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Hell's Halls - 16K TI BASIC Game - Completion and Physical Release


pixelpedant
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FYI I have been unable to resist the urge to bugfix and tweak the game(s) post-release, and both versions of the game have been updated (including in the copy publicly shared at https://pixelpedant.com/HALLS-MAIN.wav). 

 

For those who purchased one, the physical game comes with the URLs at which to get backups/updates in WAV and TIFILES format, if these are desired at any point.  But for the main quest, that aforementioned public URL works too.  The updated and post-release bugfixed version will be identifiable as having the first line 1 REM PIXELPEDANT 2022 V2 in both cases. 

 

Also, I finally got a shipment of new cassette supplies, so there will doubtless be new copies when I have time.

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On 8/10/2022 at 4:27 PM, pixelpedant said:

Also, I finally got a shipment of new cassette supplies, so there will doubtless be new copies when I have time.

Just curious, but where on does does one get C15 and other similar length cassette tapes these days?

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2 hours ago, Willsy said:

Just curious, but where on does does one get C15 and other similar length cassette tapes these days?

 

As for me, I didn't actually find anyone selling big boxes of C-15 tapes or what have you convenient to me.  I found a Toronto area supplier who builds tapes to order at customer-specified lengths and tape grades (and with associated packaging, labelling, etc.) for the boutique market.  All the tapes I'm shipping are 5 minutes per side, consequently, rather than any standard mass-produced length. 

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I really like this game, been playing it on my real Ti99 and thoroughly enjoying it. I have yet to beat it as I keep running out of time mainly because I want to explore every room on each level. Some Very clever programming techniques used as well. I do like the intro which has music playing whilst writing to the screen, very clever.  I’ve also purchased a physical copy to add to my Ti cassette collection. Hope there will be other games in the hells halls.

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On 8/13/2022 at 12:42 PM, MrGonker said:

I really like this game, been playing it on my real Ti99 and thoroughly enjoying it. I have yet to beat it as I keep running out of time mainly because I want to explore every room on each level. Some Very clever programming techniques used as well. I do like the intro which has music playing whilst writing to the screen, very clever.  I’ve also purchased a physical copy to add to my Ti cassette collection. Hope there will be other games in the hells halls.

Thanks for saying!  I hope there are more like it too. 

 

European 99ers in particular have been doing a great job of preserving the legacy of TI BASIC development around here. 

 

Now I'd like to see a few more modern TI BASIC games! :)

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Can't believe this was still available, ordered mine a few minutes ago. Gonna wait for my cassette to play instead of trying the online.

The preview is awesome. Reminds me of sitting in the barracks, drinking beer, eating sub sandwiches and playin the original D&D (Old box set with B&W books, and dice made of such cheep plastic that the 20 sided die was almost round and unreadable) back in 1976.

I'm inspired now. Gotta see what I can do to further my game. 

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Yes, I've been working on getting a some more up there in recent days.  Partly motivated by the fact that I've been working on a YouTube video about it (should be out very soon), and I'd feel rather silly if from literally the moment it got posted, it all amounted to me saying "Hey guys!  Let me tell you all about this game you can't get!"

 

Then again, Dragon's Lair took us down that particular path in a way this game never could. ;)

 

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6 hours ago, Duewester said:

The preview is awesome. Reminds me of sitting in the barracks, drinking beer, eating sub sandwiches and playin the original D&D (Old box set with B&W books, and dice made of such cheep plastic that the 20 sided die was almost round and unreadable) back in 1976.

I still have a D20, a D8 and a D4 from that set in one of my dice bags. I showed them to my current gaming group a few months ago and they looked at the D20 in horror, as it was numbered from 0-9 twice instead of from 1-20.

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43 minutes ago, Ksarul said:

I still have a D20, a D8 and a D4 from that set in one of my dice bags. I showed them to my current gaming group a few months ago and they looked at the D20 in horror, as it was numbered from 0-9 twice instead of from 1-20.

I used to teach OSHA safety. I used some of my multi-sided die to illustrate layers of safety. The more layers, the lower the probability of getting hurt. Not zero but the more the better.

Hmmm, now where did I put that bag of dice?

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As far as encoding level structure to bytes, the closest Hell's Halls comes to this is in its generation method.  Where room dimensions are generated by randomly selecting a set of wall locations (stored as bytes).  These are limited to a subset of wall sequences which 1) sum to the screen width or height, and 2) are not excessively repetitive (e.g., a row must contain at least one of each possible room width, and may contain two rooms of a given width consecutively a maximum of one time). 

 

Height and width are subject to this same general method and ruleset, but are selected independently of one another. 

 

Once in-game, though, there'd be no way to use this data while unpacking it from bytes every time, so it is stored in numeric arrays.  Practically everything that happens in the game depends upon fast access to wall positions and dimensions.  Every item, object, enemy, and event.  So unpacking bytes to get at it would be pretty untenable. 

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On 8/15/2022 at 12:34 PM, pixelpedant said:

Then again, Dragon's Lair took us down that particular path in a way this game never could. ;)

I warned people for /years/ it was coming, and gave two months warning on the orders opening up. I can't be responsible for people not paying attention. ;)

 

Only thing I did wrong was not getting it done earlier so I could sell it for a longer period. But on the other hand, I was so tired of dealing with people in the time I had... ;)

 

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I figure no matter how long (within reason) you'd produced them for, there would have come that inevitable hour when new people were still popping up looking for them and being turned away as the licence expired.  So I don't expect a couple more months (or what have you) would really have changed things there.  There would always have been frustrated folks showing up at your door just a little too late. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, pixelpedant said:

I figure no matter how long (within reason) you'd produced them for, there would have come that inevitable hour when new people were still popping up looking for them and being turned away as the licence expired.  So I don't expect a couple more months (or what have you) would really have changed things there.  There would always have been frustrated folks showing up at your door just a little too late. 

 

 

Totally.. Even if you produced it for 3 years, and waited until nobody asked you for it for 6mo .. then someone will show up asking for one

just ask @matthew180

 

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1 hour ago, pixelpedant said:

So I don't expect a couple more months (or what have you) would really have changed things there.  There would always have been frustrated folks showing up at your door just a little too late.

Hell, people are still showing up from time-to-time wanting it.  Neat thing to see how few have made it into the second-hand market.

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I think I mentioned it elsewhere but your work here has inspired me to dust off a maritime trading game I was trying to fit into TI BASIC a few years ago.  I'd gotten to the port routines and the buy/sell/haggle goods part and run out of memory, and set it aside, but now I'm trying to rework it and keep it a BASIC game.  This is an old screenshot but I'm in the middle of reworking it to have a map screen as well as a more robust trading screen for when you make port.  I'd even like to add some turn-based RPG style naval battles but I'm not sure if I can fit that in there... hope to have something to show soon.

highseas5.jpg

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