Illustration | design

Tiny Tea Dispatch


“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”
– definitely not Abraham Lincoln

# Retro corner

I have a Gameboy Camera now! Besides taking many, many pictures of the dog, I took a bunch during a walk by the local park. If it’s showing up properly, there should be an animated GIF at the top of the newsletter with a short slideshow. Here’s a Flickr album with all of them.

I’m amazed at how good some of these turned out. Despite the low quality build of the camera, it takes surprisingly good pictures. The main concerns when using it, are simply practical. The size of the whole unit (Gameboy + camera) is substantial to just carry around, the storage is limited (30 pictures) and your batteries could be dead in a few hours if you leave it on (which you might want to do because turning it on again takes a bit of time).
There’s a few ways to mitigate this: use a smaller Gameboy (eg. a Gameboy Pocket or Color), carry a spare Camera and swap out the batteries with a modern rechargeable solution.
As for getting the pictures off of the Camera and onto the computer: the easiest way is to buy a cartridge reader but if you are feeling adventurous, you can build a device you can build to connect to the Game Link port. I might build one of those later on, but for now I did go with the reader, since it also allows you to copy your game saves & the game roms themselves.

In other news, when fixing up a Gameboy Color, I somehow screwed up a connector on the replacement screen. So that’s a chunk of money down the drain. It’s likely the connector was already faulty (they’re supposed to ‘click’ in but this one was very loose from the start) so I might be able to get a replacement on a discount.
This is the big risk when sourcing these parts online: it can be cheap but so is the quality sometimes.

If you want to see more Gameboy tinkering, I’ve made a couple more posts with photos over on my blog.

# Making

The main background for the train ride is done, along with sprites for elements like clouds, trees, birds, … I used them to build a Shoot ’em Up level, where you need to catch clouds and avoid birds to earn coins.
No update on the software I’m using, so unfortunately, I haven’t been able to try out the multi-layered parallax animation that I’m looking forward to.
Next up, is building a scene for the train stops, where you can use your coins to get things from the vending machine.

# Final notes

A compact letter this month, courtesy of a quiet February I suppose. The days have gotten noticeably longer and a bit warmer, so naturally people are getting a bit restless. I, on the other hand, threw out my back a while ago so I can’t do much more than walk the dog for half an hour anyway.
By the next dispatch, I might have some scans of a broken back to share. How exciting! The theme of the newsletter could be ‘Skeletons’.

Stay healthy, see you next month!

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