Category Archives: Website

Happy New Year To All, and To All a Good NGPC

csm_Trouble3_b566e5a916Hey guys. I figured that I should post something here to give you a small update on how things are going.

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!

via http://artcastle.hk/index.php?id=17

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?

New PCBs And Other Chatter

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),

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

Hey people of the pocket! It’s been about a month since I last posted. I wish I’d be writing something here (or at one of my other sites) more frequently, but I’ve had plenty of other things going on in life.

As I mentioned before, I left my 15+ year employment to venture out on my own. We put our house for sale, as we had already purchased another in South Dakota. Last week, we closed on the house sale and made the final trip (with 3 trailers full) to our new house. Since arriving, there has been much to do to renovate and get things moved in. We still can’t really use the garage, as it’s full of boxes. We have no kitchen sink, and we only have countertops on about a third of the cabinets. We’re waiting for new countertops to arrive.

What does that have to do with FlashMasta.com you ask? Well, it means that I’m getting close to being back in the game. In fact, I had 2 Neo Pocket Flash Masta orders this week. I sent one out yesterday, and I plan to get the other ready in the next day or two.

As of right now, the bundles are sold out, but maybe that will change in a week or two. I would also really like to get back to working on my prototypes for like the WonderSwan and maybe Lynx.

Currently, I am working on my iPad/iPhone/Android game. The goal is to get it out by Christmas time. Right now, I am actually sitting in the library of my alma mater college campus. It’s pretty dead here in the summer, but it’s definitely very interesting to be back coding in this place.

Okay, so that’s a pretty non-technical update for you guys. I know I haven’t been writing a lot here, but I have been trying to post on Twitter more often. If anyone wants to chat on there, definitely hit me up.
http://twitter.com/freeplaytech

I QUIT! (My Job)

Wow, I’ve eluded to big changes on the horizon of my personal life. Today I can finally talk about them. I’m guessing this will be the first of a series of posts, because I don’t really have time for really diving into the subject. I will be trying to keep you guys informed of developments here, but I am also starting a more personal site at www.EdMandy.com, but it might not even be quite up and running when you read this.

More posts can’t be a bad thing, though. I noticed that it’s almost been 2 months since my last post. Wow, time flies when you’re getting ready to buy a house, move to another state, and quit a job you’ve been at for 15 years.

So, yeah, yesterday I put in my resignation at the job I’ve worked for the past 15 years (PLUS 3 summer internships). It was very surreal. Of course, it will greatly impact my life, but it will also have an effect on my co-workers.

Again, I can’t really go too in depth today, but here are my basic plans:

  • Buy a house (DONE)
  • Move everything to the new house (HALF DONE)
  • Quit my job (I put in my 2 weeks yesterday)
  • Start working on an iPad/iPhone game (much more on this later)
  • Start some entrepreneurial ventures (like flashmasta.com)
  • Sell our current house (start selling in about a week from now)
  • Move the family (after school is complete on June 6th and our house is sold)

That seems like a simple list, but it’s a lot of work. That stuff has been my main focus recently, and I’m sorry that the Flash Masta project has suffered in the meantime. Once I am set up again in the new location, I will be able to focus on my projects (like this) a lot better. I really hope/expect this to be a positive move for this project and others (like the WonderSwan Flash Cart) I’ve started but haven’t had a chance to complete.

As always, please comment. I really like interacting with you guys. If you want to head over to http://www.edmandy.com/ and see more info about me there, please do. I hope to have that site more functional/informative in the coming weeks. Also, I’ve been using Twitter a lot more lately, so check me out @FreeplayTech. Thanks for the support over the years.

Laser Cutting Forum Users

Laser, Lightsabre, What’s the difference?

Did that title get your attention? Are you all ready to read about how to cut forum users with a laser? Well, it’s actually 2 separate issues: Laser Cutting & Forum Users.

Forum Users
In the last week, the forum has had an influx of new user registrations. This sounds good, but with it came a bunch of forum SPAM. Upon further investigation, I think there was a new exploit to get around one of the anti-bot security measures I had in place. After (hopefully) patching the hole, I ended up cutting a BUNCH of forum users (not with a laser).

If you are a legit user and find that you lost your account, PLEASE register again. I may have inadvertently cut some real users. I’m very sorry if I accidentally removed your account.

Laser Cutting
As you may know, the Linkmasta USB device comes inside of a translucent blue box. To accommodate the NGPC cartridge, a rectangular opening is hand cut in the top of the plastic case. There is also an opening for the USB cable that gets hand cut in the side of the case.

Last week, I paid a visit to a company that specializes in plastics to talk about getting these cuts done more professionally. Unfortunately, they said that they couldn’t do both cuts with their laser. However, they should be able to do the top NGPC cartridge socket.

This is not going to be cheap. It will cost me significantly bit more than what I am currently doing. I don’t know if it’s sustainable, due to the costs involved. The main reason I decided to do it for now is just to learn about the process, so I’m chalking the cost up to education. I am having them cut 25 case tops, and I will check out the quality and make a determination if it’s worth it to proceed this way in the future or not.

One think this may mean is that any purchases made in the next week or so may be delayed as I wait for the laser cutting process to be done. I think it will be worth the wait, though. If you want to be first in line to get a bundle with a laser cut case top, head over to the NGPC flash devkit purchase page.

Flash Masta Now On Twitter And Facebook

I have finally made accounts for the “Flash Masta” and “Freeplay Technologies LLC” on Facebook and Twitter. Here are the links:

If you use any of those networks, I’d appreciate a Like, Friend, Follow, Retweet, Subscribe, etc. I hope to get things ramped up quickly, and your help can really kickstart it. I know that there’s not much content on the Facebook or Twitter pages yet, but I want to utilize them as another way to get my information to you.

Oh, and if you didn’t already know, Freeplay Technologies LLC is just the business name I’m selling the NGPC Flash Carts under. If I make some SNES to PCE controller multitap adapters or anything else like that, I may not want to use the “Flash Masta” name for those. It’s better to have a business name that can encompass all that stuff. That’s why you’re seeing that name on Twitter and Facebook.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, whatever

PCEngine/TG16 Project

Things have been going well, but as usual, they’re slow. I sold some shirts on eBay, then I was out of town for a while. All along, though, people make an order every once in a while. I wish I could do this full time. If so, I’d be better at updating this site.

So, I still have units available. I also still have shirts I plan to list on eBay. I have ideas for new projects. I have to prototype projects I already started. I just need to get in gear, but that gear always seems to be LOW.

I wanted to ask you guys a favor, though. Do you think that you could help spread the word about this a bit? If you like the Flashmasta project, maybe you can subscribe to my YouTube account and then Like one of my videos at http://www.youtube.com/cfc2ngpc. That way, other people might notice and watch the videos.

Another way to help is to post a link to http://www.flashmasta.com/ on Twitter or Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, did I mention that SNK Playmore liked me on there? Well, it’s an unofficial SNK Playmore fan page, but it’s still cool. If you shared a link like that, maybe other like-minded people would see it and check out this site.

I feel like I need to do some advertising, but I just don’t have the time to do it properly. If a few of you have a a couple minutes each, it could add up. You never know who might see it and post is somewhere else.