A Game Development Blog by Nickolas Marentes for the Tandy Color Computer 3.

      This blog will primarily focus on the creative and technical design aspects I employ to create this game.
      Due to time constraints, I will not be delving into the actual coding details.


Chapter 05 - Title and Top 10 pages

The next step was to get the Title Page and Top 10 pages displaying.

Normally, I would create theses as separate pages to the game itself but this time, I have chosen to combine them with the game. The game engine is always running and any items that would normally be moving in the game (not in yet) will be moving while it displays the Title and Top 10. The player's character and the sound generation is supressed until the player starts an actual game.

When a game is started, the Title/Top 10 display is then changed to display the Bomb Countdown Timer which is actually a copy of the Countdown Timer displayed in the lower control panel. This duplicate Countdown Timer is only displayed on Level 0 to fill that area of the screen when the Title/Top 10 display is removed.

The background Cog animation shown in the last chapter is displayed on all other levels and not this first level which is called The Foyer and contains the doors which access the main machine areas of the game.

Level 0 + Title Page

Level 0 + Top 10 Page

Level 0 + Bomb Countdown
I have created the routine which reads the level data for each level as created by my Level Editor and generates all the data of the objects in the levels. This gives me the flexibility to just change the level design for any level and this routine will generate the data required  for the game when the game is started. Sort of like the Registry in a Microsoft Windows system but for the game level elements (elevators, fires, robots, bombs etc.)

Other Game Controls

Game Abort: I have added a Game Abort function using the BREAK key. To avoid accidently pressing it during an active game, this control requires you to hold the BREAK key down for about 2 seconds before it responds.

Game Pause: The F1 key is the Game Pause control which pauses the game in case of an unscheduled interruption during game play such as a phone call, a rest break or the need for Toiletry Relief !  Pressing F1 again continues game play.

RGB/CMP: I have also got the RGB/CMP color palette select functioning by pressing the F2 key at any time which instantly changes the palette even mid gameplay. I have tried to match the two palettes as best I can but the games looks best using the RGB output.

Coming Next

Next is to start getting things moving and the first thing will be the elevator platforms. There are 2 platforms on Level 0 but the routine will move all platforms on all levels up to a maximum of 8 depending on the level design. The one routine will function for all levels.

After the Elevator Platforms will be the Fires that are scattered in several levels. Fires prevent you from passing unless there is a switch to turn the fire off (coming later).

Also, every level has a description and this will be displayed at the start of each level.

Copyright 2021 by Nickolas Marentes