Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Still Alive

It has been a few months since I posted here, but I am hoping to get back to monthly postings shortly. My NES RPG project is going to be taking a rather strange detour but I think I am going to try to allocate at least 10 hours a month towards that project. Before I get into the detour, I think an explanation of my tardiness is required.

When I went to post my January game I was told that I reached the limit for One Game A Month. This got me thinking and I decided to focus on University. I am in the process of upgrading my associate degree into a bachelor degree. I am hoping modern credentials will offset my age when looking for work in the future. I do still plan on occasionally participating in game jams when the topic is of interest and I have no pressing deadlines.

As being in a classroom filled with teenagers and twenty-somethings is not something I want to do, I am doing my courses online (through Thompson Rivers University and as a visiting student at Athabasca University) which gives me a lot of flexibility with my courses. I made the newbie mistake of taking 6 courses at a time with the idea of finishing my degree quickly. In hindsight this is not the optimal way of doing things as jumping back and forth between numerous courses results in slower progress than focusing on just a couple of course would. As most online courses can be completed at your own pace, what I am going to be doing in the future is to just have 2-3 courses going at a time but complete them quicker. This will result in less stress and the ability to take advantage of other opportunities that may pop up.

One of the courses that I am close to finishing is a web design course. The site I am creating for my final project is an Atari 2600 homebrew site. This was chosen so that the JavaScript component could be a TIA simulator. The thought of doing a PPU simulator was there but it is much more complicated than the TIA so the Atari 2600 was chosen. Once I have officially finished the course I will move the site to my own domain but knowing how slow bureaucracies are, this probably won't be until July. This is where the detour comes.

For the next while I want to play around with the 2600. Both are based on the 6502, so much of the work I do on the 2600 will be related to the NES. In particular, work on math functions and random number generation are needed for NES RPG and will be readily portable.

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