Relax To Win To Go

Version 1: eVC++ 3.0
Version 2: .NET and C#
Libraries Leveraged

See also:
  Relax To Win page


Red George races Green George in Relax To Win on the PocketPC.

Until a few months ago, I'd dismissed pocket devices as slow, frustrating to program and generally not worthy of serious attention.  Then, on a lark one weekend, I made Relax to Win run at 30 fps on an iPAQ 3870 in less than three days, and I suddenly saw the "Smart Device" light.  The power in today's generation of Pocket PCs is almost equivalent to the minimum specification of the desktop PCs required to run a game I authored just five years ago.

Phil exported George the Dragon as a 2D sprite, and Scott built a portable galvanic skin response biometric amp which he attached to his wireless Bluetooth transmitter.  Daragh and the other lads in the group are on their way to a working GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) reader device that will communicate using Bluetooth with the PocketPC, and then we'll have a fully-working Relax-To-Win-To-Go.

With such a portable Relax-To-Win, it would be possible to deploy our flagship stress-busting game with just an iPAQ (or two) and the wireless GSR transmitter.  That has obvious implications for our ability to bring the game to clinical and rehabilitation environments.


Relax To Win PPC running on an iPAQ 3870.
Relax To Win PPC running on an iPAQ 3870.

I implemented two complete versions of the game for the iPAQ. 

Version 1: eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0

The first used eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0 and was built on top of the very excellent PocketFrog game library.  On the iPAQ 3870 it runs consistently at over 20 fps with a background composed of four "parallax" scrolling layers.

Version 2: .NET Version, using MiniSymphony

The second implementation used the .Net Compact Framework and was a test of MiniSymphony, a Compact Framework port of the complete Symphony libraries.  It uses GAPIDraw.NET as a renderer.

Both versions run in excess of 30 frames per second on an iPAQ 3870.

I think the Ring of Kerry background is endearing, although Phil is keen to set it on an alien landscape, which would also be cool!

Go, George, go! 

Libraries Leveraged

For both versions of the game, I used an external graphics library that wrapped GAPI, the Games API for PocketPC. 

For the eVC++ version, I worked with PocketFrog, an excellent set of libraries for people working with Embedded Visual C++. 

For the .NET veresion, I used GAPIDraw.NET, which is a wrapper around GAPIDraw 2.04.  GAPIDraw has now reached version 3.x and is no longer freeware.  But GAPIDraw 2.04 is another excellent piece of work, and comes highly recommended.