Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Holiday to Norway PT 6 - At sea again - Last day!

Monday 27th April 2009

We were returning back to Tilbury at sea. I was very disappointed that it was our last day. There wasn't much we could do on board the ship, but we managed to keep ourselves amused - most of the time playing UNO, where I kept on thrashing Philip at this game. I am just too good at it. Then we played Scrabble, guess what? I lost again. And we also played Checkers, which I also lost.

After lunch we went to the club room for the final informative lecture about Norway, this time it was about What the Norwegians did for us. It was a very interesting and quite amusing lecture about some of the history, but Norway was an interesting and great country which Philip and I visited.

Overall with our holiday, we had a wonderful experience on the cruise and also down the Norwegian Fjords. It was fantastic and I would love to visit Norway again in say, 2 or 3 years time. Or something like that. :)

Sadly I am unable to give you any screen shots of the areas that we visited as Philip has not yet got the photos converted on to the PC. :)

Holiday to Norway PT 4 - Gidvangen + Voss

Saturday 25th April 2009

Philip and I found ourselves at a new destination on the cruise ship. We looked outside the ship and it was a pretty sight. We were in the Fjords of Gudvangen. It was freezing cold outside, so we had breakfast inside the ship. Then we got outside the cruise ship on to the tender for our next trip.

When we got to the bank of Gudvangen, I was stopped by a Viking and had a photo taken with him. Quite nice. Then we got on to the coach, listened to some interesting facts about Gudvangen and headed off to the giant waterfall. It was very pretty. Philip took a few photos of the waterfall. Back on the coach again, to Voss. This was our lunch stop, at a buffet restaurant. Food was really nice. I relaxed in the park with my brother then we went to the railway station. We caught the courtesy train and the train took us to the Flám Railway. After we got off the train from Voss to Flám, we got on to the Flám railway.

When we got on to the train in Flám. The speakers turned on and said 'Welcome to the Flám Railway' in a very slow and boring way. Philip and I were laughing as it was very hilarious. Another thing that made me laugh was that one of the cruise tour guides asked the conductor if they could turn up the speakers on the train. The conductor with only 3 teeth, said "No, but you can close the windows if you can't hear". LOL that was rude, but funny.

After we done the Flám railway, we got back on to the ship for tea and it was 'casual' dress code. So Philip and I headed off to the piano bar for a beer and then to the games room, where we played Scrabble. I lost at Scrabble as well as checkers. Will there be a game I am good at? Then we went to bed. It was a great day out, but tiring when you are on the coach most of the time :P.

Holiday to Norway PT 3 - Ulvik

Friday 24th April 2009

When I woke up this morning I looked outside the window of our cabin and we saw a beatiful view. We made it to the Fjords of Ulvik. We had breakfast and then got our jackets on and set off to the tender, which took us over to the banks and then we got on to the coach to start the tour.

The tour guide seems to have been enjoying his job, as he loves coach entering the tunnels. We stopped at our first stop, which was the short ferry ride across the Fjord of Ulvik. It took 10 minutes to cross the Fjord, then we moved on to the Nature Centre. It was quite interesting. Following that we went to a water fall, which was quite pretty. Then we got to an old church, which was still being renovated. After we got back on to the coach, the passengers screamed 'CAT - Watch out, watch out!' The driver had almost ran the passing cat over with his coach, and the tour guide got excited and said: 'Oooh dear, looks like that cat almost got run over, what a shame. Ah well :o)'.

The tour was very amusing but went too quick. Philip and I got back on to the ship and the ship sailed off to the next destination, Gudvangen - which will take half a day or so. So Philip and I went to the games room and played a chess game called Checkers (I think this game is called Dame in Germany, not sure TBH). I taught him how to play the game, but unfortunately for me I was always beaten. He was too good at this game.

It was tea time, we had a buffet meal and sadly the food this time wasn't that nice. It was fish and I dislike eating fish, except for salmon, sardines, tuna, pilchards, etc. Unfortunately the fish was scampi and code, rough, etc. Horrible! I did not even know that the food was going to be fish as the food wasn't labelled.

It was 'Informal' for the dress code on the ship, so I donned my shirt and trousers and went to the piano bar. Had a couple of colas and then went into the games room again and played checkers again. Sadly I still lost. Maybe I can play a different game with Philip tomorrow night. :P

Holiday to Norway PT 2 - At sea

Thursday 23rd April 2009

A full day at sea today. Ah well, what is there to do around the ship? Not much. Still it did not stop me and Philip exploring around the Marco Polo cruise ship. We spent most of our time in the sitting rooms talking about how much we were looking forward to the trips. Later on in the morning we both went to one of the club rooms and listened to a lecture about The quirks of Norway. The lecture was very informative and amusing. It is funny that Norway 'loves' the Eurovision Song contest and one of the singers that was the first to score NIL points was declared a national hero for that. ROTFL.

Later on in the day, I sat outside with my brother. The weather was very nice and warm so we should make the use of it.

In the evening it was a 'formal' dress code night, so I put on my suit and set off to the restaurant again for the evening meal then went to the piano bar afterwards then we went to bed.

Holiday to Norway PT 1 - Ship Ahoy!

Wednesday 22nd April 2009

I have got ready and set off with my brother on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. First of all we waited outside pickup point to get a coach to Victoria Coach Station, so that we could catch the special coach to our cruise ship. It took 2 1/2 hours from Birmingham to London, and the travelling by coach was boring. After we got off the coach we caught the courtesy coach from London to the ports in Tilbury and then we got on to the cruise ship.

When we got on to the ship, we had a nice buffet meal. Man I sure was starving, I have to admit. I could not stop eating the food for a while and drinking the nice fruit juices. Then Philip and I went to our cabin and relaxed for a bit. After an hour and a half it was time for the safety drill. So we grabbed our life jackets and put them on and set off to the meeting point where the muster stations were. We were surprised that people were forgetting to put on their life jackets and some people did not want to wear them either. LOL.

After the drill, the ship set out to sea. I relaxed in my cabin - well, went to sleep really because I was that tired. Then it was tea time, so Philip and I went to the same buffet restaurant and had our evening meal then had a beer or two then at 9:00pm, we went back to our cabin and fell asleep. The coach travelling really tired us out.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Enter the choppers

Saturday 11th April 2009

Yesterday I mentioned about the Ultimate Stunt Boat Challenge game. Well, today I have been doing a little bit more on the project. Before I could do any more to the project I converted the test run file on to a C64 tape using the WAV/PRG program and loaded the test file in to my Commodore 64. Damn, there was a major problem. The player's boat (when expanded MSB for the sprites) screwed up the scrolling engine. So now I have to work out what was causing the problem. Fortunately I figured out what was causing such a disturbance to the scrolling engine. It appeared that I used an insufficient area for the artificial sprite positions. So I altered the OBJPOS label to a different memory location. Crunched it all with the Exomizer and tested it on my real C64. RESULT!

Now that I was happy with everything, It was time for me to add some data tables and program some additional routines. I created some data tables for the sprites, and programmed a sprite animation routine. After that I worked on a small, but very easy routine, where the player can now shoot bullets. Then I started working on getting the enemies to move. At the moment they are the same enemies moving across the screen in the same place. However I can work more on making better movements and behaviour of the enemies next time I go on to this project. Which probably might be tomorrow morning.

So far, so good. Player can move and shoot, scroller is working fine (It uses DMA delay routines) and also the enemies can move - but more work is needed on this part of the project.

Friday, 10 April 2009

A new game in the works - Ultimate Stunt Boat Challenge

Friday 10th April 2009

What a boring day today was so far. So I decided to make a new C64 game. Well, I got started on it really. Earlier on in the week I asked Frank if he could send me the Real Speed We Need graphics data for this game project. As I thought there may have been some boats and other action movie style enemies and obstacles. I sure was right.

Most of this morning I worked on the map graphics using Charpad V1.0 to build the level map and then later on I dug out the old Real Speed We Need source code and modified it a little, and got the new map working nicely with the scroller. One major problem for me was that the map scrolling was just too fast. So I slowed it down a touch and it looked fine.

My next task was to sort out some sprites. So I copied some of the old RSWN sprites which Frank had done before, and I paste them. For this game I wanted enemy air craft, boats and also some ramps, that the player could jump over to try and get over the bridges on later levels. I also grabbed some other sprites that I thought would suit the game.

Although in its early stages yet, and more work to be done. I was dead chuffed with the work done so far. I added some routines to get the player's sprite on to the screen, and also get the player moving as well.

Hopefully tomorrow or Sunday, I should be ready to add some additional routines to get the player shooting and also the enemies starting to take action.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Another Last Amazon front end

Tuesday 7th April 2009 + Wednesday 8th April 2009

Bah, TV sucks. Well that doesn't surprise me. I had nothing else too exciting to do, so I decided to work on a new front end for Last Amazon 2. This time it was a bit of a challenge, but I knew that it should be possible. I prepared a work disk .D64 and transferred all the C64 files into the cross-assembly directory for use with ACME, the same way as I did with The Last Amazon.

Kenz had shown me the mock up screen shot of what he would like me to do for the front end. Oh no ... raster splits :( Seriously, I hate doing raster bars, due to having to get those blasted things timed correctly inside $D012 splits. Ah well, it has to be done, and I shall do that.

I loaded up the Relaunch64 tool and then I created a main source file which will link all the c64 program files (including the game) and got started on the programming side of things. I started off with the IRQ interrupt player routine to see if it will run. The good news was that the player routine did play the music after assembled and crunched with PuCrunch. Now it was time for the serious part of the programming. Getting the bitmap logo and all chars displaying. To do this, I changed the background colour ($D021) so that all small text was white and all large text was yellow. So I built 10 raster splits in total. Everything displayed successfully.

Now it was time to add those raster bars into the text. Well, this I must stress was one of the worse parts of the front end programming. So I built a colour table and a raster timing table for each raster split. It took a lot of time to time out the raster splits so that the text chars looked much more tidier. As soon as I was happy with the result, I worked on the scroll text routine (Which uses raster splits as well) and then added a routine for which the player can press fire in either joystick port to play a 1 or 2 player game. Those worked okay, but sadly timing had altered again. So I moved the raster timing table and also moved the scroll text to a higher location and got everything working. Looks perfect now. Hope Alf and Kenz likes this one.