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Spindizzy Dimensions

Platform: Iso Realms Engine (Linux, Windows, Mac)
Year: 2007-2009 (Prototype), 2009-current (Iso Realms)
Status: In development (Alpha)
Languages:C++ (Spindizzy modules), Lua (Event definition)


Spindizzy Dimensions is a remake of the classic open-world puzzle computer game Spindizzy, originally developed by Paul Shirley in 1986 for various 8-bit home computers..

In addition to providing a playable modern remake of an 80's cult classic videogame, the Spindizzy Dimensions project also functions as a case study for the development of the Iso Realms game engine, enabling a practical approach to the implementation of engine features.

The decision to remake Spindizzy was chosen for several reasons, but primarily to avoid the introduction of the complication of adding an original game design into the project, as well as the simplicity of recreating its assets (textures, models, etc.) so that development effort can be highly concentrated towards Iso Realms engine features rather than artistic effort.

Finally, the Iso Realms engine naturally enables the creation of user-generated content via the Development Environment in the simple "World Builder" mode.

Spindizzy Dimensions, in combination with the Iso Realms engine on which it is based, is hosted at SourceForge.net and is licensed under the terms of the GPL v.3.0


You are cartographer for undiscovered worlds; your task is to explore and map all areas of the recently discovered strange dimension of Hangworld. In order to complete your task, you take control of GERALD; a vehicle used in exploration of other worlds. However, fuel is expensive and funding can only be supplied as long as progress is being made, so it is vital to explore new areas and recover jewels.

Spindizzy Dimensions Features

- Built on Iso Realms, a high performance multi-threaded C++ game engine
- High resolution hardware accelerated OpenGL 3D graphics
- Non-linear open world environment
- Multiple camera angles and map overview mode to monitor game progress
- Combination of arcade style platforming and puzzle solving gameplay
- Scoring system based on speed to encourage competitive high scoring
- Scrolling world enabling the player to see surrounding zones
- Classic mode closely emulates the feel of the original game
- Spindizzy World creating and editing via usage of the Iso Realms "World Builder" tool

Development History (Prototype)

Spindizzy Dimensions began as an exercise in OpenGL to recreate a scene from the Commodore 64 version of Spindizzy in high resolution. This particular game was chosen for it's natural 3D appearance, as well as the simplicity of its graphics that enabled the quick development of the scene without any significant artistic effort.

The resulting scene was sufficiently satisfying that I decided to expand upon it by enabling the scene to be modified using simple editing functions. These editing features eventually grew sufficiently capable that I was able to recreate the entire Spindizzy map fairly quickly, in addition to several custom maps used in testing.

Once the maps had been created, the final natural step was to implement gameplay functionality, allowing the maps to be played.

Development History (Iso Realms Engine)

After fighting with the limitations imposed by the specific implementation of the Spindizzy game, I decided that the game would benefit from the use of a reusable and modular engine. This lead to the conception of the Iso Realms engine.

As the Spindizzy Dimensions prototype was not written in a modular way, the development of Iso Realms required functionality to be modularised and generalised. Much functionality was also ported from hard-coded C++ classes to embedded Lua scripts.

The move to Iso Realms allowed many more possibilities with regards to editing and game building: assets are no longer limited to specific colours, textures, etc., and embedded Lua scripting allows event functionality to be customised (e.g. switches can do other things aside from activating lifts and platforms).

Video Demonstrations and Screenshots

On the righthand side of this page, you can view various video demonstrations and screenshots of Spindizzy Dimensions in both the prototype version and the Iso Realms implementation.

Further videos and screenshots in specific relation to Iso Realms engine and editing tools can be viewed at the Iso Realms project page.

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