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LS_Dracon

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Blog Entries posted by LS_Dracon

  1. LS_Dracon
    I was playing Simpsons - Bart vs Space Mutants for NES and I was disappointed by the game graphics.

    Actually none of the versions for other systems have good graphics.

    I played the Master System version back in the day, and I never pass the first level.

    Anyway, back to the NES, Here's my redemptions of the sprites, using the same sizes.



    I've spent more time on Bart, that's why it is more detailed. You can compare with the original (also Moe). One would think it's not possible to make such graphics on NES because the color limit.
    On NES you have 3 colors for each sprite tile, and you have up to 4 color palettes, total of 12 colors for sprites

    You can use one palette for each tile (not need to stick with 1 palette for all the sprite), that's what I did on Bart Sprite.

    Do not believe? Download the ROM (zip file) and test on NES emulator! It's my first sprite test I'm releasing on internet.

    Yes, I'm coding for NES now.

    Bart moves from left to right and that's all.

    EDIT : Added Krusty, Milhouse and Marge sprites on NES ROM. Note Marge sprite is not the best of the bunch, but it is colorful as the original.
    I'm surprised how many sprites NES can handle, I've used 40out 64, there's plenty of sprites to use yet.









  2. LS_Dracon
    Here me again with some new Sega Master System game cover art from various games we never expected see on Master System.
    Well, Tetris probably exist somewhere... Even MicroVision has Tetris!
    Space Invaders definitely exists on SMS.






    And the previous entries :

    Part 4

    Part 3

    Part 2

    Part 1

  3. LS_Dracon
    When SF2 arrived in the arcades NES was still very popular.
    I remember my friends talking about how cool would be a NES version.

    Then the pirates comes with so many SF2 clones, but they have some flaws.

    I decided to make a concept proof demo, much like what I did on Simpsons Demo, to test some of my ideas about a SF2 game made by me.
    This demo just shows a background (India) and random sprites crossing the screen.

    But sadly it's not turned so good as the Simpsons one.

    NES graphics and it's color palette can't do justice to this game. Comparison:

    Top Left : SF2 by Yoko Soft - I played this game back then, the sprites are big for NES standards, but ugly and the gameplay is terrible. There are only 4 characters to choose. Background graphics are ok, sound is terrible.

    Top Right : SF3 (unknow software) - This game is quite good, sprites are small but very colorful, but at a cost of flicker mess. The gameplay is ok and there are 9 characters to choose. They put a lot of effort making this one, but the background and music is not from SF2.

    Bottom : My demo. Note this is a test, I don't put much effort making the graphics (they're ok to me). Sprites are similar to SF3 but I choose better the colors and tiles position, to avoid flicker.
    I thinks the sprites is too small in my game. I can make them a bit bigger, Sagat is the one who took more tiles, 28 in total, I can't pass 32 tiles limit or it will flicker too much.



    Download the demo below.

    EDIT : New ROM with flicker management
  4. LS_Dracon
    Last year I did my first demo for the NES, which was some sprites from The Simpsons cartoon.
    What you don't know I was slowly making tons of Simpsons sprites, just for fun.
    I decided to revamp my previous demo to show not 4 but 18 characters, with a proper background.
    Actually I have here 22 characters done, but this is more I can fit in a NES PPU RAM (Sprite RAM).
    Yes, I could reload the sprites on RAM, but I got bored of this demo actually.

    The sprites moves left and right on screen, and every time one exit, a new character is generated randomly.
    I'll not tell what characters are in this demo. Some are very rare to appear.

    This demo is the proof that NES can handle a good Simpsons looking game. Run on your fav NES emulator.

    Some good news : I'm working on another sprite demo, this time is something you don't expect to see on NES hardware.
    One of my best sprite work so far and many people will not believe it's running on NES.

    Stay alive!





  5. LS_Dracon
    I never cared to play Elevator Action (proto) on 2600.
    Too much unfinished (and ugly) to be minimally fun.
    For years I had an idea how to implement this game on 2600, but I never had intention to port it by myself.
    I actually did the concept proof kernel for another project and it worked, so finally now I decide to give a shoot at Elevator Action.

    Well, the game is too much complex, and now I'm very surprised how far the prototype is. They managed to make a moving elevator with both players in "high res". Definitely a good programming work there.
    My kernel looks better, but I'm cheating, not drawing the sprites saves a lot of processing time for the color changes. The doors are multi colored just to proof I can set blue and red doors at will. On proto there's a sprite making the red door, which flickers, my kernel shoud be flicker free.

    Problem, even using 2 scanlines, I think I can't draw the sprites and missiles. I would need a 3 scanlines kernel for that (even more cheating).
    I did 2 spites in high res on my previous attempt, but I was changing the background color, not the playfield color like here.
    I need the playfield color change to be able to shoot at the lamp and makes it fall using ball, but then, I can't draw this object either.

    Everything can be done with DPC+ but it is out of my scope.

    As you can see, I didn't find a good solution for the escalator, I can paint it as grey or other color, but all the few cycles saved for the sprites will be gone.
    And the doors can't be red at escalator floors.

    Multiple elevators are possible, the problem is to code all this stuff.

    I don't have plans to code the game, I don't know if I ever will add the sprites, anyway, here's the rom for you test.
    Move the elevator pressing up or down.


  6. LS_Dracon
    I enjoyed Bubsy for SNES back in the day.
    It is a fun game with some good music (at least on first stage).
     
    Bubsy Snes OST :
     
    The gameplay is not great, but had good mechanics like the glider. And this was fast,
    a Sonic like game engine on Snes, without blast processing.
    I had a friend who where crazy about this game. It certainly is not on my worst game list.
    I remember be intrigued about wtf bobcat is, short tail wild cats do not exist in my country.
    We have ocelots.
     
    Bubsy is the ET the Extra-terrestrial equivalent for 16 bit machines.
    It IS a bad game overall, but not an abomination as internet depicts.
     
    The main problem is the bad game physics and unforgiving collision IMHO.
    But the graphics and character/game design was really good.
     
    On the opposite spectrum is Puggsy, a Sega Genesis platformer game with great physics but poor
    character and game design. You can't have the best of both worlds.
     
    Buggsy would be a real winner!
     
    Anyway, Bubsy 2 was a disappointment. I not liked that game at all, unfunny and with bad music.
    There's a reason, it was not made by the original programmer/creator.
    I had never played the Jaguar version but looks bad nonetheless.
     
    Here's some Bubsy NES style sprites I did years ago, for your time.


  7. LS_Dracon
    Second part of my take on classic games as they where released for Master System using this peculiar Art Style.
    The joke here is get a game and abstract more you can but yet keep some in-game elements recognizable, and use it as label art.
    Do not take them as a serious.




  8. LS_Dracon
    People say they're the worst cover art ever, and one of the reasons Sega Master System was a failure in the US.
    I kind of agree, but I like them, just not take them as serious.

    Here's my redemptions of others famous games as If they're released in this style.
    (Drawings from internet)






  9. LS_Dracon
    Mortal Kombat HD Remix was a fan game project I was following since 3 or 4 years ago.
    I'm big fan of classic fighting games, the original MK was one of my favorites, so it was going to be special.
    The project goal was recreate the original MK game in high resolution using 3D graphics modeled after the original, respecting the animation, lighting and so on.
    Taking advantage of CG, the artist was making more animation frames and so on.
     
    This is the link for the youtube channel if you want to know more about the project : Gabriel Melendez
    The music was being remixed by another artist, here's the link of his channel : MrJustingSlaughter
     
    The music also, was better than MK 9 remixes, IMHO.
     
    I was dreaming about possibility to WB hire these guys and make this project official, but for my surprise they did the exact opposite!
    Just discovered Warner Bros, who owns the rights of MK, drop a C&D letter, and force him to stop to make this awesome project.
     
    What a douche move from WB. Seriously, from what I read, the game was meant to be released as free.
     
    There's a big difference between a fan game to a pirate game. And things get worse in a project is like this one, a free game, made with labor of love by talented people.
    I don't understand why big companies insist to constrain the creativity of people who grew playing their games. How could this project damage MK brand?
     
    From what I read on youtube comments, Gabriel is fine with it and will move on, creating an original fighting game.
     
    Sadly, Warner Bros deserve to be in the black list of companies who don't respect tolerate fan game projects.
     
    I'm going to finish this text to not say anything rude, to not say worse.
  10. LS_Dracon
    Today I have a good idea for a space shooter game.
    I'll not work on it, lot of others priority projects on to do list, so it's just an idea I'm throwing.
     
    The game place in a solar system invaded by aliens. This means stages alternating between planets and space.
     
    The aliens are displayed in rows just like Demon Attack, but each alien have unique behaviors. Some of them just stay shooting while others fall down to the player ship.
    After some alien waves, you fight against a mother ship, and can move for the next stage. The objective is clear the solar system, then jump to another and goes on.
     
    Let's talk about technical stuffs. Keeping only GRP1 for the aliens I can draw explosions with GRP0. The star field in space levels are made by BL, while in the planet another kernel draw the environment using PF1, much like in Space Chase.
     
    I have options to change the player size and numbers, to make lot of unique alien ships. Naturally each alien ship will have own color and look.
     
    Follow the mock up, sorry for the low quality, this is a quick drawing. The space level shows all the possible objects on screen and the planet stage shows the kernel options for each row. Only in the bottom row the aliens shoots or fall against you.
     

     
  11. LS_Dracon
    Another variation of technique I call hyper sprite.
     
    Also the making of sprite set and what I needed to do for convert it to Atari 2600 graphics.
     

     
    Believe, this was the easier part, making the kernel was the difficult thing, thanks to HMOVE hardware bug.
     
    I'm listening right now Tenpole Tudor, very cool early 80's punk band from UK. Together with Toy Dolls, Damned and Sex Pistols my favorite punk bands from that era.
     
    Below, the Atari 2600 rom if you want.
  12. LS_Dracon
    I was reading about Odyssey 2 programming and created a demo, it dysplays AtariAge
    on the screen. I think it's not bad for only 2 hours studing the O2 hardware.
     
    I have no plans for this console for now, but I liked some of the 8048 assembly instructions (O2 processor).
    It's very similar to Chip8 language that I give a try last year. The hardware also.
     
    Odyssey 2 support 4 sprites on the screen, they are limited to 8x8 pixels. You can draw them as 2x wide. Don't know yet if is possible to re-use like in atari 2600, I hope so.
     
    Also, it support 12 freely moveable objects, but limited to 8x8 pixel images (characters) you find in the BIOS. It's why many of O2 games uses the same sprites. They haven't collision detection, if I understand correctly and can't to overlap each other.
    They are used to dysplay text. That's means, 12 letters per row (or screen don't know)
     
    There's no background support, just a grid 8x9 that you can enable / disable each line in the square as desired. It's pretty much limited to draw walls like in Berzerk.
     
    There's 4 quad-sized objects wich I don't know what they are. I think it's gigantic sprites, so with them I can draw a sort of background. I need to test this to know how it works.
     
    All objects are limited to 1 color from a pallete of 8. You have a darker pallete for the background grid only. Don't know if is possible to change the color by line like in the Atari 2600. Hell the A2600 is my unique reference of game programming in assembly
     
    Odyssey 2 is surprisely fun to code
     
    Here's the rom but there's not only the image you see atached.
  13. LS_Dracon
    I like videogame musics from 16 bit era most because in that machines (Snes, Genesis, Neo-Geo) the musicians used their full potential without much limitations, they have good chips with 6 or more sound channels and lot of rom to use. I collect Midi since end of 90's, vgmusic was one of the first internet sites that I visit and still downloading midis today, even with possibility to play original music files emulated by programs.
    Aways wanted to create midis, but I'm not musician and have no talent for this. I know how to create sound fx for games, but music require special timming that I don't have.
    My first midi comes from R-Type 3, snes game that have awesome sound track but sadly nobody makes midi from this game.
    This midi is old actually, I did it more than a year ago. The program I use is AnvilStudio, freeware midi composer and AudioOverload, that play original music files from many consoles and computers WITH possibility to disable audio channels and record to wav.
     
    With wavs from single channel I tryed to reproduce, note by note, on the Anvil midi composer. Snes has 8 sound channels
    After many days the midi was a crap, althoug alone the notes sounds good, together sounds out of tune.
     
    Finally I found another tool to help on the midi conversion : Amazing Midi
     
    With this tool I can create midi file from a wav. Nope, the result is far from perfect, but it pick the correct note, all I need to do is erase the unanted notes and fix the lenght wich is a lot easier than find the correct note by ear.
     
    Here's the result. Still "bad" but compared with my fist attempts, it's ok. Also I'll attach the midi created by AmazingMidi, wich are used to pick the correct notes. The midi is on vgmusic also.
     
    I have plans to convert R-Type3 level 1 music, wich is the badass one, also Top Gear 2, wich is another game with great musics and nobody convert to midi.
     
    The original sound for comparission :
  14. LS_Dracon
    A recent sprite I did.
    Her name is Blaze Fielding from Streets of Rage (sega genesis).
     
    I did backups every significant steps for you know the process of creation.
     
    Well, that is for today
  15. LS_Dracon
    Here is Bee-Ball mockup for the Odyssey^2.
     
    No, I'll not code it.
     
    Don't know if this screen is doable, is possible to change the graphics "on the fly" using line interrupts but don't know how flexible it is.
     
    Odyssey2 support 4 single colored sprites limited by 8x8 pixels each, I'm overlaping 2 for each bee. The raquets are made by bios character, as well the ball and the bee's eye and wing. (I can use up to 12 bios characters at same line).
     
    The net is not possible by this way, I have vertical lines but not in middle of the screen, perhaps I can to draw it using others bios character the problem are these characters can't to overlap others characters. If ball collide on the net I will have problems (screen glitches I think). Probably is required a good software collision code to prevent this.
     
    Bee judge and the leaves (double sized) at top are using the 4 sprites in proper place on the screen. The background color is the darkest green I have, It's doesn't contrast much with the sprites, another problem.
     
    The graphics can be improved, just need to know more about this machine.
     
    I think Odyssey 2 could be a better machine with a full bitmap background like Fairchild Channel F. The Bios characters will be useles as I could draw them directly in the video memory.
    Other problem is the bios character uses the first KB of the rom, but the bios stay on the console, so the cart itself have only 3 kb of data, why not to keep the first kb to the bios but in the cartridge, at least I could personalise the fonts or use the extra characters to draw my own sprites.
     
    Much of these design mistakes was solved in odyssey^3 but that was late.
  16. LS_Dracon
    Here's my to do list just the sake of curiosity.
     
    1 - Spidergame (ArachnaMania)
     
    This is my recent project and unique that I already start to work on codes.
    I want to return to code it this year but, well, real life stuff is a problem.
    Not the time really, but I'm a bit tired lately. Homebrew project require a huge effort, I need to work almost every day at least 2 hours to have a good progress.
    I, and assume most of us (2600 programmers) aren't here for money.
    Back in the early 80's every simple game sold reasonable well, was possible to living programming games. It's not the case here, I think to make living programming homebrew games they must sold 800 or more carts.
    You dispend lot of time on it, and a good game will not be finished less than a year.
    Working on a game an entire year to sold 60 copies just pay the used carts for the production, shipping cost, manual assembly and things like that.
    The satisfaction feeling of job done is what motivates me.
    But it don't feed. That's why I job and get tired
     
    2 - Racing game
     
    My idea was create a racing game with defined tracks, fixed number of racers and a good looking road. I'm thinking how the best way to draw the roads and have 2 or 3 test to do. An world tour circuit featuring most know cities.
    Also I have idea to create tunnels with 3d effects when it's comming.
    Basically I whant to create a game Top Gear 2 like.
    Recent game Turbo is something I have on mind, but with not blocky looking road.
     
    3 - Tetris Bombliss
     
    You can see more about this project in other blog entry.
    My objective is not only to recriated the game, but manly the puzzle mode.
    I'm not big fan of tetris but bombliss is very fun.
     
    4 - Space Shooter
     
    I had a good idea for a space shooter, I preffer to not talk about but is something different than just shoot on aliens that come from above.
    This project is one of my priorities.
     
    5 - RPG game
     
    The problem of creating rpg games for the 2600 is not the limitations of the hardware, but it seems 2600 RPGs are cursed is some way.
    Most of great projects are abandoned or discontinued (Homestar runner come to my mind, and others projects that I don't remember the name).
    Creating a good rpg is something that require a huge effort.
    I have lot of ideas for this project, most of these ideas are for the battle system wich will similar to the Final Fantasy, that is, when the battle comes, the screen changes to battle arena with new sprites for the main player and enemies.
    I can't programming such game based on my assembly skills today, because even with 32kb I need to create most optimized code as possible.
    The question is not if the code works, but if it works and is optimized.
     
     
    Discontinued projects :
     
    1 - Lemming
     
    Already posted about it on my blog. It's a fun concept, I can code it, but I think my original projects worth more. It's not dead, but in very low priority.
     
    2 - Donkey Kong
     
    One of first thing I posted in this forum was a good looking donkey kong sprite demo.
    Many people asked (and still asking) about this project, I have no interest to code it, because Nintendo sucks when somebody use
    their characters. I don't have interest to beg about nintendo authorization, or create DK game and name it after Krazy Kong just to not be sued.
    The real problem is lack of respect from big software against a "fan".
     
    Also I have an unfinished pong clone that I code for fun, have no interest to
    release on a cart. Maybe as easter egg in one of my projects as this pong is only 2kb.
    Current prototype name is Super Pong and is posted somewhere in homebrew forum.
     
    These are most notorious projects I have. Times from times I have new ideas but
    it doesn't pass the "idea" stage.
     
    Also I'm working on 2600 Prince of Persia as sprite designer. This project
    rules and I'm happy to be part of it.
     
    There anothers projects I'm working as graphic designer, some of them not in this community.
    For example I'm retuned to work on 3ds max, nothing really interesting to show.
  17. LS_Dracon
    Here is another colection of bad cosplay I found.
    My objective here is not to show only the worst costumes, but also the funny ones.
     

    Solid Snake inside a box.
     

    Paper... I mean, Iron man
     

    Tetris! XD
     

    Mario Kart gang
     

    Samus Aran
     

    Gundam - From japanese giant robot anime (I gess)
     

    Star Wars characters. R2D2 deserve more respect.
     

    Storm troopers
  18. LS_Dracon
    Cosplay (costume play) if you don't know, are people wearing and playing like their favorite video game/cartoon/anime characters.
     
    Some are very well done, such sexy girls playing as Chun-li.
    Other are hilarious poorly made. Here are some of them :
     

    Smurfs
     

    Toilet Spiderman
     

    Sonic the hedgehog
     

    Kitana from mortal kombat 2 XD
     

    Adventure's dragon
     

    Silver surfer (the best!)
     

    And to finish, sailor moon.
  19. LS_Dracon
    In my last entry I've posted one mockup, Pac-Man for RCA studio II.
    At first a bizarre idea, today I did progress.
     
    I've start to study about Chip-8 programming, and did progress!
     
    In less than an hour I've written an hello word code.
     
    Chip-8 is a language that come from Cosmac VIP computer released by RCA in 1977.
    It's basically a RCA studio II computer. There are many emulator for chip-8, even for gamming platforms such gameboy and vectrex. Today there is super and mega chip-8 variations with more resolution and in color.
     
    The video display 64x32 monocrome pixels of resolution and single sound channel.
     
    I find quite easy and fun to code, at least in the first hour.
    Don't know why I'm codding for it. Mainly because I have tons of projects to finish.
    I think because the challenge.
     
    My next step is a playable pong.
     
    Edit : Added the image of the moving sprite.
  20. LS_Dracon
    Why not?
     
    The system display B/W colors, but some games has coded for display colors.
    There is a Studio II clone made in UK that display colors. I don't know exactly the screen resolution (64x32, pixel aspect ratio 3x4?) and how the color works.
    Anyway 64x32 I can display a good maze and I have lot of space for score and others stuff on right. The dots looks better flickering, I think.
    The image display both B/W and Color versions.
     
    Freak!
     
    Edit : Added DK mockup for channel F
  21. LS_Dracon
    Here some of my latest sprites, primal rage characters
    in "pocket" style, and Tyris Flare from golden axe, based in
    that sketch posted by me days ago.
     
    People call it as "Pixel Art". I never liked this label.
    Art made using a bunch of squares is called Mosaic.
    The diference in computer/video games that mosaic is digital, so for me it's Digital Mosaic art.
  22. LS_Dracon
    Hi people.Tetris was never my favorite stile of game but bombliss variation rules and I enjoyed it alot as a kid.If you never played bombliss, all pieces contain 1 bomb wich explodes if the row is filled.You need 2 or more bombs to explode the row, if the row haven't bombs, nothing happen but it count as "combo". With more lines filed the explosion is bigger. If the explosion touch another bombs, they explodes too. If you put 4 little bombs together, they turns into a big bomb.Well watch the video if you never played it :
    How this game could be done in the 2600?I think the best solution was pf interlaced lines, one line shows the blue blocks, another the bombs only.I need 2 pf data becouse the game uses 10 squares per row.The explosion fx uses GRPX over sized (quad size). The unique gap is the big bomb, they can't to be displayed, besides this, the big bomb can be coded and the effect is the same.The puzzle mode is a must have in this game.Check out the animated gif I made, this is how the bombliss could looks in the 2600, the game is plenty doable.Another project to my endless to do list
  23. LS_Dracon
    The best cosplay I ever saw. Her name is Thais Yuki, she is brazilian.More photos in her website : http://www.yukicosplay.com/site/yuki/pt/cosplays/104
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