Tread Marks is a 3D, third-person perspective, multiplayer-focused tank combat and racing computer game developed by Longbow Digital Arts. The game won the 2000 Independent Games Festival grand prize, later renamed to the Seumas McNally award in honor of the game's lead programmer who died on 21 March 2000, after receiving the award.
Tread Marks has three gameplay modes:
- Race mode, in which tanks must race around an off-road course while attempting to stop other tanks from completing the course. Common techniques include using the in-game weapons to attack opponents and using physical tank contact to temporarily 'push' opponents off the course.
- Battle mode (deathmatch, or DM), in which the tank or team with the most frags win as soon as the global frag or time limit is reached.
- Capture the Flag mode (CTF) in which there are two or more teams of tanks that compete by trying to capture one of the other team's flags.
The race and battle modes can be played in either team or single-player mode.
About the game
You are in control of an artificially intelligent tank, that along with its fellow AI tanks, has decided to abandon its human masters and just go have some fun.
The tanks come in two varieties: steel and liquid. The steel tanks resemble real-life tanks, while the liquid types are whimsical fantasy tanks. Weapons and power-ups are scattered around the maps, and range in destructive power from light machine guns to tactical nuclear missiles.
Many modifications can be found online, including new maps, tanks, and weapons.
The game uses OpenGL to render its 3D graphics and uses the Miles Sound System for positional sound. The in-game terrain is deformable (e.g. the nuclear missile explosions create a huge black crater in the terrain, while its "opposite", the Matterbomb, creates a huge mountain on the terrain), though this feature doesn't harm performance. It utilizes a Binary-Triangle Tree-based dynamic view dependent level of detail height field renderer, programmed by Seumas McNally, for the in-game deformable terrain. Tread Marks can be played over a LAN, or over the Internet and includes a program for running a dedicated game server, which lists the computer it runs from on the master server. The master server in turn is operated by Longbow Digital Arts from a location in Toronto, Canada, and is currently found at IP address 126.96.36.199.