Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Extra Nothingness

I'm writing a new entry for no other reason than I just updated the NGPACE blog and thought it high time I did so on this blog too.

After learning (from the Retro Gamer article) that the Sega Saturn version of Lode Runner had a sequel - Lode Runner Extra - a quick eBay search turned up the same Japanese seller I'd just bought the former from, so I just had to have that as well. It has arrived and looks to be in excellent condition, though as-yet untested.

Little else has changed since my last entry; time is still very hard to come by so I'm going to have to start making a dent in my sleep time again. Either that or work out a way to program whilst cycling.

Oh yeah, another idea for a retro port - an enhanced (additional processing power) cartridge for the Vectrex that would enable a perfect port of the arcade Battlezone. Not sure at this point whether the enhancement would involve a micro, or an FPGA, or something else.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Move along, nothing to see here... yet.

Over the past few weeks I've had zero time to work on my retro projects, which of course includes Lode Runner. In an attempt to get my physical well-being back on-track, I've just taken up cycling and also resumed my weight training after a long hiatus courtesy of a disc bulge. This not only reduces the number of 'free' hours in a day that I have, but also leaves me without the energy to even attempt anything that remotely requires brain power, and I fall asleep instead.

However, I feel I'm starting to turn a corner now and I'm slowly adjusting to the new regime. I won't regain the lost hours but the bodily fatigue is much reduced - almost non-existent - leaving me feeling like I am more able to spend the odd late night at the keyboard again soon.

To coincide with this, I've just received my back-issue (#111) of Retro Gamer magazine, which features Lode Runner on the cover and a "Making Of..." feature article inside. Whilst I was a little disappointed with the lack of depth in the article, it was still fun to read it, despite the fact that for some unknown reason they neglected to mention the Coco 3 and Neo Geo ports!?!

I should also mention that I recently acquired the Atari 8-bit XE cartridge (near mint, complete-in-box) for my Atari 130XE and the Sega Saturn Lode Runner - The Legend Returns (Japanese) CD, both of which were refreshingly cheap considering the current, disgusting state of the retro computer/gaming market.

So, my plans haven't changed since the last post - namely, finish off the Neo Geo port and then finish a disk-based version for the Coco 3 before releasing the original 6502 commented disassembly. Any further ports, such as Amiga & Genesis, will happen whenever I feel like working on them.

Beyond that, I'd like to start a new port, but have a few different candidates and - depending on the game I ultimately decide on - also a few different targets in mind. As well as another Coco 3 port, I've got some ideas for the Vectrex, and after listening to the ANTIC podcasts I'm starting to get a little more interested in the Atari 8-bit machines. And recently, the VTEC CreatiVision (aka Dick Smith Wizzard) also caught my attention, mainly for the fact that its entire game catalogue is bereft of a single decent game, and I think the hardware is definitely capable of one.

Stay tuned.