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Atarius Maximus

Spy Dive

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My concept behind this game idea is you're a spy skydiving into a city with the goal of infiltrating an embassy once you're on the ground. You were spotted on the flight in so the enemy is more than ready for your arrival. I've got a very basic demo completed.

 

Hit the fire button to start your freefall from the drop plane. You start by falling through 38 screens in the air, with the object being to avoid the helicopters and other paratroopers trying to take you out. You can speed up your fall by pushing down on the joystick. You can also shoot your weapon while you're falling. There's a consistent barrage of grenades being tossed from above (the ball).

 

Once you hit the 39th screen, you're falling in front of a skyscraper with other (not implemented yet) obstacles to avoid such as enemies shooting from the windows. Once you hit the 48th screen your freefall is complete and you put your parachute away. At this point you need to run through the city searching for the embassy. Beyond that I don't know yet, there are some city streets you can run down but there's nothing to do and you can't enter any buildings. The score currently indicates which screen number you're on, I've got that set up for debugging purposes.

 

Right now you can't die and all of the enemies on the freefall screens move exactly the same way on each screen. That will eventually change to a more random design, or at least more varied. There's also nothing attacking you and nothing to avoid when you're on the skyscraper screens, that of course will change too. There's a LONG way to go on this project. If it turns into something fun I'll add AtariVox features to it as well.

 

If anyone has any thoughts, comments, or ideas on this project let me know. I'm not sure where exactly I'm going with it yet. I'm using RevEng's latest build (1.01dreveng30) to compile.

 

Steve

spydive_1-13-14.txt

spydive_1-13-14.txt.bin

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The only thing I can think of so far is that it looks like you're falling from the same part of the sky over and over as if you're being magically sucked back up and dropped from the plane again.

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It looks really pretty so far. I can only think of one small thing that I'd change just now. That would be the colour gradient in the sky. On the first screen it's, of course, fine but on subsequent screens it's that gradient that causes it to feel like the screen's resetting like Random Terrain mentioned. Maybe setting the game at twighlight with some stars might be nice?

 

I really like the idea of the game changing once you hit the ground. Perhaps then the game could become an 'endless' runner allowing for shooting (fire) and jumping (pushing up or button 2). It would change up the game play while keeping the pace of the 'vertical' portion of the game. :)

 

Good luck with whichever way you go. It really does look good.

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Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I'll look into some smooth scrolling options to make it look nicer (and more convincing) that you're falling, and changing up the look of the sky. Not sure what I'm going to do with the ground section of the game yet. It could be an endless runner or require some exploration. The sprites also all suck, I've never been very good at that.

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I really like the sprites. I think they're quite charming. As a Vic 20 fanboy I've played plenty of games in which the main sprite has no animation and it's never bothered me. If I were you I wouldn't worry about your sprite work. :)

 

Do you think proper smooth scrolling is doable while minimising flicker? That would be interesting to see. It certainly would make the diving part feel a little more 'organic'.

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Here's a sample program of one possible way I could scroll the sky. The playfield is solid other than cutouts for clouds, and pfcolors are set to kind of a blue gradient. The background color is set to off-white to color in the cloud "holes" in the playfield. PF0 is set to $FF to fill in the sides of the screen, which keeps them sky colored rather than two wide white strips from the white bkcolor. Thoughts?

scroll2.txt

scroll2.txt.bin

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That's actually pretty cool. How would that technique work with other sprites on screen? What you have so far is super smooth though I'd be interested in seeing it scroll past the building too. :)

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I added a few more sprites and changed the playfield to the building. It's a bit too fast and I couldn't quickly come up with an easy way to slow the scrolling that looked good. Also, there wouldn't be a good way to make the transition from the sky to the building using this technique.

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scroll3.txt

scroll3.txt.bin

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Woah! It looks like he's plummeting to his death! Still, it's a good start. I'm not a coder but I'm sure if you've got that far there must be a smooth way to scroll slower. As for the transition from sky to building; maybe you could have a 'bank of clouds' so that the sky goes from blue scroll to a white screen with a couple of cloud holes then on to the building. Would that work?

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Yep, he's falling fast! :) This is the first time I've tried to use scrolling at all with the DPC+ kernel, so I'm still learning. I'd have to experiment with having a transition, but I'm thinking abruptly changing the playfield during a scroll is going to look harsh.

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Here's a sample program of what the transition would look like simply changing from the sky to the building. Float down the sky screen one time and it switches to the building. I'd definitely have to come up with a smoother transition other than just abrubtly changing screens.

 

EDIT: I updated the sample program (scroll5) to include a single non-scrolling screen that's inbetween the freefall in the sky and the building freefall. It shows the top of the skyscraper before starting to scroll again. Still not sure if I like this effect either.

scroll4.txt.bin

scroll4.txt

scroll5.txt

scroll5.txt.bin

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Kinda reminds me of the beginning of Sly Spy. It would be cool if he was free-falling and able to shoot the bad guys.

 

You can shoot the bad guys! In fact, his sidearm is so powerful he can shoot helicopters out of the sky and make them disappear. :) I've never seen Sly Spy before, that looks pretty cool.

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