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Ok, the full version of Side Blaster is now finally ready. :)

http://m484games.ucoz.com/index/side_blaster/0-36

There are now 3 levels: "Desert" , "Space" and "Alien Planet", each of which have unique enemies, tilesets and end-of level bosses.

Also I'll soon release all graphics and sounds of this game into the public domain (CC0), first I just need to re-organize them a little bit, and then I'll upload them here and into OpenGameArt as well.

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This has been a surprisingly long game project, I started making this when the M484GCS was still at Version 2.0, and I used this game as a "test project", testing new features of the different engine versions with it, but never having the time to actually finish it, until now.

It's just 3 levels long, but I think that is enough for it; this game started as a "technology demo", and so it shall remain; a short "example game project" and a complete set of shmup resources that people can play around with.

A lot of important lessons have been learned during the development of this little shmup, such as that one should always have clear plans written down on things like Level Design, Gameplay, weapons and enemy movement pattern design, and that stuff...with this game I just made everything "on the go", without any plans, and so I went on like: "let's put a wall there", "maybe 3 turrets here", "this enemy type has not yet appeared, so it must come now before the screen limit runs out" and "let's put more fighters here so that player doesn't get bored"...and while the end result works quite OK, it probably could have been better with some planning.

But anyways, I'm satisfied with the end product, the game is OK and fills it purpose.

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Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-03-22 | Comments (0)


I have now disabled "Guest" comment ability on these blog posts and in the Photo Albums, because it would seem that some spamming robots can quite easily get through the CAPTCHA code that was shown to Guests...I just removed over 20 spamming messages from the Photo Albums. :)

And luckily I noticed this in time, otherwise there would have soon been hundreds of spam messages...the spamming seemingly started yesterday, but now it has stopped, because guest comments have been disabled. Only registered users can now add comments.






Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-03-14 | Comments (0)







Lol:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo

So, here we have the confirmation: the computer webcams are routinely used by the intelligence agencies to spy on people. You might know the old internet saying "the FBI is watching you masturbate"...well, now it's finally official. :D

I wonder how many people, between the years 2008-2010, have been masturbating, or have been naked (for any reason), in the front of their computer, or have had intimate video chats with someone...or have had sex in their bedrooms, with their computer+webcam (or a laptop with an inbuilt camera) situated on a nearby table?

Well, we don't have to guess anymore, because our brave anti-terrorist forces in the NSA and GCHQ have been, without us even knowing it, furiously gathering statistics on these matters lol. :D

According to the linked Guardian article, only Yahoo webcam chats were (and are still being) spied upon...But I suspect that this thing is far more widespread; every webcam/camera on any computer/laptop/tablet/cellphone can be used as a spying device. Only a fool would believe otherwise...

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And who is targeted by this webcam spying?
Everyone! :D

"GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not."

"In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally."

What, say that again! Does that mean that in 2008 alone 1.8 Million Yahoo users were caught masturbating? O_O

This is just awful, shame on you, think about the shock of the average GCHQ agent, who is trying to do his job: looking for terrorists from webcam feeds, when suddenly he is ambushed by your dirty wanking sessions. :O

And indeed:

"The documents also chronicle GCHQ's sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff, though there is little discussion about the privacy implications of storing this material in the first place."

"Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: "Unfortunately it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person..."


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But why was this webcam spying started in the first place?

" Bulk surveillance on Yahoo users was begun, the documents said, because "Yahoo webcam is known to be used by GCHQ targets" "

Bingo!
The name is Bond, James Bond. :D

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And also here we got a comfirmation to my earlier ramblings about the Xbox 360 Kinect camera thing:

"While the documents do not detail efforts as widescale as those against Yahoo users, one presentation discusses with interest the potential and capabilities of the Xbox 360's Kinect camera, saying it generated "fairly normal webcam traffic" and was being evaluated as part of a wider program."

Notice the sentence "as part of a wider program"...integrating the millions of Xbox cameras into their spy program is simply just "one part" of it...

Personally I believe that in addition to game consoles and computers, these guys see every device which has a camera function in it (or that has the theoretical capability to host one) as a potential resource where to expand their spy program.

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For now the normal people can still evade this type of computer webcam spying: simply cover the camera with something, such as a sticker...

But in the future, if the "Bad Guys Win" scenario comes true, we can assume that advanced cameras and facial recognition technologies will be by default embedded and integrated into all computers (and into many other things), meaning that they won't work unless they constantly see the users face...if you cover the camera with a sticker or try some other trick, the device will simply lock itself or goes into "sleep mode" or something like that. And so all online (and offline) activities can always be linked into a certain person. A strict technology monopoly 100% controlled by the "big players", with 100% integration with spy agencies, no alternatives.

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Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-02-28 | Comments (0)


So, we have now reached the last week of February...
And after joining PixelJoint at the start of this month, I have now been sidetracked from my original goals; instead of finishing my game projects I have just drawn pixel art pictures and participated in art challenges. :D

But the time wasn't wasted; during this one month I have made 6 pictures and some game sprites too. :)

Here are all the 6 pictures I have made during the last 4 weeks:

Turbo Race



Wizard vs FireSoul



Peach Leaves Mario



Paladin in Trouble



Beaches of Texentown



Ice Colony



I would say that the quality varies from good to average, with that "Turbo Race" picture being the best of them.

I have now also added a "Pixel Art" and "Random Pictures" sections to the "Photo Albums" here:
http://m484games.ucoz.com/photo

But when I make new pictures and game graphics, in most cases I always first put them to my OpenGameArt and PixelJoint galleries, and then some time later I eventually add them to this site as well...the reason for this is that through OGA and PJ my works get a lot more attention, while this my own website is more like a "personal blog" and a place where I can keep my downloads. :)

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And also, as some of you may have noticed, earlier this month I changed the "licenses" of all my free game graphics sets:
http://m484games.ucoz.com/index/m484_free_graphics/0-37

All of them are now released as "CC0", which means that they're now 100% in the Public Domain, free of all copyrights (or as free as the law permits them to be), and can be used freely without giving me credit. This I hope will maximize the value and usefulness of the graphics that I have made, and will make in the future.

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Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-02-24 | Comments (0)



-------------------------------------
M484GCS Version 8.2 Released
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Ok, here is the M484GCS version 8.2 :
http://m484games.ucoz.com/index/m484gcs/0-34

This is the second quick mini-update (8.1 was the first one).
It brings us a series of small "tweaks", most of which deal with the Player Object.

Amongst these are 3 new "advanced fine tuning options" such as:
- "LIFETIME TR FORCED NEW DIRECTION"
- "PLAYER RESURRECTION START DIRECTION"
- "DISABLE TRANSFORM IF PLAYER OBJ ID IS X"

Also I added one new "Shooting Method" called "SHOTS DISABLED"...This will prevent all shots from the object, including Player Sub Weapon Shots...

I'll post the complete version history report to the forum.

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So, now the first month of 2014 has passed (+one week of this month) , and I would say that we are on schedule...
The end result of January was:  Made one small game (Candy Heads), and also made good progress on the secret "co-operation game project" (details coming soon), and also made these two small version upgrades to the M484GCS...looking good. :)

Should have no problems to reach the "3 new games at the end of March" goal that I set at the beginning of this year. :)

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And also, I have recently joined PixelJoint, here's my profile there:
http://www.pixeljoint.com/p/46165.htm

I think I'll mainly post my "paintings" there, such as this one that I made a few days ago:



"Ice Colony" - 250*150 Pixels and 8 colors: White + 7 different hues of cyan.







Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-02-07 | Comments (0)





A new M484GCS game has been released, Candy Heads - Apple Scroll Fighters Saga:
http://m484games.ucoz.com/index/candy_heads/0-41


It's a short "crazy shmup" that I made for the CandyJam game jam:
http://itch.io/jam/candyjam

The idea of this CandyJam is to make lots of games which use the word "candy" in the title. :D

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And for those who don't already know, a company called "King.com" has recently trademarked the word "candy". :D
You can read more about this thing here:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/21/stealing-candy-from-babies-king-embrace-the-aristocracy/

----
In short, the story is this:
King owns this one popular game: "Candy Crush Saga".
And in fact it's so popular, that King now thinks they own the word "candy" when it comes to videogames. :D
So from now on, anyone making a game with the word "candy" in the title might be infringing on King's trademark.
----

And this of course effectively "bans" the usage of the word "candy".
No-one would dare to use this word anymore if that might cause possible legal problems for them.

Which of course is problematic if your game somehow deals with "candy".
How can you make a "candy game" without using the word "candy"?

But look: there is one other word that we can still use: "SWEETS". :D
Look how generous they were; they still left us the word "sweets". :)

But now that I think about it, maybe "sweets" is actually something of a "cheap word", something that the "common folk" would use, while "candy" is a more "premium word", reserved for the upper class...the common folk is not worthy of the word "candy"; when talking about the sugary-eatable-things we must only use the word "sweets".

But if someone would decide to trademark "sweets" as well, then there would be no words left for us...
From that point onwards only the trademark holders of "candy" and "sweet/sweets" could safely make candy-themed games...
All others would no longer have "safe" words to describe their candy games, and so they couldn't make them.

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What we are seeing here is censorship of commonplace words, so that one giant company can maximize it's profits and kick competition out of the market.
And if they are successful, then others will surely follow...all sorts of words could end up being trademarked, such as "birds", "space", "clans", "bug", "star", "poker", "slots", "fast", "speed", "heroes", "magic", "story" and so on...
Because if one company is allowed to do it, then other companies will soon join, grabbing common words that they might see as their "intellectual property".

And so, we would end up in a situation where almost every word is someone's "intellectual property" and has been trademarked.
A small group of multinational corporations, who own the Rights to every single word people write, say or use...
You can use any words you want...if you can afford it.

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Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-01-27 | Comments (0)


--------------------------------------
M484GCS Version 8.1 Released

----------------------------------------------

http://m484games.ucoz.com/index/m484gcs/0-34

This is an important bug fix update which repairs 10 bugs.
Some of them were old bugs that have been there since V1, and some were newer ones that I discovered soon after continuing my game projects at the beginning of this month.

Problems fixed in this update include: The flashing "empty block" bug, broken inheritance flags in "Data Page 5" and the "Delay 1 = No Delay at all"-logic error in all Movement/Animation/Shot Delays, + many others.

---

Also it now seems that the previous version (8.0) had a nasty "frame skip" problem, which was caused by the new "VWait:Flip False"-command pair that replaced the old "Flip"-method...
What happened is that in some (hopefully) rare cases there was a strange "frame skip" issue; objects seemed to "jump", as if the frame rate would make small changes constantly and smooth looking movement was lost.

I'm not sure what exactly caused this phenomenon, but it was clearly related to the "VWait:Flip False"-method; so I have now changed the commands back to the normal "Flip", which seems to work fine.

As an afterthought, maybe the reason for the problem was some kind of "WaitTimer" + "VWait" side effect; combined use of these commands might have caused some frames to be "lost"...but I don't know for sure.

So, if anyone has experienced this "frame skip" problem in V8.0, then upgrading to V8.1 will fix it.

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---

Also, most likely there will be yet another small upgrade coming to the M484GCS in a few weeks time...
I'm currently trying to finish one co-operation game project with one of my friends, and in order to make certain features of this game work properly, some small things still need to be added to the program. So most likely Version 8.2 is not so far away...
And actually I considered delaying this release (V8.1) for a few weeks more and then make one bigger upgrade. But I decided to release V8.1 right now because there are so many important bug fixes in it, and because the release schedule of V8.2 is still uncertain (estimate is few weeks, but who knows how much stuff will be added to it, so it could easily take longer than that).

So, upgrade to V8.1 everyone, and then wait for V8.2 and great demo games. :)







Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-01-17 | Comments (0)



Check this out, there is now an Avaaz petition for Basic Income:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/our_chance_to_end_poverty/


If you want to support the cause, then Sign it and spread the word. :)

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Also, here is a small update on my projects:

I have now decided to first make another small bug fix update to the M484GCS before I continue my game projects. I simply encountered so many problems again, that it's better to fix them now.

The new version (8.1) is already almost ready and will be released quite soon.

And after that I'll again return to the game projects, and will concentrate on them for a few months, like I originally planned. :)








Added by: Master484 | Date: 2014-01-11 | Comments (0)



So, there went another Christmas. :)

As presents, I got 20 pairs of socks and a new pillow. :D

The socks are very useful, I have found that all my socks break quite easily, even though I don't move so much.
But now I have a good stockpile of them. :)

And also the pillow is cool: big, white and soft. A good present for someone who sleeps a lot;
My brain is big and wise, and I need to rest it often to avoid overheating. :D

And as usual, I also got some chocolate:
A long brown box with the word "Fazerina" in it, but the contents are barely edible lol.
And also I got some sort of "peanut bags" filled with stuff like: salted peanuts + salted raisins + chocolate covered peanuts + cashew peanuts etc...Too bad I don't see any squirrels outside right now, they would probably love this shit. :D

But maybe I could donate the peanuts to Trussell Trust, which could then give them to the hungry British people:



http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.fi/2013/12/21st-century-poverty-tory-comedy.html

Because it would now seem that there is a food emergency in the UK, and things are expected to turn into an actual famine next year. :(

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And also the UK "esoteric content" internet censorship thing should now be turning into "active" status if I have understood correctly.
So let's see if M484 Games gets added into the "block list" too.
I can't know if/when this will happen, because I'm located in Finland, but if someone who lives in the UK notices that my site is blocked by the new "censorship firewall", then I would like to hear a confirmation about it.

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And about my software projects:

I have basically just rested this whole month, so all my projects have been in the "pause mode".

But when 2014 now starts, I'm planning to go active again. :)
The plan is to use the first 2 or 3 months solely into getting some M484GCS Games released.
During December I have made some additional gfx for "Side Blaster"; enough for 3 Levels...so I can now finish this game and release it as a "full game" instead of the current "demo version".
And after that I'm planning to make a few other smaller "full games", possibly using the automatic "procedural level creation" trick, in the hopes of achieving fast results.
And also there is that one secret co-operation game project, which hopefully also gets finished at some point. :)

Here is one robot that I made for Side Blaster, this will be the Boss of Level 2 I think:



So, when March 2014 comes, I should have about 3 new games released, maybe more if we're lucky.
Let's see how this plan goes. :)

And after this, I'll most likely make another update to the Numegalogy: Version 4 has been planned for some time now, and most likely I'll do it after this "game rush". :)

And after that, I don't know to what I'll turn my focus into, too early to say.

But anyways, this all means that most likely the M484 Game Creation System itself won't be getting a next upgrade until May 2014. Only if critical bugs are found, they'll be fixed (and we may in fact have one, check bug section of the forum), but otherwise I think it'll now take 4 months or so before the next major upgrade for the M484GCS is released.

But don't worry, I'll continue the project once I get all this other stuff done. :)

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Added by: Master484 | Date: 2013-12-26 | Comments (1)



This is an interesting case:
http://falkvinge.net/2013/12/17/swedish-man-sentenced-to-half-million-euro-in-damages-for-sharing-one-movie/

A man in Sweden has been convicted for sharing one movie on the internet and gets a fine of about 500 000 euros.

Usually fines in these cases aren't this high, but here we are seemingly witnessing a new "calculating logic"...

In most cases I think that they calculate some sort of imagined "loss of profit" amount that the copyright holders might have suffered because all these X amount of people who now watched the movie for free on the internet, might have instead bought it if the free version wouldn't have been made available by the convicted person.

But in this case
we see a new type of "loss of profit" speculation, which goes like this:
The person who shared this one movie for free, instead theoretically possibly actually might have bought official distribution rights to the movie instead of sharing it without permission. :D
And the list price of official distribution rights for this particular movie was about 500 000 euros.
So they give the person a fine of 500 000 euros. :D

But I guess that this is still just a normal fine; even if the person in question would somehow pay it, he still wouldn't have any distribution rights to the actual movie, only the fine would be paid.

So, the "logic of the law" here is this:
Because this man shared this one movie without buying an official distribution license from the copyright holders, the copyright holders have now made an imaginary loss of 500 000 euros, and the man in question must now pay to them this amount. :D

This is really a hilarious verdict. :D
This stuff is something that you might expect to come out from the mouths of the penguins of the "Dark Court" in the game Disgaea 2 lol.

But sadly, this is reality.

I'm speechless.

And I don't know if this is a right moment to post this song, but here goes:



:D

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Also, some days ago we had Independence Day here in Finland.

Here is some footage from the festivities:






Ice hockey is a very popular sport in Finland; this is why they swing those sticks in the air. :D







Added by: Master484 | Date: 2013-12-18 | Comments (0)

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