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Ryan Witmer

Intellidiscs: Weekly development log

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Although an interesting idea, I'm not really looking to make a gameplay change like that.  The sounds though, I have some special plans for.  I might need to bring in some outside help though.

 

As always, I will release the source code when the game is finished.  If someone wants to add new stuff like enemy blocking or whatever, they will be free to do so.

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I got the horizontal running animations in today.

 

large_tron.png.b40c8799d27b07eb7c0ce086bad996a0.png

 

I shamelessly copied the classic 8-frame Intellivision running man used in the original.  My sprites are actually one pixel shorter, I think, so it's not a complete copy.

 

The animation looks great.  I'll probably make a video later this weekend.  I do have a glitch to investigate though.  Something goes wrong sometimes when switching from one animation to another.  I'll look into that later today.  I also haven't done anything about the position of the held disc.  When you run to the right it just ends up floating behind your back.  I need to finalize the vertical position of it as well.  The existing location was something I just threw in there to get going and it never reflected the actual graphics.  Minor stuff, but important.

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18 hours ago, phuzaxeman said:

Looks really cool, Ryan. Did you have any ideas for music in the game?  

I would like to do some sort of brief musical pieces.  I don't think continuously running music would work well, but small 2 or 3 seconds bits here and there could spice things up.

 

Here's a new video showing off the new running animations and the work I did today... crouching!

 

 

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Animations look nice and smooth. Awesome! I like the crouching.  Were you planning on changing the black playing field to gray like the 2600/Intellivision versions or a different color?

Edited by phuzaxeman

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21 hours ago, Ryan Witmer said:

I would like to do some sort of brief musical pieces.  I don't think continuously running music would work well, but small 2 or 3 seconds bits here and there could spice things up.

 

 

Not sure if you had this in mind, but having a little music tune after clearing a board or something along those lines would sound cool.

Btw, I'm a musician and wouldn't mind contributing if possible. Never composed on an atari 8bit before though so I don't know if I'd be of any help.

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So the 3 AI's are Red and are all Players, and  Player1's guy is another player sprite (Yellow).   But all the missiles are purple - at first I was surprised , I assume you are using the missiles all linked together right? I've read about that but never used it.  I believe the '5th player' inherits one of the BG colors, is that correct?     

 

Assuming I'm right and you linked the 4 missiles into a 5th player (what it's term), I was not aware you could still position the missile pixels independently!  I thought they would be all together like a Player sprite's 8 pixels. 

 

The game looks quite appealing in motion.  I hope there are different colors for the enemies and not all being red all the time. I'm not very famliar with the Inty original, but no reason you can't have more variety across the stages with colors.   I'm anxious to see what cool bonks and buzzes and musical ditties you might throw in there. 

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On 9/21/2020 at 10:38 AM, phuzaxeman said:

Were you planning on changing the black playing field to gray like the 2600/Intellivision versions or a different color?

I was going to keep it black so it looked more like the movie.

On 9/21/2020 at 10:54 AM, phuzaxeman said:

Btw, I'm a musician and wouldn't mind contributing if possible. Never composed on an atari 8bit before though so I don't know if I'd be of any help.

Possibly, anyone with any experience could do way better than me.  I was going to try to locate some sheet music of the film score and transcribe bits of it.  I did this with O Canada in my curling game and it came out really well.  Either way, sound in general is usually one of the last things I do, so it will be a while.

On 9/21/2020 at 11:54 AM, Cafeman said:

So the 3 AI's are Red and are all Players, and  Player1's guy is another player sprite (Yellow).   But all the missiles are purple - at first I was surprised , I assume you are using the missiles all linked together right? I've read about that but never used it.  I believe the '5th player' inherits one of the BG colors, is that correct?    

Yes, when "fifth player" mode is turned on the missiles all switch to the 4th playfield color (COLOR3?).  If you look closely, you'll see that the discs match the door color.

On 9/21/2020 at 11:54 AM, Cafeman said:

Assuming I'm right and you linked the 4 missiles into a 5th player (what it's term), I was not aware you could still position the missile pixels independently!  I thought they would be all together like a Player sprite's 8 pixels.

The only thing fifth player mode does is give the missiles a color independent of the players.  They still behave like missiles in every other way.  You can combine them into an 8 pixel sprite if you want, I did this in Ratcatcher.  Player 3 (Pork-Chop) is actually the 4 missiles.  Fairy Force also uses this color mode, but kept the missiles as independent objects, I used them for the player's shots and a couple other things.

On 9/21/2020 at 11:54 AM, Cafeman said:

The game looks quite appealing in motion.  I hope there are different colors for the enemies and not all being red all the time. I'm not very famliar with the Inty original, but no reason you can't have more variety across the stages with colors.   I'm anxious to see what cool bonks and buzzes and musical ditties you might throw in there. 

There are four different enemy types, and they will all be different colors.  In the long term, the missiles will go back to their normal coloring.  I have them this way now to make them easier to see for debugging.  When I do the more advanced enemies, I'll need to switch them back for various reasons.  Mostly because some enemies have discs with different properties and I'll need to represent that as a unique player/missile color.

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Ryan, funny you mentioned Curling.  I was playing that a few days ago.  I enjoyed that game.

 

I thought a great idea for maybe a short music piece for your intro screen would be a rendition of the music from the arcade tron game.  Specifically, the level with the spiders.  Check out the youtube link below @ around 12:28.  That music is very catchy and tune sticks with many tron arcade fans.  Btw, how do you make music on the 8bit?  Would you be able to take a midi file or some kind of format like an mp3 and translate into the 8bit?  I have no idea how that works.  I'd be glad to offer my help.

 

 

 

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Alright, cool stuff.

 

I fixed the bug I mentioned in my last video where the animations were getting all weird for the enemies near the walls.  I also started working on the health and damage code.  Right now I have the system in place for characters with multiple hit points, but I haven't made use of it yet.

 

One thing I did do was add a stub for the death animation and the hit frame from the Intellivision game.  The enemies now have a four-frame death animation, but it's just the hit animation repeated so it doesn't actually look like an animation yet.  The next step is to get the player to start taking damage.

 

I also cleaned up most of a disc erasure bug that was plaguing me.  Apparently, I didn't completely solve it because I just saw it again while testing, but it's far less common now.  It may also be irrelevant in the face of another change I need to make.  In the original game, the enemy discs keep flying after the enemy dies, only disappearing when they enter their return state.  I still need to make this happen, but there are some complexities around this that I still need to sort out.

 

I'm posting another test build here.  I'm calling this the "almost a game" build.  There's an identifying string 256 bytes from the end of the file that says Preview build 2, 9/26/2020.  I just spent some time playing with this build on a real 5200 and it feels pretty great.  One issue I noticed was that timings for new enemies showing up needs some work.  Need to sort that out later.

 

My target for the next build is to have everything working except for the recognizer and the death stick enemies that show up at 1,000,000 points.

intellidiscs.bin

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Just downloaded, I like the way it's coming along so far, except there's no collision detection, and I can't shoot my disc at any enemies yet, I have the newest rom. I can't wait for the next rom release, but great job overall. :) Pretty soon I'll be able to give a review on The Atari Report, in which I'll be filming my customary 2 episodes (one for the 2600 and one for the 5200, of course) for this week and have those up on The Atari Report YouTube channel, I will be filming them tonight after I clean myself up after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final is over.

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3 hours ago, BIGHMW said:

Just downloaded, I like the way it's coming along so far, except there's no collision detection, and I can't shoot my disc at any enemies yet, I have the newest rom. I can't wait for the next rom release, but great job overall. :) Pretty soon I'll be able to give a review on The Atari Report, in which I'll be filming my customary 2 episodes (one for the 2600 and one for the 5200, of course) for this week and have those up on The Atari Report YouTube channel, I will be filming them tonight after I clean myself up after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final is over.

Like the Deadly Discs on Intellivision, you'll need the keypad to throw your disc.  

Edited by phuzaxeman
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Ryan, downloaded the test and it looks really good.  The keypad works great while being able to use the joystick (something the intellivision couldn't do).  I think it would be neat if you could have the enemies die when your disc is returning and you hit them like the movie.

 

When clearing a set of enemies, I think there should be a little bit of a pause before the next wave of enemies come out.  I know the intellivision does that.

 

I also got confused because it looks like everyone has the same disc colors and sometimes it looks like I was throwing dual discs.

 

All in all, your work is pretty amazing.   

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1 hour ago, phuzaxeman said:

I think it would be neat if you could have the enemies die when your disc is returning and you hit them like the movie.

There is a hack of Intellivision Deadly Discs that added this. 

 

It is named Deadlier Discs. 

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8 hours ago, phuzaxeman said:

Like the Deadly Discs on Intellivision, you'll need the keypad to throw your disc.  

Got the idea now, I control the joystick part of my CX52 with my left hand while using my right hand to fire my disc with the keypad, a little awkward but I got the idea after a few minutes, there's still no audio, and I don't die or get injured yet, that has to be worked on next and then it'll be almost just right. Thank goodness for my Best Electronics-modded CX52 the gold contacts will never let me down, and they play out perfect for this

 

As for the keypad, here the directional firing key:

 

1 = diagonal up left

2 = up

3 = diagonal up right

4 = left

5 = not used

6 = right

7 = diagonal down left

8 = down

9 = diagonal down right

 

*, 0, # = not used

 

fire buttons = not used

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I started working on the blocking system today.  I started by doing the blocking animation frame for the player and putting in the code that transitions you to blocking mode.

 

I started working on putting the player's disc in the proper location for blocking when I realized that I had a much more general problem to solve.  I've mentioned it a few times, but I never really dealt with putting the disc in the proper place in the player's hands.  Since the blocking mode is really just a special case of this, I decided to pause for a bit and go solve this in general.

 

large.disc_adjust.png.c2dbd32eac1c1cc590f8289e20d6cf91.png

 

Unfortunately this screen shot seems to have caught an in-between frame or something so it's a bit blurry, but if you look at the player and the enemy to his left you can see the discs are now moved to the right places instead of floating behind the dude's head.  I also changed the player color, making it a very light blue because good guys are blue in Tron.

 

I still need to do a little more work on this.  It works fine when you're running around holding the disc, but I need to make sure things work when you catch the disc too, because right now they don't.  Once this is fully working I can go back to the blocking mode.  It would great to get the blocking done this weekend.  My target is to get the player logic done, that is I want to be able to enter and leave blocking mode and move the disc around while in that mode.  The actual act of blocking enemy discs, destroying them, and their replacements showing up can wait for later.

 

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Just looking at all your updates, you are covering every bit of this game so wonderfully!!! Ill be fully on board once this game is completed for purchase! 

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So here's a shot of the player in the blocking stance.

 

large.tron_block.png.691c6c2c362a39c198a30e9f95460e81.png

 

The Intellivision game had six blocking positions, and I've got all six in place.  This was way harder than I expected it to be, but it's finally done.

 

When I did my PC version of this game long, long, ago, I actually didn't bother with whole block/crouch system so this is the first time I've had to deal with it.  Note that the blocking logic is not there yet, nothing happens when an enemy disc hits your shield.  That's the next step.  Also, exiting blocking mode isn't very clean yet.  I need to work on disc positioning for crouching/hit players and also take a closer look at how the original game behaves when you throw your disc from the blocking or crouching stances.

 

Even without those things, this was my big goal for the weekend so I'm really happy.  I've been putting this off for a long time and it's a relief to finally have the hard part done.

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Finished the movie this evening. Fun watching it again. I snapped a shot of the battlefield from the movie. Some of these colors and designs would look really cool. 

DSC_0029.JPG

Edited by phuzaxeman

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Are you (or anyone else) working on Tron style music clips? 

 

Also, curious, what graphics mode?

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