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I'm putting the final touches on this long delayed project., so here is the first summer '19 status report. I tested on my real XEGS hardware to ensure no game-ruining bugs! Didn't find any! Although that ranking seems too high based on how many times I got devoured and how many minutes I took to beat it ... I take notes of which variation I play , the end stats, and the ranking given. I'll review them after a few weeks and see if I need to tweak the rankings logic. It's not a big deal, but you don't want to see the same ranking all the time regardless of how well your game went, right? I made the game a bit more joystick-driven than it had been. You can pick all the options on the Title Screen using the joystick and button now, and when you are eaten, you can revive by pressing the Joystick button. Previously I had mapped the "R" key to the revive/respawn function, but I was tired of getting up from my reclining sofa and using the clunky XEGS clip-on keyboard all the time! So now I can sit back and play Adventure II XE for hours and not need to get up. To Pause ore reset completely, you still gotta use the keyboard or console buttons though. That is one huge advantage of 5200 gaming, you have all the needed commands at your fingertips using the CX52 controller. I also experimented with some color changes. Some have complained that the Gold Key and the Green Key are hard to distinguish from one another. This is true, depending on what color is the background image that each key is sitting overtop. Plus, the keys are tiny so color bleed on the overall image is worse than with the bigger images like the Chalice. But my eyes can still distinguish the difference. I tried different hues and luminosity settings but I was reminded once again WHY I chose those colors in the original 5200 version -- the items need to be bright and a different hue from the many background graphics across 4 kingdoms. Changing colors started to bring back the old "blending-in" issue . But I did decide to tweak some background screen colors. I tested my new colors and they looked great on a real TV; now I have to change them for the proper screens in-code and recompile everything. Some of these include files, like the ADV2COLR.TXT one with the screen colors, I haven't changed since about 2006! The thing is, these are compressed into INCLUDE files which are decompressed into RAM at boot-up. I forgot the compression steps completely, had to search out old notes to re-learn it. Thanks for reading, c(_)
Still running down my laundry list of more minor tweaks. The past few things I've done are: - WSYNC screen color changes tweaking. I can't believe it, but on several screens I had the WSYNC on the DLI *after* the actual color register change, not *before*. Thus in the 5200 version there are a few screens where you can see a color change mid-scanline. I tested 5200 AdvII on a 27" CRT so it probably didn't concern me , or I didn't notice it back in 2007. So, I fixed a handful of those screens for the XEGS version, and those screens are more rock-solid looking now. See the before and after screen shots - look carefully along the logs and you'll see blue water color on the before pic . - Minotaur Freeze State. I never got to put this into the 5200 version but always wanted to have some way you could take out the Minotaur, even if just for a short while. In the XE version, the Blue Key will freeze the Minotaur in his tracks until you remove the key from that screen. See attached YT link (sorry, the aspect ration is vertically stretched for some reason). - I also finally located a bit of code that needed some gentle massaging (either that or more Hard Work* ) to stop the Troll from BAMF-ing ** around at times. Fixed! * Do you get the reference? ** BAMF is the comic book sound effect in X-men comics when Nightcrawler would teleport. BAMF! Al is going to have a recent version at the PRGE show , running on an XEGS machine. See prior blogs for other recent tweaks to Adventure II XE.
2001-2002 -- Alan and I begin the game and design 75% of what it will be like. Raccoon joins as the artist. 2002-2005 -- Raccoon Lad & I discuss 5200 limits, we design and create screens, and program the game. 2005-2006 -- mostly just me finishing and debugging the program and trying to accomplish my own vision within dwindling memory space. Jan - March 2007 -- Since I have to wait for the game to be manufactured, I do add a few things like the Dragon Trap, then test some more. May 2007 -- 5200 version of Adventure II is published by AtariAge! ... Sept and Oct 2010 - PGT (Tep392) ports code to 8bit format, including both XEGS and Atarimax Bank-switching formats, and other mods involving OS, keyboard code. Added Bryan's AA splash screen. I now have a lot more memory to work with overall, but need to shift things around some more. 2011 - overhaul of Random Item hiding logic, creature behavior, and overhauled hiding of the 3 Bat Eggs/Dots. Distribute code and data to different banks to leverage out available total memory. Use one bank for a character set to get prettier text on title screen. 2012 - address bugs with collision and troll sprite 'remnants'. Changes to map paths, create new EXITS on hedge screens so Hedge Maze is the hub between Ice and Dark kingdoms, not the Green Castle itself like in 5200 version. Oct 2012 - first PRGE demo. 2013 - experiment with new sounds; add more wood plank bridge building; Added end-game statistics. Implement one-button control scheme which was suggested on the forums. More gameplay tweaks and bug fixes. Timing seems different running on A8? New box artwork is done by David but we do not reveal it. Release first demo in AA Homebrew forum, with resulting feedback. PJT fixes PORTB problem. My homebrewing desktop computer has a problem at end of year, lost some data and felt burned out. Quit for a while. 2014 - project on hiatus due to too much real-world stuff like home waterproofing and other home repair and other crap that happened this year. 2015 - I got a new Lenovo i7 laptop, so I restored and reorganized my AdvII folders and files, and started working on it again. Added content and tweaks, fixed new bugs that got introduced, continued to get frustrating trying to add new content into the original hard-coded engine! 2016 - project on hiatus. Just can't get to it. Can't really remember why! Too busy living life I guess. There is an up-to-date PRGE demo in October. Jan and Feb 2017 - with a real "Git'R Dun" determination, completed engine optimizations. Fixed DLI screen color errors that had been plaguing me. Give Alt Icons special abilities. Add 14 new rankings and overhauled rankings determination logic. Opened up Sword collision so it will harm a dragon , even if you are not carrying it (I know that is how 2600 Adventure worked, but if you play 5200 AdvII, a dragon will glide THROUGH an uncarried sword unharmed. Not any more!) Sept and Oct 2017 - fix rankings bugs. Revised Title screen - all options are selectable via joystick. continue to add content and work on years-old list of items. I finally purchase Atarimax USB programmer, to test on real hardware. Another PRGE demo showing new Title Screen and options like Dark Mode. New artwork is revealed in a banner at PRGE show. Left to do at end of October 2017: 1. The final major thing on my list is the overhaul of the sound / music engine. All videos and demos up until now have still used the original 5200 sounds, which originally were hardcoded into small static tables, hamstrung by lack of available ROM. Now is the time to rework some of the sound engine and finalize the new sounds of the game. 2. Play testing, using Atarimax cart and Atari 800XL. I only recently bought the USB programmer and as I'm typing this, I have still not actually used it, although others have played the game on real hardware. With the 5200 version, I played and tested that game endlessly, looking for crashes or bad game-ruining bugs. I need to do that with the XE version now , too. 3. Poor Albert ... Manufacturing of carts, printing of manuals and boxes ... but at least he doesn't have to clean those stubborn 5200 carts with their super-glued labels! We hope to publish in early 2018!