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Sheddy

Space Harrier Work in Progress

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Finally, more or less finished the dragon riding bonus stage, I hope :roll:

 

There's a demo of it at the usual place www.sheddyshack.co.uk

 

Do you think it's close enough to the original? (forget the scenery objects used on the demo, they will be changed in the final game). Does it need some changes?

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Sheddy,

 

I tried to get it to work using Atari800win last night, but the best I got was a blue Atari load screen which didn't seem to end.

 

WHat settings do you use? OS/B or XL/XE?

 

I assume you must use XL/XE but I must have an incorrect OS ROM for that one because it never works on that setting. OS/B works for standard Atari computer ROMs but didn't work for SPace Harrier.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Oh, and the screen shots look quite spectacular IMHO!

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Looks great, but why is everything so dark? Is it a limitation of the pallet or something?

 

Tempest

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Look good, I've enjoyed the first demos as well, nice to see 3d action on the 8bit.

 

I don't think the os/b rom will work on this XE game, I'll attach the XL rom which should make it work. I had no problems running this game emulating a 130XE or a 320XE Rambo machine.

atarixl.zip

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Finally, more or less finished the dragon riding bonus stage, I hope  :roll:  

 

There's a demo of it at the usual place www.sheddyshack.co.uk

 

Do you think it's close enough to the original? (forget the scenery objects used on the demo, they will be changed in the final game). Does it need some changes?

 

I never played the original so I can't comment on that, sorry. I can say even with all the flicker I think this looks great. I think the movement is very smooth. I wish I could try this on a real machine but I don't have a working 130XE :sad: I bet the real machine doesn't flicker as much as the emulator.

 

Looks great, but why is everything so dark? Is it a limitation of the pallet or something?

I'm using Atari800WinPLus and I use the external pallet and it looks fine to me. I don't know which one is the closest to the real machine but I've found using the external pallet brightes things up.

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Hi Cafeman,

I think you discovered a "feature" of Atari800Win! I've had something similar happen with some other things. XL/XE mode with 128K or above should work. Try "attaching" a different disk, then go back and attach again to drive 1. You will probably need the XL rom too, as oesii suggests.

 

Tempest,

yes, it is a limitation of the palette - disappointing I know, but flicker starts to get out of hand when the brightness is cranked up on the palette. You normally have your screen/monitor set at fairly low brightness? - Turn it up till the colours show up better, right up, to see what I mean about the flicker!

 

Either I must have my TV set really bright to start with, or I've just got used to the muted colour scheme after all this time of working with it!

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I just played the arcade version on Mame, and your first level matches up quite nicely. To me this game is all about framerate, if you can keep a good fps than it should be fun to play, I've heard of other ports that didn't do this well. I also didn't play this one back in the day but I like the nice little touches in your 8bit port like the dying yelp :)

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I can say even with all the flicker I think this looks great. I think the movement is very smooth. I wish I could try this on a real machine but I don't have a working 130XE :sad: I bet the real machine doesn't flicker as much as the emulator.

 

==> I have flickering sprites in Adventure II and I can confirm that flickering looks terrible on emulators but not that bad on the actual hardware on a TV set. Flickering 2 items every-other-frame is barely noticeable on the TV set; Even flickering 4 items (which is certainly noticeable) it isn't as bad as the blinking in 2600 Adventure.

 

Caf

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Thanks for the ROM and suggestions, I'll try it again tonight.

 

I have played a LOT of Space Harrier in my lifetime, in fact right now I have the Sega Ages disc in my Saturn (Outrun, Space Harrier, and Afterburner II) and I've played Space Harrier every night this week. I can't wait to comment on the differences/similarities!

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Dennis,

 

you have your PC screen refresh set to 60Hz? And the vertical sync option on the emulator? Cafeman's right that the flicker is less bad on the real thing (unless you're using a slow LCD monitor like me :D )

 

I found the external "real" palette to be closest (at least to my TV)

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The funny thing is that I never knew that there WAS a Dragon Riding bonus stage in Space Harrier. That's how badly I suck at it!

 

Tempest

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Thanks for the ROM and suggestions, I'll try it again tonight.  

 

I have played a LOT of Space Harrier in my lifetime, in fact right now I have the Sega Ages disc in my Saturn (Outrun, Space Harrier, and Afterburner II) and I've played Space Harrier every night this week. I can't wait to comment on the differences/similarities!

 

Oh no. My worst nightmare! - you will notice quite a few differences. The Saturn version is totally *Perfect* In fact, I'm pretty sure all the games on Sega Ages are emulated rather than just ported.

 

Interested you're using flickering on Adventure II. Makes it more authentic too, of course :D

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The funny thing is that I never knew that there WAS a Dragon Riding bonus stage in Space Harrier.  That's how badly I suck at it!

Tempest

 

Space Harrier is a game that you can't let frustrate you early on. Play your first game, die early, then start it again & again until you've played for a half hour. You have to work up to the speed and get a feel for it, then it gets easier.

 

The basic trick is to (1) hammer the fire button and (2) never stand still or the projectiles will lock onto you. I often fly in figure 8's in boss scenarios, for example.

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Oh no. My worst nightmare! - you will notice quite a few differences. The Saturn version is totally *Perfect* In fact, I'm pretty sure all the games on Sega Ages are emulated rather than just ported.

 

==> Well, no doubt you have to take great liberties! As your own site states, Sega's System 16 is tremendously more powerful than the Atari computer line.

 

Interested you're using flickering on Adventure II. Makes it more authentic too, of course  :D

 

==> Well, I don't like to use flickering, but with only 4 mono-colored sprites to pick from, there is little alternative. But my plan is to build a simple sprite engine with simple and dumb flicker, then progressively make iterations and alterations to reduce that flicker as much as possible. My simple sprite engine works fine and if I were lazy I'd keep it as is. But I think I can get it performing a lot better, especially if I can utilize DLI's cleverly. Well, back to Space Harrier talk!

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I just played the arcade version on Mame, and your first level matches up quite nicely.  To me this game is all about framerate, if you can keep a good fps than it should be fun to play, I've heard of other ports that didn't do this well.  I also didn't play this one back in the day but I like the nice little touches in your 8bit port like the dying yelp :)

 

Thanks for the compliments guys! Please feel free to be a bit harsh where you think things are lacking though, and I'll see what I can do. (The dim colour palette I think I'm stuck with). Even though I try to, I've got too close to this thing to be able to stand back and see things objectively.

I like how Dennis has really honed his "Climber" game based on the feedback he's got.

 

My goal is to make things as close as possible to the original. Framerate will be a problem, especially on the later stages. I don't think I can make it go as fast as the original. It will only get a little faster than the first stage. :sad: This should be less of a problem with the cart version which I'm moving over to developing now.

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Yes! I finally got it to work. FYI, it only worked for me in Atari800Win 2.7, not in the newer AtariWin 3.0. Don't know why. My settings on both were 128K 130XE emulation. It worked on both PAL and NTSC -- I assume it should be PAL?

 

Color me impressed! The combination of the coin-op's music and the very faithful gameplay gave me a big smile. I'd really like to try out a shooting stage and see how that works. Concerning any flicker, I couldn't really see any, it is that minor. This game would never fit ona 32K cart, would it?

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Sheddy

 

Why is the URIAH-Level only fast on 60Hz? At 50Hz the cpu has more cycles available(please correct me if I am wrong).... Is there something depending on the VSYNC (VBI)?

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Yes! I finally got it to work. FYI, it only worked for me in Atari800Win 2.7, not in the newer AtariWin 3.0. Don't know why. My settings on both were 128K 130XE emulation. It worked on both PAL and NTSC --  I assume it should be PAL?

 

Color me impressed! The combination of the coin-op's music and the very faithful gameplay gave me a big smile.  I'd really like to try out a shooting stage and see how that works. Concerning any flicker, I couldn't really see any, it is that minor. This game would never fit ona 32K cart, would it?

 

Strange...

works fine on 3.1 too (and the real thing) :?

 

The PAL music is too slow and the dragon is also too slow. Suppose I ought to fix it for PAL really!

 

The shooting demo does run at the correct frame speed though, except for the PAL music again.

 

I can't think of a way to do a 32K cart (ie 5200) - the way things are now, it might just squeeze into a 512K cart and need at least 48K RAM! But I want to try a 2MB cart for some graphics speed improvements which may or may not come off.

 

Concerning other comments, especially about flicker - cheques in the post!

;)

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Sheddy

 

Why is the URIAH-Level only fast on 60Hz? At 50Hz the cpu has more cycles available(please correct me if I am wrong).... Is there something depending on the VSYNC (VBI)?

 

You're always very observant emkay :)

There is no good reason why the PAL version is running slower.

I had taken the PAL compensation code out to see if I really needed it (and I do!)

 

On NTSC Uriah, the screen is changing every 5 VBI's = 60/5 = 12 frames per second.

 

Without an adjustment for PAL this goes down to 50/5 = 10 frames per second.

 

With the adjustment code left in it would change every 4 VBI's when PAL is detected - giving a slightly faster speed of 50/4 = 12.5 frames per second.

 

In fact I'm going to redo the demo now - I should really have fixed it even though it's only a very rough demo - literally a snapshot of the working code on the day.

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My $0.02 -

 

Forget about the dim colors, how about the color choice in general - The Dragon and Player are almost indistinguishable(On AtariWin 3.1 emu) - Could the Dragon be a dark green vs the dark gray it is now?

 

Otherwise it looks and plays well - Maybe a tad slow but if everything else is compensated then I think you can achieve a good overall feel.

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That scrolling ground / color cycling effect -- it is used in lots of forward scrolling classic games.

 

How do you pull that off, Sheddy? Do you use DLI's and change the bg color on each?

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My $0.02 -

 

Forget about the dim colors, how about the color choice in general - The Dragon and Player are almost indistinguishable(On AtariWin 3.1 emu) - Could the Dragon be a dark green vs the dark gray it is now?

 

Otherwise it looks and plays well - Maybe a tad slow but if everything else is compensated then I think you can achieve a good overall feel.

 

 

:?

you mean the blue pants of the man and the blue of uriah? suppose it could be made into a green from the palette (either of the greens on the plant thing in the shot below), but I see the bluey tint as a better fit to the original.

 

On the cart version I'm hoping for 16 frames per second instead of the 12 frames a second at present on this bonus stage, which should give a similar impression of speed as the original. :) (The rest of the game is running at 16 frames per second at the moment anyway)

 

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