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Thursday, September 6, 2001

Yes, it's been a while without an update, and with good reason: Until now this site has not been hosted!

Oh, um...the project, right. Yes, well, it has been going even though this site has been hosted, but it's still a long way from done. There's nothing spectacular to report except that I am very near to doing a successful screen test of the game, after which I will be able to program a lot of the essential game elements.

Friday, May 16, 2001

For the sake of convenience with uploading this site (and its new parent site, Cyberdogs Emporium) I have temporarily removed the planned MP3 songs from the download page. The reason for the site disappearance was their upload, as Crosswinds quite irrationally feels that any MP3 uploads, including my own personal songs, need their permission to be uploaded. Therefore, my account, including my NAB site, was insensitively deleted. I am not sorry to leave them however, I had been planning to. Their service was far too unreliable and slow. I'm glad that ClassicGaming has hosted us. At last we'll have a happy home :-).

Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Something interesting you'll probably appreciate. I started messing around with Sonic Foundry ACID 2.0, and I've come wup with a few interesting tunes. One of these, a remix of the mod Darshan (and its successor, Darshan Too), I made a while back, and remade tonight for the game. The original version was 14 minutes long. I managed to work it down to 4:30 for the game version. I plan, if all goes well, to use this in one of the campaign trailer movies. Anyway, the MP3 file of the song is available in the newly formed downloads section, in either 128 or 56 k bitrates.

Tuesday, May 1, 2001

May day! Well, not really, but there is some good news that you'll probably wet your pants to:

The CD2001 SDK will have a built in scripting editor. By using the editor included in the game itself, you will be able to (as long as you have a general understanding of VBScript) code your own gametypes, mods, and AI for the game. The game will run the code natively from the saved .cls class module, but if you have VB6, you can comile this class module into a faster DLL file that the game will also understand.

I've well begun work on the GUI for CD2001. We thought about it but not for too long) and decided to go with a UT-style interface. This will be greatly changed, of course. This one will not run fullscreen, but as an MDI window inside of Windows. This is for several reasons. If you need to access other things in Windows, you can do it more easily, without having to alt-tab or whatever out of the game, and wait for the annoying resolution changing. Also, it will make some code development in the SDK easier. The SDK is going to be built right into the interface, so you could code your work, save it, and then jump right into a game to test it, all without leaving the CD2001 base program. I plan to add options for a "desktop" background for the main window, and possibly support for different color schemes for the windows inside the main window. I have added an early screenshot of some of the essential GUI elements.

Some things you might notice about it. There is a level preview window that will show a 320x240 sized bitmap which will give the user a glimpse of the level he has selected. Support for animated GIFs here? Sounds like fun. It's a possibility. See the SDK Log Window? You can use that to directly give the engine commands regarding coding, etc. A lot of you experts will no doubt appreciate this. You can see in the screenshot I posted (and yes, this feature is genuine, not simulated in this case) that I was able to open one of the class modules in the code editor by typing in a command that the program interprets. Look at the player setup window.You can build your character and save it in the list of characters. The viewport to the side will show a preview of your character as you assemble it (you can pick a different head and body, and you can create custom ones yourself!). I plan to make it loop through all the player animations as a sort of preview, so you can check out what a custom player looks like.

I keep trying to arrange a time for PsyCow to come over for a little programming party, in which we might actually accomplish something big. However, college is over for the year now, and poor PsyCow has less access to the car than he used to.

Friday, April 20, 2001

Usually a lack of updates just means that progress is being made without your knowledge :-). Such has been the case this week. The ideas and coding of the classes are starting to take form, and are now at a point where I can begin coding most of the gameplay engine. I've started this, and I'm basically revising everything as I go along to make an efficient, understanble engine. No doubt it will go open-source one day (not counting the SDK, that will be released when the game is), so I am spending a good bit of time commenting the code, so there's absolutely no confusion as to what everything does :-).

We now welcome a couple new people to the team. My college friend Jeff Easterwood aka PsyCow is joining the team as an assistant programmer, so I can now have programming parties with someone besides myself :-). Someone else who will be helping out later down the road is Paul Masterson, a veteran campaign designer from the original C-Dogs scene. Once we get the game engine and editor completed, he'll be doing single player campaigns that will go with the game.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Cyberdogs 2001 now has its own forums! Hit the link in the topbar to go to them. At the time of this typing, I'm still working on the forum layout, but it should be done fairly soon.

Friday, April 13, 2001

I won't make any cheesey Friday the 13th comments, except that nothing bad has happened so far. I've been making a good deal of progress today and yesterday. I have begun taking a slightly different approach with the classes. Nothing too drastic or requiring much change, but it will definately make some coding easier. Maybe we should all unite to have it renamed Friday the 1337th?

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

I'm still working in the classes, and I'm making a good deal of progress. If all goes well, and I can learn enough in a short time to get everything to work, we could see a couple of early test screenshots :-). In other news, I've decided I'm definately going to want some help. Here's what I need so far:

*An artist that can do character images, world tiles, etc.
*A music composer to make some format of module music (MOD, S3M, XM, IT, etc.) and/or DirectMusic files.
*Voice talents (the usual: grunts, groans, screams, and taunts)
*Someone that can do good weapon sound effects.

If you can help proviode ANY of these, e-mail me at cyberdogs2001@hotmail.com. NOTE: If you can, please send me a sample of your work, in a zip file, and make sure it doesn't exceed about half a MB. Thanks!

I have some general ideas about editability now. A lot of the content, such as player graphics, new weapons, levels, etc. will be editable through whatever editor I build to work with the game. However, if someone has Visual Basic 6.0, they'll be able to create completely new gametypes. This is hypothetical at the moment, and I'm not sure if it will work, but it looks as if the users will be able to write their new gametypes as ActiveX DLLs and compile them. The game will then be able to see all the files in the gametypes folder (yes, the gametypes folder. Everything will have its own little folder somewhere) and list them for the user to pick to start a game. With any luck, and if the filesizes allow, people who want to join a multiplayer game that uses a new gametype will be able to download it directly from the server (Only, of course, if the server is allowing it) and join the game.

I think I went a bit too far with that rant, there, so I'll stop now before I make you hope too much :-).

Friday, April 6, 2001

The site is now in business! Cyberdogs 2001 is now my full-time at-home programming project, and I'm having a lot of fun so far!