Castle Raider now available

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davidb
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Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:28 pm

At long last, I've decided to draw a line under development of Castle Raider and release the game. Recent activity has mostly involved doing work on things not strictly related to the game itself, so it's time to get it out there. :)

I've packaged it all up and uploaded the archive to the Castle Raider page. At the moment there are only cassette and DFS images included in the archive. Materials related to the game will be released soon.

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PitfallJones
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby PitfallJones » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:41 am

Hi David,

Thanks for the very nice early Xmas present !

- PJ

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richardtoohey
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby richardtoohey » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:16 am

Thanks, David, I'll have to give it a whirl! :D

And thanks for the development diary, I really enjoy reading them. =D>

On part 3, I didn't understand this bit ...

Up and Down Again (2014-10-28)

One of the nice things about the Electron was that, by the time disk drives became available for it, the controller interfaces featured on-board RAM so that they didn't have to use the system RAM as a workspace. This means that I can assume that PAGE will be at &E00 for both tape and disk systems and that I won't have to avoid the system memory from, say, &E00 to &1900.


Wasn't it worse on the Electron - the Plus 3 and ADFS moved PAGE to &1D00? Or were the &E00 DFS products out (and used on the Plus 1) before the Plus 3/ADFS came out and confused things?

Never had an Electron BITD so I don't know what order things happened.

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jms2
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby jms2 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:33 am

The Plus 3 came out first, and as you say it was worse in terms of memory consumption than BBC DFS. But then various third party alternatives were released, and they all featured onboard memory. They were not only cheaper, but functionally better - at least until prime's add on board fixed the Plus 3 about 30 years later! :lol:

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby paulb » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:40 pm

richardtoohey wrote:Wasn't it worse on the Electron - the Plus 3 and ADFS moved PAGE to &1D00? Or were the &E00 DFS products out (and used on the Plus 1) before the Plus 3/ADFS came out and confused things?


Actually, I think the Pace "Le Box" was first to market (ignore the bizarre picture of a woman straddling a jaguar :shock: ), although I think that was a DFS solution and probably had PAGE at &1900. I've never heard of any of these in the wild, though (Le Box, not the jaguar :lol: ).

I think that when people saw that Acorn's preferred ADFS solution set PAGE even higher, they didn't like the way things were going and saw an opportunity to remedy the situation completely. Having PAGE at &1900 on the Beeb is acceptable if you stick to MODE 7 and reclaim memory from the disk system when you need a graphics mode, but there is less room for such manoeuvres on the Electron.

So I think that David means that apart from the Plus 3, most disk solutions delivered to purchasers will have had PAGE at &E00 because the market settled on this pretty rapidly: Slogger and ACP probably taking the bulk of the market, I'd imagine. Maybe the Solidisk EFS solution didn't ship the extra RAM, but my impression is that it didn't weather the competition from the other players, perhaps for that very reason.

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:47 pm

I was just being lazy, assuming that everyone had a disk system with extra workspace RAM. Running Elkulator with ADFS enabled shows PAGE at &1D00. It turns out that high PAGE values aren't really a problem for this game because I have to handle them for the Beeb version.

When we got our disk drive back in the day, it was late enough in the Electron's lifetime to be one of those with an PAGE=&E00 DFS. Maybe by then, memory was cheap enough to bundle with disk interfaces. Perhaps DaveH remembers more about that sort of thing. :D

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1024MAK
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:18 pm

In general, the price per byte of memory fell every year (yes there is one or two years where it went the other way). Keep in mind that SRAM (as used in the Elk disk interfaces) is more expensive per byte compared to DRAM (used for most computers main RAM).

So this gave room for the price cuts that manufacturers made to existing designs of computers. But also enabled expansion and interfaces to include SRAM chips (the Electron disk interfaces were not the only add-ons for home computers that included SRAM chips).

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby oss003 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:28 pm

Hi David,

Congratulations with publishing another great game!! =D> =D>
I played it yesterday for a while and am really impressed with the nice smooth scrolling and game control, nice job. Looks like the Electron version in Elkulator is even faster then the BBC version in B-em :)

Also the inlay is a simple nice design fitting perfectly with the game, keep up the good work.

Do you already have another project in mind ..... :wink:

Greetings
Kees

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:39 pm

Thanks, Kees! I made the Electron version better on purpose. ;)

The Retro Software inlay inspector is very strict so there will be newer versions of those inlays very soon. :twisted:

My next project is to take a break from retro-programming for a while! :lol: I might publish something I worked on while doing Castle Raider, but it's a work in progress that probably won't become a finished product, and it's not a game. :o

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby SimonSideburns » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:44 pm

Well, I have to say that this game is amazing.

Even more so considering the amount of time you've spent on writing it, and that you've given it away for free.

I'm finding it particularly difficult in the dungeon area. The fact that there are gaps where you fall to your death makes it especially painful.

My only gripe, and it is a very minor one is that on my laptop keyboard, trying to keep one finger on return and another on / is pretty difficult. If there was a way to change the key for jump to : so I could keep my fingers on the old keys for up and down on the keyboard it would make it perfect.

Still, I expect it would be only a very small change to the code to enable this to happen. Might even be doable by poking a new value into the code at the point of checking for the return key press to change it into the right one.

Will have to play with it and see how I get on, but so far I've only managed to get one door opened.

Wonder how soon it will be there's a walkthrough on Youtube :-)

Thanks once again.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:03 pm

Thanks, Simon! :D

You don't need to keep both the Return and / keys covered at all times - I would favour the Return key. ;)

Still, the key set may be less convenient for some keyboards, especially if there is a logical key mapping being used for the emulator - the Norwegian layout has / over the 7 key, I think, so I expect fewer Norwegians to complete the game. :lol: You can also play it with a joystick, though it takes quite some getting used to.

I can't wait to see the speedruns on YouTube. :D

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby paulb » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:37 pm

davidb wrote:Still, the key set may be less convenient for some keyboards, especially if there is a logical key mapping being used for the emulator - the Norwegian layout has / over the 7 key, I think, so I expect fewer Norwegians to complete the game. :lol:


I think most people with Norwegian keyboards will be using a physical mapping. It's not very likely that they'll otherwise be using an emulator for stuff like word processing (and being short of a few letters, too). :wink:

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby KarateEd » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:21 pm

Hi David,

I really like this game. I think the dungeon difficulty is quite good. It shouldn't be dead easy and it's not. It's also not too difficult in my opinion. It's smooth, the movement is predictable for all moving parts....in that it is very consistent.

This game is quite reminiscent of the 80s games for sure.

Job very well done.

Right now, I'm trying to get through the green dungeons, so it's coming along. The first set of dungeons that I went through seemed pretty difficult at first but I think it's just grasping the concept of how to play them that you've nicely laid down for us. Now I breeze through that one, much like the game challenges, once you know a game......

Thanks for a really good game.

Ed......:-)

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:25 pm

Thanks for the comments, Ed. :D I tried not to make the game too hard but I'm sure you'll beat it in the end. Hopefully it provided a few hours of entertainment this festive season!

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby SimonSideburns » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:27 am

I had another go with your game today (joys of not getting to sleep).

I ended up with all five keys, the crown, and the extra item, but, I'm at a loss as to what to do now.

Once you have a key, can you only open doors with that key until you get the next key? I think there's a few areas I've not been able to get to (like the left of the start position) once I've collected all keys. Is this intentional (or have I missed something)?

Two interesting things. First is that you can jump over spiders that are moving in the direction you are moving in (but I've only managed it a couple of times). Second is that on one of the levels you can jump up onto the top of the teleporter at the far right but you obviously can't get any further right than that (I suppose there's some sort of invisible barrier there).
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:33 pm

I'm writing this on a phone so I'll be brief. :)
You'll know when you've finished but there may be somewhere near one of the harder-to-reach keys that you haven't explored yet. If you managed to get the key then you should be able to jump there.
The monsters thing is intentional. The portal you can jump on is in the wasteland, I think. You can jump off it but I wouldn't if I were you. :D

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby sa_scott » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:17 pm

Just came across this - I've played this using Matt Godbolt's Javascript Beeb emulator, and it plays beautifully(*) on the Chrome browser. Fantastic job :D

(incidentally, this is the first game I've played on my brand new iMac - 2014 technology is clearly wasted on me :P )
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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:00 pm

I tested the game with jsbeeb and was impressed by how well it ran. Now if only three was a Javascript Electron emulator to try it on. ;)

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby SimonSideburns » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:03 am

Man, you were right about jumping somewhere I hadn't been before. That section of the game is tricky. Kept jumping down to where the key was before I found how to get onto the right platform :-)

Nice end game flickery text.

Completed (with the help of emulator save states) with only one life lost over the course of two or three days.

Well worth the time spent playing.

Now got to try it one day without quick saves and loads to see if I can complete without 'cheating'.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby KarateEd » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:04 am

CastleRaider completed with 4 live left over (no save states). I have to say it's a pretty darned good game, not too easy and not too hard.

I noticed that sometimes when coming back from getting the first key that the 'spider' isn't always there. I think actually it's not on the first time in that room but the second, if you know what I mean.

Other than that particular glitch (if it's a glitch and not meant to be) the game plays well and pretty bug free.... ha - did you see what I did there.... bug free, get it?

Anyway, congrats on a great game David....

Ed......:-)
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KarateEd
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby KarateEd » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:54 am

Ok, one more try.... and... lost 2 lives very carelessly and not in places I usually lose them. However 8 lives left after completing the game with not using save states.

Ed......:-)
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paradroid90
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby paradroid90 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:24 am

Great Game David and working my way through as we speak on trusted old Elk :-)
6502 Junkie :-)

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Dave Footitt
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby Dave Footitt » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:30 pm

Just got round to giving this a go - it really is rather good!

Excellent job, very enjoyable game =D>

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:48 pm

Thanks for the compliments, Simon, Ed, paradroid90, Dave and any others I've missed. :)

The missing spider is an unintentional glitch that I noticed but left in. :) The reason for it is that there are already four monsters being tracked when you should encounter it and so the game doesn't create it. I suppose I could have added a check to the monster creation routine that looks for the most distant monster (if off-screen) and replaces it with the one you should see, but I was lazy so I tried to design the levels to avoid situations like those. When I found the one you refer to during play testing (honest!) I left it in to see if anyone would notice. :) If you find another example of that, it really is something I missed!

I really should document things like this because it otherwise looks like I'm making excuses when people find oddities. :D

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby KarateEd » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:19 am

I got through without a single life lost...however I forgot to pick up the unearthed treasure....moot point really as I had to pass by that 'tunnel' on the way to the end anyway....so effectively, an almost perfect game.

Ed......:-)
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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:27 am

Well done! :D =D> Glad you're having fun with the game. :)

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:40 pm

I have started to compile a video playlist of a recent playthrough on YouTube. Apologies in advance for the slightly dodgy picture and sound quality. :)

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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby SimonSideburns » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:00 pm

It's a great game, but I'm glad I'm not the only one that makes silly mistakes that end in life lost.

So darn tricky and so easy to forget where to jump, or when to jump before ending up falling in to the chasm of eternal doom.

I love it. I went around looking for 'easter eggs' but didn't find any hidden areas.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:54 pm

Ha, yes, I was out of practice with the game. :D You can see where I'm unsure about whether dropping off a platform will lead to disaster in various places, so I jump what appear to be tiny distances! :lol:

And I forgot to collect everything. #-o

As for hidden areas: I wanted to include one near the end but didn't really have the memory for it. I mean, I probably did have the memory for it, but didn't want to go rummaging around the memory map trying to free up space. :) Maybe that's something for the cartridge version. ;)

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davidb
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Re: Castle Raider now available

Postby davidb » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:34 pm

And the last two videos in the series are now up. Now I just need to finish the uploads of the Jungle Journey playthrough.


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