For those who wonder what happened to Jaffe’s “Chips Challenge” remake for the Nintendo Entertainment System can take a deep breath and releax, as he still works on it. A new build is out but there are still many things to do!

Release notes:

A little update (playable demo here:

Green buttons and toggle blocks have now been implemented. They can be seen in the fourth and fifth levels. To do this, I decided to make my game use CHR-RAM instead of CHR-ROM. This was really the only way the game could support the large amount of toggle blocks found in some levels. Instead of writing new metatiles to the nametables over several vblank periods (if there are many blocks), the graphics for open and closed toggle blocks are switched in CHR-RAM. This does take some time too (128 bytes to be copied), but in sum it’s worth it.

Brown buttons (or grey here) and traps have also been implemented. This can be seen in the fifth level in the demo. Cloners are also working properly, which can also be seen in the fifth level.

There are still lots of things left to implement. The most important is teleports. After that comes the blocks that have walls that block you from only certain directions. My engine currently doesn’t allow them to be implemented in a non-hacky fashion, so I’ll have to revise how collisions and interactions work. After those are implemented, some serious optimization and bug fixing will commence. Some of the bugs are probably easy to spot in the demo (objects flickering on the wrong side of the screen when scrolling them off screen for instance.) Others are only revealed by larger and more complex levels.

On the graphics side, my brother has done some polishing. It seems I have failed to mention this before, but most of the graphics in this game is done by my brother. Of course, the original design is by Microsoft, but he’s done a good job in making NES versions of the various tiles (and coming up with brand new ones where this was impossible.)

I have also written a level editor for the game, so that I don’t have to RLE code them manually and write object lists, etc. any more :p The editor is written in Common Lisp and can be found here: