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caffeine-fueled projects & reviews

Entries in this blog

 

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

 

Test Drive: Le Mans for SEGA Dreamcast

I've been playing Test Drive: Le Mans again recently, and its been a few years since I really gave it this much attention. I was really stoked with TDLM when it was released in November 2000. It was the most impressive racing game I had even seen! Although now dated, the technical achievements on DC hardware are still obvious. There can be 24 cars on the track! (Not all races have that many). And the opponent cars really feel like somebody is driving them. They make mistakes on the curves

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

 

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

 

Snake Bait - not gonna happen

Almost all of my plans for new homebrew games never came to fruition. But it's fun to design games. In fact, the design is way more fun than the coding, to me. One was Snake Bait. Here is the description:

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

 

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

 

RL5204 Escape from AirWorld log, 2015-10-19

I should be finishing the 98% finished AdvII XE, but I can't help playing with this. I miss having an artist to work with to design the charsets and images. For now the background graphics are just the best I could quickly come up with so far, to communicate my game ideas. There will be ways to tweak the designs and get more colors out of each screen as I go. Some coders don't reveal their works until they are practically done, but I don't work that way. I need to put something out there to kee

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

RL5204 Escape From AirWorld

In the early 2000's decade, there was an effort to make a 5200 version of Swordquest Airworld. It didn't get too far, but it inspired me to draw up a couple of screens just for fun - a palace in the clouds with ladders and platforms, and rooms with items. I never really liked any of the Atari 2600 Swordquest games. None of them. But I did like the concept. Especially of an "Airworld". I had my own idea of such a game, and it was nothing like the original Atari Swordquest games. Years ago I

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

RL5203

RL5203 is planned to be called Detective Powers. In 2009, I was off work for several months, and during this time I read nearly all of Conan Doyle's Sherlock stories. Also, via Netflix DVDs and Streaming, I watched all the seasons and one-off films from the Granada BBC Masterpiece Theater Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett, and I was especially fond of those. So I started to think about how to do an Atari 5200/A8 game back then in late 2009/early 2010. Coincidentally to me, there seemed to

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Koffi Klay?

I was working with clay with others, didn't know what to make, then an idea hit me. Koffi Kopter and Pyro the Stormcloud. Turned out pretty good, especially since I had not dabbled with clay since high school art class. So I took a couple pictures and finally decided to post them here. If you aren't familiar , these are characters from the Atari 5200 and A8 homebrew Koffi: Yellow Kopter from 2002. The ROMs are available for both, and the AtariAge store still carries 5200 Koffi if you'd

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Introduction

I started RL5202 Adventure II for the Atari 5200 in 2001, with Alan Davis and Raccoon Lad. It was finally published by AA in 2007. Dave Giarrusso coined the "RLxxx" numbers back when I started my first homebrew, Koffi: Yellow Kopter. So I stuck with that and will continue to use that. I dabbled slowly with an Atari 8bit version afterwards, finally deciding to call it Adventure II XE and bumping it up to 64K and bank-switched. Perry Thuente has been of immense help with the technical challe

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Ecco for SEGA Dreamcast, and the challenges of 2D to 3D

Ecco the Dolphin was released for the SEGA Genesis in August 1992. This was a time when I felt SEGA could do no wrong. I had rented Ecco for a day or two then, but I didn't play all of it until March of 1993, when much of the USA got hit with the winter "Storm of the Century", as it came to be called. I had purchased Ecco on Friday, and we got snowed-in over the weekend. Fortunately for me, we never lost our electricity, because I had nothing else to do except play my new game Ecco on my Gene

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Daytona USA for SEGA Dreamcast

Just like smelling the roses in the garden, it's nice to have time to Watch the Replay. After a race. I've always loved doing it , to soak in the graphics which , during a race, you can't. And also just to watch myself racing around the track , from the 3rd person vantage point. So right now I'm typing this while half-watching a Mermaid Lake replay where I came in 3rd place, using the Lightning Car with Medium-Soft tires. Today is 9/9/15 - the 16th anniversary of the USA Dreamcast console rel

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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