Archives for: September 2003

23/09/03

Permalink 12:00:00 pm, Categories: Fury of the Furries, Progress, 335 words   English (UK)

Newsletter

Hello,

I reached a milestone last week, for the first time, the program now actually loads and displays information from a level of the game. If you select a game to play from the main menu, it will load and display the background for the first desert level.

Having acheived that small but significant step, I went back and optimized some of the code:

There are four different fonts used at various points by the game, each having different sizes, different kerning, and being layed out differently on the textures. Where before I handled this with 3 different font drawing routines, I have rationalized it all down into 1 function to streamline things a little. At the same time I added in the kerning information which I had previously left out as a low-priority issue. As a result, the text layout matches the original considerably better.

Another place where I was able to streamline the code was in handling the screen fades. Previously this was done with a black, blended polygon which covered the screen when needed. Instead I now use glColor to fade all textures as they are drawn. On the Windows platform, this greatly reduces the screen overdraw and leads to a significant improvement in graphics bandwidth use. On the Dreamcast, the consequences are more significant. Blending is a slow process for the pvr tile-engine, and blend polygons occupy their own polygon list. By removing the need for blends, I can render all the polygons as punch-thrus and avoid having to switch lists altogether. This improves performance, and streamlines the code.

My target this week, is to build the game play code, into a stack structure, so that it is possible to play a secret level in its entirety and then return to the original level, where you left off. To test this, I'll also have to implement some sort of movement, (without collision detection at this stage) and also level changes triggered by the exit, or by the clock expiry.

Thank you for listening.

12/09/03

Permalink 12:00:00 pm, Categories: Fury of the Furries, Progress, 437 words   English (UK)

Newsletter

Hello all,

I took a break at the start of this week, and rather than concentrating on the game, wrote some useful tools. These are now available on the website submarine.org.uk/projects/fury/files.php in the tools section at the bottom of the page. Basically some simple programs to manipulate .dat files. Audun in particular was interested in seeing what was inside them. cdat.exe represents the first file compressor that I think I've ever written, I'm pretty pleased with it.

Back on the game, this weeks build now responds to the mouse (I can only find one place in the entire game where it might possibly want a mouse, but I did it anyway). Mouse support is included on the Language selection screen.

Keyboard input is now accepted for the password entry. In addition to the hi-score style of password entry which I had to put in so that the game could be used on the dreamcast game controller, you can now type letters and digits as you might expect. The original game would respond to pretty much any key, including punctuation, but I have not implemented that simply because the passwords are only letters and digits.

The dreamcast version also responds to keyboard and mouse. I had to buy a dc mouse just to prove it.

Currently the game still expects a password, and I'm undecided as to whether to leave that in permanently. It still there for now, because it provides a test for the new keyboard code.

On the music front, a comment by Audun has really helped where I was stuck. I suspect that the 12 bytes of data describing the instruments in the .kmd files are in fact parameters to feed directly into the Yamaha sound chip in the Adlib soundcard. Some simple experiments should help me track down which parameters go where.

A more daunting task is to create an alternative synthesiser that I can drive under windows, and then also on the Dreamcast. On the dc however, I might well write an independant synth program for the ARM sound processor, which I can load into sound ram and set running in the background. There's a lot to do in that respect.

The sound effects should be a lot simpler. The snd files are simply iff files without headers, and the iff files can be converted byte by byte into .wav files, so I might be able to get sound, at least on the Win32 build within a week or two.

The latest builds are available on the website. 0.1.0.770 for Windows and 0.1.0.769 for the Dreamcast.

Bye for now

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