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Long-time readers of my blog know the fascination I have with the number 47. Well, one of my projects and 47 collided. I finished level 47 of Ugly Uppity Umpire. Nothing special though, I had this idea and at first I couldn't pass it (a requirement for my levels being done. If I can't even pass it, who else would be able to?!) A change of making the squares kitty corner from the teleports be open so you could get away from the underwear really quickly after using them.   So a

August 26, 2023

I worked on level 46 of Ugly Uppity Umpire. I also worked on Flies for the Odyssey². Both were great success. I was working on Flies last night but I couldn't get to make the flies drop down and die when being swatted. Well, I did last night, but the letter K kept showing up in the upper left hand corner of the screen. After sleeping for 15 hours, I finally found the reason and fixed it.   Sneaky Snakes came in the mail today. It works fine, but I'll have to explore it f

I slept through a thunderstorm.

So apparently there was a thunderstorm last night. I slept right through the entire thing. I woke up a few hours later at about 7:30 a.m. I had some really weird dreams last night.   I was wondering whether my SNES Game Genie was still working. So I tested it. It worked. So it also occured to me that I should get all the SNES games I had when I was a kid for some reason. So I purchased Bubsy off eBay to play with my Game Genie.   The stupid doctors office still hasn't called,


So yesterday a fire broke out about 3-4 miles from my house. The local news outlets went down there to cover it, which is interesting since they had to travel all the way frpom Portland to do so. My sister was nearer the fire than we were, she said she heard the planes flying around fighting the fire. It even got a name: The Liberty Fire. (It was near Liberty Rd.) So I went to sleep, and when I woke up 9 hours later, the Liberty fire was dead. We've lived here about 15 years, and this is only th

Fly idea

So now I have an idea for the fly game for Odyssey 2. I spent most of the morning programming it. I hit a rather nasty bug that turned out to be a "well duh!" moment once I realized what was happening. I have used up 1,671 bytes doing this so far which leaves me with a little over 300 bytes left to do stuff with (out of a possible 2,048 bytes total in the in-game bank). I have to put in a game over screen, and some logic that tells the game it should end. As well as a high score check, but that

Extreme RAM Saving Techniques

It has been a while since I have written one of my blog entries about the technical challenges of making my RPG "Penult" for the Atari 2600. By far my biggest challenge has been making the game with the extreme memory constraints of the console, so this entry will discuss how I dealt with those issues.   RPGs tend to be very memory-hungry. You need to keep track of a character's name, stats, inventory, experience, location, current state, etc. If there are multiple party members, these

Two flies.

I finally got two flies in the game after learning that three is impossible without major flickering and one is too much like my celery game. I still need to learn my fate about the ultrasound I went to yesterday. But I got two flies in my game and I got my RZone SuperScreen working, so that's good. I also decided to put in The Voice support for it. It says "Go!" at the beginning and "Gotcha!" when you swat a fly. But unfortunately, I can't test the game's Voice support on a real conso

Flies on Odyssey² (August 21, 2023)

I had a version working with three flies, but as I suspected, the Odyssey 2 could just not handle three flies without making the swatter flicker when it was near the top. So I deleted the two flies and made it a little better. It works on an Odyssey 2 since I tested it on it. Not very much color, is there? And when I was done discovering it only could handle one fly, it was time to go to the appointment.   I just got back from the ultrasound. They kept having me hold my breat

Flies on Odyssey² (August 20, 2023)

I added some stuff since a few days ago. I had to go to sleep with a broken game. I was asleep all day yesterday because I'm trying to change my life around so I'm awake all day and asleep all night like a normal person. My ultrasound is tomorrow at 7 a.m. so I can't eat anything past 11 p.m. tonight. Anyway, here are the changes I implemented. I fixed the scoring issue I was having (although I don't know how.) The faster you swat the fly, the more points you'll get. The score timer starts

Flies on Odyssey²

I have been working on this game since yesterday. I made a game like this with the 50-foot-tall stalk of celery, but I wanted to make a better one with more flies. I plan to put in three flies that move around the screen. The fly appears randomly on the screen but I just thought of something: It can't be that way for the bees or hornets. They'll have to start from the sides so they don't start where the player may be. I went to sleep at about 8 a.m. after giving up on it. I woke u

A title is required, but I don't have one.

So I was having some trouble with the mouth in the game. It kept flickering when it went from death back to the in-game. I had to work on this for several hours, trying various things to make it not do that, and I think I succeeded here.   I also made it so it's okay if you don't eat the burger. But if you do, you get an extra life. So the burger only appears when you don't have 2 lives remaining. You can download the game here. I also made it so it gives me a .gg file instead of

The benefits of having a short name.

This: Good thing I go by "Chris" because I couldn't fit "Christopher" on there. I lost count of how much mail I got addressed to "Christophe". I also made a change to the game. I put in a brief pause between deaths. That took a few hours to do because I couldn't figure out how to make the food stop. But I eventually did.   I got my R-Zone Super Screen. It does take batteries. But it takes 4 D batteries, something I wasn't expecting. The batteries that were already in there ha


So I'm looking at the title screen of my Game Gear game I have been making. Which looks okay, but my name isn't very noticeable. So I decided to change the title screen. It then looked like this: Which, while looking better, still left me with two unused colors. I figured I could use those colors to make the cookie look even better. So I just spent the last half-hour fighting with the thing and got this: This cookie looks much better than the last one IMHO. So this

s03 - Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration

Download or listen to the podcast episode at atarijaguargamebygame.libsyn.com/s03-atari-50-the-anniversary-celebration Wait, another Atari game compilation? Is there anything to distinguish Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration from all those that came before? Is it worth our time and money? Do these people even get why we so love Atari? Tempest 2000 answers these questions for us: "YES! YES! YES!" This deep dive into Atari 50 walks through the entire experience, not just Jaguar, but revi


I had a comic idea. It was a wonderful one. It made me chuckle. I wish I remembered it. I went to sleep without writing it down.   So 6 more comics will be on my comic site starting August 21. I made a new icon for it. I've been making these off and on this year. I also worked on My History Teacher Ate Lemons some more. I had to wait about 40 minutes for my other stupid computer to update. All I wanted to do was scan my page of comics. It made me pine for the days when computers d

Stupid daytime.

I woke up at 6 p.m.  After about 15 hours of sleep. I don't want to sleep that much. But if I didn't need that much, wouldn't I wake up sooner and, better yet, not feel sleepy when I do? I got reminded of my Intellivision game I forgot called My History Teacher Ate Lemons. So I decided to return to work on it. Mainly bug fixes and minor tweaks to the options screen. I left off at level 3: a desert. I redesigned the heart. I doubt I could get any better than this, so I guess I'll keep i

(rant) self replicating robots

"Turn asteroids into space habitats!  Just use self-replicating robots." Says the blurb - and I immediately stop reading.  Because, unlike the author, I've actually given the concept of self-replicating robots some thought and have concluded they are distinctly non-trivial and not something humanity is likely to create in my lifetime.   In my case I was considering von-Neuman probes - inter-steller spacecraft which use the resources of the destination solar system to create replicas wh


EricBall in rants

It's Sunday once more.

It just turned Sunday about 30 minutes ago. I think the hardest part of my ultrasound will be the required fasting for it. I don't know how long I'm supposed to. They're supposed to call here later this week to schedule it.   Today begins a giant heatwave here. It's supposed to get above 100 degrees today. And above 105 tomorrow.   I bought a Game Boy game, the first in a few months. I found Ren & Stimpy: Space Cadets for $8. Can't beat that! I also got from the same sell

Health update

Well, the good news is I don't have diabetes. The bad news is I have to get an ultrasound next week to see if I have fatty liver.   I swear, the lab techs had to poke me at least 5 times to get any blood out of me. And they had to get a lot out of me for my ultrasound next week apparently. It hurt quite a lot, but I guess I should be glad that ultrasounds don't hurt. Mom said it didn't hurt for hers (when she was pregnant with me).   I just wish they would leave me alone is a
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