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commando on a colecovision? - debate


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#26 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:36 PM

I had a question.. Would it matter if the screen does not scroll up?

 

I guess what I mean is that would it be ok if the screen just shifts to the next screen much like games like Original Legend of Zelda or Children of the Night on the Colecovision from Team Pixelboy?

 

I would think that the game logic can make it where you can run around the screen but when you get like within an inch of the top part of the screen the whole playfield just shifts to the next part?

 

I would think that maybe with this method one might be able to get the idea of scrolling and not beat up the resources so that the game can be made better or more challenging or adding new modes?

 

In any case this discussion is very interesting to me as I am learning a lot about one of the limitations of the Colecovision.



#27 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:53 PM

Forgive my technical ignorance, but I thought the type of graphics chip in the ColecoVision was really poor at side scrolling, but not so bad with top-down scrolling? Wouldn't whatever technique was used in the ColecoVision version of River Raid work for something like Commando, or was that only possible because there were simpler moving objects than would be needed in something like Commando?



#28 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:00 PM

Forgive my technical ignorance, but I thought the type of graphics chip in the ColecoVision was really poor at side scrolling, but not so bad with top-down scrolling? Wouldn't whatever technique was used in the ColecoVision version of River Raid work for something like Commando, or was that only possible because there were simpler moving objects than would be needed in something like Commando?


Actually I believe that is the Atari 2600. You will have a really hard time trying to smooth scroll anything on the CV, unless the play field is super simple. Sure, vertical is a little bit easier, as you just move bytes, while horizontal would require bit shifting (assuming it is all done in real time). But it is still slow nevertheless. For River Raid I believe they had multiple tile sets with pre-scrolled graphics.


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#29 insertclevernamehere OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:24 PM

Actually I believe that is the Atari 2600. You will have a really hard time trying to smooth scroll anything on the CV, unless the play field is super simple.


While we're on the subject of the CV's jerky scrolling, I hope a creamy smooth scrolling version of Zaxxon is still under development for the new Opcode console. And how about a smooth scrolling version of Gradius too? Surely it wouldn't be much work. The SGM version is pretty much perfect apart from the typical CV, herky jerky scrolling.

#30 newcoleco OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:41 PM

You know, after reading all our messages here, I've noticed that we, the ColecoVision homebrewers, with great talent, we tried already, one way or another, to do a ColecoVision version of Commando, and yet there's no game. 

 

For me, it was composing the music based on the Rob Hubbard version that I love. And, I've completed the music-box with the high-score music, even a level intro music, and more sound effects. The complete set of sounds I've made is richer than the original C64 version and it made me dream of seeing the game done... but I've not tried anything visual yet.

 

(Copied from Programming section)

CV Commando 4 music + 7 sound effects: Attached File  commando-musicbox-2018-revK.zip   4.18KB   19 downloads

 


#31 Kiwi OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:40 PM

While we're on the subject of the CV's jerky scrolling, I hope a creamy smooth scrolling version of Zaxxon is still under development for the new Opcode console. And how about a smooth scrolling version of Gradius too? Surely it wouldn't be much work. The SGM version is pretty much perfect apart from the typical CV, herky jerky scrolling.

It's a LOT of work to do full screen smooth scrolling with the Colecovision and any system with the TMS9918A chip. Gradius and Zaxxon would have to deal with color clashes if using Screen mode 2.  And can only upload limited amount of data to the VRAM and do game logic in a frame to keep the game running smooth.



#32 insertclevernamehere OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 5:23 AM

It's a LOT of work to do full screen smooth scrolling with the Colecovision and any system with the TMS9918A chip. Gradius and Zaxxon would have to deal with color clashes if using Screen mode 2.  And can only upload limited amount of data to the VRAM and do game logic in a frame to keep the game running smooth.


I appreciate and understand it is a hardware issue and not the programming. It was not my intent to imply it was. Not sure of your intent with your comment though. I wasn't asking for smooth scrolling CV versions but ones for the new, upcoming Opcode system (aka Project Prometheus). Did you not realise that or are you saying the new system will still have the TMS9918A chip and will therefore still have jerky scrolling?

#33 Kiwi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 7:50 AM

I appreciate and understand it is a hardware issue and not the programming. It was not my intent to imply it was. Not sure of your intent with your comment though. I wasn't asking for smooth scrolling CV versions but ones for the new, upcoming Opcode system (aka Project Prometheus). Did you not realise that or are you saying the new system will still have the TMS9918A chip and will therefore still have jerky scrolling?

Yeah, I did forget about that.  I believe Project Prometheus should be able to support scrolling. 



#34 ValkerieSilk OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 12:10 PM

I had a question.. Would it matter if the screen does not scroll up?
 
I guess what I mean is that would it be ok if the screen just shifts to the next screen much like games like Original Legend of Zelda or Children of the Night on the Colecovision from Team Pixelboy?
 
I would think that the game logic can make it where you can run around the screen but when you get like within an inch of the top part of the screen the whole playfield just shifts to the next part?
 
I would think that maybe with this method one might be able to get the idea of scrolling and not beat up the resources so that the game can be made better or more challenging or adding new modes?
 
In any case this discussion is very interesting to me as I am learning a lot about one of the limitations of the Colecovision.


You mean like how Smurfs: Rescue in Gargamel scrolls (except vertically)?

#35 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 1, 2018 10:13 PM

Yes very much like that.. I would think that if scrolling is not a real big deal then I would think forget about it and just shift to the next screen.

Commando is about the soldier and enemies and the environment and less so about the scrolling mechanic.. I do however see the desire for a programmer to take on something that was considered hard too hard or maybe impossible in the past. I mean it was the programmers that have been pushing this hardware have made the entire scene so great.

#36 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 2, 2018 5:03 AM

As i said , i have made my own version of commando on colecovision. (not SGM)   Where i use the flip-screen way .

 

The game plays well.   But it is not "commando".  something is missing.  Mainly when i used Daniel's music , this music fit perfectly with a scrolling game.  But when it is a flip-screen game , it does not match , IHMO.  (may be it is because i grew up with C64 version of commando...)

 

But with SGM , i'm sure you can do a decent Commando version (of course with some little compromise)  with very acceptable Smooth scrolling.    I will try to show you a proof of concept in the next 2 month  (i'm too busy right now to work on that :( ).



#37 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 2, 2018 12:42 PM

I missed that point youki, thank you for clarifying it.  I am hoping someone can continue to work on the tech and maybe get a really good version.. I also have to agree that if this game just makes it on to one of the newer technologies like Promethus as a better version that would be great.



#38 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 2, 2018 3:48 PM

Yeah, I did forget about that.  I believe Project Prometheus should be able to support scrolling. 

 

 

Indeed, it does. Who knows, maybe at PRGE...



#39 LoTonah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2018 3:57 AM

Forgive me if I'm missing the point here (and I'm just a dabbling programmer, not at the level of you guys), but it seem there are a lot of vertical scrollers on the CV, like Bosconian and Rally-X. 

 

I'm seeing a lot of talk about not being able to scroll vertically quick enough, but those two games do a decent job.  I'm sure there are more.  What did they do differently?  Is it just a matter of having too many objects to scroll?  Is it because (particularly with those two games) only 2/3rds of the screen actually move?  Would a narrowed playfield help?



#40 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2018 4:19 AM

Forgive me if I'm missing the point here (and I'm just a dabbling programmer, not at the level of you guys), but it seem there are a lot of vertical scrollers on the CV, like Bosconian and Rally-X. 
 
I'm seeing a lot of talk about not being able to scroll vertically quick enough, but those two games do a decent job.  I'm sure there are more.  What did they do differently?  Is it just a matter of having too many objects to scroll?  Is it because (particularly with those two games) only 2/3rds of the screen actually move?  Would a narrowed playfield help?


It's all about the level of detail in the graphics. I can't speak much about Bosconian, but I suspect it's the same story as Rally-X, where the background graphics are so simple that it's possible to store all the pre-shifted tile patterns in VRAM, and then it's only a matter of updating the character tile table (or as we usually call it, the "name table") in VRAM to create the illusion of scrolling.

With Commando, the graphics are so detailed and varied that it's impossible to store all the tiles pre-shifted in VRAM. The I/O link between ROM/RAM and VRAM is very slow on the ColecoVision, so it creates a bottleneck where there's not enough time to update large portions of the VRAM between TV screen refresh cycles. If you update VRAM only partially between refresh cycles, you see lots of graphic glitches on the screen, which is not desirable.

So that's why we're lamenting that Commando is hard to do on the ColecoVision. I've given it some thought this past week, and I think it's possible to do, but I don't have time to expose my ideas on the subject right now.

#41 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2018 8:24 AM

so here is a scroll test of some commando bg tiles.

this is verticallyy half the level.

i will do a later example where the whole level is shown. I need to do a tile replacement half way thorugh though.

this shows the regular chunky scroll and intermittantly the smoother scroll (Though there is a glitch still)

 

I'm not making commando i'm just curious about the technique and I'll reuse and work I do here on another project.

 

for tech info. it use 256 tiles however 32-95 and resevered for the regular uppercase colecovision alphbet chartacters #'s & symboles so it's really 192 tiles definitions used. Tree tops would probably require sprites .

 


Edited by digress, Thu May 3, 2018 8:27 AM.


#42 newcoleco OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2018 1:24 PM

so here is a scroll test of some commando bg tiles.

this is verticallyy half the level.

i will do a later example where the whole level is shown. I need to do a tile replacement half way thorugh though.

this shows the regular chunky scroll and intermittantly the smoother scroll (Though there is a glitch still)

 

I'm not making commando i'm just curious about the technique and I'll reuse and work I do here on another project.

 

for tech info. it use 256 tiles however 32-95 and resevered for the regular uppercase colecovision alphbet chartacters #'s & symboles so it's really 192 tiles definitions used. Tree tops would probably require sprites .

 

 

How about not caring about the letters during the game? Just go with the numbers for the score and tiny icons for lives and grenades. You can upload the characters set when it's time to show the cut-scenes and the high-score screen.



#43 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 5, 2018 6:58 AM

Yes, I can try that. I was more concerned first with trying to do a dynamic tile exchange without it interrupting the scroll. I'll do both at the same time but with 192 it might be less taxing.

 

Anyways it's more than capable of represent the bg of commando properly. A bigger problem is the sprites. The sprite sheet for commando is huge. with the main character needs 4 sprites alone

 

 

 

How about not caring about the letters during the game? Just go with the numbers for the score and tiny icons for lives and grenades. You can upload the characters set when it's time to show the cut-scenes and the high-score screen.


Edited by digress, Sat May 5, 2018 6:58 AM.


#44 Kiwi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 5, 2018 2:19 PM

Yes, I can try that. I was more concerned first with trying to do a dynamic tile exchange without it interrupting the scroll. I'll do both at the same time but with 192 it might be less taxing.

 

Anyways it's more than capable of represent the bg of commando properly. A bigger problem is the sprites. The sprite sheet for commando is huge. with the main character needs 4 sprites alone

 

 

What I see for the NES version, the enemies and the hero share the same sprite but different colors. 






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