THE MAKING OF A (DIGITAL) T-CELL

( section 1 of 4 )

test_bullets 7/1 test_bullets

-- I had only ever worked on one other Director game before in my life, The (Great) Mower Maniac, and in that game, the player could only move left or right. In this game, we wanted the user to move left, right, up, and down, and be able to shoot in any direction. I spend all afternoon one day trying to figure out all of the code to accomplish this, about 6pm this was my product. I put v0.001 on the bottom of the project for kicks. The thing I really like about this demo, is that it was absolutely never intended to be shown to the public, so you can actually hide the white object off the side of the stage. I thought it was a cool feature, but I think everyone else thought it was quite confusing.

Instructions: To move the white blob, use the arrow keys, holding them down in the direction you wish to travel. Hold down the space bar to fire.

I believe this was the only demo that was a full 30 frames per second, all the ones that followed were 24 frames per second so they wouldn't slow down too much on less-fast computers.

test_bullets2.dir 7/1 test_bullets2

-- A few hours after test_bullets, I implemented the chemotherapy bar timer. Obviously, it's not nearly as beautiful as in the public betas, but it worked just like it was supposed to work. This is when we decided to have the chemo decrease faster for every bullet, to add a little extra fun to the game.

When your chemo runs out, you go to the "Outta Ammo" screen, and can restart from the beginning. This began our drive to make the game as addictive as possible, by encouraging the player to have the option to play again immediately.

I changed the version number for fun to v0.002, which really just meant, I thought it was twice as good as the first one, so it was a huge improvement.

side_scroll.dir 7/2/03 side_scroll

--One of the things that made Super Mario Bros. so much better than PacMan was the side-scroll action of the game. I had absolutely no idea how to program this, and it was never really mentioned in any of my programming books. I consulted my good friend Halim, who is a master innovator. He said to me, something like this, "Dave, you just need to subtract this from that and add that and something like that and just figure it out I'm pretty sure it works." A half hour later, I coded it exactly as he said, and this was the demo of this great accomplishment. It had now occurred to me that all of the time Halim had spent playing Grand Theft Auto really was paying off.


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