My final unanswered Exile question

reminisce about bbc micro & electron games like chuckie egg, repton, elite & exileRelated forum: adventures


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Rich Talbot-Watkins
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Re: My final unanswered Exile question

Post by Rich Talbot-Watkins » Thu May 10, 2018 2:55 pm

kieranhj wrote:Without wanting to trigger a mega-thread, VectorEyes & I were discussing what an Exile 2 might look like, perhaps if it was Master only... or whether the original game is considered the beautiful pinnacle of 6502 game engineering (on the BBC platform at least?!) Not that I am volunteering to code it mind..!
It'd definitely have to be something special which pushed the machine to its newly defined limits. For me, Exile is such a masterpiece of engineering and design, I'd hate to trample on that legacy with a substandard sequel. Definitely a high bar.
kieranhj wrote:That's an interesting idea, whether it might be possible to run the physics simulation / object update on the scond processor to speed up the game itself. Might be more challenging to divide the work as clearly over the Tube as Elite, say.
Yes, that's been my thought on how to create a worthy sequel: a 6502 second processor version where the parasite runs the game code, physics simulation, map generation, etc, and the host is demoted to a sprite plotting workhorse and sampled sound machine. This way you could have more intricate maps, more graphics, more advanced behaviour, and physics handling in parallel with screen refresh.
kieranhj wrote:In terms of having extra RAM, anything on the host side (or SWRAM perhaps) could be used to store sprites in 4bpp (MODE 2 native) rather than 2bpp which ~may~ speed up the screen plotting routines (although no guarantees as Exile code is tighter than tight.)
Remember, Exile uses the colour changing aspect of the sprite routine regularly in gameplay, for highlighting objects when damaged, for the teleport effect, and even just for graphical diversity.
VectorEyes wrote:One could imagine things like Thrust-like carrying heavy objects, different densities of fluids, all kinds of stuff, but I wonder whether they'd really improve the gameplay or not.
I like the sound of that!
sbadger wrote:I've to have also been thinking about a) chaning the seed for a new map
There is no seed! Just a big complicated function of x,y!
sbadger wrote:When originally designed do you think the guys had some sort of editor to specify forced and clear areas on the map? If we had something like that, creating new puzzles scenarios would be a doddle.
I imagine they had a program a little bit like the one I wrote (but which ran the full algorithm, allowing them to see all the tunnels, caverns etc). And they just kept tweaking the many parameters of the algorithm until it landed on something they could imagine working with. It seems hard to believe that they arrived at this by designing the function with any rigour - it's just so complicated. That said, I'm still not 100% clear how they managed to get the mapped bits done.
sydney wrote:As a kid I remember daydreaming about a fully 3d version of Exile, much like Doom - before Doom existed.
Yes, I can imagine it looking beautiful in 3D, though the gameplay kinda lends itself more to a 2D side on view (with the emphasis on vertical shafts and tunnels). A 3D version would need to be very well designed, in order to keep the 3D as little more than a visual gimmick. I can imagine it working with a fixed direction camera, where you could still move in/out of the screen, but where most of the movement was horizontal and vertical.

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Re: My final unanswered Exile question

Post by Rich Talbot-Watkins » Sun May 13, 2018 8:10 am

Rich Talbot-Watkins wrote:Yes, that's been my thought on how to create a worthy sequel: a 6502 second processor version where the parasite runs the game code, physics simulation, map generation, etc, and the host is demoted to a sprite plotting workhorse and sampled sound machine. This way you could have more intricate maps, more graphics, more advanced behaviour, and physics handling in parallel with screen refresh.
If the target platform was super-limited to the Master Turbo, you could also use both screen buffers to allow for single pixel horizontal scrolling (offsetting one screen one pixel from the other). Combined with the normal 'rupture' vertical scrolling, that'd be quite a unique Beeb experience. Of course, that'd also give you a guaranteed extra 64k of RAM too, which could really pack in a lot of sound and graphics!

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