Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Still not quite there

Today I worked on implementing the game speed throttling accurately. The speed throttling is interleaved with the sound routines in order to maintain a constant speed; until I add the Coco 3 sound routines it's not going to be 100% accurate. But it's quite close anyway and certainly more than good enough for a beta release.

I also added a few of the easier-to-code missing features, such as high score table, update and (non-destructive) display. The only part missing is the initials entry - they stay blank for now - and of course load and save.

I also fixed the graphical glitch when digging is interrupted by a guard.

That just leaves one (that I'm aware of) niggly bug which I'll address next session; namely the 'collision detection' isn't consistent with the original. It's all done on the logical board, not the graphics screen, so it shouldn't be too difficult to track down.

Once I'm satisfied that there's no latent bugs, I'm intending on releasing a playable beta demo release that will feature the first 5 levels. The beta will otherwise be completely playable, albeit monochrome without the circular wipe and game over animations, sound and high score initials entry. The release will hopefully encourage people to help me play-test, and also whet people's appetite whilst I'm finishing up the port.

I've also tentatively added the scoring support for Championship Lode Runner which I believe is almost identical to the original, aside from the ability to enter messages on the high score list. I'll probably stay true to the original format and release the two variants separately.

I'm also seriously considering (again) releasing it in cartridge form. It would be nice to have something tangible for the Coco, but the cartridge case is the real stick-in-the-mud. Do I take the path that others have in the past for other platforms, and do a limited run using sacrificial carts?

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