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Member Since 23 Aug 2015
Offline Last Active Sep 21 2018 07:41 PM

Topics I've Started

Willy HQ

19 August 2018 - 07:53 AM

I knew that I was living in the same region as 'where it all began' i.e. the Merseyside area.  However, I recently discovered that I am located even more closer geographically to 'Willy HQ' than I thought.


It transpires that Software Projects were based at the old Bear Brands site in Woolton Village, which is less than half a mile away from my house (and is now the home of my local branch of Tesco's!)

Comprehensive rewrite of Willy's movement code

10 March 2018 - 12:59 AM

This 'mini-game' builds on earlier coding efforts by myself and Norman Sword (thanks for your unwitting contribution, Norman!)

Attached is a zip folder containing two game files. The layout of the playable area of each file is identical (including the guardian settings and item placements). There are four playable rooms, all located in the upper region of Willy's mansion. The game contains a grand total of 16 items (#10 in hex!). Maria and the toilet are present - once you've collected all the items, make your way to the bottom of the ramp in The Attic to set off the end sequence.

The 'Before' file is based on the original JSW game engine (with only a minor hack to allow the toilet dash to take place within the four rooms). i.e. the mechanics of Willy's movement are unchanged.

In the 'After' file, I have implemented significant changes to Willy's movement, in order to prevent him from being able to pass through Earth/wall blocks in any circumstances.

[The only exceptions to that rule are (a) if he enters a room at a position that happens to coincide with a wall, or (b) if he is swinging on a rope that passes through a wall - although I would add that neither of those scenarios pertains in the attached files].

All 16 items can be collected using different methods in the 'Before' and 'After' files, because of the differences in the mechanics of Willy's movement between the patched and unpatched variants.

For some items, using two different manoeuvres between the two files is essential. For other items, one method might allow it to be collected in both files, with the alternative method only possible in one of the files. So your mission, "should you choose to accept it", is to use different solutions for each of the 16 items, across both of the game files. Oh, and without 'kamikazeing' any items (sacrificing a life in the collection thereof).


Wraparound Guardians

01 March 2018 - 04:39 PM

I have managed to amend the code which moves vertical guardians, and also the guardian-drawing and sprite-drawing routines, in such a way that a guardian may safely wrap around past the top/bottom of the screen without crashing into its own 'trail of havoc' (i.e. errant pixels left on the primary screen buffer.

Please see the attached. The starting room is 'On Top of the House'. There are now two flag guardians in that room, which have identical definition bytes to each other except that, for one of the flags, the upper and lower bounds have been transposed (causing it to wander up off the top of the screen and back again).

I thought it was appropriate to use the flag guardians to illustrate this behaviour, as I managed to achieve this technical novelty by careful use of the F Register flags (the Zero, Carry and Parity Flags were all instrumental).

I'll type up the source code when I find the time. But note that the same routine handles both guardians.

Final Barrier Glitch

20 February 2018 - 12:45 AM

I've just noticed a bug/glitch/inconsistency in the way that the 'Swordfish' routine is executed at the end of the Final Barrier.


When Willy enters the portal (unless you're playing in Cheat Mode, of course), his sprite appears above the portal which displays the Swordfish icon.  There is also a command which overwrites the attributes of the two cells underneath the portal, in order to disguise Willy's feet (so that he doesn't appear to be in two places at once!)


However, once the points start to be ratcheted up as the remaining air supply is counted down, Willy's feet are still visible (in blue INK on black PAPER), because the pixel display for those two cells isn't wiped, only the white INK attribute.




Incidentally, the green PAPER attribute of the cells occupied by Willy's lower half when he is drawn above the Swordfish would possibly look a bit better if cyan PAPER was used (as is the case for the upper half of his sprite at that point).

Idea for a new cell type in Manic Miner

06 February 2018 - 10:40 PM

When Willy jumps up and hits his head on an Earth block, he is immediately ejected back down, but it doesn't seem to do him any harm.  I guess he has quite a hard head - especially with his hard hat on.


This got me thinking about an idea for a new MM cell type - when Willy bounces off a 'Soft Earth' cell from below, a variation on the Crumbly cell routine could be executed, removing pixel-rows from the bottom up, but without the upper pixel-rows moving down into their place - then once all eight pixel-rows have been 'mined away', the cell is replaced with an Air cell.


Fits in with the mining theme?