But before we get to that, Simul 2 won first place in the extended-BASIC section of zContest 3! And if there had been a prize for largest screenshot size, Simul would have won that, too. (It was also the most difficult screenshot I've ever taken, even at 25% speed.)
And now I'm back to working on Contra. Besides making some much-needed sprite changes (more are on the way, in the name of visibility), I've also re-implemented moving enemies (which can now jump around on platforms), added swimming, and made jumping and scrolling completely smooth. Even with that, the program still has a delay to slow down each frame (on a TI-83 Plus, too), so I'm still free to add falcons and those flying football-shaped things.
Now that school's started, I can start working on Contra again. (I don't completely understand this either.)
I've already cut the size down by nearly two kilobytes (from a high point of over 8 KB), and more rewriting is already underway. I won't decide on a next release date yet, because when I do make the next release, I want it to be something actually worth downloading.
And while I got absolutely nothing done on the actual Contra project over the summer, I did make quite a few updates to the Contra homepage, so follow it and check it out (if you're not there already)! Motivation is such a motivating force.
Along with our Z80 tables and the BBify'r, ClrHome is now proud to host its first Lua utility at http://clrhome.tk/resources/lua/!. (Okay, it's not my script. alberthrocks made it, over at withg.us.to, but here's a nice little front-end. And yes, I've tried making my own PHP script to do the converting, but that failed.)
And for ClrHome authors, there's now an online tutorial builder at http://clrhome.tk/b/edit/ (URL subject to change)! It doesn't actually save anywhere yet, but if you have rights you can use the HTML it outputs. (You can use it even if you don't, but the theme is pretty site-specific.)
Finally, there are more sub-sites here in the works, possible now that we no longer have a restriction on subdomains hosted. So far, there's startrek.clrhome.tk, tipoint.clrhome.tk, and zelda.clrhome.tk for ACag's projects, the redesigned Contra page, and my personal site. More are coming soon.
And yes, that is Papyrus on the Zelda page. I'm sorry.
Finally got around to all these updates.
First off, we moved (again). We're now using yet another host, which isn't as stable overall but is a lot more stable in some important areas, such as in databases. (You may have noticed the Projects and Membership sections going down pretty much once a day.)
Just because we can, we also added more domains to our site. The blog (as you've noticed) is now hosted at http://blog.clrhome.co.cc/ and the Contra project at http://contra.clrhome.co.cc/, and more project subdomains are coming along. Just for the fun of it, we also added clrhome.tk to the site, so you can now access ClrHome Productions with three fewer characters to type. And if for some reason you want to type more, you can also get here at clrhome.heliohost.org.
And remember that checkbox on the signup form? It finally does something. I finally got around to setting up email notifications for blog posts, so anyone who checked that box should be able to see this post in an email soon. Since it's never been used before, the first email (sent today) contained 24 posts from the last four months; sorry about that. Future emails should be weekly digests of one or two posts at a time.
To wrap things up, ACag's set up a Twitter for us @ClrHome, so join if you have an account. We'll be looking into incorporating that into our news feed, too.
Update your bookmarks!
It's not too much of a playable game, but as promised, I finally got enough done to upload the first PAD of Contra. Download it here!
Now I can get back to my other projects. Probably another stretch without an update coming.
By the way, just noticed that contra.co.cc is an available domain. Should I take it?
Still on track to release a little demo on Monday! It won't have much, but lives, enemy displays, and other things are now implemented.
And when I got bored with coding, I made a little sig bar (userbar) for my Contra project. It's still uploaded at the same place it's always been, so make sure you refresh the cache to see the updated bar! To do that, use
Ctrl+Shift+R in Firefox,
Ctrl+R in Safari and Chrome, or
Ctrl+F5 in Internet Explorer (if anyone still uses that after all the warnings, annoying voices, etc.
You can now view my current progress, logs, and some screenshots at http://contra.clrhome.co.cc/. And the weird thing is, it's not all gray! Amazing, huh?
Still no demo, sorry. I've already missed the March 2011 deadline for a demo, but if all goes well I can get one up by April 11.
But anyway, here's a screenshot.
This week is spring break for me, which means I finally have the free time and boredom needed to give me motivation to work on my calculator projects again. First item on the list? Contra. It's still by far the most ambitious game I've ever attempted, and I don't want my work to go to waste yet again.
It's also been the longest to code. Four and a half months after I started the project, and I'm still not coming close to finishing, or even finishing stage 1. Apparently, it takes a lot of work to make anything close to a clone of any popular game. I probably won't be porting/cloning anything but cell phone games after this. (On the other hand, this project gives me an excuse to play Contra all day long. That may or may not be a good thing.)
So here it is, if anybody cares: my logs for the entire process of making this game. Some of the dates are approximate, but they give a pretty good picture of how slow I've been. If I could make this game at the speed at which I made WWIII and all those early (crappy) games, I'd have been finished long before now.
Well, it's been a pretty big year for us. Our only year, anyway, but it's been great. We just passed our 2500 pageviews milestone, with visitors from places around the world as varied as Australia and Latvia. Our site's changed again and again, going from host to host and stylesheet to unnecessarily complicated stylesheet until we got just the layout we wanted. You can see the changes in our navbar and post layout as we finally got the CSS for the blog and main site to match. And I'm happy with how it looks now, finally.
As for our projects, that section's exploded too. I still have to put up some of my earliest projects in the showcase, but it's already a lot better than before. Contra's still going well in dev, with the engine almost done; I've almost finished PapiJump, and apparently now both I and yunhua98 are working on a Doodle Jump clone. Other projects we still have lying around include Bomberman and XDE, so look out for more updates on those in the future.
As always, though, we're still looking for more members to join. "Our team at ClrHome Productions" still refers to a very small group of people (two, to be exact), so if you're a decent TI-BASIC, Axe, or TI-ASM programmer, or if you make computer programs related to calculators, don't be afraid to apply (but don't be discouraged if you're rejected). Even if you aren't, there are other ways to help listed on that page.
And from all (er, both) of us at ClrHome Productions, have a merry Christmas and happy New Year!
This is pretty much the opposite of an update. I deleted my Contra project group yet again (on purpose). I'm still working on it, of course, but I thought I should start over with a completely different structure to the program. This is the third time I've started Contra from scratch, mostly because I'm constantly learning about and thinking of new Axe tricks to use. (On a related note, I'm on my third incarnation of XDE as well).
Since I did that I've already gotten to where I was before, except that it completely supports sidescrolling now. In other words, you can play a full, 100×7-tile levelmap of Contra (assuming you play with only plain blocks and empty space, which still isn't much of a game). Next up I'll be adding firing back in and sticking enemies in with it, and hopefully I can get a screenshot up in a few days.
I've always loved making platformers. I find it really fun to calculate all the weird, convoluted formulas involved in the different parts of a platform game (and no, I'm not even being sarcastic). And so since Axe is so well-built for making games, I decided to tackle a more complicated game than I ever would have tried in TI-BASIC: Contra, the classic NES platform game. This port will be as close to the original game as possible, at least in the classic, horizontal-scrolling levels. I actually haven't finished much yet, but here's what I have so far.
As you can see, I got some sprites and some movement coding done (except that the bullets still wrap around). The sprites on the right half of the screenshot seem to lose their grays occasionally, but that's only because I suck at setting emulator options (so it works perfectly fine on a real calculator). I might have to take that grayscale out, though, since it's slowing the game down already. Plus, it doesn't look bad at all without it.
And something you can't tell from the screenshot is that I've already taken scrolling into account in everything I've done so far. All I have to do now is (get the motivation to) add the actual scrolling.
Also, I was too lazy to redo code for Simul, but luckily I found a version of it without the bug I mentioned in the other post. The fixed version has been submitted to ticalc.org, so it should be up in a few days. Enjoy!