First of all, thanks for helping to make our survey a success. We are no longer taking survey submissions, because it’s a maintenance issue to keep up with new responses. If you still want your voice heard, please leave a comment on this post or use the contact form to send direct email messages.
The Neo Geo Pocket scene is going great, actually. We are still shipping Neo Pocket Flash Masta kits all over the world. In fact, it seems like these are ramping up lately. We just shipped out two yesterday. You’re keeping us busy! We appreciate that.
Speaking of keeping busy, let’s talk about WonderSwan a bit. Yeah, it’s not moving along at lightning speed, but it is moving along. We’re testing new prototype and test boards that we just got in. We ran into a big problem with the previous version, and it was very hard to test to see what the problem was. Thanks to Andrew (my partner in this), the new boards are a lot easier to do incremental tests on and debug.
We have a incremental plan laid out, and increment #1 seems to be a go. I’d say that we have a few more hurdles to leap before we’re ready to worry about resizing the PCB and coming up with solution for end users. Things are looking much better now, though. Stay tuned.
Stickers: I know that some of you are patiently waiting for your stickers. I know that I advertised stickers for people that previously purchased a Neo Pocket flash cart, and I have your information from the survey. I had hoped to get these out in stages, but it will be much easier now that the survey is closed. I can just do them all at once. Expect these to ship soon.
That’s the update from our end. Leave a comment and tell us what retro games you been playing lately.
Click here if you are interested in a WonderSwan flash cart development kit and would like to help direct our focus!
EDIT: Poll Closed (If you still want your voice heard, please leave a comment here or use the contact form to reach us.)
It has taken way too long to get these stickers made, but that’s not your concern. You care about how cool they look on your Neo Pocket Flash Masta cart, right? Well, take a look at the picture, and you can see how slick they are in action.
A guy named Robert has just ordered the first bundle that will come with these new stickers. I hope he’s excited. I plan to get that sent out early next week, and these stickers should be on all new orders from now into the foreseeable future.
For those of you that already own a Neo Pocket Flash Masta cartridge (or maybe several), there is still hope. I will send you a sticker for each of your cartridges. All you have to do is fill out a simple survey.
Speaking of the survey, let that be a segue into the bit about the survey. Heh Heh.
The survey is really for us to get to know you better and to get your feedback on where we should be focused. What can we do better? What systems should we consider in the future? It’s just this sort of stuff that (we hope) you would like to discuss anyway.
We are working on a new WonderSwan cartridge that has been in the works on and off for some time now. Part of the survey is specifically about this, so, if you are interested in WonderSwan, PLEASE fill it out.
Survey About WonderSwan Flash Cart, Neo Pocket Flash Masta, and other matters related to FlashMasta.com
EDIT: Poll Closed (If you still want your voice heard, please leave a comment here or use the contact form to reach us.)
Please note that, even though this survey is so we can better take your needs/desires into account, not every option/suggestion we receive may be viable. We are trying our best to please you, but there are a lot of you to please (which is good).
This is a very quick post to let you guys know that I just listed one of the early front-light Neo Geo Pocket Color install units on eBay. I want to use eBay to gauge the reaction/interest, so please spread the word.
This unit is definitely not perfect, but I think it still works well in the dark (which we all know that most don’t). Leave feedback here (or vote with your eBay bids) and let me know what you think.
There’s not much to discuss here. I have sent out 4 of these bundles so far (one left to buy), and one of the buyers recently asked about setting it up under a virtual machine. I decided that I should try it myself, and I took some screenshots along the way. In case you missed it before, here’s the link to snag the last one I have left.
I should mention that I tried it under the Windows 7 “XP Mode” virtual machine before this. I had issues with that, because it has a very limited ability to assign USB devices to the XP virtual machine. When I installed VMware Player (a free download), it worked the first time.
UPDATE: I copied the Windows XP Virtual Machine files from my Windows 7 machine (running VMware Player) to my OSX Macbook (running VMware Fusion). The process was VERY simple, and the Flash Advance Xtreme Linker works fine there, too. The menu to connect the USB device is slightly different, so I took a couple screenshots of it. Those are shown here on the left and right.
This past weekend, I took some time to complete modifying one of my Neo Geo Pocket Colors with a new front light for the screen. The install did not go as easily as I had hoped. There were plenty of snags along the way, but I think it worked out okay in the end. There are some tweaks I have in mind (either to redo this one or for my next attempt). Below is a video of the results.
In other news, I still have two of those GBA Linker + Cart bundles left. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s written up in my previous article. http://www.flashmasta.com/2014/02/21/gba-flash-cart-linker-flash-advance-xtreme-linker-128m-carts/ Two of the bundles sold within the first day. I recently sold a third, and that leaves 2.
Okay, here is the NGPC front-light mod video:
I’ve talked before about these GBA Flash Carts that I have. Here’s a link in case you don’t recall what I’m talking about. http://www.freeplaytech.com/blank-gba-cartridges-gameboy-advance-flash-carts/
I am now selling them as a bundle with 1 linker and 3 flash carts. Details follow.
As of now, I only have 5 of these bundles available, because I only have 5 of the USB linkers. When these sell out, I will probably get more, but the price may be higher. This is just a test to see how much interest there is in these.
Anyway, I have all these 128m flash carts, but I only owned 1 linker. I couldn’t sell the carts with a linker, because then I wouldn’t have one. My idea was to sell them pre-programmed, and that’s been going okay. I think there aren’t that many people that need something burnt onto a GBA cart, but some people have taken me up on the offer and have asked me to burn translations and such.
Recently, I was able to find a supplier for the Flash Advance Linker Xtreme USB (and parallel) programmers for these carts. I got one to test for myself, and I was able to get it working on Windows XP using the software and drivers at http://www.gameboy-advance.net/fal_soft/flash_xtreme_writer.htm
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get these working on Win7+ or OSX. I set out to find some info about getting this to work on modern operating systems. For Linux, it seems that http://if2a.free.fr/ will work well. I haven’t tried it, but Sharker has confirmed that it works for him.
I was also able to obtain some source code for a command-line application that works very well under OSX. It was old code, so I had to update parts of it, but I got it working in my OSX Mavericks 10.9.1. I also believe that I can port this software to Windows, but things are getting more and more hectic on my main project. I have not released any of this software yet, but I will work with people that purchase these to get them set up and running on their platforms. My suggestion, though, is that you count on it working under XP, and expect some troubles if you want to do it under anything more modern (hopefully we can work together to get kinks out).
So, you get a GBA linker and 3 128m carts. Operators are standing by. Please click the PayPal link for pricing and shipping costs.
Of course, feel free to comment and let me know what you think of this. Even if you aren’t interested in buying one right now, let me know why not. I really need to figure out if this is something I should make available in larger quantities or not. I also started a quick forum thread about this for anyone that is using these carts/linkers to share their experiences and what software they’re using http://forum.freeplaytech.com/thread-3662.html.
I don’t have anything real new to post about the NGPC project. I guess I have a bit of news on the other main project I’ve been working on.
The majority of my time lately has been spent working on a new iOS/Android game. Just recently, the guys I’m working with updated their website and released a bit of information to the public. I am taking that as permission to release the same information to you guys.
A fusion between a classic strategy battle game and a collectible card game.
Originally released on PC, The Trouble with Robots has been adapted for mobile devices – including a complete redesign of the in-game artwork. Summon a cast of fantasy creatures including centaurs, trolls, dwarves, and elves as they try to defend their homeland from the evil robot invasion. As you progress through the game levels more spells and creatures can be called upon as you gain stronger cards to aide you in battle.
Collect the most powerful cards and create the ultimate deck to dominate on the battlefield. Become a part of the simultaneously epic and hilarious tale as two opposing genres clash in all out war!
This week, I am working on the Apple Game Center integration which will be responsible for publishing high scores and unlocking achievements. The game is something of a real-time collectible card game where you need to progress through the game to build up your library of cards to assist in your deck building. The action portion of the game is on a battlefield where your army of settlers and their allies take on the menacing robot invasion. The player’s role is to play well-times spells (using their hand of cards) to help their army defeat the opponent.
That’s what I’ve been up to. What have you been up to so far this year?
On a bit of a whim today, I decided to offer a little holiday cheer and try to bring some Neo Geo love to the season. We have been working on building a bunch of Flash Masta + Linkmasta bundles, and there are close to 20 that are ready to purchase. I can’t offer anything like a half price deal, but I just did the math on the sale price which comes out to be 12% off. And, people always ask how much it will cost to ship to them overseas, but I charge the same $10 shipping for everyone, so don’t worry about any additional shipping cost.
You can check it out at the normal purchase page which describes the NGPC bundle.
UPDATE: The holidays (and this sale along with them) have come and gone.
I’m expecting this sale price to be available until about mid-January or until I run out of the current stock of bundles and parts. If you have been contemplating getting one of these bundles, I think now is the perfect time to get one.
I also want to mention that I have GBA cartridges still available. There has been a little more interest in these recently, but I still have plenty. As part of the New Year’s sale, if you are already purchasing a NGPC bundle, I will add 1 or 2 GBA cartridges to your order for just $6 each with no additional shipping cost (just the $10 for the bundle). That means that you can get the whole NGPC bundle (Flash Masta cartridge plus USB Linkmasta) plus two GBA carts for less than the normal cost of just the NGPC bundle.
The GBA carts work like this. You make your purchase, and then I will contact you via email (which I do with all purchases anyway). You reply to that email, and attach the GBA ROM file(s) you want me to put on your cartridges. It’s pretty simple. You just have to keep the files less than or equal to 128-megabits (which is the same as 16-megabytes), because the cartridges are only 128-megabit each. Don’t worry, I’m very willing to help you out with this process via email, so feel free to ask me questions there about what might work well or examples of other things people have had me put on their cartridges.
I have a little more information about the GBA carts here: http://www.freeplaytech.com/blank-gba-cartridges-gameboy-advance-flash-carts/
Please keep in mind that shipping may be slow during the holiday season, and my time may be sporadic coming up through this time. I pride myself in keeping good contact via email, so you will be informed how things are going. I just don’t want anyone to be surprised if they expect things to arrive before Christmas (which may already be too late unless you want to pay extra for some expedited shipping).
Have a Merry Christmas or a joyous ______ (for those of you that don’t celebrate Christmas) and a Happy New Year!
Lately, I’ve been very busy coding on a new iOS/Android title. I was really hoping that it might be released before Christmas, but it looks like it will take more time than that to get out on the app stores. That is a little disappointing, but it’s for the best. I’m excited about the game, because I’m into collectible card gaming. You may have noticed that I like a game called Cardfighters’ Clash. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
So, the game I’m working is on something of a collectible card game. I hesitate a bit to call it a CCG or a TCG, but it definitely has aspects of card collecting and deck building. It’s not what you might think of as a traditional CCG title, but I think it will appeal to card gamers. I am hoping that it has enough of that to be exciting to even the hardcore trading card players while also having enough casual action to draw in crowds that may not even recognize its deckbuilding and collecting elements.
I really want to show you guys some video and/or screenshots, but I’m working with some other people that don’t want it shown until the artwork is complete. You know how first impressions are, so I guess you’ll just have to wait a bit longer. Maybe in a month, I can convince them to show off a bit.
In the title of this post, I mention that I have a couple NGPC bundles available. That is true. If you go to http://www.flashmasta.com/purchase/, I have 2 right now, but I’m waiting for some parts to make more. Lately, I’ve just been putting one or two bundles together for people that ask for them via email. It’s been tough making time to get multiples ready, so I’ve just been working on them when people specifically request them.
However, I am just ordering parts that should give me the ability to pump out 25-50 units. I’d really like to get ahead of the curve again, so maybe in a couple weeks I’ll be able to assemble a lot of bundles and put them up for sale.
Last, but definitely not least, I updated the Cardfighters’ Clash 2 English site with some info about a new patch. That’s what the graphic I posted above is from. If you’re into CFC2, you might want to check that out! It hadn’t been updated in forever.
Things have been going pretty quickly here in the real world. I have 3 daughters that just started school on August 26th. They’ve been in school for 10 days now, and I think that they’ve been released early for 6 of them. I am really not used to that, and I don’t know if it’s more common here or if it’s rare and coincidental that we just moved here. At any rate, it’s been hot out, and I don’t think it’s hotter than I’m used to, but I guess most of the schools don’t have air conditioning. What does that have to do with Flashmasta.com? I don’t know. It’s just an illustration of my busy life.
I’m trying to lure my brother-in-law into this Flashmasta stuff. We’ve been talking, and he really wants to redesign my PCBs. So, we’ve started on that project, and it’s partially why I haven’t been making much for new carts and linkers lately. I do have some Linkmasta USB devices built and some cartridges that need some work still, but I am pretty low on PCBs. I haven’t reordered, because I have been expecting to rework the layout. So, I think that’s happening, and maybe I can reorder new Flash Masta cartridge PCBs in a week or so. I don’t think you, as an end user, will notice any improvements, but I am hoping that the redesign helps reduct the production time/effort.
The main thing I’ve been busy with lately (other than remodeling and normal family matters) is my mobile/tablet game. I have been putting a lot of time into this lately, and things are going well. Just yesterday I heard that some of the guys from the group I’m working with got to view a test build and are rather impressed with the state of the game. I can only hope that translates into gamers playing it once it comes out, but the limited few people that have seen it seem to think it’ll do well. I am not really ready to discuss specifics in a public forum, but I may be able to show a video of the game running on a private basis. If you’re really interested, leave a comment here and I may reply by email.
I don’t know if there’s any other big happenings over the last month. I guess I felt like it had been longer than that since my last post, but I guess it’s good that it’s been only a month. Please keep in touch. You know I like to interact with you all, so let me know what’s going on in your life/hobbies/etc.
And in case you wanted to know what the fox says (and hadn’t already seen the latest viral craze),