Chopper Assault status

Written by David Frampton @ 6:54 pm, April 20, 2008

Since Chopper Assault and Backyard Racing were announced, I have had many enquiries about the status of both projects, so this is an honest account of where they are at.

In its current state, Chopper Assault has a complete physics engine, renderer and UI manager. What needs to be done is to create levels, graphics and AI for the enemies. Backyard Racing is nearly, but not quite at the same stage.

I stopped working on both Chopper Assault and Backyard Racing about a year ago, when I realized I could not do a good job of it only in my spare time. Creating decent game levels and other assets requires continuous attention. Like many other creative areas, a realistic overview of the project at all times is really important for the best quality result. Working 40-50 hours a week on something else makes this near impossible.

So both projects are sitting ready with a solid code base, but they both need a few months of asset and gameplay creation and testing.

My situation is that I am nearing the end of a contract coding for an interactive museum exhibit. I have at least four months of full time work on my own projects after the contract finishes.

My priorities for this four month period are directed towards prolonging that four months by getting enough registrations that I can work on majicjungle and fluidmac for longer without getting more contract jobs to survive. Currently my priorities are:

  1. Finish FluidNoise 2.0 – release June/July 2008
  2. Finish Chopper Assault - release Oct/Nov 2008
  3. Finish Backyard Racing – release dependent on Chopper Assault success. Start of 2009 earliest.

It is highly unlikely that another release of Chopper 1.x will be made, or that iSight Screensavers will receive another upgrade. FluidNoise 2.0 is currently receiving the majority of my coding efforts.

And a final note, A $10US discount for Chopper Assault will be offered to all registered Chopper 1.x players.

FluidNoise 1.0.2

Written by David Frampton @ 6:56 pm, April 4, 2008

This is just a small update that fixes a bug which caused 32-bit tiff export to produce (perhaps ironically) random noise.

A technical description: The function CGBitmapContextCreate requires a flag to decide whether to create an image for PPC or Intel, and I was passing the wrong one for PPC. Also I have some optimizations that align the row size of pixel buffers to the cache line size available. I wasn’t allowing for this increase in row size when passing it to that function.

A non-technical description: I should’ve more thoroughly tested FluidNoise on PPC before releasing it in the first place, but at least it’s fixed now!

Chopper 1.2.1 Released

Written by David Frampton @ 9:43 am, April 3, 2008

Download and release information at:

Chopper 1.2 was so short lived I didn’t even get a chance to blog about it!

There were a couple of critical bugs in 1.2 which should now have been fixed in 1.2.1. Overall though I’m pretty happy with this release. So much had changed under the hood that it is not surprising a couple of bugs popped up.

Being not particularly happy with how the caves level was looking I actually ended up creating a whole new look at the last minute. Of interest is that the tiling cave walls in the background were created with a current build of FluidNoise 2.0 using the environment mapping functionality.

I hope you enjoy it.