It is very close to being shipable.
I've been making a few very minor changes to Puzzle Poker
on and off over the last few weeks since its soft launch here on Garage Games. Notice that new
hint on/off button on the screen shot to the right.
If you haven't downloaded it yet, go ahead give it a try, it is
only a 3.4 Mb Windows download
and 5.6 Mb Mac download.
Ball Blast is actually only a couple of years old. I
created it for the August 14, 2004 Game in a Day (GID). If
you haven't heard of GID, it was started up by Tom Bampton
and is a great way to rip through a lot of code to quickly come up with a game prototype.
I wrote a journal while working on Ball Blast. Not a
very exciting read, but you can see how things developed throughout the 24 hours.
While rearranging things on my computer I realized I never uploaded the final version for people
to try out. This version allows Internet/lan play for up to 4 players. If there aren't 4 humans
than total random no AI computer opponents will fill in for them.
You can download the final Ball Blast GID version by clicking here. It
uses one of the earlier versions of the Torque Game Engine. You should be able play against up to four other
players over a Lan or the Internet.
It has no gameplay polish and many obvious flaws. It was an experiment on my part to see if I could come up
with a game idea where you play by only moving the mouse and don't use either mouse button.
All those years ago...
I worked on Zoo Master during my senior year the University of Oregon in 1983. It was written
for the 48k Apple II Plus in 6502 machine language. The Apple II was 1 Mhz so you would want to
do coding tricks like unroll your loops for speed. Most of the instructions took between 2 and
I think I remember the resolution being 280x192. The Apple II also had a interesting way of
specificing pixel colors. If two neighboring bits were set then the color would be white otherwise
the color would be either red, green, blue, or purple depending upon if the pixel was on a even or
odd screen pixel location and also whether the 8th bit was set or not. Three zero bits in a row
would give you at least one black pixel.
At the time I did not have an assembler so I wrote it by typing in all the instructions in HEX code
into the Apple. The branch instructions in 6502 were relative to the current instruction memory
location. So if I wanted to branch forward to an instruction 10 bytes ahead I'd use $0A and for
branching backwards I'd use a negative number like $F4. For forward branches I had to estimate
how many bytes my code would need to jump over and then go back and fix the branch instruction if
I got it wrong.
Since I wasn't using an assembler everything ended up being hard coded to fixed memory locations
on the Apple. The upshot of this was that I had to write bug-free code because they would be a
pain to fix. I actually did have a couple bugs where I ended up I having to JMP to a free memory
area do what I needed to do and then JMP back using some NOPs to clean up in the patch area. Went
against my structed code college stuff, but what else could I do. I think there was an assembler
available for the Apple back then, but it was beyond my college days budget.
Funny how I can still remember what hex values correspond with which 6502 instructions - for example:
$20 - JSR
$4C - JMP
$60 - RTS
You had three 8 bit registers available to do computation with, but only the A register could be used
for addition or subtraction. You could only increment (INX,INY) or decrement (DEX,DEY) the X and Y
registers. There was an add with carry (ADC) instruction so you could do 16-bit computations
I wrote this game for the technical fun of it. It was published by Earthware Computer Services,
but never really sold. I actually played it online a few months ago somewhere online.
After Zoo Master came out I made my home town paper which made Mom and Dad proud.
What is the date on the newspaper anyway? My eyes do not work as well as they used to.
If anyone finds this at all interesting let me know. I've got lots of notes, concept artwork,
and design stuff going back through the years. I could write short plans on older games for
different platforms and also on some game projects that never saw the light of day.
Oh, one other thing, I've set up all my previous plans on a web page.