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Caleb Garner

I'm looking to make my first intellivision game and trying to gauge design limits (repost from wrong forum area)

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@DZ-Jay I believe i could managed fairly well with regangular collision for most of it.  the box could even be slightly smaller than the vehicles just so they could insure some smashing together occurs but not much..  the overall idea would be they would hit and move apart some.. not stay locked together.  

 

as for detection and response yea i can see how a few cycled and getting the timing right would take some consideration, but i think it could be faked well enough.. 

 

so what do you think about the idea of having a sprite act as a go between tiles versions of vehicles?  is that something people have done before?   the idea being that when an enemy or escort is in a resting point the vehicle becomes a tile and the sprite is released.. but when a vehicle is moving through the scene it's a sprite.  enemies would likely stay HW sprites most of the time, but player relocations could conserve HW sprites this way i think.. it also helps insure that they stop on a card and can be drawn correctly in a well defined card.  

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5 hours ago, Caleb Garner said:

@DZ-Jay I believe i could managed fairly well with regangular collision for most of it.  the box could even be slightly smaller than the vehicles just so they could insure some smashing together occurs but not much..  the overall idea would be they would hit and move apart some.. not stay locked together.  

 

as for detection and response yea i can see how a few cycled and getting the timing right would take some consideration, but i think it could be faked well enough.. 


 


It's not about getting timing right; it just reduces the responsiveness of the game.  Like I said, depending on the game, this may or may not be a problem.  For fast arcade action with twitch-reflex timing, it may not work.  A more passive game may absorb this delay without too much incident.

 

 

5 hours ago, Caleb Garner said:

so what do you think about the idea of having a sprite act as a go between tiles versions of vehicles?  is that something people have done before?   the idea being that when an enemy or escort is in a resting point the vehicle becomes a tile and the sprite is released.. but when a vehicle is moving through the scene it's a sprite.  enemies would likely stay HW sprites most of the time, but player relocations could conserve HW sprites this way i think.. it also helps insure that they stop on a card and can be drawn correctly in a well defined card.  

That is a rather common technique.  It was something I mentioned earlier, with an example of someone's work in progress on Galaga doing something like that.

 

You will still need to one MOB available for it.  Unfortunately, since it is a player-driven mechanic, you may not be able to control when it is activated, so you may have to dedicated a MOB to this function and reserve it.

 

    dZ.

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ah that's right the galaga example thanks for the reminder!  so much info (and i'm grateful for it!) ok good glad that's a sound approach.

 

this game isn't twitchy so I think that's going to help make those kind of collision and response times less noticeable!  

 

can't wait for my book to arrive!  

 

So what's the optimal test flow?  does intybasic have a built in emulator to run / test code or do you need to move a .bin or other type of file over to an intellivision emulator?  

 

Also, how easy is intellivoice to utilize?  I have one and would love to make games that take advantage of it.  

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15 minutes ago, Caleb Garner said:

ah that's right the galaga example thanks for the reminder!  so much info (and i'm grateful for it!) ok good glad that's a sound approach.

 

this game isn't twitchy so I think that's going to help make those kind of collision and response times less noticeable!  

 

can't wait for my book to arrive!  

 

So what's the optimal test flow?  does intybasic have a built in emulator to run / test code or do you need to move a .bin or other type of file over to an intellivision emulator?  

 

Also, how easy is intellivoice to utilize?  I have one and would love to make games that take advantage of it.  

 

IntyBASIC is just the compiler.  You still need the assembler, emulator, debugger, etc.

 

There is an entire suite of tools for distributed for this, including the jzIntv emulator, which comes with a powerful built-in debugger.  They're all command-line tools, though.

 

You may want to check out the IntyBASIC SDK which offers quite a few facilities to accelerate and simplify the build/run/debug process.  Still, all in the command-line, but that's just the way it goes. ;)

 

The SDK comes pre-packaged with the compiler, assembler, emulator, and a host of tools for building and debugging your program.  It also provides a simple installation wizard (on Windows), or easy to follow installation instructions (on Mac), that configures the development environment and the tools, and sets everything up and ready to go.

 

 

The SDK utilities are also command-line tools, but they abstract the intricacies of setting up complex command lines to generate the necessary binaries, symbol tables, mapping files, and other useful artefacts that the debugger can use to provide source-level debugging.

 

Once you are comfortable with the progress of your program under emulation, you can test on the hardware using one of the two available "flash carts."  Unfortunately, the original Cuttle Cart 3 (CC3) has been discontinued for about a decade.  The new and much improved LTO Flash! is still in print, but unfortunately the publisher has struggled to keep up with demand.  If you can get your hands on one at a reasonable price (avoid eBay speculators scalping for higher prices!), then that's the way to go.  Otherwise, the emulator/debugger should suffice, at least during much of the development cycle.

 

    -dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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command lines!  noooo..  i've hated them since CLI-Shell with amiga.. lol..  but i know it is what it is.. i'll adapt.  it's not the first time i've had to work with that stuff.   :)

 

but yea that check it out.  today is busy at work, but i'll see if i can find a way to make a "hello world" with intybasic while i wait for the book.   I did that with th


As for LTO carts, I'm in cue, but realistic projection from the distributor is probably six months out so emulation will have to due for the time being.  Yea i've seen those ebay prices.  really messed up.  i wish they could put some limit on how many / who gets one to avoid people like this flipping carts.  I would be willing to bet those ebay scalpers have more than one in their inventory.  Seriously a jerk move.. 

 

and is intellivoice easy to use?  i'd love to add voices to my games..  i have another game i want to make.  it was funny because it's an idea from a game jam i did years back with GameSalad..  watching hover bovver reminded me of the idea, though this was a less developed idea at the time being a game jam, but i think it would be easier to develop (no scrolling!).   I, Killbot.  A nice humorous premise.  

 

  

Edited by Caleb Garner

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3 minutes ago, Caleb Garner said:

command lines!  noooo..  i've hated them since CLI-Shell with amiga.. lol..  but i know it is what it is.. i'll adapt.  it's not the first time i've had to work with that stuff.   :)

 

but yea that check it out.  today is busy at work, but i'll see if i can find a way to make a "hello world" with intybasic while i wait for the book.   I did that with th


As for LTO carts, I'm in cue, but realistic projection from the distributor is probably six months out so emulation will have to due for the time being.  Yea i've seen those ebay prices.  really messed up.  i wish they could put some limit on how many / who gets one to avoid people like this flipping carts.  I would be willing to bet those ebay scalpers have more than one in their inventory.  Seriously a jerk move.. 

 

Check out the IntyBASIC SDK to get started.  If you hate the command-line, it's the simplest approach:  you can just type something like "intybuild MyGame" to build your program and "intydbug MyGame" to run it in the emulator with the debugger enabled.

 

You could do it all by hand yourself -- and the book will show you how -- but I personally find memorizing and typing all those switches, flags, and paths in the command line, to be soul-sucking drudgery.  Because of that, some people tend to build batch files or other scripts to do it for them -- but that's what the SDK already does, and it does so in a comprehensive manner that takes care of all those processes for you already.  You may as well take advantage of that.  :)

 

    -dZ.

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There is some kind of Brazilian Intellivision IDE but I don't know how it works, if it is maintained or any improvement over other solutions.

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On 8/19/2021 at 4:43 AM, DZ-Jay said:

Something like Galaga (which someone in this community is actively working on), could be implemented as a hybrid of both techniques:  while the enemies are in static formation, they can be drawn as background cards, animated by cycling their GRAM pictures.  Then, when they break out from the line and attack, they can be replaced by a MOB and moved independently towards the player.

Any links to the Galaga WIP? I didn't know that was being worked on.

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1 hour ago, YannAros said:

Small update to Asphalt video showing at 60fps : 

Coming together quite well!

It would be nice if the vehicles in flames would destroy any others stuck behind.

From a gameplay standpoint, there seems to be an incentive to stay very close to the edges, is that fair to say? Is that ok from your perspective?

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22 minutes ago, carlsson said:

There is some kind of Brazilian Intellivision IDE but I don't know how it works, if it is maintained or any improvement over other solutions.

It's called Intellitool and it can be downloaded from here.

 

http://www.intellivisionbrasil.com.br/en_Menu-Soft-Emuladores.html

 

The tool is promising, I think it would benefit from more people testing it and providing feedback.

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13 minutes ago, cmadruga said:

Any links to the Galaga WIP? I didn't know that was being worked on.

Sorry, I know I said Galaga, but I meant Galaxian.  Same principle applies.

 

    -dZ.

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Aw... but it's ok.

After the great 2600 "Galagon", I've been craving for some Galaga on the Intellivision.

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4 minutes ago, cmadruga said:

Aw... but it's ok.

After the great 2600 "Galagon", I've been craving for some Galaga on the Intellivision.

Perhaps your next project? ;)


I love both Galaxian and Galaga, so I'd be excited for either.

 

   dZ.

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3 minutes ago, DZ-Jay said:

Perhaps your next project? ;)


I love both Galaxian and Galaga, so I'd be excited for either.

 

   dZ.

Plate is full at the moment, but it would be interesting to see it done in pure assembly by someone who really knows that stuff... wink wink

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42 minutes ago, cmadruga said:

Coming together quite well!

It would be nice if the vehicles in flames would destroy any others stuck behind.

From a gameplay standpoint, there seems to be an incentive to stay very close to the edges, is that fair to say? Is that ok from your perspective?

I don’t want to hijack this thread, I should create another one to discuss Asphalt progress

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1 hour ago, cmadruga said:

Plate is full at the moment, but it would be interesting to see it done in pure assembly by someone who really knows that stuff... wink wink

Haha.  Sure, sure.  Would that be before P-Machinery or after the heat-death of the sun?  Come to think of it, I'm not sure if those two are different.  😆


In the meantime, we can all look forward to @artrag's Galaxian.  So ... Arturo ... any progress?

 

   dZ.

 

 

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3 hours ago, YannAros said:

Small update to Asphalt video showing at 60fps : 

 

Looks very good.

 

1 hour ago, YannAros said:

I don’t want to hijack this thread, I should create another one to discuss Asphalt progress

Yes, please do.  It looks like an interesting project, and I wasn't aware of it.

 

I'll also stop hijacking his thread.  Now, back on topic ...

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On 8/19/2021 at 1:43 PM, DZ-Jay said:

This reaction delay of 2 frames is just part of life, and may or may not be significant to your game, but it must be accounted for.

yea i don't think this game would be hindered by that.  this isn't twitchy like say a galaga game would.  

 

I'd never seen asphalt before this so it's great to see what another take on a top down highway game could be.  Always interesting to see what others have done in the past.  Hopefully I can figure out some stuff and be able to offer suggestions rather than leech information soon!

 

I really hope this language is easy to follow.  I think I have a good concept of game logic and programming, but i'm coming from modern languages that have abstract stuff like variables and such so hopefully I can unlearn what I need to to approach intellivision coding effectively.  

Edited by Caleb Garner

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6 hours ago, Caleb Garner said:

I really hope this language is easy to follow.  I think I have a good concept of game logic and programming, but i'm coming from modern languages that have abstract stuff like variables and such so hopefully I can unlearn what I need to to approach intellivision coding effectively.  

Intybasic does have variables 🙂

It is not object oriented, but it is a remarkably straightforward procedural language. And that's the genius of it, while running on top of a 1979 hardware platform.

Edited by cmadruga
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@DZ-Jay

About Galaxian, I have added an early implementation for bullets and collisions, but the development is on hold

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7 hours ago, cmadruga said:

Intybasic does have variables 🙂

It is not object oriented, but it is a remarkably straightforward procedural language. And that's the genius of it, while running on top of a 1979 hardware platform.

 

13 hours ago, Caleb Garner said:

yea i don't think this game would be hindered by that.  this isn't twitchy like say a galaga game would.  

 

I'd never seen asphalt before this so it's great to see what another take on a top down highway game could be.  Always interesting to see what others have done in the past.  Hopefully I can figure out some stuff and be able to offer suggestions rather than leech information soon!

 

I really hope this language is easy to follow.  I think I have a good concept of game logic and programming, but i'm coming from modern languages that have abstract stuff like variables and such so hopefully I can unlearn what I need to to approach intellivision coding effectively.  


I remember, before IntyBASIC, when compiler design was discussed in the community.  Everybody knew it would be a great thing to have, but there were concerns that it would not be practical due to many hardware limitations and idyosyncrasies.

 

When IntyBASIC came out, some people were still concerned that some of the decisions taken in it's designed would relegate the language to simple games, and that "real" games would still need assembly language to actually work in practice.

 

It turns out that a lot of those concerns were unwarranted.  It is not a perfect language, and it does have some idiosyncratic frills, but programmers so far have proven that it is perfectly capable of highly complex and interesting games.

 

Personally, I don't use IntyBASIC, preferring Assembly Language -- but that is less to do with the efficacy of the language, and more with to do with my own personal shortcomings.  You see, I'm getting old and my interest and ability to learn new things is limited, and I'm stubborn enough to stick to what I already know -- and I have already spent about a decade figuring out the Assembly bit and investing myself in it ...

 

All that said, even I can admire the brilliancy of the language (ignoring its occasional boneheadedness) and celebrate its success.

 

Look around: we are in a new Golden Age of Intellivision games, with an almost constant outpouring of new and exciting games.  And it is all mostly due to IntyBASIC.

 

    dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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awesome about variables.  i'm coming from my limited delvings into Odyssey 2 programming. 

 

I'm glad intybasic exists and there is a book!   a big reason why i decided to skip ahead, but i still want to go back to Odyssey 2 as well.  O2 has some great people that are very helpful and knowledgable but even just breaking down a hello world example was both educational and surprisingly involved.

 

With assembly, learning it, how much is assembly universal (in much how basic was fairly universal).  Does it vary widely between CPUs (as i understand it, you're writing to a particular CPU with assembly)

 

I'm absolutely going to start with inty, but i have the "big three"  O2, Intellivision and Colecovision as systems I'd like to try may hand at (sorry 2600, I have one, but I just can't get excited to make a game for it) 

 

I'm absolutely in awe of this new age of games.  All these years I thought the idea of doing this was unthinkable..  largely due to the idea of making a physical cartridge was just beyond my reach but with the advent of SD multicarts, I found myself all in with these systems.  I have multicarts for all other six cartridge based systems I own and in line for LTO..  but i don't see myself doing newer systems because frankly I feel like the limitations keep a game from becoming overwhelming.  I'm already sure RD will push my brain to it's limit.. lol.  

Edited by Caleb Garner

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Conceptually, most CPUs of the same era are comparable but the practical details tend to differ, like how big numbers you can handle at a time, how many registers you have for temporary storage, which instructions and combinations of those exist, how much RAM you have to access, how you communicate with and wait for other custom hardware. The Odyssey^2 has 64 bytes RAM internal to the CPU + 256 bytes external. The Intellivision has 240 bytes of 8-bit RAM, 352 words of 16-bit RAM (including the 20x12 BACKTAB) and 512 bytes of 8-bit GRAM for your custom graphics, so in theory 4.5 times as much RAM as the Odyssey^2. Of course some of the memory is used by system functions and internals of the compiler runtime.

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