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Super Cobra Improvements

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#1 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:37 PM

I always wished the Super Cobra chopper was a little smaller, so I could

navigate without having to be quite so careful. I always thought it would

improve gameplay.

 

Well, it is a little smaller now, and I do think it improves gameplay. While

I was at it, I thought I'd make a few visual improvements too. I'd like to

maybe do a few more things in the future. But I just wanted to share

what I'd done so far and get some feedback on what people think.

 

Done so far:

1. Chopper smaller and graphically improved a little

2. Playfield points display font improved

3. Remaining choppers graphic improved

4. A few other minor changes

 

Attached File  Super Cobra.xex   8.07KB   79 downloads

 

supercobra.png

 


Edited by MrFish, Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:41 PM.


#2 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:51 PM

Here's a before shot for comparison.

 

supercobraorig.png

 



#3 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:54 PM

Not bad.  I've always thought the stock 6x6 font looks a bit crappy for games.  The standard Namco type font from arcade games like Galaxian looks somewhat better as it fills the cells more.

 

I remember trying to crack Super Cobra from a cart dump I'd done back in the day.  Got nowhere with it but easily enough worked out which parts of the program were being overwritten.

So, I just added a VBlank routine that patched the original values back in every VBlank and it worked.


Edited by Rybags, Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:55 PM.


#4 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:12 PM

Not bad.  I've always thought the stock 6x6 font looks a bit crappy for games.  The standard Namco type font from arcade games like Galaxian looks somewhat better as it fills the cells more.

 

Yeah, it's an easy way to save space on a cart, by using the stock font. At least it's in high-res;

games that use the stock font in mode 1 or 2 for scores, etc. look even worse.

 

I think, in part, it comes off as not so great is because we see it all the time, up to the point of

too often. But really, it's a lot nicer than the C64's standard font, which is supposedly based

on the A8's font and has some bad changes.


Edited by MrFish, Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:15 PM.


#5 mgr_inz_rafal OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:39 AM

I think the original FUEL font is somewhat nicer... Enhanced version looks like FVEL to me :)

Otherwise nice, subtle touch.



#6 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:41 AM

I think the original FUEL font is somewhat nicer... Enhanced version looks like FVEL to me :)

Otherwise nice, subtle touch.

 

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, but didn't want to mess with it last night (was already 3am here).

 

How about this, and a little "F" for the fuel tanks?

 

supercobra.png

 

Attached File  Super Cobra 1.xex   8.07KB   51 downloads

 


Edited by MrFish, Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:42 AM.


#7 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:58 AM

Nice work as always MrFish....



#8 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:01 AM

Thank you MrFish!  :thumbsup:

 

Good stuff!  :grin:  Some really good changes implemented in your first hack.  :cool:

 
Had fun playing hack version last night: significant improvement in control/"cavern management"  ;) in contrast with the original cart version.
I played both the hack and original cart versions for about 25 minutes each; it was getting on towards midnight so I stopped testing/comparing.
 
Looking forward to trying the Super Cobra 1 version later today.
 
Question: what are the "few other minor changes" mentioned in your first post?  
Just curious.  Didn't notice anything different last night but it was late and I was mainly focused on visual comparisons of the cart and your hack...did you change any music or sfx?
 
Thanks again!
 
Best Regards
Fingolfin

Edited by Fingolfin, Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:02 AM.


#9 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:10 AM

Question: what are the "few other minor changes" mentioned in your first post?  

Just curious.  Didn't notice anything different last night but it was late and I was mainly focused on visual comparisons of the cart and your hack...did you change any music or sfx?

 

Thanks, I appreciate the comments.

 

Apparently "FVEL"  :lol:  (I wasn't considering that part of the playfield or play area in

my initial comment about font changes) and the sides/fins of the rockets were raised

up a little higher.



#10 TheMontezuma OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:12 AM

 

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, but didn't want to mess with it last night (was already 3am here).

 

How about this, and a little "F" for the fuel tanks?

 

The original font used for "FUEL" is more readable

and the little "F" on the fuel tanks seems to be distracting for me...



#11 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:23 AM

The original font used for "FUEL" is more readable

and the little "F" on the fuel tanks seems to be distracting for me...

 

Thanks for the opinions. I'm liking both of them the way they are for right now.



#12 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:36 AM

I like the F on the fuel tanks, otherwise they look 'off' somehow.  That has always distracted me.



#13 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:35 AM

Was just playing this the other day and thinking 'man, someone could tweak this slightly and make it so much better'. And then you read my mind apparently lol. Thanks! This is looking very good. 



#14 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:30 PM

Just played the cart again, Super Cobra 1.xex and then played pacmanplus's 7800 Scramble.

 

FWIW, I like the addition of the F on the fuel tanks too.  And I can now clearly see the addition of the sides/fins of the rockets.  :thumbsup: 

 

Very cool additions on top of improved control with the smaller copter.  :cool:

Thank you again MrFish!  

 

I am just throwing these ideas out; I have no idea if they're possible, fairly easy to implement or impossible.

 

1) Would it be possible and make sense to increase machine gun fire rate?  Just a little bit: maybe two or three bullets per shot/per each press of the fire button?

Not auto-fire, but accelerated fire?  On some of the more hectic, higher levels gunfire seems a bit slow or inadequate; however this is also somewhat true of the arcade version (and part of what makes both versions challenging).

 

2) Would it be effectively possible to alter or adjust the animation of the bombs in the A8 version in any way? 

I noticed in the arcade version that the bombs are rocket fired and launched from the underside of the copter; in the A8 version the bombs are sort of popped or squirted out from the bottom of the copter.  Never would expect the arcade animation, but could the bombs be improved upon graphically at all without too much difficulty or impact on performance?

 

3) Would it be possible to add a very simple "Ride of the Valkyries" music track to your hack?  

Just several single tones repeated lasting 12-15 seconds and looped?  Or possibly use such a track repeated at the beginning of each stage?

Thinking Apocalypse Now connections and it's cool "flying" music. :music:   Could definitely put a unique stamp on this hack!

 

Question: has "Ride of the Valkyries" been used on any A8 games?...I have 3DO Return Fire in my head but can't seem to think of it in any 8 bit games. 

 

Just curious what you think, MrFish.  Really enjoy it as-is, as it is already significantly improved.  :jango:

 

Thanks again for working on Super Cobra and making it both more playable and more interesting and enjoyable to play.  :) 

 

edit/addition

fixing grammar and adding a general question


Edited by Fingolfin, Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:39 PM.


#15 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:37 PM

...played pacmanplus's 7800 Scramble.

 

Actually, there's already of hack of this for Super Cobra. It's nearly arcade pixel-perfect by using hi-res mode.

Very nice -- aside from the wonky scrolling.

 

 

FWIW, I like the addition of the F on the fuel tanks too.  And I can now clearly see the addition of the sides/fins of the rockets.  :thumbsup: 

 

Very cool additions on top of improved control with the smaller copter.  :cool:

Thank you again MrFish! 

 

Thanks, I've had it laying around for months - thinking I'd do some more work on it; but then I figured I might

as well share it as-is until I do.

 

 

I am just throwing these ideas out; I have no idea if they're possible, fairly easy to implement or impossible.

 

1) Would it be possible and make sense to increase machine gun fire rate?  Just a little bit: maybe two or three bullets per shot/per each press of the fire button?

Not auto-fire, but accelerated fire?  On some of the more hectic, higher levels gunfire seems a bit slow or inadequate; however this is also somewhat true of the arcade version (and part of what makes both versions challenging).

 

2) Would it be effectively possible to alter or adjust the animation of the bombs in the A8 version in any way? 

I noticed in the arcade version that the bombs are rocket fired and launched from the underside of the copter; in the A8 version the bombs are sort of popped or squirted out from the bottom of the copter.  Never would expect the arcade animation, but could the bombs be improved upon graphically at all without too much difficulty or impact on performance?

 

3) Would it be possible to add a very simple "Ride of the Valkyries" music track to your hack?  

Just several single tones repeated lasting 12-15 seconds and looped?  Or possibly use such a track repeated at the beginning of each stage?

Thinking Apocalypse Now connections and it's cool "flying" music. :music:   Could definitely put a unique stamp on this hack!

 

Question: has "Ride of the Valkyries" been used on any A8 games?...I have 3DO Return Fire in my head but can't seem to think of it in any 8 bit games. 

 

Just curious what you think, MrFish.  Really enjoy it as-is, as it is already significantly improved.  :jango:

 

Thanks again for working on Super Cobra and making it both more playable and more interesting and enjoyable to play.  :)

 

Anything is possible, but that's all I'll be doing for the moment. I like your "Ride of the Valkyries" idea the best,

though. :lol:


Edited by MrFish, Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:37 PM.


#16 Rybags ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:55 PM

IMO another worthwhile enhancement would be to tweak the colours.  I remember arcade Scramble and Super Cobra being more towards drab than the cartoonish look of the Atari version.



#17 Zap! OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:41 PM

Amazing work! Playing this with a Tac-2 on my 800XL (with RGB Sophia mod) on a 20" PVM is a great pleasure! One possible improvement though. How about adding "fire" to the bottom of the rockets when they take off? The arcade does this and IMO it would be a great addition.



#18 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:54 PM

Oooh this is great work! Thanks a lot!!!

#19 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:28 PM

If you are continuing the changes, I think the rockets would look a lot better if they were two or three color, the fins a different color and maybe half the rocket a different color to simulate shading a bit, like maybe the fins yellow, and half the rocket red, or maybe the rocket yellow and red and the fins blue, really any combination would make them look better like the tanks and fuel-tanks, etc. Unless it's not so easy since the rockets move instead of being stationary, I'm not sure what's sprite or not there...


Edited by Gunstar, Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:33 PM.


#20 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:34 PM

If you are continuing the changes, I think the rockets would look a lot better if they were two or three color, the fins a different color and maybe half the rocket a different color to simulate shading a bit, like maybe the fins yellow, and half the rocket red, or maybe the rocket yellow and red and the fins blue, really any combination would make them look better like the tanks and fuel-tanks, etc.

 

Yes, I looked at this already. The rocket fins can be a different color.

I tried it and it looks better. The only catch is, when they take off, they

aren't playfield objects anymore: they're single-color P/M graphics.

It doesn't look too bad, as they often change color when taking off

anyway -- and in fact change color in the arcade version too. But I

was undecided if I liked them going from multi-color to single color or

not, in addition. I can post a version with it, if people want to check it

out.


Edited by MrFish, Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:40 PM.


#21 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:39 PM

Meanwhile... here's an update to the bomb graphic. It always looked like it was turned backwards

on the way down, which it actually was. So, here it at least looks like it's pointed in the direction it's

travelling.

 

As a bonus, it's one pixel taller, and thus can possibly strike objects that it might otherwise miss at

times.

 

Attached File  Super Cobra 2.xex   8.07KB   52 downloads


Edited by MrFish, Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:44 PM.


#22 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:27 PM

 

Yes, I looked at this already. The rocket fins can be a different color.

I tried it and it looks better. The only catch is, when they take off, they

aren't playfield objects anymore: they're single-color P/M graphics.

It doesn't look too bad, as they often change color when taking off

anyway -- and in fact change color in the arcade version too. But I

was undecided if I liked them going from multi-color to single color or

not, in addition. I can post a version with it, if people want to check it

out.

I'd like a version like that. I actually got around to playing it just now, only looked a the pics up till now, but I just noticed that when the background colors change half-way through level one, the rockets are green then, but change back to blue when the take off anyway, so since this is already a side effect of the game, I'd just as soon have prettier rockets before they launch anyway. With or with out multi-color rockets, they still change.

 

This is all very cool though, thanks!



#23 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:42 PM

when the background colors change half-way through level one, the rockets are green then, but change back to blue when the take off anyway, so since this is already a side effect of the game...

 

Yes, that's what I meant when I said above about them changing color when taking off, and that it

happens in the arcade version too.

 

Anyway, here are three different color combinations. I'd have to play it more to see which one is

better in the long run. People can post their opinions if they like.

 

Attached File  Super Cobra 3a.xex   8.07KB   45 downloads

 

Attached File  Super Cobra 3b.xex   8.07KB   40 downloads

 

Attached File  Super Cobra 3c.xex   8.07KB   43 downloads

 



#24 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:22 PM

I haven't decided which color combo I prefer yet, especially since they also change with the level color changes. But I do like them all better than one color rockets. Thanks again MrFish! I'll keep them all and just do eany-meany-miny-moe every time I want to play. ;)


Edited by Gunstar, Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:24 PM.


#25 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:34 PM

How about adding "fire" to the bottom of the rockets when they take off? The arcade does this and IMO it would be a great addition.

 

It would look nice, if the rockets were not a single color when launched. As described in some of the previous

messages, it's just a single color P/M graphic. There are no animations frames for the rocket either, since it's

just a static moving object. So static pixels at a width of two wouldn't help much here. Maybe the other change

I did suffices somewhat, though, eh?







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