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caffeine-fueled projects & reviews

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7800 Dungeon Stalker

I posted this in the AA store, too. Dungeon Stalker snuck up on me. I wasn't prepared for its amalgamation of excellent gaming ideas! At first glance, it looked like a simple 7800 port of INTV Night Stalker. But I feel that DS is more interesting and more fun than the original Night Stalker. DS is a static maze shooter with gameplay tweaks that evoke fond memories of Berzerk, Wizard of Wor, and even INTV AD&D. You can get the usual AtariAge high-quality box , manual and artwork wi

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

 

AdvII XE - Castle screen fix

It always irks me when I see the out-of-place tile on the original 5200 Adventure II - on the first castle at the top. I finally fixed it, for the XE version. As you can see, Sir Square is almost dead in this picture. He's got a big bite taken out of him and the dragon is about to complete his meal. This was the first time I have recompiled and recompressed an Adventure II screen since I got a Windows 64-bit laptop, running win8.1 It's a lot more hassle now. I have to use DosBox to run

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

 

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

 

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

 

AdvII XE & Hiding Spots

I've spent some hours recently going through all the game variations and double-checking that the more complex hiding spot rules work, and that the game's hiding routines don't create an unwinnable game. I did run into one scenario in the beginner difficulty where the bridge was hidden in a locked castle , the magnet was blocked off by logs so you couldn't reach it, and the key to enter that castle was unreachable without either magnet or bridge. So I will tweak the logic to not hide the br

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

 

AdvII XE and alt icons

in 2007's 5200 homebrew Adventure II, you could get Alternate Icons to play with, other than Sir Square, if you entered a secret code on the title screen. In the 5200 version, they played exactly like using the Square. The problem with this was that some of these Alt Icons (namely the big animated Knight) were a bit too big for some of the paths. You could get around this by using the Magnet more. But it made the game a bit more frustrating. Of course these icons are still in the XE vers

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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