Thursday, 19 January 2017

Joystick 'routine'

Now that our holidays are over and we are settling into the routine for the new year, I've allocated some time to working on outstanding projects that need to be finished before I start any others. The freshest in my mind is the addition of joystick support to the Coco3 port of Lode Runner.

So tonight I did exactly that, and implemented routines to read the Coco3 joystick and buttons in the same manner as the original code (as far as possible). The good news is that the joystick axes are only read in a single place in the code, and the buttons only a handful of places - which I've coded. I had it starting a game and digging left/right with the joystick buttons.

The bad news is that after configuring the PIA to read the axes, it subsequently crashes when you start a game. I haven't had a chance to look into this any further, but presumably it won't be too difficult to track down. I still suspect ghosting will be an issue though...

Then there's the '86 GIME crash issue to get to the bottom of...

I also need to reconsider holding off on a release until I design a cartridge. It's been an embarrassingly long time since I released the demo, and I have to question whether or not I will ever get around to producing a cartridge for it. If not, I need to code DOS routines so that the game will load the level data from the floppy disk and just get it out there.

Next task should be to release Knight Lore. All it requires is tweaking the speed against the Spectrum original - and confirming it runs no slower - and it's good to go. It also requires nothing more than a standard cartridge, so it could be released with minimal effort.

I suspect once I release Knight Lore on cartridge I'll be able to make up my mind on whether or not I want to release Lode Runner on cartridge as well, or simply release it for free on disk.

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