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#11432 [File] Bugfixed, completable version of "Still Stealin' "

Posted by jetsetdanny on 17 November 2019 - 01:23 AM

I've corrected the typo. The game is called:


Still Stealin' aka Fahrenheit 2002

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#11423 Bugfixed, completable versions of "The Down and Out Trilogy"

Posted by jetsetdanny on 15 November 2019 - 04:10 PM

I am thrilled to announce that each of these three fines games by the DrUnKeN mAsTeR!!! (all released by his BaSe1 PrOdUcTiOnZ in 2002) can now be played to toilet-completion!  :D 

A huge thanks to the DrUnKeN mAsTeR!!! for his blessing for releasing these files!  :thumbsup:


The ZIP packages with the fixed (and also original) files can now be downloaded from the games' individual pages on JSW Central:


Skint Willy


Willy the Rogue


Still Stealin'


Please download and have a go at them! All three are beautiful, atmospheric games, with great sense of humour in the graphics and room names. The passage through each of them is a real journey, a true odyssey encompassing various stages each with its own character :).


The changes applied to the original files are explained fully in the enclosed Readmes.


I have also tried to upload the games to the Downloads section of this forum, but unfortunately I have come up against the message: "Error You aren't permitted to upload this kind of file". It also shows that the only kinds of file permitted to upload are: gif, jpeg, jpg, mpg, png.


This is not right, obviously, as other games are available for download as ZIPs. I think it may be a glitch which crept in after the site was restored after a short period offline earlier this year. I hope Andy will be able to fix it and I will add the uploads for all three games, along with the descriptions of the changes (pretty much copied from the Readmes) as soon as it's possible to upload ZIP files again.


Once again, thank you for your blessing for these files, DrUnKeN mAsTeR!!! , and I hope you will all enjoy them! :)

#11413 JSW's 35th birthday party at Manchester PLAY Expo

Posted by jetsetdanny on 13 November 2019 - 07:47 PM

Actually, there's probably no need to pause the game at all is there really? Just hit the 'Print Screen' button whilst the game is running on your emulator, then paste into MS Paint (or whatever), crop the image and save it as a JPEG/PNG/whatever.

That's what I tend to do (and, like you, take another one if there's an obvious glitch).


Yes, you're right.


I pause the game using the emulator pause function for two reasons:


1. It gives me a certain degree of control over what snapshot I am going to take. If I don't like the particular moment of the game, I can upause it and pause it again after half a second (or later). If I just took a screenshot at that moment and didn't quite like it, the "moment" would be gone before I were able to have a good look at the screenshot and decide I want to take another one.


This is important taking into account that I often take screenshots while replaying an RZX recording. I try to take screenshots showing all of the "basic" features of the room, such as items and arrows. If I took a screenshot, didn't like it, and by the time I knew I didn't like it Willy would have collected an item in the recording, I would have to start the recording from the beginning to take a screenshot of this particular room (as you can't rewind an RZX recording backwards). It's always a waste of time, and if we are talking about one of the big games, forwarding it from the beginning to the middle can take a few minutes, even using the maximum emulation speed possible.


2. When the game is paused, I can see a glitch *before* taking the screenshot. I can then unpause the game and pause it again and see if everything looks good this time before taking the screenshot.

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#11412 JSW's 35th birthday party at Manchester PLAY Expo

Posted by jetsetdanny on 13 November 2019 - 07:38 PM

It should be accessible by pressing all the keys from 1-6 along with the 9 key (111111 in binary = 63 in decimal).  It's only when you go beyond that that you would need to pick up an additional number key.


However, depending on what emulator you are using, not all number key combinations are always possible...


Thanks, Ian.


I don't think pressing all of these keys at the same time works on the emulators I'm using (ZX Spin and Spectaculator). If someone is sure otherwise, please let me know.


It's an interesting example of how emulation may actually be deficient in comparison with the original hardware (you can access a room by Writetyper on the Spectrum, but not on emulator)...

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#11402 Yahoo Groups going away

Posted by jetsetdanny on 09 November 2019 - 05:44 AM

Drunken Master, it's great to see you here!  :D


Welcome, and I hope you've come here to stay :).


As for the Yahoo! problem, I think it may not be as bad as it looked at first. As per the latest posts over there, it looks like Yahoo! does not consider messages to be "content" - only files. It is actually still possible to post messages over there - and their deadline of 28 October, after which one was not supposed to be able to upload new content, has passed already. I am beginning to hope that after 14 December it will still be possible to post messages over there and they will be visible online, on the website (not just in our mailboxes), so - with the exception of uploading screenshots, which hasn't been used for a long time anyway - it will be business as usual. We'll find out in mid December.


In any case, this forum is really where most of MM/JSW action is these days, so again, I'm so glad you're here :). I am sure you will find this is a really friendly place, with some very knowledgeable people who can help out with various technical issues if need be  :thumbsup: .

#11398 JSW's 35th birthday party at Manchester PLAY Expo

Posted by jetsetdanny on 03 November 2019 - 09:03 PM

Hi Richard!


Thanks for your reply, it is great to be exchanging thoughts with you like this ! :)


As you say, we're in complete agreement about most things and the rest boils down to simple personal opinions. That's absolutely right.


I would like to reply to some of your points. My replies are in green again.



> One small point (to be pedantic!)… looking all that long list of room screenshots, I notice you've actually missed one: the inaccessible "How on earth did you get here ?!" Given the difficulty of taking a screenshot of that room (because, as well as being inaccessible, it kills Willy repeatedly if he does manage to get there, as I recall), you might like to snip the copy of that room out of my own map of the game, which of course is on the maps.speccy.cz site (top right-hand corner).


Thanks for bringing this up. There is a "conceptual" problem with the screenshot of "How on earth did you get here ?!" actually. I did not miss it in the sense of forgetting about it. I did not add the screenshot for the following reason:


Screenshots on JSW Central are all taken while the game is actually playing. When I take them, I am either playing the game, pause it and take a screenshot, or I am playing back an RZX recording of the game, pause it and take a screenshot. Either way the screenshot - each screenshot - illustrates the way the game looks when someone is playing it on an emulator.


[Parenthesis: "on an emulator", because some of the screenshots may show a moment when the game is paused using the emulator's functionality to pause it - rather than the in-game pause - which couldn't happen when playing on the real hardware. In other words, the "paused instant" visible in the screenshot could not be a "paused instant" on the real hardware, which would move the execution of the program a little further before the in-game pause would kick in. This concerns just minor details, such as arrows movements or something like this - I can't remember exactly right now what could be different, Ian Rushforth could explain it fully - and I have no problem with it, because we are in the emulator age now and almost 100% of what is happening with JSW and MM is happening on emulators].


Using my methodology, a screenshot of "How on earth did you get here ?!" could only be taken after reaching this room using the Writetyper cheat, and then it would be a screenshot showing the death sequence, it wouldn't be a normal screenshot of a room where Willy is alive (even momentarily - there are rooms in other games where Willy dies repeatedly, like "Entrance to Hades", but there is ample time to take the screenshot before he dies).


I am reluctant to take a screenshot of a room showing the death sequence in motion, because it wouldn't do justice to the room. At the same time, I am reluctant to tweak the game in any way to make taking the screenshot using my methodology possible - because it would effectively mean that the screenshot shows not something that *is* in the game, but rather something that *could be* if the game was modified. 


My general rule for the screenshots is: take a screenshot of every screen the player can see in the game when playing it normally. That includes all of the rooms one can reach, of course, plus the loading screen, the title screen, the Game Over screen(s) and whatever else can be seen during gameplay.


I have yet to decide what to do about rooms which can only be reached by using the Writetyper cheat.


The screenshot galleries on JSW Central are work in progress. All MM pages have them at the moment, and few JSW pages have them. Adding them to the individual pages of JSW games is my JSW-priority for the months to come.


IIRC, among the JSW games' galleries I have on JSW Central at this time, there are no other cases of rooms which cannot be reached when playing the game "normally", i.e. which can only be reached by using  Writetyper.


Correction: I added the screenshot gallery of "Willy's Flashback" recently, and there are some rooms within the game file there which can only be reached by using  Writetyper. They are unedited rooms from the original JSW. However, the author of the game does not consider them a part of the game, so it's a no brainer, it's obvious that there is no reason to show their screenshots on JSW Central.


"How on earth did you get here ?!" is doubly problematic: it can only be reached by using Writetyper and it causes instant death on entry. Even if I decided that I would be adding screenshots of rooms which can only be reached by using Writetyper (which I well might, but I need to give it some more thought), the question arises if I want to show screens where the player cannot "be" even for a second.


I'll meditate on this... :)


This is actually a good occasion to remind everyone who might be interested that "How on earth did you get here ?!" was included, with Richard's permission, in Sendy's and my game JSW: Mind Control, as room 074, preserving the original room title. The reason for the inclusion was precisely that I had always felt sad that this fine room was not playable in its original version  :( .



> I think one has to bear the player's perspective in mind here.  (...)


> As I say, these are obviously just personal opinions… but I suspect I'm closer to being a 'normal player' than most of the experts on this forum, and as a normal player I like the games that present me with something interesting and fun rather than an insurmountable obstacle.


Yes, it's a valid point. I tend to overlook (what I think is or may be) the perspective of people who are not JSW fans and look at those games without all of the inside knowledge, experience and feelings. Also, the perspective of people who *are* JSW fans and insiders, but simply don't enjoy games that are difficult to play.


I do agree that among the released JSW games there are games - such as Andrew Broad's creations or parts of "JSW: The 2010 Megamix" - which are challenges for experts. Some of them, extreme challenges actually. Players who do not want to master the quirky features of the game engine, struggle with pixel-perfect jumps or simply do not want any game to be too difficult will not enjoy such games at all. In fact, they are not meant to enjoy them, because these games were created to be extremely difficult. Furthermore, Easy Editions of some of them were created namely to make them playable and (hopefully) enjoyable also to the "general JSW and ZX Spectrum public".



>  But nevertheless, my desire in new JSW scenarios has always been to have interesting new settings for the familiar game that I enjoy, rather than inventing new tricks merely for the sake of being clever or making the game as difficult as possible. To me, the former approach is fun whilst the latter is hard work.


That's true. From this perspective, it was a shame that the JSW128 and JSW64 games were eliminated from the Manchester competition - without it being stated explicitly anywhere - because some of them respond to your preferences perfectly, IMO: there are some beautiful, atmospheric games among them, which are easy to explore, not too difficult to complete and which - I am absolutely sure about it - should give the player a great joy of discovering new settings for the familiar game. They could have been extremely strong contenders if the competition was less about the visual side and more about the pleasures of gameplay - but then I have to admit the competition would have been flawed, because the extended game engines which these games use make it easier to create new beautiful settings than the unmodified JSW48 game engine.



> Of the games in this competition, I can't help but feel that most are pretty player-unfriendly. As noted, the winning game wasn't even completable until you fixed it for the competition (which in itself hardly seems fair, in competition terms!). 


Well, for the sake of argument, the (unwritten ;) ) rules for the competition apparently did not stipulate that a game should be completable. In fact, the original JSW was not completable when released, and it certainly isn't particularly player-friendly because of the many possible infinite-death scenarios. Many later games are much more player-friendly than the original. 



> JSW players are used to knowing about the limited range of platform types (soft, hard, killer, ramp, conveyor) and being able to tell fairly easily where they can go in a room.


The above is true, but only in relation to games using an umodified JSW48 game engine. In games using JSW128 or JSW64 game engines - where you can have more than 4 cell classes per room - the player won't necessarily know immediately which block is Fire (killer), which is Water (soft) and which is Earth (hard), because there may be multiple kinds of Fire, Water or Earth cells.



> In Bastards this isn't possible in the same way because the game is so hacked. You can't tell in advance which parts of the scenery can be navigated and which can't. Combine that with the fact that positioning Willy in certain places will cause various things to happen, totally unpredictably, including teleportation, doors opening, guardians changing etc., and you're left with a game that's very unpredictable, particularly without visual cues to give hints that such special events are going to occur. 


This "unpredictability" of Maria vs. Some Bastards - which you are absolutely right about, when you compare it to "regular" JSW48 games - is also typical of games using JSW64 game engine, where you can have various "Switch" effects for example. It only goes to show how seriously this game is modified in the sense of the game engine.



> Maria's Revenge is really the only one of the other four games that I find at all enjoyable as a 'normal' player. It has some interesting ideas in it (not least the opening two-screen-tall werewolf from Knight Lore as a museum exhibit). It has to be said that there's a lot of pretty frustrating rooms and opportunities for endless death, so it's quite a challenging and frustrating game. However, I do actually like Maria's Revenge from what I've seen of it so far – there's a lot of good things about it – but I do feel that it concentrates a bit too much on frustrating the player rather than giving them a good time.


In a sense, Maria's Revenge was the undeclared winner of this competition, merely by the fact that Paolo chose it to be among the five finalists. It is a game that never had any particular publicity as far as I can tell. It is the only publicly known game by Mat Doughty - an author who appeared briefly on the scene back in 2004, released this game and then disappeared (so the game did not enjoy being popular not because of its own merits, but because of its author - which happens sometimes). Still, as you say, it's a very solid creative effort, a really good game, and I am glad it was appreciated by Paolo. I am not sure it tries to frustrate the player so much, but I remember it has a very smartly-designed secret passage (going through several rooms), which had me disoriented for a good while when I was trying to play it to completion. And this secret passage is designed just by using the regular game engine, with no tweaks or quirks involved. A great job, really! :)



> And yes, actually… sometimes I do feel like designing a new JSW game. On the one hand, I'd need to find the time (which is a non-trivial challenge). And on the other, unless I were just to design another standard JSW48 game using the Paul Rhodes editor (as I did for my first two), I'd have to investigate the modern tools and see about getting them working on my Mac – as I find it annoying how everything is so geared towards Windows PCs (I avoid Windows whenever possible). But assuming I can get myself set up with suitable editors in an environment that I find acceptably pleasant to use, and that I can find time… yes, there's certainly a chance that I may create another JSW game.


This is great news!  :D It would be fantastic to be able to load into the emulator and explore a new JSW game from you!  :thumbsup: 


John Elliott's JSWED is *the* tool to design JSW and MM games these days, in my opinion. Personally, I don't see why anybody would want to use any other tool, unless looking for some particular feature that JSWED doesn't offer yet and some other software does (but there will be very few cases of such things, I believe).


Oh his website, John says, "Versions of JSWED exist for Win32 (Windows 95/98/ME, NT/2000) and for Linux with SDL. The Linux version also compiles and runs on BeOS and MacOS X."


So I guess you should be able to use it on  your Mac. John is a member of this forum and I'm sure he could help out if you tried to use it and ran into problems.



>  I'd quite like to have a go at one with a larger map than the standard JSW48 engine permits, and that uses new features such as greater flexibility in guardian movement and speed etc.


One of the variants of the JSW64 game engine would be perfect for that. You could have up to 128 rooms, new guardian types, many cell classes in a room, etc. Plus you might avoid comparisons with your earlier games, at least in part - because your new game would fall into a different category. In other words, Join The Jet-Set! and Jet-Set Willy in Space would remain old-school classics, while you could return onto the creative scene with a vengeance with a game using a "more modern" game engine  B) .



> Anyway, thanks for your response – it was good to hear your thoughts. And thanks again for your photography on the day. Issue 200 of Retro Gamer has just come out, and I'm pleased to say that there's an article about the JSW 35th anniversary and a page featuring four JSW fans – one of which is me, using one of the photos you took with my phone!  :)


I'm glad I could be of service :). It is nice that Retro Gamer covered the JSW 35th anniversary :).



#11396 JSW's 35th birthday party at Manchester PLAY Expo

Posted by jetsetdanny on 03 November 2019 - 06:22 AM



Thank you for your detailed description of your thoughts on the Manchester event and the competition. Thank you also for your kinds words about our meeting - it was a great pleasure and honour for me to meet you in person  :).


I would like to reply to some of your thoughts below. My replies are in green, to distinguish them from your text visibly.


> I've just belatedly noticed this thread, so as one of the people who was there, I thought I'd say a few things from my own perspective, particularly about the competition.

Thank you for your thoughts, Richard! :)



> Danny is correct that my "Join the Jet-Set!" came second in the competition, after "Maria vs Some Bastards".

> As for the competition itself, I had very mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I was pleased to have one of my games picked at all; that in itself was a real honour, considering the sheer number of JSW games developed, and also considering that mine is one of the very oldest, having been completed back in 1985.

> But on the other hand, the way the competition was presented and run was simply not fair on any level. What was the criterion on which the games were supposed to be judged? How they played? How they looked? How much they stretched the JSW engine in terms of quirky exploits or new routines etc.? Having a competition for which one is "best" is actually pretty meaningless. The only criterion that the audience was permitted to judge, really, was how the games looked – based on the 30-second visual run-through that each one got.


I agree with your evaluation of the competition.


To be honest, I never perceived it as a "real" competition. From my perspective, it was just a bit of fun, really, something to enrich the event with (the main event being the UK premiere of Paolo Santagostino's film "WILLY: 48K About A Legend" and the meeting with Matthew Smith on JSW's 35th anniversary). In that sense, it was not a bad idea, getting the people who were there involved (by voting) and making people aware that there ARE various remakes of the original. 


I had expressed my reservations about the vote - before it even took place - on the World of Spectrum forums. Let me quote a part of that comment here:



It is perfectly understandable that it would not be feasible to have the audience vote for the best game from among all of the JSW remakes which have been created so far - that would be almost 100 games! So a shortlist had to be created. It should be noted that it eliminated automatically all 128K remakes of JSW, so the games which use the so-called JSW128 game engine and those that use the JSW64 game engine - over 40 games in total. The competition is limited to games using JSW48 game engine, i.e. the one from the original Jet Set Willy.

The five "finalists" that Paolo Santagostino chose represent quite a wide range of JSW remakes. We have among them: an old-time classic "Join The Jet-Set!", two games which feature serious modifications (very different ones!) of the JSW48 game engine ("ZX Willy the Bug Slayer" and "Maria vs. Some Bastards"), one game which was created at the time of the "Great JSW Games Explosion" of 2000 (although gamma-released 5 years later - "Jet-Set Willy (again)") and one game released when that "golden" period was already ending ("Maria's Revenge").



So, before all of your points are even considered (and all of them are valid, I believe), the problem was that it was NOT a competition of the "favourite mod of the game" - as advertised - but of the "favourite JSW48 game-engine mod of the game" - because over 40 JSW games (mods) were not even admitted to the competition because they use game engines other than the JSW48 engine!



> That's the most superficial way possible of judging the games, and even then it wasn't a fair comparison because we weren't comparing 'like with like'. Of the five games being judged, four were pretty straightforward JSW games that looked much like the original JSW and played in the same way. But the fifth, Maria vs Some Bastards, is much the most recent of the set and has been MASSIVELY hacked about to allow the game engine to do all kinds of things it was never supposed to do. The end result is that it has big, bold, spectacular graphics that none of the other games could achieve, and it totally outclasses the competition in terms of looks. But no-one can actually do what that game does with the game engine without a massive amount of hacking; you can't achieve those graphics just by creating a new JSW game with an editor.

> So, the audience was asked to judge which of the new games appeared to be the best, based on a brief, superficial viewing of a few screens, yet what they were shown was four 'normal' JSW clones and one super-enhanced on that featured a massively rewritten engine that permitted all sorts of big, bold, cartoony graphics to be used. So *obviously* Maria vs Some Bastards won; there was really no other possible outcome, under the circumstances. Maria vs Some Bastards was written 18 years after Join the Jet-Set! was released, so it's hardly surprising that there'd been plenty of time in those 18 years to do a lot of hacking and find ways to make it look better! Is it really fair to compare a game that's barely been hacked at all (in terms of its engine) with one written two decades later and hacked massively?


I fully agree with your comments about the graphics in Maria vs. Some Bastards and the superficiality of the choice.


Just a couple of points here for the sake of accuracy:


This is not entirely true: Of the five games being judged, four were pretty straightforward JSW games that looked much like the original JSW and played in the same way. 


Three of the five games were "pretty straightforward JSW games" in the sense that their game engine was not modified. These were: Join The Jet-Set!, Maria's Revenge and Jet-Set Willy (again).


Two games featured heavily-modified game engines. These were: Maria vs. Some Bastards and ZX Willy the Bug Slayer.


The latter game is not modified graphically like Maria vs. Some Bastards. It does not *look* so different from the original (or any other "pretty straightforward" JSW game). However, this was the game which introduced (and has been the only example of so far) the so-called  "Geoff Mode II", significant modifications of the game engine created by Geoff Eddy, building upon his "Geoff Mode I", applied in his three earlier games: J4 (The Fourth Remix), Willy the Hacker and Willy Takes a Trip. These modifications allow for, among other things, diagonal, wrap-around and fast-moving guardians, and the use of the so-called patch vectors, which can produce an infinity of special effects which the original JSW doesn't (and cannot) offer. An archival description of these changes can be found here.

If the competition had been about the quality or diversity of gameplay, ZX Willy the Bug Slayer might have challenged Maria vs. Some Bastards (which also has some special gameplay effects well beyond the original JSW) seriously. In the visual compartment, though, it probably stood no chance in 30-seconds' previews.


It should be noted that while Maria vs. Some Bastards was gamma-released in 2003, ZX Willy the Bug Slayer preceded it only by a year, coming out in 2002. So both games are from the same period, really (more than 15 years after Join The Jet-Set!).



> I don't begrudge Maria vs Some Bastards winning in terms of the effort that's gone into creating it, because it's actually a pretty remarkable game and a lot of work and talent has gone into its creation.


Yes, that's absolutely true. It is an amazing game both in the sense of technical modifications of the game engine and the graphics.



> I just didn't think it was fair to put that particular game alongside other 'normal' JSW games that didn't stand a chance because they hadn't been totally rewritten in the same way.


True, always when referring to the visual aspect, always bearing in mind that ZX Willy the Bug Slayer is also rewritten significantly.



> Besides, if the games could actually have been judged in terms of how successful they are *as games* (i.e. in terms of being fun to play), then I think my own game might even have won.


That's quite possible! :)



> The point is that I deliberately designed it to ( a ) recapture some of the whimsical humour of the original, ( b ) be fun to play, ( c ) be interesting and fairly easy to explore, and ( d ) above all, to be fair. The latter point means that (i) active steps were taken in the design to avoid death loops, (ii) there are few nasty traps (there are a couple, but it's easy to learn where they are and avoid them), and (iii) the game can be completed without losing even a single life if you're skilful. I've always believed in fairness, and my game is fair and completable.


Join The Jet-Set! is a great game, Richard - an early classic on a par with the original JSW!  :thumbsup:


I had a great pleasure of recording it once for RZX Archive, and I relived this pleasure only yesterday, when I took the screenshots of all of the rooms for JSW Central. They can now be viewed on Join The Jet-Set!'s page on JSW Central.



> That puts it in stark contrast with most (all?) of the other entries, which range from weird and unpredictable to impossible to complete.


I beg to differ! Maria's Revenge, Jet-Set Willy (again) and ZX Willy the Bug Slayer are perfectly completable. RZX recordings of successful walkthroughs of these games have been hosted on RZX Archive for years now. Also, I wouldn't call any of them weird, really. They are very good games, actually.



> Maria vs Some Bastards is impossible to complete without a third party hack (released in the same week as this competition!).


This is true. The Manchester event was, in fact, a decisive factor for the third party hack being created. I had been in touch with Paolo Santagostino, doing my best to help out with some things like getting in touch with JSW authors, etc., and he asked me why an RZX recording of Maria vs. Some Bastards wasn't available. I told him the game wasn't completable and I volunteered to see if something could be done about it. In the following weeks, thanks to the invaluable technical expertise and involvement of Ian Rushforth, with the participation of Andy Ford (both active on this forum, Andy being the Administrator), we were able to produce a fixed version of the game, of which I am actually quite proud :).



> On a positive note, I was given the microphone and was allowed to talk through my own game as it was demonstrated on the screen, which was nice. That permitted me to mention a couple of important points about it, namely ( a ) it was one of the very first new JSW games that demonstrated that it was possible to recapture something of the spirit of the original in a new setting, and thus played a significant part in kickstarting the surge of enthusiasm for creating new JSW games, which arose after my two games and Adam Britton's three had been released in the 1990s; and ( b ) I was the first person to figure out how to reprogram the in-game music and offer new tunes in my games.


These are indeed your great and lasting contributions to the JSW scene, Richard! Thank you so much for them!  :)



> Looking back at my own game, and having played it again recently because of this competition, I can see various ways in which I could have made a better job of it, and there are certain things I wish I'd done. E.g. I should have been less half-hearted about redesigning Matthew Smith's guardian graphics and drawn more of my own original creations; and I should have animated some of them better and not made them so 'jumpy'. Maybe I should have redesigned more room graphics too (i.e. walls, floors etc.). And so on. Considering all the other games that have come since, and all the engine enhancements, it's shown me just how ingenious some people can be with this game and made me feel that maybe I cut a few corners that I shouldn't have done. But to be fair to myself, I was only a 15-year-old schoolboy when I wrote it (amazing how some of those memories are still quite fresh, 35 years later…!), and I had lots of other commitments at the time, and very little free time of my own… so actually, I do think I managed to make it a pretty good game under the circumstances.


It is amazing what you were able to do at 15!, Richard!  :thumbsup:


Don't you ever feel like designing a new JSW game now? Like you say on your website:


"And do I have any plans to create a third JSW game? No serious plans, no; but, for the sake of nostalgia, I do let the possibility run through my mind from time to time. I still have a few good ideas for rooms, and I sometimes think it might be quite fun to create another game. So, in the 'unofficial' words of James Bond: never say never again!"


Perhaps now would be the time for it: to create your third JSW game, to design more guardian graphics and more of your other creations? 



> Anyway, it was good enough to inspire others to make many more games of their own, so I'm pleased about that, and if I was indeed partially responsible (through my two games) for helping to kickstart the JSW revival then I'm delighted about that. In the end, whilst I'd have like to have won the competition, under the circumstances, coming second was the best I could hope for, and I was actually pretty happy with that. My game is by fair the earliest of the set in the competition and maybe it looks primitive. I do happen to think that it's the only one of the five that's really genuinely fun to play, but that's not something that can be ascertained from a casual 30-second viewing! So coming second was really pretty good.


It does not look primitive at all, it looks great! :)


However, I beg to differ regarding this sentence: I do happen to think that it's the only one of the five that's really genuinely fun to play.


I had a great time years ago playing Maria's Revenge and Jet-Set Willy (again) to completion (and recording them for RZX Archive). I also enjoyed playing and RZX-recording the fixed version of Maria vs. Some Bastards, although it was frustrating in the sense of the map ("Which is the most efficient route to take?") before I figured it out (it's a problem with many JSW games though - in fact, a challenge rather than a problem). I haven't played ZX Willy the Bug Slayer to completion yet (because someone else had recorded the RZX walkthrough before me), but I will do it one day and I can't see any reason why I shouldn't enjoy it. 


These are just personal feelings / opinions, of course.



> So anyway, overall I had a very nice time.


I had a great time in Manchester, too! I was so glad I had decided to go :D . I flew there just for that weekend across the Atlantic, but it was really worth it - especially because of meeting people like yourself, Matthew Smith, Daren Pearcy of the RZX Archive, Paolo Santagostino, Paul Drury and various others.



> I hope I don't seem to be whingeing in what I say above; it doesn't really matter to me that my game didn't win. I was just a little disappointed that the competition wasn't fairer, and that the odds were stacked so unevenly, because I do think that if one is going to have a competition, it should be fair. But that's just me.


As mentioned at the beginning of my comments, I think it wasn't really meant to be a serious competition and I think it shouldn't be treated as such. It was fun for the people involved and the audience, it was useful for the promotion of JSW remakes, but it wasn't a serious and fair competition as such.


A couple of additional thoughts about the rules and the outcome of the competition:


In your comments, Richard, you refer to the age of the entries more than once.


Speaking in general terms, I would say that the age doesn't have to matter at all. If a competition is to decide which game is best (overall or in some specific category: gameplay, graphics, atmosphere, special technical effects, etc.), it doesn't matter when each entry was created. We are not judging some kind of "value" of each game based on a coefficient of "quality versus age" or something like this (along the lines of "Game A is almost as good as game B, but it is much older, so altogether it's more valuable"). We are simply judging which one we consider to be the best. We don't even have to know when each one was created. Did one author have more time than the other to create his game? Well, it doesn't matter, we are not looking at that, we are judging the actual quality of the game, without referring back to the reasons *why* it is what it is.


Another thing: Your 1985 game came second in this particular "competition". Let's treat this competition with all seriousness for a moment, and let's imagine your game had won it. What would that mean for the JSW scene? It would mean that there was the original Jet Set Willy in 1984, and then your Join The Jet-Set! in 1985 and then, in the following 34 years, *nothing* as good as these two was ever created. This would be really depressing for the scene and the people on it. From this paradoxical perspective, much as I admire and appreciate Join The Jet-Set!, I would *not* have wanted it to win - to avoid the conclusion that the development of JSW games in subsequent years was all in vain ;).



> Basically I had a great day. It was a genuine honour to have my game picked for the competition (and I found it installed on three of the machines in the main hall where you could play retro-games, which was also flattering) – and of course it was a privilege to meet Matthew Smith (something I never thought would happen). I also enjoyed meeting Martyn Carroll and Paul Drury… and, in particular, Daniel Gromann. Danny was kind enough to take a number of photos of me with Matthew Smith, and then he walked me back to the railway station after the event, so that we could chat further. It was great to meet him.


It was great to meet YOU, Richard! :)



> By the way, a video of the whole presentation was indeed made and was put online somewhere. I no longer know where it is/was, but I downloaded a copy to keep myself.


It's here, for example.

#11395 JSW Central

Posted by jetsetdanny on 01 November 2019 - 10:27 PM

JSW Central has just been updated.


The page of Jet Set Mini has been modified to include info about the best documented completion time, a link to an RZX walkthrough and an embedded YouTube video.
Info about the number of rooms which need to be visited and the number of lives which need to be sacrificed to complete the game has been added to the page of Jet Set Willy III.
Chronology has been updated.
In the months to come, I am planning to offer such small updates of the site more often than before, mainly adding complete screenshot galleries to various games' individual pages :).

#11393 Yahoo Groups going away

Posted by jetsetdanny on 24 October 2019 - 02:32 AM

I posted a farewell message on the Yahoo! Group today, or at least I tried to post one. Unfortunately, it hasn't shown up so far, either on the website or in the mail, and I haven't saved it. If it doesn't appear tomorrow, I probably won't bother to write another one (as I would have no certainty that it would ever get posted). Oh well...

#11390 Yahoo Groups going away

Posted by jetsetdanny on 18 October 2019 - 01:35 AM

Thanks for this (sad) news, John!


Apart from the messages, photos are worth saving, too. IIRC, there are some of rooms from unfinished projects - games which were never released and whose files have not been available publicly. These pictures are all that is left of them in public, I believe.

#11377 JSW Central

Posted by jetsetdanny on 16 September 2019 - 11:23 PM

Thanks, Andy! :)


I've had a look at the videos of both games.


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! :)

#11366 Manic Miner for the Colour Maximite

Posted by jetsetdanny on 09 September 2019 - 12:13 PM

Great stuff, Geoff! :) Congratulations on porting Manic Miner to the Colour Maximite and thanks for sharing the news here!  :thumbsup:

#11365 We're Back!

Posted by jetsetdanny on 09 September 2019 - 12:09 PM

It's great to see the forum back online!  :D


Thanks for restoring it, Andy!  :thumbsup:

#11343 JSW Central

Posted by jetsetdanny on 01 August 2019 - 05:07 PM

I am pleased to announce another update of JSW Central  :)


The highlights:


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.
Enjoy! :)

#11275 [File] Jet Set Mini

Posted by jetsetdanny on 19 July 2019 - 03:29 AM

Ian, thanks a lot for these detailed explanations!  :thumbsup:  You have designed these features in a very cunning way, in my opinion, and it's good to know how they were implemented exactly :).


Recording a smooth RZX walkthrough of "Mini" will be my next JSW task, after I have recovered from the recent hardships at work, which have fortunately just ended...

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