I can’t believe that it’s been so long since my last post.
Commenter Lukezab wrote in wondering if progress had stopped. NO, it hasn’t.
Here’s what’s been going on. My last couple posts here have been about Trouble With Robots (http://www.troublewithrobots.com). This has been my primary task for quite some time now. The good news is that it is now finally available on iOS (http://itunes.apple.com/app/trouble-with-robots/id849799076?mt=8) and Android (via Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.art.twr). If you haven’t tried the game yet, PLEASE give it a play and post some feedback. It’s free to download and try, so you may as well.
As far as WonderSwan goes, I know that progress has been slow. Things move forward, but the pace is like a snail sometimes. Currently, I can flash games to the cart and boot them on a WonderSwan. The problem is that it’s not very user friendly. I have come up with a solution for that, but I need to prototype it (with crazy messes of wires running everywhere) and then do a new prototype PCB run once that’s working.
It would be AWESOME if you would:
- Download It On Your iPad/iPhone/iTouch
- Rate It On The iOS App Store
- Share This News (with friends, forums, etc.)
Richard Garfield, Game Designer (Magic: The Gathering, King Of Tokyo) says,
“It is terrific to be able to play Trouble With Robots again – it is overdue for iOS. It surprised me that it still feels unlike anything else I have played, I would have expected some other game developers to use this obviously good game formula to make a bunch of exciting new games. I hope that it gets the success and attention it deserves – and inspires the new games which >I< deserve!"
You could describe the game as “Magic: The Gathering” meets “Plants Vs. Zombies,” because it’s a mix of CCG and real-time strategy action.
I put together a little video of me describing some of the cards in the game and playing a more advanced level.
I came here today and noticed that it’s been TWO months (to the day) since I last posted. That’s too long, so I figured I had better give you guys a quick update.
Here’s what’s kept me so busy lately (yeah, that’s me in the video)…
It’s something I’ve been working on for the last year and a half or so. I know this isn’t retro gaming flash cart related info, but it’s something that some of you might be interested in.
If you want to know a bit about the game, try watching the video I posted. That’s me, and it’s pretty much uncut, so I hope the video doesn’t bore you too much.
I’ve heard it described as “Magic: The Gathering meets Plants Vs. Zombies,” and I’d say that gives a quick feel for what it is. It’s something of an collectible card RTS game. Is this doing anything to intrigue you? What if I told you that everyone that plays it likes it?
Well, right now, it’s not quite released to the public yet. It will be launching on iOS on Thursday, November 27th (also known as Thanksgiving here in the US). Sometime soon after that, it will come out on Android.
Please, if you have any interest in playing the game (or just keeping up with what’s going on with it), head over to http://www.troublewithrobots.com/ and sign up for the mailing list. There will be a promotion (hopefully with free stuff if I get my way) that will be announced there at some point before the release.
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.
UPDATE: I have secured some more of these, and I have set the inventory accordingly. If the PayPal link allows you to make a purchase, it means I have them available.
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 2 flash carts. Details follow.
I have several of 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 2 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?