Contributions 2004/05 bugs.

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Martijn
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Post by Martijn » Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:34 pm

Well, it doesn't matter very much, of course. Maybe they don't even have a special reason for it. And some times I've uploaded my files to a temp folder on my site hosting as well. But that was for non-RnD things...

Hey, about the recording work: I'm sorry I stopped it for a few days. I'm doing holiday work and when I come home I'm tired and besides, the weather is too hot here. (Although I'm crazy enough to work on my site with this weather...) But tomorrow (Saturday) I will continue the work!
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Post by Martijn » Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:20 pm

Jannik, you have already tested the Contributions by Randy Johannessen, Sam Bateman and Falk Sobe? Could you also change those impossible levels which you mention? Then that part will be ready. I will do doctor_sloan_ese then.

Holger: is doctor_sloan_ese the same as the Earth Shaker Earth levelset?
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Post by Holger » Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:04 am

> Holger: is doctor_sloan_ese the same as the Earth Shaker Earth levelset?

Yes, that's right! (Earth Shaker Explosions, to be precise, but I think you meant just that. :) )

BTW: I'm not sure about it -- most broken tapes worked with a very early (buggy) pre-release version of 3.0.8, but not only refused to work later (when some heavy CE bugs were fixed), but it seems that these levels are now unsolvable due to slightly different (bugfixed) CE behaviour. Some of them might still be solvable, though.

I already checked if it would be possible to add compatibility code for these levels/tapes, but it seemed to be very hard (and maybe also tricky to fix the levels, as I don't know the game Earth Shaker other than from these levels).

BTW: Sorry for that little time at the moment -- I'm heavily working at the new EMC level collection (despite the heat here in Europe these days). Unfortunately I found some misbehaviour that required small engine changes (especially wrong level time), so the collection will need a fixed 3.2.1 now (which will be quickly released together with the EMC set then). It's nearly ready now and only needs some finetuning here and there, but it really looks great now due to Martijn's ingenious idea with the title screens, which really add a lot to the classic and nostalgic appearance! (Some of them had to be snapshotted manually out of the sets using UAE, but most are automatically ripped out of the ADFs by a quick and dirty Perl script. :-) )

It's really fun playing this 100% original Amiga style stuff, and I've already recorded some solution tapes. But I really feel the difference of my USB remake of the classic Competition Pro joystick to the "real one" from the Amiga -- the USB thingy feels just crappy! And I can directly compare it to the original Competition Pro on my Amiga 2000, playing the same, original Emerald Mine there! :-o

But using the keyboard is even more precise (this wasn't possible on the Amiga), and the correctly working diagonal movement really adds quite a bit of playability when compared to the original Amiga game (where you were always stuck at a wall if you ran away from monsters along some wall and pressed the "next" direction to early)! :-)

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Post by Martijn » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:00 pm

Yes, I meant Earth Shaker Explosions. But could you (and others) help me with this: the Earth Shaker Explosions levels are classic and therefore I want to keep them intact. I don't want to modify the levels of this set. But some (as reported) are unsolvable! What is wrong here? Were they finishable before? What has happened then? Holger, could you then look in the code you changed (if it's that easy...) to see what has made the Earth Shaker levels impossible?

For the other levels it's not important. I feel free to change them a bit (well, there is one level that was far far far too hard and also impossible so I've simplified it...).

The fixing work is nearly done! Jannik, many thanks! Now you see how frustrating those Bill Cotter levels are if you want to hurry up! ;-)
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Post by Martijn » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:45 pm

I can't finish the Contributions fix this week...
what should I do with the Earth Shaker Explosions levels? And Jannik, were you going to finish those last remaining sets (see the list which are still not set to 'done'), which you were already busy with? or don't you want to do it anymore?

And I'm going on holiday coming Saturday. to Germany :D so the new fixed contributions will then appear somewhere after the holiday (which is two weeks).
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Post by Jannik » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:54 am

I have updated my post and sent you an email with ContributionTapes2.zip.
It contains all missing tapes and changed levels for Falk Sobes levelset.
So I think I'm done. 8)
Am waiting for v3.2.1 and the EMC levels ... :twisted:

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Post by Martijn » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:06 am

Thanks, Jannik!

Holger, could you reply about what I should do with the Earth Shaker Earth levels (see an earlier post)?

When I'm back from holiday I will then complete it and share it!
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Post by Holger » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:31 pm

> what I should do with the Earth Shaker Earth levels (see an earlier post)?

It's probably best to keep them as they are at the moment, although a few levels are currently impossible to solve. They were solvable once, although you can clearly see that they were only solvable due to blatantly wrong CE behaviour, which was fixed very soon after the creation of these levels.

Note:These levels were all built using the pre-release version 3.0.8-3. Levels created with pre-release version are very likely to break in the next stable version, which they just did here, too. :-(

I will check this case again and see what can be done about the affected levels of this very fine level set. I will write here again so these levels could either be manually fixed or maybe will made solvable again by game engine code.

> And I'm going on holiday coming Saturday. to Germany Very Happy so the
> new fixed contributions will then appear somewhere after the holiday
> (which is two weeks).

> I have updated my post and sent you an email with
> ContributionTapes2.zip.
> It contains all missing tapes and changed levels for Falk Sobes levelset.

Great work, Jannik and Martijn!! Thanks a lot! I will replace the corrected levels and tapes as soon as possible!

Martijn: Have a nice vacation in Germany! :-)
(BTW: Which parts of Germany do you plan to visit? Just curious... :-) )

> Am waiting for v3.2.1 and the EMC levels ...

Stand by... Will be there very soon! :-)

Still haven't found that bug that breaks all manually appended EMC tapes... :-o

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Post by Martijn » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:30 pm

I'm back from my holiday (Holger, I went further than Bielefeld, I went to the Black Forest, it's really peaceful there... and the people are very friendly in that area of Germany).

I will upload the fixed stuff next Monday, I think, I'm to sleepy and lazy at the moment. Holger, then we will leave the Earth Shaker levels as they are and yes, you could eventually change something in the RnD code to make this set 100 % solvable!
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Post by Daniel H. » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:57 pm

Holger wrote:Still haven't found that bug that breaks all manually appended EMC tapes... :-o
What is a "manually appended" tape :?: :?

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Post by Martijn » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:49 am

Okay, the fixed Contributions have been updated. I thought that the handiest way would be to upload them to my site. Holger, will you then also update the Contributions on the Artsoft homepage?

Download them in the Levels section on the RnD page: http://www.bd-fans.com/RnD.html

Oh, and as you can see, there is an image with 'new' in front of the title 'Contributions xxxx'. Could anyone please make a same kind of image but then with the text 'Updated!'? For 'new' is not the right word for this...
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Post by Holger » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:03 pm

Oops, again I missed (at least) one post. :-o

> I'm back from my holiday (Holger, I went further than Bielefeld, I went to
> the Black Forest, it's really peaceful there... and the people are very
> friendly in that area of Germany).

Nice to hear that (my sister's living in the black forest, btw) -- hope you had a nice time! :-)

Back on topic:

> I will upload the fixed stuff next Monday, I think,

Very cool! I'll check it out and fix my own package! :-)

Thanks again for the great work, correcting these sets! :)

> we will leave the Earth Shaker levels as they are and yes, you could
> eventually change something in the RnD code to make this set 100 %
> solvable!

Not sure if this will be possible, but I'll first check it, and if it will be impossible, we could still fix the levels itself.

> What is a "manually appended" tape

If you replay an existing tape, then press "pause", then press "record" and continue playing and recording, this is called "(manually) appending" to a tape. (Pressing F2 does something similar, but this seem to work, which is very strange... :-o )

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Post by Daniel H. » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:37 pm

Holger wrote:If you replay an existing tape, then press "pause", then press "record" and continue playing and recording, this is called "(manually) appending" to a tape.
I thought that this couldn't be done on any levels . . . is this new in 3.2? :?

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Post by Holger » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:32 am

> I thought that this couldn't be done on any levels . . . is this new in 3.2?

No, this feature exists as long as the tape recorder exists. :-)

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Post by Dr S » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:48 am

Holger wrote:> what I should do with the Earth Shaker Earth levels (see an earlier post)?

It's probably best to keep them as they are at the moment, although a few levels are currently impossible to solve. They were solvable once, although you can clearly see that they were only solvable due to blatantly wrong CE behaviour, which was fixed very soon after the creation of these levels.
I was pointed in the direction of this thread by Jannik.

I made the original levels and have now tweaked the levels to take account of the new 3.2.0 version of RnD (although about 20 seconds after that a new version 3.2.1 came out, just my luck!)

The tweaks are very, very small and you are unlikely to notice them. Just moved a couple of screen items about a bit. I will try and get them online soon.

A few things for those interested:

1. It is important to remind everyone that these are NOT the levels from the original Spectrum game. These are my design and therefore it doesn't really matter if they are altered a bit - they are not sacred!

2. The behaviour of the items in my version of Earth Shaker are not 100% the same as in the original, so even if I wanted to the original levels could not be faithfully recreated. They would be almost the same but not quite. This is because I was unable to get a custom element to mimic the original behaviour precisely. The differences are slight: in the original you had to push the bubbles directly into the fire, not get them adjacent. Time beans had gravity in the original game. And potions in the original gave you an extra life. (which is meaningless and impossible in RnD).

3. My levels are kind of hard, aren't they? I'm sorry for anyone who tried them and gave up in frustration! Now I come back to play them I struggle to complete half of them myself. This is why I haven't done any new tapes. But I assure you that the 6 levels that were broken do work now. Note that I have increased the time available on all levels, to give less superhuman players a chance without them having to pause all the time.

4. The other ES set (old set B) - I haven't tested these recently, but I don't like this set anyway. They were originally designed back in the 90's on the Spectrum, and I only updated them to RnD for a sense of completeness. But if anyone finds any bugs in these, I will try and fix them.

5. Regarding the wrong CE behaviour - even though I designed the levels with this behaviour in mind, I am glad it was fixed! The old way never really made sense, so the new way is better.

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