DragonShadow Insider
The official DragonShadow Industries information center.

First time visitors please read this first. (updated February 11, 2002) Hit counter provided by Link Exchange
March 4, 2002 - New web site pending

While I did get some Chomp programming in yesterday, I've largely been focusing on a new web site design. The current one (or current as of this writing) is shown to the right. Seems rather silly to show that image at the moment, but it will make more sense once the site has been switched over.

The new one doesn't use frames, is much cleaner, and removes lots of the now obsolete material. I'm also working on a way to post updates remotely so I can do so from any computer. I'm learning a ton about style sheets and cgi's in the process so it's been rather fun. Hopefully the new site will go live in a few weeks.

I'm almost done with MGS2. I just need to sit through some more long-winded cut scenes and probably fight the last boss (multiple times if history repeats).

February 21, 2002 - Back in my day...

Just a single character update to the Staff section. At least I won't have to change it ever again since I have no plans to turn 30.

February 19, 2002 - More Chomp work

Hit a major revision this weekend with Chomp. Head on over to NUON-Dome to take a look and download it if you like. Once again, thanks Andreas for creating a great game. I've had a blast customizing it.

There's lots more to do before I move on. I can see three more major milestones. The last one will be a doozy, but will make for a great game if I can pull it off.

I should give a link to another VM Labs alumni Yak, not that he needs it. He's coding for the Pocket PC now and is neck deep in his second game. You can read his daily web logs here. The sad thing is these games could have been for NUON had he not been sacked. I wish him well in all his goaty endeavors.

February 11, 2002 - A quick detour

Along with the release of the latest version of the NUON SDK came a game called Chomp. This Pac-Man clone was created by Andreas Binner of VM Labs (hi Andreas!) and uses the new sprite library.

Stephen Anderson took the base Chomp code and added some improvements. He fixed some bugs and added a pause feature. Also, Kevin from NUON-Dome changed the graphics and sound to make it more like Pac-Man.

I have also been working on the game. I find it easier to modify someone else's code than to create my own game from scratch (duh, I guess). This weekend I hacked away and made the game a bit more mod-able. You can now add your own graphics for the maze walls, fruit, pills, and enemies. The game selects one at random every level.

I have plans for further improvements too. I want to get the player/enemy movement away from the rigid tile-based scheme. I also want to add the ability to wrap around levels so that we can have warp tunnels like in Pac-Man. Once I get all this stuff out of the way I have some other rather large improvements in mind (but I ain't telling yet).

I'll return to coding my own game once I finish up on Chomp.

I just realized that the note to new visitors was way out of date so I spruced it up a bit.

January 30, 2002 - A brief glimpse of hell

Want to know what I've been up to recently? Read this (long).

I also got into Metal Gear Solid 2 in earnest. I just love this type of game - very cinematic. MGS2 goes a bit overboard in some spots (play game for 5 minutes, watch cut scene for 10 minutes, repeat). The controls are a bit touchy too. Still, I like it a lot.

Janyary 21, 2002 - I just made my own day

Completed Eddie in SSX this weekend so now I have two characters at Master level. Guess I'll keep going with another one - probably one of the top-heavy ladies next (as they all seem to be in this game).

My hard drive has been giving me fits lately. I've been getting blue screens stating "Error writing to drive C". It usually doesn't crash the computer immediately, but it makes doing anything a chore as the errors pop up quite frequently. I've backed up everything on my other disk just in case. I'm going to try some diagnostics, but may end up buying a new disk soon.

January 14, 2002 - It's tricky to rock around...

Finally finished off Moby in SSX Tricky. I got golds in everything and completed his trick book. Next up is Eddie. I need to get a second character done for those rare times when I can play against another human.

I did boot up MGS2 and play it for a few minutes. Looks similar to the first one which is good. I love that cinematic quality. I'm still deciding how seriously I want to take the game. That is, if I will try to get the bonus for not killing anyone. I doubt it as I just don't have the patience for it.

I found a great Sega Genesis emulator which also happens to emulate Sega CDs quite well. I played Sewer Shark just for old time's sake and had a blast. It's so riddled with cheese you can't help but smile at it. "Attention Sewer Mart shoppers, there's a mess of bogies at bearing 6-12-3."

I also spent a lot of time setting up some auctions on eBay. I'm selling a large percentage of my comic book collection. As difficult as it may be to part with them I must come terms with the fact that I'll probably never read most of them again. And, as my wife likes to point out, they're taking up quite a bit of room in the closet. Take a look if you're curious.

January 2, 2002 - Happy New Year

Let's hope 2002 is better than 2001. Not that my last year was all that bad (relative to people that were directly affected by September 11th). I just hope the craziness that was 2001 is behind us.

Christmas with the parents was good, if a bit short. Such is life when you don't have a lot of vacation accrued. My pal Apophis hit me with SSX Tricky for Christmas and I am eternally grateful. The game is downright sweet! Much improved over the original as amazing as that may seem.

Game Progress I've come this close to entirely redesigning the game engine on multiple occasions in the past. The current incarnation is not the most efficient thing in the world, bandwidth-wise. I've always convinced myself not to bother. Partly because I really just wanted to get to coding some game-like thing, but also because all the new algorithms I considered had some drawback or another.

Well, recently I've pushed myself over the edge and will be scrapping the current engine for a (hopefully) much improved one. It will be faster and more efficient allowing more objects on the screen. Heck, if this turns out well I might not need to convert that section from C to assembly as mentioned earlier (although I probably will just to make it even faster).

Now where to find the time...

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This web page and others on this site are 2002 Scott Cartier
DragonShadow, DragonShadow Industries, DragonShadow Insider, and Decaying Orbit are Scott Cartier and David Dewitt