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Revontuli

Dragon's Descent - Action/Roguelike for the 7800 (ported from the 2600)

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Hi Rev

 

just played around....could not reproduce the crash again...but got another crash.....again in level 7.

Sorry for the bad pic,but it was level 7.I killef the enemy and got a crash 😢

IMG_20200204_202503.thumb.jpg.5ead029655e000c9c91b77ed8ecac349.jpg

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On 2/4/2020 at 11:56 AM, gambler172 said:

just played around....could not reproduce the crash again...but got another crash.....again in level 7.

Sorry for the bad pic,but it was level 7.I killef the enemy and got a crash 😢

Thanks - this, when comparing it to the last crash pic, gives me a few places to look.

 

Speaking of testing, everyone, I just posted the first beta build of Dragon's Cache - If anyone is in the mood for a Versus/Match-3/Puzzle Drop game for the 7800 check it out!  It'll need some testing in the field as well!

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6 hours ago, Revontuli said:

Thanks - this, when comparing it to the last crash pic, gives me a few places to look.

 

Speaking of testing, everyone, I just posted the first beta build of Dragon's Cache - If anyone is in the mood for a Versus/Match-3/Puzzle Drop game for the 7800 check it out!  It'll need some testing in the field as well!

Hi Rev

will check it out....more soon

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New version, implementing suggested support for "Reset" and "Select" buttons:

 

DragonsDescent_2_18_2020.bas.a78

DragonsDescent_2_18_2020.bas.bin

 

"Reset" will reboot game from title screen, and start a new game with existing parameters if used during gameplay.  "Select" will return user to title screen if pressed during gameplay.  Versions added to original post as well.

 

Once upon a time I tried synchronizing the console switches to the game menu selection - this might be too kludgy, especially since I don't have a console to try all of the possible ways it could go wrong.  Right now I'm looking to see what the switches are when the user boots up the game, and change the parameters accordingly.  My sense is that changing the settings from the menu alone is much easier to keep track of than supporting both the hardware switches and the graphical menu.  Polling what the console switches are upon powering on and resetting might be enough.

Edited by Revontuli
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10 hours ago, gambler172 said:

Hi Rev

found a new bug....again in level 7....

After beating the end boss....the game crashed.

No bugs found in other levels

No clue why level 7 would be any different, at least in a way that would introduces crashes like it has - although I'll certainly look.

 

If you want to still test, could you try this version?  I'm been having some issues with Dragon's Cache that might involve the sound, and I wonder if that has anything to do with the issues with Dragon's Descent as well, so here's a soundless version:

 

DragonsDescent_2_19_2020_NoSound.bas.bin

DragonsDescent_2_19_2020_NoSound.bas.a78

 

If someone still gets crashes, level 7 or not, then I can rule out the sound being an issue.  I'm suspicious since it's a separate system, and I'm not 100% sure how it might come back into the main game loop. 

 

Thank you for playing/testing!

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37 minutes ago, gambler172 said:

Hi Rev

 

played more than an hour....no bugs 😁

Thank you!  If this trend continues, I'll be increasingly suspicious of the sound system, there might be a bug or glitch there.  There's a glitch in Dragon's Cache that's been relatively easy to reproduce involving the menus, and I think sound has something to do with it (as it seems to go away when I remove a specific call to play a sound effect), so if there is something to fix, a special build of Dragon's Cache might be the best place to start looking.  I'm using the built-in 7800Basic modules for the music and sound, so I might need help or advice on this issue from someone like RevEng - I need to get some sleep, but I'll aim to post in that thread soon.

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Played some more.....no bugs......

in the older version...the game crashed only in level 7....in the version with no sound....everything works well

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I consulted with RevEng, who in turn worked on some stuff in the music tracker.  That seemed to fix a sound/music related bug in Dragon's Cache - let's see if it affects Dragon's Descent:

 

DragonsDescent_2_25_2020.bas.a78

DragonsDescent_2_25_2020.bas.bin

 

I've also been yielding to the temptation to mess with the sound effects as well (I have some spare extra ROM space, let's echo *everything* 🤪) so they might change a little bit as I update...

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14 hours ago, Revontuli said:

I consulted with RevEng, who in turn worked on some stuff in the music tracker.  That seemed to fix a sound/music related bug in Dragon's Cache - let's see if it affects Dragon's Descent:

 

DragonsDescent_2_25_2020.bas.a78 48.13 kB · 6 downloads

DragonsDescent_2_25_2020.bas.bin 48 kB · 5 downloads

 

I've also been yielding to the temptation to mess with the sound effects as well (I have some spare extra ROM space, let's echo *everything* 🤪) so they might change a little bit as I update...

will check at weekend 😁

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14 hours ago, gambler172 said:

Hi Rev

good news.....played several times and got no crash.

 

12 hours ago, Trebor said:

Have not experienced any crash with the latest, though I didn't have crashes with the prior builds either.

Awesome, thank you for testing!  My hope is that the central game portion is more or less finished - I might be messing around a little but more with the sound, music, or menus but ideally I want to move to the publishing phase relatively soon. The testing helps immensely! 

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I just did a bunch of stuff for my *other* 7800 game, Dragon's Cache, but I'm hoping to get both of these projects done!  I'm working through the "fiddle with menus, sounds, etc." I asked this question in the other thread, but are there any *small* features that y'all feel might be missing?  I'm not thinking about gameplay features so much as options or UI quirks that would, say, involve the menu or title screen.  Anything about the start->play->game over->restart "rhythm" that might be adjusted?  I'm just figuring out the last bits of polish I might need...

 

I'm also at the stage where I need to outline/gather/create the other materials Dragon's Descent will need (instruction manual, physical artwork etc.), but I'll try and keep folks updated!

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I've been looking at how the high score system works, and I might try to make some revisions.  With what I have, I really only have space to save 4 modes, which was fine for the 2600, but keeping track of the "Hard Mode" is a bit of a hack (adding 70000 points, mainly to have a "7" in a digit that will likely not change).  One idea I have is to make "Hard Mode" its own set of modes, taking the place of the "Infinite/Finite" score modes.  Infinite/Finite modes will still be options, but in terms of scoring they'll be in the same "slot," so instead of the old scoring leaderboard categories being:

 

Finite/Default Maze

Infinite/Default Maze

Finite/Random Maze

Infinite/Random Maze

 

The game would have the new scoring leaderboard categories be:

 

Easy/Default Maze

Hard/Default Maze

Easy/Random Maze

Hard/Random Maze

 

My reasoning being that Hard Mode changes the game more than Finite mode does - For folks playing a long time and getting good at the game, Finite mode would not be the best way to get on the leaderboard, but, really, the mode is meant for people new to the game, or those who want to play to an "end" and not for a competitive/personal best score.

 

I hope this makes sense - adding more categories isn't really an option if I want to have this all compatible with the Atari Save peripherals out there.  The changes I'm making will require enough testing as it is, if the alterations I make pan out.  If there's an outcry I'll keep the current categories, but I think this will help organize the playstyles and scoring in a way that makes more sense.

 

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DragonsDescent_3_28_2020.bas.a78

DragonsDescent_3_28_2020.bas.bin

 

New build - "Hard Mode" is now its own high score category, along with "Random."  As I mentioned above, "Hard Mode" seems to make more sense as its own scoreboard than "(In)Finite Mode".  I (think) I removed any reference to supporting the hardware switches - it made sense on the 2600, but it's just asking for trouble having two toggle systems (joystick menu and console switches) affecting the same variables on the 7800.

 

I'm still using the older high score system for this game (instead of integrating the changes I've been making to Dragon's Cache), although I plan on revising it with what I've learned from Dragon's Cache, at the very least to save all scoreboards in RAM if you don't have a save peripheral.  

 

I removed the 70000 point "bonus" for hard mode, since that was a kludge to show that a score was achieved in that mode.  I'll be very suspicious of scores of 70000+ points in competitive environments from now on :) - at the very least I'll ask to make sure someone is using a newer build of the game.  If someone *does* get that score legitimately, particularly in Hard Mode, I'll be quite impressed!

Edited by Revontuli
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Just in case you didn't know, Dragon's Descent is currently part of the 7800 High Score Club competition!  The game will be in the contest until April 26th:

 

 

The "competition" build should be the same as my 3_28_2020 build, but you can download the file in the competition thread.  Good hunting!

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New build - taking some of the modifications from my other 7800 project and incorporating them into the high score here:

 

DragonsDescent_4_26_2020.bas.a78

DragonsDescent_4_26_2020.bas.bin

 

DragonsDescent_HighScores_4_30_2020sm.thumb.png.99f6d51b8a52fbd0a3d18840f414a654.png

 

The score is at the same resolution now as the rest of the game (largely for visual consistency), perhaps more importantly I'm saving all sets of scores in RAM even if you don't have a save system.  Of course, it goes away when you turn off the game, but you won't be erasing your score just by changing the settings.

 

As usual, testing and feedback is appreciated - particularly if anyone has a way to save their scores (like AtariVox or SaveKey)...I'm flying a -little- blind here in terms of how well it works.  Hopefully none of my modifications touched the save system itself, just the modifications for the changed graphics mode and copying the scores to RAM.

Edited by Revontuli
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Hi Rev

checked the actual version.....works very well.

No bugs or glitches....Highscore saving works fine

with Atarvox or Savekey 😁

Hope this information helps.

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5 hours ago, gambler172 said:

Hi Rev

checked the actual version.....works very well.

No bugs or glitches....Highscore saving works fine

with Atarvox or Savekey 😁

Hope this information helps.

Wonderful, thank you!  This helps a lot - it's good to have evidence that my modifications haven't messed with RevEng's good work :) 

 

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I just watched someone play the 2600 version on YouTube. Has me excited to see this port complete! My 7800 needs a good adventure game to play.

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On 5/13/2020 at 8:15 AM, MrBeefy said:

I just watched someone play the 2600 version on YouTube. Has me excited to see this port complete! My 7800 needs a good adventure game to play.

Awesome!  While I'm testing stuff and polishing up the high score system, I am also compiling material for the box and manual right now, even as I'm also involved with a few other projects that are also demanding my attention :)  It's moving forward, but it's always the case that properly finishing something takes longer than you think.  Plus one wants to get things right for a cartridge release - they're much harder to send out a software patch for!

 

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New build: 

DragonsDescent_12_16_2020.bas.a78

DragonsDescent_12_16_2020.bas.bin

 

 

 

The main change is a sprite revision of the Janus enemy (too many valid comments of it looking like a foodstuff :P ) 

 

As far as I can tell, the revised High Score system *seems* to be working, even if you don't have a save system.  Earlier builds would "zero out" the high scores if you changed modes unless you had a proper save system like AtariVox in place, but now I'm also keeping the four sets of scores in RAM.  This is one of those cases where I can spend hours thinking it works, and someone else can find a problem in seconds, so anyone who wants to see how well the in-game leaderboard behave is very welcome to give this build a try!

 

I'm trying to have a "final ROM" very soon, and we're getting materials ready with the hopes of a physical release early next year!

 

[EDIT: Accidentally uploaded a development build of Dragon's Havoc :P, if anyone downloaded *that* ROM file, you'll just find a series of tech tests, not meant for public viewing just yet 🤪]

 

Edited by Revontuli
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