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About this blog

Join me on a journey that started in 2007 with batari BASIC.  I've been making games with AtariAge members and Alberts finely crafted physical carts.  I've bought the hardware and saved up pennies to take retro game development full time.  Here we'll go over my failures and success living the dream.  Also, handy tools, techniques and software that makes it happen.  Here we go!

Entries in this blog

Howard Scott Warshaw Cares About Bootlegging His Stuff

I sent him an email regarding someone who chose to upload a documentary of his that he still sells. He actually bothered to reply!   Sometimes with developers my messages get sent straight to dev/nul. It's nice to see that he takes the time to communicate AND has a sense of humor

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Insomnia ensues #4 - Coding Atari 2600 games 'till dawn!

10:19pm   I'm having a bit of coders block on my current project. I have to make a "victim" appear and avoid the player. It also needs to traverse the multi-screen game map. I've coded myself into a corner and can't kludge my way out.   I've had a decent supper of yak meat and pizza rolls. Currently suckling on a caraffe of diet coke. My intention for the rest of this hour is to backtrack a few versions of my game and completely re-write my victim AI. Wish me luck!

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Insomnia ensues III! Coding Atari 2600 games 'till dawn!

Had a nap. Had a full meal. Getting stoked on Mt. Dew. Have http://coffitivity.com/ playing in the background. Time to code for extended and unreasonable durations!   10:00pm 'till now:   Getting bogged down trying to figure out the smartest way to block the player from leaving the 5x5 screen overworld. Hopefully by the end of the next hour I can solve that. Must turn on more lights so my brain doesn't start thinking of nap time..

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Dreams in game design.

I just had a dream about a game.   See, in order to impress a love interest our hero has to guide a stray cat to a food bowl. The hero must traverse an obstacle and puzzle filled isometric level. The cat must be allowed to follow the player. If the player steps on a pressure plate the kitties AI knows enough to move to the appropriate panel or activate a lever. The player must at times lure the cat away from dangers including rolling boulders. Graphics were failrly high res X68000-like.

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Insomnia Ensues II! Late weekend coding frenzy!

7:11pm   Haven't been focused all weekend. Couldn't get into the coding groove. I'm hoping blogging my decent into maddness will get me in the mood. Working on the rewrite of MMSBC II http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/207626-mmsbc-2-wip/   Plan is an update every hour until I can't take it anymore. I'm truly scrizooed if it isn't nearly finished by the end of the night. Wish me luck!

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Insomnia ensues! Coding at 2am on a workday..

Let's see how far I get. I'm working on MMSBC 2 on a hard deadline of Mid February. I'd hoped to have this in the bag before the end of January but obviously that didn't happen.   I'll try to post once every hour until I either give up or it's time for work.   I've got my instant coffee at supersaturation levels in a re-used 42oz soda cup. Fed on a two day old cheese sub. batariBasic is loaded! Let's go!!   As a side I'm sitting in a very cheap, uncomfortable chair. I'm hoping that t

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

How to lose customers by rebuking feedback

I recently got into an Early Adopter program for an MMO creation and management company. Basically, they give you most of the tools and the server AND the credit card transaction processing for a big chunk of your revenue. Fair enough.   Trouble is, the only way to import assets is through extremely expensive 3d software that one must be specifically trained on. Know Blender but not 3DS max? Too bad.   It would be easier to bite the bullet if they came out and said no Blender support eve

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Augscii #3

Okay, finally getting down to drawing the font. Got preliminaries for the numbers and letters. Seems to be a bold font. I seem to be trying to make the letter and numbers more symmetric in case I need to use them for graphics. Haven't fully thought out what symbols to gut in the ASCII table. The addition of Googly eyes are a must!

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Augscii Bitmap Font #2

I'm using a Game Maker 5 project as a kind of "portfolio" for the Augscii font. Basically, storing the font as a sprite with multiple (256) images. I also attached other famous bitmap fonts for reference including the Aquarius MZ-700 and C64. Put in a sample of my "Perfect Palette" too.   The perfect palette was my attempt to make the ideal 15 color + transparency palette for Sega Genesis work. Yes, I know I've got up to four palettes to work with. I'd rather default to one standard palet

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Homework assignment: Augscii Bitmap Font

Seems to be some demand for new Genesis homebrew. Currently I've got on small shooter and a bigger project on my plate in that area.   I'm thinking it's time to bring back Character based graphics like the MZ-700 and Aquarius. The IntellivisionLives people haven't responded to emails since 2011 about using the Aquarius character set. In lieu I must make my own. My project for this week is to create a 256 character max set. This includes letter, numbers, symbols and character graphics. Yo

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

My 2600 RPG Topics

Just to keep myself organized I'd like to make a short list of 2600 RPG topics   This topic relates to using the 6 digit score as an RPG battle menu http://www.atariage....nt-battle-menu/   Here is some work on what a 2600 password system would look like http://www.atariage....assword-system/   This is the project page for a Rogue-like project I started http://www.atariage....86-destiny-wip/   I tried to make a poll about 2600 RPGs here with varying enthusiasm http://www.atariage....

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Nano Progress Log #1

Monday June 18   Found my eSnips (file host) was broke. They switched over to a adware toolbar download system similar to what CNET or Download.com is doing. But, instead of fooling people into submission by doing it to some downloads eSnips requires ALL downloads to be through there adware downloader. Plus, I cannot delete my account, my folders or files due to bad coding on their end. Oh, and they lost an important backup of a document I was working on. Uncool in the extreme. I need a

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Found a Project I can do.. Finally!

The problem with hobbyest coding is not coding - one can do that for many hours without noticing. The problem is motivation - especially if the support and compiler is lacking. I decided on a project that entails %90 of what I know I can accomplish in my compiler/language. Keeping up the momentum by having tangible results is CRITICAL. I'll post more in the coming days.   I'd especially like to thank GroovyBee for his advice during my programming slump.   Later!

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Project: Platform Get! DAYS 2 & 3

Some conceputalizing work done on my byte-code language idea. Although it wont be used in my platform game it ties into a couple other projeccs I've been neglecting. Basically, I'm using 0-255 to represent instructions or commands. Still have to decide how far to go. Could make, say, instruction 1 be "GOTO MAIN". I could also make 1 represent "GOTO" and the following 8-bit value represent which code block to go to. 256 possible commands sounds like alot until you try to fit in what BASIC d

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Project: Platform Get! DAY 1

So, with the Holiday season upon me, I've got relatively uninterrupted 3 day and 4 day weekends coming up. My programming motivation got nerfed while attempting a platform game on the Sega Genesis. I hope to get things back in gear during these coming long weekends. If progress can be made other projects may get restarted as well. I've neglected my last 2600 project "Destiny" during my programming slump.   My intent is to document any progress I make towards getting the Sega Genesis platfo

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Genesis Development & Learning BASIC over again..

Each BASIC dialect is different and there sure are differences between batari Basic and BasiEgaXorz.   For one, there's no DRAWSCREEN command where you can determine when and where the screen refresh happens.. yuck.   Work on the BasiEgaXorz Command Reference continues. The developer of this Genesis BASIC compiler really DID need help with documentation. Besides trying to fill in how-to sections I've also discovered many omissions and some outright errors. Got at least one person interest

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Development Gears Are Turning Again!

While my last 2600 project is stalled I've revisited the BasiEgaXorz Basic Compiler for the Genesis.   My current plan is to make a Genesis game using IBM ASCII graphics in low res CGA 4 color mode. The tentative title is:   Cigiyay!   I've also started on a batari Basic Command Refernce-like page for the BasiEgaXorz community. AtariAge and Random Terrain have done a wonderful thing with its command reference. I hope the love will spread to other video game systems and compilers such as

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

In the midst of a programming slump.

After adding semi-persistent stairs to my fetch-quest-maze-game "Destiny" coding has temporarily stopped. In the past I've relied on the excitement of discovering a new tool. This worked for "Drunken Pooper" and "Uppa Creek!" as I was just figuring out Batari BASIC. I've also used contests to spur myself on. This worked for my "Candybar" game. Recently, a deadline got me to finish "Nitebear on Sleepystreet" as Neotokeo2001 needed games to sign at a horror convention.   Alas, "Destiny" has

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

The difference between lots of rest and resting well..

QUESTION FOR YOU ALL: When should I start a topic for this Adventure/Roguelike in the Batari BASIC section? Certainly a project should be close to finished in the Homebrew section. Is it too early for the Batari BASIC section though?   Tried to rest as much as possible this weekend. Not sure if I feel well rested though. 'Tis the busy season at work and that brings additional stress both expected and not.   Working on items in my adventure/roguelike now. I've got a teleport ring item

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Stairs and Zelda Scrolling

Solved my problems generating mix-and-match rooms. Trouble was indeed with temp vars not getting changed properly. Had to waste a real variable for calculations but things work okay now. Which means:   16 basic room types (not including rare rooms)   8 room structure styles   16 x 8 = 128 Unique Rooms   256 level dungeon consisting of 256 x 256 screens per level.   All in all, my Adventure/Roguelike should have 1,677,7216 screens per gaming session. Each time the game is powered o

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

More Progress. More hurdles!

Implemented the three section playfields in my adventure/roguelike game. Now I'm having trouble generating mix-and-match rooms with the rand command. Seems like it's always generating the same sections for the bottom third of the playfield. I'm not sure if Batari is updating rand or temp variables when I expect them to.   I'm actually taking my lunch these days so Batari and Brunch are in full swing. let's see what a relatively uninterrupted hour can do!

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Three Section Playfield Screens

My bank for playfield graphics is filling up too fast. I have 16 basic room types (based on exit variations). I wanted each room type to have at least 3 different styles: Full room, Tunnel and Maze. Now that I have most full room and tunnel styles done I've only got 300+ bytes free. Ouch.   What I've come up with is rendering the top, middle and bottom in sections to reduce duplication of data. Check out what I mean below: pfscroll downdown playfield: XX.X........................X.XX

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Nite Bear in the Bag. Next Project?

Now that the first version of Nite Bear on Sleepystreet is done http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/169496-nitebear-on-sleepystreet/   it's time to ponder the next project.   I'm thinking it'll have to be the homebrew I sorta hinted at making for a local video game shop. The owner fancied a game where you collect carts. This matches nicely with my pseudo random number generated dungeon generation code. Mix Atari Adventure with item collecting = profit!   Not really profit. Everyone a

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Got a scrolling platform engine going

So far I've got:   * 4 way scrolling (limited to current playfield) * Variable jump * Basic animation for player * Collision   I think playfieldpos is the key to using playfields taller than just 1 screen but it's correct usage is an utter mystery to me. The Scroll3a.bas example doesn't work with pfscroll left or right properly. When the engine uses the playfieldpos magic it snaps right back to the default center position no matter how far pfscroll left or right you went.   Batari too

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

Might have an opporunity.. but, that means 2 projects to fuffill!

Right now I've got a collect-the-carts maze game project and a Knightmare clone in the works. One one is a casual promise and the other has deadline. I don't like juggling priorities but I DO like creating and COMPLETING projects. Such is life.   Hung out with a co-worker today and, although mostly enjoyable, the parting was hard to read. We got into work related subjects and I tend to rant when given half a chance. Might have over-did it. Hard to read tired or tired of ME sometimes. B

Gemintronic

Gemintronic

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