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Spargus Vehicle Prototype

This is a 3D vehicle game prototype inspired by the gameplay and feel of the dune buggies in Jak 3.


Progress videos, newest to oldest:

I created a reference video so I could emulate the Jak 3 behavior. It gives you an idea what the inspiration and goal behavior is


Clone repository

Clone and init submodules for dependencies:

git clone --recurse-submodules

Set up build system

Jam is used to build the project. Install Jam:

sudo apt install jam

You will also need Blender 2.8 to build the 3D assets. For Ubuntu, 2.8 is not yet in the repository, so you should download it directly.

If you have a system install of Blender which is <2.8, you need to add sBLENDER=/path/to/blender2.8 to and jam invocations.

Build dependencies

Spargus uses several libraries:

  • Bullet 3: Physics, raycast vehicle
  • SFML: 2D graphics, debug 3D graphics, audio, input, window
  • Horde3D: 3D graphics
  • dear ImGui: Debug GUI/editors
  • glm: Math
  • tinyobjloader: .obj loading, for collision meshes
  • tracy: Profiling

Currently, SFML relies on system installs for its dependencies:

sudo apt install libopenal-dev libvorbis-dev libflac-dev libglew

Build the rest of the dependencies from source:

cd spargus-vehicle-prototype

Building with Debug symbols


Build Spargus

Finally, build Spargus. This builds both code and data assets.


Building with Debug symbols


Run Spargus

spargus_vehicle_prototype should be run in the root directory of the repository.

Dependency notes

SFML Setup

SFML is used for graphics, window, and input. I used my old base2.0 library to wrap SFML if I ever want to switch to SDL.

Running will build base2.0, which builds SFML from source. Currently, SFML relies on system installs for its dependencies:

sudo apt install libopenal-dev libvorbis-dev libflac-dev libglew

Bullet3 Setup

Spargus Vehicle Prototype uses Bullet3 for physics.

Build bullet3:

cd spargus-vehicle-prototype

Optional: Test the examples:


Asset pipeline

Create the asset in your desired modeling program

Add the asset to the Jamfile

Add textures to Jamfile

Run jam

This will build the assets only if necessary.

By hand: Export Collada and Wavefront Obj

Collada is used by Horde3D to display the mesh, while the Obj is used to create the collision mesh. The meshes can differ if desired (e.g. for a low-poly collision mesh). On export, ensure Triangulate Mesh and Apply Modifiers are checked.

Supporting programs

It takes many programs to make a game. This list serves as a working set of everything needed to create Spargus (with the exception of low-level operating system etc.).

Versions are in Italics. They indicate the last working version I used. It is not necessarily required to have the exact same version.

Asset creation

In order to create models, textures, and audio effectively, you need the following programs:

  • GIMP (2.8.22): Textures are created in GIMP and stored in GIMP’s .xcf format
  • Blender 2.82: Models and animations are created and stored in .blend. Make sure Collada .dae and Wavefront .obj exporting are enabled
  • Audacity: Audio creation/editing


Source to executable toolchain (Linux x86_64):

  • ClangFormat 6.0.0-1: Code format
  • Jam 2.6: Build system. Builds both code and assets
  • clang++ 6.0.0-1: C++ compiler/linker
  • GNU ar 2.30: Library archive creation (e.g. .a)
  • CMake 3.10.2: Dependency project generation (Spargus itself does not use CMake)

Runtime tools

These tools aren’t necessary for creating assets, building or running the game, but they are useful for inspecting the game as it is running.

  • tracy Feb 2020: Used for profiling runtime performance
  • Renderdoc 1.5: GPU debugging

Some of these are included in the Dependencies directory.


A 3D vehicle game prototype inspired by the dune buggies in Jak 3








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