Blog posts tagged "games" – Posts 1..5 of 31 posts found:

Porting Blood Nova to DOS

In January and February of 2022, I ran a Kickstarter campaign for a new retro style point and click adventure game Blood Nova. As one of my responsibilities is to create the macOS and Linux builds, I thought that, just for fun, I'd look into creating a build for MS-DOS too. Having worked on it as a side-project for a few weeks now, I'm confident that such a port is possible. This post is intended to explain a little about the process and the challenges involved.
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Pathfinding in point and click adventure games

There are multiple ways to do pathfinding. One commonly used method is having a navigation mesh or a graph of nodes and then running Dijkstra's algorithm or an A* search on that. In fact, A* is what I used for my adventure games until It's Flot. Instead of a coarse mesh, the graph had a node for every pixel. With low resolution games, there can be just a few thousand nodes to check which can be done even on moderately powerful hardware in a fraction of a second. Unfortunately, for It's Flot, being in full HD, there could be a million or more walkable pixels, leading to a huge slowdown. In certain cases, it could take several seconds to compute a path. So to make the game playable, without having to replace the assets, I replaced the pathing algorithm with one I devised myself. I'm sure I didn't invent something new, but as somebody asked, here's a short description of how it works.
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Compatibility with ancient hardware and software

Even compared to fixing bugs in 25 year old DOS games, this is possibly the most useless thing I've done all year, yet to me also one of the most fun. During my time off for the holiday season, I set about making my most recent games run on two decade old hardware.
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DOS game "Cosmo Chicken" patched after 25 years

Some 25 years ago, I first released my game Cosmo Chicken and last updated it in 1998 to version 1.6. Earlier today, a quarter of a century later, version 1.7 was released. Why? Because it had a bug that made the game crash DOSBox when running in there. I doubt anybody will ever play the patched version, but it's a matter of pride for me to fix my bugs no matter how old they are and it was an opportunity for me to get back to basics and a good reason to write a nostalgic blog post as a postmortem.
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The Telescopium Incident

Like last year, I participated in the $105 Adventure Game Challenge (well, last year, it was technically the $104 Adventure Game Challenge). This year's assignment was to create a graphical adventure game from scratch in 14 days with the theme of "An Escape".
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