2001 News

RPG In the Works
Posted by Harper on November 27th, 2001
This is a project I started a few years back, but have recently embraced because I saw Mikel Blanchard's Xeontech Alphas at Macross Software and wanted to work on something really cool myself. RPG : Alpha 1 is for both the 83 (SOS) which is the last version for that system, and the Ti-83 Plus, as a Flash App. This version features (1) playable battle engine, (2) usable menu screen, (3) usable equip screen, (4) usable item screen. Anyways, you should check it out and put your COMMENTS on the Message Board

Download demo versions of the RPG here:
RPG Demo Alpha 1 (SOS)
RPG Demo Alpha 1 (Flash APP)

Super Mario v1.2 (ION) Updated
Posted by Sam on June 28th, 2001
I apologize to anybody whose version of MEDIT crashed their calculator. Somehow an old version of the source code was compiled an included in the zip. This new version fixes the problems with the level editor. I also added an auto-quit function if the level is archived (so nobody will crash their calculator that way, either.) If anybody has any additional trouble, contact me.

Download new versions here:
Super Mario v1.2 (ION)

Super Mario v1.1 Released For 82, 83, and 83+
Posted by Sam on June 26th, 2001
The latest version of Mario has now been made public. Updates in v1.1:
    Fixed choose block / enemy display bug in Mario2.82p
    Flower Mario nows becomes Big Mario after being hit
    Fixed Shell enemy bug (if placed as just a shell)
    Fixed bug in level detection display
    Altered Pound AI
    Fixed Display Routine to work on all TI-82's
    Ported to ION (83 and 83+)!
    Released Source Code!

Note on 83+ version: You may archive the levels! If you wish to edit a levelset, then you need to have the level unarchived. This version will run correctly under MirageOS.

I have also released ION updates to two popular titles, PlainJump and Orzunoid. Their external levels may now be archived as well! Like Mario, to edit levels, the levels need to be unarchived.

Download new versions here:
Super Mario v1.1 (CrASH)
Super Mario v1.1 (ION)
Plain Jump v1.2 (ION)
Orzunoid v7.2 (ION)

Super Mario v1.0 Released!
Posted by Sam on June 6th, 2001
The latest, and hopefully final version, of Super Mario 82 has been released. I apologize for the long delay, but contrary to what some of you might think, I have been programming. As you know, the original beta had some very nasty bugs, some of which have driven me crazy for the past couple months. Thankfully, all have been elimated now. Besides fixing the bugs, I have also added fireballs, improved Bowser AI, an ending sequence, and minor gameplay/user interface changes. I have also included a program that includes both the game and the editor in one package. Because the two programs rely on similar routines and temporary space, I was able to conserve 2.6K in the combination. I also spent time optimizing my existing code (about 900 bytes worth). On a technical note, Harper inspired me to alter my compression algorythm so external levels are 15% smaller on average. Unfortunately, pre-existing levels will not run on the latest version. I hope that you enjoy the final product.

Super Mario features beautiful graphics courtesy of Bill Nagel, 13 unique enemies, 64 unique background tiles (some with animation), fast scrolling, powerups like growth or flower-power, fireballs, a somewhat-challenging boss, an animated ending scene, and an expansive easy-to-use World editor that can be run on a calculator. Please consult the .txt file for more information. No Port Requests! This program can not be emulated due to external levels.

Download it here:
Super Mario v1.0 (CrASH)

Programming Section Added
Posted by Kouri on June 1st, 2001
It's been a while since the last update, and I apologize to those who feel they've been "left out of the loop" for the past couple of months. School, extracurricular activities, and personal matters just haven't left much room for calculator programming. Anyway, someone suggested on the messageboard that we put a link to our programming section on the front page. This has been sort of a neglected part of the site that not too many people knew about, and while we can't promise frequent updates or adding specific tutorials, every once in a while you might find a little addition that could be useful to you as a programmer. The new section has been renamed to Routines, and can be found in the Program archives. Again, it's a little sparse at the moment, and we'll try to work on that.

Super Mario 82 Beta Release
Posted by Sam on April 1st, 2001
It's April Fools Day, but this is not a joke. I said in my .plan file that I would release something relating to a certain project after my spring vacation. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do much in the way of programming over break, so this is a somewhat buggy, fairly bloated beta of a game that should, at some point, be pretty good. The name of the game is Super Mario for the TI-82 CrASH. The concepts and graphics were taken from Bill Nagel's 86 version, so it looks pretty good. It has enemies, external levels, and all sorts of cool stuff. Minor bugs and minor omissions (an ending, fireballs, a decent Bowser, etc.) still exist, but nothing should cause your calculators to crash. Over the next few weeks, I'll update this program fairly frequently. Don't waste your time with port requests because nothing will be done until a "final" version is released. Also, I would appreciate it if these beta copies are not posted at any site other than Void Production until the "final" version is released (I will indicated which version that is).

*News Update* A few astute people have asked if this is the same engine as the demo released back in November. The answer is "Yes". The author of that program was me (Sam Heald) under the alias of T.G.G. You get a cookie if you can figure out the significance of those initials. On the messageboard, somebody had asked "how long would it take you to make a Mario game?". I wrote that demo in 24 hours and then lost interest. The demo was released to have something for the effort. This current rendition is the product of a good deal of effort over the past 3-4 weeks.

Graphics Contest Page Updated
Posted by Sam on March 1st, 2001
This is one update extremely long in coming. Some of these title picture submissions have been sitting in my inbox for over a year. Check out the new Zelda and Baseball II title screens here. We're still debating about when to close the contest and open the outcome to public vote.

Contest Extension
Posted by Sam on February 25th, 2001
We have not received very many responses or submissions to our latest contest. Therefore, we are going to push back the deadline for submissions until Monday, March 5th. The contest page is still located here. Good luck!

Contest #5
Posted by Sam on February 12th, 2001
It has begun! Contest #5 is up and running. Like Contest 2, this contest revolves around compression. This time, however, the contest is to write a compression routine. The algorithm of choice is "RLE (Run-Length Encoding) Compression". For more information, please consult the Contest 5 homepage.

Entries are due by February 24th. Also feel free to submit suggestions on contests. For example, the contests should be easier/harder, larger/shorter routines, longer/shorter spans, more/less frequent, etc.

*UPDATE: The contest page has been updated for clarity in the rules.

Sam Heald takes a leave of absense
Posted by Sam on February 3rd, 2001
This is an unfortunate announcement, but I, Sam Heald, am taking an official, yet temporary leave of absense from Void Productions. At the present time, I have absolutely no motivation to do anything TI-related, and I would greatly appreciate being left alone about the subject. Last night, a long-time friend of mine was driving home from a school-sponsored function (no alcohol involved). A few miles from his house, he slid upon a patch of ice on the road and hit a tree. He was killed instantly.
Thank you for respecting my privacy during this upcoming interim,
Sam Heald

Dying Eyes 83+ Released!!!
Posted by Sam on February 1st, 2001
Major news for the TI-83+ users waiting for a real RPG (not one of those ARPGS that have become too common). Alex (aka Kurai) Highsmith's classic turn-based RPG, Dying Eyes, has been converted to ION. Dying Eyes, arguably one of the best TI games ever, features tons of enemies, spells, skills, and all the extras that a good RPG needs (not to mention gorgeous graphics). The only downside is the huge size (22.2K). In order to run the program, you need to place everything into the archive except for "prgmA" and "prgmθION". If you archive the Dying Eyes program, there still needs to be enough RAM equal to the program size to run. This program is not compatible with MirageOS.

PORTER'S NOTE: This program features ~13K of executable code which made it unportable by normal methods due to the program size limitations of the 83+. In this port, the lesser-used, large subroutines are placed at the end of the program. When one of those routines needs to be executed, it is copied to the APD_BUF and executed from there. The program code size limitation is circumvented (but not broken).

*UPDATE* Manipulated the temporary data a little more to allow for MirageOS compatibility.

Download it here: Dying Eyes v1.0 (includes source code)

Contest #4 Done, #5 Begins in a few days
Posted by Sam on January 16th, 2001
Programming Contest #4 has ended. Congratulations to undefeated Kirk Meyer and a Void Programming Contest newcomer, Ben Mickle (author of Mario 86) who tied at 29 bytes. If you want to view all of the contestants and their respective routines, please go to the final standings page.