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2-07-2018 8:04 pm
fuzmeister: Past Lives of Game Dev
It's hard to believe that later this spring it will be 20 years since I first used the name S&F Software to brand a game project. While I can't remember exactly the first game I used it for, I'm sure it was super horrible as I was learning as I went along.

Interesting story about why I styled it as S+F Software for so many years - back in the Visual Basic days, using an ampersand before any character in a VB component field caused the character directly after to be underlined rather than actually showing the ampersand. I'm sure there was some escape string or something to actually show this character, but I had no idea what any of that stuff even was back then.

Lately I've been going through some old S&F Software game files and lamenting the lack of being able to actually play through any of these classics. In an effort for historical preservation, I recently wrote an extraction tool for several of the old file formats - FRX (Visual Basic's form binary file), SFP (uncompressed pack of binary files - graphics and sound usually), and the 2004 Iceman DX levels.

For some odd reason, the way VB handled writing the Iceman DX level files was really funky - despite using integers to store everything, it seems like VB decided to allocate 128 bytes for every "record" that was persisted. I'm fairly certain this wasn't by my own design. Either way, I wrote an extractor to downsize the old level files and was able to extract over 3MB of the original level data to just 25.6k in the new "format." It's insane the levels were so large in the first place all things considered.

Most of the old projects I have code for, but some of the big ones like Trevor 2 are missing. Ideally, I've always wanted to rewrite/port the code to something that could be run on modern computers, but I'm not sure I can justify the time it takes to do so. I did this with Helibomber DX a few years ago and released the game via a HumbleStore widget - turned out alright and was a fun trip down memory lane, but, again, it takes some time to do these little projects.

I'm grateful for the friendships formed and knowledge gained during my formative years of game development and design. I sometimes wish I had handled things differently on both the technical and social sides of it, but I think S&F was ultimately a good experience for all involved albeit a chaotic mess at times.

Mood: Nostalgic
Music: Audioslave - Revelations

Tags (beta): game development

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2-27-2017 10:16 pm
fuzmeister: Finally Updated The S&F Site
I've been sitting on this simpler, Bootstrap-based S&F Software site for a few months now... finally got around to uploading it:

And yes, I know I need to debug the Helibomber SDX high score stuff, but who is seriously visiting our site anymore anyway?

I mean, really... who? Ah, well... it's a nice piece of history until I get the urge to spontaneously release something new. I'd truthfully like to at least port another 1 or 2 of the old games to Java as I did with Helibomber...

The incentive of doing this don't really outweigh the time and effort though I wouldn't mind playing some Rapid Fire again.

Mood: Historic
Music: Nirvana - Something in the Way

Tags (beta): s&f software, game development

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4-19-2015 3:48 pm
fuzmeister: Thumbing Through the S&F Digital Archives
This is the map from Trevor 3 - released almost 14 years ago. It was one of the most ambitious S&F projects and sadly, not played by a ton of people.

Trevor3 Overworld

Thanks for coding the Trevor 3 map editor all those years ago, Brandon. I can't actually open up the original game or source code, but I can view the map files which is such a trip down memory lane. :)

Hoping to give the world a chance to play the Trevor games on modern PCs in the next couple of years.

Mood: Super Nostalgia!

Tags (beta): game development, trevor

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4-23-2014 1:32 pm
fuzmeister: Helibomber SDX Released!
My sort-of-new S&F project has been released! Check it out here! While it's nothing super-fresh, it was good to actually develop and release something again.

There is still the issue of the bigger S&F project I've been working on since last June on and off... I may go back to working on that next OR possibly do another port/rewrite of an older S&F game as none of our old games seem to work on modern PCs.

Mood: Sort of Accomplished
Music: Beastie Boys - Johnny Ryall

Tags (beta): s&f software, game development, independent games

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2-19-2014 7:05 pm
fuzmeister: Direction(less)
There's a lot of things I want to do, but I'm having trouble sort of working out the details of how to do them.

Maybe it's an issue of prioritizing things. It might be an issue of even knowing how to approach the things I want to do.

Sometimes, I guess, you just have to dive in and see what happens.

Mood: Torn
Music: Radiohead - Anyone Can Play Guitar

Tags (beta): creative efforts, music, game development

Comments (1)

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