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Everything posted by pixelpedant

  1. Nice pick! Looking forward to it, as I've never really dug into this game before. Only played it in passing.
  2. 2020 turned out pretty great for me TI-wise, I'd say. Since (topically, given the video you've just shared) I've just come to really enjoy digging deeper into the TI-99 library and tech through making YouTube videos. It's been great to have that outlet for research into the library and the platform. And I wouldn't have anticipated that at all. I didn't even have a video editing program installed on my computer, at the beginning of the year. So I sure wouldn't have anticipated that a strange crossover between my TI-99/4A and YouTube would end up being arguably my biggest creative outlet, by the end of the year. Some highlights of the year were: - Lucking into a relatively cheap MBX and doing a bunch of research and manual scans and gameplay recording for it and its games. - Getting obsessed with Imagic and Wing War in particular. Researching the company. Finding all Wing War's secrets. Recording gameplay and analysis, and doing up a manual for the game. - Posting a retrospective on TI Runner and getting a great response from one of the developers and his son. - Playtesting Realms of Antiquity. - Getting better at making the TI-99 sing using allophone (Text-to-Speech disk, TE2) speech. The TI-99 Zoom group has also been a major highlight. Feels like the final step in resurrecting the user groups of old, or the closest thing to it that can exist in the present day.
  3. The winning score for Superfly was jwild's 44800. Scores were: 62,600 - Pixelpedant (picked the game) 44800 - jwild (winner) 41,300 - Count9929A (tie) 41,300 - Globeron (tie) 32,300 - Tursi
  4. Just the one. Another's in storage. Just don't need two at once, pretty much ever. Especially given JS99er, Classic99 and MAME are almost always better development systems than a real iron TI-99/4A. Only excuses for running two simultaneously, that I run into, are novelty purposes. Like my current plan to get two TI-99s (with two speech synthesizers) singing Simon & Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair/Canticle in two part harmony (has science gone too far???)
  5. Huh. A Tomy Pyuta Mk2. Don't suppose that's a common sight.
  6. Composite "artifact colours" are definitely an entertaining subject. Here's a delightful article on use of artifact colours (and other things) to fake a 1024 colour palette in (16 colour) CGA. Effective output, and underlying digital reality, being given as follows:
  7. Posted a preview of the game today, based on late beta and release candidate builds:
  8. Who went back in time to sabotage the design of the TMS9918 in key ways, just so he could free it from those limitations, almost 40 years later. Nefarious.
  9. See here for commercial cartridges (mainly from 1979-1983). See here for disk or cassette games developed by members of the community (mainly from subsequent to 1983).
  10. Tested working TI-99/4 Impact Printer PHP 2500. So that's interesting, I guess.
  11. High Score Strategy Suggestions: - Do not kill worms, if you can avoid it. The spider it creates will be worth more points than the worm itself. - Purple spiders are worth more than red spiders. Killing purple spiders quickly, while they exist, maximises your score. - Spiders accelerate as they decrease in number, and become extremely fast, in the later levels, during the endgame. Use the Exterminator Spray to kill off the last few spiders, once they start to become too fast for you. - Use eggs as temporary barriers around which to establish defensive positions in the later levels.
  12. Indeed, wasn't batch conversion introduced to TI99Dir in 7.2a? Anyway, it is available in the current version. That is to say, conversion of all selected files to or form PC or TI formats.
  13. I'm concerned that as with last month with Midnite Mason, I hit a high point in one of my earliest attempts here, and the rest of the month is going to end up wasted, as I fail to live up to my own sudden, brief and excessively immediate success.
  14. I'm semi-skeptical of this idea. Now, on the one hand, The Attack was a very successful game for Milton Bradley on the TI-99, which has certain gameplay elements in common with Superfly. So the idea that some unknown MB programmer would have looked to it for inspiration or expanded on the formula is certainly appealing. However, most of the MBX games which were developed by Milton Bradley (rather than farmed out) were initially developed for their Gemini game console prototype. And based on photographs of that prototype and its library, a "Bug Attack" title with similar art to Superfly appears to have been one of the action titles for that console, which was subsequently ported to TI-99/4A and MBX, when the MBX became a TI-99/4A add-on (and an intended Apple II, Atari 2600 and Atari Computer add-on, though none of those ever came to fruition). This title is, incidentally, not to be confused with "Bug Hunt", which was the initial title for I'm Hiding, and which was not developed by MB, incidentally. And given that Superfly (as Bug Attack) was initially developed for a Milton Bradley game console prototype (as were Bigfoot, Championship Baseball, and Terry Turtle's Adventure incidentally), it seems a bit of a stretch to regard it as a literal "sequel" to a game developed for a Texas Instruments computer two years prior. At least to the extent that it would have made little sense to plan, market or present it as such, on a newly minted game console platform. So indeed, the idea that inspiration from The Attack fed into whatever unknown programmer's work on Superfly is a compelling idea. But since we don't know who programmed Superfly (or at least, nothing I've been able to find provides any hints), and it wasn't being developed for the same product/market as The Attack, it seems like an appealing idea without any concrete corroboration, which probably isn't literally accurate (i.e., it wasn't a "sequel" so much as a game whose gameplay might have been inspired by The Attack).
  15. That feeling when the pandemic won't leave you be, even in Realms of Antiquity:
  16. As for the original question, I'm all for a cartridge. But really, given it runs just fine off TIPI (or TIPI+FinalGROM), the main thing I'd be looking to pay for is physical versions of any and all supporting materials.
  17. The second one works fine. Almost everywhere. Didn't open in Firefox (maybe just too huge). But opens fine in Okular and SumatraPDF. Thanks.
  18. Cannot open with any of a half dozen PDF editors/readers I have on hand either (Adobe Reader, Okular, SumatraPDF, Foxit, GIMP, gImageReader, muPDF). Definitely looks like PDF data, by the headers/footers. But evidently something wrong with it or with the stream data, as downloaded from the AtariAge attachment.
  19. And incidentally - prizes had once upon a time been a concept behind this competition, subsequently abandoned. But I'm going to trot that out here again in a minor way. Since I've picked an MBX (optional) game with support for voice commands, I'm going to offer an MBX prize. The MBX headset has foam covers on the earpads and microphone. But after 37 years, those foam pads tend to be in pretty rough shape. Foam is not quite as eternal as aluminum and black plastic. Consequently, I've managed to track down replacement pads of dimensions suitable to both the earpads and mic. And now, I've got extras. If the winner has an MBX and would like me to mail them replacement ear and microphone pads for their MBX, I will do so. Here is what they look like, on mine:
  20. So here's a game for November: Superfly Game is here for use via FinalGROM or emulation: suprflyG.BIN It is also available on http://js99er.net/ under Software->More Manual is here: Superfly.pdf It can be played via the MBX, using joystick and voice commands, but does not require these features. Personally, I think I prefer just using a regular joystick and skipping the MBX. Though some might prefer turning via the rotation axis of the MBX joystick. The keyboard can also be used, but I find the joystick preferable, given diagonals are significant to gameplay. Another justification for skipping the MBX being that this is a case where I prefer the TI synth samples to the MBX synth samples, so MBX doesn't have that advantage (where I prefer the MBX in most other cases). For any MBX owners who wish to play via MBX, note that playing the above dump with the MBX via FinalGROM seems to present issues, and the original cart is at this point required for unproblematic MBX play. As well, note the commands for setting long or short attack distance, and using the "exterminator spray".
  21. Alright, presuming I've got everybody's numbers straight, our results for this one are the following: I really enjoyed this one. It was great to get so much more out of a game that I've had since 1988, but never really put the work into learning. I'll think about options for this month, and get back to folks sometime Sunday.
  22. So, YPbPr to RGB conversion is relatively rare, just given that devices which exclusively produce YPbPr are pretty rare, so there's little practical use for such a device (compared with the inverse, where RGB-only devices are abundant). But that having said, the Extron DVS304 is a nice little swiss army knife of a device that can take YPbPr input and output RGB in a wide array of frequencies and sync configurations. Note that while it accepts 15KHz YPbPr input, it will not output 15KHz RGB, and output starts at 31KHz. It's fairly cheap these days, like most of Extron's more esoteric analogue era devices which are not of any special concern to console gamers. Outside niche uses like this, it's coolest feature is as an RS-232-controlled, highly configurable analogue picture-in-picture device. For which reason I love it. But that's not exactly a use-case with a lot of market (or...well, any).
  23. Well, haven't been able to top that 16100 level 15 I got earlier. But here's a 14620. I think it was level 12. I was a lot more efficient on the early levels. Curiously, I have found that I am better at this game when coming at it "fresh" and actually get worse over the course of a long play session. I think I start overthinking it, and obsessing over (and wasting too much time on) destruction patterns rather than simply pursuing optimal paths. I do find the game's strategy interesting and enjoyable now, in a way I didn't as much, BITD. But you have to be in the mood for a game that's about mitigating randomised risk rather than about perfecting play in a way that eliminates risk. I suppose Classic Tetris is another game I enjoy which has this quality. What you're presented with is highly random, and very well could just kill you at any time through little fault of your own. But playing well is about responding in a way that manages and minimises risk, while maximising score. To quote Jean-Luc Picard: "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness; that is life."
  24. I can't entirely make up my mind about how much I like this game. At the time I got it long ago, my initial reaction had been that enemy motion was just too random. I didn't play it a lot. My reaction upon further consideration is that it definitely does have some interesting strategy, surrounding manipulation of enemy movement. But I still feel enemy movement is a bit too random for its strategic aspects to shine as they might. I wonder if it might be a better game if enemy motion was randomised at branch points (or weighted in favour of player position) but did not involve spontaneous change of direction.
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