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#7563 JSW As Manufacturer (probably) intended .. kind of...

Posted by Spider on 13 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

That is an excellent suggestion. :) I was aware of what it would do but before I saw it "in action" I was not really aware of how much it does improve it.


For those who prefer it in decimal it is 62121 , 14


Here is an expanded 'combi' pic of before / after so you can see the Water cells clearly to compare:




Out of curiosity I took a quick look at the C64, Amstrad and BBC versions of this screen in JSW1 and all of those also have the same Water cell 'paper' colour as the background which matches this 'new change' :)


I was not able to confirm the MSX/Einstein variant however given its cell design I suspect that will have black paper due to the way it was 'built' from the Spectrum version at least as I understand it.

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#7555 Across the platforms, a comparison

Posted by Spider on 12 October 2017 - 12:13 PM

Initially I planned on two topics for this: One called "The final barrier through the ages" or similar and another one for the Central Cavern, after a little thought a single topic seemed a bit better.


Anyway here are some comparison screenshots of both the Central Cavern and The Final Barrier from various platforms. :)


I do realise I have not covered all platforms here however there are some genuine reasons for this plus these are the relatively popular versions.


It is quite interesting to see the differences between them when they are directly placed next to each other. The actual game-playing image sizes do vary quite a bit so I have set them to be (within sensible proportions) similar, but not exactly the same resolutions as that would spoil the comparison effect.


The images displayed are in the following order: Amstrad CPC , ZX Spectrum , Oric Atmos , Commodore C16/+4 , BBC Micro , Einstein/MSX , Dragon 32 , Commodore 64 , IBM PC.



Central Cavern:


amstrad_cs.png spectrum_cs.png oric_cs.png c16_cs.png bbc_cs.png einstein_cs.png dragon_cs.png c64_cs.bmp.png pc_cs.png



Final Barrier:


amstrad_fb.png spectrum_fb.png oric_fb.png c16_fb.png bbc_fb.png einstein_fb.png dragon_fb.png c64_fb.bmp.png pc_fb.png

#7370 Spot the difference

Posted by Spider on 02 October 2017 - 07:41 PM

Sorry, that last post wasn't aimed at you particularly/personally, Andy.

I never read it that way. :D

I meant in general terms, people who use decimal numbers when coding. Everything seems so much more logical to me, once you get your head around thinking in hexadecimal. Especially things like lookup tables where the addresses have a proportional relationship with the values stored in them.

Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if we had sixteen fingers, so that our whole system of counting had evolved differently!

Not sure on the #10h vs #0A fingers business. ;)

I do sort of use it occasionally for some values, for instance C9 = 201 = RET and FF = 255 those have been etched into my mind for many years. I think though if my 'start' was on the BBC or similar machine then I would of used it more frequently, one thing I have just thought of too is there's no inbuilt hex tool in ZX Basic either, that may also explain things maybe :unsure: , mind you there's no ELSE either something I never really was concerned about until I used other dialects of Basic then realised how much use it is,


I still sort of half write things then realise I have to change them accommodate this awol function.

#7368 JSW As Manufacturer (probably) intended .. kind of...

Posted by Spider on 02 October 2017 - 06:58 PM

Regarding the 'loader space' , there are quite a few things you can do to save a few bytes, and these *do* add up quite well.


Let me provide some random examples, there are more but these may help, read them as 'before vs after'




LET A = 0 ... LET A = NOT PI


LET A = 1 ... LET A = SGN PI


CLEAR 28000 ... CLEAR VAL "28000" ...or... CLEAR 28E3


POKE 23659,2 ... POKE VAL "23659" , VAL "2"


FOR X = 0 TO 64 : PRINT " TEST " : NEXT X ... FOR X = NOT PI TO VAL "64" : PRINT " TEST " : NEXT X


GOTO 50 ... GOTO VAL "50" ...or... GOTO CODE "2" (use CHR$ value to figure this out, CHR$50 = Ascii "2") , obviously only works with some values but it can be a bit of a saver sometimes.



Variables seem a fraction faster in upper case, although I've yet to figure out why.


There are also some good ways of saving having to type border/paper/ink/bright/over/inverse/flash if you want to simply set the screen colours, it can be done in one or two pokes.


EDIT... Added a splash of colour. I'm happy to check out any bit of Basic (or part of) if you wanted me to suggest any 'space saving' , can always PM it or perhaps just copy/paste it rather than attach a tape file, either here or a PM if you only wanted a 'partial' thing.


Obviously you lose readability the more you do this and it can be annoying to try to debug issues too, but it does save quite a bit of space potentially. Try saving a tiny bit of Basic (then see how big it is) then save it again once you've 'adjusted' it. CLEAR recommended before save too.

#7367 Spot the difference

Posted by Spider on 02 October 2017 - 06:49 PM

I honestly don't know how you cope with working in decimal!  Probably the only time I use it is when inserting POKES into SPIN (and even then, I wish it had a 'POKE in hexadecimal' function!)

Its not something I can easily get my head around despite trying. I do keep a few 'well used' values in memory obviously :D


Can only guess its because I started my computing life on the Spectrum as such although I was also later using BBC and then Amstrad, both of which (the former especially) prefer hex aka CALL &xx


Talking of emulators, Zero supports "poke memory" via hex if you remember to prefix them with a $ sign aka $C9 for "201" etc etc. I don't think Spectaculator does (not that I can see at least) although its debugger *always* defaults to hex upon entry. I don't have Fuse installed so I cannot recall how that behaves.

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#7362 Spot the difference

Posted by Spider on 02 October 2017 - 05:44 PM

No I didn't read the spoiler first - I just spotted the difference!
Try POKE #A63D, #04. B)


Perfect.  :thumbsup:  Pleased to read you saw it without the 'extra' clue.


Converted your fix to decimal for those who prefer it in that format: POKE 42557 , 4

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#7357 Spot the difference

Posted by Spider on 02 October 2017 - 05:08 PM

Not a trick honestly. :)




Can you see the small (clue?) difference here between these ? The left pic is the original, the right pic is the 'fixed' one.


Its not the white paper on the right hand 'river bank' that appears intentional like white sand/cliff.


Another clue:



I have not obtained the poke to fix this just yet, a bit of a fuddle to get it but not too difficult... From memory on the 'full loading screen' version of this I did, I fixed quite a few things I'd noticed but this is confined to a single (another clue?) fix.

#7356 Unusual Pokes (Spectrum Version)

Posted by Spider on 02 October 2017 - 04:59 PM

There are sometimes odd effects which can explain that I think, well kind of. You get some odd, occasional effects where if you are stood on the left side of a screen and jump up (Dr Jones is good as he's off the floor here) and you appear to 'hit your head' and/or jumping left causes him to hit something and he falls.


Regarding the climb, yes although its possible via moving left/right between the screens to climb safely, well as safe as possible. :D

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#7345 Other games featuring...

Posted by Spider on 30 September 2017 - 04:14 PM

You've guessed it. ;)


Here are two for starters:


Kokotoni Wilf, Level 5, as multiple guards:

Attached File  k_l_5.png   27.17KB   0 downloads



Again on Level 6, seems he has had a promotion, just who is that sat in the Pilot's seat ?

Attached File  k_l_6.png   30.6KB   0 downloads



Who could this be in the crowd cheering Daley on in 'Decathlon' ? , look closely:

Attached File  d_t_d.png   60.13KB   0 downloads


If you can't see him look above the 'C' in the leftmost 'Ocean' logo, although he is repeated (as is the whole scene) a few times.

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#7334 Pokes (Spectrum Version)

Posted by Spider on 28 September 2017 - 03:45 PM

Larger 'air bonus' upon cavern completion:


POKE 37051,45 (BugByte version) , this just uses a further left digit to 'add to the score' , it will not corrupt the game with "too many lives" until you get at least 1 complete round in, as well as a few more caverns.


The above poke for the Software Projects/Ventamatic/MAD releases:


POKE 37062,45



Less air reduction with Solar Power Generator:


POKE 36236,0 : POKE 36237 , 0 : POKE 36238 , 0 : POKE 36239 , 0 : POKE 36240 , 0 : POKE 36241 , 0 , these reduce by about roughly 50% the air reduction when Willy is in the path of the beam. These are for the BugByte version.


The above for the Software Projects/VentaMatic/MAD releases is as follows:


POKE 36247,0 : POKE 36248 , 0 : POKE 36249 , 0 : POKE 36250 , 0 : POKE 36251 , 0 : POKE 36252 , 0



Finally, cavern air grace period:

There are two listings. First one is a 'hand holding' one that will load the game code if it is not present and then ask you to choose between 30 seconds / 60 seconds / 2 minutes or max which is roughly 2 min 30 seconds. The second listing is commented and smaller but relies you choosing a suitable value aka 10 LET D= x (x being the value you want)


60 seconds is not unreasonable it seems from playtesting.


Attached File  mm_air.tap   446bytes   6 downloads Attached File  mm_air_2.tap   236bytes   6 downloads


Pics of listings:


Attached File  mm_air_1.png   9.44KB   4 downloads Attached File  mm_air_2.png   5.72KB   4 downloads


The line that does a zero to 40768-40799 is simply to hide the extension, if you omit this you can see the 'true length' of the extended bar.

#7333 Pokes (Spectrum Version)

Posted by Spider on 28 September 2017 - 01:06 PM

That's quite good. :thumbsup:


The actual changed jump effect while climbing the 'ladder' reminds me slightly of the way the Professor climbs in FNS.

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#7332 JSW As Manufacturer (probably) intended .. kind of...

Posted by Spider on 28 September 2017 - 12:49 PM

Andy, by 'break' [brake?] in the above did you mean pressing the 'P' key to stop Willy from running towards the toilet?  (Something which I came up with a fix for, although I'm not sure if Mickey has implemented that fix yet or not?)  Or did you mean pressing SHIFT+SPACE to abandon the game during the toilet dash?

Shift/Space aka "abandon" :)

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#7243 Manic Miner by Software Projects + BUG-BYTE

Posted by Spider on 23 September 2017 - 02:43 PM

Welcome David. :)


IRF is quite correct there is no 'item collect' sound on MM, there is on JSW, both on the Spectrum platform.


On other platforms, there is a noise on the BBC, C64 and Amstrad versions I had to hand to verify. I could not get the Dragon one to load (currently) to check that.

#7160 JSW As Manufacturer (probably) intended .. kind of...

Posted by Spider on 20 September 2017 - 09:18 PM

Whilst messing about with the DEFB value that changes the game status at  34271 i've noticed something odd.

As we all know, on completion and during his toilet dash his animation is limited so it looks like he's skidding or skating as his legs appear to be still, i'm guessing this is because the game code skips every other animation frame in order to double his speed .. but look what happens when we set DEFB to 2 (34271,2) whilst in the Nightmare room. Willy still travels at double the speed but his animation as a winged pig seems not to be affected by the frame skips... at least not in the same way ... his animation still only seems to be of 4 frames here so i'm wondering now if i can somehow improve his running ability when he is his normal self


I did read this but it did not quite "sink in" at the time. I have just watched the .rzx as I downloaded it at the time then had to go and sort something else out.


Anyway I see what you mean about the 'pig frames' vs 'willy frames' now. How odd as they are both 4 'each way' as such. There is code to force the sprite change in that room and a random guess would be as that is likely being checked constantly (otherwise he'd change sprite during play when you moved) then it is likely just overriding it.


The 'fast time' when in the toilet is also appreciated too. :)


I note that 'break' does not work actually *during* the 'dash' either, another useful change. The original does (I just tried this, do not recall ever having tried that before)

#7159 JSW As Manufacturer (probably) intended .. kind of...

Posted by Spider on 20 September 2017 - 09:11 PM

See i think this is another type of bug, i guess if i was to resolve it, i would use the alternate frames where Willy's legs are completely together and fully apart, might make him look a bit like Mr Benn but i still think it would be an improvement .. i'm going to try an experiment...

Would be worth trying to see. :D