Archive for June 2nd, 2007

Your Present – Gravity!

Yes that’s right, the present I am giving you on my birthday is Gravity…no not the stuff that keeps you on the planet (well, most of you), a computer game I created in 2004 called Gravity. I actually created another game of the same name in 2003, but the 2004 version is a completely different game, the only thing it has in common with the original is a few graphics and the gravity calculations.

If you want to work out how the game works for yourself, Click here to download gravity.zip

The basic premise of the game is simple, you are in a stationary space ship and you are trying to shoot a stationary target, however there are three planets and three bumpers in the way which you have to deal with. Also to make it harder, there is a barrier right in front of you, in the direction of your target, making it impossible for you to just directly shoot at the target.

Gravity

The scoring is a bit complex, but it runs as follows:
Target Hit…………………………………+100 Points
Bumper hit…………………………………..+5 Points
Planet hit………………………………….-10 Points
Out-of-bounds……………………………….-10 Points
Blowing yourself up…………………………-100 Points

You also gain one point for every second that you have an active shot.

There is also a bonus point system for long shots, the longer the shot the more bonus points. The bonus points are awarded when the shot has gone for the specified length of time, eg. If a shot goes for 39 seconds you will get bonus points at 15 seconds and at 30 seconds.
15 Seconds…………………………………..25 Points
30 Seconds…………………………………..50 Points
45 Seconds………………………………….100 Points
60 Seconds………………………………….200 Points
90 Seconds………………………………….400 Points
120 Seconds…………………………………800 Points
180 Seconds………………………………..1600 Points
240 Seconds………………………………..3200 Points

Also important are the keys to make the game work

Rotate left…………………………………left arrow
Rotate right……………………………….right arrow
Increase shot speed……………………………up arrow
Lower shot speed…………………………….down arrow
Shoot……………………………………….space bar
Toggle full screen mode……………………………..F4
Turn music on/off…………………………………..F5
End game early (takes you to the results screen)………F12

Your projectile can disappear off screen for a while at times, the actual edge of the game is a fair distance off screen so that if your projectile is going to come back, it has enough room to turn around. You will hear a click and see the shot light appear again if your projectile goes out of bounds.

The top left and top right corners of the screen provide useful information. The top left side displays your score, the speed of your next shot, and also if you currently have an active shot or not. The light will be light blue when you can take a shot, and dark blue when you already have an active shot.

The top right of screen displays the amount of time left in the game, the time your current shot has been going for, and your longest shot for the game.

I was going to correct a few typos in the documentation and change some of the music for this public release, but it looks like I’ve lost the source files (or just can’t find where I backed them up). Incidentally, there are two batch files included with the game to enable printing, unfortunately at the time the only way to get printing to work in the programming environment I used for this game was to create a bitmap of the game window and get MS Paint to print it…which was further complicated by the lack of the programming environment to understand basic Windows paths like “%temp%” due to the use of percentage signs. This forced me to make the batch files to create (and remove) a virtual drive pointing at %temp%

There is no installation needed, but you will need to extract all three files from the zip file. The game should work without the batch files, although it certainly won’t print, and will probably quit suddenly if you try to get it to print.

It took the better part of a two week school holiday to write this game, and the rest of that two weeks to get the printing to work and fix bugs as they were discovered.

Click here to download gravity.zip

Gravity should run under Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP, and generally works with a few font issues under WINE. It is untested on Windows NT 4.0, and will not work on earlier versions of Windows. I retain copyright on this game, however you are free to distribute it. If I ever do find the source files I will post them as well.

Have fun!

Samuel

June 2nd, 2007 at 06:13am

End Of The Line

Good morning again John,

I thought you weren't giving me a present…so thank you for the lovely surprise of playing End Of The Line by The Travelling Wilburys earlier, it's one of my favourite songs and I'm going to treat you playing it as a present.

That song was used at the end of the final episode of One Foot In The Grave, it really lifted the mood as it was quite a sad ending, but the song and the accompanying film clips changed the mood considerably…and as the lyrics say "Well its all right".

Thanks again and have a great day.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

6 comments June 2nd, 2007 at 04:29am

Happy 20th Birthday Samuel and 7th Birthday Nattie

It’s happened, I’m 20! It’s hard to believe that an entire decade has passed since I turned 10 and recorded an audio cassette called “A Decade Of Samuel” (highlights available here).

Thank you to everyone who has already wished me a happy birthday, and thank you in advance to those who will later in the day.

Also today is Nattie’s seventh birthday and her present from me is some home made cheesecake from the cafe in Cooleman Court in Weston Creek.

It seems to be turning in to a tradition that I talk to John Kerr on my birthday, this morning was no exception. Normally I don’t record my radio conversations, but yesterday with Clive and today with John I have made exceptions.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Or click here to download the conversation)

John Kerr and his wife Rhonda sent me a card with a rather amusing gag:
John Kerr's Birthday Card for Samuel's 20th Birthday
John Kerr's Birthday Card for Samuel's 20th Birthday

Speaking of presents, I am going to give all of you one shortly. A computer game I made in 2003. More details shortly.

Samuel

5 comments June 2nd, 2007 at 03:22am


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