I feel like I have to answer this question a lot.
Anyway, the simple answer is
hi-res is about 8x worse than lo-res in about every possible metric
except for raw pixel count. It's slower, takes more RAM, and is a lot
more difficult to code.
Just one example: it took me almost as much time to try to get the
colors right in the hi-res intro splash screen as it did to write
the actual code for the game.
Here is a quick conversion to HGR:
It would probably look better if someone took the time to dither
the art. You might say, what about purple
and green? The problem is if you try to mix purple/green with
blue/orange you get ZX Spectrum-style color clash, and having
transparent sprites becomes difficult. Even just using a proper
4-color subset, getting black in your sprites is difficult without
having an extra masking step.
Performance would be horrible too. Someone clever can make
a hi-res platformer (see Prince of Persia) but a scrolling
platformer would probably be really slow.
What about double-hires? Even more obnoxious than hires.
What about double-lores? Maybe doable, but I like code that
runs on an Apple II+ with 48k of RAM.
Why did you release the game in an incomplete state?
I did most of the easy stuff. The major remaining thing is the
enemy movement/AI which is difficult. Especially as there are two
co-ordinate systems (the tiles and the sprites) and it's a pain
mapping back and forth between them.
However the main reason I rushed the release is because I'm really
supposed to be grading final exams and final projects right now
so I needed to get a release done so I wouldn't be tempted to
spend more time on it.
Is there a level editor for the game?
The tilemap is just a big png file where certain parts
are tiles and parts are the map. Currently you can have a
256 column by 40 row map using 256 2x4 pixel tiles. This works out
to about 10.5k of data. This all compresses really well with LZSA.
17 December 2020 -- Release v0.03
Added an interesting Level #2, it's fun having a tile-based engine for
Apple II. Also added some appropriate Mockingboard music.
Was fine tuning the controls but possibly made things worse.
16 December 2020 -- Release v0.02
First full release, can more or less "beat" the sample level.
Enemies don't move and controls are still a pain.
14 December 2020
Unwisely fleshing this out to a playable demo.
Tilemap loaded from PNG. Can more or less walk around and
shoot, still no enemies yet. As always awful Apple II keyboard
makes the controls a bit awkward.