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Core Dump - Work In Progress

Episode 30

July 8, 1997: Weapons

The weapons are in! I've coded every weapon last weekend. That includes lasers, eight-way guns, mines, plastic explosives (detonated from a distance - cool!) and grenades, among others.

    What's more, I included the camera code for these weapons. Example: you throw a grenade. Nothing special happens. The grenade hits the ground, boom! but still no extra camera or something. And that is because you can still see the grenade: it just does not fly that far... unless...

Unless you throw the grenade into a pit, or run away from a thrown grenade. Just before the grenade flies out of the scroll window, a new one appears, tracking the grenade until it explodes. Same goes for the mines and the plastic explosives. It took me half a day, because it was crucial that this extra window appearing does not interrupt play. And it has worked, you hardly notice it when playing. I've found that throwing grenades is also a good way of seeing what's waiting for you in a deep pit. Throw a grenade, and know what to expect!

    I've been tinkering with player control again. On land it all feels quite good, but the underwater sections still need some finetuning. The problem is this: I wanted to include a "Super Mario world" (SNES) type of swimming, in which you slowly sink to the bottom, picking up speed as you do. Pressing the jump button gives you a thrust upwards, press it repeatedly to swim up. Left and right work as usual. But this is an 8x8 pixel block display method, so I can only show changes of 8 pixels horizontal/vertical movement at once (unless I use extra graphics...). But a slow rising or sinking movement just does not feel good when translated to 8 pixel "jumps". Hmmms. I'll have to fix that somehow. Maybe I'll make the swimming easier, and just "press up to go up" would work then.

I've added a host of other features too. Different enemies might be immune to certain weapons. Select the right tool, that's what I say. This will make the gameplay deeper, just like this other feature...
Because I don't want to ruin the player's fun, I cannot tell you everything I built in the last months. But let me state that there's enough secret stuff in this time, and you're going to have to look hard to find it.

    I'm running out of memory though (128 kB RAM, same kB VRAM as minimum specifications). If I choose to add moonsound, it will be for computers with 256 kB or more only. It just does not fit otherwise.

This game is finally getting somewhere...

Go on...

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