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Blog
  12th February, 2010
Jayenkai @ Google!
If it wasn't obvious what my google profile url was going to be, there it is!

Am I using it? Mildly.
It's supposed to be picking up my tweets, but.. I don't think it is!
So, everything's either over at one, or it's over at the other, right now.

If you're watching me on Twitter, I'm still writing this week's Socoder newsletter, which I've already posted here
If you're watching me on Google Buzz, I'm playing Pinball Dreams, which I already got a new highscore on, and later quit.
..
I'm not actually doing either!
I'm writing this!

Follow me!!
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 12th February, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  10th February, 2010
Late last night, as I was half-asleep and reading through Twitter, @Komiga asked me if I was going to be using any version tracking software for my lovely framework.
My twittered response was limited (by lack of sleep, and also 140 chrs!!), so I figured I should explain it a little better.

Last year, around about Alien Deathmatch/Centipong time, I built up my 2D-in-3D framework to work in Blitz3D.
It worked wonders, and let me achieve a whole new ability. I could finally rotate sprites! Yeay!

I kept the 2d-in-3d framework as a seperate include, as well as a "defs.bb" which did all the default stuff, like the fps keeper, the loading and saving and all the rest of the framework type things.

After a while though, since I'm making so many games, a huge number of issues started to crop up.
One game needed to be in pure 2D, so I had to create a second defs2D.bb, which wouldn't start doing any 3D commands. Another game needed sprites to be layed out in a different order, meaning I had to reconstruct the 3D stuff. Another game wanted some tiles infront of the player, so that needed extra tweaking, and then Blockman Gets More.. Good lord, that was some crazy stuff to get that all working!!

The main issue wasn't getting the things done, it was instead trying to achieve them without breaking anything that could affect every other game I'd already done.

And it even affected pre-compiled games, too. The whole Badges/Scoring system could easily be broken in one game, and make other games unplayable. Things like that.
Chaos.

Every game relied on each other, and it became overly complex.


This time around, I've chosen not to even bother with all that crap.
I'm keeping things simpler.
I've created a "skel/" folder, and placed the framework, and game code inside that. (game.bmx and functions.bmx, as well as wordlist.bmx and music.bmx, which haven't been used yet.. Mostly 'cos I haven't finished off the music stuff!)

If I start a new game, I make a brand new copy of the folder, and begin.
This means that although every game will have the ever-building framework, (which can be reverse engineered back into the skeleton whenever I do something useful) it'll be it's own copy, and it won't get borked by something I decide to add halfway through another project 6 months later!

It also means, though, that the framework can be rejigged each time, to suit the target game better. Sprites can be reorganised, menus can be added in, control schemes reconfigured and more.
I've built the framework with these sorts of thing in mind. So, although the "Graph()" function will be more or less the same each time, they can be tweaked to show extra stats, depending on the game, without breaking other graphs.
The default fonts can all be changed in a small section of the code, and not end up changing the fonts in all the other games.

I've done it this way, because I'm building lots of games using this. If I were making a game a year, I'll probably have done things differently. But I need things tweakable because I just can't trust myself to leave things be.
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 10th February, 2010
2010 Framework
Blog
  9th February, 2010
What week are we on, again?! Um.. ?
Let's go for 24! I think that's right!
Week 24, Game 32, first proper game from the new engine.
Hopefully things run smoothly, let me know how it goes!!


Centipong 2


Could be better, could be worse!
Meh!


Lots of game, but a lack of interest lead to eventual dumbing down.
Still nice, though!


Windows : 3Mb
Linux : 3Mb (compiled under Ubuntu 9.10)
Extras : 6Mb!
Contents : DVD Case, Wallpaper, 320kbs MP3, big AGameAWeek logo!

Enjoy, and let me know the results.

Oh, and I didn't write this ingame anywhere, but right mousebutton does the net thing!!
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 9th February, 2010
Release
Blog
  8th February, 2010
Or rather, rushing to implement the ideas suggested!!

As well as finally adding a "Enter Your Name" screen!

There's still a half-a-dozen little niceties that I'd like to add, before release. So, although this game WILL DEFINITELY be released tomorrow, it'll probably end up being Tomorrow morning + whenever I wake up + a few hours after that!
For example, it'd be nice to have more than one difficulty setting!! But to do that, I need to add that frontscreen menu thingy!
whoops!!!

There's also the badges, which are technically do-able, but something I've not really gotten around to yet! (Although the highscore table does already have them ready for popping in..)

um.
..
*shrugs*

There's other little bits, but nothing's too important.


Centipong 2 : Tomorrow!!!

Oh, yeah, and "Centipong 2 : Gentler, Calmer, Crazier" does appear to be the final title, since it's grown on me quite a bit!
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 8th February, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  8th February, 2010
MadTinkerer's Net is now ingame.
Simple method of adding it, there's a small blob in the middle of the screen, lining up with the mouse's X position.
The player holds Right mousebutton, and the small blob grows into a little basket/net.
The player collects 3 red pods and gains "Love" magnet mode.
3 orange makes the paddle grow
and so on and so forth.

I have 6 so far.
Feel free to go nuts and suggest more, because there's a whole great big bunch of color combo's I can mix up!

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Purple are your 7 colors.
Go wild!

(FameGets : Everyone who posted yesterday already have their names in the left hand credit box!!! YEAY!!!)
Views 16, Upvotes 0, 8th February, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  7th February, 2010
Centipong has been wrought with issues since day 56. It's been a bit of a pain, but for a whole bunch of obscure reasons.

I'm up to my last day, and I just wanted you folks to expect something slight odd with this release.
See, the thing is, as much as this IS Centipong TWO, I didn't really want to tread the exact same path.
I've already done Centipong, and Centipong Jr in Java, and Centipong DS as well.
And starting this project seemed like a great idea, but it's the exact same thing AGAIN!
It's been really hard to push myself along the exact same path that I've already done. I haven't found this to be a fulfilling coding experience, it's dragged and dragged and it's all been a little bit overly repetitive.

The paddle's there, the balls there, the pods are there, the mushrooms are there, there are progressive waves getting longer and faster.

But..
There's no pickups.
If I add the pickups I end up with the same "Grow the paddle, shrink the paddle, add a ball" type things, and.. we've done them before.

I'm trying to come up with something All-New, but absolutely nothing is coming to mind.

Progress is stupidly slow, and I'm finding myself just batting the ball about, wondering what else I could possibly add.

I got nothing...

If you've an idea, let me know quicky, because otherwise Centipong 2 is going to be a bit pants compared to the original.

(...in his best EA PR person's voice)
But it'll look better!!!!
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 7th February, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  4th February, 2010
The titlescreen of future games requires many things.

1. Title of Game
2. Credits
3. Highscores
4. Instructions
5. Menu

Individually they can all be nice and small, but put together, they tend to make things super-crazy! Especially when they're all equally fighting to attention.

Welcome to Framework Titlescreen Version 0.3

Title, Subtitle and "Press Key to Start" are staples, athough I'll be changing "Key" to "Click".
On the left, a whole box of credits, and on the right is the little highscore/graph thing that you've seen earlier.

I can easily fit a menu down the middle of that once I'm ready..
As for instructions.
Hmm.
I'm not too sure about those, actually. If I can keep them short I can bundle them next to "Press Key to Start", but.. who knows.
Centipong's fine, though, since it tells you what you're doing as you play.
..
Should be ok, right?!




Centipong : Tuesday!
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 4th February, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  2nd February, 2010
Engine's now ready for any and all future word-based games that I might randomly decide to build. The wordlist adds 970Kb to a game's exe when added, and when asked it spends about 100milliseconds hunting through the complete list for a word.
Luvly.

So, with that out of the way I'm heading back to Centipong.

You'd think, about 4 weeks into the whole Framework thing, that things would be more or less finished.
You'd be wrong.
There's LOADS of stuff that I've still not done!
It's terrible to think of all the silly little things I've not yet done, but it's built with enhancements in mind, and over the coming weeks and games it'll all build up into something a little more magical.

For the meantime, I think everything's in there that I need for Centipong.


Mmm... Centipong!
Things added today.

1. Mushrooms
2. Particles!

I've gone a little crazy with things, and I'm not entirely sure how fast it'll run on slower systems, but we're still playing "Testing the Engine" here, so it'll be good to know how well everyone's systems handle such huge sprites.
Because, even though they look tiny onscreen, they're actually all 128x128 pixel sprites!
Sure, it's a little overkill, but I really want to push this engine to it's limits.

One good thing I've noticed is that setting the game to a lower resolution does speed everything up, so I think the system's trying to cope with all the large polygons a lot more than it's coping with the large images. If you get what I mean.

*shrugs*

Centipong will be here on Tuesday.
I've missed enough weeks..!

And it's still not got a decent subtitle yet.
It's currently Centipong 2 : Gentler, Calmer, Crazier!
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 2nd February, 2010
2010 Framework
Blog
  1st February, 2010
Having now sat up for more than 10 minutes, I figure I'd best get coding, but I can't really finish off Centipong in less than a day..
What to do?
Well, assuming I now have all week to complete Centipong, I might as well spend today doing something a little different.

One of my all time favourite (of my own!) games is Stringy Things.
I know that a hell of a lot of folk don't like Word games as much as I do, but.. dangit, I love the things!
I've always planned to add a huge wordlist into the BlitzMax framework, but since it was never essential, I haven't yet bothered to do it.
Well, seems today's my lucky day.
A whole day to play "Make the Checker!!!"

I've grabbed both TWL06 and SOWPODS from here, and I'm going to integrate them into a great big numberical database, ready for searching.
I'll pop 'em into a single swift include file, and will be able to integrate them into any and all future games.
Lovely stuff..

I might not finish it all today, but I can at least make a start.
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 1st February, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  31st January, 2010
Today marks my fourth day of lying in bed feeling crappy with a flu. I wouldn't feel too bad about this, if it weren't for the following facts.

1. There won't be a game this week, again.
2. This is approximate the seventeenth time I've had a flu since about November, and it's really starting to tick me off.

Guess all this snowy weather's not agreeing with me.

Sucks.
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 31st January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  30th January, 2010
legoman4032 asked in the Youtube comments if I had mp3's.

Who am I to argue..

Pain.MP3 The version from the YouTube video!

Extended, via the basic use of a repeaty bit in the middle, but in an instrumental stylee!

Karaoke!! Sing along! You know the words!

and, so it doesn't feel left out..
Pain.MP3 The original remix from last February, with a bit that's not from "Devil in the Dark", and is instead from "Elementary, My Dear Data" (I think), and that I couldn't be bothered to hunt down to cut the video from, so ended up just randomly plucking an extra bit from the Horta episode, instead!!
Mmm..Beta edition!

Some day I'll track down the 15 year old Amiga mod and let you hear that!
Views 14, Upvotes 0, 30th January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  27th January, 2010
I'm not entirely sure where I'm heading with this, but we'll have a play anyway.
So far I've got some VERY big and chunky sprites in the engine, and the whole thing's playing at a much slower pace than the last one. A very different feel, overall.


Aww, ain't it pwetty!
Lots of bloomy stuff, but nothing in the background yet, bah.
Not sure what to add there, yet. Space, Grass, Sand, Pigeons, not a clue. Something, probably not too busy!

Currently the game is titled "Centipong 2 : The Snake and the Ball", but that's a bit naff. Could do better.

um.
*shrugs*

Any suggestions?
Views 8, Upvotes 1, 27th January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  26th January, 2010

Decided to redraw the pod, due to the XNA one being slightly smaller than expected.
No matter, nice new images!

To be honest, that might be a wee bit too big, but I'll know better once I've added the paddle and ball into play.
In the meantime, there's your first shot.

Not much to see, but it's a start.
Views 1, Upvotes 0, 26th January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  25th January, 2010
Pain has engulfed my world, this week.

Read More
Views 4, Upvotes 0, 25th January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  24th January, 2010
The framework's coming together nicely, and things are looking up.
But there were Audio issues with various versions of Ubuntu (or rather, with the SAME versions of Ubuntu!!) that were causing the game to be silent, and then crash!

Hopefully I've managed to fix that, now.
There's a whole list of audio drivers available to the game, and all are nicely selectable in the nice Tab box.
Unfortunately, you will have to close and restart before it'll change the driver, or else.. Well, it just plain crashes!

Hopefully this will work! If not, and the game is still silent, it will inevitably hit a point where the game will still crash, due to it not really knowing that things aren't playing!
If the driver isn't working, ChannelPlaying() will annoyingly always say "Yes, the channel IS playing", and then when it tries to stop said channel, it freaks itself out and crashes.
Bah!!!

If you hear the little Jingle when the game first runs, you should be fine.
Otherwise, tweak those settings, and hope for the best!


In other update news, the next letter now flashes.

There's also some other framework bits and pieces, but I honestly can't remember what's new and what isn't.. it's all been a bit of a blur, this week!!

Downloads
New Linux Version
New Windows Version
Views 13, Upvotes 0, 24th January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  22nd January, 2010
The mind works in mysterious ways.
Especially mine.

When I'm meant to be finishing off the Framework, fixing up game #1, and starting off game #2, my head went "Hey, why don't you make a video for Pain!"
..
I disagreed, and told my head that I must continue to work on my games.

My head wouldn't let me..

So I had to make a video for Pain..

*sigh*


This is so stupid!!


View on YouTube
Views 0, Upvotes 0, 22nd January, 2010
Daily Blog
Blog
  20th January, 2010
Today, whilst uploading the new AGAW header for this site, I wondered if anyone would be interested in a simple little challenge.


Question : Name all the games in the new AGameAWeek header.


(copy incase the cache isn't letting you see it yet!)

Prize : The entire sourcecode to this week's "Munky Train 2" game!!

That includes everything I've done to the framework so far, so you can nosey through it, see how it's all done, and perhaps even use the framework for your own stuff!
This could be the start of something big.

Or you might just flick through the sourcecode and wonder how on earth I can manage AGameAWeek with such a horrible nasty coding style!

Whichever!

Obviously, this is probably only useful to folk who use BlitzMax. Or maybe you'll download BlitzMax's demo, try it out, and think about buying it and starting your own coding.
Who knows!!
A crazy Code based adventure awaits!!


If you're interested, email the answers, and I'll pick out a winner.
Views 23, Upvotes 2, 20th January, 2010
Experimental
Blog
  20th January, 2010
The Linux test has worked on one test system.
The Linux test has NOT worked on another test system.

And that's all the replies I've had.. Not a whole lot of feedback there.

The broken version appears to have been entirely audio related, so I'm going to have to peek into BlitzMax's audio options today, and see what I can/can't do inside Linux, and otherwise shove in a few failsafe methods incase of broken audio.
(I'd rather fix it, than just declare it "Not working", but if that's what I have to do, then I guess that's that.)

Then I still need to sort out that dang titlescreen, and fix up the 7 or 8 other things in my todo list.
Seems we'll be having another test game, this week.
No matter, so long as it's something.

Hmm.. What game to do...?
Views 5, Upvotes 0, 20th January, 2010
2010 Framework
Blog
  19th January, 2010
AGameAWeek 2010 - Game Number One!

We'll call this a test game, because the whole framework thing still isn't quite up to scratch, with all kinds of missing features!
Plus I've put in LOADS of little quirks, things that should be quick have been made extra lengthy, and there's a bunch of redundancy.. This is half-done on purpose so that I can see what the available systems can and can't cope with.

Hopefully we'll find that they can!!


Type in the text that's displayed on the screen,
keep munky and train running lovely and clean.

You can download this TWICE!!!

Download : This Version is for Windows.
and..
Download : This Version is for Linux!

and if you're bored...
This is the DVD style extras pack!
Oooh!! New Feature!!
Not much to speak off, though, since this entire game was only started yesterday, and I hadn't thought this stuff through, yet!!


Now, since this is a test, we need some feedback.
See inside to help me through things
Read More
Views 8, Upvotes 0, 19th January, 2010
Release
Blog
  17th January, 2010
By now you've probably routed around inside the JayArchive.
It's a nice thing to flick through, but sometimes folk can't be bothered to download 150+ seperate little downloads.
So, rather than leave it up to random picking, here's 11 nice big zip files, with EVERYTHING for Windows. (up until today)

Each big zip file is numbered with it's associated JayRank.

Unzip it to explode all the amazing Jayenkai Contents!
You'll find all the images and zip files that are contained within the JayArc, along with a html file that opens up and shows what's in the archive.

There's also an xml file that contains extra info, incase you feel like adding the JayArc into your own site, or whatever..
If you do, give me lots and lots of credits, and link here as often as possible!!!


Each game is still in it's own JayArchive zip, so you still have to unzip them all to play, but it shouldn't be tricky at all.

Nice and quick, and nice and playable.
Enjoy!

Download the zips!

0 - Unfinished/Abandoned games
Terrible : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 : Fantastic
Views 15, Upvotes 0, 17th January, 2010
Daily Blog
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