End of year blog. I like to look back each year and see what all I did. Last year it was really quiet. Like, stupidly quiet, so let's see how 2023 did!
I managed to get Cool Herders for the Nintendo GBA completed and sent off to Piko Interactive, but we're still waiting to see the next step there. That took about eight months! But I think it came out better than the DS version with the extra time. Hopefully we'll see it in 2024.
I continued to work on animatronics through the year, and even travelled to Sydney Australia to do the install of the Jurassic World Exhibition. Working in Australia was one of those things I always wanted to do, so it's great to have been able to check that off the ol' bucket list. After that, however, I decided it was time to focus on Canada and stepped down from there. I returned to work a full time company out East, and that's just starting to ramp up. The first challenge sounds interesting, and we'll see if we can do it. No more animatronics for now, I guess, unless someone in Canada wants to help start something!
I met a local robotic company owner, and he was really cool, but we haven't managed to catch up again. He's also a local Nabu computer fan, which is pretty fun.
Besides Sydney I also visited Ottawa twice, just for fun! But the bigger trip was down to New Zealand where a very special friend got married. It was an awesome wedding, themed to Lord of the Rings and down at Hobbiton. I wished I was in costume too, but it was a great show and was so very cool to see everyone again. I missed them a lot.
Tree in the back yard fell down and landed on my townhouse roof! Fortunately, it did very minimal damage and the main concern - the roof - suffered just a few shingles. It came within inches of the windows so I was really lucky!
I also got a call from a company that pays people to act as experts - that was nice! Unfortunately the people in question didn't want technical information, they wanted inside business information. I didn't have that, so I didn't get paid. But I'm still available for that! ;)
An old buddy from high school visited from overseas, that was fun! I didn't realize when he planned it that it was just overnight, but hell, we still enjoyed hanging out!
I did try to hire a couple of artists for the sprite work... but finding pixel artists who also understand palette limitations proved very difficult. The two I actually paid did not seem to understand the restrictions, and dragged their feet on starting. I ended up rendering the ships in Second Life and taking screenshots. ;)
Next step there is porting to the TI. I started it a bit, got a workable toolchain for making a bank-switched cart and got part of it running already. The challenge there is the pages are only 8k versus the 16k pages on the ColecoVision. It makes packing the data harder, and all the page numbers are different. I still have to port the final fixes to the TI and try to get it working again.