I was thinking about how to make the printed materials for U3.5 as close to the original series as possible so I ran the fonts through WhatTheFont.com. And then I remembered I had an ancient version of CorelDraw for the Mac with a disc full of Bitstream fonts. Lo and behold, it has the Bitstream versions of VictorianD and ITC Souvenir. This will be really handy for doing the player reference card. Maybe some other Dragons also have Corel discs lying around gathering dust.
The assets are pretty much complete now. Which means it’s time to start building the user interface. This means reading the keyboard, parsing the input, and displaying text. When that’s working I have to integrate the script engine, one type of event at a time. I’ll start with playing music. The idea is that you can compile the game with a debug script in place to test the assets, and that you replace that with the actual game script after you’re happy that all the assets are working as expected. Thank goodness the whole thing is so modular or I’d be overwhelmed by the amount of work there is to do.
I’ve finished modelling the instruments. I’ve created nine software instruments using a combination of AM and FM synthesis. They are primitive, but they do retain some of the character of the original instruments. The AY is no SID chip, but have a listen: http://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=841047925936435&theater
I may muck about with some of the instruments before the final release, but I’ve got all the note data in the AY-8910 sound chip tracker format used by the ZXodus][Engine now. I still need to look through the source and see if I can find any repeating bits I’ve missed to reduce the amount of data used. The longest track is 2.5K in size, which is a bit more than I was hoping for.
As you may or may not have gathered, last year was personally eventful for me. Became a dad. Clocked up another decade. Did a road trip from England to Italy and back that I’d been planning for a few years. Left my writing job in enterprise Web security for a writing job in video games development. There were some low points too but those are quickly disappearing in the rear view mirror. Suffice to say, I’ve got my mojo back. And I’m pleased to say I’ve found a semi-automated way of converting the music arrangements for U3.5 from GarageBand to the tracker format used by the ZXodus][Engine. Hopefully pretty soon I’ll be able to post the complete 3 channel PSG sound track to SoundCloud. The Spectrum +2B has an AY sound chip so it should sound like an Apple ][ mockingboard.