Blogging for 5 years now… wuh, really!?

I wont pretend this blog features much quality content, but it seems I’ve been filling it with nonsense for 5 years now (started May 1st 2005). So wow!

Completely unrelated, yet an appropriate way to celebrate, I now have an image at the top of the site. Wow ‘eh? Now I am a whole 2 steps away from the default WordPress theme (the 1st step was widening the layout).

The past week I’ve been busy with a variety of things. Smiles for Palm Pre is available, and actually, I’ve already submitted and had an update approved. So that’s looking good.

My focus the last few days has been building and setting up my new desk. I’m not quite done setting things up, so I’ll hold off posting photos for now. My studio has/is acquiring a bunch of new furniture, so I’d like to get everything in and set-up before the tour. 🙂

This year is also my big switch from Paint Shop Pro (for both raster and vector art) to Adobe CS5 (Photoshop and Illustrator). CS5 Production Premium showed up earlier in the week, but I didn’t get a chance to sit down with it until yesterday. Alongside CS5 I picked up one of the 12″ Wacom Cintiq’s, since I imagine CS5 wont run well on my dated Tablet PC (Celeron). At GDC this year, I made a point of stopping by the Wacom booth to try out a Cintiq, to see if they had the same fuzzy-edge problem as my Tablet PC, which they do. Though after playing with the Cintiq for a couple days, the fuzzy-edges seem to distort less than the Tablet PC. Or it’s just ’cause it’s bigger, but either way, it’s a win.

Between all this fun, I’ve been finishing my (updated) Windows and Linux ports for AppUp. I meant to have it done last weekend, but oh well, I guess I’m running behind. I replaced SDL_mixer with irrKlang today. SDL_mixer has a bug with looping OGG files (after looping, sound distortions creep in to the stream), and like Phil, I need something that works now. The new irrKlang sound engine is working well as a drop in replacement on Windows, but I ran in to a slight problem on Linux, though I’m fairly sure it’s an easy fix. I get the impression irrKlang streams everything from disk, unless explicitly played from memory. Knowing my luck there’s a flag somewhere that says “Cache sound in RAM”, but either way, it’s no trouble to load a file then pass it in. I’m mentioning this since I was expecting a similar setup to SDL_mixer (and certain other sound libraries), where WAV’s are stored in RAM, and OGG’s stream from disk. Apparently not, heh. It’s arguably a better design, but unexpected.

Also this week, Smiles HD was featured by Apple. Here’s a pic.

You could say I’ve been looking forward to this for a year and a half now… because… well… I have been. ;). So hooray! Smiles has finally been featured!

It’s been dancing around the 70’s on the top 100 grossing games chart most of the week. And if it could stay that high, that would be a pretty comfortable place for me earnings wise. Alas, this status of mine will be coming to an end Monday night. Still, it’s a welcome nod from the big A.

Once the AppUp builds of Smiles go out, the plan is to either get back on the Mystery Platform port, or a demo/lite version of the game. I sent a pitch out last week that could introduce an immediate 3rd branch to this agenda, but we’ll see.

As things stand, I’m probably looking at 2-3 months more Smiles work. There’s still some minor ports I may do, and always the possibility of one last big “hoo-rah” port, but soon I’ll be able to focus the my time almost entirely on the new game. With Palm done, AppUp nearly finished, my whiteboard list is clearing fast.

July, I’m coming for you!