Jan-Mar 1997
Oct-Dec 1997
Jan-Mar 1998
Apr-Jun 1998
Jul-Sep 1998
Oct-Dec 1998
Jan-Mar 1999
Apr-Jun 1999
Jul-Sep 1999
Oct-Dec 1999
Jan-Mar 2000
Apr-Jun 2000
Jul-Sep 2000
Oct-Dec 2000
Jan-Mar 2001
Apr-Jun 2001
Jul-Sep 2001
Oct-Dec 2001
Jan-Mar 2002
Apr-Jun 2002
Jul-Sep 2002
Oct-Dec 2002
Jan-Mar 2003
Apr-Jun 2003
Jul-Sep 2003
Oct-Dec 2003
Jan-Mar 2004
Apr-Jun 2004
Jul-Sep 2004
Oct-Dec 2004
Jan-Mar 2005
Apr-Jun 2005
Jul-Sep 2005
Oct-Dec 2005
Jan-Mar 2006
Apr-Jun 2006
Jul-Sep 2006
Oct-Dec 2006
Jan-Mar 2007
Apr-Jun 2007
Jul-Sep 2007
Oct-Dec 2007
Jan-Mar 2008
Apr-Jun 2008
Jul-Sep 2008
Oct-Dec 2008
Jan-Mar 2009
Oct-Dec 2009
Jan-Mar 2010
Apr-Jun 2010
Jan-Mar 2011
Oct-Dec 2011

October-December 2004 (oldest-to-newest)

5 Oct 2004 - Cleaning up

Game Progress Just a few more things to clean before declaring this puppy is good to go. I was tracking down a somewhat annoying bug that causes halos around sprites when using the screen flash. Turns out to be caused by the vertical filtering on the overlay channel. Disabling filtering fixes it, but makes the game look worse. Since this problem will probably never be seen I'm going to leave it as is.

6 Oct 2004 - Flash bugs

Game Progress Couple more bugs fixed related to the screen flash. One was a bug in the original Decaying Orbit code.

I have one more thing I want to fix, although it isn't critical by any means. If I can't fix it I'll just leave it. I also have one more thing to add. Then it'll be a marathon session to pound the hell out of the game :)

7 Oct 2004 - Couple more down

Game Progress I'm not going to fix that issue. Let's see if anyone notices :P

Wonder if I can get this thing out the door by the weekend...

8 Oct 2004 - Last minute changes/fixes

Game Progress I found a couple issues while testing the game this morning. I also want to add a couple things to enhance the game. Changes this late make me nervous, but they'll be worth it.

If not today then the game will definitely be done tomorrow.

9 Oct 2004 - Finally

Game Progress All items are checked off my to do list. Look for a release later today.

9 Oct 2004 - It's done

UPDATE 2004-10-29: I have received around 25 positive responses so far. That's on the edge of where I'd be willing to do it. Any more takers?

UPDATE: Added questions #10 & 11 in the Q/A.

The NUON port of Decaying Orbit is complete at last! Whew, it took longer than I thought. Had I known when I started work back in July 2002 that it would take over two years to complete I likely would not have done it. Thanks for being patient with me.

Grab the zip below for the NUON.CD and README files. Also, check out the official Decaying Orbit site for updates, including cheat codes. Most of the content is geared towards the Yaroze version, but I'll be updating that over time.

Decaying Orbit (992 kB)

Once you've had a chance to try it I have something to ask you.

The Proposal

Would you buy my game?

The game as it stands is pretty much a straight port of the Yaroze (PSOne) original. If I were to keep working on it, enhance it significantly, and get discs made, would you buy it? Making discs is not cheap so I would need some minimum number of takers before I would try this. Hence why I'm asking.


So you need convincing eh? Here's a list of definite enhancements that I will include:

  • A second galaxy to explore. The full game was conceived to have five parts, of which the original Decaying Orbit only had the first. I will make part two, the C'Thar galaxy, to go along with the Sparrj levels.
  • New object types and enemies.
  • Change the sprites to be full color 24-bit images. Right now the sprites use 4-bit (16-color) images since that's what was practical for the Yaroze. Making them 24-bit would look much better.
  • Totally new shop screen with much better artwork and usability. Not only is the shop the single ugliest thing in the game, its interface is not intuitive or user friendly. I'll fix that.
  • Replace all the crappy programmer art with real graphics. This includes all the ship system pics, the text crawl pics, and anything else that I deem "ugly" coughshopcough.
  • Revamped and less intrusive heads-up display.
  • Snazzy full color disc artwork, instruction booklet and packaging
  • Incentive to finish the game. I ain't saying what it is, but it'll be cool :)
  • Lots of extras included on the disc.

I have a few more things in mind, but I'm keeping them under wraps for now. Can't spoil everything can I?

My plan right now is to get CD-Rs printed with custom artwork (not adhesive labels). I will then burn copies of the game as needed. This means that the game will only work on the Samsung N50X machines. The RCA players will boot the game, but it won't be playable due to the lack of controller ports. You *could* try to use the remote, but that'd be masochistic.


I plan to make two different packages available for purchase. Both will include the same game - the only difference will be the packaging. For the cost conscious there will be a version around $10-15 (US) that comes in a printed cardboard sleeve. Game instructions will be printed on the sleeve. The deluxe version will cost around $20-25 (US) and come in a full DVD case with printed instruction booklet. Shipping is extra. International buyers are welcome and the price will be pretty much a straight currency conversion. Shipping overseas will cost more obviously.

UPDATE: From the responses so far most have said they'd buy the deluxe package. If the trend continues then I may not even offer the cheaper version.


So sound off and tell me what you think. Once you've finished reading the info here hit this link and fill out the form. All questions are optional, but the more info I have about what you want the better off I will be.

You are not committing to anything by responding. I just want to guage response at this point.

Help Needed

I have posted info about this on a couple forums, but need your help getting the word to more people so as to make it more likely that this project will be a go.

Obviously don't be a spammer, but if you know of a group, forum, or news site that might be interested please point them to the survey page at


Please link to that page rather than here. I will keep this post at the front of my site for at least a month. Do let me know if you spot a site linking to me. I'll keep a running list here:


Here's answers to some questions you may have.

1.What's Decaying Orbit
It's a space action game that I wrote for the Yaroze (Playstation 1) starting way back in 1997. It was featured on the cover disc of the UK OPSM issues 49 (1999) and 108 (2004). You fly around the levels destroying enemy turrets while your ship gets influenced by planetary gravity. Visit here for general game info and here for the official game site.
2.How many do you need to sell to make it worth doing?
I don't know the precise amount. A hundred would be enough. Ten wouldn't. I'm hoping I will either receive so many or so few responses as to make my decision simple. If it's somewhere in the middle then I'll have to actually work out the numbers to make sure I won't take a bath on the thing. I don't even mind if I barely break even - I want to do it just to do it.
3.When will the game be released?
When it's done. I have been so bad at predicting my own schedule in the past that I hesitate to give a date. I'd estimate at least six months of development.
4.Why are you charging? Why don't you just do it for free like with Chomp or the Boot Loader?
The only reason I would continue working on Decaying Orbit would be if I could get discs made. I want to hold in my hands a completed package and say "I did this". If I don't get discs made then I'd rather put Decaying Orbit on the shelf and start work on a new game.
5.Why do you plan to burn CD-Rs rather than doing true CD replication?
For one, cost. For short runs it's cheaper to do duplication rather than full replication. Second, a side advantage of getting CD-Rs is that I can use a unique build of the game for each copy. This has certain...advantages.
Take a hint. It's a secret.
7.What about DVDs?
Applications built with the public NUON SDK only work when burned to CD. To use a DVD we would need to authenticate the disc just like an official NUON game (Tempest 3000, Merlin Racing, etc.). The tools to do that are not public. I have asked Genesis Microchip (the current owners of the NUON trademark and IP) about releasing the rights to NUON, but have thus far received no response.
8.What about a two player mode?
Do you want to see the game released this decade? Seriously, I had planned some cool multi-player modes way back when originally designing it, but I think it'll take too long to implement them. Let's put that on the "maybe" pile.
9.Background music?
The only way I could add background music would be using the streaming audio library. However, that requires the game to be authenticated on a DVD, which doesn't appear likely to happen (see #7). Believe me I hate the silence as much as anyone.
10.How about some FMV?
There's two deterrents to this. First, reading FMV from the disc would be unreliable unless it was from an authenticated DVD. Second, it would take a really really long time to create quality movies. I'd rather add more gameplay.
11.Can you make it work with the emulator?
Great question and I hope the answer is yes. I'll definitely work with Riff to make the game as emulator-friendly as possible. I don't know if we'll be able to make it run full-speed by the time it's released, but I'll try. Doing so would tremendously expand the potential audience.

Done reading? Take the survey.

12 Nov 2004 - Survey results

Let's do this thing. The proposal and survey have been up for over a month now. Results have been trickling in, but I can say with confidence now that I will be going ahead with the plan.

Here's the survey results so far.

Have you played Decaying Orbit either on PSOne or NUON?
Yes, the Yaroze version* (1)
Yes, the full NUON version****** (6)
Yes, one of the NUON demo versions***** (5)
Not yet******************** (20)
Would you buy an enhanced version?
Yes, definitely********************* (21)
Yes, likely****** (6)
Not sure** (2)
No, probably not* (1)
Other** (2)
"Other" comments: Concerns about compatability (SD2300), and lack of controller ports (N505)
If yes, what version would you get?
The cheaper one** (2)
The deluxe model************************ (24)
Both**** (4)
What model NUON player do you have?
Toshiba SD-2300** (2)
Samsung Extiva N2000** (2)
Samsung N501********************* (21)
Samsung N504*** (3)
Samsung N505** (2)
Samsung N591(0)
RCA DRC300N(0)
RCA DRC480N(0)
I don't have one yet, but plan to get one** (2)
I don't have one, nor do I intend get one(0)

I also received two offers to publish the game. It would be really tempting to offload the work to someone else, but my plans as they are now prevent that. If the tools to properly authenticate DVDs get released to the public then it will be easier for someone else to step in and help out on that front. Should that happen I will revisit the publishing question.

Many comments expressed the desire for background music. I've been thinking about this and might find a solution by using the synth. I don't know how much of a processing hit that will make. If necessary I will dedicate MPE0 to audio and only use MPEs 1 & 2 for rendering. In that case I will need to tweak the existing levels to handle the reduced rendering power. Again, if we get the authentication tools then I will be able to stream higher quality music from the disc.

To quickly respond to other comments, yes I will be enhancing graphics and adding levels. I will definitely include an instruction booklet. I will also try to make the game fully compatible with the emulator. Unfortunately FMV or a Jaguar port are out of the question.

As for schedule, I will start on the game after the new year. I have some things to finish up first and the holidays are always crazy. Hopefully I can get it done in time for Christmas 2005 so I can compete with a potential XBox2 and PS3 :)

19 Nov 2004 - New libsynth

Andreas kindly sent me an updated version of the synth library. This fixes the incompatibility between the Boot Loader and apps that use the synth. Notably, Snake now works with the Boot Loader when compiled with this updated library.

All new apps that use the synth should use this library to avoid incompatibility with the Boot Loader.

New synth library (1.1 MB)

Unzip libsynth2.a and place it in your SDK's vmlabs\lib directory. You will need to change your app's makefile to link -lsynth2 instead of -lsynth. I renamed it so the two can coexist in case there are problems with this new version.

30 Nov 2004 - To the person known as "?"

This is just a quick note to inform the person that keeps trying to submit the same Chomp high score over and over that it won't ever work so you can stop trying. You submitted the score of 4709 on level 2 back on August 10, 2002. Since then you have tried to resubmit the same score eleven more times - the most recent being Monday before last.

I do admire your tenacity and appreciate you playing the game way back then. How about playing it some more and submitting a new high score? I feel kind of weird about holding the five most recently submitted scores.


13 Dec 2004 - Um

Yeah, sorry for the quietness. Things have been rather slow lately NUON-wise. I hope to fix that soon as I will be buying a laptop to replace my old P3 desktop. A laptop will let me program while I'm downstairs watching my son (or wherever else).

I've had my eye on a Dell 8600 for about a month now. I've been watching all the silly Dell coupons come and go, waiting for the right one to pop up before buying. Right now they're giving away a printer with a PC purchase. I have no need for one so I'm waiting for that promotion to be replaced by the next one. It looks like that won't happen until after Christmas.

The best offer I've seen so far was 25% off. I didn't know it at the time so I let it go. Now all they're offering are like $250 off a $1500 laptop, which is only 17%. With the free printer that I don't need and the free two-day shipping that I don't want it's really a bad time right now (I'd rather just get normal free shipping and save the difference).

I'm really kicking myself for having missed the great deal they had in October with $750 off a $1500 laptop. I wasn't in the market at the time - too bad I didn't start looking sooner.

It's kind of stupid. I'm prepared to plunk down a grand and a half this instant, but they force me to wait until their marketing department picks the right set of promotions. With the price varying by $300 or more day-to-day you can be sure that I'm waiting for the best deal I can get. In the meantime they risk losing my sale to a competitor. *shrug*

UPDATE: Hmmm, the Compaq X1000 looks like a promising alternative. Screw Dell.

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