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by hcs at 11:24 PM EDT on May 23, 2021
Decided I'd spend the weekend debugging Neon64, so I could put out a new beta sooner or later. I managed to fix Qix, finally, that crash had been bugging me for a long time.

There's a lot of other stuff to do, probably going to have to wait until next weekend as I'm exhausted right now. Good to know I can still make progress.
by hcs at 4:16 AM EDT on June 1, 2021
Spent most of today getting two of my old Flash games working in Ruffle:

A Change of Plans - not a whole lot to this one, you edit levels to make them solvable; the edit mode looks interesting

Master Exploder - this is an action-y puzzle mechanic, made over a weekend for Ludum Dare 18

The vast majority of that time was trying to figure out why Master Exploder wasn't rendering most sprites, turns out my redundant setting of _width and _height was tickling a Ruffle bug. There's a quick workaround, but I went the distance and implemented a test case and submitted a pull request , we'll see how it goes.

Glad to see Ruffle making such strides!

edited 4:20 AM EDT June 1, 2021

edited 4:20 AM EDT June 1, 2021
by hcs at 10:18 PM EST on December 4, 2021
I wrote a new blog post, first in 8 years: Triangulating a Game Design. I hacked together an RSS feed for the blog, too.

edited 1:17 PM EST December 5, 2021
by wren44 at 11:35 PM EST on December 12, 2021
collecting, and listening is all i do

edited 11:37 PM EST December 12, 2021
by hcs at 2:52 PM EST on December 31, 2021
TIL: Central Point Software, maker of PC Tools, was so named because it was located in Central Point, Oregon. I happened to see it on a map today and thought "huh, that's a unique name for a town, I wonder..."

PC Tools for Windows had a scripting language documented in an extensive paper manual (as I recall it had a mostly red cover), that and a dBase IV book are what introduced me to programming as a kid.


Here's the book, I got chills when I saw that cover again. I wore that thing out carrying it to school every day, reading it at recess.

edited 2:57 PM EST December 31, 2021
Neon64 2.0 beta 4 by hcs at 2:30 PM EDT on April 6, 2022
Neon64 2.0 beta 4 is out with a few more mappers (nothing exciting), 2 player support, auto-PAL detection (with NES 2.0 header), lots of little fixes.

I accumulated various small things the last almost two years, the last few days has seen me wrestling with video timing issues and unofficial opcodes. I don't think I'm going to get the timing stuff fixed without a major rework, but I don't know if that's ever going to happen and in the meantime I want to get all these other features and fixes out for those who can't/won't build from source themselves. So here it is, reasonably well-tested but there's probably still some new bugs.

edited 2:31 PM EDT April 6, 2022

edited 2:32 PM EDT April 6, 2022
by hcs at 7:34 PM EDT on May 9, 2022
Been working on a puzzle game prototype the last few weeks, I think it's ready for wider use if anyone's interested: Fitting Words
by hcs at 7:04 AM EDT on June 13, 2022

My first attempt at a metroidvania, for Metroidvania Month 16. It's more of a puzzle game than an action game, but I think I captured some feeling of exploration. I've got a few more days to polish, but it's substantially complete. No audio unless I can work up the might to debug a bunch of Web Audio stuff that I've left out for now. Bug reports welcomed.

edited 7:40 AM EDT June 13, 2022
by kain at 11:56 AM EDT on June 16, 2022
I like the idea of a puzzle/metroidvania game
by hcs at 1:43 PM EDT on June 16, 2022
You might be interested in what's come to be called "metroidbrainia", where the upgrades you collect are a better understanding of mechanics that were available all along (though some prefer "knowledge node puzzle"). Some of Speleomorph is structured that way, and I think it has some of that feel, but there's a definite series of pickups that are followed in the early game.

My favorite example which is close to Metroidvania in play style is Toki Tori 2, though arguably The Witness is my favorite game that fits the description. The Zachtronics "design puzzle" games come at it from another angle, and in Sokoban block-pushing land, there's Stephen's Sausage Roll and A Monster's Expedition.

As foone recently observed "reverse engineering is a metroidvania", which captures the feeling I've gotten from that as well. There are probably some good explicitly RE'ing games but none are coming to mind.

edited 1:52 PM EDT June 16, 2022
by kain at 9:32 AM EDT on June 18, 2022
I like the puzzle parts in castlevania like the underground reservoir boat in a.o.s. or early clock tower access in s.o.t.n.
by kain at 8:40 AM EDT on June 27, 2022
Just a follow up if anyone would like free concept art for their game project I would be willing to try and help.
by hcs at 8:36 PM EDT on June 28, 2022
Been playing and rating games for Metroidvania Month, ends in less than a day. I took a break just now to play The Looker, which is about as perfect a parody of The Witness (which I loved) as I can imagine. It's smart, it's stupid, it's free, check it out!
by hcs at 3:11 PM EDT on July 8, 2022
Today I learned that Rick Cook passed away January 13th, 2022. He's best known to me as author of the Wizardry series (not related to the games, the books starting with Wizard's Bane). These books colored a lot of my thinking about a game where programming is magic (I'd blogged on this in 2010 and more recently last December), and I think it's where I first heard of Forth and the Dragon Book. Obituaries mostly come from his Society for Creative Anachronism friends, he'd founded the branch in Arizona. Thanks for the inspiration!

edited 3:13 PM EDT July 8, 2022
by hcs at 7:56 PM EDT on August 25, 2022
I've been working on making a decent PDF of a book from 1969. Finally finished (or at least decided to stop working on it): Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals .

Direct link to the 56.3 MB PDF.

edited 7:57 PM EDT August 25, 2022
by hcs at 10:17 PM EDT on September 5, 2022
Spent some time compiling a list of licensed Famicom games with non-8K PRG-NVRAM sizes, was curious when asked about Neon64's save format.
by hcs at 3:31 AM EST on January 4, 2023
I finally released a rip of an old Shiro Hamaguchi BGM demo disc I've been carrying around since 2005. I bought it at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, while visiting a cousin in LA, thought it was oddly interesting, though I didn't know much about anime. I've been told that all these tracks are on other releases, except maybe Dinozone. Thanks to a friend who transcribed and translated the track list.

BGM Materials 1999.12
by hcs at 5:08 AM EDT on June 25, 2023
I set up a web player for the CD+G graphics on the Super Dungeon Master disc.

edited 5:48 AM EDT June 25, 2023
Linux and Vim by DeadAwake at 7:47 PM EDT on September 24, 2023
This thread is a fun read. Thank you for sharing it.

I also use Vim on a GNU/Linux system. Old logs indicate that I switched to this setup over a decade ago. I have not listened to a USF file since.

But given that hcs also runs Linux, perhaps there is a way?
by hcs at 11:41 AM EDT on September 25, 2023
That's a good question, I don't know how to play USF on a Linux system these days. I started using Windows for work, and that's what my main laptop is still running. Though these days I'll usually use ZXTune on Android.

You might search for lazyusf2, that's the mupen64plus-based decoder library that's most likely to have a package somewhere.
Linux Leads by DeadAwake at 10:40 AM EDT on October 1, 2023
Thank you for the reply and tip. It seems that lazyusf2 still has architecture requirements, but it does look like a step in the right direction:

I found another interesting lead with software that claims to support USF via Audio Overload:

But official Audio Overload documentation makes no mention of such support:

I will check these out. In particular, lazyusf2 seems to have an opcode translator, which is a promising concept. In the meantime, I agree with sentiment here:

“Desperately needs a simple C based USF to WAV open sourced program.”


... Well, that was surprisingly easy. Using lazyusf2's included converter program, dumpresampled, I just listened to a USF file for the first time in over a decade. It sounded great. (I bet you can even guess the song.)

Thank you again for the tip, hcs, and thank you to everyone who has contributed to lazyusf2. Today was a good day.

edited 11:35 AM EDT October 1, 2023
by hcs at 11:08 AM EDT on October 5, 2023
Checking that posting works after db server change.

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