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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/05/2020 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. 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.
  3. 4 points
    Life is great without (un)social media. Trust me!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 3 points
    Took ya' long enough. I tried Facebunk years ago, because a friend of mine said that was the best way to stay in touch with him. The whole experience was so phenomenally annoying (and I wasn't even using it regularly) that I killed my account after just a few weeks. Never missed it. It's a bit annoying that some people/businesses/groups only post updates there, and if you don't have an account you can only read a handful of posts before content gets blocked. But it's not annoying enough to do anything about it.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 3 points
  11. 3 points
    Excellent holiday strip! This made me laugh out loud several times!
  12. 2 points
    The initial blocking is IMO not the main problem (there always will be overblocking). Not being able to resolve overblocking fast and easy is what kills the whole thing. But for the latter you need real people who understand your writing.
  13. 2 points
    I did the same - told everybody they had about a week to download any photos I'd taken of them, and explained why I was doing so with the above screenshots.
  14. 2 points
    Sadly I had to replace my JVC Stereo due to some unfortunate technical issues, mainly the left audio track cutting out completely at random, and from the way the power supply was buzzing I didn't want to use it much longer anyways. Swapped it for a Pioneer SX-201 and even though there isn't a difference in sound there is a major one in peace of mind.
  15. 2 points
    My personal test track is G Major Toccata by Mannheim Steamroller (off Fresh Aire IV), specifically the first ~45 seconds. Top hat hits & rolls to test out the treble, pipe organ & kettledrums for bass, and a Hammond organ for everything in between. Plus some decent stereo separation. When I was shopping for a new stereo I stopped in to a Hi-Fi store and used this track to test out a bunch of amps and speakers. I concluded the amp didn't make much difference (at the price point I was shopping at), while the speakers were much more important. Of course, the one thing I couldn't easily change was the room.
  16. 2 points
    This is such a lovely thing to do, thank you! I'm going to pick through your list, learn them, and give them a spin.
  17. 2 points
    Three·s ("3 dots") was also released in 2014. It is based on the awards winning iOS game Threes. I tried to give the game a Mondrian like look. Three.s (2014) (Thomas Jentzsch.bin
  18. 2 points
    Since the YouTube stream is likely to be blocked because of copyrighted music snippets (thank you, content-matching algorithms ), here's the show on Vimeo: Part 1: Part 2: Part 3 (the 2020 Fall Open Show):
  19. 2 points
    That's some wild EQ settings you've got there, but if it works well, and nothing is jumping out or being lost, then I guess it's all good. Definitely, speakers need to be #1, and its sounds like you're in good shape there, from what you're saying. With a cassette deck (as opposed to a CD player), obviously you need something at least half-decent and in good working condition, and just looking at your brands JVC and Onkyo, you've got some half-decent middle of the road stuff that should be totally fine for most applications.
  20. 2 points
    My first home stereo system was a Denon amp & Jamo speakers. About eight years ago I replaced them with a Pioneer S-HSAJ2 5+1 speaker system (although I've never hooked up the center speaker) and Yamaha AV Amp. When I was shopping around I spent some time doing some listening tests at a HiFi store making the sales person swap cables while I listened to the same 30 second clip. My conclusion was the difference between amplifiers at the price point I was buying was minimal. Speakers made a bigger difference, although I bought based on reviews & specs rather than listening tests. The one variable I couldn't change and would make a big difference is the room.
  21. 2 points
    I just saw this *now*, but was warmed by how happy artie and all his friends were in the group picture.
  22. 2 points
    I don't have time right now to do much myself, but if there is expansion on a TestCart concept, I would like to see some tests that would occur before the game boots up, which serve to test the TIA and RIOT chips and attempt to give some indication of a failed test. 0. 6507 test: Number zero because I am not sure if this is totally feasible, as without the 6507 working, there isn't much that can be done unless the hardware on the cartridge itself can help out. 1. TIA test: This tests the various TIA functions, like the playfield, ball, missiles, players, horizontal positioning, VDEL, etc. Testing this can really only be done via collision registers (that I am aware of?) Should be done without use of the RIOT chip at all, which means no timers or RAM. If this fails, a display could be created using just the background color register, and done entirely in ROM without use of RAM or RIOT timers (because we haven't tested the RIOT chip yet!) Also play a warning siren sound through the TIA registers, in case the sound works but the display does not. 2. RIOT Test: A. A comprehensive RAM memory test, using an algorithm similar to memtest86. If any memory fails, display a warning screen with a kernel that uses no memory. B. A test of some of the other RIOT functions such as the timers. 3. Regular suite of tests. The test suggested in the blog entry would be available if we get to this point. In addition, the following tests could be available: A. Exhaustively test the console/cart for sensitivity to the zero page/immediate mode bug. B. Exhaustive bankswitching test, which may need to be a 12k worth of bankswitch instructions so that they could be triggered at every possible location, to see if any cause issues, and allow for both load and store bankswitch operations. C. Test for sensitivity to 7800-specific issues like the incompatibility with Robot Tank, Decathlon, or Supercharger.
  23. 2 points
    The work for this one really boiled down to two things (boring behind-the-scenes info ahead): Some of the artwork assets (most of the TVs/monitors) didn't have screenshots, highlights or shading set up for them, because I used to do all of that, per strip, as a final step. So previously, each screenshot had to be masked, then highlighted/shaded in Photoshop, one at a time. Awhile ago I started building that into the Illustrator art assets I use on a regular basis, which makes putting new strips together faster. Now I just have to update a link to replace a screenshot, and the shading is already in place on separate layers. So for this episode, I had so many assets that weren't set up yet, I had to choose between doing them all manually again, or updating the assets so they're future-proofed. So I went through and updated all of those assets (somedays I think just drawing it would be faster ). Gathering up screenshots and labels for everything takes a surprising amount of time. The more monitors and labels that are visible in the strip, the more time it takes to find enough material to cover them all. Homebrew labels are particularly difficult if there are no clean scans available. Fortunately, the labels are all so small, they don't have to be perfectly clean.
  24. 2 points
    Thank you! Usually my target is "mildly amused", so I consider that a win! That's great! I love seeing the strip full-sized like a Sunday newspaper would've printed it. 50 years ago. You're welcome! Glad I can bring a little holiday cheer to the community! Plus, I'm never one to pass up an opportunity to poke fun at the Intellivision. Thank you! It was a very last-minute idea, and doing all of that copying-and-pasting took way longer than it should've, but it was fun to do.
  25. 2 points
    Thanks a lot for this very nice Christmas present. Looking forward to brighter times...
  26. 2 points
    Is there actually "modern" Arcades? Capcom, Midway, Taito, Sega, Namco, SNK, Konami - they all gave up on building Arcades I think.
  27. 2 points
    Mech Warrior gets old after a while. The game just starts throwing massive waves of dumb mechs at you. FF is tough to win. The tracks are also really long so you get quite the workout. But you're right that the majority of modern arcade games fall into a very small number of categories. My theory is realistic 3-D graphics restricts games to situations based on reality.
  28. 2 points
    I've been disappointed with arcades for quite some time. I think the biggest failure is games at the arcade are no better than games that can be played at home. Back in the day the arcade games exceeded the capabilities of the home systems.
  29. 2 points
    I have said this a million times but am going to say it again,"I miss the classic arcade!" .More Donkey Kong,less DDR.lol.
  30. 2 points
    I guess I'm an old fuddy-duddy. Every time I go to modern arcades I'm bored and/or depressed by the complete lack of classic games. Maybe that's why the Atari 2600 has held such lasting appeal for me. It's still here. I can play it any time I want. All the classics are still there. My PS2 hasn't replaced it. They sit peacefully next to each other, and manage to coexist. Although I'm sure I've seen the 2600 give the PS2 a little shove every once in awhile, when it thinks I'm not looking.
  31. 1 point
    Or it's never been like that and you're now in the universe where everyone else remembers it otherwise. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  32. 1 point
    Truthfully I found my Dex Drive while I was setting up my old PS2, but I couldn't figure out how to plug it into my MacBook, and any old IBM PC compatible that I used to use it with died a death long ago. Back in the day I used it to hack Final Fantasy save states so I could get Aerith back, go in the debug room, and other fun stuff like that!
  33. 1 point
    I have no source for my comment, but a vague recollection that "they" (the people that do these sorts of studies) tested a bunch of self-proclaimed audiophiles by letting them listen to music sent through different qualities of speaker wire and rating them. (I know this is different from speakers) The highest ranking speaker wire with the "best sound" turned out to be from wire coat hangers. I don't know if the story is true and I don't want my illusions crushed so I'm not googling it, but I thought it was an interesting anecdote.
  34. 1 point
    You might also want to check out the Veronica project: https://blondihacks.com/veronica/
  35. 1 point
    I Dont think terry is playable in bubsy 2, whenever i chose two player the second player is teresa. and i have never seen footage of terry being playable.
  36. 1 point
    I've also played the three 'exclusive' European titles the aforementioned Bingo (not as rare over here), Flipper and..... Wait for it..... Star Wars ! Not convinced it's officially licenced though. Unsurprisingly these all suck as well. There are some exclusive Japanese games as well but the only one dumped is Sumo Wrestling which I can't figure out.
  37. 1 point
    I agree - Gunfight is better than Outlaw's main variant. But Outlaw's additional game modes increase its replayability. With Checkmate it could have been the same thing, but the audio design is just terrible. Less is more in the audio department, particularly in this era. Some developers had the urge to implement sound effects for every event in these games, even if it meant making them almost unplayable. I never got that.
  38. 1 point
    What is this madness?! I didn't comment on this entry? How careless of me. I don't think I played this one. I only played a few of Studio II's games, as I couldn't find most of the ROMs. Even hackers hated this system, apparently. By the way, the Spanish currency is "pesetas". :-)
  39. 1 point
    bummer and congrats! Haven't seen any settings like that. Was going to point out the calendar, but it's a bit wonky. Looking at April I can click the days w/links to get to each of my entries and it works. However May and June don't work - the dates for the blog entry doesn't match what's shown in the calender, so clicking on the day in the calendar results in "SpiceWare's Blog has no entries yet".
  40. 1 point
    I actually played 3D Tic-Tac-Toe with my dad during Christmas vacation (except we played the real thing). I really enjoyed that. Just some nice, quiet, quality time. In that version, you can also play with three players, which makes for a very challenging game. At the Pacific Science Center, we also played an interesting variation on it in their games area called Score Four, where you place beads onto posts instead of platforms. So you can't put pieces anywhere, you have to plan ahead differently because you're stacking on top of other pieces. (It's like Connect Four in that regard, but in 3-D.)
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    You can.. When on defense, you obviously can control the linemen, but when you press the button and hold it, you can now control the d-back
  43. 1 point
    Didn't Bega's Battle have the Statue of Liberty in the background at some point?
  44. 1 point
    I like the mental picture, that somewhere out in space, is a giant fun-sucking vortex that was created when this game was released, and that if left unchecked, someday it will completely suck all of the fun out of the entire universe. Leaving us with stuff like, well... "Star Trek: Enterprise".
  45. 1 point
    Awesome video. Although it should probably be linked in these comments.
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
    The blogs on Digital Press is what inspired me to start blogging. After doing it there for a while, I had someone mention to me, "I wish you were on Live Journal -- it's so much easier for me to keep track of all my blogs in one place." That's when I decided to start posting them on both DP, and Live Journal. Somewhere in the middle I installed WordPress on my own website, and began duplicating entries there as well. And then wouldn't you know it, I had people telling me, "it would be SO much easier to track your blog entries if they were on MySpace ..." ugh! So, I signed up for MySpace. With the imminent destruction of the DP Blogs, I also signed up here, and yesterday I signed up at 1UP.com as well. It has been my experience that while a small amount of people will read your blog no matter where it is posted, the vast majority of people who read it are people who blog the same place you blog, or are at least familiar with the site you're blogging on. In other words, MySpace users tend to read my blog on MySpace, LiveJournal users read it on LiveJournal, and so on. Each time I mirror my blog again, I gain more readers and make more friends. The one thing I didn't like about DP's blog system was that it wouldn't notify you when someone responded to your blog, something that this (AA) and MySpace do really well. Since Digital Press is moving to the same software Atari Age runs, I hope to see the same blog software installed at some point.
  48. 1 point
    From what I understand, that isn't true in Monte Carlo, or at least hasn't been historically. If the "0" comes up (there's only one), all bets are marked as "imprisoned". If the next spin of the wheel is one that should pay off, the bettor's money is returned. Thus, if you put $360 on "red" and the wheel hits "0", your bet would be effectively reduced to $180 (since if you win, you'll only get $360 back instead of $720). If you'd put the $360 on "1-12" and the wheel hit "0", your bet would be effectively reduced to $120 (since if you win, you'll get back $360 instead of $1080). And if you'd put it on "7", your bet would be effectively reduced to $10 (your winning would be $360 instead of $12,960). BTW, craps is a somewhat interesting game. Not that there are any plays which offer better than 100% payout, but some actually come extremely close. As a trap for the unwary, though, there are some bets that may be placed several ways with different payout awards. If one wishes to bet that a 6 will appear before the next 7, one may either place one's bet on a small number 6 on the table (I forget the exact layout) or on a big six near the corner. If a $6 bet is placed on each, they'll pay out under the same circumstances, but the former will pay out $7 (plus the original $6 back) for a house vig of 2.78%; the former only pays out $6, for a house vig of 9.10%. Put another way, if you put $6 on the "Big Six" and win, you give the house $1 free as a stupidity tax.
  49. 1 point
    The O2 basketball! looks horrible.The ball is not even dribbled,good thing they did not have fouls/freethrows.Nothing beats the Atari version(from this time period anyway).
  50. 1 point
    So this Easter Egg is two years before the Adventure Easter Egg.Looks like the Adventure info page needs to be updated... Some of these old games are just so simple and bizzare that they are good to play. Keep on "Chronographing"!
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