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bomberpunk

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Blog Entries posted by bomberpunk

  1. bomberpunk
    [#050] ah yes my 50th blog. it only took me ten years to get here. most of ya'll can accomplish that in months, but i usually have nothing to say. today is no different.
     
    well, that's not entirely true.
     
    i hadn't studio-recorded anything since 2014 which was when my band of 25-years finally decide to wrap up for good.
    about thirteen months ago (february 2021) i dusted off my guitars and started recording a couple of cover songs along with a friend of mine who lives in Canada. we had a list of tunes we wanted to do and then weeded them down to a small handful. only three were ever started and only one was completed. we had used his ftp server thing to transfer files between us so that we both could record/send individual tracks to each other and load them up in a multitracking studio program called Reaper.
     
    the last time i fiddled around with the mixing/mastering was march 17th 2021. yesterday, exactly 365 days later out of pure coincidence, i opened the session in Reaper and changed the one thing that really bothered me with the volume levels of the vocals in a specific spot (the "oooh, oooh" was way too low and drowned out).
     
    anyway, D7 is the name of the song here. it's a cover, originally written & recorded by Greg Sage (The Wipers) and released on Is This Real? way back in the stone age of 1980. The song was made widely popular by Nirvana in the mid 1990s and is one of the most covered Wipers song for this reason. I've always wanted to do a studio version of this song. My buddy Mark did the drums, I filled in the rest. It mostly stays truer to the Nirvana version. In fact you can start playing both at the exact same time and they'd sync perfectly until the end because we used their recording as our metronome. We didn't take it too seriously. It was a project to shake the dust off, I have bigger things I want to do in the coming year or two.
     
    So here it is. D7 in FLAC format:
     
    D-7-2 22mix.flac
     
     
     
     
     
  2. bomberpunk
    [#049] Out of nowhere, here I am with a game review after being MIA for 13 months.
     
    I don't like to think about how old I am or how every week there's yet another layer of BS I'm responsible for at work, or how family duties and priorities and errands consume the day. My point is, I don't have time like I used to, to start and complete a music project or start and complete a game programming project. Those days are long gone. LOL.
     
    Speaking of time consuming, there are RPG games. While RPGs are not my favorite genre, I did enjoy the very few I completed in my lifetime. Some lost me with too much fluff, boring characters, or lack of interest over time. With that in mind, a few years ago I designed, coded, and pretty much finished a simple RPG game called Quick RPG. I never released it as I had a list of things I wanted to add to the in-game gimmick structure before making it downloadable. But I'll get to that in hopefully a future post. I only mention it now because it's relevant to this RPG title I downloaded on the Nintendo Switch last night and completed earlier this evening.
     
    That's right, I started and completed an RPG game in less than a 24-hour period. The actual finishing time on the in-game clock is under 4 hours. I felt like this game was designed for people like me, who enjoy the RPG genre but just can't devote a chunk of time to everything that is typically required.
     
    So, here we have a Kemco game called Archlion Saga. In Kemco's self-described "pocket adventure", they cut out all the bullshit and fetch quests. The game is divided into 5 chapters. Each chapter shows a progress bar and tells you what you should be doing in a popup window. There's a map you can pull up that always shows every treasure chest or door. Nothing is hidden. You can't get lost or stuck in the game because if you press the "R" trigger, an arrow path will appear to guide you to whatever you're supposed to interact with next. Sounds ridiculous, right?
     
    That said, there are still a handful of useless NPCs to talk to, and there are random monster encounters when not in towns. There is quite a roster of enemies. There are turn-based battles, and weapon upgrades as well as armor upgrades. There are merchants and there are locked treasure chests that always have either a weapon or armor. 
     
    I haven't played THAT many RPG games to know if any of the story is 'borrowed' from other games, but if not then they crafted one hell of a small and perfect story. There's just enough text/dialogue to keep the pace feel normal. I spent less than four hours with these little pixelated characters and I felt like I knew enough about them that this was a 3rd or 4th sequel of a continuing story. 
     
    Chapter 1 opens like a typical RPG does; main protagonist kid wakes up in his bed at home and goes to talk to his mom. Some story setup takes place and then *poof* 10 years pass by.
    Chapter 2 has our kid meet an elf and her pet wolf. She's kind of an outcast in her town and is the first to join your party. She's the healer.
    Chapter 3 has the duo sneak into this weird guy's house after fighting off undead townsfolk. He's hiding a family secret in his basement/cave. He eventually joins the group as the brute force tank.
    Chapter 4 was wild. There's a bar fight, false prophet, kidnapping, and a bloody massacre underground. But before all that a cute little girl rounds out the party as the team's morale as attribute buffer.
    Chapter 5 was a gauntlet of boss battles; of characters that weren't mentioned previously. All of Chapter 5 was thrilling! Then after the final showdown (I cleared it in 39 turns), I was surprised at how the story concluded. Without giving too much away, the evil Serpent had some good in him and the good Archlion had some evil selfish motives, which ultimately affects the fate of the party you control. Shit, I didn't even mention the ever-watching Witch who transforms into a goat.
     
    Even the final scene had me feeling some kind of way. Again, FOUR hours. Why am I invested in these characters like that??
    This game was on sale for $2.99 in the eShop, normally $4.99. After playing through it I would have paid the full price.
     
    Kemco has another "pocket-sized" game called Everdark Tower. It uses the same mechanics  / game engine as Archlion Saga. I'll be playing that next. I'll be surprised if it's better, but I hope it's at least on par.
  3. bomberpunk
    [#048] i found this game at wally-world back in the day, circa 1995. i had never heard of it and i was new to pc gaming. the box looked cool. the screenshots looked cool. i took home what would become a very sentimental and important video game. it came on one floppy disk and ran in MS-DOS. it was the first game i played that had online capabilities via landline for player vs player (which was amazing and has a chat feature) or local network for multiplayer (i never tried it due lack of equipment and enough friends). i emailed the programmer many times. a guy in finland by the name of patrick aalto. i had discovered that you couldn't destroy the sun and if you flew into it you would go thru it (basically it just changed your direction i think). this game, and probably that conversation specifically, was part of why i began programming games in Qbasic at the time.
     
    then there's the four-song soundtrack. for years and years i was obsessed with the first song. i even borrowed the main riff/bassline for one of my very first songs i wrote in 1995 or 96. anyway, my memory is shit but at some point i eventually learned the names of the songs and that they were created by the same musician (a guy by the name of Jim Young, who goes by the handle u4ia. i tried hunting down these songs in WAV or MP3 format so i could add them to my music collection. i did find the original MOD files created by u4ia. while they're the same songs they are different enough to be enjoyed as a separate/alternate version of what i was used to hearing. his originals have sound clips and other minor differences, such as slightly different sounding virtual instruments.
     
    after jamming to the u4ia originals for a week or so, i once again searched for the original soundtrack as heard in the game. nowhere on the internet other than Youtube gameplay videos can i hear the songs. therefore, i did it myself today by running the game on my Windows XP desktop and sending the AUDIO OUT to my trusty Tascam Porta02 4-track cassette recorder. I captured 2-3 loops of each song which almost completely filled up the A-side of a single 90-minute cassette tape. Step 2 was to play back the tape into the LINE IN of my Windows Vista laptop, using the old but near-perfect Goldwave recording program. I shaved off the ends of each track so that they would flow seamlessly in Repeat Mode, and i removed some hiss with built-in compression filters. Saved the WAV files then converted those to MP3s.
     
    sometimes if you want something done you have to do it yourself, even if it takes 26ish years!
     
    below is a link to the soundtrack in MP3 format (320k, stereo). Enjoy!
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/p30tldtxdn195yx/Line_Wars_II_%5BOST%5D.7z/file
     
    Update 1/23/21 - I've submitted the same MP3 files to the website below, which gives you the option to stream the songs.
    https://downloads.khinsider.com/game-soundtracks/album/line-wars-ii-1994-dos
     
    hindsight: Japanese Intentions (track 4) was the best song all along.
  4. bomberpunk
    [#039] John Davis, frontman of current band The Lees of Memory and now-defunct 90s group Superdrag (you'll remember them as one-hit-wonders with their "Sucked Out" video) has a new and unique release; it's a commissioned covers album, which is a completely free download with no strings attached. Check it:

    The Lees of Memory had just released their sophomore album, Unnecessary Evil, through the PlegdeMusic platform. In doing this and to help fund the production of the CD & vinyl run, John Davis gave the public an awesome and unique buying option; for price tag of $250, ole Johnny Flame (as he used to call himself in his younger years) would do a cover song, ANY cover song of your choice. There were ten slots available.

    After not much self-debate (read: zero input/say from wife) I convinced my old bandmate to go in halfsies with me so we could get one of our songs covered. Long story short, I bought one of the ten slots for a song I wrote and my friend bought another slot for one of the songs he wrote.

    Our very talented friend Grant Lindberg, who mastered a lot of our records over the years under the moniker kustomboy, ending up buying a slot too.

    Go ahead and blast tracks 3, 5, and 10. Or hell, just download the whole thing because it's free and John Davis is one of the best musicians alive today.
    https://highbiasacassette-basedoperationtm.bandcamp.com/album/a-virtual-guided-tour-pledge-covers (this link is no longer active, the music was taken down)

    Also, check out Unnecessary Evil by the Lees of Memory. The best album of 2016 by a longshot!

    footnote: I was one of the people behind the Superdrag Tribute Project back in 2001 (and it's sequel in 2004). So 15 years later, the roles are reversed. For $250
  5. bomberpunk
    [#023] today marks the 20th anniversary of my two-piece rock band, founded in 1994 at the age of 13. buying me a drum kit was the second best decision my parents ever made. i had an outlet for the joys and sorrows of my teenage years well into my adult life, with over 300+ songs written and recorded.
     
    during the past couple of years, after both of us got married and i have a 1-year-old daughter, things slowed down to a halt. i have less and less time to devote to writing new songs (i've completed and recorded only two this year). in October, we shut down our Clock Studios practice/recording space that we had since 2006. prior to that shutdown, we rolled tape and recorded as many live songs as we could. most of those results became November 2014's Clock Studios Treasury, a 19-song compilation.
     
    although it seems we didn't make it to twenty years, there's been no official split, there are talks of getting my drums out of storage and into the other guy's garage, there's a couple albums worth of material we still want to record, and there's always the option to book some shows.
     
    without notice, without warning, and without even involving the other guy, i put out one more collection of songs late last night (as i was too trigger happy to wait for today, the actual anniversary). so here it is:
     
    P20: Twenty Years
     

     
    this five-song anniversary release includes "purposely leftover" live tracks that i left off of Clock Studios Treasury. the last track is a cover song of a local band, Haggle, who were the main reason we started this twenty-year journey in the first place.
     
    studio albums:
    No Time For Bullshit (2012 LP)
    Never Gone (2007 LP)
    Your Anguish Sustains Me (2006 EP)
    Songs In the Key of Uhr (2004 LP)
    Shaded Jade (2000 LP)
     
    early 4-track stuff:
    Wasted (1998 EP)
    Fork Sheet Peas (1997 LP)
    Fishy Green Stuff (1997 EP)
    Technical Difficulties (1996 LP)
    Minnow (1995 EP)
  6. bomberpunk
    [#047] for the record, i wrote up this blog last night and something happened with my browser so i lost the whole thing. typing it all up again here..
     
    Alright, so a blog or two ago I mentioned that a Qbasic game I had programmed wouldn't compile into a stand-alone EXE file correctly. I couldn't remember exactly what the error was so I tried to compile it once more to refresh my memory. The win condition was what was causing trouble; it was way too long, so i segmented it down to several smaller lines of code and it worked flawlessly. i was then able to compile.
     
    I didn't realize how old this game was; from 2009. I have NOT BEATEN this game ONCE in ELEVEN YEARS. Last night, I added a cheat mode to the game. You can toggle it on/off with the tab key while on the title screen. Aptly named the "Lowlife Cheat Mode", you gain the ability of being invulnerable to the ghosts, but at a cost. In the original game, you start off with 1999 Life Points (or moves), but that is reduced down to 150 moves in this new mode. Naturally, you die and the game ends when it decreases down to zero. This new mode completely changes the strategy of how the game is played. When you start a game, you have to figure out what is the most direct path to push all the nine statues together. Which one you start with and which one you end with will either make it or break it. 
     
    I've won more times than not in this new mode, and I kind of want to reduce the starting Life Points to 125, but it is what it is. Below are screenshots of the game and the EXE file.
     
    The game is compatible with older machines or anything that can run DOSBox. Won't work in native Windows 8/10 or native Mac/Linux.
    GHOSTCBR.EXE
     
    GHOST CHAMBER - bomberpunk entertainment 2009/2020
    The objective is to push all nine statues into each other using the Arrow Keys. Every move you make depletes a Life Point. Every move you make that moves a statue will send the ghosts chasing towards you. Otherwise they just roam around aimlessly. Press the Spacebar at the title screen to start a new game. Press ESC to quit.
     
     title screen
     game screen
     
    let me know what you think. oh, and if you can actually beat the original game send me a screenshot so i can cuss you out! lol
  7. bomberpunk
    [#046] spent the whole day at three different car dealerships with my dad, looking for a newish used SUV to replace my 2005 Saturn. i learned quickly from the first lot i went to that the listings on Carfax aren't up to date. the vehicle (2019 Jeep Cherokee Latitude Plus) i went to check out had been sold a week ago. wasn't their fault; the dealerships don't remove the listings, but rather submit them as Sold to the, uh, Carfax people.
     
    prior to my current obsession with JCL+, i did a lot of research on the Nissan Rouge and know the differences between the S, SV, and SL trims. i knew i wanted either a Rogue SL or a Cherokee L+
     
    jesus it's 4am... long story short, the Nissan people were very pushy with making a sale when i told them repeatedly that i needed the monthly note no higher than a certain amount. they would disappear and come back, and magically somehow have the quoted note drop by increments but nowhere near where i needed it. after like the fifth time i got anxiety. and in so many words said fuck this i'm out. ...kinda like what i'm gonna do with this blog entry right now.
  8. bomberpunk
    [#045]
     
    i'm on a super long vacation due to COVID-19, but i'm alive and well. i haven't worked in 3 months and the only thing i have to show for it is a Street Fighter II Arcade1Up machine that i modded which now includes 39 systems and almost 18K roms. it's been in my garage since probably February but it finally made it to my gameroom two days ago. 
     
    my poor kindergarten graduate did not get to sing silly songs or walk across a stage to celebrate her accomplishment, and my younger daughter is becoming the definitive version of "terrible twos".
     
    i've come to realize that all these projects and goals i've wanted to do, like record a new album or learn how to program a game in a new language just won't happen, and COVID-19 has proved to me that time isn't the issue; it's lack of motivation.
     
    i do want to mention one thing before i forget... several years ago i coded a Qbasic game called Ghostchamber. not once have i been able to beat the game. you move a character in four directions. there are nine statues placed randomly on the screen, and nine ghosts also placed randomly. the ghosts move at random until you move a statue, then they all take a step towards your location. naturally if they touch you, game over. the goal is to push all the statues into each other so there's only 1 showing....
     a few nights ago i realized something about the way it was coded, which made me shift my strategy. when statues are occupying the same space, the ghosts get an extra move when in pursuit mode, so if you have successfully pushed four statues together, they are going to move four spaces toward you at one time the next time you move any statue.
    ...i was five moves away from finally winning but i got killed. it was the closest i ever got. by pushing the statues in the same vicinity before pushing any on top of each other, it gives you a chance (i think?) at winning.
    i also need to figure out how to condense the code because as-is, i can't compile it to a standalone executable because i get an error. something about a string too long, i don't remember.
     
    since Retropie has DOSBox, I can run Qbasic on my modded Street Fighter II arcade. using a keyboard, i had a wonderful time with GORILLA.BAS lol
     
    i don't know what else to say here, and i don't think i even have regulars who read my blog, so this entry is much longer than it needs to be, peace out.
  9. bomberpunk
    [#042] Holy shit, a brand new Double Dragon game in 2017! This came out of nowhere! I accidentally found out about this game on release day (January 31st, 2017) and gladly spent $6.99 on it through Steam. It's also on Playstation 4.

    Yep, Double Dragon IV. Before you scratch your head in confusion about the title, there's an explanation why this game is numerically titled with "IV" even though a "V" was released on the SNES back in the 16-bit era.

    while we're on the subject of numbering, it should be noted that blog #041 is still in an editing phase since august 2016, which is why the previous blog to this one is #040. okay, back to the topic.


    SERIES HISTORY

    The original Double Dragon by Taito was a smash hit in the arcades when released in 1987. It was ported to multiple consoles and then Technos released Double Dragon II: The Revenge to the arcades a year later. This sequel was the exact same game with reskinned levels, reskinned characters, and an altered move-set. Enter Acclaim (or Akklaim), who rebuilt DD2: The Revenge from the ground up and fleshed it out with a killer story and "bonus content" that is Mission 9, the Final Confrontation. Anyone who keeps the Double Dragon series close to them knows that the NES version is the definitive version of DD2: The Revenge.

    In 1990, Technos released Double Dragon III:The Rosetta Stone to the arcade world. The same NES publisher loosely ported this game as Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones in 8-bit fashion.

    Two years after that, the Super Nintendo saw a fourth installment of the series. It had two titles, depending on region/localization. Super Double Dragon was also known as Return of Double Dragon. It did not have "4" or "IV" anywhere in the title. Ever.

    However, that didn't stop developer Leland Interactive Media, who coded a one-on-one versus fighter that was released on the SNES in 1994 as Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls. This game was based off the 1990s TV cartoon series, which in case you haven't heard about, it's a good thing. A year later, a second fighting game, simple titled Double Dragon, made it's way to the NeoGeo.

    Then, nothing for nine solid years until developer Atlus acquired the rights to various Technos properties and starting unleashing fantastic games on the Gameboy Advance, such as River City Ransom EX, Super Dodge Ball Advance, and the stellar revival/reboot Double Dragon Advance in 2003.

    Fast-forwarding through remakes like the great Double Dragon on iOS and the shitty Double Dragon II: Wanderer of the Dragons on Xbox Live, there was one more somewhat-major release in 2012's Double Dragon Neon, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the series and doesn't take itself too seriously.


    SERIES TIMELINE

    So now that we've got all the major releases out of the way, I'm going to edit that down to exclude reboots and games that are not canon (I'm looking at you, The Shadow Falls).

    That leaves us with Double Dragon, Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Double Dragon III: Something About Stones and Return of Double Dragon.

    Now we have Double Dragon IV, an official 2017 sequel brought to us by Arc System Works (ASW). From the company's own website, "Billy and Jimmy Lee are back and they’ve brought the 80’s with them except the battlefield has moved to Japan! Key team members involved in the 1987 arcade version including Original Planner, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, Designer, Koji Ogata, and Composer, Kazunaka Yamane, have teamed up to recreate the next chapter in the Double Dragon saga."

    Look at that shit! Three original members from the original 1987 team!

    If you haven't played the game yet or seen screen shots, you'll be surprised to find out that the ASW team decided to go the route of using character models (sprites, if you will) and music from the NES era, specifically the masterpiece that is the NES Double Dragon II: The Revenge.

    I couldn't find the exact source, but I read that the events in DD3 take place before DD2, which essentially makes Double Dragon IV a direct sequel to DD2. This is the smartest thing they could have possibly done, and I have dreamed about this for decades, as DD2 has always been in my Top 3 NES games since the dawn of time (Mega Man 3 and Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight are my other favorites).

    If the above information is true, then the timeline of the series is as follows:
    Double Dragon
    Double Dragon III: Some Stones and Shit
    Double Dragon II: The Revenge
    Double Dragon IV: No Subtitle
    Return of Double Dragon


    DOUBLE DRAGON IV - THOUGHTS

    Thoughts.... I'm thinking I should be playing the game instead of writing this ridiculously long blog. But I'm already here so...
    Double Dragon IV is not without its faults. The story-line is the typical Marian gets kidnapped again (why??) and the the ending is kinda crap like it was written for all the snowflakes out there. This series was never about the story, it's about kicking ASS.

    Most of your favorite moves are there, such as the headbutt, the cyclone spin kick, the hyper knee, the uppercut & jumpkick along with regular punches and forward kicks. The handy back kick is no longer there but there's a reverse punch that does the same thing just doesn't have the same reach. There's a few new moves too like the quick jumping roundhouse and this weird 45-degree angle screw attack thing that would be better suited in a Battletoads game.

    You've got most of the cast from the NES Double Dragon II there, minus Abore or the ninja, plus some people from DD1 like
    Linda & Abobo, and the bald guy from DD3. There are some new characters as well, I think four, not including the final battle which takes place on what looks like a beach of all places.

    The music comes in two flavors, "Modern" which recycles music from the GBA title (and maybe something else, I don't remember), or "Retro" which recycles the NES 8-bit classic chiptunes. I went with "Retro", since it fits the visual style. The experience sends me on a time warp the the early 90s when I played the shit out of my NES all the time.

    The game is 12 Missions long, the first few are short and easy, then the swarms come. You get a set of lives and a set of continues to get as far as you can. If you get a Game Over, you can continue from the last mission you completed. So if you died on Mission 10, you can start a new game on Mission 9.

    There's also a two-player Duel Mode, just like the one you remember from the first NES port. You unlock additional characters by completing missions in the main game. And then once you complete the main game, a third mode called Tower is unlocked. In Tower, you have one life only to fight through as many floors as possible until you die. Series fans will be reminded of Survival Mode in the GBA Double Dragon Advance title. Same concept. Tower has rewards, though. Every few floors you complete, you'll unlock a new character who will then be available to play as in the Tower mode. Use those characters to get to certain floors and you'll unlock achievements, if you're into that stuff.

    So that's more than enough to write on the topic. Double Dragon IV. Or Double Dragon II-2, or 2.5. It's awesome. No, it's beatiful. It makes me want to shed a tear. A literal tear. Yes. Eff yes. Buy it.

    Also coming soon from ASW is River City Ransom: Underground. Look it up on Kickstarter. I backed it years ago. It's still not out yet, but it's coming at the end of February!

    Pro Tip: Steam says the game is only compatible with Windows 7,8, and 10, but I installed it on Vista anyway and I've had no problems.
  10. bomberpunk
    [#020] I loved this miniseries as a kid and there is currently no way to enjoy it digitally on a computer or tablet. A few weeks ago, I set out to change that. I had emailed Marvel to ask if they would ever digitally re-release the series, and they said no. I have two complete sets in my possession (one minty and unread, the other in decent condition). Starting around 7:30pm, I scanned the pages of issue #1 while also watching the Saints lose to the Ravens. I spent another hour or so editing the scans down and when I was done with that, I found a free program what would turn all those JPG files into a digital book format (CBZ extension). I emailed Comixology and asked them about side loading these CBZ files, and they replied quickly (probably within 15 minutes) and said it's currently not a feature. I tried to figure it out on my own and said fuck it after several failed attempts. Then I downloaded some other android app called "A Comic Reader", which lets me point to any folder and load CBZ and PDF files. And BOOM, Double Dragon #1 is on my tablet. I'll scan the remaining five issues next week so that I can put my hard copies in storage and out of this tiny little house I share with my wife and beautiful 1-year-old daughter.
     
    if you want to read about the series, there isn't much online other than this spoiler-filled blog entry:
    http://4thletter.net/2007/10/the-double-dragon-comic-world-war-green-abobo/
     
     
  11. bomberpunk
    [#034] Mega Man 3 is the greatest Mega Man game ever created and I'm going to prove it here and now. Many of you favor Mega Man 2, and okay yeah it's a fantastic game with killer music, but MM3 is that and then some.

    For starters, it introduces two very important characters in the MM Universe. Mega's canine companion, Rush, was perfect in MM3 and MM3 alone. In subsequent games, he was altered to automatically travel forward and then redesigned into a weird armor. The original Rush found in MM3 was freefloating in Rush Jet Mode, which was perfect for nabbing items and what have you. We also got FlipTop (or Eddie) in MM3 but whatever for him. Later games added the original Angry Bird (Beat) but screw him too.

    The other important character? You're god damn right, it's Proto Man! Mysterious, bad ass, and annoying at the same time, you battle Proto Man in a few of the levels and you don't know why. At the end, he saves your ass from certain doom and it is then revealed that he is Mega Man's older brother! So then you realize he was training you the whole time! Oh and then the "full version" of the Proto Man (ending) song, it's just so good. More on the music later..

    Let's not forget Gamma, the best-looking final boss of any of the NES MM games (yeah, better than the Bubble Lead hating green alien). True story: When I was younger, I thought Dr Light was saying "Wily ran off with Grandma!" That hussy!

    What other Mega Man game includes cameos from eight previous Robot Masters? That's right, all of the Mega Man 2 bosses have been revived for four more levels (as we all know, they're "remix stages") before we even get to WiIy Castle!

    Let's talk capabilities for a minute. It's not a Mega Man game unless you destroy a boss and jack his power. Then there were little gadgets (like Item 2 in MM2 which is really just Shitty Rush from MM4). But in MM3, the slide maneuver was added, which added slight puzzle elements (darkened section of Shadow Man) and became a way to evade in certain boss battles, like while fighting Hard Man. It was the perfect addition. It was still the original Mega Man formula, which was altered when the Mega Buster made it's first appearance in MM4. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Mega Buster, but it's a whole different dynamic when you compare MM1-MM3 to MM4-MM6. That might be why it was removed for the digital-only MM9.

    Now then, the soundtrack. MM1 is classic, MM4 is hit or miss (mostly hit though), and we can all agree that MM2 has the most memorable/nostalgic tunes, but is it really the best. Well, no it's not. Spark Man and Gemini Man alone rival the best music from any NES title. But then Shadow Man, Snake Man, Needle Man, and Magnet Man are just incredible too. Or what about the Dr Wily boss battle music throughout the castle levels. Did you realize that the music in the last two levels before the showdown with Gamma is a haunting remix of said song? I love MM2 and MM3 music almost equally, but in this case I can pick a "favorite child"!

    Stage design was stellar too. Bonus points for the section in Gemini Man where you just go on a killing spree with those little blue tadpole things.

    Mega Man 3 has 8 Robot Master stages, 4 Remix Stages, a fight with "Break Man" (we didn't even get to that), and then Wily Castle. MM3 gives you the most bang for your buck, which is a good thing because I remember my dad shelling out $50 for it when it was first released. Thanks dad!

    I would also like to note that the Tiger Electronics LCD version of Mega Man 3 is, out of a few hundred electronic games I own, my second favorite Tiger game (second to Double Dragon II: The Revenge).

    I could go on and on and on about Mega Man 3 but I think I've nailed most if not all of my points.

    Oh and this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJsn_C9rvIQ
    the best effin' intro song ever.
  12. bomberpunk
    [#032] i haven't posted a blog in a while so here's 3 related topics:
     
    I. KitKat VS Lollipop
    II. Nexus 7 VS Nexus 7
    III. Bluetooth Controllers
     
     
    I. KITKAT vs LOLLIPOP
     
    i don't know what the hell they were thinking. Lollipop blows. i actually broke my Nexus 7 trying to downgrade back to KitKat. i replaced said Nexus 7 with the 2013 model (which ships with Jellybean). I upgraded the OS to KitKat 4.4.4 and turned off the notifications nagging me to upgrade to Lollipop.
     
    then i had to redownload all my apps (and 200+ digital comics, mostly IDW's TMNT) and set up my screens the way i want. what pissed me off is that I lost all my game data and purchased content for three games: Nimble Quest, Jetpack Joyride, and MinuteQuest. i sank HOURS into all three of them and had just about everything unlocked.
     
    apparently there's an app for that, called Helium. it backs up app data (not the app itself, because you an always redownload stuff from Google Play).
     
    so what don't i like about Lollipop? all the new features suck and are unnecessary. in KitKat, you can downswipe the left side to look at notifications or downswipe the right side to access toggles for user, bluetooth, airplane mode, and other shit. in Lollipop, there's only one downswipe which shows you notifications, then you have to tap the top to see the rest of the stuff. notifications (and the keyboard) are now bright white, which annoys the hell out of me. they changed the Back/Home/Recent icons at the bottom, and for some reason that really irked my soul. the new Recent Apps screen sucks too. but the worst part was that Lollipop crashed a lot of my apps, ran my system super slow, and sometimes crashed it. it also drains the battery faster than KitKat does. Fuck Lollipop.
     
     
     
    II. NEXUS 7 vs NEXUS 7
     
    After owning both the original 2012 model and the 2013 remake, there are some pros and cons of each. Both shipped with the Jellybean OS, but that is neither here nor there. Obviously the newer model is going to have a faster processor, more RAM (2GB vs 1GB), and a better display resolution. It also has better speakers and better speaker placement. However, the new model has an inferior touchscreen which gets littered with smudges (the old model used Gorilla Glass, which is much better). The new model is slimmer/thinner and narrower, which I personally do not like. It's harder to use in portrait mode, and to me thinner means more fragile. Also only the old model has the option to use a mobile carrier's SIM card for 3G/4G access. The new model has a smaller battery, but I'm not sure if that's because the motherboard is smaller and doesn't need enough power, or if Google/Asus was trying to be cheap. So far the battery is lasting 30+ hours, but it is a brand new unit and I'm sure that number will decrease over time. I remember when my 2012 unit was new It could also go for 1.5+ days without a charge...
     
     
     
    III. BLUETOOTH CONTROLLERS
     
    now let's talk about two bluetooth controllers. neither are specific to Android (they both work with iOS and others as well). both are charged via micro USB.
     
    i've been using my Kickstarter impulse bluetooth controller:
    (mine isn't the one pictured below, i have the limited Copper edition, which is starting to turn blue/green from sweat/holding it)

    this controller has only 6 (four face and two backside "shoulder") buttons and a D-pad. the triangular thing is a sync button and can't be used otherwise.
    back when the Kickstarter campaign was going, this stuff was a relatively new concept and wasn't in stores. its tiny size was a great idea for on-the-go gaming and shoving it into my pocket or the pocket of a travel bag. but it's too goddamn small to use in decent-length play sessions before the hand cramps start. if you're interested in one, you'll have to go to eBay or Amazon because the webstore at impulsecontroller.com is temporarily down.
     
    but then i just ordered this for just under $44:

    an NES30 Pro bluetooth controller. 8 buttons (A/B/X/Y/L1/L2/R1/R2) plus D-pad and two sticks that click (totaling 10 buttons). the two buttons on the bottom are for power and resync.
     
    the NES30 Pro should be in on Wednesday. it's a Father's Day present to myself (but I won't wait till Sunday to try it out). if you want one, there's currently only 12 left from this Amazon reseller (who is the cheapest in price).
  13. bomberpunk
    [#030] i missed out on Breaking Bad during it's run on television but after getting hooked on Better Call Saul (a spin-off show), I went back to start binge-watching as the whole series is on Netflix. i finally finished it up today.
     
    i've got some people at work to yell at. they described the series finale as God's gift to television. it was nowhere near "the most satisfying ending ever".
     
     
     
  14. bomberpunk
    [#029] my original-release black & gold Zelda 3DS is broken. and i had just bought a 32GB SD card to do a transfer over to my all-gold Zelda 3DS XL, but since the system doesn't power up and is in two pieces, that's not gonna happen.
     
    shit.
     
    EDIT: SEE UPDATE BELOW!
  15. bomberpunk
    [#027] I became another year older on the 4th. My kid started walking on the 5th. I'll start nailing down some things and moving other things to high shelves on the 6th and hope for the best!
     
    I've got $200 to blow at Home Depot, and I really need a gas trimmer. I'm going to ditch the bump-to-feed plastic line and buy RinoTuff blades. No longer will my yard look like crap in the corners.
     
    I also started reading All You Need Is Kill, a manga which has apparently already been adapted into a Tom Cruise movie (Edge of Tomorrow) which I may or man not watch once I finish the manga.
     
    And I'll probably never write a gigantic blog like the previous one (#026) ever again. No replies plus no likes equals no readers and/or fans.
     
    On that note...
     
     
  16. bomberpunk
    [#025] let's talk about dreams that are awesome, the ones that you wake up and immediately go back to sleep for so that they continue (but more-so because you're still exhausted). yeah, those dreams rock.
     
    my latest subconscious adventure happened to be hobby-related; gaming. me and my wife had apparently just moved into a small house in a small neighborhood. the guy next door operated an arcade in his basement, and needed to get rid of a machine because he had a new one coming in and needed the space. he offered me one of his games, free of charge, as a housewarming gift. my wife was not to thrilled about it (but notice i said me, and not us). the catch was i couldn't pick out the game, as he knew which one he wanted to get rid of.
     
    he said it was the oldest machine he had, and one of the first games to come out, released in 197X (i forget the year). i also forgot what the title was, but it was two words. i'm thinking one of them was "Space" (the other one was not "Invaders"). the cabinet itself was mostly black and silver. the game had all-white (or light blue) vector graphics. at the beginning of the game, a giant round thing would come from the top left and spit out a bunch of different sized ellipsis. these triple dot formations would remain on one row for a second or two, then turn into different stuff when the actual game began, which then played a bit like Asteroids, except you were actively being targeted by some of the on-screen objects. they were all primitive/basic shapes. the big round thing would come back to set up the next level, and maybe it was part of some boss fight (but now i'm just making stuff up)...
     
    thinking about it now, this description mostly resembles Minestorm on the Vectrex. but i'm wondering if there's something out there which better matches it.
     
    tomorrow night I'm going to go see legendary punk band Pennywise. i hadn't been to a rock show in probably a year, and i've never seen PW although i've been a fan since the early 90s. needless to say, i'm pretty effin' stoked.
     
    here are a few of my favorite tracks of theirs:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uZwokxR4r4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPj7MnWN_bk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS4dtKOskN4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9urybXj170A
     
    edit: of the four above, they played Unknown Road and Broken.
  17. bomberpunk
    [#024] man it's been one hell of a 2015 and we're only four days in. On New Year's Day (or technically the 2nd, since it was around 1:30am), my brother's 13-year-old chocolate lab Rocky that they've had since he was an adoptable puppy died in his arms. Rocky's had some complications for the past year, and things weren't looking too good for him by the end of 2014.
    We were all together at my parents house, so Rocky got to see the rest of us under one roof one last time and decided it was time pass on (all dogs go to heaven). My brother and his wife buried Rocky in their backyard early the next morning before my nephew woke up.
     
    Our first night wasn't easy either. For us, it was vomit. Lots and lots of projectile vomit. Poltergeist vomit. We made the mistake of giving our baby girl some turkey meat from finger-sandwiches at my parents' house earlier that day, and her stomach didn't agree with it. She filled the crib with puke and screamed bloody murder until we woke up and got to her. After cleaning her off, we took her to our bed and she snuggled up to me. Just as I was starting to doze off again, I watched her sit up and make a face. From deep within her soul came Round 2 Puke, fire-hosing out onto the sheets. My wife went to go clean her off and change her yet again. I pulled the sheets off the bed and we agreed that they would go snuggle on the sofa. I went into a coma and learned the next morning that she puked twice more on the living room.
     
    It does't stop there, though. Yesterday, my wife was puking on and off in the bathroom. She's almost well enough to go back to work tomorrow, but she doesn't really have a choice so she's going back to work tomorrow.
     
    My kid is going to be walking soon. Time to nail down everything in the house!
     
    I'm feeling good from these really strong rum balls I ate. Happy effin' 2015.
  18. bomberpunk
    [#022] "Holiday" music. Let's be real. It's Christmas time and therefore we will call it Christmas music. A lot of it sucks. A lot of it is recycled garbage, or it's cover versions of cover versions of cover versions. Everyone has different opinions on what are good Christmas songs, depending on what they grew up with, what is sentimental to them, or what have you.
     
    Earlier today, I asked my friend Aaron the Audiophile what songs would he choose if he was to fill up a Christmas music cd to give to someone. He then posted a
    about it. Before he linked me, I came up with my own list. After watching his video, neither list share any song. Aaron asked me to see my list, and rather than make a video, this very blog is my reply to that request. 
    So without further ado, below are my entries (alphabetical by song title):
     
    A Saints Christmas - Kermit Ruffins
    We'll kick things of with a fairly recently-released song by a local jazz musician, about how he wants the New Orleans Saints to go to the Super Bowl. I'm not a huge fan of local jazz or Kermit Ruffins, but I am a Saints fan, a New Orleanian, and so this song is great in that regard. An official music video exists but meh.
     
    All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
    Many people regard this as the all-time best Christmas pop song, or all-time best in general. In 1994, Mariah is hot and her vocals are even hotter. While the music itself is kind of bland, there's a hook and it's catchy as hell.
     
    All I Want for Christmas is You - Vince Vance & The Valiants
    A completely different song released in 1989 that shares the same title as Mariah's 1994 hit, which is from another New Orleans group.
     
    Baby Born Today - Superdrag
    The story behind this song is better than the song itself. Here's the short version: Superdrag were invited to record a song for a local compilation, but only half the band were able to make it. The studio laughed at them. So lead guitarist John Davis and his drummer sat there and came up with a brand new super-catchy song that ended up arguably being the best song on that disc.
     
    Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
    Thanks to my yearly viewing of the Christmastime horror movie P2, I have a newfound love of this Elvis song, which I remember making fun of when I was little.
     
    Carol of the Bells - Trans Siberian Orchestra
    I pretty much like any version of Carol, but when you throw in wailing electric guitars doing solos and other crazy shit, it's a Christmas song that makes you wanna Christmas your ass off.
     
    Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love
    Yeah, Mariah Carey did this one too, but I prefer the one that Billy Peltzer turned off during the intro to Gremlins.
     
    Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy - Tchaikovsky
    Just makes me want to play Tetris, and that makes me happy.
     
    Disgruntled Xmas - Local H
    I loved this song as a teen because it's everything a Christmas song shouldn't be. I've kinda outgrown it, but some of those lyrics still make me smirk, like "I'd like to beat you on the head with that old yule log."
    Do You Hear What I Hear - Johnny Mathis
    Another Gremlins reference. I hear green guts in the blender.
     
    Happy Xmas - John Lennon
    Just a really well-written song. But what else would you expect from Lennon?
     
    Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Frank Sinatra
    Gone are the days where talented vocalists accompany minimum arrangements to make something extraordinary. These days, it's sugar-coated autotune pop crap, some douchebag singing about a pair of shoes, or some ungodly remix of classics that sprinkle poisonous additives (I'm looking at you, new version of Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"). Rewind to a time, which is before my time, when Frankie ruled the radio.
     
    It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
    This is the one song that, to me, musically captures the indescribable magic that makes a Christmas song a Christmas song.
     
    Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
    This is the original, which got popular again in 1992 due to it's inclusion in the film Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. There's a bunch of crappy cover versions that get more radio airplay these days. I'm not even sure who they're by, but they are all inferior to this classic.
    Last Christmas - Wham
    Thanks to my mom, this tune gets me pumped up to put the decorations out. The funny thing is, the lyrics to this song have nothing to do with that. The song is about how someone got F'd over and is giving his heart to someone else this year. Yeah, whatever, I just dig the synthesizers and shit. Now hand me some more ornaments for this tree!
    Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
    Everybody needs a little surf rock, even in December. This very catchy song fits right in with the Beach Boys' entire catalog, and is just one of those songs you get to look forward to during Christmastime, because really, who listens to any the songs listed here in March or August? that's right, nobody.
     
    Rockin Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
    Made famous again in 1990's Home Alone, it's another song that I enjoy listening to while "rocking" around the tree putting lights and stuff on it. It's a catchy bob-your-head-to-it feel-good song, and yeah, the newer cover versions can't compete with Brenda Lee, who turned 70 this year.
    Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
    Come on, man, it's like the Christmas variant of Johnny B Goode. This song was released way back in 1958, when my parents weren't even teens yet. I'm now well into my thirties and this song still kicks ass. Chuck Berry was the man, even though he played with his ding a ling a ling.
    Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (live) - Bruce Springsteen
    I don't know why i like this live version over any other version, but I do. It's not like I was there or anything, so there's no backstory, I just heard it on the radio and dug it. Maybe it's the saxophone, I don't know.
     
    Silver and Gold - Burl Ives
    This ties to the stop-motion film Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, where Burl Ive's played a snowman character named Sam, who both narrated the film and sang this song (as well as others). I always think of the part where the squirrel is trying to eat or unwrap a shiny present. Stupid animal. I hate squirrels. They make me want to set my garage on fire. But that's a whole different blog.
     
    Step Into Christmas - Elton John
    Holy shit step into the early 80s with the music video that I just saw for the first time today.
    Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
    Back when I was a kid, back before I knew who the Beatles or Paul McCartney was, back before I knew shit, I knew this song was cool and creepy sounding. I always liked it because it was different. It wasn't suicidal (like that goddamn shoes song, or any Christmas song by The Carpenters) but it wasn't bright and cheery either like your typical Christmas song. It just sat there in left field, by itself, being awesome.
     
     
    well, that's a wrap. 'twas long enough, eh?
  19. bomberpunk
    [#021] i've only posted one photo of my kid on here back when she was a few days old. here is another one of her just after she turned one year old. it was taken on 11/13, exactly one month ago from today!
     

     
     
    here is another one from the same photo shoot:
     

     
     
    and here's one of her just chilling in her chair watching cartoons:
     

     
    ^ check out that Game Boy Color onesie.
  20. bomberpunk
    [#017] i've been at Pokemon Blue for a few weeks now. 20+ hours in with 5/8 badges, i've caught 62 of these virtual animals and seen 109. one of those 109 is this guy right here:
     

     
    fuck this guy. i can't catch him for shit.
    you throw a ball, he says fuck your ball. and leaves.
    you throw a rock. he says fuck your rock. and leaves.
    you throw some bait, he may eat your bait. but then immediately after he says fuck you, anyway. and leaves.
     

     
    sadly i've been buying all kinds of Pokemon crap (complete games & strategy guides) unbeknownst to my wife. this obsession actually started way back when Pokemon Blue came out. i received a new copy as a gift from the girl i was dating at the time. i never finished the game and never thought about the series either, until i saw Pokemon Platinum in the store and the little voice in my head told me i had to have it. I never finished that game either.
     
    Enter the recently-purchased Everdrive GB. it was great to be able to play the entire library on an actual GB,GBC, or GBA SP. That's when I made the mistake of loading up the rom for Pokemon Blue and i've been hooked since.
     
    In the past month I've acquired CIB Blue, Silver, Emerald, and Heartgold to go along with my Platinum and still-sealed Soulsilver (i bought it for the Pokewalker thing but never actually got around to opening the game).
     

     
    especially not Kangaskan. fuck him/her.
  21. bomberpunk
    [#016] ...the most perfect baby girl was born. it's been over 3 months since I've gone to my band's studio and rocked out. it's been over three months since programmed a game. it's been WAY over three months since my final cigarette and who knows the last time i had any alcohol. and i wouldn't have it any other way.
     
    it doesn't matter how shitty my work day has been (and trust me, there's been some real stinkers lately), it's all worth it when i come home (and she's still awake) and my baby recognizes her daddy and squeals at me smiling.
     
    i've already become that annoying guy that does nothing but talk about the latest thing his kid is doing. i stare at her pictures at work on my digital picture frame (i have about 30 pics on an SD card and there's room for plenty more). i am obsessed with my kid and obsessed with being her dad. i look forward to my off days more than ever, and it's not to sit in front of the TV. it's to suck on her fat little face, make her laugh, and keep her butt clean and her belly full.
     
    Happy 3 Months, Madeleine!! XO
     

     
    P.S. - i need to recommend the following product to parents everywhere: Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. it's $40 on amazon and it not only makes your baby look like a puffy marshmallow (or like Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story), but it helps babies transition from being an "arms baby" to actually sleeping in their crib, and they stay asleep all night and wake up happy. i wish they came in adult sizes!
     
     
  22. bomberpunk
    [#015] She had a due date of November 1st, but she didn't want to come out. The doctor told my wife they would schedule the induction a week later on the night of the 8th, but they were "all booked up", whatever the hell that means. so we went in to the hospital Sunday night instead and the induction process started around 4am. Baby M was head down but was face first, so my wife had the unfortunate news of a mandatory C section. She then requested drugs (and also developed a rash from the surgical tape of the epidural, which I am still not exactly sure what that is).
     
    On Monday November 11th, Madeleine Rita was born at 11:42am weighing 8 lb 12.4 oz at 21" long.
     

     
    I have a total of 3 weeks off from work to help Maddy's mom out. We have a follow up appointment on Monday for weight check and whatever else they check for. I go back to work the first week of December. Once Maddy gets on a schedule, I have a few games I need to finish playing (and coding)!
     
     
     
  23. bomberpunk
    [#013] just like the title says, my little girl is exactly one month away from her due date. if she is actually born on All Saints Day, we'll watch Boondock Saints together on Netflix (i'll put in headphones because there's a lot of swearing, and she doesn't need to hear that). i think she may be early, as she is already trying to find the exit according to my wife. oh who am i kidding. this kid is female, and women are always late for everything (or maybe that's just the women in my family).
     
    and also like the title says, tonight is my best friend's bachelor party. i've settled down & grown up a lot in the past few years, so even though i live in New Orleans, tonight probably won't be as crazy as it could have been, say, five or so years ago. and that's probably a good thing. hell i might as well be the designated driver... ... ...but don't quote me on that.
     
    in gaming news, i just started playing one of my favorite Genesis games a couple of days ago. then i realized i couldn't remember what to do in the first level, so i went to the interwebz. and that's when i found out there's an HD remake that was recently released for the game's 20th anniversary. do you remember the name Conrad? if so, perhaps you can identify the game i am referring to.
     
    oh, and i bought myself a Zelda-edition Wii U, and the Super Luigi game since it's much cheaper than all the other Wii U titles. i plan on getting Pikmin 3, as i have had the first two since their release dates. i haven't opened the system package yet. i'll be taking "paternal leave" for most of next month, so i'll have plenty time to play with my baby. and my baby too.
     
    in programming news, i have yet to put the finishing touches on MicroDungeon, but i have done a lot of work on my Hop Skip Jump game, having completely reworked the level editor. now users can create levels a matter of a couple of minutes instead of tediously dragging 500 blocks around the screen one at a time (fuck that). there will be another update on these two titles in the near future...
  24. bomberpunk
    [#011] the pictures speak for themselves. the stuff on that 3-shelf unit is just about the rest of what i have left to get out of the room.
     
    other than putting up some pictures, all the room needs now is a BABY. as of this writing there's six weeks and six days left.
     

     
    the guitar stays. i will use it to lull my princess to sleep.


     
    the loot on the day bed is stuff we've accumulated over the months. the loot on the floor is from today's baby shower.
     
    Part V will be the final installment to the conversion with everything in place. look for it in the next couple of weeks!
     
    TREASURE HUNT!! Go through the pictures again and find these items:
    Adventure Vision tabletop arcade
    American Pinball tabletop machine
    minty box of Boulder Dash for the Atari 2600
    sonogram photo
     
  25. bomberpunk
    [#009] after completing a very difficult, punishing, and downright sinister game on OUYA called Fenix Box, i decided i would try to bring that magic into the realm of Qbasic. thus Hop Skip Jump was born.

     
    in one night, i quickly threw together the game engine and for that moment i thought i could get away with randomzing each level, adding more obstacles until a maximum is hit (500 obstacles at level 99). it sounded promising, but guess what? it sucks. look at the screenshot below of the final random level:

     
    an easy win. now, imagine the exit way at the top. impossible! so, to do this game right, there needs to be level design. and for level design of this nature, there needs to be a level editor. so i created one.

     
    after the tedious task of moving the blocks around, one at a time, i ended up with this complete level (after an hour or so):

     
    if i want a game with 99 levels (or heck, even a dozen), that's a LOT of time i don't really have. my solution? ask you fine folks who are interested to design a level or two and send them to me with your AA username (or real name) to be included in the game's credits. and i will compile them in a final product based on difficulty.
     
    for those interested, read on for a description of what can be done in the level editor.
     
    most importantly, the game is played with the left & right arrow keys (and "Z" to jump) while the level editor uses the mouse only.
     
    for the game download, scroll to the bottom of this post.
     
     
    *** INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE LEVEL EDITOR ***
     
    to enter the level editor: at the title screen, hold the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON then click the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON.
    upon creating a new level, you will see one blue block (the player), one green block (the exit), and a clusterf**k of red blocks (the deadly obstacles).
    note: do NOT create a new level if you have an existing one that you are working on. it will be overwritten.
     
    MOVING BLOCKS
    to move a block (regardless of it's color), you will need to select it first. to do so, hover over it with the mouse and click the LEFT mouse button. the selected block is now "grabbed" and can be dragged anywhere on the screen with the mouse. to release the block, press the RIGHT mouse button. you can only grab/move one block at a time, which will make creating a level very tedious.
     
    COMMANDS
    in the level editor, the playing field will take up most of the screen with the exception of the status/menu bar at the top (the yellow words & numbers). at the top left are the current coordinates of the mouse. you really don't need this, however i did when creating/debugging the level editor. disregard the third number (another debugging tool i needed).
     
    now then, there are five commands at the top right: FLOOR, TEST, REFRESH, CODE, and SAVE.
     
    FLOOR: by clicking on this word, you will cycle through the 3 available floor types; (1) solid blue floor which is safe to walk on; (2) solid red floor which kills you instantly; and (3) no floor at all. with no floor, you will fall offscreen and reappear at the top of the screen during gameplay. if there is nothing there to kill you, you will keep falling offscreen and reappearing up top. i just repeated myself.
     
    TEST: by clicking on this word, you will put the level editor in gameplay mode to test the level you are editing. to exit testing, you'll have to run into a red block and then click REFRESH at the top right. alternatively, you can press ESC (which resets the game back to the title screen and you lose any unsaved changes to the level).
     
    REFRESH: by clicking on this word, you will refresh the screen. any accidental movement of blocks will be reverted back to the last-saved state of the level. you also click this after running into a red block while testing the level (see TEST).
     
    CODE: by clicking this word the "HPJMPSKP.DAT" file (your level data) will open in Notepad. you can make advanced changes to the code quickly if you know what you're doing, but otherwise this feature is a necessity for renaming the DAT file to something else if you wanted to create more than one level. note: there is currently no way to load renamed files.
     
    SAVE: by clicking this word, all/any changes you've made to your level will be saved, confirmed by a beep tone.
     
    ADVICE TO LEVEL DESIGN
    when designing your level, keep in mind that the player's main enemy is gravity. that said, keep your narrow corridors & twists/turns wide enough that the player has a little bit of "bounce/fall" room. you'll understand what i mean when you test your game and see how the blue block moves. also, please don't send impossible levels or levels that you yourself have not been able to complete via reaching the exit.
     
    questions? comments? suggestions?
     
    DOWNLOAD THE GAME & EDITOR NOW!
    Hop Skip Jump! v08282013 (8k) [via MediaFire] <-- this is a BAS file (source code), you'll need QBASIC to run it.
    QBASIC v1.1 <-- this is QBASIC. open the BAS file through the user interface and press F5 to run the game.
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