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Another Galaga thread

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6 hours ago, Synthpopalooza said:

I for one would love seeing Galaga on 5200 or 8-bit.  If 2600 can do it, why not us?

The 2600 version ("Galagon") uses a Melody board with an on-board multi-megaherz ARM processor to manipulate the kernel much faster than the 6507 needs it and creates it line by line, frame by frame on the fly, more or less. 


Neither the 5200, A8 nor the 7800 have inexpensive cartridge boards available with that luxury.

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Also I think there is a difference between what is acceptable on the two systems. There would be significant savings in both memory and CPU time if you went the sprite multiplexer route instead of character sprites, but I don't think the flicker would be well received on the 5200/A8; the VCS has always had flickering sprites, so it's more acceptable there (although I remember when my Uncle brought VCS Pac-Man we thought we'd got a dud cart!).

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That sprite multiplexer that peteym uses on his video 61 releases is pretty cool.

 

As long as the flicker is sparse and limited to 60hz flicker I think its it's ok. 

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I was happy with my multiplexer in AtariBlast and being an original game I was able to minimise the amount of flicker by designing the sprite paths around it, but even then there were complaints! Some of the paths in the challenging stages of Galaga have all 8 sprites in the same vertical space for a fair amount of time during which you'd only be able to display a single sprite once in every four frames if using multicolour sprites; once every other frame if single colour. I really don't think it would be greeted with much joy...

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Character sprites are best.  NES version uses them.  5 colors per char is not bad.

 

The only other solution is soft sprites in bitmap mode and that's memory intensive.

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damn Paul @playsoft I want in on this..  but all the sprites seems to be taken care of   :sad:

 

great job :P👍

Edited by TIX
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16 hours ago, TIX said:

damn Paul @playsoft I want in on this..  but all the sprites seems to be taken care of   :sad:

 

great job :P👍

Here is the problem with the sprite frames - if you look at the diagonal frames of the central sprites used - on the left hand side - you can see how difficult it is to get them looking 'normal' in their diagonal direction.

sprite_frames.bmp

I think Paul has done an exceptional job with this 'test' - a big improvement over the first one.

I do hope that whoever going to work on this conversion - do take note of how the original explosion(s) are done - and how they can be better improved upon - so that the whole project looks pretty darn neat - and finally in the words of Edmund Hillary - that we can knock this bastard off - and it's good to know that various people are quite willingly to lend a helping hand (and ear) to assist.

 

Harvey

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Are those the actual sprite dimensions used in this test ?

They are wider than 8 pixels ! probably because they are software sprites ??

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1 hour ago, TIX said:

Are those the actual sprite dimensions used in this test ?

They are wider than 8 pixels ! probably because they are software sprites ??

Yes Konstantinos that's correct. If you want to play around with anything then extract the build folder and run build from the command line. The software sprites are in the .bmp file, the formation graphics in the .a4 and the PM graphics are all .apl. When drawing the software sprite frames I tried to use as many pixels as possible to make them look bigger on-screen than they really are!

build.zip

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3 minutes ago, playsoft said:

Yes Konstantinos that's correct. If you want to play around with anything then extract the build folder and run build from the command line. The software sprites are in the .bmp file, the formation graphics in the .a4 and the PM graphics are all .apl. When drawing the software sprite frames I tried to use as many pixels as possible to make them look bigger on-screen than they really are!

thanks ! I'll take a look

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6 hours ago, kiwilove said:

Here is the problem with the sprite frames - if you look at the diagonal frames of the central sprites used - on the left hand side - you can see how difficult it is to get them looking 'normal' in their diagonal direction.

sprite_frames.bmp 32.12 kB · 3 downloads

I think Paul has done an exceptional job with this 'test' - a big improvement over the first one.

I do hope that whoever going to work on this conversion - do take note of how the original explosion(s) are done - and how they can be better improved upon - so that the whole project looks pretty darn neat - and finally in the words of Edmund Hillary - that we can knock this bastard off - and it's good to know that various people are quite willingly to lend a helping hand (and ear) to assist.

 

Harvey

The explosions use player graphics and there are 2 players available in that portion of the screen. You don't want to be using software sprites for them, as that will consume more CPU time. As there are only 2 players available I kept the number of frames relatively small (5 frames) so they are unlikely to be cut off early. The way it works is that the first enemy you shoot uses one player for the explosion, the second enemy uses the other player; if you shoot a third enemy it will use the same player that was being used for the first one. So if the first enemy was still exploding it will be cut off short. Obviously more frames = more memory too. That said it may be that cutting the explosion short wouldn't happen that much and it might not look so bad if the frames were designed in a certain way.

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On 11/12/2019 at 8:24 AM, playsoft said:

I have been playing around with a Galaga clone. It's on hold for now but when I come back to it next year I will look at the expanding formation. That will be the make or break point for me, if I can do something acceptable I will go ahead with it otherwise I will move onto something else. My aim is to try and do something along the lines of the NES version since I think that is also using playfield for the formation (although it has lots of hardware sprites, too many in a row will flicker). The NES has the advantage that it has more characters available and it isn't spending huge amounts of CPU time drawing software sprites, so I won't be able to match it but hopefully I can do something in a similar vein. Attached is where I'm currently at, pressing 1 or 2 switches between single and double ship.

test5200.bin 32 kB · 197 downloads

F-beautiful work!

 

Galaga is not only the real McCoy, but my all-time favorite too. Always wondered about the day when I would see it in fluid, arcade-like motion and color for Atari 8bit, as this WIP sample.

 

SICK (!!!)

Edited by Faicuai
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On 4/5/2020 at 12:22 PM, playsoft said:

Yes Konstantinos that's correct. If you want to play around with anything then extract the build folder and run build from the command line. The software sprites are in the .bmp file, the formation graphics in the .a4 and the PM graphics are all .apl. When drawing the software sprite frames I tried to use as many pixels as possible to make them look bigger on-screen than they really are!

 

 

 

Hey Paul @playsoft !

 

I couldn't resist.. hopefully you'll find them useful !

The aliens animate while rotating, I guess you are not going to use rotation, so I went ahead and animate the diagonal frames..

I'm working on the explosion, but I can only find the enemy's !?

 

Maybe later I'll try to inject them.. ;)

 

 

galaga-spriteset.png.97706515080979638f74a9d5688f1ee8.png   animation.gif.4fa9b05cb8a8563f1e24fb411c89623f.gif

Edited by TIX
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They look great Konstantinos but currently only the formation graphics can be animated though.

 

For each software sprite, although there are only 2 frames for each design in the .bmp (upright and diagonal) they are rotated to make frames for all directions. These 8 frames are then pre-shifted for all 4 horizontal offsets. So you end up with 32 frames for each design @  27 bytes each = 864 bytes.

 

I have allocated RAM to allow 5 designs to be present on-screen at any one time: bee, butterfly, boss, captured player and one other. The extra one is used for the transforms - I call them all that although I think only half of them are actually transforms, the others just appear in the challenging stages. The code which rotates and pre-shifts the frames is split into steps that allow a transform to be loaded up seamlessly between waves.

 

So currently 4320 bytes of RAM are used for the software sprite frames. I don't have enough free RAM (on the 5200) to double up all the frames; there is enough to double up just the diagonals but that won't leave much free and at this stage you want to keep a bit in reserve.

 

There aren't any explosions for the player ships yet. Really the big unknown for me is the expanding formation and that is what I will look at when I get back to it later in the year.

 

 

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That's pretty tight.. ok will keep them in storage,

in any case it's good to have 'em when you need 'em  ;)👍

Edited by TIX
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Hey Paul @playsoft, thank you once again for making my wish for a 5200 version of Yars' Revenge happen, with that awesome port of Yar's Strike, indeed well worth the 4-year wait since I started that thread based on a simple idea which was based on another port, and I absolutely love the WIP of Galaga, we can't wait for the finished product to come out hopefully soon, maybe you'll get around to finishing it as well as maybe porting Dr. Mario for Big Sexy as well, 8-bit gamers had enjoyed it for years how about if we get to join in too!!! :) 

 

Goodnight for now, a speedy recovery for the Prime Minister, and I will be playing Yar's Strike on my newly-re-acquired Atarimax multicart when I wake up tomorrow morning, and as a matter of fact, I will also get a hold of whoever does the Atari 5200 Super-Podcast to review your work, tell him about both you and your work, and also I will be doing something a little out of the norm for my fledgling BIGHMW TV YouTube channel and give everyone MY OWN review of your awesome port of Yar's Strike as well.

 

You can find my YouTube channel, in which you'll find all sorts of great content, including many clips and highlights of my past concerts, both as The Heavy Metal Warrior with my old NYHC-style hardcore thrash band S.M.F. (1994-2002), as well as my (current) solo days as rapper AK47, as well as other various videos and also my famous lineup of various different miniseries (like "Ray's Rants", "Loyalty To Royalty", and "What's In The Closet?" among them) at http://www.YouTube.com/BIGHMWOfficial

Edited by BIGHMW
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Going to plug out more sounds in the next few days.  Been busy on other projects ... I love how this is coming along!

Edited by Synthpopalooza
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Look forward to it but there's no rush! I took a look at your Stranger Things and the muting code looked fine to me. I thought it sounded great and it wasn't obvious to me there was a timing issue?

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This may be a silly question, but why do you have to try to create these sound files from scratch? Surely there is abundant accurate game-note perfect code already out there from the multitude of Galaga versions already coded for every other platform, including the original ROM that can just be copied and adapted? Or is this effort here necessary to get it to fit into a very small amount of game memory avail while also running the game? 

Edited by YSG2020

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On 9/18/2019 at 12:52 PM, Stephen said:

I knew that comment would come up - I even thought that to myself 🤣  Sorry for being such a stickler about this.  Galaga is by far my favourite arcade game, even beating out Tempest and for me, if the port isn't 100% accurate with regards to speed and enemy movement, it is not worth playing.

 

The Champ Games port for the 2600 is simply stunning, and it obviously makes good use of the extra computing power provided by the Arm processor.  I'd love to see a VBXE version for our machine.

Not everyone is you.  No home version is perfect. Among other reasons, the screen isn't even the right shape and there isn't enough room between the attackers and your ship.  There are almost always compromises.

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On 4/10/2020 at 5:52 PM, christo930 said:

Not everyone is you.  No home version is perfect. Among other reasons, the screen isn't even the right shape and there isn't enough room between the attackers and your ship.  There are almost always compromises.

I agree - like most here, I'd expect - would be happy with any version that delivers anything close to 80% or 90% of what the coin-op delivers.

It takes a Melody board to enable a decent conversion for the 2600 (there's no denying the amount of time and trouble that went into this effort nonetheless) - and I wouldn't want a VBXE version for the 8-bit Atari's (which very few have) when a decent version can be done for the standard hardware (without hardware assist).  Why we did miss out entirely on a conversion - back in the day - a guess being that Namco owned the rights and it was sold almost exclusively to Nintendo (for the NES) - and Atari missed out?  There's never been any word or sign of Galaga being worked on - for any of the Atari 8-bit/5200 hardware.

 

Harvey

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Time for me to throw my 2 cents into this, yes it is true that no home version will ever be 100% true to the letter to its arcade original, and I have downloaded the current WIP .bin of Galaga, and it looks awesome at that, and far better than the Galaxian port Atari created back in 1982 (and it itself was a great port). And while yes it will be a matter of time before whoever is making this wish for all of us come true, much like Paul @playsoft did for me by coming out with the very-anticipated Yar's Strike so we 5200 owners can have OUR OWN version of Yars' Revenge, 4 years after I (wishingly, knowing there was an A8 port of it already) called for one and that almost 80% of Atarians on my poll wanted too. I am looking forward to seeing the eventually-finished product, but it looks like this current version of Galaga, just needs a couple of small quirks taken care of, one being different waves of enemies as from my playing it, also we need for the player's ship to be captured by the enemy and for the ability to utilize two ships like the arcade, and the most obvious one, is that it needs collision detection, as you never die in it. Then it will be more than playable. Other than those things I feel it is a great port so far.

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