As part of a game programming competition, two members of the FieryMUD administration whom I had worked with and I got together to create Hedge Mage. The game itself was meant to be simple - it was an overhead view puzzle games set in a maze of hedges.

The project

The game was an overhead-view puzzle game. The player had to make his way through the maze of hedges to collect all the "rune fragments" on the level, while avoiding the monsters, which would seek the shortest path to the player. The game was written in C++ in Visual Studio, and used OpenGL and OpenAL for its video and audio.

The first several levels were hand created, including one fairly challenging puzzle, and one where timing was the key to success. However, due to time constraints, the remainder of the game consisted of randomly generated levels. The generator attempted to keep a fair balance of open space and walled off areas, and made sure that monsters were kept sufficiently far away that the player could at least react before they were defeated.

Each level consisted of a number of rune-fragments that you had to collect to move on. Besides the runes, power-ups are also scattered about the world. Fireballs let you roast enemies to a crisp, eliminating them; Gardening shears allow you to cut down some hedges, allowing a hasty retreat; Sunlight causes a hedge to grow instantaneously in a direction of your choosing, and finally the Sand of Time cause all of the monsters to stop moving, allowing you to sneak past.

My role

I created most of the framework for the game. I created the basic OpenGL code to display the different "squares" on the board, including animation, as well as OpenAL to play a .wav file (although we only got around to implementing a single sound effect at startup). I also created the framework for determining what happens when two game elements interact, as well as several of the interactions.

The results

Unfortunately, we didn't even make the finals of the competition with our submission. However, we had a lot of fun creating the game, and I still have a copy installed on one of my computers to this day.