My time has been pressing me of late and I have been working on WinLom in the morning before work 5:30 – 7:30. So progress has been slow.
I am currently systematically working through some of the features that are missing or need tidying up and hope to have a new version within a week or two. This version should be the 1st Beta of the WinLom99 scenario.
What I am hoping is that this version can be played by as many as wish to and I can get good feedback of what/where the bugs are.
I then intend to leave this version in beta for the next month, this will give me enough time to evaluate the engine and work out the areas I need to address to allow the Doomdark’s Revenge scenario to work correctly.
The engine is currently already *very* configurable through the access database and all manner of different things can be done with it. I just need to fix up some of the idiosyncrasies of DDR. About the only thing that can’t easily be changed at the moment is the map. This requires an editor which will come later.
I want to take the next month off as I need a break from WinLom and I want to refresh some areas of my web site, which I have neglected lately.
After that month I will resume work to finish off the Midnight Engine and start on the editor. ( ie: unless someone wants to take up this task! )
I will probably release this first version of the source code to allow others to look at it and we can start the process of fixing up the areas that don’t make it portable etc. With this version anyone interested in building new scenarios should be able to make a start and get a general idea of what they can/can’t do. This will all help for improving the engine further.
Again, if anyone has any noticeable areas that DDR is different than LOM I would be interested to know.
I’ve not had much time to code for the last week or so and I’ve had to re-code a few areas in order to restructure. This was to allow me to separate out my standard library stuff from the rest of the project. This now gives me the front-end, backend and library setup.
Everything is now back up and running – except text and night processing of doomdark.
The night processing is missing because I never finished it in the first place and the text is due to not wanting to use certain proprietary graphic formats.
I have a lot of code and utilities which handles generic graphic stuff, which I have used from company to company, project to project. I chose not to use my own sprite/graphic format and stick with BMP’s, mainly because you would need all the utilities to add graphics to the engine and I cannot distribute them. Not to mention the fact that that particular utility isn’t very pretty – plus I’m not using any of the features that the graphic format/utility gives.
All this is fine, except for the fonts. I have routines that alpha edge blend/anti alias the fonts to give a nice font smoothing affect. So in order to use these fonts and allow others to change them I need to re-code a simplified version of my font maker. ( time time time )
I will stick in a windows font for now and fixup the font util later. The text won’t look as pretty – unless anyone knows how to get Windows GDI to render a font to a DDRAW surface with font smoothing on! ( I just couldn’t get that to work last time I tried. )
Anyway, enough rambling… I’m hoping to get a version up on my site for you all to look at by Sat 13th Feb.
Since my announcement of WinLom99 the scope and rules of the project have changed, and thus I think it important to clarify my thoughts on the subject.
The project shall now be known by the term “The Midnight Project” and this will include;
1. The Midnight Engine ( back-end )
2. A Default Front-end
3. WinLom99 Scenario
4. The Editor
In order to facilitate the release and actual fulfilment of the project, a basic skeleton of the engine (alpha1.00) will be released with the Lom Scenario ASAP.
This will allow me to evaluate and structure all future enhancements, features etc.. accordingly.
The database for the LOM scenario will be in a format that is easy to modify and understand but will only be the basis on which the project will grow. No detailed specification will be implemented or suggested.
The editor will follow later when a better overall picture is available. This will allow for further consultation with all would be authors. Maybe someone else may want to take on this part of the project.
Nothing about the project is or will be fixed by the release of alpha1.00 I just want to place the project out into the public domain as quick as possible to allow for a gradual but better development of the engine. It may even be that certain elements of the engine may be hard- wired at this initial stage until better analysis has be given on the first release. I will however try my best to avoid such issues.
In order to get to actual alpha1.0 I may have to ignore bigger scope suggestions; but don’t think they will have been dropped I will just have to feel my way through this initial stage.
May I first point out that; I hope this doesn’t conflict with or cause problems with anyone else doing a LOM conversion. Please email me directly if this does. I just thought it important to make my intentions clear.
As you are all aware from previous postings or my Web site etc. I have always intended on doing a Windows Version of LOM. I have bitted at this since 1991 ( time of the conversion! ) and started and restarted a number of times. Some of these versions are currently being used by others to help with their conversions or have proved more than a little useful in explaining how LOM works.
I finally sat down a few weeks before Christmas to start looking at the new version. I mocked up a few screens (will try an put on web site soon ) and wrote the basis of the following document – I then wWin rote the skeleton code of the system which has pretty much everything apart from a few night features.
I then took a Christmas break.
I’m about to start the process again and thought I would post this document for your comments before I get too entwined in the project.