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April 6, 2001 – More Jumpman stuff again, Community Services

Yep – time for some more information on Jumpman: 2049, and, a look a the strange new ‘Community Services’ section of MidnightRyder.Com, and mission impossible! Read on…
More Jumpman: 2049 Information
Most of the plotline for Jumpman: 2049 is going to be dropped, and it’s going to be fairly straight forward playing. Why? After looking a the original game again and again, I realized something – it’s the gameplay that matters. After talking to Randy, the existing bad guys (the Alienators) were created by marketing in the first place. So I’m going back to the track of keeping the player interested based on sheer gameplay. Let’s face it – that’s what REALLY kept us interested in the original games, right?
That’s also not to say that I won’t throw in some twists that are going to keep players interested in “what’s next”! I’ve already mentioned that Jumpman gets the chance to be the one doing the bombing – but I’ve got two more tricks up my sleeve (that I’m not talking about until the game is out and players have experienced it!) that will make most players jaws hit the ground πŸ™‚
Jumpman: 2049 Levels for Sale?
I’m going to start experementing with something – allowing people to SELL level packs and expansions for Jumpman: 2049 (and future Midnight Ryder Technologies games). Most companies do not allow third-party developers (mod authors) to sell thier works (with at least one noteable exception where the mod authors developed something, and it was good enough to be commercial product of it’s own – and made it to retail shelves that way!) I’ve been thinking about it deeply, and after talking to Lloyd Duhon (Hawkewerks Multimedia, among other things!) Why does such a rule exist in the first place?
It really date back to Doom, partially (and before that.) At that time, people were taking all of the cool new levels that people were producing, and packaging them on a CD, and selling them at retail outlets. Basically, screwing the people who made the levels for free (and using the Trademarks belonging to iD without permission – but it DID fall under fair use really.) So that kept people from being screwed out of a lot of thier time and effort. Plus, that also meant that all outside resources for the game was free, effectively extending the value of what people purchased. Not a bad idea really.
But, I think it would be just plain cool if the people who put the effort into it could attempt to make a return on their investment in time. I’m going to attempt to ballance both ideas here – something that’s going to require a little work on my part, but, I think things could be profitable for everyone involved – Midnight Ryder Technologies, the mod authors, and the end users. Here’s what I’ve got in mind:
It’s gotta be licensed. Basically, if you want to try and sell a level pack for Jumpman: 2049, I’ve got to approve it first. Now, that DOES NOT prevent you from developing levels for free in any way, shape, or form. But, if you want to sell a level pack, there’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to quality. I’m going to make sure things live up to those expectations before users plunk down cash on it. If it’s horrible, it reflects bad on the mod author, and on Midnight Ryder Technologies.
I handle sales and distribution. Actually, this one makes sense when you think about it. I’ve already got the system for it, and can accept credit cards and checks online, phone orders, fax orders, etc. Plus, this way, there’s a single clearing house for stuff like this that end users can go view to see what’s out there. That doesn’t preclude you from producing your own web pages for it (I’ll encourage it actually, since you can tell people about it better than I can!) – but the order page is mine.
I get a split. You heard right – I get a split out of the sales of the level pack. Probably something like / sale. This means my overhead for what I do handle is covered, and can potentially continue development of Jumpman: 2049 to incorporate new abilities that mod authors would like to see become available.
I really don’t think that THAT MANY people will really be interested in going this route – most mod authors do it in thier spare time for the hell of it, and are basically doing a ‘labor of love.’ A sellable level pack is going to be considerable effort. But the option will be there for people who want to try it!
Opinions?
Community Services
Yep, there’s a new section to MidnightRyder.Com – CommunityServices. You can read what there is to offer on that page, but the biggest thing at the moment is two almost advertising free jokes mailing lists. I got tired of putting up with finding the jokes hidden within all the ads. I figured it might be a fairly popular idea with others too, so, I created them πŸ™‚ I’ve got about 5,000 jokes at the moment (really) so I’m not lacking for material at the moment πŸ™‚
There’s other stuff there for webmasters too, so, go check it out if you’ve got a webpage that you’d like to make just a little more interactive.
Mission Impossble: Boulder Panic! strikes again…
Ok, so I’ll never be done with the Boulder Panic! engine it appears. I’ve now got a customer who gets some strange results when running the full version, but, the demo runs fine. *SIGH* So I’m going to try the impossible – I’m going to try incorporating my new display engine into BP!2 DX, and see what happens. Wish me luck! If you’ve got any special requests for the next update of BP!2 DX, drop me a line here on the board or in my email ([email protected]) and tell me, so I can incorporate it into the next release.
At the same time, when I finish the update I’ll finally release Boulder Panic! 2: More Boulders, More Panic! expansion that I’ve been working on. Why I’ve never released it, I don’t know…
Ok, that’s it for me – I’m outta here!
Midnight Ryder
AKA Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr
President, Midnight Ryder Technologies

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