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April-June 1998 (oldest-to-newest)
Wow I actually programmed this weekend! It was a good
feeling to make progress after so long. Here's what I
- Finished the menu system for the most part.
- Created the actual menus to be used during the game.
- Enabled button configuration for digital and analog
- Began implementing support for analog input in the
Implemented three different analog control schemes:
absolute, scalar, and polar. In
absolute your craft will turn to face whatever
direction you move the stick. In scalar moving the
stick left/right rotates your craft CCW/CW. The farther
you push the faster you turn. For polar mode,
pushing away from center (up) rotates left/right. The
greater the angle between the center and the stick, the
faster you turn.
Interestingly, while testing these out, only the
scalar mode seemed playable. Of course I need to
do some more testing. I'll probably leave the other
modes in the game for people to play with.
Got a bunch of stuff done over the weekend:
- Created new explosion sprite. It looks a lot better,
and takes up less room to boot.
- Fully implemented the ship's energy system. The game
just got a lot tougher :)
- Changed the HUD to the "final" version. It has five
guages: energy stored, thrust power, laser power, shield
strength, and ship temperature. There's also two sprites
depicting what extras you have selected at the moment.
- You can cycle through the extras installed in your
- Integrated the shop code with the main game. I haven't
tried to get it working yet, but the code is there for when
- Did my taxes :)
Added a link GIF to SCEE member
Nick Ferguson's page
He's keeping a diary of his exploits with the Yaroze.
Check it out!
Another great programming weekend. This time the
changes aren't as obvious. They involved cleaning up the
code to make it more streamlined.
I finished up the homing missile code (for the most
part - there's always something to add). When you have
the missile selected a box appears around your target.
Then you can hit a button to lock onto it and any homing
missiles you fire will head towards that target. You can
release the lock and acquire a new target any time.
I finally put the scroll graphic in the top-left
frame. If you don't see it try reloading. I also updated
section with my new PC setup.
This weekend I focused on the in-game menu as well as
the control scheme (since they go hand-in-hand). Analog
pad support is almost complete and I've started adding
support for the neGcon.
Once I get things stable I'm going to focus on updating
the web page with some new sections. I'll have a GFKAEV* update and a new Tech section.
The screenshots from
were broken (plus they still had that awful Java script).
They're fixed now.
I update the
section to reflect my new hardware as well as Dave's.
* Game Formerly Known As
I'm trying my darndest to get some new screenshots. I
found this cool program on the SCEE site which does a
RLE-type thing on the screen, converts it to ASCII
characters, and prints them out to SIOCONS. All you have
to do is turn on a logfile with [F5] to capture the output.
Then you take that and run a DOS utility called log2raw.exe
to convert it to a RGB raw format (which can be read by
My problem is that SIOCONS seems to be dropping
characters randomly. Each line should have 1920 bytes of
RGB data (640 * 3), but some lines only have 1914 or 1912,
or some other number. I've checked the function on the
Yaroze side and it's working correctly. Plus log2raw.exe
is okay. It just seems that when you're printing out lots
of text some characters get dropped.
I've tried a number of ways to work around this. I
invoked siocons redirecting output to a file: "siocons >
outfile". I figured that since the text is getting stuffed
in a file rather than being actually printed it would help
things. Maybe it helped a little, but some characters were
Next I tried slowing the baud speed down. The lowest
SIOCONS will let me go is 2400 and I was able to get
a perfect screenshot doing this along with redirecting
output to a file. However, when I tried again it didn't
work. So it doesn't seem to be consistent.
Tonight I'm going to try something else. I will print
out each line 5 times for redundancy. Then I'll make
log2raw.exe go through each of the five and decide which
one contains 1920 bytes of info. Of course I'm screwed if
all five drop some characters, but the odds of that are
Posted a new
section about this cool utility we got with GCC called
nm. Also put up a GFKAEV*
which includes some new screenshots. To make them more
accessible I created a new
page. You can see how the game has progressed over
These are the six new shots. I would have put up a
couple to show the shop screen, but all the graphics I
have for that are placeholder so they look like crap.
Obviously I solved my problem from yesterday. What I
proposed at the end of my previous update (below) actually
worked. I print each line 3 times (5 just took too long)
and then select the one that isn't lacking any bytes.
* Game Formerly Known As
Okay now I'm pissed. While fiddling with my computer
power strip this weekend it had a power surge. I ended up
smoking my processor (I bought a new one to confirm that
was the problem). It's too bad obscene words go against
the license agreement because I would be spouting them to
no end right about now.
As you can guess I didn't get much done. I did work on
the neGcon code a bit and it's coming along nicely.
If you came here because of the recent timestamp on the
member index, sorry there's no big update. I've been
playing with the frame layout and a consequence is that the
timestamp gets changed to the current day/time every time I
hit "Enter Changes". But thanks for stopping by anyway
Added a link to the excellent
Tenchikun's Net Yaroze Development Centre
I also changed the link to
Sauron Systems Software
from a JPG to a GIF since that made it smaller.
I am 95% done with the control scheme now. I just have
to put in the ability to thrust with the left analog stick
(so you can thrust and turn with the same stick). Also,
while the neGcon code is all in, I still need to put in the
configuration on the menu screens (so you can adjust
sensitivity and the "dead zone").
Speaking of the menus. They can now handle sliders for
such things as volume. I can't think of too much more to
do with the menus so I'm going to work on the shop for a
Speaking of the shop. I'm having some trouble with my
graphics. I made up some "official" background shop
graphics to replace the placeholder ones I had before.
When I added these new TIMs to my list, my game no longer
functioned correctly. Either it wouldn't work at all, or
the screen would turn all weird colors. If I removed these
graphics then it works fine.
The weird thing is, I don't even use these
graphics at all (yet). I'm just loading them into RAM.
The only thing I can think of is that my graphic is
clobbering some system data that the Yaroze expects to be
there. This is strange, though since I'm loading my
graphic into the user space (between 0x80090000 and
0x801FFFFF). The TIM is actually getting loaded around
Here's my hypothesis. A typical Yaroze program loads
data (graphics, sound, etc.) into the addresses between
0x80090000 and 0x800FFFFF with the actual program starting
at 0x80100000. I think there's a location in RAM somewhere
between 0x800F0000 and 0x80100000 that is used by the
system. They probably chose this location since it is just
before the code space and they think we won't be using it.
However, since I have a lot of graphics and sound, my data
extends into this space (I actually start my code at
0x80120000). Thus I'm overwriting that system data and fouling something up.
I'll post my problem on the newsgroups to see if anyone
can confirm or deny it. Maybe I'll make a rinky-dink
program to try to demonstrate it.
Once again I had to change my first page so the time
stamp was updated. Oh well...
For those interested, I've created a
which is viewable by the public. All programs and such are
still on the Sony server, but at least people can read what
This isn't Yaroze-related, but I thought I'd share
anyway. I'm changing jobs!
I'm psyched because I'm finally advancing my career
towards my ultimate goal of the games industry. I already
have an offer from Rendition and that looks very tempting.
But I just went in to interview with VM Labs and that
looks promising too. It'll be a tough decision (if they
give me an offer too), but I'm leaning towards VM Labs
just because I feel I can transition into games more
easily. Plus it'd be exciting to work on the fabled
Project X. I hope things go well next week when I go back
in for a second visit.
Once again my time stamp was updated undesireably. I
had to fix the main page since all the links in the navbar
were being opened in the top level rather than the frame
on the right.
As for this weekend, I didn't get much done. I'm
plugging away at the shop again. It's funny how when I
switch between the shop and main program how I think the
code I just left is awesome, while the code in the other
module looks awful. For instance, when I quit the shop
and worked on the main game I thought the shop code was
awesome and the main game was terrible. Now that I've
fixed up the core program I can see that the shop code is,
in fact, crap. Confused yet?
Anyway, I have some real background graphics in the shop
and I'm working on some other eyecandy. Once I get this
all ironed out I'll post a couple screenshots.
The job hunt continues. I now have offers from both
Rendition and 3Dfx. I'm expecting VM Labs to get back to me
soon (yesterday actually). Once this is all settled out
I'll have more time to program.
VM Labs it is! I've given notice at Intel and will start
work at VM Labs next month. I'm taking a couple weeks off
in between to chill. We're talking major Yaroze time :)
While my job will be in hardware, I'm hoping I can do some
programming for Project X even if it's in my spare time.
Wow I actually did some work last night. I added a
nifty routine to the shop. Since I have lots of sprites on
the shop screen (100+) the Yaroze can't handle them all at
once (and they are all "FastSprites" to boot). So I added
a routine which only redraws those sprites that changed in
any given frame. It also needs to redraw sprites which
overlap or are overlapped by those sprites (to preserve
ordering and transparency, respectively).
I also got my Canopus Pure 3D II in the mail a few
days ago. I went out lickety-split and bought
Oh my God is this game cool! I can see my two weeks
off between jobs being consumed by this game (at the expense
of the Yaroze).
While I haven't done much I just felt like writing
something (don't want to disappoint my 2 visitors a day
:) ). I don't know why, but I haven't been as jazzed
about programming lately. Probably just a phase since I'm
really enjoying playing Unreal.
I've also been tweaking my computer more. Not the
components, but the physical appearance. I'm in the
process of covering the case with game-related stickers
(anyone got some from E3 they want to donate?). I changed
my green power LED to a blue one. I bought some of that
"crackle" spray paint and painted the front of my floppy
drive. Finally, I'm attaching the front half of a plastic
M&M dispenser to the front of the case (adding red LEDs for
eyes of course). I'll try to get a pic up as soon as I get
I updated the Staff
section to reflect my new Canopus.
I also updated my
to the news as of June 2.
Only three days left at Intel. Then it's off for two
weeks before starting at VM Labs. During those two weeks I
am going back to visit my folks in Virginia. So I won't
have email access during that time.
Here's a message I posed on the newsgroup in case
anyone doesn't read them:
I have a proposition for anyone that's interested. A friend
of a friend is looking for a game programmer. He has a board
game that he'd like to translate to the computer. He intends
to ultimately sell it so there definitely is some money
involved. I've met with him and he's described the game to
me. It sounds relatively easy to implement, but since I have
very little Windows programming experience I wouldn't be of
much help to him. He fully expects this to be an on-the-side
job so this is something you could do in your spare time.
If anyone is interested in getting more information about
this please email me.
Bet you weren't expecting this (I know I wasn't). The
I really wasn't planning on releasing another demo until
I had met certain goals. However, things just fell into
place in the last couple days so I figured what the heck.
It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing. :)
Also, I'm leaving for Virginia later today so I'll be
away from my email for a week. On the plus side Dave and I
can bang heads for real (instead of this ICQ nonsense).
I'll update when I return!
* Game Formerly Known As
Whew! I haven't updated in a quite a while. My life
has been on fast-forward the last couple weeks. I got back
from Virginia on the 17th and started my new job on the
22nd. This Saturday I'm moving into a new apartment. I'll
try to post a more organized status once things calm down.
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