Thursday, 31 March 2016

One last bug! Famous last words!

Tonight I debugged and tweaked the cauldron room; the end of game animation, game percentage complete calculations (which had a bug - doesn't come much easier than transcribing 16-bit hex constants, but I still got that wrong) and the routine to wait for a key press which was, up until tonight, labelled and working as a routine to wait for key release! Hmm...

Anyway, as far as bugs go, that just leaves the spurious graphics at the top of the screen when exiting the cauldron room which I noticed tonight, also happens if/when you die in that room. I'm yet to investigate any further, but hopefully having two triggers will make it easier to track down. Then I can tentatively consider it bug free!

Bugs aside, that just leaves performance, or more specifically, the slow-down in busy rooms. But after more play testing and comparison against the ZX Spectrum version, I'd have to say that even as-is, the Coco3 isn't actually noticeably slower at all! And the speed-up / slow-down within rooms, which I thought was limited to the Coco3 port, occurs on the original as well.

So this all begs the question - do I optimise it until its actually faster - or perhaps more accurately, less slow - than the original? Is there a point where I cross the line between improving it, and changing the game play? I'd say definitely yes, but I still think it could do with a bit of a speed boost on the slowest sections. I'll have to play around with it.

Once I've fixed the remaining glitch though, I'm going to haul out the Coco3 and burn an EPROM. Can't wait to see it running on real hardware! Worst case, that'll be the image I send to CocoFEST.

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