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rrcoder

Wow People! I Am Both Stunned And Impressed!

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Cyrem

Ah I just remembered something! I know you said you didn't have anything to do with the development of the PS1 game... but hey maybe you heard something.

On the back of the PS1 game, it showed game screenshots. But the screenshots on it were not from the PS1 game, rather the screenshots are of the Development version PC game, complete with the old dummy interface. (I can get you an image if you want to see)

When I originally bought the PS1 game many many years ago, I was confused as to why my game didn't look anything like what was pictured. I'm amazed no-one went banana's and sued Lego for a misleading product or something...

In-fact, the screenshots of the older build were used in a lot of advertising, eg:

Oh! Also (Sorry, I know you mainly worked on levels and not the main game programming): Launching the game in developer mode (if I remember correctly) using parameters allows you to select resolutions up to 1024x748. Now, with some modification to the CFG, I got the game to run. Looks like this though as the interface is positioned for 640x480:

I have been able to move the interface around to get it to suite 1024x768... except for one part! The message and oxygen bar down the bottom. In the CFG is said that x,y will not effect it's position. Is that because it's hard-coded in? I tried doing a dodgy and make a larger image to push it down. It does work but has one major flaw: out of all the interface images, the message bar seems to be the only one that does not support transparency.... rendering even my dodgy attempt useless.


Now, for some company related questions :)

You said you still work for them(13 years wow, good work!), so what do you do these days for them? Still designing the level side of things/ actual game programming or are you up with managing a team?

Do you work as freelance or develop at their offices?

(Sorry, If I sound like I'm kicking DDI down... It's not my intention. Don't hurt me :'( , I'm just trying to understand.) In fact I respect DDI because of this game and that it has stayed private and hasn't sold out to large game developers. I also understand that you may not be able to answer some of these questions as "you" are not the "company" you work for.

- Why did DDI decided to develop for Wii?

- I'm sure you've noticed the negative view of DDI among gamers because of so many low quality games (especially on Wii), yet DDI continues to develop games for that system... what is driving it?

- From what I can see, DDI has released around 100 games. However, this shows something else: quantity over quality. It's quite sad as quality is really what game developer should strive for. :(

- LRR is actually DDI's highest rated game of... well all I could find. With the RTS system ( quite a big fan of RTS games here :) ) already made for that game, why did DDI never go back to the genre? You could have made a Conquest Earth 2 and muchly improved on it.

- Why did DDI seem to abandon PC games? (All your higher rated games seem to be PC ones) (You'll probably answer this question in a previous one.)

They are hard questions, but I've honestly always wanted to ask them. I'm just trying to understand what drives this company to do what it's doing. Because of LRR, I see a lot of potential in DDI to make good games... and as much as I'd like to see them use this potential... they aren't.


Now for some happy stuff.

I can honestly say, at of all the games I have purchased to date. LRR will always have a special place with me and I won't let that go. It's really what drove me to research the game find out how to mod it, and build this website. And for a little bit of history, you can see part of how it all started, back on neoseeker as few years back (I went by the name of gmjab then) ( http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/25108/t1109819-modding-lego-rock-raiders/ ). Oh how those days were so exciting :'(

First version of my level editor FTW! ( But I've lost it since then :( )

EDIT: I just bought a copy of Conquest Earth off Ebay. When It arrives I'm going to have a look.

Thanks!

Edited by Cyrem

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Amauros

@Amauros

  • It's also my belief that any good game will eventually be remade because that to me is a good business plan (the Zelda series is probably the best example). I've always hoped that LRR would be remade professionally someday... 1 because I'd love to play an uptodate version, 2 I'd love to mod an uptodate version lol

Never say never. If we ever have any dealings with LEGO again in the future, I'll most certainly mention the awesome community that has been built up here, and the comments that you guys have made about Rock Raiders.

I hope they'll take it seriously and give it some good thought. :D

EDIT: I just bought a copy of Conquest Earth off Ebay. When It arrives I'm going to have a look.

Heh, I googled and googled for any tools to CE, but all I ever found were reviews on it on game blog websites with little to say about the game. I just figured it's just really too old lol.

Anyway, hope you can find something that might help with any of your projects.


Edit: I remembered something. The cfg has a list of gui components that list hotkeys for them. For e.g, I could press B, then T, and then I could click where I want to place my new toolstore... but for some reason, these hotkeys don't work at all for any of them. There are debug keys however, which allow us to cheat lol, but they're not the same and we don't know what all of the debug keys do exactly... which brings me to the exe commands, but I think we've asked about this already: http://www.rockraidersunited.org/index.php?/topic/954-legorrexe-command-line-parameters/

I understand that this could very well be something you might not have known anything technical about in the first place, but anything helps. :)

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TheDoctor

Are you still in contact with your other developer buddies?

  • Finally, it's not really regarding the gameplay/levels, but are you still in touch/work with your fellow Rock Raider developers? It would be nice to let them know that people still appreciate their efforts ;).

Unfortunately not (mostly). We have all parted ways over the years, and moved on to various different companies. That said, with the game industry, it is very likely that I'll bump into one or two of them at trade shows, or when dealing with other companies (that they now work for), so I will certainly pass on the word if the opportunity arises.

We'll ship you off to reading school with sonic.

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TheDoctor

I didn't read that post fully because I had to quickly go get my toast.

That's no excuse for not reading a post. You could have just read it completely again when you got back.

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Anonymouse

A while back we had found one of the tracks had some metadata that made some programs call it "Wiggle Bugs". What's up with that?

God damn I've explained this about 15 times now, please never mention it again to avoid unnecessary RAEG. :P

Just in case, I'll repost the explanation...

The music file actually does NOT contain this metadata - it's obtained via a server on the web that gets metadata for music automatically according to some value (I think it's its precise length, but I'm not sure). Since the LRR soundtrack is probably not registered on any such server, it gets the data for a song/piece with similar attributes, which just happens to be something called wiggle bugs.

Now PLEASE DON'T SAY IT AGAIN.

Also, Karl, would you be at all interested/have the time to help with ORR? I don't care which fork :P

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aLPHA

Just be quiet, our fighting does nothing good except make us look bad.

Did you design any of the beta levels?

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Cyrem

Just be quiet, our fighting does nothing good except make us look bad.

Did you design any of the beta levels?

You realize he answered that in the very first post.

I suddenly felt 10 years younger - as if I was back writing the level scripts and maps for the very first time.

His second post went on to say that in the end he designed almost all the levels...

I recommend reading posts before asking questions he already answered. That way you avoid people pointing out that you didn't read previous posts (or in this case, the first) like I am right now.

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bartvbl

A small question: with most of the lego games to date, there are always some professional lego designers involved. Did you guys have some of those people helping you while developing lego rock raiders?

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sciguy

@sciguy

  • unfortunately my CFG editor has kinda stalled.

If it makes you feel any better, my CFG editor was notepad ;P

lol yeah, i was hoping to end that. Give everything a nice clean GUI, oh well. Now im helping with ORR

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Sonic322

Hi and welcome to RRU.

I see you have been acquainted with most of the active members and have a lot of questions to answer and a lot of things to want to check out but I was just wondering if you could answer some questions of mine and check out 2 of the topic I have made.

I know you talked about the Barracks but what was the Canteen supposed to be?

How many Debug Keys are there (if you know), are there any we don't know about that you could tell us, and can you explain anything about the Debug Keys that we don't know?

How many Game Parameters are there (if you know), are there any we don't know about that you could tell us, and can you explain the purpose of the ones that we don't know what they do?

File formats in LRR I made this topic as a list for the game files and was wondering if you could help explain anything about the formats like what they were used for, what version of the format they are, What programs were used to make them, etc.

Lego Rock Raiders Game Version. Can you tell us about the different versions of the game by any chance?


Sorry if my questions seem to get harder and harder but I just read through 161 posts in this topic and found that these are the things people forgot to ask. Please take your time.

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Antillies

I know you talked about the Barracks but what was the Canteen supposed to be?

I can say with relative certainty that the Canteen was designed to act as a medical facility and heal the damage that Rock Raiders took. There's a file in LegoRR0/Interface/Bubbles called "Bdamaged.bmp" that is one of the thought bubbles that can appear over a Rock Raider and it is drawn to look like a red medical cross on a white background. I'm guessing it would appear when a Raider was injured and needed to head to the Canteen to be healed. It would be one of those "automatic" tasks Raiders perform, such as when they go to the Support Station to eat.

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Amauros

Canteen: noun

  • a flask for carrying water; used by soldiers or travelers
  • sells food and personal items to personnel at an institution or school or camp etc.
  • a restaurant outside; often for soldiers or policemen
  • a recreation room in an institution
  • restaurant in a factory; where workers can eat

The canteen was the original place for snaxulike. That function was turned over to the support station. The function of the barracks (to train mostly everything and arm RR's) was split up into multiple other buildings (including the support station). As for Bdamaged.bmp, that sounds like bumpdamage, which might actually pop up as a thought bubble if you toggle the spacebar. Why it's a red cross on a white background, Idk, but if it was healing related, I think its name would also be healing related. Nevertheless, it would have been nice to have some sort of medical station.

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Antillies

As for Bdamaged.bmp, that sounds like bumpdamage...

No, the preceding 'B' is short for 'Bubble', so it's the bubble to be displayed if a Rock Raider was damaged by any various means, Rock Monster, rock slide, etc. It's the same for 'Bhungry' being the bubble for when a Raider is hungry. I've never seen it in game, so that leads me to suspect that it was removed and the building or whatever that was meant to heal damage (and go along with the bubble) was removed as well. The Canteen seems to fit. But I'm sure Karl will be able to say one way or the other.

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rrcoder

When I originally bought the PS1 game many many years ago, I was confused as to why my game didn't look anything like what was pictured. I'm amazed no-one went banana's and sued Lego for a misleading product or something...

I think someone may have dropped the ball there. I believe all of the box artwork was created by LEGO themselves using screenshots from demo builds we were providing them at the time, and it looks as though noone ever got around to updating the screenshots.

A little trivia that may also explain this one... The PS1 version was originally intended to be a direct port of the PC version (and we had a very early internal build of a top-down AND first person view, much like the PC version). During development it was decided by the 'higher ups' that a strategy game wasn't best suited for the PS1 platform, and a faster paced 'arcade' game would be work better.

Oh! Also (Sorry, I know you mainly worked on levels and not the main game programming): Launching the game in developer mode (if I remember correctly) using parameters allows you to select resolutions up to 1024x748. Now, with some modification to the CFG, I got the game to run. Looks like this though as the interface is positioned for 640x480:

I have been able to move the interface around to get it to suite 1024x768... except for one part! The message and oxygen bar down the bottom. In the CFG is said that x,y will not effect it's position. Is that because it's hard-coded in? I tried doing a dodgy and make a larger image to push it down. It does work but has one major flaw: out of all the interface images, the message bar seems to be the only one that does not support transparency.... rendering even my dodgy attempt useless.

I was also quite involved in the programming, particularly the UI, so this is likely my fault. Once again, a decision was made during development that we would only support 640x480, so most of the interface ended up being configured such. It was I who implemented the oxygen entirely, so I must have hard-coded some values somewhere for this panel. (I'm sorry!!)

Edit: I think I 'docked' the oxygen bar to the message panel, hence the position values having no effect in the config (since its position was pre-determined). I'm sure that if a method was found to reposition the message panel, the oxygen bar would be moved nicely into place. With a lot of hex fiddling, it may be possible to move the message panel if it is hard-coded in the exe, but that may be a tough challenge. I'm quite surprised that it didn't have a config value.

(1) You said you still work for them(13 years wow, good work!), so what do you do these days for them? Still designing the level side of things/ actual game programming or are you up with managing a team?

(2) Do you work as freelance or develop at their offices?

(3.1) - Why did DDI decided to develop for Wii?

(3.2) - I'm sure you've noticed the negative view of DDI among gamers because of so many low quality games (especially on Wii), yet DDI continues to develop games for that system... what is driving it?

(3.3) - From what I can see, DDI has released around 100 games. However, this shows something else: quantity over quality. It's quite sad as quality is really what game developer should strive for. :(

(4) - LRR is actually DDI's highest rated game of... well all I could find. With the RTS system ( quite a big fan of RTS games here :) ) already made for that game, why did DDI never go back to the genre? You could have made a Conquest Earth 2 and muchly improved on it.

(5) - Why did DDI seem to abandon PC games? (All your higher rated games seem to be PC ones) (You'll probably answer this question in a previous one.)

(1) Since 2003 I have been head of the programming department, so while my work has consisted of a lot of managing and paperwork, I have always still been heavily involved in the programming side too (you can't keep a keen programmer down!!). Because we've always remained an independent developer, we all have a hand in various aspects of the development process. We have had testers with a penchant for art or audio work on art or audio... we have had various team members (myself included) put together design documents for projects, and we will all pitch in with ideas for features.

(2) We opened up an US office in Florida in 2008, and in late 2009 I relocated to the US to help get things going from that side.

(3.x) Moving to the Wii was a big decision for us, but a necessary one. Being an independent developer means we have to move with the times pretty quickly, or get lost in the stampede. Around that time, the game retailers were effectively killing creativity with their pre-owned market... i.e. only the huge companies with massive licenses and huge development/marketing budgets could get shelf-space in retail stores, since most of the space was being taken up by boxes they had already sold 4 or 5 times over, and the same retailer would get 100% of the profit for each resale. Many, many small developers have been killed off as a direct result of this.

Edit: I'm sure you've also noticed that in the past 10 years the PC games have been relegated to smaller and more obscure shelf locations in game stores (unless you happen to be EA). This was also a sign of the market shifting away from PC as a sustainable market for games companies.

With the massive popularity of the Wii, and a short supply of products, we were able to quickly adapt to a gap in the market. Many of the infamous titles that received bad press were 'bread and butter' projects for us to keep moving forward. Bear in mind that these were priced at less than half the cost of the 'big/new' titles of the time (some as low as 9.99), but were reviewed alongside 'full price' games (hence some of the bad press).

Unfortunately, what isn't seen by the masses is that the amount of 'hate mail' we received for those games was easily equaled by the amount of 'supportive mail'. E.g. "I was able to buy 4 of your games for the same price as 'Resident Medal of Duty: Corruption... at the Winter Olympics', and little Billy was so happy to have so many games with his Wii for Xmas. He has played them endlessly". So, much of our *target* demographic seems to enjoy the games, just not the 20-40yr old, hardcore game reviewers.

(4 & 5) As I touched on earlier, part of being an independent developer is adapting quickly to a changing market. Unfortunately that means we don't always get to do what we want :( and most of the time it is all down to either identifying a gap in the market, pitching ideas to companies and hoping they bite, or taking on a project commissioned by another company (like we did with LEGO). I wouldn't necessarily say that we have 'abandoned PC games'. If the opportunity came along, we could/would certainly develop another PC title.

Edit: I remembered something. The cfg has a list of gui components that list hotkeys for them. For e.g, I could press B, then T, and then I could click where I want to place my new toolstore... but for some reason, these hotkeys don't work at all for any of them. There are debug keys however, which allow us to cheat lol, but they're not the same and we don't know what all of the debug keys do exactly

I believe these were added into the config just in case we later decided to add in shortcut key support, but that never happened. I'm sure there will be a few loose ends like this laying around; some that may be revived, some that may not.

... which brings me to the exe commands, but I think we've asked about this already: http://www.rockraidersunited.org/index.php?/topic/954-legorrexe-command-line-parameters/

To fill a few gaps:

-fpslock = If I remember correctly, this is meant to lock the framerate to the monitor refresh rate when running in a window. (When running fullscreen this happens automatically, so this flag was meant to simulate that while we were debugging in a window).

-flags = This was meant to be followed with an integer to turn on certain debug features. I don't remember any of the numbers anymore (they were noted in the code, so I didn't have to commit any of them to memory at the time). If anyone has the patience, they could try various numbers (-flags 0... -flags 1... etc) to see if they still have any effect.

-startlevel = To save us time while developing, this would allow us to load directly into a level, rather than navigating through the main menu (handy when designing levels). I would assume I had used the level identifier (e.g. -startlevel Level10), however if this doesn't work an integer index would probably work.

-reduceimages = One of the performance optimizations... with this enabled, the texture sizes are halved at load time, reducing the memory overhead.

-reducepromeshes = Reduces the number of LOD meshes (again to reduce memory overhead).

-testercall = Oh dear... not sure if I should admit to this one... It was never, ever, ever meant to see the light of day. It has the same functionality as -testlevels, however just say it aloud quickly as one word. I shall say no more.

-window = In the non-final exes, this would force it to run in a window as well as disabling the startup resolution dialog (like -best does).

A typical set of arguments I would use during development/level designing would be:

-window -startlevel <some-level> -nosound

This would allow me to launch directly into a level, with no sound (reduced load-time), in a window (so I could debug any crashes in the debugger).

A small question: with most of the lego games to date, there are always some professional lego designers involved. Did you guys have some of those people helping you while developing lego rock raiders?

Nope. Since we were one of the first developers to create a LEGO video game (particularly one as involved as LRR), they didn't really have a 'design process' at that stage. LEGO Media was a relatively new branch of LEGO, and were still finding their feet. Naturally, all of the game elements and artwork had to be approved by LEGO, and we had a couple of producers from LEGO Media that we were dealing with, but we probably had more free reign than later developers have had (I would imagine).

@Sonic322 (I've run out of quote blocks again)

  • (1) I know you talked about the Barracks but what was the Canteen supposed to be?

  • (2) How many Debug Keys are there (if you know), are there any we don't know about that you could tell us, and can you explain anything about the Debug Keys that we don't know?

  • (3) How many Game Parameters are there (if you know), are there any we don't know about that you could tell us, and can you explain the purpose of the ones that we don't know what they do?

  • (4) File formats in LRR I made this topic as a list for the game files and was wondering if you could help explain anything about the formats like what they were used for, what version of the format they are, What programs were used to make them, etc.

(1) Amauros pretty much got this spot on... the functionality of the Canteen was simply rolled into the Toolstation/Support Station.

(2) Unfortunately we added debug keys with wild abandon for astonishingly useless purposes. For example, when I coded the oxygen requirement for the first time, I would have added in the O debug key to test the oxygen depletion condition. Once I was happy that it worked, I would never use it again. The same goes for most of they keys (e.g. finding the 'ideal' value for the 3D sound falloff, etc). All of these keys remained gathering dust for all eternity.

(3) All of the parameters have been identified from what I can tell, and those that I remember I have detailed above (which I'm sure you've just read) ;)

(4) If you can give me some specific examples, perhaps that will jog my memory.

(5) This is an easy one. This was simply an internal 'build number', rather than an actual game version. The 0. at the beginning refers to the platform (i.e. 0=PC, 1=PS1). The .121 was a 'beta version' number. We began at .000 for the first beta-test version, and incremented for each full build that we provided to the testers. (Obviously there were many 'tween' versions for testing specific features, but full builds were designated their own build number - something akin to subversion revision numbers used today). It simply gave the testers a build version number to tag onto a bug report.

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Sonic322

@Sonic322 (I've run out of quote blocks again)

  1. I know you talked about the Barracks but what was the Canteen supposed to be?
  2. How many Debug Keys are there (if you know), are there any we don't know about that you could tell us, and can you explain anything about the Debug Keys that we don't know?
  3. How many Game Parameters are there (if you know), are there any we don't know about that you could tell us, and can you explain the purpose of the ones that we don't know what they do?
  4. File formats in LRR I made this topic as a list for the game files and was wondering if you could help explain anything about the formats like what they were used for, what version of the format they are, What programs were used to make them, etc.
  5. Lego Rock Raiders Game Version. Can you tell us about the different versions of the game by any chance?

  1. Amauros pretty much got this spot on... the functionality of the Canteen was simply rolled into the Toolstation/Support Station.
  2. Unfortunately we added debug keys with wild abandon for astonishingly useless purposes. For example, when I coded the oxygen requirement for the first time, I would have added in the O debug key to test the oxygen depletion condition. Once I was happy that it worked, I would never use it again. The same goes for most of the keys (e.g. finding the 'ideal' value for the 3D sound falloff, etc). All of these keys remained gathering dust for all eternity.
  3. All of the parameters have been identified from what I can tell, and those that I remember I have detailed above (which I'm sure you've just read) ;)
  4. If you can give me some specific examples, perhaps that will jog my memory.
  5. This is an easy one. This was simply an internal 'build number', rather than an actual game version. The 0. at the beginning refers to the platform (i.e. 0=PC, 1=PS1). The .121 was a 'beta version' number. We began at .000 for the first beta-test version, and incremented for each full build that we provided to the testers. (Obviously there were many 'tween' versions for testing specific features, but full builds were designated their own build number - something akin to subversion revision numbers used today). It simply gave the testers a build version number to tag onto a bug report.

  1. I must thank you on this one because the Rock Raiders go to the Support Station every 5 seconds to eat and there are some levels where you don't need a Support Station at all. So having a finished Canteen in the game having the functions of the Tool Store and the Support station would have been a nightmare in every level.
  2. That sucks to hear. It would have been cool to learn of any new Debug Keys. But why are there some really strange Debug Keys like the one that makes Chief randomly hang off the side of the screen like a monkey?
  3. I had no idea we had all of them already and thanks for filling in some of the wholes in the list (I am sure a Mod will be happy to add those in). If it isn't too much of a hassle could you please explain what "-testercall" does? Because all I can think of is a group of people from DDI barging into my room with guns saying: "Did you put in the testercall parameter? Don't make us call Karl on you."
  4. I know you worked on the levels and so I was wondering if you could tell us as much about the file formats you used to make the levels as you can (If it isn't a hassle) and if you could explain anything about the oddities I had list for the game.
  5. I really do hate to say that was a letdown but it kind of was (But I hold nothing against you because I admire you for making such a perfect game.) But I was wondering if you had anything to do with the Masterpiece or the Windows XP versions or anything like that.

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rrcoder

  1. I must thank you on this one because the Rock Raiders go to the Support Station every 5 seconds to eat and there are some levels where you don't need a Support Station at all. So having a finished Canteen in the game having the functions of the Tool Store and the Support station would have been a nightmare in every level.
  2. That sucks to hear. It would have been cool to learn of any new Debug Keys. But why are there some really strange Debug Keys like the one that makes Chief randomly hang off the side of the screen like a monkey?
  3. I had no idea we had all of them already and thanks for filling in some of the wholes in the list (I am sure a Mod will be happy to add those in). If it isn't too much of a hassle could you please explain what "-testercall" does? Because all I can think of is a group of people from DDI barging into my room with guns saying: "Did you put in the testercall parameter? Don't make us call Karl on you."
  4. I know you worked on the levels and so I was wondering if you could tell us as much about the file formats you used to make the levels as you can (If it isn't a hassle) and if you could explain anything about the oddities I had list for the game.
  5. I really do hate to say that was a letdown but it kind of was (But I hold nothing against you because I admire you for making such a perfect game.) (6.)But I was wondering if you had anything to do with the Masterpiece or the Windows XP versions or anything like that.

  1. Indeed... Just goes to show that sometimes things that often look good in a design document just end up redundant and awkward in actual gameplay.
  2. 'Monkey Chief' was simply an early test for the Chief animations used in the tutorials and early levels. That one just happened to be the first of the Chief animations, and the animator wanted to see how it would look in game (this was before any of the tutorial code was in), so we threw the animation in, and attached it to a debug key.
  3. The -testercall option has exactly the same functionality as the -testlevels option. (It just had a more amusing name).
  4. It's been a while, so I can't really remember the exact binary format of the files (although I think they have long-since been reverse engineered by some of your fellow members). Are there any specific oddities you're referring to?
  5. I suppose many of my answers to questions may take away a little of the 'mystique' of the game's internals, however I hope that they will be mostly useful/informative overall. :)
  6. AFAIK, the 'Masterpiece' and 'XP' versions were simply an installer update. I don't believe the game's exe or wad files changed at all after its initial release. These different versions would have simply been revised installers created by LEGO wrapped around our original game version.

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Sonic322

It's been a while, so I can't really remember the exact binary format of the files (although I think they have long-since been reverse engineered by some of your fellow members). Are there any specific oddities you're referring to?

Considering how you worked on the levels then the only one I can think of asking you about is this one:

There is a file in location "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\Rock Raiders\Data\Levels\GameLevels\Level09" that is called "dugg_09.blx". There is also a file called "dugg_09" that has no file extension. It is just listed as a file.
You may have to unpack the WADs and look here: "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\Rock Raiders\LegoRR0.wad\Levels\GameLevels\Level09" or: "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\Rock Raiders\LegoRR1.wad\Levels\GameLevels\Level09". I really can't remember what its original location is considering I use the Data Method.

But if you don't mind checking it out then could you try to explain it.

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rrcoder

It's been a while, so I can't really remember the exact binary format of the files (although I think they have long-since been reverse engineered by some of your fellow members). Are there any specific oddities you're referring to?

Considering how you worked on the levels then the only one I can think of asking you about is this one:

There is a file in location "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\Rock Raiders\Data\Levels\GameLevels\Level09" that is called "dugg_09.blx". There is also a file called "dugg_09" that has no file extension. It is just listed as a file.

Ah... that one I believe is simply a straggler that should have been deleted. I believe it's an old "dugg_09.map" file that got renamed instead of removed. You could perhaps restore it and see what the difference is, but I suspect it's just an old one that was probably very broken.

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Sonic322

I should go check that out.

I just check and when I tried to go to level 9 then it just shut down the whole game like it was never even on.

I did how ever check if it was a .blx file and the level worked but I don't know what a .blx file does after reading this: BLX files

If you have any info on the .blx format then that would be great.

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Cyrem

I was also quite involved in the programming, particularly the UI, so this is likely my fault. Once again, a decision was made during development that we would only support 640x480, so most of the interface ended up being configured such. It was I who implemented the oxygen entirely, so I must have hard-coded some values somewhere for this panel. (I'm sorry!!)

Edit: I think I 'docked' the oxygen bar to the message panel, hence the position values having no effect in the config (since its position was pre-determined). I'm sure that if a method was found to reposition the message panel, the oxygen bar would be moved nicely into place. With a lot of hex fiddling, it may be possible to move the message panel if it is hard-coded in the exe, but that may be a tough challenge. I'm quite surprised that it didn't have a config value.

Thanks for that bit of insight :)

(1) Since 2003 I have been head of the programming department, so while my work has consisted of a lot of managing and paperwork, I have always still been heavily involved in the programming side too (you can't keep a keen programmer down!!). Because we've always remained an independent developer, we all have a hand in various aspects of the development process. We have had testers with a penchant for art or audio work on art or audio... we have had various team members (myself included) put together design documents for projects, and we will all pitch in with ideas for features.

Quite true. Thats the fun of being and independent developer, being able to help each other out.

(2) We opened up an US office in Florida in 2008, and in late 2009 I relocated to the US to help get things going from that side.

Dedication, which I can understand. I'd do the same if I was in a job I enjoyed.

(3.x) Moving to the Wii was a big decision for us, but a necessary one. Being an independent developer means we have to move with the times pretty quickly, or get lost in the stampede. Around that time, the game retailers were effectively killing creativity with their pre-owned market... i.e. only the huge companies with massive licenses and huge development/marketing budgets could get shelf-space in retail stores, since most of the space was being taken up by boxes they had already sold 4 or 5 times over, and the same retailer would get 100% of the profit for each resale. Many, many small developers have been killed off as a direct result of this.

I can understand as a small developer, you need to earn money to survive.

Edit: I'm sure you've also noticed that in the past 10 years the PC games have been relegated to smaller and more obscure shelf locations in game stores (unless you happen to be EA). This was also a sign of the market shifting away from PC as a sustainable market for games companies.

Yes and it makes me quite sad and angry. Indeed, EA are space(money) hogging pigs. They take a whole rack just for some Sims games at the place I work. PC is theoretically the best gaming platform invented as it is always on the edge of technology. But there is a problem, there are so many so called 'casual'...... and after this I did go on to explain why they are bad for the game industry and the future of gaming, but I figured no-one would care anyway.

(4 & 5) As I touched on earlier, part of being an independent developer is adapting quickly to a changing market. Unfortunately that means we don't always get to do what we want :( and most of the time it is all down to either identifying a gap in the market, pitching ideas to companies and hoping they bite, or taking on a project commissioned by another company (like we did with LEGO). I wouldn't necessarily say that we have 'abandoned PC games'. If the opportunity came along, we could/would certainly develop another PC title.

I surely hope it does and I'm sure that from all the little games you make, DDI can produce a decent PC game *hopes for RTS*.



  • rrcoder - Ah... that one I believe is simply a straggler that should have been deleted. I believe it's an old "dugg_09.map" file that got renamed instead of removed. You could perhaps restore it and see what the difference is, but I suspect it's just an old one that was probably very broken.

The blx files seem quite different to the usual map files, I always thought they were some raw file from the level editor.

Thanks for the insight into DDI and sorry about the quote limit.

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CTXXTC

Karl I believe you had 2 Levels on LRR that got mixed up, whats the story behind this?

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Anonymouse

Resident Medal of Duty: Corruption... at the Winter Olympics

This made me laugh... But "-testercalls" is just a failure. :P

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