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April-June 2006 (oldest-to-newest)

10 Apr 2006 - BreakDown progress

I finally passed one of the two songs blocking me in Guitar Hero. I still need to beat "Crossroads" to unlock the final five songs in Expert mode. The problem is that the solo near the end is so long that even having full Star Power isn't enough to survive it.

I also finished reading the latest Harry Potter book, which was great as usual. Can't wait for the last one.

Game Progress I spent some time with BreakDown this past weekend. I still can't find the source of some graphical glitches, but I'm prepared to let them go for now in the interests of getting the game out to you sooner. I can always revisit the game later.

12 Apr 2006 - Bosses

Game Progress I'm playing through BreakDown looking for blatant bugs. One thing I tried was setting the starting level a bit higher so I could try out the bosses. Holy crap they're hard! Of course just skipping to the levels didn't give me the powerups I'd likely have by getting there normally. Still, I definitely need more practice at this game.

Release isn't far off me thinks. Less than a month for sure.

14 Apr 2006 - Lost

We keep the closed captioning on our TV in hopes that it will help our son read. Anyway, the latest episode of Lost had a funny interpretation. Ana Lucia was telling Locke that "I pushed your button". I don't know if Locke was trying to get fresh or what. I certainly heard "It's not my button". The closed captioners obviously heard different.

17 Apr 2006 - Done (I think)

Game Progress I tracked down the last bug of which I'm aware. It wasn't a major one. It just caused the demo mode to sometimes not quit properly when the computer player finishes a level. Pressing a button kicked you back to the menu easy enough. It's nice to have it fixed nonetheless.

I'll play with the game for a bit to make sure I didn't miss anything. I also need to create the game's boot loader images. The game's button mapping might need some tweaking too. The original used the four PSX buttons for four different weapons. Currently the X button is mapped to the NUON's A button. It might make more sense to move the four up to the NUON's C buttons since they're laid out more like the PSX pad.

19 Apr 2006 - Yaroze Classics & N504

Game Progress I'm trying to hook up Arethius with a working Yaroze Classics for the Atari Connexion show this weekend. He's had problems getting the disc to work, but I always attributed it to burning issues since it works fine on my N501. However I just tried it on my N504 and it doesn't work! Sheesh, I'm going to have to test releases on both from now on.

I also tried BreakDown standalone (not in the boot loader) and it doesn't work either. So clearly something is amiss on the Aries3-based players. I'll try repro'ing it on my Aries3 dev system. Otherwise it'll be a burn-and-try cycle to figure out what's going on.

20 Apr 2006 - Bah

Game Progress The Aries3 dev system works fine. Must be something to do with the N504. Nnnnnnggg.

20 Apr 2006 - Fixed

Game Progress I found the problem was that I was calling a bios function from within an interrupt handler. That's a no-no according to the docs. Why it works on NTSC machines, but not on PAL I have no idea. I'm just happy to have that fixed.

Lots of little things to clean up before the release. It should happen next week. I sent Arethius a version for the Atari Connexion this weekend. That'll be the first place you can see/play BreakDown (assuming it works for him).

26 Apr 2006 - Almost done

Game Progress The artwork changes/additions are done. I just have two more small things to clean up before release. Look for it in a day or two.

27 Apr 2006 - Wii wii wii all the way home

Wii huh? Ooookay. The urine jokes just start pouring out of the mind like a fountain.

Game Progress I'm getting some odd corruption in the images within the boot loader (screenshots, icons, etc). I haven't reproduced the problem on the dev system so I can't say exactly what the problem is. I suspect that I just have too many images and am running out of memory (although it shouldn't fail in that way). If I can't track down the bug soon I'll pare down the screenshots to just a few per game and hopefully that will fix it.

28 Apr 2006 - Yaroze Classics x3

Game Progress This release of the Yaroze Classics adds a third game, Chris Wallace's BreakDown. Hit the link on the left navigation bar to get the latest version. You can also submit your scores at the BreakDown link above - you will be given a code after every game.

The game is played with the NUON controller's analog stick and C buttons. C-down is your main gun that never runs out. The other three are your power up weapons that you collect along the way. There are other power-ups too like invincibility and armor. Visit the official page for more info.

Unique to this version of BreakDown is a two-player co-op mode. The original had a dual-turret mode where one player controlled both using the dual shock controller. Since the NUON controller only has one analog stick I figure it'd be better to split the controls between the two. In this mode the A button fires and the B button cycles through the weapons for each player. You can unlock this mode by holding down B and C-down on the title screen.

Unfortunately there are some known issues with this release.

  • The "Loading..." screen in the boot loader flickers for a short time.
  • There are graphical glitches on the BreakDown title screen.
  • There are a couple references to the PSX buttons still in the game. You should be able to figure it out I hope.
  • If you don't have a second controller plugged in the second turret will fire non-stop.

Enjoy and let me know if you have any problems.

3 May 2006 - Nuh nuuuuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh

I just received my magnetic Katamari hand knitted by Amy Shimel. See her store here, although it appears she no longer offers the item.

Each nub has a magnet, which makes a unique office item holder. Put some rare earth magnets in there and you might have a real Katamari (assuming it doesn't implode).

EDIT: Actually it looks like she still does offer the item. I must have missed it when I looked. Direct link is here.

EDIT #2: I found the original link from which I bought my Katamari. It is here.

10 May 2006 - What's next
Game Progress

So you're probably wondering what I'll be doing next.

Back when I released the first Yaroze Classics I submitted the news item to Brandon at Insert Credit. He came back with the suggestion that I should port Matt Verran's game Robot Ron.

You know that I ended up going with BreakDown due to Chris' enthusiasm to port his game. Of course Robot Ron remained in my mind. So after I finished BreakDown I went to contact Matt. Turns out he saw Brandon's latest Yaroze Classics post first and contacted me about the port. He's up for it. I'm up for it. As soon as he sends the source I'll get started on porting Robot Ron.

25 May 2006 - Au revoir VML

VM Labs the company is finally dead. Richard sent out a mail stating that the remaining funds from the company are gone (all thirty-two cents). To celebrate this he reserved a room at a local restaurant for a company reunion.

Talk about a blast from the past. Names and faces come rushing back (names not as much). It was short notice so not everyone was there, but it was still more than I thought would attend.

The highlight was the smashing of the VM Labs seal. Here's a couple pics. More info later.

5 Jun 2006 - The moment

I mentioned the breaking of the VM Labs seal last time. Here's a movie of that event for all to see. Both Richard and Nick take a whack at it.

Breaking the seal (Quicktime MOV - 37 MB)

The amusing part is that right before this, while carrying the seal over, part of it fell out. It broke on its own.

It's a large file so I'll be monitoring the bandwidth usage. I'll yank the movie if it gets to be too much. If anyone wants to host it permantently please do.

9 Jun 2006 - Chez DSI

Game Progress I received the source from Matt and have gotten Robot Ron to compile for NUON. I haven't tried running it yet, though.

We're moving next week so things have been very crazy. We closed on the new place yesterday and are now scrambling to get our current one ready to go on the market. Juggle that with packing for the move next Friday and taking care of a toddler and baby (who just started crawling). Whew!

Things should calm down in a few weeks as we unpack and life returns to normal. So sorry if updates are sparse.

20 Jun 2006 - Moved

The move is done. Now were getting our old place fixed up to put on the market. The open house is this weekend. Hopefully it sells quickly so we don't have to deal with two mortgages for long.

We're still in boxes at the new place. The study in particular is still a mess so no dev work is getting done these days. It also doesn't help that we put the baby's crib in there. Hmm. Maybe I'll move the dev system out to the living room for the time being.

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