New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

new games to be launched and discussed here
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Arcadian
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New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:53 am

After being in development since 2008, space-based 2D shooter White Light - an unofficial sequel to Firetrack - was launched at For The Love of Sci-Fi over the weekend.

And it is now available to download free of charge via the Retro Software website:
http://www.retrosoftware.co.uk/whitelight

A limited quantity of physical copies, which have been packaged in authentic black vinyl disc wallets, are also currently available to buy on floppy, from eBay (on 5.25" 80T DFS disc for the BBC B/B+Master and 3.5" ADFS disc for the Master Compact/BBC Master).

Alternatively, StarDot members can buy them at a discounted price via the forum.

At the time of writing, more than half of the 125 copies that have been made available for sale have already been snapped up.


Props to Sarah for perservering and seeing the game through to completion and also John Blythe, who designed some fantastic in-game graphics and adapted the art for the inlays. Grateful to the beta testers especially Jools, Lance and Chris who replayed (and replayed) the last few builds of the game over and over again.

So, do grab the SSD download and please leave some feedback for the game in this thread!
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby leenew » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:51 am

Absolutely fantastic!
Many thanks to all involved =D>

Lee.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby davidb » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:48 am

I saw the disk image land on the Retro Software site yesterday but held off playing it until this thread appeared. :)

I'm very impressed by the game. I love the way it takes recognisable elements from Firetrack and adds new features to make a worthy sequel. It's quite an achievement! It's a real challenge to get those power-ups so that you have a chance later on in the game, and I'm enjoying the different music on each of the levels I've encountered so far.

Congratulations to Sarah and the rest of the crew! :D

Now about that Electron version... ;)

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Pernod » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:39 pm

Thanks, just had a quick blast and it's awesome. As Star Force was one of my most played arcade games this is my type of game.

I thought it was intending to use BeebSID if available, does it? There's no mention on the cover. Any chance of an ADF image for the Compact?

I guess the disc image wasn't actually created on real hardware, the sector count after the title in sector 1 is 0x000 should be 0x320 for 80t. I use this in MAME to determine the geometry of the image as a 200K SSD could also be 40t double sided. MAME takes no notice of the file extension and always determines the format from the image contents and so fails to recognise this. Disc Doctors *DZAP also fails due to the invalid sector count. The game actually locks up in MAME so I have some work to do!

Thanks again to all involved, I may even join a future HiScore challenge with this.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:44 pm

Hi Nigel, if you're able to create me a 'bona fide' 200k ssd (with the access counter reset to 00) I'll gladly replace the image on the site.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Pernod » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:02 pm

Arcadian wrote:Hi Nigel, if you're able to create me a 'bona fide' 200k ssd (with the access counter reset to 00) I'll gladly replace the image on the site.

A Watford DFS also reports '28 files of 31 on 00 tracks'. Attached image has sector count set to 800, ie. 80 tracks.
Attachments
WhiteLight-v10_BBCMicro-DFS.zip
(96.38 KiB) Downloaded 14 times
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby lurkio » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:08 pm

Only had a quick go but it's very impressive so far! Well done, everyone!

=D> =D> =D>

Pernod wrote:The game actually locks up in MAME

It seems to fail in Win BeebEm and Mac BeebEm too -- but it works in B-em, although it seems a bit slow. Or is it just me?

:?:
Last edited by lurkio on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby jubber » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:27 pm

This looks absolutely tremendous - well done! The scrolling is nice and smooth, especially for the beeb. I like the fact you have music running while the game plays, and that you've chosen a multi coloured screen mode. You haven't made things easy for yourself by choosing those options. Visually the game looks great, with scrolling and plenty of moving sprites and collision detection - the hardware is certainly being given a heck of a workout. There are also many nice touches to appreciate, such as the multi coloured font, the fade routine that uses the palette and the parallax stars. It must have been a herculean bit of 6502 to make everything work.

Really well done - damn fine job!

Cheers,

Robin Jubber

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby jms2 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:38 pm

I'm very keen to try it... but I've bought a real copy which someone can give to me as a Christmas present, so it seems a bit wrong to shortcut that process by playing the .ssd version.

I guess after waiting for 9 years I can wait a few more days...!

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby dakidski » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:46 pm

I too dumb to add disk images to my BBC MMC device. Would a tape version be possible?

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Pernod » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:57 pm

dakidski wrote:I too dumb to add disk images to my BBC MMC device. Would a tape version be possible?

No, unless you want to wait 5 mins loading between levels and endlessly FF/RW tape finding files and corrupting the display. It's a disc only game.
- Nigel

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby CMcDougall » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:29 pm

^tape.... maybe a blank TDK D90 is needed, but as said, would take eternity :roll:
dakidski wrote:I too dumb to add disk images to my BBC MMC device. Would a tape version be possible?

here it is on a BEEB.MMB file, it will work, until you loose all lives,
then it will crash, as stomps all over DFS area... (unless now fixed, or if new high score ends up in the 'HI' file..)
beeb.zip
MMC
(198.27 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

super game =D> , and even the packaging looks... ace :shock: 8)
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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi, yeah as per the Compatibility info on the Retro Software site, only loading from floppy is officially supported, though we've had it loading from USB stick with Datacentre on a BBC B/Master.

We've had it running on a BBC Master with CF Flash ADFS and possibly an MMC device on a BBC Master too, but it does seem to fall down after the high score table entry on model Bs.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby CMcDougall » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:17 pm

^Evening, seems to be fine now on an emulator, of course with >Write Protect 'unticked' (so can save 'HI' file)
not had time to play on my actual beebs yet, as tree boxes /junk everywhere :roll:

here is a better 80T version, so the files are in order as best can be, being !BOOT, WL, W1, W2, HI, ..etc...
this will load much faster and less drive head movement with actual 51/4" or 31/2" floppy discs 8)
I take it the .ADL /M128 /Compact versions are just same as DFS?
Attachments
WhiteLight-v10_BBCMicro-DFS80.zip
SSD DFS 80T in file order
(96.41 KiB) Downloaded 19 times
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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby dakidski » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:39 am

CMcDougall wrote:^tape.... maybe a blank TDK D90 is needed, but as said, would take eternity :roll:
dakidski wrote:I too dumb to add disk images to my BBC MMC device. Would a tape version be possible?

here it is on a BEEB.MMB file, it will work, until you loose all lives,
then it will crash, as stomps all over DFS area... (unless now fixed, or if new high score ends up in the 'HI' file..)
beeb.zip
super game =D> , and even the packaging looks... ace :shock: 8)

Thank you!

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:45 am

Thanks Nigel and Colin, the site's currently hosting Nigel's version.

Colin does the image you produced have quicker loading than the one that's currently up there? If so could you expand it to make it a full 200k?
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:49 am

Also Colin if you could produce a 320k .adf version - with files in the correct order and a title of "White Light v1.0" I'd happily upload an ADF copy (please ensure all files are locked except HI as per the DFS ver). Also do you know if it's possible to set the access counter to 00 on ADFS? As I found that it sticks on 99?!? Ta.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby CMcDougall » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:35 pm

Evening Dave,
the DFS version was easy, and you probably know ADFS ain't my cup of tea 8)
tried, but does not even have *COPY 0 1 *.* :shock: :roll: :lol:
so, here it is, but backwards, so will run from back of disc to middle,
also I edited the '28' access count to 00, and it said broken dir, so I put it back :)
so don't know where the 28 is 'hidding' :o , still works though! :wink:
Attachments
WhiteLight-v10_BBCMicro-DFS80.zip
DFS 80T 200k
(98.06 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
WhiteLightV01ADFS320adf.zip
ADFS 320 ADF backwards order
(97.03 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby danielj » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:44 pm

Bonus present - a version in HFE format that will work on the HxC floppy emulator, HxC flashed GoTEK, and FlashFloppy (Free!) flashed GoTEK. The adf image will also work on the FlashFloppy flashed GoTEK if renamed to .adm
Attachments
WhiteLight-v10_BBCMicro-DFS-HFE.zip
(183.03 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby jms2 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:54 pm

I've not managed the self-control necessary to avoid playing the emulated version..! :oops:

It's absolutely brilliant and a credit to everyone involved in its creation. I'm really impressed by the graphics, the music, and the absolutely flawless scrolling. But what is even more impressive is the way the whole thing feels like a much deeper and more complex game than Firetrack - the latter is almost like a demo by comparison. In fact I've just played the two games back to back and I've noticed the playfield is much bigger on White Light as well.

I did manage to find a few not-immediately-obvious areas where Firetrack manages to still look good:

- Firetrack's intro sequence is pretty cool.
- The scrolling is faster, or at least appears to be - maybe its the letterboxed screen.
- The ships have shadows, whereas they don't in White Light.
- The explosions last a lot longer in Firetrack. I can't quite decide if this is a good thing or not.

That's about it though! The loss of one or two graphical details is easily made up for by the much better graphic design generally and the far better gameplay. And I've only got to level 3.

Thanks very much Sarah and the RS team.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby lurkio » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:05 pm

jms2 wrote:I've not managed the self-control necessary to avoid playing the emulated version

Which emulator are you using and on what platform?

I can get it to run in Windows B-em (under WINE on a Mac) and JSBeeb, but not in Win BeebEm or Mac BeebEm.

:?:
Last edited by lurkio on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:42 am

danielj wrote:Bonus present - a version in HFE format that will work on the HxC floppy emulator, HxC flashed GoTEK, and FlashFloppy (Free!) flashed GoTEK. The adf image will also work on the FlashFloppy flashed GoTEK if renamed to .adm

Thanks Daniel - are you able to try the game on a BBC B and check that you are able to restart a new game after losing all of your lives and passing through the high score table (as this seems to be the problem affecting Model B's loading the game from MMC-type devices).

If you can confirm I'll upload the HFE file to the White Light homepage.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Arcadian » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:45 am

lurkio wrote:
jms2 wrote:I've not managed the self-control necessary to avoid playing the emulated version

Which emulator are you using and on what platform?

I can get it to run in Windows B-em (under WINE on a Mac) and JSBeeb, but not in Win BeebEm or Mac BeebEm.

:?:

Make sure you've grabbed the latest zip file from the homepage - that's working fine on BeebEm here (though the music is poorly emulated so I'd stick to B-em!).
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby danielj » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:55 am

Arcadian wrote:Thanks Daniel - are you able to try the game on a BBC B and check that you are able to restart a new game after losing all of your lives and passing through the high score table (as this seems to be the problem affecting Model B's loading the game from MMC-type devices).

If you can confirm I'll upload the HFE file to the White Light homepage.


It's not an MMC-type device, it is basically just a normal floppy drive so far as the beeb or master is concerned, it uses normal Acorn DFS, so if the software works with a normal floppy drive it'll work with this.

d.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby jms2 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:28 pm

lurkio wrote:
jms2 wrote:I've not managed the self-control necessary to avoid playing the emulated version

Which emulator are you using and on what platform?

I can get it to run in Windows B-em (under WINE on a Mac) and JSBeeb, but not in Win BeebEm or Mac BeebEm.

:?:

I am using BeebEm, on Windows. It seems to work OK but I will try B-Em out.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby lurkio » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:59 pm

jms2 wrote:I am using BeebEm, on Windows. It seems to work OK but I will try B-Em out.

Yes, I just tried the game in BeebEm in a virtual instance of Windows 7 in VirtualBox on my Mac. That worked.

But the game doesn't seem to work in BeebEm under WINE. Nor does it work in the native Mac version of BeebEm.

But it does work in B-em under WINE.

I can't explain any of this.

:?
Last edited by lurkio on Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby mygrandmawheels » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:58 am

Incredible game!! Very balanced, very nice to see, every byte of the beeb is exploited!
I'll buy a copy on ebay, it's worth that money more than any other software1
:D :D :D
Can you satisfy my curiosity?
Is Sarah Walker a real person or is it a fictitious name that identifies a development group?

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby daveejhitchins » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:58 am

mygrandmawheels wrote:Is Sarah Walker a real person or is it a fictitious name that identifies a development group?
She's very real and we, the Forum, are very lucky to have her as a member . . .

Dave H :D
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Products: ARA II, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby Rich Talbot-Watkins » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:04 am

Just had a quick go in B-Em - fantastic work as ever! Going to give it a proper blast this evening!

One thing worth mentioning - it breaks in an absolutely crazy way if you have the Disc Doctor ROM installed (as I do in all my emulator configs). Can't really imagine why, but Disc Doctor was fairly well-known as causing problems with games back in the day. Anyone know what the hell this ROM does that seems to cause so many problems? I just use it for its disassembler!

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Re: New Release: Retro Software's WHITE LIGHT by Sarah Walker

Postby SarahWalker » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:30 pm

mygrandmawheels wrote:Can you satisfy my curiosity?
Is Sarah Walker a real person or is it a fictitious name that identifies a development group?

I think I'm a real person, at least...


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