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Cyna Games > News archives
Two decades to posterity
February 15, 2017, 18:40:52
I last posted here ten years ago, to celebrate Kyodai Mahjongg's tenth anniversary. I didn't know, at the time, that I would never release another version of the game. And yet...
It's hard to imagine that 20 years after its release, the website is still here, and I'm here to celebrate again.
I stopped development for a simple, good reason: burn-out. I'd spent a couple years working on useless details of KMJ instead of adding a story mode like every game does these days. (I had a really interesting story ready to use, too.)
Then I soon lost my PC and with it, my development environment, and it was too complicated to reinstall properly. I might be able to recompile the game one day, but I'm not placing any bets on it. I'd still like to put that story to words. Maybe I'll do a new KMJ from scratch. I don't know. And I'll get rid of that terrible Comic Sans MS font that hurts my eyes each time I point my eyes at the 'Hall of Fame'.
The fact is, Kyodai is still as wonderful as it was 20 years ago. It was the best of its kind (and probably still is), sold decently online and very well in retail (under the name 'Mahjongg Master'
, it won Shareware Industry Awards two years in a row, was a precursor of the indie scene, inspired dozens of clones, and its soundtrack is just as timeless today as it was at the time. Miguel Samiez, once a simple neighbor who 'owed me one' for stealing a Final Fantasy CD before I tracked it down to him a year later (true story!), became a good friend and I became a fan. He wrote songs for me as his way to apologize, and it made him realize he wanted to be a musician. His later albums have all been fantastic. And finally, the KMJ community is still alive, I'm friends with many players on Facebook. They still play the game to this day. Even my mother-in-law has been playing it every day for years.
To thousands of people, Kyodai has to been them what Spider Solitaire is to me: the go-to game to launch for a quick minu...hour...evening when you want to clear your mind. I'm just happy I can be part of your lives.
I really have no reason to complain. After a few years of putting it aside, I started selling Kyodai again last year as a way for fans to support me (and my happy offspring), and I still sell a couple copies a week, so it's nice to know you all still care about it. For many years, I simply didn't realize. I missed out. Now I'll never forget.
Here's to another few decades of happy matching!
A decade of striving for perfection
February 25, 2007, 21:54:41
On February 24th, 1997, a friend of mine told me she was addicted to Taipei. I felt that game just didn't cut the mustard, so I told her I could program something better in less than a week. It took me 4 days to make a working prototype
, and just a week to release a first playable version on March 1st. Kyodai Mahjongg was born.
And it never died. There is nothing more comforting for me than looking back over the last 10 years and realize how much I've been able to achieve in my quest for the perfect Mahjongg Solitaire game. And what can you improve in a game that is already perfect? Not much. A huge community loves it just like it is.
Share your ideas with us!
(And stop with the smilies, Nao!
New release: Kyodai Mahjongg 2006 1.42
September 05, 2006, 22:52:13
At last, a new update! A lot has happened in the Kyodai community these last few months. Now if I can find some time to post an actual summary of everything that's going on... Keep coming back to the website
For starters, here's a quick list of the main new features in v2006 1.42. For a full list of improvements, install this new version and check out the help files!
- [New] Faster and improved startup sequence.
- [New] The "No more moves" event now triggers a (much requested!) sound effect.
- [New] Now, all winnable Solitaire games have a game seed attributed to them, allowing you to replay them if you enter the hall of fame (see "Replay" button).
- [New] Improved texturing for tile faces and borders. Cleaned up the menu options.
- [New] Added support for more skybox environments. Skyboxes also work on a larger array of video cards now.
- [Fix] Fixed lots of minor bugs.
Enfin, une mise à jour ! Il s'est passé beaucoup de choses dans le monde de Kyodai Mahjongg ces derniers mois. Il ne me reste plus qu'à trouver un peu de temps pour vous en parler... Merci de repasser de temps en temps
Pour commencer, voici une liste rapide des nouveautés de la version 2006 1.42. Pour la liste complète des nouveautés (en anglais), c'est dans les fichiers d'aide du jeu !
- Lancement du jeu plus rapide et plus esthétique.
- La mention "Plus de coups disponibles" est désormais accompagné d'un effet sonore réclamé à corps et à cris depuis des années
- Désormais, tous les jeux de Solitaire potentiellement "gagnants" sont accompagnés d'un numéro de jeu, qui vous permettra d'y rejouer si vous faites un des meilleurs scores, de manière à l'améliorer encore.
- Pas mal d'améliorations sur le système des textures pour les tiles (devant et côtés). J'ai également dépoussiéré quelque peu la section du menu concernant tout cela.
- Ajout du support pour d'autres skyboxes. Ces derniers devraient de plus être utilisables sur la plupart des cartes vidéo maintenant.
- Enfin, comme à mon habitude, j'ai corrigé une pléthore de bugs mineurs. Vous savez, le genre de truc qu'on ne remarque que des années après leur arrivée. Mais qui ne sont pas les bienvenus pour autant !
New release: Kyodai Mahjongg 2006 1.21
May 03, 2006, 12:03:41
- [Language] Updated translations: German, Italian.
- [New] The bump mapping effect is now controlled by the eye position instead of a light moving on a circle. Now it's actually playable. Should have done this since day one!
- [Fix] On first launch, the window is now set accordingly to your desktop size and taskbar position.
- [Fix] Added a workaround in the Troubleshooting help file to fix KMJ not working on non-administrator accounts on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
New release: Kyodai Mahjongg 2006 1.2
March 01, 2006, 23:42:16
- [Tileset] Replaced original Ancient tileset with a sharpened, crisper version which works quite well.
- [New] Finally!! Added Realistic Stones support for all mini-games.
- [New] Rewrote the window system to get rid of the "Play in a window" mode. Now you can switch naturally between windowed and maximized modes by double-clicking on the caption or clicking on the Maximize icon, and you can hide the taskbar in maximized mode by unchecking "Show Taskbar" in the View menu.
- [New] By popular demand, removed limitations to tile-removals in the layout editor, allowing for the creation of "floater layouts", where some tiles have no other tile behind them.
- [New] Replaced the Menus.rtf help file with a very helpful tooltip system that triggers when staying still on a menu item for one second. Every single menu entry is documented.
- [New] Added support for mip-mapping on tilesets. Just enable this feature in the 3D > Special effects menu and the textures will be smoother when the board is zoomed out.
- [New] Capped framerate to 200 FPS in CPU Idle timer mode, which is more than ever needed, and avoids overheating your video card and CPU.
- [New] Updated the expanded layout selector's preview window to use the multicolor tiles.
- [New] Added a few more function key shortcuts. Check out the Miscellaneous help file for the complete list.
- [Fix] Changed (again) the "Free pairs" term to "Free moves", since it didn't apply to all mini-games...
- [Fix] Forced animation type to Ghost in Rivers game to avoid issues with other animation types and when animations are disabled.
- [Fix] Fixed several bugs in the Backgrounds/Tilesets/Stonesets selector. e.g, access violation in the stoneset selector, and it was impossible to select the first tileset from inside the tileset selector.
- [Fix] Fixed "Reset Scores" option which was broken in v2006 1.0.
- [Fix] Fixed a bug that would use 100% of your CPU's resources when showing a dialog box.
- [Fix] Fixed a potential access violation when quitting the program with a dialog box still showing.
- [Fix] Fixed a potential freeze when resizing windows on machines with an NVidia video card.
- [Fix] Fixed broken cube-mapped environment mapping option.
- [Fix] Fixed glitchy soft shadows in 2D mode with Realistic Tiles enabled.
- [Fix] Fixed another glitch in soft shadows in 2D and 3D modes when resizing the window.
- [Fix] Fixed non-working colored layers in 2D mode when switching from Realistic Tiles to Simple Cubes.
- [Fix] Re-implemented status text scrolling, after complaints that the "No more moves" mention was no longer easily noticeable.
- [Fix] Fixed graphic glitches when using 2D mode with Textured interface disabled.
- [Fix] In v2006 1.0, when the Hallfame.ini wasn't found, the program would use the one from an earlier version, without copying it to its own directory. Now it does.
- [Fix] Finished optimizing the Hallfame.ini file. Empty entries are now completely discarded, even inside a layout which has valid entries.
- [Fix] Fixed invisible fireworks on some configurations.
- [Fix] As with every release, many quick fixes and improvements I was too lazy to report here.
New release: Kyodai Mahjongg 2006 1.0
January 07, 2006, 21:54:42
- [Music] There's now a total of 25 minutes of CD-quality music in Kyodai Mahjongg! (See below for details)
- [New] Implemented soft shadows (shadows with smoothed borders), at absolutely no CPU time cost.
- [New] Platform mode now offers a more interesting view: transparent glass effect with full board reflection.
- [New] The platform's frame now has rounded borders for a more realistic effect.
- [New] The layout selector's layout preview window now shows different layers in fading colors, in order to look like kyodai.com's preview system.
- [New] Now, on Solitaire and Rivers games, the time counter will only start after your first click. This is in order to encourage users to develop a strategy prior to removing tiles.
- [New] The dialog box animations are now a little more noticeable.
- [New] Added a new Contemplation mode (Slowest), enabled by default.
- [New] Changed "Tileset" menu to "Tiles", moved "Small Tiles" menu to top level, and renamed "Small Tiles" to "Stones" for better clarity. Games that use "Stones" instead of "Tiles" are Clicks, Slider, Hashira and Kumika.
- [New] Finally implemented Rivers tile removal animation the way I always envisioned it, with a line representing the link between the tiles.
- [New] Updated program icon and installer to something more... modern. The installer now works in your default language, too.
- [New] While I was at it, I replaced the toolbar icons with a new icon set, "Nuvola" by David Ignoni. Also used a couple of Windows XP icons for the Start menu group.
- [New] You can enable and disable "Large icons" for the toolbar in the View > Toolbar type menu.
- [New] The player's name is now set by default to your Windows account's name instead of "Player1".
- [New] The layout selector now offers a Difficulty rating for every layout. This is only an estimation based on the free tiles/total tiles ratio, and won't work for all types of layouts.
- [New] 3D engine converted to DirectX 8.1.
- [Language] Updated translations : Italian, Norwegian. Added incomplete translation to Arabic by Awadh. Work in progress. I also updated the Japanese translation by myself, only for the main onscreen text.
- [Skin] Added "Classic" skin, taken from the website's sidebar background used in early 2005.
- [Skin] New default skin: "Smooth", a gradient maroon seamless tile made by the author, which renders nicely in the menu and window system.
- [Tileset] Added the beautiful "Gargoyles" by 'Ren, which was omitted from v20.00 by mistake.
- [Fix] Fixed support for complex character sets such as Arabic, Japanese, Greek, etc. Fixed 16 language files that didn't have the right charset.
- [Fix] From now on, when changing the Direct3D device crashes the game (happens to me only in fullscreen mode), the program won't freeze, it just will quit immediately. Just restart the game and it should run fine again. If it doesn't, launch it using the "Reset options" shortcut.
- [Fix] Fixed "Set Font" feature which didn't work any longer.
- [Fix] Improved selection dialog box's layout.
- [Fix] Fixed a bug in the Music menu when selecting a theme with no music attached.
- [Fix] Texts in the help files are now anti-aliased when anti-aliasing is enabled on Windows.
- [Fix] Improved down arrow key handling in Hashira.
- [Fix] Fixed various glitches in the layout editor.
- [Fix] Fixed "squeek" sound when starting a Clicks game.
- [Fix] Fixed a showstopper in the layout editor when cancelling a "Save as" action.
- [Fix] Fixed a problem with Ogg songs and the Random Music feature.
- [Fix] Finally fixed that "Musics" subdirectory to be correctly spelled as "Music".
- [Fix] Disabling the "Play in a window" option will no longer make the caption bar go away.
- [Fix] Removed ability to add song files to themes, for esthetic reasons. Just use the Music menu to switch between songs...
- [Fix] Fixed another of these long-lived bugs: Hashira tiles getting stuck in the frame when the computer is too slow.
- [Fix] Follow-up to v19.75's Random Music issue: figured out an undocumented way to include MOD songs in the Random Music process.
- [Fix] Particle animation disabled for Ghost animation type, for Feng Shui reasons or something like that.
- [Fix] Fixed interoperability between the "Show Numerals and Letters" and "Large Numeral and Letters" options.
- [Fix] Fixed a bug from v20.00 public beta 1 where the program would sometime crash at startup with a "JPEG error #42" message.
- [Fix] Added an entry in the troubleshooting guide about the "Set Volume" feature not working on some configurations.
- [Fix] It's not so important, but now the hall of fame file (Hallfame.ini) will only record the actual best scores instead of dozens of empty rows for each and every layout.
- [Fix] Fixed a vertex list unlocking bug that may have been the cause of ingame crashes on some video cards.
- [Fix] Removed "Rotate" option from the Contemplation Mode menu to clean up some code (I don't believe anyone ever used it anyway).
- [Fix] The English and French help files have been fully revised. Hopefully you won't find any obsolete information in them.
- [Fix] As always, lots and lots of other little things...
- [Music] Added a great new CD-quality OGG song: Emerald, by my friend Miguel Samiez, taken from his album Bluescape Limited bonus CD. Sweet dreams!
- [Music] [Only in the full download of KMJ] Added another OGG song: Fusion, by Miguel Samiez. It's a mix between Endless, Fairy Tale and The Sad Song, taken straight from the Kyodai Mahjongg soundtrack album.
- [Music] [Only in the full download of KMJ] Added another OGG song: We are like Crystal, by Miguel Samiez. A very moving song with a melody you'll never forget. Taken from the Bluescape album.
- [Music] [Only in the full download of KMJ] Added another OGG song: Rain Dust, by Miguel Samiez, in its short version. One of Miguel's finest earlier KMJ works, now in CD quality. Taken from the Bluescape Limited bonus CD.
- [Music] [Only in the full download of KMJ] Added another OGG song: Ice Palace, by Miguel Samiez.
- [Music] "Congo Nights" comes back to KMJ after years of absence.
December 23, 2005, 12:52:32
Merry Christmas everyone! I've been working like crazy for the last two months on KMJ's new version. It's now finished and being tested thoroughly by our registered users on the forum. So far they love it! It should be released by December 31, and will offer a few very nice surprises for you.
Miguel, my composer, is dropped by a few minutes in Paris and I was able to meet him to discuss our future collaborations and listen to his current work --and just plain see an old friend of mine I can't see as often as I'd like! Meanwhile, you'd better check out as soon as possible his new album, BlueScape (http://www.tripmusic.net/miguelsamiez/music/
), which is a pure masterpiece for all instrumental music lovers.
Sorry for the server downtime a few days ago. It was due to a power shortage in the datacenter the website is hosted in, and shouldn't reoccur in the foreseeable future. Well, y'never know, with computers and stuff. Eheh.
See you --and see the new version-- next week!
(French) Bonjour à tous et joyeux Noël !
Je travaille comme un damné depuis début novembre pour terminer la nouvelle version de KMJ avant le 31 décembre (cette fois c'est la bonne). J'ai déjà publié deux ou trois versions bêta sur le forum réservé aux utilisateurs enregistrés, et ils en sont tous enchantés. Suggestion pour Noël : un KMJ acheté maintenant, c'est un KMJ gratuit pour la vie... Y compris la version qui sortira dans les prochains jours ! Ahem, assez pour le marketing. La nouvelle version ne sera pas numérotée 20.00, parce qu'il y a quelques changements au programme.
Je viens de retrouver Miguel qui faisait un saut rapide à Paris, et nous avons pu discuter de nos futures collaborations (motus !), et j'ai surtout avoir le plaisir de retrouver un vieil ami que je n'ai plus tellement d'occasions de voir depuis nos deux déménagements (nous étions à quelques kilomètres l'un de l'autre dans le nord, maintenant je suis à Paris et lui en Suisse). En attendant, vous pouvez vous précipiter sur son nouvel album, BlueScape (http://www.tripmusic.net/miguelsamiez/music/
), qui est une merveille pour les amateurs de musique instrumentale.
Désolé pour la panne serveur qui a eu lieu il y a quelques jours. Le site a été inaccessible pendant près d'une journée suite à de gros soucis d'alimentation dans la salle serveur où il est hébergé. Cela ne devrait normalement plus se reproduire.
A la semaine prochaine pour la sortie de la nouvelle version !
Ten million days later...
November 08, 2005, 10:52:44
Hi there! This is the longest time I spent without posting on the main page, but I still managed to post two thousand messages this year on the registered users forum. It's grown into a damn fine community that I'm really proud of. The homepage received its 10-millionth visitor a few hours ago! That's a long way from our first million visits, in early 2000. So what's up about KMJ? Oooh, it's starting to smell like vaporware isn't it? Don't worry, I'm still working on it, now targeting a Christmas release for the next version, while v20.00 beta 3 was made available to registered users last summer.
Since then, I've mostly been working on the website itself, improving the forum, the design and the upload system. I've recently added support for (multiple) categories, which were much needed to allow for easier sorting of the hundreds of backgrounds, tilesets and layouts that have been uploaded so far. There's a lot yet to come. Maybe even a port of a certain software for a certain other kind of Windows operating system...
The rest of my time has been used up by a bit less geekiness and much, much more real life than usual. Things are looking good on this side and I'm glad to say that if I haven't been around here much lately, it's because I'm out there, busy with... happiness. But fear not, as I'm back in the saddle and ready to kick butt
(French) Bonjour Ă vous... J'ai encore battu mon record de silence ici, mais j'ai tout de mĂŞme postĂ© 2000 messages sur le forum des utilisateurs enregistrĂ©s depuis janvier ! C'est devenu une belle communautĂ© (principalement anglophone) dont je suis trĂ¨s fier. La page d'accueil du site a reĂ§u sa dix millionniĂ¨me visite cette nuit. On est loin du "petit" cap du million de visiteurs de dĂ©but 2000 ! A part Ă§a, quoi de neuf sur KMJ ? Il est toujours en dĂ©veloppement, je prĂ©vois maintenant une sortie pour NoĂ«l. La beta 3 a Ă©tĂ© bien accueillie par les utilisateurs enregistrĂ©s sur le forum l'Ă©tĂ© dernier.
Ces derniers temps j'ai surtout travaillĂ© sur l'amĂ©lioration du site : design, forum, tĂ©lĂ©chargements... RĂ©cemment j'ai ajoutĂ© le support des catĂ©gories multiples, pour permettre un classement aisĂ© et une navigation plus rapide dans les centaines de fichiers disponibles dans la section du site rĂ©servĂ©e aux utilisateurs enregistrĂ©s. En travaux Ă©galement, un portage d'un certain jeu sous un autre systĂ¨me Windows...
Le reste de mon temps se partage entre un peu moins de geek-attitude et un peu plus de "vie rĂ©elle". En gros, si vous ne me voyez pas dans les environs, c'est sans doute que je suis ailleurs en train de profiter de la vie. Mais ne vous inquiĂ©tez pas, je serai de retour bien assez tĂ´t et je peux encore botter des fesses de programmeur, mĂŞme Ă mon Ă˘ge avancĂ© !
Beta 2 on its way...
April 25, 2005, 00:58:51
Okay, we'll all have to get used to it: I can't post news more than once a month. Since last time, I gave up work on KMJ for several weeks, because I was completely stuck with a show-stopper bug. I finally resumed work and made a few tests, which led me to finally fix the bug in question. Phew!
So I'm confident enough to release a private beta of KMJ--the first new version in over a year! It's now available to all registered users on this page
. Don't hesitate to comment on it and participate! The file is 6mb and it's got a lot of goodies for those who were desperate to see a new version!
If everything goes well, I might be able to release a public beta version for you to enjoy the new features as well.
(French) Bon, ben va falloir s'y faire je crois : je ne peux pas poster de news plus d'une fois par mois... Depuis la derniĂ¨re fois j'ai un peu lĂ˘chĂ© mon travail, un peu anĂ©anti par un bug pĂ©nible qui empĂŞchait de lancer le jeu au premier dĂ©marrage. J'ai fini par me remettre au travail et, Ă force de persĂ©vĂ©rance, Ă corriger ce satanĂ© bug.
Du coup, mon moral s'amĂ©liore et j'ai enfin pu prendre sur moi pour lancer une deuxiĂ¨me beta de la v20, privĂ©e cette fois. Pour l'obtenir, il faut ĂŞtre enregistrĂ© sur le site, et aller sur cette page
. N'hĂ©sitez pas Ă commenter ! Le fichier pĂ¨se 6mo et propose pas mal de petits ajouts sympa pour ceux qui Ă©taient impatients d'avoir enfin un peu de neuf. Si tout se dĂ©roule bien, je pourrai mĂŞme envisager une sortie publique de cette version beta. Croisons les doigts !
So, what's up?
March 06, 2005, 21:33:53
Hmm, it's been a month and a half without any news... Sorry about this, I was pretty sure it'd be easier for me to post often with this new system. Turns out I was wrong. I did, however, resume work on KMJ at a slow pace, which is a great deal to me since I spent most of 2004 working on other projects.
Here are a few of the changes:
- Two surprise improvements in the graphics... These are major things that really help KMJ look even better than before. If you're on the registered users forum, then you already got screenshots and I think you all agree
- The layout selector's layout preview window now shows different layers in fading colors, in order to look like kyodai.com's preview system.
- Now, on Solitaire and Rivers games, the time counter will only start after your first click. This is in order to encourage users to develop a strategy prior to removing tiles. This is an idea I got last year but was too lazy enough to integrate. Surprisingly, some people on the forum suggested this, and I told them it was already in my to-do-list. So I finally did it
- The dialog box animations are now a little more noticeable.
- Fixed a vertex list unlocking bug that may have been the cause of ingame crashes on some video cards (most likely when clicking on a pair of tiles).
Unfortunately, there are two bugs that I'm not sure are already in v20.00b1, and am unable to fix in the current beta (which is why I'm not releasing it yet for public testing):
- KMJ freezes from time to time when quitting. I managed to narrow it down to a thread that wouldn't let it go, but couldn't figure out which thread, and why this can't be reproduced while debugging the game...
- KMJ says "reference device will be used" at startup and ends up awfully slow (I hate the ref device). Strangely, this has happened even to me. Just quitting the game, modifying the INI file to use another device and relaunching KMJ will fix the problem, but I need to find out how I can prevent the problem from happening in the first place.
Apart from that, the forum has been very lively. 165 threads, 1260 users and over 1800 posts: that's more than I could ever hope for a board that is only two months old! The file uploads are also quite interesting: nearly 70 tilesets, 30 small tilesets, 50 backgrounds and 90 layouts have been posted! I'm also quite active there, as I'm responsible for about a third of the messages. As you can see, the fact that I'm away from the official news posts doesn't mean I'm not around!
(French) Hmm, dĂ©jĂ un mois et demi sans nouvelles... DĂ©solĂ© ! Je pensais que Ă§a serait plus facile pour moi de mettre les news Ă jour avec le nouveau systĂ¨me, mais visiblement c'est surtout dĂ» Ă ma paresse lĂ©gendaire (ou au fait que je sois trĂ¨s occupĂ© ailleurs, si vous prĂ©fĂ©rez). J'ai toutefois repris le travail sur le jeu, et c'est important pour moi puisque j'avais passĂ© la majoritĂ© de l'annĂ©e derniĂ¨re Ă travailler sur d'autres projets. Les nouveautĂ©s ajoutĂ©es Ă ce jour sont d'ordre graphique (deux trĂ¨s belles amĂ©liorations du visuel qui ont dĂ©jĂ fait le tour du forum), mais aussi au niveau du gameplay. Plus d'informations dans la version anglaise de cette news... Oui, dĂ©solĂ©, je n'ai pas le temps de la traduire en entier...
A part Ă§a, le forum est toujours aussi actif depuis sa crĂ©ation il y a deux mois, avec plus de 1200 utilisateurs, 1800 messages (dont un bon tiers de moi, ce qui rassurera ceux qui pensent que je ne suis pas trĂ¨s prĂ©sent !), 165 sujets de discussion, 70 tilesets, 30 petits tilesets, 50 fonds d'Ă©cran et 90 layouts. Pas mal, non ?