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adamantyr

TI-99/4a disk-based CRPG

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Still working on getting another demo version out... Got some controls debugging to do, trying to close off any unimplemented features so they don't break things, and so forth.

 

The demo won't feature playable combat yet; I really need to finish the hard stuff of control systems, including things like merchants, inns, and so forth. There's plenty of time to play-balance the combat system later.

 

Seriously thinking now I should probably utilize the 8k CPU memory the cartridge provides... I don't like doing it because it means a base 32k TI is no longer enough, but it would be a load off my mind to have another 8k to work with. I suppose I could find someone willing to put together a bunch of 8k RAM carts to support it.

 

You can keep an eye on my blog for progress.

 

Adamantyr

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Seriously thinking now I should probably utilize the 8k CPU memory the cartridge provides... I don't like doing it because it means a base 32k TI is no longer enough, but it would be a load off my mind to have another 8k to work with. I suppose I could find someone willing to put together a bunch of 8k RAM carts to support it.

 

Have you considered using a 64K bank-switched EPROM for storing your game code?

You would then have a lot of the 32K memory available for storing game statistics, etc.

 

The PCB's for a 64K bank-switched cartrdige are already widely available.

Edited by retroclouds

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Have you considered using a 64K bank-switched EPROM for storing your game code?

You would then have a lot of the 32K memory available for storing game statistics, etc.

 

The PCB's for a 64K bank-switched cartrdige are already widely available.

 

Mainly, I'd have to re-factor the entire project from scratch, something I'm really not willing to do right now. Bank-switch programming is a total departure from the current model... the 8K Superspace carts would just give me a different 8k for data, and I can continue using compiler/SAVE utility which would just run the code into the lower 8k once the top 24k is filled.

 

Also, I'm not interested in any emulator for development except Classic99... I've no idea if it supports this particular arrangement yet.

 

Adamantyr

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Okay, I reached a point in code that I was saying ‘Okay, that’s enough, just get a demo out there for people to complain about’.

 

You can download it on my CRPG site at http://www.adamantyr.com/crpg/demo.htm

 

Also, check out the new article on all the updates that went into it at http://www.adamantyr.com/crpg/article_10.htm

 

Adamantyr

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A momentous occasion!! Crack open the bubbly, get out the fine china and the filet mignon!!! I've been waiting for a long time. You rock, sir!!

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A momentous occasion!! Crack open the bubbly, get out the fine china and the filet mignon!!! I've been waiting for a long time. You rock, sir!!

 

Better re-cork the bottle, the Demo isn't finished yet. :)

 

It's version 0.60. When it's 1.0 it's done. :)

 

Adamantyr

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Your article was quite informative. I find it interesting how you decided to drop the derived values... I've become so accustomed to that style and philosophy over the years that leaving it behind would be tough for me as a designer. But your explanation and rationale are on point. Looking forward to playing your demo!!

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Wow... I checked my site's hit counts for the day, and I was 324. Normally I average 10-25. Understandable, since I update my blog infrequently and my last update to the CRPG site was nearly three years ago. Still, 300? Sheesh!

 

Feel free to post any oddities or bugs you find with the interfaces and controls... the only thing I can definitely guarantee won't work is the combat. You can move around the map all you like, but if you try casting a spell or firing a bolt at a guy, expect a crash. :)

 

Adamantyr

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After playing Final Fantasy II on the SNES, I decided I needed to add a new tile set to the CRPG to support castles and fortresses.

 

post-17978-128546293316_thumb.png

 

Granted, a great deal of tile space is getting wasted on purely visual stuff... and it really shouldn't be "line of sight" blocking either... but eh, it looks way better.

 

Adamantyr

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Yep, looks good. This must be a editor screenshot - but still looks good. :)

 

Thanks. And thanks for the blow-up on that... how do you make those animated GIF's? I doubt anyone's even looked at my circle routine in the special effects thread...

 

This particular shot is a ruined fort at the top of a frozen mountain pass that will be in the demo. It's probably not the best shot to show off the tileset, since there's a lot of white and gray...

 

Adamantyr

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... how do you make those animated GIF's? I doubt anyone's even looked at my circle routine in the special effects thread...

I run whatever in MESS, Win994a or Classic99, and videotape (screen area recording) it using Camtasia Studio 5. And then I select "Produce video as gif.

 

I previously had a look at you circle demo, and it's super. Very smooth. I'll make a gif animation if you don't mind.

 

Does these trigonometric values support smooth circular movement on a larger scale (like with a diameter of 180 pixels) ?

 

This particular shot is a ruined fort at the top of a frozen mountain pass that will be in the demo. It's probably not the best shot to show off the tileset, since there's a lot of white and gray...

Still looks good, and sometimes a more dim selection of colors will only add to the atmosphere. Great job. And nice font too.

 

:)

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I run whatever in MESS, Win994a or Classic99, and videotape (screen area recording) it using Camtasia Studio 5. And then I select "Produce video as gif.

 

I previously had a look at you circle demo, and it's super. Very smooth. I'll make a gif animation if you don't mind.

 

Does these trigonometric values support smooth circular movement on a larger scale (like with a diameter of 180 pixels) ?

 

Not at all, thanks!

 

I haven't tested it to that degree, but I'm guessing as long as you're on the scale of the TI screen, it should remain pretty accurate. The demo doesn't test out "skipping" angles, which would speed up movement. What you're seeing is tracking every angle as it increments the radius.

 

Still looks good, and sometimes a more dim selection of colors will only add to the atmosphere. Great job. And nice font too.

 

Yes, for an afternoon's work it's pretty decent. I had particular trouble coming up with a "ruined" tile, it was too easy to make it look like garbage. I eventually got that "worn but still distinctly a stone wall" with a lot of trial and error.

 

Yes, I actually adapted the font from Ultima IV. I originally had it as a 6x7 font, but it was too thick and visually distracting on a black screen, so I made it 5x7 instead.

 

Adamantyr

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Yes, for an afternoon's work it's pretty decent. I had particular trouble coming up with a "ruined" tile, it was too easy to make it look like garbage. I eventually got that "worn but still distinctly a stone wall" with a lot of trial and error.

tms9918a graphics has remained a good and fun challenge - and time consuming. :cool:

 

Yes, I actually adapted the font from Ultima IV. I originally had it as a 6x7 font, but it was too thick and visually distracting on a black screen, so I made it 5x7 instead.

Oh, so it would fit the 40 column mode. :)

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Here's a feature that has always been present, but I never really had a way to illustrate it... Slanted maps!

 

Basically, I do a left or right slant on map data, which lets me generate maps with a diagonal flow. The main value with this is you can create maps like coastlines without a lot of wasted space due to the square map not following the land contours.

 

I hadn't had any slanted maps in the demo, but because it's a fundamental engine part, I figured I should add a few just to test it out. Here's what one would look like:

 

post-17978-128580092673_thumb.png

 

Mind you, DRAWING these sort of maps is hard. I had to modify my map editor so that the cursor still goes straight up/down, because otherwise plotting maps was really difficult.

 

Adamantyr

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That's pretty fascinating man. :). I'm interested in your logic behind this. This is accomplished by an offset? Or is it all manual? Bur aren't all your maps are static and not generated by an engine?

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That's pretty fascinating man. :). I'm interested in your logic behind this. This is accomplished by an offset? Or is it all manual? Bur aren't all your maps are static and not generated by an engine?

 

Yes, I use an offset value (0, 1, or -1) to determine if each row is displaced by that amount, incrementally. (So the first row is 0, second row is N, third is N+N, etc.) I only slant left or right; up and down would be twice as much work to implement, and doesn't really gain anything.

 

My maps are static, but they're still stored as a linear array, like a square map. I just project them differently.

 

The big headache with this technique is adjusting the placement of objects, coordinate-wise. Static locations are fine; it uses the same system as square maps do, the difference being that N rows up or down is also N columns displaced, depending on if you go up or down. But if a mob unit, for example, has to move, I have to remember that it's actually moving diagonally up and down so it looks like it's moving cardinally.

 

Like I said, it can be confusing, hence the screenshot to illustrate what I mean when I say "slanting".

 

Adamantyr

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Oh hell, I just listened to it. =) I had my capture settings for microphone as opposed to "internal". =) Sorry about that. =)

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Beautiful demo Adam.

Quick question: Are you storing the scrollable map entirely in memory or do you load it on the fly in sections from disk?

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Beautiful demo Adam.

Quick question: Are you storing the scrollable map entirely in memory or do you load it on the fly in sections from disk?

 

I tested out loading sections at a time, but it's really bad for performance. The architecture of disk sectors doesn't work very well with it, because you have to load a lot of waste data in one record and extract only a small part of it.

 

So each map is self-contained, and no further loads are done while scrolling for map data. I have a 4k buffer, so you can have up to 64x64 tiles, or any size lower, which is quite sufficient for my needs.

 

Adamantyr

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