One Last Thing…

I released my newest text adventure game last night (and submitted it to the Adventuron game jam, making it four Adventuron jams in a row for which I have managed to cobble together a game!). I’ve put a lot of work into this one over the last month, so I’m really pleased that it’s all finished and out there in the world at last.

One Last Thing...
Adventuron version.

The main reason that this game required quite a bit of extra work was that I accepted the optional jam challenge of porting the Adventuron game to Spectrum +3 and Spectrum Next using DAAD Ready (I talked about this process at length in the video I linked to in my Barry Basic post the other day). The DAAD conversion process works really well, but there are a few things that come up slightly differently in the Spectrum port and so they needed to be tweaked and refined to make sure that they worked in the same way across the versions. There’s still a bit of improvement that could be made to the ported versions, but I’m happy enough with them for now.

One Last Thing...
Spectrum Next version.

I also made two sets of graphics – one for the Adventuron and Spectrum Next versions, and one Spectrum-compatible set for the Spectrum +3 version. The Spectrum-compatible graphics were a lot of fun to make, but I’m going to need a lot more practice in that style before I do another +3 port! The Adventuron/Next graphics, meanwhile, are probably my favourites that I’ve made yet – I used the hept32 palette suggested in the jam rules, rather than just picking random colours like I usually do, and I think it’s made everything look a lot nicer and more pulled-together.

One Last Thing...
Spectrum +3 version.

For the actual game and story, I tried to keep everything fairly short and simple, as I knew there wouldn’t be much memory space when porting to Spectrum +3 (as it happened, I did have to sacrifice one graphical change in a location on the +3 version because the original amount of graphics was too much for the conversion!). I decided on my setting (a single five-room building) for this reason, but I ended up making a short prequel* to the game I originally planned out, as the first game plan was getting a bit too big.**

* It’s also a sequel to my first game from last year, The Cave of Hoarding. It’s complicated.
** This always happens. The only time I actually made the game that I originally planned (Hallowe’en: Night of the Misty Manor), it ended up being 10,000 lines of code and required a lot of all-nighters in the week leading up to the jam deadline. At least it means I’ve got a lot of semi-finished games that I can work on in my own time!

After making a fairly contained game (albeit with a lot of interesting complications), I am quite keen to do a project with a big, sprawling map again. However, I am going to take a few days (at least) off from game creation – apart from anything else, I want to play all the other jam entries now!

Pulling everything together

I went out for my four-mile midweek run this morning…

…and it was a bit of a struggle to force myself out of the door! I need to do nine miles on Sunday, and I’m already slightly dreading it… it’s just one of those weeks where I’m lacking a bit of running motivation. One day at a time, like everything else.

My game is really getting into the final stages now. I got the second set of graphics implemented today (they were a lot more straightforward than the first set!) and have started to sort out the final non-8-bit touches for the Adventuron version of the game, as well as the eventual presentation aspects such as the Itch page design. Hoping to run it past my first playtester (i.e. Geth) tomorrow evening!

The laptop stack did not pull its weight as planned today – laptop number one turned out to be about six Linux versions out of date and needs a complete reinstall, while laptop number two needs a day or so to recharge its battery. Laptop number three is tiny and struggles to do anything complicated, so I don’t think it could manage more than a small test game in an Adventuron editor (if that), and laptop number four is still on Windows 7, so I wouldn’t want to connect it to the web (it’s another one that needs overhauling with Linux). Hopefully number two will be ready to go tomorrow! I need to remember to plug them all in for a recharge every so often…

Just a short run again tomorrow, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a productive game creation day 🙂

Pixel calendar
Something different today – this graphic is from a mini side project that I’ll hopefully be able to update you about tomorrow.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Chaos Shrine’
Spandau Ballet – ‘Gold’
Regard – ‘Ride It’

Cleaner, cosier, comfier

Just a mile for this morning’s run…

…as I had various other things to do. Looking forward to some longer runs later in the week.

It was a bit of an odd weekend as I was trying to keep myself from feeling too down about the fact that if not for the coronavirus situation, I would have been in London running the marathon. By and large, I managed to distract myself with videogames, and I did a couple of short, fast runs to test out my pace a bit. I also spent most of yesterday trying to solve technical issues, as our SteamLink box was playing up again. I’ve told Geth that we have to keep an eye on it by turning it on every day, which provides lots of excuses for videogaming this week!

I’ve also managed to get a really good clean of the house done. I’d been neglecting it a bit, because I usually base my cleaning schedule around when we’re expecting company… and obviously we’ve not had any recently. However, I’ve spent the last couple of days getting on with it, and the house feels a lot nicer now.

I’ve got a small amount of day job work lined up for this week, which is great, and I’ve got several more housework-type tasks to get on with as well. I also want to finish my graphics for my next adventure game before the end of Camp NaNo on Thursday, so I’ve got plenty things to be getting on with! It’s nice, though, because it provides a bit of structure to the day. I’d obviously love it if I could just sit and play videogames the whole time, but I think I’d probably lose track of days and nights as a result! Oh, for those student summers when I’d regularly be playing until 7am and it didn’t matter…

I’m still getting a good few hours in every evening though, and I find I’ve got time for lots of reading and TV-watching too, so if I ignore the general world situation, life is quite relaxed at the moment!

Tikiboo Run London tights
Yesterday, I wore what should have been my race kit. I’m looking forward to taking these special London-themed Tikiboos out for some longer runs to make sure that they will hold up during the marathon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tomohito Nishiura – ‘Froenborg’
Yasunori Mitsuda – ‘Elysium, In The Blue Sky’
Abba – ‘I Have A Dream’

Technical difficulties

I went for a slower recovery run today…

…because I did a longer run yesterday, and am planning to do another one tomorrow, so I needed a sort-of ‘rest’ day today. It was really sunny, and the blossom round here is beautiful at the moment, so I stopped to take a lot of pictures.

I’ve spent most of today updating my gaming PC and trying to set up the SteamLink Hardware that my friend Sharpy got me as a birthday gift a few years back. We’ve just about got it working but not quite – we need an extra keyboard and mouse so that the PC doesn’t get disgruntled about its lack of input controls while we’re using the peripherals for the SteamLink box. Geth has ordered a set to be delivered tomorrow (he is extremely keen to play XCOM 2 on the big TV screen), so fingers crossed it should all be running smoothly by tomorrow evening.

A blog admin note: I’m going to be trying something different this week. I’ll be doing my usual diary posts on Monday to Friday (along with my usual Phone Box Thursday post), but for next weekend’s posts, I’m going to catch up with some of the review posts I’ve been meaning to do for months, post a couple of links to my running videos over the weekend, and then do a big diary update on the Monday. This serves a twofold purpose: it enables me to get my main weekend posts done in advance; and it means that I can finally start doing my review posts again (I’ve only really had the time to do one post per day recently, which is why my reviews haven’t been getting done). I’m looking forward to getting some posts out about gigs and parkruns and races again!

I’ll be videogaming as usual this evening, though obviously not on the SteamLink box just yet.

Dark blossom
The ‘second’ blossom tree in our garden (the one that blossoms later, with darker blossom) is doing really nicely now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Cast of The Little Mermaid – ‘Daughters Of Triton’
Kylie Minogue – ‘I Should Be So Lucky’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Mako Reactor’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘Let The Battles Begin!’

Walls

After my midweek run…

…Mum and Dad came round again, and Dad and I had another go at the old laptops. Putting Linux on them was a little more complicated than expected, so Dad is going to take them home and keep experimenting.

We did however manage to get a couple of things put up in the downstairs bathroom that I’d been meaning to do for two years. Every little helps!

We also had a lovely meal out with cousins Douglas and Freya at our favourite tapería in town. As such, I won’t be going to Slimming World weigh-in tomorrow – might make it to the Friday session but we’ll see! I need to digest a lot of tatties first 🙂

Bathroom decor
Like the rest of the house, it still looks very beige and boring, but it’s nice to have the cabinet and mirror up.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Vera van Heeringen – ‘Riverside House’
Jason Donovan – ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’
David Bowie – ‘Ashes To Ashes’
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – ‘I Don’t Care’
Animotion – ‘Obsession’
FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Running In The Night’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Nena – ’99 Red Balloons’

Computer management

After my Tuesday recovery mile…

…Mum and Dad arrived (it’s Dad’s birthday today). Dad and I then spent the afternoon experimenting with a couple of old laptops that Geth and I want to put Linux on, as Windows 7 is slow and less supported these days. It looks like we’ll be able to get that finished tomorrow hopefully!

We then went out to the Redhouse in Newcastle for Dad’s birthday meal out. I hadn’t been there for more than three years, since before I started Slimming World, because I have no idea how many syns are in one of their pies! Just have to estimate it this week… The pies are amazing though.

More house-sorting to do (and nice food to eat) tomorrow.

Pies at the Redhouse
Pie-eating at the Redhouse! Photo from Dad.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bill Conti – ‘Gonna Fly Now’
Justin Timberlake – ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’
The Midnight – ‘Collateral’

Back it up

My plans for today changed when I woke up to a few emails from clients this morning, so I’ve spent most of the day doing day job work. I’ve also been working on a giant complicated backup I’m doing of all my computer stuff. I have an external hard drive that always refused to work with my previous laptop but has decided it likes my current one, so that’s going to give me a bit more breathing room.

Ukulele class tonight, and hopefully a straightforward Thursday tomorrow!

OOTD 27th March 2019
OOTD: all the blues. Hoodie Sonar (2006), scarf unknown brand (2019), t-shirt Campus Crew for Toronto Blue Jays (2018), jeans Zara (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Oasis – Songbird
Duran Duran – Girls On Film
Jona Lewie – You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties