Friday 17 July 2020

Turbo Tomato: Slow

Last time, I started to drag my 25-year old bag of bits into the present day with the addition of a few much needed features and the filling out of a few half-done ones.

This time, it's been a bit of a dull week in Turbo-land, with not a lot of space to fit in work on the game between various other commitments. But progress has been made nonetheless...

Quite a few glitches and rough edges were polished off, as intended. There's not a lot to say about these except the game is noticeably slicker through the various screen transitions now. So that's nice.

Smooth. The best a tomato can get.

However, the major, and very exciting, change since last time has been getting a quality composer on board and dropping a couple of new tunes in to test builds of the game. The modules are early versions, and the module replayer I have is apparently quite buggy, so I won't embarass anyone by posting a video just yet. Suffice to say even these early revisions of the modules fit the vibe of the game nicely and really give it a boost. Stay tuned.

The next immediate task is probably to fix the module replayer and get it working properly sharing channels with in-game sound effects. And, speaking of sound effects, the new modules are showing up just how bad the crackly, low bitrate samples I modemed off random FTPs in the 90s (and probably resampled down after that) really are. Uh-oh, I made a clean spot. I'm gonna have to do the whole thing now.

After that, the plan is to do an (initial?) balance and polish pass on the levels - probably quite a job. I'll generate a score for each level based on the number of enemies in it and their relative strength and intelligence, then plot out some graphs and use those to adjust the difficulty ramps. This process will also let me play through all the levels to spot problems, missing things, things that perhaps should be missing, and potential improvements too. More work, but it will flesh out the TODO list and define the scope of work remaining.

Still got that big news lurking too.

Maybe next time?

Pip pip!

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