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Atari 8 Bit WIP: Escape the Night Garden

WIP work in progress atari 8 bit escape the night garden

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#26 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:49 AM

Sounds good Steve



#27 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:34 AM

Sounds good Steve

 

Thanks Paul, in return for your kind words, here's an updated video...

 

http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be

 

There's not a vast difference visually yet, the main work has been on working with MADS structures.



#28 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:46 PM

Latest Update:

 

http://www.youtube.c...eature=youtu.be

 

New features:
* No walking through walls
* Multiple levels (not shown in video)
* Killer mice (which are not killer at the moment), so just "Mice"
* Added jitter to mice walking path (as no animal walks in perfect straight lines).
* Banner graphic added to bottom of screen
* Debug panel (to be removed later)
* Internally improved decompression routines.
 
Still plenty of work to be done....

Edited by snicklin, Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:47 PM.


#29 bfollett OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:05 PM

Reminds me a bit of Maxwell Manor the Skull of doom.



#30 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:16 PM

Reminds me a bit of Maxwell Manor the Skull of doom.

 

Interesting! I've never played that game but will look it up now.

 

EDIT:

I've now seen it on Youtube and I can see the resemblance. I think it is something to do with the design of the main character and the square blocks in the garden area.

 

When I've done more work on getting the main game functioning as I'd like, I will go back and try to make it look a little less blocky.

 

I also hope to have the main character fully animated, but he is a memory guzzler. 32 bytes per animation frame (x2 as there are 2 PMGs) and then in 32 different frames. That's 2K he will need. If I manage to find the space, I'll have him doing a spin when reaching the exit.


Edited by snicklin, Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:25 PM.


#31 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:17 PM

Looking good. You might want to think about using fractional positioning to even out the vertical and horizontal speeds.

#32 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:10 PM

Looking good. You might want to think about using fractional positioning to even out the vertical and horizontal speeds.

 

Good point, I noticed that early on but after staring at the same screen so many times, I've grown blind to seeing the different speeds! I might try to implement that at the same time that I start implementing the main character animation.

 

I'm stuck on something else at the moment. I have DLI's <BLAH BLAH>

 

EDIT: Resolved the problem.


Edited by snicklin, Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:16 PM.


#33 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:07 PM

Video 004: Minor update, added DLI's.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Xo3xXVEfT8M

 

There's only 1 colour scheme for the DLIs at the moment, a golden set of colours. I'll add more colour schemes in the near future. I fancy some nice silver colours.....



#34 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:10 PM

Looks nice, it's a good choice of colours.  The multi-coloured player is a nice touch.



#35 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:39 PM

Looks nice, it's a good choice of colours.  The multi-coloured player is a nice touch.

 

Thank you Stephen. I quite like the gold but when experimenting with the colours I also like the levels of white/grey/silver which looked quite nice too. Though there is only the capability at the moment in the code that one colour scheme can be used. So I'll expand that out to use multiple schemes.

 

As for the player, I decided that there has to be two PMGs used for the main player and two for the mice. Sometimes it's a little difficult to see the feet on the faster moving mice, but look carefully enough and you'll see their little feet scampering along! (if they come out on the video)

 

If the game ends up with the capacity to do so, I would like to expand it so that there can be two (or more) mice per screen using multiplexing.

 

When creating the game though, I took the stance that I would create something simple which I can then add to and then add to again, rather than going for something elaborate from the start. So if I have the possibility, I'll add more mice per screen.

 

Memory is already becoming an issue using 64K. I've still got some space to play with, but not a lot. I've assigned a large area for the main code, if it allows, I'll reduce this later and assign it to data.

 

I'm also working on switches which the main player touches. Touching these in specific sequences will open doors so that you can escape the garden.

 

If memory allows, I would like to add secret gardens (like Mario) and I am also considering a map option, but the map will probably be scrapped as it'll require getting on for 4K.



#36 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:53 AM

Latest Update:

* Movement aspect ratio improved though not quite right...

* Horace Morris is now animated

* Horace has had a change of clothing.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=4Gi3VaRrOEo

 

By the way, do people want to see these updates? Would people prefer plenty of updates with only small improvements, or less frequent but bigger updates?



#37 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:02 PM

Bloody hell Steve, that's moved on from my first sight of it..

 

I'm of the mind for less with bigger updates simply because they will be more obvious.

 

Looking really good...



#38 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:09 PM

Bloody hell Steve, that's moved on from my first sight of it..

 

I'm of the mind for less with bigger updates simply because they will be more obvious.

 

Looking really good...

 

Cheers Paul! I've been learning a lot in the process of doing this. Mainly around how to construct a game rather than the language itself, though I've learnt some MADS in the process.

 

OK, that's +1 vote for the larger but less frequent.

 

By the way, one thing I won't show on these videos is any level above level 1. I want to keep those a secret until the release date. Because of that, people may be bored of seeing the same screens. Those will be updated though, they need a bit of work.



#39 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:06 PM

I don't mind the small updates - it's always fun watching a project progress.  Looking really nice BTW.



#40 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:50 AM

I don't mind the small updates - it's always fun watching a project progress.  Looking really nice BTW.

 

OK, so that is now 1-1 on the update frequency. I'll give to the end of today and then see what the votes are like. If the votes for larger updates wins, I will still keep updating Youtube but won't link it back here.

 

Thanks for the nice comment Stephen. I will keep going until I think it's as far as I can take the game. I released Football Fantasies back in the 90s (which unfortunately doesn't appear to work overly well under emulation) which I wouldn't release until I was convinced it was the best Atari 8 bit football management game. Not that this will ever be a Space Harrier (which in my mind is technically the best on the A8) or the like, but as long as I feel that I can't take it any further, I'll be happy.



#41 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:01 AM

Don't worry, you are not under pressure to produce the biggest and best although if you do it will be brill, just relax and enjoy the learning and making it happen process. The best possible comes from people who are enjoying making them.

 

When I coded I just enjoyed making something work, I didn't give a hoot about what others thought of it, as long as I was enjoying the puzzle of getting it going I was a happy person.



#42 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:18 AM

Don't worry, you are not under pressure to produce the biggest and best although if you do it will be brill, just relax and enjoy the learning and making it happen process. The best possible comes from people who are enjoying making them.

 

When I coded I just enjoyed making something work, I didn't give a hoot about what others thought of it, as long as I was enjoying the puzzle of getting it going I was a happy person.

 

Absolutely! I'm taking an attitude of just building it up bit by bit. As long as I see it improving, then that's fine. I haven't set myself an exact release date but I would like to get it into the ABBUC contest either 2014 or 2015. I am absolutely enjoying this process. If I won the lottery, I'd sit at home / the office and do this all day, every day (with the odd break in the middle!)

 

The reason that I'm posting this out and not keeping it under wraps is for motivation. If I post, then I feel that it makes me want to do work on it, so that I can then show others.



#43 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:31 AM

As they say in Rocky V, GO FOR IT....



#44 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:49 AM

When I coded I just enjoyed making something work, I didn't give a hoot about what others thought of it, as long as I was enjoying the puzzle of getting it going I was a happy person.


What he just said.

It might stop being fun as you get near the end, but stick with it during that because the "buzz" of getting a completed game out the door is really worth it!

#45 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:27 AM

Looks good, keep up the good work :thumbsup:

 

I've rolled my game over until this years contest - it's fun working on but you do get stuck and I'm finding the increasing complexity makes problems harder and harder to resolve as the game gets more developed. I've sometimes had a break for a several weeks but keep returning. Posts about how games are constucted and reading about other people's programs is a great inspiration, especailly for people starting out. Generally I think the element of competition from the abbuc contest is motivating too - especially when you have come last several times :D

 

The other thing I'd say is when you get something near to working is to get someone on board to test and give some feedback; it can help improve the final game in the key area of difficulty / accessability. Seems that programmers eventually get fed up play-testing their own games and are relieved when someone else helps out... to push them on...

 

Now off to boot up MAC/65 cart ;)



#46 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:27 AM

What he just said.

It might stop being fun as you get near the end, but stick with it during that because the "buzz" of getting a completed game out the door is really worth it!

 

Good point there. I've been hitting different "sticking points" along the way. My attitude to those has been, "work on something else and come back to them later" but near the end there won't be much else to go off and work on.

 

I just hope that I don't question myself later by saying, "oh those 34 bytes that were left over, the things I could have done with them!".



#47 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:38 AM

Good point there. I've been hitting different "sticking points" along the way. My attitude to those has been, "work on something else and come back to them later" but near the end there won't be much else to go off and work on.


Some people can keep more than one project on the go and cycle back and forth at those points, but it's an acquired skill... i can sort of do it but, because i tend to write from scratch each time (even the routines that seem similar like the attack wave drivers in Callisto or Battle Eagle were done afresh), it can be easy to lose track of how one piece of code works if i spend an extended period delving around in another so i probably wouldn't advise it!

I just hope that I don't question myself later by saying, "oh those 34 bytes that were left over, the things I could have done with them!".


Oh, you probably will... but half of the "trick" is knowing when to cut off and declare something finished. For me having a deadline helps and i enter things like the RGCD 16K or ABBUC to give me a specific date to finish something by.

#48 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:40 AM

Generally I think the element of competition from the abbuc contest is motivating too - especially when you have come last several times :D

 

Stick at it, you might have competition from me for this spot this year!! Though with your experience you've built up now, you'll probably excel in front.

 

Posts about how games are constucted and reading about other people's programs is a great inspiration, especailly for people starting out. 

 
I have to agree about that, though I'm only a beginner (in Assembly) myself though I've done little bits over the years. When I see some of the posts from others, such as Rybags and Phaeron, I realise just how little I know. I can do a DLI though!! :) Do you enjoy reading "how a game is built" in Retro Gamer or other similar magazines? I wish there was more of that (already discussed with TMR) as that is an inspiration to me, more than the nostalgia side.
 
 

 

The other thing I'd say is when you get something near to working is to get someone on board to test and give some feedback; it can help improve the final game in the key area of difficulty / accessability. Seems that programmers eventually get fed up play-testing their own games and are relieved when someone else helps out... to push them on...

 

I will do - I have a certain person in mind, I think that they know who they are. *wink*, if that person would like to. As you say, I'll leave that till later in the process. Sometimes a critical eye is good. I may brush over a minor bug as I think that the fix is too big and I don't fancy doing it. Maybe someone pointing it out is useful to get me to do something.

 

By the way, I've read some of your stuff in the past and it has inspired me to go off and build something. With you starting out from (nothing was it?) and then building up your skills to actually releasing something is amazing. I bet that there are many others on here that would like to do the same. I suspect that there's a lot of lurkers around here who with a bit of a motivational push will release something. You see these games (like Pet Galaga) which just appear from nowhere which it is great for the Atari scene.



#49 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:44 AM

The other thing I'd say is when you get something near to working is to get someone on board to test and give some feedback; it can help improve the final game in the key area of difficulty / accessability. Seems that programmers eventually get fed up play-testing their own games and are relieved when someone else helps out... to push them on...


It isn't just a case of getting fed up; for the majority of a game's development time it's just the programmer playing the thing to test if collisions work, to watch objects to make sure they're doing what the code is meant to be doing and so on. All that extra practice makes that person an expert at their own game and prone to "difficulty creep"[1] where they play it, find things too easy because of their experience and beef up the difficulty until it feels "right". Getting someone onboard for play testing needs to be done fairly late in development to avoid a similar feedback loop.

This has happened many times in the past with commercial developers as well as indies like us, have a look at pretty much anything by Spanish developer Dinamic for example...

[1] i suspect that i've just made that term up... =-)

#50 snicklin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:49 AM

Some people can keep more than one project on the go and cycle back and forth at those points, but it's an acquired skill... i can sort of do it but, because i tend to write from scratch each time (even the routines that seem similar like the attack wave drivers in Callisto or Battle Eagle were done afresh), it can be easy to lose track of how one piece of code works if i spend an extended period delving around in another so i probably wouldn't advise it!

 

Ahh, in my case, it is more of finding something else to do within the same program. I have such a tendency to get distracted that multiple projects would be harmful to my development, so I've stopped myself from starting anything else up.

 

However, in the process of doing this, I've come up with ideas of other games that I'd like to develop, but hold myself off from doing so. That is for 2 reasons:

1) I want to use the same code base. I am trying to build up a bit of a library which I can re-use. But that library is currently "dirty" with things in there that shouldn't be in there, all for the sake of quick development (and maintained morale).

2) I'll get constantly distracted onto more and more projects.

 

I fancy doing a vertical shoot 'em up, using lots of DLI's and having a beautiful 4 sprite ship at the bottom. I also want to do an assembly language football management game as my previous effort was predominantly Turbo Basic. And my ultimate ambition one day.... a long way from now.... an isometric adventure game. Oh, and a Toki like game which is currently beyond my technical skills, though I think that the Rick Dangerous people could possibly convert their engine to it.







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