Showing posts with label Game. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Game. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Microsoft Flight Simulator X takes flight on December 18th

DOVETAIL GAMES CLEARS MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR X: STEAM EDITION FOR TAKEOFF ON DECEMBER 18

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CHATHAM, KENT – December 9th, 2014 – Dovetail Games, the multi award-winning developer and publisher of the Train Simulator series and Dovetail Games Fishing, today gave flight sim fans a lift for the holiday season with the announcement that Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition will launch on December 18 at a spectacular introductory price.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition delivers an authentically accurate aerial experience for simulation enthusiasts and those with a passion for all things flight.  Pilots can climb into the cockpits of over twenty aircraft, from commercial and fighter jets to single-engine private planes and helicopters. More than 80 missions will test players in a variety of ways, including search and rescue challenges, test pilot scenarios, races and more. The game features updated multiplayer functionality, Windows 8.1 support and over 24,000 airports, delivering a beautiful, connected world and vast horizon begging to be explored.

First released in 2006...

Okay, so I'm old! There, I said it, you happy? [insert old guy, "I remember playing Microsoft Flight Simulator on my IBM PC..." note here] Still, it's good to see this franchise alive and well, no matter who's coding it...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
A nose dive for Microsoft Flight
Coolest Download of the Day, no not Win8 CP, not VS11, but Microsoft Flight! (Free to play)
Fly like a [beta test] Eagle... Microsoft is looking for Microsoft Flight Beta testers...
Microsoft Flight, coming as a free game in Spring 2012

FlightGear takes flight with v3.0
Jump!!! FlightGear lets you get out of the cockpit, literally!
FlightGear takes you into space...
FlightGear, the open source flight simulator, releases version 2.4

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

EA, via Origin, giving away (as in $0) SimCity 2000

PCWorld - Free game alert: EA's giving away SimCity 2000 (a.k.a. The Best SimCity)

EA's unveiled the latest game in its "On the House" promotion, and it's SimCity 2000 a.k.a. The Best SimCity Ever Made and I Will Brook No Argument On That Point. The On the House program lets you pick up games to pad out your Origin library for free, the catch being that you have to own an Origin account in order to take advantage.

...

I've not used Origin since they gave away Sims 2 (nor for other games) so was surprised how well they wrapped up DOSBox with this SimCity distort... Now, if only it worked a little better in a window on a high DPI screen. But hey, I can't complain about the price! :)

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Seven LA Arcades for adults (No, not that kind of arcade... we're talking video games here...)

laist - 7 Places Where Grown-Ups Can Play Video Games In Los Angeles

Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you have to stop hitting up the arcade. In fact, it only gets better because now you can drink at the arcade. Here are some of our favorite places in L.A. to drop a few quarters, sip a beer and level up.

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Shame I don't live near any of these (the only arcade, let alone one for grown-ups, in my outer suburb closed down a couple years ago). There is one near where I work through and it's open during the day... Hum, sounds like a great lunch place doesn't it?

Mine[craft] your Azure - Minecraft servers now in the Azure Marketplace

Kurt Shintaku's Blog - INFO: Minecraft Servers added to Azure Gallery/Marketplace

Do you have an Azure account or an MSDN subscription?
Do you or folks in your family play Minecraft?

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...

Microsoft Azure Marketplace - Minecraft Server

Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things.

It can also be about adventuring with friends or watching the sun rise over a blocky ocean. It's pretty. Brave players battle terrible things in The Nether, which is more scary than pretty. You can also visit a land of mushrooms if it sounds more like your cup of tea.

This gallery package will set up a preconfigured Minecraft server running on Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS. You can connect to it using the DNS name (e.g. name.cloudapp.net) of the virtual machine on port 25565.

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Ahhh.... So we finally know why Microsoft has been working so hard to add Linux support to Azure... :P

Monday, August 11, 2014

Your huge step-by-step guide to compiling 1992... I mean, Wolfenstein 3D (Yes, that Wolfenstein) circa 1992...

Fabien Sanglard's Website - Let's Compile like it's 1992

"I have been tinkering with the vanilla source code of Wolfenstein 3D from 1992. Even though it is more than 20 years old and has rotten for modern systems, you can still compile it if you recreate the environment. All you need is :

  • Wolfenstein 3D source code.
  • DosBox.
  • The Compiler Borland C++ 3.1.
  • Wolfenstein 3D shareware (for the assets).

...

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...""

Also note the links are provided to everything you need too. Looks like a fun weekend project... :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

In a world with Yo, who doesn't also want a Rock Simulator 2014?

Technabob - Rock Simulator 2014: Pet Rock 3.0

First there was the Pet Rock. Then came the USB Pet Rock. On the virtual side of humor came the parodies of simulation games, which reached their height – or nadir – with Goat Simulator. Like two of the corniest tectonic plates rubbing against each other, these two sides merged to form Rock Simulator 2014.

As you may have guessed from its cover it’s not a reality show starring Dwayne Johnson. It’s not even actually a rock simulator. You control a camera, which is focused on a rock. Unity3d forum member Ryan05055 is the mad man responsible for this uhm, game. And boy did he think this through. ...
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This rocks... :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Free is always better with Marmalade... Marmalade SDK 7.3 for Windows now has a free edition

Building Apps for Windows - Marmalade SDK 7.3 for Windows platform: new features, free license

Marmalade, a Windows platform middleware partner, just released a new version of their popular SDK.  The Marmalade SDK enables developers to deploy code across multiple platforms and devices from a single code base. The new 7.3 SDK release brings new capabilities for Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 across all license types, including Community licenses.  And for new users, the SDK will be available for no license fee. Existing users with Indie, Plus or Pro licenses will get a free upgrade. 

The addition of the Extension Development Kit for Windows Store (both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 apps), enables developers to access Windows managed and native APIs, plus integration with advertising and social networks.

The prior Marmalade SDK 7.2.1 release provided support for features such as Accelerometer, Audio, Compression, Video, and more. Just a few enhancements in this release include APIs to access:

  • Device camera UI and ability to capture frame data
  • Device’s magnetic compass reading
  • Facebook website via Facebook Connect
  • Get the full list here

In addition, this release includes an ads-in-apps extension that support monetization through the Microsoft Advertising SDK or AdDuplex SDK.

...

Made with Marmalade - Marmalade 7.3 is here. Get started...for free!

Today we are excited to announce the release of Marmalade 7.3.

Headlining this release we have:

  • Enhanced support for Windows Store platform 
  • Multi-touch support for Windows Desktop platform
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 support for iOS, Android and Windows Desktop platforms
  • OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenAL 1.1 support for Marmalade Juice
  • GCC 4.8 support for building x86 and ARM application binaries
  • Hub support for simultaneous x86 and ARM deployment packaging on Android platform
  • iOS 7.1 framework support
  • ARM architecture variant support

Over the next few days we will be going into a bit more detail on some of these so look out for further blog entries.

Along with the new features above, we’ve squished a few pesky bugs and made a bunch of other smaller changes to improve your overall Marmalade experience.

And the best news? Starting with the 7.3 release, Marmalade is now free for new users!

...

Download It!

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These guys are my Build Conference Buddies, and I've been giving them hell for years now about not having a all-the-time free version of their SDK. Since they now have one, I guess it's only fair to give them a shout-out.... :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Code Hunt - Microsoft Research's gamification of coding (which also shows off Pex Power!)

Microsoft Research Connections Blog - What if coding were a game?

"Well, now it is. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of Code Hunt, a browser-based game for anyone who is interested in coding. We built Code Hunt to take advantage of the fact that any task can be more effective and sustainable when it’s fun. And Code Hunt is fun! It uses puzzles, which players explore by means of clues presented as test cases. Players iteratively modify their code to match the functional behavior of secret solutions. Once their code matches, lights flash and sounds play, letting players know that they have “captured” the code. Players then get a score, which depends on how elegant their solution is, and are encouraged to move on to the next puzzle or level.

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Code Hunt was developed by a team in Microsoft Research led by Principal Development Lead Nikolai Tillmann and Principal Research Software Engineer Peli de Halleux. It is based on Pex, Microsoft Research’s state-of-the-art implementation of dynamic symbolic execution (analyzing a program to determine what inputs cause each part of a program to execute), which is available as a Power Tool in Microsoft Visual Studio.

We look forward to Code Hunt’s further application and would be happy to receive inquiries regarding competitions or courses. But remember, anyone can play Code Hunt—for fun or to hone their coding skills. Just go to www.codehunt.com and start coding!"

 

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Something fun to play with at work today home this weekend...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
You are such a Code Digger... Code Digger VS2012 extension released (Think "Pex powered input/output analysis for Portable Libraries Extension")
RiSE4Fun - Microsoft Research, Research in Software Engineering, "Fun" Dev, via web, site
Playing with Pex is just a web browser away at www.pexforfun.com
Faking it in VS11 - Moles, the Microsoft mocking/isolation framework, is baked into VS11
Interested in PEX & MOLES? Wish you could go to a five hour workshop on them? Here’s the next best thing…
Pex 2010 (aka Pex 0.90.50303.0) now available on MSDN Subscribers Downloads
Pex license updated – You can now use it in commercial projects
Pex 0.5 Released - Your Parameterized Unit Test Buddy
Think you can’t unit test ASP.Net? Here’s a tutorial for one way, using the power of Pex and Moles

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Graphically Challenged?" Want to see how even you can create your own game character in Inkscape?

The Sociable Geek - Creating a Character for your Game Using Inkscape

In todays video session we will be showing you the basics of how to Create a Game Character using Inkscape.  If you have never used Inkscape or think you can't draw, then this session is for you.

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"...think you can't draw..." He hit that nail RIGHT on the head. :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
How to make dirt [clipart]
Inkscape 0.46 Released

Friday, February 21, 2014

A dev program for true geeks - Chess.com's Dev Program is now accepting applications...

programmable web - Chess.com Makes First Move with Awesome Developer Program

Chess.com is receiving submissions from developers who are interested in developing ideas for Web sites, apps, extensions, or add-ons with a Chess.com API and support from the staff.

Currently, the developer program seems to be in the early stages — developers are required to register their ideas and interests through a Google form; however, in reading some of the comments relating to the program announcement on the blog, the response time to these requests seems slow. This could be because of high demand. The Chess.com community boasts some 8 million users, of which a percentage will also be developers who love Chess — so interest is probably keen.  Further, the announcement of the developer program included some interesting developer bait such as free hosting and support.

..."

Chess.com Developer Program Application

Write Code? Like Chess? Check out our new Chess.com Developer Program!

Here is what we provide:

- Free hosting (with heroku and cloudflare)
- Domain names (we can purchase a unique domain for you, or you can use subdomain.chess.com)
- Access to our API
- Custom API requests
- Front-end support (web design help, graphics, css files, font, logos, board & piece assets, interactive board code)
- Marketing (we'll share your creation with our community)
- Product feedback & QA (get insights from our awesome team :D)
- Affiliate account (to earn $% from your creation)

So if you have an idea for a chess.com-related website, app, extension, or add-on that you would like to get some support with, fill this out and we'll get back to you soon!

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Sadly, I'm not a true geek. While I know how to play, I just don't have a passion for it.

But that doesn't take away from the coolness of this... :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FlightGear takes flight with v3.0

FlightGear - FlightGear v3.0 Released

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The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the v3.0 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bug fixes. Highlights in this release include integration of the FGCom voice communications client within the simulator, improved terrain rendering, faster scenery loading, and improved usability. This release also coincides with the release of FlightGear World Scenery 2.0 – massively improved scenery data covering the entirety of the planet and incorporating OpenStreetMap roads and detailed terrain information from a variety of sources.

A list of major changes can be found at: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Changelog_3.0.

Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.

FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modeling, a flexible and open aircraft modeling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.

Download FlightGear v3.0 from FlightGear.org and “Fly Free!”

..."

Come on, you know you miss your FlightSim days... Well, now you can revisit them, free and via an open source project too boot!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Jump!!! FlightGear lets you get out of the cockpit, literally!
FlightGear takes you into space...
FlightGear, the open source flight simulator, releases version 2.4

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Game Programming, the 28 free eBook round-up

EFYTimes News - 28 Free eBooks On Game Programming!

Ever wanted to create all those super awesome games? Here are 28 free ebooks on Game programming!

SNAGHTMLefe9f8

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The article is a few months old, and these kinds of collections usual concern me, but these all look legit. Plus I like how they are from areas outside my usual feed stream....

Monday, December 09, 2013

Kudos to Kodu's Windows Store Release

Windows - Kodu

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Description

Kodu lets you create games through a simple visual programming language. Kodu can be used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming. Anyone can use Kodu to make a game with no design or programming skills.

Features

  • Kodu is a rich tool for narrative creation and storytelling
  • Kodu demonstrates that programming is a creative medium
  • Kodu helps children with critical thinking, breaking a complex goal into manageable steps, and iterate on the design process
  • Kodu introduces the logic and problem solving of programming
  • Kodu introduces conditions and sequences, which teaches cause and effect
  • Kodu can be taught by any teacher, no previous programming expertise required
  • Students learn about cooperation, logic and creativity in addition to programming

Details

Languages

English (United States) and 1 other languages

English

Show all languages

Supported processors

x86, x64, ARM

Kodu Game Lab

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More Kodu, just in time for the holidays and on all our favorite Windows tablets and touch devices... :)

(Microsoft News - Microsoft Releases Kodu Game Development Tool For Free In Windows Store)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Kodu Game Lab v1.4.1.0
Are you an Educator/Teacher? Microsoft has free software just for you!
Kodu, the Microsoft Research visual game programming language targeted at beginning programmers, now available for PC’s (Tech Preview)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

[Book Review - Preview] 'LÖVE for Lua Game Programming'

The cool cats at Packt Publishing have given me the opportunity to review LÖVE for Lua Game Programming. Until getting this book, I'd not heard of LÖVE. Neither have you? Well LÖVE is...

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Hi there! LÖVE is an *awesome* framework you can use to make 2D games in Lua. It's free, open-source, and works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

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Seeing that, that it's open source and helps build cross platform apps, well I just had to say okay to the book review so I could learn more about it...

LÖVE for Lua Game Programming

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Preface
Chapter 1: Getting Started with LÖVE
Chapter 2: LÖving Up!
Chapter 3: Before You Build a Game
Chapter 4: Making Your First Game
Chapter 5: More About Making the Game
Chapter 6: Pickups and Head-Up Display and Sounds
Chapter 7: Meeting the Bad Guy!
Chapter 8: Packaging and Distributing Your Game

What you will learn from this book

  • Create different environments to make your games more interesting
  • Add sound and music to your games
  • Apply game physics and real-time particle collisions
  • Animate game characters using sprites
  • Deploy your games to Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms

In Detail

LÖVE is a game development framework for making 2D games using the Lua programming language. LÖVE is totally free, and can be used in anything from friendly open-source hobby projects, to closed-source commercial ones. Using the Lua programming framework, one can use LÖVE2D to make any sort of interesting games.

LÖVE for Lua Game Programming will quickly and efficiently guide you through how to develop a video game from idea to prototype. Even if you are new to game programming, with this book, you will soon be able to create as many game titles as you wish without stress.

The LÖVE framework is the quickest and easiest way to build fully-functional 2D video games. It leverages the Lua programming language, which is known to be one of the easiest game development languages to learn and use. With this book, you will master how to develop multi-platform games for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. After downloading and installing LÖVE, you will learn by example how to draw 2D objects, animate characters using sprites, and how to create game physics and game world maps.

LÖVE for Lua Game Programming makes it easier and quicker for you to learn everything you need to know about game programming. If you’re interested in game programming, then this book is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

I plan on reading this 106 page book this week and will try to post the full review next weekend...

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kodu Game Lab v1.4.1.0

Microsoft Downloads - Kodu Game Lab

Kodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games.

Version: 1.4.1.0

Date Published: 11/15/2013

KoduSetup.msi, 196.9 MB

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The visual nature of the language allows for rapid design iteration using only an Xbox game controller for input (mouse/keyboard input is also supported).

Resources

Been a while since I've blogged about Kodu here, though I've blogged about it a few times on the Coding4Fun blog, so this MS Download drop seemed like a good time to do so. This is an interesting way to create some pretty cool and fun games, and the price is just right (free)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Are you an Educator/Teacher? Microsoft has free software just for you!
Kodu, the Microsoft Research visual game programming language targeted at beginning programmers, now available for PC’s (Tech Preview)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

These beautiful D&D maps make you want to break out the 20 sided dice...

Make: - Beautiful D&D Maps Recount Days of Adventure

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I’ve been admiring Jason Thompson‘s beautiful D&D maps that he drew for various classic roleplaying adventures. His sendup of A1: Slave Pits of the Undercity shows a redrawn version of the main dungeon map of the adventure, with each room illustrated to reflect the monsters, traps, and treasure contained therein. Plus, Jason includes annotations describing a theoretical adventure party’s travels through the tunnels.

There are some snarky asides in the annotations. For instance, in The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, one note points out that there is a stream running through the top level of the dungeon, so why is the lower level–presumably below the water table–bone dry?

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The ability to do stuff like this amazes me and makes me feel very inadequate. I could draw like this... in about a million years or so... :P

Friday, October 25, 2013

Internet Archive's Historical Software Archive = Retro to the Max Software in your Browser Collection (Adventure, WordStar, Visicalc, The Hobbit and more)

PC World - Historical Software Archive lets you use vintage software in your browser

The Internet Archive’s new Historical Software Archive brings old software to your browser through the magic of JSMESS emulation.

The Internet Archive has protected and preserved old software for a while now; archivist Jason Scott claimed back in April that the organization possessed the largest historical software collection in the world.

Software is so transient, though. It’s sometimes hard to get a program from 2003 to run on a modern machine, let alone a program from 1983. For most people it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to, as the Internet Archive puts it, “track down the hardware and media to run [old software], or download and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser.”

...

Internet Archive Blogs - Microcomputer Software Lives Again, This Time in Your Browser

The miracle is now so commonplace that it’s invisible: we have the ability to watch video, listen to music, and read documents right in our browsers. You might get a hankering to hear some old time radio, or classic television programs, or maybe read up some classic children’s books, you’re just a couple clicks away from having them right there, in front of you. Not so with classic software. To learn and experience older programs, you have to track down the hardware and media to run it, or download and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser. Unlike films or video or audio, it was a slower, more involved process to experience software.

Until now.

JSMESS is a Javascript port of the MESS emulator, a mature and breathtakingly flexible computer and console emulator that has been in development for over a decade and a half by hundreds of volunteers. The MESS emulator runs in a large variety of platforms, but is now able to run embedded in most modern browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.

...

Today, the Internet Archive announces the Historical Software Archive, a collection of prominent and historically notable pieces of software, able to be run immediately in your browser.  They range from pioneering applications to obscure forgotten utilities, and from peak-of-perfection designs to industry-crashing classics.

...

Historical Software Archive

Welcome to Historical Software Collection

This collection contains selected historically important software packages from the Internet Archive's software archives. Through the use of in-browser emulators, it is possible to try out these items and experiment with using them, without the additional burdens of installing emulator software or tracking down the programs. Many of these software products were the first of their kind, or utilized features and approaches that have been copied or recreated on many programs since. (historic software, vintage software, antique software)

A Guided Tour Through the Collection

For this initial collection, we've hand-selected a few dozen ground-breaking and historically important software products, many of whom started entire industries or pioneered new genres of programs. While they lack the later features and graphics of modern counterparts, these programs were either big sellers at the time or recognized as first of a kind. They are now a single click away in a browser.

Getting to Work

Productivity software has been around a long time, and two of the most prominent examples are Visicalc and Wordstar. Visicalc brought the wonder of the electronic spreadsheet to the world, changing the business world forever. WordStar was one of the leading Word Processing software programs before fading away in the late 1980s. As a bonus WordStar is presented on the now-long-gone Osborne-1, one of the first "Luggable" computers to come out (it promised to fit under an airplane seat!). Check them out in monochrome glory (but don't put any major work in it).

The Road to Adventure

Adventure games are a staple of early home computer software and these examples let you play some of the most famous of these virtual worlds. Akalabeth was the first major computer game by a young Richard Garriott, alias Lord British. Created when he was a teenager and inspired by many games of D&D, it was his first work in a lifetime of RPG gamemaking, including the Ultima series. The Hobbit, a legendary adventure game for the ZX Spectrum, had a level of complication and subtlety beneath the surface that was years ahead of its time - characters lived their own lives, with you sometimes stumbling on the results of their battles or suffering the consequences of their meddling. Mystery House by Sierra On-line was the first graphical adventure for the Apple II, and this version is the public domain anniversary re-issue by the company to celebrate their anniversary.

...

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OMG, this is officially THE Cool Thing of the Day! (And it's kiss my weekend goodbye! ;)

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Friday, August 02, 2013

FEZ Game-O Emulator - Community Edition

Project Update #3: FEZ Game-O Emulator - Community Edition

We are proud to announce the release of FEZ Game-O Emulator - Community Edition.  Please feel to download the latest version at https://www.ghielectronics.com/community/codeshare/entry/776.  Community members have already been using the emulator to create and share gaming examples! Visit the FEZ Game-O code base at https://www.ghielectronics.com/community/codeshare and search for "Game-O".

The FEZ Game-O Team

* Note - The emulator does not support sound or the features of the accelerometer.

GHI Electronics - Game-O Emulator Community Edition

This is a community edition of the emulator for Fez Game-O console. It is WPF based application. To exit the emulator press "Power" button. To change the color of the emulator press one of the colored button at the bottom of the screen.

Enjoy!

Initial submit: Source code only. The installation project is in progress and will be added later.

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I think I just found my weekend project... :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Full O'Fun with the "FEZ Game-O", an open-source .Net Micro Framework console

Monday, July 15, 2013

Full O'Fun with the "FEZ Game-O", an open-source .Net Micro Framework console

GHI Electronics - FEZ Game-O, an open-source console

GHI Electronics believes in the importance of education and the quality of nurturing future generations. The all new FEZ Game-O is a programmable handheld console that lets developers develop applications using Microsoft Visual Studio with C# and Visual Basic. Developers and students learning how to program on the FEZ Game-O can use the same knowledge to develop applications for computers. Similarly, developers that already know C# and Visual Basic (.NET) already know how to program FEZ Game-O.

Not only is it easy to code but having .NET Micro Framework at its core allows the device to be programmed using just a USB cable. Debugging is also supported over USB, from breakpoints and stepping in code to inspecting variables and invoking commands.

We made FEZ Game-O even more awesome by making it all open source! Advanced users can show off their skills by tweaking the core software and even connect JTAG to run native software, using their favorite IDE or even use GCC with command line. We also invite the entire community to continue this open platform and write open source applications and games.

The core of FEZ Game-O is a 32-bit 168Mhz Cortex-M4 processor, STM32F407. This powerful little microcontroller is capable of running all kinds of arcade games and even a software 3D rendering. Advanced users can take advantage of the RLP feature, which allows native code to be invoked from within C# or Visual Basic.

FEZ Game-O is a hacker-friendly device. We want you to open it! Inside, you will find a MicroSD socket, a placement to solder a Bluetooth module (not included) and few IOs. We did not forget about JTAG/SWD and kept it available.

We are releasing FEZ Game-O on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. You can pledge to help us out and be among the very first people to receive one of the best educational tools available, FEZ Game-O. Coding will be more fun than ever before!

..." [GD: Post Leach Level: 99%]

Kickstarter campaign, Open-source programmable hand-held console, FEZ Game-O

Learn how to program your own applications and games on this open-source hand-held console.

We believe anyone should be free in how they use their devices. We also believe that writing applications and games on an open-source platform is a great way to learn programming, for both kids and adults. We have built FEZ Game-O from the ground up with these two beliefs in mind. 

FEZ Game-O is an open-source hand-held programmable console.  With it you can accomplish more in less time as it is programmed using Microsoft's Visual Studio, in C# and Visual Basic (.NET). These are the same tools that professionals use today to create all kinds of applications and games for Windows PCs. A developer who knows C# or VB already knows how to program the FEZ Game-O and a beginner learning C# or VB on FEZ Game-O can use that same knowledge to program a PC.

The goal of FEZ Game-O is not to compete with other closed-source platforms or to sell overly priced games. Instead, we want to build an open-source platform with a community where you will obtain the application for free and even receive the source code of that application as well. We want you to share your work, learn from and improve other's work ... this is the FEZ Game-O mentality.

...

Advanced Users

There are many options for advanced users. For example, the core libraries include a feature that allows users to load native code within NETMF code (Runtime Loadable Procedures) where game logic can be done with managed C# or VB but the critical inner loops can be done in C or assembly.  This is similar to how DLLs function on PCs. Below is an example of a 3D software raycast rendering.

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Can FEZ Game-O emulate a classic console?

Yes it can! We currently do not have any emulators in development but it is possible to emulate many of the classic consoles. We have a feeling someone in the community will port an emulator. Will that be you?

How easy is it?

Below is a snippet of code to show you how easy it is program the FEZ Game-O using C#. The code shows you how to draw a circle, line, text and bitmap on the LCD.

...

Manufacturing Timeline

  • Place order for additional parts (July)
  • Place order for additional PCBs (July)
  • Start circuit board assembly (August - October)
  • Hand assembly of remaining parts (August - October)
  • Quality Check (August - October)
  • Shipping of backer rewards (August - October)

What we will provide

  • FEZ Game-O console with protective pouch and USB cable
  • FEZ Game-O Eagle design files
  • FEZ Game-O board schematics
  • FEZ Game-O 3D PDF
  • FEZ Game-O SDK compatible with both Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012
  • FEZ Game-O tutorials and access to a community-driven code-base

...

FEZ Game-O

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*** This product is being launched on Kickstarter, learn more . ***

FEZ Game-O is a programmable console that is ideal for education and for open-source application development. Its hardware hosts a powerful 32bit 168MHz STM32 Cortex-M4 processor with 1MB of RAM, combined with a 320 x 240 color display, 3D accelerometer and audio circuitry.

By default, FEZ Game-O ships loaded with the .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) sytem, which allows developers to connect it to a PC using a USB cable then use Visual Studio (even the free express version) to program it, using C# or Visual Basic.

Also with an available JTAG/SWD connection, developers can load any ARM Cortex-M4 compiled-code on the core micro-controller, using their favorite IDE or even using the command line with GCC compiler

FEZ Game-O is open source with all hardware design files provided in EAGLE format. The .NET Micro Framework software is also completely open source.

Key Features

  • Cortex-M4 168Mhz microprocessor
  • 1024KB FLASH
  • 192KB RAM
  • 320 x 240 16-bit TFT display
  • 3D Accelerometer
  • Speaker
  • Volume control
  • USB Connection (for loading and debugging applications)
  • Bluetooth option (see below)
  • JTAG/SWD (for advanced users)
  • Runs off 3xAAA batteries

I was backer #8... :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Booting Minecraft (or maybe Assembling Minecraft) - MineAssemble is a bootable Minecraft clone, written in mostly x86 assembly

OS News - Bootable Minecraft clone written party in x86 assembly

"MineAssemble is a tiny bootable Minecraft clone written partly in x86 assembly. I made it first and foremost because a university assignment required me to implement a game in assembly for a computer systems course. Because I had never implemented anything more complex than a 'Hello World' bootloader before, I decided I wanted to learn about writing my own kernel code at the same time...."

Overv / MineAssemble 

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MineAssemble is a tiny bootable Minecraft clone written partly in x86 assembly. I made it first and foremost because a university assignment required me to implement a game in assembly for a computer systems course. Because I had never implemented anything more complex than a "Hello World" bootloader before, I decided I wanted to learn about writing my own kernel code at the same time.

Note that the goal of this project was not to write highly efficient hand-optimized assembly code, but rather to have fun and write code that balances readability and speed. This is primarily accomplished by proper commenting and consistent code structuring.

Starting in assembly right away would be a bit too insane, so I first wrote a reference implementation in C using the SDL library, which can be found in the reference directory. I started writing it with the idea that if it was longer than 150 statements excluding boilerplate, it wouldn't be worth doing it in assembly. Like all estimates in the world of programming, this limit turned out to be a gross underestimate, reaching about 134 lines before adding the texture or even the input code.

After completing the reference code, I wrote the kernel boilerplate code (setting up VGA, interrupts, etc.) and changed the reference C code to work with this. Then I began slowly porting everything to handwritten assembly.

Unfortunately this turned out to be a lot more work than I expected, so currently a large fraction of the codebase is still in C. Slowly porting everything to assembly is an ongoing process. The code also isn't fully compatible with all systems yet. It seems to cause floating point exceptions on some setups.

How to play

QEMU

To run the game with QEMU, simply run make test This is a quick and easy way to play around with it.

Virtual machine

If you want to use virtualization software like VirtualBox, you can produce an .iso image with make iso and mount it. The virtual machine doesn't need a hard drive and requires no more than 4 MB of RAM.

You can also burn this image to a CD or DVD, but that is rather wasteful. Use the USB stick method to try it on real hardware unless it really isn't an option for some reason.

USB stick

Booting from an USB stick is an excellent way to try it on real hardware, but does involve a little bit more work. Note that this process will remove all data currently on the USB stick. Also, make sure to get the drive name right or you might accidentally wipe your hard drive!

  1. Format your USB stick to FAT32 with 1 MB free space preceding.
  2. Mount it using mount /dev/sdx1 /mnt where sdx is the drive name.
  3. Turn it into a GRUB rescue disk with grub-install --no-floppy --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sdx.
  4. Run make iso and copy the contents of the iso directory to the USB stick.
  5. Unmount with umount -l /dev/sdx1.

Now reboot your PC and boot from USB.

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That's officially cool. Got to love he released the source too...