Colours, sensors and instruments

As I'm not progressing very quickly with the 8bit stuff, I've been polishing up the support for 3d Construction Kit bits. In particular, I've finally fixed up colour input (the ASCII way of storing colours is quite obtuse — axb means "palette entry a*16 + b", but often you get colours without an x in them, in which case colour c maps to "c*16 + c"), I've removed a bug whereby the player could put his head through things by standing up in tunnels, I've worked a bit more on the way that the old fashioned text printing is mapped to the modern way of displaying in-game messages and I've added a mechanism for putting custom HUDs on different games. I've written one specifically for the 3d Construction Kit demo game, in the hope that I can get a proper release of that finished and put out the whole engine for further testing.

I've had a bit of a breakthrough on sensors — they work in Manhattan distance, and need line of sight. They also have 180 degree vision in each compass direction, not 90 degree as I had assumed.

News section added to site

Not much to say really. I've switched from an ancient copy of Site Studio to a brand new copy of RapidWeaver for the creation of this website, making it easier to maintain and allowing me to easily add this "Latest News" section. It means that the entire look of the site has changed almost immediately, but I can live with that.

Re: the actual software, I've fixed a bug concerning the older 8bit Freescape scripts, and am having a go at tweening the animations for Construction Kit titles.

My main concern at the minute is that I'm not really sure under what conditions the area scripts are executed on the older commercial games. For example, in Dark Side the teleport room has an area script that seems to just unconditionally teleport you away. The original game doesn't do that, so either I'm interpreting the scripts incorrectly or there is some mechanism by which area scripts are triggered. Hopefully more investigation will solve the problem. I'm trying to avoid anything beyond a clean-room reimplementation at the minute, which means no hacking the Spectrum code, but I'm not sure if I really need to enforce that rule. It seems as if Incentive let the Freescape trademark lapse many years ago, so it's unlikely that this is an intellectual property they are that interested in protecting.

Anyway, updates are likely to be sparse for a while as I'm about to undergo a major move in real life — a new home and a new job on the other side of the country. It should be an interesting time.