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Core Dump - Work In Progress

Episode 52

January 8, 1998 : Camera on/off and Difficulty Settings

Finally, this CGI program (that runs this pages) is working completely again.

Camera on/off

I've been playing for some time with with the idea of a camera switch. If you don't like extra windows appearing, switch them off. But the difficulty was: some windows are essential. For example: you fire a drone, but while you control the drone, Gen is still vulnerable to enemy attacks. So you'd want to keep an eye on Gen.

Now I've been receiving feedback from Japanese players, and some of them didn't like those extra cameras at all. So I started to think again about this problem. It turned out to be quite easy. In the current version of the game, every object requesting a window has a certain priority level. So... I can just ignore all request below a certain priority level, and everything will be allright: important cameras are still done, whilst mines, and other stuff, will not be shown at all. Maybe I'll even make a slide bar out of it (ranging from "all extra windows active" to "only necessary windows active").

Difficulty settings

Also, I made the Japanese version of the promo a little bit more difficult. So nearly all Japanese players thought the promo was too hard. Difficulty settings are the answer, but then it's really hard to get the difficulty levels right, and (shock horror) then you've got to worry about the learning curve too! (The learning curve is related to the way the game becomes harder while you play it to the end)

But I've solved that as well, in one go. This means the finished game will have at least three difficulty settings!

Next time I will be talking about aiming bullets. That is difficult enough in an MSX game (considering the amount of computation needed), but it becomes really weird when used in combination with an 8 by 8 pixel block scroller... unless someone has a bright idea =)

Go on...

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