January 2011

Submitted By: DJ Omnimaga Date: January 29, 2011, 08:26:24 pm Views: 745


January 2011
Volume 1, Issue 1


Introduction:
The Omnimaga team has decided to start a (monthly?) newsletter about community breakthroughs as well as major calculator game and development tool projects updates.  While final major releases will have their own news article, this newsletter is meant to provide an up-to-date of community news altogether.

Doom to the Nspire!
When Ndless was released on ticalc.org just under a year ago, a commenter in the original news article predicted, "Now about only 4 to 12 months for the good games to start rolling out."  Although many of the programs released for the Nspire since this time have shown the calculator's true power, such as gbc4nspire, and NESpire, no individual games were released that unearthed the true brute power of the TI-Nspire.  Bwang had a strong start in brining truly powerful 3D games to the Nspire with his raycaster, Ncaster, but, sadly, this project has not made any progress in the past few months.  Although development on bwang's raycater may have stopped, great Nspire programming is still progressing with the announcement of a new Nspire project nDoom from new Omnimaga member Mrakoplaz.  Although the game is still in alpha stages, it is already showing great power.  Full support is planed for all Doom .wad files, bringing great diversity to this already amazing game!  Likewise, many screenshots and several alpha versions have been released, which can be found in the nDoom thread on Omnimaga.  We wish Mrakoplaz success in developing this amazing game for the TI-Nspire and we hope to see new progress on it in the coming weeks! :-)

Cemetech's gCn
KermMartian, after much hard work, has created a multi-calc linking system called CALCnet.  And more recently, he has followed up with gCn, the first and only way to connect a calculator to the internet.  Two weeks ago, gCn has enabled the first calculator ever to connect to IRC, on #cemetech.  Since then, several other people have successfully connected to IRC via their trusty TI-83+/84+/SE's.  And A few days ago, Kerm has made a Scorched Earth clone for gCn.  What will these amazing breakthroughs that no one had thought possible before mean for the future of TI-Calculators?

Major Axe Release Planned
Axe's 1 year anniversary is drawing near, and Quigibo, its developer, is planning for a release on Feburary 1st.  It is thanks to such innovative members of the TI Community such that we can have ever better programming utilities, leading to even more games.

Casio PRIZM Hacking and Casio Community
Omnimaga has brought the Casio and TI communities closer together than ever.  We have seen many Casio-owners joining, and even some Casio-only members.  Omnimaga also has a rapidly growing Casio Subforum.  Many people are determined to hack the Casio PRIZM, and are eagerly scanning it for features and ways to make it better.  A Prizm Wiki has been set up here thanks to Qwerty.55 and other Prizm enthusiasts such as Z80man, FinaleTI, and our founder DJ Omnimaga.

Growing Community and Higher Activity
Since 2011 started, the TI community activity has remained very high. Omnimaga and Cemetech are still in the 3 digits in terms of daily post rate, United-TI, TI-Basic Developer and yAronet 68K board seem to be enjoying a revival, despite this period of the year normally being quiet, and TI-BANK activity is remaining constant. On the development side, many projects are still active or being finished.

Featured Topic: RPG Rampage
Omnimaga originally started with a serious focus on calc RPGs, with DJ Omnimaga being the author of the famous Illusiat, Reuben Quest, and Reign of Legends series. Eventually, the site moved away from this focus, but over the past few days there has been a tremendous upsurge of progress and announcements of new RPGs (many of them written in Axe) within our community:
 -Binder News has started up an RPG/platformer called the 4th Dimension: it's twist being that you can travel back and forth between the dimensions and change playing styles as well. "You are Zed, a denezin of the first dimension. Everyting here is a line because it is all one-dimensional... Everyday is the same, get up, work, go home, sleep. Nothing ever changes, until now." The game is still in early development, but looks quite promising.
 -c.sprinkle is working on a 4 lvl grayscale RPG: Inferno: Valanie's Promise, which currently features a fully functional scrolling tilemapper and a plot-wise departure from typical RPGS; namely, you're 38, and there's no magic!"Opening a clothes drawer, you throw out the clothes, and remove a sword. Shining brilliantly, its blade is as sharp as ever. You swing it experimentally, then, satisfied, leave the house. With a look of grim determination on your face, you leave along the road. Pausing for a moment, you look once more at your wife's fresh grave, then turn to go."
 -kindermoumonte has just began work on another grayscale RPG, this one featuring a Christmas theme: A Present at Any Price
 -Ashbad has also recently begun to revamp his 'dream RPG' Trio and Niko:Falling. It, deviating from the others mentioned here, is a ARPG with goodly 4 level grayscale, sword-swinging, block-pushing, and blob killing action! It looks to be a very promsing zelda-style game, the likes of which so far are rare for the TI-83/84+ series
 -Yunhua98 is now working on a three level grayscale RPG named Gateways: Portals of Time "You come from a the noble family of Regulus.  You have been chosen to descend from the heavens and extract the evil spirit from the Alpha without harming him.  The stars will guide you and your sword from the heavens will defend you.  There are five Time Portals hidden where none but the bravest men on the Earth will dare journey to.  These Portals will be crucial to your success.  Good luck, Traveler..."

Meanwhile, several older RPGs are still undergoing active development:
 -Iambian has rebooted Escheron: Shadow over Ragnoth, "a full 4-level grayscale RPG for the 15MHz calc series (TI-83 Plus SE, TI-84+, and TI-84+SE), written in Z80 ASM and packaged as a multi-paged Flash Application." Probably one of the most gorgeous looking RPGs ever. Period.
 -squidgetx continues to work on his RPG Axe project Ash:Phoenix, whose engine is practically complete with over 90 items, and over 100 moves. You can download a (sort of) functional beta here
 -FinaleTI is steadily working on his Axe RPG (the first) Nostalgia. This game allows the player to dimension switch between the ASCII and the graphical world in order to solve puzzles and complete other tasks.
 -tifreak8x is still working (after over 5 years, no less!) on a TI BASIC version of Pokemon: Pokemon Purple

Dormant Projects?:
 -Meanwhile, BuckeyeDude's z80 ASM project to clone Pokemon Red looks quite promising, as does FinaleTI's Axe Pokemon clone Pokemon TI. They both feature the exact graphics of the original, and Buckeye's features a fully functional battle engine. However, they both haven't any updates since the new year.
 -ZTrumpet and Builderboy also are steadily working on amazing looking BASIC dual-layer ASCII RPGs, Elmgon and Serenity, respectively. They are more in the style of platformer RPGs, and so far have several cool features. In Builderboy's case, there are levitation powers, grappling hooks, and more! Ztrumpet's plans to feature a deep battle engine, with multiple moves and over 100 enemies!
Hopefully they will pick up again soon; the authors have reported that they are mainly busy with some other projects as well as some "under the hood fixes" :-)

Additionally, Raylin's popular Cage Matches have recently started a new round; one in TI BASIC; and one in which everyone can participate. In addition to the RPGs mentioned above, there are many in development for this cage match (although they are supposed to be secret ;-)) FinaleTI's so far features a fully-graphical map engine, Qwerty.55 has gone for a more nostalgic ASCII style of graphics, ZTrumpet has a Metroid Pi inspired design, while others are being more secretive about their entries... ;-)

We wish these projects good luck, and look forward to playing them upon their releases.

Credits
Yunhua98 - CGPN founder
Apcalc - Contributor
DJ Omnimaga - Contributor
Squidgetx - Contributor
All Coders of Tomorrow and Managers - Editing, Formatting, Ideas, and Support

Miscellaneous
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