Yes, the long silence is broken with something that definitely isn’t a Poing community level preview (coming soon… honest!). Instead… well, what on earth is THIS?

EightyForty WIP 1 - oh, what a can of worms...

Presenting the first (and possibly the last) screenshot of: EightyForty, an oldschool DOS-ish screen prototyper! Boring, nerdy and geeky, yes? Hell no! This is the cutting edge, I tell ya…

This came as a direct result of finding out how to do single-buffered graphics in BlitzMax, which isn’t as clearly documented as it should be. As it happens, such a graphics system isn’t really utilised fully in this particular app – but for a future Blitz Roguelike engine it certainly would be :D I must shout a big “thank you!” to Mauft for suggesting the breakthrough that got it up and running.

In other news, work is edging forward on a super-secret collaborative project that I can’t say anything about. Yet. If and when there’s anything juicy to tell you (that my good coding partner is happy for me to let slip!), you’ll almost surely be among the first to know 8-)

Dalyn's Quill logoI was going to wait until tomorrow before announcing this, but since all the preliminary guff has been done, there’s not much point in waiting around…

Pleasantly, as I’ve been able to get a huge amount done over the past few days, I’m happy to announce that Dalyn’s Quill is now available for you to download! This means absolutely nothing to most of you, of course, but then I do seem to specialise in… erm… “niche” software :D

Since the last Quill update I’ve obviously added and tidied a fair bit of stuff, but perhaps the most interesting addition is that of teleporter target visualisation. In other words, selecting a field with a teleporter in it will show you on the map where the target field is. If it’s not on the current level, you can click the “Show Target” button and it’ll automatically switch levels and flash a highlight around the target field. Handy, eh? No more counting grid squares to double-check coordinates!

Anyway, head on over to the shiny new Dalyn’s Quill project page for the full blurb, or if you’re impatient, get the Windows download right now. As always, any feedback or bug reports that you send in are very welcome. For now though I’ll tie this up by wishing you happy dungeoneering!

Hmm… and I guess that makes it time to decide on my next “big” project… :-P

Today’s blog post is about gadgets. Not the cool type of gadgets (like, for example, the gorgeous-looking Optimus Maximus Keyboard), but boring buttons, labels and spinboxes. Yeah. I know what I’d prefer to be playing around with… :roll:

Specifically I wanted to ramble on about the gadgets I’ve stuffed into Dalyn’s Quill, and about some of the progress I’ve made in bending them to my inexorable will. Cue the obligatory work-in-progress screenshot:

Dalyn's Quill - field selection and object tweaking

As you can see I redesigned the toolbar (mostly because I had to create one last item on it – namely, the area toggling tool) and spruced it up with a gradient background. It still looks a bit too disconnected from the overall look and feel, but I’m not going to spend any more time on that until more important stuff is finished first. I also figured out how I can deal with mouse events a bit less hackishly, and happily I’ve managed to replicate the old mousewheel behaviour again. Yay! I knew there was a way :D

Fields can be selected in order to fiddle with any “objects” (teleporters or chutes) that might be in them – my next job is to get the three wise monkeys… errhm, sorry, the three command buttons to do their jobs properly. Should be relatively straightforward, yet for some reason, few things ever are. Ach, well. I’ll just keep pressing on!

Just a small thing, but I finally got around to adding Gravatar support to the page and post comments, along with tidying up the site theme in a few places :) It was actually way easier than I thought it’d be…

Onward to Dalyn’s Quill – midway through this Sunday afternoon I’ve made a fair bit of progress:

  • The pen toolbar now works as intended, with pens selectable using either left or right mouse buttons
  • File -> Open… can load MDATA11.MDR files without needing to hardcode anything
  • The current level spinbuttons now work and the canvas updates appropriately
  • All of the dungeon canvas graphics should now match those found in Mordor (instead of using the slightly different ones I created for Return to Dejenol)

Dalyn's Quill - old school graphics for the win

Currently I’m wrestling with how to replicate the old editor’s mouse wheel functionality (allowing you to quickly select the active area ID). Things work a bit differently with MaxGUI – right now I’m just trying to avoid any other bloopers along the lines of the infamous “toolbar” incident… 8-O

See that post title? That’s an accurate description of what I am. 8-O

Over the weekend I was bashing away at some more of Dalyn’s Quill. I was at the stage where I wanted to code the pen toolbar functionality – i.e. when you click a pen button, it sets up the pen so you can draw in the dungeon appropriately. But as hard to believe as it might be, I made an error. Hey! Stop sniggering, you at the back! :evil:

Toolbars can’t have their buttons clicked with the right mouse button. This is a rather vital mechanic that I need to have, because otherwise there’s no convenient way to select the pen used with the RMB. So, the toolbar design has been thrown out of the window, and in its place is an extension to the dungeon canvas featuring a pen palette that’s more similar to the original editor’s scheme. Behold:

Dalyn's Quill - another fine palette mess

The blue and yellow tabs are supposed to indicate which pens are currently active on the left and right mouse buttons (with the middle mouse button, if available, always being assigned to the joint / field eraser). I’m unsure whether this is intuitive enough; maybe I’ll keep to having the three active pens displayed in the bottomright corner of the window, as in the previous version of the interface…

Progress!

Dalyn's Quill - life, but not as we know it

Dalyn’s Quill is coming together slowly. As you can see, the dungeon canvas now draws as it should do and can be edited with the default pens (the pen selection toolbar doesn’t work yet). It breaks embarassingly often, and annoyingly strange and weird stuff happens if you push more than one mouse button at once. Still, a lot of code has been tidied up along the path to this milestone, and things can only improve… I hope… 8-O

Oh yes, and the MDATA11.MDR import code works just fine too:

Dalyn's Quill - level 5 of the depths

Also, after discovering how to adjust certain things, Windows Vista isn’t entirely awful like I thought it would be. Months after originally buying it I finally took the plunge during some spare time over the holidays and installed it for about the third time. Fingers crossed, it’s going much better than the previous attempts at forcing myself to embrace the future.

Attention mappers! For anyone interested in modding Mordor: The Depths of Dejenol dungeons, you might find this page helpful – it’s an in-depth description of the MDATA11.MDR file layout. It’s not otherwise very easy to find, so the more links that lead to it, the better! It was an invaluable resource when I was tinkering with MDATA11 editing some while ago, so I hope you find it helpful.

I did get the latest Millenipede teaser ready yesterday, but after receiving literally some emails relating to the 1.2 beta I got entirely sidetracked and forgot to post it :)

So here it is:

Millenipede 1.2.0 - weird icons, weird shrooms... whoa. Weird!

Mmmmm. Nice pixels 8-) But I wonder what those strange icons that have appeared on the status bar mean? And how on earth did some crazy person manage to get a highscore of 995,000 points?? No, wait, that’s just a crazy side effect of some debugging… :-D