An Atari New Year!

I spent a little time this evening making some fireworks for tomorrow night!

Download, unzip, launch in your favorite Atari 800 emulator, like Atari800MacX

Pick Y from the menu, ESC to end, reboot to get back to the menu. See you in a year!

(I didn't get around to putting an emulator page on my site; I will before my next actual game)

Game Project Status Report

OK, thinking about projects time, what I've done with my 3-year summer vacation (extended, 2022 edition).

  • Scheme for local problems, sysadmin tasks, just general dorking around on the computer: 💯, best decision I've made in some time. In case it's not clear, Chez Scheme and Thunderchez.

    Schemers in general are annoying but less annoying than LISPers, so if the LISP community pissed you off, Scheme's might be 50% less toxic. I still have to block some people in IRC because they won't STFU or tolerate anyone Doing Things in Unapproved Manner. You know what would be amazing? A language as technically awesome as Scheme, with Python's friendly community. Python the language is trash, tho.

  • Haunted Dungeon, Scheme roguelike. Needs at most weeks of work, and then I can take a day and grind out binaries for various platforms (UUUUuuuugh Windows & Linux suck so much to interact with; Mac does for different reasons), ship it. It ballooned past my original tiny roguelike design long ago, but it's still not that big.

  • Multiple small Scheme programs & games, once I do that ship day I may just make a bunch of binaries. None of these are amazing but some are nice. Don't ask a developer to praise their own software, you know?

  • New Perilar CRPG, also Scheme. I have this at like 60% functionality, map generation's beautiful, and fuck-all for story, it's fine, same shipping problems, so much I need to think about if I get it to a playable state. Or it may be a learning experience.

  • Little Atari 8-bit game. Dungeon crawler with no purpose but it's cute, was meant to be a ZX SpecNext game but that's still not shipped after 2 years so… It's now at like 30% done, but I have some vision for it.

  • Open world action-adventure game I've got a bit of design for (in my paper sketchpad! Not even on the computer!), it could either be Scheme or Atari 8-bit or whatever. I don't actually know of anything like this design, tho original Zelda & Metroid are the parents (I clearly don't understand genetics) of all such games. Needs so much mapping & writing before I even start, but all the technical side is easy for me.

    Currently Atari stuff's in TurboBASIC-XL which is less bad than you'd think, but still really sucks compared to having a modern language; both Pascals and C's I have access to are less useful. I've been borderline to making a new language that compiles to 6502 ASM, but I know I'm lazy at tools-to-make-tools support.

    One nice part with Atari 8-bits is, shipping is easy. Put it in an ATR file, with an Atari emulator as seen on One click, any browser shows it. Down side is, can't really charge money for this. Beg for patreon support; which I need to be better about giving you goodies in return for your cash, my fine patrons. Shall I write thee a sonnet?

  • Update & reupload my iPhone stuff. Should I even bother with Castles? I liked the underlying game but the UI is unbelievably shit, I had no idea what I was doing and limited by iPhone 1 screen/UI constraints. But Perilar, and some utility stuff, and maybe patch Brigand to be paid-up-front instead of IAP and say "this is what you could've had!". And I have my 3D game which never got shipped, just shown as demos. Worth spending some time on this and then never looking at it again.

  • Tabletop RPGs. Fuck this third goddamned plague year, which has made playing & playtesting RPGs just a nightmare. Every online group I try flakes out so fast they may be composed entirely of microscopic black holes. So I have my "original dungeon game" retroclone, and my much nicer sword & planet game, and a couple tiny gamelets. And with Hasbro's sabre-rattling at the OGL and "One D&D", I'm inclined to just ship only the sword & planet game, and turn the rest into world books for it. But I'd like to test it more than once with other Humans and also not get infected with plague. So. State of that world is uncertain.


Rather than my longer music playlists, I often just sing one song to fediverse, like this. It's a slightly manual process, but I have part of it automated:


tell application "Music"
    set t to current track
    set msg to (t's artist & " " & t's name)
end tell


#!/usr/bin/env python3

import sys
import urllib.parse

for line in sys.stdin:
    line = line.rstrip()
    print(urllib.parse.quote(line)) # unquote for the urldecode script


open -a Chromium "!yt+$q"
open -a Chromium "!genius+$q"

Then I just type sing, it pops up Chromium (my garbage media browser), I pick the best YT video and paste that, grab some lyrics and paste them, I have o/ bound as ♫ in Text replacements, and add a tag.

I suspect I could automate it a bit more, pick the first result on Genius and YT, but I trust neither to be right. Apple Music would be easier, but not everyone has it. I could grab cover art and paste that and a template into my toot box. Anyway, it's the post-Human touch that shows I care. It's amusing that I have three scripting languages to get one thing done (urlencode/urldecode scripts date back to the '90s).

MineTest SurviveTest

One of the games (modpacks) for MineTest I've been trying, is SurviveTest. It's much closer to vanilla MineTest Game, but with a good selection of mods to make a survival/mining game, and the developer is updating it regularly, and making youtube videos (in Portuguese, but you get the gist).

The Awards panel is pretty good at driving you thru the game. Some things are less obvious, tho.

  • Fishing: Every videogame expands until it can do fishing. Put your fishing rod in a slot, and bait in the slot right of it. You can get worms by left-click hoeing ground, then right-clicking the worm as it comes out, or rip up bread (in crafting area) to get bread bait. Then left-clicking water with the rod places a bobber, and in some time it may go under and right-click will pull a fish! It's not very visually friendly, but works.

I mostly just swordfight sharks that jump fences to get into my garden every morning (that is a sentence nobody sane would ever write).

You can also combine signs with fish to make trophies, and for servers there's a fishing tournament UI.

  • Gardening: Apparently now most crop seeds can only be got from traders (for gold) or dungeon chests? But I find a lot of wheat seeds at least digging grass blocks, and apple trees grow apples, so you won't starve. Cotton bushes drop seeds, and cotton can be made into string or wool. Water only hydrates land 3 blocks away, not 4 as in Minecraft/MineClone2. But kindly reeds grow up to 3 blocks away from water. Chase crows away from your farms, they will steal from you. I dunno if scarecrows actually work, but I put them up anyway to look cool.

Bread is more realistic: 4 wheat make 1 dough, cook dough and it becomes bread. The pies & cookies are fun, but take much more resources than they're worth, and I haven't been able to reliably farm chickens for eggs yet. Soups are a pain, they don't stack.

  • Fruit Juice: Barrels are W-W-W, I-x-I, W-W-W (Wood, Iron), slightly expensive. Place them out, right-click TWO fruit (strawberry, apple, or melon) into each; it'll take all your fruit for nothing. Wait for an intolerable length of time and the barrel will change color. Make some bottles G-x-G, G-x-G, x-G-x (Glass), 10 bottles per 5 glass. Put ONE bottle in your bar, because if you click with multiple bottles they will be destroyed. Right-click one bottle on the barrel, and you get fruit juice. You can restack the bottles of fruit juice, and use them as a stack and it'll only consume one. Seems one of the higher value foods, out of otherwise very cheap food, and it's just a fun little farming activity, other than the bottle bug.

The bottle rack W-W-W, B-B-B, W-W-W (Wood, empty Bottles) gives an OK-looking shelf for 2 rows of bottles, no indicator as to how full it is but it looks nice enough next to a bookshelf, which holds a similar number of books.

  • Traders: Currently they spawn on "special jungle wood floor" wood, which you can steal from villages and put in your local trading hut to make them spawn. They'll trade gold for items, often pretty good items, or rarely crops & such for gold. They don't move, they don't do anything except vend goods, which is kind of a relief after dealing with MineClone2 villagers.

  • Mining: Mineral levels are much deeper down, see chart below. Stone tools suck when you dig hundreds of blocks down. As soon as you can, start making bronze tools from the extra tin & copper you get, I just carry a stack of bronze with me now and craft more tools as I go (I also bought a nice Mese pick from a trader). Then every 50-ish depth, I make a little mineshaft grid, get some of that level's minerals, go further down. I'm finally at diamond and below, looking for the Dungeon Master. A lot of MineTest players do ladders and falling, but I prefer a staircase so I can safely get off.

Coal = 0
Tin, Copper = -100
Iron = -150
Gold = -200
Mese = -350
Diamond = -500
Dungeon Master (Boss) = -600
Mese Monster = -350
  • Storage: Drawers work mostly like Storage Drawers mod for Minecraft. 1, 2, or 4 chests & wood between makes a drawer, right-click places materials in it, left-click withdraws. Make "upgrade templates" (a one-chest drawer with sticks around it), combine with steel, gold, obsidian, or diamond, to make an upgrade, right-click the border of the drawer, and put the upgrade in the arrow slots, to get 2x or more. Sadly this mod doesn't show upgrades visually, or have a redstone fill indicator, or such, but it works fine for the vast amount of junk you accumulate. I just keep chests now for loose things I won't need more than a stack of, or tools. Hm, some of the MC mods add shelves for things like tools, that might be a good idea.