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caffeine-fueled projects & reviews

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Adventure II XE update 08-02-2019

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

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

AdvII XE testing

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

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Pressure washer art?

It always amazes me the GUNK that sticks to our cement and brick  walkway slabs in 1 year.  Every year I spend a full day pressure-washing all these front & back, and also my pool deck which has composite decking but still accumulates dirt that needs to be washed off.   This year I had a little drawing fun before cleaning them all off.   This isn't chalk on cement;  the dark parts are slime, the bright parts what it looks like after the pressure wash water cleans it off.   

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Cafeman's Necessary 2D Page

https://web.archive.org/web/20010720152157/http://cafeman.www9.50megs.com:80/   I found a 2001 version of my old site (Well, some of it) on the internet Archive. This site was a part time project of mine, mostly about 2D games on the Saturn. It was created with hand-coded HTML and MS Paint between 1998 and 2001, and it was basically my introduction to web pages and picture formats, early on.   The site is still there but my Atari 5200 stuff took it all over eventually... Http://cafeman.ww

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

SEGA Saturn is hooked up again

I've been in a real old-school SEGA mood since fall hit. Up until December, I have been enjoying playing many 16-bit Genesis and SEGA-CD games. I finally had my fill for a while, put that system into the closet and hooked up the SEGA Saturn for December. At first it took some time to get into the 32-bit Saturn again. I was still in a 16-bit mood. I looked at my game wallet that has my 40+ Saturn games, didn't really know what to play. Well, I hit a retro store and picked up on the cheap, Mad

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

The Adventure II timeline

2001-2002 -- Alan and I begin the game and design 75% of what it will be like. Raccoon joins as the artist. 2002-2005 -- Raccoon Lad & I discuss 5200 limits, we design and create screens, and program the game. 2005-2006 -- mostly just me finishing and debugging the program and trying to accomplish my own vision within dwindling memory space. Jan - March 2007 -- Since I have to wait for the game to be manufactured, I do add a few things like the Dragon Trap, then test some more. May 2007 -

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

ReplayFX 2017 Friday report

I attended ReplayFX (Pittsburgh, PA) on Friday July 29 2017. Didn't go the first day (Thursday). I intend to go Saturday too, tomorrow. This is the 3rd year in a row I've attended, and I'll keep attending as long as it keeps happening each year in the City of Champions. Vendors - pretty similar to last year, mostly the same ones it seems. Lots to choose from, from comics, posters,magnets, D&D books, etched drinkware, artwork, local chocolate goodies (mmmmmm!) , and various nicknacks a

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Mean Bean Machine, Part Three

July 24 2017 post - Well, I couldn't put the game down and my scores and strategies have increased. At one time I couldn't score higher than 50k, now I'm regularly hitting over 100k. I'm still not able to get the big-scoring chains. I try to set them up but they get blocked. Usually a chain reaction of four is good enough to finish off the opponents or at least put them on the defensive. You can't putz around too long or YOU will be on the defensive and you might as well give up the round

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Adventure II tells it as it is!

I got the new Rankings logic typed in and I hope debugged. Because I doubled the number of rankings from 5200's 7 , to XE version's 14 Rankings, and I doubled the lines of code for the actual 'rules' , I blew out the main ROM memory bank $4000-$6FFF. So I moved some of the new rankings logic down to $7000-$7FFF and the code now fits.

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

AdvII XE and the Icons of Adventure!

Today I worked on my to-do list of minor tweaks, including the Alternate Icons logic. In the 5200 version of Adventure II, you could pick from various icons but they would not play any differently from using the default Sir Square. I started changing that in for Adventure II XE back in 2013, and gave the Crab and Bat special abilities, both can crawl over / fly over background graphics. Today I finished all of the icons' abilities and tested them. - Knight Helmet and Blue Knight - I

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

AdvII XE and January optimizations

I spent some time in January reviewing the sprite drawing & erasing routines, and the collision routines. I discovered a couple areas I could optimize the code. Maybe this is prep for working on a 2600 game next, counting cycles so much. With 5200 programming, although I did optimize, I didn't really analyze the cycles as much (I didn't need to!) as I did this month. I've heard it said among more experienced [Atari 2600] homebrewers than myself, that there's always another byte you can

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Adventure II XE update 01-03-2017

I am rewriting parts of the sprite collision routines . I thought I could get them to work , but the timing is too different from the original 5200 version, and the Collision routines make certain assumptions that are not true 100% of the time in-game. Here is a quickie video I made to share what the problem is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHe-yjXFceY&t=2s

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Star Wars Rogue One - Spoilers Talk n'at

I also wrote a spoiler-free blog entry about the film here - http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-13519-star-wars-rogue-one-spoiler-free-review/ I wrote that quickly after seeing the film, being careful to avoid all other reviews because I didn't want my thoughts influenced. Once an idea gets in one's head, its there forever. I left the film in elation, feeling some of the 80's stunned wow-factor that I remember as a kid watching the originals. Rogue Squadron stirred the Star Wars excite

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Reactors

I was discussing Atari homebrews and Reactor was brought up. I can remember only one arcade that actually had that awesome coin-op, with its trak-ball and loud electronic music and cool sounds. Atari 2600 Reactor by Parker Brothers (the only console port I've ever heard of) was one of my most often played 2600 games, and I still go back to it. It's just so unique. The 2 types of reactor cores, the switching bonus chambers, and the invisible walls keep it interesting as you play across levels.

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Daytona CCE vs Daytona CE

I bought an inexpensive new copy of the Japanese Daytona USA Circuit Edition recently. I've played a lot of versions of Daytona USA over the years - the coin-op original, the Saturn launch Daytona USA (which I lost and no longer own), the North American Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition (CCE) on Saturn, and the Dreamcast Daytona USA. I guess I'm a real sucker for Daytona USA. Searching online for differences between the original CCE and the later import CE, I found some claims that t

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Replay FX is over

I attended the Pittsburgh Replay FX last year Friday and Saturday - the show runs from Thursday to Sunday. So this year for 2016 I attended Thursday through Saturday. I also joined the Replay World Championships, played a lot of Time Pilot and Dig Dug on max difficulty, but got eliminated in the first round finals. Also attended some GREAT seminars, played countless pinball, coin-ops, and consoles, and heard some good music. Great show! Kong-Off Championships. This returned for a 2nd y

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Playing Dig Dug

In preparation for the competition ( http://replayfx.org/competitions/replay-world-championship/ ) next week at the Replay FX show, I've been trying to boost my Dig Dug scores. I'm playing the PSX Namco Classics disk 3 version (playing on my PS2). First of all, I saw recorded Dig Dug patterns on YouTube that blew my mind! One video shows a guy who consistently can get the 10k or 12k bonuses for smashing mulitple monsters under the same falling rock! In the past, I was only good a

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

RL5204 Escape from AirWorld log, 2016-07-07

Pterodactyl imagery and a portal. Portals open to a Treasure Room where you defeat the pattern/enemies to grab treasure. I want the portal door to be a brighter color - might use a wide missile for those. Played around with ideas for different bg's - Here's the description: Other entries on this project: http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-12413-rl5204-escape-from-airworld-log-2015-10-19/ http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-12269-rl5204-escape-from-airworld/

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Bike Riding

I'm tired of buying junk. In 2009 I went yard sale shopping and got 2 used bikes. One was for Mrs Cafeman, who since decided biking isn't for her, so I ditched it years back. The other bike, and I don't recall the brand, was for my oldest son who was like 15 at the time - wouldn't you know we still have it, it's older but the frame and wheels never bent, the brakes still work, and it didn't rust out. You can tell this was a quality bike back in the day, whatever year it was sold. Contr

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Review - LEGO Jurassic World

I love Jurassic Park. I read the novels, saw all the films, played the games on Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, and Playstation, for better or worse! I enjoyed Jurassic World as a sequel. I was not disappointed by Colin Trevorrow's direction or the storyline. Since its been a while that I played a game with JP content, I was tickled that LEGO made this game, with content from all 4 films! I am playing the X360 version. Just like with the films, I feel that the Jurassic Park section wa

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray review

I've seen The Force Awakens four times now. Three viewings at the theater, and one at home on my new BD copy. Review Grade: A I simply adore The Force Awakens! I love it! I love it more than any of the prequels. I love how it feels like natural 30-years-later continuation of the original trilogy that I loved as a youth. I like the new actors and characters, all of them. I give credit not only to the actors but to the film's director, JJ Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan. Top 3 re

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (League) - 2nd watch thoughts

Scene spoilers! Beware if you care and haven't watched the film yet!!! Here are my original and mostly non-spoiler thoughts after the first watch a week ago: http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-12817-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-league-spoiler-free-review/ For my 2nd viewing of Batman v Superman, my son and I went to a higher quality Cinemark theater. The screen was much bigger, brighter, and I saw details I missed watching the 1st viewing elsewhere. I caught more clues

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (League) - Spoiler-free review

I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The first section is a spoiler-free review (I assume you watched the trailers), followed by a spoiler-hidden additional thoughts. Based on the Rotten Tomatoes low aggregate score of about 30%, and the complaints, I went in with low expectations. I didn't particularly like the trailers. But to my surprise, I enjoyed the film and would give it "thumbs up". So this review is going to have a positive slant. Also, in my audience there was a lot o

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

10 Cloverfield Lane - spoiler-free review

I just got back from 10 Cloverfield Lane , and it didn't disappoint. The first section is a spoiler-free review, followed by a spoiler-hidden additional thoughts. Spoiler-free Review: "After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack." - IMDB's description. I didn't really expect the film to be a direct sequel to the original Cloverfield, with that monster stomping around - but I wasn

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

AdvII XE - abends, memory, solution

Background info: If I ever suspected I'd need to come back to Adventure II's code the way I have, I'd have never compressed and re-coded so many memory-saving schemes into the original 32K 5200 version! One of the things I was proudest of in 5200 Adventure II was that I fit so much into 32K. As has been stated in the forums many times, the game had to use bank switching for the Atari XE version because the Atari 8bits can't address 32K memory, they instead address in 16K . And you can b

Cafeman

Cafeman

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