Friday, 3 August 2012

The plan

We've been thinking on how to progress with Gloop Troops 2 and have devised the current plan:

* We will use Andy's experiments with the Z80 C compiler Z88dk to form a new template code base.

* Port over our map renderer to C. This should be easy to do as the compressor was written in C, so creating the unpacker should be straightforward. Would anyone else be interested in using our map editor? It's designed with the Spectrum firmly in mind, it allows attribute setting per tile and uses brushes to create a screen. Each brush is a collection of tiles which can be stamped on screen.

* Write a simple game to test the water. I'd be helping Andy put this together over the next few weeks. The idea here is to make sure all the key parts of our pipeline are working in C. It will also allow us to see what kind of compromises (if any) there would be re-creating GT2 in C.

It does feel a bit backwards to try and recreate GT2 in C, but from Andy's experiments it looks to be promising, and with my injury still months away from getting better it looks to be the best solution for completing the game.

We've also been thinking about what platform to move on to next. We'd like to try tackling something fresh (but still retro), but are undecided. The idea of doing a port of GT1 with some extra bells and whistles has come up as a good way to learn a new platform. We're also interested in hearing from any other coders - ideally ones who have already put games out on a retro platform!

Current suggestions being floated around  are: Amstrad CPC / C64 / Amiga (either 500 or CD32) and Atari Jaguar. Each has some interesting strong points. Do people have any strong opinions towards one of these? Is there another retro machine that people would love to see a new game on (and one where it's legal to release a game on)?