8088 MPH Final: Old vs. New CGA (and Other Gory Details)

8088 MPH Final: Old vs. New CGA (and Other Gory Details)

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At long last, the final version of 8088 MPH is out.  There's a very nice rundown of the fixes and changes in Scali's blog post; much of the visible (i.e., graphical) portion of those changes involved making the demo compatible with all IBM CGA cards. The party version targeted the earlier, pre-1983 revision of the IBM CGA card (or as we've come to call it, "old" CGA).  This was partly because we had better data for this model: reenigne owns such a card, and he had been working on some of these tweaks long before we decided to make a demo about it. ...
New Design

New Design

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Going to put up some actual new posts soon, but I've been messing with the blog design a little and customizing the stylesheet. Why do I feel the need to share this thoroughly uninteresting piece of news, you ask? Because if anything looks b0rked now, I want to know about it. Oh, yeah: that new font you're (hopefully) seeing is Fantasque Sans Mono, and the one I've been using for titles is Nouveau IBM Stretch, which does a good job of rendering those classic VGA 9x16 text mode characters in the right aspect ratio. ...
CGA in 1024 Colors - a New Mode: the Illustrated Guide

CGA in 1024 Colors - a New Mode: the Illustrated Guide

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By now you may have heard of the 8088 MPH demo, the winning entry in Revision 2015's Oldskool Demo compo this month. It's been my pleasure to combine efforts with the likes of Trixter, reenigne and Scali to make it happen - not only did I get the opportunity to work alongside a bunch of extremely talented wizards of code, we also achieved what we set out to do: break some world records on the venerable (and yet much-maligned! ...
Arithmetic Games Set 1: a Peek into One of the First-Ever IBM PC Games

Arithmetic Games Set 1: a Peek into One of the First-Ever IBM PC Games

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For whatever reason, I'm a sucker for "firsts", and the earliest games on the IBM PC platform hold special interest for me, with an extra touch of morbid curiosity reserved for stuff like BASIC games (and for IBM's own offerings). Thus, I was quite intrigued when I recently came across something that answers all these criteria: a disk dump of Arithmetic Games Set 1, developed by Science Research Associates, Inc. ...
Shamus Keyboard Woes Explained

Shamus Keyboard Woes Explained

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My previous post contains copious amounts of whinging about the keyboard controls in this game, but as it turns out, the issue isn't with the game as such - it's about the environment.  Recently it was pointed out to me that Shamus uses a buffered input routine (it isn't the BIOS INT 9 handler, but a custom handler that similarly buffers keystrokes), and as such, it's sensitive to the typematic rate and delay set for the keyboard. ...
The Mazes of Shamus - IBM PC Version

The Mazes of Shamus - IBM PC Version

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I recently revisited an old post on Vintage Computing & Gaming about the Atari 800 version of Shamus, which pretty much maps out the entire game for you.  It turns out that the IBM PC version has quite a few differences when it comes to the level maps, so for those of you who actually got to know the game through the PC port (like myself), this post might prove vaguely interesting. ...
Using Photoshop as a CGA Bitmap Paint Program

Using Photoshop as a CGA Bitmap Paint Program

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Adobe Photoshop has an "indexed color" editing mode for palettized images, but let's admit it, it sucks.  No layers, no anti-aliasing, no filters, no (easy) dithering, and so on so forth: clearly, it's no substitute for DeluxePaint II, Autodesk Animator, or even PC-Paint.  There are modern, free and open source packages which explicitly seek to fill this gap, but just for fun, can Photoshop's limitations be subverted? Recently, at least by my glacial standards of time, someone (thanks, Andrew! ...
Power-On Self-Test...

Power-On Self-Test...

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Yep, I'm POSTing.  *rimshot*  I've been persuaded to open one of these blog things, and those of you who know me might be surprised that I've chosen this particular service by this particular provider.  But it seems to be the only one that's both free and (almost) completely customizable, and rolling my own wouldn't be very cost-effective, so there.