Preview 6 (12.05.2023)
* Added 8 new baddies (they are 16 in all now).
* Re-added stopping of food/drinks generation after Zampo starves (found a way to do it basically at no cost).
* Saved 234 to 244 bytes (depending on the zone) by reorganizing a bit the memory map once again.
* Saved 257 to 266 bytes (depending on the zone) by moving the zone-complete transition from the zone program to a separate program.
* Saved a sprite page by reworking the graphics and the logic of the baddies explosion.
* Made a few optimizations.
* Made various other minor improvements.
* Fixed a rare endless wait (due to lack of CPU cycles).
* Fixed the portals graphics update and a CPU load peak (which might even cause a frame skip) in the FUN PARK zone (a routine used the wrong condition code in a branch, so the portals graphics update was triggered also when it should not have been).
* Fixed the handling of collisions against baddies when Zampo is being relocated (if Zampo had been in PIG-OF-STEEL mode, collisions were detected and baddies were killed).
* Fixed the handling of collisions against baddies when the GOLD mode is starting (due to the initial flashing of Zampo's skin, collisions could be detected).
* Fixed the handling of collisions against baddies when the distance from the checkpoint is very large (the quick relocation of Zampo to the checkpoint would cause the immediate disappearance of the baddie, so collisions would not longer be detected until the same or another baddie re-appeared on the screen, thus leaving the collision flag set and causing repeated collision detections).
* Fixed the handling of collisions against slides in the FUN PARK zone (Zampo could get stuck due to a tile index constant being off by one and another tile index constant indicating the opposite tile).
* Fixed the teleporting of Zampo from the left border of the bottommost portal of the FUN PARK zone (he was taken to another portal's destination due to a coordinate constant being off by one).
* Fixed the turbofart flame at the end of the zone-complete transition (it was shown for 2 frames instead of 1).
* Fixed the lighting property of a FUN PARK zone tile.
* Worked on the FUN PARK zone map: made it 64 pixels taller (now it is 2048x912 pixels); completed the layout; added gameplay features; improved the graphics; moved the exit point to a better (and recognizeable) place; fixed some tiles.
* Worked on the CLIFFS zone map: made it 16 pixels taller (now it is 2048x944 pixels); extended the underground part.
* Worked on the FORTRESS zone map: made it 16 pixels taller (now it is 2048x896 pixels); extended the underground part; touched it up in a few places.
* Worked on the frontend: restricted the selectable zones to the first one and any other reached previously; made the outro item activate only upon game completion (so, when the game has not been completed, it cannot be selected and only its silhouette is visible); added auto-selection of the joystick item when [UP] or [DOWN] is pressed; added zones numbers in front of the zones names; made it smaller.
* Worked on the preamble: made it smaller.
* Worked on the documentation: extended/improved/fixed quickstart guide and manual.
* Worked on EasyFlash features: embedded and used EasyAPI to save the game progress permanently and thus have the frontend enable the zones/outro accordingly; ensured the LED is on/off when the cartridge is / is not in use; added cartridge name.
Preview 5 (11.10.2022)
* Made the game over trigger as soon as the belly meter becomes zero (before there was a grace period of about 5 seconds, but the fact that the game continued while the belly meter was zero looked plainly wrong).
* Changed the main color of Zampo's dark skin.
* Added 4 more baddies.
* Added a zone-complete transition.
* Made the portals sides graphics unique to each zone.
* Made many speed and memory optimizations.
* Touched up some music instruments.
* Started adding the logic to restrict the zones selectable in the frontend to those already reached.
* Fixed an off-by-one bug in the cartridge driver that caused an additional page to be copied from ROM to RAM when the section size was an exact multiple of 256.
* Fixed an off-by-one bug in the sprites multiplexer, which caused multiplexing to be done one line too early, thus corrupting the bottom line of sprites in some cases.
* Fixed/optimized the collision detection of Zampo against food/drinks (a change made just before releasing the previous preview could cause the collisions to be missed when the objects were flickering before disappearing).
* Fixed the collision detection when Zampo is incorporeal (Zampo could collide against food/drinks/baddies as a consequence of the system for handling Zampo's skin introduced by the previous preview).
* Fixed the permanent flashing of Zampo when he caught a spinach can while he was already in STEEL mode and the mode was about to expire.
* Fixed the portals graphics update and a CPU load peak (which might even cause a frame skip) in the FUN PARK zone (a routine was missing a closing jmp, so the portals graphics update was triggered also when it should have not been).
* Fixed the abort function (it did not work properly when Zampo was not in normal mode and did not zero the belly meter).
* Wrote the FUN PARK and FORTRESS zones music.
* Worked on the FUN PARK zone map: expanded the layout; improved/extended the graphics.
* Worked on the CLIFFS zone map: made it 80 pixels taller (now it is 2048x928 pixels); extended a lot the underground part; added a portal connected to a new location; added a puzzle related to the new portal (the portal is broken and Zampo must repair it after finding the missing piece); changed the design in some places; improved the graphics.
* Worked on the FORTRESS zone map: made it 32 pixels taller (now it is 2048x880 pixels); extended the underground part; touched it up in a few places.
* Worked on the frontend: changed logo design slightly; improved vertical spacing of elements.
* Worked on the documentation: extended/improved the manual; changed slightly the color scheme of quickstart guide and manual.
* Worked on the intro: fixed a couple of things in the text.
* Worked on the zone introduction screen: fixed the initial colors of the letters (they were all black).
Preview 4 (08.07.2022)
* Made Zampo jump only when he is not moving upwards already (before, if Zampo's legs were on a solid tile while he was already moving upwards and the joystick was pushed up, he would jump again, thus continuing the upwards movement; this increased the chances of unwanted double-jumps).
* Changed the portals/teleporting behaviour: when Zampo uses a portal, he is now automatically teleported to the right location (this simplifies the gameplay, as before misusing portals was too punishing - i.e. it made completing a zone impossible); they are now activated with [DOWN] insted of [FIRE] to reduce the chances of activating portals unintentionally (as [FIRE] is used for turbofarting, whereas [DOWN] is used for ducking, which is a much less common action).
* Accelerated the relocation of Zampo to checkpoints.
* Worked on the collision detection against the background: made more precise and relative to Zampo's movement and aspect; extended the detection area for some tiles, so that picking up items and operating switches is easier.
* Worked on food/drinks: added 3 new types (which affects the gameplay, as it makes the appearance of the spinach can and of the Gasorade bottle less likely; this has been counterbalanced with the following changes); made the Gasorade bottle restore the turbofart meter entirely; made the cake (one of the new items) restore the belly meter entirely; avoided that they spawn on some tiles where they would be uncatchable; redrawn the spinach can.
* Worked on the PIG-OF-GOLD mode: enlarged the area checked for the activation, so that Zampo no longer requires to be placed too precisely; avoided that it is re-activated when it is already active not only because conceptually it makes no sense, but also because it could interfere with the PIG-OF-STEEL mode.
* Added the PIG-OF-GOLD and PIG-OF-STEEL modes tunes.
* Added a simple sound effect for teleporting (music gets paused in the meanwhile; this is the only case where a sound effect is used; the reason is that it is the simplest and least memory-hungry way to suspend the PIG-OF-GOLD and PIG-OF-STEEL modes tunes, when such modes are active and a portal is taken; anyway, it is quite appropriate as Zampo, when teleporting, is indeed in a kind of suspended state).
* Added the zone exit icon (a thumb-up icon that blinks constantly to indicate the point Zampo has to reach after collecting all the potties).
* Extended the tile-related events triggering mechanism (and used it for various purposes in the existing maps).
* Added a mechanism for making a switch appear with a brief blinking.
* Added a mechanism for making a generic tile blink.
* Added a mechanism for performing real-time, progressive, arbitrary changes to memory (and used it for various purposes, especially in the existing maps).
* Sped up the removal of barriers by 1 frame per tile.
* Reworked the handling of Zampo's appearance by implementing a centralized mechanism which: takes a few cycles more, but saves memory and makes the code cleaner; allows each tile to have lighting properties; allows checkpoints, portals and portals destinations to be also in places where the lighting is shady/dark; solves (elegantly) the clashes between the GOLD and STEEL modes relatively to Zampo's colors; provides a centralized way to make Zampo flash.
* Slown down the flashing of Zampo when the PIG-OF-STEEL mode is about to end.
* Made Zampo say: "YEA" when he catches the cake; "WOW" when he catches the Gasorade bottle or the spinach can; "YUM" when he catches another food item.
* Ensured Zampo is visible when a game is aborted.
* Slown down the blinking of potties.
* Worked on baddies: added 2-frame animations; added the "explosion" animation.
* Added (support for) dynamic tilesets.
* Made the head-up display taller to make room for the information relative to the zone-specific features.
* Fixed Zampo's X speed in couple of places (it was 1/16 off due to an inverted sign).
* Fixed the Zampo Y correction relatively to collisions with obstacles above (it pushed Zampo 1/32 pixels below the character he was in, instead of keeping him in that character by just 1/32 pixels).
* Fixed the baddies X initialization (the spawning code is distributed across multiple frames to spread the load, but it defined the X before the final position was validated; given that, in the meanwhile, the screen most likely scrolled, at the time of spawning the X could have been unsuitable - and thus caused the baddies, in some circumstances, to appear out of nothing).
* Fixed the sprites clipping code (the fact that the screen is narrower/shorter due to scrolling was not taken into account because of some wrong labels and a constant was off by 1).
* Fixed the bug that allowed to use the portals frames to teleport.
* Fixed the horizontal alignment of icons in the head-up display (was off by 1 pixel to the left).
* Fixed/optimized some instruments in music.
* Extended/improved the intro text.
* Wrote the outro text.
* Changed the design of the 'I' in the logo, to match the font's (which needs that letter to be easily readable).
* Saved some memory by moving some sprites graphics and other data to the unused space in the charset.
* Made many speed and memory optimizations.
* Made the [F1] check in the pause routine more robust (the CIA registers were accessed continuously, but my C64 did not like it).
* Renamed meters: "belly satisfaction meter" -> "belly meter"; "turbofart charge meter" -> "turbofart meter".
* Renamed the FACTORY zone as the TOWERS zone (as now there is an idea of how it will play and look like).
* Made a few other minor changes.
* Worked on the FUN PARK zone: started the map; added "FUN" to the name.
* Worked on the CLIFFS zone: added the cross subquest; added 2 checkpoints to make it easier; improved/enriched the map; improved the graphics.
* Worked on the FORTRESS zone: improved/enlarged/completed the map; made the map easier; added the stars & hidden switches puzzles; improved/extended the graphics.
* Worked on the frontend: made it present by default the last item/zone played; inverted the zone selection controls (now: [UP] -> next zone, [DOWN] -> previous zone); changed colors of unselected icons.
* Worked on the text reader (used by quickstart guide, intro and outro): rewritten in assembly (it was a mix of BASIC-BOSS and machine language, as it was an adaption of the text reader used by MAH); added 0.5 lines spacing for easier reading; compacted the data and reorganized the memory allocation to reduce greatly the size of the binaries; made it faster; reduced the rendering glitches as much as possible (without resorting to buffering - double buffering would slow scrolling and triple buffering seems overkill, although it remains an option for the future).
* Worked on the documentation: renamed the notice as "quickstart guide"; improved/updated/extended the quickstart guide and the manual.
Preview 3 (21.03.2020)
* Fixed newly introduced bug that made it impossible to finish the CLIFFS zone.
* Fixed newly introduced bug that corrupted colors in the tunnel sections of the CLIFFS zone.
* Fixed a few spots in the intro text.
* Added another little tunnel section to the CLIFFS zone.
* Improved explanation at the beginning of the NOTICE.
Preview 2 (20.03.2020)
* Replaced the map of the CLIFFS zone in the with a newer one which includes a new little gameplay feature.
Preview 1 (16.03.2020)
* First release.
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You have done a big thing! So big list!
Please note that with every release I delete the history and post a new, updated one at the top of the devlog, so your comment will be deleted sooner or later. If you wish to preserve it, please consider posting it in the Community section (see bottom of the main page).
impressive work on this. graphics are VERY nice. i enjoy the demo. fun to play. jumping up toward walls was a bit wonky. the food sometimes spawns a bit rarely so i die (need to pay more attention to CAKEs). need to learn where u can go and not go coz its not that obvious always what is a wall and not. but i like that trial n error style anyways. good idea with the balls that builds stairs and do other things. there's just something with pigs on c64 these days that make me happy.
Thanks for your feedback!
The food spawns always in the same way (i.e. when a piece disappears or is caught, a new one appears), but it is not always easy to reach. The key is to keep on eating as much as possible, even if at times that means backtracking a little - and, yes, paying attention to cakes is a good idea ;)
In the first zone walls might be confusing indeed; however, there is a simple rule: striped, bright walls = solid; other walls = in the background.
P.S. With every release I delete the history and post a new, updated one at the top of the devlog, so your comment will be deleted sooner or later. If you wish to preserve it, please consider posting it in the Community section (see bottom of the main page).