Feature creep? Or enhancements?

Good question really? If you add a new little feature close to the finish of a project – is it a feature creep, or more of a case of adding something you think improves things a little more?

Well – i’ve added a little feature over the last few days, and I’m fairly pleased with it. It wasn’t essential but it’s something I had wanted in. So that’s my excuse! πŸ™‚

Anyway – back to work!

Spotty Dogs! aka Plastered Dalmations!

aka Blast and Damnation..

My librarian at school, when I once did a work experience there, suggested coming up with alternative naughty words when frustrated. Another student at the time came up with the above….
… I think in the case of the librarian … her particular alternative naughty words would be Enid and Blyton….. (never understood the hatred – but then again I was a Famous Five and Secret Seven fan as a youngster…. )

But I digress. As ususal.

Contrary to the look a lack of entries here may actually give, I have been busy on the game. I had a bit of a dry spell up to around Christmas – purely and simply due to work.

Then comes B*** S*** Friday of course πŸ™ That mentally takes a lot out of me. Whoever invented the concept should be dangled over an ants nest, coated in very sticky honey, and not wearing many clothes. Or something.

But still – I have been working away – a very large percentage (95+ ish) done in the way of screens, almost all code seems to be done. And some lovely graphics inserted. These graphics are really good – and easily the best part of the game I think. A few more screens needed – perhaps the odd replaced.

However in the meantime I’ve started the fun task of transposing the current source and objects into using the combination of Pyz80 + Visual Studio. I’d tried this previously and to be honest, I didn’t have much luck. But I thought it was time I got this done.

I’m glad I did as it’s helped fix a couple of things I missed – which I have to update – and spot areas I can improve on.

I’ve also been able to help (even if not as much as I’d have liked) with a bit of odd playtesting on some other nice looking new projects. Always encouraging to see things taking shape even if not from yourself πŸ™‚

A good and bad thing recently has been some change of hours at work. Now starting later (giving me early starts of 5am rises – and there for about an hour or 2 caffine charged coding time in the morning) and late finishes arriving in at 9pm (not giving much time to do much… but some at least). Side effect is sometimes only sleeping 3-4 hrs – but hey, i’ve never been able to sleep much anyway πŸ™‚

Enough boring stuff – going to get breaky and get back to work!

More decorating…

Had some nice new graphics for some of the new levels – so in the process of updating them somewhat… looking good so far. Trying to get a few more done today.

Also got a bit more tweaking in the way of level speed – which I can control on a level basis… just got to make sure it feels right on the playback of each level – so that’s going to be fun for playtesting.

Been rather distracted with sales time at work … not my favourite time of the year personally… but at least the worse will be out of the way soon.


… very annoying when you spend hours on a level – to find you’ve saved zero bytes…. and rather more annoying to realise you’ve saved over the same filename.

Never mind – redone and it looks better than previously.

Time passes…

At least Thorin isn’t singing about gold?

Sorry been out of the way for a bit – moving home stuff, and lack of time and Internet access has been rather a pain – not to mention being unable to get much in the way of game work done.. πŸ™

However – made a start again the other day – managed to get a couple of levels sorted that I was working on before – and they seem to be working ok!

Another project has started up in my off-time – which I hope to help with in some way – even if it’s just with play-testing. Not my place to talk about it yet – but the work that’s done so far is very good πŸ™‚

That’s all for now! back later!

Bit more work….

Busy few days with some personal stuff – I will add more to the previous entry in the next day or so…

Anyway – we got some work done tonight on a suggestion that came out from the show… seems to have worked quite well and should make it a bit simpler to spot the changes between the level banks πŸ™‚

Nice bit of work from Gordon – thank you!

Right – time for a kip and back with the levels tomorrow!

After-show after shock :)

It’s been a few days since Saturday. I’m still a little worse for wear, as I’m not really a great traveller these days.. but my heads settled a bit for commenting etc πŸ™‚

Anyway – Howard kindly offered to take both of us down the long stretch from his home town, picking me and the kitchen sink (metaphorically – the actual thing is still firmly attatched) on the long way down to the Retroshow.

I don’t think I quite calculated the distance there – but I believe it was something in the region of at least 160-200 miles! Ouch!

A great journey down – a nice smooth drive – and only a quick coffee (in my case) break … and we got there a pretty reasonable time – just before 10 when the show opened.

The venue itself is a nice comfortable sized place. People who’ve only been to big glitzy shows like Manchester may have been shocked, but to Howard and myself who had visited the Wetherby and Bolton Norther SAM and Spectrum Show – and Bobby Brenchley’s shows in Gloucester – the venue was a familiar sort of size.

A great spread of stall holders out – some great machines in the flesh as it where. Gordon had made a great start on the table for ourselves – with his SAM altready in place… and some great Screen Plotters advertised on the wall, that he’s made for SAM + Spectrum, and also for CPC, C64 and others…. I’ll add a buy link for them when I have one as they’re worth the pittance he’s asking!

We soon added both mine and Howards Sam to the collection.. which did leave the table rather packed – but gave some people who had not seen even one SAM before – a chance to be very spoiled πŸ™‚

On the left, My own SAM – with a couple of familiar characters decorating the wrist rest [my trinity sticking up as you can see! You might also notice the keyboard + interface.], Howards SAM on the middle screen – running Stratosphere [www.samcoupe.com] and some belting music from my little speakers and the Quazar Soundcard [also from www.samcoupe.com] …. Gordon’s machine towards the wall with Lemmings running… πŸ™‚

A bit more later… got to add some piccies and more – so a bit of an update tonight πŸ™‚

Thank you!

There’s a number of people I am grateful to for support while i’ve been working on this… and they’re all getting their turn in the scrolly – so I’ll leave that for then πŸ™‚

However I’m particular humbled by the great work by Gordon Wallis – who’s been working hard on producing some really excellent work on the graphical side.

Not to mention being very good at QC! πŸ™‚

Some of Gordon’s work may not appear in the release version … but they will certainly be used for further projects in the planning stages πŸ™‚

Likewise – there’s a number of more talented coders who’ve helped point me in the right direction with some issues – but particularly helpful has been the very patient Balor … thanks for putting up with me so far! πŸ™‚

And thanks to other Entropy members who’ve contributed in

Right – back to getting stuff together…!

Giving credit where it’s due

If you’ve landed at this page because of the retro show please remember that it’s a joint project between other the members of entropy and not just yours truly.

There’s other people who have contributed to this and I’ll give them all credit for that hard work