A game development diary (and other stuff too)
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October-December 1997 (oldest-to-newest)
I'm working on a new version of the Screen Grabber which
uses serial communication to transmit screenshots instead of
the previous method. This will reduce the memory footprint
of these routines from 600+kB to (hopefully) less than 10kB.
I have the PC and Yaroze talking to each other, but for some
unknown reason it locks up. I'm not sure which system is
the culprit. Also when I add print statements for debugging
it starts working fine. They must be introducing a delay
which lets the serial ports keep in synch. Something like
that yeah... If anyone knows anything about serial
communications and would be willing to take a look at my
code I would be most appreciative.
I can't figure out how to fix the Screen Grabber
problem so I'm giving up on it for now. Brian Dawson
from Sony is looking at the code so maybe he can give
me some help. Thanks Brian!
In other news, the game is coming along slowly but
surely. I feel like at this rate I'm going to have time to
write maybe one more game on the Yaroze before PSX2 comes
out (and hopefully Yaroze2). Anyway, I changed the way my
game handles objects and just about got it to the point
that it was a month ago. This new engine is much more
flexible and will make it easier once I get to the
is distracting me from my coding. Man this game is
addicting. I can't wait until
starts releasing new units for the game on the 14th.
third Insider issue yesterday. Unfortunately it doesn't
really have much on it. My big annoucement this time was
going to be the new Screen Grabber, but since that's causing
problems I don't have any major news. Still, there is an
and some miscellaneous
that might be useful. I'll get up a couple more screen
shots soon - even if I have to resort to the old version of
* Game Formerly Known As
I had an idea yesterday to add moons which revolve
around the planets. I got them working in about an hour
last night. I'm delighted that the way I structured the
code makes it easy to add new objects. As a result of
adding the moons I'm going to take 2 of the 8 original
planet graphics and dedicate them to moon graphics (there
are a couple that look like moons anyway).
I'm getting to the point that I have lots of TIM files
to load for my game. I use the method of placing them at
static locations so that I don't have to download them
everytime I recompile "main". But, as some of these TIMs
are placeholders I will be swapping in real graphics
eventually. If these new files are a different size than
the original then I'll need to shift all the addresses to
I'm working on a program which will do this
automatically. It will take a list of files (TIM, RSD,
whatever) and generate two outputs: a header file you can
include in your program and an SIOCONS auto file for
downloading. This way I can rearrange the TIMs to my hearts
content and only need to rerun this program to recalculate
their download locations. I hope to have it done tonight,
but at the very latest it will be this weekend.
I will post it here once it's available.
Also, I took a couple more screen shots. They're
available in the
section from the lastest issue.
I've been feeling lazy lately so I didn't do anything
substantial. I thought about putting in enemy ships, but
the prospect of writing the AI was quite overwhelming. So
I'm going to work on some other aspect until I can come up
with some cool AI tricks.
I'm focusing my efforts on getting a demo out before I
leave for Christmas. About the only thing I have left to
add is sound. I might also try to spruce up the graphics a
This Christmas I'm going to visit my parents on the east
coast (I live in California). As a bonus, this will let me
work with Dave directly since he lives there as well (on
the east coast - not with my parents). We brainstorm better
when we're up at 3am playing some mindless game.
Back from Thanksgiving and ready to rumble. It was nice
to get a few days away from the computer to just think
about the game. I had my trusty notebook and jotted down a
few ideas while away.
Things are on track to post the demo along with a new
Insider next weekend. I'm psyched that I will finally show
what I've done all these months!
I leave for vacation in three weeks (wohoo another
vacation!). I'm really really really (did I mention
really?) gonna try to get a little demo posted before I
leave (along with a new Insider). All I really need are
some sounds and I'll be set.
Dave sent me the first wave of turrets he drew for the
game and they look spiffy! I'll try to have a new screen
or two by this weekend.
Big day! Posted the new
* Game Formerly Known As
Argh! I just downloaded the demo and unzipped it (just
to make sure everything was okay). I see that when you
unzip the file it recreates my directory structure
"dsi/ev/evdemo10/". I'm really sorry about that.
This was an oversight on my part. I'll have to watch what
I do in WinZip in the future. I'll fix it and upload the
new version tonight. The demo is still playable, but
you'll have to navigate the directories WinZip creates to
get to the game.
I forgot to mention this before.
is assembling a list of "registered ninjas" (click on "help
4 U" on his site). These are people that feel they have a
good knowledge of a particular aspect of the yaroze and are
willing to help others. I'm the resident "2-D Bonehead" so
if you have questions about the yaroze's 2-D capabilities
feel free to ask me. I'm not saying I know
everything, but I feel I know enough to offer
The readme.txt file included in the demo lists my web
page URL incorrectly. But I guess if you're reading this
then you already figured that out...
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