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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/20/2009 in Blog Comments

  1. 6 points
    Updates: 1-19-21: New to-do list. Completed or dead projects can be found in previous lists. 1-19-21: Added Qix, Lady Bug Arcade and "Historical Documentary" (code-name). 1-18-21: Game graphics for Champ Sports Baseball are now in-progress. 1-15-21: Frantic, Gorf Arcade, RobotWar: 2684 and Zeviouz have all been nominated for Best Work-In-Progress (Port) for the 3rd Annual Atari Homebrew Awards.
  2. 5 points
    I'm doing ok, everyone. thankfully, I had a very mild case. feverish and achey for a few days, then it subsided into sore throat, congestion, headache and fatigue. my quarantine ended two weekends ago and I called a doctor friend of mine to ask what that actually means? was I free to ride the subway maskless? Am I now immune and super powered? he basically said that a) no one really knows but, b) it looks like infection does not necessarily prevent from getting reinfected and that c) the virus is mutating so even if one is immune, one might not be immune to a particular strain. and since this is all over the place, it's worse than the flu. So the recommendation was to continue to avoid potential exposure, meaning continue to spend most of my time at home. I went into work once last week and may go in twice this week, but am probably going to keep it down at that level for the rest of the year. and I still get tired really easily...I can sleep 12 hours a day without any problem so spending time up to do work or schoolwork has been a challenge. but thank you, everyone, for your concern and just remember...
  3. 5 points
    *Hugs*Bob*Hugs* People leave a legacy, Bob. Perhaps not one written in the history books for all to read about, but the good done in their life, the positive brought, has moved and motivated others in ways we may never fully know. You're an outstanding person. Donald's sister and other loved ones will no doubt be strengthened and comforted by your presence, and in turn, may you find strength, comfort, and peace as well. Warmest thoughts and great sympathy for all impacted.
  4. 5 points
    Interesting reading, Kris. While I agree with all three of your points, point 2 particularly interests me. The debug version of the Atari ST emulator Steem, with its Boiler Room debugger, has been a great aid to much of the productivity on that system over the last, well, it's quite a few years now. If the Jaguar had something similar - a highly accurate emulator with advanced features, put simply there would be a lot more going on than there is today. Let's hope subqmod continues to work on his emulator in the limited time he has available these days. Virtual Jaguar is also something to keep an eye on, Shamus posted news of a potential update a little while ago. As for your throughts and feelings as a whole, you echo the thoughts of plenty of others I've had contact with over the last couple of years, albeit more often private contact and not in an open forum. People who genuinely enjoy their Jaguar want to see good things happen, but not at the expense of flame wars and dividing the community into factions. Time will tell - openness, the free sharing of information and discoveries and new releases both freely and for a fee - those things all have a positive impact. Many of the things you mention would do likewise. It's good for the majority of Jaguar fans that the two major forums are now in a much healthier and positive phase of existence than they once were. If other more secret but active forums keep their actions internal/out of plain sight, I don't see that any real harm can be done - it keeps the majority of the community and the public perception of it in a much tidier and healthier place and thus somewhere outsiders may feel they want to participate without fear of a verbal beatdown. Maybe their secrecy and sense of belonging will help spur them on to be more productive, so maybe some good can still come of it. OTOH, radicalising an already small and diverse community, forcing people to comply or leave by the nearest exit, however well intentioned the conception of such a place... well, I can't see that having much legs. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to work on a piece like this - progressive, informative and well conceived.
  5. 4 points
    The reason they won't tell you why is they don't know why themselves. They have a neural network they've "trained" by feeding it a bunch of posts marked "bad" (and hopefully some marked "good") until it correctly marks another bunch of posts. The more similar your post is to the "good" training & testing posts, the more likely the AI will mark it correctly. But if your post is more like the "bad" training & testing posts, then the AI is going to mark it incorrectly. And there's no way to ask the AI "why is this post "bad"". Modern AI is a big black box - garbage in - gospel out.
  6. 4 points
    Life is great without (un)social media. Trust me!
  7. 4 points
    Updates: 7-31-21: Gorf Arcade label artwork concept approved. 7-31-21: Lady Bug Arcade label artwork concept approved. 8-2-21: Galaxian 7800 label artwork concept approved. 8-2-21: Pac-Man Collection XM 7800 label artwork concept approved. 8-2-21: UniWarS 7800 label artwork concept approved. Off to a good start! I have roughs of all five labels in various stages (all but two have color), and they're far enough along to show John and Bob the direction I'm heading in. Fortunately, they liked all of them! Although if they hadn't, I suppose that would've let me off the hook for working on them. Maybe I'm doing this wrong... Anyway, as long as I've been doing this, it's always a pleasant surprise when the programmers like the labels, especially if they're for known properties, but the labels don't resemble the original game artwork at all (admittedly, Pac-Man is still Pac-Man, and Galaxian is at least a nod to the original). Of the three 7800 games, I'm having the most fun with UniWarS because it tells a story, but if I can pull it off, Galaxian will look the coolest. For the 2600 games, I solved the Gorf problem of trying to represent all five stages, basically by only representing one. I'm having the most fun with Gorf out of all of these, probably because Gorf is a big, goofy, space gumdrop that shouts insults at you. And the Lady Bug Arcade label turned out much better than I was expecting. I'm really quite pleased with it, and I think it's an appropriate upgrade to an upgraded game. Maybe this time around I won't spend the next 15 years regretting drawing this one. Next, I have to actually execute the final illustrations. On a difficulty scale of 1-10 (1 being super easy, barely an inconvenience, 10 being insane), I'd give them: Gorf Arcade: 4 Lady Bug Arcade: 6 Galaxian 7800: 10 Pac-Man Collection XM 7800: 5 UniWarS 7800: 8 I'm probably going to be wrong on all of those.
  8. 4 points
    Updates: 7-4-21: Lady Bug Arcade label artwork in progress. 7-4-21: Gorf Arcade label artwork in progress. 7-4-21: Added Homebrew Label section, to separate out games I'm only creating packaging artwork for: 7-4-21: Galaxian (7800) label artwork in progress. 7-4-21: Pac-Man Collection XM (7800) label artwork in progress. 7-4-21: UniWarS (7800) label artwork in progress. And yes... I'm working on five labels at the same time. I must be insane or something. However, I'm not creating the manuals for the 7800 games (Bob does that), just the artwork. The manuals are the time-sucking, soul-draining monsters that make life a living misery, so I think doing just the labels is manageable. Plus, Gorf is months down the road. I should note when I say "labels", that the label artwork also gets repurposed for the boxes and manual covers (and sometimes posters). They all get cropped to slightly different proportions (thanks for that, Atari), so the layout has to be somewhat flexible, and to do that I try to keep each element split out on separate layers. For Lady Bug Arcade, I wanted to completely re-do the artwork from the original release. I've never been happy with it, since I didn't do proper research on insects and just kind-of faked my way through the character designs (one of these days, I'll add a blog entry about it in my Homebrew Art series). The new artwork will still be cartoony, but completely different. I've been researching insects a lot this time, and I've got an all-new appreciation and fascination with ladybugs. I'm pleased with the results so far, although anyone expecting just an update of the original Champ Games version, a Coleco-style label, or an homage to the arcade artwork... prepare to be disappointed. For Gorf Arcade, I've been struggling mightily for months trying to come up with an idea. Actually, ideas. I'd thought about doing something elaborate like a classic Star Wars poster (think Gorf as the Death Star with two superlaser dishes as eyes), but the execution just wasn't working. Ralph McQuarrie I'm not. Plus, it was looking too much like Draconian. Other failed ideas and sketches came and went with no luck. I think the idea of it being five games in one was really intimidating me, or at least getting me hung up. But as I was researching "groovy 70's graphic design" the other day, I came across a really simple set of stripes that finally triggered what I think is a keeper. It's still an early design, and it's very different from anything I've done before, but it appeals to me in a way none of the other ideas did. Plus, I may be able to do something with it that would be kind-of-fun for collectors, although Albert would probably kill me. And for anyone expecting an homage to the CBS or arcade artwork... prepare to be disappointed. Bob (PacManPlus) DeCrescenzo originally asked me to work on... was it Pac-Man Collection XM? Or Galaxian? I forget now. Pac-Man, I think. Anyway, this was many months ago, and I was already committed to working on Zoo Keeper and Venture Reloaded, so I suggested he might want to find someone else if he wanted it done in a timely manner. Later, he asked me to work on Galaxian, which I said I could do, but not until later. Well, now is later, or perhaps "later is the new now" as the kids say (I'm assuming they probably say that, on their YouTube TV shows or whatever). Mostly because I'm on vacation for the first time in a year-and-a-half. Fully away from being stuck in my apartment, away from work, and with time to just sit and be creative with no pressures (except the looming deadlines of getting these labels done, of course). But I've found I can't force myself to be creative. If I'm stressed-out, it just doesn't work. So if you're wondering sometimes why games my not be released right away when the programmers declare them "finished", it's because they ask artists like me to create artwork for them, and sometimes that's where the delay comes from. Some artists are better at "on-demand" artwork than others. I'm not one of those. I don't even keep track of how much time labels, manuals and boxes take to create, because it would probably just end up turning me off from ever doing one again. Anyway, although hopefully not related to that, the other artist slated to work on Pac-Man XM is apparently a no-show, and Bob also needed artwork for UniWarS, so he asked if I could do all three games. And since Bob has almost single-handedly doubled the 7800's game library, is one of the nicest and most talented guys on the planet, and I've never done a 7800 label before (save for a few failed contest entries), I thought I'd give it a shot. Also, I was still stuck on Gorf at the time, and hoped working on something else would un-stick me. I started with UniWarS, since I didn't have any preconceived notions about it. It's an obscure Galaxian-style shooter from back-in-the-day, and I figured it would be the one that I could be the most creative with, since it's pretty-much the opposite of iconic. The flyer and arcade game art are nothing special, but I did get inspiration from one of the flyers and the backstory of the game. So I'm using the story as the basis of the label, and telling that story from the point-of-view of the poor, oppressed aliens who you have decided to arbitrarily exterminate. I like the way it's turning out. Again, it's different from the arcade artwork and flyers, so if you're a fan of those (if there are any of you out there)... prepare once more to be disappointed. For Pac-Man XM... whew. What to do with that? It's Pac-Man, fer cryin' out loud. You can't go too far off the rails there. I didn't want to re-hash the previous Pac-Man Collection artwork though. So if you're a fan of that... well, you should know the drill by now with the preparation and disappointment and all that. Rather, I'm mixing my own cartooning style with Namco's official version(s). I don't want to just outright ape Namco's artwork. It needs to be my own, or at that point I'm just copying. I may mix a few different styles in there, because of the different games present in the collection. But it took a surprising amount of time to be able to knock-out versions of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man that I'm happy with. If I don't like what I'm doing, that will be reflected in the artwork. Maybe nobody else will see it, but I will. If I like what I'm doing, that will be reflected as well, and the end result will be something that I've put more effort into, and hopefully the programmer will like as well. I've got the characters and concept figured out for this one, now I have to work on the layout. It's going to be tricky, because it's not just going to be one Pac-Man, one Ms. Pac-Man and maybe a monster or two. Nope. Think more along the lines of a Pac-Multiverse. Galaxian, on the other hand, borrows pretty heavily from the arcade flyer, cabinet artwork, and 2600 artwork. I like the flying-bug spaceship, as weird as it is. Like Pac-Man, it's iconic, so you kind-of have to use it, or at least give a nod to it. So I'm giving a nod to it. However, it will not replicate the look of any of the above mentioned artwork, because I'm taking it in a different direction. Again, I don't want to just copy. There's no fun in that. So if you like the flying-spaceship-bug-things as seen on anything mentioned above, it'll be there. But if you want it to look exactly like the other versions of it... once again, prepare to be disappointed. Then I'll be five-for-five. Always happy to be of service.
  9. 4 points
    Aardvark (2019) is another cooperation. Oscar started the development, recreating an unreleased Anteater prototype. Then I joined development and got Nathan into the project too. Together we greatly improved the game, even over the arcade version. Aardvark (2019) (Oscar Toledo G., Thomas Jentzsch, Nathan Strum) (NTSC).bin Aardvark (2019) (Oscar Toledo G., Thomas Jentzsch, Nathan Strum) (PAL60).bin
  10. 4 points
    Oh yes... I still pull these out once in a while to chuckle over the typos and grammatical errors. So far I've got nine of these T. Cooper boxes, and all are glorious in their own way, whether it be the artwork or the grammar.
  11. 4 points
    The forecasted crest for the Brazos river was lowered from 59' to 57.5' which makes a huge difference for my neighborhood. I posted details here. I slept well last night for the first time since last week.
  12. 4 points
    Ha Ha you guys are funny (thanks for the compliments) I am *really* looking forward to trying this out. The more developers, the merrier! We can create a *huge* library for this overlooked system.
  13. 4 points
    Thomas is doing a great job at optimising my code, so the next version should be even closer to the arcade. The plan is to release it as a regular home-brew title through the AA store. Chris
  14. 4 points
    Speaking as one who sells Jag stuff I can see and admire aspects from both sides. Personally I like the interaction of a group of enthusiasts and being able to contribute since i am not a coder or hacker. However I do respect intellectual copyright, if someone has worked on something they MAY want something back for it. So we should respect that. I also enjoy the new hardware hacks that come out for Jaguar, and look forward to a replacement for the CD. Overall a well thought out and considered article, much better than some of the "guff" we have had in the past in JF2 and AA Kudos to you Sir Nick Harlow
  15. 4 points
    Well put together post! nice one, agree with you completely. I do believe a lot of the 'piracy' stuff is mainly aimed at trying to keep the price of games high, more feeding others pockets than helping the community. Although personally I would respect the wishes of someone if they put time into producing say a new game on cart but asked that it not be dumped and spread for free, as you say that is their wish and it is technically their IP to do with as they wish. Personally I prefer the free release of ROM/ISO backed onto a physical release of a cart for any who want them. I hack at my jag for the kudos, the beer and the buzz. Hopefully this renaissance will make the place friendlier too, meaning I don't get sick of it and start playing wow instead.. again
  16. 3 points
    It is obvious Facebook is pushing an agenda and only allows posts that go along with the narrative without allowing others with different viewpoints a chance utilize free speech to speak their opinions and have an open and honest debate. It seems the word compromise has disappeared from the public. Not everyone is going to agree and squelching anyone with a challenging a point of view is dangerous and outright censorship. I think I'll likely delete my account as well once I notify my immediate friends and family. Thanks for the nudge to get me to do so.
  17. 3 points
    Star Castle Arcade (2014) is the result of a cooperation with Chris Walton (Nathan Strum did the graphics). Chris started the game and I finalized it. Star Castle Arcade (2014) (Chris Walton, Thomas Jentzsch) (NTSC) (Harmony).cu Star Castle Arcade (2014) (Chris Walton, Thomas Jentzsch) (PAL) (Harmony).cu Star Castle Arcade (2014) (Chris Walton, Thomas Jentzsch) (NTSC) (Stella).bin Star Castle Arcade (2014) (Chris Walton, Thomas Jentzsch) (PAL) (Stella).bin
  18. 3 points
  19. 3 points
    Last night I wrote a bash script that: extracts the DPC+ drivers from games found in Games/ saves the drivers in Drivers/ using the MD5 value as part of the filename. This way only 1 driver file is created for each version even if multiple games have the same driver. extracts the 29K of game code from the 3 test games merges each driver with each 29K of code, saving them in Test/ with the MD5 value as part of the filename. I then put the games from this blog entry, and some ROMs from my projects, into Games and ran the script. It found 4 DPC+ driver versions and created 12 test ROMs. I then ran each test on hardware on both the regular and the Encore version of Harmony. Initial results: 17884ec14f9b1d06fe8d617a1fbdcf47 Jitters Encore Compatible 5f80b5a5adbe483addc3f6e6f1b472f8 Stable Encore Compatible 8dd73b44fd11c488326ce507cbeb19d1 Stable Not Compatible with Encore b328dbdf787400c0f0e2b88b425872a5 Jitter Encore Compatible Next is to scour around AtariAge to see if I can find any other versions of the DPC+ driver. After that see if I can nail down dates for each version. Script and all the files: DPCplusVersions.zip
  20. 3 points
    I don't like beer because I spent years working for a janitorial company, cleaning it up from the other end. And it smells exactly the same.
  21. 3 points
    The modern criticism of this game is completely fair. There absolutely ARE many 2600 games that are more fun to play now than this one. But the game really was a revelation to those of us who played it in 1982. Up until this point, the 2600 had generally been giving us good (If rarely great) copies of games and play styles we’d already experienced via arcade games, board games, card games, etc. But it hadn’t yet given us something new we hadn’t yet tried elsewhere. But with Pitfall! we now had something we hadn’t played before... a graphically excellent action adventure game across a huge environment. Yes, in a real way, Adventure had done something similar earlier, and I would never want to take anything away from that outstanding achievement. But instead of icons that mostly only vaguely looked like what they should, nearly everything in Pitfall! was actually easily identifiable and animated. Pitfall Harry himself was amazingly well represented compared to previous game characters, and unlike Adventure’s square, he could run, jump, climb and swing on vines - yawn-inducing now perhaps, but amazing in 1982. No criticism of this review is intended... it’s looking-back approach to an admittedly now-dated game is right on target. Just wanted to give a back-in-the-day perspective to why this game was so popular and groundbreaking back then and remembered fondly by us old folks today, despite gameplay that doesn’t stand up quite as well as many of its contemporaries.
  22. 3 points
    Artie's index has been updated. Today's episode was #350!
  23. 3 points
    One thing lacking vs the arcade is the robots won't collide into each other in the 2600 version. I'm starting to feel the urge to work on Frantic again, which has this feature. Before I do that I need to update SpiceC to use the new CDFJ version of CDF. CDFJ adds a second Jump Datastream for John, which allowed him to free up ~450 bytes in WoW which he'll be using for sound effect data.
  24. 3 points
    Which parallel universe are you living in, where you not only have a local game store which has an Atari 2600 for sale, but also has a basement full of bits and pieces for you to puzzle together?
  25. 3 points
    You got very very lucky with this one. It's a pity that they waited until the last minute to start releasing higher quality 'good' games, if they'd scrapped their earlier stuff and started with games like Encounter at L-5, Bermuda Triangle, and Frank's Monster, and also stopped nosediving their company with stupid brand deals they probably could have been a force to be reckoned with.
  26. 3 points
    This was one of the games I bought New back in the day! I still have it boxed with manual etc. For a long time it was my Favorite game! I used to constantly tell people about it, yet I was the only person I knew who ever bought it... It was a Great game and seemed very advanced for its time!
  27. 3 points
    What about the mock-up screenshot in the advertisement? For once it has much lower resolution than the actual game. Besides Spectravision, which became Spectravideo didn't just release a MSX computer. Their SVI-318 and 328 models were the hardware the standard was based on, though those computers are not fully compliant with the standard. And they hired Roger Moore for their advertising, in the middle of his 007 career! Now I doubt they could secure licensing for a James Bond game, but imagine if the boy was replaced by the agent, tied to a chair and one of the super villains was feeding him food until 007 explodes - that would be quite a game!
  28. 3 points
    I like the arcade version, this home version is so-so. Thomas made a double-speed hack back in 2003 that helps. A game kinda like this that I really like is Pepper II. I have some ideas on how to implement it on the 2600, so it might come to be someday.
  29. 3 points
    I like to mention my stacking solution for M-Network carts whenever someone brings up their awkward shape. Those little sheets of adhesive clear rubber "feet" you can buy at most hardware stores. They about about 3/16" thick, 1/2" diameter and shapped like little blisters or tiny clear servings of flan. Put two of them under the label end of M-Network games and then they stack fine. Nice review as always. I appreciate the comparison with the intellivision version too since I was planning on giving that version a whirl soon. Nice insight on the programming side of things too, SpiceWare.
  30. 3 points
    Actually, I thought this was one of Starpath's better efforts, but mainly because they were just copying Asteroids and the high resolution graphics looked cool. (When you could see them.) Originally, they were copying Asteroids a little too closely, which is why they had to change the theme of the game to something else.
  31. 3 points
    The Taiwan-Cooper games for the Coleco are pretty trippy, too.
  32. 3 points
    Originally, the punchline for this strip was going to be "I guess he's not compatible with criticism, either." Which is funnier, but to be fair, Hyperkin has actually been very good about responding to criticisms over the RetroN 77. There's a fine line between satire and mean-spiritedness, and I didn't want to cross that. Well... this time. Sometimes when writing these strips I'd get Hyperkin and AtariSA mixed-up. However, it's getting easier to tell them apart, as one ships products, and one doesn't.
  33. 3 points
    I wasn't interested in this product when I first heard about it, as I think a PC running Stella and connected to the TV can basically do the same thing (and much, much more). USB adapters for original controllers already exists as well as a vast selection of USB controllers from arcade sticks to d-pads, and cartridge dumpers have been produced for other systems and are possible for the 2600 too, if one really wants the "illusion" of playing the original carts (There have been examples of DIY projects like this one: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/212299-atari2600-cartridge-reader-play-your-real-cartridges-on-an-emulator/). That said, I admit that given the small form factor and low price, I might consider buying one in the future IF the software side is improved to solve the severe issues Thomas mentioned in the review. As Nathan said, it shouldn't be a shipping product in its current state. I overall like the design, although it looks like the buttons and switches are placed without much thought: I would have preferred to have the original 5 switches (TV-TYPE, LEFT and RIGHT DIFFICULTY, SELECT and RESET) all aligned on the front panel, with the same labeling and order as in the original 6-switch console, and separated from the emulation related buttons (save/load, aspect ratio). The TV-TYPE switch on the back is an issue for any game using it for gameplay. I also would have preferred toggle switches for difficulty and TV-TYPE (I think it would be trivial to modify Stella to support them), while a soft power switch would have probably been better, allowing the CPU to finish write operations before shutting down thus reducing the risk of corrupting the files on the SD card. Oh, and the cart port is backwards!!!! I'm disappointed that Hyperkin didn't correct this even if it was pointed out after the first prototype was shown. It has been speculated that it was an intentional choice for people not familiar with the original console, but I find it a questionable choice neverthless because, in this way, both the end and main label are upside down when the cart is in the system. In order to convince me to buy this console, it NEEDs to have the following features: - Stella 5. There's no going back! - CRT effects, phosphor emulation, TIA interpolation (I'm not a fan of a raw TIA image displayed on a 50+ inches TV with big flat square pixels. It really detracts from the experience in my opinion) - File browser with support for directories, no limit for number of files and long file names (8 characther DOS-style filenames? C'mon, the Harmony cart displays full filenames on a 40 years old console!) - The Cart dumper should work with all the classic bankswitched carts. It's more a novelty for me and not something I' would likely use very much, but since it's there, it should at least play the original games as advertised. I know it could never play everything (compumate, supercharger, flash carts, modern homebrews using coprocessors, etc) but Batari wrote code for the harmony cart to work as a dumper years ago and it autodetected correctly many classic schemes, so we know it is possible to make it work. It would be also nice if you could save the dump on the sd card, there are still a few dumps of classic games missing, and revisions of already dumped ones still to discover, but the current solutions to dump games are not user friendly and tipically also require soldering skills. (I know this is outside the scope of the product, but I think it would be a nice addition and probably easy to implement) - It would be nice if the controller ports could support other controller types (at least driving controller and keypads should work. Adding Trackballs, Genesis pads and maybe the booster grip would cover almost every game ever released). I know autodetection could be problematic or even impossible for some of these, but a selection menu would be prefectly fine (autodetection could be reserved for paddles and joysticks that are the most common ones).
  34. 3 points
    It's disappointing to see such lemming-like gullibility among people who ought to know better, especially at this early stage and with a company that has (at the very least) failed to demonstrate that they're capable of delivering on anything they've promised. It seems that a shiny new "official" Atari logo, and a plastic case that vaguely resembles a half-melted 2600 with a wooden popsicle stick glued to the front, is enough to make a redundant and undistinguished piece of hardware seem like a must-buy to people who can—and probably do—already have everything it purports to offer.
  35. 3 points
    My Satefy Dance... at least what I've done so far with it.
  36. 3 points
    If you can - do both. The Harmony cart is a great convenience for playing the 2600 library. I use it for playing games I don't own, testing homebrews that are in development, and even playing games that I do own, but may not want to dig out of their boxes. But - a lot of time, effort and money goes into producing homebrew releases - even beyond the countless hours the programmers put into authoring them. Printing boxes, manuals, labels, assembling circuit boards, even running the AtariAge store, all take a lot of work, and the cost is all up-front. If people stop buying the physical releases, at some point, it won't be worth producing them anymore. I know a lot of the appeal to programmers is having that physical cartridge and manual produced for their games, and they get a great deal of satisfaction seeing them in the hands of people who really appreciate and enjoy them. It's not about the money (which is minimal anyway). Ideally, the Harmony is part of someone's homebrew collection (itself being a homebrew project). Not a substitute for it. Sure - not everyone can buy every homebrew that comes out. But for the ones you can - I'd highly recommend it. It makes the programmers feel the totality of their work is being appreciated.
  37. 3 points
    I'm disappointed as well, but I'm not really surprised. I think that the process would be intimidating to non-programmers. If I didn't know how to lay stuff out in Photoshop and convert it, I don't think I could wrap my head around it. That said, I would've hoped with all of the programmers that hang out on AtariAge, some of them would've stepped up and submitted ideas. I hadn't planned to enter, but maybe I will now anyway. I have a pretty-good shot at winning. I understand your frustration though - and hope that you won't step back from other projects because of it. It would be nice, of course, if more people participated in things like this when invited to do so. But it's something that can't be counted on. And this never got onto the official AA contest page, or an announcement on the front page. So I don't think this got a lot of attention, especially due to the time constraints. A lot of people have said a lot of positive things already about Draconian. You've already got two of the top five games in the AA store, so people are looking forward to this game, and I expect Draconian to climb its way up there as well. Hang in there! You make awesome stuff.
  38. 3 points
    Actually I would have been surprised if there were a lot of entries. Many people around are typical consumers only. And then the time was very short. So no reason to be disappointed, IMO. And I am sure you can fill the gaps easily.
  39. 3 points
    I dunno, Feargal Mac sounds more like a death metal cover band that sings only Fleetwood Mac songs.
  40. 3 points
    Interesting tidbits here: https://www.arcade-history.com/?page=detail&id=320 Like us old farts would be good enough players to succeed in this: "Bonus for no-miss clear (completing a round without dying) - this bonus is given only when the game is set to auto difficulty : multiplier x number of bases, the multiplier starts at 100 points and increases by 100 points each time you get the bonus up to 1,000 points."
  41. 3 points
    That's so cool!!! I kind of wish that I had played Bosconian 'back in the day' now so I could appreciate this more... @iesposta: Thank You! ...but "Was"? I'm not dead (yet) I can't wait to get back to 7800 programming.
  42. 3 points
    Amazing! unbe-freakin-lievable! This will also make Frantic spectacular. Then we should collaborate on Astro Blaster 2600 -- it's a "talkie" where speech in-game is more important than Bosconian -- because I have permission to take Bob's 7800 movement routines (which equal the Arcade but need tweaked for 2600 screen compensation, as was done for the 7800 amounting to only one divide by 2), and the TIA audio is already there (like Scramble 7800 to 2600). I myself could do a decent batari Basic DPC+ kernel Astro Blaster using AtariVox+, but CDF with samples and less canned kernel constraints would be so much better. Also, like DK Arcade 2600, I can do the Graphics, Sound, Speech Samples, Layout, but game logic and C programming are out of my wheelhouse. If only we could all be as productive and fast as Bob DeCrescenzo was!
  43. 3 points
    Lookie what I found in a box in my closet... They need a little reconditioning... but soon the shininess will return!
  44. 3 points
    It was supposed to be a launch title for the Coleco Chameleon... but for some reason we haven't heard back from the guy.
  45. 3 points
    supermassive version looks awesome on a rotated 4K monitor
  46. 3 points
    After many hours of randomly trying to find the issue in my TI 99/4a, I thought that someone must have written some kind of step by step manual to fix a TI 99/4a. I found the following invaluable material from John Guion that clearly explains how one should test your motherboard and identify the source of your problem. If I knew this before I would not have done so much surgery to my TI. I hope that this weekend I can apply the following and identify the source of my problem. @&CONSOLE^DEBUGGING^HELP By John Guion Dallas TI Home Computer Group @PROBLEM^AREAS 1)^^Console will not power up &TI-99/4A &Console &and &Peripheral &Expansion &System &Technical &Data manual available from Texas Instruments' Dealer Parts Department [(806) 741-2265] will serve as an excellent source for schematics and part location guide. The information contained herein is only intended for use as a reference for possible debugging procedures. It is not intended as a repair guide for the common user with little or no knowledge of digital electronics or the basic structure of the TI-99/4A system. The author assumes no responsibility for damages resulting from improper use of this information. This information should only be reproduced in its entirety with credit to the original author. @1CONSOLE WILL NOT POWER UP @1.1 General information. Failure of the TI-99/4A console to power up and produce the TI title screen is a common problem that is also the hardest to track down and fix since failure of nearly any component in the console or power supply can cause this. The following are not intended as solutions to the problem, but merely as points to check that may aid in finding the actual problem and fixing it. Unless a particular part is suspected, replace any socketed chips possible with known working equivalents before de-soldering any components. Since the socketed chips are common causes of lock up, eliminating them as possible problems first may save excess soldering on the board. The console will power up if the sound chip is removed entirely, but not if that chip is shorted internally. A simple TTL logic probe can be used for tracing signals in the circuit. An oscilloscope may also be used and has the advantage of being able to check clock signals for proper frequency. When a signal should exist as an output from a particular device, be sure to check that device's input for proper signals before attempting to replace the component. When checking for locked up signals, try to trace all signals back through the circuit to the point of origin. A set of schematics (available from several sources, including TI) will help greatly in this part of debugging. Tracing locked signals can determine whether or not the signal is missing due to a faulty component that it must pass through or what power up operation was occurring during lock up. @1.2^Console^power^up^procedure. A. TMS9900 CPU resets and addresses low ROM locations. B. TMS9900 initializes. C. TMS9900 sets up workspace registers in MCM6810 RAM. D. TMS9900 begins GROM read. E. TMS9900 enters delay loop for about 1/4 second. F. TMS9919 sound chip is disabled. G. TMS9918A VDP chip is initialized. H. 4116 VDP RAM is initialized (requires about 1 second). I. Title screen is loaded into VDP. J. TMS9919 sound chip emits beep. K. TMS9900 CPU enters keyboard scan. L. System is ready for use. @1.3 Voltage/signal checklist. A. Check power supply for +5V, +12V, and -5V. Lack of -5V often results in a grey flickering screen on power up. Check for +5V on chips throughout board. Check TMS9900 for -5V at pin^1; +5V at pins^2, 33, 59, and 64; and +12V at pin^27. If any voltages are missing, check for shorts on main board. Replace power supply if necessary. B. Check TMS9900 pins^8, 9, 25, and 28 for clock signal. If not found, check TIM9904 clock generator pins^1, 2, 3, and 4 for clock signal. If not found, check TIM9904 supply voltages (+5V at pin^20, +12V at pin^13), crystal, and tank circuit. If no external problem can be found, possible TIM9904 failure. C. Check TMS9918A pin^39 and pin^40 for the 10.73863 MHz clock. If missing, check crystal and oscillator circuit. Otherwise, check TMS9918A pin^36 and pin^37 for clock outputs. If not found, remove GROMs and sound processor (located next to GROMs) and test again for clock. If missing, possible TMS9918A failure. Reinsert GROMs and sound processor after tests. D. Check TMS9918A pins^14 (-CSW) and^15(-CSR) for lock up. If locked up, check memory enable from pin^6 of 74LS32 and pin^13 of 74LS138 located next to MCM6810. Trace signal to find possible failure. E. Check TMS9918A pin^13 (MODE) for lock up. If locked up, trace signal back to TMS9900. Also check for other components that may be locking up this line (it is used as A14). If no other fault can be found on that line, possible TMS9918A failure. F. Check TMS9918A pin^1 (-RAS), pin^2 (-CAS), and pin^11 (-R/W) for lock up. If locked up, possible TMS9918A failure. G. Check TMS9918A pins^17 through 24 (data lines) for signals. If missing, trace to fault. Possible TMS9918A or TMS9900 failure. H. Check TMS9918A pins^3 through 10 (RAM address/data lines) for signals. If missing, possible TMS9918A failure. I. Check 4116 RAM pin^14 (DATA OUT) on each chip for signal. Each chip missing signal may be at fault as well as TMS9918A. J. Check TMS9900 pin^62 (READY) for lock up. If locked up, check TMS9900 pin^6 (-RESET) for signal. If pin^6 is locked up low, possible TIM9904 failure. If high, possible TMS9900 failure. If TMS9900 pin^6 is not locked up, trace circuit back from pin^62 to find fault. K. Check all three GROMs (CD2155, CD2156, and CD2157) at pin^10 (-CS) and pin^15 (GREADY) for signals. If either is missing, remove all three GROMs and test pin^10 again for signal. If the signal at pin^10 does not exist, trace back through circuit to find failure. If signal exists, replace GROMs one at a time until GROM that causes lock up on pin^15 is found. L. Check all three GROMs for signal on pin^11 (M0/A14) and pin^12 (M1/DBIN). If missing, trace circuit to find break in signal path. M. Check each GROM for -5V at pin^14, +5V at pin^9, and -.8V to -.6V at pin^16. If missing, check for broken trace. If -.8V/-.6V is missing or at -5V, check diode connected to that line. N. Remove sound generator. If console powers up, check pin^16 for +5V, pin^4 for clock from TMS9918A, pin^5 (-WE) for signal, and pin^6 (-CS) for signal from 74LS138 closest to MCM6810. If these signals exist, possible sound chip failure. O. Check TMS9918A pin^36 for composite video output. If missing, check TMS9918A crystal and clock circuit and pin^16 (-INT) for interrupt signal. If signals exist, possible TMS9918A failure. P. Check GROMs for clock on pin^13. If missing, check clock output on TMS9918A pin^37. If signal on TMS9918A exists, check for break in signal path. If not, check TMS9918A oscillator circuit. If oscillator operates, possible TMS9918A failure. Q. Check pin^20 (-CS) of console ROMs for lockup. If locked up, trace circuit back to find fault. R. Check pins^7 and 9 through 15 of 74LS138 nearest I/O port to determine memory area accessed during lock up. Check pin^4 (-MEMEN) for lock up. If no signal can be found on pin^7 or pins^9 through 15, possible 74LS138 failure. S. Check pin^11 (-CS) of MCM6810 RAMs for lock up. If locked up, trace circuit back to find fault. T. Check TMS9901 pin^5 (-CE) for lock up. If locked up, check 74LS138 nearest I/O port for failure. Check TMS9901 pin^11, 17, and 18 for lock up. If locked up, trace circuit back to find fault.
  47. 3 points
    You can't make it right for everyone, so I stopped trying. Now I just make it right for me.
  48. 3 points
    Wow and thanks! it's been awesome to be involved with such a cool bunch of people! The help, support, motivation and cluefullness have been amazing from the guys at Reboot and Jagware. Really gotten me back into the scene, cheers guys! So glad you like the Sound Engine, serious chufty badge to me that you chose to use it! many thanks. Here's to another year of fun and friendships! chin-chin!
  49. 3 points
    I'd like to extend my best wishes as well to all those who rise above the nonsense and enjoy good fun, talent, and the willingness of the folks who put in the hard work to share their efforts when they see it. Being even a small part of Reboot/Jagware and seeing the incredible expertise of all involved and the results of their work has been a privilege. Thanks guys, and Happy Holidays!
  50. 3 points
    Well I've been working on it since yesterday, and when you "save as draft" it locks in the time code... I didn't post it till this morning. Thank you both for responding, much appreciated. I really did pour my heart into this blog post, and it is one of the most passionate things I've written in a long time. -Kris
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