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Category: Art

Hey, 🙂

I have worked hard on Grappling Hook in the last week, because I will have no time to work on it in the next 7 days. I have to learn for my exam. But I can hardly wait to build new levels and work on the final tasks. 🙂

Last Changes:

  • I use Geometry Instancing for the rendering of most parts of the level now. This improved the game performance alot, because the number of draw-calls is heavly reduced. This had many small side effects I had to fix. But it `s done now. 🙂
  • Height shading is now implemented with a shader. Height shading means, that everything that is below your position will be darker and everything that is above will be brigher. This supports orientation. You can see the effect on the screenshot.
  • Heiko, a game developer and good friend, played the game and gave me a lot feedback. Based on his feedback I made many small changes to improve the game and interface. Thank you Heiko. 🙂
  • I worked again on the sound and textures of the electric trap.

Grappling Hook - Height Shading

Hey, 🙂
the end of development comes closer. There is still work to do, but I think it will take less than four weeks. In the next month I will have my last exam and have to learn for it at least seven days. I hope, that I can release a public demo of Grappling Hook at the end of July. 🙂

Latest Changes:

  • many small improvements and fixes based on the last play-test
  • controls for left-handed players
  • fixed the last major issues in the physics system
  • recreated the electricity trap
  • added a space-skybox
  • new options menu to change mouse sensitivity, sound volume and graphics settings

Screenshot of the new electricity trap:

Electricity Trap

Hey, 🙂

I finished the turrets and added a full-screen damage indicator.

It took me quite a long time to create model, textures, sounds and laser-effect for the turret. Coding the AI and animation was done in a few hours.

The turret rotates independently on two axes and fires every 2-3 seconds a railgun-lasershot. Before every shot you can hear the laser charging. This gives you a chance to dodge or hide. You can not destroy the turrets, because Grappling Hook is a non-violent game. 😉 So you have to hide or keep moving. I think that supports the agile gameplay.


Should the turret have a real voice or beep like R2D2?

Hey, 🙂 I worked on the menu in the last days:

  • Picked a better font
  • designed the logo and the 2 most important menu-screens
  • started to implement a small UI-System for the game

This is the main-menu:

Grappling Hook - Main Menu

And this is screen, where you can see your progress in the game and select the level you want to play: ( Every level will have its own thumbnail in the final version)

Grappling Hook - Level Overview

Any suggestions? 🙂

Hey, 🙂 except playing Mass Effect 😉 , i worked on the HUD of Grappling Hook:

  • new font
  • new crosshair
  • recreated textures
  • new models for pickups, checkpoint and the teleporter

So I almost finished the visual stuff.
Now I will concentrate on an overview map, new levels and the story.

Screenshot: 🙂

Hey, 🙂 it has been a while since the last update. So what has changed?

  • 4 play-tests with fresh testers ( Thank you Alex, Vasil, Heiko and Aaron 🙂 )
  • helmet for the player, so he doesn´t hurt himself when crashing with his head against the ceiling 😉
  • higher field of view to improve the sense of speed and overview
  • animated grappling device
  • many small improvements
  • feedback-polishing

Here is a current screenshot:

I’m still working on textures and the hud right now.

Hope you like it. 🙂

Hey, 🙂 in the last days I worked on the visuals of the game. I looked for a new visual style, which looks cool, fits to the target-group and the game and is easy to do for me. My biggest inspirations were Tron, Matrix and Star Wars.

Till now I have added a bloom-shader to the rendering, created new textures (some are animated now) with GIMP and created a model for the grappling hook bolts with Blender.

Here is a screenshot of the first level with new textures. There are still a couple of textures I have to recreate.

What do you think of the new style?

Do you have cool ideas how I can improve it?

There are some more information about the Grappling Hook game and it´s status on this page.

Graphics and story making good progress. After my last play-test with a 3d artist I had a long talk with him, what can be done to improve the graphics of the game in an economical way.  I had a look at concept art of Star Wars, Blade Runner and some other Sci-Fi-Worlds to gather new ideas for the visual design and created some (poor coder-style 😉 ) sketches. With that in my hands I looked at some free 3D modeling tools, which I already used a bit some years ago.

Wings 3D: This is easy to use and has a clean interface, but it crashed on my machine a few times. It also has no support for animations.

GMax: This is a slim version of 3D Studio Max. When you are firm with 3D Studio Max it is easy to use. It is a bit buggy, the development was stopped in 2005 and the only way to export stuff is with a MD3-export plugin. It is also not clear if it is allowed to use the models created with this in your own game.

Blender: In the first two hours I swear about the interface, but with some time you can habituate. Blender has a strong community, runs stable and has all features that are needed for creating game models and animations. It also has an own game engine and uses Python as a scripting language, which is very cool.

Because Blender is the only free 3d modeling tool which is actually stable and suitable for game development I spend more time with it and created a new bolt for the grappling hook device. Currently it is not ingame, because a texture is missing and I am not proud enough of it to show you a screenshot. ^^

I also had a look at graphics shader programming. Within the next days I will probably add a Screen Space Ambient Occlusion shader to improve the visual quality and give some more depth clues. I hope this will be a good way to fake shadows. Screen Space Ambient Occlusion is analyzing the differnces of the depth-buffer for every pixel and some random neighbours, to calculate a new brightness for the pixel.