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Jedi Gauntlet


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Worked out a few things in preparation for adding a Force counter. Hopefully by Monday I will have 3 playable levels with only the design work left to do for the remaining levels. It should be fully done and ready to release by December, then you can all give copies to your significant others as Christmas presents. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got this one a little closer... Worked out the case-handling for various levels and have a nice system in place for item indexing.


Force counter is the next up on the docket for development... I have to decide when to initiate the decrement... When the force is initially activated, OR when an item is picked up... I am leaning toward the former. ;)

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Got level 2 fully operationally (except for the Force counter). One thing I have to really put some effort into is escalating the difficulty slowly and gradually. I thought Aperture did a brilliant job of this and I hope to have transitions as smooth as that game.


That said, I know how to beat all the levels I am developing, so it is pretty tough to allow for "mistakes" without really having to think about it. :) This is my first puzzle game and I want to make sure the difficulty is spot on... Beatable, but only with patience and thought. I am also trying to decide how to handle failures... My first thought was to have a "fail the level and you have to start all over from the beginning" approach. That seemed a bit unfair (and perhaps tedious) for the player, so I have been thinking about implementing a "Lives" counter of sorts. Three fails and you have to start all over. Then I thought "Why not have infinite 'REDOs'?


Still working that one out.


Individualized case handling on a level-by-level basis is proving to be very manageable, but is also eating my program space. I have the code done for levels 2 and 3 and it added 300 bytes to my code size. If I take 150 bytes as a baseline per level, it looks like I will have room for 9-10 levels including all data for the levels. At this point it is down to level design and case handling, as all my engines are in place (save the universal and SMALL Force counter).


It is just a matter of getting the time to code in what is already there and I'll have a finished game. :)


Should be fun!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Christmas demos should be shipped out this upcoming week. Once that is done, it'll be full on Gauntlet time. Hoping to have a full release ready by sometime in January... This demo project is taking more of my free time than I ever anticipated, so I have had no time to work on this game... My son has finished two more levels, but he has been helping me work on these demos too, so even his free time has been monopolized. :)


Need to order some more cassettes and cases.

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Last of the shipments on the Christmas demos go out Monday.


Tuesday I will be back to this project.


One thing that I have thought about is a scoring system. The Force decrementer that is in development counts down the number of Force uses available on each level. For example, on level 1, you may use the Force 5 times. You only need 3 to finish the level, so a standard multiplier which will act upon the remainder on every level could be the basis of a scoring system.


If you use 3 on level 1 and are left with 2, the multiplier could be 50, which would give the player a score of 100 on level 1.


Later levels will have a higher Force counter with tighter requirements, but I thinkbthe multiplier should stay the same.

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  • 6 months later...

Well, I have come back to this code and I am floored at my lack of documentation. I have done this enough times by now (left and came back to a project) that you'd think I'd have just about every line commented in full with flow charts and whatnot all laid out. But no... alas.... I am having to try to figure out what I did and then ask myself "why the hell did I do that?"


So... I am doing what I did with my RPG project... I am converting it, line by line, to TIdBiT. This forces me to comment on every line, every section of code, so that I may once again figure out what the flip I was trying to accomplish with some of the stuff.


It appears that I was trying to be waaaaay too clever on some of the stuff... Partly because I was not using GOSUBs... because the blue book conveniently omitted that particular feature of console BASIC. So I implemented all these crazy status variables and ridiculous GOTO loops that are driving me insane.


I've decided to keep all the intro stuff, keep all the level data and draw routines... but scrap the logic on movement and screen rendering in favor of more useful and less confusing code. I spent about an hour on it tonight, converting to TIdBiT, but I must tell you that I have come to the point in the program that I just don't understand myself...

It all works in practice, which is cool, but if I don't understand what I did, it doesn't matter if it works or not.


Expect some more progress on this one shortly.

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Yeah, BASIC is definitely, well, BASIC. :)


It was a fun challenge to write Aperture on the platform, but I won't lie... I'm glad to stick with XB and assembly for my future work.


BTW, when you're ready to return to Beryl, I got some knowledge now of how to craft assembly/XB routines. :D

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