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Vintage computing, old video games

This isn’t real… is it? How would this even work?

https://sookocheff.com/post/process/zero-bug-policy/

Could have been posted a couple days late.

April 4th, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

This might be an example of the old does it take longer to painstakingly solve a problem, or to create a tool to make it less painstaking?

I keep around a lot of ASCII art diagrams and charts– some new, some carried forward from ancient times. For Aaezure Odyssey MUD, the game is played in ASCII and therefore so are all the in-game maps. In any case, sometimes there’s a need to edit them by moving around regions of content. In a conventional text editor, this is a gigantic pain in the neck. Sometimes you can cheese it using special key characters with find-and-replace but it’s not a great way to go through life.

I also thought that surely, there’d be an obvious choice for an already-existing text editor that supports this kind of diagramming function with moving around blocks of text. The best one I found was ASCIIFlow. I loved the UI of ASCIIFlow– it’s really cool and modern. However, it had a problem where the import/export was lossy. It’d take some characters, and replace them with other characters. Dealbreaker. Besides that, there’s Emacs or vim but those tools haven’t been part of my life thus far and I didn’t care to investigate. And then there was one other option, Notepad++ which I knew to support column-based selections but there didn’t appear to be a way to move around the blocks of text.

See I thought I could go through life without ever feeling motivated to make my own text editor. I’ve been liking the program, so while using it I added more features outside of what it was originally intended for– supporting cut, paste, undo, and so forth. Besides the diagrams it’s been good as a general purpose editor and I’ve already gotten a lot of mileage from that.

The program can be found on Github here.

February 26th, 2019 at 5:38 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I’ve done some work to create a Winamp plugin that broadcasts what song you’re playing as a Discord Rich Presence.

An uncommon scenario? Sure, although I’m not too worried about that. This idea of functionality came from the integration Spotify has with Discord right now, plus there are a lot of other interesting ways in which app developers are implementing Rich Presence.

The main challenges for this project were understanding not one flow of communication, but two; the Discord RPC API and Winamp plugin architecture. You figure out how to do one, then how to do the other, and then merge the result together. One thing I am grateful for is the fact that Winamp is debugger-friendly and can also be launched by a debugger without issue. There wasn’t anything too gnarly that happened for this project but it helped to be able to step through some things- for example, the plugin configuration menu code– to debug. There was one problem where DialogBox was being called with NULL instead of the proper module handle, and it would indeed create a dialog box but of an unexpected type. It helped to be able to step through and debug this.

What it looks like, in action:

The source + binary distributed through GitHub repository here: https://github.com/clandrew/wdrp

Problem solved!

January 20th, 2019 at 4:54 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Finished Final Fantasy Legend (GB)

This is a spin-off to the Final Fantasy series and related to the Sa-Ga series made by Square Enix.

The whole thing with Legend is it’s “a lot more epic than it seems like it should be”. See the games I remember Game Boy original were fairly light in subject matter, emotional power and how the story is delivered. But, this game:
• Levels with a scary unkillable monster
• Real actual character death
• An ending sequence where you fight the creator of the universe
Confirmed the creator of the universe is wearing a top hat
It turns out the composer for this game is also Nobuo Uematsu the same as mainline Final Fantasy series except for XIII. If you listen carefully you can hear similarities to the rest of the series’ music.

For the gameplay, you have the flexibility of choosing all characters in your party and their type (Human, Mutant, Monster). The game suffers from some balancing issues which make certain bossfights far, far disproportionally harder than others.

There is apparently an homage to Legend in Final Fantasy XIII where (spoiler) Orphan can be killed instantly by Vanille’s Death spell. It is not 100% guarantee but there is a chance particularly if staggered. In the Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania book it says outright this was an intentional reference to Legend.

November 22nd, 2018 at 9:24 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Uncommon real-life problems are solved by Tintin++ scripts

October 16th, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Art project: Advertisement

To attract possibly some new players to Deathwish, a text RPG I play sometimes, and to increase visibility I thought to purchase an ad. The MUD community has two big portals for indexing MUDs: MUD Connector, and TopMudSites. TopMudSites already advertises 4-5 MUDs on rotation in the form of 728×90 banner ads which are not too intrusive. We could put an ad for DW into that set.

I wanted the ad to be pixel art since that’s the only thing I know how to do, and look a bit like DW’s home page- skulls and fire! And be animated.

After drafting up most of it I went through iterations with the MUD administrator until getting the final version which was sent to TMS.

I was worried it would not be accepted, if they thought the skull was too much or having a mild curse be in the hostname would be an issue

But, I’m happy to say they accepted the ad and it’s up there now! The site administrators were kind enough in letting me sign up for extra time so it will be up for a while- about 2 years.

Final result:

As of right now you can see the ad at TopMudSites, if you just refresh the page a few times and ensure your ad blocker isn’t running.

October 13th, 2018 at 12:18 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Whenever there are no mirrors around, I’m a pair of disembodied hands, to save on rendering costs. Everyone is always very polite in not pointing it out.

October 1st, 2018 at 9:17 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Finished Gundam Wing: Endless Duel (SNES)
Story Mode with Vayeate

This is a Gundam-inspired fighting game released in Japan only. You can play as several of the Gundams from the show. Gosh this game has so much graphical polish and the soundtrack is A++++. For this I played through the story mode and recorded it on my capture card.

Deathscythe and Epyon if unlocked are very over-powered in this game. In general the mechs are not very balanced. Still, my regular tends to be Vayeate because it is my favorite from the show. Life would be boring if everyone playing Street Fighter was Zangief, right?? Vayeate has a couple good features- this huge space rifle-like thing that can be used as a bludgeoning weapon, plus a few attacks that go diagonally.

I got this replica cart to play it

From playthrough (recorded with capture card)–

August 12th, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

“Ghost characters” introduced in JIS encoding can be found in Unicode today

https://www.dampfkraft.com/ghost-characters.html

July 29th, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Animal Crossing (for Gamecube) contains a functional, hidden Famicom emulator

July 12th, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink