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Feeding Frenzy

My daughter is hooked on the game Feeding Frenzy.This is the first game she can really play on her own since it only requires the mouse. Clicks are optional as it gives you a brief speed boost.In a weird role-reversal I'm starting to wonder what will happen if she wastes too much time playing it vs. other more "healthy" pursuits.The problem is she monopolizes the computer so I go into instant internet withdrawal, so I guess her addiction just reveals my own addiction.

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Heuristics take time.

The good news is I have made Four-Play smarter. If you can defeat it now, you know something about the strategy that I don't. The bad news is it takes about 3 1/2 minutes to plan a move. You can reduce the time by setting the frame rate to maximum in z26, for example "z26 -r1000 fourplay_dec11.bin". My pentium 4 unit can plan moves in about 30 sec.The next step will be to try alpha-beta pruning to see if I can cut the time to a reasonable amount. If not, I'll have to choose a different heuristic

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Cold, Annoyed, Hungry, and Bitchy

Yeah, quite a combination, I know. It's been a rough two days and right now I just want to throw something. Maybe at a wall. Maybe at something else. It's freezing in my room and my fingers are starting to lose feeling. (Texas isn't supposed to get this fucking cold.) I tried hard to do something right and I only ended up upsetting someone else when I just wanted to make that person happy. And, both the other person and myself spent forever trying to fix the complications from my attempt.

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World Cup 2006 Groups!

Hi there!Just watched the drawing of the Groups live on German TV and noted down everything:Group A:1. Germany2. Costa Rica3. Poland4. EcuadorGroup B:1. England2. Paraguay3. Trinidad & Tobago4. SwedenGroup C: 1. Argentina2. Cote D'Ivoire3. Serbia & Montenegro4. NetherlandsGroup D:1. Mexico2. Iran3. Angola4. PortugalGroup E:1. Italy2. Ghana3. USA4. Czech RepublicGroup F:1. Brazil2. Croatia3. Australia4. JapanGroup G:1. France2. Switzerland3. Korea Republic4. TogoGroup H:1. Spain2. Ukraine

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Tea with Julie

Well something pretty rare happened earlier. I actually met a nice girl over some tea. We spent 2 hours talking about stuff and I think I have another friend here. I'll keep hanging out with her as long as she wants. We have a lot in common and that helps too. Just thought I'd share.

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DS vs. PSP: 4:1

Hi there!Wow, that was quick! Nintendo just won the race for the first "killer app rpg" with:Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time!Total no-brainer for me. Its GBA prequel easily makes it into the top 5 games I played the last 5 years! While rather short (except the end battle!) it certainly was the game with the highest laughs/minute ratio ever!Ok, just for the overall summary, scorers so far are:DS: Castlevania, Mario Kart, Advance Wars, Mario & Luigi PSP: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stor

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Datsun 280 Zzzap / Dodgem

Datsun 280 Zzzap / Dodgem, Bally Professional Aracade, 1978Okay, these are early don't-hit-something driving games.For those of you not familiar with Bally's version of Dodgem: The object of the game is to get as far as you can in the time alloted (you choose how many seconds) while avoiding collision with the cars that you are passing. You control the horizontal positioning of a car with the paddle. The view is top down and you are driving towads the top of the screen as other cards move down,

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Whoops

I've been working on the digging code for leprechaun and have it working; mostly. Unfortunately there's a bug, or rather an unanticipated side effect. The problem is if an enemy falls in a hole and it starts to fill up, the bitmap for gold is momentarily displayed. But then the enemy picks up the "gold", but the fill continues, leaving the enemy stuck in a (top) half filled hole.The "easy" fix is to change the gold bitmap, i.e. remove the bottom white line, so it doesn't match half filled dirt.

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Wrapping up a semester

Next week is crash time. I have a final exam in Algebra, a final exam in Small Grp Communication (I think) and a final project due for Int.Programming for Internet (BChat..see link on right). I hope I can get everything wrapped up. I'm looking at the possiblity of All "A"s this time around. Well, As and Bs would be acceptable as well but I don't want any Cs, Ds or Fs. ;)After next week, it will be X-mas anyway. I need to try and find time to get some X-mas shopping done (yikes!). I may not get a

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Stuff worth having

I started this in someone's holiday wish list thread, so I thought I would put it in this blog before it gets lost in the depths of the forum sea. I'll add to it over time so that I will have an updated reminder of the things I plan to own sooner or later:   New house SETS Systems Electric Tankless Water Heaters Tempur-Pedic Adjustable Bed Recumbent Exercise Bike VersaClimber Life Field Polarizer (have 2, but would like 2 or 3 more) Solarizer Beamer Ancient Secret of the Fountain of You

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They do chicken... right?

So I grabbed dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken tonight.   Yeah, I know. But I still eat there. (And I actually worked there once!)   Anyway... here's the thing that puzzles me.   All they make... is chicken. That's their whole thing, right?   And yet... it seems about half the time I go there... they are out of chicken!   "Sorry, we don't have any Original™. Would you like Extra Crispy™ instead?" "Sorry, we don't have any white meat. Would you like dark meat instead?" "Sorry, we're ou

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A better chessboard

Sometimes designing kernels is more fun than actual game programming. Anyway, the idea of doing a better chess kernel has been on my mind for a while. I've been skeptical of the notion that chess could only be done with Venetian blinds or flickering, and this weekend I came up with a design that needs neither. Like my other board game kernels it relies heavily on PF graphics and multiple color changes.Unfortunately I could not figure out a way to use self-modifying code. The PF must be updated e

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Disclaimer

This blog contains thoughts and opinions that may do the following:-Provoke others in a mad rage-Provoke others to praise and gaze in awe-Give people a very small glimpse into my universe-Offer inspiration to those looking for some-Help me deal with stress by offering a way to unload thoughtsThis is the only blog I've ever been able to maintain so I'll keep posting, even if people don't read it anymore. I think I have an idea for another post. Maybe you'll find it more refreshing since it's been

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Amiga Boing 2.0 Demo is Gold! (I think)

Well, I just sent Al, Release Candidate One (RC1) and then closely followed by RC2. I hadn't tested the PAL colours in the RC1. They should be good now, however I'm only going by what I see in Z26 and Stella.You know, I thought I had published the first two entries in this BLOG... but I guess I didn't. The first one is from somewhere near the beginning of Nov and the second is towards the end of Nov.This one is today. and fresh. tssst.Well, now that that is out of the way. It's on to the next

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Broken tools - Rendering from Maya

Well, I rendered out another set of animations for Amiga Boing 2.0 last night and I still had problems with the conversion. The new anims look good in the viewer but I still haven't seen them running in the demo.The problem is that the PCX2GRP only takes 320x200 grayscale PCX files as input. Well, I found a fantastic tool (Image Magick) that does everything you'd want. It takes the 48x90 rendered bitmaps and can convert them to 8 bit grayscale PCX files at 320X200 ALL IN ONE STEP! alas... it has

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From the factory floor

We're going to finally finish the last few details on the Amiga Boing 2.0 unit by the end of the month. We still need to gather some supporting information for the eventual inclusion with the final product. Re-tooling is already complete and should be rolling of the lines by early December.There is a new game in the works. A bit of a surprise, it came out of the R&D lab and turned out quite nice. It's already fully playable but we're outsourcing the kernel and so when that comes back we'll i

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Ooze @ #11

Ok, that's not bad at all. My expectation was lower, so I'm happy with the whole thing. But, not happy with Ooze just yet. My earlier comments hold in that I plan to really think the level progression and overall playbalance through before calling this one done.I found the various game comments very interesting. Playing the games, working on your own and then reading the other reactions really shows a lot about what makes an interesting game and what doesn't. Time well spent, IMHO.At work,

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Enough is enough

So, I've allowed the bottle to get the best of me once again. I made a choice that I was not going to buy another beer tonight. I've simply had enough of it. Why am I destroying what I worked so hard to build? Why am I doing this to myself? I don't need the effects of alcohol any longer.From now on, I put my foot down and I put it down hard!

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Bally Professional Arcade Built Ins

Jeez, just when I thought I had it all working I go and break a controller. :(I've been really excited about playing the Bally Professional Arcade because it has a four player option on some of its games and they've got a true joystick/paddle/trigger controllor combo thing going on with their interface, PLUS a 24 key-keypad. Bally spent money on their interfaces, at least that's the way it looks to me.I do have FOUR Bally controllers. Unfortunately, I only have one which works. :(So, today, I at

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Colony 7 got sprites

Hi there!   Uihjah... what a weekend...   Against all odds I managed reclaiming my 4th rank in the Mini Compo with Crazy Balloon. Half a year ago I'd never thought it'd do that good, especially since it is pretty "unapproachable" due to its rather unique (un)control scheme Well, I guess maybe it got some extra oddball(oon) bonus because of not being yet another a Lightcycle or Tetris game   Besides "watching" the compo and family visits I also found some minutes to finally add Nathans s

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Minigames

It has been rather quiet for me on the Atari front lately, after all of the excitement of the show. Since I returned the other facets of life have been taking up all my time, leaving little room for anything Atari related. It is that time of year when an endless succession of parties and engagements fill up the weekends, and work becomes hectic trying to meet all of those arbritrary end-of-year deadlines. I suspect that I won't have much time now to work on PoP until the New Year, though th

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Creative writing

I often don't write lyrics as much as I used to. I don't play in any bands but I've always wanted to. I've come up with a song that pretty much wraps up how I feel about life in a few paragraphs, from where I stand politically to how I feel about social issues. Of course, it's impossible to cover all that in one lyric so here's to trying:Strike onceStrike twiceOne more strike, one more blowAnd the empire crashes downWe wield the hammersWe wield the powerPower to the people!And nothing for the bo

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