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18-08-98: Initialization - A new part of my homepage

Today I've raised this new section, proudly ripped from the Parallax and the Paragon-site. Here you can see how far I've got 'till the latest update and here you can find a log with the latest upgrade about the game and some other things concerning the game.

19-08-98: The first screenshots - In case you'd like to see some stuff too...

Well, err... Due to lack of emulators emulating Dos2 (actually, the source doesn't work with Dos1 yet)... There aren't much interesting screenshots now. Well, I can let you take a look at some vehicles and the main-screen... But without a field in the viewport. I think I'll have to program a key to make screenshots... num-/ or so. Anyway, here are some gfx. By the way, they are not finished yet, for Kenny of KENDA has to draw them, and these are still drawn by me. And since I'm not a very good drawing-artist... Thus, the graphics will improve a lot as soon as I've given them to Kenny.

This is the current main-screen of SA, but unfortunately, the field ain't visible in the viewport for no emulator supports Dos2-emulation on an MSX2 (and it won't emulate well on a turboR). This is the current main-screen of SA, but unfortunately, the field ain't visible in the viewport for no emulator supports Dos2-emulation on an MSX2 (and it won't emulate well on a turboR).

This is a light T/X tank facing all 8 directions.
This is a light T/X tank facing all 8 directions.

29-08-98: Work in progress... - Not that much progress...

Hmmm, I don't know what it's called, the opposite of progress... Degress??? Degrees!!! No...
Anyway, I've really messed up things a bit. I was cleaning up my old code and I've made some adjustments in it, but the result was _not_ good... Now my buildings aren't displayed anymore. I wonder where the bug is located... Anyway, I haven't had much time to work on it due to some reasons:

And I won't be able to work on SA much for the next 3, 4 weeks either, for from now on, I have to work on Track for awhile.

Final note: you people don't have to worry I'm getting out of the MSX-scene, for we have got a PC for almost a year now, and I still enjoy MSX a lot more. The fun of it is to make something new, "where no-one has gone before...", or at least something where I have not gone before. For instance, a screensplit in the menu's of Track... I have never done that yet. Or at least, not really (I've had some experiments). Anyway, from now on Track won't work well on emulators either. Wow, what a progress.

Final final note: I've made some good screenshots (using the MSX, not the PC+emulator)!!! So next time...

04-09-98: Whoops... - Some errors corrected.

Well, first of all, according to the dates of my previous entries, these entries were made in 1996. I typed these all wrong. It should, ofcourse, have been 1998. Well, I guess I live in the past... And since I'm still using (and supporting) the MSX-system, that might actually be true... :-)

Another error corrected: in my previous entry I told about my visit to Paragon and I said there weren't any new ideas. This is not entirely true. It wasn't a really big idea, and I could have made it up myself, but I'll mention it anyway.

Look, in strategic Army you can hear 4 kinds of music per stage. First a "I'm settling a base"-melody, then, if you're attacked a "We're under attack"-music, and if the attack is finished (all enemy tanks are destroyed), you'll hear a "Calm down man!"-BGM, which slightly slows down from the attack-BGM back to the basic-BGM. But, as I said, there are going to be 4 kinds of music. So what's the 4th one???

The fourth one you hear when you are attacking the enemy. Well, and this is the one this is all about. I planned to let hear this music when the player was sending a large bunch of vehicles towards the enemy base. However, this turned out not to be a good idea, for then you could search the area for the enemy base by simply selecting some vehicles, targeting them all over the area and then listen if the BGM changes. And that's not supposed to happen. So, what's it going to be now? Well, as soon as a vehicle moves over a fictional line, which is exactly between your and the enemy's base, the BGM changes. And maybe I'll implement something like that the BGM only changes if you move an attacker over the line, or a bunch of attackers. So that the music won't change if a repairman or, in the case of Dune2, a harvester moves over this invisible line. And so that you also can't "scan" the area by moving one vehicle around the field and then listening if the BGM changes, which would lower the gaming-fun (because then exploring the area using one single vehicle won't be dangerous to do anymore)...

09-09-98: Damn, again very little progress... - Ummm.

Hi ppl!!! I've not progressed much with Strategic Army, but I have some other things to tell ya. First of all: Cas -DA BOMB- Cremers has linked to my page. Yes! Another linker. Secondly, only two weeks left 'till Zandvoort... And I still have to program Track 7. Hmmm, I don't really feel like it. Our Belgian part (KENDA) is very enthousiastic about it and I like to make it too, but it's taking such a damn lotsa time and it has got too less buyers. Sniff... I'd rather spent my time working on SA.

Some plans for some groovy other game: Strategic Army - Ancient Phoenix (this name isn't sure yet)... This is a groovy RPG I have planned to make. As you have probably noticed, the title is partly the same as the title of SA. Which part, you will now probably all ask... Well, the Strategic Army-part of the name is corresponding to SA. And that isn't without reason...

The reason for that is that SA isn't going to have a large intro with a complete story etcetera, no, the complete story can be discovered when you play this RPG. And you will find parts of this RPG in SA and the same thing vice versa, parts of SA in SA: AP (jawel!). So this is really going to be groovy. However, to do this right, both games have to be developed at the same time. No problem for me, for I can use some distraction now and then. Anyway, this RPG has got some really interesting features planned, in example: smooth scrolling!!! For this a MSX2+ is the basic need, but it will probably also be playable on the MSX2 (but then it probably won't work on 60Hz and the borders of the screen will flip, if you get what I mean.

Anyway, I have already drawn some Gfx (not final, far not final) and it seems to me that the engine for this game ain't gonna be too difficult to program. And I think I'm going to put the whole story and storyline in one (or more) large textfile(s). So if you manage to crack the LIBrary, you can read everything what is said and discover all cheats... But anyway, it seems great to me to edit this game in TED... Talking about simplicity...

02-12-98: Shit my previous update was 09/09/1998 - Screenshots!

Well, it was a very, very long time since my last update... Schande!!! But I'm back... and how!
This time I'll make you happy with some screenshots. And some news, ofcourse. I have done some things but not that much if you keep in mind that 3 months have passed. But first i'll giveyou the screenshots.

This is a screenshot of the forest. This is actually not the way I want it to look like (I'm not saying it doesn't look good), but it is a "Pumpkin Adventure"-landscape... Wood bridges aren't exactly the landscape of a futuristic war... But anyway, don't you worry about the graphics, we have a very good drawer. You can see that I have drawn the houses :). But I like the vehicles I've drawn! (see W.I.P. entry 2)

Look! This already looks more like the way I want it! But the buildings, eh? Miserable, that's what they are. But hey, still not the final version. Take a look at the picture below for another better shot of the "desert".

I actually think this one looks a lot better than the previous shot of the desert. Dunno why, think it has less "farms" on it so it looks less fake. By the way, the PC really messes up the colors. They look a lot better on my MSX. I think it's the fault of the emulator I took the screenshots with. Maybe I should edit them and brighten the stuff up a bit... Nah, you may do that yourself. Or just load the GIFs on your MSX, maybe that'll work.

Next to you is a screenshot of ?guess? the editor. Not much to say about exept for that it is a cool editor which took me quite a lot of time to code (in fact, the source of the game was based on the code of the editor in the beginning for I based the game on the editor. But now they differ that much I cannot interchange most parts of the source anymore). By the way, the alphabetical characters won't be in the game, I just made them because I had to make some more characters for testing at that moment.

Ha, this is a nice shot, ain't it? Exept for that it looks a bit "square", if you get what I mean, it is a nice piece of landscape you see on the background and it also shows how the menu looks. By the way, you can't see the mouse-cursor on all these screenshots for it is a bit difficult to save the sprites into an .GE5-image (I took the shots on my MSX, not in an emulator. I only used an emulator to convert the .GE5-images to .GIF). Yup...

Next to this, you can see a more recent screenshot of the game with, on the right, the radar fully working!!! The two visible structures are represented by blue dots on the radar. And the red dots, those are vehicles of the evil enemy! (not implemented yet, here represented by just some characters to which I have assigned a red color.
As you might notice, the window of the radar isn't exacly square-shaped. The size of it is 64x56. That means that the radar can scroll some pixels to the right. This was nessaccary because of the lack of available space on the screen. Nah, doesn't matter.

Have you noticed the dots at the top of each shot of the game? Those dots represent the curren status of the building of structures. If they reach the right of the screen the building is finished and the "slabs" will be replaced by the building you have just built. You can see some slabs at the first shot of the forest. Another remark, look at the bottom of the last shot, and you'll see 4 red dots. What do thay represent, are they evil??? No, they are my BUSY-O-METER!!! After Parallax and Paragon I have got one too!!! 2 dots (=one byte) represent one interrupt, so on this screenshot the time to loop the main routine took 2 interrupts... Dunno why, probably because I was saving a screenshot or so... Anyway, normally it takes 0-1 interrupts to loop the main engine and scrolling takes 5-6 interrupts. I wonder how much the MoonSound-replayer will affect the speed...

I'll tell you about some cool extra features I want to implement:
- Music Module 64k SRAM emulation on the MoonSound (if you ever get bored of the ms-music).
- Led indicators, the leds will represent your status and flash if something is destroyed.
- Use of the Dos2 disk-routines, if available. This way, you can run the game...
- ...from a CD and listen to cool Redbook Audio!!! Great sound, no processortime used.
- So there will be a CD-version.
- 2-player games on two MSX-computers.

Well, that was almost all for now. I've updated the "current status" on the previous page, and I've also updated the section in which you can see the stuff I have... Really had to be updated after the fair in Tilburg and the HCC-days. Take a look! The LH pages - Who is LH - The LH-stuff (at the bottom). Or you can just click here, maybe that's easier.

So, goodbye for now and happy MSX'ing!!!