Oh dear, another year passed, another 2.5 years of nothing.

Yeah, oh dear, it has been 2.5 years since my last update and then it had been 2.5 years since I had worked on anything, so basically that means at least 5 years of developing nothing.

Well, thats not entirely true. I have developed lots, started lots of projects – and several of those up to being 75% complete, before abandoning them (perhaps only temporarily, who knows) for something else … or relaxing, but the point is: I haven’t completed any projects I’ve started since 2018 … and I’m honestly not very happy about that.

That’s crazy, what happened? I used to be so active from 2004 to 2018, but in truth my job has changed and I’m now much busier at work than I was before, so I’m more tired in the evenings and go to bed earlier – and instead of coding I spend my ‘down time’ (usually) watching television.

I do miss coding though, and I am working on (another) new project for the Spectrum Next that I hope I will finish soon – it’s certainly more than 75% complete by now, so that’s a good omen, lol.

I’m not sure when it will be ready, but I’m sure I’ll post about it in as many places as I can 😉

Happy New Year 🥳🎉🥂

Things from the past, things in the future.

I recieved a mail the other day, alerting me to the fact that one of my games couldn’t be downloaded. This usually happens when the plugin that tracks downloads fails and deletes the ID file that contains the real links. I do have a procedure in place that checks daily and alerts me when this happens, but this only happens if the size of the ID file is “quite small”. Well, in this case, for whatever reason, only the last 10 or so entried had been deleted from the ID file, so the ID file was still bigger than the threshold I’d defined and therefore I hadn’t been alerted. Ahh, just another way computers find a way to screw with us, lol.

Luckily, since it’s been quite a while since I released something, so the file hadn’t been updated for a long time and I could just replace it with a backup and now things are working again.

So that was the past things (now in order), but I can also report that after a 2.5 year break from coding I’m finally back to coding and working on a new game. It will be released for the Spectrum Next and the Taito L System arcade platform (like Sqij & Speccies 2 also were). It’s pretty early in the process so far – I’m only 1.5 week into the project, so I’m not saying more until I have more to show … but it does feel good to be developing again 🙂

Update 2020 #1: I’m still alive :-)

Wow, today it’s precisely two years since my last update. Not much new to report, though – I haven’t been terribly active lately … hence the absence of updates. In those two years I’ve started coding 3 games for the Spectrum Next … and abandoned all of them again. It appears I’m lacking the motivation to code at the moment. Oh well. I guess I just need a bit of time away from it, so unfortunately I’m not writing about a new game, but rather updates on a few older projects.

The 48K version of Vallation came out in 2016 and the 128K version about 1.5 year later. The 128K version was intended to be exclusive to the physical release of the game by Psytronic, but I always wanted to make it a free download too, after a while. Well, that’s now. I’ve added a download link to its page, here. Get the physical version on tape anyway, if you don’t have it 😉

More good news: My webhost was sold a while back (a year ago, perhaps two?) and changed name in the process. That also meant that the servernames changed, which resulted in the online scoring in my games broke. It took me a while to look into, but luckily I had coded the highscore functions rather cleverly, so all I had to do was change the server scripts. Which I’ve done now and the online scoring should work again.

However, there is also some bad news. I’m usually a Windows user, but I bought a MacBookPro in 2011 to be able to port some of my games to OSX. However, some time later Apple updated OSX and dropped legacy support, which means that my OSX games doesn’t work on newer versions of OSX. The language I coded the games in hasn’t been updated, so unfortunately it’s not possible to recompile them anymore. I will leave the games online, but be aware that they won’t work on the current versions of OSX.

Alright, that was it for my 2020 update. Let’s hope I find a project to work on, so it doesn’t take two years before the next update 😉

SQIJ for arcade hardware updated to v1.5.

Another day, another update.

Nah, I’m making fun, of course – there are usually months between updates. But there is an update today and that’s the important thing.

Back in June I released my version of SQIJ for Taito’s arcade hardware and that’s the game there is an update to now.

If you only intend to play this game on the MAME emulator you won’t see a difference, but if you are among the very little handful of people who might want to burn this game onto EEPROMS and run it on the real hardware, then there is a big difference. See, the MAME emulator is not the most accurate emulator – it only emulates the hardware “well enough” so that the games work, but don’t actually emulate the hardware 100%, which means that it’s very easy to code something that works perfectly in MAME, but fails once it’s deployed to the real hardware as the hardware has some weird idiosyncrasies in its design.

And SQIJ did have a number of problems on the real hardware. None that were actually game-breaking (mostly visual stuff) but after A LOT of debugging and tweaking the game finally runs completely identical on emulation AND the real hardware.

This would not have been possible without the huge assistance from my good friend Adrian, who – to be fair – did most of the work making this update possible. So a BIG thank you to Ade.

Enjoy 🙂