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My First Blog Post

Posted by admin on January 1, 2009

New blog entry: MarkoeZ' DevBlog and stuff

If you want Videos, go straight to my Youtube Page. New update there every now and then

First Entry

Well since even I can't keep track of the things im doing, i like several projects at a time, it might be good to have a DevBlog. I'll give all ICT relevant stuff i did in the past a place here as well, it will all be cross linked once ready. Note before you criticise me: I'm not native English, May post when very tired (or slightly drunk, coding games goes sooo well then), and most of all, I've only been coding again for about 4 months now, and for the first time in C++. I used to program in GFA-Basic on the Atari ST in the late eighties, early nineties, but general life got more interesting when i became a teenager ;) Always been a tech enthousiast though.

So without further delay, the results of 4 months of tutorials, long nights, monitor swearing, a couple of brews, and loads and loads of help by PokeParadox (Thanks for that!!), My Devblog, starting with an update of most things up to Feb 2009 The Pandora, Coding, and the minigames so far

I read

a small article on a Linux handheld somewhere and was instantly interested. I had a Psion 3 series, and a HP Jornada in the past, but they just not did it for me. So i went to the site and Forum, and got hooked. I started with reading everything i could, because there were evil people there, with names like PoisonedV, that go crazy at noobs that do not read!!!. After that i registered and slowly started posting. They did not bite!!

Then just after the First Ordering Drama (After this to be called FOD, not that it will be mentioned anymore but that is not the issue here, ok?), at the end of september/early october, with server crashes, forum switches and all kinds of other troubles, a small initiative saw the daylight. The idea for a launch title/minigame compilation made by the community.
Since i had time to spare i thought it might be fun. That was the end of my sleeping at night...

Installing and getting everything to build was not easy, but with some help of the community (*ahum Poke) i got it running. So late october it was time for my first game


Generally, i just took one of the Minigames in the framework, started ripping it apart, stealing code from other minigames, reviewing the tutorials for tips and made this simple math thing. It's just all text, except for the background. I ripped a couple of frames from an abstract video i made with a crew, smoothed that out in paint.net, and voila.

There were some issues that i first regarded as bugs, like divisions with zero's and double minus characters. But then i realised that most users of the Pandora would be somewhat higher skilled mathematically than the general public, and those that were not, could complain that the game is faulty and get a free lesson.
Later i added some functions that regulate the height of the numbers, it slowly gets more difficult. by the time you get divisions in the hundreds its just hard. Rooster has created a great background tune that just completely defines the game.
But now it was time to move something, so i started a small target shooter:


More comfortable, i built this game from an empty file, only looking at the other games for tips. But also lots and lots of checking in the framework, not understanding a bit of it, googling some more, and finally understanding a very tiny bit of it.
I started out with 2 birds, but that's just boring. So i dug up the video's i've seen on arrays and stuff and added variable amounts of them, yay! :P Collision checking between birds and scopes was first stolen from SpaceInvaders, but later rewritten to accomodate for the variable birdnumber etc. Implementing the nubs was trickier, i had to do that all blind since i don't have an USB joypad here. So after instructions on how to implement it basically, i slowly broke that code into bits, developed my code for the 2 nubs around it, and sent it out for a test. For exact programming, that was a great excercise, everything has to be right the first time. And behold!!!!! The scopes went off the screen in 0.6 Milliseconds!!! Ahum… But, after adding a line for a limiter: It Worked!! Apparently, because since i still don't have a pad, only Poke has been able to play it yet, hmm… ;) The bird from Dragons_Slayer again, without a rider this time. Scopes and background by me

Anyway, all the bird stuff got me thinking about a small game i used to enjoy a lot on my old Atari, Joust. so just before NewYear came the first announcement of (then differently named)


This was getting hard since there needed to be a Hero with all kinds of attributes, and numerous birds, also doing weird stuff, and finally the platforms. And those stupid birds actually DON'T stay on those things themselves!! Up to this point i had not actively worked with classes yet (except in a copy paste situation like with backgrounds etc), but now i had to. Forunately, the Sprite class of Penjin was very well equipped to do most of the stuff. So i used those, and got to know their inner workings quite well by studying them. Even made a small addition to it at that point. For a relative n00b, getting movement, gravity and collision detections of up to 9 enemies, up to nine platforms, and a hero right is a female dog i can tell you… There might still be some tiny glitches in there, but it needs more actual play testing by different ppl to find those, all the major ones are gone. Ofcourse as i found out, the actual number does not matter, see jumper :) That being said, the game really feels nicely fast paced now, later levels are hectic, the early ones should be fun for everyone. Awesome graphics by Dragons_Slayer, all of them are his (well, except the crappy background i made). Sounds for the background and bird walking i created myself with Fruityloops. I had some small comments on the the legality, but since the graphics are completely original and gameplay varies from the original, only the name was left. So just te be certain, it's now Djoust, or PanDjoust actually. And The D comes from Joust, not PanDora, uhm Djoust i mean… ; )

While messing around a bit on the side i made a testgame, it did nothing but it had a name so i started with that when joust became more ready for release:


Now for this one i wanted to keep things structured a lot more. So i made 2 classes, both inherited from the sprite class since that just really has allmost all the basics needed for characters and tiles. A Character and a Tile class. (10 points for the one who saw that one coming!!) I added loads of nice movement offset and other attributes, and some not so nicely implemented yet. When i'm on a roll, get it done and tidy up a bit later! But basically it's a platform jumper. Right now it's a question of jumping towards the star to finish, but i could easily think of a couple of other playmodes. Also open to interesting suggestions!!! With lots of enemies, the game really looks alive, although some decent levels need to be made once the file structure for the level files is definitive Nicq_Dude is working on the main character, the Big Headed Robot. love it allready! The tiles, Blobs and Ghosts are made by me. What to do now coding wise is tidying up the code, less hard coded values, more integration in the classes, etc. Gameplay wise it's making the level editor more pratical and pretty, i'd like one or two more enemy types (more birds? :)

That's It

That's it for this first update. Since lots has happened the last couple of months, this post will be edited and made more complete. Starting now, all new updates will just be posted as new items. If you got this far, Thanks!


2009/01/?? 22:51 · Mark Uitterdijk



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