February 2006


As you may have guessed I have taken a break from programming after releasing NPG 1.51. The last days I mainly spent with promoting it, and especially the posting of it as an Image-of-the-day over at gamedev.net has gotten me much feedback and almost 3000 downloads in a very short amount of time. Mostly the feedback has been positive (and constructive) and it seems to have only problems on very few machines (2 people informed me about frequent crashes), so I’d call it a successfull launch.

As for “what comes after NPG” : I don’t have any definitive plans. There are two different ideas in my head (both games) which I may implement at some point, but right now they’re in pre-planing and I only tested some of those ideas within the NewtonPlayGround. They both focus around vehicles, and for one idea I already made a working prototype last year (click here for a top-secret screenshot), but NGD’s vehicle container wasn’t well suited for that kind of game back then. I’ll keep you updated on th is here on my blog.

And now to something totally different : In terms of music I usually prefer the more unknown underground styles of Metal (mostly Black Metal and even some dark noise), but one band I somehow can’t resist is Eläkeläiset. So I bought their new album called “Humppasirkus“, and as usual they cover more known songs (from e.g. Children of Bodom, Nightwish, but also some pop artist) and make funny finish humppa-versions out of them with silly (mainly focused on drinking) finish lyrics. This is so genius, that you’d have to listen to them by yourself, words can’t describe it.

NewtonPlayGround 1.51

As already announced I worked on fixing bugs and problems that users (mostly the users over at the newton boards, so kudos to them) discovered in release 1.5 of the NewtonPlayGround. Sadly there were more bugs and problems than I suspected, but none of them was very serious.

So I now (hopefully) present you release 1.51 of the NewtonPlayGround, which can be obtained here. It also includes a new feature, namely dampers, for slider and hinge joints. This allows you to e.g. create complex suspensions like the one below (which is included in the download of 1.51) :

The day(s) after

The launch of NewtonPlayGround turned out to be more or less smooth. Though the people that downloaded it already found some bugs, none of them were real showstoppers (which are actually a coders nightmare). Up until now there have been 8 bugs/problems reported, with none of them being something really serious and so I already fixed all those bugs and found two more by myself (also just really small ones).

So though the NewtonPlayGround is a real complex piece of software, and one user already made a very complex buggy, there have been much less problems/bugs than I feared when releasing it.

The bugfixed version (called 1.51) is already finished and will be uploaded within the next few days, cause I still want to wait and see if more bugs or problems pop up so that I can fix them. After that bugfix release, it should be stable to use for even bigger stuff.

And although I haven’t promoted it too much (I’ll do more promotion after the bugfix release. I just don’t wanted to watch half a dozen forums/pages for bugreports) it already generated almost 2 GBytes of traffic since it’s release. So maybe this will be my most successfull piece of software up-to-date!

P.S. : If you have any feedback to leave, go to the official thread on the newton forums. You can also see what some users are doing with NPG in that thread.