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SoCoder -> Newsletter Home -> Newsletter

Created : 25 January 2024
Edited : 25 January 2024

#616 - Bursting Into Life


Bursting Into Life

#616 - Friday 26th January, 2024

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Trying to remember how to fit this into my weekly schedule..


Windows 5

Our bungalow got rekitted with new windows and doors.
Cost about 85% of the profit we'd made from the house-sale to bungalow-purchase, and we're now down to almost exactly the same "living just about within our means" that we were before the move.
We're hoping the roof lasts a good year or so, because we're not in any position to even begin budgetting for that, right now!
We're currently wondering if it might be a good idea to pay for a proper decorator to do the living room/dining room, since it's such a HUGE job.
Of course, we could split it up into two differently decorated rooms, putting a thresher in-between the two carpets and such, but most people who've visited have remarked on how "large" it looks as one single design.
Our old house with a very similar living room/dining room layout, had the two rooms separated, and it does seem bigger as one giant room.

Aaah, SoCoder Newsletter.
How I've missed waffling endlessly about things that aren't in the slightest bit relevant!

If you'd like to read more waffling on endlessly about even more self-centred crap, why not subscribe to my Patreon, where I'll be rewriting chunks of this newsletter in vaguely subtle and different ways!



Minionsoft has released a version of Centipede using that lovely little Pico-8 thing, and his latest update adds keyboard support.

Stargate Timekeepers

So many cancelled Stargate games, and yet this boring Sneak-em-up is the sort of thing we end up getting!?
How disappointing.
There's a demo available on Steam if you can be arsed.
Frankly, I got far more fun out of Megapede.



A rather expensive, but quite good looking videogame upscaler, which promises to give you amazing CRT style reproduction, so long as you have a 4K TV to play them on.
Linus (LTT) gave it a go, and his video shows all manner of coolness.
.. Would've liked a few more close-up/magnified clips, though. That's where I tend to see a big difference.

Crazy Weather

The UK weather's certainly gone through the ringers, this week.
Snow, Blizzards, Wind, Tornadoes, Flooding and general storms in between.
If you're in the UK, I certainly hope your property's stood up to the rigours of the past week.

AI Stuffage


Matt Wolff found a lovely new Art generator the other day. One of those "train your face" style engines that works well enough.
I was kinda surprised to find that, given enough pictures of Greenie, it managed to find just the right art style, and can now draw Greenies staggeringly well.

AI Music

The Suno/Bing music generator continues to impress me.
Flinging text into a box, hitting Go, and getting back a fairly decent quality piece of freshly generated music, with singing, is just plain wrong!!!


Blockman Blast

This week, I made a new Blockman game.
After a heck of a long time faffing about with all number of different mechanics, the idea of digging tunnels suddenly sprang to mind, and I managed to find a nice balance between being all-too-powerful creating your own escape routes, and actually struggling to collect all of the pellets in a maze.
A desperate amount of to-and-fro'ing was done, trying to get that balance just right.
With those pesky randomised levels being part of the deal, it became ever more difficult to find a good enough amount of power that each pellet gave.
In the end, I opted to occasionally spawn a super-powerup in the middle of the level, which gives full "Blast" power, and that helped the gameplay reach the perfect amount of power-uppiness, with the constant barrage of Other-You's being enough of a deterrent from it being "too" powerful.

Hopefully the end result is nice and playable.


This week's ALChoon is all about Destiny.
And Fate.
And choosing your own Destiny.
But should that be Fate?
Which are you supposed to be able to choose?
Bing suggested it's the way 'round that I wrote in the lyrics, so I'm happy with that.
But what do you think? Have I got that the right way 'round?!


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, and I'll pick out a few for next week's Newsletter.

"Princess Peach typing furiously into an old 8-bit computer"

"Cartoon @Derek fixing a broken window in his bungalow"

"Stylised chibi Parappa, Anime by Gainax, cute, kawaii"

"Logo for Tomb Raider Radio, the best 1980s pop radio station."



Pakz posted a link to a ZX Spectrum Raytracer, so Jay took the time to tweak the code and get it to run in JSE.
It didn't take too much poking or prodding, and it got there in the end.
The version-one edition does indeed look damn near identical to the screenshot of the Speccy version shown on the site, but then Jay broke it, and ended up having to fudge together a slightly different variation for version two, with the lighting added.

He hasn't attempted to add Shadows yet.
Lazy Jay

Can you expand on this code?
Can you optimise it so it doesn't take 20 seconds to render an incredibly simple 320x240 screen with 4 balls in it?
Let us know in the comments!

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