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January 23, 2001

The woes of dealing with a hosted environment (Or, now MidnightRyder.Com died for a couple days), Jumpman: 2049 stuff, mo’ business, and new developers tools… MidnightRyder.Com was down for 4 days grand total. I’m not real happy about it either. Here’s what happened: 
MidnightRyder.Com has been running SLOW for a while now, so I complained to my host. They said, no problem, we’ll just move you to one of the new boxes – plus, the box I’m on is supposed to retire in a couple of months. I said cool – when can we do this? I want to be in town before it happens, so I can be there if / when something goes wrong. No problem, they say – we’ll setup the new account on the new machine, and move all your stuff over for you, then let you test it before it goes live. 
Too bad that didn’t happen. Instead, the head tech tells someone to make the new account, and move my stuff over for me. That didn’t happen. Instead, they created a new site, and pointed the DNS entry for MidnightRyder.Com over to it. Without moving anything. Without telling me. 
I was out of town – so, I had NO WAY to upload the site over a regular modem line that a max was dialing in at 19.2 (most of the time it was 12,000. OUCH!) So MidnightRyder.Com died. I filled out a support request, and explained. Too bad no one got back to me until AFTER I got back in town, and fixed it myself. Unluckly, they didn’t have telnet or SSH working, so, I couldn’t connect to the site and transfer stuff directly between machines, and couldn’t update the MySQL databases properly. *SIGH* It’s 98% fixed now – I did some serious work getting it back online with all the old data in tact. Next step? Co-Location with a company here in Wichita in about 2 – 3 months. Hell with this – I’m tired of being at someone else’s mercy when the site goes down. 
Jumpman: 2049 is going slowly at the moment. Part of the reason is that I’ve been working on the plotline for it. “Plotline?” you ask… yes, there is a plot in Jumpman: 2049. I’m not going to reveal everything I’ve got in mind (where’s the fun in following the plotline if you know it ahead of time ;-), but I will reveal this: in the original manuals, it always refered to the bad guys as the “Alienators”. I decided to have a little fun with this, and, reveal that they players have never met the Alienators yet – you get to meet them in this game. Trust me, they aren’t what you might expect! 
The other thing taking up some time is creating some new tools. I really, really want a new menuing system for DirectX. Basically, I’m wanting some new abilities, while having most of the functionality of the Windows GUI. I’m working on this now – so far, looks like it’s going to come out as cool as I planned it. I’m not going to reveal any features yet. But, the plan is to make this a tool for sale to other programmers who are interested. Jumpman: 2049 will be the first game to use it. 
The second new tool is a Dynamic Music system I’m planning. I plan on using the ModTracker format for it’s base, then, do a little fancy work for a fully usable dynamic music library for game authors. However – none of that is set in stone. It’s my plan – but Reality May Vary. 
Of course, being out of town has held me up again 🙁 It was only a week long trip, but, I’ve got to go out of town again next week. However, I think I’m going to throw the dev machine in the car with me when I go. That way, I can make use of my short days out of town (the last trip I worked 7 – 8 hours a day, which is really odd. Normally, I work 12 – 18 hour days when I’m out of town! The record is workng 36 hours, sleeping 2 hours, then going back to work…) 
But the other ultra-cool thing that held me up was my MSDN Universal subscription showed up Friday while I was out of town. 121 CD’s of all the OS’s, development tools, applications, and developers kits that Microsoft makes. Wow… there’s just some amazingly cool stuff in there to play with! I actually checked out some of the tools I’ve never bothered with before, like FrontPage 2000. It took some hacking, but, I managed to get it to work for MidnightRyder.Com (the server doesn’t support FP extensions, but, I can still transfer it via FTP.) I haven’t decided if I like it or not – there are some really nice things about it. 
As for the company it’s self – well, the management team has a plan on how to make everything work out for the short term until after I get Jumpman: 2049 out the door. After that, however, I’ve got some hard work to do – I’ve got three great game designs setting here. I’ve got people that want to build them. However – I need the MONEY to pay the people… sheesh! While I could take them to a publisher and ask for an advance, I don’t really intend to do it that way. Why? Well, usually when you take an advance, you probably will never see anything more than that advance, as they royalties you make at the other end are fairly small. *SIGH* LOTS of work to do… so, back to it! 
Midnight Ryder 
AKA Davis Ray Sickmon, Jr 
President, MidnightRyder.Com Reply
Parallel Development 🙂 [104]
by Randy [email protected] on Tuesday, January 23 @07:01PM
DMS (dynamic music system) and controls for DirectX programs. These things which you are/will be developing are also in their first stages here. What’s that achronym developers use? NBMOH (not by my own hands) or something like that, rerfering to a programmers distaste for thing he did not create himself. Someday you and I may acually hook up (program wise) and save each other some time. lol
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No kidding?! [105]
by Midnight Ryder [email protected] on Tuesday, January 23 @09:25PM
Sheesh – you are indeed right on that. Take your pick – you wanna do the Dynamic Music library, or, would you rather do the Menuing system for DirectX 
Makes sense if we did – heck, cuts out a whole section of programming on both of our parts. However, as mentioned, one of my plans was to re-sell the libraries to others (actually thinking about doing this more closely to the Open Source style in some ways – selling the library and the source code. One of my issues isn’t that someone else did it, it’s that I can’t fix what they $*#!ed up, or make changes to how it works!), so, that’s the only real issue at my end of things. 
Dev tools are getting to be bigger and bigger sales these days, just because of the time-crunch that so many programmers feel when trying to handle all the details… 😛 
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