Category: Programming

Free sprite assets from

I will admit to leveraging several of these sprite assets from!

Broforce boss sprites, courtesy of Wikipedia
Broforce boss sprites, courtesy of Wikipedia

“The Core”: resurrecting Atari 2600 homebrew abandonware/vaporware…

…from a single screenshot more than 20 years after it disappeared due to unfortunate circumstances.

Interesting thread here at AtariAge discussing the current effort and a contemporaneous description of the game by the original developer, Paul Oswood, here.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to the original screenshot of course:

Original screenshot of
Original screenshot of “The Core” ca. 2000

Programming the Atari 2600 VCS

As I wrote previously, I’m considering taking a stab at programming Atari 2600 games for fun and _.  May just update helpful links here:

Pygame, a game dev framework for Python 3

I mentioned in a previous post that one of my goals for 2023 was to program 12 games to help keep my programming brain limber and my skills sharp. I also mentioned that I suspect most of my dev work for that goal will be in Python 3: that’s what my shop mostly uses, it’s flexible, and it’s what I’m comfortable with.

Luckily, Pygame exists and is great for the types of games that I’ll be working on as part of my goal. And…there are plenty of tutorials out there so I won’t struggle too much.

At the beginning of every year, rather than…

…making formal new year resolutions, I set a list of goals. Most I have no intention of fully completing but they allow me to have something to look forward to and structure my “wants” against my “needs” and actual availability haha…

I try not to limit myself and what goes on the list can range from the must-do to the super-superfluous.

One of my goals for 2023 is to improve my programming skills and, really, just keep them sharp since I’m in a leadership position that doesn’t really allow me to dive into the hands-on, individually contributing, technical aspects of the work we do.

What better way to keep programming skills sharp than to program games? So, 2023 goal #3 is to program 12 games. I’m stating at the outset that my intent is to be language-agnostic though I suspect most, if not all, will be in Python 3. May even take a crack at racing the beam with some Atari 2600 assembly programming.

Without further ado, let me introduce game #0, Pong-23.

I had a helluva fun time working on it over Christmas break. It doesn’t really count towards the 12 game goal since I finished it the penultimate day of 2022, but it helped get my brain limber. Let’s figure out what’s next!

Pong gameplay screenshot
Pong gameplay screenshot

ChatGPT’s all the rage now, of course…

Some ideas to run by ChatGPT Assistant for Python automation help:

To save a link click, basically boils down to:

  1. Ask Assistant to plot a linear regression
  2. Use pywhatkit to send a message on WhatsApp
  3. Use smtplib to send an email
  4. Scrape data from Books to Scrape using Beautiful Soup.
  5. Finally, generate an Excel file use openpyxl.

Procedural generation of Pitfall! worlds on the Atari 2600

Evidently, each unique room was generated w/ only 1 byte(!) of data:

Fuzzing the Github API

Been futzing around with fuzzing lately, came across this to read for later:

Basic PyGame template

One of my goals for 2023 is to write one game per month to keep my programming skills from getting too rusty. I created a baseline PyGame template to help w/ some of the repetitive tasks that come w/ that goal.

Clone it from my Github here.

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