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GNU Robbo 0.64 Released

RbVBA 0.3.2 Released

HTML Transcription of Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81 or ZX80

Bash Script to C Program Inter-process Communication (IPC)

GNU Robbo 0.63-1 - Nokia N8x0 (OS2008) Port

Bruce Lee ZX Spectrum

Gothic Win32

The Sims - Bustin' Out GBA

GNU Robbo SVN

ENG 0.0.1 Released

GNU Robbo 0.62 Released

GNU Robbo 0.61 Released

GNU Robbo SVN

GNU Robbo SVN

Other pages available: 2013 to 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 to 2005.

GNU Robbo 0.64 Released

Posted: 2009-12-08

The GNU Robbo Team have released GNU Robbo 0.64 which includes the mouse/stylus support that I recently completed and finally sound and sound skin support implemented by a new member of the team - neurocyp. There are also 19 additional level packs converted from either Robbo or Robbo Konstructor games which brings the current level total to 975!

For the complete changelog, screenshots and downloads please visit the GNU Robbo website .

RbVBA 0.3.2 Released

Posted: 2009-10-15

ChangeLog:

  • Fixed a bug that caused RbVBA to crash with a NilObjectException.
  • Fixed bugs associated with folder and file selection dialogs.
  • Rebuilt RbVBA's source and binary packages using REALbasic2009r4.

Please note: REALbasic is not required for the binary, but if you want to compile the source yourself, download the trial version and then ask them for a free open source licence and they'll supply you with one that unlocks the Personal Edition.

More details here.

HTML Transcription of Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81 or ZX80

Posted: 2009-10-13

When I was younger I had a Sinclair ZX81 but I never learnt how to write machine code programs, but now I know how because I've read this wonderful book by Toni Baker called Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81 or ZX80. To cut a long story short I've transcribed it from a freely downloadable 22MB PDF of scanned pages i.e. images to less than 1MB of HTML, excellent for reading with portable devices. And I've coded and included all the example programs too! So, what are you waiting for, get reading :)

Bash Script to C Program Inter-process Communication (IPC)

Posted: 2009-09-23

Not being something I've tackled before on Linux, I thought I'd attempt to get some type of interaction going between a bash script and a running program written in C, and somebody suggested I might like to research named pipes (FIFOs).

On searching the Internet I found FIFO examples for bash to bash and C program to C program communication, but not between a bash script and a C program, and so I came up with something quite interesting that although I currently don't have the time to develop it any further, might be of use to other people wanting to do a similar thing.

I've posted the code on my website here so that people can find it via search engines.

GNU Robbo 0.63-1 - Nokia N8x0 (OS2008) Port

Posted: 2009-09-07

Willem-Jan de Hoog has been busily updating his Nokia N8x0 (OS2008) port of GNU Robbo to include the mouse/stylus support that was recently added to SVN. Additionally his port also supports the wii remote! More information is available on Willem-Jan's website and maemo.org .

Bruce Lee ZX Spectrum

Posted: 2009-07-21

In my youth, my friend's younger brother bought Bruce Lee for his 48K Spectrum and we'd play 2-player games, one person being Bruce and the other Green Yamo. Back then I remember not only the two player experience being fun but also the game itself being an impressive Spectrum title. Nowadays like many people I play older games via emulation and I recently played this through using GP2Xpectrum on my GP2X

This game has aged really well, still looking and playing great 25 years later. You play as Bruce Lee, collecting lanterns which remove barriers to additional screens and there are about 20 screens in all. Following you throughout the game are the Ninja with a stick and the Green Yamo who looks like a big fat teddy bear, and you trade flying kicks and punches with them until you knock them out only to reappear after a short time.

What I like about this game is that your character is very controllable, the graphics are pretty and atmospheric and the screens are well designed. I was surprised by how quickly I completed it but it was enjoyable all the way through and it didn't become just another game I got frustrated and bored with. I can really recommend hunting this game down for your favourite home computer emulator.

Gothic Win32

Posted: 2009-07-09

I bought this game when it was released several years ago but didn't get very far with it. It's not that I didn't like it, it's just that I used to buy lots of games and I'd move onto something else. I later played Gothic 2 through to the end -- a fantastic experience -- and this is the reason why I returned to the original.

Wow, this game is such an amazing piece of work! It's so engrossing that I couldn't wait to load it up at the end of the day and immerse myself back into the wonderful Gothic world. The world is huge and varied, initially with parts inaccessible mainly due to your character not having attained the necessary skills to confront the wild animals that roam them, but also because you do not have the authority or social standing to enter them. None the less, you will be able to visit and explore your first port of call -- the Old Camp, and then the New Camp and Swamp Camp. The Old Camp is populated by morally better people than the New Camp and the Swamp Camp is populated by a religious sect who spend a lot of time smoking different types of weed. On top of this, the Magicians of Fire share the Old Camp and the Magicians of Water the New Camp. You will eventually have to choose which camp to join as a soldier, but afterwards you can change to the relevant magic circle.

There is so much depth to this game: different camps of different people, many types of animals and monsters, wild plants and fruits to utilise, magical objects to discover, a huge choice of weaponry and a favourite of mine -- transformation scrolls. It's possible to transform into an animal or monster so that you can explore parts of the map you may not have attained the experience to enter. And at some point you will see and eventually confront the Orcs.

A truly monumental gaming experience, and the sequel Gothic 2 is equally as brilliant. Many thanks Piranha Bytes .

You can view the English introductory video on YouTube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRjNsWFetRo

Below are some early screenshots of the game with descriptive filenames. There are many more fantastical parts that I don't want to spoil.

The Sims - Bustin' Out GBA

Posted: 2009-05-15

I want to talk about a few games I've played recently that were good enough to keep my attention till the end.

First up then is the Sims - Bustin' Out on GBA. I resisted the Sims on the PC because I thought it was dumbing down the market and so all all of the games I ignored until I tried this. I think it's technically very impressive for a 240x160 handheld device. I found completing the tasks to reach the next level addictive, the mini games mostly fun -- but then they are jobs -- and you earn money which you can spend on expensive objects for your house that you don't need :) I've played so many games where I've reached a particularly boring or tedious part and I've left it, that it's nice to find one that keeps my interest all the way through. Many thanks Griptonite Games .

GNU Robbo SVN

Posted: 2009-05-12

I've been busy adding an event based rectangular object engine to GNU Robbo to accommodate a level designer and mouse/stylus controls. The game now entirely supports the use of a mouse or stylus and I've been testing it on my Sharp Zaurus and found it to be an effective alternative way to play. Having tried different in-game pointer control layouts, I decided to use a cross centred on Robbo with a toggleable centre button for shooting that also shoots by dragging from the centre outwards. It didn't take much testing before I chose this method; it felt right from the start and doesn't require the user to focus elsewhere on the screen.

The above in-game directional pad and toolbar are accessible to all platforms that support pointer input and require a simple click of the screen to enable.

ENG 0.0.1 Released

Posted: 2009-03-22

Today I released the initial stable version of an event/object based SDL engine that I started about a year ago. To assist in its development I used it to write a version of Tetravex and an ASCII text file reader which are both good examples of what can be achieved with it. I wrote it because I was tiring of writing the same things over and over in my C+SDL projects and thought it was about time I offloaded these repetitive tasks to an engine. Despite the low version number the engine is almost complete with only an object navigation mode using the cursor events and the command-line subsystem remaining to be implemented. The ASCII text reader demo is finished and the Tetravex game only requires the completion of the high score table.

Following are some images from this release plus several more available here

Freshmeat project page: http://freshmeat.net/projects/eng
Sourceforge project page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/eng
Launchpad project page: https://launchpad.net/eng

[UPDATE 2009-05-12] I have started to document the engine on the project's Sourceforge wiki .

GNU Robbo 0.62 Released

Posted: 2009-03-21

A couple of days ago GNU Robbo 0.62 was released with some additional translations, pixmap fonts and a Sharp Zaurus IPK . I'm now adding mouse/stylus support along with a basic object engine that manages painted/unpainted fixed/draggable parent/child rectangles that receive left-click hits. I say "basic" because within the last year I've written an event/object based SDL engine with all sorts of bells and whistles (more on this later) and I'm going to introduce a simplified version of it into GNU Robbo. This is required to accommodate the level designer and to add a mouse/stylus game input area for touchscreen handheld devices.

A chap called Willem-Jan de Hoog contacted the GNU Robbo team and mentioned he'd recently created a Maemo (OS2008) port based on version 0.57. Because his Nokia N800 model only has a navigational pad and stylus input he created an on-screen stylus control pad which you can see in the following image. It was he who requested this feature be implemented in the GNU Robbo project and it will be a piece of cake once my mouse/object code is in.

[UPDATE 2009-03-23] Willem-Jan has been busy adding his stylus control pad support to the latest version of GNU Robbo and it's looking really nice. Take a look at the recent screenshot on the right.

GNU Robbo 0.61 Released

Posted: 2009-03-03

I've finally developed GNU Robbo to a more complete state although sound and a level designer remain to be done. There are Linux, Win32 and GP2X packages currently available with a Sharp Zaurus port to follow.

For more information please visit the official GNU Robbo website here -> http://gnurobbo.sourceforge.net/

GNU Robbo SVN

Posted: 2009-01-17

More Tronic skin updates; only eight sprites remaining now.

GNU Robbo SVN

Posted: 2009-01-08

I've been working on the new Tronic skin and I'm very pleased with how it's developing.

There's an updated capsule and crates, a screw, teleport, question mark (for random items), key, bomb, raygun and cratered planet.