Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Ah Diddums Fixed!

Recently I have been going through my older PC games and replacing the screenshots with video footage. It was during this process that I noticed a major issue with Ah Diddums - it ran in full screen mode at 640 x 480.

This cause problems with my current computer, that didn't like that resolution, the result of which was a badly flickering display that made the game unplayable. (Why didn't anyone mention this?)

In a fit of madness I decided that I would try to fix the problem and went in search of all the source code and the Blitz Basic program to re-compile it. Not an easy task, as the source code had long been archived to an un-marked CD somewhere in the middle of a mass of other un-marked CD's.

When I finally located the correct CD, the source code was missing! I then remembered that, for some reason, I had used a different folder to store my source code than the normal one I used for all my other games.

All was not lost however, as I kept backups on my hard drive at work. Since the game was written my work PC had been replaced twice, but it is my policy to never get rid of hard drives, and so have a stack of them in my drawers.

A few minutes plugging them in, and I finally had my hands on the source code. Back at home I fired up VMware Player, installed Blitz Basic, copied all the source data across and tried to re-compile - failed!

I was missing an include file, which was very tricky to pin down. Finally I found it, added it to the source and bingo!

I quickly checked the code, made a few changes (as it had my old web address in it) and discovered a nice little Easter egg hidden in the game that I had forgot about. This was triggered when you had gone beyond level 12 (but I have now reduced it to level 6) and died. A message then appeared on the title screen with some instructions..... I'll say no more....

I also noticed that the game works differently to the original in that you have to stack the blocks in a certain order (lowest number first) otherwise they just wont work and you can't get out of the toy box!

Anyway - the new, windowed version of the game can be downloaded via the game page (see right hand side!)


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