Silly Venture 2k11 - .. and how it ended

When Grey and I discussed the compo rules for the VCS compo, I also suggested limiting the cartridge size to 8k. One the one hand 8k was the typical size many real cartridges. On the other 8k can be filled within some weeks for sure, so I won't spend so much time on the demo. And in fact, all effects were ready after 6 weeks. And they took 12k. Damn. Consequently I spent 4 more months reworking and code in order to squeeze it into the 8k boundary. At the same time I was hoping and waiting for Jakub Husak to complete the tune for which I had reserved 1k. The first deadline passed and in the night when the extended deadline also passed, Jakub sent the final tune. After 1 hour of tracking down a bug in the player routine, it compiled properly and reported: 335 bytes free. WHAT? 335 bytes free? I cannot release an 8k demo with 335 bytes free. So I sat down and added again most of stuff and details which got removed in the months before. 4 hours later, i.e. 2 hours after the extended deadline, I sent my mail to Grey ... who had extended the extended deadline meanwhile ... thanks ;-)

The result is ISO which went 1st place in the first VCS only demo compo in history. 

ISO - Final version

It also climbed up to the 3rd place in the top of the month of Pouet and received a loot of nice feedback. Thanks for all your votes!

Best rank in the top of the month

Silly Venture 2k11 - How it started...

In March Grey^MSB contacted me and asked if I would contribute a demo for Silly Venture 2k11. Well, creating Silly Things took the whole three months of my parental leave for my youngest daughter. Therefore my immediate reply was: Sorry, I cannot beget another child just to have enough time for a new release. Then he told me that he already has two possible entries on VCS and he was looking for a third one in order to hold the first VCS only demo compo in history. My first tough was: OK, the worst then is becoming third - that's cool. I immediately started coding on VCS and my first VCS demo BeamRacer was released in the Oldschool 4k demo compo at Revision 2011. There I had the same problem as the two VCS demos in the Sillyventure 2k10 combined demo compo: 4k Amiga demos simply look more impressive, especially if most people don't even know about the VCS and it's restrictions. So it ranked 5th in the compo, not bad for a first release though. Also there was a lot of trouble getting it on the big screen. Therefore I had to tweak the faster and more colorful final NTSC version (first picture) into a slower and less colorful PAL version for the beamer (second picture).

Beam Racer - Final NTSC version
Beam Racer - Party PAL version live footage


The JHV (AGM) is over and here are some impressions. After getting lost in the "Palz" due to my outdated navigation system, I even managed to arrive just in time. It was a joyful day with playing Warlords and impressing people with the preview of me new VCS demo for the Sillyventure 2k11 . Later in the evening, mega-hz, hias and I discussed the top-secret new hardware developments for the hardware contest 2012 .. and 2013. Thanks to the good reaction of mega-hz, the top-secret prototype is hidden behind his hand an a glass of beer.

JAC! arriving just in time Can you spot my VCS with my new TV set?

mega-hz and me discussing the new entries for the hardware content 2012 and 2013

Atari Speed Reading

One of the most distinctive features of the Atari is the fact that the program recorder uses one channel for serial data and one for normal sound. This means that you can replay music and spoken words during loading. Based on this feature, Atari released a number of educational software titles. One of them is the "Atari Speed Reading" course from 1981. On the picture below you can see Tigerduck an me after we spent the whole evening trying to sample the first tape using a notebook with AudaCity, a hi-fi system and put a back on a tape again. It took quite a while but finally we managed to find the right recoding and re-recording settings to make it work also on the Atari again.

Atari Speed Reading

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