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A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:08 pm
by Phantasm
I am very proud to present to you today, my latest project that has been in progress for the last few months. I decided to put together a conversion of the game Trailblazer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailblazer_(video_game) to the BBC Micro.

I chose this particular game as I have pretty much zero skills in terms of drawing so it was ideal for me as the game is very simple in terms of graphics.

This game was originally designed by Mr Chip software and published by Gremlin. The ZX Spectrum port was done by the in house team at Gremlin and I used this as guide for my own version written from scratch in 100% 6502 assembler for the BBC.

During the development of this game I became aware of the Sphere of destiny games released by Audiogenic and did consider scrapping this project, in the end I decided that the games were different enough to warrant me seeing the project through to release.

Here are some of the features of the game:
  • 50 FPS scrolling/animation
  • 2 game modes
    • Arcade
    • Test (Practise)
  • 14 levels
  • 7 coloured tile types with different functions
    • Slow down
    • Speed up
    • Jump
    • Reverse controls
  • High scores and fastest times saved to disc
    • Press R on the scores screen to reset them
  • 2 Input options
    • Keyboard (usual Z, X, /, *, Enter keys)
    • Joystick
Some sample screen grabs:

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This game was developed using Beebasm assembler and a slightly modified version of B-Em. It has also been tested in BeebEm and JSBeeb. I have not tested it on real hardware so any feedback regarding this would be appreciated.


Here is a link to the game playable in the browser using JSBeeb:
https://bbc.godbolt.org/?autoboot&disc= ... el=Master#

Here is a direct link to the ssd which can be used in an emulator or transferred to disc to play on real hardware:
https://dmcoles.github.io/trailblazer/trail.ssd

I hope you enjoy this release.

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:21 pm
by RobC
Great stuff! Well done on getting this out.

Looks really good even though I'm rubbish at it!

There's a similar game called Balls that was done by a Young Enterprise Scheme team but this plays far better.

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:33 pm
by retroclinic
Looks good, I'll try it a bit later. This looks like Fervour on the Arc?

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:29 pm
by kieranhj
Great work! This plays really well and is nice and smooth. Always fantastic to see new games being finished for the Beeb. You should send to RetroGamer magazine - they're surely due some more Beeb coverage soon. :)

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:30 pm
by KarateEd
Nicely done. This is a game I never saw during my days of the Beeb but as in the last comments, plays well and smoothly..... and I suck at it but it's very good.

Ed...... :-)

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:04 pm
by oss003
Nice job, looking great and plays smoothly ....
Keep up the good work.

Greetings
Kees

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:01 pm
by DutchAcorn
Wow, nice and smooth! Made it to level C... On my real model B it has an issue with the sounds though, sometimes the sound is "hanging" so you basically have a long beeeeeb while playing until another sound is produced (hope this makes sense).

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:58 pm
by Phantasm
DutchAcorn wrote:Wow, nice and smooth! Made it to level C... On my real model B it has an issue with the sounds though, sometimes the sound is "hanging" so you basically have a long beeeeeb while playing until another sound is produced (hope this makes sense).
Thanks for the feedback. I heard another report of the same issue on the real hardware. Not sure why that would be the case but I will try to investigate.

So this only happens sometimes? There are only two different sound effects. The jump sound and the falling down a gap sound. Is it one of these two sounds in particular that is doing it or is it more just random. How often does it happen?

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:17 am
by DutchAcorn
It happens on both sounds, falling and jumping. Not always, but at least 50% chance with both sound effects.

This morning the game did not produce any sound at all, I'll try to replicate that somewhere this week.

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:26 am
by Phantasm
DutchAcorn wrote:It happens on both sounds, falling and jumping. Not always, but at least 50% chance with both sound effects.

This morning the game did not produce any sound at all, I'll try to replicate that somewhere this week.
When you have some time can you give this one a try on the real hardware https://dmcoles.github.io/trailblazer/fixtrail.ssd

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:41 am
by tricky
Looks good, I'll try it later.
I did submit some fixes including sound to either b-em or beebem, I can't remember which.
Do you use the OS functions or write directly to the sound chip? If directly, have you seen the smspower article, is very complete.
I don't think jsbeeb has any sound bugs, but if you are playing samples, it models the NES version of the sound chip, which is afaik, not the most common version found in beebs.

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:43 pm
by DutchAcorn
Phantasm wrote: When you have some time can you give this one a try on the real hardware https://dmcoles.github.io/trailblazer/fixtrail.ssd
That version works fine! =D>

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:52 pm
by Phantasm
DutchAcorn wrote:
Phantasm wrote: When you have some time can you give this one a try on the real hardware https://dmcoles.github.io/trailblazer/fixtrail.ssd
That version works fine! =D>
thanks for confirming i've updated the original link with this updated version

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:16 am
by Phantasm
kieranhj wrote:Great work! This plays really well and is nice and smooth. Always fantastic to see new games being finished for the Beeb. You should send to RetroGamer magazine - they're surely due some more Beeb coverage soon. :)
Thanks for the suggestion. I've sent them an email so we shall see.

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:07 pm
by Phantasm
source code for this project is now available here:

https://github.com/dmcoles/TrailBlazer_ ... Conversion

Sorry there aren't too many comments. If anyone has any questions I'm happy to try and answer them.

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:34 pm
by tricky
Nice conversion.

I know this is supposed to be a port, but how about the ramp appearing to curve up at the top to allow you to see further ahead?

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:00 am
by Arcadian
That's super smooth - good work Darren, thanks for sharing, nice to see the source available too! :)

Do you have any other Beeb conversions in mind?

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:34 pm
by Phantasm
Arcadian wrote:That's super smooth - good work Darren, thanks for sharing, nice to see the source available too! :)

Do you have any other Beeb conversions in mind?
I've just bought an Amiga 1200 so I have a plan to go back to some of my old Amiga sourecode and possibly finish off some tools I started writing in 68k in the 90's. After that I may take a look at whether or not its feasible to run a 2 player mode for Trailblazer

apart from that I have no ideas for other projects - also my skills do not extend into creating graphics (An animated ball is probably about as far as I go in that area).

Re: A new conversion for the BBC Micro

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:06 pm
by Phantasm
We got some coverage of my release in the latest retro gamer magazine where they gave us a review score of 91%,

Thanks to kieranhjfor suggesting putting this forward to retro gamer. Also thanks to retro gamer magazine for the review.

I did also do a developer interview for them but not sure if that will get published or not add some point.