New Voxel Based Game “Lexov”

So I’ve decided to take a little diversion from work on Caster… again… and make a small multiplayer voxel based shooter.  The development name is Lexov, but it will not ship with that name.

I have this trailer for Lexaloffle’s game Voxatron to blame for this diversion:

Pretty cool, eh?  Get more details here:

I’m targeting Xbox 360 via Xbox Indie Games.

Working on this game with C# on the 360 has some interesting problems that have been quite a bit of fun to try and overcome.  For example, say I have a 128 x 128 x 64 volume of voxels.  Simply walking across that volume of voxels requires over a million operations.  Doing one million operations alone in C# on the Xbox brings my frame rate down to less than 30 frames per second (just write a for loop and increment a local variable to see what I mean).

Here is an early version of Lexov where I am evaluating the voxel volume and adding the appropriate geometry for rendering:

Because of the performance issues with C# on the Xbox, I’ve had to get pretty creative in my approach.  I’ve started using approaches that reduce the number of operations that need to be done while favoring doing more work on the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).  For example, in C# on the 360, it’s faster to draw an extra million triangles to save several thousand instructions per frame.

Currently, I’m using several dynamic vertex buffers and updating changes to the buffers as they happen in the game rather than evaluating the entire voxel volume each frame.

One important difference when using this approach is that I no longer have to render cubes on voxel boundaries.  This breaks some of the retro feel from being a true voxel volume, but allows for much smoother movement.

At this point I had to ask myself what it was that I really wanted to do with this game.  I decided that what I really wanted was a simple fun destructible environment game at 60 frames per second on the Xbox 360.  As cool as evaluating a single voxel volume would have been, it was secondary in importance.

Still, it’s hard to sacrifice the simplicity and beauty of the single voxel volume approach.  In the end, I’m actually very happy to have sub voxel movement in the game.

Here are some more videos of progress I’ve made.

And earlier today:

I’m going to try and keep an active blog on my Lexov’s progress.  I’ve been debating if the extra time to write blog posts is worth it when I could spend that time working on the game.  I’ve decided that if I get extra feedback and community support from doing the posts, then it will make for a better game.  Caster is a great example of this.  Caster would have been pretty lame and boring were it not for the amazing feedback I got while showing the game off to friends and colleagues.

More details on the plans for game play and design forth coming.


Rainbow Ball into Adventure Submitted to XBox Indie Games!

Just submitted our family’s game off to Xbox Indie Games.

Hoping it hit’s the market before the holidays.

See final trailer below:

Rainbow Ball into Adventure!


I decided I needed to do right by my kids and finish up the game we’ve been working on here and there for about a year now.

We’re so close to finishing!

The game is called “Rainbow Ball into Adventure” and will be for Xbox Indie Games.

You can seem some older footage here:

Caster Fan Art

Here’s a little fan art I received from Ruairi Flynn (jhammo52).  He used some of the sketches found here ( as a base.

Great stuff!

He also has some great videos for Caster found here:

Thanks Ruairi!

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Caster Mac Update, New Trailer!

The Mac version of Episode 2 is now up!

Also, check out this fantastic trailer that Marco Herold made:

Just finishing up the iPhone version.  Should be submitting it tonight!

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New Character for Caster

When I first designed Caster, I wanted to have the option to play as a male or female character.  You can see that from these designs made in 2004.

Here’s a little run sequence I just finished for the new character in Caster.

I plan to include the new character in the next update on iPhone.

The character will of course also be available when I update the Desktop versions as well.


Caster – Lydonia Chronicles: Music Video Contest


To celebrate the upcoming release of Caster Episode 2, I have asked famed video game rapper Random (aka Mega Ran) ( to record a new theme:

Caster – Random (right click to Save As to your desktop).

I am looking to you awesome player/game videographers to put a sweet Caster vid to this score. So I am holding a competition to create a dynamite music video to accompany the theme song. The competition starts today and lasts through the end of July.  I will choose several finalists and let Caster enthusiasts vote on a winner!

Winner Receives:

  • Custom made Caster t-shirt
  • Piece of original Caster artwork
  • Credit in the game
  • Notoriety of having their music video used as promotional material and the intro for the iPhone version of the game.

Qualified Entrants Receive:

  • Caster iPhone or desktop wallpaper


  • You must only use Caster art or other art that you have a license to use.
  • You may add additional sound effects, but they should not obscure the base music track.
  • Keep it clean / family friendly.
  • Use the entire song.
  • Use the Caster title in the first part of the video.


  • Fast action.
  • Showing off the different attacks and abilities in the game.
  • Something that fits with the song.
  • Please use a high quality video compression scheme that is a fairly standard format.

When you have something ready that you’d like to submit, just e-mail me a link to where I can download the video (like a file share website) or write me to obtain access to my FTP server.

And that’s it!  Have fun!  I’m excited to see what you come up with!

Let me know if you have any questions:

Inspiration (some existing YouTube videos to check out):

Caster on iPhone Video

I was feeling a bit sick today, but the entire day was not a complete wash.

I went ahead and video taped me playing a level of Caster on the iPhone.  It should be out in April.  Until then, enjoy!

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