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MMSB OF CINCINNATI [DONE]


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#1 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:30 AM

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

http://creativecommo...icenses/by/3.0/


MONSTER MANAGEMENT SECURITY BUREAU OF CINCINNATI

This is an eye-catcher for a booth at a comic convention. Writer/Artist Ricky Henry wanted something to draw crowds in for his comic/manga work Monster Management Security Bureau of Cincinnati.

The comic convention is in September so development and production obviously needs to be done by then. This is my only project wth a hard deadline right now.

Instructions (as of FINAL build 027)
Players may use the fire button to launch lasers at the Giant Enemy Cicadas (grey rectangles) for a point each.
Friendly fire will cause target player to warp to a random location.

The round bonus that randomly appears on the screen summons the giant robot to destroy some cicadas.

As the players score increases the volume of cicadas invading increases.

If all the letters in Cincinnati are destroyed the game ends.

At the game over screen you can view which player (blue or red) got the higher score.

Given enough time the title screen goes in-game and the game over screen cycles to the title screen.

Progress reports will follow in subsequent post. The current build should be in the first post unless some weird account restictions prevent it.

Programming and some design and in-game media by me.

M.M.S.B.C. is the work of Ricky Henry and Chad Schoettle


Big thanks to R.T., RevEng and AtariAge in general. No way this would ever have a chance without you guys.

Attached Thumbnails

  • mmsbc_ingame.jpg
  • mmsbrobot.png
  • mmsbctitle.png

Attached Files


Edited by theloon, Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:33 AM.


#2 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:44 AM

Sunday, April 22

* Created this project topic.
* Added dummy bonus item with flicker technique.

The dummy bonus item will eventually trigger the Giant Robot to clear all cicadas from the screen. Right now it just sits somewhere on-screen. I managed to remember how to use individual bits out of a counter variable. The ball switches between tall and flat to simulate a rounder edge/different color at the sides.

One challenge is two player scores. Right now I have no idea how to accomplish this.
I've almost suceeded in using the title screen kernel but need to go over the available instuctions again.

#3 Random Terrain ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:57 AM

One challenge is two player scores. Right now I have no idea how to accomplish this.


Have you tried this yet:

http://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-batari-basic-commands.html#playerscores_minikernel




I've almost succeeded in using the title screen kernel but need to go over the available instructions again.


Related link:

http://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-batari-basic-vbb.html#mainviewtitlekernel

#4 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:00 AM

I took a look and for some reason thought it was 4 scores only. It seems to work once you pointed it out. Thanks RT! I don't think something likes the fact playerscores.asm is a needed inline assembly file and also the name of the compiled output. I had to change the name of the playerscores.bas file.

Thanks again for the title screen kernel support link for VisualbB. Talk about hidden functionality! it's not very intuitive to leave ADD -> TITLE SCREEN off the menu bar :P

#5 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012 5:59 AM

Bollocks. That is all.


To be more precise, I have a bad habit of integrating the VisualbB music engine template near the end of coding. When I tried that with MMSBC compilation crashed and burned. Spent the programming time this weekend failing to solve that issue. I'm going to have to create a new game template that already has the title screen in place, music engine in place and all the usual inline includes. What a pain :P

#6 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:51 PM

With a little help of Random Terrain we narrowed down some problems that prevented me from adding music to the title screen.

Apparently I was using bB 1.1 which may have broke compatibility with the SDATA statements. I've changed over to the DATA based VisualbB music tamplate. The first post has the latest working binary and source.

#7 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 8:52 PM

Just an update, folks.

This weekend is the deadline to complete this game. Ricky needs this by September for the comic book convention. I figure this should give Albert nearly 3 weeks to craft the cartridge.

It's do or die time. Here's what I have to go:
* When bonus item is hit the giant robot appears and clears the screen of enemies.
* When the enemies reach the bottom they should destroy part of the "Cincinnati". If all the letters are destroyed it's game over.
* Add sound effects

I don't think that's alot more to go but you never know. I really appreciate the help so far. Quite honestly, I'm also excited to start working on other projects like the Destiny 2600 Rouge-like and a Character Graphic Genesis game!

#8 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:50 AM

Okay fellas, I declare that it's "done" The binary is ready to Ricky to order the cart from Albert. Hopefully he can get things in his hands before next month when the comic convention starts.

The latest binary and source is at top. The code isn't cleaned up in any way, shape or form. I spent an all-nighter finishing this up.. I need rest :)

Edited by theloon, Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:09 AM.


#9 Gateway ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:29 PM

Very cool project, though I bet it will make more sense if we also see the comic it is based on (when it is ready). Good luck with the convention! 8)

About the game: Great work on getting a working game done by the deadline! :thumbsup:

Activating the giant robot to do his thing is my favorite part! LOL! (though there is a glitch in the screen when this routine happens?)

I am sure this doesn't affect the gameplay too much, so it is probably a feature, as opposed to a "bug" in the game( no pun intended ).

I also like how the "game over" message scrolls. Nice effect!

Okay, I now see Ricky's Atari concept art and how that translated to the hardware and gameplay of the finished product. Looks pretty faithful considering the limitations of the system.

So, it appears the character with the red jacket must be the guy shown on the titlescreen?

Attached Thumbnails

  • mmsbc_ataritest.jpg


#10 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:07 PM

I think so. I had his first (comic book) issue and his concept art to go on. I think the guy from the title screen is the same. I had to resample and manually edit a comic book cell featuring the heros face for the title screen.

The robot stomping animation is a bit herky jerky. Instead of wasting sprite data I just raised and lowered the left and right sprites that combine to form the one robot. It's supposed to delete the falling blocks (a.k.a. Cicadas) from the screen. If you could post a screenshot of any other in-game artifacts it creates.. Oh! The robot does smash and bang the second players score so I had to blank out the player scores while the robot is on-screen.

I do use the fact that COLUBK works for the top most row of playfield pixels if you specificy "set kernel_options pfcolors pfheights background". Basically I wanted the skyline to explode with color when the robot appeared. It's not an official feature but it is known to Random Terrian so it's almost a standard :)

Another thing to consider about the robot is lack of points awarded. I figured that if shooting the bonus was score worthy people would strictly hunt for it instead of Cicadas. The only way to score points is to focus on defeating Cicadas. The robot is more like a safety valve for when the waves of enemies become too numerous.

I figured as long as nothing else playfield-wise is on screen during game over I'd scroll the text. Something stupid happens when I try to reuse the robot sprite during the game over screen and it squished or reduces the sprite somehow. I considered using the partially garbled sprite data but decided against it as using bugs as features is dangerous.

To contradict myself I *did* slightly go over cycles during the time when the Cicada finally drops to the bottom and destroys parts of the letters in Cincinnati. On Stella you don't see it but on a real Atari the screen shakes a little. It looks like the tremor from a blast so I left it. GroovyBee was not as impressed :P

Edited by theloon, Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:27 PM.


#11 Gateway ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:31 PM

For what you got done by the deadline, it is impressive! After the dust settles, you can maybe return to this and iron out a few of these issues. But the game is playable and creative! As long as it works properly for the audience at the convention, then your work is done! :)

I don't own a Harmony yet, just played it in Stella, so I can't give you feedback yet about the 2-player dynamics. Just using 1 player, the cicadas quickly become too fast for 1 person to shoot all of them so I enjoyed shooting the bonus as often as possible to keep them at bay. I am sure the difficulty level is more balanced when 2 people are playing simultaneously. :)

I will play it a few more times and post again if I find anymore glitches or the like.

#12 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:46 PM

Yeah, the difficuty ramps up VERY quickly. Basically, both players combined score effects how many chances cicadas get to drop from the sky. This game is to be an eye catcher for Rickys booth. Since I'm not 1337 enough (i.e. I've never tried) to make a proper Arcade attract mode I let the game force itself from Title Screen -> Game -> Game Over -> Title Screen again.

One thing Batari is working on is the ability to specify the same sprite data to multiple sprites. It kind of irked me when I had to basically duplicate the sprite data for each side of the giant robot. bB 1.0 just doesn't do sprite data assignment like that.

Thanks for trying the game! I'm quite fond of the Robot and his spaz dance :)

Edited by theloon, Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:52 PM.


#13 Gateway ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:04 PM

okay, as you see in the picture, the robot does his dance and a few of the blocks aka cicadas disappeared but right after this when the robot was gone, you see about 3 cicadas behind the robot whom were not destroyed and they "ate" some more of the "Cincinatti" letters.

So if I understand it right, the robot kills off a random number of cicadas on the entire screen or just those on the bottom row?

Also I am curious if the vertical resolution could be doubled, or is this tied into the size of the pixels to spell "Cincinatti"? It seems the cicadas move down the screen rather quickly once they get going. And once you shoot a missle and miss your target( because it moved out of the way just as your missle goets there, LOL ) you have to wait for what seems like forever to be able to shoot again. I guess that is why it is a two player game. :)

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  • mmsbc.bin.png


#14 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:10 PM

The Robot obliterates a random amount of Cicadas at random locations. Although it would make sense that the enemies directly behind the robo get trashed I never thought about it that far :P

Although I made the game 16k it could be much less. I left room for either reduction or feature expansion. I didn't want to resort to SuperChip memory in case Ricky was forced to go outside of AtariAge for cart production. If I did use SuperChip I'd get better resolution.

Right now the bottom text steals four rows of pixels that could have been additional playfield resolution for the Cicadas. Actually, due to a quirk in the way playfield pixels are drawn the text at the bottom also needs the topmost row black to avoid artifacts.

The enemy waves are in kind of a weird staccato. I could have worked on balancing out the marching order for sure.

Edited by theloon, Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:14 PM.


#15 Gateway ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:18 PM

Thanks for the clarifications.

Overall, it is a fun game! Later on, I guess you can go back and add some more polish and game features depending on what you and Ricky decide. I am looking forward to hearing more about the comic book story line. I think it adds to the experience of playing when you have a background story attached. 8)

#16 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:09 PM

Well done, loon!

Overall a nice little game... I especially like the quick scroll on the game over message.

#17 uglyclone OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:01 AM

picked up a copy of MMSBC over the weekend at the Cincinnati Comic Expo. I love it! great work :thumbsup:

#18 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:08 AM

picked up a copy of MMSBC over the weekend at the Cincinnati Comic Expo. I love it! great work :thumbsup:


Yes! Another satisfied customer! The waves do get insanely thick pretty fast though. I find that the only way to keep up later on is to actively hunt the Robot activator instead of picking off blocks/cicadas.

#19 Waggie OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:31 PM

Picked this up at the Expo also. Had a great time and always love games and comics that tie together. Here are a few pictures I took.

Cincinnati Comic Expo

Ricky Henry

MMSBC

MMSBC

MMSBC


#20 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:39 PM

Haha! Wow. Thanks Waggie! Those are some great pics!

Ricky did a great job with that box. I was actually surprised by the difficulty going from his concept art to real game. I'd definitely do it again, though. Ricky was extremely easy to work with.

Again, thanks for the shout out :)

#21 CaptainAtari OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:07 PM

Sweet! I hope people enjoy the books/comics! Issue 3 will be ready come September!




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