Al's News Page



08/10/11

GameMaker - Updated to v3.9.95. When running in OS X 10.6 after accessing an external file, a "Can't access temporary file" error would occur causing GameMaker to not be able to save the project. This has been corrected. There are also a few minor other improvements such as an improved SPRITECOLLIDE syntax that lets you check if a sprite has collided with a specified coordinate.
 
 

08/06/11


Hangman - Updated to v1.7. Hangman is now a Universal Binary application and will run in OS X 10.7 Lion.

 

07/28/11

Website - I'm finally starting to redesign my website. It really needs to be cleand up and totally redone. It's been over 10 years with the same look that is so outdated now. There are also a lot of old links that need to be removed or changed.

Software - None of my programs will run in Apple's OSX 10.7 (OS X Lion).  I'm currently converting some programs to Universal, so they'll be compatible with it. The first one is Hangman because that seemed like it would be the easiest to do. It's just about finished. I'll be uploading Hangman 1.7 shortly and working on the others.
 


08/20/10

Dracula's Castle - Updated to v2.5.2. Some commands were not able to be used in all areas where they should be logically allowed. There are also some changes to text when searching or getting items in certain locations to give better clues as to what is there.
 
 

07/30/10

Hangman - Version 1.6.2 fixes file error problems if the scores file is locked or damaged. It also has more words and fixes a few display mistakes in the window.



07/25/10

Hangman - Hangman has been updated to v1.61. This minor update saves the high scores to a file rather than inside the game itself to fix a possible problem with newer Macs and OS versions that restrict applications from writing to themselves.



04/26/10

On 4/21/2010 I released GameMaker v2.9.1 as freeware. It is extremely outdated as it was originally released in 2000 and it is currently unsupported, but could be useful to anyone with an old Mac who might want to create their own games. You can read more about it and download it here.

GameMaker Games Downloads - Another new GameMaker game is available for downloading. It's called GM Mastermind.



02/26/10

Internet and Email - I was offline for almost a month while I switched ISPs. My download speed is twice as fast now. I've actually been back on for 2 or 3 weeks, but I forgot to update my site.



01/07/10

Internet and Email - I may be offline for a while starting today. I'm switching ISP providers and they are telling me that it can take up to 3 weeks for the switchover. If you email me or try to contact me during the rest of this month, please be patient for a response.

GameMaker Games Downloads - There's a new game in the download section. It's a puzzle game made by Silverwind called Parking Panic. You have to move your car out of the parking lot by moving the other cars out of the way.




11/11/09


GameMaker - Having trouble getting started with GameMaker? Then try out the new video tutorials created by Silverwind and now listed on the GameMaker Guides page.
 


9/16/09

My new iMac arrived yesterday. I can now attempt to get a development version of GameMaker running as Universal Binary.



9/06/09

I bought a new iMac from Apple's web site on Thursday, September 3rd. It should arrive at my house sometime in the next week. I really needed a new computer. I bought my current iMac way back in January, 2001. It's a 500mhz G3 running OS X 10.3.9. The OS it came with was OS 9.04. The new iMac is 2.66ghz Intel Core 2 Duo. I got the 20" monitor because I thought the 24" was a bit too large... and it was $300 more.



6/12/09

GameMaker - Version 3.9.94 has been released. This fixes a bug when using EXIT REPEAT in compiled games and also fixes a disapearing inventory list that could happen in some situations. Visit the GameMaker web page for more info or download the latest update patch.

 


3/27/09

GameMaker Addons and Source Code - The GameMaker addons page has been updated. Some links are still not working, but links to source code samples, applications, and sounds are available. I have added some new source code and will be adding more in the near future. Visit the GameMaker addons page.

 


2/08/09

GameMaker - Version 3.9.93 has been released. Another REPEAT bug has been fixed and crashes when using Undo or the selection tool have been fixed. Visit the GameMaker web page for more info or download the latest update patch.

 


1/30/09

GameMaker - Version 3.9.92 has been released. This update increases the maximum amount of lines of code per script, should finally solve any remaining REPEAT bugs, fixes a click area bug in compiled games, and fixes a PRINT bug that didn't display the text until the entire script was finished running. Visit the GameMaker web page for more info or download the latest update patch.

 


11/21/08

Some people have been asking questions lately such as what happened to me, what's up with the GameMaker web site being closed down, is GameMaker v4.0 still being worked on, etc. So I thought I'd tell everyone what happened over the last few months.

We had some web site problems over the last few months. The site that had been hosting the GameMaker forum had a server problem and had to close the forum. They were supposed to get our forum back up and running on a new server. This unfortunately didn't happen, so I started creating my own new forums. Just before I opened my new GameMaker forum, AOL suddenly discontinued their web hosting where my site was being hosted, so I had to find a new host and recreate the entire site. I'm just getting back to normal now.

If you have links to any GameMaker pages, please update those links to:
http://www.macgamemaker.com or you can link to my main home page at http://alstaffieri.com

The new GameMaker forum will be up and running shortly. For now you can visit the GameMaker Garage forums where theres a GameMaker board there.
http://www.gamemakersgarage.com

All this trouble forced me to stop working on GameMaker v4.0 for several months, but I'm just starting to get back to work on it. Also there is a minor update to GameMaker 3 coming out shortly with a few fixes updated links to the site.

 


10/30/08

New Web Host - I had to switch to a new web host because AOL is shutting down it's member web space. Some links on my site may be broken or outdated until I can get everything from the old site uploaded and running smoothly. If you find any broken links you can email me at AlStaff@aol.com and let me know. Thanks.
 


8/23/08

GameMaker - Version 3.9.91 has been released. This fixes some bugs when adding strings together, fixes a bug that wouldn't show more than 10 sprites in compiled games, and includes other various bug fixes. Visit the GameMaker web page or simply download the latest update patch.

 


7/18/08

Game Making Contest #2 - The Game Makers Garage is sponsoring a 2nd game making contest for users of GameMaker and SilverCreator. Visit the Game Makers Garage to get all the details.

 


2/28/08

GameMaker Game Contest - Attention all GameMaker users! There is a game making contest going on right now! The deadline for entering a game has been extended to March 31st. The contest is hosted and sponsored by the Game Makers Garage. Get all the details at the Game Makers Garage web site.

 


1/17/08

GameMaker - Version 3.9.9 has been released. Improvements include more sprites on screen at once, eliminated screen flicker after multiple PRINT commands or AppleScript code was used, fix bugs in the MOVIE command and FILEIO command, and several other modifications. Visit the GameMaker web page or simply download the latest update patch.

Game Maker's Garage - The Game Maker's Garage has been resurrected and now has it's own domain name. This is a good site for information on GameMaker games that are being worked on as well as other news, game reviews, and articles that are GameMaker related.

 


11/03/07

GameMaker - Version 3.9.8 has been released. It now requires OS X and will not run in Classic. There are several bug fixes and it now allows passing of variables to AppleScript in the BEGIN APPLESCRIPT command. Visit the GameMaker web page or simply download the latest update patch.

 


10/25/07

Ordering Software - I am no longer using kagi.com for orders. Most of my orders now come through paypal.com . Kagi raised their minimum amount of orders before they send me a check, so that I wouldn't get paid for orders until up to a year later.

 


9/01/07

GameMaker - Version 3.9.7 has been released. This update fixes a window sizing bug and cursor names not showing up in a pop up menu in the Click Area Options window. Visit the GameMaker web page or simply download the latest update patch.

 


8/23/07

GameMaker - Version 3.9.6 has been released. There are a lot of fixes to the language, so if you were getting strange scripting errors then try this update. It fixes some bugs in REPEAT blocks inside a TIMER block, an IF...THEN bug, a SLECT CASE bug, and more. There are also some fixes to using cursors and click areas. For the complete list of changes and to download the latest update patch, visit the GameMaker web page.

 


8/03/07

GameMaker - While v4.0 is actively being worked on, I also tried to fix all of the bugs I could find in v3.9.5 and I'll be releasing what will probably be the last 3.x series update. I moved the OK and Cancel buttons in most dialogs to better follow Apple's Human Interface Guidelines. There's also a new CurrentCard built in variable that returns the card number currently being run. The update should be out soon.

BASIC Programming - If you're a FutureBASIC programmer you should really think about using nib windows with Interface Builder. IB is sort of like the old ResEdit from OS 9. It lets you easily build your windows and then use those windows in your program. Checkboxes and radio buttons are automatically handled for you, so it really does make the programming much easier. I put a sample of using nib windows with FutureBASIC on the BASIC Programming page. Also just for fun, check out the QuickBASIC section on that page. There's a new link to a QB user who has gotten it to run using some emulators.

 


3/01/07

GameMaker - The latest update for GameMaker which is v3.9.5 has been released. This update fixes the paint fill tool that didn't work on some Macs with OS 10.4. It also fixes a string variable adding bug that could cause an error if your game tried to add 2 strings together that would make the length longer than 255 characters. There is also a new TIMER command that lets you adjust the amount of time between running an active TIMER code block. See the GameMaker web page for more information and to download the latest update patch.

 


2/05/07

GameMaker - Version 3.9.4 has been released. It contains various fixes and a few minor new items. Get more information and download the latest update from the GameMaker page.

 


1/05/07

Happy New Year!  Let's all have a great 2007.

GameMaker Game Downloads - I finally fixed most of the links to old Classic GameMaker game downloads. If you can still run OS 9, then try out these games from the early years of GameMaker.

 


12/21/06

My simple Christmas Card web page.

GameMaker Tools - I added a link to GifBuilder 1.0 which runs in OS X (The previous version I had listed only ran on OS 9 and lower) and I added a link to a new paint program called Pixen. Both of these programs are freeware.

 


10/24/06

GameMaker Source Code (GM Pong) - A while back I uploaded a simple pong game with source code made in GameMaker. I just noticed that I never actually included it on the GM Addons page. It's now on there.

 


10/20/06

GameMaker User Guide - I updated the Statusbar topic in the GameMaker User Guide. It now lists all of the commands and the built in variable that can be used with the bar. Visit the GameMaker User Guide page.

 


8/31/06

GameMaker - Another update for GameMaker has been released. Version 3.9.3 fixes the movie playing crashes with QuickTime 7 and fixes a few REFRESH command bugs. Registered users can download the update from the GameMaker web page.

 


8/06/06

GameMaker - An update to GameMaker has been released. There is no longer a Classic version, but the Carbon version should still run on MacOS versions as old as 8.6. The 3.9.2 update includes fixes to SELECT CASE, fixes to the Inventory, a way to hide the cursor, keydown support and more. Get the full list of changes and download the update from the GameMaker web page.

 


8/02/06

Updates to this website and some of my software have taken a while to get completed because I've been busy with my real job and having a life.

GameMaker - I scaled down the list of improvements that I hoped to get done for the next version. It would have taken me much too long to get all the things done that I wanted. I still plan on making some major changes in the future, but for now there is a much needed updated coming shortly. I'm not sure yet if I will call this v4.0 or if I'll keep the 3.x series going. The biggest new improvement is that it has keyboard support. There's also a way to hide the cursor. I'll be giving a full list of changes in a few days when I release it, so look for it soon.

 


2/11/06

GameMaker - I received a report that playing movies in GameMaker with OS X 10.4.4 causes GameMaker to "unexpectedly quit". I'm attempting to confirm if it happens to others who are using OS X 10.4.4. If you have 10.4.4 please try playing a movie with the MOVIE command and email me at AlStaff@aol.com to let me know if it works or not.

 


1/20/06

GameMaker - Version 3.9.1 is available. It includes a few minor fixes and enhancements. Go to the GameMaker web page to read about the changes or simply download the latest update patch.

 

I'm trying new non AOL counters on my pages. We will see how well they work.

 


1/12/06

AOL has somehow reset my page counters again! I hate this. I was up to 228000 visitors since the last time it got reset. Ugh! I'll never hit 1 million.

10 Years! - My web site has been online at the same address for 10 years now! I first put it on in January 1996. I can't believe it's been so long. I've been on AOL since 1993 with the same email address all those years. Nobody keeps an email address that long!

 


12/06/05

My Christmas tree is up and lit (I bought a prelit tree with multi-color lights) and I put multi -color lights all around the outside of my house. I got a lot of Christmas shopping done on Monday, but I still have a lot more to do. Gift cards are starting to sound like a great idea.

GameMaker - I started working on a GameMaker User Guide web page which will show people how to use certain features in GameMaker. The first topic I wrote about was how to use the Inventory. You can learn more about it on the GameMaker User Guide page.

 


11/07/05

I'll be on vacation starting from Saturday, November 12 until Tuesday, November 22. I'm still not sure if I'm going to Florida or not, but I probably won't be online much during that time. I should be able to read my email, but if I don't respond right away, then you'll know I'm having lots of fun  ;-)

GameMaker - I will soon be dropping the Classic version of GameMaker. The Carbon version works as far back as OS 8.6, so the Classic version is really only needed for someone running an OS older than that... and if they are, they need to upgrade! There will most likely be one more update for Classic, but it might only include a minor fix for the selection tool bug. Dropping the Classic version will make it easier for me to work on GameMaker since I won't have to test and juggle multiple versions for each release. It will also allow me to move GameMaker forward since I won't have to support older OSes.

 


10/30/05

GameMaker - Version 3.9 has been released. It includes a new looping script option for card scripts that lets you continue looping through the script while the player is on that card. If you've been using ON TIMER to keep checking for events that happened, you will love the new looping script option. There is also a new built in variable named mouseDown to check if the mouse button is down. Checking mouseDown in a looping script can be an easy way to make your game do things when the mouse is pressed. This can sometimes be an easier method than using ON MOUSEDOWN. There are also a few bug fixes and other enhancements. Go to the GameMaker web page to read about additional changes or simply download the latest update patch and start making better games.

 


10/11/05

GameMaker - I released v3.8.7 today with lots of various fixes. Most notable are the splash window no longer shows an empty window and a string handling bug was corrected. Read about additional changes on the GameMaker web page or download the latest update patch.

 


10/02/05

Al's Coloring Book - I realized today that I never uploaded a Carbon/OS X version of my coloring book. It's been finished and sitting on my hard drive for over 2 years. I cleaned it up today and uploaded it to the web site.

 


9/30/05

I am working on updating the GameMaker games downloads page. Many of the links were no longer active and all but one of the games were made for OS 8/9 (Classic) and do not run native in OS X. I am attempting to get some games recompiled for OS X and add new games. I managed to get Dreaming recompiled for OS X so far. Go to the GameMaker Games Downloads page for more.

I am also adding a source code link to the main GameMaker page that will go to a list of GameMaker source code samples.

Eventually I may add additional coding help and possibly the entire scripting help in html with links to related commands.

 


9/17/05

GameMaker - Version 3.8.6 has been released. This update fixes bugs that wouldn't show movies or sprites that were stored in a folder. It also fixes a bug with the PRINT command and adds a SELECT CASE coding structure.You can download the latest update patch here.

 


8/22/05

GameMaker - Version 3.8.5 has been released. This update fixes some bugs with graphics files and sprites. You can download the latest update patch here.

 


7/19/05

GameMaker - There was a bug found in the IMAGEFILE and SPRITE commands. Graphics files that are placed in a folder inside the game folder do not show up when using these commands in the GameMaker IDE (run mode). They do work in compiled games however. This should be fixed for the next update.

 


6/19/05

GameMaker - v3.8.4 released. Sprite speed has been increased by about 25% and you can now scale the size of sprites. Get the latest update here.

 


6/17/05

The carpet for my house was installed yesterday, so my house is pretty much finished except for a few minor details. It looks so much nicer with carpeting than it did with bare cement floors. I should be getting an inspection by the building inspector next week and get a C.O. so I can officially move in next week.

Mailing Address - I am changing the mailing address listed on my web pages and in any software to my new address which is 1061 Crestwood Dr., Williamstown NJ 08094

GameMaker - I have sprite scaling working better now. I'll be releasing an update shortly.

 


6/11/05

The house I bought in January is almost finished being completely renovated. It has new windows, new kitchen cabinets, new sliding door, new carpets, new interior doors, all new major appliances (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, clothes dryer, clothes washer). I should be moving in in about 2 weeks I think. You can read more about that here.

GameMaker - Because of all the work I've been doing on my house, I haven't been able to spend very much time working on any software projects. However I did manage to increase sprite speed as noted in earlier news and today I got sprite scaling working, although it needs a few tweaks yet. I will try to get an update out with these improved sprite features very soon.

 


3/9/05

Time for another birthday. Woohoo! Oh yeah! Let's PARTY!!! I'm 38 today. A woman named Doris from work is taking me out to dinner. Maybe I can get her drunk and have some fun. LOL. I can tell I'm getting old. Only 1 woman has offered to be my gift this year and let me unwrap her. Hehe. I have 3 days off this week. I took a personal day off today, so it's time to get out and go do something. Later dudes!!

GameMaker - I was able to speed up sprite speed by about 25%. My sprite test with 2 moving sprites gets only 25 frames per second in GameMaker 3.8.3, but I'm now getting 33 FPS for the next release. That's not too bad considering I'm using a 5 year old 500mhz iMac G3. It should run great on a more recent Mac.

 


2/4/05

Castlequest - I updated Castlequest to v2.2. This mostly fixes a few graphics glitches when running it in OS X. I also made seperate windows for viewing the Power and Hierarchy instead of using the same window for both.

 


1/27/05

I may get rid of this news page in favor of my web log. I'm not sure yet. Maybe I will keep this for software programming news only. I will probably start posting a lot more often to my web log, so check it out.

I closed on my house last week. I haven't actually moved in yet because the house needs some work. You can read all about it here.

 


1/19/05

GameMaker - The forums have a new location. The link is now http://gmforums.macintoshdevelopers.net/

 


12/24/04

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a great holiday. I have to work on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. I just bought a house. Settlement date is scheduled for January 20, 2005. You can see a picture of it on my About Al page.

GameMaker - GameMaker v3.8.3 has been released. I fixed several bugs with sprites in OS X and a bug with the eraser tool in OS 9. I also fixed a few remaining bugs with selection tool for graphics and a clipboard window bug that could sometimes lead to an unexpected quit.

 


11/28/04

I'll be heading to Florida for my vacation in a few days. My vacation is December 1st to the 9th. It looks like I'll be going alone. I thought I had everything set up to have someone go with me. The woman even had the time off approved at work, but then some things came up and she is unable to go. I had a backup plan with someone else, but that doesn't look promising right now either. I have free passes to Disney and I probably won't use them if I go alone. I was really hoping to play tennis and shoot some pool with someone at the clubhouse. Oh well. I guess I will just have to sit by the pool and find someone in a little bikini who likes to have a good time. Hehe. They just opened a new Walmart near our house there, so I'll probably get some Christmas shopping done while I'm there. I'll be taking my computer with me, so I'll still be reading my email.

GameMaker - I fixed several bugs with sprites in OS X and a bug with the eraser tool in OS 9. I also fixed a few remaining bugs with selection tool for graphics. An update should be coming out soon.

Castlequest - I see a few bugs when running in OS X that deal mostly with graphics refreshing. I'll try to get these fixed and release an update.

 


11/05/04

GameMaker - Version 3.8.2 has just been released. If you've been disappointed with the Carbon version when running in OS X, then please try this update. I only recently upgraded to OS X, so until now I was unable to test GameMaker on it. Now that I have OS X 10.3.5, I fixed all of the bugs I could find.

 


10/20/04

Some casino workers have been on strike since October 1st. I've been working extra hours filling in doing their jobs. So far I've cleaned bathrooms, cleaned floors, was a bus/runner at Gatsby's Grill (clean tables, sweep floor, keep utensils, napkins, condiments full, etc), and I did prep work for the buffet which included setting up the donuts and bagels, cutting and seasoning pork and steak, and seperating salmon into small sections. So far I've put in 34.5 hours overtime of strike duty in a little less than 3 weeks. It's interesting learning all these other jobs and finding out what actually goes on in some areas of the hotel and casino that I never get to see. Of course the paycheck is pretty nice too!

I finally upgraded my computer to OS X 10.3.2!!!  I've been using OS 9 for years. Now I can finally fix some lingering bugs in some of my software. If I get a new Mac, I'll actually be up to date. Probably not going to happen.

I've been talking online to a woman in the Philippines for over a year. She's coming to this country for a while in November and I'm hoping to meet her in person. I'll let you know what happens. There are also one or 2 women at work who I am interested in, but I'm not sure anything will really come out of that.

GameMaker - I have fixed various display and crashing bugs that were happening when running in OS X. The update should be out soon. I didn't know it was so bad because it runs great in OS 9 and I was never able to actually test it on OS X until now.

 


9/29/04

My web site hit 100,000 people yesterday... for the 2nd time. The first time I got over 100,000, AOL decided to screw up the counter  and I had to start it over. We'll see if they get jealous of my high hit count again and mess it up again. Oh by the way, it does NOT count each page hit seperately. Once you come to the site the counter increases by 1. You can then access any page and the counter will not go up as long as you don't close your browser window to start a new session. I could easily have a million hits if I counted each page access as a new hit like some sites do.

I think I'm going to remove most of the banners on top of my pages. I really don't make any money from most of them. I may keep 1 or 2 that do OK... or maybe just change them into ads for my own stuff. I might try using some google ads because I heard they work pretty well. We'll see.

I took a paid personal day off from work on Monday to go to a Phillies baseball game with my dad and 2 brothers. The Phillies have a new stadium this year and I hadn't been there yet. I wanted to go before the season ended just to see what the place was like. It's much nicer than the old Veterans Stadium.

On Sunday I was made a Permanent Slot Service Supervisor at work.... as opposed to a Temporary Slot Service Supervisor which is what I was before. Temporary meaning I got moved around to different shifts and days off whenever another Supervisor went on a leave or whatever. My shift and days off will probably change yet again in a few weeks, because my current spot is now up for bid, but after that I won't be moving around every few months like I've been doing the last year and a half. Now I just have to hope I get a good shift!!

 


9/2/04

Wow. I haven't written any news in a while. My days off from work have changed yet again. I'm now off on Wednesday and Thursday. I have a vacation approved for the first week of December, although I may try to change it to the 2nd week in November. My current vacation plans are to go to Florida again as I did last year.

I'm still looking for a house to buy, but I've been getting more interested in buying some ground and having a new house built. With the high cost of existing homes, it's actually about the same price or even cheaper to build a new house than to buy one that's 30 or 40 years old. I found several pieces of land I was looking at to buy, but after checking into everything, it looks like it will take a year to get all the approvals to build on 2 of them. There's a lot of NJ Pineland forest restrictions here.

GameMaker - The next update will show the mouse coordinates in the lower right corner of the main window which will help with lining up sprites and click areas where you want them. You'll also be able to scale selections by holding down the option key and dragging the right corner of the selection to either make it larger or smaller.

 


6/22/04

I just had 4 days off from work. My days off are changing to Monday and Tuesday. I'll be working at Bally's Park Place starting on Wednesday. Bally's, Claridge, and Wild Wild West are all connected and owned by the same company and are considered one casino by the state commission, so I get moved to whichever one needs me. I started at Wild Wild West and was there for over a year, then got moved to the Claridge for about 5 months. Now I'll be at Bally's Park Place until they move me again.

I think I'm going to take a vacation in November and go to Florida again as I did last year.

GameMaker - v3.8 is out. It has a new easy to use inventory system. I also added a SPRITEPATH command to let you move a sprite between two locations.

 


5/25/04

Well I've been looking for a house the last few months. Of course now that I'm in the market for one, the prices are going up faster than any time in history. On top of that, they are selling faster than ever too. Anything I look at is already sold before I can even see the inside. Houses in my area are selling in a week or less! Unheard of. I may have to wait until next year just to let the market slow down a bit.

macgamecreator.com - My Mac Game Creator Toolkit domain redirect is finally working again.Clicking on the link SHOULD take you to that web page. It only took 10 months to get it working. That was a wasted year of my domain registration fee.

GameMaker Message Board Forum - It looks like I forgot to mention that there is a new forum for GameMaker support. The old Game Maker's Garage is no longer running. Please visit our new forums.

GameMaker - v3.8 should be avialable soon. It has an easy to use inventory system! More news on how that works when I release it. I also added a SPRITEPATH command to smoothly move a sprite to a location you specify.

 


4/02/04

GameMaker - v3.7 has been released. It has improved AppleScript support. You can put return values from AppleScript code into either string variables or numerical variables. I also added a CHR$ command and there are a few bug fixes as well. Get the latest update here.

 


3/11/04

GameMaker - v3.6 lets you set the status bar from 1 to 100. It also fixes a few bugs when a player restarts a game. Get the latest update here.

 


3/09/04

My Birthday! - I'm 37 years old today.

I met a nice woman at work last week. She came in to play the slot machines (I'm a Slot Floor Supervisor at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City). I started talking to her for a bit and we ended up exchanging phone numbers. She's 5'4", 37 years old and nice to look at. She came in again on Sunday and we hung out for about an hour after I got off from work. We're both off on Thursdays, so we're planning to go out this Thursday.

A friend of mine named Terri says she got me a birthday present. All I have to do is go over to her house and pick it up. The problem is... her birthday is one day before mine (March 8) and I didn't get her anything yet, so I won't go to her house until I get some shopping done. It's not my fault though. She didn't tell me what she wanted until just a few days ago... and I'm the only person who even knew what she was talking about when she was trying to explain what she wants. It's not something easy to find.

 


3/04/04

The GameMaker message board forum is back up and working. The message boards on AOL will be shut down shortly.

My birthday is coming up. On Tuesday, March 9th I'll be 37. I took the day off from work. My normal days off are currently Wednesday and Thursday, so I'll have a 3 day weekend.... so... where are you taking me and what are you getting me?

 


3/01/04

The GameMaker message board forum on the web is down temporarily. AOL members can use the alternate AOL GameMaker Message Boards.

 


2/13/04

Dracula's Castle - v2.51 fixes a crashing bug in the carbon version when opening the Inventory window if running in OS X. There are also other minor improvements in both the Carbon version and the Classic version. Download the Carbon version if you have OS 8.6 and up including OS X. If you have an older Mac, you can still get the latest Classic version. The Classic version runs on Macs as far back as an SE 30 running System 6.05. How many other developers still update products for such old Macs?

 


2/4/04

GameMaker - The bug in USERASK has been fixed in the latest release. Download the GameMaker 3.52 update patch here.

 


1/28/04

GameMaker - There's a bug in the USERASK option in button script windows. Use something similar to the following script instead of using the built in options to work around the bug:

USERASK Does this work?
IF userask$ = "" THEN EXIT
IF userask$ <> "YES" THEN GOTOCARD 2

 


10/31/03

GameMaker - The bug reported earlier about GameMaker quitting or crashing when copying an image in v3.5 has been fixed in v3.5.1. Get the latest update here. No other bugs to report at this time.

 


10/30/03

I'm going to Florida for vacation from November 12 to November 22. I still don't have anyone to go with which sucks because I'll be bored if I go alone. But I'll try to have fun sitting by the pool and playing tennis with those Florida girls ;o)

Oh by the way, I seem to be feeling a little strange lately. Someone told me that I haven't been looking well (and of course they quickly added that I never did look very good anyway). Anyhow, I took a picture of myself so I can get other opinions. Let me know what you think.

Happy Hallowen to everyone!

GameMaker - There's a bug in v3.5 (and I imagine all previous versions as well) that quits or crashes GameMaker when you try to copy an image to the clipboard if you are using OS X. I am currently investigating this problem and working on a fix.

 


9/05/03

Hey, I made a Weblog/AOL Journal. I don't know how often I'll update it, but here's the link:

http://journals.aol.com/alstaff/AlsLog/

 


9/01/03

GameMaker - GameMaker v3.5 was released yesterday. It handles up to 10 sprites at once, fixes some scripting bugs, the editor has a selection tool for graphics, and other improvements. See the GameMaker web page for the full list of improvements.

 


8/21/03

I went out with Michele again last Friday. We went to the movies to see Pirates of the Carribean. She mentioned possibly cooking dinner for me one day next week. We'll see what happens.

GameMaker - GameMaker v3.5 is in beta testing and will be released probably within a week. It lets you have up to 10 sprites in the window at once. It also has a WINDOW command to let you open a window to show either a text file or a picture file. The editor now includes a much needed Selection Tool. There are also a few bug improvements, most notably with using REPEAT in MOUSEDOWN, MOUSEUP, or TIMER structures.

AOL Mac GameMaker Message Board - The GameMaker forum on AOL has been removed, but the parts still exist in scattered locations. You can still get to the Mac GameMaker Message Boards and I'll post some more links soon. One good thing about this is that most of the GameMaker games on AOL are now available to download from the web.


8/08/03

I had a date with Michele last week. She's very nice and pretty. We went to Ocean City, NJ and walked on the boardwalk and had a late dinner. I had a good time and I'm hoping to go out with her again soon.

Castlequest - A Carbon version has just been released. Now you can play this fun game on OS X.

FileLock - It looks like the planned OS X update for this will probably be cancelled. There's really no need for it now that the OS has a built in file encryption feature.

 


7/25/03

I've come to the conclusion that AOL has totally screwed up their web page counter cgi. It got reset to 0 again!. I had this site since 1996 and it's never been reset by them until last month... and now a month later and it happens again.

MacGameCreator.com - My Mac Game Creator Toolkit domain has not been working this month. Somehow the redirect was screwed up by the domain host and I haven't been able to get a response from them in several weeks. For now you can go to the page it should redirect to: http://members.aol.com/AlStaff/macgamecreator.html

 


7/3/03

I finally added some pictures of my new car to the web site . You can see them on the About Al page

I'm sure you probably think I'm just posting this so I can show off the other new picture I added of the two babes I was with on my birthday.... Well yeah... So?

 


6/27/03

Dracula's Castle - New Carbon update runs on OS X. Download the Carbon version here. If you have an older Mac, you can get the latest Classic version here.

 


6/20/03

Somehow my web site counter got reset to 0. I don't know if it was AOL's fault or some hacker. I doubt it was a hacker since there would be much more fun things for a hacker to do than just reset a counter. My counter was up to over 160,000 visitors. Maybe AOL doesn't like anyone having too many hits.

I went to Wildwood, NJ last week for a company sponsored Beach Bash/Picnic. It was great. Free food and free rides on several piers in Wildwood. I ate two cheeseburgers, potato salad, potato chips, and drank a coke and went on 2 rollercoasters, the giant slide, and a few other things I don't remember the names of. I was there from around 5PM until 10:45PM and only spent a total of $10 for some food and drinks on the way home.

I've been working on a RPG game made with GameMaker. The graphics aren't the greatest, but I think it's coming along ok... although a little slow. More details of my new game as well as news on the update to GameMaker and possibly other programs will be coming soon.

I forgot to get the film developed from my birthday. I'm heading out to Shoprite right after I finish with this to hand in the film. I'm hoping there will be at least one good picture of myself in there.... although some people will say that's not possible.

I've been girlfriend-less for some time now. I do date here and there, but nobody really interesting has come along in a while. Well there is this pretty 30 year old woman at work that I really like, but we have different days off and we live in opposite directions from work, so the distance and available time just wasn't going to work out.

 


5/27/03

I received a promotion at work last week. I am now a Slot Attendant Supervisor at Bally's Wild Wild West casino. I'll probably be quitting my part time job with Frito Lay soon since I no longer need it. That will give me more time to work on software programming.

GameMaker - Work is progressing on this. I added a WINDOW command to let you easily open either a window with a picture, text window, movie window with movie controllers (this one is not completed yet). I'm also adding a few other items and will be releasing it as GameMaker v3.5.

FileLock - Look for a Carbon/OS X version coming soon.

 


4/6/03

I took a few pictures of my new car a few days ago. As soon as I get the film developed, I'll post a picture if any of them turn out good enough.

I'm still waiting to get my old car back. The insurance company says there's nothing wrong with it, but they were supposed to tow it to me almost a month ago, so I'm thinking there must be something wrong. Actually I'm wondering if the towing company that was holding it sold it before the insurance company got it, since the towing company said they would get rid of it after one month and that was 2 months ago. I have to call tomorrow and tell them I either need the car or the cash.

I had a birthday last month. I'm 36!   I can't believe it!   I'm still single and available. Where are all of the hot, single 28 to 35 year old females? I seem to attract either 50 year olds who want to date me or 19 year olds who want to chat because they're bored. Help!  Overall though, I've been having fun and am basically happy with my life right now.

 

HangMan - New Carbon update runs native on OS X. Download the Carbon version here. If you have an older Mac, you can get the latest Classic version here.

 


2/21/03

I bought a new car yesterday. It's a black 2002 Mercury Cougar Sport with the XR package. It has everything in it... power windows, power locks, power moon roof, power seats, power mirrors, rear defroster, rear window wiper, rear spoiler, fog lights, AM/FM stereo with CD player and cassette. It lets you know the temperature outside. It tells you how many miles per gallon of gas the car is getting and based on that and how much gas in in the tank, it lets you know how many miles you can drive before you need to stop for gas. I'll try to take a picture of it as soon as all of the snow melts and replace the picture of my old car on the About Al page.

Also, my Neon turned up in Maryland last week but they won't tell me what shape it's in. Since it's a several hour drive away from where I live, my insurance company says the easiest thing to do is sign the car over to them and let them pay me for it.

 


2/4/03

GameMaker - The latest update to v3.4.3 now plays movies correctly in compiled games.

 


1/28/03

My car was stolen Saturday night from the employee parking lot where I work. I had to rent one today until I can buy a new one. My insurance company is paying for the rental up to $500 which will get me about 3 weeks of renting. They wait 30 days to see if the car turns up before paying me what the car is worth. I don't expect to get a whole lot for a 5 year old car though. I was looking at new cars yesterday and I think I really like the Mercury Cougar. It looks nice and isn't too expensive. I'd like to get a convertible, but they're a bit out of my price range.

GameMaker - It looks like the latest update is still not playing movies in compiled games. I will look at that more and try to get an update out as soon as I can.

 


12/22/02

GameMaker - The update to v3.4 for Classic users has been posted. This runs on anything from 68K Macs with System 7.5 to PPC Macs running OS 9.2.2. Get the update patch here.

 

Christmas Card Page - View this years Christmas card to everyone. It's just a simple animated gif, but at last i took the time to do something. Have a great week!

 


9/22/02

GameMaker OS X - Yes! It's finally out! Go and download the update patch now. Not a registered user? Then get the new Carbon demo version and get in on all of the fun.

GameMaker v4.0 Preview - Learn about this top secret project   ;o)

 


9/16/02

Well it's been a long time since I've updated the news! I've been working a lot lately, so I haven't had as much time to update the site the way I used to. I still want to do a full redesign of some of my web pages if I ever get enough time to do it. My Slot Attendant job at Bally's Wild Wild West casino is going pretty well. The tips are somewhere in between the minimum I wanted and what I hoped to get, so I guess it's ok.

100,000 visitors - my web site hit 100,000 visitors some time last month! Yay! Actually it hit that number a while back because I reset the counter once and I don't remember what it was up to at that point. By my calculations, I'm averaging about 4500 visitors per month now. Not bad!

GameMaker - I'm still working on the OS X version of GameMaker. The only major bug I have left to fix is the IMAGEFILE command isn't working in OS X games. I've started sending out the latest betas to registered users, so if you're a registered user, let me know and I'll send it along.

www.macgamemaker.com - Yes, you saw that right. I finally got a real domain name for GameMaker! See... I have been doing something since the last news update.

ftp archive of GameMaker games on AOL  - Many of these games were previously only available to AOL members. Now anyone can have access to them all! Thanks to Mike Richardson of SilverNetwork.net.

 


7/23/02

I haven't had much time to update the web site or work on software updates lately. I've been busy looking for a new job. I was trying to get a Slot Attendant Supervisor position at any casino in Atlantic City. I was a Dual Slot Attendant/Supervisor years ago. Anyway, I finally accepted a Slot Attendant job at Bally's Wild Wild West, but they're paying me more than the regular starting rate. I haven't started the new job yet, but I should be starting in about 2 weeks. I gave USA Today my two week notice today that I'm leaving.

I've also been dating some and going out since I split up with Tracey and that takes up a lot of time also. Of course I also had to spend some time at the pool at my parent's beachfront condo.

GameMaker - I managed to get GameMaker OS X to the point where I think the only real bug is that IMAGEFILE doesn't seem to be working. I also posted a minor 3.31 update that I made over a month ago for a user who submitted some bug reports. I never uploaded it until now. It fixes 2 bugs in compiled games.

 


6/21/02

Tracey and I broke up almost a month ago (right after we went to Hershey Park). We're still friends and I'm happy about that, yet it sucks because I'm not really interested in anyone else. I haven't really even tried to find a date, although I did go out with a few women who asked me. Hey! If you're a female between 25 and 35, live in NJ, and like to have fun, I'm available!  LOL

I went to Lens Crafters today for an eye exam, new glasses, new sunglasses, and contact lenses. I got them all, but the total cost came to $730 and that was with a $115 coupon!! I don't know if I should thank Tracey for giving me those coupons or not. Hehe. Seriously though, I was long overdue for a checkup and new glasses.

More OS X News - GameMaker for OS X is shaping up. I got the APPLEEVENT commands working, fixed a SPRITE bug, fixed a NOTE bug, and several other minor fixes. I'm hoping to release this on July 1st, but that's not a definate date yet. My FutureBASIC beta timed out, so I'm waiting until I get a new one before I release any new betas of anything.

Web Site Overdue for an Update - Yes, I know. I need to liven up my dull, boring web site with some graphics and a hot new layout. I'm working on it. I doubt that it will stun you with magnificence, but it will look better, I promise.

 


6/02/02

OS X Updates - Look for an announcement soon about most of these programs being officially released as Carbon applications. I will release most of them on the same day, so it will be sort of a celebration. Here are the latest betas:

 


5/24/02

I went to Hershey Park on Saturday. It was great except that it was a little too cold for the water rides. We did go on the River Rapids and Tracey and I got completely soaked the second time on it, but we skipped the log flume and two other water rides. I did go on four different roller coasters. The Wildcat coaster and the Lightning Racers coaster were both awesome. Tracey doesn't do the hard coasters, so she only went on two of them with me. Actually I didn't go on the toughest ones either. I passed on the loops and upside down ones. I'm hoping to hit Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ later this summer.

Contract Work - Now that I'm able to reliably do MacOS X programming, I'm again available for contract work. Of course I'm still available for work on OS 7, 8, and 9 projects if you need something to be backwards compatible with older Systems. Small projects are welcome! I'm also very interested in licensing programs of mine for your use. For example, if you'd like a customized version of my Coloring Book with your company logo, links to your web site, and your pictures in it, I can do that easily. Please contact me at AlStaff@aol.com to discuss any potential projects, ideas, or questions you have.

OS X Updates - I'm attempting to update most of my software to run natively on OS X. Here's a list of some of the latest additions to the MacOS X beta web page.


5/8/02

I haven't updated the news in a while. Actually I haven't spent much time online at all in the last few weeks.

GameMaker OS X beta - Fixed a crashing bug when saving games in OS X. This is starting to look pretty good. Still a few issues, but it gets better all the time. Try it out if you have OS X (it also runs on OS 8.6 through 9.2.2).

New GameMaker Game Download- My sister made a GameMaker game. It's a classic style GameMaker game with no real scripting because she started working on it years ago. She finally finished it and I uploaded it for her. Download it, play it, and let her know what you think of it.

 


3/28/02

GameMaker Web Message Board - We now have an internet message board set up specifically for GameMaker with no ads to slow you down or annoy you. If you have a question about GameMaker, please post to our new boards! If you don't have a question, please check out our boards anyway and talk about some games you're making.

 


3/20/02

GameMaker OS X beta - The script window should no longer be sent to the back behind other windows. The paint fill tool should also be working now. It may still crash when showing the clipboard and there are still a few other issues, but you should be able to make a complete game with this version.

GameMaker - The latest v3.4 beta can compile games for OS X. It also has an improved POPFIELD with a gray background and shadowbox, IMAGEFILE no longer has any flicker, and I'm working on some SPRITE commands and keyboard support.

My Life - I bought roller blades last week and went roller blading around my block. I hadn't been skating since I was a teenager and back then there wasn't roller blades, so I never actually did that before. Some of the kids on the block put their skates on too and we had about 10 people skating around the street. It was a lot of fun. Tracey brought hers over on Sunday, but it was a lousy day so we'll wait for another nice day to try it again.

 


3/12/02

GameMaker OS X beta - I uploaded a new OS X beta. This still has the problem of putting the script editor window behind other windows, but the clipboard should now work and I made some fixes in the runtime. The next non beta GameMaker release will be able to compile games for OS X even if GameMaker itself is still a Classic application.

GameMakers Garage - New GMG web site. Update your links and bookmarks.

My Birthday - Last Saturday (March 9) was my birthday. I can't believe I'm 35! On Friday, Tracey and I played mini golf and of course I beat her. She says she let me win because it was my birthday, so I'll have to really kill her next time we play. After that we went to Dairy Queen for rootbeer floats. She took me to breakfast on Saturday. She also bought me a new shirt and pair of pants.

 


2/21/02

GameMaker OS X beta - The updated GameMaker OS X beta should at least load and run to some extent. It can also compile Carbon games, so please try out the compiling feature on a game you have in development and let me know if there are any differences between the classic compiled games in GM 3.3 and games compiled with this.

GameMaker Archive - Looking for GameMaker games to download? There's a new site called the GameMaker Archive which has a large list of downloadable games and relatd links. This is great for anyone who has been searching for GameMaker games on the web.

GameMakers Garage Web Site - The GMG is back up again.

 


2/19/02

GameMaker - Now at version 3.3. This update includes a few new commands, increases the maximum amount of code you can have, fixes various bugs, lets you compile either 68k, PPC, or FAT applications (Carbon is in beta), and more. This release also has some integrated support for GM Toolkit which lets you format and check your scripts for errors without needing to copy and paste your code. The latest version of GM Toolkit is included with GameMaker. You can get more info on the latest changes and download the free update patch from the GameMaker web page.

GameMakers Garage Web Site - This site has been down for about a week. They always had the latest news on GameMaker games being released and worked on, plus they had some good GameMaker related message boards. I don't know when it will be back up, but I'll keep checking.

Email and Slow Responses - I've been a little slow responding to emails lately and some of them I have not responded to at all. That does not mean I haven't read your mail. I've been spending a lot more time with Tracey, who is just sooo sexy (she made me put that part in, LOL), and I've been working more at other jobs as well. As I said, I do read all emails and check on bug reports, so even if I don't respond to your specific email, please be assured that I am following up on it.

 


1/22/02

GameMaker - Work is progressing slowly. I made more improvements to the IMAGEFILE command and fixed a memory leak with it, raised the script limit to 500 lines or 30k per script (250 lines or 20k max in current version), fixed bugs in HIDEAREA, SHOWAREA, and SETAREA commands. The next release will have integrated support for GM Toolkit. IF GM Toolkit is in the same folder as GameMaker, you'll be able to format a script or check a script for various errors by clicking picture buttons at the top of the script editor window. I'll try to release an official update soon.

GMG Awards - The GMG Game Design Awards voting is over. See their awards page to view the winners.


1/8/02

Wow. It's been a while since my last news update. I was very busy over the holidays and didn't have much time for computer related activities. Let's hope this year is a good one for everyone.

 

GMG Game Design Awards - The Game Makers Garage has a new vote going on, so get over to the Game Design Awards poll and vote for your favorite GameMaker games of 2001.

 

Mac OS X Test Versions - I'm uploading some new test versions for OS X. They're available on the beta page. So far, all of the GameMaker test versions have quit as soon as they were launched, but the Coloring Book has been at least somewhat working. The next round of tests should be better.

 

GameMaker Addons and Plugins - GMOnline and GM Toolkit, both from from SilverNetworks, have been updated recently. Visit the addons page to download the latest versions and other GameMaker addons.

 


11/27/01

GameMaker - Good news for anyone still using a 68K Mac. The next release will be a fat application and include 68K code, so it will run on 68K Macs and PCs with Mac emulators. There hasn't been a version to run on 68K Macs since v3.1.1. I'm still working on a OS X version too and I should have a beta available on the OS X beta page soon.

Web Site News - The GameMaker internet web boards for AOL members who are away from their AOL are no longer working at all. I think AOL is making some changes to how web boardws work, so I'll keep the links available for now to see if they eventually become active again. I updated a few other links and typos here and there throughout the web site over the last few weeks, but if anyone still finds some broken links, please let me know.

 


11/7/01

MacOS X Support - I made some progress with this, but I'm having trouble testing OS X versions because I don't have OS X yet (still using 9.04), so I'm setting up a OS X beta web page. The page will have OS X test versions for various programs of mine. You'll be able to download them, try them, and fill out simple bug reports to send to me.

 


10/25/01

GameMaker - I've been working on lots of little niceties. Here's my developer log so far:

10/13/01 -In Res file, fix minor display bug in Application Setup window. Add SETCURSOR submenu to Language menu.

10/14/01 -Fix bug that created multiple Help menu items if Load file is clicked and cancelled at startup. Minor changes to SETCURSOR submenu. Getting rid of -1, -2, etc showing in "Go to card" fields when End game, DoMenu, or other options chosen.

10/15/01 -More work on not showing negative numbers in "Go to card" fields. Show user "About "window in Run Mode instead of GM "About" window.

10/16/01 -Finish improvements to Go To Card fields in buttons and click areas. The "Requires QuickTime version" in App Setup now has an option for QuickTime v5.0.

10/21/01 -The "Disable Above Options in Card #1" option is now unchecked as default.

10/23/01 -Minor changes to user About Menu.

10/24/01 -Fix minor new bug in window style of Game Options window.

10/25/01 -Remove small piece of unused code in IF command code. Work on REPEAT UNTIL. Remove remaining launch app restrictions from run mode. Add HIDECOUNTER and SHOWCOUNTER commands.

 

MacOS X Support - None of my software will currently run native on MacOS X. I'm in the process of converting some items to Carbon compatability so they'll run native in OS 8.6 to OS X 10.1. The main obstacle for some programs right now is that I have to wait for the programming language I'm using to improve their support for Carbon compiling. For GameMaker it looks like I'll be able to make compiled games for both OS X and OS 8/9 first, so soon you should be able to compile games for OS X even though you may still need to run GM in OS 9. I'll update this info at a later date when I get further along.

 

Dating Life - This space was going to be used to tell you how I totally blew it with Tracey (see News On Life - 10/10/01). I said some dumb things to her and she ended up not wanting to talk to me. I wrote a long apology telling her how I felt and... well she emailed me to say maybe we should try starting over. Cool! .... and Yes I really do have a life outside of the online world, so stop thinking I'm making it all up. If I were making it up, I'd be telling you how I've been with 5 beautiful babes in the last 3 days. LOL

 


10/12/01

Big Al AddressBook - Wow. It's been a long time since I worked on this. I looked at it yesterday and the v2.0 update was further along in development than I realized. I made a few fixes and changes to it and I think I'll continue working on this now that I know more of the differences and changes needed for FutueBASIC 3 code.

 

GameMaker - v3.2.4 has been released. This fixes various bugs in v3.2.3 which popped up while working on speed improvements and appearance support. You can get more info on the latest changes and download the update patch from the GameMaker web page.

 

This is Scary!! - Hey! I'm possessed! Check out the picture. But don't get too close!

 


10/10/01

GameMaker - Here are some bugs and workarounds for the current version of GameMaker. This applies to GameMaker v3.2.3. If you're using an older version, please get the latest update here.

10/10/01 - If you have an END command inside a IF THEN structure, the END command will be executed even if the IF THEN is false and the block of code should be skipped. Work Around: If you want your game to end by using END in a IF THEN block, either use DOMENU QUIT (see next bug below) or GOTOCARD to a card that has a one line END script. Status: Fixed for next release.

10/10/01 -There is a bug in the card option for "Don't use Save Alert" which won't let you check the box. Workaround: None at this time. Status: Fixed for next release.

10/10/01 -Image from IMAGEFILE is being erased in card script  (card picture being drawn over it) even if REFRESH command is used before IMAGEFILE. Work Around: None at this time. Status: Fixed for next release.

 

News On Life - I had a date with a really cute girl named Tracey last week. She's 30 years old, very short (under 5' tall), has dark hair a little longer than shoulder length, and pretty brown eyes. We went to lunch at Lone Star Steak House and I had a very nice time. I like her a lot and so far she likes me enough to agree to another date next week, so wish me luck  :o)

 


9/28/01

GameMaker - For non registered users, I uploaded a new 3.2.3 demo version (the previous demo was still at 3.2.1).

 


9/27/01

GameMaker - Now at v3.2.3. This fixes some string handling bugs, there is no longer a limit on how many variables you can create, and some other improvements. Registered users of 3.0 or higher can download the free update patch here. Users of older GameMaker versions can upgrade to 3.2.3 for $5 or update to the latest 2.x version for free by downloading the 2.x -> 2.91 update patch.

 


8/22/01

Al's Ebay Page - I'm adding links to my ebay "About Me" page. It lists any current items I'm selling on ebay. I'm hoping to start listing various things more regularly, so go check out what I have available and bid.

Want a New Scooter? - In related news, I have some new, unopened, still in original boxes, scooters available for $32 including shipping to anywhere in the US. These aren't on ebay. If you want one, email me. We got these at closeout and they're really good ones. They have a front shock absorber which makes them roll smoother and further than other models. Really. Several kids on my street have scooters and we compared them all. The ones I'm selling are the best. (yes, I use one semi regularly in scooter races down my street with my nephew, but he cheats). If you've been wanting a new scooter, now's your chance to get one, Email me and ask me about it.

 


8/16/01

AOL Guestapo - This new freeware application lets you disable the Guest sign on feature of America Online. This is useful for anyone who wants to stop others from using their Mac to sign onto AOL as a guest.

 


8/11/01

GameMaker - Work on the next update is slowly progressing. I eliminated the limit on how many variables you can have in a project. The only limitation is memory.

 


7/23/01

GameMaker - Updated to v3.2.2. This mostly fixes various bugs. Registered users of 3.0 or higher can download the free update patch here. Users of older GameMaker versions can upgrade to 3.2 for $5 or update to the latest 2.x version for free by downloading the 2.x -> 2.91 update patch.

 


7/22/01

GameMaker - I was about to release the v3.2.2 update, but I just found a bug in my "improved" string handling code, so the release is delayed until I get this fixed. It shouldn't be more than a day or two.

 


7/20/01

Mac Game Creator Toolkit CD-ROM - I added a bunch of cool new items to the CD.

Three new items to go along with our REALbasic 30 day trial, including:

Two new GameMaker addons, both created by Mike Richardson of Silver Moonlite Productions, including:

Preview version of Silver Creator, a new game creating program by Mike Richardson of Silver Moonlite Productions

 

GameMaker - v3.2.2 will probably be released tomorrow. I didn't get a chance to add any really big improvements, but I did make a bunch of small changes to make your overall experience much more fun  :o)  Here's a list so far, but there may be a few more things completed by release time.

 


7/11/01

General News - I broke up with my girlfriend last week and I spent several days moving my things out of her apartment and finding places for everything here, so I haven't done much programming the last week.

GameMaker - As noted above, I haven't been able to work on this very much. I fixed some bugs in 3.2.1, so I'll try to release an update as soon as I can. There's been a request to have the GameMaker Help in some sort of printable or searchable form, so I may try to make it into a pdf or something similar.

 


7/04/01

GameMaker - I'm working on improving the string variable parsing code. In the current version, you can only add strings together like this:

a$ = b$ + c$

The new code will let you do any of these:

a$ = b$ + c$
a$ = b$ + "put some text here."
a$ = "put some text here" + c$
a$ = "put some text here" + "more text here"

 

New GameMaker Club - New web site started by John Horodko and friends at Mac Star Software. You can suggest game ideas, download their released games, and upload your own game to include it in their download list.

 


6/29/01

GameMaker Update Patch Problems - I've had several reports about the GameMaker 3.x->3.2.1 update patch not working, usually reporting an error about needed an additional several GB of disk space. It seems to be a random problem because I know it works for some users. If you're a registered user and experience this trouble with the update patch, please email me at AlStaff@aol.com

 


6/28/01

GameMaker  - While working on several games made in GameMaker (yes, I have at least 2 GameMaker games in the works. More news on these coming soon), I've realized that the script parser could use a lot of work. Over the next week or 2, I'll be attempting to fix problems adding string variables together and fixing other limitations.

 

BASIC Programming Page - I added 2 new samples for FutureBASIC. These should work in FB 1, FB 2, and FB 3. You can download these from the BASIC page.

 


6/23/01

GameMaker - I just released v3.2.1. This update should fix all the bugs in v3.2, plus it has improved Appearance Manager support, and has new CAUTIONALERT, NOTEALERT, and STOPALERT commands.

A new GameMaker demo has also been uploaded for anyone else who wants to try it out.

 


6/19/01

GameMaker - Here are the bugs in the release version.

Other notes:

The enhancements for the REPEAT command mentioned on 04/17/2001 in this news did not make it into the release version. After extensive testing, it turned out to be rather buggy and clunky, so I removed it. I will instead work on a REPEAT UNTIL variation of the command which will hopefully be much better.

A new GameMaker demo version should be available in a few days for those of you non registered users. I'll probably release the demo at the same time I release v3.2.1 which will fix the bugs mentioned above.

I already added some Appearance improvements for the next version. Dialog windows will look a little nicer with white edit fields instead of the gray ones that were the same color as the background and there's a focus ring around the active edit field. I think look ing a lot more like a modern Mac application, no longer stuck with that System 7 ish look. Yay!

 


6/18/01

GameMaker - Updated to v3.2. This is the first version to require a PowerPC Mac. GameMaker scripts run 25% to 80% faster, send AppleEvents to other applications, simple file handling with FILEIO commands, and more. Registered users of 3.0 or higher can download the free update patch here.

 

GMOnline - Awesome GameMaker add-on program created by Mike Richardson of Silver Moonlight Productions. This lets you create 2 player games over the internet using GameMaker as the game engine. See other GameMaker add-ons and extras at the GameMaker Add-Ons web page.

 


6/14/01

GameMaker PPC

A PPC version of GameMaker is almost ready for general release. I'm currently working on the PPC runtime for compiled games. I had to change a few things because PPC applications store some code in the data fork which would mess up my way of storing GM data.

I added some simple file handling stuff so you can write some variables to a file, launch another GM game app, and read the file, so you'll be able to use variables across several applications, making big games possible.

I added a SETCURSOR command to change the cursor.

It handles AppleEvents so you can send AEs to other applications. For example, you can set the sound volume like this:

' Set sound volume
' Sound level can be any number from 0 to 7. 0 = no sound, 7 = loudest
BEGIN APPLESCRIPT
  tell application "Finder"
    set volume 3
  end tell
END APPLESCRIPT

There's a few bug fixes for string variables.

It has some minimal Drag and Drop support. Drag a sound file over the GameMaker application icon to import it into your game. Drag a pict file (I think it works with gif, jpg, etc too) over the GM application icon and the picture will be put on the current card.

Your GM code runs 25% to 80% faster.

 

GMOnline

This isn't being created by me, but it's a great GameMaker add on that's still in beta. It's created by Mike Richardson of Silver Moonlight Productions. He's also creating several other GM add ons which will be soon be available on the GM Addons web page. GMOnline will let you create multi-player games. This is how JazznAlien@aol.com described it.

"Mike (creator of Whendoes) was able to make a program that sends and receives information over the internet between two (and eventually more) computers. Since GameMaker now supports file writing and reading, he is able to have it write data to a file, send it to another computer with a GameMaker game running, have the game read the file, then write and send data back, etc.

Bottom line, Mike has added online multiplayer support for GameMaker games."

I've been testing a 2 player Tic Tac Toe game using the GMOnline betas with Mike and it looks like the idea is working pretty well, although his Tic Tac Toe game itself still needs work  :o)

 


6/01/01

My Other Web Sites - Check out some of my other web sites I've been working on lately.

GameMaker PPC - Getting further along. I added a SETCURSOR command to change the cursor. This was an often requested feature. I'm also trying to make some of the windows look a little nicer. I'll be including some sample code to change the sound volume and a few other things using the BEGIN APPLESCRIPT command structure. This version hasn't been sent to beta testers yet, but should be very soon.

Al's Coloring Book - I'm planning an update to this with more pictures and a few more features. More news on this coming later.

 


5/13/01

GameMaker PPC - The PPC native version of GameMaker is progressing along with improved support for importing pictures and sounds (drag a picture over the GM icon in the Finder and it will be used as the card picture. Drag a sound over the GM icon in the Finder and it will be placed in the game's list of sounds). You can also send AppleEvents to other applications with BEGIN APPLEEVENT / END APPLEEVENT command structure. I was hoping this would work for all applescript code, but it turns out that you can only send simple appleevents. I may add a some plugin code to be able to put compiled scripts into your games and call them.

GameMaker RPG Game - I haven't been working on this very much lately because I've been busy with GameMaker PPC. I'll try to get an updated version uploaded soon.

 


5/01/01

GameMaker PPC - The PPC version being worked on is definately faster than the current 68K version. The following code on a iMac DV SE 500mhz took 12 seconds in GM 3.1.1 and only 7 seconds in GM PPC.

REPEAT 10000
  X = X + 1
END REPEAT

 

GM Shooter Source Code - I added a GM 3.1 source code sample for a simple shooter game. It uses only one card for all of the scripting (one card script and one click area script in card #2).

 


4/24/01

GameMaker PPC - I have been converting GameMaker from FutureBASIC II 68k source code to FutureBASIC 3 PPC source code. Here's my work log so far.

 


4/17/01

New News Format - I'm changing the format of this news page slightly to give you more info about what's happening and more detailed information about how projects are progressing.

April Fools Joke - The message posted on 4/1/01 was an April Fools joke. We are NOT shutting down! If you don't know that then you obviously didn't go to the page with more info.

BASIC Programming Page - I added FutureBASIC source code for a calculator that works like the old fashioned Apple Desk Accessory calculator.

Hugo Game File Typer - This is a simple application that sets the correct file type for game files made with the Hugo text adventure language. Games made on non Mac systems (Hugo runs on various platforms) will have the wrong file type and won't open in the Hugo interpreter, so you won't be able to play them. Hugo File Typer solves that problem.

GameMaker RPG Game - I've been working on a RPG game made in GameMaker. It's still very early in development, but I uploaded the application I have so far. You can download the current development release here (currently at test release 2). All it really is at this point is a test of the not-yet-finished battle system and an idea of how the game will look. For all the AOL members aho downloaded the first release, this is an updated version. I will try to keep uploading the latest development versions every week or 2 so you can see exactly what I've been working on and how it's progressing.

GameMaker - Things I've added for version 3.2 so far include an improved REPEAT structure that lets you stay in a repeat until a certain action takes place by changing the repeat variable while in the loop. When it reachs the END REPEAT, GM will check the repeat variable (X in the example below) and either end the loop if X is higher than the number of times it should loop or continue looping if X is less than the number of times it should loop. For example, this will stay in the loop as long as a sound is playing by setting X to 0 if the sound hasn't ended.

X = 2
REPEAT X
  IF isSoundPlaying <> 0 THEN
    ' sound is playing so set X to less than 2 so GM thinks it hasn't loopd twice yet.
    X = 0
  ELSE
    ' sound not playing so set X higher than 2 so it stops looping
    X = 3
  END IF
END REPEAT

 


4/1/01

Shutting Down Operations - We have been unable to make enough profit this year to continue updating our software, run this web site, and answer all of the technical support questions that we get, so we will be shutting down this web site very soon. I created a page specifically to answer any questions you may have regarding this issue.

Go to this page for more information before emailing me with questions.


3/15/01

Castlequest - Version 2.0.1 fixes a bug when the player has no cards left to play, adds standard COMMAND key equivalents to the New and Save menus, and improved file handling.

 


3/09/01

My Birthday! - I'm 34 today. Send Happy Birthday email to me here.  :0)

Al's Midi Player - OK, so there's no awesome, new, cutting edge technology in this little download, but it is a midi player that was made in GameMaker, proving that you can make something other than an adventure game with GameMaker.

Other Stuff - I'm thinking of changing the format of this news page to give you more detailed info on what I've been working on and how projects are coming along as well as what I'm doing in some non programming activities.

 


2/26/01

GameMaker - A minor update to v3.1.1 has been released to fix a few screen drawing bugs in compiled games when using REFRESH and PICT commands while movies are playing. You can download the update patch here.

 


2/22/01

GameMaker - If you're still using GameMaker 2.x, a minor update to v2.9.1 has been released to fix possible crashes when using Mac OS 8.6 or newer. You can download it here.

For registered users of GameMaker 3, an update to v3.1 has ben released. It has a few bug fixes, a new POPFIELD command, and can play QuickTime movies without halting game play. You can download the v3.1 update patch here.
 


See Al's News Archives for previous news


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