games they produced over the last couple of months, named Tesla Plushies and Apparatus. Here are game play videos. Thanks to for the Apparatus videos (<3).

I’m seriously highly impressed by both games. Tesla Plushies is a very interesting game mechanic executed pretty well, and Apparatus just blew me away with it’s stencil shadows. Here’s the super awesome mail i received from Emil.

Hi Mario,

Thank you for your great library. I’d like to inform you that my company has just released a game using your library.
Your library has helped our small team (ok I admit, “we” are just 1 person) develop this game very swiftly thanks to the possiblity of testing the game directly on the PC.
This is also my first Java project (long time C-developer, OpenCL-enthusiast and OO-hater) and I think by using your library I could kick-start myself into Java by having an OpenGL window ready to test stuff.

Development on Apparatus began 1.5 months ago after having released a small test-game, Tesla Plushies. This game is also based on libgdx.

Please check out Apparatus, some of the stuff in it I’m very proud of, like the optimized shadow rendering. The shadow rendering even works at 30 fps on the i7500 with a decent amount of objects on screen. The fill rate of the stencil buffer actually isn’t that bad compared to the fill rate of the render buffer! Though you have to modify libgdx and the gles init to include a stencil buffer, which was for some reason explicitly not enabled on the i7500 in the init code. You might want to modify the i7500 special case to include at least a 1-bit stencil buffer.

The shadow rendering uses a very fast silhouette mesh approximation algorithm. The shadows are then rendered back and front to the stencil buffer and finally a semi-transparent quad is rendered over the screen and against the stencil buffer. I might post the shadow stuff to the libgdx forums some time, though I’m not sure other people would benefit from such ad-hoc-optimized algorithms.

I’m very impressed by some features in your library, such as the VERY fast buffer copy when working with vertex data.

On the other hand, now that the NDK has matured my greatest wish of returning to C will finally come true. This means no more libgdx for my part… I hope Apparatus at least get’s a decent amount of success, so that I can continue with game development. I will also try to get more involved in libgdx by helping noobs out on the forums. libgdx helped me establish my company and I am really thankful for the time you have put down on the lib. Do you have a donation button somewhere? You should get one because I will use it if Apparatus is successful. And considering the success of partially similar games like X construction, things look bright. Time will tell.

The game works best on tablets. Though it runs fine at 60fps on high end phones and fine at 30fps on some low-end phones.

Some comments by users (your library is THE reason why these users can enjoy this game):

by Zetar (May 14, 2011)
Wow, just wow. Best game on Android hands down! Remains me of the game Phun but with much better graphic quality.

by John (May 13, 2011)
Excellent game Perfect if you like to be creative av build contraptions. Love the sandbox mode. Worth every penny.

by Cresho (May 11, 2011)
Fun puzzle game. If you are a tinkerer, get this.

by oliback (May 11, 2011)
Best game on the android platform!

Thanks Mario and congratulations to the success of your book as well.

Best regards,
Emil Romanus
Bithack AB

Incredibly good job Emil, we love you too 😀 To bad he’s leaving for C land again, but at least he made two totally awesome games with libgdx we can put in our gallery.

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