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Socoder -> Retro Coding -> Vic 20 Game - HamsterJam

Posted : Thursday, 12 May 2022, 08:43

Vic 20 Game - HamsterJam

Proof that someone reads the weekly newsletter, here is what I am working on right now.

A Vic 20 version of my HamsterJam game, a game me and Stu created for Windows back in the (oh my god how long ago was that...no seriously!) past. HasmterJam was a reamke of a Vic 20 game called Rockman, which was a kind of rip off of Boulderdash although the author has said he'd not seen that game at the time of writing Rockman. You can judge that for yourself, but I can say Rockman brings something unique where you navigate between rooms rather than just completing a level and moving onto the next. There's also a neat rock split that occurs if a boulder falls ontop of another in a certain way, which I've always liked.

I have been describing my new Vic 20 version of HamsterJam as a 'demake' as it is going back to the Vic 20. The first room I am intentionally copying from Rockman as this is a familiar screen and I want to show that, but the other 24 rooms will be different ... possibly inspired, but I don't want to make an exact copy of Rockman.

Here's an animated GIF (guh-iff) of that first room, look out for the rock split:

I did make some improvements going from Vic 20 Rockman to Windows HamsterJam back in the day. For starters each room has a standard layout of treasures and boulders but randomly places two extra treasures and two deadly skulls. Their placement can sometimes make a room impossible to complete which is unfair. In my version I make the skulls turn into bonus flowers which you can collect when there are only two treasures left in the room. This usually does the trick.

I'll be doing similar improvements in the Vic 20 version of HamsterJam, you can see the flowers transformation is in already. The original Rockman could also be a bit frustrating with the controls. Sometimes you'd tap to move in a directly quickly and it didn't register it, or hold a direction a bit too long and your move two spaces instead of one. In Vic 20 HamsterJam I have already corrected this, the controls are super responsive as I poll 50 times a second and then start the timer for the next movement. I imagine the original just checked the joystick every 4 frames when the screen updated, or something along those lines.

A lot left to do but I'm way past half way. Sound, music, moving between rooms, the additional levels. Scoring, game over and completion etc.

I will try to remember to post updates along the way and will post a link once it's done.

Andy H
8-bit games at www.hewco.uk
Cartoons at awful.ovine.net
Ovine at ovine.net
Posted : Thursday, 12 May 2022, 08:52
Cool! Nothing better than fixing up your favourite games!

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