Saturday, 28 September 2013

The finishing touches.

28th September

Most of this morning, apart from having visitors. I have been working on the final touches of Invert. The new I drew sprites look much better. I also made the bomb throwing position more accurate. The very last touch was adding animated characters for the Get Ready and High Score name entry routine. Just the final testing to do all through this week, before I give the all clear :)


Friday, 27 September 2013

Let's INVERT even more

25th - 27th September 2013

Yet another busy few days and MORE progress, resulting to the project estimated at 99% completion. So then what has been happening?. Last week I discovered a problem with the hi-score name entry again. The bug appeared where the player achieved a hi score as THIRD place. I entered my name, using the joystick control. Then pushed FIRE to end the name. It stored the name in FIRST PLACE position, and the HI SCORE not on screen. That was a silly bug, which was just incomplete. I forgot to add a "BNE" or "BPL" to a label in which loops the number of characters - and just moved on to another routine. Today, this has been fixed.

Apart from that what other things have been happening? Well Wednesday and yesterday I was working on building the game levels, simply by typing in BYTE values. I used the BYTE values as 2x2 map blocks, and placed them manually like you would with bricks. The levels were then stored to a temp map, which then forms the permanent map on to the screen (by reading rows and columns from the BYTE tables). Last week I did only 12 levels, some were redesigned. I worked a couple of hours or so yesterday designing and TESTING each level bit by bit, to see the possibility of completing it. Well, later levels are most definitely hard, but if you play well, it is possible to complete every level. I was happy with the final result with the level design.

After being happy with the level designs. I worked on the ending. I loaded up the Multi Screen Construction Kit, and the game charset and created some end graphics. Then used the VICE M/C monitor to capture and store the screen data. I tried the same with the colour data - but seems I forgot to save the colour data correctly. I started programming the new routines for the end sequence. I came up with an idea, which simulates the player escaping from his Puzzle prison, enters space, and ends up back in its own world. Then a surprise end. It represents something I usually do on a Thursday evening. That'll be your guess :)

After some long hours testing yesterday. I can confirm game is now 99% finished. All I need to do is a little bit of tidying up of the game sprites (Maybe redesign them, as they do look very amateurish.). Also sort out the bomb positions, to make them much fairer. The accuracy of the moving bombs isn't correct. There are a few possibilities on how to solve this problem. The final update might be next week.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Here come the Chatters

17th-19th September 2013

I sent this game to Vinny Mainolfi to test, and come up with some more feedback. Unfortunately the main game engine needed some more things added to it. I agreed with what sort of improvements could be made to make this game more fun and playable. The general tile flipping puzzle against time idea of mine, won't really give good results for a 16KB game. The front end needed to do away with a scroll text. As I have always used that method (Logo with credits and scroll text). The changes were made to the front end. Instead of having a 1x2 scroll text, the game has a flip page. In which after a few seconds or so, the title flips from the main credits, to the high score table, then the in game characters (player, enemy, bombs). 

The main game also had some major changes added to them. The game now has enemies, called Chatters. The enemies run around the playing area lobbing bombs now and then. They don't bother aiming, as they are pretty much dumb. The player now has a different challenge. Not only has it got to flip the tiles to the correct type, but also has to watch out for the Chatters' flying bombs. The player can now protect itself from the bombs, by pressing fire to activated a limited shield. At the start of the game only 5 shields are given to the player. These have to be used wisely. There are also new tiles in which will give the player a shield if the player steps on it.

As well as the enemies and their bomb throwing. I started on redesigning the level layout, to make each level of the game look more tidy. I also programmed a high score name entry routine as well (which still isn't quite finished yet - one colour bug needs fixing). Additional things I intend to do during this project are the GET READY and END SCREEN as well as finish off designing the remaining levels. I hope to draw some new game sprites for the player and the enemies, as they are quite rough looking :) Progress is looking great so far.