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Latest Demo is Alpha 12 and can be found here

 

Direct link to demo in JS7800

 

E.X.O.

 

Elite Xeno Operations.

 

Your objective is to rescue your 4 team members who are all inconveniently being held in different places. How rude.

 

E.X.O. - Inspiration

 

E.X.O is heavily inspired by games like Cybernoid, Starquake, Exile and even Adventure. Flick screen shooter/adventure/explore type games. E.X.O draws on these archetypes, it has shooting but it's not trying to be a 'schmup', it has exploration, it has some puzzles (with more planned), it has a lot of "figuring out" that the player needs to do, to solve each screen and level. It originally started as a "port" of Cybernoid, but I wanted to go in a slightly different direction so after converting some sprites that changed.

 

Controls

 

E.X.O needs a two button controller. (added emphasis!)

 

Button 1 is mapped to lasers (useful for softer targets, mines, probes).

Button 2 is mapped to rockets. (default is a "down" rocket, rockets can be flicked upwards by using up + button 2.

Up activates thrust / engines.

left and right to move left and right.

 

Gameplay & Objective

 

Each level has a generator and a security code. To rescue the team member and leave the level, you need both. Each level also has a hidden artifact and at least 1 hidden room. Switches, room names, etc, can be clues. Artifacts are optional but collecting them is rewarding..

 

You will not be able to get to the security code until you have disabled the generator and weakened the security systems that block the way. (Generator -> Code -> Exit).

 

Rockets are limited, use them sparingly! replenishment crates are in the latest demo.

 

User Interface in game 

image.png.55e54b1589c01bc288756c3b1ad3cb09.png

 

Left to right : room name (useful if you find a bug to tell me where!), rockets remaining, lives remaining, security code retrieved, generator destroyed (lights go green when collected/destroyed).

 

Dotted around the level are restart points. 

image.png.186edaa95844304513c1084ed52a8702.png = inactive

 

image.png.f129c9e33e41822d584cad06a372d4f7.png = active 

 

If you lose your ship, you will restart at either the beginning of the level or the most recently activated restart point.

 

You will need to learn the map and plan your strategy accordingly.

 

Good luck operative!

 

New for Alpha 12 :

  • EXO is a 512KB binary - Works fine on Dragonfly (Sorry Concerto owners). Testing and working fine under BUP, A7800, JS7800 & Argon
  • World 1 has had more balance tweaks and is more forgiving. Still tuning this. (turrets are now much more forgiving and much less random).
  • New mission select screens (fire 2 takes you back to the barracks)
  • New mission cinematics & intros for each level
  • New barracks screen - replaces the old start screen with the icons  (I'm calling this placeholder for now as I wanted to test the idea and borrowed design ideas from Wing Commander and Gunship 2000 and I'll likely redo all of this screen at some point if I stick with this, pending feedback). There is a Gunship 2000 inspired Easter Egg if you can find it.
  • Save Game - EXO will detect a save device (green disk= detected, red = not detected), saving not yet implemented.
  • Artifacts are in the game now. To find an Artifact you need to unlock the hidden Artifact room. Clues are in the names. Artifact rooms are usually unlocked by finding all of the switches on a level. Some are obvious, some are hidden, some easy, some hard to reach. Each world will have an artifact. If you get the artifact from each World (1 to 4) then you will unlock the "special ending" and a bonus World #5.
  • World 2 and 3 feature new hazard types.
  • PAL palette detection so PAL users should have correct colours (more or less).
  • Lots of bug fixes and code rewrites (which is why the levels aren't all yet in!)
  • Lots of palette tweaks especially on W1 and W2, usually to brightness, this is still WiP as I find some NTSC screen look dark compared to PAL and lower end shades appear really dark
  • Tasters of World 2 and 3.

 

Know issues with Alpha 12:

  • Collisions with between the ship and patrol / blocker aliens isn't 100% perfect. A new collision system is being written to make the collisions more accurate and forgiving. 
  • PAL movement speeds are wrong, they are a too slow right now as I've not had time to implement those changes (Sorry PAL folks). As a result the ship on the PAL version is slower than it should be but so are the enemies so it's not all bad. Some of the hit and run trap types are "close" as a result, but all are doable. This will be fixed in the next major build.
  • Credits screen is temporary and prints some random stuff - not intended but I had bigger fish to fry :)
  • Probably the odd bug that I've not yet spotted :) although lots of base code has been rewritten and bugs and glitches taken out.

 

Road Map for EXO

  • Music! - @Synthpopalooza will be flexing his musical muscles in the future all being well, to provide some EXO with some POKEY musical goodness
  • SFX - right now I'm using @RevEng's fab library of SFX, the plan is to make custom effects and replace all of these. POKEY effects are something I want to experiment with.
  • Non-linear progression. You can tackle World 1, 2 & 3 in any order. World 4 is accessible once all three team members are rescued.
  • Saving - the plan is to allow saving between levels, so complete level 1, you can save your progress and you don't have to repeat it (unless you want to improve your time...)
  • Instructions and status - these will be available on the barracks screen and status will be available in game.
  • Timers - yep, for a bit of fun, your world runs will be timed (and saved when you save the game - viewable from the status screen in the barracks), so you can show off your best times for bragging rights. 
  • World 2 and 3 completion, this is actually a lot closer than the demo suggests, I have haven't had time to implement the designs yet.
  • Boss Fights - Each level will have a boss fight (hopefully). Boss 1 (The Warden) is mostly done but wasn't quite stable enough to include in the demo. 
  • Atari Vox support - The tech guys at the secret EXO base were able jury rig some rudimentary translation code in to the Wasp's flight computer. That's why you can see the room names taken from the enemy database on each world (and why sometimes they don't make much sense!) - but now you will also pick up radio snippets and even insults from the bosses that you will fight. 
  • Slimming down the Wasp by 1 pixel (yep, it sounds trivial). This actually makes things a little easier for the player in my tests. 
  • Probably more stuff that I've forgotten about

 

Special Thanks : @mksmith @RevEng @SmittyB for answering my never ending stream of questions and providing great advice.

 

Media:

 

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August Update (mostly new features and stuff coming soon)

 

 

 

October Alpha 7 update :

 

 

World 1 Map

 

 

3rd Jan 2021 : tidy up of main post, link to latest demo. Old out of date links removed from first post.

 

 

 

 

EXO_world 1 Dec 2020.jpg

 

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This looks awesome but due to the file size I won't be able to test on actual hardware. The Mateos is the only cart I have for things like this and it is limited to a max game size of 144k. But will give the emu route a shot.

 

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1 hour ago, Muddyfunster said:

Special Thanks : @mksmith @RevEng @SmittyB for answering my never ending stream of questions and providing great advice.

I'm confidently speaking for everybody that lends a hand in the 7800 programming forums... while nobody is looking for a pay-off, seeing cool stuff like your projects bloom with just a little bit of our advice and input, is entirely a win-win. :D

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32 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

This looks awesome but due to the file size I won't be able to test on actual hardware. The Mateos is the only cart I have for things like this and it is limited to a max game size of 144k. But will give the emu route a shot.

 

Thanks @-^CrossBow^- The demo *could* fit into 144k standalone with some minor tweaks I think, but going forward the extra levels mean that the game needs 256k. So it would be a one off for the demo.

 

Does Mateos work with 128K + 16KRam bank schemes? (Not sure what the Mateos can and can't accommodate).

Edited by Muddyfunster

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19 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

Thanks @-^CrossBow^- The demo *could* fit into 144k standalone with some minor tweaks I think, but going forward the extra levels mean that the game needs 256k. So it would be a one off for the demo.

 

Does Mateos work with 128K + 16KRam bank schemes? (Not sure what the Mateos can and can't accommodate).

I believe it can yes as there is a selector switch on the cart to either limit the banks to just 128k and below games where you can store upto 16 games onto the cart at once. Or you can move the selector to 144k games and that gives you 8 game slots. I leave mine in 144k mode as most of the stuff I had on the cart required that setting.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

I believe it can yes as there is a selector switch on the cart to either limit the banks to just 128k and below games where you can store upto 16 games onto the cart at once. Or you can move the selector to 144k games and that gives you 8 game slots. I leave mine in 144k mode as most of the stuff I had on the cart required that setting.

 

 

Ok, I think I can easily make a 144k version just for the demo and I'll drop that in the first post later. Hopefully that will work for the Mateos as I know a few folks have those and I really would like to know how things work / look on real hardware.

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1 minute ago, Muddyfunster said:

Ok, I think I can easily make a 144k version just for the demo and I'll drop that in the first post later. Hopefully that will work for the Mateos as I know a few folks have those and I really would like to know how things work / look on real hardware.

 

👍

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Good stuff,

 

Just to be clear though, the 144k version will only be for the demo, the final release (targeting real cart / physical release) is always planned to sit on a 256k + 16kb RAM cart due to how the game organises all the graphics and screens across the 4 levels (90 or so screens).

 

Appreciate the real hardware testing though, that will be super helpful!

Edited by Muddyfunster
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 Yesterday we had the EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE of E.X.O. on the ZeroPage Homebrew stream LIVE on Twitch! It was a blast playing it, thank you so much @Muddyfunster! Below is the archived video of our full playthrough of the demo on YouTube, enjoy!

 

Games:

 

(SET VIDEO TO 1080P60 FOR FULL QUALITY)

 

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Hi Muddy

144 k would be great,cause Mattheos cart,Concerto and CC2 can handle this.CC2 can do 512 k....but no 256 k....hope this info helps.

BTW...the game looks great....if you need a tester..

just lmk.

greetings Walter

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5 hours ago, Muddyfunster said:

Please post any questions or comments.

FWIW, this doesn't seem to work (black screen hang) on OpenEmu on a Mac, which is using ProSystem 1.4.1 for a core.

 

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Sorry @bhall408I've only tested on A7800 and JS7800. I don't use ProSystem. JS7800 is browser based and should work on your mac.

 

I've added to the first post versions for 128k+16kRAM. I've only posted the .BIN, not sure if that is all that is needed to run on Mateos etc. I can add the .A78 if needed 

 

Also added a version with the DEVCART switch on, not sure if that's also helpful.

 

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2 hours ago, gambler172 said:

Hi Muddy

144 k would be great,cause Mattheos cart,Concerto and CC2 can handle this.CC2 can do 512 k....but no 256 k....hope this info helps.

BTW...the game looks great....if you need a tester..

just lmk.

greetings Walter

Thanks Walter, I wasn't aware of what the different carts can handle so thanks for that update, very helpful.

 

I've added a 128+16k build that I hope works on the different card solutions.

 

And thanks for offering to test, appreciate that will definitely add you to the test group when I get that group set up.

 

 

 

Edited by Muddyfunster

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Okay, this does fire up on the Mateos using the SGR extension that I've tried so far. But there are some graphical glitches on the explosions using the normal laser. Also the color is very off compared to what I've seen so wondering if this game is using a lot of the golden colored hues that do NOT look right in most cases on flat panels? Like the ground looking green in commando for instance?

 

I will try and capture some footage later, but I'm not the best at these games and it is one of the reasons I don't play my copy of Cybernoid that much on the Jaguar LOL!

 

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Congrats Lewis 👏👏👏 Looking forward to playing this 😁

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I don't see glitching on this one under A7800 or JS7800 but on BupSystem i see glitches on the laser impacts. I don't know which is correct.

 

Even the standard 256k build has the glitches on BupSystem.

 

You guys will need to let me know what works on Mateos and what doesn't.

 

Edited by Muddyfunster

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ok so after playing for a bit the glitches clear, which makes me think it's a timer variable starting high and not at zero. Seems the RAM isn't starting full of zero's which was my assumption.

 

 

Edited by Muddyfunster

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36 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

exo206_demo1_128k.bas.a78 128.13 kB · 1 download

 

I don't see glitching on this one under A7800 or JS7800

 

You guys will need to let me know what works on Mateos and what doesn't.

I got this to start on my Mateos with S9 (144k) and SGR (128k) extensions, but each time the Spaceship glitches. I can't get him into the playable field (please see below). 

EXO ROM Glitch.jpg

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