Development Diaries

SpindleyQ's picture

IT'S ALIVE

IT TOTALLY WORKS

OH MAN OH MAN OH YES

Eric is in bed now, but I can't wait to let him play with Alphaboogie.

SpindleyQ's picture

Decoding progress

It's going pretty smoothly, actually!

I wrote a little oscilloscope program in Python that interprets the raw pulse/space data from WinLirc (pasted into text files), then gathered the data for each of the buttons. Thankfully the encoding was easy to decipher (each bit has a short pulse to start, and then a short or long space indicating one or zero; a long pulse ends each batch of sixteen bits), so it's just a matter of looking at the picture and turning it into a code. I haven't really looked at how to write the configuration file properly quite yet, but I'm sure it won't be too hard after all.

Important findings for game designers:
- The codes are the same whether you roll the trackball up or down. :(
- The "release" code appears to be the same for all buttons, so there's no possibility of holding down multiple buttons simultaneously.

EDIT! For all the V.Smile Baby hackers out there, I've attached a text file detailing the codes associated with every button. If someone is ever crazy enough to try hacking the V.Smile console itself, knowing these codes could help you out.

SpindleyQ's picture

Setback!

So my infrared reciever has arrived! And I can totally read the raw IR coming out of the V.Smile. Unforunately, WinLIRC's learning function is retarded and completely refuses to learn my weird-ass device automagically. The raw IR data that I get from WinLIRC is very unfriendly state; it's not something I can just paste into a config file, or even a visualization program, for that matter.

Looks like there's lots more reverse engineering and learning about WinLIRC configuration files in my future! Yay?

SpindleyQ's picture

InfraBaby Update

So, the working name for my homebrew videogame system for infants is now InfraBaby. If anyone has any better suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Though I can't test it until my IR receiver arrives in the mail, I've built the core of the system. I've got a small Python program that reads data from LIRC, and, based on a configuration object, presses keys in Windows. Obviously I've still got some work to do to discover what codes the V.Smile emits, but I'm hoping that'll end up being relatively straightforward.

Now, if everyone was happy writing python code to configure their games, and starting up three programs whenever they wanted their baby to play a game, I'd be done. But no -- I'm coming to the realization that I've got a frontend to write, which lets you set up configurations for your games, and has one-click (or one-press-the-orange-circle) launching of games. I'm really, really itching to give the program a try, but at least a proper user interface will give me something to do while I wait for the damn sensor to come.

snapman's picture

My next project

After successfully finishing Tek Demo, I've been thinking about other aspects of KnP that haven't been fully explored. I've never made use of active object internal flags. What does "spread a number" do to alterable values? The event editor has its own options panel? But one thing really hit me as being full of potential. Klik & Play had support for a very old animation format: FLC/FLI. No sound, palletized, somewhat dodegy playback speed, and very poor compression. That, and no modern video converters seem to support the format. But a while ago, I found this old DOS command-line converter called DTA. Running it under dosbox, I could convert a directory of tga or pcx files into a knp compatible flc video. And just now I've finished the conversion path, from shooting video, to jpg sequence, to tga sequence, to fli animation.

The filesizes are awful. What started out as an 882kb avi lasting maybe two seconds turns into a 4.5MB(!) fli animation with no sound. But I have the batch processing steps down now. And my planned idea won't take more than maybe 8 videos to do, each lasting about two seconds, at double the tested video dimensions, and half the framerate. I'm looking at about 64MB of fli video, plus whatever filesize the actual GAME part of this idea clocks in at. I think this could end up being very, very funny indeed.

My first step is going to be shooting video, of course. And dealing with the difficulty of convincing friends that they desperately want to be the stars of this overwhelmingly foolish idea.

KnP FMV, here we come!

SpindleyQ's picture

Baby games

So my son turned one year old yesterday! We got him a videogame console for babies.

Now I dare you to look at that thing and not immediately think "Baby Pop'n Music." It is obvious that the giggly Baby Einstein "smartridges" (Seriously! That's what they call them!) are only of limited interest. I'd originally thought that it might be interesting to write software directly for the unit, but it soon became clear that I would have to do a LOT of reverse engineering work -- something I don't have the time or experience to do properly before my son grows out of the thing.

Then I realized that the interesting thing is not the system itself, but the controller. The controller is a very simple IR transmitter, like a remote control. And you can pick up IR receivers for PCs for under $10 on eBay.

So if I pick one of these things up, and write a simple program to convert these IR signals to keystrokes, I could very well make videogames for my 1-year-old son in Klik & Play. For that matter, so could all of you! Kirk just DID!

You guys, you have no idea how exciting it is to think that you could make toys for your child that aren't obnoxious. Every toy on the market has a sound chip in it that talks to my son in a sing-song voice about how fun counting is, and about how fun the alphabet is, and about how fun opposites are, and about how fun manners are. They repeat themselves endlessly. They stunt the imagination. Some of them even tell my son they love him. I have inanimate objects in my house that tell my son they love him!

I can do better. This is my next project.

GoreCore's picture

Idea for FPS in Kliky

tytul.bmp

While watching the Spindler Splindey Spindley's raycasting demo, an idea popped to my mind.
Idea of Doom in KNP isn't new, yeah, but I reminded myself trying to implement very primitive Eye Of The Beholder-like "3d". I googled up in looking for full-length games using this and I've found an old friend, Death Mask.

As we can see, even with jerky scrolling/movement, gameplay is fluid and clear. It would be a sin to not try this!
So I dig up my old WIP-stuff notebooks and found the theory of algorithm for such an engine. Here we go.
Map is a matrix built from 32 cells, 16 x 16. Each cell is a fragment of map with a number. Player starts in cell 1,1, and moving forward changes the cell to 2,1, then turning right - 2,2 etc. Every cell has it's own "3d" picture. Some cells contains monster - which we can shoot out with a gun.
Algorithm has many fails flaws, like no open rooms, just maze and no backwarding.
Hope my engrish isn't too high and everyone can undestand this bullcrap without beer or two.

I will try to implement this once again.

Oh, and a screenshot. A little teaser. 4 different fonts on title pic! Face that, man

qrleon's picture

Terrible Sprite, catalyst, muse, stealer of free time

funyman.png

I drew this terrible sprite

and I haven't been able to stop laughing at it. A game needs to be made for this man with arched eyebrows, severely deformed leg and crabwalk.

I was thinking something along the lines of Castlevania 3, with visual nods to games from LJN, Software Creations, and Ultimate/Rare, but more specifically Ocean and their goddamn super white people sprites.

Okay, maybe that's not exactly what I'm going for. I will post later when I have a clearer idea.

GoreCore's picture

Unnatural Brutality released

un_brut.PNG

So here it is. My first game trainwreck ever released. 2 player mayhem full of lasers, rockets, swords, Black Sabbath and sharks. Controls are bit shitty, so don't forget to read the txt. And that it's two player only.

Hope it's crappy enough to place it here.

Next one - Unnatural Brutality Ex - Human Slaying Mechanism!

GoreCore's picture

Whew.

I've spent nearly all day playing some trainwrecks. Some people are really high, high
So this is probably good time to announce my first train. If anybody cares. Nobody? Crap.
It will be two player, as I haven't seen any 2p game here. Many stupid attack moves and sounds. Street Fighter II parody. Kind of.
And now, let's have some Doom.

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