Hi Tom - Thanks for taking the time to comment - and play the game!
AFAICT, up and down move only between slots with the same X position (with wraparound), whereas left and right cycle through all the slots, by X position first then by Y position.
Yes - it does work that way. It was a limitation on the way the towers are stored and my coding around that.
I longed for a pointing device.
It was one of the challenges of moving to a platform that didn't have these as standard. Similarly the ability to quickly see an enemy status.
maybe the crosshairs could be enlarged?
I did experiment with alternate colours - and visibility is the reason that they now flash.
Being able to see the upgrade status of your towers at a glance would be useful. Perhaps they could gain flags or something?
The towers gain a number of red block beneath them to indicate their level (0 to 3).
I was surprised by the lack of different palettes for different levels, and wistful at the lack of a detailed MODE 1 victory scene
The graphics were very kindly provided by Dethmunk and I didn't ask for a victory screen. Different pallets per level were an option but it wasn't something that he felt he needed. He's made feel of the levels get progressively more "evil". Working with level 4 for a while it's surprising how green level 1 looks.
More documentation would be nice.
I didn't have space at the time of the documentation for much text - but the restriction has since been lifted. This is a comment that has come up elsewhere. It seems instructions are hard...
Also how does the scoring work? Do you get bonus points for lives left? Gold remaining at the end of a level?
Yes and Yes - although lives are worth far more than gold.
And a typo: "exiting tower" -> "existing". (And why is "Highscore" one word but "Last score" two?)
I'll have to fire the proof reader....
Having lower rates be faster seems odd. Maybe call it "reload time"? Or display the reciprocal? Similarly, having "Shld" in tower stats be the amount of shield damage done confused me initially; I thought the towers themselves had shields (to not be damaged and/or destroyed by enemies that shoot back).
As you can probably guess internally the rate is the number of ticks between firing so lower means faster. "Reload" is an interesting idea but I don't have many pixels. It might be alleviated by more instructions.
Gameplay: there seems no point in buying level 1 towers unless you literally cannot afford anything else (i.e. the first two towers you buy). Upgrading level 1 towers seems similarly unnecessary. Maybe it would be worth unlocking the staple of tower three only later on?
I struggled with this quite a bit. Not having ever written something like this before working out how to balance the thing was a challenge. Indeed I re-jigged most of the data about a week before release after I found a way to simply spam the levels with a few high level type 1 towers. I'd be interested in seeing how you play it.
I like the idea of having a bit of backstory as to what the towers are (archers? artillery?) and the nature of the enemies (maybe they could be named? it's hard to tell what they are supposed to be by looking, except when it's a SNAKE! AAHHHH, IT'S A SNAKE!).
I've played a bit loose with the enemy types in that they have different stats (and ratios of stats) on different levels. The sprites did have names - just they never got used:
A bit of a pause (keypress?) to take in a new level for the first time and check out slot placement, gold, enemy stats &c. before nasties start coming at you might be a good opportunity to show off such information (although fitting it on screen might be a problem).
Not sure I'd be able to display the information given memory constraints. I did consider adding a pause but it never made it in - You do get a bit of time on a new level but there's no pause between waves. If the game were so "pause" at this point you would probably expect to be able to move and place initial towers and my head couldn't reconcile the internal logic.
Technical: In b-em emulating a model B the split palette seems to have occasional glitches. Master is rock-solid.
I've not totally gone without the OS - which probably causes the glitches and my interrupt code is probably not the best. It seems better some times than others.
I imagine you're tight on memory but have you considered employing swram to avoid disc activity every wave?
It's not something I've ever played with and there seem to be quite a few variants out there. Whereas the disc isn't ideal I saw it as "good enough" - and it works without swram
Also you black out the palette when loading the title screen but not when loading level screens.
Yes - It was something I thought about but never implemented. I wasn't sure how having the screen blank would look.
(And should you want to go all-out on palette-blacking, avoiding having this displayed briefly when starting a new game would add even more polish to an already polished game!)
That's the OS changing screen mode - and it is only momentarily. I did consider clearing the data first but never implemented it.
Thanks again for taking the time - Chris.