TI-84 Plus CSE POTY voting begins

The fate of the TI-83+/84+ POTY candidates is now sealed, and we begin the week of TI-84+ CSE voting. Yes, even the lowly CSE has a couple of contenders this year, a one-on-one match between Descent Delivery (which is 83+/84+-, CSE-, and CE-compatible and thus participates in all three POTY categories) and Sorcery of Uvutu. As always, your votes on the survey this week will determine the winner. Let the battle begin!

POTY contest 2017 begins, starting with the TI-83+/84+

Hey, everyone! I'm back to announce the commencement of this year's Program of the Year contest. Our trusty news editor has decided on the list of this year's features, we've checked it twice, but it's up to you, the community, to decide which entry is nice enough to win the POTY award!

Xavier (a.k.a. Critor) has done a lot of work to provide us with a well-balanced list of candidates, old and new, for the popular POTY categories. Now it's time to have some fun. We'll start this week with the TI-83 Plus / 84 Plus category. The poll, as always, is on the right sidebar on the front page (I mean, no one ever moved it, so it'd have to be there, right?). So, go ahead and sign up if you don't already have an account, join in on the calculator fun, and finally cast your ballot for the best all-around 83+/84+ program. The candidates are:

Next week: the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition!

Solitaire games for your TI-68k calculators ? We've got you covered

Let's highlight a recent upload for the 89/89T, which reminds of an older piece of work for the same platform. Both are variants of Solitaire... not that calculator owners need to be really lonely to play them, of course ;-)

Another game recently found again by David Randall was rebuilt and has become available: Pyramid Solitaire 89 is a solitaire variant whose goal is to remove values of 13 at a time, either as a pair of cards whose sum of the values is 13, or as a single Kings card. There's a pile of cards to help you with that goal when you can't directly match cards, but beware: you can only rotate it a limited number of times, configurable at the beginning of the game, at most 9. Maybe David will make a 92+/V200 version of the game, like he recently did for Jumpman?

More than five years and a half ago, Andrew Vauter implemented many variants of Solitaire in a single program, publishing it a under the Solitaire Suite name. 4 Klondike, 4 Canfield, 3 Golf (+ custom parameters for each) and 1 Freecell. The rest of the game's operation, including the UI (e.g. spacing between cards), is highly customizable. There are also interesting extra features like saving / restoring the game, a virtual money system that can persist across plays, a timer which increases as you play, full-game undo buffer, etc.

Both games feature grayscale graphics, using slightly different styles. The 89/89T have enough pixels for relatively fine-grained details to be visible.

A couple more games, this time in TI-Basic

We mainly produce news items about programs written in native code, but there is work and even some form of inventiveness in pure or extended TI-Basic programs.

The recent Descent Delivery, again by Josiah "JWinslow23" Winslow, is noteworthy in that the code of the single pure TI-Basic program is written to adapt to the whole family of (semi-)recent models, from the 83+ to the TI-eZ80 series (CE) through the 84+CSE, which is relatively infrequent: some programmers don't attempt to target both monochrome and color calculators, and others do it through multiple programs. Throughout 15 levels at present, the game's principle is to push a packaging box from its original location to the target delivery truck, through a series of segments delimited by walls, taking advantage of some items while avoiding others. There are blurbs of text at the beginning, and after solving every level... but let's not give away the story they tell ;)

In 2016, Kevin "xlibman" Ouéllet reimplemented another game from Josiah Winslow for the PC and Atari 2600 in extended TI-Basic for the TI-eZ80 series, yielding Wal-Rush! CE. As you can see in the screenshot, the game's goal is to guide the flying walrus on a fish-eating quest, while avoiding spikes and mines, and of course the clam and the cloud levels the bottom and top of screen. The older version of the game manages to use CE TextLib in creative ways to display a whole screen of non-text content - good job bending it to his will. The newer version, which uses the Sprites library by "grosged" (you need Sprites version 3.3, the latest one at the time of this writing) like the previously featured GalagACE, displays faster and more detailed graphics, shown in the screenshot below.

Are you puzzled by the TI-68k uploads? Let's look at some old ones...

Olivier "sangui" Sangala is no stranger to news features here: several of his TI-68k works, mostly ASM games written in C, were highlighted in the past. Nevertheless, a decade later, he remains one of the most productive authors in our archives, through small but attractive and sometimes addicting (mainly) puzzle and board games. Therefore, let's dig a bit deeper into his large collection :)

  • CarOut will make you sweat a fair bit trying to let a car get out of 60 more or less complex traffic jams on a 6x6 grid. The first few levels will let you warm up and prepare for later, on average harder situations, where you need to move back and forth the target car and the blockers. You'll find that some cars which are not, at first, obviously in need of a move, prove to be roadblocks later.
  • Sokoban isn't the only grayscale calculator-based reimplementation of the original Sokoban game from the early 1980s, whose principle is pushing a set of boxes, one at a time, from their initial respective places to a small set of destination places, through a more or less complex maze. Pulling these boxes is impossible, so cornering boxes (or blocking yourself between boxes) would make you eventually lose the game... that is, without the multi-step take back feature, a must have for canceling out your typos or thinkos. Without that feature, the game would be really annoying for the many levels which require hundreds of moves. What also sets this game apart from most other implementations for calculators is the breadth of the level set: a whopping total of 2750 levels (!) converted from sets made by other authors, split into 60 files of varied size. The game can work with a subset of these files. Obviously, we haven't tested, let alone solved, all levels ;-)
  • SwapMaze will require a learning phase, and careful thought, to be able to get the shuffled numbers back in ascending numerical order on a 6x6 grid, through one-at-a-time rotates of columns and lines. You'll discover patterns and antipatterns to reach your goal.

The above programs are open source, and the same binaries work on all TI-68k models (89(T)/92/V200...), which yields both higher usability and less efficient programs. They do, however, not feature count-up / count-down timers, persistent highscores or savegames (merely a key to turn the calculator off), so they're not the best suited for playing short, split periods of time.

More emulators for the Nspire CX

Over the past few years, gameblabla has proved to be another productive programmer, focusing on native code programs for the Nspire. All of his 16 programs currently available from our archives are in the Nspire assembly games section. About half of them are emulators for other platforms, which significantly widened the set of games readily available for the Nspire (mainly color) series. Some of them perform best when overclocking the calculator, which can be done through software means.

Let's review his favorite programs, which have not necessarily been the most popular ones so far:

  • Temper emulates a late 1980s 8-bit PC engine games console from NEC, with support for the improved (but unpopular) SuperGrafx variant. CD games work as long as the CD audio (CDDA) tracks are manually removed. The emulation of the multi-chip video processors, as well as other hardware aspects, is taxing the Nspire CPU's resources: the program is therefore not blazingly fast, but still usually usable nevertheless.
  • PocketSNES emulates the slightly newer, highly popular 16-bit Super NES console from the early 1990s, and thereby gives access to many hit games from the 1990s on the Nspire CX platform. At some point, gameblabla asserted that a fast SNES emulator would not be possible on that platform, but he later proceeded to prove himself wrong with this PocketSNES port: at least one of the emulation cores can achieve good performance, at the expense of compatibility in more or less corner cases. For instance, Super OiramMario World, one of the most popular SNES games, has been shown to run at full speed on highly overclocked Nspire CX (CAS) calculators.
  • SMS Plus emulates one of the competitors of the NES, namely the older 8-bit Short Message Service Sega Master System, which was first released in the 1980s but remained popular well into the 2000s in some countries, and a derivative of the Master System, the Game Gear handheld (a rival of the original Game Boy, but with a backlit color screen). They use a Z80 processor, like some of our beloved TI calculators. With SMS Plus, you can play one of the original implementations of Sonic, a port of Street Fighter II, or a number of other titles from a sizable collection, at good speed. While it's not as good as that of older TI calculator models, the Nspire's battery life is normally higher than that of the Game Gear, and it uses a rechargeable battery :)

If you enjoy emulators, you can check out the other ones in gameblabla's collection.

Yet a few more Axe games for the monochrome 83+/84+

We already featured some calculator clones of popular desktop / smartphone games in the past, e.g. Flappy Birds. Let's highlight several more clones of small games, all of them for the monochrome 83+/84+ family, written in Axe, and displaying grayscale graphics, by Josiah "JWinslow23" Winslow and Deep Thought.
  • TI-2048 is among the more advanced versions of the game where you need to shuffle (and hopefully stack) tiles whose values are powers of two, to generate tiles of the next power of two, until the 2048 tile appears. This is much easier said than done, as the tile map is only 4x4, and a tile of low value appears randomly upon every single move. Even if you manage to get a 1024 tile, you're still a long ways off producing a 2048 tile; as such, the game can be quite addictive (or frustrating). In this version of 2048, all of highscores, animations, custom font and saving/restoring the game are implemented.
  • In Shutdown Deluxe, a Lights Out clone, you need to turn off the lights in a 6x6 grid, either fully lit or partially lit at random. Obviously, you're not turning them off the easy way (what did you expect, exactly? ;-) ): changing the state of any of the lights affects its neighbours' state, too. The game can always be won, FWIW.
  • PapiJump is a simplistic platformer whose goal is jumping as high as possible, without falling off below the bottom of the screen outside a platform. In the beginning, it's easy, but as platforms become scarcer, the number of possible paths decreases to 1... then eventually 0. Sorry, unlike the two other games, this one can't be won. The parallax scrolling over the background gives a nicer touch, graphics would be blander without it.

A small sample of a large Nspire Lua program collection

Here's something we haven't done in a while: a feature that's not entirely about games! In case you didn't know, your beloved (hopefully) ticalc.org does indeed host math and science programs as well :) But hey, let's not go "full serious", we'll also have some games in this article...
Several authors are quite productive in a specific category of programs; Rolf Pütter is one of them. Currently, out of his 86 uploaded files, 77 are for the TI-Nspire series, and 72 of those are programmed in Nspire-Lua ("only" a third are games). It was hard to choose what to showcase here, as the quality of many programs is impressive, but when asked, he wrote us about his favorites, so let's review them here:

  • Network Flow: a nice utility program about graph theory that college students may find very useful: you enter a directed weighted graph, with a source and a sink (you'll get a flow network, also known as a "transportation network"); the program will then compute a maximal flow and a minimal cut, by the method of Ford-Fulkerson. Everything is done graphically for an optimal UX, but be sure to read the included text file to know more about what it's capable of handling and the various key bindings to navigate and enter data.
  • Game of Hex... is the game invented by Piet Hein and John Nash back in the 1940s. Here's a quick overview: playing on a 9x9 rhomboidal board with... hexagonal cells (surprise!), two players, red and blue, take turns picking an empty cell to capture it with their color. Each player's goal is to reach the other side (upper/lower for red, left/right for blue) with an unbroken link. The game comes with an AI to play against, which can take either role. Funnily enough, it's been proven that the game cannot result in a tie, and you'll very probably never run out of combinations, so have fun!
  • Dots and Boxes Two players, once again red and blue, take turns connecting grid points... This time creating horizontal or vertical line segments. The player drawing a 1x1 box by closing its fourth edge now owns that box, which gets marked with their initials. The player can then move again. The game finishes when no more lines can be drawn, and the winner is whoever has the most boxes. Easy, right? Well... why don't you try playing and judging yourself... :) Let's note that you can choose from a 2x2 board up to a 6x6 one.

Enjoy, and don't forget to take a look all Rolf's other programs, he's created some very cool math ones!

Star Trek in Alpha (Finally)

At long last, and I'm sure to the surprise of many, the Star Trek Multiplayer game I've long talked about is out... in pre-alpha. Admittedly, this game still has much to go, but I think that this is newsworthy enough to denote it in ClrHome's news feed.

As of now, the game has a simple UI with healthbars to indicate the health of each system. Basic shields function as intended. Structural integrity is a bit of a weird system. While it remains at above 50%, any damage making it through the shields is dealt to the ship normally (with a fraction of it being dealt to structural integrity as well). However, if hull integrity falls below 50%, 25%, and 10%, the damage is increasingly multiplied by 150%. Thus, a ship with a more damaged hull will incur more internal damage as well.

Enjoy some screenshots of the current progress and stay tuned to this news feed and the official Star Trek MP project page at http://clrhome.org/startrek for more updates.


Résultats des 7 Days CPC 23

Bienvenue à vous ! Aujourd'hui, on bat le record des tests de CPC rendus avec le délai le plus abusif. Il est donc inutile de vous faire patienter plus. Le grand gagnant du CPC #23 selon les tests que Totoyo et moi-même avont conduits est... http://www.planet-casio.com/files/program_images/3330-Calc_Wars.png Calc Wars de Zezombye ! Félicitations à lui pour avoir remporté son premier CPC ! Il gagne une Graph 75+E généreusement offerte par Casio Education. ;) 7 autres candida...

Venez participer à Galactik !

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CASIO a 60 ans !

Et pour cette occasion, jusqu'au trois septembre à 23 heures, CASIO organise un concours sur sa page Facebook pour tenter de gagner une Graph 90+E (ou autres produits japonais) ! Si vous avez un compte Facebook, déjà, désolé, et il vous suffit de donner les cinq différences entre ces deux images de CASIO 14-A, et de commenter l'image dont le lien est ci-dessus. L'énoncé précise qu'aimer et partager ce post augmente ses chances, mais c'est vous qui voyez ;) https://scontent-lht6-...

La revue des projets - 102

Bien le bonjour à tous et toutes ! Nous voici rassemblé (autour de la table) pour ce rendez-vous dominical hebdomadaire. En effet, la tradition se perd néamoins elle demeure dans le coeur de grands et valeureux programmeurs, qui nous montrent leurs progrès, leurs nouveaux projets ! Et voici un projet, sorti de presque nulle part, qui avance au fil de ces RDP. BIDE v3.2 est sorti - version finale, je doute que j'ajouterai d'autres features. La feature principale est la possibilité...

Améliore ta Graph 25+ Pro/E même en mode examen

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Les 7 Days CPC n°23 commencent !

Bonsoir à tous et bienvenue sur le site 213.186.33.2 ! Vous êtes prêts à partir pour la grande aventure du concours 7 Days CPC ? Vous vous sentez prêts à vous engouffrer dans une semaine de programmation avec d’autres 213.186.33.2iens déchaînés ? Alors c'est parti, la 23 ème édition des 7 Days CPC est lancée dans l’allégresse partagée de tous les programmeurs pour calculatrices 213.186.33.5 ! Ce concours de programmation de jeu en Basic Casio dure une semaine dès maintena...

La revue des projets - 101

Bonnes vacances – STOP – Dimanche soir – STOP – Revue des Projets n°101 – STOP – Présentation premier et seul projet de programmation de la semaine – STOP – Cause probable : vacances, indisponibilité des programmeurs – STOP – Zezombye – STOP – Pour les CPC, j'ai terminé BIDE 3.0 :D L'ajout principal est la mise en place de la RSyntaxTextArea, ce qui apporte : - Une meilleure gestion du texte, dont le Ctrl+Z, et la meilleure gestion des tabulations - U...

La revue des projets - 100

Welcome everybody ! On se retrouve pour fêter la 100eme Revue Des Projets avec votre rédacteur préféré qui va vous raconter une petite histoire ! C'est l'histoire d'une idée, venue de loin, depuis quelques temps à fait son bonhomme de chemin, passée par différents chemins, s'est vue modifiée au fil du temps et dont la réalisation est presque terminée : Bien le bonjour à vous ! Comme prévu la semaine dernière, j'ai finalement publié gint et le fxSDK : vous pouvez ...

La revue des projets - 99

Bonjour à vous tous, qui êtes en vacances, en stage, en cours, en révision, au taf, en pause café ou ailleurs, mais tout de même suffisamment assidus pour lire cette revue des projets, rédigée avec amour. Aujourd'hui, pas de beau screenshot du nouveau jeu à la mode, ni du crack du mode examen tant attendu par de nombreux lycéens. Mais ce n'en est pas moins intéressant puisque c'est Lephenixnoir qui nous parle de son projet, gint. Pour rappel, gint est, à la base, un gestionnaire d'...

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Welcome Back

At long last, we've got another news post. This one serves to declare that at this moment, I have three active projects, Star Trek Multiplayer, Slender, and Polynomials AIO. All of these are for the TI-84+ CE. I was forced to discontinue development on my TI-84+ versions of these programs after mine broke.

The program with current priority is Slender. Within the next few days, you will see an updated project page. After that, I hope to release an alpha version with the ability to walk around and see the environment. To that will be added page collection, Slenderman's AI, and more.

The finished product will combine multiple maps from some of the more known PC Slenderman titles, including Slender the Arrival, Slender's Woods, and Slender Mansion into a gaming experience that adds new options alongside some of the known and loved mechanics, including an alternate ending.

Head over to the Slender Project Page to follow progress, post comments, and download new releases.

Workaround

Ever since I installed this website, we’ve got numerous complains the feed list, stored on the drive as an OPML file you can download on the site, would clear itself once in a while, leaving the website empty… “No news, good news”, yeah, more like bad news. I have no idea what causes this, but I’ve made it read-only, so that shouldn’t happen. Of course, it will cause an additional step when I’ll want to add a new feed (unlocking/relocking the OPML file with a chmod 444), but eh, it won’t delete itself now.

Welcome to calc.news!

Well, it’s been a while I wanted to do that, but I never really found the right software to do so… I present to you on this fine day of June a new news aggregator with a quite memorable URL that will put all the news from all your favourite calculator websites together on the same site! We already added the most popular ones, CodeWalrus, Omnimaga, Cemetech, TI-Planet, TICalc.org, and a few of the most popular user blogs such as ClrHome and ndlessly, if you want to add yours (as long you have a working RSS feed), or if you have a suggestion for a feature, feel free to tell us, although we’ll want to KISS (keep it simple, stupid)…

Speaking of the software, it runs on moonmoon, which does that function pretty well. We will keep you updated on this blog as we change some stuff and add features! You guys like this? We run on CodeWalrus’ server, so show them some love if you want to keep calc.news alive :)

Star Trek to CE Project

Yup, another update about Star Trek!

First, some bad news. My old, trusty TI-84+ SE no longer has linking capabilities, rendering me incapable to test CALCnet, which is integral to this game. This means this project will no longer be coming to the TI-83+/84+. But do not fret. I have offered the code to anyone wishing to complete it, or to fork the CE version once it's done. So you old-school calculator users might still get this game eventually.

I have created a repository for the new version of the program, which targets the TI-84+ CE, which is available on request. In addition, I have released the first image related to this game, a screenshot of the new title screen, in all its 8-bit palette goodness.



An Identity Crisis

I am pleased to announce the reboot and near completion of the first installment of an original Slender series for the TI calculator. This game, titled 'Identity', provides a different take on the Slender storyline, while preserving the Slender-man gameplay mechanics.

Rendered in 4-level greyscale, grab your TI-83+/84+ and work your way through a dark forest at night, while being pursued by the seemingly paranormal entity. Just like in the classic PC games, don't sprint for too long or you'll lose speed for a while and won't be able to run away when you need to. Also, look at him for too long and you start seeing static and will eventually die.

Want to be a part of the development team? Comment below! Want to try out the game before the official release? Join the beta team by commenting below!

Project Page: http://clrhome.org/slender

Slend-Trek

As some of you know and many more don't, Slender-TI hasn't been the only project I've been working on of late. I've been actually brainstorming ideas for my own original Slender-TI series, and simultaneously working on Star Trek. This time, I've decided to bring the gCn server online first with basic functionality and then bring the client together, so I can test it as I go. Monkey has kindly offered to set me up with a skeleton and assist conceptually as my learning of socket programming advances. Anyone who wants to help on any part of this project can comment here with a method of contact and I'll be in touch.

The gCn server will be hosted on my own private server (at least for now). At my request, Deep Thought pointed a ClrHome subdomain to it. :p

In addition, I'm creating a control panel (http://sthub.clrhome.org) that will allow you to administrate your user account for the game from the computer as well. When completed, this page will allow you to change your username, password, and email address, as well as view (but not change) the server configuration file. Admins will be able to monitor and alter the users database and the loaded objects database (which is essentially the gamestate) and the server config file. It will also let them pass commands to the game server, Minecraft style, and also let them stop and start the server.

FYI: This project is my first EVER attempt at using MySQL, and so far, it is going very well!!

Slender Project Page: http://clrhome.org/slender
Star Trek Project Page: http://clrhome.org/startrek