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July-September 1998 (oldest-to-newest)
Hooboy it's been a few weeks hasn't it? I've been busy
changing jobs and moving to a new apartment. I was also
in Orlando for a week (Disney World rocks).
Amongst the 100+ messages I had upon checking my email
(which took a while due to problems setting up the phone
in the new place) was a nice message from Ambrosia
Software. It seems they have a game titled Escape
Velocity and think my little project is going to affect
them. Well, okay, technically I am infringing on their
trademark so there's not much I can do.
So in the next week or two I'm going to change the name
of our project to something else. We haven't decided yet,
but we'll be hard pressed to come up with something as
fitting as Escape Velocity. *sigh*
Jay, you were right
Until I can think of a new name for my game (see below)
I'll just call it GFKAEV for "Game Formerly Known as Escape
Velocity". Now that would be annoying :). I'll be updating
all my pages over the next week or so to reflect this change.
Maybe we should do what Prince did and change the name to a
symbol. Silly corporate lawyers...
Jeff Lawton (aka Zark Wizard), of
Yaroze World fame
is organizing a Yaroze competition with cash prizes! I plan
on entering GFKAEV if I can get it done by then. The
deadline is in November, but there's still so much to
Tidied up things a bit. I went through all the pages
and changed Escape Velocity to GFKAEV‡. I
split up the news archive page into 3-month segments; I
was having some trouble with it being too large to edit.
Strange, I didn't have this problem before.
Added a link to Jeff Lawton's excellent
Added a link to Mario Wynands's
* Game Formerly Known As
On the game front, I've been working on the transition
when you exit the shop to start the next level. If you've
seen the demo, there's a minimap in the shop which shows
the next level. Well, when you exit the shop, the minimap
will zoom in to fill the entire screen. While zooming, the
real planet graphics will replace the minimap circles. It
will keep zooming in until it settles on the starting
planet. It should be a nice smooth zoom from minimap to
the start of next level. When I get a chance, I'll grab
some screenshots to better describe what happens.
I mentioned the alterations I'm making to my computer.
Here's a pic showing what I mean. The M&M guy has LEDs
for eyes (which are connected to the HD light so they
Just a quick note. I updated a few parts of the
I'll be gone to San Diego until Sunday so I won't update
until next week. Dave and I are heading to Comicon
The transition from shop to level is mostly complete.
I'll be adding more stuff as I go, but the core code is
there. I've grabbed some screen shots and will make an
animated GIF to show it in action. Hopefully I can get
that done before I leave tomorrow.
I put up the transition screen shots (both static and as
an animated GIF) in the
Removed the link to Jay Brewer's Peerless Yaroze since it
seems he's exited the Yaroze scene. I also rearranged the
member links to put the most-often-updated ones at the
Nothing happening on the game for a while. Hopefully
On the "cool" front, I just found out that I get to go to
the Project X developers conference this week. I'm pretty
stoked about that.
Introducing Decaying Orbit™! We've
decided on the new name to replace Escape Velocity. I like
it nearly as much as the old name. In fact, the more I
think about it the more I like it. Now let's hope someone
doesn't tell us they have a game by that name too...
The developers conference was cool as all heck. I
learned a ton more about our business plan and specific
hardware capabilities. And to top it all off, I got to
meet Jeff Minter.
Right now I'm working on the HUD. I'm putting in some
icons to represent the ship's five systems. When you change
a system's priority the icons will pop up to show their
status (high, medium, or low). I'm also changing how the
vector circle works. It used to be in the upper right
corner. Instead it will now be centered on your ship and
move around with you. That way you don't need to move your
eyes too far to see it. I've also made it a bit smaller so
it doesn't cover too much area. While the vector circle is
displayed by default right now, I'll eventually make it such
that you have to buy a certain power-up to get it.
The icons are in place and working now. The actual
graphics may change, but the code to control them is
I updated the
section with some scans of our two cats, Pickle and
Goldberry. We just got Pickle from the shelter a few
Put up a couple more
that show the new vector circle and system icons in
Wow, an update 3 days in a row! I had scanned a few
pages out of my notebook a while back and just found them
again. For the truly curious. Only a small portion is
Just thought I would update the time/date stamp on the
member page. I'm not sure if people use that to tell if a
page has been updated or not. Anyway, if you haven't been
here in a while, welcome back!
I also updated the
to reflect changes up to today.
Moved some stuff from the
to a new Q2 '98
Added a couple pics of Dave's cats to the
I've seriously cleaned up the code and added a bunch
more comments. I finally got fed up with trying to figure
out what a certain section of code does.
As for new features, I'm polishing up the shop screen a
bit more. I hope to add the ability to "recall" previously
"stored" items soon. Also on the drawing board is a level
editor. I hope to make it useful enough such that I can
place objects and immediately test out the level. And what
the heck, I might as well make so that anyone can make their
Wow, where does a week go?
I'm happy to say that much progress has been made.
The level editor is coming a long very quickly. Right
now it has the ability to add objects (planets, nebulas,
turrets), adjust their attributes (scale, color,
strength), and move them around the playfield. The cool
thing is that it looks just like you were playing the
game - meaning all the sprites are animating while you
are editing the level. But the really cool thing
is that you can test out the level at any time. Enter
the menu by hitting START, select "Test Level" and off
you go. When you die (or win) you get sent back to the
level editor to make changes. Eventually you'll be able
to save these levels to a memory card. For now I just
have it print out the information in a format suitable
for insertion in my levels C include file.
I've also begun adding the ability to recall items in
the shop. Right now, when you hit the "recall" button on
an empty extra (if you've played the game you should know
what I'm talking about) a new screen pops up, letting you
select amongst your stored items. It doesn't actually do
anything yet, but it's a good start and shouldn't be too
difficult to finish off.
Once I get both of these major items finished I'll post
The level editor will have four modes, which you can
cycle through by pressing SELECT. The modes are
move, copy, delete, select.
Move obviously lets you pick up an object and move
it around. You can also change its attributes while within
this mode. Copy and delete are
self-explanatory. Select lets you choose multiple
objects at once. Then you can move/copy/delete them as a group.
Hmmm, I don't have much to say, but felt like writing
anyway. The level editor is coming along. The control
scheme changed again, but what else is new? Now you can
bring up a minimap of the level by holding down SELECT.
You can move around while in that view too if you want to
jump somewhere quickly.
I can't wait until I get to just sit down and churn out
some levels. Shouldn't be long now as I don't have much
more to do (aside from the 5 billion things on my list).
I just realized that the "Free Talk Yaroze" link didn't
lead anywhere so I took it off. I guess James Anderson
isn't Yarozing anymore :(
I felt like adding something totally new to the game
last night. So now there are mines floating in space.
Don't get too close :) I only added a simple explosive
mine, but I have some ideas for other types.
Great, just what I need - more stuff to add to the
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