What I’m doing this summer

It’s time for another status update.

Since my last progress update, I’ve been busy. First with work: End of the semester and such. Not much time for anything else. After that, I went to the south of Sweden for a week to play and learn more about Jazz and World Music. (Yes, that’s me in the picture with a cornet in hand, trying some livelooping.) Great fun, and inspiring. (Some sound clips from the course are also available at the site I linked to, in case you’re curious. It’s me trying an improvised cornet solo in the middle of the Arabian 7/8, and playing the bassoon in the Tango.)

But now I onec again have time for a bit of programming, and am making progress. Continue reading

A new review

I was happy to find that “JD” has reviewed Frasse and the Peas of Kejick on his blog, where he reviews a lot of freeware adventure games (check it out). He mostly liked it, and I agree him where he mentions things he didn’t like so much.

Thanks, JD, for taking the time to write reviews! (And I’m not saying this because he liked my game. If anyone who doesn’t like my game would like to review it, I’d be equally grateful. I’d probably learn more from that review.)

Music!

I’ve only done minor things with Sludge this week. (Done some small fixes, and changed how resolution is handled.) The rest of the remaining work will have to wait until I have the books I mentioned in my previous post.

Instead I have spent some time with Frasse. The original game, and not the sequel. When I release it for the Mac, it will be an updated game, and the area where I really want to update things in in the sound department. I want to use real instruments in the music. Here’s an example: The original version, and the updated one with a live trombone. The new version is far from perfect (I need to practice recording myself) and I’ll probably return to it again before the game is re-released, but I hope you’ll agree it’s an improvement anyway. I plan to do this all over the place, and also add other sounds.

Sludge progress update

Now these things also work:

  • Collision detection. (I.e. checking if the mouse is over a character.)
  • Thumbnails for saved games.
  • File rename/delete.
  • Parallax layers are pasted properly when doing a freeze.
  • getPixelColour (untested, but should work)
  • The snapshot-related functions and special effects.

This means that all Sludge games should be playable! There are still things remaining, but everything is going in the right direction. (Beta testers – the updated engine is available at the same location as before.)

I have also ordered two books that should help me learn some things I should know: Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X  (I’m told this is the must-have book for Cocoa programmers) and OpenGL Shading Language.

Let there be light! (And fun with game testing.)

This is another progress update for my work on Sludge.

Lighting works. It was easier to add than I expected. (multitexturing with OpenGL is quite straightforward!) This is an area where the 32 bit graphics (instead of the 16 bit used by Sludge v 1) make things look better. Out of Order in particular looks quite impressive. Tim Furnish did some cool things with the lighting that looks great now that it’s a bit more subtle.

I have also discovered and fixed some bugs.

Now that most systems are functional, I’ve started testing a bit more. I’m now testing all Sludge games I have access to: (I want to make sure that I don’t break anything.)

Besides these, there are two more Sludge games that I know of that have been released: The Otto Experiment demo and Kats. Both of those have disappeared from the web. If you know where I can find them (Otto in particular) or another game that I have forgot about, please let me know.

Mandy managed to crash the engine when I started it. It turned out that the reason for that was that it’s in Slovak. (Translations are available, but I ran it with the defaults first.) Slovak uses a lot of accents, and those letters are encoded in the Windows text format in the game file, so when the game tried to set the title of the Window, it failed spectacularly. I now convert the title to Unicode, so it works. (Internally, Sludge uses its own text format, so that was never a problem.)

Continue reading

You can run, and now you can also hide!

Sludge progress update:

The z-buffer now (almost) works! All my tests work great except the Interview. I suspect it may be due to the high number of layers used there, but I don’t know. (If I had known, the bug would have been fixed already.)

Edit: Now I know, and now it’s fixed!

I’ve also fixed the bug that was keeping some music silent, so all sound should now work properly.

…and some actual progress!

I’ve now spent some time with Sludge, which means that text now comes in different colours (though it may be a bit too bright – will test some more), speech stays on the screen (I don’t know when I happened to introduce that bug, but now I’ve fixed it), mixOverlay works properly (it was ridiculously easy), and I fixed a small problem that was remaining with pasted sprites.

This means that the following small test programs work as they should (unless I’ve missed something): Continue reading

Another progress update…

…or maybe a “lack-of-progress” update. Since my last comment on my last post, I haven’t done anything with either Frasse or Sludge. Time, you know, and so on. I wrote in my last update that expected to get some things done in the week before Easter. True, I have had time to program, and I have gotten things done, but those things have been in another area: I have a brother who is a farmer, and I have helped him with his site where he sells sheep fells. (The site is in Swedish only.)

But you can rest assured that I will return to both Sludge and Frasse. Neither is abandoned. Maybe I’ll get some things done tomorrow…

Happy Easter!

Mac users rejoice!

I’ve been working on the engine that powers (among other great games) Frasse and the Peas of Kejick (and will power its sequel). Tim Furnish, who made the engine, opened up its source code almost a year ago (how time flies!) and I immediately downloaded it and started looking at it with the intent of porting it to Mac OS X. As you might imagine, that’s not a completely straightforward process. It took me a while simply to get it to compile and run in Windows (using another compiler than the one Tim used).

Continue reading