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Old 19 December 2021, 01:01   #201
UnnamedCourier
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Awesome, glad it worked! This sounds like a great bit of software.
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Old 31 December 2021, 18:01   #202
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Development is coming to an end. The last feature to implement is an options window and config file handling so user settings are kept between launches. Today, I experimented with some of the Equates.i bitflag listings, particularly the option to show any block as a question mark on the map (usually, a question mark is nonly shown when a block has been removed via button). I guess this could be used to indicate secret walls. I also tried to insert explosions since there is a bitflag for those as well, but it just makes a static explosion sprite appear at the location that does nothing, so it seems like this is meant for runtime operation.
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Old 01 January 2022, 15:33   #203
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Some interesting facts while I procrastinate on finishing the editor:
  • It is possible to put dead players on the map, but these will be spawned as actual dead players, meaning that on the cell with the skeleton will also be the dropped inventory of the player (even though he or she is still living). Picking up these items will actually remove them from the living player's inventory. I tested this to find out if bones can be put onto the map for purely atmospheric reasons, but alas, the added behavior makes this undesireable.
  • A player walking across a borderless map boundary positions him or her right onto the next row or column of cells. This explains the seemingly glitchy "endless" running in the glitch video posted above. However, the DTS gets a bit confused and will not show the red circle with arrow indicating the player position (likely because it gets drawn outside the viewing area).
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Old 08 January 2022, 15:07   #204
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Out of curiosity, I took a closer look at the way horizons are drawn in the CD32 version, and I found out that the horizon from the opposite direction is drawn as a transparent second horizon graphic behind the main one. Interestingly, All horizon graphics are drawn two pixels higher than in the ECS version. The crescent shapes in the southern sky are replaced by a large round planet or moon in the CD32 version.


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Old 14 January 2022, 13:59   #205
Angus
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Guys, just in case it's of interest, on the Amiga Games Database site (AGDB) there are celebrity reviews with Steve Hammond (Phantasie III) Scott Johnston (Bloodywych) and Andy Davidson (Hired Guns). Check the Celebrity reviews page. I did the one with Scott on the phone and he was a brilliant guy to talk to, I remember his enthusiasm, particuarly for the sentinel guns. :-)

http://agdb.abime.net/AGDB.html
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Old 14 January 2022, 17:22   #206
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Ah, I remember finding Scott's review of Bloodwych years ago. Indeed, he sounds like someone who is very passionate about even the smallest of details!

The Hired Guns Map Editor for Windows has been released, by the way: Hired Guns Map Editor for Windows
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Old 15 January 2022, 23:59   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus View Post
Guys, just in case it's of interest, on the Amiga Games Database site (AGDB) there are celebrity reviews with Steve Hammond (Phantasie III) Scott Johnston (Bloodywych) and Andy Davidson (Hired Guns). Check the Celebrity reviews page. I did the one with Scott on the phone and he was a brilliant guy to talk to, I remember his enthusiasm, particuarly for the sentinel guns. :-)

http://agdb.abime.net/AGDB.html
Haha, I've actually referenced that interview a ton on the stuff I wrote on The Cutting Room Floor, not only in regards to Hired Guns, but it also has a tidbit I used for why the AGA version of UFO: Enemy Unknown has a simplified turn screen compared to the other versions of the game. It also shows that Julian Gollop's claim in the recent UFO book Monsters in the Dark that his brother Nick programmed the AGA port is almost certainly not true/overstated.

While we're on that tangent, the book also talks about how Team 17 wanted to do a crossover game, Alien Breed vs X-Com!

Also congrats Cherno, the editor looks great so far. I have't had time to play around with it much yet, but it would be great for going through the old levels looking for changes etc. At the minute I'm really busy with work and ended up distracted by looking through Syndicate Wars a few weeks ago and found insane amounts of cut stuff, including over 150 levels that come with the game that are not used!

I will probably come back to Hired Guns later.
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Old 17 January 2022, 01:28   #208
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@UnnamedCourier:
I went to the Hired Guns 3D Map viewer by Michael Clarke that was released some months ago and out of curiosity, read the "Psygnosis story" (click on the "?"). One sentence that I noticed:

Quote:
When the editor was set up correctly on our original machines, it was possible to click a button and immediately play the map that was being edited.
In your article on TCRF, you mention that stripped versions of Hired Guns were bundled with the Map Editor release inside the development files, so maps can be played directly, but that it is not working. The quote above suggests that this was working back then, so maybe it would be worth it to take another look at the setup.
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Old 20 January 2022, 13:37   #209
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Yeah, that's clearly how it worked, but it just crashes. I'm not sure what is wrong, I looked in SnoopDOS and couldn't see it missing any files or anything. I wonder if all the related assets with it are the correct versions (obviously it uses various bits from the game to work). I actually spent quite a lot of time playing with it but gave up in defeat. I think you could probably compile a new version of it based on v39.26 as it has the options for it in the build flags and I successfully got v39.26 compiled with no copy protection before (although the music doesn't work, not sure if that is deliberate and irrelevant for testing anyway).
I might have another go with a new compiled version, but really you'd need an actual programmer to see why the current version doesn't work.
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Old 20 January 2022, 14:49   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnnamedCourier View Post
the AGA version of UFO: Enemy Unknown has a simplified turn screen compared to the other versions of the game.
Sorry for the off-topic, but I am curious. How is the AGA turn screen simplified? Is it just the number of colours or are there some functional differences?
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Old 20 January 2022, 16:46   #211
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From the man himself:
"A simple but effective speed up trick which I employed at a later date on
the AGA versions of UFO: Enemy Unknown is worth a note at this point. The
original PC code (in C) we got from Nick and Julian Gollop was a bit of a
mess, and in the time available we couldn't do that much with it to speed
it up without opening a whole new can of worms. I did make a major
breakthrough at speeding up the AI though thanks to the Amiga. When the
enemy took it's turn, instead of leaving you to look at a 256 colour
screen, I found that replacing it with a simple 4 colour screen made
things happen in about half the time. The problem was that the Amiga chips
were hogging the bus bandwidth and slowing the processor right down."

http://agdb.abime.net/DBA1/BloodWy.html

To further the rather tenous Hired Guns/UFO connection, based on the development timelines of both he must have gone pretty much from working on HG into working on the AGA version of UFO.
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