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December 7, 2000

More Jumpman 2049 development information, more meetings with people over money, and more… Jumpman 2049 is progressing. Slowly but surely… Right now, I’m working on something that really isn’t quite nessisary yet – Jumpman’s animations. I’ll post up a quick animation of Jumpman in action sometime soon – for those wondering what this particular itteration of Jumpman is going to look like, and move like, this should answer your questions 😉 Coloration and design wise, he’s just and extension of the Commodore 64 version of Jumpman – same colors, though he’s quite a bit more detailed, and there’s definitely more animation to him. Right now, the only completed animation is him running – which looks nice and fluid (it’s 14 cells of animation to make him run, and because of shadowing, the running left and running right animations are different. 

Had another meeting with money people again Tuesday. This was sort of a ‘final’ meeting before deciding if I’m going to sign the contract with them or not. More likely than not, I’m going to sign with them. But – I like to make sure I’ve got time to mull things over – I’d hate to sign the contract and then realize I made a mistake. What does signing the contract mean for MidnightRyder.Com? Not much, really. Thier job is to first produce me an Investment grade business plan, complete with marketing data, etc. A real PITA to do – my current ‘mini-Business Plan’ is about 16 pages, and it’s woefully inadequeate. So that do that for me. Plus, they are going to handle the accounting for me until I’m to the point that I can hire someone to handle it (which is good – they then know everything about cashflow and business model for me. The Business Plan isn’t a static document – it changes with the changing needs and direction of a business. This way, they know what’s up from top to bottom.) They also act as a sounding board, and give suggestions, etc – basically, they act as the management team with me. Something that’s fairly important. While *I* may think something sounds like a great idea, it’s good to have someone around who acts as a voice of reason 😉 Finally, they also manage a Venture Capitol pool of cash, plus they have connections with other pools. And, they also know what I’m going to need to know as I move along. It costs money, of course – but it’s pretty damned miniscue, and comes out of profits I make. In other words, it’s a good deal. And it really beats the hell out of showing up to a publisher with the demo of a title (or just the idea for a title) and asking for an advance. When you do that, you pretty much end up screwed, IMHO. However, when you have a finished title in your hands, and no need of an advance, you can get much higher royalites, which is important 😉 

I’ve also been pulling some new deals on the side for distributing Jumpman: 2049 – don’t look for J’49 to show up on the scene in the normal fashion. Oh, you’ll see it – I’m making sure of that, but, I plan on doing things a little differently and a little more profitably. Of course, I’m not telling what I’m up to until I do it! 😉 

As for the core of J’49 – yep, it’s progressing. VBA is integrated into the project, and I’m starting to beat some code into submission. For those wondering if implementing VBA into a project was hard, well… it was a piece of cake. Really! I did it twice – first time, I integrated it by hand, just so I knew all the stages and potential problems with doing it. Then I killed the project, and started a new one from scratch, and ran the integration wizard. Sheehs. That’s too easy – basically, as I go now, all I have to do it put in the appropriate let/get/set combinations for variables and objects within the main core for those items I think the people who want to make levels should have access to (gravity, feeding in custom graphics, etc.) It’s that bloody simple. I’ve run a couple of VBA scripts against the core, just to make sure it’s all working… no problems so far. 

One of the questions, of course, is what I need to give everyone access to within the J’49 core. The answer is problably pretty much everything But the more stuff I put in there, the more complex it gets, and the more problems end users will have with trying to figure out how to create (insert idea) within the level editor/VBA. What I will probably do is break it down into ‘levels’ of documentation – first section is for someone new at it, and only documents the easiest stuff, then the next section breaks it down further into more advanced topics, etc. 

OK, I’m done rambling for now! 

Midnight Ryder 
AKA Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr 

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