While I was at work, I managed to find some time to go over the code of the first game in my list, titled “Aliens II”.
By looking at the game, I found a few things that seemed easy to improve/fix.
There is a lot of flickering, and using page flipping should fix that.
The maze is not well designed, with lots of dead ends that tend to block the alien’s movement, and can force you to take very long paths to get to a particular place.
The time available to complete each level is just not enough in most cases, and finally, the text messages is horribly placed on the screen.
In the code, I found that the DATA for the graphics is on top of the code, instead of in a routine at the end.
Then, I realized that implementing page flipping to minimize flicker is not going to be that easy.
The game keeps the maze in one of the pages, copies it to the second, and draws the “sprites” there. In the next cycle, instead of erasing the sprites, the clean background is copied again from one page to the other.
This means that, in order to use the page flipping technique to eliminate the flicker, I will have to add the commands to delete the sprites from the old positions. This will make the game slower…
Moving on, I found this:
910 IF PEEK(344)255 THEN IF X<31 THENIF PPOINT(X*8+10,Y*8+2)=5 THEN X=X+1:GOSUB 1040:
And the line 1040 is just….
OK, then, first task, speed up the game.
Rearrange the code to bring the main loop as close to the top as possible, declare all variables at the game start, giving priority to the most used ones, find some numbers that are used a lot and change them to variables.
Then, the game’s look.
I decided not to change the graphics. They are quite …. bad, let’s face it. But I guess is part of the game’s personality. The only real change will be to get rid of the white color and change it for green. Fits better with the game idea. And of course, the text must be aligned better, not just dropped anywhere in the screen!
And finally, game play.
The maze needs a redesign. Not a major one, but it should be easier to go from one place to the other, for both, the player and the aliens.
And like I said, the time available is not enough.
Here is a video of the original gameplay.
And the sound! What was I thinking? I believe that i just took a part of the music from some demos in the CoCo’s manual.
Should that stay or should that go?
Well, I guess we’ll see… tomorrow?
And I had to do it. Start with my 3rd Challenge.
So I went over my old BASIC programs looking for something interesting that could be part of this challenge. I have 10 full disks, and after 5, it seemed to me that I had more than enough games to keep me busy for the month.
Let’s see what I found…
Inspired by the movie “Aliens”, you are a space marine trying to rescue the alien’s victim in a maze of tunnels.
A Russian roulette simulation. Yeah, I guess I was kind of sick back then 🙂
You must try to catch the weird tentacled thing, avoiding the pac-man like chomper.
Inspired by (I believe) a ZX Spectrum game inspired by the “Airwolf” TV show.
A simple target shooting game.
Keep the missile on target to blow the tank before it blows you.
You are alone against 2 enemy fighters. At least that is better than 5 vs 2 as in the movie!
Shoot the enemy space fighter from your base’s turret before it fires on you.
You may have noticed that some of the names and text in the screenshots are in Spanish. Yes, that is my native language. I’m not really sure if I want to translate them.
What do you think?
Now is time to pick one, and start trying to figure out 30 year old code written by a 15 year old kid….
Most of what could be called the “game engine” is ready.
- Animate the cat that jumps from the top of the pile.
- Create new graphics for the cat while it is waiting to be launched, and while it is flying.
- Make up my mind about how score is going to be awarded.
- Create the levels.
- Make it pretty! 🙂 That is, ad some backgrounds, messages, and so on.
Here are some updated graphics, showing the 3 different cats.
The length of the jump depends on the one on top of the pile, and the one that is going to jump.
The Tabby is heavier, and the Siamese is the lighter one.
A few days ago, there were a couple of threads in the Color Computer mailing list regarding
a) The possibility of an “Angry Birds” like game for the CoCo and
b) A coding contest.
This emails gave me the idea for the game (I even took the name straight from one of the messages)
The cats want to catch the mouse, but the walls are to high to jump over, so they decide, in the best cartoon way, to use a seesaw and catapult one of them over the walls to get to the mouse.
On the left side of the screen, you pile up the cats. More cats, higher jump.
There are 3 different kinds of cats, some heavier than others, and that will affect how high and far the jumper will make it.
In a nutshell, that’s the idea. Let’s see how well can I implement it in old school BASIC
Alentado por el éxito(?) de mi primer juego para PC, “Cat & Shark” – lleva ya casi 50 descargas 😛 – me metí a hacer un par de proyectos mas.
El primero, también para PC, esta inspirado en un clásico de los 80s, “Dungeons of Daggorath”
“Back to Daggorath” no tiene fecha de salida. ¿Por que? Porque le estoy dando prioridad a …
Ehhhh, si…. No, no es un juego para PC…
Es para mi CoCo. Una furia de 8 bits a 1.78 Mhz!
Pero cuando este pronto, haré un port a PC…
The TV shows, the music, the women…
That’s why I’m starting a series of posts to prove that the 80’s were the best!
And to score 2 in one post, I’ll start with the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, The Bangles.
With one look, and that little smile she has, she is hotter than Brittney and all those girls that are around now, and she can play the guitar too! 🙂
I still have to find a copy of “The allnighter”. I guess I’ll just go to my favorite P2P
She looks gorgeous today, but without the 80’s wild hair, it’s not the same
Here is a video where you can see how “sexy” and “hot” have nothing to do with getting half naked and rubbing against someone else