Lithium Dream is the developer reponsible for the kind-of-a Superfrog fan remake. The project is purely free to download, purely non-commerical, no money will be made from this project, and no donations will be accepted.

Lithium Dream is the developer reponsible for the kind-of-a Superfrog fan remake. The project is purely free to download, purely non-commerical, no money will be made from this project, and no donations will be accepted.

Done for a long while

January 27, 2009

Here's a copy of the August 2008 version. The game is fully playable and consists of three of the forest levels. It's remained largely untouched since the beginning of 2008 aside from bug fixes.

Download Superfrog August 2008 kind-of-a-fan-clone.

The original intention of this project was to complete funcional Superfrog gameplay - consisting of a few levels, then for some artists to join and help take the art and gameplay in a direction away from Superfrog. However, things didn't work out, and I'm not keen on cloning Superfrog in it's entirety, so the project will stay as-is for the forseeable future.

Thanks for the massive amount of people who have got in touch since the project started back in 2006. I very much appreciate all of your nice emails and helpful descriptions of bugs.


New Video

October 9, 2007

Here's a new gameplay video:



September 12, 2007

As the testers already know, for the last couple of weeks I've had a "complete" version of the Superfrog game. It consists of three of the four forest levels, with proper coin counts, transitions, monsters, and, well, everything. There are a couple of things to tidy up and add - such as a finale animation which says something other than "thank you for testing", and the other stuff I posted below in the "What's been happening.." post. The game runs perfectly on all the testers machines.

As always, if you would like a copy, and I'll send you a download link.

In the last few weeks, I'd been working intensly on building content tools - tools for setting map gradients, getting rid of any animation clipping, placing monsters in the map, and setting monster parameters. It now takes me about two hours to build a complete map, where, before, it'd take me an hour or so of getting the map done, then a few hours haphazardly placing the monsters via coordinates and calculating radius, etc. Now, it's all visual. Nice.

I'd still like somebody to fix up the SFX. Although, it's not too bad the way things are right now. It'd still add a bit of extra polish.

I'm in the middle of deciding whether I should either add a couple more levels, and release as a final version, or add in the final forest level, and release any superfrog stuff in episodic packs. In the near future, I may feel like making maps from another level, perhaps I should simply batch them together and release "Superfrog Remake Forest World" and "Superfrog Remake Castle World", etc packs.


Bugs, wishing I had an ATI graphics card

August 20, 2007

I want to thank the testers for the amazing level of help I've recieved in balancing the app across different hardware, and different locales. I've been able to send off copies of the game to many, many people from around the world. Every time I send the game to be tested, several issues inevitably come up - issues which never occur on any of my home machines. I detailed a bunch on this page, in particular you may like to read the post on Portuguese number formats.

The game is super close to public release. I've spent the last week working intensely, starting with a full code review, and refactoring certain subsystems for more solid/flexable designs.

On the surface, there are now really nice intro screens, death popups, score screens, and other general nice interface stuff. The camera is now attached to the player via spring physics which is a nice effect, the renderer code has had bunch of modificiations, removing a few bottlenecks... among a whole lot of other things. The game just works much better than before.

I do really need normalised sound effects before public release, or perhaps an alternate sound package which I can use - so if anybody knows of suitable equivalents or original rips, please let me know.

I'm not planning on making a full-on superfrog clone at all. The current game is a somewhat-superfrog; this version is basically the same gameplay-wise, and if you haven't played the game in a few years, you may not know the difference. There are currently four levels, I'm probably not going to build more than six. I do not really want to make an actual clone for a few reasons - the predominant ones are: a great version of superfrog already exists which runs on the Amiga emulator, and there is another version which apparantly runs natively - making yet another perfect clone version redunant. In this game, the superfrog stuff is only really placement art for another game I'm planning on building. However, this kind-of-superfrog is fun to play in itself, so it could be a worthy alternative to the original.

For anybody who is keen on completing the remainder of the levels, I'm planning on finishing off the level build docs, as well as releasing a build kit (the levels are basically done with Mappy, I built a helper tool speed the level build process 1000x) so whoever wants can just go ahead and do it.

I've had some people ask if I'm planning on releasing the source code, and yes, I'll release the code eventually. Once I'm done with the superfrog stuff, the project will fork into two. Once the superfrog code goes untouched for a while, I'll make a decision to release it. If a person is motiviated enough to have built the remainder of the levels in a high quality, I'll probably just give the code to that person to do what they want.


What's been happening with the project?

August 05, 2007

The project has been more or less on hold for the last six months. In order for the Superfrog side of the project to be completed, I need a reliable artist (or artists) to create some high quality art work for:

  • A full set of sound effects with normalised volume - this means that the volumes of all the sounds effects are the same, with no clipping, and ready to import. The sound effects packs I've come across so far have been a mish-mash of clipped sounds, oddball volumes, and sounds which simply sound awful.

That's all I can think of right now.

Please, if you're keen to work on the project, show me some kind of portfolio, or sample art. Ideally, link me to a substantial project which you have worked on in the past.

What makes a good indie developer / artist?

Firstly, somebody who has worked on game projects before, and has something to show from their work.

Secondly, somebody with a passion for building game software/art which goes beyond rational levels. There are many times throughout an indie project (i.e. when it's time for the real work) when many developers/artists fall by the wayside for various reasons. It's the developers with a passion bordering on obsession who stick through.

Thirdly, (and the least important of the three) is natural talent. Lots of people have talent, true motivation is rare in the indie world - especially when you don't have a boss, and when you don't get paid for your work.

In my opinion, those are the three qualities which will make me want to work with you. There is not enough coding left to do re:superfrog, however there is lots to do with building levels, and making some art to finish things off. If you match those three traits, please let me know, and I'll be keen to work with you.

Game development not what it seems - re: passion

A lot of people come into game development thinking that it's going to be about playing games all day, and exciting, fast paced work. Really, game development is quite the contrary. Throughout the project lifetime, it can seem that the project is perpetually broken - nothing looks as good as you thought it would, bits of the code hasn't been implemented yet, etc. It's not until the project approaches the end when things really start to come together. A developer/artist needs to have a lot of faith in the team in order to stick to the project.


More monsters added! Sound Effects! Music!

Feb 20th, 2007

Everything now has a sound effect. When you pick up coins, you hear the ka-ching, when you fire the "destructospud" you hear a ribbit. There is music playing throughout the level.

I managed to fix the following problem which I mentioned in a previous post:

One guy says that sometimes when he releases the controls (i.e. is not pressing left or right, etc) the frog keeps moving, and sometimes jumps.

I'm not exactly sure why it happened (none of the 20 other testers had this problem), but now it's all fixed. The dude who had the jitter problem still hasn't replied, but from asking other people about the smoothness of the graphics, it sounds like the problem is only his - his problem could be background programs running; making disk accesses, and being greedy with CPU time.

Superfrog screenshot

Apart from that, all the problems seem to have been resolved. Right now I'm adding in the three other levels, adding in new monsters, all lego block stuff. Once that's done, I'll be making up proper intros and menus for the game, then send it off to the testers to make sure there is no issues, then finally I'll release it up on here.

There is no release date, it'll be done "when it's done";

Shortly, I'll put up a new gameplay video, and a bunch of new screenshots


Final Stretch!

Feb 15th, 2007

Right now, the project is on it's final stretch before release. As always, if you email me via the contact link at the top of the page, I'll send you a link to a test version which you can download and play. There are a couple of issues which I'm trying to iron out right now.

One guy says that sometimes when he releases the controls (i.e. is not pressing left or right, etc) the frog keeps moving, and sometimes jumps. I'm trying to track down exactly why this is happening for him, and since he does not even live in the same country as me, this is having to be sorted via time-consuming email - there is no way I can just look and go "oh ok. that's it"

Superfrog screenshot

Another person says he notices a graphical jitter. This should be all fixed by now, it's possible that the jitter is caused by a background app running on his machine, causing windows to de-prioritize the game. Unfortunately, he's not in the country either, and takes an extremely long time (days) to reply to messages.

So, I'm working on resolving these two core issues before release.


Scoring, Monster Death Added!

Feb 05th, 2007

Over the last week, I've added scoring to the Superfrog fan remake - there is a statusbar up the top of the screen with indicators for lives left, health left, total score, etc.

I also added monster deaths to the Superfrog remake, you can fire the "destructospud" at monsters (i.e. bees, blue blobs, etc) and they disappear in a puff of sparkles. Right now, they disappear in a puff of sparkles when you jump on their heads also (unlike the original Superfrog, where they'd flatten out, then just disappear on the second pounce) - I might set it up so it's the same as the original Superfrog, but for now, a sparkly evaporation is all good.

Superfrog screenshot

The functionality is all there, although I'm still tweaking the look of the statusbar, spud, and sparkle animation. Once this is done, and the rest of the monsters are added, the level 1 demo should be all ready to be uploaded.

The completion date of the level 1 demo is still "when it's done", however, if you really want to play the current test version, drop me (Matt Button) an email on the contact link at the top of the page, I'll link you to a version of this Superfrog fan remake.


Superfrog Gameplay Video!

Jan 27th, 2007

Here's a gameplay demo of level 1 of the game. Uploading the video to youtube seems to have borked the picture quality of the video - still, you can get an idea of the gameplay by watching this. There is no sound, btw, so no need to turn your volume up.


Last Minute Fixes!

Jan 26th, 2007

Bugs always come up unexpectedly in game development. I have two computers, and about 15 people testing the game. When I make a release, the game will work great on my two machines, and great for 13 of those 15, but more often than not, about two (and usually a different two) each time have certain issues - such as a bit of jitteryness in the animations, the player moving way too fast - just surface problems.

Bugs such as these end up extending the development time of this project by anywhere from an hour, to a week. One bug which took nearly a week to solve was the one where one of the testers was having the player move about ten times faster than it should have. Dividing the player velocities by ten solved this problem for him, and caused the player to move at normal speed. This was extremely odd, since the other 14 testers were reporting that the player speed was fine.

I thought it was something to do with the math in my game, perhaps numerical precision problems accumulating into weirdness or something (I'll save you all the nerd-core details), I overhauled the physics system, implementing fixed timestep physics, switched to a different method to calculate velocity, acceleration, etc, yet to no avail. The problem was exactly the same for him. I spent tons of time going over the logic of my code, etc.

Then a few days ago, I was looking over the dxdiag report he sent me, looking at his machine specs, I noticed he had "Regional Setting: Portuguese". I started wondering whether it was something to do with the fact that he was living in a country where English was not the native language (this was a last resort, this had never occured to me since he writes perfect English) I searched for something along the lines of "Portuguese numerical conventions" and found something very interesting.

It turns out that in Portugal, their number formats are different. Portuguese convention uses commas where we use a decimal point, and decimal points where we use commas, so, in Portugal "400,0" is "400.0" in the US. That means that in Portugal "400.0" is "4000" in the US. This explains why movement of the player was ten times what it should be. The game was reading in "400.0" and, since Portuguese regional setting had been set, the game was treating it as "4000" - ten times what it should be.

The bug is fixed by forcing a US locale when reading in the values - however, I had no idea that different countries had such different numerical conventions until last week. Totally unexpected. I'd been looking for all the complex reasons for the problem to come up, when the real fix ended up taking only about two minutes.


Even closer, fixes

Jan 21, 2007

A couple of the testers had some physics weirdness, after a few fixes of the physics system, things are working properly. I also I slowed down the frog (before, it was fast - because I like fast for testing! :P) so, now, speed wise, this superfrog remake is basically like the original Superfrog - movement has a slightly different feel, since I wasn't all that happy with the old movement scheme in the original.

Monsters are now fully implemented, and look great. When the bees see you, they start following you.. If they touch you uh oh.

Superfrog screenshot

The tech-demo I will put up in a few days will be a single level demo - just to test that there is no gameplay weirdness before I upload a full 5-level-or-so game.


Public Demo Nearing Completion

Jan 9, 2007

The initial beta demo is nearing completion. Almost all the functionality of the forest world is complete, and once monsters have been fully implemented, I'll have a demo up for download.

Superfrog screenshot

The goal of this project is to create a really-good 3-4 level demo which I can show to potential employers, after that is done, I'll think of the direction I want to take the project in.

Right now I'm using art from an old video game called Superfrog - which existed in the days of the Amiga. When I first started my project, I looked around for some nice art so that I wouldn't have to draw my own, and I came across the superfrog sprite sheets hosted on Dream17, which inspired me to create the initial version of my purely non-commercial Superfrog fan remake in the style of Superfrog.

I have a couple of people in mind who are excellent artists - who also happen to be keen on game development. If things go ahead as planned, the game will become a collaboration, and will switch away from Team17 owned IP, and become an original game.