I have been looking into a couple of issues still plaguing Doomdark’s Revenge game play.
The first one is movement. I have to admit, I dropped the ball on this one. I wrote this code so long ago, that I assumed it was working. Well it isn’t. And there are three issues at play.
The first issue is actually a bug fix.
There are two versions of movement tables, one that the Spectrum used, and one that the c64 used. What these tables do, is decide which terrain the character gets for free. The problem is, the spectrum version had a bug. It didn’t point to the required table, it pointed to random memory. Therefore movement on the Spectrum doesn’t work as intended. I had fixed this bug. Which means, movement on the new version isn’t the same as either the Spectrum version of the C64.
Secondly, The Lords of Midnight movement code is based on leaving the current location. Doomdark’s Revenge is actually based on the location you are moving into. I had this wrong.
And thirdly, if you move into a location with a critter, you take a penalty. However because of the difference in the way I implemented the critters on the map, ie: 0 = NONE, whereas 0xff is NONE in the original. My critter check was always triggering. Thus you always got a penalty.
The three items combined, make for pretty shoddy movement, when compared directly to the original.
Last night I submitted a new version to the Apple App Store. The review process usually takes a week. So hopefully release 1.06 will be ready for Monday 18th.
Unfortunately during my device testing, I found a problem with one of the new features, and made an 11th hour decision to drop it from this release. The feature in question was the Map Pinch and Zoom. The problem was that not all the graphic elements were scaling correctly and during the zoom the focus point of the map was changing. The end result was that it was a little messy and I wasn’t happy letting it out. An evening of work will see the problem fixed, but to do that would mean delaying this release, and I’m painfully aware that the slow down problem needs resolving. So I decided to pull the feature. I know it would be have easy to just delay the release, but I need a working version ready and available on the 18th…
Thankfully, the Android version doesn’t need to be submitted until the end of the week, so I will make the changes and hopefully have the Android version ship with the feature. As long as testing this week proves everything to be working correctly, I will submit another Apple version with just this new feature as soon as possible.
I will upload the current version to the test servers tonight, as I would like it to take a good test pounding this week.
After this month release schedules will be slowed down, and I will go back to utilising the test process more fully!
“Luxor stood at the doorway of the hut. gazing into the white gloom of the forest. A thin scatter of ersh, the fine powder-snow of the new moon, was floating down onto the frozen ground. It was time, thought Luxor, it was time. An icicle of fear touched him and shivered through him. He drew his cloak tightly around himself, as though it would warm the chill in his heart, and turned from the forest.”
This week we started doing some early tests. A number of people have signed up for the test process and are putting the game through its paces. For that I am very grateful. At this stage, what this allows is for me to iron out some of the obvious bugs and make sure the game is actually feature complete as per the original. It also allows me to take feedback from players and get an idea of some of the directions that we should take the User Interface.
The iPad is a very different beast from the 8bit computers that Lords of Midnight was originally developed for. It is also a very different beast from the Windows machines that I developed WinLom and the Midnight Engine on. Therefore, it’s only when you start playing the game on the actual device that you get a feel for how the game should and should not play. I’m already starting to question some of the assumptions that I had made about the direction of the UI.
Over the next few weeks as the game starts to settle, I will be one by one addressing particular areas of the game. For example, I might spend a couple of weeks really drilling down on the in game map. So over that period all builds will be addressing new functionality or tweaking existing functionality in that part of the game. The the following couple of weeks, I will focus on a new area.
There are already so many great suggestions coming in that I’m not sure I will have the time to implement everything. But one thing is for sure, the more this project goes on, the more exiting I get about the pending release…
A little later than anticipated as I got a little side-tracked with buying a house… anyway, I’m ready to open up the iOS testing.
If you would like to take part in this very early stage of testing, iOS only, then you need to email me your details to email@example.com
Most importantly I need your device UDID – you can get this from iTunes. Click on your device so that it shows the summary page, and the click on the serial number. Alternatively you can get it off the device by using this app…
Email this to me with your name and details about your device. I will be rolling out iPad tests first, followed by iPhone4, and then possibly iPhone3.
I have now decided to use Test Flight to manage the test process. Please follow this link to register for Beta Access.