Jump to content
Jess Ragan

GORF: Now on GameBoy Advance!

Recommended Posts

Frustrated with the sheer number of crappy home ports of GORF out there, I took it upon myself to create a version of the game without all the compromises... something I could stick in my pocket and play just about anywhere. After years of wishing, and months of programming, I'm starting to make that dream a reality. Behold! This is GORF for the GameBoy Advance.

 

http://www.lakupo.com/grblitz/gorf_part2.zip

 

Well, this is about half of GORF for the GameBoy Advance. Right now, it's in its early alpha stages. I've finished three rounds, with just two remaining. Some elements are missing for the sake of easy playtesting- your ship cannot be destroyed, for instance- but I think you'll find that the conversion is already superior to many that have come before it. (Not that this would be much of an achievement considering how craptastic the ColecoVision version was... oy!)

 

After I add the last two stages, I'm going to jump back into the code and fix the Laser Attack stage, then add in more sound effects, including GORF's famous synthesized voice. I'm continually amazed at just how powerful the GameBoy Advance really is... sure, it's no match for the PSP or Nintendo DS, but it's got more than enough power for a conversion like this. 128 onscreen sprites? 512 colors with separate background and sprite palettes? Support for digitized sound? Awwww yeah. It's like a classic game fanatic's development paradise, especially since there's a BASIC compiler out there that makes designing games all the easier.

 

Anyway, I want your comments and suggestions on this early alpha. Constructive criticism is both welcome and appreciated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many bugfixes in the latest revision. C'mon guys, you can be a little more supportive than this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I don't have a way to play this on my DS... is there going to be a cart release later on? I'd be interested in a portable Gorf! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I don't have a way to play this on my DS... is there going to be a cart release later on? I'd be interested in a portable Gorf! :)

 

If you've got a Super Card, you can play it anywhere you want... it's totally free! I don't plan to sell this, since the game is tied up in so much legal red tape. It's owned by Midway, which is now owned by Time-Warner, except parts of the game are actually knock-offs of games designed by Taito and Namco. (Whew.)

 

Besides, this is more a labor of love than anything else. I was heartbroken by one too many mediocre GORF conversions and I needed to prove that a worthy port was possible on a home game system. I also wanted to try my hand at programming on a semi-recent console, and test the limits of the Game Boy Advance. Turns out they're quite comfortable for classic game design... would you believe it can handle 128 sprites at once?

 

Anyway, stay tuned! Barring unforeseen circumstances, this game will have voice!

Edited by Jess Ragan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This gives me some hope that many classics might get homebrewed to the GBA. I'm testing this on the Wii and the PSP. Friggen awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my pie in the sky fantasies was to convert several Midway arcade games that had also made an appearance on Commodore computers. The first four that came to mind were GORF (so far so good!), Wizard of Wor (another favorite of mine), Omega Race (friggin' awesome on the VIC-20), and as a curveball, Blueprint. I've always been both bewildered and fascinated by this quest to save your girlfriend from a raging raisin by building a robot out of junk you've burgled from peoples' homes. It seems like it'd be a good fit on the GameBoy Advance, especially now that I know that Blueprint was actually developed by the guys who founded RARE. Holy crap, I thought for sure it was Japanese!

 

Games that will likely be left off my conversion list include LeMans (no particular attachment to this one), Kickman (probably not going to work too well on a horizontal screen and a joypad), Solar Fox (the 2600 version was better anyway), and Lazarian (I had high hopes for this one, but this awful piece of crap completely shattered them).

 

However, I'm going to see how far I can get in GORF before I move on to another project. There are just two stages left, and although Space Warp will be difficult, the Flagship uses the same basic logic as the invaders in Astro Battles... all I need to do is chain together 8x8 bits of ship that gradually take damage as they're hit. So really, once I finish Space Warp, the game is as good as done. All that's left from there is add a full color title screen and some logos at the beginning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The GBA is a brilliant little machine, I really liked coding for it myself. I actually started porting Cool Herders from the Dreamcast to it, and although I didn't have the screen drawing, the sound effects suggested that it was running at or near full speed with no tweaking to the base code- that impressed me. :)

 

I'm curious about that BASIC compiler, any good? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice! I just tried it with both VisualBoy Advance and with my Dinggo A320 pocket emulator. The alpha ran great on both.

I can't wait until you get some collision detection added! :thumbsup:

 

Question: when you just let the aliens in the first set march to the bottom of the screen, they just march off the bottom edge of the screen. Shouldn't you lose a life or get a "Game Over" at that point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice! I just tried it with both VisualBoy Advance and with my Dinggo A320 pocket emulator. The alpha ran great on both.

I can't wait until you get some collision detection added! :thumbsup:

 

Question: when you just let the aliens in the first set march to the bottom of the screen, they just march off the bottom edge of the screen. Shouldn't you lose a life or get a "Game Over" at that point?

 

I don't have any checks for lost lives yet. It makes it a lot easier for me to test the code thoroughly when I can play the game without dying constantly. Once all five stages are done, I'll add lives and ship collision detection.

 

By the way, does anyone know what happens if the invaders touch down in GORF? I've been playing the arcade game exhaustively to keep my conversion accurate (unlike whoever made the Coleco version... cough) but I've never, once, been able to get the invaders to reach the bottom of the screen. They always wind up crashing into my ship first. At that point, the stage just ends and the next one begins. I imagine the same thing would happen if they managed to reach the ground.

 

Tursi: The BASIC compiler is very good! It has issues with slow runtimes when a code loop gets too large (that's BASIC for you!), but it's surprisingly versatile, with access to most of the system's features. Sprites can be scaled, rotated, and even squashed, if you wanted to reproduce the melting animation from Miner 2049er or the death scenes in early Neo-Geo games like Sengoku. As you noticed from the demo, there's support for digitized sound, and graphics are stupidly easy to import. You just make them in a graphic editor, use a directive to port them to the game, then use a command called LOADSPRITE to put them in video RAM. Much easier than using some cheesy tile editor and a buttload of assembly language.

 

All right gang, I've rolled up my sleeves and am hard at work on the Space Warp stage. Sadly, since I'm working in a tiled graphics mode, I can't reproduce the lines from the arcade game, so I'm dabbling with the system's scaling and rotation to come up with an alternate solution. I'll post the ROM when I get a chance, and you can let me know if it's an acceptable substitute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoo hoo, now that's progress! Here's an early demo testing out graphics and enemy patterns for the Space Warp scene. Special thanks to the guys from the Programming section of the site for helping out with the enemy AI, because I never would have figured that out on my own (I'm trigonometry impaired). The warp streaks, on the other hand, were entirely my own invention. Give this a look and tell me if it passes the sniff test.

 

(Note that this is NOT a game of any kind, just an early tech demo!)

eureka.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Note that this is NOT a game of any kind, just an early tech demo!)

The ship spiralling out looks okay, though the arcade ship spins out a lot faster I think.

 

The streaks... well, I think they leave a bit something to be desired. The idea is that you're moving through a space wormhole or some such thing, so the streaks should start short in the center, and lengthen as they move out from the centre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Latest update! The first four stages are active now, with only the Flag Ship remaining. After that comes the nuts and bolts work... adding a lives system, a progression of difficulty, that sort of thing. And after THAT... I'll have to decide whether to include a straight gallery or go all out and offer a Crazy Box series of challenges. I've collected a bunch of images related to GORF that should be easy to incorporate in the game, but I'm not sure if players will have to unlock them or can just view them at their leisure.

 

Anyway, what's here NOW are more sound effects (the march of the space invaders gets faster and faster as their numbers are reduced) and increased speed for the player's ship. One pixel per frame was too slow, and two pixels much too fast, but you can't split a pixel, so what do you do? You add a flag that alternates between 1 and 2 after every frame and move the ship that much when the joypad is held down in any direction. It's a convincing effect and it gives the player just the right speed to dodge bullets without being uncontrollably fast.

 

LS650: The warp streaks can be changed without too much trouble. The code is pretty simple; just a matter of readjusting values in a series of IF...THEN lines. They'll likely be recycled as explosions in the flag ship stage and after your ship dies.

gorf_part3.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using VisualBoy Advance as the emulator, and it is running way too fast. I tried different throttle settings with no success.

 

Is anyone else trying this out with the VisualBoy Advance emulator? If so, what settings are you using?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is anyone else trying this out with the VisualBoy Advance emulator? If so, what settings are you using?

I can run it without issues on my Windows Vista (SP1) laptop. What do you mean by settings? Version number, etc?

I just left VBA with the default settings. I'm not near the machine at the moment but can check later today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't had problems with VisualBoy Advance... in fact, that's where I do the majority of my testing. Download the latest version of the emulator and give it another shot.

 

The flagship's almost done, gang. From there I just need to add lives, a rising difficulty level, and some voice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here comes the final alpha release of GBA Gorf!

 

There's a whole lot of fun stuff in this build. All five stages are present and accounted for, including the always satisfying Flagship and the pain-in-the-ass Space Warp. Your ship can also be destroyed by enemy fire, although you've got infinite lives right now so there's no penalty for actually dying. You can advance in rank as well, although the gameplay doesn't change... at least, not yet. I'd peg this at 75% complete, with many improvements planned for the immediate future. It's all beta from this point on!

 

Any suggestions and advice will be gratefully accepted.

gorf_alpha_9.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...