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#51 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:18 PM

All doable mate, they're going on the list. :)

#52 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:38 PM

Awesome!!! Hey, page 3 already... You got a bit of buzz going on!! Yeeeeeeee Haaaawwww!!!

#53 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:08 PM

Yeah, I like! :)

Just added the flip and invert functions, and have begun implementing the "character look" function that Filip requested. Once again I'm glad I designed certain parts of this right the first time, as it's really speeding up the addition of new features.

#54 Bones-69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:51 PM

What a fantastic program!

I have now (for a few years), been writing a TI adventure game. I have been using Excel to work out the screen layouts which is working OK, but it is slow and a messy especially when trying to incorporate redefined characters into the screen layouts. While this request is probably not inline with the original goal of Magellan, it would be nice to be able to select and use the standard TI character set (along with the current ability to select and re-define characters).

I suppose I am trying to use Magellan for something it was never really intended to be used for and that is more of a basic "screen design program" to help with general combined text and graphic layouts. I have attached an example of what I have been currently doing with Excel to give some ideas of how Magellan might be used for other applications.

Attached Files

  • Attached File  LGB.jpg   290.31KB   29 downloads


#55 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:01 PM

That's actually in the forecast--- the ability to use the original character set--- slated for the next release if I'm not mistaken. :) Will it be a graphic adventure? Anyway, I was thinking if it's not going to be a graphic adventure, the method of drawing every block on the screen might slow your program down unnecesarily. If you're typing 300 letters/numbers on the screen, this will unnecessarily draw 768---slowing down your game... Just a thought. :) Love to hear more about your program-- care to start a thread here on Atariage?

#56 Bones-69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:13 PM

That's actually in the forecast--- the ability to use the original character set--- slated for the next release if I'm not mistaken. :) Will it be a graphic adventure? Anyway, I was thinking if it's not going to be a graphic adventure, the method of drawing every block on the screen might slow your program down unnecesarily. If you're typing 300 letters/numbers on the screen, this will unnecessarily draw 768---slowing down your game... Just a thought. :) Love to hear more about your program-- care to start a thread here on Atariage?

Yeah... I wouldn't be actually using the great Magellan feature of exporting the data to draw game screens, just use it from a design point of view and then do it the old fashion way once I am happy with all the screen layouts.

At this time it is not a graphics game, it has bursts of graphics but it is closer to a true text adventure (at least at the moment). This is a project I have been working on for a long time and the interest comes and goes but maybe starting a thread and sharing my work might motivate me to put some more time into actually completing it.

#57 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:16 PM

Thanks for the kind words Bones-69, and looking forward to your game as well.

As for support for the TI font, it's already in there. Just load the "default.mag" data file that comes with Magellan, it contains all the defined characters that are standard in XB. Remember to resave it under a different name if you change it, so that you can use it again later.

Cheers!

#58 Bones-69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:20 PM

Thanks for the kind words Bones-69, and looking forward to your game as well.

As for support for the TI font, it's already in there. Just load the "default.mag" data file that comes with Magellan, it contains all the defined characters that are standard in XB. Remember to resave it under a different name if you change it, so that you can use it again later.

Cheers!

Well don't I feel silly.... That's awesome. Thanks! :cool:

#59 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:20 AM

At this time it is not a graphics game, it has bursts of graphics but it is closer to a true text adventure (at least at the moment). This is a project I have been working on for a long time and the interest comes and goes but maybe starting a thread and sharing my work might motivate me to put some more time into actually completing it.


Hi Bones-69, why not start your own thread on your adventure game here in the TI-99/4A programming subgroup ;)
Would you might sharing some more details on the storyline and also what programming language you will be using.
Will it require the 32K memory expansion and disk ?

#60 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:43 PM

Seconded!!! Please start a thread and we'll follow like vultures. :) You want to get motivated to finish a project, these guys here will motivate you!!!

#61 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:35 PM

Another update of Magellan is released. This adds the "character look" click selector that Filip requested, plus the flip and invert functions Owen suggested. There are other improvements under the hood as well. Once the feature set is stabilised I'll begin adding more custom exporters.

The new version can be gotten from the first post in this thread. Thanks!

#62 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:15 PM

GREAT man!!! Thanks for the heads up. Il be DLing it tonight and givin 'er a good go! Muchos Gracias Amigo!

#63 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:58 AM

Thanks for the update! :thumbsup:

Just gave the "character look" a try. One suggestion; would it be possible to show the character definition without having to click on the tile on the map, e.g. by just "hovering" over the map? Dunno if this might cause a performance issue.
Also once you click, the "character look" mode ends automatically. Would be cool if it would stay in that mode until it gets explicitly turned off by the user.

Anyway, these are just some suggestions. Magellan is already very intuitive and I like to play around with it.

Here are some more suggestions:
1) Would be cool if you could define "areas" in the map that serve a special purpose
(e.g. exit for maze or stuff like that). In magellan you could then add a code + description to these areas.
I know this would highly depend on the export format AND the game engine processing the map.
But you could define extra data statements that contain the code + tile positions of these "areas".

2) Sprites: Not really sure hiw to fit them in. But you could add a sprite layer on top of the tiles.

3) Except for the format of the data it exports, Magellan is actually a TMS9918 drawing tool so it would be easy to support colecovision as well. Just an idea ;-)

#64 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:04 AM

The new release is another step up!!! Codex has created/is creating one of the most useful TI/99 PC applications out there!!! Aside from Classic99, this is now my most used application on the PC. :) exciting stuff--- good times. :)

#65 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:28 AM

Thanks for the feedback Filip! I played around with a few ways to implement "character look" before settingly on the current one, but reading over your suggestions I realised there is a way to have both sets of functionality in. I've changed the code so that when you click the Look button, the character editor updates to whatever character is under the mouse currently, and then when you click the mouse it becomes the active character. That way you can mouse around the map to see the various characters and their definitions, as well as select any one of them for use with a click.

1) Would be cool if you could define "areas" in the map that serve a special purpose (e.g. exit for maze or stuff like that).


That may be possible later down the line. Certainly it could be done, it's more a matter of figuring out a way to implement it which is useful for many users. It may be that this is address when I start writing the specific exporters for people's projects. Once I've done enough of those I'll have a better idea how people are annotating the data.

2) Sprites: Not really sure hiw to fit them in. But you could add a sprite layer on top of the tiles.


At the very least I can add a sprite editor into the tool. That would help people in developing game assets without having to switch out to another tool. Also, the sprite data would appear in the Character Dock as "claimed" characters, so you'd have a better idea of how much space you have left to assign to custom chars. Just need to work out how you tell the sprite editor which four characters make up a given sprite.

3) Except for the format of the data it exports, Magellan is actually a TMS9918 drawing tool so it would be easy to support colecovision as well. Just an idea ;-)


Great idea! As a former ColecoVision player, I'd love to support CV developers with this tool. Any idea what format they would like the data exported as?

Thanks again for the comments. All the feedback is really helping me in getting Magellan into a very usable state.

#66 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:35 PM

Here is an idea for a basic exporter for assembly language. It's real simple as it doesn't invoke any RLE compression or such.
However, the advantage would be is that the generated source is not heavily depending on specific player code.
(You could just dump it to the VDP with VMBW for example).

It means you basically just dump the data as a text file.
EDIT: Coming to think of it, perhaps it makes sense to add an option for generating 2 files (1 with the color & pattern data and 1 for the map data).

For the pattern data, I would propose to:
1) Add possibility to automatically generate a label for each pattern

For the data map, I would propose to:

1) Add a label for each row (max label length; 6 characters).
You could add some kind of autoincrement label generating thingy.

2) Put 8 tiles in 1 assembly source row. That way if -in a future
version- you have like maps with 80 columns you just add the additional
source rows.

***************************************************************
* Color data
***************************************************************
BGCOLR  DATA 15                        ;
COLORS  DATA >0B0D,>F000,>8060,>B0A0   ; 
        DATA >7050,>F0E0,>F0F0,>E0E0   ;
        DATA >E0F0,>F0F0,>C0A0,>7030   ; 
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;
***************************************************************
* Pattern data
***************************************************************
PAT1    DATA >FFFF,>FFFF,>FFFF,>FFFF   ; 
PAT2    DATA >AF81,>0180,>1988,>85DB   ; 
PAT3    DATA >36C0,>20A0,>9088,>00DD   ;
PAT4    DATA >6F03,>1D20,>0101,>01DF   ; 
PAT5    DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;
PAT6    DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
PAT7    DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
PAT8    DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;
PAT9    DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
PAT10   DATA >021E,>7C7D,>FBFB,>F734   ; 
PAT11   DATA >203E,>CFEF,>DF3E,>7840   ; 
PAT12   DATA >3058,>68FE,>954A,>6438   ; 
PAT13   DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
PAT14   DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
PAT15   DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
PAT16   DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 
        ....  
***************************************************************
* MAP Data
***************************************************************
*--------------------------------------------------------------
* Line 0
*--------------------------------------------------------------
LABEL0  DATA >0203,>0000,>0000,>0203   ;  0-7 
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;  8-15
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 16-23
        DATA >0000,>0000,>3038,>020A   ; 24-31
*--------------------------------------------------------------
* Line 1
*--------------------------------------------------------------
LABEL1  DATA >0203,>0000,>0000,>0203   ;  0-7 
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;  8-15
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 16-23
        DATA >0000,>0000,>3038,>020A   ; 24-31
*--------------------------------------------------------------
* Line 2
*--------------------------------------------------------------
LABEL2  DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;  0-7
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ;  8-15
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0000   ; 16-23
        DATA >0000,>0000,>0000,>0203   ; 24-31
        .....

Edited by retroclouds, Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:41 PM.


#67 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:44 PM

Another thing that comes to mind is to dump the pattern data and map data as binary files.
That way a game developer could write their own converter for doing what they want do for their specific need (e.g. add RLE compression, colecovision format, ...).

#68 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:02 PM

Thanks for the format example Filip, that's a huge help. And binary format should be easy as well. Any suggestions for the most desirable form for that? Just a bunch of concatenated hex strings, or perhaps standard image formats like PNG?

#69 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:33 AM

Thanks for the format example Filip, that's a huge help. And binary format should be easy as well. Any suggestions for the most desirable form for that? Just a bunch of concatenated hex strings, or perhaps standard image formats like PNG?


hmmm, I'd go for concatenated hex strings ;)
Keep up the good work :thumbsup:

#70 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:07 PM

Alright, I'll probably thrash out a couple binary formats and you all can let me know how they work for you.

In the meantime, I've finished the assembler export (uses the file extension ".asm", let me know if there is a better one), and I'm halfway through implementing multimap. Once that's done you should be able to import all your separate map files that share the same character set (such as Owen's Beryl data) and save them as one file. There are new navigation tools for adding, deleting, and moving through the maps in a file as well.

#71 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:15 PM

Thanks for the updates!!

#72 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:15 PM

Multimap is in and looking good. You can add and delete maps with abandon. A nice side effect is that you can add a blank map and then load one of your saved maps into it. You can stack them up as much as you like in the same file, as long as they share the same character definitions. So Owen, you should be able to make one save file per world from your existing files with very little effort.

Just need to get the multimaps into the various exports and I'll post another update. Hope Filip likes the assembler output too. :)

#73 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:21 PM

Thanks buddy!! yea, with the output method Adam developed for storing screen data, it will take up 816 bytes per screen... Wonder if we could get that down? I need to try to get this whole game into 180k if I can, including all map data, game program(s) speech, etc. It may need to be a 2 disk game, but hopefully I can get it into 180k, standard for a DSSD diskette--- which would allow the vast majority of TI users to use it on their PEBs. Anyway, I'm working on some ideas. :)

#74 The Codex OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:26 PM

I can definitely build in some compressed DSK save exporters when the final format is decided. Might be able to leverage a few tricks to get the size down even more, depending on your game code for loading the data. We'll see.

#75 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:37 PM

Very cool... I'll be using the LOADMAP/DRAWMAP program Adam built--- with some modifications made for my own uses... Might move color info and character definitions into the saved datafile--- essentially add it to LOADMAP and have it code the color and character data into the datafile... This way, my game program can be more generic, reusable. My big fear is that I'll have to have different XB programs for each world... I'm just hoping they will be enough "alike" to just have to make small modifications to them. :)




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