Just a quick post to mark the new month since I’m trying to get back into the habit. The main news this time is that a new iteration of Didi/Laxity’s Intro Creation Competition started up yesterday over at the CSDb and this time it comes in two flavours; both share most of the same rules but, along with the original 16K variant comes a new 4K category where the entire intro has to run from just 4,096 bytes of memory. That does sound limiting partly because it is, but sound is optional for 4K entries to make things a little easier.
Since I like this competition a little bit of [ahem] encouragement has been sent out to a few people as regards writing an entry or two already and, so far at least, nobody has told me to naff off because of it so that’s a positive!
As for myself, I’ve already got several notes about ideas for both categories, a fair bit of prototype code running and even some nearly finished intros including a feature complete 4K entry which is just waiting on some preset data. That should materialise on the interwebs very soon, possibly even tomorrow if all goes to “plan” and the siren call of the Columbo box set that’s been borrowing a lot of my free time doesn’t start up again…
The original Gamerz Xtreme Intro was written in 2016 for the Twitch channel of the same name and, after a request on Twitter a couple of months back from the channel’s owner and a little work from myself and aNdy, there’s now a second intro which hopefully turned up just in time for a planned channel refresh and transition to Mixer. This new intro is the rather imaginatively titled Gamerz Xtreme Intro 2 and it has everything you could want from an intro; lots of moving raster bars, bouncing multicolour bitmap logos with wave effects, a sideborder ROL scroller and some great music.
As with the previous intro, this was provided to Psycho Stick in source code form including the relevant tools to build it and a configuration file. The latter is basically an assembler include containing all of the bits which can be edited to change the scrolling message text and tweak it’s colours or select one of the pre-made raster effects for the main part of the screen. Once that file has been modified and saved, a supplied batch file can be triggered which assembles the code and crunches it down ready for use.
Getting this done was a lot of fun and one piece of “overkill coding” only becomes visible when the “debug borders” option is enabled in VICE, all of the colour splits in the main effect area are lined up to the same cycle for the entire height of the screen… that took far too much effort to get right, especially considering it’s completely hidden from view and nobody would’ve even noticed either way had I not drawn attention to them!
The list of computer-y things I’ve done lately has been rather minimal; there was an article for issue 200 of Retro Gamer that, with a little hindsight and after some encouragement from on high, I’m rather proud of especially since it’s quite a distance away from my regular comfort zone of writing news and reviews so I’ll be looking at feedback from behind the sofa when that issue goes out.
Cosine haven’t been given the thumbs up to release the Gamerz Xtreme intro yet, but that’s only a matter of time and still needs me to sit down and write some finalised scroll text, everything else is complete… oh, and there’s a ridiculously over-engineered DYCP scroller that I’ve been prodding away at in quiet moments for the last couple of weeks as well. There isn’t a “home” for it yet but, due to it being inspired by a demo released in the 1990s by an Australian coder, sprucing things up a bit and bunging the result over for Syntax at the start of November seems like a fairly good idea.