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Digitiser: The Game: Development

Part 14 - 25th February 2020

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The bad news is, the past couple of months filled up with other things to be done, so I only got a few solid days to work on this game.

The good news is, not only did I get the stack pointer screen copy routine working fine, but also the six pixel wide font renderer. There is more to do, like actually draw the new font, but I am properly chuffed with the screen copy routine. Especially the part where I briefly read back data from the video ram, thus enabling me to fit sixteen bytes in the registers, and then in turn only require two passes to fill each double-height pixel line.

The good or bad news is, between the other things and focused game work, I have had time to think. My previous game began with a script, and though I eventually did write the software to realise that script, it took ages and was utterly exhausting. This game does have a script, but now I'm inclined to let the software come first, cutting down the script to match what can be done.

It's hard to explain, partly because I'm feeling my way through as I go, but getting the software right first seems the best use of my time in the long run. The next step could be a messaging system for draw calls, which would require overhauling the scripting language, and that's already nearing the point where I should untangle the ad hoc threaded mutation of the interrupt handling routine.

However, to stay focused on the purpose of producing a game, I have an animated sequence in mind. This wasn't in the original script at all, but it feels like a possible conclusion to a video game, rather than a video. If I can get the software in place, so that I can direct the character's movements rather than teach them how to walk in every scene, then that should be useful for the rest of a game. That's a big, head-scratching, and time-consuming "if".

Well, at least this year's Chunky Fringe is, with considerable outside assistance, mostly in hand. That's the unreservedly good thing to have emerged from this mess so far.

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