Jan-Mar 1997
Oct-Dec 1997
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Apr-Jun 1998
Jul-Sep 1998
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October-December 1997 (oldest-to-newest)

28 Oct 1997 - (Vol 1) - New Screen Grabber

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.

3 Nov 1997 - (Vol 1) - Screen Grabber woes

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 level-building step.

Total Annihilation is distracting me from my coding. Man this game is addicting. I can't wait until Cavedog starts releasing new units for the game on the 14th.

10 Nov 1997 - (Vol 1) - Issue 3 posted

Posted the 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 GFKAEV* update and some miscellaneous tricks 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 Screen Grabber.

* Game Formerly Known As Escape Velocity
11 Nov 1997 - (Vol 1) - Moons added

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).

12 Nov 1997 - (Vol 1) - Address Arranger begun

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 accomodate them.

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.

16 Nov 1997 - (Vol 1) - Address Arranger finished

The Address Arranger is ready!

Also, I took a couple more screen shots. They're available in the Projects section from the lastest issue.

24 Nov 1997 - (Vol 1) - No progress

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 little.

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.

1 Dec 1997 - (Vol 1) - Post-Thanksgiving update

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.

13 Dec 1997 - (Vol 1) - Demo!

Big day! Posted the new Insider and the GFKAEV* Demo.

* Game Formerly Known As Escape Velocity
16 Dec 1997 - (Vol 1) - D'oh!

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. James Anderson 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 assistance.

18 Dec 1997 - (Vol 1) - D'oh again

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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