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New version here.. I decided to leave all variants of the game in the cart. This is just the barest foundation slapping the two games together. You start in TI Farmer mode - Zombies attack when they normally would (or if you already have 5 farmhands it is slightly more likely), even so you can go a full game (400 turns!) without seeing them. There's no transition screens or introductions or anything, it just blips back and forth. But it's progress and sets the stage for the final stuff I want to put in there. :)

 

In the ZomBXB part of the game, the only way to exit currently is to die, and this has no effect on the rest of the game yet.

 

I've also renamed the image to MOTIF, and this fixes a bug in TI Farmer that would blank the whole screen. ZomBXB still has the bug where the screen goes white sometimes.

 

TIFARMER.zip

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All right.. I spent far too long on this, and did way too much. But.. everything is end except a better ending screen. Not sure what to do there yet, and I only have 12 bytes left in the ROM, but I'm sure I can scrape up enough space to draw the farmer again with the final score.

 

I'm trying to keep all three games in the ROM, it's so close to working now that it would be a shame to take out the other two options.

 

In addition, this version fixes some serious random number bugs, and the ZomBXB white screen issue. ZomBXB is also playable by keyboard as well now.

 

It also implements MOTIF mode a lot more fully (as I said, I think all that's left is the end-game screen), and includes a readme based on Codex's original document that explains the new changes. Zombie attacks still come randomly, but they have a different effect -- if you fail to drive them off, which basically means blasting enough of them -- they will 'foul' the land which prevents parts of it from being farmed or even plowed. If you lose a farmhand to the zombies, only one quadrant is fouled, but if Zombie McOwen falls, the entire field is fouled.

 

I went way overboard on this and could have made my life easier, but it's so close now that I don't mind. However it's also 6am and I need to sleep!

 

ZombMotif.zip

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------------------------------------------------------

ZOMBIES

------------------------------------------------------

 

Zombies will stumble onto your farm at random, having

used Google via telegraph to look up your new location.

They are out for revenge, and looking to destroy your

farm as well as to eat your brains.

 

HAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Google via telegraph...... classic

 

 

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Okay, declaring this one done, barring any massive bugs. I've even tested it on real hardware!

 

The end screen is as simple as I threatened, but I also fixed a few more bugs. There are 4 bytes free in the ROM (but interestingly, almost 40 bytes free in scratchpad! I ran out of ROM long before I ran out of RAM - I moved a lot of the TI Farmer arrays to ROM and saved both RAM and ROM space). I'm sure it could still be optimized, I was still able to chop sections up and rewrite them for tighter space, but it's there and it works and good lord, I'm done with it. :)

 

Also up on my webpage at http://harmlesslion.com/software/zombie

 

(this archive has the correct source in it ;) )

 

ZombMotif.zip

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Congratulations man, I love seeing a bad idea taken fully to its conclusion! ;) Seriously, brilliant way to combine the games. I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the best 8-bit zombie farming simulation ever written. Looking forward to playing it, and I hope it makes some waves at the Faire!

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I love seeing a bad idea taken fully to its conclusion!

 

If we make a box, I want that as the "reviewer's quote" on it. ;)

 

hehe. Thanks! It was fun.

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Lord a'mighty Tursi, I just got done playing it and that is seriously one of the best mash-up games ever. I love how the actual farmhand goes out to battle the zombies, and how the zombies can ruin the land when you don't survive. Not to mention the game is arcade-fast even under normal CPU. Sterling work on this man and no doubt. It truly makes me happy to play it. :thumbsup:

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I tested that game too (the combined version), and I think I found some bugs or things that could be improved:

 

- The zombies, as it appears, always go for the same field (Field 2), and the same farmhand (if present) is always called for defence (Li'l Rex). Due to the first bug, only field 2 is ever affected from the zombie attack, and you can rather easily work around this since only one of your four fields may be destroyed by the zombies.

- There only seems to be sound on the Zombie Attack phase, but none during the simulation phase.

- I got a bug when I reached the year 1985 where the D key wouldn't work anymore (I wanted to hire another farmhand immediately after losing Li'l Rex again to the Zombies). Only the Return key was accepted, and it terminated the game.

- It's somewhat unrealistic that there's exactly 4 farmhands, and you can re-hire the same farmhand that already has been killed by the zombies. I can think of a more realistic scheme here... maybe 10 farmhands in total with different names, but they don't get available at the same time... only 4 at a time are available, and their lifespan is limited, so there's a chance of another event that one of the farmhands will die due to its age or overworking or something like that. If a farmhand dies due to its age or falls victim to the zombies, it would be out of that game, unable to be re-hired again.

- I also would change the farmhand system a bit... a farmhand is essentially another worker, so with farmhands hired, it should at least sometimes be possible to do multiple actions in one quarter. Or maybe farmhands should do things automatically, like one of them seeding a field that has been plowed by you before. On the other hand, a farmhand should not only cost you money once (when hiring), but regularly since it has to be paid. Generally, it should also cost money to plow, seed or harvest a field... at least you need fuel for the tractor, and maybe you also need to buy crops.

- I find it slightly irritating that once you decided on which action to take, you cannot take it back... you have to follow through by selecting a field even if you find that that action will not be able to affect any field or was actually wrong. I think it would be better that even if you already have selected an action, you are still able to choose another action by pushing another of the A-D keys. Also, I would put in a second stage to hiring where you can select which farmhand to hire. Each one of them should have slightly different effects, of course. I'd imagine that as a menu of the usual number keys 1 through 4 which would select a farmhand to hire.

- How about joystick control in the simulation phase? There are actually only 4-5 options to choose from, so they could easily be done by joystick instead of keyboard. That way, you wouldn't have to change between keyboard and joystick for the simulation and zombie phases.

- Sometimes the effects of some events aren't visible, for instance, self-seeding crop that doesn't seem to do anything (probably because the affected field has already been plowed)

 

By the way, I tested that game in Clasic99. I didn't test it on real hardware.

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- The zombies, as it appears, always go for the same field (Field 2), and the same farmhand (if present) is always called for defence (Li'l Rex). Due to the first bug, only field 2 is ever affected from the zombie attack, and you can rather easily work around this since only one of your four fields may be destroyed by the zombies.

 

The same farmhand is deliberate - since the farmhands appear by number, and are not individually tracked, only the last farmhand is ever sent out to battle (for instance, when you HAVE L'il Rex, I can't send out Katie Sue because if she bites it, it's L'il Rex who will disappear ;) ).

 

The field 2 bug I thought I saw, too, but I thought I corrected it. That is annoying, so let me take another look at it.

 

- There only seems to be sound on the Zombie Attack phase, but none during the simulation phase.

 

Remember this is a mash-up of two unrelated games. I did not strive to modify the existing games.

 

- I got a bug when I reached the year 1985 where the D key wouldn't work anymore (I wanted to hire another farmhand immediately after losing Li'l Rex again to the Zombies). Only the Return key was accepted, and it terminated the game.

 

Hm. That's odd. That sounds like a crash, because there's no place in my code where the return key is tested for. I played numerous games through to 2000, when it ends.

 

- Sometimes the effects of some events aren't visible, for instance, self-seeding crop that doesn't seem to do anything (probably because the affected field has already been plowed)

 

Corerct. This is the way the original game functioned.

 

You have tons of great ideas, Kurt, I have to say I liked all of them. But again, I didn't intend to change the original games. Also, with only 4 bytes of ROM left, there isn't any space for the code for any of those concepts, without tons more optimizing work. I really meant this as more of a curiousity. With a double bank 16k cart there would be tons of room for improvements, including animation of the Zombies like I wanted, bullets instead of lasers, actual crop/field damage based on the zombie minigame, different sprites for the different farm hands, an intro cut scene, and I think all of your ideas would be great too, but I can't give it that kind of time. I am pretty backlogged on other things I've promised to do, and they need attention more than this. :)

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Here's a version that fixes the field 2 issue. It was a frustrating one. I was able to prove that my RNG produced more or less random numbers, but the relationship between 2-3 numbers in series, especially at any particular bit position, was too frequently predictable. So the next effect was that almost every time it chose a bad effect, followed by the zombie effect, the next random number (field) had the same value in the lower 2 bits, which resulted in field 2. I tried a few ideas to drop unpredictable delays in there, but finally just gave up and detached the field selection from the RNG, using a free-running counter instead (seeded at the same time as the RNG is). That seems to work.

 

I had to do some optimization, so I found a free register, and loaded it with >0001. Then, everywhere I did a LI Rx,>0001, I could replace it with MOV R8,Rx, saving two bytes. With that I freed up a comparably large amount of ROM space, and added a feature I felt was badly missing - a brief explanatory delay when you drive off the zombies. Even with that, there are about 72 bytes free in the ROM now.

 

If someone else would like to hack away on some of Kurt's ideas, I surely have no objection! But for now, here's the new version that fixes field selection, at least.

 

ZombMotif.zip

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