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Are there any Atari 2600 games with wavering text (like a flag)?


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#1 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 4, 2011 5:20 PM

I'm not talking about whole letters going up and down, I'm talking about the shapes of the letters wavering as if they're on the side of a flag and the wind is blowing. I've seen the effect countless times over the years (probably on the Commodore 64, NES, SNES, or Amiga).

If there are no games on the Atari 2600 with text that waves like a flag, do you know of games for other consoles that have undulating/rippling/wavy text?



Thanks.

#2 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2011 6:30 AM

Since I couldn't find any examples, I tried to recreate the effect based on fuzzy memories. Here's my first try:

Attached File  seaweed_assault_game_over_test_2011y_09m_05d_0808t.bin   32KB   115 downloads

I played with the speed, but it always looks too fast or too slow to me.

What do you think? Yeah, I'm talking to you (the person who is reading this post). Is it good enough or do I need to work on it some more?


Thanks.

#3 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2011 8:31 PM

On California Games,"Hollywood" has that appearance but doesn't actually wave. On the Centipede start up screen the word "centipede" waves as the centipede slithers. Also, the Fuji is made up of a scrolling rainbow which is somewhat wavy.

How you have it is good enough but good enough doesn't make it the best. Try different things to see if the way you have it is the best. Maybe try having them slither like on Centipede, try a scrolling rainbow with all the colors from the game, or maybe try to make it look like it is growing like seaweed? I like how it looks but there could be a better look.

Also, I recommend a different message besides,"Game Over". It reminds me of how you don't like lens flare in movies because it reminds you that you are viewing the movie through a camera. Why remind people it is a game? Why let them know they lost but then basically say,"It is okay because it is just a game."? I would let them know they lost but do it in a way that still keeps them in your virtual world because the moment you tell them it is a game you are taking them out of it. It would add more instant replayability if you keep them immersed in the story. They are on a mission to protect their underwater civilization. The game over message should reflect that. Maybe something like,"MISSION FAILED", "YOU LOST THIS SECTOR", or,"SIRENIA HAS FALLEN"(Does your civilization have a name yet and a story?)?

Here is the story that's going on in my head as I play:

Our experiment to genetically engineer our seaweed crop to grow rapidly was a success but we have been receiving reports of it growing outside of the farms. Some believe the ridiculous idea that it has become sentient because of how hard it is to contain. There are even rumors being spread that it has attacked Sirenian cities. The people are becoming paranoid and believing conspiracy theories about us weaponizing sea life for a New Sea Order take over. This nonsense must be stopped! The rate of protests and civil disobedience is increasing on a daily basis! We fear that a revolution is in the making!

Your mission is to test our new submarine prototype. It is called,"The Manatee." It is designed to be better equipped at containing the seaweed. Take the Manatee to the farms, contain the seaweed, and prove to the people of Sirenia that the Council can still be trusted and that there is nothing to fear...

Anyway, enough of the rambling. I'm going to try to beat this horrible 2844 high score. This game is brutal! :)

#4 Gateway OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2011 11:54 PM

Nice effort so far. :)

Are you attempting to make it look like it is under the water? Or perhaps on the surface?

It is still missing something... maybe a ripple/wave effect with scrolling the playfield sideways, though vertical scrolling may be easier to implement. Another suggestion that may cost less time and cycles would be a wave sprite or some such thing moving sideways along the top of the screen where the water surface would be. (I'm going to play your game again now to refamilarize myself with the gameplay's orientation(up, down, etc)).. 8)

#5 Trinity ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 2:56 AM

Not quite what you asked for, But this is a great example of underwater effects.

Perhaps you could add bubbles too. :)


Edited by Trinity, Tue Sep 6, 2011 2:57 AM.


#6 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 7:54 AM

Thanks for the replies.



How you have it is good enough but good enough doesn't make it the best. Try different things to see if the way you have it is the best. Maybe try having them slither like on Centipede, try a scrolling rainbow with all the colors from the game, or maybe try to make it look like it is growing like seaweed? I like how it looks but there could be a better look.

I can't do anything that is multicolored (one of the sprites is a single color).

Both sprites are using 6 animation frames. So that's a total of 12 frames and each one is 24 pixels tall. The more stuff I add, the more frames I'll have to use (less space for other animations). I want the GAME OVER message to look as good as possible, but I don't want to spend too much time and energy on it. I'd like to finish the game by October, so I need to spend more time on gameplay, adding animations for new creatures, and so on.




Also, I recommend a different message besides,"Game Over". It reminds me of how you don't like lens flare in movies because it reminds you that you are viewing the movie through a camera. Why remind people it is a game? Why let them know they lost but then basically say,"It is okay because it is just a game."? I would let them know they lost but do it in a way that still keeps them in your virtual world because the moment you tell them it is a game you are taking them out of it. It would add more instant replayability if you keep them immersed in the story. They are on a mission to protect their underwater civilization. The game over message should reflect that. Maybe something like,"MISSION FAILED", "YOU LOST THIS SECTOR", or,"SIRENIA HAS FALLEN" . . .

I hoped that this GAME OVER message would be temporary and RevEng might have the energy to create a simplified hi-res game over screen:

http://www.atariage....74#entry2091274

But it looks like I'm stuck with a lo-res game over message for now. This is basically what my sprites look like:

left_sprite.png right_sprite.png

Not a lot of room for letters there. I'm lucky that GAME OVER fits within the limits of two sprites.

I went with a GAME OVER message to kind of fit in with classic games that do the same, but I can get rid of it if people think it should be removed.




(Does your civilization have a name yet and a story?)?

Not much of one. Just what you can read in the first post here:

http://www.atariage....eaweed-assault/




Here is the story that's going on in my head as I play:

Our experiment to genetically engineer our seaweed crop to grow rapidly was a success but we have been receiving reports of it growing outside of the farms. Some believe the ridiculous idea that it has become sentient because of how hard it is to contain. There are even rumors being spread that it has attacked Sirenian cities. The people are becoming paranoid and believing conspiracy theories about us weaponizing sea life for a New Sea Order take over. This nonsense must be stopped! The rate of protests and civil disobedience is increasing on a daily basis! We fear that a revolution is in the making!

Your mission is to test our new submarine prototype. It is called,"The Manatee." It is designed to be better equipped at containing the seaweed. Take the Manatee to the farms, contain the seaweed, and prove to the people of Sirenia that the Council can still be trusted and that there is nothing to fear...

That might be a good story to go with. :thumbsup:






Nice effort so far. :)

Are you attempting to make it look like it is under the water? Or perhaps on the surface?

Thanks. It's for a game I'm trying to finish called Seaweed Assault. At the end of the game, the seaweed fills up the screen, and the GAME OVER message appears on top of the seaweed. Instead of having GAME OVER just sitting there, I thought it would look better if the letters kind of undulated as if they were underwater.




It is still missing something... maybe a ripple/wave effect with scrolling the playfield sideways, though vertical scrolling may be easier to implement. Another suggestion that may cost less time and cycles would be a wave sprite or some such thing moving sideways along the top of the screen where the water surface would be. (I'm going to play your game again now to refamilarize myself with the gameplay's orientation(up, down, etc)).. 8)

It's supposed to be deep underwater, so there is no surface to see in the game. Scrolling the screen doesn't look so good with this:

Attached File  seaweed_assault_game_over_test_scrolling_2011y_09m_06d_0805t.bin   32KB   75 downloads


Speaking of scrolling, I just tried this where the GAME OVER message scrolls up from the bottom:

Attached File  seaweed_assault_game_over_test_2011y_09m_06d_0907t.bin   32KB   83 downloads






Perhaps you could add bubbles too. :)

I could do that with a future DPC+ version of the game. (I'll have 10 sprites instead of 2.)

#7 Pioneer4x4 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 8:52 AM

I'm not talking about whole letters going up and down, I'm talking about the shapes of the letters wavering as if they're on the side of a flag and the wind is blowing. I've seen the effect countless times over the years (probably on the Commodore 64, NES, SNES, or Amiga).

If there are no games on the Atari 2600 with text that waves like a flag, do you know of games for other consoles that have undulating/rippling/wavy text?



Thanks.

I forget, but doesn't one of the Starpath games do that? Maybe Commie Mutants or Suicide Mission? It might just be moving text though...

#8 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 10:52 AM

I forget, but doesn't one of the Starpath games do that? Maybe Commie Mutants or Suicide Mission? It might just be moving text though...

I just tried some of the games and I don't see any so far.

#9 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 11:29 AM

I'm kind of surprised nobody mentioned Alex Herbert Watery Scroll-Text Demo, which was also used in the Go Fish! title screen.

I hoped that this GAME OVER message would be temporary and RevEng might have the energy to create a simplified hi-res game over screen:

http://www.atariage....74#entry2091274

But it looks like I'm stuck with a lo-res game over message for now.

I can take a look at this, but my fear is that cutting to a stark "GAME OVER" screen will look out of place in many games. The background and the text color will be customizable, but it won't show the score or any playfield. (doing so would require duplicating the score and font, which would eat up a lot of rom for a very small feature)

I actually like the GAME OVER text you have because it's in-situ.

#10 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 12:00 PM

I'm kind of surprised nobody mentioned Alex Herbert Watery Scroll-Text Demo, which was also used in the Go Fish! title screen.

Thanks. I forgot about that:

http://www.atariage....47#entry2246147

It's more of a watery reflection, though.




I can take a look at this, but my fear is that cutting to a stark "GAME OVER" screen will look out of place in many games. The background and the text color will be customizable, but it won't show the score or any playfield. (doing so would require duplicating the score and font, which would eat up a lot of rom for a very small feature)

I actually like the GAME OVER text you have because it's in-situ.

Now that you put it that way, it might be a waste of time for you to create it. Most people probably wouldn't want to cut to a totally different screen like that. And they'd want to see the score. Never mind. :D :dunce:

Edited by Random Terrain, Tue Sep 6, 2011 12:01 PM.


#11 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 6, 2011 4:27 PM

I recall that while trying something similar for a C64 game years ago, I realized that the most natural-looking wavy animation involved irregularly alternating waves. If you envision a flag being rippled by real wind, the pattern isn't consistent.

If one "wave" were slightly longer than the others (while the speed of the animation loop would obviously be so fast that the longer duration of a particular frame wouldn't be consciously noticed, although the overall effect would be picked up), it might look better to you.

I understand that you might not want to go this way, as it would take up an extra couple of animation frames. I say that while knowing very, very little about Stella/TIA programming; I simply remember that rather than inserting minute pauses in the animation by adding code, I simply repeated identical frames to render the barely perceptible "pause" I wanted.

#12 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2011 1:51 AM

When the game starts the seaweed walls grow toward the center from the sides of the screen. Have you tried and is it possible to have the walls just go all the way to the center and then the wavy GAME OVER pushes out from the center? Something like this:

Walls slam in:

----><----

Wall starts to push out GAME OVER:

G<->E
O<->R

GAME OVER pushed all the way out and waving:

GA<->ME
OV<->ER

You could even make the GAME OVER the same color as The Manatee to make it appear that the seaweed walls crushed it and it's parts pushed out from the center in the shape of the words.

#13 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2011 10:05 AM

I recall that while trying something similar for a C64 game years ago, I realized that the most natural-looking wavy animation involved irregularly alternating waves. If you envision a flag being rippled by real wind, the pattern isn't consistent.

If one "wave" were slightly longer than the others (while the speed of the animation loop would obviously be so fast that the longer duration of a particular frame wouldn't be consciously noticed, although the overall effect would be picked up), it might look better to you.

I understand that you might not want to go this way, as it would take up an extra couple of animation frames. I say that while knowing very, very little about Stella/TIA programming; I simply remember that rather than inserting minute pauses in the animation by adding code, I simply repeated identical frames to render the barely perceptible "pause" I wanted.

Thanks. I'll try that later and see how it looks.




When the game starts the seaweed walls grow toward the center from the sides of the screen. Have you tried and is it possible to have the walls just go all the way to the center and then the wavy GAME OVER pushes out from the center? Something like this:

Walls slam in:

----><----

Wall starts to push out GAME OVER:

G<->E
O<->R

GAME OVER pushed all the way out and waving:

GA<->ME
OV<->ER

You could even make the GAME OVER the same color as The Manatee to make it appear that the seaweed walls crushed it and it's parts pushed out from the center in the shape of the words.

The four columns on each side are separate from the playfield in the middle:

http://www.randomter...mmands.html#pf0

I can do vertical strips inside of the playfield, but since I'm not using no_blank_lines, they'd have horizontal lines in them.

The way it is now, when the player runs out of shield energy, the seaweed takes over the screen and the ship and whatever else is on the screen will drop to the bottom of the screen (you can see them through the horizontal lines). Once all sprites are off the screen, I can use the two sprites to make the GAME OVER message.

Later on when the DPC+ version of batari Basic has all of the bugs out of it, I'll have 10 sprites instead of just 2, so I won't be so limited. I can make a 'special edition' version of the game when the time comes.




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