Category Archives: Nostalgia

Nostalgia

Beyond the Arduino

I’ve been playing around with the Arduino for a while now (offline to the blog) and while it is a great platform to get into the embedded arena (and electronics in general), I am yearning for something a little bit more, something beyond the Arduino.

I haven’t done a blog post in a while (I had great plans on posting my experiments and circuits as I learned) but the time it takes to create a post on a simple circuit that I built during the learning iteration process just didn’t work.

I was keen to move onto the next ‘idea’ so by the time it came to sit down and write something it was 3 mini-projects later. All I can say is that the best way to learn is to just physically build it.

Recently I’ve been studying digital circuits (nand2tetris is a good course) instead of analogue circuits and have been fascinated on how an actual the computer works (right down to the inner workings of the logic chips).

I think it is now time to move beyond the Arduino and get myself into some other projects. Maybe something that isn’t Arduino but is a little bit old and feeds my nostalgic urge (hint: z80).

Tileset and maps

Today I have completed a little milestone and that is converting over Adventureworld’s tileset and maps into a format that can be easily read by lua.

The current map game data is in a format like this:

DATA "CMMMBBBDDDBBLLLLMMMCCCLLLMMMC..

I’ve decided to use the application Tiled to build up the tileset and maps which will make it much easier to visualise and adjust each screen. It also automatically generates some nice lua tables which will make it easier to import into the game as well.

tileset and maps
Adventureworld current tileset

The original tileset was created using  graphic characters (think of it as creating a custom font). The characters were 8×16 pixels, which looked rather small on today’s big screens. I have made a design decision to double the size of the graphics so each ’tile’ is 16×32 pixels in dimension. Having to convert decimal numbers into binary and the translating that into a pixel byte in screen brought back memories of designing sprites by hand with graph paper at school. 🙂

tilesets and maps
Current sample of a map of Adventureworld

The original game had a tilemap screen size of 64×15 characters. After adjusting the screen resolution with the new ‘doubled’ pixel size of each tile, the final game resolution ends up being 1024×480. I have currently made the game to be 1024×512 but will most likely adjust it to 1024×768 (a better ratio) later on down the track. I have attached a sample map (screen4) to give you an idea on what the game currently looks like.

Next milestone

Constructing the different game states (such as menu, help, instruction screens) and the flows between them.

 

 

 

 

 

Back from hibernation

I’m now back from hibernation after a long break from updating my blog.  I’ve also spent a bit of time away from pioneer space sim.

I kind of got a little bit overwhelmed with the detail that pioneer space sim required. I just simply couldn’t keep up with the fast pace of some of the current developers, and it was becoming a chore.  It just wasn’t “fun” anymore, so I decided to take a bit of a break from it for a while. I’m sure I will get back into it once I have my ‘mojo’ back as I do enjoy playing space games.

In the meantime, in order to get myself back into the mindset of some more coding after my long break I’ve have been busy writing up and learning some Lua and LÖVE code for Movie Monsters. While there isn’t anything exciting to show just yet, I am learning lots about the LÖVE framework.

I also got in touch with some old friends over my break, and we have been spending time reminiscing over the old computer games and programming we did in the past. As a result I’m now starting to prepare a new computer game project. This one definately add an element of ‘fun’ back into my programming as there is a bit of ‘Nostalgia’ involved as it is my first ever computer game that I wrote (back in 1991).  I should have some more details shortly once I have finished gathering all the bits and pieces (and blow off the dust from the old computer printouts).

I’ve said it again, but I do intend on updating this blog a little bit more frequently now that I’ve cleaned out the cobwebs.

It feels nice to be back from hibernation. Lets see how long I can keep the updates flowing this time.

Active BBS entertainment

Today I was added to a new group of Facebook. Back in the early ’90s, before the internet was all graphical and the world wide web was thought to be some kind of spider, were the days of the humble Bulletin board systems (BBS) one such BBS that i was addicted to dialling up was called ‘Active entertainment BBS‘.

Active entertainment BBS

These days, ‘Active’ is no more than a simple web page as the old telnet system was taken offline. But the memories and friends met online back when online was geeky and weird is still strong.

It gives you a nice fuzzy feeling when someone you havent spoken to for nearly 20 years suddenly pops up and says “Hi”. Wow, talk about a blast from the past! Remembering g old login names, and the crazy stuff I used to get up to 20 years ago is actually quite frightening. Maybe I should write a book (haha, but who would want to read it).

Blahhh… I feel so old now.

I often think about digging up my old BBS system (yes, I ran one too) just for nostalgia, but I just don’t think it is worth the time and effort to set it up for the sake of a few people to log in on. Sometimes you just have to let things die and stay dead. Happy to be proven wrong though. 😉