A collection of tools and add-ons I wrote for the Maxis game The Sims.
CDX is a free GDK (Game Development Kit) which is comprised of a set of C++ wrapper classes for writing Windows games. This was the toolkit I eventually wrote a book for.
ToonLab is a complete 2D animation production system. It includes a full featured 2D cel animation system, a complete sound mixer, post production processing, NTSC/PAL/AVI output, and an interactive exposure sheet for syncing up all the modules.
Fighting Fantasy Game Engine
The Fighting Fantasy Engine is an Open Source project that allows you to play and author text adventures similar to the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. Creating games is simple and very easy to play.
In 2002 I wrote a book around the game programming library CDX I was the owner of. The book is unavailable but still listed in a few places like Amazon.
Comic Book Studio
Comic Book Studio is a full suite of tools for managing, collecting, creating & publishing comics. Scan images load from files or draw directly in the program to create your own comic creations. An organizer program keeps track of your growing collection.
GNU Game Collection for WorldGroup
This project is a collection of various BBS games running on the WorldGroup platform. Each game is created by and maintained by different authors and released under the GNU General Public License.
It is 3250 in the standard year, 975 years since man has developed inter-planetary space navigation. Galactic Empire is a space exploration and conquest module for Worldgroup BBS systems.
The Harbour Project
Clipper was an old compiler language that would create executable programs for writing against the old DBASE standard (remember that?). After MS-DOS kind of died, Clipper stopped updating itself and never really matured into the Windows world. A group of us decided that it would be great to spearhead a rewrite of Clipper to create an open source version that people can run on any platform. I’ve since stopped contributing to the project but I wrote the orginal abstraction layer for the text based interface to allow it to work on Linux, OS/2, MS-DOS and Windows.
Back in 1999 I hooked up with a fellow named Don Tatro to help him build a website for something he was doing in the Bryce newsgroups. He had taken a clown model he created in Poser and would put the clown in odd places and render the image. This became known as Creepy Clown and was a riot. It took off like a mad hatter and now Don maintains the new site where thousands of contributors make Creepy Clown images and submit them. I created the original site and hosted it for awhile until Don went off on his own.
This was a level editor for a game released by Raven called MageSlayer. The game was a top down 3D Gauntlet type game but didn’t come with a level editor. I enlisted the Raven guys to help me write one which I released. The game never caught on and both editor and source code went to the big hard drive in the sky.
Universal QuakeC Editor (UQE for short)
This was a tool I wrote in 1997 that allowed you to easily create and modify QuakeC (the Quake internal language) code to develop your own add-on projects. It featured syntax highlighting with flexible colour control, built-in compilers for QuakeC and HexenIIC or the ability to define your own, automatic syntax checking and ability to jump from error to error for debugging at compile time. I lost the code in my hard drive crash sometime in 2000.
Unlimited Adventures eXtreme
In the late 90s I wrote some technical specs on a game called Unlimited Adventures (released by SSI in the mid 80s, aka the Gold Box games). I also started a project called Unlimited Adventures eXtreme (UAX) which was a Windows replacement for aging DOS version. I had high hopes to build the ultimate game engine for those that can’t run the DOS program on Windows (don’t even try to get it running on XP). Since then there’s been some great work on DungeonCraft which (small world) uses my CDX engine for the graphics. Amazing how everything comes back to you in the end. I may still return and build another clone but I think the DC guys have done a great job (even if I don’t agree with some of their approaches or focus).
Ideas not yet Projects (and probably will never be)
These may or may not see the light of day but basically just everything I have on the go (or planning to). In no particular order:
- wxWindows book. This has been sitting around an a draft of the TOC is built but I think that’s as far as it might go now.
- The Sims object creation book. This was created but not released due to licensing problems. Someday…
- Write your own 3D modeller with OpenGL book (or any OpenGL book for that matter). Still considering this but I’m turning my focus to .NET development and looking to tie this into that technology now
- Various PalmOS software ideas floating around my head (too many to mention and now I’m hooked on PocketPC programming so who knows)
- Museum simulation game. Always wanted to do this and built one in school so now it’s time to practice what I learned
- Train simulation game (I work at a railway and love games so this is a natural progression, but there’s been so many people already before me who have done this).
- Internet BBS project (telnet only) for mutiple platforms (get people BACK into the BBS community scene). This doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort so people should look at Synchronet as it’s production quality and a great BBS if you’re into that kind of thing
- Ran a fairly successful Railroad Tycoon II news site called Iron Highway and wrote some utilities for it (these have all but vanished from the face of the Earth). The guys at PopTop software sent me a copy of the game in appreciation of the effort I put into the site. Thanks guys!
- Started to write a level editor for Tom Nuydens’ 3D engine over at Delphi3D. About half completed. Another project to get back to when I get a chance.
- Wrote a Windows based game for the FoxTrot website. It’s basically Slugman vs. the horrible Paige-o-Trons. FoxTrot didn’t release it and won’t let me do it due to copyright infringements (yet they asked me to do it in the first place, go figure).
- Started to write a new version of M*U*L*E*, another game from the 80s (I seem to keep doing this?) but never completed it (do you see a pattern here?)
- Wrote an OpenGL game that mimics the behaviour of a Canadian movie, Cube.
- Worked in animatronics building armatures for special effects studios which were used for some stop-motion animation models. Lions and Tiger and Dragons, oh my.
- Worked as a special effects artist for a company in Oakville, Ontario called Fenris. Also did some matte painting work and minituare effects with them. My horrible experience with movie magic is a sad and pitful horror film called (gasp) Burger Zombies. Don’t even ask. The real claim to fame was a rock video mini-movie (about 20 minutes long, huge for videos back then) that featured aliens coming back to Earth to reclaim their Mayan origins (including large sweeping shots of the Nasca Lines in Peru thought to be ancient runways. All done in minituare for the video. The video won some award for either best concept or best new idea or something silly like that. Bob Connelly, the director, went on to produce Discovery Channel films and visit the Nasca runways. Wonder if he remembers any of this?
- Worked as an animator and background artist for a Canadian animation studio in the late 1980s.
- Started working on a new graphical version of TradeWars for Epic Interactive Strategy, an old BBS game, with one of the original creators, John Pritchett. An interview with him mentions me here. John and I keep in touch and collaborate on new stuff as we find the time.
- Wrote several modules for MajorBBS (which begat WorldGroup, which begat more headaches which I continue to beat myself up over) and made a few gazillion dollars. Wrote the beginning skeleton of a LORD version for MajorBBS before Seth Robinson handed the reins over to some other company that totally screwed the program up. I’m currently working on reviving some WorldGroup modules and have got the beginnings of this happening through some other projects listed above.