On this page, you get to choose what I make next through a bounty system.
Due to conflicts with other responsibilities, this program is suspended until October 1, 2016.
- 1 Submitting a bribe
- 2 Open bribes
- 2.1 Old games with new controllers
- 2.2 New features
- 2.3 New productions
Submitting a bribe
Each project or feature has a bounty amount. Notes from donors specify a list of projects to work on. Once I finish one project, I look for the next project that is funded the most times over, take proportionally from each donor, and reassign the bounty to the rest of the list. I first consider only first choices, then first and second choices, then first, second, and third choices.
Send money to
ebay at pineight dot com on PayPal, and in the additional instructions, list the projects you want funded in order of preference.
The one funded the most times over will get worked on first, and remaining funds will be allocated to other projects on your list.
Some bounties are subject to change based on prevailing hardware prices.
Old games with new controllers
Several of my games have acted as tech demos of various oddball controllers that can be connected to a system. These bribes, priced at $50 plus the cost of a controller, cover adding support for a controller to an existing game.
Game using Arkanoid controller
The Arkanoid controller is a paddle, or miniature non-centering steering wheel, marketed by Taito for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The paddle was originally bundled with a Breakout clone called Arkanoid, in which the player twists the knob sideways to move the lifeboat Vaus and presses the trigger button to serve the ball. In Chase HQ, the player steers the car with the knob.
The controller has a known, emulated protocol: trigger on D3 and angular displacement as serial on D4 (big-endian, roughly 160 units wide increasing counterclockwise).
The Vaus Test demo shows how to read the Arkanoid controller, including a way to mask DPCM glitches based on the second difference of the positions read from the device. This bribe will fund adding Arkanoid controller support in ZapPing.
Game using Super NES Mouse
The Super NES Mouse is a two-button mouse marketed by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It reads distance increments using a quadrature encoder which returns the accumulated distance in the X and Y coordinates since the previous read.
The Super NES Mouse has a known protocol that is emulated in Super NES emulators but not in NES emulators. The mouse can be connected to an NES using an adapter soldered from a Super NES controller extension cable and an NES controller extension cable. But such cables aren't available locally, and famiclones with Super NES style controller ports, such as the FC Twin, do not work with the PowerPak.
Support for the mouse in Thwaite was sponsored by infiniteneslives, who provided two Super NES to NES controller adapters. The remainder of the bribe will add support for the mouse to ZapPing.
Game using Power Glove
The Power Glove is a glove-shaped positional input device marketed by Mattel for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It senses the roll and position of the hand, as well as whether some of the fingers are flexed or extended. Only two games, Super Glove Ball and Bad Street Brawler, have native glove support.
I am unaware of any technical documents or emulator support for the Power Glove.
This bribe will fund buying a Power Glove and developing a driver for the Power Glove in ZapPing and Thwaite.
Available once technical documents become available.
Features can be added to existing games for $100.
Poorlords is a mode in FlapPing for Atari 2600 that places a wall made of breakable bricks behind each paddle. (The name alludes to Warlords.) In Poorlords, the game is to 3 points, not 11. Heat Up Hockey by Sega uses the same concept.
This bribe will fund a Poorlords mode in ZapPing.
In Write Your Own Apple Games (ISBN 9780916688493), Stuart Anstis presented Applesoft BASIC source code of a paddle-and-ball game with a solid right wall, similar to junkpunch's mock-up in Cracked's "32 Rejected Versions of Video Game Hazards".
This bribe will fund a single-player version of ZapPing that counts returns against a wall.
These tend to be more expensive because they require graphics and game logic work. They may be broken into "milestones", or discrete levels of playability and polish that each have their own price. Each milestone costs $100; details on what a milestone represents will appear once funds are directed toward a project.
Game using Power Pad
The Power Pad is a floor mat game controller marketed by Bandai for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It has twelve pressure-sensitive panels arranged in a grid of four across by three down.
The Power Pad has a known, emulated protocol: clocked serial on D3 and D4.
This bribe will fund development of a clone of Mole Patrol that uses the Power Pad. A rhythm game called DanceKAD was originally planned, but this was delayed to 2019 after the 2006 claim construction verdict in Konami v. Roxor.
Speech compression demo
Few NES games include voice acting in their cut scenes due to the amount of ROM needed to hold sampled audio. The most efficient codecs suited for playback on microcontrollers were patented in the NES's commercial era, and few video game developers wanted to pay the royalty that Electronic Speech Systems was charging. But as of 2011, NES-era patents have expired.
This bribe will fund development of a Mozer compression tool for PC and playback software for the NES.
Text compression demo
Few NES games include the complete text of their manual or even a complete tutorial on how to play. This may have been for copy protection, so that pirates wouldn't know the object of the game in the pre-GameFAQs era, or it could have been just for ROM space reasons. But in the homebrew era, ROM space is somewhat cheaper, and feelies-based copy protection is easy to defeat by copying the information out of the feelies on the Internet.
This project was first proposed in this NESdev BBS topic but abandoned when it was discovered that the target platform, an emulator built into a portable DVD player, wasn't very compatible with some NES programming techniques.
This bribe will fund development of a Huffword text compression tool for PC and an e-book reader for the NES.
A few years ago, I produced a simple demo of reading the Zapper's trigger in a few hours, controlling a text-based Russian Roulette game. I want to make it more.
Known milestones include improved graphics, extension to other put and take rule sets, and exploration of various betting structures.
One betting structure is like that of poker, with players betting against one another and the winner taking all money wagered in a round. Another is more like ordinary casino roulette, where players can place side bets against the house on who will be eliminated when.
This bribe will fund development of a side-scrolling engine to the point where it can be used to recreate the opening level from a classic NES side-scroller.
Back in 2009, I made FK Convey, a Klax clone using the Allegro library. But since then, I've learned that SDL has more professional attention paid to keeping it working. For example, SDL is in Ubuntu main (packages supported by Canonical), while Allegro is in Ubuntu universe (free packages maintained by the community, which are more likely to break when someone falls behind on maintenance). This bribe will fund porting FK Convey to SDL.