Pouring

                I guess I always knew somewhere deep down that there were going to be down sides to programming, but of late they’ve been cropping up in some very unexpected places. I expected to have to face some of the legendary heckling and complaining that almost all developers have encountered, but the community has been blessedly understanding and kind about the whole thing.

                Perhaps I’d better back up a bit here. A few weeks ago I received an email on the Audyssey list from a user who told me that Block Party wouldn’t run on his system and that he was getting error X. Having no idea what error X involved, I put out feelers, and I was told to put a specific line of code into the main module that would fix everything. I placed the line of code where I was told and uploaded the new executable to the site.

                I then went back to work on the boxing game, building in support for multiple punch types and perfecting existing sounds, only to discover that my current keyboard code didn’t support things like holding down keys. If I wanted to press up and A at the same time to throw a left hook, I could, but I couldn’t hold up and tap A at some future point and achieve the same result. Some people might argue that it makes no difference, but for some reason, the lack of being able to hold keys feels awkward to me, and I’d like to be able to fix it.

                So I started working on a solution. I went out and started researching Pygame, a Python library specifically designed for game development. (Some of you may recognize Pygame as the library used to code Sound RTS.) I figured if I imported the Pygame keyboard module, I could build in support for a lot of the keyboard-based stuff I really wanted. There’s also the added bonus that Pygame supports mice and joysticks as well. But just as I started my research, life started happening.

                First came the emails from the Audyssey list telling me that the new version of Block Party wouldn’t run on 64-bit Windows 7. I have to pause here to point out that the emails I have received thus far have been extremely cordial, and I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate that. After the emails, though, came a mountain of work at my job, and after that came some previously-made engagements which have taken up a significant chunk of my time.

                Today I finally had time to sit down and research the problem, and I came to the conclusion that I needed to roll back to the previous version and find another solution to the problem, only to receive more kind emails from people telling me that They—the emails’ authors—could now happily run Block Party’s latest version on their computers. Argh! Now I have to trouble-shoot Windows 7 64-bit!

                The most interesting and awesome thing about this whole ordeal is the response I have received from the blind gaming community. As I wrote earlier, I have received no negative emails about Block Party’s refusal to play nice with everyone’s computers. Especially given some of the epic flare-ups which have previously occurred on the Audyssey list, I was expecting to have to dawn my ceramic suit and dive for cover to escape the flaming. Instead, everyone has been very understanding and patient with me as I research and learn in an attempt to solve the problem.

                Which is probably why I feel so bad.

                You all have been waiting for months for the boxing game—almost as long as I have. I have been giving out teasers and snippets from time to time and writing about my progress in various forums, but real, tangible results of this project have not been forthcoming. I know deep down that there will be setbacks; I’ve written about them in a previous post or two, but I hate that they’re occurring at all. More than anything I want to finish this game and release it to the general public, but for some reason things just keep coming up. Maybe this is all a bit melodramatic, and maybe I’m just on edge after the whole Qwitter thing, but I keep feeling like there’s a clock hanging over my head, and when it strikes, there goes my credibility. The funny thing is: it’s not you; it’s me.

                Holy crap. I have to stop writing now before something even more cheesy comes out of my keyboard: “maybe we should just be friends.”

                Anyhow, thanks for letting me get that off my chest, and thanks for being so awesome about the whole thing. I promise I’ll make the end result worth it, and we’ll all have a lot of fun.

16 responses to “Pouring

  1. Hi ryan.
    Its crashmaster from the audio games forum if you havn’t seem my handle by now then here it is.
    Anyway, its probably because you are so detailed with your stuff that people are ready to go on and not bother you or maybe you havn’t made any big f***ups yet.
    Don’t forget tom had it good for the first year or 2 and then things got a bit rocky.
    So you may have to spend the cash on the armour after all
    I read your blog first as I do with every dev’s blog, over the email list.
    I look foreward to your stuff and am happy with the insites you give on things.
    Although I don’t expect your entire life story, you like to speak your mind like the true probable b*****d you are, and I am also of that kind.
    I speak my mind, it gets me into trouble on ocation but I can’t lie, well that is if it really matters, when it gets down to it.
    I don’t care if it hurts, I prefur truth to falsehood even if its me that gets the sword in the gut.
    So keep on truckin fellow operator and continue the collective evil, or at least the current game or so.
    laters

  2. I appreciate your saying so. I think the biggest thing I want to accomplish with this blog is letting people know what it’s really like to develop. People in this community have the ability to talk directly to the developer; it’s only right that the developer gets the opportunity to talk back.

  3. Block party is awesome. When it comes to boxing games, the only boxing games i found were savage gambet wich was sh***t and also didn’t like that other one on the experimental games page on audiogames.net. I look forward too it’s release. Have fun.

  4. I’m glad people have been so nice and patient as you say. It isn’t always so, I have to admit. I was looking for blockparty, but I am afraid the dropbox link has expired or something.

  5. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for your support. I will, as always, keep everyone posted.
    Hey Helena,
    The Block Party link can be found on the main website now, so no need to go through drop box.

  6. Yay! Was playing it earlier. Nice sounds specially the chime sound when u press space bar.

  7. Hm yeah i need a good boxing game to play. Man im suprised u are taking it easy for game creating is hard

  8. Game creating is surprisingly hard not to menchen stressful but just think you can scream as loud as you can once it’s finished. The suspense is killing me but lol i hate to apply pressure on u. Look forward to finding out what other amazing things you are adding or changing for when it comes to nasty bugs they make you slamb on the breaks. Hold your head high ryan, and fight on to the death!

  9. Thanks to everyone for your continued support. Until I can put the game up on the site, use this link. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1865296/Block%20Party-1.1-test.exe

  10. When do u plan on releasing the boxing game? I would love to be a beta tester of it

    • thee#&r8217;s a lot of reporters who are sitting on some pretty expolsive info. ????When i went to New Republic – I searched for Bob Woodward and got the article.Just wanting someone elses opinion on this story.

  11. Ok. It has been almost 2 months now and there’s been no updates on the game what so ever. I mean why?

  12. Hey John,
    Namely because there haven’t been any up-front changes made. Everything right now is under the hood, so it’s not particularly exciting.

  13. I can feel the excitement but aww shame things haven’t gone as planned. But john dude hold on in there. I’m excited, your excited, we’re all excited! :) anyways gtg got block party to play.

  14. Hi! I downloaded the installer for Block Party 1.1 from your site yesterday, after hearing so many positive comments on this game from people who had played it: unfortunately, after installing Block Party, I discovered that I am one of those currently unfortunate people who has a 64-bit Windows 7 computer, so, even though the installer ran normally and I could read the read me for Block Party, it wouldn’t run at all, and I didn’t even get any error messages, just total silence when I pressed Enter to open the game. I tried to run the game in compatibility mode, trying both Windows XP SP2 and SP3 in the compatibility list, but with the same result. So you can imagine how pleased I was to read here that you are working on a solution to this problem: please keep us posted on any progress towards us 64-bit Windows 7 users being able to play this great-sounding game. No need to rush things, though: I appreciate that solving the problem could be a lengthy process, and also that you have a life outside game developing. Thanks in advance for any news. All the best to you, from Clare, who’d like to become a Block Party player, if only her computer would let her!

  15. Hi Clare and everyone else who had a problem running Block Party. I have uploaded a version to the site that should fix the 64-bit issues people have been having–at least they’ve been fixed for two fortunate souls. You can find the new version on the downloads page. Please let me know if you have any difficulties.

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