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SoCoder -> Newsletter Home -> Newsletter

Created : 18 January 2024

#615 - Hello Again


Hello Again

#615 - Friday 19th January, 2024

Subscribe to Socoder Newsletter


Is this back?


Oh dear, it's been a while, huh?
I've moved house since the last newsletter!
Me and Mum sold the family home we've lived in for the past 37 years, and upgraded to a lovely little bungalow in a beautiful little quiet estate.
There's been an absolute ton of stress during the move, hence why the newsletter got put on hold. With every passing week there seemed to be more and more horrific Solicitor guff being thrown at us, and my head just couldn't cope with everything all at once.
It took us about 5.5 months from purchase to moving in, but we've been in since Halloween, and I think I'm probably settled in enough to start writing these newsletters again.

What've you been up to over the past half a year?
Hope you've all been well.
Let us know in the comments!


Demon Attack X

Eikon made a lovely shoot-em-up. A remake of a game from the TRS-80, which is one of the many space shooters that happened in that era.
It's more like a Galaxians clone, with the little enemy fighters dive-bombing and nice big boss battles and such to keep you going.

Little Nemo X

Eikon also made a recreation of one of his older games from 2014.
It's a total remake, with all new elements to keep you playing, even if you loved the original.

Fairyland Solitaire

TheRevillsGames does what TheRevillsGames does best, and has made another Solitaire game that you can enjoy.
With minigames and more, there's oodles to do, and plenty to keep you coming back for more.
I also really love the art style of TRG's games. Lovely hi-res assets, gorgeous backgrounds. Lovely stuff.

The Enemy

Ricardo_SDL took part in a "One Enemy" coding challenge, and made a great little arena-shooter where you have to battle against a single enemy, using directional controls.
It's a great little blaster, with just the right level of difficulty.
Can you defeat The Enemy!?


It's really hard to pick a few threads from the past 8 months.
There's been a ton of highs and lows on the forum, and I'm not sure how best to illustrate the best and worst of what's been going on.
Instead, I'll point to a few oddities.
That'll do the job.

Flapping Happily

CyanGames' upcoming NES game, Flap Happy, is currently in the midst of a media frenzy, as he ramps up everything in preparation for the Kickstarter, coming in about a week.. maybe!
He's had a YouTuber stream the demo, and it's helped him spot a bunch more little things that could do with being tweaked, helping him finish off those last minute tweaks, and stay motivated towards the end of a job well done.
Great stuff, CyanGames!


Jay can't get a TON of stuff running in UTM, a Virtual Machine on MacOS, running Win11Arm.
He's slightly (quite a bit) worried about whether this is just UTM being shit, or an issue with Win11Arm's virtualisation of x86/x64, as he hasn't yet seen proof of Win11Arm running the same things on other devices/setups.
Though everyone's quite happy to put it down to UTM not being able to handle OpenGL>1.0, that doesn't account for everything that's going on, and it still has Jay slightly worried that the transition to Windows on Arm might not go as well as everyone's hoping it will.

Atari 400 Mini

After the success of the C64 Mini, A500 Mini and such, RetroGames have decided to create an A400 Mini, which is a really bad name when placed next to the A500 Mini, IMO.. But hey, I'm not a successful business, so who am I to complain.
The Atari 400 Mini features all your favourite games from the Atari 8-bit days. M.U.L.E., Berzerk, Miner 2049er.. They're all here.
But I have little or no nostalgia for such a thing.
Do you?


Gadget 3

KORG finally released a new major update to KORG Gadget after almost 5 years. March 2019 was the release of Gadget 2, and in the time since, they've been working none-stop on the Desktop version of the Gadget Suite.
The new Gadget 3 was surprise-released in January 2024, and features a number of tweaks that feel like they're moving away from iOS, and dedicating their time to the Desktop version, instead, which would be quite the shame if it were true.
I do like Korg Gadget, even after all these years, and it'll be disappointing not to see it be the powerhouse that it once was.
Maybe Apple's Logic Pro really is the best way for iOS musicians to go, now.

Bing can Sing

BingChat, or as it's since been rebranded, Microsoft Copilot "the version that's in your browser that used to be called BingChat", has been given the ability to sing, using the wonderful Suno.ai AI Music generator.
Simply ask for a choon, and it'll happily oblige, if the settings are right, and the AI wants to bother to do it.
.. If you'd rather force a generation, you're better off using the Suno.ai website itself, which is much easier than trying to get BingChat to do it!
Results, however, can be absolutely staggeringly good.

      : Download


After a well earned break (and/or general levels of stress brought on by the house-move), I finally got back into the AGameAWeek groove, at the start of this year.

There've been three games, so far, this year.
Q-Billy is a generic Q*Bert clone, but with a few blocks missing.

Dice Drops is a generic Columns clone, but with the gems missing.

Midnight Roller is a 2D Monkey Ball style clone, but with the lights missing.

... There's some sort of running theme going on, there, that I can't quite put my finger on.

Meanwhile, I've also been ALChooning aplenty, and though I'll usually consider my latest track my current favourite, I must say that I really like the instrumental version of this week's choon.
      : Download

The rest of this year's ALChoons can be viewed in the Zinc thread.


Here's some of the crazy art that AI's been generating for me, this week.
If you'd like to see your AI Art in a future AI Gallery, PM them my way, or post them to the DallE3 Thread

A kitten dressed as Sonic

Pacman in the Snow

A level for a lode runner clone

Crash Bandicoot as cardboard cutout puppets

Pacman saves a kitten


There's been a number of tweaks to JSE over the past few months, but a whole bunch of odd little errors have creeped in along the way.
I need to repair the damage I've done to the Colour functions.
A few months back, I tried rewriting the Colour functions so that AI chatbots could work with them better, but I've ended up confusing the parser, and it's no longer as accurate as it should be, sometimes ignoring Alpha parameters and other things.
But the language has had a number of new features added, with Gradients coming along for the ride, as well as nice light/glowing effects that I haven't yet added to the command list help file yet.
Oh dear, it's a bit of a mess, if I'm honest.
I could do with rewriting a huge chunk of that help file.
.. And fixing the bugs.
... And getting error messages up and running.

Once all that's done, I then need to write a tutorial series. That's definitely lacking.
And cloud-support for backing up all your code. I actually started doing that back in June, but then the house move stuff got in the way.

Here, have a silly effect generated by a Chatbot.


Can you expand on this?
Make it into something cool, and shove it in the comments!

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Thursday, 18 January 2024, 05:36
Yay! Newsletters back! Cheers Jay

Thew usual stuff for me, coding, sewing, etc.

Just finishing off a pushie of a drum for my mums birthday tonight
Friday, 19 January 2024, 02:26
Good to see you settled. Hopefully health wise it will be a better place to live.

Myself I have been working on getting better and actual sleep every night. I had not known lack of sleep causes serious health issues.
My back problems that cause some of the bad sleep have been improving too. My middle back has gotten flexible. Stil work to do there.
Minimal programming or any distractions other than self improvement with the brain and body.