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Colony 7 - Release Candidate!


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#1 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:56 PM

Hi there!

Edited 20.12.2005:

Here comes the second public demo of my next game Colony 7!

Posted Image

Well, it's still not really playable, but very close now: You can already shoot things ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

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#2 DEBRO OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:17 PM

This looks good Manuel :thumbsup:

I assume the objects you're showing won't move. I'm not familiar with Colony 7. Hmmm...all that color gets me thinking about a Caverns of Mars...uummm...Phobos for the VCS :D

#3 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:37 PM

Hi there!

I assume the objects you're showing won't move. I'm not familiar with Colony 7.


No, all hardcoded here. The game is very similar to Atlantis, just a lot better. I'd think Colony 7 was the "model" for it :D

Hmmm...all that color gets me thinking about a Caverns of Mars...uummm...Phobos for the VCS :D


Hehe ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

#4 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:42 PM

Since a Colony 7 conversion for the VCS will have to compete with Atlantis, what do you think?

First, the mockup looks fine. With a striped PF it won't be quite as groovy though I think that a striped PF can kinda smooth out the hard corners in a bumpy landscape; I think this works especially well in a "space" game. Thrust+ is a good example of what I mean.

But as far as competing with Atlantis: what will really matter is how much of the gameplay of Colony7 you can bring over, especially the enemy movements and strafings.

I don't think Atlantis is any great shakes of a game, though it does look rather pretty, but it does cover a lot of the Colony7 ground pretty well.

#5 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:07 PM

Hi there!

With a striped PF it won't be quite as groovy though I think that a striped PF can kinda smooth out the hard corners in a bumpy landscape; I think this works especially well in a "space" game.


I'm just beginning to realize that the problem is way worse... actually the sprites would get striped as well, as they're also not just repeating from one scanline to the next...

Hm... hm... back to the drawing board with this... ;)

But as far as competing with Atlantis: what will really matter is how much of the gameplay of Colony7 you can bring over, especially the enemy movements and strafings.


I think everything can be done in a VCS version. Besides particles, the arcade never has more than 3 enemies + the crosshair on the upper part of the screen. Also the enemies never come so deep that they'd be in vertical conflict with the cannons :)

Greetings,
Manuel

#6 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:26 PM

I'm just beginning to realize that the problem is way worse... actually the sprites would get striped as well, as they're also not just repeating from one scanline to the next...

Hm... hm... back to the drawing board with this... ;)

Looking at the arcade screen, the outer edges (L & R) are *almost* symmetrical - and in your 2600 mockup they are also *almost* symmetrical - so why not make PF0 completely symmetrical for the 2600 port (assuming a reflected playfield)?

Saves you one read/write per scanline, and also you don't have to update PF0 every line.

#7 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:57 PM

Hi there!

Hm... hm... back to the drawing board with this... ;)


Ok, probably not as pretty as my first try, but still all elements on the screen:
Posted Image

Since the sprites have to be updated each scannline anyway, they have a higher level of detail now, but the playfield on the other side had to suffer a lot. One definite advantage of the new design though certainly is that - unlike the old one - it is doable this time... ;)

I think have a pretty solid plan for a conversion of this game by now...

Greetings,
Manuel

#8 supercat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:37 PM

Since the sprites have to be updated each scannline anyway, they have a higher level of detail now, but the playfield on the other side had to suffer a lot. One definite advantage of the new design though certainly is that - unlike the old one - it is doable this time... ;)

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I haven't measured your object positions, but how are you planning on getting four sprites in the bottom section, placed as shown, with the second one expanded? The distance between the second (expanded) sprite and the third seems wider than the widest spacing allowed for sprite copies. Putting the first copy of the sprite at the right edge of the screen and wrapping it might work except that expanding the second copy would be tricky and most likely wouldn't work on Z26 even though meltdown uses that trick on a real 2600.

#9 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:50 PM

Hi there!

I haven't measured your object positions, but how are you planning on getting four sprites in the bottom section, placed as shown, with the second one expanded?  The distance between the second (expanded) sprite and the third seems wider than the widest spacing allowed for sprite copies.  Putting the first copy of the sprite at the right edge of the screen and wrapping it might work except that expanding the second copy would be tricky and most likely wouldn't work on Z26 even though meltdown uses that trick on a real 2600.


Both sprites will be tripple copies positioned to the right edge (giving 16 pixels to work with) and wrap around after the right towers (16 pixel gap over the 2 left- and rightmost PF pixels). The rocket in the middle of the group will have GRP0 cleared and the tower right from the rocket will be both sprites fed with the same data, only GRP1 will be reflected. (For the rocket and the right side towers reflection of GRP1 won't hurt.)

All in all it's
3 absolute color reads: 12 cycles
5 ZP color writes: 15 cycles
3 (),Y shape reads: 15 cycles
5 ZP shape writes: 15 cycles
1 shape clear: 5 cycles

So we're at 62 cyles per line. I'm planing on having two particles re/set with the old PHP trick on alternating lines plus loop overhead which'll be additional 11/12 cycles, so when disregarding the timing for a moment the whole scenery looks doable to me.

Greetings,
Manuel

#10 ScottHuggins OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:29 PM

Manual,

This is another of those "arcade underdogs" that I'm extremely glad you've chosen to "consider" (or are you full bore into it?) making on the 2600. Just loved it back in the day. I had to fire it up on my mame cabinet just to refresh those memories.

I hope you really do this one!

Scott

Hi there!

I haven't measured your object positions, but how are you planning on getting four sprites in the bottom section, placed as shown, with the second one expanded?  The distance between the second (expanded) sprite and the third seems wider than the widest spacing allowed for sprite copies.  Putting the first copy of the sprite at the right edge of the screen and wrapping it might work except that expanding the second copy would be tricky and most likely wouldn't work on Z26 even though meltdown uses that trick on a real 2600.


Both sprites will be tripple copies positioned to the right edge (giving 16 pixels to work with) and wrap around after the right towers (16 pixel gap over the 2 left- and rightmost PF pixels). The rocket in the middle of the group will have GRP0 cleared and the tower right from the rocket will be both sprites fed with the same data, only GRP1 will be reflected. (For the rocket and the right side towers reflection of GRP1 won't hurt.)

All in all it's
3 absolute color reads: 12 cycles
5 ZP color writes: 15 cycles
3 (),Y shape reads: 15 cycles
5 ZP shape writes: 15 cycles
1 shape clear: 5 cycles

So we're at 62 cyles per line. I'm planing on having two particles re/set with the old PHP trick on alternating lines plus loop overhead which'll be additional 11/12 cycles, so when disregarding the timing for a moment the whole scenery looks doable to me.

Greetings,
Manuel

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#11 supercat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:07 PM

Both sprites will be tripple copies positioned to the right edge (giving 16 pixels to work with) and wrap around after the right towers (16 pixel gap over the 2 left- and rightmost PF pixels). The rocket in the middle of the group will have GRP0 cleared and the tower right from the rocket will be both sprites fed with the same data, only GRP1 will be reflected. (For the rocket and the right side towers reflection of GRP1 won't hurt.)

View Post


Okay, so you did think that through and measure the placements. Any particular reason for enabling all three copies of player 0 instead of just the first and last? You'd pick up five easy cycles that way. If you wanted to really simplify things and use "flicker explosions" instead of real explosions, you could save even more cycles by using straight indexed addressing for the rocket's and saucer's shapes. Use NUSIZx to make them appear and disappear.

#12 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:02 AM

Hi there!

Okay, so you did think that through and measure the placements.  Any particular reason for enabling all three copies of player 0 instead of just the first and last?  You'd pick up five easy cycles that way.


Good catch! I guess I just forgot about it, because I originally started with the rocket ramp on that position :)

If you wanted to really simplify things and use "flicker explosions" instead of real explosions, you could save even more cycles by using straight indexed addressing for the rocket's and saucer's shapes.  Use NUSIZx to make them appear and disappear.


That is plan B ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

#13 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:06 AM

Hi there!

This is another of those "arcade underdogs" that I'm extremely glad you've chosen to "consider" (or are you full bore into it?) making on the 2600.   Just loved it back in the day.  I had to fire it up on my mame cabinet just to refresh those memories.

I hope you really do this one!


I'm a bit tied right now between Balloon Bomber and Colony 7. I have a pretty solid kernel for Balloon Bomber going, but it somehow feels like stealing a beginners project. Colony 7 would surely be more my league ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

#14 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:14 AM

I have a pretty solid kernel for Balloon Bomber going, but it somehow feels like stealing a beginners project.

:lol:

Regarding your mockup...well, hmmm. You really can't get a better terrain map in there? It looks awfully blocky.

#15 cd-w ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:51 AM

I'm a bit tied right now between Balloon Bomber and Colony 7. I have a pretty solid kernel for Balloon Bomber going, but it somehow feels like stealing a beginners project. Colony 7 would surely be more my league ;)
Greetings,
Manuel

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I think you should do both :) The kernel & sprites for Balloon Bomber are looking great. If you went for a 1K minigame then it would be more challenging than a beginners project. Colony 7 would make a nice long-term project, though I agree with vdub_bobby that the PF is a bit blocky in the latest mockup.

Chris

#16 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:07 AM

Hi there!

Regarding your mockup...well, hmmm.  You really can't get a better terrain map in there?  It looks awfully blocky.


Colony 7 would make a nice long-term project, though I agree with vdub_bobby that the PF is a bit blocky in the latest mockup.


Ok, back to the drawing board ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

#17 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2005 2:51 PM

Hi there!

A minor variant:
Posted Image

A reflected playfield can be updated every other line. To gain the required cycles one of the towers had to be moved to the upper section.

Edit: Tweaked it some more, making the middle section even less blocky. Lost a building though...

This provides a *slightly* less blocky appearance, though the reflection certainly has other restrictions.

Greetings,
Manuel

#18 cd-w ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2005 3:05 PM

This provides a *slightly* less blocky appearance, though the reflection certainly has other restrictions.

View Post


This is a big improvement IMO :) Have you abandoned the Balloon Bomber project for now?

Chris

#19 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2005 3:29 PM

Hi there!

This is a big improvement IMO :)  Have you abandoned the Balloon Bomber project for now?


Thanks! No, it's not abandoned yet. Thinking about C7 is just more fun right now ;)

Greetings,
Manuel

#20 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 1, 2005 3:57 PM

A minor variant:

A reflected playfield can be updated every other line. To gain the required cycles one of the towers had to be moved to the upper section.

Edit: Tweaked it some more, making the middle section even less blocky. Lost a building though...

This provides a *slightly* less blocky appearance, though the reflection certainly has other restrictions.

I like this much better as well. Since the buildings are varied and placed asymmetrically my eye is drawn towards them and the symmetrical terrain is not noticeably symmetrical. If that makes any sense.

Anyway: :thumbsup:

#21 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2005 1:52 PM

Hi there!

Ok, something special today. Instead of yet another mockup, this is a Z26 screenshot:
Posted Image

Greetings,
Manuel

#22 cd-w ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2005 2:35 PM

Ok, something special today. Instead of yet another mockup, this is a Z26 screenshot:

View Post


This is looking very nice now. Incidentally, are those stray pixels intended (e.g. a starfield effect)?

Chris

Edited by cd-w, Mon Sep 5, 2005 2:35 PM.


#23 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2005 2:49 PM

Hi there!

This is looking very nice now.   Incidentally, are those stray pixels intended (e.g. a starfield effect)?


Yup. I can display two of them in the bottom area. They are supposed to represent enemy shots later, but right now they are actually *really* from a starfield, since I have the Star Fire engine running in the upper section of the screen :)

Greetings,
Manuel

#24 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2005 3:48 PM

:thumbsup:

#25 Schmutzpuppe OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 5, 2005 4:40 PM

Hi there!

Ok, something special today. Instead of yet another mockup, this is a Z26 screenshot:
Posted Image

Greetings,
Manuel

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Looks cool!




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