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Polymer Picker v1.10 released

Polymer Picker v1.10 introduces a new adversary - Jellyfish Polymer Picker v1.10 has been formally released. The original v1.00 has been replaced with the newer one, so you don't need to amend any URLs to play the latest edition. Making this game has been quite the journey these last 2 years. The recent additions to the game were performed over the spring and summer of 2023, and represent what I consider to be final additions to the game, to enhance the level of gameplay to something a little more challenging. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I have enjoyed creating it, and thanks to members of the Stardot community for their invaluable assistance in making this possible.
Recent posts

Polymer Picker, and why 8-bit programming matters to me

Late last year, I released a BBC Micro game, Polymer Picker . Realising that 2022 marked the centenary of the BBC, as well as the 40th anniversary of the release of the BBC computer (which was designated as one of the BBC's 100 Objects ), I wanted to work on something that related to the BBC's mission of being able to 'educate, inform and entertain' . So what better way than to release a game for the BBC computer, that in a sense, fulfils those values? But, with video games being so widely available, and playable on all kinds of devices, why did I decide to create my own game for such a niche platform?  Video games are big business. They have been for a number of years. In May 2023, it was reported that Nintendo's latest edition of The Legend of Zelda sold in excess of 10 million copies in three days .  However, there remains sustained interest in video games from yesteryear. Children who grew up in the 8-bit computer revolution are now into their 40s and 50s, and

Using ADFFS on emulated RISC OS, within Parallels Windows 10 Desktop

Earlier this year, I posted the following tweet: Wanted to play one RISC OS game. An old one. Too much hassle faffing with emulators and tooling. This stuff should be easy. But it isn't. Gimme Chocks Away with 5 minutes set up time. Not hours of breakage and tears! — Stephen Scott 💙💚 (@sassquad) August 11, 2021 I was somewhat frustrated - and have been for some time before then - about being able to play older RISC OS games on my iMac. For some reason or other, I found current solutions somewhat wanting. Certain ones, such as the RISC OS Direct Pi distribution, are fantastic, if  you are using a Raspberry Pi.  However, if I wanted to use Mac OS, the consensus seemed to be; 'You can do it, but you'll need the equivalent of a degree in Computer Science to achieve it' I did have an escape clause - I can  use Windows 10, thanks to a purchase of Parallels Desktop . This makes the running of Windows within Mac OS, much easier. This meant I could install ready made buil

Using Beebasm for BBC Basic games programming (Mac & Windows)

In August 2021, I released Androidz Redux , a remastered version of my 1994 game Androidz . This process started a year ago, with a couple of days spent playing around with the original code, far away from a real BBC computer. The original game was published in a magazine called Acorn Computing, and has been available to play online for a number of years now. Because I wrote the game on an actual BBC Micro, I used what tools I had at the time, namely some graph paper to create the graphics, and the computer itself to do the actual coding. This is a world away from the tools we now have at our disposal. Fully rounded IDE's such as Visual Studio Code (my current favourite) make it an awful lot easier to program games. Even editors such as Notepad++ offers some ability to edit BBC Basic code. One of the difficulties with editing old games on modern systems is ensuring that you are able to ensure that the BASIC code is properly tokenised before running on an emulator/system, and indee

Installing Sitecore 9.2 as a developer

Installing Sitecore 9.2 as a developer My current role requires my upskilling into Sitecore development. As part of the Sitecore developer certification, a certain portion of the exam you undertake, requires you to understand the installation process. Installation of Sitecore is not for the faint hearted. Even with the copious documentation provided, getting this to run successfully is beset with problems to trip you over. I've spent hours repeating the process of installing, and had driven myself mad with the number of times something broke, with no real pointers available as to why things broke. Some of the messages displayed during the procedure gave no clues as to what went wrong. I've therefore used a variety of sources to prepare this guide in how to install the software as a developer. These links were referred to constantly while I played around with installation. Thank you to these bloggers for creating these guides. They proved to be a godsend! To make things easier

Blue Meanie - a most vicious puzzle game

I sporadically make visits to the BBC Micro games archive , and have a quick blast through some arcade smashes of the past, and lesser known titles. Hidden amongst the catalogue are some real gems. Mike Goldberg's Blue Meanie is one of them. Anyone familiar with the BBC Micro games scene may know the name of Mike Goldberg. An artist and illustrator, he created many pieces of artwork for various magazines during the 80s and early 90s. He has a distinctive style, and is very obsessed with cats. These artistic talents were evident in the games he had published commercially (notably, under the MRM brand - he was one of the M's), as well as within the pages of computer magazines. Most of his work was featured in The Micro User , or Let's Compute! , then dubbed the world's first computer comic. This latter period - from 1989 to 1991 - saw Goldberg produce games for typing in from the pages of the magazine. These games became more and more advanced in design and execut

Building BBC Micro disc images reprised

I recently used my previous post on building disc images for the JavaScript based jsBeeb emulator to create an image for a game I played a very long time ago, called Goldbank . Here's a screengrab of the game, while this link will take you to the new disc image I've made , for playing on jsBeeb. As you can see, the graphics are very basic, but extremely bold, bright and colourful. The game was published on a disc based magazine called Fast Access in the late 1980s and early 1990s. You were sent six issues a year, on two floppy discs, with some printed cards you put in a special ring binder. I believe two volumes were made, while the third dispensed with the printed cards completely, was spread to three discs, and only got three issues, before it went out with a whimper. Goldbank came on the second issue of volume 1, about early 1989, so it's pretty vintage. However, the game is a great challenge. Do have a play of it. Getting to build this disc image using my artic