I had very productive early years with my Vic 20, but I never stopped loving to program it. I used the real thing until in 2002, when I found Xvic and spordically worked on a game that was the most complex ML project I had ever undertaken. Starting again from scratch in 2010 I started to gain more and more interest in this project until it's completion in 2013. Since then there has been a water shed of new projects that I am interested in. In late 2015 I started using an assembler to program in Machine Language and have no intentions of using BASIC for anything after. This is a document of my bi-polar mostly unintelligable process...
2012 and earlier
2015 & 2016
2017 & 2018
Although Realm of Evil took longer than I expected I think it has turned into a very good game. So now starting fresh, new project, new vlog ...
<BY THE WAY THERE ARE SPOILERS IF YOU PLAN ON PLAYING ANY OF THE GAMES!>
1 Jan 2019
Tough day at work. Tried to update the last of the web pages, not so sure I have been successful. Just pissing around. Found the encoder, so the next step will be to start generating phrases. It will require research and archeology. Here is the new splash page.
2 Jan 2019
I really want to do something, but another tough day at work. If only I had a day or two before my vacation, but I dont. When I return I may have to move a bunch of my stuff around, so although I hope to get a new project started as soon as I get back, that may have to wait as well. Maybe not, I am kinda stubborn.
3 Jan 2019
I really don't have time but I opened and quickly looked at the encoder. I'm not sure why I picked 6185 for the data start location. I think I can move that as I will have a lot more room for this. Man I really wish I had a few hours, I'm sure I could do a lot in that time. But even as I type this, the clock is ticking.
12 Jan 2019
On the one hand I really enjoyed my trip, on the other I am excited to start working on more projects. I think I will try to start with the Lucas of Betelgeuse. I always thought this wasa good idea, bu it was not impilemted well. Not for a lack of trying, when I finished the first programs, my grasp of BASIC was pretty ... well basic. I'm sure the first 2 or 3 programs were written in the mid 80's. By the time I finished the project in 1998, I had a basic grasp of ML, and included a short ML program to print out descriptions, saving a bit of space and being a bit more descriptive than the previous adventures. Now 20 years on I have a ML compressor and pretty good ML knowledge, and think I can make this a way better game. Especially with 6K, in fact I don't think I will even use the cassette buffer, I should have enough room without it. So I re-arranged a few more things but before I even start I looked to see what ratio I left for game over description. So it looks like about 60% game 40% description approximately. For 3.5K I started about 6144 for description, so after alot of calculation and debate for 6.5K I will start the description at 4864 although there will be a couple of not compressed phrases just before. One of them is the ever popular "What are you going to do?" and I wonder if I don't have a question mark in the compressor. Nope that's there so I'm not sure why it isn't compressed. Also for some reason I thought that a period was inserted automatically, but I guess I am just too used to my phone. Putting 2 spaces would waste memory, not save it. OK so I kind of have a battle plan, but I have to do some RL now. Oh I also ordered some Datasette belts! I added the "what are you going to do?" phrase and ran it. No problems. I know many of the first phrases are general and I can keep them. I erased all of the old data in the encoder and saved it as a shell. I will have to mark out the rooms and items and start thinking about descriptions. Lol that's why I didn't put the "What are you going to do>" phrase into the compressed stuff, there are colour codes in it. I figured I should quickly play through the game really quick just to see get the feel of it. I can see I was definately in a different frame of mind, a lot more cheeky! I hope I can keep the same spirit as I start to embellish the game. Lol the directions are opposite of the map I drew. Just looking through the old program, I will have to change a bunch of locations of variables. Maybe I'm too scared to start. Must be, I fixed the splash page graphics yet again. I guess I could start with the opening blurb. So in the end I did the first little intro program. I am too tired to do anything more tonight. Well I shouldn't have but I updated and fixed the splash page loader as well. Now I am done!
Working on Betelgeuse 20th Anniversary
13 Jan 2019
Still relaxing a bit I guess. I was continually looking up colour information so I made myself a nice reference sheet. I think I am getting close to wanting to program my picture transfer program. But now to something a bit more significant to my current project. Last night I saved a print out of Epsilon-Aeriguie. OK I entered all of the data. It took about 4 hours. I forgot that numbers are not allowed, so there will be a few wierd things. I hope I didn't forget anything. Ok enough for now. Just relaxing before the next RL chore. I imported the compressed data and am almost ready to start altering the program. This of course will be the most difficult one because once I have everything straightened out most of the next programs will use the same format, and if they don't, I should understand what's going on enough to alter it quickly. Spent the last couple of hours updating things and getting it ready for a new adventure. I added alot more assembler variables so that it will be able to move better. I figured I would give it a try to see if it would print out the first room, but it crashed. I wasn't sure what was wrong but started looking through the de-compressor and realized there are some JSRs and other things that would have to be changed (fixed). There is no easy way to do this, so i will have to disassemble it myself. This may take a while. So much later in the night I finally finished disassembling and now have a labled version of the decompressor (so it can move now). I was surprized that I didn't make any mistakes disassembling! But there are other problems. First I had some wrong characters, but something more sinister was happening. My guess is the print till zero routine doesn't like crossing page boundaries, so I moved the phrase and it works now. Another couple of things are just mistakes, but I think my decompressor automatically inserts a space after a period. I will have to go through my data and remove spaces. This will save some memory as well, as the data was within a hundred bytes of the screen! But it is now late, I will leave this boatload of debugging for tomorrow.
14 Jan 2019
I figured I needed to fix the data before starting anything. So this morning I opened the encoder and removed spaces before periods and tried to fix any spelling mistakes as well as add a few more phrases. The data goes all the way to 7678 now! I think I will still have to add a few more nouns, which will be a bit of a pain, but I think I will just do what I did before and modify the code as it is running. Last night I quickly calculated and added the room directions, so I should be able to check out most of them. I hope I can at least get it to that state (without errors) this afternoon. Oh also the problem with the print till 0 yesterday wasn't a page crossing problem. The data was being overwritten by the next part! I may have to re-install CBMPS as it should be warining me about these kinds of things. Well shit, there are a bunch of problems. The first one is that I mustn't have pressed return on a line and there are still 2 spaces in the opening blurb making all of the lines ragged. Plus all of the phrases are now off by a few bytes. I don't know why this has been so hard to format properly, I have had to do it about 10 times!! Finally a bit of progress, so far I can go to the first 8 rooms. If I go south of that (in the 2 rooms that you can) one crashes and the other gave me an ?out of memory error. Not sure if it's just something from the old program not being able to go above 8 rooms. I will investigate. Lol. It is because my room table only had 8 rooms in it. OK I can now go to 14 of the 16 rooms. Now I will just have to start adding things to trigger the phrases, and fix the objects code, and the nouns, and figure out how I am going to deal with 2 keys. I should try to continue, as I kinda feel like things are starting to get good, but I also feel like I need a break.
15 Jan 2019
Well isn't this fun. I am very sick, but have to summon the strength to go to work. So the next parts shouldn't be too bad but I will probably have to go slow, as my thinker isn't working very well. I added a little bit to add the exclamation marks for room 5. I did try to look at something, but it must have hit a zero or something and crashed. I wasn't 100% sure but I think I will have to alter the amount of nouns, so I added a little bit to do that as well. Lol I guess I have to fix it in the other main as well. OK that took more effort that it should have.
17 Jan 2019
I feel terrible. I entered the stuff for room1 and realized I will have to figure out this key business. The key is item 4 but I will make a second pseudo item and the program will decide which one is there. If both are there it will ask which key? Actually I changed it to item 6 to make it work better. So I will have to add this to the get, drop, use and look item code. OK moving slow today, but made the new code for the 2 keys, just have to check it and debug. Maybe I will take another short break. Before I go I just want to see how much memory is left. So I compiled it and I have over 1200 bytes left, so I think I will have plenty of memory to work with here. OK time to test. Testing the stuff for room 1, lots of little mistakes. The biggest one was changing the order of the items and not updating them in this room. The scary thing is coming up, testing key stuff. OK 'GET' seems to work,'INVENTORY" isn't. That was OK, I just hadn't updated the number for 'on your person' which is one greater than the highest room number. It was 13 and is now 17. The last thing to test is 'LOOK item'. It has the most new code thusly the most to go wrong. Actually the inventory still wasn't working, I couldn't figure out why, but eventually I realized the inventory table was wrong. I had forgot to count the trailing zeroes. There was another holdout from the old code a JMP (7669) that needed to be updated. OK I think I have all of that working, but something that I missed (in the old programs) is looking at gettable items when they are in the room but you haven't picked them up. It isn't 100% necessary, I'll think about it. In the mean time, just a couple more things to test, and then it should be fairly easy from here. I think room 5 is finished as well, so just 14 rooms to work on. Finished up to room 5, still a bit of testing. There are still a few things I am finding that need to be fixed in the big loop, like for some reason in the print object code I made it go to the decompressor (none of the nouns are compressed), and another indirect jump wasn't updated. Finished up to room 8. Not tested yet, I think I will stop here for the night. If I keep at it I should be able to finish this one tomorrow. Everything is moving along nicely, I was just thinking how difficult it was to program Tau Ceti. It would take about 2 or 3 days to finish a room! This one will be about a week to complete everything (and I'm sick, not pushing too hard) the next mission will take even less time.
18 Jan 2019
It is a balmy -37C this morning, -44C with the wind. So I decided to brave the debigging process first this morning, and while not perfect it wasn fairly easy to get everything working up to room 8. So I am halfway on the rooms. Also another thing is the 'LOOK object' code actually does check to see if it is the room. Not sure how I missed that yesterday. One thing that is disappointing is I have another phrase that doesn't format right, but also has a spelling mistake. So I will have to redo the compressed data yet again. It is about half way in the data, so if I have to I will add a zero to make the numbers I have already coded match up. Yep I had to do that. Even phrases that were close were missing the first 2 letters. Well this is the difficulty of the compressed data. Sometimes to complete a byte (about half of the letters are nybbles) it will have to add an extra space. When I need to cancontanate (a phrase is more than 88 letters) 2 DATA statements it is difficult to tell whether a space has been added or not, and how to format the words so they don't break on the edge of the screen. Well luckily the second time I encoded it I got it tok work. Room 9 is fairly big, I think I will break before coding it. Well that is alot of code, I have to do a couple things, then I will return to debug it. But all of the remaining rooms should be relatively painless. OK lots of stupid mistakes, but should mostly be good now. It will just be when I get the second key into the game that I'll see if everything works. Typed in the last of the rooms code, I will just have to test it and fix up the code for the load and I'll be done. Aaaannd I think I'm finished. Took a few hours to beat out the last few bugs. The most difficult one was 'LOOK KEY', it was mostly working, but took alot to get fully working. One thing I am a bit conscerned about is for some of the larger games (namely Tritonus and Fave Ret), as Epsilon Aerigie was a relatively small adventure with 16 rooms, but I used almost all of the memory. I had about 150 bytes left! I guess I won't be able to expand those games much. <sigh>
19 Jan 2019
Another cold day but I actually had quite a few things to attend to today. I looked at the project and changed the screen colour. I think the mission objective for Uter Eutis was too simplistic and not terribly realistic. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to retcon the mission objective and outline the new adventure. It is already too late tonight.
20 Jan 2019
This is probably the mission that killed this game for me. It is simply SO juvenile! But I think I have a better idea how to make this game more reaslistic and just plain better. I wanted to play through the game to get a feel for it, and the feel is yuchie. I would like to keep very little from this existing game. Like Epsilon Aerigue, I will be doubling the rooms from 8 to 16. The layout will be similar, but there will be more, and I will try to have it make sense. Also I am formulating a secret, something that will require something from each game! Anyhoo, I'm just trying to make an easy way to get my wordy intro into CBM Studio, but it's not so easy. Nothing but trouble. First all of the data is too big and it keeps overwriting other things. I just erased a couple of rooms code but I still can't seem to get the opening blurb to print. Plus this is bad news using this much memory means much less for the game. I think the reason it won't print is because it is more than 255 characters long. OK that is exactly what was happening. I guess I will run it through the encoder and fill in the few other characters I need later. First run: it has saved many bytes but it is not formatting right. OK 8 runs later ... It's not perfect but it will have to do. I will start working on the rest of the data now. I must have scared myself, I completed the data and only used 1400 bytes. So I may have to go through the data and be a bit more wordy. But not tonight. I think I am finished for the night.
21 Jan 2019
I quickly went through the code and removed many chunks pertaining to having 2 keys. I also updated many things to reflect the new mission. Before going any further I should see if there is anything I would like to add to the data. If there isn't too much I can code some interesting puzzles. I thought about changing the jarring colour combination, but it is part of the charm. Anyway time to give this adventure a facelift. Quickly looking at the data there isn't too much I want to change but there are a couple of things, so I will open the encoder again. What can I say? I expanded the adventure a bit, but I will still have about 1000 bytes left of my DATA area. I guess it is, what it is. OK I am almost ready to start joining the data to the rooms and objects. Moar koffeee! I had to do other things for most of the day, but late this evening I changed the program for the new verbs, nouns, and objects. I changed most of the tables and started working on the rooms. I got to room 6 and realized I missed another object. There is another thing I will have to figure out how to deal with in this room. So I think I will stop here for now. I had hoped I could have finished this adventure today as it is fairly short, but I just ran out of time.
22 Jan 2019
No time again. After work I added the 2 nouns I needed. I wanted to code a bit more but I just didn't have it in me.
23 Jan 2019
After work I coded room 6, just so that something got done.
24 Jan 2019
I decided I should test stuff before I go any further. I see several things that I have to fix in the data, and I notice some conspicuous omissions. So I may have to fix the data before moving on. There may be a problem in my objects code, so I changed it a bit. But the rest of the code seems OK. Then again none of it is real brain bending code. I ended up not being able to return to this till late at night. I tried to fix the data, and my intro is wonky again. The rest of the data looks fine. I got the new belts for my datasettes. I replaced 2 of them but not sure if it is helping. Went back to see if I could get the datasettes to load a game, they almost do, but not quite. Played with them for a few hours, then came back to this. I hopefully fixed the intro again, and fixed the code for the new data up to room 8. Not sure why this one is taking so long. Making a bit of progress, although not tested, I have coded up to room 12. But that's it for tonight.
25 Jan 2019
For some reason I thought I would have most of the day to finish Uter Eutis. It actually went the entirely other way. I basically had a couple hours at the end of the night. So I coded the last 4 rooms. There will be a lot of testing tomorrow. Not sure why this adventure was so difficult to finish, but it really really was.
26 Jan 2019
I should have some time to finish and clean up Uter Eutis. I made a couple of fixes to Epsilon Aerigie as well. The big project today will be testing all of Uter Eutis and hopefully starting on Xterious. I just wanted to check Epsilon Aerigie and there is something wrong with the load. There must be an error it returns from the load and I was going to say it starts over, but it doesn't. It is JMPing to 4109. That is very odd, I'm not sure where that code could have come from. WOW! That was stupid. It's fixed now. Let's make sure Uter Eutis doesn't have the same mistake. Yep it did. OK sort of ready to test Uter Eutis. Sort of. OK not bad I found some problems in RM 8,12 & 13 so far. Just little things but I will fix them and recompile. Well shit happens and I wasn't able to get back to this till late. So I fixed the rooms and decided I should fix the data as well. I then started testing and found a few more problems, but I think the enemy and rat kill you too often. I will have to somehow lower the percentage of that happening. A few more mistakes to fix. OK I think that's a wrap. I actually think this adventure is way better. It might be a bit harder as well. This was a tough one for some reason. Unfortunately it is too late to start Xterious, but I should be able to get at it tomorrow.
27 Jan 2019
I started the new adventure Xterious. I basically copy and pasted Uter Eutis and started changing colours. I will have to add a new verb : TIME to this adventure. I was curious because I had 25 nouns for the last adventure, what is my upper limit? I was hoping, because I had replaced the MSB and LSB in the routine that I wasn't indexing the verbs/nouns, but I am. Meaning my upper limit is exactly 255 letters, including terminating zeroes. So depending on the length of the words, I don't think I can have many more than 25, maybe 30. That's disappointing. I could rewrite the routine, but I probably won't unless I need to, and I won't need it for this adventure. The first 3 adventures were, well, not very good. My memory says that Tritonus , Gredonis and Fave Ret are better, but we'll see. I will expand this adventure as well. I will add a few more rooms, but more importantly I will add more objects to look at and distract you. lol. That's probably all the time I have this morning, I will return to this later today. Just as I thought, I really didn't get back to this till much later in the day. So I am just plotting the map and thinking about a few things. Maybe if I am not too tired of text adventures after this, I should put another one in the list for next year. Another random thing occured to me. At the moment the number for an object that is on you is one greater than then number of rooms. But as this will expand I should just change it to 128, also that way I can use BMI and BPL. It might save a few CMPs. OK I think I have all of the code updated for the next adventure, I added time and the display routine, and fixed the objects code so I can have 127 rooms (if I had the memory). I will have to start my data now. Well I got distracted and nothing got done.
28 Jan 2019
While having my coffee I started writing the data for Xterious. I have completed up to room 10. There will be 18 rooms, but I think many of the next rooms won't have as much in them. I can already tell there is more data in Xterious than Uter Eutis, and I'm not done. I think I will have to load the decompressor and test the phrases for formatting, because there are many long descriptions. Rather that go back and forth between the xVic and CBMPS as I have been doing. But first a break. Finally. When I returned I finished the last rooms and loaded the decompressor and tested the longer phrases. There were a few mistakes but it was SO much easier to fix in xVic. I just have to tie this all together, easy peasy. lol. OK I updated the verbs and nouns, I may have to update the GET, DROP, INVENTORY routines. Crap I forgot to remove a useless phrase from the beginning and now it's throwing everything off. I will have to compress again. I already updated the look rooms table, so this sucks. OK everything is finally updated and I am ready to create the rooms. I was just testing to see if the room descriptions were printing right and after a while it crashed. I realized I forgot to add rooms 17 & 18 to the room jump table. OK a quick break for my back. Moving right along. I have coded up to room 8. I have debugged some of it. I think I will stop here. That might be why I am semi-interested in this. It isn't really challenging code, and the story is (mostly) old. I am doing better on Xterious than Uter Eutis though. I just have to keep trucking, I know I'll be happy to have this updated.