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GORF: Now on GameBoy Advance!


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#26 Vic George 2K3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:02 PM

I can't get the Flag Ship in the final mission to explode! I keep pelting shots at it and it just gets chewed up.

#27 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:16 PM

Sure looks a lot better than most home versions!
It sounds like there is only one channel for sound. When I play the laser attack or the galaxians segments, the exploding enemies don't make ka-boom sounds. Is that accurate?

#28 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:15 PM

Yes, but also no. There are two commands in Dragon BASIC dedicated to digitized sound. The first is for standard sound effects (voices, explosions, etc.) and the second is for looping music tracks. That leaves the programmer with three sound channels beyond that. I haven't experimented much with those, but casual use suggests that they're pretty terrible, producing flat, simple, off-key notes that are generally not too pleasant to the ears. They'd also have to be programmed frame by frame to create sounds, while the PLAYSOUND and PLAYMUSIC commands are TSRs which just play any canned WAV file you request.

What I'm thinking of doing is using PLAYMUSIC for background ambiance and sound effects that lead into background noise, like the laser fire in Laser Attack, then using PLAYSOUND for explosions and such. That way I could have two distinct sounds going on at once, without one interrupting the other. I've already done this in Astro Battles but have yet to include it in any of the other rounds... as you may have already guessed, sound is still extremely early in this game. The Flagship stage in particular is almost completely silent!

I may have to use the three crappy sound channels for the player's quark laser, but I haven't figured out a way to do this yet. I suspect I'll have to create a counter that counts upward, then downward to reproduce the musical scale sound of the laser.

But enough about that! Here's a beta of the game, complete with lives and a sloping progression of difficulty. If you can reach Space General with the standard allotment of three lives, I owe you a Coke.

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#29 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:00 PM

I just noticed this thread today! I tried the beta_01 version on my GBA Advance emulator, seemed to work just fine. I suck at it and didn't get past the 2nd stage on any game yet.

How did you do this so quickly? Do you have the original code and art and are porting it through an emulator which runs on GBA, for example?

#30 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:36 AM

I was playing the beta for a while last night. Sure looks good!
Was the arcade machine this difficult? It's been a l-o-n-g time since I've played Gorf in the arcade, and I don't remember if it was this hard. I found that even with 6 lives I barely made it to the Galaxians stage!

#31 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:18 PM

I'm glad you mentioned that! I've just made some adjustments to the difficulty. After some research, I discovered that the Galaxians stage in the arcade version of GORF starts out pretty mellow, with just two Galaxians from the lower ranks attacking at any given time (the Galaxian bosses seem to move independently of the yellow and blue rows and attack whenever they please). I changed the code a bit to keep the number of attackers low in the first couple of ranks, but that number rises as the game progresses. There was also a bug in the code that made the CPU lose count of the number of attacking Galaxians, resulting in huge swarms that were nearly impossible to survive. That has since been fixed.

I've also reduced the number of enemies in the Space Warp stage, from sixteen in the first rank and twenty in subsequent ranks to the arcade version's twelve and sixteen. This and the faster ships make this stage run much more briskly than before, which is a plus because confidentially speaking... uh, I always hated that stage.

As to your question, yes, GORF is a pretty tough nut to crack in arcades. Typically, I can only reach Space Captain or Space Colonel (2nd and 3rd ranks respectively) with the standard allotment of three lives. The difficulty level of the GameBoy Advance game may be just a touch higher than that, even with the improvements... I suspect the cramped screen in the Space Warp stage may have something to do with that. I've made some changes to the game to compensate for the smaller screen, though. The Galaxians drop huge blankets of bullets in the arcade version of GORF, especially in the later stages, but I've limited them to a total of five at any given time. There are never more than five enemy projectiles onscreen at once; five bullets, five fireballs, or what have you. The lone exception are the lasers, although those are tile-based and drawn differently from the rest of the sprite-based projectiles.

Anyway, I'm babbling. In reference to your question, Cafeman, this is not an emulation of the arcade game, but a conversion, coded by hand. The audio and some of the graphics were taken directly from the arcade game, but I had to draw most of the graphics myself, making miniature versions that will fit on the GameBoy Advance's smaller screen. The resolution of the GameBoy Advance actually isn't much different from the arcade game if you flip the system on its side, but it's been my experience that "tate" modes don't work particularly well on the GameBoy Advance, and redesigning the game for that orientation would have been monstrously hard. I decided instead to make a sidebar and put status information inside it.

All right gang, here comes the latest beta! This time most of the sound effects are incorporated. All I'm missing are the digitized voices, and I haven't figured out how to make those work with all the other sound samples playing. Chances are, I'll have to move some sound effects (explosions, etc.) to the GameBoy Advance's sound channels and dedicate one of the wave sound commands (PLAYSOUND, PLAYMUSIC) exclusively to voice. Either that or I'll have to create a counter variable that prevents other sounds from being played as long as the Gorfian robot is talking.

Anyway, enjoy! Keep those comments coming, too! I want this to be as good as I possibly can make it!

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#32 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:47 PM

Runs fine on my PSP, but I only get a black screen on VB Advance for the Wii.

#33 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:48 PM

I can't make guarantees that this game will run in any emulator but VisualBoy Advance. I've tested GORF extensively on VBA, and on a GameBoy Micro, and on a Nintendo DS Lite, and it works quite well in all those formats.

No beta today, I'm afraid. However, I've got production logos (a reproduction of the JessCREATIONS*, Co. logo from my old YouTube videos) and some early, early voice running. The logos look great, but I'm going to have to add a lot more voice samples in order to make the game rock as hard as the arcade version. By the way, does anyone object to new voice samples along with the old ones? I've been able to chain together bits of speech from the arcade game together to create new quotes; typically references to pop culture staples like the band Rush and Mel Brooks' Star Wars spoof Spaceballs. Please speak your mind... I want opinions on this.

#34 thegoldenband OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:28 PM

It works on Boycott Advance for OS X, but it seems to be running about 25-30% too fast, and the score display is corrupt/truncated. I was able to get it to work on the latest beta of VisualBoy Advance for OS X (though not the previous beta), but haven't yet been able to get it to run at full speed on my 1.5GHz PowerBook G4. I downloaded VisualBoy Advance specifically to compare, so perhaps I haven't figured out its quirks yet.

Even so, great work so far!

Edited by thegoldenband, Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:28 PM.


#35 Tom-Lynx OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:43 AM

*sigh*

Still is running too fast on VisualBoy Advance.

I'm using version 1.8.0 which seems to be latest. Could that be the problem?

#36 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:16 AM

Looks good on my PSP. Still no workie on my Wii using Visual Boy Advance.

#37 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 1, 2009 1:15 PM

I played the beta 2 on my Dingoo A320 handheld this AM for about 20 minutes. Seems to play very well on that. I haven't tried VBA on Windows with this beta; I'll give that a try tonight.

I find it pretty challenging; the Space Invaders level is easy, but after that it gets pretty tough! ;)

#38 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 1, 2009 5:32 PM

Wait, wait! Before you go playing that crusty old beta, try this one instead! There's no source code or cute README file included this time; just plenty of improvements both minor and major. Give it a roll and tell me what you think.

(P.S. There's a weird glitch that keeps the screen from flashing properly at the end of the Flagship stage if you skip the first production logo. Still working on a solution.)

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#39 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 4, 2009 1:20 PM

Anybody still following this? Well, here's your reward... a new beta with a lot of cool features added. Give it a look and tell me what you think. (FEEDBACK! I DEMAND FEEDBACK!)

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#40 Vic George 2K3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 4, 2009 1:55 PM

Where's the Gorfian robot that briefly crosses the screen in the Galaxian stage?

Good work so far, yet it's still beating my butt.

Edited by Vic George 2K3, Fri Sep 4, 2009 1:58 PM.


#41 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 4, 2009 2:09 PM

He's not there yet. Trying to figure out if he's actually worth adding, since that stage is packed with code and the execution time is already starting to lag.

#42 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 4, 2009 6:32 PM

I put the GORF robot in the Galaxians stage... due to popular demand but against my better judgment. I honestly don't think he adds much to the stage and it slows down a part of the game that was already running over some speed bumps, but it is more arcade faithful that way. Now I just need to figure out why the JessCREATIONS*, Co. logo is screwing up the Flag Ship stage if you attempt to skip it.

#43 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 4, 2009 11:35 PM

The gallery is an awesome idea.... :D

#44 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 9, 2009 7:50 AM

I agree, which is why I included it! The pictures look a little washed out on the Nintendo DS Lite, though. Then again, so does everything else.

I've got high scores in the latest build, and you can even save them in an emulator. However, I can't get this to work on a flash cartridge, for reasons I don't fully understand. Maybe it's just my SuperCard, I dunno.

#45 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 9, 2009 8:58 AM

I'll test this out on the Wii tonight. Hope it's working.

#46 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:24 AM

Cool to see people still doing homebrew for GBA. I really need to try making one of my own, one of these days.

Stay tuned for the options screen and a special mode called the Mission Matrix, which should help bring the classic game of GORF into the modern age of achievements, trophies, andÖ uh, whatever the Wii does to reward gamers. (Lately, that hasnít been much. Ahem.)


Beatles Rock Band for Wii has them, they're called "accomplishments". Though I don't know if that's an official Nintendo thing or simply Harmonix/EA's doing.

#47 NML32 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:26 PM

Nice, I just ran across this thread. I may be doing something wrong, I am unable to get it to run on a SmartBoy cart.

Edit: Never mind I just noticed this is for the advanced not the GameBoy Color

Edited by NML32, Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:50 PM.


#48 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:38 PM

I'd post another beta, but evidently that's not going to happen, as it's exceeded the file limit for AtariAge. Tell you what; I'll post it up on my web site in a couple of days after wireless internet arrives at this house.

#49 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:20 PM

The game is almost finished at this point, and yes, I included the Mission Matrix mode. I'll post a beta on my web site sometime tomorrow... I want you guys to do me a big favor and playtest the crap out of it.

By the way, if you're having speed issues with VisualBoy Advance, you really do need to download the latest version of the software. 1.60 isn't going to cut it.

#50 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:25 PM

The latest beta (as well as one of the last) is available from this link.

http://www.lakupo.co...orf_beta_98.zip

This is extremely close to completion. I may add an extended credits screen and a more elaborate explosion for the player's last ship, but aside from that no new features will be included. This is the end of the road for the design, past bug fixes. Please play this, share it with friends, and spread it around a bit. I want as many people to get their hands on this as possible! Also, if someone would post about this on Digital Press, I'd appreciate it.




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