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Everything posted by InfernalKeith

  1. I set up a spare TI in my office, with just a tape deck and a Commodore 1702 monitor, because I was gonna play through some Scott Adams adventure games for a podcast I'm working on. I'm having a devil of a time with my cassette deck (the official TI one, which has always worked well on my main system downstairs). If I play a tape without the cassette cable attached, I can hear the data just fine. When I plug it into the 99/4A, there's no sound, and I get a NO DATA error. I've swapped out the console itself, and the cassette cable, and I'm getting the same results. Is it possible that the monitor is emitting signal noise that's messing something up? I use an old-school TI monitor on my main system and I have never had any of these issues.
  2. I think my trade-off, at least in this incarnation, is a richer NPC experience instead of a more robust parser. I'm in awe of Infocom's, especially given the time period they were working in, and I honestly don't know where to begin on making something that intuitive. My thought is that, where I am, and still working in XB, whether I have 50 words or 200 words in the parser is almost irrelevant. It'd have to be expanded by an order of magnitude I can't hit to make a difference, so I'm going to try to focus on core commands for now. But who knows? The more in depth I get, we'll have to see how it evolves and if I run out of space.
  3. Beautiful job! This definitely makes me want to take another crack at the game.
  4. Brief update: the system I'm making has gotten a little more involved. I'd originally planned to create an OBJECTS data file, containing up to three states for each object (for example, "Potion bottle" could also be "empty potion bottle" or "smashed bottle"). Each state can have an effect on one of your characteristics. Separately, I have an NPC file, with dialogue trees that can affect the characters' actions (for instance, you can talk someone in to giving you an object, or a piece of information, or upset them to the point where they fight you). I started creating movement pattern options, so that NPC's could actually travel around the game locations whether you see them or not. Every move YOU make, an NPC could potentially also be on the move, either in a random pattern or in a set order of steps. This led to the question of what an NPC would do upon finding, say, the "potion bottle." I am now working on still another data file, this one called INTERAX, which cross-references NPC's to objects if there are any actions to be taken when they encounter each other. So it's possible that, if you don't find the potion bottle quickly enough, you may "hear the faint sound of shattering glass" during a turn, and later come across "smashed bottle," with no idea you missed your chance to get the potion. I'm starting to feel like the obsessed detective in the movies with the push pins and strings connecting all the strands of the case. I'm partway through implementing the code. As of now you can walk around in the game map, but that's all. I'll have to get NPC, OBJECTS, and INTERAX all online at once to test them all together. I know others have blazed this trail, but it's been a really interesting project for me so far and I'm hoping to sort of finish it 'with blinders on' and see how I solve the various issues that come up. Hopefully I'll have a short video walkthrough after this weekend.
  5. I know this is sorta reinventing the wheel, but I went down a rabbit hole with an idea for a text adventure game called "A Ghost Without Dying." After sketching it out on paper, I realized it made more sense to create an editor first, to make the room data, descriptions, objects, and character dialogue trees, than it did to try to manually craft those files. Lamplight is the editor. It's about halfway done, and the game itself is mapped and written, but I still have a long way to go to add the objects and puzzles. AGWD will be relatively small and short, but the idea is to make a few games with Lamplight, and get a little more ambitious each time, until it's sophisticated enough to release for anyone else who'd like to use it. I hope to have a playable version of the game ready in a week or so.
  6. I wasn't planning to, unless someone has a specific reason for it. I am thinking I might collect this, Dicecrash, and Sixxit and make a small run of physical copies with a box and manual, just for fun. But they're all small and not that speed-dependent, so I don't see much benefit besides saving a few seconds of load time.
  7. I did, it's an original (as much as any Yahtzee-influenced dice game can be original). I can beat the computer about 50% of the time, but I haven't played it enough yet to get a real strategy worked up. I tend to focus on my vertical hands and not pay as much attention to the horizontal ones, and then I'm unpleasantly surprised when there's a straight fully formed to take out 50 points from my total. I feel like there's some strategy to be derived from reclosing open gates and dropping lower dice down to "break up" vertical hands, but I was shooting for starting and finishing this game quickly, so it hasn't been that exhaustively played yet to where I feel like I have a handle on strategy.
  8. Just grabbed them in Classic99, then loaded them into MS Paint as .bin's and resaved them as .jpg's.
  9. And I KNEW I'd forget something in the doc file. When you move the die before it drops, you're instructed to press S or D, but the arrow keys work as well. Minor point, but I know most of us are playing on emulators now.
  10. I'm happy to release Dice Rack, a new Extended BASIC game for the TI 99/4A. It's a sort of sequel to my game Dicecrash, with some refinements and a different approach. The Dice Rack is a 5x5 grid, and you have limited control over the dice falling into it. You open gates to let the dice fall into the rack, and try to score points vertically. However, any points you score from hands formed HORIZONTALLY will count against your total. Fill a column, and the dice shift and collapse. Drop a die in a full column, and it falls out of the rack. All of those things add to your point goal and create more of a challenge. It's nothing earth-shattering, but I think it's pretty slick, and I hope you like it. Here's a link to a walkthrough video where I play a round to demonstrate: DICERACK.zip
  11. I love H.E.R.O. on the Commodore 64 and I somehow missed that it was ever an option for the 99/4A. Those 1983-85 Activision home computer games (Toy Bizarre, Park Patrol, Beamrider, Zenji) were great. I'd give a lot to play Park Patrol on the TI. As a slacker with my own share of announced-but-unfinished projects in this forum, I get it. Real life has a way of crowding out fun time. And it's hard to be close-ish to finishing a game and not wanna share your progress, even though you risk adding yet another title to the list of "vaporware"... I'm resisting the temptation and only posting new projects when they're finished.
  12. I've been home for a month with my daughter. My wife's bank is rotating people one week on, one week off to minimize exposure and have backups in case people need to quarantine or get sick. She just spent the last week home, with nothing to do. She's endlessly supportive of the weird things I do with my life, and I love her very much, but let's just say I'm very happy she's going back to work tomorrow. Starting to finally carve out some good coding time for myself, though!
  13. I haven't updated my sale list in a while, and I just organized the shelves, so here's my most recent list of items for sale. Prices do not include shipping. All items are tested and working, and in cosmetically very good (but not mint), condition unless stated otherwise. Shoot me a message if you're interested in anything! - Keith Black Program Recorder with cable, power cord – tested 25 Speech Synthesizer – tested 25 Used TI Joystick Y-Adapters, various 15 “Computer Aids” brand Joystick Y-Adapter, new old stock 20 TI Power Supply 10 Slik Stik tested joystick, boxed (requires y adapter) 15 Dow/4 Gazelle flight sim cassette (John T. Dow, 1982)w/manual 20 PREMIUM CARTS (priced as marked) Buck Rogers red white 20 Burgertime red white 10 Connect Four red white 5 Connect Four black white 5 Disk Manager black black 15 Disk Manager 2 black white 15 Disk Manager 2 black black 15 Disk Manager 2 blue white 15 Equations green black 6 Facemaker green white 5 Jawbreaker II red white 7 Laws of Arithmetic blue black 6 Laws of Arithmetic blue white 6 Measurement Formulas blue white 6 Microsurgeon red white 8 Music Maker black black 6 Music Maker green white 6 Picnic Paranoia black 10 Pole Position 8 Reading Flight green black 6 Reading Fun green white 6 Reading Fun green black 6 Return to Pirate’s Isle red white 10 Sneggit red white 12 Speech Editor black black 30 Star Trek red white 10 Statistics mauve white 8 Story Machine green white 6 Super Demon Attack red white 10 TI Extended BASIC black black 20 TI Extended BASIC blue white 20 TI Logo black black 5 TI Logo II green white 5 Treasure Island red white 25 Tunnels of Doom red white 8 Tunnels of Doom red black 8 Tunnels of Doom black black 8 Video Chess black black 6 Video Graphs black white 6 COMMON CARTS $3 each or 6 for $15 name | label color | shell color Addition (Milliken) black black Addition (Milliken) green white Addition and Subtraction 1 green black Adventure black white Adventure black black Alien Addition green white Alien Addition green black Alligator Mix green white Alligator Mix blue black Alligator Mix green black Alpiner purple black Alpiner red white Alpiner red black A-maze-ing red black A-maze-ing black black The Attack black black The Attack red white The Attack red black Beginning Grammar black black Beginning Grammar green white Beginning Grammar green black Blackjack and Poker red black Blackjack and Poker black black Blasto red black Blasto black black Car Wars black black Chisholm Trail black black Demolition Division green white Division (Milliken) black black Division (Milliken) green white Division 1 (Scott Foresman) green white Division 1(Scott Foresman) black black Early Learning Fun black black Early Learning Fun green white Early Learning Fun green black Early Reading green black Early Reading black black Early Reading green white Football black black Football red black Hangman black black Hangman red white Home Financial Decisions black black Home Financial Decisions mauve white Home Financial Decisions mauve black Hopper red white Household Budget black black Household Budget mauve black Household Budget mauve white Hunt the Wumpus black black Meteor Multiplication green white Microsoft Multiplan purple white Microsoft Multiplan purple black Minus Mission green white Minus Mission green black Multiplication (Milliken) black black Multiplication 1 (Scott F) black black Multiplication 1 (Scott F) green black Multiplication 1 (Scott F) white white Munchman red black Munchman black black Number Magic green black Number Magic green white Numeration 1 green white Numeration 2 blue white Othello black black Othello red white Othello red black Parsec red black Parsec purple black Personal Real Estate black black Personal Real Estate mauve white Personal Real Estate black white Personal Record Keeping mauve black Personal Record Keeping black black Personal Report Generator mauve white Scholastic Spelling Lev 3 black black Securities Analysis black black Subtraction black black Tax/Investment Record black white Tax/Investment Record black black Terminal Emulator II black black Terminal Emulator II mauve black Terminal Emulator II mauve white TI Invaders black black TI Writer mauve white TI Writer black black Tombstone City black black Tombstone City red black Touch Typing Tutor green black Touch Typing Tutor black black Touch Typing Tutor green white Books and printed matter: TI BASIC Reference Card 2 TI Extended BASIC reference card 2 Compute's First Book of TI Games 5 How To Use the TI 99/4A Computer 5 TI 99/4A Favorite Programs Explained 5 TI 99/4A Game Programs 5 SAMS: 24 BASIC Programs book + tape 10 SAMS: 51 Fun and Educational book + tape 10 CASSETTES (just cassette and blank jewel box) Pirate Adventure 5 Oldies But Goodies I 5 Oldies But Goodies II 5 Beginner's BASIC Tutor 5 Personal Financial Aids 5 Market Simulation 5 Teach Yourself BASIC 5 Mission Impossible 8 BOXED CARTS priced as marked. Boxes may show wear and tear Addition and Subtraction 1 6 Alpiner 6 The Attack 6 Beginner’s BASIC Tutor (cassette) 6 Blackjack and Poker 6 Car Wars 5 Demolition Division 6 Football 6 Hangman 6 Household Budget Mgmt 3 Hunt the Wumpus 6 Indoor Soccer 8 Laws of Arithmetic 10 Market Simulation (cassette) 8 Meteor Multiplication 1 Microsurgeon 10 Minus Mission 6 Moon Mine 8 Munchman 5 Music Maker 10 Mystery Melody 8 Oldies But Goodies Games I (cassette) 6 Othello 8 Parsec 8 Personal Record Keeping 3 Programming Aids 1 (Cass) 8 Strange Odyssey (cassette, requires Adventure cart) 10 Teach Yourself BASIC (cassette) 5 Teach Yourself BASIC (cassette, newer manual art) 10 Tombstone City 5 Touch Typing Tutor 5 Video Chess 8 Video Graphs 8 ZeroZap 8
  14. What an impact and a life well lived. Rest well, sir.
  15. THIS looks awesome! I can't wait to see it and try it!
  16. My "day jobs" are stand up comedian (instantly zeroed out my work/income), and selling online from my garage (still doing okay so far, but not liking what I'm hearing about the ability of USPS to cope with this crisis). Used to a lot of home time when I'm not traveling, but KNOWING you can't leave is a lot different than CHOOSING to stay home. I have an artificial heart valve and my daughter is special needs/medically fragile, so I'm inside for the duration with her. My wife is in banking and my son works at a grocery store, so they're both going full tilt, stripping down and showering the second they get home, etc. We're doing what we can. I've been trying to segment my time and get some serious coding in this year anyway, with mixed results. I'm sooooo stupidly close to releasing a new game and I can't wait to get to work on the next one, and I'm launching a podcast (hopefully next week) that's just me doing walk-throughs of classic text games, so that's some welcome escape from the real world into some wonky old maps and legends. I hope you'll all treat this with the respect and caution it deserves. The curve is flattening despite our imperfect measures. In a 'hot zone' it's going to seem like nothing until it's not, and things will escalate quickly. Americans seem to have a hard time with this, but just ask anyone in NYC or New Orleans. I know a lot of us aren't spring chickens and I want us all here for a long time to come.
  17. Bump. One more price markdown. Listing will be removed if it doesn't sell by the end of the week.
  18. If you're sure you're gonna get it, DM me and I'll put it on hold for ya for a day or two. I've been in that spot, I feel your pain.
  19. Clean with minor cosmetic wear, tested and working. SOLD!
  20. >Memory limitations can hit in two places when loading from tape- the tape file may be bigger than the VDP memory you have when the disk controller is attached - your problem here I think. With a disk system attached you lose some VDP memory for disk buffers. You may not have enough vdp to hold the cassette file. This makes sense. I'd just never encountered it before. When I used tapes all the time, I would sometimes get a program that loaded but kicked back a MEMORY FULL when you tried to run it. Interesting!
  21. I was loading a BASIC program from cassette tonight, but had my PEB with 32K plugged in and turned on as well. As soon as the initial tone on the cassette ended and the first data was encountered, it kicked back ERROR DETECTED IN DATA and stopped. I tried it on two different tape decks. Once I shut off the PEB and unplugged it from my console, restarted in TI BASIC, and typed OLD CS1, that program loaded with no issues at all. I expected the program not to run, given the small amount of memory the disk system uses up, but for it to not even load the program in? Is that just a weird quirk, or some normal procedure I've just never seen happen before?
  22. I don't think anyone, even the people living through it, expected it to happen or understood the forces that were bringing them together. There was hope for a good while after Black Friday that TI was going to somehow magically re-enter the market and we would be a "real" community again, with the 99/8 as our path upward. And I think a lot of the excitement about the Geneve when it was painfully being birthed into the world was that having a current, in-production computer to rally around made the community legit somehow. We didn't actually need that, but even we didn't know that.
  23. Perfectly said. It seems like with the indie games platforms present-day, with Steam, Newgrounds, itch.io and the like, that some of that "you can do it too" magic is back, from my very brief and limited dabbling in that scene. My other big interest is music, and I love the parallels between the rise of punk rock and the early software industry - so many similarities and so many chances for one person to change the whole scene. Even the same tools (Xeroxed covers, cassette tapes) were being used to disseminate the work. That DIY mindset was really a special moment in time.
  24. "Our" generation of home computers was the first one where the ratio of cumbersome to fun was right for a retro revival. It's a lot easier to grab a TI, a Vic 20 or an Apple II from Ebay and get back into the game than it would be, say, to relive the days of kit computers or punch cards. Also, I'd argue that TI's exit and the Christmas 1983 "fire sale" season is part of the reason we're all still here. How many of our families finally pulled the trigger on a home computer when Sears and Kmart were dumping consoles for $29? Think of all the clearanced-out carts and hardware that got bought, forgotten and stuck in an attic, still resurfacing to this day via Ebay and thrift stores. That surplus largely kept Tenex, Triton and Tex-Comp in business and limped us along until the online world was mainstream enough to bring us together. The closest thing I see to younger generations feeling attached to aging hardware is in console gaming, but I'd put our Commodore/TI/Apple rivalries from back in the day up against them any time.
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