Town Hall Toaster

Written by Scott D. Nelson
Copyright (C) 2003 ScottTown Software



To help feed the Hungry Taxpayers, Town Hall has been turned into a Giant Toaster!

The longer you cook the toast, the more money you will raise. But cooking it for too long will burn it!

Eject the cooked toast onto one of the giant rotating plates. Only one piece of toast can fit on a plate.

A golden brown piece of toast is worth up to $1000. But once it starts to burn, it will quickly lose value.

Try to beat all four fantastic levels: Toast, Waffles, Bagels and Pop Tarts!

Use the 'Change Angle' feature to view Downtown and your plates from several different angles.

Use the XRay feature to see through Town Hall, so that you can see just how cooked your toast is. Good luck!



F R E E   G A M E   D O W N L O A D

Download toast.zip (2.7 megs)
After you have played the game, review the game and I'll post it on my website! Tell me if you liked it, if you didn't like it, etc.
E-Mail your review to TobyQuan@Hotmail.com

This game works on Windows XP and Windows 7

Screenshots

This is the main title screen. Different toaster treats come flying out of the toaster as the instructions are displayed on the screen.
Here you can see different pieces of toast on the plates. The longer you cook them, the darker they become. A golden brown piece is worth up to $1000. However, a totally burnt piece is worth $0.
On Level 2, there are schoolbuses that take the waffles away. These buses run for ScottTown Elementary Schools.
Many of the messages in the game are conveyed through signs on the buses.
Since this giant piece of bread landed on the ground, nobody wants to eat it, so the city bus takes it away.
Here a bagel is seen being gently lowered into the toaster.
There are different views that you can look from in the game. This particular view is from inside of the Toaster. Notice the Light Rail cars on the tracks awaiting bagels that will miss the plates and land on the ground. There is also an XRay feature that lets you see through the toaster walls.
Here on level 4, a group of limos is seen pulling away a pop tart.
If you can beat all 4 levels, then you'll get to see a super surprise ending! I won't give it away, but let's just say it involves a bus driver who is not afraid of heights!


Interview with Uber Game Developer Scott Nelson

Where did you get the idea for the Town Hall Toaster game?

Well, many people say that the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis looks like a toaster. One day I was walking through it and the thought of making a toaster game out of it just popped into my head.

How did you make all of those buildings?

The main buildings used in this game are true Minneapolis Landmarks. Here is a link to more information about the actual buildings themselves:

Minneapolis City Hall

HC Government Center

To make the 3D models, I bought a 3D-modeling program for about $50 called ď3D CanvasĒ. It took me awhile to really get the hang of it, but now Iím pretty good at it. My first game (Jaiden Bubbles) only used simple 3D objects like a sphere and a cube, but this game uses totally custom 3D models that I made all by myself. I made models of the toast, the toaster, the buses, the light rail, etc.

The first step in making a 3D model is to define the structure. There's actually lots of math used in the making of models like these.
Second, you add color to the model.
To add more realism to the model, I added bitmapped images to the walls of this building.
This is the wireframe model of the Government Center.
Here's what it looks like when it is all said and done.
To make the model of the piece of bread, I actually put down a piece of bread on graph paper, traced it, and put its coordinates into the 3D modeling program. The only problem I had is that one side of my real bread was perfect, and the other side was kind of squished (you know how bread is). To achieve a perfect 3D bread model, I simply based both sides of my model on the good side of bread... and then I ate it.
To make the holes in the waffle model, I had to make several square models that I placed in the positions that the holes would go. Once they were placed, I subtracted the pegs from the waffle.
Here's the final waffle model.

How did you make a computer video game?

I used a new computer programming language called DarkBasic to make the game. Itís a fantastic language that is easy to use, and very powerful. Traditionally, video games are built using C or C++, but both of those languages are very difficult to use (in my opinion). With DarkBasic, you can load an object on the screen and spin it around with only 5 lines of code. With C++, that would take at least a page or two of computer code.

Hereís a screen shot of some of the computer code. This is the code that makes the toast get darker in the toaster.

How long did this game take to make?

I would guess that I spent perhaps 120 hours making this game. Half of the time was making the 3D models, and the other half of the time was in the actual game programming. The thing that took the longest was the making of the 22 rows of windows that are in the Government Center model. Since it took so long, I would only do about two rows a day.

What was the hardest part about making this game?

The math! You donít have to get too far into game development before you have to deal with math! This game uses lots of formulas. In the intro of each level, the buses slow down so that you can read the sign on their side. Their speed was controlled by the y-intercept formula of a line.

I had to use the formula for a circle a couple of times in the game (thatís the formula that uses sine and cosine to determine the x and y points of a circle based upon the angle). For instance, when a piece of bread lands on a plate that already has a piece of bread on it, the extra piece would bounce off in a circlular fashion. Those coordiantes all had to be calculated at run time.

So if you plan to get into video game development, have a math book handy!

Another challenge in making a game like this is that you really have to have clean, well-organized code. That is really hard to do! Game Development can be just as complex (if not more complex) than making business software. This game uses about 60 different 3D objects, and each one of them have to be placed, sized, and animated. The 3D movement was pretty hard to do, because I didn't have any expensive high-tech 3D animation software to help me out. So I had to calculate out where everything should be and how it would move, and hard-code the number data into the application.

Did everything go as planned during the game development?

Not really. Itís just like anything in real life. You can start out with a plan, but things change, and along the way you hit roadblocks. You either have to compromise or else you can never move forward.

I originally wanted the toaster building to tilt downwards and shoot the toast out, but that just didnít seem to work out. I finally got the building to tilt down, but the toast didnít move down evenly with it, and it looked bad, so that idea had to be scrapped.

Another thing I wanted to do was to put moving cars into the game that would drive down the street. I even made a 3D model of my own car, but I just decided that the game would have been too busy with cars running all over the place. With the spinning plates, the game is already busy enough, in my opinion.

How did you make the music for the game?

I created the music using my Groovebox (Roland MC-303) sequencer. Itís a pretty sweet machine, and it specializes in house/tecno music. I bought it back in seven years ago when I used to be in a rap group.

The music was the last thing to go into the game. The song I made for this game probably isn't the best fit for this kind of game. As you play the game to this dance music, you might expect a disco ball to be hanging overhead! Since there aren't to many games in the "Shoot toast out of a building" genre yet, I didn't have a lot of musical direction. But it works. The music is upbeat and a little catchy. I made each level's music change just a little. It's the same notes, but in each level, a different instrument gets the focus.

I wanted to change the music between levels, but there was no easy way to fade from one song into another. To solve the problem, I just faded the volume down on one sound before the next one would play. It came out sounding great!

What do you like better, playing video games or making video games?

Well, thatís a toss up. The love of video games definitely flows through my veins. I love playing video games, but just as much do I love making them.

In 6th grade, our class was learning the LOGO computer langauge for the Apple ][. When everyone else was using it to draw a tree, I was using it to make a Tic Tac Toe game. I still remember the time when I figured out how to draw a circle in LOGO. I was in the bathroom in 6th grade, and the revelation came to me: "Draw one little line, and turn right one degree. Repeat this 360 times." Well, I was right! That is how you draw a circle!

In 9th grade, I made a very low-resolution horse racing game on the Commodore 64. My mom saw it, and she thought that I typed the program out of a magazine, and I had to convice her that I made it up all by myself.

In C programming class in college, we got to make any program we wanted for our final project. While other students made boring programs to manage VHS tapes or to manage customer orders, I used the C compiler to make a video game that lets you walk through a dungeon in search of treasure! I got an A for sure, and I think I blew everyone else away!

What are your favorite video games?

I like Grand Theft Auto 3 (even better then Vice City), Tetris, and Tom Clancyís Splinter Cell. I actually like arcade games the best, because they are short and sweet. You can start playing right away without a whole lot of reading and learning. Instant gratification.

What games are you going to make next?

I would like to make more downtown Minneapolis games using the buildings and city buses that I have made already. Perhaps a pong game between the buildings.


Scott can be reached at TobyQuan@Hotmail.com


Scott's Game Library

TItleRelease DateDescription
Jaiden Bubbles6/23/2001Pop the Bubbles, Save the Aquarium!
Town Hall Toaster9/24/2003Cook Giant Toast to feed the Hungry Taxpayers!
Invaders From Earth1/2/20042003 DarkBasic Alien Compo Entry
A Time to Warp8/7/2004Acoders Indie Game Making Competition 2004 Entry
3D Primeleon1/30/2005January 2005 DarkBasic Primitives Competition Entry
The Adventures of Sugar Pup10/26/2011Help Sugar Pup Collect Points
Galaxxor9/9/2013Space Shooter with tons of perks
Blue Igloo10/22/2013A Guinea Pig, a Map, and a Blue Igloo
Heartland Mystery4/20/2016Heartland Ranch Mystery Game!




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