Posts Tagged ‘game’

Workprint – April 2016

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

I’m getting a bit behind on the “how it works” posts again, aren’t I…? Anyway, here comes a quick update from Chez Roundabout regarding ongoing code, although you’ll have to excuse the lack of screenshots because, whilst some bits are done or at least close to working, it isn’t quite the right time to be showing them publicly!

Hammer Down now has cover artwork from Trevor Storey and a loading picture by Steve Day, both are in the style of Mastertronic’s classic Action Biker which was one of the main inspirations for the game in the first place along with The Last V8 and Code Masters’ Red Max, not what I was expecting and utterly, fantastically right for the game. At some point during this coming week the current Cosine greetings list will need inserting and then I can roll out a build for tape and disk mastering for Kenz at Psytronik, hopefully dealing with that particular albatross once and for all. And I know that sounds unusually negative, but the last month or two of that project left me not wanting to write game code over a year ago and nothing has changed since.

As far as demos go, the next C64CD project is in the design phase (in other words I’m searching through 1980s releases for elements to “borrow”) and is going to target a platform I haven’t previously released for on that side of things, but no specifics yet in case I change my mind! MD201605 on the other hand is another C64 release and probably about 75% done at this point; along with showcasing a great piece of music from aNdy, will also be making good on my previous promise to produce a simple, heavily documented DYCP routine. Don’t worry, it won’t just be a regular DYCP because I’m throwing in a couple of other classic routines at no extra charge!

There’s another demo project in the wings as well, a multi-loading affair if all goes to “plan” which is destined for release at Sundown in mid July with Andy doing the music and Sean providing a little code. I’m nowhere near certain as to if I can make the party itself since I don’t drive and Budleigh Salterton is a serious trek even when I’m only taking a laptop, C64, Turbo Chameleon and a small TFT display, but this is the last instalment and I didn’t get to any of the others so perhaps it’s time…?

Workprint – June 2015

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Whoops… so last month’s workprint got a little “lost” but there wasn’t much going on so that’s okay; there’s only a couple of things for me to waffle about this time so we’ll start with Hammer Down which, after a slight deviation where Sean said he wanted to extend the music and asked for another 512 precious bytes of memory, is now officially finished. And yes, it’s quite difficult to type when you’ve got your fingers crossed.

The second thing is that I’ve been in a somewhat demo-ish mood of late so have started drawing logos and doodling code ideas; there are plans over at Plus/4 World for a new instalment in the Cracker’s Demo series and I have half a part written which should be using this logo…

…and, because I’m “oldschool”, raster effects (but since I’m used to keeping demo ideas under wraps, the specifics will remain shrouded in “mystery” for the moment). After that things are somewhat vague right now, with just Blok Copy for the Plus/4 announced and a couple of other games currently under my hat

2016 is also Cosine’s 30th anniversary and I really want to get some demos and possibly even another game out the door during that year… and I do have a bucketload of mostly C64 prototypes right now, so if anyone wants a party invite or BBS advert it might be worth getting in touch!

Workprint – April 2015

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Since the last one seemed to go down reasonably well, here’s another update from the Cosine Laboratories – Because You’re Worth It. The subject this time is going to be Hammer Down since that’s occupied most of my programming time since the last update. One of the pending jobs for a while was finalising the maps but, since they were originally produced in Cartograph and the newer revisions broke compatibility with the work files, that meant converting everything to a new format.

In the end I spent a weekend writing some quick and disgustingly dirty tools in BlitzMax (I have some prior in this area, the level editors for Co-Axis and Warflame were completely devoid of “user friendly” features like load and save and most of my self-built cross dev tools work with fixed filenames and Windows notifications rather than opening a GUI window!) to shovel data into and then out of Tiled‘s TMX file format. Here’s how the map looks when nestled into its new home:

This editor isn’t designed for 8-bit style tile editing like Char Pad or Tile,medo are, but it’s not too difficult to “persuade” it using a cropped screenshot of the characters produced by a small program running in VICE.

We’ve been thinking about mastering as well and now have working images with test data for both disk and tape, using the Covert BitOps and Sean’s Powerload loading systems respectively; Powerload was originally written in the 1990s and, to our knowledge at least, the first tape fastloader to open the upper and lower borders whilst working; it was supplied with an auto mastering tool with Reaxion when we sent it along to Commodore Format but they decided to freeze the game on the intro and use their own loader instead, neatly undoing a lot of work on our part… and then a few months later, a game turned up on their covermount with some remarkably familiar loading stripes and the borders open!

I’m still hesitant about calling Hammer Down as “done” just yet because the loading screen is a placeholder right now, we haven’t finished the bonus music demo for the disk version and there’s a few game elements that might need a tweak, but these will all be dealt with during April. Promise!