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This document holds my 'diary' where I wrote
daily notes during the development of Hellcarrier.
It is rather informal. :)

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2001-06-05, Tue
Started to write the design document. I have a lot of ideas and I don't know if I have time to implement it all. I am eager to start coding, but this time I will do it right! :) The working name of the game is HELI.

2001-06-06, Wed
More writing on the design document.

2001-06-07, Thu
Finished version 0.1 of the design document. Installed MSVC6, DirectX8 and Allegro 3.9.34 (WIP), works like a charm. Started to write the construcion document and planned the classes. The suits have had a look on my design and liked it. I have go!

2001-06-08, Fri
Coded the stuff I needed for a simple menu. Works like a charm. Also made a class for control. More writeing on design and construction.

2001-06-11, Mon
Updated design and construction documents with some stuff I came up with during the weekend. Started to implement objects and scenery. I also began to work on the gfx engine. It started out nice, but now I have some strange trig problems. Well, I'll fix it tomorrow.

2001-06-12, Tue
After some terrorizing trig problems I finally got the camera to work properly and I can move around a randomized level with ease. It looks rather cool. Found a nasty memory leak that I drained. Added some nice bitmaps for some objects and put them in the game. This all means that the concept works. ;) I'd better start working on a mission editor now. It will makes things easier to sort out.

A blobby helicopter about to land at nearby hangar.

2001-06-13, Wed
Today I started out with HTML-alizing this document. I also downloaded DIME and took a look at it. It looks sweet and I'll use it for the editor.

The mission editor (medit) is coming along nicely and Dime works like a charm. I got the popup menus right and the user can now add objects and rotate them, pick them up and move them around.

2001-06-14, Thu
Worked on the load and save functions and finally got them to work. More work on the editor.

2001-06-15, Fri

Reworked the class trees to get some smoother code. I really don't need a sub class for each unit type. I will only use soldier and vehicle and then use variables to sort out the diffrences between them. Drew some new gfx for most objects. Built a test level. Worked more on the editor. Had some grill-lunch and ate a lot of cake.

2001-06-15 2001-06-15
Left: Added some snazzy graphics. (Vehicles are new!)
Right: A terrorist platoon getting ready to spread havoc.

2001-06-18, Mon

Wrote configuration files for the objects, thereby skipping the hardcoded data. Made an overview screen for the mission editor. Made some concept art and started to draw new gfx. More work on the mission editor.

2001-06-19, Tue

Wrote a selector to the editor where the user can select what image to use for scenery and buildings. Started to organize the palette and redrew graphics. A lot of work on the editor.

Yet another screenshot.

2001-06-20, Wed

Worked on the mission editor and made a new building. Then I suddenly got enormous trouble with the dynamic binding stuff in the game exe and after hours of debugging I finally realised that my load/save functions weren't very good and I had to rewrite them. I rewrote them. ;) Went to add the missile towers and somethhing really strange happened. They don't seem to be properly saved, even tough they are correctly constructed they loose their type and a lot of other stuff.

[time passes]

Found it! Since it was a new object it wasn't properly loaded. Silly me.

2001-06-21, Thu

Drew a new helicpoter for the player. Added sight and fire ranges to all units. Wrote an update function for the editor to allow objects allready created to get new values from the configuration file. Started to work on the main game loop. Wrote a player class.

2001-06-25, Mon

Added real movements to the player helicopter, including strafing. Works nice, feels good. Made the basic code for the help screen and added the in game menu. Wrote pseudo-code for most of the AI. Spent some time seraching for company logos and converting programs. Stopped using fixed trig and switched to math.h. This introduced som new bugs and it took some time squashing them. Anyway, all bugs squashed and it's running a lot faster and smoother!

2001-06-26, Tue

Put some interia on the helicopter (and therefore all other vehicles). Manoevering feels quite realistic. Found and inserted a nice Teknisk-IT logo. Got all vehicles to move and turn on demand. I've got action! :) More logo and intro making. Added ground noise - lotsa ugly trig. :( But finally it worked. Then I decided to skip most of the fixed types and do double instead. The conversion took quite some time.

Showing off the ground noise. (And some new gfx.)

2001-06-27, Wed

Fiddled some more with the ground noise and added more types of it. Added landing ability and scaled chopper. The keys gave me a hassle, seems like bool is a char. Took some time before I figured that one out. ;( Had some serious troble with the collision detection. Spent some time searching for line collision algorithms. I don't have the stamina to do them today though. ;)

2001-06-28, Thu

Removed the ugly clipping that occured at the screen boundaries. Wrote some nice routines to check wether a point is inside a rotated object or not. Tried using virtual antennas to control the movements of the vehicles. This turned out good in some cases and not so good in most. I think I will let this rest until the AI for the units is done. Maybe I wont need to be this precise. Added projectiles and tested the collsion routine, sweet. Bullets everywhere.

2001-06-29, Fri

Spent all day playing with FastTracker and searching for samples. I also installed JGMOD and compiled it. It works.

2001-07-02, Mon

Installed a CD-burner. ;) Started hacking at the sector-code to optimize object interaction. This might take a while. [...] Finally! The mechanics and structures for the sector code is done. Let's just hope it works as good in reality as it does in theory. ;) [...] Sweet! Of course there where some bugs and special cases I had missed but they're gone now and it works really good. I got an improvement of ~50%.

2001-07-03, Tue

Installed and played around with my new toys. One gamepad and one joystick. The gamepad works lika charm but I'm having some problems with the joystick. Took some time to implement the gamepad into the control code. Fixed some with the game initialization. Inserted the projectiles ito the new sector system from yesterday. Another 30% optimization. Sweet.

2001-07-04, Wed

Found out that the Allegro driver for windows joysticks was faulty and spent the entire morning on writing a new driver. It works as it should now, I just need to find a way to put it as a standalone driver, and not the default one as it is now. I spent some more time on the joystick thingy atfer lunch.

2001-07-05, Thu

Today I made so that units detect other units around them and act differently on what kind of unit it is. Armed units aim for non friendly units, turrets turn and movable units move in pursuit. I also added friend/foe support and the game can now almost play against itself. :) Crappy but interesting. Found a save/load bug in the mission saver that I corrected.

2001-07-06, Fri

Started to work on shooting units. [...] Done! Units now aim, shoot and reload. I just need to add some target evaluation so that they don't go for the harmless soldier before they attack the evil tank. :) Changed from friend/foe to teams. This makes it much easier to plot missions.

2001-07-09, Mon

Today is a bad day. First, I got a flat tire on my bike and had to walk quite a distance to get to work. Then, when finally here, I don't have any network, not internet, no printers no nothing. I'm spending hours trying to get it working. Not very amusing.
3 hours wasted and suddenly everything just works. ;( And what happens this afternoon? The power goes of. ;(

2001-07-10, Tue

Added multi-select to the editor. Drew and added an armour meter. It's colorfull and semi transparent. Made and implemented the radar. Added proper handling when an object is destroyed (by bullets).

Finally a new screenshot. This time featuring the radar and armour meter.
And! A firing enemy trying to blow the chopper into pieces. (Small ones.)

2001-07-11, Wed

Redesigined the UI of the editor, added multi select by rectangle as well as by CTRL. Started to work on waypoints and nodes for the units. A user can now draw the paths each unit in the editor. Finished most oth the waypoint stuff. Unit now navigate between them in the game. Yow!

2001-07-12, Thu

More waypoint work. Fixed the problem that units sometimes takes 'the long way around' when turning. Drew a logo for the SSR project. Played some scenarios together with my AI units. ;) Ironed out some bugs in the waypoint code.

2001-07-13, Fri

Fixed the last stuff with waypoints, end nodes can now redirect the unit to either stop, restart or backtrack. Found lotsa bugs in the medit-code, sometimes it just hangs. Time to fix it! [...] Rewrote most of the mouse handling code in the editor. Made an easy/ugly hack and tested tranparent dark shadows on the vehicles. Looks sweet! Built a simple escort mission.

2001-07-16, Mon

Drew a cool title image and title gfx. Looks sweet with the menu. Seems like the name of the game now is Hellcarrier. Sounds nasty. ;) Worked a lot on the menus, adding fx. Added shadows to all objects -> slooooow! :( Updated this page. Messed some more w/ shadows and tried to get a propper scale when the chopper lifts and lands. Failed.

2001-07-16 2001-07-16
Left: The new snazzy menu and title screen.
Right: An evil armed jeep attacks my two trucks. Look at those shadows!

2001-07-17, Tue

Decided to rewrite the code that sets the values for each object. The current one is obsolete and not very flexible. This should only affect the medit code though (I hope!). Much work bu it will hopefully make things easier. I also added wreck pictures.

2001-07-18, Wed

Tried out video bitmaps instead of memory bitmaps but it was slower. Rewrote the altitude system an everything that dealed with it. I also made sure that all base scenery doesn't end up in the sectors -> faster and you can't shoot them. ;) Added some more menu/title fx. Worked a lot on many small things. Units seem to fire all the time... Strange. Well, I better fix it since even the non firing units fire. Fixed it, silly init miss. New bug, trucks dissapear. ;( Fixed it. :)

2001-07-19, Thu

I really need to do get somewhere today. Lots to do! Fixed the heli shadow. Fixed so that units stop aiming, shooting and moving if they have no targets any more (ie rest). Drew missiles, a radar station and bullets. Started to add smoke for trails and explosions.

2001-07-20, Fri

Finished the base for the smoke code. Added smoke trails, ricochet, explosions and more. It took some time to adjust it but it looks sweet (and takes some ticks).

2001-07-20 2001-07-20
Left: Smoke trails, yay! And a radar station.
Right: KaraBoom! Black smoke from explosions!

2001-07-23, Mon

Drew two new buildings, a power station and a silo. Adjusted the player movement. Fixed the waypoint code so that unit only check their angle every 2 seconds. This make it look a lot smoother. Made a small optimization on scenery shadows. Added a rotating radar dish building. To finish the day, I recieved a virus. More exactly an email worm. The worm sent a mail to all mail addresses it found in my internet cache. Great. It even included a file, the Claw Design Bible. Hilarious but tedious. Spent the afternoon with a guy from tech, trying to get rid of it. I'm going to let the virus program run over night.

2001-07-24, Tue

Arright! The virii is out of the way, great. I fixed so that the INSTRUCTIONS option in the main menu switches to the default browser showing the html manual. Sweet. Made some cosmetic fixed to the help screen. Soldiers of the player's team no try to enter the heli when landed. Looks cool, but I need to make adjustments so that only some enter and so they get out next time the heli lands (if on safe ground).

Aaargh! Medit has gone buggy! It hangs when trying to select soldiers. :( Medit is not buggy anymore! :) Added some func. to the wp edit. Lots more happened, the player can now pickup soldiers that run towards the heli. I added zones, both to game and editor. The editor gave me quite amatch of bugs before it wokred like I wanted it to work.

2001-07-25, Wed

Heli can now drop off passengers at the zones where they want to leave. Rewrote the pickup/drop off code. Drew some destroyed buildings. Rewrote the add_object code, now you add objects (types) to the editor by simply adding a txt-file with their data into a directory. More work on destroyed stuff.

Some destroyed buildings.

2001-07-26, Thu

Beautyfied some explosions. Hacked on the kill-code. Drew new soldiers and a scientist. Animated all (~30pics). Looks sweet when they walk around. Drew bodies for the soldiers (when killed), blood! :) Searched for suitable sounds and added them. Trixed some with the palette.

2001-07-27, Fri

Continued to play with sounds, added more. Fixed so the volume of the samples is lowered when the source if far away. Rewrote some code used for empying vehicles and buildings. Added UNLOAD to the way point commands. Vehicles can now unload the cargo/ppl they are carrying at any point.

2001-07-30, Mon

Started to work on and finished the co pilot selector.

Select your brother in crime... :)

2001-07-31, Tue

Graphical update of the cop-selector. Implemented a compass for the radar. Drew ammo icons and implemented ammo counting and secondary weapon changing. Worked some on the collision/movement of the units. Soldiers will nevr go into anything solid. Great! Finally got around to fix the target evaluation. Also rewrote the act_on_object code. Added cool feature: soldiers throw themselves to the ground when risking a hit and run! Fixed a stupid bug in control. Finished the help screen.

Ammo icons.

2001-08-01, Wed

Drew a new helicopter. Drew three new soldier-units (spy, prisoner, embassador). Added the pickups to the editor and game. You can't pick them up just yet though. [...] Feature! When landing to pick up a crate of pickup, the co-pilot leavs the chopper and fetches the crate, then returns to the chopper. Sweet! Drew and implemented burning soldiers.

2001-08-02, Thu

Spent some time to remove the crash that occured when the cop re-enters heli after fatching a pickup. Also widened the machine gun fire on the heli. Bug fixing. Drew a fighter (plane) and it's wreck. Did some general fixing. :) Increased the hitability when using machine gun. Made a cool blob effect (for credits || hisc).


2001-08-03, Fri

Finished the credit scroller. Extracted the draw_mission code and tried some frame skipping. Skipping every other frame saves a lot of cpu time and still looks good. That's great for slower computers. Splitted play_mission into several smaller functions. Looks a lot better and will be a lot easier to maintain. Implemented the co-pilot skills to firing and reparing. Inserted a rgb lookup table too speed up color table creation (major speed up!). Insterted an FPS choice into options and fixed so samples are played with choosen volume. Speeded up drawing blobs with a lookup table. Fixed so that the chopper fire missiles from the wings. Added a file selector to medit and managed to destroy my test mission. :( Argh.

The credit scroller.

2001-08-06, Mon

Started on sub_missions, not a day to soon! Wrote and implemented save and load routines. Now is the time to hack it into medit. Most of the work with sub missions inside medit is done. Now for the game! The base has been laid... Triggering missions work like a charm. I can detect completion of transport and destroy missions. Started to draw on the map/mission screen.

2001-08-07, Tue

Wrote and implemented criterias for each mission type's fail and success. All five mission types (defend/transport/escort/destroy/strafe) works now. Great! Built a level with 7 sub missions. Debug time! Debugged a lot. More to do.

2001-08-08, Wed

Enhanced the compass. Fixing bugs... Fixed repair bug, already destroyed essentials bug. Working on map/mission screen.

2001-08-09, Thu

Added some cool fx to the intro presentation. Fixed a 'new message' bug. More work on the map/mission screen, added some buttons. Made it easier to hit and kill troops. Fixed 'tanks don't shoot at buildings' bug. More playtesting. Fixed the timed missions. Added the ability to put pickup crates into vehicles (supply trains! :) ).

2001-08-10, Fri

Made nice moving pointers to targets and landing sites. Added an ally truck. Fixed some nice fire explosions.

2001-08-13, Mon

Free! (Took the day off.)

2001-08-14, Tue

Today I'm going to show the game to my boss. Tim to make thing look solid. :) Added escape possibility to the intro. Minor changes to the menus. Tidied up in game menu. Added quick fix for the 'no chopper' bug. Removed the ability to destroy scenery. Added a few new co pilots. Minor bug fixes. Added analog joystick support. Splitted Options into video and controls. Implemented shadows/smoke on/off. Boss liked the game. Sweet.

Big Baraboom. New explosion fx.
Also, check out the fancy message indicator (top right).

2001-08-15, Wed

Added cheats that can be typed anywhere into the game. Spent some time converting ~50 pictures to 100x134 grayscale images to use as co-pilots. Made up some fancy callsigns and descriptions for the lot. Drew some new scenery and added some detail to the test level. Read some important docs (copyright etc.) and added some banners to the main menu.

2001-08-16, Thu

Drew some new buildings and added some company logos on them. More building on the test map. Minor fixes here and there. Drew three tents, including 'destroyed'-images. Started to code on lives and restart. Drew a life indicator.

2001-08-16 2001-08-16
Left: Some new buildings, featuring company names. You can also spot the new trucks and the target pointers.
Right: Destroying a camp full of ememy troopers.

2001-08-17, Fri

Final day at work here in Växjö, but I will continue and finish the game in Göteborg. Registred hellcarrier.has.it. Made some html work. Continued on die/restart. Not so easy as I first assumed since I'm destroying the heli object. Made the current version stable. Added game over screen. No lives today. Lets burn the backup.

2001-09-03, Mon

Back in GBG, sweet, but I've got work todo. Started to make a plan on how to finish the project. Fixed some minor stuff with the intro. Added a loading image at mission loading. Added an init-progress indicator.

2001-09-04, Tue

Added and implemented reset keys to the menu. Started to write a short manual.

2001-09-05, Wed

More work on the manual. Drew a new icon. Fixed some minor beauty bugs (shakin' vehicles).

2001-09-07, Fri

Decided to leave out the custom controls part. Started to switched to Allegro 3.9.37, but decided not to and wrote on the manual instead. Wrote a lot.

2001-09-09, Sun

Fixed control bug. Implemented frequency change when landing/taking off. Gave the player 4 lives/tries. Added death/crash sequence. Some bug checking/fixing. Wrote a lot on the manual.

2001-09-11, Tue

The day that the world stood still. A day to live in infamy.

2001-09-13, Thu

Worked on the phosphor missile. Tricky :) I got the promixity detonation to work. Now I just need to make it hit nearby units.

2001-09-15, Sat

The phosphor missile is complete, soldiers are burning. Added soldiers to the radar. Made so ENTER can be used in menus and copilot selection. Added an direction arrow to the map screen. Increased the power of the normal missiles.

Phosphorous primoxity missiles.

2001-09-16, Sun

Made burning people come running out of destoryed buildings and trucks. Added a goto sub mission. Added snafu and complete states. Started working on some campaign stuff. Added the possibility to play several missions in a row. Added mission descriptions.

2001-09-17, Mon

Added some nice load/save features to medit. Finished the campaing code. Missions can now be played in batches, using textfiles or datafile. Added a password feature on original levels. Prepared for beta release. Added fld-logo to intro. Tracked an evil bug for an hour but finally squashed it! Started working on two test maps for the beta.

2001-09-24 Mon

Made the mission briefing a little bit nicer. Some fixes to the map screen. Implemented the homing missile. Installed and 'make'd Allegro 3.9.37 to fix the win2k keyboard bug.

2001-09-25 Tue

Had some trouble getting dime to compile for Allegro 3.9.38, but I finally worked it out. Fixed some cool images for mission briefing. Added the images. Added a few new sounds.

2001-09-26 Wed

Added some explanations to the mission/map screen. Added a 'mission complete' screen. Made sure firing performance was lowered if no co pilot. Protected the datafiles. Wrote more on the manual, finished?

2001-09-27 Thu

Wrote a finishing text for the beta testers.

2001-09-29 Sat

Made som fixes to the map screen to make sure that the heli wasn't drawn outside the map. Simplified the message/mission screen indicator, by adding a PRESS ENTER text. Started to ooutline and build the beta levels.

2001-09-30 Sun

Completed beta level 1. Lotsa bugs fixed. Drew some on the helicopter and made a new building. Put text files into the data file.

2001-10-01 Mon

Some new drawings.

2001-10-02 Tue

Windows crashed hard and I spent some time reinstalling it.

2001-10-06 Sat

Finished the menu/intro song. Wrote and finished the success song and the failure sound. Added MOD control to the menu, and a few ticking sounds when navigating. Started working on next level.

2001-10-07 Sun

More work on the level. Some fixes in game and medit. A map crashed. Made an intro.

2001-10-10 Wed

Finished the level and it became really sweet. But it crashed on saving and I lost it. Damn! I'm getting so tired on this.

2001-10-12,13,14 Wed

Remade the level and added new cool stuff. I turned out at least as good as the old one.

2001-11-05 Mon

Planned, started and completed the third and last level.

2001-11-06 Tue

Solved some bugs concerning the copilot and the crates. Mostly workarounds, but they look good on screen and that's what counts. Released the beta.

2001-11-07 Wed

Beta reports have started to drop in. Removed menu delaying. Changed the look of explosions and added smoking from wrecks.

2001-11-08 Thu

Adjusted som samples. Added smoke from heli when hurt. Fixed the joystick control errors. Fixed the help screen bug. Fixed the control manager hang bug in the menu.

2001-11-09 Fri

Removed beep when exiting the map screen.

2001-11-12 Mon

Added the ability to press enter||fire||esc in the game intro in order to skip it. Gave the player some new ammo (if low) when the chopper had crashed. Added explosion radius to all detonating missiles. Drew and added an Aerotech hangar. Fixed some structures that hopefully will avoid the 'random' crashes.

2001-11-13 Tue

Started hacking on the 'load game' stuff.

2001-11-14 Wed

Finished the code that lets the player play external campaigns. Made some adjustments in order to allow bright bg. Added a lot of error checking and error messages.

2001-11-15 Thu

Added difficulty selection, and made sure it made a difference to the game. Updated the manual. Added end sequences for original and external games. Fixed english spelling/typos/grammar errors. Added a 'next level' cheat. Drew a lot of new gfx for the winter missions. Fixed two short and silly winter missions. Released Beta 2.

2001-11-21 Wed

Made the special file for the demo.

2001-11-22 Thu

Made some minor changes.

2001-11-23 Fri

Added debris to explosions. Looks really cool!

2001-11-24 Sat

Finished the xmas levels. Tidied up for release version 1. Fixed installation program.

2001-11-29 Thu

Fixed config.txt defaults. Made sure all add_* where safe. Did the last stuff on the installer. Released the game.

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