February 3rd, 2009

So, one month in, and where do we stand?

Well, I can’t help feeling that if the Pip-Boy was hackable I might have got somewhere. Most of my free time in January was spent with Fallout 3, and I can’t honestly bring myself to regret that.

I haven’t even caught up on the Uzebox development yet, let alone started on the new platforms. Still eleven months to go, though. Plenty of time…

Low Resolution

January 11th, 2009

My New Year’s Resolution was to write software for three new platforms this year, so with a bit of luck this site will see some activity this year.
In addition to this, I will be writing something for the Uzebox soon. Probably another port of Cortex. This won’t count as one of the three new platforms, because I intended to do it before the end of last year. Maybe that doesn’t bode so well for the resolution.

Easily Distracted

September 20th, 2008

Two updates in one year? What is this madness?

Well, since I was forced to upgrade WordPress for security reasons, I thought I might as well stop by and make a post.

My enthusiasm for all things Cybiko didn’t last in the face of things stepping up at work. I do still hope to do something for them, but I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by other projects, with just as little, or less, progress.

First off I was persuaded to sell my WonderMagic, by someone who was in danger of actually using it, and I used the money to buy some cheapo Portable Media Players (PMPs) from DealExtreme, which may or may not prove hackable.

That was last week’s fad, though.

Now I’ve heard about the Uzebox, and am beginning to get interested in that. It still seems to be in the domain of the electronics hobbyists at the moment, rather than us programmers, but I might have a go at building one anyway.

New Toy

January 15th, 2008

I bought myself a Cybiko Xtreme on Ebay last week. It’s obsolete and the community seems to be pretty much dead in the water, but I won’t let a little thing like that stop me, and I plan to develop a game or two for it. Maybe even in the near future (geological time).

I must admit, I had never heard of the Cybiko until a recent post on Retro Remakes, but it looks like just the kind of thing I enjoy messing with, a bit like the Pokemon Mini.

I contemplated doing something for the Nintendo DS over my Christmas break. I got the development environment set up, and read around a bit, but in the end I wasn’t really struck by any inspiration. I’m a bit worried that the DS is not restrictive enough for me. I seem to need to some constraints to spark my creativity.

Cortex on the PC

April 19th, 2007

Finally, a version of Cortex that can be played by more than 5 people in the world. :-)

I posted it over on my PC games site. It is quite different visually, and possibly harder because of it.

Maybe if I only had one site I’d update it more often?


Super Saver

December 31st, 2006

Cortex v0.70 is here, now with added saving. There were still a few things that needed to be ironed out, but it now seems to be nicely functional.

I wouldn’t really recommend using it on your main PM until a few other people have tested it, though. I’m fairly confident that it won’t overwrite data from other games, but it’s still early days and there could easily be a bug or two lurking.

The old version is still available if you don’t want to risk it.

Incidentally, I decided to share one slot for all my games, given that there are only six (and a bit?) of them. Assuming I ever write anything else for the PM.

EEPROM Browser

December 30th, 2006

I’ve been working on a few sub-projects for the Pokemon Mini on and off for a while, and two of them have come together over the Christmas break to result in the EEPROM Browser, which, while maybe not inherently exciting, does mean that I will soon be able to save the progress from Cortex, one of the two major outstanding features (along with sound).

The PM saves games to an internal 8k EEPROM, and although quite a bit was known about it, no-one had really managed to use it until now. I still need to figure out how to write to it, but I think the browser has unlocked some of the mysteries for me. There is source included in the zip, but I’ll try to write up something proper before too long.

The other mini-project was the 3×5 font used in the browser (4×6 including the spacing). This allows 24×10 characters on the screen, which is almost a reasonable amount of text. The bin file included with the source contains the 96 characters from space (0×20) through to erm, another space (0×7f), and the source contains some functions to draw them.

Cortex in New Version Shock

July 9th, 2006

Yes, the first bearable weekend weather in a while, and a rash promise to Lupin, mean that I have indeed released an update of Cortex.
If I can even remember how to do links, you should be able to get version 0.61 here.
The main change is the new front-end, including a level selection screen and instructions. It seems to be working pretty well, and it led me to discover two nasty bugs in the game code, but there are still a few more things I’d like to add.
The two biggies – sound and saving – are also still not done, but hey, at least the project is alive.

Is This An Update I See Before Me?

May 29th, 2006

It has belatedly occurred to me that the next version of Cortex should be a portable C version. The two existing versions are particularly unusual, in J2ME and Assembly, and the second is a complete rewrite rather than a port, but I think the rest of my target devices should have enough power and enough in common that porting from a generic C base is the sensible route.

This will also mean that there will be a PC version, which wasn’t originally on the cards.

I don’t have a lot of time or energy for my own projects now I’m back in the world of employment, but hopefully I can muster some enthusiasm for this, although it will probably have to wait until after the Retro Remakes competition.

Flash Cart

January 15th, 2006

Long time no update. I have been working on something, but I still haven’t really decided where to keep it, so I’ve kept quiet about it.
Anyway, back on Cortex, I have now received a Flash cart and programmer from Lupin, which means I can finally get to work on the sound and saves. Maybe that will drive me to get the game completed.