Wednesday, April 22, 2020

ZX Spectrum Game: TuT-TuT 2020 Ed

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After the success of the ZX81 version of Tut-Tut it was suggested to me by several people that it should be ported to the ZX Spectrum. But didn't the game start on the Spectrum you say? Indeed, back in October 2019 the very first version of Tut-Tut was released as a good old fashioned type in game for Paleotronic Magazine. 

Brining Tomb Raiding Back to the Speccy

The initial version of Tut-Tut was a sizeable challenge to get working in pure Sinclair BASIC. The ZX81 version proved a nice little conversion project in C. This time around I've taken both versions, squashed them together and used ZXbasic as the modern development tool of choice.

Keeping it Early 8bit

Despite constantly changing implementation languages, TuT's core game mechanics and functionality are all based around the algorithms and techniques outlined in the Paleotronic article.

Staying true to the BASIC version of the game became a key style choice for new Spectrum edition of Tut-Tut. In particular the decision not to introduce fluid animation into the game was something that I'd much internally debated about.

In the end I felt retaining character square based movement lead heavily to an early 80s home micro aesthetic, one that most retro games (understandably) shy away from. That's not to say the game feels old, it's just meant after a fashion to feel like a kick arse earlier tittle.

TuT-TuT for the ZX Spectrum Screen Shots
Screen Shots from ZX Spectrum TuT-TuT 2020 Edition

New Elements for the Ancient  

Of course nothing stands still, the new edition includes all the enhanced game play elements introduced in the ZX81 version, including bracelets and amulets. All 29 ZX81 levels have been updated for the Spectrum; plus 6 new levels to discover if you've previously played the ZX81 game.

Being that this game is for the ZX Spectrum I've really tried to give the Tut-Tut a great Ancient Egyptian tomb raiding colour vibe. All the graphics have had a good makeover from those in the original BASIC version. In addition the game now contains several minor graphic tile sets that weave together throughout the tombs.

For ease of play-ability, the 2020 Spectrum edition adds joystick support and a much converted ability to pause the game; having to play the ZX81 version in one sitting without coffee became a little taxing.

Download Excavate a Copy of the Game

ZX Spectrum TuT-TuT 2020 Cassette Cover Art

Thanks for Helping it Happen

I'd really like to thank a number of people in particular for helping out and generally supporting the Tut-Tut project from the beginning till the present:

  • Melody Ayres-Griffiths for suggesting something Halloween inspired for the Paleotronic Article.
  • Rod (Villordsutch) Bell and his support for the game, plus suggesting the ZX81 version really ought to be on a real tape.
  • Simon Ullyatt of Cronosoft fame for publishing the game and being generally enthusiastic and awesome.
  • Jim (Magenta) Blimey gets much thanks for play testing a lot of demo versions and providing some really useful dev tools. 

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