Update: Supernatural 3D Chess is now added to Softpedia’s database of games and it can be found here!
A fully functional human versus human 3D chess game was my project for the Virtual Reality class of my BSc course in Computer Science. Supernatural 3D chess is implemented with Microsoft XNA 3.0 and is available on SourceForge where it’s being downloaded about 100 times per month for almost a year now. A while ago a member of the SourceForge community and XNA developer contributed in Supernatural 3D Chess improving some existing features. Since Virtual Reality class was in the last year of my studies I didn’t have the chance to take it forward by adding Artificial Intelligence or networking so that users would be able to play over the internet. That’s also the main reason of uploading it to SourceForge, though whenever I come back to XNA development it’s the first project I will try improving.
During the game, the user clicks on a pawn and automatically all the available moves on the chessboard are highlighted. The user clicks on a square to make a move, and if this move is not allowed by the rules of chess the appropriate message appears on the upper left corner of the screen. In case the user wants to set the pawns in a specific way on the chessboard or wants to do castling or an passant, there is the feature of God mode which can be easily turned on/off. When a soldier reaches the other end of the chessboard and the God mode is off the user is asked to select to which force the soldier will be upgraded.
In terms of development, though I had previously studied about 3D graphics (for the homonym class in the third year of my undergraduate studies) and transormation matrices, it took me a while until I felt confident with it. As for the rules of chess highlighting the available moves considering the positions of all the pawns on the board etc. was the most interesting part for me.
The source code is available to download on SourceForge, please click the image above to reach the project’s page. In case you are a developer and would like to contribute, would be excellent. Enjoy 3D graphics with .NET Framework!