SpeakUp with Adam Hall of Polyex Software (Topic: Hopkins FBI) from 02/15/99

<mandie>  VOICE would like to welcome our guest speaker, Adam Hall from PolyEX
<mandie>  PolyEx: would you like to tell us a bit about yourself ........
<PolyEx>  Ok
<PolyEx>  I am the primary programmer for Hopkins on OS/2
<PolyEx>  as well as Word Up Graphics Toolkit for OS/2
<PolyEx>  The Sound parts were done by Julien Pierre
<freiheit>  madbrain is not with us tonight, however.
<freiheit>  (unless he changed his nick :))
<mandie>  when you're ready to accept question/comments..just let us know
<PolyEx>  sure go ahead
<freiheit>  PolyEx, what's the history of Hopkins FBI? Originally developed for DOS, wasn't it? What brought about the porting to OS/2, BeOS, etc?
<PolyEx>  freiheit: Well, it was really unfinished
<PolyEx>  we ended up redoing voices etc
<PolyEx>  from French
<PolyEx>  the game was running (sort of) on DOS
<PolyEx>  but alot of writing still had to be done
<PolyEx>  and thats what the project involved
<PolyEx>  it was ALMOST a rewrite from scratch
<PolyEx>  with the idea of portability
<PolyEx>  although OS/2 was the first platform it was released for.
<PolyEx>  DSMI was used for sound
<freiheit>  I recall being at Warpstock '97 where it was first debuted to the OS/2 world ... seemed to attract a large crowd.
<PolyEx>  Yes, I think people like
<PolyEx>  the fact that the game is offbeat
<PolyEx>  its not like a typical adventure game
<PolyEx>  there are some very strange twists
<PolyEx>  not just the puzzles,
<PolyEx>  but in the story itself!
<freiheit>  Not to mention the fact that it's quite possibly the last thing IBM would want to see running on OS/2. :)
<PolyEx>  Well, actually
<Headache>  are the graphics myst like? that is something I noticed in the screenshots.. not actually the graphics but the gameplay
<PolyEx>  IBM was to publish it in the first place...
<TheSeer>  is there a way to have a DEMO ?
<Swanee>  IBM was to publish it?
<PolyEx>  Headache: The gameplay is like the Sierra Adventure Games (Kings quest etc)
<Headache>  static graphics?
<madodel>  Is the plot pretty much the same as the French version or were changes made for this version?
<PolyEx>  TheSeer: One was not written...
<PolyEx>  Headache: No, there is lots of animation
Headache hasnt played adventure games since Ultima IV =)
<PolyEx>  madodel: we made the voices more Clint Eastwood like, for Hopkins, and some minor plot changes
<PolyEx>  Swanee: Yes, before they gave up on games for OS/2
<mandie>  bummer for you :(
<PolyEx>  mandie: Actually, we picked it up, because IBM did not.
<eTronik>  are you happy with the way its doing (sales wise) in OS/2 ? compared to other plattforms ?
<Headache>  not that I dont like them.. but they take too long
<mandie>  ah, I see
<PolyEx>  eTronik: Yes
<Swanee>  DSMI is great sound from what I've heard. I wish I had seen the demo at WarpStock but there were usually alot of people around (hard to squeeze in) when I came by.
<PolyEx>  Headache: Well, the walkthrough is available... ;-)
<Headache>  are you distributing it yourselves?
<PolyEx>  Headache: There are some resellers...
<PolyEx>  Headache: The links are on www.polyex.com
<Headache>  does ituse DIVE or regular PM API's for graphics?
<PolyEx>  mandie: Not aware of it...
<mandie>  PolyEx: it's not public yet..I'll resend you some email
<PolyEx>  ok
<PolyEx>  anyone have other questions?
<Headache>  does ituse DIVE or regular PM API's for graphics?
<PolyEx>  Headache: It uses DIVE
<PolyEx>  Headache: and DART for sound
<Headache>  was that a necessity?
<PolyEx>  The regular PM API
<PolyEx>  would be too slow
<freiheit>  Any chance you might pick up and extend DIVE since IBM no longer develops that anymore? :)
<Headache>  ok
<PolyEx>  freiheit: I have more faith in the Sci-Tech stuff coming out (currently in Beta)
<DJC0>  The game needs acelerated video boards to run at full animation speed?
<PolyEx>  DJCO: No, just a Pentium, I test it on a 90mhz Pentium
<TheSeer>  PolyEx: any other porjects in the pipeline ?
<DJC0>  Good programmers are good programmers... (-:
<TheSeer>  hehe
<PolyEx>  TheSeer: Yes, perhaps an action space game
<PolyEx>  TheSeer: By summer
<TheSeer>  kewl :)
<DJC0>  And the new game will have the same idea of Hopkins (portability)?
<Headache>  networkable?
<PolyEx>  Yes,
<PolyEx>  not networkable
<PolyEx>  but 3D accelerated
<RSH>  Any comments about Stardcok's claims that OS/2 games are not profitable?
<TheSeer>  grmpf.. why not network'd ?
<madodel>  PolyEx: Isn't Hopkins supposed to be released for BeOS as well?
<PolyEx>  RSH: Well, it depends, the extra effort to port to OS/2 is worth it.
<PolyEx>  madodel: Yes, its in Beta for BeOSR4
<PolyEx>  TheSeer: The game does not really lend it self to multiplayer
<RSH>  How has Hopkins performed in its earnings for Polyex?
<TheSeer>  hmm ok.. but os/2 needs a good network-able game :)
<TheSeer>  at least i want such a game..
<madodel>  How difficult is it to port to BeOS from OS/2?
<mandie>  uh oh
<TheSeer>  ouch.. ;)
<DJC0>  I'm really waiting for a Dune2-Style game for OS/2... (-:
<mandie>  I forgot to tell him that we don't have intermission!
<PolyEx>  oops
<freiheit>  Welcome back PolyEx.
<mandie>  ah...welcome back :)
<PolyEx>  The OS/2 version is not making alot of money, but we like OS/2 so we are porting to it.
<madodel>  How difficult is it to port to BeOS from OS/2?
<DJC0>  PolyEx: BeOS will be more profitable than OS/2?
<RSH>  I'm not a programmer, you said, "extra effort" to port to OS/2. What is the difference to put a program together for OS/2, rather than another OS?
<RSH>  Has Hopkins at least paid for itself?
<PolyEx>  madodel: Very, thats why WC Design is doing the port
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Good question, dont know yet. Possibly
<DJC0>  PolyEx: This is a sad new... ):
<PolyEx>  RSH: Depends, but if the app is going to windows, it should be easy port to OS/2 as well
<DJC0>  PolyEx: Even if it uses DirectX?
<PolyEx>  RSH: No, it has not, but that does not mean it was not worth releasing, I did not expect OS/2 to profit, but the combination of OS/2, BeOS and MacOS will.
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Yes
<DJC0>  So I will not buy a single game from WestWood and others that make only Windows-Games... /-:
<freiheit>  PolyEx, with the OS/2 version shipping and the BeOS version in beta, what's the status of the MacOS version?
<PolyEx>  freigheit: Its in Alpha ;-)
<TheSeer>  so what's just "planned" ? *g*
<DJC0>  How much CPU the game uses?
<PolyEx>  DJCO: On my 90mhz Pentium, it takes about half
<madodel>  PolyEx: Who came up with the installation idea? It shows off the power of the WPS really well. Just drag the hopkins folder from the CD to where you want it.
<PolyEx>  madodel: I did, I saw MS Office for Mac, and thought, wow what a simple way of doing things...
<DJC0>  (: You use MacOS, don't you?
<PolyEx>  DJCO: I have to use severeal OS's for this port
<PolyEx>  DJCO: I dont really use any OS daily though.
Andy has set away! (auto away after idling [15 min]) [Log:ON] .gz.
<PolyEx>  DJCO: OS/2 is the best of all of them overall
<DJC0>  I like MacOS, but I think it's very limited.
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Yes, memory services are terrible
<DJC0>  Hopkins runs on a window or it is "full screen app"?
<PolyEx>  DJCO: It runs in Window
<PolyEx>  DJCO: You can resize the window...
<DJC0>  Nice.
<PolyEx>  so if you have a fast enough processor...
<PolyEx>  and EnDive is on
<PolyEx>  (and working with your video driver)
<PolyEx>  you can make it as big as you like
<DJC0>  Make some pomotional anoucement... (-:
<PolyEx>  If no one has noticed...
<PolyEx>  we have the price of Hopkins down to $34.95
<freiheit>  Buy! Buy!
freiheit grins
<Headache>  does that come in a box? =)
<DJC0>  Nice. The problem is here, on my country. The guys put a lot of taxes over the price... /-:
<PolyEx>  No, it comes in the same packaging as a Playstation game.
<Headache>  it has documentation?
<PolyEx>  Headache: Yes, the instructions are inside, they are simple though, the interface is very straightforward
<Kzin>  PolyEx: Have you considered a playstation version? there arent many games of it's style for playstation..
<DJC0>  You said that the style is Sierra based. Did you used the iconized actions interface?
<PolyEx>  Kzin: I dont have the rights from the original French author, I would imagine that it would be a challenge to port...
<PolyEx>  DJCO: A mix of that and words on screen for actions
<PolyEx>  you can pick up objects
<PolyEx>  and use them on other objects
<PolyEx>  in fact...
<PolyEx>  you have to do this to solve certain puzzles
<RSH>  You mentioned another game earlier "The Seeker"? Is this a port or original game?
<DJC0>  PolyEx: It's a mix between the "text" LucasArts interface and the new Iconized Sierra Interface, right?
<freiheit>  kind of like pressing the key into the bar of soap in Leisure Suit Larry 6 -- oops, but you didnt' hear that from me. 0_:)
<PolyEx>  RSH: A port (of sorts) it uses PowerRender, which is currently running under OS/2
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Yes
<RSH>  What is PowerRender?
<PolyEx>  RSH: A 3-D library
<PolyEx>  RSH: Games from Activision, MGM and others use it
<PolyEx>  WGT->PowerRender
<Swanee>  Have you looked at SciTech's new graphics model and will it be something you might use in the future?
<PolyEx>  Wordup graphics toolkit evolved into PowerRender
<PolyEx>  Swanee: Yes, I am need to see what direction they are going to go into. In any event you can use Wordup with it now.
<madodel>  PolyEx: Are FPS fixed in Hopkins? I can't seem to change it from 15FPS in the options page.
<Kzin>  PolyEx: once you get Hopkins and the related Beos and Mac PowerRender toolkits made, Will the toolkits be sold similarly to WGT/2?
<PolyEx>  Kzin: Yes, inexpensive upfront fee, with no royalty charges
<Kzin>  PolyEx: Good. Thanks for the great job on wgt/2 btw. :)
<PolyEx>  madodel: umm, not sure, but I look into enabling that.
<DJC0>  PolyEx: What is the biggest problem doing an OS/2 Game?
<PolyEx>  madodel: I locked it to 15fps for some good reason I cant think of now ;-)
<PolyEx>  DJCO: DIVE, and the fact you can not change the screen resolution on the fly.
<RSH>  Besides your games, what games past or future have or will use WGT?
<madodel>  The animation is actually quite good, even at that FPS, but I was just trying to see if I could increase it
<DJC0>  PolyEx: SciTech is planning a workaround to correct this (change the resolution on the fly)...
<PolyEx>  RSH: Actually there are a couple of games using WGT, if you go to http://www.egerter.com you can see some links.
<Headache>  are those OS/2 games?
<PolyEx>  Headache: Oh, sorry no they are for the DOS/Win version... as far as OS/2 games, I know that a Centipede game is supposed to be developed
<madodel>  PolyEx: Are you planning an update to Hopkins? have there been any fixes required? Other then a few glitches with response selections I haven't noticed any problems.
<RSH>  I think it is Darrel Spice who is working on Centipede?
<PolyEx>  madodel: Its actually rather OK as far as bugs, but I do plan on an update (Surround Sound)
<PolyEx>  RSH: Yes, Darrell is working on a game using WGT/2
<DJC0>  PolyEx: It will be more than a bugfix package..
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Well the Surround Sound is already in Talos V, so it seemed stupid to skip it with Hopkins
<freiheit>  Mmm, Talos V.
<PolyEx>  Anyone have a Dolby decoder attached to a PC?
<freiheit>  I _still_ intend to buy that when I have some disposable income.
<RSH>  Centipede seems to be in limbo uunfortunately, nothing new on his site the last time I checked.
<DJC0>  PolyEx: I think it's nice. There are only a few games for OS/2. And among them, very few uses all the OS/2 power... It's good that Hopkins use it! (-:
<PolyEx>  RSH: Well, we might have another game ported
<TimurTabi>  Another game?!!!?!
<PolyEx>  TimurTabi: Actually two
<TimurTabi>  Sacre bleu!
<DJC0>  PolyEx: Don't hide things, man! Tell us! (-:
<Headache>  General Information:
<Headache>  The WordUp Graphics Toolkit is a set of 2D graphics libraries with features aimed at game development. Both DOS
<Headache>  and Win95 are supported.
<Headache>  they dont mention OS/2 at all
<PolyEx>  TimurTabi: Im still talking to the programmers, so I can not promise anything...
<PolyEx>  Headache: They dont sell it, they should have a link though...
<PolyEx>  TimurTabi: But I dont see a problem getting these games over to OS/2
<DJC0>  Headache: The software market almost forgot that OS/2 is alive... In really, they all state that OS/2 is dead... /-:
<DJC0>  Ops..
<Headache>  DJC0 they have good reason for stating that
<mandie>  Timur: see...you chased him off :)
<TheSeer>  maybe he should use a better client ? *g*
<TheSeer>  wb :)
<Swanee>  re PolyEx
<freiheit>  WB PolyEx.
<PolyEx>  Jeez, Im back
<donh>  heh
<DJC0>  PolyEx: Get out of MacOS, use OS/2! (-:
<TheSeer>  wow ;)
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Actually I just keeping pressing the wrong button...
<Headache>  PolyEx are these well-known games that you are considering porting?
<PolyEx>  Well, what happened to BattleCruiser?
<PolyEx>  Headache: No, they are somewhat known
Headache wants a port of rocket jockey =)
<DJC0>  Headache: talk with Timur... (-:
<Headache>  ok TimurTabi I want a port of Rocket Jockey =)
<DJC0>  Hehehe...
<mandie>  headache: be careful what you ask for :)
<PolyEx>  Well I gotta go, take it easy guys!
<DJC0>  PolyEx: There is other games besides the "space game" you said before?
<Headache>  bye poly and thanks
<freiheit>  PolyEx, thanks for joining us tonight.
<DJC0>  Bye Poly!
<mandie>  PolyEx: thank you for coming tonight
<PolyEx>  DJCO: Yes, a side scoller, thats VERY fast!
<PolyEx>  bye
<TheSeer>  ok.. what now ? *g*
<mandie>  wing it :)
<DJC0>  Party!!!! (-:
<freiheit>  We will have the log of tonight's SpeakUp on the VOICE website by tomorrow for those who came in late or somehow missed parts of it.
<TheSeer>  hehe
<madodel>  TheSeer: I guess you can go back to sleep
<TheSeer>  hmm.. really ?
<TheSeer>  over ?
<DJC0>  hummmm... )-:
<TheSeer>  well.. it's 3 am here.. ;)
<DJC0>  Here is 0:10... (-:
<mandie>  thanks to everyone for coming tonight....
<DJC0>  Have you heard about "beats"?
<Headache>  g'night all
<mandie>  nytol :)
<madodel>  There is another speakup next week by the way
<RSH>  Anyone know of any other games pending?
<Swanee>  RSH: Not that I know of
<DJC0>  You know... It's sad that PolyEx was using a MacOS... /-:
<madodel>  Febuary 22, 1999, 8PM EST Speakup session with Joe Nord Cirrus Logic Boca Design Center. The
<madodel>  focus will be on the Crystal Semiconductor OS/2 audio drivers.
<madodel>  And on March 1, 1999, 8PM EST Speakup session with Douglas Hendrix Solar Systems software, developers of Stellar Frontier and Mike Ramsey of Trilliun Software Products, developers of Master of the Empire. Focus will be on OS/2 games.