Thursday, 15 October 2015

Trying to ignore other ideas

The Microbee port of Volcano Hunter is complete, pending exhaustive testing. In the end the changes were almost trivial, for the most part cut-and-paste from my previous Microbee port, Donut Dilemma. In the end all that was required, aside from the usual preamble to initialise the Microbee PCG, was modifying hard-coded references/offsets to video memory with a .define'd constant, patching the keyboard and sound routines, and modifying the (one-and-only) delay routine to cater for a faster Z80. Almost too easy.

And of course immersing oneself in such a port - however briefly - and interacting with the enthusiast community, inevitably some suggestion or idea pops up from nowhere. Somehow the suggestion to port the MSX version of Lode Runner to the Microbee popped into my head; after doing the TRS-80 version I've little doubt it can be done; it's just a matter of whether the pixel-addressable graphics mode on the Microbee has sufficient bandwidth.

Then I started thinking about an enhanced port of Volcano Hunter, with a scrolling background (as opposed to the original flip-screen) on a (slightly) more capable platform - I'm thinking SNES or Amiga for example. Or maybe even Neo Geo... arrghh!!

And during discussions of the port with a friend, the topic turned to Prince Of Persia... I've had plans on that for quite a while now, only I'd forgotten that the source code is freely available. Ports are soooo much easier with the source... also trying to convince said friend to reverse-engineer DKJr; would be awesome to release a physical Neo Geo cartridge with ports of the arcade version of both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr!

But I need to ignore these for now and get back to my ZX Spectrum port before I forget how it all works. It may even be possible to port that to the Microbee - at least it's already Z80!

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