I have almost 2 decades of work on some of these games (I know pretty lame), but it is on and off. Mostly off really. Any way I have a renewed interest and have started yet again to complete a project. As far as I know most of this stuff has sat dormant for at least 4 years, some closer to 8 some longer...
2012 and earlier
I have had a fairly uneventful vic year. I started working on a few programs, namely Distractions and Tau Ceti in 2013, but I didn't finish either of them. In fact it looks like I haven't done anything vic related for at least 5 months, meaning all of 2014. At any rate I decided I should continue to document my progress (or lack of it)...
<BY THE WAY THERE ARE SPOILERS IF YOU PLAN ON PLAYING ANY OF THE GAMES!>
6 Jun 2014
WOW! I am super surprized that I just dropped Tau Ceti and that was it. I wonder if I did any work on it at all after that. I doubt it. I guess I am surprized because all the heavy lifting was done! Setting up the next 9 rooms and thier variables would have bee relatively easy, and game 1 would have been done. Then just repeat 4 more times. But I also think sometimes that is how I lose interest. When there is easy, but boring and repetitive code to do I guess I quickly start to fade. Within a couple of weeks from the last entry (dec 23) I went on holiday again. Another thing that would have happened was I had to pack everything up. Probably since Aug or Sept all of my Vic stuff was boxed and put in a big pile, trying to keep it out of the way. I know I am fairly obsessive and I started obsessing with my synthesizers. So for the last 5 months it has been nothing but Bėker. Yesterday I decided I had to clean up the mess of boxes and stuff downstairs, to reclaim my work bench. This is where all the Vic stuff was hibernating. With a bit of creative use of space I think I can set up a vic next to my computer. So all day was spent shuffling stuff around between the basement and the 2nd level. I didn't get as far as setting up a vic but most of the stuff is in place. But summer is here (sort of it was snowing just north of us today!!!) so I don't imagine I will be doing much for a few months but maybe, just mayne having a vic set up right next to me will encourage a bit of programming. Again looking at the list, there are quite a few almosts. Distractions is down to 4 or 5 programs then just loaders and that is done. I did kind of get stuck on the half graphic ML, not really sure why. I'm sure I could have finished it. Anyway then I started Tau Ceti and like I said before the difficult stuf is done. I thought maybe if I wasn't sick of it I might finish Cygnis as well. I will post a thought that has been percolating in my brain. It would be good (especially for Cygnis with it's no expansion) to try and code some rudimentary compression into the game to get more detailed description with much less memory. My thought is this: 2 4bit letters. Obviously there are 26 letters, so I would have to have a reserved 4bit number to print the 10 less used letters. I could also reserve another number for multiples greater than 2. Although prossibly useless for english it is a thought. Anyway would probably help, decompress into a buffer and just use m same old print routine. I also want to know how to make lines and was trying to understand a document about hi-res polygons. Way over my head, but I'm going to have to start experimenting. It sucks having to re-invent the wheel but I am that stubborn.
7 Jun 2014
It's kinda scaring me. I have been going through my old notes and getting excited. This is usually how I start to get back into it. Soon I will be programming obsessively. But I don't think I should be doing this when the sun is shining. Hiding in a dimmly lit room playing with 30 year old technology is not good, not now. I guess I could do worse things.
9 Jun 2014
I hooked up the VFLI vic and although it took a while (one of the power supplies didn't work, then for some reason I couldn't get the TV to work) I finally got the parrot to display! Everything is quite awkward for the moment. I hope to have a better set up soon. Well it's a bit better. I am having some trouble with the computer. It only comes up right one in every 4 tries or so. I am worried, something is going. On another thought, I will have to understand better what it is that I have done to my vic. Originally there was 5K RAM, with 2 2K chips and 2 512B (yte) chips. We removed the 2 512B chips and inserted 2 more 2K chips, so that the whole block starting at 1024 is populated with memory right to 8192. So 4096 to 8192 is exactly the same. OK after re-re-reading the thread the extra 3K is now part of the inside of the computer. Meaning that you can use it as a regular 3K how every you like or (the important part) the VIC chip can see and use it as well. Now you can use the whole 8K for graphics!! You would also need additional memory for your program, but that's OK because the VIC chip doesn't need to see that. Then the fancy part is that the color memory is now in a huge chip that is bank switchable, so you can have multiple colors stored here. The trick is switching it fast enough to be usable. I will have to experiment with this. I wish I had a disk of Exploria to try, maybe if I have patients I will load the cassette later tonight.
10 Jun 2014
While I still haven't done anything concrete, I think I am just about ready to jump in. Earlier today I did a very basic test to theorise on some 3D graphics. I have some ideas that may work, even though the vic is quite slow (for actual 3D calculations). The reason I am thinking about this is becasue of the VFLI computer. I know Mike is a bit disappointed with the fact noone has even tried this (and I have basically disappeared since completing the mod in Jun 2013). I think the answer is simply making something people will drool over and feel a great need to have. So I hope to make a few games that require the VFLI mod and it's amazing (for the Vic) graphics. Unfortunately for Mike and myself is I have a huge learning curve ahead of me. I don't even know how to do anything on this platform, nor do I yet have the experience or knowledge in ML to do what I think is possible. So ultimately that will be the goal. For now I will concentrate on things that are a bit smaller in scale. I looked up Tau Ceti to see where I was. I had finished RM3, so 9 rooms to go. I will look at coding a room tonight and take it from there. Another thing I think I will need is a SD card interface. It will be so much faster to transfer files between the PC and the Vic. I think I will continue to do most of my programming on the PC for a couple of reasons. One is that it is faster, if I have to load several files from disk on the PC this is almost instantaneous. The other is the unfortunate limited lifespan of a Vic. When something goes on a Vic there is a good chance that it may not be repairable, so the less I have to use it the better. Obviously I will have to at the very least test everything on a Vic for VFLI simply because (unless something changes) there is no emulation for it. So there you have it, some random rambling and some vauge talk that I will actually DO something. So I forced myself to write out some code and now I think I know why I stopped. There simply isn't enough room left to make 9 rooms and handle the items and general messages. There just isn't! A small room (right now) requires just under 100 bytes. There are just over 1700 bytes left! OK maybe I am getting overly worried, I should still have about 800 bytes left if the rooms don't take too much space. And maybe I can squeeze in a few bytes in wierd places. I keep forgetting that above the screen there are 5 bytes that could be used for variables. Rm9 is going to be the tough one, because lots is going on in it. Kinda sucks but I think compression is the key. If I can reduce the char set to less than 32 I should be able to store everything as 4 bit nybbles and hopfully save some bytes. The only other compression would be to do pattern searches, but it would take a long time to code. But that won't help me on this game unless I scrap everything and start over. I really wanted to get something done tonight, but I just can't do it. I have part of the code for room 4. Try again tomorrow.
11 Jun 2014
Although I will probably continue making rooms for Tau Ceti the way I have, I am starting to wonder if just one loop for all rooms might be better. It will be a huge pain to program but it would be cheaper to handle look in one loop, rather than 12 (which by the way will be the most used verb by 500%, a statistic that I just made up and is now a fact). ML sucks at multiple comparisons. I don't know if the memory savings would be huge, but I am concerned that I will run out of memory. Anyway back to the grind. Wow that was tough. I finally coded Rm#4, but it took forever. Maybe drinking beer while doing this wasn't the best idea. I guess combining certain things you like, does not nessessarily go hand in hand.
12 Jun 2014
I am very tired, so nothing got done. Not sure about much today. I just wanted to do something easy and simple like update some web pages or something, but unfortunately it looks like there really isn't anything to do. I am so beat I doubt that I could concentrate on much for very long anyway. The nice thing is I AM sitting outside with the laptop. It is a beautiful day and I am enjoying it as much as I can. I guess there are things I could do, but I imagine by the time I start something it will be time to goto bed. I have to work early tomorrow. Probably for the best, the last few weeks have been crappy because I haven't had a project to concentrate on. Or more correctly I haven't had a project that I want to concentrate on. I have been dreaming a bit though. I hope that eventually I can make some of this happen.I did make one small (maybe big) change. I moved the expanded series from 129 to 256. I figured I should leave room for the classic series. I do like working with in the limitations of the vic, and when I feel I don't want to I can place it in the expanded side of things. I will add an SD card as a medium, because it looks like some of these projects are going to be quite large and need a massive storage medium. I guess that means I will have to get an SD2IDE device as well. It will make things easier to transfer between the PC and the VIC.
15 Jun 2014
Finally I typed in the code for rm 4. Crap it looks like it is about 200 bytes! I gotta finda a way to make these rooms smaller. I tried running it but I must have done something wrong and it started to overwrite the BASIC. I am too tired to continue this tonight but maybe this will help me move ahead.
16 Jun 2014
I opened and looked at my stuff from last night. It was quickly fairly evident what I had done or had failed to do. The Vic was set up for 16K with nothing at the 3K, so yeah there were problems. My ML resides in the 1024 to7679 area so I need the 3K block for that. Then to test my ML I use the memory above 8192. So I am using 157 bytes for rm4 which places me at 1937. I plan to combine rm 6,7,and8 but I'm not really sure what the savings will be. Rm 9 will be the worst simply because the most happens in it. Anyway I guess I should test it, see if it actually works. Well testing went OK. There were 2 problems one was a reversed branch (fixed now) and the other is printing some crap that it's not supposed to. I mean I programmed it that way, but now I have to unprogram it, because it shouldn't be there, if that makes any sense. So just to clarify the screenie below, and a huge spoiler!! Typing RUN when you see the goat will send you to a random room (3 or 8) when it picks room 3 everything is fine, but because room 8 isn't finished yet, the room table points to 0, which when JMPed to will return the ?ILLEGAL QUANTITY error. So it works. Now to remove all that extra crap. < sigh > OK so I saved 20 bytes or so, now to test it. It seems to work but the random parts are happening a bit too often for my liking. Should be a simple fix, but I have to remember which branch is less than. I do have a problem with the room description coming up every second time. Ahh I was jumping too far back in the program although I'm not sure why it only did it every second time. So I'll fix the JMP. OK it seemed to work, but something funny happened one time that sent me back to room 1 for no apparent reason. More testing is needed. Well not sure what happened everything seems to be working fine for the moment. I guess I should start on the next set of rooms. As I work on rms 5,6,7, &8 , it occurs to me that the look-print rm things should have been handled by a table. Well if I don't have to redo everything that will help Cygnis immensly. The more i think about it the more I think I should go back a step and re-do the rooms. The directions should have been handled in a separate sub-routine. I was thinking about it but got lazy, and now I will have to start again. SO I may as well go back and do the table for the look-print as well. It is a pain in the ass, but it will make everything work better and save a few bytes as well. So each room should ONLY handle room specific things, so many rooms SHOULD have nothing in them! OK if I am not too tired tonight I will start again.I was actually making some headway, when I just started feeling nauseated. Hope it's nothing serious, but it certainly finished what ever I was planning tonight.
17 Oct 2014
I have a serious problem!!! Someone ordered an Exploria cassette but I can't make one work!!! I have been at it about a week now. I finally have a cassette reading but still a load error on the LOGO program. I finally went back to the PC and found when I turned my WAV back into a TAP there were always load errors and problems. I have the first few programs working now, but the graphics for the splash page won't read. The major hurdle I crossed today was that some of my piracy prevention was preventing me from copying my program! I guess it will slow down at least a few people. But I can't seem to figure out why. Tomorrow I will try this on one of the older computers. I hope I can fix this soon or I will have give up and refund the customer his money!
18 Oct 2014
Well I think I have it. I have made a set of rules so that I hopefully won't have this problem again. I will tuck it somewhere in the Vic 20 archives. The biggest problems? find what the optimum playback volume was (about +3db). Getting the phase right the first non sync wave (around 9s360) should be a downswing. Only using the right channel, stereo signals are just slightly out of phase and this creates problems for the mono reading head. I tried the left channel but it didn't seem to work, so right channel it is. And lastly I was using AudioTap for converting my TAPs to WAVs and after DAYS of testing it will NOT make a playable WAV on System 7 or 8 platforms. I had to use an older computer running XP. I think I have copies as good as they are going to get. Now I should finish up making my archive of tapes as I still don't have many of the longer ones. And I could redo the shorter ones better. We'll see I guess. I have many things I would like to do before I settle in for the winter Vic season. Oh 2 more things I have aquired another Vic, it belonged to my friend Mike, and he also gave me several games I had never played before, should be interesting. AND unforunately it looks like my suped up VFLI vic has died. I am very sad ...
21 Oct 2014
Exploria is making it's way across the ocean. I kinda wanted to do something, but without digging in too deep. So I opened my notes and remembered I should add the information about Exploria's loaders, so I don't have to relearn the traps I put in the loaders. So I wrote that out, and looked at the notes for Tau Ceti. So here's where I am at with that. I have decided that dealing with each room separately is a poor way to code this, that means I have to take about 2 steps back and re-code. I had started to organize my thoughts around this and coded about a full page (probably about 200 instructions). But I think this has to be an encompassing effort and I will have to have the majority in place before testing. This sounds like alot of work and not something I want to get into at the moment. I started looking through the Distractions disks and found Treminator. I opened it and played with the graphics a bit, I still have to work out the mechanics a bit. Soon though I realized it wasn't doing at all what I thought it was supposed to be doing. I printed out the program and looked at the code. All I can say is that it would be best to start this from scratch as well. I sort of understand what I was trying to do, but this is not doing it (and will not do it). I opened the Lands of Uth and fixed a small error in it. I even opened the new(er) ML version of the AJ&KJ logo. This will be better, but I will have to redo the autoloader as well. Even though I didn't accomplish much it was fun, but I think it is time to call it a night.
22 Oct 2014
I didn't do any programming today, but I did look at alot of stuff. I have enough chips to make my own 24 K cart if I want to use 6114 chips. Although I could probably buy and use a CY62256. When I have time I will try to swap out the VFLI's 6560 chip, I do think that is the culprit. I also think I will remove the eprom from Mikes Super Expander cart (because it isn't working) so it is just 3K . I want to see if I can get the 16K cart to work better as well. The big plan though will be to get all the games on physical media. I know I started to put the games on tape but had alot of problems and gave up. Now I know what I need to do. I was thinking I could test to see which games were working but really I should just do them all over. I may have to get more tapes. Also the last 4 games are not on disk, which should be rectified. Anyway early morning tomorrow ...
23 Oct 2014
Didn't do much today, just a bit of puttering once I came home from a very long day at work. Puttering with Treminator.
24 Oct 2014
Not sure why but I felt a need to play with pictures. Nothing useful just to be sure. I ended up looking at all the converted pictures for Minipaint and then accidentally erased a whole disks worth of pictures. So I spent most of the evening putting them back, although this time I used ones that were edited properly. I played with the Tau Ceti picture and fixed it (again). Then I converted another 7 pictures or so. Now I have wasted most of the night it is time for bed.
25 Oct 2014
Today was another of my lazy days. I worked on a few more pictures that I had left over from last night. Then I did make some progress on Treminator. I think I have the majority done. I just want to do some adjusting to tremor routine, and add the aftershock bit and new city bit and an ending. I do have most of this sort of planned out in my head. It should only be a day or two to finish. Playing with these pictures makes me think I should work on the pictures for Distractions. Now I remember what I wanted to do. I was going to try and use Mike Kirchers PGM IMPORT program to make a smaller version, and maybe some interesting changes. Although it would actually be faster for me to just manually input my picture. I guess we'll see how ambitious I get.Wow I added 1 skeleton to the 17 skeleton picture. Only 14 more to go. HA! I looked quickly at my drawing program. It is SO rudimentary, but it did work. It looks like I was planning on adding Multi color, but didn't get that far. Well this is very interesting, I think a version of a PPM IMPORT version is very possible. It just might be really slow. I will have to make a chart of colors to see if i can ballpark some of these just to get started. Well working on it for a few hours and getting too tired to think. Try again tomorrow.
26 Oct 2014
I have a very rudimentary converter and have converted 4 pictures. I started typing in the pic ML but something is making it crash. I'm sure it's simple, but I am too tired to figure it out.
26 Oct 2014
As it turns out it was something simple. I thought I had only added 6 instructions before a branch, but I had added 8 and thusly it wasn't going back far enough for a proper loop. So I really wanted to say some stuff about the picturea dn the process, but there isn't as much to say as I had thought. Really I stole the PGM code and with a little help from the interweb managed to kludge together an import program for 4 colors. The whole process is not automatic, I didn't have time to try and calculate the RGB equivelants of the 16 Vic colours, so I do it by myself. And the same is for the ML that prints the pictures out now. Rather than have all files work for one program each program has to be tinkered with to work with the picture file. I used the ML from the Angels pic with a few modifications, like a larger graphics area, multi-colour, and a few other small things. So now all 4 pictures are self-contained, finished and ready for incusion on Distractions. One will be a bonus. I want to include Mountains, because it was the first picture converted, and actually converted the best of all 4 pictures. It's tough making a 48 (remember multi) by 128 picture with only 4 colours still look good. And remotely like it's larger more colorful counterpart. I had to tweak many as I was degrading the picture. Many time going stright to 4 colours made the program choose sepia like colours that kinda sucked. So I would take them to 8 colours and manually remove the colours. And when making them for the Vic it was kinda the same process. I decided what colours I would use and just changed the numbers for each picture. The pictures are probably fairly underwhelming for people after Mike and Tokra's VFLI stuff, but pretty cool for me. This was a fun little project I hope I can do a few more pics before I move on. I just realized something! I now have a new splash page loader! With this and the new ML AJ loader the load times for cassettes should be alot shorter! Not sure what I want to take on, but the weather is starting to get very cold, so it is time to crack open the archives and warm up the Vic.
27 Oct 2014
I am thinking if I want to go any further I should make/fix my picture program, so I can work in multi-color. I think most pictures always need a bit of tweaking when your taking all of the quality out of them. Started a few more pictures but I don't think I will finish them.
Working on Tau Ceti
28 Oct 2014
It is an appropriatly cold day and I am listening to Genesis' And then there were Three. I think I had decided what I was going to do a while ago, but I was a bit afraid to look into the can of worms. So I cautiously opened my notes for Tau Ceti to see what had been done and what I needed to do. A fairly quick look and a bit of re-organizing kind of puts me back at the crossroads that I hit in Jun and probably In Dec of 2013 (which would be why I just dropped everything). I can continue the way I am, handling every room separately, and probably run out of room. OR I can go back about 3 or 4 steps and start again forming one big loop for that majority of the tasks which should theoretically tighten the code but possibly still run out of room. Although I am leaning toward the second choice, I don't really want to do that either. It would likely mean one huge chunk of code (or a bunch of inter-related subroutines) that would be a pain to code and a pain to de-bug. Although there are some good things, One: most of my Verb/Noun/Command ML was at the top of the space and working down, so it can stay exactly the way it is. Two: while I would have to strip the code back to 1419 (500 bytes which seems like alot) the code that I do need from anything above that is mostly worked out, so aside from typos, this should just be a case of changing a few JMPs. Three: this will give me a chance to fix a small bug in the INPUT routine, that has bothered me but would mean I would have to move alot of code up only a few bytes, such a pain without an assembler. Come to think of it maybe it is time to try using one. I think Ghislean (did I spell that right?) has an assembler that works with base 10 numbers, that would work very well for me. I may take the plunge at some point. Hmm after a closer look there are a few short routines I should maybe move below the Input routine. I wonder if I can find a BASIC loader for this, it would make things a bit easier, as I think the INPUT routine has changed significantly from the scribbles I have on paper. I will take a look. Holy Crap that took all day! I moved the code around (although I haven't tested anything yet I'm sure a few things still need fixing). Then I tried solving the Input routine. The problem was the when the cursor was in it's visible state and you press return it would leave a reversed space at the end of your line. Comsetic but very annoying. So I tried seeing if there was a clever way by checking the timer countdown or a dozen other ideas. None worked, finally I just made it print an extra space. Doh I wish I had thought of that earlier. Problem solved and it only added about 8 bytes to the code. Sucks though, it feels like I've accomplished nothing, as I am obviously much further away from finishing that I was before. Crap I went fix a problem and the damn thing crashed. OK I think I have everything set for the time being. Next I will have to code this so-called main loop. Just checked and the ML is a real mess. I am going to have to try this again when my brain is functioning better. Maybe I'll do something else for a while. I couldn't help it I think everything is fixed except for the JPMs, but I will have to write more stuff to know where to JMP to. Looking at my notes now that I'm a bit more familiar with the program, they are starting to make sense. I do have some code written already, but it looks like it will be a bunch of small sub-routines that I will have to tie up at the end. I converted another 4 pictures and now it is late.
30 Oct 2014
I needed a day away from the computer screen. But I do think I am fearing this re-model. It's just one of those things where you know you have a pile of work ahead of you. Procrastination is my protection mechanism. I really wish it wasn't, because it obviously isn't helpful. I also know that once I start, for the most part, I will actually enjoy the process. I have looked at the 3 pages of notes starting the new BIG LOOP, and I understand the mechanic of it and they look sound so far. I guess I just have to start the process. Thinking about it, it is probably similar to how the earlier BASIC adventures worked. Although I will handle most directions here as well which I would have handled separately in the BASIC games. I guess also that I feel like I am working backwards, making a bunch of bits that won't work together till the end. But it is the best way. I have a bit of code and I guess I will start there. Hmm, it's a good thing I decided to check everything and see what it's doing. There was some code that was missing, and alot of it that was wrong or had the wrong address attached to it. It was still a mess. I have most of it ironed out now, but I think I have more fixing to do before I move ahead. WOW! What a mess. For some reason alot of the code was corrupted so bit by bit I put it back in and added a quick routine to look at the room (this would replace the code at the beginning of each room) using a table. What a difference I almost feel I am at the same point or maybe even further along!!! I mean I still have to do a few SYS calls but wow! But now I have to start on the BIG LOOP before I do any rooms. OK translated the code for directions, this SHOULD move you from room to room. WOW again only had a few BNE backwards, it seems to work! Next part of the big loop is LOOK. The rooms will be easy enough I think, but the LOOK items I have started to code, it will be complicated. I think that is where I will stop tonight. Tomorrow I will break out the old laptop as we hand out treats! I may not get much done tomorrow.
31 Oct 2014
This sucks. I typed in the code for LOOK room and LOOK item. There are so many things to check it is difficult to say what isn't working. I hate this kind of debugging. So I am taking 10 just to clear my brain and try again soon. It was really difficult, I think also I was just too distracted. So I MAY have a mostly debugged portion of code, I may not. I'm not sure I want to open this up to do any more checking, but I should. The problem is, as one gets to this grand age, things pop out for no apparent reason. Like my lower back did as I got up to give out treats to kids this evening. It is even quite painful to sit, so I guess the real question is : how large is my pain threshold? Well that went quicker without so much going on. I think I have tested for most things, everything seems to work. I have one more thing to try, then it will be time to code a bit more. Yep it all seems to be working. This is crazy! I started coding and soon I realized that I was almost done, so I finished the BIG LOOP! If it works it will be about 220 bytes, leaving about 1600 bytes for the rooms. I hope that is enough. Well I guess I hope the new part of the loop works, but no more testing tonight my back is killing me. Just a note, all the ML is about 1100 bytes so it will be VERY tight to make a 0K text adventure game. I am thinking about Cygnis, it is still waiting in the wings.
1 Nov 2014
The bad back sydrome. I'm not even sure how I am going to go to work tomorrow. So I tried to spend most of the day away from the computer but ended up sending long correspondence to Denial members. I finally decided it was time to debug the last of the big loop. And it wouldn't work. I mean none of it would work! I checked the memory location where it started and it was a 0. Why? I ran it again and still a zero. This made absolutely no sence. I reset and tried again with the same result! At this point I realized I must be losing my mind, oh well it was a nice life. Then I checked the memory config and there was nothing at the 3K spot! Oh today is going to go wonderfully. So I setup the memory properly and loaded the programs bits. So just to see if it was working I tried a verb that should return a 'My tiny vocabulary can't understand you' and I got a 'You should do something.'. A null return. After freaking out a bit I realized the word length was still at zero. I tested again and got the correct response. Ok now for the dangerous stuff, I tried a clear and that worked. The I tried an Inventory. The first attempt resulted in a null response, which was right. Then I poked the ship into your backpack and tried again resulting a endless periods. Hmmm that is not quite right. A quick look at the ML looks sound although maybe one of the subroutines messes up my counter in X. Ouch a costly fix. Oh actually with a little thought it is just 5 bytes. OK there were a few fixes, I must have been getting tired near the end one of the mistakes was a HUGE oversight. Many were typos. It looks like it works though. So that runs about 400 bytes! It is a big loop. Next THE ROOMS!! I think after that, there will be a bit of tidying up, and the loader for the next part, but this one is almost done son! Hmm coded RM1 it is a bit longer than I thought, probably close to 100 bytes. Ouch. Oh I haven't given a rundown of the routines so here it is
820 - 829 Print
830 - 838 Get Cursor
839 - 847 Set Cursor
848 - 962 Title screen data
1024 - 1037 BASIC
1038 - 1058 Start
1062 - 1154 Setup Variables
1155 - 1235 Check Objects
1236 - 1346 Print Directions
1347 - 1362 Room JMP
1363 - 1386 Room Table
1386 - 1398 Print Title Subroutine
1399 - 1431 Print room Subroutine
1432 - 1444 Look room
1445 - 1468 Look Room Table
1469 - 1833 The BIG LOOP
1834 - 1845 New RM JMP
1846 - 1948 RM1
3427 - 3511 Input
3512 - 3580 Collect Words
3581 - 3629 Collect Verb
3630 - 3656 Check Command
3657 - 3732 Verbs
3733 - 3742 Commands
3743 - 3839 Nouns
3840 - 7659 Data
7660 - 7679 Variables
I am getting a bit worried about space (as always) almost down to 1400 bytes! I could recycle the get cursor and set cursor routines, I don't need them. It's too bad I can't move the print routine down 6 bytes, the first 6 bytes are unused as well. All this is a holdover from Dryton the last adventure of Betelguese I needed a way for basic to talk to the ML and this was it, but now the whole thing is ML most of this is unneeded. But the print routine is used so many times now I just can't move it at this point. More programming and testing. I think RM1 is done. One odd thing though the rock can be picked up? Maybe a small fix in the BIG LOOP. I think that's it for today. Really good progress though.
2 Nov 2014
Did RM2 and RM3. Feeling pretty good, but there was one curious thing, the command L works but LOOK without a noun is a bit funny. I may have to do a bit of fancy dancing to fix this. I will look into this and the curious GET ROCK stuff later. For now with the 3 rooms, I am at 2033, so even at an average of 100 bytes per room I should have more than enough room to finish. Except I know that some rooms will be more, and room 9 will be MUCH more. I guess I will see when I get there. I remember room 4 was a bit more involved as well. I will pound out some code and see. I have an idea, really several rooms don't need anything in them, I SHOULD be able to combine them, to save space. Oh crap I forgot a little bit for RM4, it is getting quite long now. OK I have the code, for RM 4,5,6,7 & 8. I just have to type it in and test it, but I have to go to work. Hang in there back. OK it's all typed in, I am a bit afraid to try it. There are a few thing that are supposed to move you to different rooms and I'm just wondering if it's going to work or just cause a huge headache. So the code for RM4 is about 140 bytes and the code for RM5,6,7,8 is about 60 so I am at 2248 now with just a little less than 1200 bytes to finish. Could be scary. Well there are alot of problems I think I will leave this for tonight.
3 Nov 2014
This is about where I was with the rooms before I decided to start again. So I am quite a bit farther ahead this time. Now let's see if I can get these rooms working properly. Well this hasn't worked out very well at all. My back is not good, but I have been waiting for a package, so I didn't want to start something only to be interrupted. But the post lady is late and I haven't gotten anything done. Only an hour before work. I did make a few changes to the new catalogue, but realized I would have to make more. sigh. Just not a good day, I guess. Last night we had our first snowfall, so I had to check out a few things, like the new heating wires on the roof. I checked them again this morning and I am very happy I installed them, but this does little for my programming. I need to get out of this chair for a bit. Ow. Back from work but I am in so much pain. I am trying to debug RM4, but it is so difficult because I cannot keep my mind on what's going on. I think I am just going to have to write tonight off. It sort of sucks because I want to keep moving ahead, but I think I am just going to have to call it a draw until tomorrow. What is giving me grief is a thing that moves you to another room, and something isn't quite right. Plus the dirty goat thing isn't quite working either. I guess I will have to take my geeky ass downstairs to look at my STAR TREK TOS DVDs!!! Oh the pain, the pain.
4 Nov 2014
I hope I can concentrate enought to figure this out and move on. Still in a Genesis mood, so Trespass is playing. As everything isn't working I realize I have another fix! I had to re-organize the items so they would align to the order they are accessed by the noun routine, so I could create an inventory list. This is fine but I had already created a routine to print items in the current room, and now items are appearring where they shouldn't. Goodness there are so many things that need attention is it difficult to keep it all straight. OK first problem, I am going to continue slogging through RM4, the first command isn't being recognized for some reason. Moar testing! Wow coding when your tired is bad. First problem is I tried to do the same thing in 2 parts of this room!! The other part of this is that I'm not sure what I was thinking but I didn't implement most of the code properly the first time round (which is the code that would be executed). So some major re-writing here. OK so one thing sorted out. But now I have a BIG problem. I was going to use memory 3 and 4 for an indirect JMP but that is overwritten when I try to get a RND number. ARRRGGG! Time to walk the kink out of my back. So a few thoughts. I guess I will have to move my indirect JMP, while at first I was think this would be bad, not too much code would have to be changed. I just have to find a "safe" zero place in zero page. This may solve 2 problems, maybe. Oh I was so wrong, I forgot almost every ending in the big loop uses an indirect JMP. This may take a while. At first I thought I would use 23,24 for the new indect JMP, but it looks like that is being used by the print routine. I think I should be able to use 53,54 so the change begins. I did kinda think there would be problems but it kept clearing the screen and then as soon as I tried to goto another room it crashed. Not sure what the next move is. So just looking through the code to make sure everything that was supposed to be change actually is and I think I figured out the problem for the GET ROCK but a solution may be difficult. When writing this part of the code there was a voice in the back of my head that said not to take and shortcuts, unfortunately I didn't listen to it and now what I thought shouldn't happen, is happening. Well slowly making progress, I just remembered each room changes the indirect JMP as well so I should be close again. I also thought out my fix for the GET ROCK problem and it will take 5 bytes to fix. Every JMP above this will have to be updated and the RM JMP table thank goodness that doesn't really entail too many changes. I guess I will byte the bullet here and do that as well. I sure hope I got everything, if not I will have to go through the code in the computer and hunt down the few wrong JMPs and that will be a HUGE pain. A bigger pain than it already is, which has taken almost all day to change. I think I almost have it back to where I was. Then it crashed. OK Rm4 is mostly done. There are a few JMPs that still need to be resolved, but I am pretty happy most everything seems to be working. Now I will try the GET ROCK and see if it was all worth it. Yep that works now too and the L vs LOOK seems to have fixed itself. Things are looking up. OK before I debug the code for RM5+ I think I will have to fix my Check Object routine. OK it looks fairly straight forward, oh except it only checks for 5 of the 6 items and there is no space to add another item here. Alright I can fix this. Wow what a day. Alot of fixes, but I think I had been putting them all off. I can see why, what a huge pain. And I still have work to do as I need to add 2 phrases that somehow got missed, well I think I will look at RM5. One thing I do know is that I will have to make a few small changes, as there is the change room problem. Alright it's typed in but not debugged, there is a problem with the look item part, and it has crashed twice. I am too tired to figure out what is going wrong right now. So tomorrow I will try to figure that out and then continur to debug RM5. Although it's kinda frustrating to end the night on such a note, I made good progress again today.
5 Nov 2014
Before I even looked at the look item problem I think I know what it is. It is trying to print something that doesn't exist yet. I'm pretty sure about this because LOOK SHIP works and LOOK RING also works. So the secret room jumping isn't quite worling. Two things: One is that is clears the screen like it is going to a new room which it shouldn't and 2 after repeated attempts it crashed. A quick look and I found my indirect JMP hadn't been updated nor had the JMP to the BIG loop, so I'm surprized it worked at all. I will test it again to see if it's still doing it, looking at my sheet nothing pops out as problematic. Well a few run throughs and nothing seems wrong. I should fix the 2 items before I start too much else. All right everything should be fixed and up to date, and I am up to RM8 and 2272! Before I start RM9 I will just put down a few thoughts. I think once I am done the last 4 rooms, all I need is to fix the setup variables routine, and add a dead part, the end part and a loader for the next program. Easy-peasy. I just hope this room doesn't use TOO much space, I guess there is still quite a bit to pack into less than 1200 bytes. I started writing out the code for RM9 when I realized I was missing one of the most important nouns of the game. I was kinda freaking out because I would have to move all of the INPUT/GET VERB ect stuff down about 5 bytes or so, and there are LOTS of JPMS, tables, and self modifying code, so it would be a literal nightmare. I would have the option of moving the first set of data (basically moving up past 3840), but then there are wasted bytes between the nouns and the start of data plus I would have to put the original data somewhere. Luckily I was looking through the noun list when I came apon a noun that actually isn't used. I thought it would be at one time but now it's not. Good thing too and it is exactly the right length. Crisis averted, back to coding. Alright I added some more word data that was needed, and put in the code for RM9. Only 850 bytes left! Well I checked most of it and there are only a couple of things that aren't quite working. For some reason the Data I put in isn't quite right, but I will fix it tomorrow. I'm afraid that is all I will do today. But that was another big chunk. Oh I lied I fixed the data so now that works right. I was going to code something but I'm too tired now.
6 Nov 2014
I have a huge headache from staring too long at this screen. I should take a day away, but I have to admit I am quite excited, because I am almost finished. Well at least the first adventure. The other 5 shouldn't be too difficult, because I will use most of the same routines for the printing, input, converting verbs and nouns to a table ect. The real difficulty is keeping the decription data around 4K and the room handling around 1.5K. I would like to make a few small changes, by removing alot of the stuff in the cassette buffer, and put some of the fixes back into the main code. This would give me a little more room and contiguous room, which I like. But that is later, today I should try to code RM 10 and 12, and whatever else I can. There really isn't much left. But first to the bat cave! I have some unfinished buisness with an acoustic. In a marathon coding session I wrote out the code for the rest of the game, I think. My guess is it looks like about 300 bytes. But I do have to add a bit more data. And if there are any mistakes is anyones guess. My back is a bit sore so I think I will type this in a bit later. I typed in the 2 RMs and thought I should test them before typing in the last 100 bytes or so. So I entered the RM JMPs into the table and realized, I didn't leave enough room and the program starts ON the last table entry. This means I will have to move everything up one byte, which would be no big deal except now all my JPMs JSR and self modifying code have to be changed as well for over 1300 bytes of code. This is a HUGE setback. I think I have to reflect on this mistake before I can bring myself to do anything. This has happened too many times, so I wrote a short BASIC program to do most of the work. I am getting it to check for the most common absolute mnemonics (because I am lazy) and see if it is inside the range being changed. I am also leaving an opt out function because this is not a disassember and the trigger numbers might actually be operands. So with my code handy let's do this. I hope this works. Well it seemed like it mostly worked. I did have a problem in RM 9, but I think I have to move more stuff but this shouldn't be as painful. Well that was a testament to patients. Alright everything seems to be working. There were a few locations that weren't updated so there were a few problems but I think I have tracked most of them down. I have RM 10 and 12 in there but they are not debugged and I see something is going on in RM 10 already, but I don't have any more steam. With some luck I should be able to test the last 2 rooms and add the last of the code. I'm hoping to tie this up tomorrow.
7 Nov 2014
OK program let's see what's happening. Well I'm still adding a number of things. I poked the few numbers that were still not updated, and added another phrase. Leaving only 4 bytes between the cassette buffer and BASIC. A couple of small fixes but HOLY CRAP there is an adventure here. So I have 2 loose ends to tie up. The dying part and the part that moves you on. Oh and fix the variables part, I found out it must do a bit of screen tidying as well. Doing some fixing (there were a couple of annoying spelling mistakes) and tying everything up. Wow it looks like I have 450 bytes left over!! 460 if you include the bit in the cassette buffer! I think that is a first, actually have room left over when I am done. Well I guess I'm not quite done yet, but almost there. Just have to test the load part. That all tested good so I bundled the whole thing up and tried to. It finishes fine but there is a problem in room 12. I need to take a break then I will come back to this later and see what's wrong. Hmmm I see what it is. I accidentally put my code over top the last 2 bytes of RM12. I must move all my new code up 2 bytes, this means finding and fixing all 6 JMPS. OK all that is done. I just have 2 small fixes. One is to insert the JMP at the beginning if you want to skip to the next adventure, the other is the end is repeating the text so I will just move my JMP a bit. Lots of little things to fix, but finally I think this one is done! YAAAAY! Just to make sure the next program was loading I made a short ML program to turn the screen blue. I will add this and the opening screen as there really isn't much variety for the screens with a text adventure. Next I will take all the relevant bits and tighten the code and just make a shell. I have diagrams for the next 2 adventures, so I guess once the ML is pared down again I will have to start creating the dialogue. Part of me wants to keep going but another part wants a bit of a rest. I think the rest part is winning.I was just looking at the code and wondered if a 0K version realy would be possible. So all told NOT including the ML for the rooms, the game ML is about 1300 bytes. So including the cassette buffer a 0K vic has about 3700 bytes free which would leave just over 2400 bytes for room ML and description. This game uses about 3900 bytes for description and 928 bytes for thr rooms!! So it might be possible, but it won't have big wordy descriptions, nor will it be very big.
8 Nov 2014
Feeling so lazy today. I was hoping I could put my Object fix into the main part but it won't fit, but then again I don't need to check if you are carrying 2 objects at the same time. Hmm a bit more thought before I dive into this. The more I think about it the more I am starting to think I should just leave it alone. The reason for the first fix was I needed one more object, then the second fix was because I needed to check 2 objects. This seems to me like a one time kinda thing. I guess if I need more objects I can always make the same patch, and I SHOULD know beforehand how many objects I need. So I guess back to the paper. I need to plot out the nouns and objects. I loaded up the old program I made to put in the Data and with the help of my little map I am typing in descriptions of the things you will find. Because there won't be as many objects in this game I am trying to give lots of description. I am having fun with this and being a little cheeky. Well as fun as that was, I was starting to get a bit tired of it by the end. So this game looks like it will be even smaller than T1, I managed to fit all of the description in 3848 and finished at 7658! Actually it is a bit shorter than that, there was a phrase that had a double. Anyway that is done and printed. The data is 3815 bytes! I hope tommorow, maybe after work I can work on getting the shell together.
10 Nov 2014
Yesterday was bad. So today I started work on the shell. I moved the Dead and Load routines just below the Input routine. Because I won't actually need the cassette buffer for this one (I dont think) I will have to move my opening screen. Not sure if I have much time, but I added all the new Data to the game and blanked all the old rooms. I went to save it and realaized I need a new virtual disk. I'm glad these are virtual, I am on my 5th disk for Tau Ceti and will probably need many more before finishing this game. The next step will be to locate and fix ALL of the old print bits and update them, then a few of the JMPs and update them, and remove the patch for the display object. I am starting to think an assembler might be quite helpful. I did try Ghisleans but it is not relocatable and only allows you to use an area in page 24 to 30 if I remember correctly. I even have an idea on how I might be able to make it relocatable. I could JSR and then PLA the 2 numbers so I knew where in the code we were, then a table could be modified so all JMPs were corrected. I may have to make my own. Hmm. This would delay a few future projects but really speed up the process afterwards. I should really investigate further to make sure there isn't an assembler that already meets my needs. And now it is time for work.
11 Nov 2014
Last night I was just too tired and played some of the games. I made a small change to my Looker program to poke in new values yesterday. It certainly isn't an assembler but it will be quite handy until I get one. There was no time before work, and honestly I didn't think I was up to it tonight, but I used Looker to find all of the things that needed to be changed. Like all of the printing will go directly to the Kernal subroutine rather that an unnessessary detour to the cassette buffer. I also had to change all of the LDA & LDY for the Kernal print, and the odd other thing. It was a long and tedious process, but after 2 hours I finished, did I say it was long? I was a bit worried that I missed a few, but so far everything seems fine. I can even wander around the rooms, but I can't look at anything yet. It was actually quite cool, for some reason I didn't think this would put me at this stage of the game. The rooms will just be printing out descriptions of things, it SHOULD be fairly straight forward. So tomorrow I will start with that.
12 Nov 2014
I have to make up for being an ass, so I don't think I'll have much time today. But I did a bit of testing, there was one thing I wanted to fix, and after fighting with it for a while I managed to fix the problem. I hope I can get at least one of the rooms done today. For the time being I have basically all rooms pointing to an empty loop, so you can (technically) visit each room but can't look or do anything specific to that room yet. I am quite excited to get started on this adventure, but unfortunately it will have to wait, at least for a while. Because it is interesting to me, I made up a quick list for a possible compression idea for Cygnis. OK back to RL for a while. Well I spent most of the day doing other things but I did get a good start on the rooms. I have RM1-4 done and debugged. Because the game is actually quite short and might be a bit too easy I am going to add another room (or two) and another switch. I think it will increase the difficulty quite a bit. Plus I am thinking about a couple of interesting easter eggs. I guess I will have to program up to room 8 to test anything further. Hmm a few things might be a bit difficult. It is just something that happens when you try retrofitting new ideas into a ridgid scheme. I would like to write out some more code but I think I may be too tired. Well I coded the next 4 rooms, but that's it, all the rest will have to wait till tomorrow.
13 Nov 2014
I typed in the next 4 rooms and testing has been kinda brutal. Lots of mistakes, but until this last one in room 8 none have been fatal. I probably shouldn't even be doing this I have a bunch of other things i am supposed to be taking care of. So I guess at this stage is where I will stop for now, but the rooms are typed in and I have a samll fix for RM2 that seemed fine. What seems to have done it was (because I haven't set all the variables in the start yet) one of the switches was not in the default position and well, something bad happened. I will look at it later. Oh my so many mistakes. Lots and lots of little things, but I think I have them all fixed now. I won't have much time till later, but I think I will leave RM9 for a bit, I need to add more description when I get to it. Adding a few more details (heh heh). So 4 more rooms (some of them will require a bit more coding) and then just tidy up. Fix the variables and the loader part. Pretty close. Well there was a bit of housekeeping I needed to perform. I added the new description taking another 380 bytes. Now I have to fix the room look table, for some reason some of the rooms got mixed up. Plus I should get memory locations of the start of the new phrases. OK I went and coded RM9: a medium monster, about 150 bytes! It's funny that RM9 in both games are busy rooms. Anyway I have also coded RM10, I kinda want to keep going because I should be able to finish the last 2 rooms. On the other hand if I work like I did last night it will take almost a whole day to fix everything. Well I did it anyway, although I will leave RM12 for now, I'm not sure if my logic is good in it, I will look at it tomorrow. But the other rooms I am going to TRY to type them in and we'll see how far I get. Well not far is the answer. I typed in RM9 and RM10. Hopefully I can debug this tomorrow and finish the last 2 rooms. But now I have another big fix, I put data over the start of the game. I will have to think about that for a bit.
14 Nov 2014
This morning I debugged the ML for RMs 9 and 10. I may not have enough room to put RM 12 in the nice area between the bottom and the top. I typed in RM 11 and there are 16 bytes left, so RM 12 will have to go in the cassette buffer. I also made a quick fix for my loading/startup problem. Now to test RM 11. That goes SO much smoother when I am awake. Now I have to double check the ideas I have used in RM12, and see how the two adventures link. I wasn't going to test the whole part without a RTS but I just went ahead and did it. And everything seemed to work, except when I entered the passphrase, the game started again. I was disappointed, something in the load game part is probably broken. Then I realized NO it worked perfectly, it was trying to load a program the didn't exist, and the next part of the code tells it to start again! So I will have to do a bit of fixing, by moving the cassette buffer stuff to the screen, making the little program that tuck the ML into the cassette buffer, making it point to the start of the game, and making the startup JMP point to the screen. But I will have to do that later tonight along with more testing, but I think adventure 2 is done! OOps there was a wrong number for a JMP but easily fixed and then I re-tested the ending and it looks fine. OK enough for now. OH I am frozen. Our cold weather came so quickly we didn't a chance to acclimatize, so it seems bitterly cold. So while I am warming up I hope to tidy this up. Alright everything is tidied up I changed a few JMPs and fixed the variables section and then I cleaned up a disk with place holders for the loaders (ONLY 2 LOADERS!!!). I put both games on the disk and played through them and found a horrible error in adventure 2! If you are in one of the 2 phantom rooms (as I call them, basically they are room within a room, just so there was a bit more exploring within the adventure) and use one of the valid directions from the host room, bad things happen. I have an idea that may fix it, but if that doesnt work then this is going to get ugly. My idea is each of the phantom rooms jump into the BIG LOOP where directions and some other general things are taken care of. So hopefully I can just jump in a little later to miss the direction handling. It will respond with 'My tiny vocabulary cannot understand you' rather than 'You can't go that way' but I can live with that. I will have to do more testing. OK fixed that but there are some other wierd things going on. The switch in room 9 is acting strange and then travelling N from room 12 takes you back to room 1. More testing is needed. This is most disappointing I thought this game was done, but it will have to wait another day because I now have other things that need attending to. Just before bedtime, but I couldn't leave it like that. I found 2 funny little mistakes. One was the switch for RM9 wasn't getting reset at the beginning of the game, the other was a BEQ that was 2 instructions too far. So now both rooms seem to work properly, and I think I really am done. On to the next! So I have this one kinda planned out as well, sorta. I have a couple of ideas. One is, the next game is more of a scavenger hunt, but the ending should load a story. I will work on a story of the life and times of the Tau's. I also want to incorporate my poxil drawing as well somewhere. Actually I think it will be a good idea, sort of a half time victory. It will load the story and the picture then on to adventure 4. As the programming goes I do want to add one thing to the ROOM JMP routine. I want to clear 2 there ( that is the variable that let's you know if this is the first time in the room or if you've been here a while). It will take 4 bytes and save 48, actually more than that because I shouldn't have to change my indirect Jump either. Thats another 4 bytes for each room equalling a saving of 92 bytes! That is another room! Of course everything above it (which is pretty much everything) will be 4 higher, so I will have to fix Jmps ect. yet again, but this should be the last time, for now.
15 Nov 2014
This morning I am reflecting and lamenting on the fact this project is quite a bit bigger than I imagined. I have been working on Tau Ceti on and off since the summer of 2013. The last 3 weeks I have been working at a frantic pace. Even if I keep up this pace I would not likely finish till the middle of December give or take (calculated on the fact the last game took about a week). Possibly later. I guess I had hoped I could rip off Tau Ceti, complete Cygnis, and get back to working on Distractions before Christmas, so I could work on Dynasty in 2015, and this is VERY unrealistic. I guess I am just disappointed that Dynasty is as far away as ever, but on the bright side I am quite happy with the 2 adventures completed. They are part of a trilogy that will wrap up with this adventure. I am sort of thinking that the ending is quite climactic and maybe these should be the last 3 adventures. I guess it just depends on how the later 3 go. Anyway I hope I can keep my interest, because I DO want to finish this one, and hopefully before or in Jan 2015. By the way the last adventure was a bit bigger with only about 190 bytes left. I would like to think I used the memory a bit smarter, and hope to get it a bit better yet. The routines were mostly similar and in the same locations. There will be a small change in this third one, we will see how it goes. Alright I won't be spending much time on this today, but I have a shell saved, with the newly expanded ROOM JMP. I was also thinking I should add to the NEW ROOM JMP as well, just a small fix that will save another 2 bytes a room. I would like to make a default room just to get started, but I would also have to have the first description, so I may not get to that today. Just for my curiosity's sake I opened Cygnis, I have a couple of ideas for that as well, but they will have to wait. I spent a good portion of the day doing other things, but later in the evening I fired up the computer and started plotting out the next adventure. I have a very good idea how it will play out, so the next thing is the descriptions. I will start to night but I don't think I will push myself to finish them. I made a bit, but I am tired. I made a dummy room just to start, but I really can't go anywhere, there are tons of things that are pointing to nothing. I think this is where I will stop tonight, although perhaps not a super productive day, some good things got accomplished.
17 Nov 2014
Although at this point in the morning it is really the 18th, I just wanted to make a quick entry. I wanted to take a short break, just because I have many things that need attending this week, and my eyes were burning. After work I decided I would finish the descriptions. So I spent about an hour and a half doing that. I added it to the ML shell and I am ready to move on. I am not sure when next I will be able to work on the game but knowing me it will be tomorrow (even if it is only a few hours).
18 Nov 2014
It was my initial thought that I would use the shell, with little modification for the next 4 adventures. I will for game 3, as it is already based on the shells limitations. But I think I have outgrown some of the limitations of the shell. The biggest limitation is the amount of rooms. So the next shell I will be moving things yet again to allow for more rooms. There are 2 tables that will need to be expanded. One is the room jump table and the other is the room look table. I will lower the variables at 7665-7677 as needed and maybe move the item variables to 8186. This seems logical as I haven't had more than 6 get-able/drop-able items. I am not sure if I will have time today but if I do I will have to tackle fixing all of pointers for the print routines, the tables, and possibly a few jumps from about 1060 to 1852 or so. Then I will have a working shell, and can start programming the rooms. Because I had some time and I wanted to, I coded a little routine for de-compressing letters. I made a restriction of only 255 characters which should be fine, but I will only know later. (I know, re-inventing the wheel...). That was less fun than I remembered. So I think I have updated all the pointers. Here we go. Well something is definately not right. I guess I should be laughing about this, but it has taken too long for me to figure out. I definately outsmarted myself. When I moved the ML and the program mover asked if I wanted to change the JMPs I just always said yes, well there were 4 Jmps that shouldn't have changed that did. Long story short, I now have a working shell, with a room that does absolutely nothing. It's wonderful. I do have a bit of a challenge, I have to randomly drop 5 objects over 10 locations. Wait I decided to add yet another room and this means I have to move ALL of the description. This is easy as it is in a separate program, but I will have to change ALL of the room description pointers. What a drag. OK NOW I have a shell. I also fixed a jump I missed the first time. It's too bad this fixing dragged on so late, I probably would have started coding some of the rooms. I'm not sure I have it in me now, as this has taken several hours. I started some code I know I will need. One is a routine that drops the blocks (kinda like keys) randomly across 10 rooms, the other will let you know if you found one. So I get sidetracked for almost 2 hours reading about the ins and outs of the 6502 chip. Then I typed in my code. The RND item code works fine the rest I will have to test tomorrow. It is too late to continue.
19 Nov 2014
Even though my eyes are burning from all the reading I did yesterday, wanted to check out my found item routine and realize it had a fatal flaw in it's logic. It shouldn't take long to code something else, but today is another borrowed day. I will soon have to go back to the other things that need my attention. Wow that just bloated to about 100 bytes! Although not fully tested I think this will work. And now I must leave. Holy crap that took forever to get it working. Maybe I'm just not on the ball right now. Anyway the routine is way bigger than I thought, but it now works. Well that's very disappointing. I put in some code for RM1 but it just isn't working, and I'm starting to run out of brain power. I'm just not sure where the problem is. I really wanted to try and get a room or two done today. Yeah disappointing.
20 Nov 2014
Well as I get one thing to work, something else mysteriously stops working. I think I have at least finally got it to loop, but strange things are happening. I am tired so I don't think I can solve this today, especially because I got called into work. And tomorrow is no good either. Just disappointing. I see at least 2 problems. One is the found item routine is not storing the item in the right room, and a bigger problem seems to be something in the big loop. I guess I will save and hope there is more coal in the fire the next good day.
23 Nov 2014
Just alot of things going on and I had to leave this for a few days. I won't have much time in the next few days either, so I really don't have much hope of finishing this adventure until next week. Again disappointing but it is what it is. So today I looked at the code for the BIG LOOP, going through it number by number, so much FUN. Although there were a few small fixes I didn't see anything that I thought would cause the problems I have been having. I will do more low level testing after work, hopefully I can find the problem. I really want to start with the rooms, but there really is no point until the shell is working properly. From just a bit of testing at the moment, there seems to be a problem with the GET COMMAND routine. It seems like the noun variable is not being initialized. I will have to take a look after work. After pouring over the notes and combing the code I have found a fantastic error! If you look at an item and then just try to look, you will get the sam response as if you had looked at the item again. I see what the problem is and the problem has a simple fix. I just need to decrease 254 which hold the number of input letters. Unfortuntely it counts the carriage return, but a simple DEC 254 would do it (and a quick fix to the CHECK COMMAND routine) but I would have to lower 6 other routines as well. Luckily they aren't referenced too much yet so I gues I will have to so this and update the JMPs again. I am a bit concerned though as I fix and add things the 2 parts of the program are slowly getting closer together. It looks like I have about 1000 bytes to finish the game with. OK that solves one nagging problem. I almost got it working then it crashed. I think I am done for tonight.
24 Nov 2014
What a difference a nice fresh brain makes. I decided to look through my FOUND ITEM routine, and with the visual clues was able to see that it was making it past the room description, but the found item loop was not working, in fact it was looping forever! Comparing the actual numbers to my pen scribbles there were a few instructions missing on the paper. Unfortunately it looks like I didn't update any of the branches here. Within a minute the problem was solved. I should now have a working shell, so I can get on with this. FINALLY!! Although not fully tested I feel pretty confident that it will all work now. I am also looking at how difficult it will be to retro-fit my input error into T1 and T2. I don't want to, but I have to, fix those programs too. 2 stupid bytes!! OK back to my notes. It looks like I completed RM1 and RM2. The other input handling routines are so efficient that the code for both rooms looks less than 50 bytes! I know there will be a few rooms that won't be as easy, but I will cross that bridge. I typed in RM2 and everything seems fine, except the CHECK OBJECTS routine needs a tweak. Wow I'm not sure what happened to that, but nothing was pointing to the right object. Well I coded RM3 and it's phantom room but there are some problems. Unfortuenately I don't think I'll have time to unravel them before work. Some quick fixes and it seems to be going now, with a few extra bits I can make it work for RM8 as well so I am just adding a bit of code. Although I am very tired maybe I should just leave it for tonight. It won't take long to get the first 8 rooms finished anyway. Room 10 might be a bit tricky, I guess we'll see. Anyway good progress today.
25 Nov 2014
Stupid FOUND ITEM routine! I added the code so RM3 would work for RM8, and tested it. Everything there is fine, but there was a nagging sensation in the back of my head. I don't remember the FOUND ITEM checking in the craters. I franticly checked the code. Sure enough there is nothing like that there. Then I realized something even worse! My BIG LOOP is not set up to GET X from a crater!! To explain the room number is held in a variable when you enter a crater a different variable is flagged, so only when the right room is entered with the flag on will you be in a crater. It makes checking a pain, but when I started I wasn't thinking too much about that. All of this fixing is going to cost alot of bytes! I guess the good thing is that I found this now while it won't be as difficult to insert in the code that is already here. I think I can put the GET X into the crater part, unfortunately the CHECK OBJECTS code won't print the item! The FOUND ITEM code I will just have to check for the craters separately. Like I said this is going to eat alot of code, but that was the whole point of having these 2 extra rooms was 2 sneaky places to hide blocks. If this doesn't work then there is no point having these 2 extra rooms. Maybe it would have been easier to just add the rooms to the game by expanding the room tables. Here I thought I could put away my RM3 paper notes, but I guess I will be scribbling on it a whole lot more! It looks like the FOUND ITEM will increase by another 20 bytes and RM3 by another 50 or so. Luckily there are only a handful of JMPs to update. Another thing I just realized, if you drop an item it will not appear in the crater but in the parent room. I guess these are things I will have to live with. Crap! Just got called into work. I managed to mangle my program, but I am afraid to try it. Not sure what happened but I must have hit a RTS somewhere. Unfortunately I don't have time to figure this out, which sucks, today I was supposed to be making rooms 5-8. Another day I guess. I shouldn't have but I spent the last hour debugging the new code. I think I have it. There was a logic error and a branch the wasn't updated. More testing, but I think I have that fixed. Later. Back from work, and I tested the game so far. Everything seems to be working. Nope found another problem, if you pick up a block and look again it re-appears. This will require some thought to fix. Crap another 5 bytes for the FOUND ITEM routine! And 3 more for RM3. I have to remember to update the RM data program, as it reset the JMPs to the FOUND ITEM and caused problems for a bit. So everything seems to be fine now. I think I can finally move ahead. But I don't think that will be tonight.
26 Nov 2014
Not feeling terribly inspired this morning, but writing out the code for RM5. Again today I SHOULD be concentrating on other things, but I am just stubborn. This room has one tricky little bit, but the next one should be easy and the 2 after can use ones that I have already coded. The binder is starting to get rather full of notes, and one pen has expired on me as you can see by the circular scribbles on the RM3 pages. That was sort of a big job. There were some other little things I wanted to fix as well, like room 2 not being able to go south, and the pointer for the dead routine wasn't updated and more. Anyway that all seems to be working and you can now get into the last part of the game. The next couple of rooms shouln't be too bad to code, but I will have to come back to this later. A strange thing happened and I ended up with a bit more time. So I coded another room. So the next 2 rooms use rooms that are alrady coded, the next room is room 9. Actually that room should be good as well. Next will be the room that most of the action happens RM10. There will be a fair amount of code for this room, but I must depart for a few moments. Decided I should make a RM9, I can handle a few wonky things from happening. So I coded RM9, RM10 and RM11. It looks like it is about 350 bytes if there are no changes. But I am much too tired to type them in now, it will have to wait. Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to do anything tomorrow, but we'll see.
28 Nov 2014
I got called into work again, but I typed in RM9 and RM10. After I shut off the computer the other night I realized I forgot something important, but it took a few minutes to remember what it was. I remember now, it was a problem with the new phantom room. I forgot to grab the directions before they went to the big loop, meaning you could leave the phantom room by any of the valid directions of the parent room. So before I type that in I will have to make that fix. Well trying to test the game and something is writing to RM9's directions making it impossible to go to RM10. Hmm maybe a holdover from the last game but it was being reset in the variables. Still having a few problems, it won't let me use the blocks for some strange reason. Well I must come back to this later. WOW that is some nasty weather out there!! Hopefully I can track down the problem before I go to work. Yeah it was 3 typos. Of course the emulator is so fast I can't see what it prints out, or if it is trying to load. It just resets to the opening page (which is what it should do), but I want to make sure it is working. Yep that is working. So I only have RM11 to do. RM12 will just use RM6. This room holds another phantom room, so there is alot to take care of. So the fix wasn't that bad about 16 more bytes. The whole thing is probably about 200 bytes, so I hope it works first time out the gate. Typed it in but I am out of time. I will have to test it later. I got home and checked it and there were a few typos, but quickly it seemed to work right. So I am done the third adventure. I really want to do more testing, just to make sure, but I think I am about half way done. So next on the agenda is to make the INPUT fix to the first 2 adventures and then I will write a little intermission and display the poxil drawing before loading the 4th adventure. I hope I can add in the extra rooms also. This adventure took a little longer, just shy of 2 weeks, but there was alot going on as well. I also had alot of problems debugging some of the routines. So this will definately push the release of this back, but I think I can still finish this before Christmas. That is the goal.
29 Nov 2014
I have some of my least favorite tasks ahead of me. Looking at the first adventure, the INPUT routine is nestled between the some DATA and COLLECT WORDS. Luckily I should be able to move the DATA down 2 memory locations and fix the 2 places that point to it. The question is when I move the INPUT routine down 2, how many JSRs reference it? There really should only be one but I know in adventure 2 it is referenced several time from different places (as it is in adventure 3). I guess I could try it and see what happens. I remember I was having this problem before, and I wrote that it had gone away, so I figured I should test it. Of course the problem is still there, I'm not sure why I thought the problem was solved. I guess I didn't understand the problem the first time and couldn't duplicate it. I sure can now. It's a funny thing re-visiting the first adventure. It seems so long ago that I made it. I actually don't remember how to solve it, although I imagine it would come back to me. Although it was a huge hassle to insert the 2 bytes, it is done for adventure 1. Adventure 2 will be a bit different, but I have other things to do. So after shoveling for most of the day I am sitting inside trying to warm up. The INPUT routine for this game is inbetween the variable T3 and COLLECT WORD. My plan is just to move T3 and move INPUT down 2. If memory serves there are only 2 JSRs to the INPUT routine. Then I will just have to change the pointer for T3. OK for a second I thought my fix wasn't working but I just remembered that I had to make a small fix to the get command part as well. So I have to change one byte in both games and I will be back in buisness. Unfortunately this will probably take about a half hour or so to change. I'm finding lots of little things aren't working. The first JMP in adventure 3 is in the wrong place because I moved everything down 2. The pointers weren't updated for the load name of the next program in T2 and T3. The Jmp from the start screen in T2 is wrong. Each time I have to carefully load the old program and poke the changes without changing any of the on screen characters. Alright I think I have all the weebles shaken out of these three. I guess I could start my story. Or maybe I need a break I have been at this for a couple of hours. Then I can start fresh. After some Star Trek I entered a state of creativity channeling an ancient story from a far off race. It took a couple hours to complete, but I am quite happy with it. I impressed it into my faux vic 20's memory and saved. I loaded the poxil picture and realized I just don't have the energy to convert it into something useful.
30 Nov 2014
This morning before work I finished the poxil data and wrote and entered the ML. It was all pretty straight forward so I just assumed it would work then ... nothing. I was flabberghasted!! I checked the ML. I checked the data. I checked everything three times, four times. It was all right, but it wouldn't work. Then I had to go to work. So after work I tried again and still nothing. So I loaded another adventure, and everything worked. So I tried again. I tried a few different numbers. Then I figured I would try just a few characters of data and put a zero in after the first word. It worked fine. I went about 40 characters through the data and tried again. Again it worked. I tried all the data, nothing. Then I realized if it was more than 255 characters it wouldn't work. Well the truth is I had to make my own print routine for the poxil picture anyway so I guess I will be using it for everything. But that had me totally stumped for a while. So with a bit of fixing the intermission is done. If I have time tomorrow I will start on the new shell, with more rooms!
1 Dec 2014
I didn't have any time before work, and when I got home I wasn't feeling to interested in starting anything. Eventually I did open up the Xvic and started moving things around. My program mover should have caught most of the JMPs and stuff (I know there is one LDY,x that it missed) but alot of the memory locations are going to change. Like the rooms and items. I did a bit of tinkering, but there is much more to do before i can even attempt a quick SYS to see how it's going. Because I started so late though it will have to be tomorrow.
2 Dec 2014
What I wanted to do today was get all the common responses and put them at the end. This way they would be in the same place, and I wouldn't have to keep changing them everytime I started making a new game. So I wouldn't have to go through the BIG LOOP and change all the print pointers. This was a good idea. Unfortunately I didn't realize I have a full disk selected (and for speed I don't have true dive emulation on) and saved it to the already full disk. Without true disk emulation there is no error, so I changed my memory pointers, oblivious to the horrible mistake I was making, and saved the memory chunk. Then I checked the disk and realized that nothing got saved and my BASIC program was gone. This would have been OK if the data was in the memory, but again because i forgot a simple little thing, nothing was there. So I spent all morning doing the same thing twice. Lucky me. I am out of time for now, maybe this evening I can try to get at least the shell to work. I wasn't going to but I opened the ML and started the mind numbing task of updating pointers and variables. Hopefully I got them all. I built a room with nothing in it so I can at least see what it looks like. From what I can tell it seems to be working but I need to do quite a bit more before I can do any real testing. I guess tomorrows job (inbetween several other things) will be to work out an adventure and start writing the descriptions. Unfortunately for me I didn't get any further with outlines or anything, so the last 3 adventures will be fairly fresh. I guess that's it for tonight.
3 Dec 2014
I drew up the grid and started filling the boxes. Had to throw away another pen. I hope I can meet my deadline, I am starting to think it will be close. I have been working on the data for the room descriptions and such when out of the blue the machine crashed and was just printing formula too complex. I tried the re-chain lines sys but again it returned the same error. I tried saving, and checked how many sectors it used. It used 12 so I was thinking there is a good chance I can save this. So I reset and loaded the program and hoped for the best. Luckily almost all of it was there and altering the lines hasn't had any adverse effect. I was worried that it would be a repeat of yesterday. Another whole morning wasted! But it wasn't. That was scary. I will take a break now. Just a quick look, I have 8 rooms to go, but less than 1000 bytes! I hope I can fit this all in here. I was a bit sparing in some of the last bits, but I managed to get it in there right to the last byte!! I couldn't have planned that! So if I need more description, it will have to go in the area below 3233 which is taking bytes away from the rooms. I am a bit worried as I have more rooms to insert into the increasingly smaller area. Oh I also have to decide which nouns I wish to use, right now I have a list of about 18. I will see if it is possible to include them all. Well by inculuding the new verbs and nouns I was 11 bytes over so I got rid of 2 unused nouns and I will have 1 byte left over. I knew it was too good to be true. I made a mistake and one of the descriptions is missing most of the sentence, so I will have to put that elsewhere. I was fixing for the last hour or so. Just little things like updating the pointers in the GET COMMAND and GET WORD routines. There are also 15 bytes in the BIG LOOP that I was trying to reclaim when disaster struck. I loaded an older version of a program and it basically destroyed my ML. That seems to be my theme this week. I will take a break then I will try this again. By the time I got back to this it was really late. I started redoing my work and when I moved a portion of the code down I realized none of the absolute adresses were being updated properly. So I think I will have to stop here and fix this tomorrow. With any luck I shouldn't have to do any more major revisions, and just change the descriptions and the code for the rooms. Oh and I moved all of my notes to a new binder as the other one was getting too full (work for 3 games were in it). These notes will probably stay in this binder indefinately, as I'm sure there will be several hundreds of pages at the end.
4 Dec 2014
First order of business was to fix my program mover. After a couple of attempts I finally got it right and moved the code down in small increments 15bytes. I then fix the 2 pointers in the GET WORDS routine and I am ready to test. OH I also added all the pointers to the table for the room descriptions. I slept terrible so if this doesn't work I may not be able to do much today. Well it mostly works I can't go west from room 12 for some reason. I will have to investigate further, but later as I have to work soon. But this seemed to be a big hurdle, just getting the rooms to display. This adventure will be more straight forward than some of the previous ones, although it is bigger. Hopefully it will be easier to program as well. Well I decided to have a quick look and found I had missed updating a variable, now west works. It looks like a few other varibales are being reset that shouldn't be, but that will be for later.
5 Dec 2014
Today I am feeling quite lazy. I know what I have to do, and hopefully it won't be too difficult. First I should do that bit that randomly stashes an item, then start working on the rooms. Oh I guess I will need a couple of routines to handle time. I know there are a couple of projects not directly relating to Tau Ceti that I need to work on as well. One is a muti-color editor, for the time being it can be very rudimentary, just good enough to clean up some pictures. Eventually I think I will make a full featured editor for myself in ML. Just as I hope my program mover will be converted into ML and be just a part of a full fledged assembler. Unless of course I happen to run across one that works the way I want it to. But these are probably quite far away, as I have a ton of stuff in the queue. But first coffee. Well it has been a funny day. Unfortunely I didn't get to do much today. I got a short bit for a random key, and then a bit to handle the water (water?). Less than 70 bytes of code. I haven't tested any of it though. I think I have to insert a few more line of description before I move on. Maybe I'll get at it before bedtime. I have been itching to set up my new vic somewhere, so I am trying to clear a spot. I have not been very successful at anything today. I was just looking at something. I may have a problem. I want to go to the CHECK WATER routine before the INPUT, but any way I look at it I would have to JMP out of a subroutine several levels deep. I could use a flag that would be read when I return, but that seems like the long way around. Bah what a clumsy mess. Tried to tidy up a bit, but did little.
6 Dec 2014
This morning I tried to fix the mess I made last night. It actually wasn't too bad. So after about an hour of tinkering I started the first room. And I am sweating a bit I have a little more than 1000 bytes to fit the rest in. I did the second room and stopped. I needed to do something different, so I found a place to set up a vic and recorded me playing Exploria. It was difficult to find all the right tools to do this. At first I though I could use a camera and a LCD TV, but I couldn't get a good picture from that. So I tried to use my analogue video capture device with my laptop. It makes the poor thing chug hard, but it works. Unfortunatley it won't record audio so I set up a camera as well. Although next time I may just use my MP3 recorder. So I finally made a video for Exploria and am uploading it to youtube right now. So now I must wait. Looking at room 3 there is another problem. I think that's it for now.
9 Dec 2014
After a couple of drunken days, finally feeling better, I tackled the thing that was a hateful thorn in my side. The problem was if a variable was set it would give a different decription of the room. This was all fine except that I already had several subroutines handling that, and there was nowhere to insert this little bit. So what I had to do was duplicate parts of those routines, just different enough to insert this new little bit. What a pain in the ass. But I think I have finally written it. OK I entered Rm3 and 4. I need to test them, not that there is much to test. Then it shouldn't take too long to keep going with the rooms. These rooms are also quite small byte-wise, just because so much is handled in other routines. I should continue but I have acouple of other things I need to do. It is getting very hard to get back to this. I finished up to room 8, but I mistakenly set the startpoint to room 5 and there seems to be a problem. When I try to leave it I die, so some bug tracking is nessessary. But as usual I will have to leave it for tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for coding.
10 Dec 2014
I'm not sure why it has been so difficult to keep going, but I had a rough day today. I finally started slogging through the code to find out what was wrong. Part of the problem is that i hadn't updated the variables and although I didn't know it I was actually dying. Guess I have to fix that part. There have been the typical typos, and a tiny problem with the logic flow of a room. I also noticed a small inconvienence, the water counter is only updated when you enter a room, but I may keep that the way it is. So still a bit of testing but I think things are starting to come around. I should have more time after supper tonight, and will make a real effort to finish as many rooms as possible. In other news a video for Exploria has been up for a couple of days and I uploaded one for Boogieman this morning. When I have 4 hours of downtime I will upload videos for Korque and Kerratias as well. After this project I should take some time to update my cassettes as the old ones will only load on one deck. Armed with my new rules for making cassettes I should be able to transfer them all. Plus I really want an Exploria disk and then I will upload a video with the tease of the other 3 levels! But I am getting ahead of myself as usual. Back to the trenches. Well more testing has exposed more problems. The dead flag thing is only checked AFTER an input, I guess I could live with it as changing it would be painful. I have a small fix in RM3 where I can lose 3 bytes to jump into the check water routine every cycle. And One I haven't solved yet is for some reason you suddenly go from room 1 to room 9! Wow this is taking forever, but I think I have solved 2 more problems. I keep finding more problems and slowly hunt down solutions. Many typos! And on top of everything something in the big loop is not working. It seems like one step forward and 3 steps back. Hmm there was something wrong in the get/drop items. I'm not entirely sure it is fixed and I think I need to make sure it is working in the previous games as well. Well I think that's got it. What a huge pain. About 5 hours of pissing around. It is late, but I can finally move on. I guess that is what has been bothering me, is that I knew there was a problem that would take a while to find but I hadn't found it. Well moving on I have finished up to room 12. So still a few rooms to go but finally making progress.I think that's it for tonight. I shouldn't have but i started working on my muti-color editor. It is ridiculously slow but it mostly works. Soon I can start editing the pictures. OK now I'm done.
11 Dec 2014
Had a really lazy day. I uploaded the final video for now, Korque. I then coded 2 more rooms, and then pissed around. Lazy day continues. I haven't even opened Xvic. Finished coding all of the rooms, I guess I should type them in and test them. Just a random thought, I really can't see making my deadline now. Quite disappointing. I typed in the rooms and did a bit of debugging. Luckily there weren't too many problems with the rooms. There are a couple of other problems though. Both are kinda minor. One is that when an item was 'on' you I used number 13, a number one higher than the available rooms, until now. So the items show up as if they were in room 13. This means a quick fix to the BIG LOOP and a quick check to see if I used them in any of the rooms. I know I did, I'm just not sure how many times. The other problem is it is not printing some control characters, and I'm not sure why. If the control characters won't print I will have to change my dialogue a bit. But I am close to finishing this one. I think aside from these 2 fixes I just need an ending dialogue and make sure then end works. Well crap! I was just checking the first 3 games when I found the intermission was corrupted! AND I didn't have a copy anywhere. I had to go back to the newest version and see what it was lacking. Sadly it was alot. I think I have it up to speed now. I will take a break and then check on the fixes for adventure 4. I can't stay away. I started fixing some of the problems and found out I didn't check to see if you HAD the key when you try to use it. Not a huge deal but I think I should tackle that when I am not as tired. As I will have to move the pointers for several other rooms as well. When I complete this fix I will have to do some more testing, but unless anything more comes up I think this one is finished. OK fixed that and some other little things. There is just a tiny little bit of house cleaning. Zeroing a couple of variables and disabling some of the print item routine. But that's really it for tonight.
12 Dec 2014
I lied. After a few minutes I returned to programming. By this time it really was the 12th anyway. I finished my Multi-color editor. I found a laughable bug. For the cursor controls I copied the first line for the next so they both had GETA$ in them. I was wondering why the controls were so sluggish. Anyway although not perfect the program worked good enough to clean up the splash page picture. I am thinking about adding a couple more pictures, but I am not sure where. So aside from a small fix to adventure 4, I don't have too much for plans today. I should blank out adventure 4 for adventure 5. I guess we'll see what gets done. I really had no idea how big this project was. I think the most unfortunate part for me is the 'sameness' of the programming style, although it has given me an opportunity to code it better. Although the only thing I wish to incorperate is a bit of compression and I think that I will leave that for Cygnis (which is fairly close in the queue, and I already have some code for it, just not tested). Well that was easy, now I am done adaventure 4. Just drawing up a map for Adventure 5. I need at least 1 new verb, so I will just replace one of the old ones, but I will leave it open in case I change my mind again. I have an idea how I want to play this out, but I was just thinking it would be cool to have several scenarios play out with different endings. I know there isn't enough memory for that, but maybe when I return to text adventures (there are a few on my list and they will use at least 8K) this is something I can keep in mind. I'm not feeling terribly motivated right now. But I am interested in trying a few things. I want to try and draw lines in Hi-res Multi mode. Still playing around. I fixed my tower picture and haven't gotten much farther with anything else. Trying to come up with an algorithm for lines, not going too well. Then I tried some 3D ideas, but that didn't go so well either. So I spent all evening looking at old projects. Oh well.
13 Dec 2014
Another hugely lazy day. I spent most of the morning looking up ideas to impement line drawing. I found an article about it in COMPUTE's and hope I can digest the information at some point. I then looked at things that were totally irrelevant like current Instruction sets, which was nothing but a 3 hour waste of time. I finally started creating my data for adventure 5. The problem is always the same. I want to be verbose, but without running out of memory. The space between 1860 and 2983 was perfect for the last games room ML, I had 80 bytes left! But each game is unique, will this one fit if I go over my allotted amount for data? I only know when I am done. I have 7 more rooms and items left but I will take a break. I did a bit more, but spent most of the day doing other things. I downloaded MDDClone and dreamed.
14 Dec 2014
Not much time before work so I finished the data. I then blanked all the ML for the rooms. When I get back I will have to fix a few things (items, get words, variables ect. ) so I can have a shell. I loaded up my line drawing progam when I got back. I looked to see what I needed to make the formula work in my line drawing program. It turned out I just needed 3 more variables, so I added them and watched. I was disappointed as this didn't work either. I checked both things to see if I had done something wrong. Then I figured I would just try something and subtracted one from my distance. That was it! Holy crap I finally did it! I don't think I would have ever figured this out by myself. So now to try and make such a thing useful. Well maybe not NOW now, but soon. I should have done a bit of work on Tau Ceti, but I am tired now, and with 10 days before Christmas I really can't see me making my deadline. In fact the 4 weeks after Christmas are REALLY busy, so if I can't finish it before Christmas it won't be till FEBRUARY! And that's really disappointing.
15 Dec 2014
Had so little time today before work because of all the things I have been procrastinating. I did update the verbs/nouns. And getting addresses for the room stuff. Gotta go. Well that was a crappy day. So I spent 2 hours fixing and updating stuff so I now have the shell. This advenuture is a bit more straight foward so I am anticipating the programming shouldn't be too bad. I think that's it for tonight and I will leave with a picture from the new game and a friggin line.
16 Dec 2014
This was supposed to be a whole day of coding, but between problems with my truck and getting called into work, I all got done was the code for room 1. And then I realized I wanted to modify the NEW RM JMP, so nothing got done. Now home and too tired to do much, I played with a picture of a tree.
18 Dec 2014
So much going on. This morning I went back a step and added a little check into the NEW RM JMP. I made a couple of little fixes and redid the intro and finally entered RM1. There is a lot going on in this room. I won't have time to do much more, maybe a bit of checking, till later. Alright RM1 works. I quickly coded RM2,3,4,7,11,15. I bungled the table for one of the rooms and it took a long time to find and correct but everything seems to be working so far. Coded and entered RM5 but I need 2 little fixes. That will be for tomorrow. So I am pretty sure I am not going to hit my deadline, but if I keep at it, slow and steady, I should be done before the second week of Jan at the latest.
20 Dec 2014
Progress is so slow. Yesterday I only coded RM6. Today I debugged it and am working on RM8. It's just the time of year, so much going on. Room 8 is fairly big, but I think it is mostly working properly. I may have to change the random chance a bit more though. I quickly did RM9 as well but I will stop here for now. I am tired and it is late.
21 Dec 2014
Coded room 10 today. Alot going on in this room as well. Looks like there are a few errors I will have to fix. Won't be much time again today. <sigh> At least RM10 is now done. The rest of the rooms should be fairly easy and quick, but you never know. Only 6 rooms left. When I got home from work I coded the last 6 rooms. I hope I didn't forget anything. I typed it all in but I think I will test it tomorrow.
22 Dec 2014
Turns out I forgot 2 somethings. One was that RM15 needed to catch the direction S outherwise it would crash horribly. The fix wasn't too bad I just created a new room for it and added what I needed. The other though, I forgot that switch 2 needs to check the position of switch 1, this will require alot more work to fix. I found this while making a list of variables that needed to be initialized. So that's all done, I only have to make the fix for room 10, but it will mean changing alot of other things as well. All the rooms seem to work as they should but there is a problem with something else. At first I was thinking it might be the directions, but I think it must be the room table that is faulty. No time to fix it now. Off to work. It was a tough day so I was just puttering around and almost ready to turn everything off when I thought of something. When I made the change to RM10 I needed to move all the RM JMP table enties +8 for every room above RM10. EXCEPT RM11 shares with RM2 and is lower than room 10. So I looked and sure enough it would have been jumping in 8 bytes later than it should which basically sent it back to the BIG LOOP. So the last command (a direction) would be done twice. and you would skip over RM 11 depending on what direction you were going. So that is a simple fix. I also realized I would have to change another small bit in room 8. Wait no I don't. Ug time for bed.
23 Dec 2014
Too many things to do today, and it's making me grumpy. I tested my fix and that worked but you still couldn't finish for some reason. So a bit more testing and I found a problem I thought I had fixed. I had accidentally reversed a couple of directions in the second last room. So I fixed that and I think I am done adventure 5. I want to test it a bit more, but I think there shouldn't be anything too much. Last night I drew up the start of a map, and I have a couple of ideas for this last adventure. But I guess I have to finish a few other things before I do any more work on this. If I didn't have to go back into the traffic, I would buy a lotto ticket. I managed to go in and leave the parking lot of Walmart in less than 30 minutes. I'm sure that has to be some kind of record! I really want to finish this game soon and push to finish the last adventure. Especially as starting boxing day I won't have much for time till the last week of Jan or the first week of Feb. I guess I have to start at the start; the decriptions. Finished my map and started some descriptions, when I went to save I found out that my newest version of adventure 5 didn't save properly. Luckily there isn't much changed between the last good version and the (hopefully) final one. I have the first 8 rooms finished, but there is alot to go. I think I need to rest a bit now though. Started a new disk and I saved a new version of Adventure 5. Then I entered the rest of the rooms, the items, and as many of the actions as I could think of. But I am spent now. With some luck I can start coding tomorrow.
24 Dec 2014
There was just too much going on today. Right from the moment I got up, there was bad news about my step-sons father that really sapped the joyous spirit from the day. Not that I am terribly joyous anyway. But everything ate away at the day, till finally I managed to get some time while listening to my 2 new albums (Pink Floyd Endless River and Yes Heaven and Earth) So I almost managed to get a shell made. I created a small delay that I will need and printed out the decriptions. Lots of tinkering but it seems that it didn't really amount to much. Tomorrow is another day I suppose.
25 Dec 2014
Ahhh mostly quiet today, although there are still a few obligations. So while having my coffee and listening to my new music, I finished the shell. The morning just disappeared. I found out that I forgot a room description. Not really a big deal for the time being. I feel I will have more to add anyway. So I guess when I feel up to it I can start coding. I am going with the idea of 2 possible endings. I think there could be more but not in this memory configuration. Well crap I started RM1 and realized I had forgotten a very important noun! That means everything moves up, and then I will have to update the LOOK ROOM TABLE and add the color characters to the description again. I will take a break and come back to this. So much for having most of the day. It has dwindled away without me coding a byte. I have made the fix to the nouns and updated everything, but it turns out my delay is WAY too short. Serves me right for not testing it. I am starting to run out of steam, and the day is coming to a close.
26 Dec 2014
So tired today. But I did want to get a bit of work done on this because the next 2 days will probably not be good. So I puttered around with fixing my delay, and updating all of the tables. I coded RM2 not a big deal probably 25 bytes. I realized that one of the objects had to be moved because it is a gettable item (and has to be one of the first 6) so there was some re-organizing there. I realized I still had to update the gettable/dropable items so I started doing that. There are some things that still aren't right and also the CHECK OBJECTS will have to be updated, but slowly the little bits are getting in line. I wish to continue but I am so tired. I couldn't put it away without fixing at least some of the problems. I fixed CHECK OBJECT and then looked at a few things before I found a typo in RM2. But RM2 I just copied from RM1, sure enough the typo was in both places. So now everything seems to be working up to RM2. Alright I do hope I have a chance to do a bit more soon, but that's it for now.
28 Dec 2014
Things have been extremely chaotic here. I hope there is some lessening of the craziness soon. I started to day with adding a few lines of description, so I could complete RM4. I thought I was working on room 3 but after a quick look at my notes I found it was actually RM4. A look at RM3 found that it needed nothing and could stay as an empty shell. So I entered and tested it and everything is working up to RM4 now. Of course there is nothing too hard to figure out so far. Well ran out of time, but maybe I won't be too tired later and try a room or two.
29 Dec 2014
I'm kinda glad I didn't get too much further last night. When I got home I made a list of all the variables I would need, and realized I needed another 2 checks for RM4. At this point it will be fairly painless to insert,later it would not have been. I hope I can get another few rooms done today. Hmm I didn't save the data chunk, I wonder what I lost? After a whole lot of fooling around I am finished RM4. So I coded the next 2 rooms typed it in and now VICE isn't recognizing the drives so I can't save!! I am so angry as this has started to happen a few times and for no apparent reason. Well 'Kin hell. I had to re-type all the work in again. I did a quick test and it all seems to work. I just keep hoping I'm not forgetting anything important. Well time for work again, at least I am making progress.
30 Dec 2014
Well I may have forgotten something. I am thinking I MAY need to make some changes to the Sally Port (RM5). For 2 reasons. One is there is no mention of the tube going down on the east wall. Not a big deal and if you were paying attention you would already know this. But more importantly the Sally Port should be able to be controlled by the Door Control Room (RM7), but this would only hamper the player in most situaltions. In all reality both are fairly inconsequential to the game, but I think I should include them. It will mean a fair re-working of RM5 and more descriptions. I guess I am just ranting at this point because I am going to do it, I just don't want to. It's because I have less than an hour today and absolutely no time tomorrow. As long as my wife has no big plans for me though I should have a few days to finish this starting Jan 1. Disappointed that I missed my deadline, but at least I WILL finish it. Well I'm going to try and make this bit of time count. Coding RM7 and then I will have to go back and fix RM5 if I have time. Well coded RM7 and the fixes for RM5, but there is no time to enter them or the new descriptions. So tired when I got back but I entered the new descriptions and entered the changes for RM5. I just saved everything becasue I'm too tired to keep going.
31 Dec 2014
I have about 30 minutes, so I will use it. I tested RM5's fix and everything works except I for got one more thing. I see where an assembler with lables would be advantagous. But I will have to recalculate the branches and jumps myself. I guess at this point it was easier than it would have been later. So that's all fixed for now. I was hoping I could get started on coding RM8 but I will type in RM7 and see what time I have left. No time. For what it's worth Happy New Year.
1 Jan 2015
RM7 has been a battle. I was testing the simple parts and LOOK SCREENS was returning a strange response. At first I thought it was a just a wrong pointer, but that checked out fine. So it had to be a branch that I miscalculated, after much testing and counting all the branches a were fine. So I thought it must be getting to the BIG LOOP somehow so I disabled that and still the response was the same. So I put a RTS right after it got the input and got the noun/verb and STILL it was the same. So I loaded Looker and started looking at the NEW RM JMP and just near the end was a check for ... what was now LOOK SCREENS. What the HELL?!? Oh yes now I know. It is a holdover from adventure 5 for what was LOOK FENCE. I needed a way to check this globally and didn't want to mess up the BIG LOOP. So I patched into NEW RM JMP and left an interesting bomb. Although I have an easy solution those are about 15 wasted bytes. Now to continue testing, the hard stuff. Actually that wasn't too bad, a bit of fixing but it's all going now. Next. While trying to test this I am starting to realize how complex this puzzle is. When making it, it didn't seem too bad but I think this is a good one to finish with. Anyway RM8 is done. I remember I need to add a room description for RM13. Alright RM9 is done as well. I think those were the 2 hardest rooms, most of the next ones should be fairly straight forward. Well I was wrong, there were 3 easy rooms but there will be lots to do in most of these last rooms. But I am done up to RM13, description as well. I am starting to get tired, but I will try to code one more. I had an idea to save some bytes, by making quick little routines, for some of the stuff that happens in the 4 computer rooms. I am too lazy to fix RM13 to use these, but I have a feeling I will have to tomorrow, as I have just over 200 bytes left. I will try to finish RM14. Nope not gonna happen. I typed it in and then realized I had to make some changes. Hopefully I can finish tomorrow. Wow I just thought of something, I have somewhere around 40000 bytes invested into this game. No wonder it's taken a while.
2 Jan 2015
This morning I mangled RM13 and fixed RM14. No time to test before I go out though. Hopefully later today I can pick this back up. I tested RM13 and 14 and with a few fixes they are fine now. BUT I had a sneaking suspition that I missed one more check in RM5 and sure enough it is not there. So there is no easy way I have to move everything up to fix RM5. This will now be a huge pain. I think I have that fixed. It is hard to test it without the rest of the game working yet. And then I have to reset the variables. Only 3 rooms left!! RM 16 had alot in it as well, but I think I have that one. It is so hard to tell until I finish the last rooms. Well the last room has been entered, all that is left is some serious testing and an epilogue. Oh Oh I overwrote some of my description! I will have to move 2 rooms to the cassette buffer. This may take some time. Oh oh I am about 50 bytes short in the cassette buffer. After some very careful testing I need about 24 bytes. I will have to see if I can find 24 contiguous bytes, I'm sure I can it just means one room will bounce all over the place. Crap my newest version of data is corrupted, I will have to go back a couple of steps and try to remember what I changed. OK I am back with a non-corrupted data chunk that I have to find 20 bytes in. There was a bit at 3044 but it was short a few bytes then I found a perfect spot at 7254. There are 32 bytes here, so the last bit of RM17 will go here. And this time I am going to mark all this stuff down!! Holy crap it just fit. I had to add a bit of code because there was a branch that was no longer in range. I had 2 bytes left there. Now to see if the damn thing works. If it doesn't this might be hard to fix. I was just starting the adventure and went to RM17 when the game reset. A quick look at the room and I had 2 other branches going to ??? near the beginning of the game. I will have to make a horrible patch in the other 20 bytes. Well definately more testing. I found 2 little things I need to fix, but you can play and finish the adventure. I think that's it for tonight. Tomorrow I can clean up and do the ending. I shouldn't have but I prepped the final picture. Now it is late and I must sleep.
3 Jan 2015
Something that was bothering me was my fix for RM5 so after quickly fixing the other 2 little things I tested it. And my fears were confirmed, so I looked at the code and it was immediately obvious I only checked if the door variable was a non zero, not for a specific value. I would have cost 2 bytes and saved a huge amount of headache. Now I have to see if there is any way I can force it into the current code. OK I see a way to save 3 bytes by JMPing back to re-use a print routine. I was something I thought about near the end, most print routines were JSR 51998, JMP(53) and if I used it as a subroutine (but no JSR to it!) I could have saved 3 bytes each time. For the amount of times I used it, it would be a significant saving, but I was almost done when I thought of it, so I didn't. Anyway let's get this fix done. Well that's not going to work either. So I need an extra 7 bytes to check this properly and if I need to JMP I will need 10 or 13. I managed to free enough to insert my branch, but I need at least 7 (10 would be better) bytes for a quick print routine. < breathes a sigh of relief > I think I fixed it at only a small cost to my sanity. So I shall continue testing. Although not entirely tested I feel confident to save the whole block. There is something wrong with the disk that I had started for Tau Ceti (I started it a long time ago and used the extremely fallable @save). So I guess I will have to start another. I guess I will have to see where I am at with my ML logo program. I hope I can wrap this disk up in my remaining time. I had to make a chart where all the final versions were with end addresses and stuff, it is just too convoluted. I have something like 14 disks of work to look through. Maybe it's time for a quick break. For some reason I just didn't want to slog through the mess that is the new logo. I put it off all night, but finally I started to look through to see what was done and what was not. Well there was lots of not. I was going to say 'the problem was ...' but there are lots of problems. One this is made for the unexpanded Vic and I really don't want to hunt down all the JMPs and change them (there are lots). Another big problem is it is very transitional; some stuff will load BASIC programs and a few things will work with ML. I really don't want to solve all the problems with this today, I just want a loader finished so I can start adding the other programs. I am tempted to go back to the BASIC loader, but I will not. I was getting too frustrated with the AJ Logo so I worked on the splash page. I think I have it mostly working now. I will go back to the AJ loader now. Well that was a trip through hell. But I now have the loaders and 6 adventures and 1 intermission on the disk. I still have to do an epilogue and make sure everything works. Darn I forgot a RTS in the splash page, but a quick SYS to where it was suppose to go and everything loads up just fine. I SHOULD fix the AJ loader, but it looks like alot of pissing around. I may fix it yet. Then the real challenge: to make a TAP. So very close to being finished. But that's it for tonight. Oh I had to play it for a while. I stopped at adventure 4. I guess I will pick it up there tomorrow.
4 Jan 2015
As I drifted off to sleep I was thinking about the Logo program. It was self contained and it COULD be moved. It wouldn't be quite as bad as I thought once I got into the code. So this morning I spent about an hour moving the whole thing from 4096 to 1024. Because it would now be overwritten by then next loader I had to make a quick little hack. The program is now complete but it is a complete nightmare of new and old code mish mashed into a terrible program, but it works!! So I will have to do some more testing, but I think I just have to work on an epilogue. Oh there is a problem with adventure 4 loading adventure 5. I see what happened. The pointer didn't get updated when I moved the code the last time, so 4,5,&6 will need a tiny fix. OK I have the load fixes but there is something wrong with adventure 5. It seems to me this was a problem that I fixed but I will have to check it out. Unfortunately I am out of time, I must go to work. When I got back I forced myself to get most of the epilogue done. I think there are still a couple of little problems with it but it is very close. So hopefully tomorrow I can finish the final disk. Looking at adventure 5 it seems fine, maybe I was just a bit lost. I will try again tomorrow to make sure.
5 Jan 2015
I didn't have much time so I finished the epilogue. And that's all the time I had. I was quite difficult because it is self destructive. When the program runs it has to move chunks of data, destroying the original in the process. So everytime I had to change one byte I had to set up the environment and load the whole thing over. But It is finally done. Wait - I AM DONE!!!!!!! There are still lots of things to do, make a TAP, and a web page, and some testing, ect. but the program is finished. That was an excessive effort for one program; 3 months of hard coding. I didn't think this project was this big. I guess I will know better next time. Now to work. Well I checked it when I got back and it wasn't working so after about 20 minutes of frustration I found my problem. I wasn't actually saving the whole thing I was missing about 900 bytes!! I wonder why it wasn't working. Let's try this again. OK works now. I think I will start the TAP. I hope this goes smoothly. It started out kinda frustrating but becuase of my notes once I started the games it all went pretty quickly. There is one thing I need to check but that will have to be later. I will try to whip up a web page. Done, it's now 2 in the morning I guess I can finish up what ever needs finishing tomorrow.
6 Jan 2015
The day after a project is always a funny day for me. Especially one as big as this. For 3 months I have spent most of my spare time coding, testing. And today there is none of that. There is no pressure (self imposed) to complete x today. I did some house keeping and updated the plethera of personal web pages. I completed the disk (for myself) but the loader needs some fixing. No time for that till later. I leave on my holidays tomorrow. And as always in my AJ & KJ binder I put a big black stroke through number 48 on my original master list. I hope someone enjoys this as I think it (collectively) is a good game. No comments yet, but I am very happy with it. A much better set than Betelguese. I almost think I should Lucas that set but there are so many other projects I want to pursue that will require a great deal of time. Although this may change I want to finish Distractions, and possibly Cygnis. Cygnis will be interesting to me because I want to incorperate some compression. A new thing for me. Unfortunately it is another text adventure and I may be text adventured out for a bit. On the bright side it is meant for an unexpanded so there will be a finite amount of bytes I can put in there. 4 times 3 and a half is only 14K, a small cry from 40K (there would only be 4 adventures). Plus alot of the work is already done. I wouldn't have to amke an input routine or a routine to handle the nouns,verbs or commands. Much of what I have for Tau Ceti could be used and maybe improved apon. Then the monster project that I have started on called Dynasty I honestly hope I at least start this this year. I have doubts that I would finish it within the year, but because I know it is a huge project I wouldn't be as pressured to get it done by, say, next Christmas (although there is always a small hope for that). Anyway I guess I have the rest of this year planned out, it is just a matter of what I actually finish.
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