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Remakes of old video games -- The TI-99/4A and PARSEC

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Reminds me of the color "effects" caused by the Apple's simplistic TTL-based video generator when using white vertical lines with black adjacent.

 

And FFS, "Space Gliders"? Really?!

 

What is 'FFS' ?

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I’ve been looking at the laser, trying to find out what colors are used and how it interacts with objects, background etc.

 

Looking at the laser trails, I discovered that not all colors are used. Also firing at the same altitude produces the same color. The CT (Color Table at >2000) reveals the same colors for a character repeated throughout. Also the stars seem to travel through the same colors. Fixed colors are,

 

>E1 41 91 A1 71 D1 21 61

 

Obviously the laser starts at about the nose of the starship. And laser seems to end at an object if it’s hit. Laser starts and stops at character boundaries - length dividable by 8.

 

:)

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Good stuff! Urbite over on the list could probably lend some great info if you ever need it. :) Although I am sure you are quite capable yourself. :)

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I’ve been looking at the laser, trying to find out what colors are used and how it interacts with objects, background etc.

 

Looking at the laser trails, I discovered that not all colors are used. Also firing at the same altitude produces the same color. The CT (Color Table at >2000) reveals the same colors for a character repeated throughout. Also the stars seem to travel through the same colors. Fixed colors are,

 

>E1 41 91 A1 71 D1 21 61

 

Obviously the laser starts at about the nose of the starship. And laser seems to end at an object if it’s hit. Laser starts and stops at character boundaries - length dividable by 8.

 

:)

 

This all makes sense. I bet that the GAME OVER characters are of the same color striping. The character boundary-based drawing of the laser explains why sometimes the laser looks like it penetrates some of the objects. The color striping might explain why you cannot fire when flying close to the ground. My question is, are laser trails an unexpected side-effect of something or intentional?

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Good stuff! Urbite over on the list could probably lend some great info if you ever need it. :) Although I am sure you are quite capable yourself. :)


It would be nice to have his word on a few things. Especially on ideas abandoned - which I could then explore - I have many ideas so it's not critical, but it would be nice. For example there’s an image of an unused alien craft in the GROM.

I’ll try and get pretty close to the look and feel, but in the end it’s a remake. Oh, well, let's just see how far I get with this one ...

I don’t have the real hardware, which is again becoming a bit of a pain since the 3 emulators I use for reference behave somewhat differently in certain aspects. Again, I think I’ll manage.

;) Edited by sometimes99er

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This all makes sense. I bet that the GAME OVER characters are of the same color striping. The character boundary-based drawing of the laser explains why sometimes the laser looks like it penetrates some of the objects. The color striping might explain why you cannot fire when flying close to the ground. My question is, are laser trails an unexpected side-effect of something or intentional?

 

Yeah, I think that’s a pretty safe bet.

 

Then I’m wondering if I should make the laser true to the original or visually more correct ?

 

Yeah, that’s another thing I have to investigate. When does the starship refuse to fire.

 

The laser trails should only show their face under certain circumstances, like when hitting the joystick fire button and one or more fire buttons on the keyboard at the same time. Though it seems to happen a lot to me lately with Classic99 but not with MESS or Win994a. You got the same problem/feature ?

 

:)

Edited by sometimes99er

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Yeah, I think that’s a pretty safe bet.

 

Then I’m wondering if I should make the laser true to the original or visually more correct ?

 

Yeah, that’s another thing I have to investigate. When does the starship refuse to fire.

 

The laser trails should only show their face under certain circumstances, like when hitting the joystick fire button and one or more fire buttons on the keyboard at the same time. Though it seems to happen a lot to me lately with Classic99 but not with MESS or Win994a. You got the same problem/feature ?

 

:)

 

Unless you can do something spectacular with the laser, I would think leaving it alone would be okay. The ship will refuse to fire when you are in the ground area. As for the laser trails, one of the easiest ways to reproduce them on a console is to hold down both controller fire buttons together. I have not tried to do it in Classic 99.

 

What does the unused alien craft look like?

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I'll stick with a laser that looks identical, though all things won't and can't be totally pixel perfect. When you get further into the game I'll upgrade the laser.

 

:)

 

parsec.unused.alien.png

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It makes me wonder why they didn't use the unused craft (the one in your picture?) .... when you think about it, we have 3 different alien types that are all the same sprite - the Urbite , the Dramite and the Bynite

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It makes me wonder why they didn't use the unused craft (the one in your picture?) .... when you think about it, we have 3 different alien types that are all the same sprite - the Urbite , the Dramite and the Bynite

 

It's of course a craft to be included at some point (in the remake). Nice to have something new but still based on the original line of work.

 

:)

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I guess the reason you are not allowed to fire when close to the ground is simply because the color table is not being scrolled; it's static. So, when the ship is in the landscape area, the only colour available for the laser would be the same colour as the landscape.

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I guess the reason you are not allowed to fire when close to the ground is simply because the color table is not being scrolled; it's static. So, when the ship is in the landscape area, the only colour available for the laser would be the same colour as the landscape.

 

I guess it was just the easiest step then to not allow laser down there, but technically some bytes of color table manipulation (max. 32) could have done it (another approach than in the upper area, but that could have been adapted, affecting star routine too). You’d have to, I guess, accept that laser can’t penetrate ground objects, but also, you could have laser go behind or in front of (restoring the color table would be easy, no need to change patterns), - but all in all, as is, changing code and testing.

 

:)

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So I’ve added the ability to move left and right. Also added the exhaust.

 

Funny how the brain works, when I saw your newest version with the exhaust, I could have SWORN I heard the engine noise for a second or two! IT'S LOOKING GREAT! :thumbsup:

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You need to add the bug (feature) where if you hold the joystick up while you're accelerating, you can wrap around. ;)

Edited by unhuman
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Of course, you'll need to add TAB bombs*.

 

*TAB bombs refer to a particular type of bomb that you could 'pick up' on the BBC Model B version of Defender. When things got too hot, you could nuke ever alien on the screen by pressing the TAB key.

 

Fond memories of school, in the computer room, circa 1985 screaming "TAB the fuckers!"

 

 

Tally ho!

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It always bugged me in Defender that you could fly THROUGH mountains with no issues.

 

It would have made more sense if you had to avoid them like a real craft would do.

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I sort of always thought the mountains we're in the "background" and the craft flew in front of it.

 

Much like standing here in Denver and watching the small planes fly in front of the foothills.

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With no 3D it confused my perceptions. Any other game would have you crash into them.

 

And many games come to mind.

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Yea, true. In Moon Patrol, the mountains have a BEAUTIFUL parallax scroll which leaves no doubt... But like many other commercial TI games, and unlike Moon Patrol, Defender did not exceed expectations.

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But like many other commercial TI games, and unlike Moon Patrol, Defender did not exceed expectations.

 

"Moon Patrol" and "Burgertime" I thought were a couple of the best conversions. "Frogger" and "Q*bert" were pretty good, too.

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