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Core Dump - Work In Progress

Episode 19

April 28, 1997: Busy-o-meter (2)

Finally, I implemented the energy counters, and added the energy canisters. No big deal, this. It's just something that has to be done =)

Learn about speed?

Something that was more difficult was the "busy" counter. Although I had the idea some time ago, it still hadn't been implemented. To freshen your memory: I thought about making some indication of the "processors usage" (Z80 as well as VDP, same counter) on a scale of 0-255, 0 meaning "I've got nothing to do", 255 meaning "Sjees can someone reduce the number of software-sprites???"
Then, when you're in the water for instance, bubbles will only appear if the computer is not too busy. Same goes for the splashing water effect. By relating the importance of the special effects to the "busy" factor, the game will be full of little details when there's not so much action. If, on the other hand, there's a lot of action, the special effects are omitted, thereby compensating for the slowdown.

And now it's implemented! It works really great, the game hardly ever slows down now! I've also made a graphical representation of the "busy" factor in the test-version, so now I can see exactly where and when slowdown will occur.

Fine tuning the controls

At the moment (also with help of the busy factor) the game plays really smoothly, but it turned out that there where a few odd quirks in the swimming routines. Those are fixed now.

I'm still unsure about the ability to fire underwater. We intended to make it impossible to fire while swimming, which would result in a quite different feel to the game when swimming. This would give the game more variety. But it turns out to be quite difficult to make decent underwater enemies...

But because the control method is now so flexible (walking/jumping/clinging/swimming andsoforth) different areas of the game play quite differently. Anyway, I've got great hopes for this, and with all the new graphics coming up, jummy jummy... =)

Go on...

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