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TI-99/4a disk-based CRPG


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#51 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:52 PM

Still working on getting another demo version out... Got some controls debugging to do, trying to close off any unimplemented features so they don't break things, and so forth.

The demo won't feature playable combat yet; I really need to finish the hard stuff of control systems, including things like merchants, inns, and so forth. There's plenty of time to play-balance the combat system later.

Seriously thinking now I should probably utilize the 8k CPU memory the cartridge provides... I don't like doing it because it means a base 32k TI is no longer enough, but it would be a load off my mind to have another 8k to work with. I suppose I could find someone willing to put together a bunch of 8k RAM carts to support it.

You can keep an eye on my blog for progress.

Adamantyr

#52 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:45 PM

Seriously thinking now I should probably utilize the 8k CPU memory the cartridge provides... I don't like doing it because it means a base 32k TI is no longer enough, but it would be a load off my mind to have another 8k to work with. I suppose I could find someone willing to put together a bunch of 8k RAM carts to support it.


Have you considered using a 64K bank-switched EPROM for storing your game code?
You would then have a lot of the 32K memory available for storing game statistics, etc.

The PCB's for a 64K bank-switched cartrdige are already widely available.

Edited by retroclouds, Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:47 PM.


#53 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:08 AM

Have you considered using a 64K bank-switched EPROM for storing your game code?
You would then have a lot of the 32K memory available for storing game statistics, etc.

The PCB's for a 64K bank-switched cartrdige are already widely available.


Mainly, I'd have to re-factor the entire project from scratch, something I'm really not willing to do right now. Bank-switch programming is a total departure from the current model... the 8K Superspace carts would just give me a different 8k for data, and I can continue using compiler/SAVE utility which would just run the code into the lower 8k once the top 24k is filled.

Also, I'm not interested in any emulator for development except Classic99... I've no idea if it supports this particular arrangement yet.

Adamantyr

#54 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:32 PM

Adam--- can't tell you how glad I am to see you posting to this thread. :) Inspiring to me personally. I'll pre-order now. ;)

#55 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:45 PM

Okay, I reached a point in code that I was saying ĎOkay, thatís enough, just get a demo out there for people to complain aboutí.

You can download it on my CRPG site at http://www.adamantyr.com/crpg/demo.htm

Also, check out the new article on all the updates that went into it at http://www.adamantyr.../article_10.htm

Adamantyr

#56 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:05 PM

A momentous occasion!! Crack open the bubbly, get out the fine china and the filet mignon!!! I've been waiting for a long time. You rock, sir!!

#57 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:18 PM

A momentous occasion!! Crack open the bubbly, get out the fine china and the filet mignon!!! I've been waiting for a long time. You rock, sir!!


Better re-cork the bottle, the Demo isn't finished yet. :)

It's version 0.60. When it's 1.0 it's done. :)

Adamantyr

#58 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:49 PM

Your article was quite informative. I find it interesting how you decided to drop the derived values... I've become so accustomed to that style and philosophy over the years that leaving it behind would be tough for me as a designer. But your explanation and rationale are on point. Looking forward to playing your demo!!

#59 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:21 AM

Wow... I checked my site's hit counts for the day, and I was 324. Normally I average 10-25. Understandable, since I update my blog infrequently and my last update to the CRPG site was nearly three years ago. Still, 300? Sheesh!

Feel free to post any oddities or bugs you find with the interfaces and controls... the only thing I can definitely guarantee won't work is the combat. You can move around the map all you like, but if you try casting a spell or firing a bolt at a guy, expect a crash. :)

Adamantyr

#60 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:03 PM

After playing Final Fantasy II on the SNES, I decided I needed to add a new tile set to the CRPG to support castles and fortresses.

Attached File  fort.png   7.21KB   21 downloads

Granted, a great deal of tile space is getting wasted on purely visual stuff... and it really shouldn't be "line of sight" blocking either... but eh, it looks way better.

Adamantyr

#61 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:10 PM

Good stuff man... I loved FFII on SNES.... And I like this screenshot. :)

#62 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:48 PM

Yep, looks good. This must be a editor screenshot - but still looks good. :)

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#63 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:18 PM

Yep, looks good. This must be a editor screenshot - but still looks good. :)


Thanks. And thanks for the blow-up on that... how do you make those animated GIF's? I doubt anyone's even looked at my circle routine in the special effects thread...

This particular shot is a ruined fort at the top of a frozen mountain pass that will be in the demo. It's probably not the best shot to show off the tileset, since there's a lot of white and gray...

Adamantyr

#64 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:04 AM

... how do you make those animated GIF's? I doubt anyone's even looked at my circle routine in the special effects thread...

I run whatever in MESS, Win994a or Classic99, and videotape (screen area recording) it using Camtasia Studio 5. And then I select "Produce video as gif.

I previously had a look at you circle demo, and it's super. Very smooth. I'll make a gif animation if you don't mind.

Does these trigonometric values support smooth circular movement on a larger scale (like with a diameter of 180 pixels) ?

This particular shot is a ruined fort at the top of a frozen mountain pass that will be in the demo. It's probably not the best shot to show off the tileset, since there's a lot of white and gray...

Still looks good, and sometimes a more dim selection of colors will only add to the atmosphere. Great job. And nice font too.

:)

#65 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:31 AM

I run whatever in MESS, Win994a or Classic99, and videotape (screen area recording) it using Camtasia Studio 5. And then I select "Produce video as gif.

I previously had a look at you circle demo, and it's super. Very smooth. I'll make a gif animation if you don't mind.

Does these trigonometric values support smooth circular movement on a larger scale (like with a diameter of 180 pixels) ?


Not at all, thanks!

I haven't tested it to that degree, but I'm guessing as long as you're on the scale of the TI screen, it should remain pretty accurate. The demo doesn't test out "skipping" angles, which would speed up movement. What you're seeing is tracking every angle as it increments the radius.

Still looks good, and sometimes a more dim selection of colors will only add to the atmosphere. Great job. And nice font too.


Yes, for an afternoon's work it's pretty decent. I had particular trouble coming up with a "ruined" tile, it was too easy to make it look like garbage. I eventually got that "worn but still distinctly a stone wall" with a lot of trial and error.

Yes, I actually adapted the font from Ultima IV. I originally had it as a 6x7 font, but it was too thick and visually distracting on a black screen, so I made it 5x7 instead.

Adamantyr

#66 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:33 AM

Yes, for an afternoon's work it's pretty decent. I had particular trouble coming up with a "ruined" tile, it was too easy to make it look like garbage. I eventually got that "worn but still distinctly a stone wall" with a lot of trial and error.

tms9918a graphics has remained a good and fun challenge - and time consuming. :cool:

Yes, I actually adapted the font from Ultima IV. I originally had it as a 6x7 font, but it was too thick and visually distracting on a black screen, so I made it 5x7 instead.

Oh, so it would fit the 40 column mode. :)

#67 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:54 AM

I like this obvious and simple tip for using tiled graphics. Of course the tiles has to be at least 16x8 on the TI for this to make any sense (because of the limited horizontal color resolution).

http://playtechs.blo...design-tip.html

#68 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:56 PM

Here's a feature that has always been present, but I never really had a way to illustrate it... Slanted maps!

Basically, I do a left or right slant on map data, which lets me generate maps with a diagonal flow. The main value with this is you can create maps like coastlines without a lot of wasted space due to the square map not following the land contours.

I hadn't had any slanted maps in the demo, but because it's a fundamental engine part, I figured I should add a few just to test it out. Here's what one would look like:

Attached File  slantmap.png   13.86KB   25 downloads

Mind you, DRAWING these sort of maps is hard. I had to modify my map editor so that the cursor still goes straight up/down, because otherwise plotting maps was really difficult.

Adamantyr

#69 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:09 PM

That's pretty fascinating man. :). I'm interested in your logic behind this. This is accomplished by an offset? Or is it all manual? Bur aren't all your maps are static and not generated by an engine?

#70 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:46 PM

That's pretty fascinating man. :). I'm interested in your logic behind this. This is accomplished by an offset? Or is it all manual? Bur aren't all your maps are static and not generated by an engine?


Yes, I use an offset value (0, 1, or -1) to determine if each row is displaced by that amount, incrementally. (So the first row is 0, second row is N, third is N+N, etc.) I only slant left or right; up and down would be twice as much work to implement, and doesn't really gain anything.

My maps are static, but they're still stored as a linear array, like a square map. I just project them differently.

The big headache with this technique is adjusting the placement of objects, coordinate-wise. Static locations are fine; it uses the same system as square maps do, the difference being that N rows up or down is also N columns displaced, depending on if you go up or down. But if a mob unit, for example, has to move, I have to remember that it's actually moving diagonally up and down so it looks like it's moving cardinally.

Like I said, it can be confusing, hence the screenshot to illustrate what I mean when I say "slanting".

Adamantyr

#71 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 2, 2010 6:52 PM

Just played the new demo... well, sort of new. =) Likes alot!



#72 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 2, 2010 8:40 PM

Thanks. Nice audio, by the way. Don't hear the game, but hear plenty of personal background. :)

Adamantyr

#73 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 2, 2010 8:43 PM

Oh hell, I just listened to it. =) I had my capture settings for microphone as opposed to "internal". =) Sorry about that. =)

#74 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 6, 2010 7:14 PM

Beautiful demo Adam.
Quick question: Are you storing the scrollable map entirely in memory or do you load it on the fly in sections from disk?

#75 adamantyr ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 6, 2010 8:29 PM

Beautiful demo Adam.
Quick question: Are you storing the scrollable map entirely in memory or do you load it on the fly in sections from disk?


I tested out loading sections at a time, but it's really bad for performance. The architecture of disk sectors doesn't work very well with it, because you have to load a lot of waste data in one record and extract only a small part of it.

So each map is self-contained, and no further loads are done while scrolling for map data. I have a 4k buffer, so you can have up to 64x64 tiles, or any size lower, which is quite sufficient for my needs.

Adamantyr




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