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Zonik Lynx


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#26 SpaceAce OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 9, 2004 2:54 AM

beautiful :D
just keep up the great work ;)

another great game for our beloved little cat :)

#27 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:28 PM

Updated the bonus pic from the revised build (I was getting slowdown from the 4 parallax layers, so I pulled one out and optimised things a bit)

Posted Image

Edit: I actually think it looks better this way...

#28 Gregory DG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:32 PM

Looks VERY cool! When can we try a demo?

#29 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:37 PM

Looks VERY cool! When can we try a demo?

As soon as I finish one full level, I'll release a little "teaser" demo. I have no idea how long it will take, all depends on how my mind and school projects will co-operate with me.

#30 Clock OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:36 PM

I have to say that this could be one of the most impressive things on the Lynx. It looks just so cool. Everyone must be looking forward to this game surely.

Don't rush it, just keep going until you think it's perfect. We will wait, as long as you promise to finish it. ;)

#31 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:19 PM

Sorry about the lack of updates, guys, I'm stuck in midterms next week, but dev should pick up again after.

ZONIKKUUU!!!!

#32 Brad2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:04 PM

I don't have a Lynx and I usually collect for every other Atari system.

Anyway, I like what I see so far. Is this some sort of Sonic clone? I apologize as I am quite unfamiliar with Lynx games.

Still, I've been thinking about picking up a Lynx someday. Game Boys are too unimpressive for me at times. I liked the Sega Game Gear and the Lynx seems similar in size and stature.

#33 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:23 PM

I don't have a Lynx and I usually collect for every other Atari system.

Anyway, I like what I see so far. Is this some sort of Sonic clone? I apologize as I am quite unfamiliar with Lynx games.

Still, I've been thinking about picking up a Lynx someday. Game Boys are too unimpressive for me at times. I liked the Sega Game Gear and the Lynx seems similar in size and stature.

The game is not a sonic clone in the gameplay area, it only has similar characters. In the gameplay department it is very similar to Air Zonk (TG-16). The lynx is alot like the GG and is easy to hold, go pick one up if you have the chance, although, in my opinion, GG had better games during its commercial life (NOT INCLUDING LYNX HOMEBREWS!!!! Which are on par or better than some GG games)

#34 Brad2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:33 PM

Lynxes aren't too cheap on EBay but I will consider picking one up one of these days.

Still, I'm impressed by the screens that you've posted. I normally don't play or collect handhelds but that could change soon.

#35 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:59 PM

Be warned: if you did get a Lynx, with perhaps "Klax", "Rampart", "Chip's Challenge", and "Blue Lightning" included as titles, we wouldn't see you on these boards for months. ;)

#36 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:22 PM

Random update of the progress of things, just to let you know I'm not dead :roll:

Some things that have been changed/being worked on-
1. Zonik now has a 5 seccond time after entering a level for the first time or losing a life when he is protected by a sheild, which starts to scale down at about the 3 seccond mark as a warning.
2. Raw animation has been started for the in-between level cutscenes (I love wasting space :P ) and some screenshots will be posted soon.
3. Optimised the score counter, saved about 1k of RAM space
4. Misc slowdown eliminated in bonus stages, some future stages planned, but may not be made (I'm trying not to go over 512k)

I'll post some screenshots soon to show whats going on.
Long live lynx, long live handy!

#37 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:51 PM

It's good to hear about your progress, and thanks for keeping us updated! How many levels are you aiming for?

#38 SpaceAce OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:04 PM

thanks for those new information about the development process!
I just can't wait for the new screens! :D
keep up the great work :wink:

#39 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:50 PM

It's good to hear about your progress, and thanks for keeping us updated! How many levels are you aiming for?

I'm aiming for 5 levels, each with varying lengths (the last level will be absurdly huge, as in Air Zonk)
And thankies, SpaceAce, for the complement! Hopefully I should be able to get the new screens out soon.

#40 chris_lynx1989 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:54 PM

what is stopping you from going beyond the 512k limit you seem to have
set for yourself,tailchao? a 768k lynx game would be nice to see. we seem
to already have several 512k games for the lynx now. the lynx has the
capability of having up to 2 megabyte game cards for it. just let yourself
go wild,tailchao!! if it is a big game like sonic or air zonk,so what. just go
for it! :D ---the lynxer
p.s.
don't cut out levels like they did on dracula:the undead and dirty larry to
keep the tramiels happy. the game is only limited by the time you have to
devote to it "and" your imagination and creativity as a programmer. also,
the fact that you are a lynx fanatic or not. :)

#41 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:08 PM

what is stopping you from going beyond the 512k limit you seem to have
set for yourself,tailchao? a 768k lynx game would be nice to see. we seem
to already have several 512k games for the lynx now. the lynx has the
capability of having up to 2 megabyte game cards for it. just let yourself
go wild,tailchao!! if it is a big game like sonic or air zonk,so what. just go
for it! :D ---the lynxer
p.s.
don't cut out levels like they did on dracula:the undead and dirty larry to
keep the tramiels happy. the game is only limited by the time you have to
devote to it "and" your imagination and creativity as a programmer. also,
the fact that you are a lynxer fanatic or not. :)

You do have a point! The only reason I was trying to keep it under 512k was because of price. With the extra rom for the L-SOUND upgrade containing the music data, things might get a tad pricey, but you're right. I should worry about making a good game rather than saving space, we dont want another 2600 era arcade port, do we :P . 5 Levels sounds reasonable to me though, but perhaps I'll try and add mini-bosses like in Air Zonk instead of just one big boss like I had planned.
However, I'm curious as to whether the BLL kit will support things over 256k without some sort of bankswitching, and I need the AUDIO_IN port to be free... Anybody have any info on this (I know I might have asked before, but I believe it was a tad different question)

Edit: and to all of you who are curious about what the L-SOUND is, I've decided to spread the word-
I have always considered the sound of a game to be one of the most imprtant aspects of it, after all, which do you find yourself doing drawing mario or humming some of his familiar tunes. The 16-bit era had some incredible sound improvements in video games, and I wanted to bring that power and more, to the lynx. The L-SOUND upgrade is a small unit containing an ARM processor, RAM and a small bootup ROM. It shall not be placed inside each individual cartridge say, as Super FX chips were on the SNES, but inside the lynx (I believe there is enough room in the lynx II to accomodate it). The L-SOUND unit will have a small compact flash alike adapter along the left ridge of the lynx's cartridge port, and games using the technology will connect to it through pins protruding from the left side of the cartridge (the pins can be pulled back into the cart via a lever, to ensure safe storage). When inserted, the cart will make contact with the lynx cart port as well as the L-SOUND port, which will feature detection on whether a specialised cart is inserted (think lynx cart port, if there is no cart, no current passes through) and will not start up if one is unpresent, saving battery power. However, if the cart does make use of the technology, the L-SOUND unit will start up, and wait for a conformation signal from a wire internally attached to the AUDIO_IN port. If the correct signal is not recieved, the unit will become inactive. When the unit recieves an "all go" through the AUDIO_IN, it will load its software sound routines from the sound rom on the cart (though its own port of course) and wait untill it receives and instruction through the AUDIO_IN line to, perhaps play a song. The unit's audio output will be mixed with the lynx's own to allow freedom of sound production. All developers can write their own sound routines for the device, and will be free to access information on it (when completed) I am looking to assemble a team to create the device (i'm only a beginner at hardware =P ), so contact me or post here if you are interested.

I know its a huge undertaking because of my limited knowledge, but, WHY NOT?! *Shot*

#42 chris_lynx1989 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:09 PM

it would be neat if there were several different bosses for your game like
power factor has for lynx now. pf is sort of neat,tailchao.
there was one other game i could not think of earlier above that had stuff
cut out of it, this was battlezone 2000. handmade software cut it down fr-
om the version they originally presented to the tramiels. the first version
had 2000(!) levels (hence battlezone 2000). the tramiels thought it was
too big a game for them to release for the lynx and had handmade make
a different version of the original they had presented to them. in a defiant
way they did make the game the tramiels wanted "and" left the original
version in as a hidden feature. kind of cool! the original game version is
done in raster scan fashion, and the "tramiel version" we usually see is in
vector graphics, like the arcade version was.
now folks don't have a limitation on the lynx like folks did with the "tramiel
wall" most used to have to deal with years ago. can't we all just breathe a
little easier now? some seem to. the lynx and jag are an open field now.
the lynx has no limits now,tailchao. just go for it! present us lynxers with
a lynx game to write home about. we'll work out the logistics of it later. if
they can do it with alpine games,then you can blow it out of the water with
your zonik! push the lynx's limits to the absolute max.--the lynxer

#43 karri ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:09 AM

The block size of a lynx can easily be expanded to 2048 bytes. The only problem is that the boot loader is currently working with 1024 byte blocks only.

To expand the block size you have to edit the routines in the BLL kit (and the C-compiler in case you use it).

If the AUDIO IN-signal cannot be used then you are stuck with a 512k cart. In theory you could use the second strobe for a second rom-chip, that signal is usually used for writes to the cart. That would extend the cart space to 1024k.

If I was going to replace some electronics inside a Lynx then I would use a large FPGA, synthesize a CPU and all required support chips on it together with Mikey, Suzy, serial port and a decent sound synthesizer in hardware. It would also be cool to include a 32MB flash chip that would contain all good Lynx carts and USB support for adding new games.

Actually this is not as far fetched as it sounds. I already found a PD version in VHDL of the 6502 CPU that just lacks the BCD arithmetic.

I also have several left over boards with 150k Xilinx FPGA chips, memory, PPC CPUs and flash. So the entire system can be created and tested before you need to go into developing the real PCB.

The only thing that held me back was that the time this requires is not worth the effort.

Despite the "sidetalking" jokes Nokias n-gage is a great system with terrific sound, good LCD and enough pixels to fully emulate the Lynx. I rather optimize Handy for n-gage than start to create Lynx III.

--
Cheers,

Karri

#44 sage OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 6:57 AM

The block size of a lynx can easily be expanded to 2048 bytes. The only problem is that the boot loader is currently working with 1024 byte blocks only.


No. There are Loader for differnt type of Blocksize.

To expand the block size you have to edit the routines in the BLL kit (and the C-compiler in case you use it).


This i quiet easy. In ASM this is done by changing one variable.

#45 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:01 PM

Okay, so there seems to be a dispute about things... I'm using all ASM and the BLL kit here, and all I need to know is if the BLL lynxer can assemble a large game (over 512k) and if it requires the AUDIO_IN for bankswitching or not...

I rather optimize Handy for n-gage than start to create Lynx III.

the thing is that, I'm not really editing anything internally in the lynx, its more along the lines of, say a sega CD. Things are just added, not changed completely.

#46 Harry_Dodgson OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:22 PM

Okay, so there seems to be a dispute about things... I'm using all ASM  and the BLL kit here, and all I need to know is if the BLL lynxer can assemble a large game (over 512k) and if it requires the AUDIO_IN for bankswitching or not...


I can't say if the BLL tool will build an image that big, but the HMS one I modified for the latest release of CM2 won't without another addition. I would suspect that Bastian didn't anticipate games that large either.

As far as the AUDIO_IN line, it's used as the read/write line for EEPROM access on cards that support it so it is available for whatever your program needs it for.

If the AUDIO IN-signal cannot be used then you are stuck with a 512k cart. In theory you could use the second strobe for a second rom-chip, that signal is usually used for writes to the cart. That would extend the cart space to 1024k.


Actually, you can extend the size using both the AUDIO_IN and the switched power line as well as putting a second chip on the board. That gives a possible 4MBytes of game space. This, of course, would require another custom circuit board and a few bytes of bank-switching code.

#47 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:27 PM

I can't say if the BLL tool will build an image that big, but the HMS one I modified for the latest release of CM2 won't without another addition.  I would suspect that Bastian didn't anticipate games that large either.

As far as the AUDIO_IN line, it's used as the read/write line for EEPROM access on cards that support it so it is available for whatever your program needs it for.

Hmm, so I may need to modify lynxer, or find a new utility... But at least the AUDIO_IN line is free, as I don't expect to use EEPROM. Thanks!

#48 chris_lynx1989 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 5:29 PM

what you propose sounds very interesting,tailchao. do you think any of
this stuff is really doable on a lynx cart? lynx carts are a tight fit in some
ways on the port and all. not trying to shoot your ideas down at all here.
a lynx one unit is even worse yet for tight cartridge quarters.
the l-sound sounds like a neat add-on for a lynx unit,i'm just having a
little difficulty visualizing what you propose on a cartridge and inside a
lynx 2 unit. do you have any scans of sketches you have done on all
this trying to design it along the way? what you described above sounds
very interesting,and possibly doable. how would you go about doing this
up on other folks lynxes? sounds a little like the backlight/frontlight kit
the folks were proposing for the gba that became a real upgrade hassle.
i'm not saying what you propse cannot be done,will it be very expensive
though? just curious.---the lynxer

#49 TailChao OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:52 PM

what you propose sounds very interesting,tailchao. do you think any of
this stuff is really doable on a lynx cart? lynx carts are a tight fit in some
ways on the port and all. not trying to shoot your ideas down at all here.
a lynx one unit is even worse yet for tight cartridge quarters.
the l-sound sounds like a neat add-on for a lynx unit,i'm just having a
little difficulty visualizing what you propose on a cartridge and inside a
lynx 2 unit. do you have any scans of sketches you have done on all
this trying to design it along the way? what you described above sounds
very interesting,and possibly doable. how would you go about doing this
up on other folks lynxes? sounds a little like the backlight/frontlight kit
the folks were proposing for the gba that became a real upgrade hassle.
i'm not saying what you propse cannot be done,will it be very expensive
though? just curious.---the lynxer


I don't believe space on the card slot will be an issue, I actually want the cart to stay in place here's a rough sample of where the port will be located, along with the unit itself
Posted Image
(Sorry about bad quality, rushed)
As you can see, there are no protruding pins from the left side of the cart port (the L-SOUND's own port sketch) rather, it has holes like a PCMCIA card.
Posted Image
The cartridges will have a similar port, although the pins can be inserted by sliding over the expose/retract key when the cart is in its slot.

These sketches are just to show how the unit will look to the player, I will make some more detailed sketches soon, to show how it will be located inside the lynx.
I don't think expense will be a huge issiue, and the unit should be easy enough to install (should just require soldering a few lines and securing the unit in place, easy for most of the members here =P ) Although perhaps an installation service can be offered

#50 chris_lynx1989 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:38 AM

what you are doing is very similar to what i proposed a couple years ago,
tailchao. i was trying try to double the lynx's natural processing power we
all are wowed by already. the thing is, i was told it was just a lost cause
to try and pursue the matter any further by a lynx developer and publisher
i was consulting with at the time. i was told "the lynx is a niche market thing now and any new technology upgrades are really not doable on a technically dead atari system". not a real encouraging thing for someone like me to have a hardware add-on in the planning stages and a prototype that i'm getting ready to put together to hear! kind of a permanent bummer to hear. :sad: so i shelved the idea, just like a couple of other ones i had for the lynx in the 1990s.
i've been told with the release of alpine games in the present day now,it
may now be possible to offer new lynx "things" with the furor over it. your
idea may now have some merit nowadays to lynxers. i'm hoping your idea
and hopes do not get/become dashed like my ideas were in the past. i'm not trying to dash your hopes or sound like that constantly present gloomy cloud or anything. you may have a tough sell on your hands with
the deaf ears and lazy lynxers/atarians we have out there. i ran into them,
and i'm guessing you will to trying to further this too. i tried back in 1996 to do things to keep the lynx and jag alive with development and stuff. my
ideas and things fell on deaf ears with both the then existing atari dealers
"and" also the user groups of the lynx and jaguar. no one cared at all. i even had some plans to do like hasbro did back in 1999--buy the atari lynx and jag and other technology up to keep atari alive. no one cared or
was interested in contributing to the effort in any way. this is what i meant
by "lazy atarians" above. i was surprised that no one really cared about the atari and the consoles they raved about owning and loved supporting!
my jaw really dropped back in 1996 with this. then atari died in august '96.
it passed away,and no one really cared. :sad: real pity.--the lynxer
p.s.
not trying to sound like a total downer,tailchao.sorry to have rambled on.




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