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Sheddy

Atari 130XE Game Project

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I think in this case more severe flicker, if placed in strategic locations, wouldn't actually be that bad.

 

In the explosions, for example, flickering between to very disparate intensities (light red and dark red, for example) would actually work to advantage in having the side effect of looking like glowing embers. You'll notice that games like Afterburner, for example, intentionally flicker the intensity of the jet engines to make it look more lifelike.

 

Another alternative, as I mentioned, is to use layered player/missiles (if you're not already using them, and it doesn't look like you are). Mapped over explosions or the like, they can have their own colours, so could kinda fill in for the absence of them elsewhere. It's a little kludgy, but it works.

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I used APE so far and just loaded it off the CD-rom, but APE has the ability to make real disks and I could try it if you want, seeing as I still have 3 1050's, one with Happy, one with US doubler and one regular...so if You would like I can try it with all three at different speeds. But the APE software has the ability to emulate the high-speed I/O anyway, so I'm sure the results would be the same as APE. I didn't really notice any significant pause in the loading, but then lots of games pause when loading for one reason or another so I don't really notice these things or think they are relevant.

 

One thing that would be nice is a rapid fire option, this game really hurts the thumb&fingers constantly mashing the buttons and I can't seem to find a pause; I assume one hasn't been implemented yet?

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Thanks for the suggestions Mindfield.

Other people have been kind enough to e-mail ideas about this too (thanks Andre).

 

I will re-consider different ideas for more colours at some point. I'm no great expert in this area. There are drawbacks with all the methods (as far as I know) and I will have to experiment again to decide the best compromise (Maybe even go back to 4 colour!)

 

Chris

 

 

 

quote:

Originally posted by Mindfield:

I think in this case more severe flicker, if placed in strategic locations, wouldn't actually be that bad.

 

In the explosions, for example, flickering between to very disparate intensities (light red and dark red, for example) would actually work to advantage in having the side effect of looking like glowing embers. You'll notice that games like Afterburner, for example, intentionally flicker the intensity of the jet engines to make it look more lifelike.

 

Another alternative, as I mentioned, is to use layered player/missiles (if you're not already using them, and it doesn't look like you are). Mapped over explosions or the like, they can have their own colours, so could kinda fill in for the absence of them elsewhere. It's a little kludgy, but it works.

 

[ 04-12-2002: Message edited by: Sheddy ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Gunstar:

I used APE so far and just loaded it off the CD-rom, but APE has the ability to make real disks and I could try it if you want, seeing as I still have 3 1050's, one with Happy, one with US doubler and one regular...so if You would like I can try it with all three at different speeds. But the APE software has the ability to emulate the high-speed I/O anyway, so I'm sure the results would be the same as APE. I didn't really notice any significant pause in the loading, but then lots of games pause when loading for one reason or another so I don't really notice these things or think they are relevant.

 

Sounds like you have a nice setup there. I would love you to try it with a real disk if you get the chance. The problem was when it was set to run slow, like a normal atari disk. It would pause for several seconds before continuing and stopping, then continuing, etc. It should only stop for less than a second (which is how it was working with everything except Atari800WinPlus30. But that seems a very accurate emulator, which is why I was worried)

 

quote:

One thing that would be nice is a rapid fire option, this game really hurts the thumb&fingers constantly mashing the buttons and I can't seem to find a pause; I assume one hasn't been implemented yet?

 

Whatever happened to joysticks with autofire? I used to have a zipstick which

was great for this. There'll be a pause for the end of each stage (and maybe in-game), which should give your fingers some time to recover

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Actually, I have a joystick with auto fire and tried it and it won't shoot at all with auto-fire on!!!

 

...and yes, I do have a very sweet setup with my 130XE (17 years in the making ), I've got 3 drives, extended memory (beyond 128k and recently installed-320k), a plotter, PC surround speakers (I modified my XE with two POKEY's for stereo sound), tons of games and a real arcade stick (which I'm using with your demo now as it works great for button mashing and relieves the hurt ), and the SIO2PC cable&APE software so now my XE has access to all the memory, CD-rom, harddrive, 31/2" floppy and modem&printer of my PC. Not to mention my keypad, mouse, trackball, touchtablet, paddles steering wheel and APPLE monitor. I've got a windows-like environment called ATOS that is wonderful (but requires at least a 16meg harddrive or APE and a PC hardrive), and my computer talks to me!!! I'm the original 8-bit hardware hacker&innovator.

 

I'm about to upgrade my XE with a PAL Antic chip so I can run all the PAL software too!!! (it will still be 100% NTSC comapatible)

 

 

[ 04-12-2002: Message edited by: Gunstar ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Gunstar:

Actually, I have a joystick with auto fire and tried it and it won't shoot at all with auto-fire on!!!


 

Hmm, your autofire definitely works on other things? If so, I'll have to look into it.

 

quote:

...and yes, I do have a very sweet setup with my 130XE (17 years in the making ), I've got 3 drives, extended memory (beyond 128k and recently installed-320k), a plotter, PC surround speakers (I modified my XE with two POKEY's for stereo sound), tons of games and a real arcade stick (which I'm using with your demo now as it works great for button mashing and relieves the hurt ), and the SIO2PC cable&APE software so now my XE has access to all the memory, CD-rom, harddrive, 31/2" floppy and modem&printer of my PC. Not to mention my keypad, mouse, trackball, touchtablet, paddles steering wheel and APPLE monitor. I've got a windows-like environment called ATOS that is wonderful (but requires at least a 16meg harddrive or APE and a PC hardrive), and my computer talks to me!!! I'm the original 8-bit hardware hacker&innovator.

 

I'm about to upgrade my XE with a PAL Antic chip so I can run all the PAL software too!!! (it will still be 100% NTSC comapatible)

 


 

WOW! that IS a very cool setup.

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rockin!!!! i am impressed... it is well adapted (except i do not prefer interlacing in action games... maybe optional???)

 

the music, sample player is great!

 

so... question shaddy... where have you learned atari coding??? :=) you are definitly no beginner so...what have you done in the past???

 

do you use own music routine??? and how have you converted the patterns of the arcade & the arcade gfx? i plan to do a same conversion for lady bug... i use mame and make screenshots and convert them into atari bitmap format...(or font...we will see)

 

definitly rockin piece of work... you MUST have done something in the past with atari system...

 

heaven/taquart

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and btw... your conversion looks better than the c64 conversion because when objects overlap it seems like there are sprites and not "chararcters"...have a look on the c64 one... then you know what i mean...

 

again well done...

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Fishing for a lot of answers there, Heaven! I'll have to deal with them in a couple of posts, and I'll try keep them short, to save boring everyone else to death in the messageboard!

(Also more posts because I only just noticed you get more stars the more posts you do! Just like being back in primary school/1st grade, only the stars are blue, not silver or gold! Only Albert and Alex get cool flashing stars though!)

 

In no particular order then:

 

quote:

Originally posted by Heaven/TQA:

do you use own music routine??? and how have you converted the
patterns of the arcade & the arcade gfx
? i plan to do a same conversion for lady bug... i use mame and make screenshots and convert them into atari bitmap format...(or font...we will see)


 

After mame "screen shot"(it luckily doesn't anti-alias, even though the screen is), and manipulation/re-drawing with art package, I have a utility to convert to my format and send to a .bin file which the ATASM cross-assembler or other utilities can then read straight in.

 

I just watch and keep playing back the alien patterns in mame, and try and copy something similar into my pattern data. I haven't bothered to create a utility to help design the patterns - the cross-assembler is so quick, I just preview and edit it with the real code.

 

[ 04-14-2002: Message edited by: Sheddy ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Heaven/TQA:

rockin!!!! i am impressed... it is well adapted (except i do not prefer interlacing in action games... maybe optional???)

 

heaven/taquart

You're impressed! I think some of the work done by demo coders and teams(like yourself) and other developers is more impressive. In fact because of the overwhelming comments I have received, I have felt obliged to point this out and explain why more games weren't like this, on an small update to my web page

On the update, I also wanted to thank the testers. They have convinced me I need to do something with the interlace mode, especially with PAL systems. Having an option for it sounds like a good idea(although this will be tricky)

quote:

so... question shaddy... where have you learned atari coding??? :=) you are definitly no beginner so...what have you done in the past???

What's on the web page is true. I haven't released anything before. I have just played at doing my own stuff for fun(In fact I didn't know there was ever an Atari 8-bit scene until a year or so ago)

I did want to be a games developer when I was younger, but I have seen technology progress way beyond my my skills in mathematics and coding, so there were no realistic prospects there. Console and PC stuff is just so amazing now. I have just stuck with what I enjoy.

 

[ 04-14-2002: Message edited by: Sheddy ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Heaven/TQA:

 

the music, sample player is great!

 

do you use own music routine???


I was reasonably happy with the sample player. Glad there was not too much crackle with the VBI and DLIS going (although that would be better without widescreen). I couldn't get the pokey timers to work properly with no OS(think that was more to do with the emulator), and had to do a kernel. The time-slicing for the man dying is a bit ugly though.

 

The music player is only my first effort from a couple of weeks ago. It is a kind of pattern player with ability to loop back in a pattern. I think from the quality of music on other atari tunes, it is quite poor. It uses no combining channels or filters, but I needed as many channels as possible for sound fx too, and the music quality was not critical.

My attempts at envelopes are also poor compared to others. Cafeman's idea (I think) of a library of good envelopes would be very useful!

Having midi versions of tune made getting the musical timing very much easier. The other tunes will be very hard.

quote:

and btw... your conversion looks better than the c64 conversion because when objects overlap it seems like there are sprites and not "chararcters"...have a look on the c64 one... then you know what i mean...

heaven/taquart

The c64 conversion (and other computer ones) must have had very tight deadline for release. Also I have advantage of more ram, and disk. The Amiga version especially was a big disappointment(I love that machine -sorry to admit in an Atari board).

The drawing routine is one of the few routines that I am quite pleased with - please don't look at the rest of the code, it is a mess in places!

 

[ 04-14-2002: Message edited by: Sheddy ]

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Your plan to do Ladybug sounds fun, Heaven.

I remember seeing it ages ago, but haven't played it....have to check it out on mame and other systems.

 

Does anyone know why that never got onto 8-bit first time around?

 

Maybe a character mode would be good for this game? A lot of other maze games use that. You get the extra colour too that way.

 

Must go now. I have taken up too much of everybody's time, (including my own)

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sounds same to me... coding just for fun... even when i am in heart a coder my skills are not good enough to be professional... so... thats why i am finally in games biz as product marketing manager... with inhouse dev studio... so i can kick coders in a... and make comments with respect by our coders but i dont have to code on my own... except for private reasons...

 

i still can not believe that you never published something in the past.... and what is the best... you are from uk... not from other atari countries like america (rip) or easter europe...

 

i am still impressed by your work...really... can i help you in some way??? maybe you can teach me how to extract things from the mame roms so it is easier to convert games... patterns of movements would be helpful as well... think of galaga conversion or other games with moving patterns...

 

i can convert the space harrier title screen if you want in HIP mode (160x200x30) so it looks more 2000s...

 

hve

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and pssttt... my tqa guys will kill me... but i saw vector runnig in real... this is kicking asses as well...

 

ps. i havent said anything...

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quote:

Originally posted by Heaven/TQA:

and pssttt... my tqa guys will kill me... but i saw vector runnig in real... this is kicking asses as well...

 

ps. i havent said anything...

 

now that you've let the cat's paw out of the bag, let's just let the whole kitty come out eh?

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locks very professional!

 

kicks asses again... (you keep me motivated to get timepilot in same quality heaven as your conversion)

 

heaven

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Those new shots look FANTASTIC!!!!

 

I played it again just now - ya know I'm totally in awe of this conversion..

 

Having dug out some of my dev projects now, thanks to an old 8bit chum from the UK, I'm just plain embarrassed they way my 1988/1990 stuff looks!

 

sTeVE

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It only looks good because I'm stupid enough to try using interlacing, which has given mixed results (no pun intended) In 4-colour mode (which I have to consider now) it's no better than anything else, so you must still show us your stuff Steve!

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A couple more screenshots, some interesting notes (LOL!) and a (slighly) more professional look for the website.

 

I've had a nightmare this last couple of weeks when I realised I would run out of disk space if I wanted to have all the alien creatures in the full game. I've spent those last couple of weeks going back and changing everthing to a different graphic format, and coding some nasty conversion routines in-game. You'll notice the loading differences when the next demo comes along (another couple of months, I think)

 

www.sheddyshack.co.uk

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cool stuff... you are my aim in getting a professional conversion! keep on doing!

 

rocks still from version to version...

 

well...preshifting on disc is no good solution when you just have 130kb...

 

but why not using megaimages (1 meg)??? ok...will not work anymore on real machine... except via sio2pc...

 

hve

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quote:

Originally posted by Heaven/TQA:

cool stuff... you are my aim in getting a professional conversion! keep on doing!


 

Thanks Heaven, I hope we will keep each other from getting lazy....knowing everyone is expecting great things should be a great motivator too (The 5200 guys are also keeping that quality bar raised high)

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quote:

Originally posted by Heaven/TQA:

well...preshifting on disc is no good solution when you just have 130kb...

 

but why not using megaimages (1 meg)??? ok...will not work anymore on real machine... except via sio2pc...


 

Well,um, that was me being lazy. I really didn't want to have to write that conversion routine in machine code, but things should be better for it now it's done.

 

I set myself the goal of making something that would work on real Atari hardware, so I didn't consider megaimages. Moving to 130xe only was a difficult enough decision(although I'm still contemplating the possibility of a megacart so it would work with 800xl)

 

Good luck with TimePilot.

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