Hi. I will try to make game based on Sid Meier's Pirates! but I decided not to use the name Pirates! as it is registered TM (title suggestions are welcome). Pirates! were announced for ZX Spectrum but never materialized. I'm using strategy quides and FAQs for C64 and NES versions as main reference while I will probably add some features of Pirates! 2004 version, at least Indian, Missionary and Pirate factions. At this moment I have gathered documentation and created overworld map based on data from Amiga and NES versions. I would like to target 48K + AY because at this moment I know I could fit skeleton gameplay into 48K but game illustrations will probably cause to change target to 128K model.
Devlog 1 The map is quite small, just 160 x 210 tiles. Still, it is like 33600 tiles and that is too much when one is aiming to ZX 48. I split map to sectors of 10x10 tiles (336 sectors). Each tile can be either sea, land, shoal (shallow water) or city. Sector without any details, like sector with sea only, 100 tiles are packed down to 2 bytes. Typically, a sector takes less than 20 bytes. For current map data are packed down to 3.5 KB. That is what is done.
The next step is code to view portion of overwold map. Each time at most four adjacent sector are visible and I have to unpack them at realtime. Fortunately, compression scheme is dead simple and unpacking 4 times 100 bytes is really fast affair even on Spectrum. Another thing is enriching map as it depacks because four types of tiles feels boring. For every tile that is not sea, new tile value is computed - that way I can generate several different tiles for cities, land and shoals. That is important not only for better look but also treasure map minigame becuase it gives player more hints where the treasure is.
Lucky pirate! He got the treasure!! Looking good! How many screens/graphics have you done so far?
Thanks. Just this one. I was too tired to code today and I needed some tiles and ship for overwold and after that I tried pirate picture to get idea how it could look. But overwold map is the priority for now.