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 🙂

 

Homemade RIP OFF cocktail table arcade machine.

Sometimes people surprise you – and this happened to me recently. Earlier this year, Stephan D from Germany, wrote to me to tell me that he loved my remake of Rip Off and asked if he could build a Rip Off cocktail arcade cabinet and use my game and logo for it? Naturally I said yes.

I have always loved vector games and back in 2007 I decided to remake Rip Off (which was one of my favorites) for the PC. It was enormously fun to make and I’m especially proud of the state-machine behind the enemies that decide their behaviour. And nothing beats my sigh of relief when I had to optimise my code at the end of the project – because it slowed to a crawl when there were many enemies on screen at the same time … and it worked. But I digress.

 

Back to Stephan now.

 

Two months passed and he sent me a new mail; “the cabinet was done” and attached 5 pictures. The one at the top with a “Tardis Remakes” logo instead of the Cinematronics logo (the rest are below). And not only that – the cabinet is also made to allow two players playing at the same time. Awesome! It’s only one of two games I’ve made that has a two-player mode, but this was never intended to be placed in a cabinet – especially not a cocktail one, so there is no option for flipping or rorating the screen … but I guess that if Stephan is okay with that, so should I be 🙂

It’s pretty great to know that my game is running in an arcade machine out there. Someone even remade it, LOL, but the best moment was without doubt back in 2009 when I received a nice mail from Tim Skelly (the coder of the original arcade game) calling it a “good job” and taking time out to write a bit more to me than I could have hoped for

 

Here’s the rest of the pictures of Stephans cocktail cabinet. If you click them, a window with open a bigger version of the pictures.

 

 

 

 

Cool, right? 🙂

SQIJ 2018 now out on cassette tape.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any news, but I’m now happy to announce that my latest ZX Spectrum game is out on cassette. I just received my own copy a little while back. Here’s a picture (click to enlarge).

It’s available from Psytronik Software here and the price is only £6.99 + p/p.

Hurry and get yourself a piece of (revised) Spectrum history 😉 🙂