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Old-school MissionX is a blast

When you have a passion for both Java programming and old-school videogames, what do you do when your school gives you a year to produce a project? If you’re Italian developer Federico Dossena, you whip up MissionX, an old-school 2-D space shooter inspired by games like Lifeforce on the Nintendo and Vanguard Ace on the PC.

Dossena says he programmed 100% of the game’s code and about 30% of its game engine. “I also helped my friends make the levels.” To create the game he used NetBeans (“because is the best IDE in my opinion”), the EasyWay game engine (“because I was working on it with a friend”), and the GIMP (“because it’s free”).

Since the year is now up and he had to turn in the project to his school, Dossena also released it on SourceForge as well. He says, “If I release the game as open source, someone might improve the code, make the game better, or just take a look at how I made things such as emitters, parallax effects, and so forth. I chose SourceForge because I wanted some visibility, so people will download the game, test it, and send me comments.”

MissionX may have just reached version 1.0, but Dossena and some of his friends are already developing two other games. “One is a platformer similar to Castlevania and the other is a kind of Arkanoid but with tons of cool weapons and powerups. This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to release other versions of MissionX; I’m actually planning a mod for this summer and a new version with improved Mac OS X support – though I need someone who can test it and compile a starter, because I don’t have a Mac. People will see the availability of a new version through the auto updater included in MissionX. If someone wants to help with development, they should just send me an e-mail and I’ll do my best to teach them how to use EasyWay and all the other stuff.”

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