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Asmusr

Bouncy's obstacle course

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In case you're not following the development forum (http://atariage.com/forums/topic/288066-bouncys-obstacle-course/), I have released a new game, written in assembly language, called "Bouncy's obstacle course". In the game you have to help Bouncy getting through a 10 level course without jumping into deadly obstacles or enemies. The game features smooth scrolling graphics and original music.

 

Unlike my other games, this game does not required a 32K RAM expansion if you're running it from the 16K ROM (FlashROM 99 and FinalGROM 99 supported). Only the disk version requires 32K. A speech synthesizer is recommended.

 

ti99iuc has created a very nice label for the cart.

post-35226-0-15569200-1556988523.png

 

More information in the attached readme.txt file.

 

obstacle-8.bin

obstacle.dsk

obstacle.rpk

readme.txt

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Awesome way to start a Saturday! With a fun new TI 99/4A game. I love a relatively relaxing autoscroller. At the same time, level 4 is awesome. Makes me ask what a Zippy the Porcupine for TI 99/4A would be like.

 

Also love the music.

 

Here's a live gameplay vid with me playing level 1 through level 9 (as far as I've gotten so far), from a just completed stream: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/420341195?t=01h19m53s

 

Kind of blew my mind when it switched to vertical scrolling for the first time.

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Awesome way to start a Saturday! With a fun new TI 99/4A game. I love a relatively relaxing autoscroller. At the same time, level 4 is awesome. Makes me ask what a Zippy the Porcupine for TI 99/4A would be like.

 

Also love the music.

 

Here's a live gameplay vid with me playing level 1 through level 9 (as far as I've gotten so far), from a just completed stream: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/420341195?t=01h19m53s

 

Kind of blew my mind when it switched to vertical scrolling for the first time.

 

Thanks, that was great fun for me to watch. The trick to get the 1UP on THE BRIDGE without dying is to jump from the platform while holding the right button. Then you will also long jump from the trampoline.

Edited by Asmusr
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Yeah, I was getting brutalised by Level 5 there for a bit :P

 

After playing it for an hour and a half, once I was no longer looking at my autoscrolling monitor, the world decided to start autoscrolling in the other direction instead.

 

I think you broke my brain. You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

 

;)

 

Seriously though, I've always liked Moon Patrol style autoscrollers. Combine that effectively with some platforming, and you've got something special.

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After seeing the magic that Rasmus has does with his side scrollers, I ALWAYS wonder if something "like" Commander Keen 5 stuffed into a FG99 is possible.

 

It's not magic, but a matter of exploiting similarities in the graphics and redefining characters accordingly. Unfortunately the more variation there is in the graphics the more characters it takes, and Commander Keen has far more detailed graphics than Bouncy's, which is already at the limit of what can be done with this technique.

 

Flying Shark uses another technique where characters are redefined on the fly. This allows for more detailed graphics at the expense of taking more time. But when we move from scrolling in one direction to scrolling both vertically and horizontally we basically need the square of the number of characters, and none of these techniques are any good.

 

So with the stock VDP I think the only option is to scroll in 8 pixel increments. Even then there seems to be far more graphics in a level than what would fit into a 256 character set. See here, for example:

https://www.spriters-resource.com/pc_computer/commanderkeen4/sheet/81780/

With some clever programming it might be possible only to upload the characters you need for each scroll position, but it's far from trivial. There is also the matter of moving sprites behind characters which is quite difficult on a stock VDP.

 

The F18A is able to do the smooth scrolling, and its 8 color mode is also a much better match for the EGA graphics in Commander Keen than the stock VDP bitmap colors. It also allows sprites to move behind characters. But even with the F18A we have the limitation of 256 characters.

 

Perhaps if and when the F18A MK2 is released it will allow larger characters sets (a 16-bit name table)?

 

This analysis is only about the graphics. There are lots of other obstacles to overcome in order to port Commander Keen to the TI-99/4A.

 

Having said this, a game similar to Commander Keen but with simpler graphics is certainly a possibility. Then you would also avoid any copyright issues. Commander Keen has been released for the Nintendo Switch so it's not abandonware.

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Perhaps if and when the F18A MK2 is released it will allow larger characters sets (a 16-bit name table)?

 

Personally, I kind of hope the F18A MK2 (if and when it is released) doesn't introduce more platform featureset fragmentation. I feel like having the 32K upgrade as a fairly standard upgrade doesn't introduce any issues, with its being cheap, easily available, and being a "plug in" whose use requires no technical knowledge at all. And we needed an F18A, given the absence of anything better than a very noisy Composite signal on the original NTSC unit. But even as someone who has both an F18A and 32K upgrade, I find myself appreciating that Dragon's Lair and Bouncy's Obstacle Course can run on unmodified hardware. Because as much as I love the way mods are thriving these days, I feel like things get frustrating for both developers and the new/returning user, when you reach a point where a dozen different configurations of mods and sidecars might be required, to play any given game.

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Personally, I kind of hope the F18A MK2 (if and when it is released) doesn't introduce more platform featureset fragmentation. I feel like having the 32K upgrade as a fairly standard upgrade doesn't introduce any issues, with its being cheap, easily available, and being a "plug in" whose use requires no technical knowledge at all. And we needed an F18A, given the absence of anything better than a very noisy Composite signal on the original NTSC unit. But even as someone who has both an F18A and 32K upgrade, I find myself appreciating that Dragon's Lair and Bouncy's Obstacle Course can run on unmodified hardware. Because as much as I love the way mods are thriving these days, I feel like things get frustrating for both developers and the new/returning user, when you reach a point where a dozen different configurations of mods and sidecars might be required, to play any given game.

I hear that loud and clear. I started off with a stock console, loading anything and everything over cassette/wav file. Then i got a 32k card, and that opened up a few more possibilities. Then i got TIPI, because i figured finding a working PEB and disk drive would be too much hassle. I am considering getting a Finalgrom99, but i have to wonder about "the ship of Theseus" i may be in for if i keep upgrading my system...

At what point does a system become so upgraded that it is no longer the original system? So far, i can safely remove everything i have done to my ti and go back to a true stock console.

I feel upgrades like the F18A may be beneficial but not really needed, as long as the "upgrades" they offer can be properly emulated by software on modern emulation solutions; no need to ruin perfectly good antique hardware for a handful of games that can be played without issue in a emulator.

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I see things from a different angle, and it's probably a little militant or politically incorrect to some, but my motto is, "whatever floats your boat". I see no reason why one persons opinion should deprive others of enjoying their hobby in whatever way they personally see fit. Many people like playing with the cassette and that's cool. Others like to remain stock, while others would like to see how far the TI can expand. I say if you don't like it, don't buy it.

 

The F18A was mentioned, and it appears Matthew went over and above the call of duty to make it 100% compatible with the TI. One does NOT have to use the new 'extras' if they don't want to. Now that being said, back in the day no one (that I know of) had any issues with the HFDC, Geneve, Triple Tech Card or anything else. If they wanted one they bought it. Why, just because it's 30 years later should some new things be considered Verboten? I doubt the TI hobby would be as exciting or interesting if new items were restricted because some people don't like the idea of new stuff.

 

I love the new stuff, F18A, TIPI, FinalGROM and software that use these items where would we be without them?

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Made it to level 12 and was delighted to find that even though there are only 10 levels structurally speaking, there are more challenges beyond that. Sweet.



I am legitimately addicted to this game.



Level 5 is a real bastard :P


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