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RQ1 on the Cabinet

12:14 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Yes that’s right this week I got the current version of Rhys Quest 1 running on my arcade cabinet. It looks and plays awesome, the monitor smoothes out all the graphics really well… makes me think that I’m not that far off with my graphics polish.

I spent a night this week adding key control to the menu system in Rhys Quest 1 and adding a MAME compatible key mapping. As well as a wireless network card so I can access the Funbox easily.

The Funbox will definitely be my machine of preference for serious testing from now on. :)

I also spent another good night implementing the Krookaburras, in working on them I’ve created another method for defining the movement of a character which will make it very easy to define more complex patterns for future characters.


The Fun Box

9:35 am Filed under: Uncategorized

For Christmas I got possibly the coolest present possible, an old video arcade machine. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one of these for the past year or so and had only seriously investigating it a few months before Chirstmas.

I’ve been tinkering with it since xmas day, I’ve replaced all the micro switches in both joysticks and the primary fire buttons, I’ve rigged up an old PC from work with an ArcadeVGA card from Ultimarc so you can easily hookup your arcade monitor to the PC via a JPac which interfaces the PC’s video output and keyboard to the JAMMA (an old standard for arcade machines) plug that the arcade machine uses to plug into the old game PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards).

Everything has gone really well, Chris at OzStick who I purchased all the switches, Video card and JPac from has been great. I highly recommend you go through him if your planning a similar project. The only outstanding hardware issue I have is the Horizontal-Size on the monitor uses an inductive pot that seems to have seized up, I’ve given it all I’m willing to to try and move it, unfortunately it looks like I’ll have to try and get it replaced which is going to messy, I’m going to play it out for a bit until I can find someone pretty local (Hopefully Albury) that seems to know what they’re talking about.

Software wise I’ve really happy with the set up I’ve got now, I’ve using the command line version of MAME to run the games and it does an awsome job, with MAMEWah over the top supplying a nice easy menu and auto search function. The only other thing I’m using is from the same MAMEWah guy is the “ArcadeVGA M.A.M.E. Resolution Tool” which automatically creates config files for MAME to set the games to resolutions that the Arcade VGA card likes and it works like a charm.

As for ROMs I’ve only just started collecting, now that I’ve got the cabinet done and wirelessly hooked up to the home network I can start hunting down some more, All of the 70 odd that I have so far I’ve downloaded from ROM World they seem to have pretty much everything there not just MAME ROMs either.

I’ve still got to Make up a new control panel to include 6 buttons so I can play some fighting games properly, Street fighter is pretty hard when all you can do is punch! Oh and a fan in the back to stop the PC heating up the inside too much and of course some BrownBot artwork.


The fruits of my labor

Indie Games

3:59 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Today I found this cool little web based Motobike game a guy is testing over at the Indie Gamer forum. It’s not complete yet but it’s amazing what they can do with flash these days, it is alot like Elastomania but I like the “feel” of the weight of the bike in this version.

I had alot of fun trying to wheel stand and nose picker for as long as I could…

Last night I fired up the demo of Darwinia, a new game in development by a small UK based indie. It’s very “Tron” like as it is based on programs and polygons but it’s a bit “Magic carpet” also with it’s destroy and collect resources.

One thing that is for certain it’s visual design is awesome, it’s all light flaring solid polygons with very little use of texture maps… not used in the usual fashon anyhow, and all the sounds are suitable blips and gurgles. Took me about 20 minutes to find out what the hell was happening but everything looks so interesting I couldn’t turn away before finding out what was going on… great stuff I can’t wait for the full version.

Darth Tater

9:49 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m sure this has to be licenced from Lucas arts, I’m not sure if this totally fits in with Georges original vision for Darth?


Darth Tater

Gargoyle and Krookaburra

4:37 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

After a big study cleanup late last week I had a chance over the weekend to draw up some new character ideas for Rhys Quest 1. Things are going well, this is just the begining I’m going to drawup most of the characters for the rest of the game before implimenting any more levels so they’re better defined before I start and hopefully I’ll have to back track less.

I’m pretty happy with how the Gargoyle came out, he’s going to sit dormant on a roof top in the tower approch levels and leap up into action in a shower of stone. They’re going to be a bit like the druids were as the level won’t continue untill you’ve cleared them.


The krookaburra is pretty dodgie I admit but I also think it has a certain appeal. I imagine these guys swooping up in big arcs toward the player, zapping them breaks the spell and they revert to normal Kookaburra’s and fly away.


Nintendo DS

4:27 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

Another tech blog entry, yes I can’t help but love gadgets… Lucky for us way down here in Australia we’re getting our hands on the new Nintendo DS system before Europe it seems. They’re hitting the shelves on February the 24th for the awesome price of $199.99. Check here for the Nintendo announcement.

The system specs look awesome and the previewed software sounds really inovative (touch screen, voice activation, Dual Screens etc) but unfortunately not much of it is available at the moment, you get a demo version of Metroid Hunters bundled with it and there’s a multiplayer remake of Mario 64 that sounds like it would be fun and of course a new version of Made it Wario with touch screen input.

All I need is a new app to seal the deal for me, a good racer always gets me in say Mario kart DS!.

Toad Muncher Post-mortem

10:51 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Although the results have been out for a while I thought I’d better finalise the whole Toad Muncher project. Here’s a pdf document tabulating the detailed results of the competition.

I’m pretty happy with the result, 14th out of 31 for a 3 month project where I had to learn a hell of a lot of new stuff. My first cross platform application, my first true OpenGL game, it’s the first time I’ve used SDL and my first C++ project in about 5 years!

It was especially encouraging to see people write in the forum questioning the voting process because Toad Muncher and a few other games didn’t do better.

I guess this has turned into a post-mortem so here goes.

The Good

  • Successfully developed an SDL/OpenGL application across Windows and OS X, set up a CVS server to manage the shared source code ( worked very well ).
  • Pushed the boundaries of my OpenGL knowledge to the point where I’m confident enough to develop all future project through it.
  • Relearnt C/C++ after many years in Object Pascal which has opened the door for me to leap into C#.
  • Started to get the BrownBot name out there.
  • All done in three months which proved I can get Rhys Quest finished soon if I apply myself.
  • I’m really happy with the multiplayer logic I created and the joystick/keyboard integration, I’m definitely going to impliment similar logic in the future… multiplayer is so much fun.

The Bad

  • The game play wasn’t full realised – Obviously the time constraints were a big factor in this and I had al lot of other things to learn/get done but I still think I should have focussed on this a little more.
  • The sound was really bad – I only found free low quality sound effects from the net and I didn’t get a chance to really “get into” the SDL mixer libraries that I was using.

Not sure if this is necessarily bad or good, I intentionally made the visuals of Toad Muncher “different”, thinking that it would make my game stick out. After seeing which games won the categories it’s obvious that this a “non commercial” look is a barrier for most people, I’m not saying that Toad Muncher should have been up there but all of the top 5 had a polished (commercial) visual style and (for me) not so much game play.

I’ve got to make sure I create this “polish” (have a consistent design) in the visuals.

All in all I’m happy with the result and enjoyed the comp, thank go to uDevGames and Carlos for hosting the comp, I might have another go next year we’ll have to see what I’ve got on?

Mac Mini

9:55 am Filed under: Uncategorized

last night I hooked my G4 iBook up to the TV and Zetty and I watch another awesome keynote speech by Steve Jobs about all the new Apple products out this year (Streamed wirelessly from the internet via my Airport express by the way :) ). If you like cool tech and haven’t watched one of Steve’s keynotes I highly recommend you jump over here and check it out he’s a great presenter and the stuff they’ve got happening this year will blow your mind.

I think they’re really hitting the mark with this new Mac Mini. Thinking about what most of the people that I know do on a computer, web browse, email, photos, music, maybe video edit and this little baby it perfect for that, it comes with the iLife apps which are so piss easy to use and make your music and photo organising a breeze. On top of that you don’t have to worry about viruses and spyware tearing your system to bits when you go online, which is mostly what I get called around to peoples houses for these days with computer oriented things. Fix up their crippled windows system.

I just spent a couple of nights cleaning up mum and dads work system, which was well and truly knackered! They’re up for a new home system soon, I’m highly recommending they get one of these, you just plug in you’re existing keyboard, monitor and mouse (has to be USB) and your ready to enter a new world of easy computing.

I’d be waiting for another few months though as the new version of OS X ( the operating system ) called Tiger is due to be out the first half of this year and it has some awesome new features, the main ones I’m hanging out for are “Spotlight” – which allows you to instantly search for anything on your computer and “Dashboard” – which are these little widget applications that you can pop up and hide really easily for the little tasks you do frequently on your computer (Calculator, callendar, eBay bidding etc)

As you can tell I’ve become quite a Mac convert, to think I’ve only had my iBook for about a year and my old 10gig iPod for 2 or 3. Once I’ve got Rhys Quest Finished all my games will be written for both Mac and Windows, written on the Mac in the cool Xcode IDE that you get with it.

Have a look at some of the links and make up your own mind?

New Year, New blog section

3:11 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

Now that Christmas and New Years celebrations are out of the way I can get back into getting BrownBot fully operational. This blog section of the site is the first of many steps toward that goal.

Next I’m going to have a few big sessions on the graphics tablet and create another 20 or so characters for Rhys Quest. I just put the finishing touches on the “Wombat Rollers” and knocked up a few concepts for the “muck monsters” and “Kangawallabats in the car on the way down to Melbourne over the weekend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful festive season and start to the new year.

uDevGames – Mac Games Dev Contest

2:47 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

Up too four players try to eradicate the evil introduced Cane Toads with your APC(Armored Personel Carrier) through a tripped out maze of Jump pads, Booster blocks

As a small break from RQ1 and as an introduction to the new technologies we plan to use for our future releases we’ve entered a small new game called Toad Muncher into the uDevGames competition.

Check out the Kitchen for details but the basic premise is to eradicate evil introduced Cane Toads with your APC(Armored Personel Carrier).

Toad Muncher has really come together well, the downloads below now point to the final finished version. I’m really happy with how it turned out, I think that too many games these days are big and boring so Toad Muncher is the total opposite, it’ll take you about 5 – 10 minutes to finish the whole thing, but you’ll be back to break your combo and time records again and again.

Key features:

  • Unique OpenGL graphics.
  • Fun game-play thats simple for the novice and deep enough for the experienced.
  • Up too 4 players can play simultaneously.
  • 25 Multiplayer levels.
  • 25 dedicated single player levels.
  • Full USB joystick support.

If you’re thinking of downloading it and having a look I highly recomend you grab some other people to play with, the multiplayer levels are really fun once you’ve got a heap of APCs running into each other scrambling for toads.

Please send me your feedback at support@brownbot.com

Download the latest release from the links below.

PC Version – ToadMuncher.zip (6MB)

Mac OS X Version – ToadMuncher.zip (7.5MB)

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