News Archive Q1 '98
March 31, 1998

Added a link to the ultra cool SCEE dude Mr. Frosty Mr Frosty

Mr. Frosty was kind enough to review the GFKAEV Demo. Click on the I've been reviewed! link (on the main page) to go to his site.

For some reason my hit counter was reset back to zero :(. At least it reached 1000 before doing so or I'd be really peeved. I'm still pretty bummed as it is.

March 30, 1998

Okay the new computer is finally working consistently (I had a problem with the CPU overheating). Guess I'll need to update the Staff section to reflect the new hardware.

March 24, 1998

Just wanted to pop in and note that the counter hit 1000! It only took about a year to get there too :)

March 23, 1998

Spent the weekend getting my new computer working. Aside from CD music only coming out of one speaker, everything seems okay. Unfortunately I didn't get anything done on the game because of this. Oh well.

Also, I put an email link in the nav-bar. Forgot to include that before.

March 19, 1998

The new computer is almost together. I have all the parts except the monitor, mouse, and floppy drive. For now I'm just using the ones from my previous computer. Last night I got the system to boot and fiddled with the CMOS setup. Tomorrow I'll put it all together permanently. Then over the weekend I'll get everything I'm missing so I have a full system. This is too cool. I can't wait to test this puppy out on some Total Annhilation.

Once all this is done I'll be able to continue coding the game.

March 16, 1998

As you can tell, the format has changed for good. Hope you like it. I still need to make up a graphic for the scroll on the top, but I didn't want that to hold up the switch-over.

Nothing done over the weekend. I spent Saturday at a Tae Kwon Do tournament. Then Sunday, the finacee and I went to Santa Cruz to play some games (she kills at Donkey Kong). Anyway, next weekend is free of activities so I'll be programming like a mad man. I really want this game done!

One thing that may present a wrinkle to those plans is my new getting a new computer. I have all the parts I need except the CPU (kinda required eh?). This is the first computer I'll have built on my own so you never know what might blow up. If all goes well I'll have a new dream machine (and the old one goes to the S.O.)

Newsflash! One of the greatest Genesis games ToeJam & Earl might get a next generation update! As reported on IGN64.com, the creators are considering a new TJ&E game for the N64 (sorry Sony). They want your input as to which you liked better: the original game or the sequel (Panic on Funkotron). Personally, I like the first one more, but either way please give them your support so we get a new TJ&E game.

March 10, 1998

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K. Everything is almost set for this site to change to the new format. I just need to make up a few graphics and alter all the existing pages slightly. So if some things seem weird please bear with me.

March 9, 1998

I'm taking a break from the shop for a while and continuing work on the main game engine. Not to say the shop is done, but I don't want to stagnate by spending too much time on it.

Now that I'm looking at my original code I can see how sloppy it is. I'll try to clean it up, but I may be stuck with it. Anyway, I got homing missiles working this weekend (took me all friggin day Saturday).

March 6, 1998

Got much of the shop functionality working last night. You can now buy, sell, trade, and store items. Still to come: recall previously stored items, implement all minimap features, real graphics.

Made a few changes to this page. I'm doing a slow overhaul of the whole site.

Added a link GIF to Nelson Santos' Rogue (broken link)

March 4, 1998

Okay. All the links on this site should be fixed. Let me know if you find a broken one.

Expect a new format for this site sometime soon. Dave brought up the topic which I had actually been considering in the back of my mind. It will have a layout similar to www.annihilated.com. The trick will be how to keep the scroll motif without the profuse use of frames like now.

March 3, 1998

I've been testing the new Insider and have found numerous broken links and such. I will fix these tonight. I apologize. I posted this late last night and didn't have time to do extensive testing.

March 2, 1998
Posted a new Insider and generally enhanced the site.

February 23, 1998

Things are cooking on the shop/menu front. I aimed to have them done this weekend, but alas it didn't happen. Still, I'm only a short time away from making it such that you can buy/sell/trade items in the shop. Once that's done I can go back to coding the game engine to prepare for the next demo release. I don't have a firm idea when that will be, but I hope it's before May.

February 19, 1998

Okay, panic over. I've taken steps to save memory and have done so in spades. I've reduced my estimated graphics total by over 500k. I'm also using 128k of FB space to store some graphics permanently so once they are loaded from RAM I can overwrite their space with more stuff.

I did two main things to lower my graphics so much. One, instead of a full-screen image for the shop background, I'm using tiles which can be repeated. The image was 300k (640x480 8-bit image), but the tiles occupy less than 64k. Second, I eliminated animating the system pictures on the shop screen. So now I just have a single static picture for each system. That cut their RAM usage by 1/4 (since I was doing a 4-frame animation for each). Doesn't look as cool, but whatyagonnado?

If get in a pinch later on there are a few more things I can do to save space. They involve compromising gameplay though so they'll only be a last resort.

February 12, 1998

I had a mild panic attack this week. I decided to estimate if I had enough RAM once I added everything to finish the game. Not by a long shot. My estimate put it about 2Megs and we all know how accurate estimates can be. So pretty soon I'm going to look into ways to conserve RAM. This involves cutting out features/graphics and generally not making the game what I want it to be. :( C'est la vie.

February 10, 1998

Added another link GIF. Check out Jay Brewer's Peerless Creations (broken link) Peerless

Also, I forgot to mention the addition of Mark Jawad's link to his Sauron Systems (broken link) sauron

I'm psyched. I just got a 56k modem and it runs laps around my old 14.4. I was actually only planning on getting a 33.6k, but I found a 56k that was only $10 more. Strange since all the other 56k's were $120 or more. The one I got was only $70. And just my luck that my ISP is doing a 56k trial in northern California! It costs me an extra 25 cents an hour, but that's small potatos.

February 9, 1998

A preliminary menu system is up and running. So far it can handle: submenus, toggle switches (ex. sound on/off), slider bars (ex. music volume), and button input (for controller configuration). I almost have this integrated with the shop screen (mentioned in 1/29 below).

I'm concentrating my efforts on the parts required for the next demo. This includes the main game, shop screen, and menu system. Once I finish up with the shop I'll go back to coding the main game. Still lots to do.

The more I think about it the more I want to put in a 2-player battle mode. Unfortunately I have no one around that can help me test it out. My roommates and fiancee are not gamers. Oh well, I'm concentrating on the 1-player game for now and will deal with the 2-player later.

Not sure if I mentioned this before. I uploaded a new Address Arranger (broken link). This fixes one bug which caused file sizes to be computed incorrectly when larger than 32k (I used short when I should've used long).

Moved some of the older updates to a separate page (broken link) to speed up load times for this one.

Janurary 29, 1998

I started on a totally separate module for the game. I'm making it a separate program for now to reduce the compile/download time. Once I get it working I'll combine it with the main program. This module handles the shop where you buy new equipment for your ship.

I can see five more modules after this one. The good thing is that the remaining ones will be considerably easier/smaller. These include a DSI sequence (which we'll use in every game), a game intro, a title screen, a menu system, and a finishing sequence for when you win the game.

Janurary 17, 1998

Alriiiiight! I just proposed to my girlfriend and she said YES! The big day may not be for a while though since she's going to business school. We may wait until after graduation. But still, I just wanted to say WOHOO!

Janurary 15, 1998

James Anderson and I had an idea to create link gifs which we will put on each other's sites. I haven't made mine up yet, but you probably saw his on my main page. Our purpose is to try to build more of a community amongst the Yaroze members, rather than just a bunch of separate web pages.

Of course we'd like to get as many people to do this as possible! Produce a link GIF which is 88x31 pixels and let James and myself know. We'll add it to our pages. Of course feel free to add everyone else's to your page too. The only thing we ask is that it should link to a Yaroze member page rather than a personal page (although that page need not be on the Sony server). However, if your personal page is your Yaroze page then that's cool.

Janurary 14, 1998

My girlfriend was accepted into Stanford Business School!!! I know it's not Yaroze related, but this is just too cool. Now we can stay in the SF bay area!

Janurary 7, 1998

Okay I'm back. I haven't made much progress since I left, but I'm ready to jam out some code in the coming weeks. Thanks to those of you that took the time to download the demo and let me know what you thought.

Dave and I didn't get to do much with the game while I was home. About the only change is that he drew a real ship graphic rather than the boring tooth-looking thing I had before. But the main reason for the visit was just to show him the game. Now he's seen it and I don't have to go into explanations of the game when we exchange mails.

Oh yes, have I mentioned colds suck?


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