Bullfrog Alpha v0.80 Released

I’ve been very busy with the new day job. It’s really taken a huge chunk of my time. Fortunately I’ve been able to eek out enough time to finally ready a new build of Bullfrog.

This past week of heads down game programming has produced the following changes for this new release:

  • heavy bug animation optimization
  • added “loading…” title screen during pre-rendering of animation frames
  • all rotations are now pre-rendered for improved performance
  • rebuilt the bug rendering system to support full unlimited animation frames
  • upgraded project to Xcode 2.2
  • ScoreBoard is now renderred directly on the main game view instead of its own custom NSView

Items still to complete:

  • Add more bug varieties
  • Incorporate actual animation artwork
  • Add background to game view
  • Play Balance Levels/Rounds
  • Instructions/Help Screen
  • Options preferences need to be saved between sessions
  • Custom Control bindings
  • Allow player to enter their name for high scores
  • Registration/Demo handling
  • Difficulty Levels?

Some of these features most likely will not make it into the game by the OMG Cup deadline of Midnight November 28. But I’ll do my best. The OMG Cup only requires the game to be in Beta condition to be eligible, so some of the minor things can probably be pushed off until after the contest.

Download Bullfrog

Bullfrog Alpha v0.60 Released

A new version of Bullfrog is now available with tons of enhancements. Though a majority of the work went into the refactoring of the cocoa and objective-c code.

These were important changes that allow for adding new bugs in future versions. It also allows me to move away from procedurally built levels to designed levels to allow for better play balancing.

Below is a list of changes that went into this build.

  • fixed high scores bug for adding ties
  • added title to main menu
  • added copyright to main menu
  • added high scores
  • added main menu screen
  • added options menu
  • added round starting screen
  • added round completed screen
  • added game over screen
  • added ‘esc’ to quit game, leave options, leave high scores
  • player can now toggle sound effects
  • player can now toggle ambient sound
  • major code refactor
  • added floating time bonus indicator
  • added floating point bonus indicator

Update: 11/16/2005 — Bullfrog updated to Alpha v0.80

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Playable Build of Bullfrog

I have an early playable build of Bullfrog now available for download.

Keep a few things in mind:

  • There’s still some missing functionality
  • Graphics are all temporary “developer’s” artwork.
  • Has only been tested on Mac OS X 10.4.2 and 10.4.3
  • Has not been performance tuned yet, but runs great on a Dual 2GHz G5 and okay on a 800Mhz Titanium PowerBook with 1GB RAM.
  • Game play has not been balanced and tweaked.

If you do download the game and give it a try. Please report any issues back to me with as much detail as you can either on the comments of this post or via the contact page on my company site.

Update: 11/16/2005 — Bullfrog updated to Alpha v0.80

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Announcing LicenseKeeper, a New Blog, and a Company Name

A funny thing has happened to me since I started writing about my pursuit of Mac game development. New needs, ideas, and opportunities have arisen. Some directly related to blogging, some related to running a MicroISV, and yet others related to my normal everyday technology-centric life.

This last item leads me to my first announcement:

Over the past year, my collection of shareware or demo-ware that I’ve downloaded and purchased off the internet has grown significantly. All these products have something in common. They send me a license key to unlock the full version of the software after payment. This license information comes to me via email and I copy and paste or type in this information into the application and it “magically” unlocks its full feature list and I’m ready to go.

So what happens when I reinstall Mac OS X or upgrade my computer? I need to find these emails again and then enter all these license keys and related information. I can use SpotLight or search in Mail.app to help me find all these registration receipts, but that assumes I can remember the applications I registered and their names. Magnify this problem if I ever need to buy multiple licenses for future employees and their computers. What about software running on multiple company servers? It would be nice to have all this information in one place.

This leads me to a new software development project: LicenseKeeperTM.

LicenseKeeperTM is a Cocoa application that keeps track of all the applications a user has purchased, the license keys and serial numbers needed to unlock the software, and all the registration information that was used to purchase each product.

Additionally, LicenseKeeperTM provides me a good way to gain more experience with Cocoa, Objective-C, and CoreData. It also gives me the opportunity to learn about the details of packaging and distributing a Mac software bundle and pushes me to work out the details of my distribution system (i.e. website, payment gateway, etc).

This announcement also brings up a new issue for me. Now that I’m actively working on non-game related software development (yes there are more products to come) and want to share the experiences through a blog, I need a place to do this; MakeMacGames doesn’t feel like the right place to do it. I imagine many that follow this site don’t care about non-game development or about consulting articles.

So this leads us to my second announcement: The Outer Level Blog. This is my new official company blog where I plan to bless the world with all of my non-game programming wisdom.

As I’m sure you’ve derived by these announcements, that my company name is Outer Level. I’ve held off revealing this until now because I wasn’t sure whether to use the same company name I use for my consulting work as my software business. Obviously, I’ve decided to simplify my life and stick with only one company or company name. This reduces paper work and headaches on my side and it may very well turn out that one side of my business benefits the other.

So, if you’re interested in following a MicroISV that is developing applications for the Mac, I hope that you follow me to The Outer Level Blog. But never fear, my gushing about what I’m up to in the realm of Mac game development will continue here on this site.