- May 20, 1999: Development is started on Abraham Lincoln Land, LincolnSoft's first game, after version 0.20 of Mario Improvement 3 is completed, and a two-week break. Development of ALL is estimated to take 6 months. First game development task is drawing the main game graphics.
- June 4, 1999: Main game graphics completed. This includes the artwork for enemies, items, blocks, and Lincoln himself.
- June 14, 1999: After a week break, started work on the 32 tilesets and backgrounds, used for the game environments.
- July 12, 1999: The 32 tilesets and backgrounds were completed. The rest of this week was spent organizing the tiles into actual tilesets, and writing utilities to help with the job.
- July 19, 1999: This whole week I took a break from ALL, and worked on v0.35 of Mario Improvement 3.
- July 26, 1999: Work started on the level editor, using a modified version of the core Mario Improvement 3 display code.
- August 9, 1999: Finished the first major component of the level editor: the object set editor. Work started on designing the object sets.
- August 11, 1999: First object set completed. Took a 5-day vacation to Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.
- August 23, 1999: All object sets are completed, work started on the second major level editor component: the parallax background editor.
- August 31, 1999: The background editor is completed. Over the next few days the first backgrounds were designed. Extended the estimated amount of development time to 8 months.
- September 6, 1999: Work started on the final major component of the level editor: the actual level editor.
- September 14, 1999: The entire level editor program is completed, and the first level designed.
- September 15, 1999: Work on the Abraham Lincoln Land game engine is started.
- September 24, 1999: Basic collision detection finished (blocks, hills, etc.). It's probably still a bit buggy, though. Jumping physics and other basic movement controls are all there, but may need to be tweaked. Plan to restructure development time to increase productivity.
- October 11, 1999: Collision detection for items completed (mostly). There's still a couple of rare, annoying bugs in there. Work started on enemies. Hopefully I'll discover the cause of the stubborn bugs.
- November 5, 1999: I got hardly any anything done the latter half of October, I was kind of burnt out for awhile. During that time I worked on getting this website up. The first part of November has been a different story. I finally have some limited enemies implemented.
- November 11, 1999: During the past three days I entirely rewrote all of the tile collision detection code. Now it is much cleaner and faster, more accurate, and less buggy. All of the rare, stubborn bugs are gone.
- November 18, 1999: All of the enemies except Jefferson Davis have been implemented. I'm surprised at how easy it was to code. This was one of the few tasks on my game that took shorter than I initially thought...
- November 21, 1999: Moving platforms done. I estimate it'll only take a few more days to finish an alpha version with every ingame object implemented.
- November 25, 1999: You can finally beat the first level of Abraham Lincoln Land. Implemented some of the game's leftover miscellaneous objects and a few neat little effects. I wanted to finish coding the main game engine by today, but it'll take a few more days yet. On Thanksgiving I had some of my relatives playtest the game for the first time. :)
- December 1, 1999: Finally, all of the objects that are going to be in the final version of Abraham Lincoln Land are coded into the game! Implemented joystick controls. Now I start making and testing levels for Abraham Lincoln Land - the next huge development step. I'll probably work on a new version of Mario Improvement 3 soon. The game so far has turned out very good. I think that the full game might be completed sometime in February or possibly March 2000. I didn't think it would take this long but I know I'm going to finish it.
- December 11, 1999: World 1 is complete. It took awhile due to some bugs in the game I had to fix and the fact that I needed to make some new backgrounds and mess with the graphics some, but it's done. It also turned out much larger than I thought, it took me more than 5 hours to to get everything in the world when I played through it on Sunday. (And I know where everything is...) If every world is the same length the game might take at least 250 hours to beat!
- January 22, 2000: Worlds 1 through 5 complete. This includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, and California. I'm not sure how long it takes to get through all of them because I haven't tested any of the levels yet. This only constitutes 10% of the game. Now I think it might take until May or June to finish Abe Lincoln Land.
- March 5, 2000: Worlds 6 through 9 complete. This inculdes Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida. Due to some problems and a lack of time it took me longer to finish than expected. I also fixed some small bugs that were left in the game that I discovered later on after I had started designing levels. I'm going to spend the next month and a half getting at least a completely playable demo of the game done (with music and everything) so I can show it off at a conference. I also want to get another version of MI3 done but unfortunately I don't know if I'll have time... I'll have to see.
- March 26, 2000: I have composed 6 tracks of Abarham Lincoln Land's music. I think it turned out pretty good so I uploaded some of them. Tell me what you think. I've also fixed most of the known bugs in the game and added the first world map screen.
- April 2, 2000: 9 tracks of ALL's music completed. I've also implemented music in the game and fixed more bugs. As far as I know the game is mostly bug free now. I'm starting to get close to completing a completely playable version of ALL with the first world, although things such as animation and the title screen still need to be implemented. I only have 9 more days to do this...
- April 9, 2000: 12 tracks of Abraham Lincoln Land's music completed. I think I might have 36 (or more) music tracks in Abraham Lincoln Land instead of just 16. More bug fixes, some animations complete. Only 3 more days left to complete the demo version. I hope I can get it done in time (it's going to be close).
- April 16, 2000: Added title screen and some of the menu screens. I didn't get everything finished by April 13, but at least I got most of it finished. I'm probably going to work on a new version of MI3 this week anyway, and then finish the demo version after that. Then I'll work on finishing the whole game. Also, a lot of people played my game at the conference, and most of them liked it.
- April 30, 2000: I haven't finished the first ALL demo yet. I think I will this week though. Most of the menu and configuration screens are done, and some more animations are done. I hope to have it done on or by May 5 (but I might leave a few little things out that don't really affect much how fun the game is, such as some of the enemy animations. So it'll be more like a 98% or 99% complete demo version than 100%. They'll be in the final version, or a future demo version, of course.)
- May 8, 2000: Damn it's taking forever to finish this. Hopefully only one more week. I still don't have animations or sound effects complete. Although I did add an intro at the beginning of the game to tell the storyline and stuff. Also wrote the title screen music.
- May 15, 2000: I think this might actually be the week I finish the demo version. Everything in it is finished except for animations. I think I'll try to release it on the one year anniversary of when I started (May 20). To think this would only take 6 months originally is a major underestimate. I might be looking at 15 or more total months to complete the entire game.
- May 20, 2000: It's the one year anniversary of starting ALL, and I'm still not done yet! I did get a demo beta version done today. It has everything including animations (but some of those could be improved...) I'll upload it in a few days. I want to redo the entire ALL section of the site and I have to write documentation for the game as well.
- June 5, 2000: Resumed work on ALL after a much needed two week break.
- June 20, 2000: The world map screens for worlds 1 through 10 and all of the levels in world 10 are complete. Now 20% of the levels are finished.
- June 24, 2000: Added a "Level Map Generator" to the level editor, which automatically generates a reduced-size map image of an entire ALL level (or part of one), similar to those found in game magazines and stuff.
- July 9, 2000: Completely tested all levels up to World 4-4. Completed Beta 2, which fixes some crash bugs in ALL Demo Beta 1, and adds a key to bypass the "Level Complete" screen.
- July 30, 2000: All the map screens up to World 11 done, and all the levels up to World 12-4 done.
- August 17, 2000: I just finished the 200th level of ALL (which coincidentally, or maybe not, is Springfield, Illinois). So now the levels are 25% of the way done. I'm taking a vacation until August 27th so I won't be able to work on it anymore until then.
- September 18, 2000: All levels through World 14 (including Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Indiana - worlds 10 through 14) are finished, along with their map screens.
- September 30, 2000: World 15 (Iowa) complete. Because I've finished another block of 5 worlds and another 10% of the game (now 30% of the levels are done), I'm going to spend next week testing out some more of the levels.
- October 7, 2000: I've tested every level up through 4-11, and fixed some new "bugs" in older, previously tested levels caused by changes to the game code. Also fixed a few lingering bugs in the game that I hadn't noticed before.
- December 6, 2000: Finished the 300th level of ALL (Saco-Biddeford, Maine). Levels 37.5% complete (over one third of the way done). Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and most of Maine completed. I estimate I won't get completely done with ALL until sometime next summer, possibly in July or August. I've been spending a bit more time on each individual level than before (and have been doing so for quite awhile), it takes a little longer but the levels turn out better.
- January 2, 2001: Resumed work on ALL after a long Christmas break from work on it (that I probably needed). The past month has been very slow. I've completed Maine and done about half of Maryland.
- January 6, 2001: Completed Maryland, the 20th world of ALL. (Woohoo!) Now the game levels are 40% complete. Hopefully this year will be the year I finish the game (I estimate I might finish it sometime between July and December 2001.)
- January 13, 2001: I tested the levels again this past week, and managed to make it all the way up to level 5-2, San Bernardino, California. Damn some of these levels are getting hard...
- January 20, 2001: This week has probably been the slowest week on ALL thus far, I only was able to complete the first 4 levels of Massachusetts. Hopefully the next week will be better. (P.S. I'm sure a lot of you know what happened in Washington, D.C. today...)
- April 8, 2001: Yeah, I know it's been a long time since I updated last, but it's been a slow winter this year. However, I've finished Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and the first 4 levels of Mississippi. This week I hope to speed up the production of levels on ALL so I can finish it sometime during the fall. I want to try to do one world every week, so this week I'll try to do the rest of Mississippi, and hopefully also some of Missouri. I've got to get going on this. I've also made a Level Completion Timeline page (that will be separate from this page) that I'll update every week with the progress I've made on the ALL levels, so you can see what level I make it to at the end of each week, and how long each state takes to create. Hopefully the level designing will speed up soon.
- August 3, 2001: I'm leaving on vaction for 9 or 10 days to New York City and some of the Lincoln sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. As a result I won't be able to work on the game during this time. So far I've made it up to level 27-10 (in Nebraska).
- August 28, 2001: I've decided to redo the ALL controls and physics to feel more like Mario's, and release a new beta version when this (and any required level design modifications in Alabama) are done. I'm not sure how long it will take, but hopefully after I'm done, ALL's physics will feel a lot more "natural" and less "static" and the game will be more fun to play. Some of the levels may require extensive modifications and retesting after I'm done, so it might take awhile...
- September 11, 2001: Something terrible happened today. Terrorists have smashed airliners into the Pentagon and the two World Trade Center towers (that I just saw about a month and a week ago) and destroyed them, killing possibly thousands of people, who I feel are my fellow Americans, my brothers and sisters, so to speak. Right now I'm depressed because of this terrible tragedy and don't really feel like working on ALL for the moment, and I've been thinking a lot about what a terrible world it is we live in and what Mr. Lincoln would do in this situation. I'll resume working on ALL soon though, as the need for games like this is probably greater now more than ever, and I know I can't let some stupid terrorists conquer Lincoln and Lincoln's morals and ideals, and the things he stood for and fought for. Heck, ALL's storyline includes terrorism, and now I know that things like this aren't just things that happen in movies and game storylines, they're things that can happen in real life as well. This shall be a day I shall remember for the rest of my life...
- October 13, 2001: Completed the revised ALL controls and modified (and retested) all the levels in Alabama to accomodate the new controls (and make sure everything is possible), while at the same time keeping the original spirit of those levels. I think the new ALL controls turned out to be *MUCH* better (and more flexible) than the old ones, and the game and its levels should hopefully be much more fun to play now. All the levels in Alabama, and all of the objectives, are possible to complete. I also changed the storyline (and added more detail to the storyline) and I also added a statement to the readme file about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. I updated the some of the sections of the readme file that needed to be updated and hadn't for a long period of time, and created a readme.htm file to make it easier for you to jump to the part of the file that you want to read. Note that I haven't redone the storyline intro in the game to reflect the new storyline, I just changed it in the readme files. I'll reserve changing the storyline in the game intro for a future version of ALL (which will require not only updating the storyline text but also writing a new piece of music for the intro, so that it stays in sync with the different parts of the storyline). There are a lot of changes in this new version of ALL (a lot more than any previous update to ALL), so make sure to read the Version History section of the readme file to see what I changed. Both the readme.htm and readme.txt files should be included with the new beta version, which I will release soon. I also updated the ALL Level Timeline page to show that only Alabama has been tested, because I'll have to retest all the other levels again as a result of the massive control and physics changes.
- October 29, 2001: Fixed a few "bugs" in the revised controls and made them a little bit better for the release version. Had a friend test the controls last week to see if they were fine. Today I tested all the levels in Alabama once more, just to make sure that everything (all 16 levels, and all of the objectives in each of them) is possible and works OK. In the past two weeks I also fixed some longstanding bugs in the game, and added the rest of the known bugs (total: 4, all very minor bugs) to the readme. I still haven't figured out what exactly causes some of these bugs yet, but I'll release Beta 4.5 anyway and fix them for a future version, since they are all minor bugs that only occur in a few special situations, don't affect the gameplay much (if at all), and/or are so rare that you might not even encounter them. I've already waited over a year to release a new version of ALL anyway.
- December 19, 2001: I'm beginning to work on an "ALL Atlas" that will become the comprehensive, official "players' guide" to Abraham Lincoln Land. I think that for a game that is as large as Abraham Lincoln Land is, it'd probably be a good idea to make one...
- May 10, 2002: Boy, it's been a long time since I updated this, but work on ALL over the winter has gone *very* slowly due to personal problems. I think I'm finally beginning to get back to "normal" with my work on ALL now, though, so hopefilly I can soon start to work on ALL at the same pace as I did in 1999, 2000, and in the early part of 2001. I've decided to refine the ALL controls some more to make them feel even better, and also to add the standard Mario-style move where you can bonk blocks from underneath enemies to defeat them. I'm also going to change all of the 10-book blocks into multi-book blocks.
- May 19, 2002: Redid the Downtown music to ALL to make it sound much more interesting and less repetitive. It still has the same main melody as the original Downtown theme, but it also contains some new instruments as well as additional underlying chord progression to make it sound less repetitive. This version of the Downtown theme (which I refer to as Downtown version 2) will be included in the next beta of ALL, in place of the old Downtown theme. I plan to redo or rewrite most (or all) of the other tracks in ALL to have more variety and less repetition like this sometime in the future, because I'm getting better at MOD tracking, and I believe I can improve significantly on many of the tracks in ALL.
- May 31, 2002: Finished refining the ALL controls and implementing the multi-book blocks and the new Mario-style move (where you can defeat enemies by bonking the blocks below them). I've also fixed some more bugs, and other miscellaneous problems in ALL, and I've replaced the old Downtown theme with the new one. I'm going to release a new beta version of ALL (beta 5.1) soon, once I get all of the levels in Alabama retested again with the refined controls (just to make sure everything in the levels still works the way I intended) and just to make sure there isn't any new bugs related to the changes in this new beta version of ALL. (I discovered some really weird underwater physics problems after redoing the controls and physics in beta 4.5, and I want to make sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen again. These underwater physics problems should be fixed in beta 5.1.) A note on the storyline issue: I haven't replaced the old version of the ALL storyline in the game's intro with the new one in the readme file yet, because it would take about 11-12 minutes for the game to go through the entire new storyline in the game's intro, as opposed to about 2 and a half minutes for the old one. I think 11-12 minutes might be a bit too long for a game intro, so I'll just leave the old, basic one in at the beginning of the game for now and consider other ways of implementing the new, much more detailed storyline into the game. Some ideas I've though of are: (a) having a short storyline interlude between each State that would tell you more of the story, so you learn more as the game progresses, (b) having a "Level Info" option for each level on the pause menu on the map screen, which would bring up a box that would give you a few statistics on the level (population, population density, elevation, etc.) as well as a short history and/or description of the city or area that the level takes place in (and a similar, corresponding "State Info" box for each world), or (c) both of these. I'd like to hear some opinions on this storyline implementation issue, so I can implement ALL's storyline in the best way possible.
- June 10, 2002: Finished testing all of the levels in Alabama with the refined controls, and fixed a couple of level-design problems in Birmingham 1 (level 1-7) and Gadsden-Attalla (level 1-9). I didn't dicover any new bugs related to the changes I made to ALL, so I'm going to release this updated version of ALL as beta 5.1 soon. If you discover any new bugs, though, tell me.
- November 18, 2002: Finished all I could on the ALL Atlas for now (which currently maps out all of Alabama). It gives many tips on each of the levels and lots of interesting information (such as history, population, etc.) on the levels as well. Some of this information might be included in a "level info" box in a future version of ALL. The ALL Atlas is quite comprehensive; it takes up 108 pages so far, and that only includes the 24-page introductory section and the first world (Alabama). I'm hand-writing it in HTML format for portability reasons, and because M$ Word is bloated, buggy, proprietary, promotes the spread of macroviruses and Micro$oft's monopoly, and has a bad user interface. I plan to make a PDF version of the ALL Atlas once it's completed in addition to the HTML version. (The older parts of this site, before I knew HTML, were done using M$ FrontPage Express, and eventually I plan to get around to redoing this site entirely in hand-written HTML to remove all of the bad and messy HTML that M$ FrontPage Express generates.)
- January 20, 2003: Began work on a new beta version of ALL that would fix some of the UI design problems in the game. I've already fixed a lot of longstanding bugs and "features" in ALL since the last beta release, so once I fix these UI design problems (and maybe add a few new features) I'll upload a new beta of ALL. I want to try to get all of this done by Lincoln's Birthday.
- February 9, 2003: Well, I have all of the UI design problems (and a few more bugs) fixed, as well as some new features implemented, but I still have to get the new beta ready for release (update the readme, update the files in the demo beta distribution, test the levels just to make sure I fixed everything, etc.) I'm going to be busy with a lot of things (political activity, conference I'm attending, among other things) from Lincoln's Birthday until mid-April, so I don't know when the new version of ALL will be released. Work might be slow on ALL for the next two months.
- April 9, 2003: The new beta version of ALL (beta 5.6) is finished, but I still have to update the documentation to get it ready for relase. I plan to update a lot of old, outdated sections of the README and add some new ones (like an ALL FAQ), so it might take me more time than it usually does to update the documentation.
- April 19, 2003: Beta 5.6 of ALL is ready for release so I'll upload it soon. In addition to fixing many UI design problems, bugs, and "features" in ALL, it also adds a "Sound Setup" menu, so those of you with odd sound cards or sound card setups can try to get the sound to work in ALL. In addition, a "Cursor Speed" option was added to allow you to control the speed of the aiming cursor, and a "Story" option was added to the "Options" menu to allow you to view the storyline of ALL at any time from the title screen. For the first time, command line switches are also included in ALL, though the ones in this version are mainly intended to help diagnose and/or fix sound or joystick setup problems. More command line switches may be added in the future, however. Of course, if you want to know what has been changed in this version, read the Version History section of the README. In addition, a new ALL FAQ section was added to the README.
- November 15, 2003: I moved to Springfield, Illinois. I won't have an internet connection for a couple of weeks so I won't be able to do anything on the site for that period of time. I'll still be able to work on Abraham Lincoln Land, though.
- December 8, 2003: I'm going to be working on cleaning up the HTML on lincolnsoft.com and redesigning it to be more usable and to be MS-HTML free. Hopefully this won't take too long.
- January 2, 2004: Finished updating the site. I'm going to be working on getting all the bugs and other issues in Abraham Lincoln Land resolved, getting all the features implemented that I can, and porting it to Windows and Linux. I'm not sure how long all this will take (hopefully not too long). The next time I do an ALL beta release maybe I'll have versions available for Windows and Linux. I hope to have the whole game done somewhere in between late 2004 and mid-2005.