Sunday, August 3, 2014

RC2014 Summer Challenge Wrap-Up

Well, it seems that the overtime extension on this summer's Retrochallenge event has been wasted on me.  So now it is time to lay down my tools and reflect...

Code Update

First, let's do one more beta release.  There are no gameplay changes since Beta 2, but I did massage the audio a bit.  Basically, I applied some modulation to the 60 Hz noise in the audio output.  This seems to soften the effect of the noise, making it a bit more reasonable for those with sensitive ears.  Don't worry -- the audiophiles will still hate it!

I've gotten a few suggestions for changes/improvements to Fahrfall, some better than others.  There are a few minor ones that I might implement someday, including some (e.g. a graceful program exit) that are more suitable for disk-based play.  But for now, I'm only concerned about releasing Fahrfall on cartridge.  I do have a few more ideas for game improvements on my TODO list, most or all of which have been there since the beginning (e.g. collecting bonus items).  I reserve the right to add a few of those before doing a final cartridge release.


I have been hinting rather strongly at a cartridge release for Fahrfall, and I do intend to make that happen.  This entire Summer Challenge has been laying the groundwork to make that seem practical, and I think I've shown what I can deliver to folks.  I have even started getting monetary offers for cartridges!  I wish I was ready to announce something, but I haven't quite ironed-out all of the details of that.  I hope to announce something before too long -- keep an eye out!

Ingredients for an adult-sized CoCo joystick?

Beyond that, it is hard to tell what comes next.  I actually thought I would be working on another C compiler project this summer, but Fahrfall got my attention instead.  Now I'm already thinking about another CoCo game controller project, but that will probably be covered over at my Retro Tinker blog.  I've been thinking about another VDG trick that could use some development time as well.  So much to do, so little time!

Parting Thoughts

So once again I have greatly enjoyed a Retrochallenge event.  It is always fun to see what projects this motley band of fools generates, and to see what they produce as a result.  Sometimes it is just nice to be reassured that out there in the world there are other people with the same kind of crazy as me.  It is also good to have an excuse (or a reminder) to spend some time enjoying the hobby, and sometimes we all need that.  And, of course, there is always the reward of seeing others get some enjoyment from the projects I share, whether they learn something from me or they just get some vicarious fun. :-)

So now I will sign out of the Retrochallenge 2014 Summer Challenge and we will return back to the everyday progress of Fahrfall.  It is not Game Over yet, so please continue to stay tuned!