Friday, October 7, 2022

RetroChallenge 2022-10: The Map, a Spreadsheet, and a disk image...

I now once again have a map to use!  The black circle in the Atlantic is the starting position.  The open circles are all of the locations you can visit. (China, Japan, San Francisco, Washington DC, New York City, The Caribbean, England, Switzerland, Greece, Egypt and India.)  The black lines are "preferred" ways to go, and the pink lines are unnecessary loops, dead ends, and game-ending branches of the maze

I started with a printout of the image from the previous post, and played the game a bunch just to explore the map.  I also started writing down what items you can get from which locations, which I've condensed down into a google sheet which is available as I work on it here

I checked it against maps online, and it seems to be 100% the same as those.  I really wanted to make the map entirely by myself rather than using one from the 'net.

Once I mapped it out the entire thing, I re-opened Photoshop and added a new map layer, and reduced down the map to only the segments that I should use in the game... eliminating dead ends, unnecessary loops, and places that will just end the game. 

Last night I also played a bit, streaming to my BleuLlama account on Twitch, which was my first time doing that too.  I learned a lot about how NOT to do it, and things to improve for the next time I play... I also need to figure out how to get it to record the stream for later viewing. 

One of the snagging points was that my disk image for C64 of the game was corrupted, so I also had to track down another copy that worked.   I think I'll prefer playing on the C64 because after the game is loaded, the transitions are much quicker than they are on the Amiga version.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

RetroChallenge 2022-10: Beginnings


Just to get started, I quickly mashed together a couple screenshots from the game, drew a grid and adjusted colors so that I had this map template.  Every possible place on the planet that you can move the robot to is here.  Most of these positions you cannot actually get to, but that's fine.  I printed out a copy and will run through the game, just to map it all out, without actually doing any of the "talking with spies" nonsense.  I know enough to avoid a certain area, but i'm gonna map out the maze there anyway. ;D

RetroChallenge 2022-10 : Hacker!

I've decided that for RetroChallenge 2022-10, I'm gonna finally win the game "Hacker" from Activision.  I will probably play it on an Amiga emulator on my modern laptop, perhaps streaming gameplay on my YouTube channel or my Twitch channel (which I've not set up yet.)  I'll send a tweet through on my twitter when I'm gonna stream or whatever.

The basic premise of "Hacker" game is that... well, you don't know when you start it up.  The only instructions included with it originally were "insert game disk, turn on computer"... that's it.  You have to figure things out, how to use the interface, everything, just by playing it.  I love this.  You have to navigate this robot around the earth, trading stuff from your inventory with various spies, to get all of the pieces of a shredded document.  Some spies will trade for multiple items and some spies will only trade for specific things, so you need to get it right.

"Hacker 2" had a similar concept, but it was controlling a robot inside of a building where you also had control of four video screens, four tape recorders, and a bunch of surveillance cameras to be bypassed.  It's a lot more complicated of a puzzle... for another time..

Anyway, I've loved the concept of this game since I first got it in the mid-80s for my Amiga. I got pretty far in it, but my map got thrown out or lost, and I never really returned to it.  So part of this will be recreating a map so that I can figure out where I am and how to get around in the maze of game... especially once the map disappears.

Additional update posts will be made here to this blogger thingy as I progress.

I'd like to solve it for the first time on my actual Amiga 1000 if possible, which is in storage/on display in my office right now, so I may need to do some quick restoration of it to get it running for this. ;D

I may also stream/do a run through of the game on C64 since I have that one set up and ready to go right now.

Hm.  It might be fun to solve it on every platform I have.  I also have an Apple IIc that's easy to set up... hmmm... :D