I got my first clean compile in DASM for Detective Powers 5200. I had started it a while back using the 6502 assembler called TASM, which is what I used for 5200 / XE Adventure II. But I wanted to start using the most recent DASM 6502 compiler. Many of the code formatting changes were straight forward to see the problem and easily change, but I spent some time trying to figure out why I kept getting unresolved symbols on "A" and "a". I'm not sure if DASM can be configured to show me the li
2022 was a busy year for me. I didn't have free time or mental energy to do much homebrewing on Atari XE or 5200, which I had wanted to. On the personal real-life front, 2022 took everything I had. Full-time job. Family obligations, of course. After a year of searching and looking at houses, I successfully found and bought what we wanted (many other properties I was outbid on, or the property sold before I had a chance to make an offer. The real estate market was crazy in 2021-2022
I figured out why using the TASM .TEXT command was producing junk at times. It was because the 'pretty font' I used with Adventure II XE, font1.s, had the characters switched around and some were actually replaced with custom chars. Standard ASCII and ATASCII has lower case letters from $61 to $7A, and upper case letters from $41 to $5A. But this font1.s had upper case in the range $21-$3A. I had a temporary programming fix which got the upper case letters to work, but I kept noticing oth
For a while, I have had an idea for Atari 5200 and A8 called Detective Powers. My old blog entry from 2015 has my original ideas. Here is the original blurb for the game:
Assume the role of the world’s most famous consulting detective, using investigation and deduction to navigate Baker Street, countryside manors, and interior room locations in a retro 80’s arcade-adventure style of game play. Find helpful items and clues, keep your Detective Powers fully charged and solve each ca
Updated 10/12/20 with the results, see bottom.
I'm running out of ROM memory with the new code I'm adding for the 2-player mode of the game. Koffi: Yellow Kopter was programmed in 32k back in 2002. It seemed like a huge amount of ROM at the time, so I didn't try much to keep things small. There ended up being huge graphics tables and repetitive code routines, just because that was easiest to do. Also, before I finished Koffi, I used up as much remaining memory as I could.
The very last programming change I made to Adventure II XE brought me great happiness, because it was a bug fix that, although infrequent and minor, had eluded me. Giving up on it over the past years of this project, I concluded that it must be a weird timing issue with the Atari Hardware and VBI timing. Something was perhaps changing registers behind the scenes? Because my code was surely 100% rock solid and correct.
This was a bug which plagued me for years of this project. I'
[This older blog entry was updated on 2/14/2020 and 9/30/2020].
2001-2002 -- Alan and I begin the game and design 75% of what it will be like. Raccoon joins as the artist.
2002-2004 -- Raccoon Lad & I discuss 5200 limits, we design and create screens, and program the game.
2004 -- Infogrames "Atari" attack! Game renamed (temporarily to Quest for the Golden Chalice. Knocked the wind out of me for a while.
In July 2020 I and sat down at my home-brewing desk and started to play around with tweaking my 2002 Atari 5200 homebrew, Koffi: Yellow Kopter. I have had notes about doing a 2nd Koffi game since 2002 when I finished the first one, but it seems ever more unlikely I'll devote time to do a whole new sequel with all the ideas I'd planned. So, I decided to play around with the original, add a few game play tweaks, some new visual details, fix a few bugs, and add a new 2-Player co-op mode. Som
I tend to save information forever. I've had various notebooks and folders in my garage's filing cabinet , the info is all from 2001 through 2011. Today I decided to dig out the folders , keep what might still be useful, and pitch the rest. All of the paper had a slight musty smell. All these were in the top drawer of the file cabinet; the bottom draw has all my guitar tablature magazines, some from the 80's (remember Guitar for the Practicing Musician anybody?). I'll be going through those
Trying to refresh my skills using DASM , I started to make little tweaks to 2002's Koffi: Yellow Kopter. So far, did these things:
removed y2k-compliant bootup code (the Atari fuji symbol w/multicolors). Freed up some ROM and the game boots immediately to Koffi's title screen now.
modified the hues of the raindrops to a more blue hue. Using hues $B4/$B8, the raindrops looked green on emulators although looked bluish on my orig 5200 and on ancient emulator VSS. NTSC color
I loaded Shinobi Legions and have been relearning it for that past 2 nights. I have not played it for a LONG TIME. Probably not for 10 years or more. Quick take: it is pretty awesome and fun! Its funny to me, I remember taking note of the game's load times when it was new. Well , compared to Genesis cartridge gaming, yes there are some load times, but after playing modern games for so many years, Shinobi Legions' load times now seem negligible to me! The game is more fun, with better c
As I blogged about earlier, Panzer Dragoon Remake made me want to hook up the Saturn again to play though the original.
Now I'm mostly working on Panzer Dragoon Zwei, which is one of my favorite Saturn titles. I am up to level 6 which is the assault on the huge flying imperial ship. I died at the boss fight, so I'll try it again next time - this game allows a Save End option to continue later.
It has been so long since I had played Zwei, that I keep getting killed off.
Sega's 3rd party released Panzer Dragoon Remake for Switch, which I don't own and don't really intend to buy right now. I've always been a bigger Sega fan than an Atari fan. I almost picked up a Switch when the newer Virtua Racing came out last year, but didn't.
So I dug out my Saturn from the closet o'doom and hooked it up. I have to use composite with my Panasonic 42" Plasma since it doesn't support S-video. I see there are Saturn Component and HDMI cables and I'm looking into
Star Wars: The Mandalorian series. Episodes 1-7.
Initially I wasn't going to subscribe early to Disney+. But then they showed the trailer for The Mandolorian. There was absolutely no thought process after that. I waited a week to let 2 episodes queue up, then subscribed and watched the first 2 eps back-to-back. I've now watched all 7 of the aired episodes, so what do I think? I'll list my top 5 surprises and bottom 5 'cons' so far. I was going to post this earlier bu
If I had to rate Xbox Knights of the Old Republic based on the first 5 hours, I'd have given it a meager 4/10 , and those 4 points were solely because of the Star Wars universe. You are stuck on boring planet Taris. Your character slowly jogs around the upper and lower levels of a city block, talking to characters, breaking into apartments (how exciting!), trying to remember who's who and why you care, and engaging in some turn-based battles with unimportant characters. Blah. The music, vo
I am done watching the films in story-chronological order! Here is my ranking of the 8 Skywalker films and 2 side story films, which I'm sure nobody will agree with:
Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6 > Ep7 > RO > Ep8 > Ep3 > Solo > Ep1 > Ep2.
Breaking it down a bit:
Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6 - because the OT films are the best of all them. Unbeatable. Ep6 ROTJ is an 8.5/10 film, not quite up there with Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back - both of which are 10/
I've watched Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens about a dozen times; I've watched Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi a couple of times. I just re-watched them, after having watched all the other SW films in story-chronological order.
I've already blogged a lot about Episode 7: The Force Awakens, so I'm not in the mood to say the same things. Basically I really enjoyed its return to the OT feel, and I really liked Daisy Ridley as Rey. Even though TFA mimics story points f
I decided to re-watch Rogue One, then Episode IV: A New Hope immediately after. I have never done this before! Rogue One is a 2016 film, but a prequel to 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope. I know the original Star Wars film like the back of my hand, but I wonder, how will the experience change after having just watched its prequel? Rogue One ends with Princess Leia having just escaped the Imperials and Darth Vader, with the plans to the Death Star. Star Wars began with Princess Leia storin
I started to play Xbox Knights of the Old Republic for the first time in advance of Star Wars Episode IX ... although I've owned it for 15 years!
On Monday I played for another hour or so. I'm still on Taris but I have seemingly finished the sewers/Vulkar Swoop Bike prototype engine mission. I won the subsequent Swoop bike racing heats (not hard at all), and the female Jedi Bastila has been freed and she is a member of my party now. I think I learned something about fighting
I have re-watched all three Prequel Trilogy films back-to-back. I've come to live with and accept some earlier harsher criticisms, so I won't focus too much on those. But I will be talking about what was dumb. Some random thoughts:
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Released May 2002, 17 years ago!) -- thoughts:
Anakin acts like an immature, whiny brat the entire first half of the film. It is awkward to watch these scenes, as everybody else in the sce
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , episode IX of George Lucas' original 9-chapter story, debuts December 20, 2019. Back in the autumn of 2015 before Star Wars: The Force Awakens (episode VII) came out, I binged the Clone Wars animated series (on Netflix I think) and found it was mostly very good! And now, leading up to Episode IX, I am binging on Star Wars content again to get me in the SW mood. On the movies side of things, I'm going to re-watch all the films in chronological s
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , episode IX of George Lucas' original 9-chapter story, debuts December 20, 2019. Or Thursday night December 19 as new big movies started to bump up the day.
I remember in the early 80's when Star Wars was the best and most exciting thing there was, and articles would comment that these films were really just episodes 4,5 and 6 of a bigger story that floated in George's head. I never thought we'd actually get films for 1,2,3 or 7,8,9. And now epis
Still running down my laundry list of more minor tweaks. The past few things I've done are:
- WSYNC screen color changes tweaking. I can't believe it, but on several screens I had the WSYNC on the DLI *after* the actual color register change, not *before*. Thus in the 5200 version there are a few screens where you can see a color change mid-scanline. I tested 5200 AdvII on a 27" CRT so it probably didn't concern me , or I didn't notice it back in 2007. So, I fixed a handful of
I've been going through and making tweaks to a laundry list of subtle and minor things. I'm using the CONSOLE keys more than before so that you can play the game on an XEGS without needing the optional keyboard. START resets you back to Game Over / Rankings screen, SELECT Revives you to a Checkpoint, and OPTION is Pause. If you play on a computer like the 800XL etc, you can also rely on the SpaceBar for Pause, "R" for Revive. You can also Revive after getting eaten by just pres
I'm putting the final touches on this long delayed project., so here is the first summer '19 status report. I tested on my real XEGS hardware to ensure no game-ruining bugs! Didn't find any! Although that ranking seems too high based on how many times I got devoured and how many minutes I took to beat it ...
I take notes of which variation I play , the end stats, and the ranking given. I'll review them after a few weeks and see if I need to tweak the rankings logic. It's not a