Monday, December 24, 2007

Editing Kid Chameleon Levels

I always loved the game "Kid Chameleon" on the Sega Genesis growing up. It was always very addicting. Kid Chameleon was a unique game in that you could get helmets that transformed you into different beings. It was also unique in that it was an extremely long game -- over 100 levels! Clearly that was a big deal.

Recently I rediscovered this game, and I began wondering what it would be like to modify the game's levels and create my own levels. Since I'm out of school and have some free time, I decided I wanted to hack Kid Chameleon and see about doing this. After several days, I created a huge collection of notes. I also wrote a program that decompresses and extracts tile layout data from the Kid Chameleon ROM itself. I have some screenshots available:

1 - Displaying basic info grabbed straight from the ROM.
2 - Debugging info showing the decompression statistics being displayed.

Now I just have to write code to compressed the data again and put it back into the ROM. Once this is complete, a level editor can be created.

Friday, December 14, 2007

College Work Done

I'm probably the only person in the world who truly cares about this right now, but I don't care. I'm happy to say I'm done with this semester (finally)! I've waited for it to end for a long time. I was keeping up with my work and was actually ahead, but I started procrastinating at the end and got behind. So I spent the past 48 hours doing extreme catch-up. I planned my entire day for it. I figured up about how long it would take me to read a chapter and do the work for it. I left myself some extra time. I'm glad I did because I finished everything at 11:56 (my class work was due at 12:00). Now part of the reason for that is I took a test, but I wanted to retake it to get a higher grade. So that took a little extra time. Still, I was excited about it. I worked hard, and to finish it with barely 4 minutes to spare, I was happy. I didn't have to rush either!

I'm expecting good grades, but next semester I'm going to try and avoid procrastinating at the end like I did this time. 4 minutes is cutting it just a tad bit too close.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Destroying Others & Bias

Why is it that some people are so obsessed with trying to bring down others? The media does it to celebrities all the time. This man says this, this woman says that, and you have a big story created, complete with bias and misleading statements. Politicians do the same thing. What is it about people that they are so obsessed with trying to one up someone else that they will try to destroy their reputation, and even ruin their lives in some cases?

I like to use myself as a prime example here. For anyone who doesn't know, I leave behind a sort of long and controversial history on the internet. If you ask anyone who dislikes me about it, you're bound to dislike me too. Being a little too out-spoken at a young age and having a big audience can be a deadly weapon, and the result is always the same -- people who don't know how to let go of the past and realize that people make mistakes. Sometimes things are much worse than they appear, but not always. Sometimes things aren't nearly as bad as one might believe. Sometimes the stories are just dead wrong.

I personally don't care who holds grudges against me or anyone else, but trying to destroy someone else is where people go fundamentally wrong and is where I see fault in quite a lot of people on the internet and media both. I think it's a negative influence on both children and adults. How many things do we believe to be true that really aren't, and vise-versa, all because of dishonesty and distortions that don't bring out the true character that fills the story? If we were all a little more open-minded about these stories, we'd begin to see how obvious some of the bias is that we are faced with daily. It's something I think about a lot, and I think everyone else should too.