Archive for the ‘Jason’s News’ Category

Year equals year plus one

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Now the New Year celebrations have been properly dealt with and recovered from, there’s only a mention of the little release I coded on the Atari 8-bit for the New Years Disk 2015. It’s called Inc Year (and yes, I do need to apologise for the rather desperate “joke” title but it was christened one day before the deadline with no better ideas floating around) and is yet another vertical split thingy. The code is actually one of the prototypes written before 15 Hues which was refitted as a delivery system for some scroll text that never came.

The results for the Intro Creation Competition at the CSDb are in as well, with Macro Sleep taking fourth place whilst Oldstyle and Spotified came in seventh and eighth respectively – that’s pretty good going from a field of fifty entries, although I can’t entirely understand why the most technically complicated of my three intros got the lowest score even if I was expecting that to happen!

I also picked up a DVD boxset of Crime Traveller just before Christmas and finally found some time to sit down and binge through all eight episodes over the last couple of days. For those who haven’t seen it (and, presumably, can’t be arsed to follow the link in the previous sentence) it’s one of those cop shows which pairs a hard-nosed police officer with someone who wouldn’t normally work with and, rather than a windmill-dwelling magic trick designer or a well connected, wise cracking writer, this time it’s a police scientist who just happens to be an expert on time travel to the point where she has a functioning time machine in her front room.

My memories of Crime Traveller from 1997 were that it wasn’t particularly good; suspension of disbelief aside because I’m a science fiction fan and that comes easily, the time machine should have caused “collisions” where two instances of the lead characters met every time it was turned on but, somehow, didn’t and the general tone of the show simply wasn’t serious enough to be believable. On watching it again, the same niggles are still there and they were joined by a couple more, but it didn’t seem to be quite as bad as I remember; Slade looks a little too fresh-faced to constantly be constantly disobeying his boss and there are too many comic relief characters but it was certainly more entertaining than my memory reckoned. That said, it’s still hard to take the thing seriously with some of the more comedic elements and the odd “cameo” appearance like this…

…which is even accompanied by a few notes from the Doctor Who theme. It could probably be rebooted successfully with the original cast since the BBC dishes out more reasonable budgets for this kind of show now.

And intro makes three

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A wild intro for the Intro Creation Competition appears. This one is called Spotified because… well, it has spots in it! The effect is achieved by hammering the hell out of the ghostbyte, which is the last byte of the current video bank (so $3FFF here since the intro uses the lowest bank) which appears in gaps where the screen has been pushed out of the way with FLD or disabled; in this case the entire height of the effect is disabled screen since it’s using hyperscreen.

It’s a bit harder to actually generate than I’ve made it sound here though, the loop producing the effect actually runs for eight scanlines with self-modified LDAs feeding values to the ghostbyte six times per scanline and a couple of extra commands that push the scroller around so it doesn’t eat into that space at the bottom where the logo is displayed and the music played.

The tune was composed by Rebecca “Bex” Gurney of Slipstream back in 2006 when she was a member of Cosine but lost until a few weeks back when I was digging through an “archived” hard disk and found a few of her missing tunes. Ta very much for letting me use it!

There’s a degree of irony to be noted as well… Spotified is probably the intro I personally felt to be the most technically advanced from my three intros and is certainly the one that took longest to code, but at the time of writing – a day after it went up on the CSDb where the voting for the Intro Creation Competition is taking place – it’s scoring lower than the other two entries Macro Sleep and Oldstyle! Not that I’m complaining you understand – the competition is more about having fun and coding intros and that’s what it’s been – but I’m just surprised.

Speaking of surprises, over at Macro Sleep’s Pouet entry there’s a comment I’ve only just noticed from the coder of the part that my intro is based on with a thumb up – I’m incredibly pleased by that!

Another day, another intro

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

It’s nearly that time of year again so, before I start thinking about hiding places around the house to hibernate in until January, here’s another intro for Laxity’s competition over at the CSDb. It’s called Oldstyle because I was going for a 1980s “vibe” and in particular the “tons of rasters and FLD” look, but with some tweaks and a logo inspired by various Apple II crack screens and Rasputin Music by Razor 1911 and Star One. Here’s a still…

…and the now compulsory but still somewhat dodgy YouTube video of the code running as well (so you can at least enjoy Sean Connolly’s music and get a rough idea of what it looks like moving)…

Also, “bah humbug” and there’ll probably be one more intro before the deadline, possibly even two with the second being released outside the competition. (And for those wondering what happened to the remixed version of Co-Axis, it’ll turn up at some point but I ran out of free time and missed the RGCD deadline!)