With the final playtest demo done I can now look forward to other things, like a C64 version for a start! I would quite like to get the playtest demo running on that, although the lack of front end does make it a bit of a pain.
I've hooked up my C64 again and have the demo playing away on it, and it's looking pretty good I guess. We've gone for a gray level this time which makes the player ship stand out much better (as its still blue). It looks much smoother as the sprites and scrolling suddenly have an extra pixel to move with as it is no longer limited to MultiColoured pixels. This is where my pain of keeping hires coordinates comes ino its own, everything just works AND smooths out all on its own!
The panel raster split isn't quite right so I'll need to look at that, and I really want a better multiplexor sort. The one I have is okay, but I think a 1D-linked-list and an insertion sort would speed it up and make things a bit smoother.
I've also resurrected my character sprites on the Plus/4 which allows me to throw around huge blocks if I want, but I dont know if I have the memory to keep them in. I would like to keep the source active though so that even if I can't use them, when I release the source others can.
If I dont use character sprites then the redrawing of the whole screen becomes questionable, particually on the C64. I could spend a lot less time simply scrolling the screen over 8 frames then flipping to it. But this would require me to save+replace over a VBlank. Possibly, but tricky. (Or use more screens...).
With character sprite code back in I can also start thinking about putting it things like doors that open and closethat you have to go through adding another layer of complexity to the game which blood money had (although they were too quick I think).
I'm also going to be playing with some PCEngine stuff I just got so there's probably not going to be any immediate progression on the game; besides I want to let the demo get a good playing and get all the feedback in before we start on real levels so I have a little bit of time to play.