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I'm Jeremy! I am interested in weird videogames and retrocomputing.

I founded glorioustrainwrecks.com, a community focussed on creating a positive and accessible place for anyone who wants to make games.

I host the Fringe Game History Podcast, where I interview folks about the early days of weird, personal game dev communities and creators.

I wrote Neut Tower, a puzzle game created entirely on an actual-hardware 286 MS-DOS PC, which I am currently porting to the Apple II.

the period is a little shorter than a proper LFSR but it still sounds fine

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Thought about implementing a random number generator to make white noise... then realized I could just generate some random bytes from Fennel and put them inline in my program

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Wonder what else of Roberta Williams' work I've slept on that is out there taking risks like that.

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I was thinking about The Colonel's Bequest this morning and it kind of seems like an attempt to re-explore this sort of KQ1 design space, of a big place the player can explore all at once, with surprising things happening wherever you happen to wander, and the ability to screw up puzzles or miss important events without ruining the game.

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Nearing the end of the King's Quest 2 remake - it seems like they have changed / added a LOT, so it's hard for me to say how true it is to the original. Again the bulk of the game is a single self-contained place with a bunch of things in it, rather than a string of setpieces. It's a _lot_ more linear, though, with every puzzle having only one solution, so it feels much more like a "traditional" adventure game. I don't like it nearly as much.

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No regrets obviously, just cool to see I’m not the only person on earth with these absurd ideas

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Spent a bit of time getting this running - this thing implements its own lispy assembler and uses MAME's Lua integration to poke music into memory!

There is conceivably an alternate universe where I discovered this system back in August and then did Neu] [ower in Chicken Scheme rather than Fennel

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Oh shit this looks cool - a chiptune tracker / musical livecoding environment written in Scheme, using MAME for soundchip emulation bintracker.org/

A related question is how did Tim Follin get 5-voice polyphony out of the ZX Spectrum's 1-bit speaker? The answer appears to be "the Spectrum's CPU was about 4x as fast as the Apple ]["

Seriously, listen to this. AFAICT there's no technical reason this couldn't have come out of a low-spec DOS PC. youtube.com/watch?v=UUpvQEfMJs

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On the PC, techniques to play digital audio samples out of the 1-bit speaker were advanced wizardry; you had to use all of your CPU power to do it.
On the Apple, the same thing is basically true, but that's just how making any sound at all works, so you might as well play with your harsh-sounding beep routine and try to make it sound more interesting.

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Game music on the Apple ][ has a great variety of interesting sounds and polyphony. By comparison, DOS games with PC speaker music uniformly have the same single-channel square wave beep. But it's the same damn 1-bit speaker. What's the difference?

PC: Has hardware dedicated to generating a square wave at a given frequency.
Apple: Has no such hardware. To make a sound at all, you must do all of the timing on the CPU to generate a square wave. This means you can trivially try other wave shapes.

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There are a bunch of open-source Apple ][ emulators that run in the browser, but the only one set up for the use case of "embed this on your webpage to boot one specific game" is MAME on the Emularity and Apple ][ emulation in MAME has unpleasant crackling sound issues :/

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Neut Tower is a puzzle game with no undo - there should not ever be any way to get yourself stuck.

Doing some polish work and I just discovered a way to get yourself stuck on room 4. Whooooops

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Apparently today is Johnny Mnemonic Day so I'm watching the Japanese cut for the first time

I ought to start putting disk images online, now that I’m finally producing working disk images

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Reworked my disk loader so it boots to a stub that only knows how to load the title screen and then rest of the game. My code to make ProDOS calls worked flawlessly first time, shockingly. ProDOS has good docs!

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Retro game development is just the process of writing a series of barely-usable custom paint programs. Now I can draw full-screen bitmaps (and I have a separate editor for editing "brushes"), because a game needs a title screen, right?

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But like... it’s an open-world scavenger hunt, where stuff is always happening. Every puzzle is always in play, often with multiple solutions, and the solutions (except Rumplestiltskin, which I was pre-warned about) are reasonable. It feels far more alive than most graphic adventures even though the interactions and puzzles are kind of shallow.

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gamemaking.social

Hi! Game Making Social is a part of the Fediverse dedicated to being a well-moderated, cosy, friendly place to talk and share stuff about amateur videogame making, and everything surrounding that.

It's kinda an offshoot of Game Making Tools, which is a wiki(+) for a similar audience.

Game makers, game writers, game curators, etc. etc. most welcome!

I also try to maintain a list of not-jerk game-making communities on the wiki, which you might find interesting.

Please read the rules before signing-up :)

PS: We have Animal Crossing, LSD, and Klik & Play emoji :3