How far is the engine done in %? (0/100)
Hmm. Well, it’s hard to put a percent on something like this. Lemme see if I can give percentages of some of the components.

Physics: Planning, 90%; Coding, 0%
Collision Detection: Planning, 90%; Coding, 50%
Graphics engine: Planning, 98%; Coding, 33% or more
Sound (includes music): Planning, 5%; Coding, 0%
File Formats: Planning, 75%; Coding, 50%
Tools: Planning, 90%; Coding – Tileset Builder, 95%; Animation Builder, 60%; PossumEDIT, 45%

Keep in mind these are rough estimates, and they’re based on the current phase of work. In a couple months, I’ll be in the next phase… hard to describe, but it’s different kinds of coding and should move faster.

The screenshots are very plain. When are you starting on layer work?
PossumEDIT now supports unlimited layers on unlimited maps. The Layer editing window is working just fine, and the Camera window is functioning well. (Camera window is like the Parallax view in JCS.) Once the new level file format is coded into Possum, we can make better levels with more layers.

I’ve heard the game is being totaly programmed in VB. VB does sound kind of strange to me when it comes to game programming.
You’re not alone. Lots of people are surprised and/or skeptical about VB’s ability to compete as a game language. Let me assure you, for a 2D game, VB is by far the better choice. VB can even stand on it’s own for 3D games, although not as well as C++. If you’d like some examples of VB games, check around for DDCK: MoC, Brick Blast, Magic Dust 2 and 3, Freeride Thrash, and Galaxy, to name a few.

What’s on the todo list next?
Sprites. Once layers are a bit more finished up, sprites are going to become full focus… of the seven or so game objects available in a level, layers and sprites are the two most important.

In which of the next 23 years are you planning to finish it?
Hehe. I’m not commiting to anything yet… I don’t know what college life is going to do to me. Let’s just say I hope it’ll be sooner rather than later. :)

Anything new you can tell us about the engine?
If I can get it to work the way I want, it will have real-time animation tweening, to make all animations look smoother. I’ve also got a few physics tricks in my head that I’m hoping will work out… if they do it’ll mainly mean more realistic bouncing, sliding, etc.

Do you like to eat bananas?
Sometimes. If they’re not too yellow, not too green. :)

.I’m also wondering, do you know if Kaven actually did something except for that 1 frame sprite?
The sprite you see in the screenshots was actually done by Gizmo. I have many more frames than that, but that’s all you see because the animation code is not in yet. In fact, the sprite you see was kind of hacked into the engine so that it wouldn’t be just a level. The older Possum engine has full sprite support, but that code has yet to be ported into the new engine. As far as what Kaven has done, I know he’s drawn various sketches and has come up with some enemy ideas, but we haven’t been able to give him alot to do just yet. Ask Dino if you want to know more, I’m just the lowly programmer. ;)

Who’s going to work on the tiles. I’ve heard Noraa his tiles are good. But not in the style of a high quality game. Or did someone send me false info about that?
Noraa’s done quite a few tiles, but recently he’s been busy with school and such. As for the quality of his tiles, it’s really a personal preference. We have not yet established any “official standards”. I think Kaven may do some tiles, and Gizmo might do more too. I also think it’s likely we’ll end up getting more help in that area. A game can always use more art. :)

Adding a sprite edittor sounds pretty strange to me. You almost enable people to create their own games, with people like that Possum will be ruined pretty fast.
Ever heard of a mod? :) Yes, Possum will be very customizable. As far as single player goes, people are free to do what they want. For the multiplayer realm, it will probably be setup as options… for example, the server can decide if custom sprites are allowed, etc. And for fairness sake (say someone comes into a custom sprites allowed game with a totally transparent sprite), there will be an option to turn off (on your own computer) the custom sprites for individual players.

What can you tell us already about the internet play?
What do you want to know? :) As internet play goes… we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thank you for this interview. Would you like to add anything?
You’re welcome. Just want to say thanks to you and everyone else who’s been keeping up with the project.. the encouragement is great. :)


American on June 27, 2003 04:00

I feel the need to comment on this article, as it seems very lonely having no comments. Good article, although this is a bit late.