Where does the time go! - party season already, and I only just finished game 10. Release isn't likely to be until about February/March next year at this rate!
anyway, Frog makes it's debut in the multigame, more info in normal place.
Well, after an entertaining weekend, in which I went from driving around Snetterton race track in TOCA2 on the PC, to being a passenger in a super stock 1600 on the real thing (the PC doesn't come close!) I thought I'd better get back to doing something on the multigame. So Uniwars joins the lineup as game 9. Single named high score. Pictures on the multigame page.
In another development, the non volatile ram chip I ordered finally turned up, so I can now confirm that the high score and DIP code does indeed work.
Unlucky for some (if you are in to that sort of thing), but whatever, game 8 is complete and takes it's place amongst the growing collection that comprises the galaxian multigame mark 3. Lady Bug is the latest addition, comprising the full works, including a top 9 high score table.
Whilst I'm working away at game 9, the secret game is beginning to look real good, and I can no longer resist putting some screen shots up for you to see. To find these, and more besides, take a look at the new Multigame Page
On the hardware front, I need to get the current version installed and working OK (since game 8 uses different graphics banks for characters and sprites) then it's time to modify the PCB and get another prototype ordered up. Once that works we are getting close to production time.
One more makes it in, because a friends wife likes it, Galaxian Part X makes a re-appearance, the turbo charged, bullet aiming galaxian variant. Complete with top 5 high scores and DIP settings.
Next one on the hacking block, is a set of images I was sent a while ago, but, until last night, I had not managed to convince to run in any form. It plays the same as the original, looks fairly similar, and is coming up next!
Half a dozen, halfway to the number of games I would like to have for the release. War of the Bugs makes it in at number 6. Aptly named, since the original code seems to feature some interesting bugs!
These bugs have been fixed, and a single named high score has been added (as you can see in the screen shots)
As for the new game, well it's had a few EXTRA features added, and is coming along nicely. Once the levels have been designed I may get around to adding a screenshot or two
5 Games has been reached. This is a game that wasn't in any of the previous versions of the multigame, but is still a quite popular game. None other than Scramble - obviously it doesn't sound quite as good as it does with the original sound chip, but it is nevertheless quite playable, and looks almost identical. Full works on this one, with the top 5 named players in the score table.
Another piece of exciting news, someone is writing a totally new game that should be making it's first appearance as part of the new multi-game. more news and screen shots as soon as I get a chance. I'm off to have a quick playtest of the early version to see how it all goes.
A little bit of patching on the circuit board, a snip and a few wire links and we no longer need to cut a pin and add a wire to the main board. (not that one anyway, depending upon the games selected, there may be a need for a single wire to the sprite circuit)
Because of this change in design, I was also able to do some unexpected changes to the memory map, which should make it somewhat easier to convince a couple of games to run on the new hardware. One such game I will work on next.
The fourth game is now in, something that was meant to be simple and quick, to get back into the swing of things, turned out to be a major pain! - Black Hole has had all usual things changed, and I did start to add a name entry for the single high score, but I'm afraid you'll have to do with just the high score being saved - the standard character set doesn't even include the entire alphabet!
I did discover, however, that the existing rom set is a bootleg - the company name had been blanked out, so I thought I'd stick one back in to show where it displays it!
I hope to have a minimum of high score save for all games, most with name entry for the single score, but the better games will hopefully all feature top 5 score tables.
Well, apart from one minor problem, that I still need to decide which of the two methods I shall use to overcome (one requires a wire from the add on board to the PCB, the other needs no wire, but a redesign of the PCB a bit) it works! - I have it running OK, so shall start adding some more things to it shortly. The decision on how to implement the change depends upon whether I need to add the other planned wire for one game. If it needs one wire, it may just as well need two instead!
still, here's a picture of the CPU board fully equipped with it's extra wire to solve the problem on the main board that occurs because they wanted to save an extra OR gate in a circuit.
PCB's have arrived - so the time has come to see if what I scribbled down on paper actually does what I expect it to do on the real hardware. Since the place I ordered the PCB's from has a minimum size I had to rapidly create something useful to fill the gap. I have several galaxian PCB's here missing the sprite buffer ram, and not much spare, so what I did was to create a small daughter board that allows you to use a single AMD93422 (it's a 2101, but faster - needs to be 200ns) instead of four 27ls00's. Once the multigame PCB's are manufactured I may have some of these PCB's for sale - if you would be interested in any, then let me know! The little board, populated and in place is pictured here.
Well, the PCB's are complete, and a prototype has been ordered. This should let me build one of the new multigames and test everything to make sure it all does what I expect. As long as I have no major problems, then I hope to have something running by the start of November. Then it will be time to see how many decent games I can find to build up the numbers. I am thinking about a couple of possibles that are probably not expected, when I get time for that though remains to be seen.
Anyway, here's hoping for 12+ games in it at launch, with maybe one or two suprises!
Now I had never realised (until now) that my old news page didn't go all the way back to when I first decided to create a website. So if you wanted to know what happened before then - you'll either have to find my pages in one of the archive repositories or buy me a beer and ask nicely!
If you do happen to find what happened in one of the archives - send me a copy please