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Eric Lafortune

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About Eric Lafortune

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    Combat Commando

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  1. The FinalGROM 99 documentation warns that file names are truncated on the flash file system. That may be why the GROM file is not recognized. Can you try renaming the files to something like romc.bin and romg.bin? The code on github now uses this naming convention.
  2. I've now added the binaries as releases on github: * The cartridge image RockRunner.rpk, for Mame (the ROM files inside this zip now follow the naming convention of FinalGROM 99). * The floppy disk image rock.dsk, for the Editor/Assembler cartridge, option 5.
  3. Yes. It gives you the opportunity to see how life in the world goes on. The speech is sarcastic at times, but I absolutely wanted to use the speech synthesizer that I had, with its limited vocabulary. You can press the space bar to move on. Depending on whether you still have lives, the game restarts in the same world or it returns to the title screen.
  4. You can now find the source code of my game Rock Runner on github. Rock Runner is a 4-way scrolling action/exploration/puzzle game written entirely in assembly. I wrote it in the 80s with the Mini Memory module, the line-by-line assembler, and a tape recorder. That means that I didn't have the resulting source code -- a lot of the original development consisted of editing hexadecimal opcodes. Now, decades later, RalphB's excellent xdt99 tools allowed me to disassemble the binaries and recover the source code. I've documented the code and refactored it to create a cartridge image. The game introduced the colorful half-bitmap display mode. The code is holding up pretty nicely. Feel free to explore it or just play the game; maybe create new objects, new creatures, and new worlds. Enjoy!
  5. Thanks for the reference, sometimes99er, this was what I meant (I really should read up more on old threads). If I understand correctly, there's no general solution yet. You're right that the VIC-20 and the ZX Spectrum were the real rivals. They weren't locked down either and probably had more software too.
  6. Has anyone ever found a way to run assembly code on an unexpanded TI-99/4A? This is largely a theoretical question, but it would be an interesting hack. As you all know, the unexpanded computer only offers interpreted TI BASIC, with programs stored in video memory. The computer only has 256 bytes of CPU memory, so one would need a way to swap assembly code segments in from the 16K of video memory. Alternatively, one might be able to run GPL code from video memory. I only ever got TI BASIC to perform unintended erratic operations by randomly playing with the tape recorder while loading a program. The interpreter seems pretty solid to me, but surely there must be some way. In modern-day terminology this would be like rooting or jailbreaking from a locked down environment. Today, it's out of curiosity. At the time, I think the restrictions put the TI at a significant disadvantage compared to computers like the C64, which had a plethora of quality assembly games from third parties. On the TI, you could only develop or even run assembly programs if you invested in additional equipment (PEB+32K+XB module, or at least a Mini Memory module).
  7. To OLD CS1: the attached disk image with my games seems to work better for me. Rock Runner (with Editor/Assembler module): 2.Editor/Assembler > 5.Run program file > DSK1.ROCK Gridder, Excalibur, Artist (with Mini Memory module): 1.Basic > OLD DSK1.GRIDDER > RUN, then 3.Mini Memory > 2.Run > Enter Thanks to rocky007 for preserving them. I recently found out that my tapes have become unreadable, so I was afraid they would be lost. Looking at them now, the crisp emulator display does shed a harsh light on the simple graphics. I programmed these games with the Line-by-Line assembler, hex coding and a tape recorder, and I figured out the half-bitmap mode by experimenting (patient teenager). The technical analyses by Thierry Nouspikel and by Tursi are awesome. Lafortune.zip
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