Jardinains!

Frequently Asked Questions

(and Frequently Voiced Statements)


Who are you guys?
Actually, it's just "guy". I'm Tom Darby, and I'm a hobbyist game maker. If you want to learn more about me, visit my homepage.
What on earth inspired you to make this?
Honestly, I can't remember exactly what it was. I do remember waking my wife up in the middle of the night after a sudden burst of inspiration to tell her "...and you'll be able to bounce the garden gnomes!"
Is there a Mac/Linux/PDP-8 version of Jardinains!?
Short answer: not yet. Long Answer: Sooner rather than later. I've started developing Jardinains 2!, which will be available for Mac, Windows and (probably) Linux when it's finished. As far as when it will be finished, well, it'll be done when it's done. I'll do my best to post updates and milestones to the front page, but rest assured I'm hard at work making the next generation of Jardinains!.

There will probably never be a version of Jardinains! for the PDP-8.


I want to donate, but I don't want to use PayPal.
Great! Thank you! If you don't want to use PayPal to send donations, you can do one of two things:
  1. Buy something from the Jardinains! Store (I get a small commission for each item sold, and you get cool Jardinains! gear,) or
  2. Send a check via snail mail to the address listed on the Credits and Donations page.
Both of these are great ways to support Jardinains! and the development of other games!
Are you working on anything else right now?
Well, I'm working on maintaining the current version of Jardinains!, as well as creating Jardinains 2!. The latter is going to take a while, but trust me--it'll be worth it when I'm done.
Paper or Plastic?
Eh, I'll just stick it in my pocket, thanks.
What is Snowplow?
Snowplow is a small, privately-maintained server run by one Josh Archambault. Josh and I are friends from college, and he kindly agreed to host Jardinains! on Snowplow for peanuts. Cheers, Josh.
What is Digital Putty?
Digital Putty is the hosting provider that supplies Snowplow with cage space and bandwidth. They keep the downloads running smoothly.
I've tried to install Jardinains!, but it doesn't work.
It could be that the installer is corrupted. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds, it just means that the file you downloaded didn't download properly. If you try to double-click on the installer and it doesn't even launch, then you probably have a corrupt file. Try downloading the installer again from the "Download" link at the top of this page.
I've installed Jardinains!, but every time I try to run it I get an "Illegal Memory Address" error.
There are a number of culprits on this one--try the following possible solutions:
  1. You need to download DirectX. If your system doesn't already have DirectX 7 or later installed, or if you don't know whether or not you have DirectX installed, you need to download it from the Microsoft DirectX Homepage. Without DirectX, Jardinains! won't run.
  2. You need a sound card. If your system doesn't already have a working sound card installed, you'll need to install one before you can play Jardinains!. You can find good deals on sound cards (and other computer components) at Newegg.com.
  3. Your display can't handle 640x480. This is a rare case, since virtually all computer displays can run at 640x480, but there are a few LCD screens out there that don't handle this resolution. Try setting your display to 640x480 using the "Display" control panel; if you can't set your screen to that resolution manually, then Jardinains! won't be able to do it, either. Contact your computer maker's tech support line to get help resolving this issue.
  4. Windows could just be misbehaving. It's been known to happen. Restart your computer and try running Jardinains! again.
If these tips didn't help you, send me an e-mail and describe the difficulty you're having as best you can.
I want to uninstall Jardinains!, but I can't find the uninstaller!
To uninstall Jardinains!, open the "Add/Remove Programs" control panel. Find the entry for Jardinains!, select it, and click the uninstall button. This will uninstall Jardinains!, though you may need to delete the Jardinains! directory by hand after you have done this. (The uninstaller can't remove things like save games, player profiles, and custom levels.) Rest assured that Jardinains! doesn't install anything besides itself--no spyware or hidden utilities with this shareware!
Help! What's going on? What am I supposed to do?
Don't panic! Jardinains! comes with a full instruction manual! To read the manual, simply click on Start » Programs » Jardinains! » Help. The help file should give you a good idea of what you need to do to get underway.
Every time I try to continue my game or start a new game, I get an "Illegal Memory Address" error and the game crashes.
I'm afraid that you're experiencing a very elusive bug that I'm currently working to fix. Until I can release an update, here's how to get the game working again:

1. If you're using a player other than "Nameless Wonder", delete that player account and re-create it.
2. If you're using the "Nameless Wonder" player, either create a new player account (from the "Change Players" menu) or delete the following file:

C:\Program Files\Jardinains!\data\players.dat

I'm afraid that until I can find a fix for this bug, this is the only way I've found to get the game working again. Sorry!


Every now and then, I get an "Illegal Memory Address" error and the game crashes.
Ah, Illegal Memory Address. My old nemesis.

If this happens only infrequently, don't worry too much about it. The code for Jardinains!, while pretty darn decent, still has a number of small glitches that I haven't yet tracked down. On the vast, vast majority of systems, you'll only see this error once in a blue moon. When this happens and the game crashes, you should be able to continue your game from the beginning of the level you were just on--a small concession, perhaps, but better than having to start from scratch.

If, however, you seem to get this message fairly often, there are a few things you can try to improve performance. Try some of the following ideas, they may just help a bit:

  1. Update your drivers. Many computer systems out there aren't running the latest video and sound drivers. Video and sound card manufacturers are constantly working to improve their drivers, catching small bugs, optimizing code, and improving overall performance. Visit your computer manufacturer's website and look for a section called "Drivers," "System Updates," "Troubleshooting," and the like. Then, simply follow their instructions on obtaining the latest drivers for your particular model of computer. It's entirely possible that by updating your drivers, you'll virtually eliminate crashing.
  2. Update your version of DirectX. Much like video and audio card makers constantly improve their drivers, Microsoft is constantly improving their DirectX software. I've had people tell me that updating DirectX has improved performance and reduced the number of crashes they experience. To download the latest version of DirectX, click here and follow the instructions for upgrading on the DirectX website.
  3. The tried-and-true Reboot Technique. Try rebooting your computer before playing Jardinains!. Windows can get increasingly unstable the longer it is up and running; sometimes all it takes is a nice, clean boot to prevent crashes.
  4. Exit unnecessary applications. Some applications, especially "always on" applications like instant messengers, peer-to-peer file sharing applications, and news tickers, can eat up system resources, interrupt your game, and cause system instability. Try exiting unnecessary applications before you play Jardinains! to minimize the chances of a crash.

Are there cheat codes? How to I use them?
Yes, there are cheat codes!

The cheat codes are described in the README.TXT file included with Jardinains!, but I'll recap here. To use the cheat codes, you need to do the following:

  1. Pause the game you're currently playing by pressing the [P] key.
  2. Once you see the "Game Paused" screen, press the backtick/tilde key, [`]. You should see the words "Enter cheat code" in the middle of your screen.
  3. Type in the cheat code you wish to use. The available codes are as follows:
    • Type gomomgo to gain an additional 30 lives.
    • Type they're everywhere to create a whole bunch of nains.
    • Type upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart or uuddlrlrba (version 1.1 and up) to power-up your ball.
    • Type 20 goto ## to warp to level ##. (Instead of actually typing ##, type the number of the level you want to warp to, like 20 goto 10 or 20 goto 35.)
    Each time you hit a key, you should hear a popping sound. (You won't see the letters you're typing appear on the screen.) Once you've finished entering your cheat code, press the [ENTER] key.
  4. If you entered the code correctly, you'll hear a nain say, "Whaoh!" Otherwise, you'll hear a clanking noise. If you hear the clanking noise, go back to step 2 and try entering the code again. Make sure that your caps-lock key isn't on before going back to step 2.
  5. Once you've entered your code or codes successfully, press [P] to resume play. That's all there is to it!
IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE: When you use a cheat code, the game you're playing doesn't get counted towards your statistics, such as high score and high level. If it did, then anyone could just keep giving themselves as many lives as they needed to beat the high score!

ANOTHER IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE: If you're not using a standard QWERTY keyboard, you'll need to pretend that your keyboard is a standard QWERTY keyboard to get these codes to work. (I hope to fix this problem in later versions.) If you're not familiar with the layout of a QWERTY keyboard or if you need a guide to print out, you can find many example images by using Google's image search engine.


Jardinains! is very slow on my computer!
Don't give up hope! You may be able to increase your performance significantly by trying some of the suggestions under the game crashing section. If those suggestions don't help and you have a fairly modern computer, send me a message and I'll try to help you optimize your system. Alternatively, you can contact your computer manufacturer's support line.

If you have an older computer or a laptop, it could just be that the current version of Jardinains! won't ever run at full speed for you. Like I've said in other sections, I hope to release a newer, faster version of the game at some point, but for right now you may be out of luck. Some systems just don't seem to like to run Jardninains!, and sadly, I lack the funding, time, and infrastructure to delve too deeply into supporting older/slower systems at the moment. Have faith, though, I'm well aware of the fact that my code can probably run much faster than it currently does, and I'm planning on improving it at some point in the not-too-distant future.


How do I use the level editor?
The level editor is easy to get to--simply press [E] at the main menu. There are on-screen instructions, and you should be able to get the hang of editing levels and creating new levels with a little bit of experimentation. If you need more help or have other questions about the editor, simply drop me a line and I'll see if I can help you out.
Aagh! The ball got stuck on level 22!
Yech. I haven't had it happen to me yet, but enough people have told me about it that I've made some minor changes to level 22. this problem has been fixed in version 1.1, but if you don't want to upgrade for whatever reason, you can download the new level by clicking here. Simply save this level 22 file over the current level 22 file. Assuming you left the default install path the same when you installed Jardinains!, the file should be located in C:\Program Files\Jardinains!\data\levels\current\. If you did change the install path, then you're probably familiar enough with your computer that you can figure out where this file goes, based on the above information. If all else fails, search your computer for a file called level_22.lvl to figure out where the replacement file should go.

IMPORTANT UPDATE! Gah. In fixing level 22 to work around this issue, I accidentally broke level 22. If you downloaded level 22 before this update was posted, please download it again. Sorry--I'll try not to do it again!


The game is too hard!
Practice, practice, practice. You may want to make sure that your mouse is clean and can roll easily if you have a mouse with a ball. If you have an optical mouse, then you may want to make sure that you're using a good surface for optical mice. If you're looking for a break, check out the section on cheat codes to make playing the game a little easier.
y The game is too easy!
Well then, try downloading the version 1.2 upgrade, which features four different levels of difficulty--easy, normal, hard and insane. Hard should give the average fast-twitch gamer a run for their money; insane is, well, absolutely insane. If you're running low on the smack, don't worry. Insane will bring it down. Good luck.
My screen looks weird when I play Jardinains!
There are a number of things that can cause one's screen to look "weird" when Jardinains! is running. Here are a few possible fixes:
Jardinains! is great!
Thank you! Keep having fun with it, and be sure to tell your friends to try it out, too!
Jardinains! sucks!
Oh, c'mon. It's not that bad. Tell me what you think makes it suck, and I'll try to make it better. If you're still dissatisfied, I'll give you a full refund of the cost of the game. Heck, make it a double refund.

Jardinains! © 2001-2003 by Thomas Darby, Magic Chopstick Games. All rights reserved. No part of Jardinains! may be redistributed or reproduced without the express written consent of Tom Darby.

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