Posted by ceptimus
on 22 September 2019 - 10:50 AM
No, I get the impression that hardly anyone has played it. If you do try it, download the latest one from the link above as I've fixed a couple of minor bugs.
I was going to attempt a JSW conversion too - my plan was to do a gentle horizontal screen scroll one pixel at a time to accommodate the 256-pixel wide screen on the Maximite's 240-pixel width display. The scroll would occur gradually depending on Willy's horizontal screen position: so when Willy was in the left quarter of the screen 16 pixels would be cropped from the right edge; when he's at the centre, 8 pixels pixels would be cropped from both edges and so on.
I've put that project on the back burner for now though. I think most of Maximite/Minimite community are not really interested in games. As far as I know, the main place they hang out is on The Back Shed forum in the Microcontrollers and PC projects section.
Roller Coaster is on the list because it was "inherited" from Andrew Broad's list (including the short description). It does differ from JSW in e.g. the ability to walk through guardians, but it is OK for the "Games of MM and JSW interest" page.
Tarantula seems too different from JSW to me. The protagonist can apparently fly, which is a big difference, and he doesn't die when he touches the enemies, only seems to lose a bit of energy, a la Dynamite Dan. Visually and because of the gameplay Tarantula looks more like Underwurlde to me than anything else.
I will give the matter another thought later on, but at the moment I am not inclined to include it. However, thanks for the suggestion - any suggestions for this section are always welcome!
Posted by ceptimus
on 09 September 2019 - 11:21 AM
I've ported the original Bug-Byte Spectrum version of Manic Miner to the Colour Maximite.
The Maximite only runs BASIC (its own version called MMBASIC) - there's no way to call machine code routines from Maximite Basic. But it does run it very fast, so I was able to get the speed to match the original Spectrum; actually it could run a lot faster.
Most obvious differences are:
The Maximite game screen (mode 4) is only 240 pixels wide (by 216 pixels high) so I had to trim 8 pixels from both vertical edges of the Spectrum screen to make it fit. Luckily, all the caverns have 8-pixel impenetrable walls up both sides, so the game play is unaltered - you can't see those walls but the edges of the screen act as walls.
The Maximite only has 8 colours compared to the Spectrum's 15. Doesn't make much difference to the gameplay except to make the distinction between crumbling floors and normal floors less obvious in some caverns.
I am pleased to announce another update of JSW Central .
1. A "proper" main page has been created, giving an overview of the site (previously links to the Home page led to the main list of MM and JSW games).
2. Two new sections: "Authors about their games" and "What's new?" have been added to the site.
The section "Authors about their games" was created at this time because I received "exclusive" input from Paul Equinox Collins, the author of "JSW: The '96 Remix" and "It's Wet Jelly", and from Leslie Marwick, the author of "Spaceman Willy", and I wanted to put it online. To make the section a little more than a nucleus, I added descriptions of games by Richard Hallas (copied from his website - with his kind explicit permission), Andrew Broad - using his generic permission to quote his texts: "I give my permission to quote anything I ever posted in public (provided of course that it's properly attributed, and not taken out of context to make me look bad)", and myself. I would like to extend warm thanks to Paul and Leslie for sending me their input and to Richard for allowing me to use the texts from his website!
There are links from the authors' texts (their titles, to be exact) to the games' individual pages, and there are links from the games' pages to the authors' descriptions. One doubt I have is whether it is better that these open in a new tab (as is currently the case) or not - please advise if you have a strong opinion on it after browsing JSW Central.
I will develop this section gradually, but it is not a priority for me - my next big (and slow) task will be to provide a complete screenshot gallery for each game's individual page. However, I will prioritise the addition of new entries to "Authors about their games" if authors send me their input - please do, I will be happy to publish it on JSW Central!
The "What's new?" section is self-explanatory, of course. Its creation responds to a suggestion I've received of making the updates more visible so that people know the site is up to date.
3. The "About JSW Central" section has been modified and renamed "Brief history", to reflect its content better and in order not to duplicate the current home page.
4. The panel on the left side has been modified to reflect the changes in the section layout.
5. Links to their recently-created pages on Spectrum Computing have been added on several games' pages.
6. Chronology has been updated.
There have also been various other minor updates here and there which are not worth describing in detail.
Are there Bright Guardians on non-Black screens present in Manic Miner, without the 'bright shadow effect' occurring?
Do you think Matt Smith never got round to calling up that routine in the rush to get JSW finished, even though it was present in the code? It would be nice to be able to have Bright Guardians throughout the layout. (For example, to fix the bug in TNE, all instances of the Red Flying Pig had to be turned non-Bright, even where it appears on Black screens such as The Hall, because there is one instance of that guardian class on a non-Black screen, i.e. in Emergency Generator.)
Actually, I've just noticed that the author of the above link is none other than J.G. Harston, occasional visitor to this parish! I wonder if Jonathan will read this, and if so, would he be able to explain the rationale behind the format of the operands which I referred to above?
Clearly the source I quoted is wrong (and Norman's source was right), because the shift byte inevitably slows down the operation (by 4 T-States).
The Z80 Heaven site also fails to give a T-State value (correct or otherwise) for LD rr, (XX) operations e.g. LD BC, (XX). Which presumably does take 20 T-States because again there's a shift opcode involved. (EDIT: Another source confirms this: http://z80.info/z80flag.htm )
An unrelated query: I've often wondered? why the operand of relative jumps is sometimes given in the format &4546
I forgot to add: the hidden message disappears when you exit from The Nghtmare Room of course, because the status bar's pixels are all wiped clear by the Room Setup routine upon entry to another room. But walk back into the Nightmare Room and the message will re-appear [unless you paused the game in the intervening period], because the status bar's attributes are NOT cleared by the Room Setup routine!
3 - The implications for the most efficient route through the layout
As I recall Danny, your preferred route through a standard Jet Set Willy 'mansion layout' (which this game has, broadly speaking, albeit laterally inverted) leads you to complete The Nightmare Room last of all, before making your way to the Master Bedroom for the Toilet Dash.
Now, in Jet Set Mini, there is a double-height 'periscope' guardian in 'First Landing', which you can jump over from a high vantage point on the First Landing ramp in order to enter The Nightmare Room. But you can't jump back over the periscope if you exit from The Nightmare Room into First Landing. So that is - apparently - a one-way route, which appears to force you to go from The Nightmare Room via a circuitous route through The Banyan Tree, down the Back Stairway and through the Kitchen screens and the Main Stairway.
However, the secret exit from The Nightmare Room allows you to proceed directly up into the Master Bedroom, and is therefore a nice shortcut! (Saving you from having to make multiple traverses of the Kitchens, etc.) It should cut several minutes off your final completion time!