When I was in school, about 6-7 years ago, I had found a new hobby and passion - making games. I’m not sure how but I found a free 3D game maker named 3D Rad. I played around a lot with it on my ancient PC, which had a Pentium 4 and 1 Gigabyte of RAM.
3D Rad is no longer being developed, the latest version you can find is the same one I used at that time. Moreover, the website only shows a black window. It is pretty much dead now, though unofficial forums exist, 3D Rad is too outdated - there are better alternatives like Unity and Unreal engine.
The Engine #
3D Rad had many features, especially considering that it was made by an independent developer. It had quite a few examples included with the engine for a range of games - third person, car racing, airplane simulator, boat simulator, underwater physics and many others.
The game engine has a simple UI with two panes: objects and 3D viewer. Everything is an object in 3D Rad - rigidbodies, skins, forces, skyboxes, sprites, scripts (!) - you get a selection of in-built objects that you can use and modify. This has a disadvantage, everything is cluttered in the object panel. On the 3D viewer, there are helper buttons to move and rotate objects. You can make simple games without having to write any code, though 3D Rad has scripting support for more advanced mechanisms. The documentation is quite extensive but simple and understandable (even for a 13 year old like I was).
The scripting engine used was AngelScript which has a C-like syntax. There was a scripting object reference which I used when writing scripts. My programming knowledge was very limited at the time, so my brother helped me in this.
For being a 3D game engine with so many features, it was very well optimized - it ran well enough (other than the detailed terrain model not working) on a Pentium 4 2.0Ghz with no GPU. I played around with this a lot, started projects that were left incomplete as soon as I had an idea for another project. There’s probably only one game that I actually completed.
Following are demos of some games that I made in 3D Rad, they are mostly incomplete with some debug information (a.k.a. random numbers) right in the middle of the screen. If you’re looking for a compilation of all these demos, click here.
Car Fight #
A car “fighting” game that has mini Suns for projectiles and a random rigidbody for powerups. In this game, you fight with an enemy car by shooting balls at each other. The player car is Porsche 911 model that I found on the store in SketchUp. The enemy car is a generic inbuilt model in 3D Rad. The blue bar represents your boost fuel which you can use to get a quick speed boost, the fuel fills up slowly but can be filled up quickly by picking up the powerups. On the HUD, there is a speedometer, a tachometer and a minimap. Although, by default, the camera is in a third person view, you can switch to a first person view (which has floating hands).
A game where you slingshot a shiny ball onto a generic cuboid. That’s it, that’s the game. The game enters slow-mo as the ball nears the target and there is sound effect when it hits. I suspect this game was inspired by some game I played at that time. (I initially called this game “Catapult”, I have no idea why).
Car Parking #
Probably the only complete game I ever made. This game was most likely inspired from Dr. Driving. The objective is to park your “car” in the spot shown by the floating fish. There are two camera views - top down and behind.
Space Shooter #
This game was definitely inspired from Galaxy on Fire 2, which I played a lot for many years. Here, you control a spaceship that can shoot bullets. There are a few planets and a Sun, with distances shown on each of them and gravity simulated on them. You have two enemy spaceships that shoot missiles at you and your objective is to shoot them down (which is probably impossible, they are too OP). You also get a crazy boost feature, that throws your spaceship far forward.
Circuit Racing #
A simple racing game with support for laps around a circuit track, which was built from the inbuilt highway pieces. Your player car is the same as in Car Fight and with a similar HUD (except there is no background for the minimap). Your opponents are super cars (again taken from SketchUp) and a generic SUV. The sky is made from a generic skybox but there are lightning and thunder effects applied on it. The lighting is messed up for some reason though. Also, the game enters slow-mo when you hit another car.
Infinite Plane #
Not a game exactly but a fun thing to work on. The ground is an infinite plane that is procedurally generated as you move. Since there are no obstacles, you can reach impossible speeds where the ground moves so fast you can’t look at it for long. If you try to turn at those speeds your car will glitch out and stop.
Highway Network #
Another circuit racing game but this time with a much bigger map. The network of highways was made from small individual pieces of roads. Unfortunately, this project was left incomplete as I moved on to other things. The highways had many fun types of roads and I had even made waypoints to be used in an actual race. This could have been a real racing game…
That’s it for now. These were some of the games I made when I was a kid and I finally got the time to share it with everyone. If you want to try some of these games for yourself, they are here. You can find a compilation of game demos here.
Thank you for reading!