Development Diary Archives - September 2003

21st September 2003 - Build 1.914

Man, have I been suffering a bad cold/cough the last 2 weeks.. I'm on penicillin at the moment help get rid of the chest infection.. Gotta love this flu that is flying around at the moment.

Been a good 2 weeks for Jumpman though.

Finished off the roost monster.. Aggressive little things.. Don't get your finger bitten off..

Randy has been providing a great deal of support to the Jumpman-UC project aswell as to the forums. If you have ever wanted to talk to the great man or ask him a question about anything then jump over to the forums.

I had a good look at Randy's old Jumpman 2 site this week as I never got to see it before.. I thank Randy for letting me have a look at it..

Been very busy working on the actual main menu game code so people can actually start playing "Games" and not just individual levels. I posted some mock up representations to the forum and most people where happy with it so I started working on the actual openGL code to do so.. That turned out to be a lot of fun (and a lot of work) as I had to learn how to get transparency into the Images and save it into TGA format.. I do most of my design graphics in MacroMedia FireWorks which is excellent for playing with effects and changing them real time unlike most programs which apply the effect and then if you want to change it you have to undo it.. Fireworks real time processes all effects so you can mix different types and keep on playing till you get it how you want it to be.. (rambling mode off..)

Designed a menu system which seems to work well and provides simple effects (scrolling, fading etc..). Its all table driven and probably overkill for what I needed but I enjoy doing things like that so it was a lot of fun..

The Advanced is faded out as there isn't any 'advanced' levels in the currently loaded game file. The menu system checks all the different types and makes sure that you can only pick what is actually possible.

The Green grid in the background slowly moves as you fly around the grid (and never exiting). Its a nice effect I thought..

Put in the player selection screen.. This allows you to specify the number of players to play. The 2 - 4 as faded out until you select them. There was a good idea to get jumpman to jump between the numbers. Not done that yet but will do..

So I can now select the type of game I want to play and the number of players.. The Randomiser code seems to make a decent scramble of the level order. I still have to do the Level Intro, Player X display screens (if multiple players) and moving onto the next level but most of the hard work has now been done on the 'game' player.

The next big thing I guess is working out what to do when the Player actually completes a Game and the High Score entry stuff. Will start talking about that on the forum..

Oh. Got a lot more fish in the tank now.. including a little red-tail shark and some clown loaches.

7th September 2003 - Build 1.823

Happy Fathers day to my Dad.

Been a bit slow on Jumpman the last few weeks.. Sort of lost interest in it for a little while but I think I just needed to take a break from it and do something completly different..

That and I my new car decided to die at 4 in the morning. 2 Fingers broke on the Clutch Presure plate and it had to be towed home and then to the dealership.. They replaced the plate, clutch, flywheel and thrustbearing under warrenty and even gave my car a nice clean. Thank you Subaru for being so prompt with handling the problem. My Impreza is now a good as it was before.

Also been spending a lot of $$$ on a aquarium which is something I've wanted for many years. That kept me busy for a while and I have a total of 3 fish (coral catfish) in it. But more will be joining them very soon as the tank is still rather new so I have to add fish gradually. It was a lot of fun setting it all up and planting all the plants.. I'm using real plants not plastic ones.

I also had to work on some actual real programming jobs for a while as I maintain Poker Machine software for a local company aswell as working on a large electronic project for a friend.

Now back to Jumpman.

I have almost most of the Roost object in now.. Basically another homing object when trys to kill the player.

I also released Beta 1.5 on forums if you wish to download it (you will need to join first). A few people have reported that the Level Reveal and Hotfoot effects are really bogging down their systems. I am using the openGL Stencil effect which dosn't seem to be supported in hardware on Geforce 2 cards (and below).. Nobody has a ADI card so I don't know how it goes on that.. Looks like I will have to figure out how to do it another way.. Pity as the Stencil buffer is a really simple device.. A lot simpler than a Z Buffer (works along the same sort of lines though).

Anyway this week I'm back into Jumpman mode..