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caffeine-fueled projects & reviews

Entries in this blog

You always blame me! Its not my fault!

You always blame me! Its not my fault!

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'

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

The Adventure II timeline

[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.    https://atariage.com/forums/topic/59600-quest-for-the-

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

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Cafeman

Star Wars The Mandalorian

Star Wars The Mandalorian

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

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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

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Cafeman

Star Wars Binge - Xbox KOTOR.   (Dantooine. They're on Dantooine.)

Star Wars Binge - Xbox KOTOR. (Dantooine. They're on Dantooine.)

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

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:

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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

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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/

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

Me and Saturn

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

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Cafeman

Koffi Redux 2020 part 3

Koffi Redux 2020 part 3

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.   

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Cafeman

Koffi Redux 2020 part 2

Koffi Redux 2020 part 2

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

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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

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Cafeman

Koffi 2020

Koffi 2020

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 col

Cafeman

Cafeman

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