Astraware is behind another great game, this time it’s the best looking racing game the Palm OS has seen. Astrware is wearing the publisher hat this time, GTS was developed by Pazzazz, a small firm in France.
I had the opportunity to play an advance copy over the weekend and was quite impressed. There are a few rough spots, but Astrware will be releasing an updated version that supports high-res screens and improved audio. The upgrade will be free for all registrants.
So how do they make a fast scrolling game for the Palm?
Palms don’t have the kind of specialised display hardware that modern console or PC racing games like Mario Kart rely on, so GTS Racing Challenge has to use the CPU to create all elements of the display. This is a very tall order for the Palm’s Dragonball processor, and required radical coding methods to get game-quality performance. The heart of the software renderer, the DDA (Differential Digital Analyzer) module, was built from over 30,000 lines of assembly language, mechanically generated by a special-purpose compiler.
The result is a game engine that can display a high-definition texture-mapped track with scaled car and tree sprites, scrolling background and onscreen instruments, at 18-20 frames per second on a Palm m130.
GTS Racing Challenge Features:
- Fully textured track and skyline for unprecedented realism
Stunning 3D graphics engine
4 levels of difficulty, each with their own track layouts
Race across 8 exciting venues
Travel at blistering speeds in the Sports car, Coupe and Formula (Coupe and Formula cars in Registered version only)
Total of 32 different tracks available to race on
256 colour and 16 shade greyscale versions available
Razor sharp control using your choice of buttons or the Graffiti area
Four thrilling game modes, including Championship and arcade-style Challenge Cup (Registered only)
Free camera and car movement – power slide round corners, spin around and drive the wrong way or even just ‘doughnut’ on the spot if you want!
Pick up a free trial or purchase the full version for $17.95.
Requirements – Any Palm OS 3.5 or later device. Both color and mono versions.