Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

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NovaSquirrel
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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by NovaSquirrel » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:04 pm

Erockbrox wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:52 pm
Please post more updates here because when I try and view your GIFS on my twitter feed they just show up as a black screen.
I guess I can, I wasn't really bothering since it got a lot more attention elsewhere so I assumed the people that cared the most were elsewhere.

Image Image Image
I've still been improving graphics and I have some better looking rocks and grass.

I've got an iris effect on doors and some progress on some new enemy types. There's toggle switches (that now come in three colors unlike the previous game which had a single one) and I've experimented with water physics a bit.

The main focus right now has been trying to get everything put together to make as big an impact as I can at the upcoming SAGE 2020 (which is September 5th-12th), so I've been working on creating real levels and developing the mode 7 part out into more of an actual game.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by lidnariq » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:11 pm

NovaSquirrel wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:04 pm
I guess I can, I wasn't really bothering since it got a lot more attention elsewhere so I assumed the people that cared the most were elsewhere.
Where are you posting updates?
developing the mode 7 part
Chip's Challenge 3D! :)

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by NovaSquirrel » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:19 pm

lidnariq wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:11 pm
Where are you posting updates?
Mostly Twitter and in Discord servers, but I think I see the value in providing them somewhere separate from social media and such too. Especially since this is much more focused specifically on the game.

Image
And yeah I'm stealing from Chip's Challenge hard enough that I've even stolen the thief

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by Nikku4211 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:11 pm

NovaSquirrel wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:19 pm
Mostly Twitter and in Discord servers, but I think I see the value in providing them somewhere separate from social media and such too. Especially since this is much more focused specifically on the game.

Image
And yeah I'm stealing from Chip's Challenge hard enough that I've even stolen the thief
Yeah, I think this place should be the primary place to find updates relating to your game, seeing as how this is a retro Nintendo homebrew game development forum.

And to be quite honest, I wanted a mode 7 Chip's Challenge on SNES ever since I was around 8.
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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by NovaSquirrel » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:50 pm

Image
Here's a feature I'm really excited about: software-rendering sprites onto the Mode 7 plane.
Instead of taking the time to learn how to do the math to position sprites, and having them pre-scaled at several sizes, I guess I took the time to do this solution instead. Works as you would expect, by making a copy of the tiles underneath the sprite, modifying those, and using those on the tilemap instead of the normal ones.

I'm simplifying it a lot by requiring software-rendered sprites to be aligned to one of the two axes, and currently not handling the situation where two of them share a tile together.

Gonna try to make it move more smoothly after this, instead of only in 8 pixel increments. That's why I'm reserving 6 tiles per sprite instead of 4.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by NovaSquirrel » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:04 am

Image
I've done a whole lot more work on the Mode 7 levels and I've implemented a lot of the mechanics I'll be needing including block pushing, an inventory, keys/locks and footwear, a free camera mode to compensate for the low screen resolution,

Image Image Image

I've attached the demo that will appear in SAGE 2020 ahead of time so you can go ahead and try it out if you want. It's a bit more presentable than previous builds I've shared, and there's some actual content to try.

On the overworld map, there are three levels from Nova 1 (first row, on the right), three puzzle levels (first row, on the left). On the second row, the first four on the left are attempts at serious levels in progress that I may or may not use, while the next two are test levels that may be interesting to look at anyway.

Platformer levels
Get to the exit door and press Up to enter it! Same for other doors.
B: Jump
Y: Run
X, A, L, or R: Attack/Use ability
Down+Select: Remove current ability
Start: Pause/access inventory

Up+Attack and Down+Attack may do a variation of your current ability
Up+Attack without an ability will shoot a special copying projectile that will give you the ability of the enemy it hits, if there is one. Your inventory contains debug items that will grant access to all of the abilities that are ready to be looked at, too.

Mode 7 levels
Collect all the green hearts and head to the exit tile! But beware: they turn into red skulls after you collect them, which you may not step on.
X: Look around
L/R: Strafe
Select: Reset to checkpoint
Attachments
nova-the-squirrel-2.zip
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Last edited by NovaSquirrel on Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by creaothceann » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:53 am

The Mode7 screens might look a bit more immersive with a shadow under the player character, which right now looks a bit like floating. (That shadow could be done with a sprite or with the window registers.)

When the player presses the down direction on the D-pad, the character could change its orientation and look towards the player. Likewise, when the character moves left or right, it could also look left/right (as in the sidescrolling levels).
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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by NovaSquirrel » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:17 pm

creaothceann wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:53 am
The Mode7 screens might look a bit more immersive with a shadow under the player character, which right now looks a bit like floating. (That shadow could be done with a sprite or with the window registers.)

When the player presses the down direction on the D-pad, the character could change its orientation and look towards the player. Likewise, when the character moves left or right, it could also look left/right (as in the sidescrolling levels).
I could definitely try adding a shadow, that would especially help once I end up adding tiles that cause jumps.

I'm intending on completely redrawing the player graphics for the Mode 7 levels and adding more animations - what's here is a rough placeholder so that there is a character there at all.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by none » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:45 pm

The game looks great, I especially like the forest background in the side scrolling parts.

In the mode7 areas, you could try adding a depth fog effect. Also maybe you can fill out the empty areas with some tiles that might look better, like water or something. Maybe you can also add some border tiles, maybe have a look at the mode 7 levels in Contra III. Also, maybe you could have the camera look down from the top a bit more.

Have you thought about making a free movement scheme (facing arbitrary directions)?

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by NovaSquirrel » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:26 pm

none wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:45 pm
The game looks great, I especially like the forest background in the side scrolling parts.

In the mode7 areas, you could try adding a depth fog effect. Also maybe you can fill out the empty areas with some tiles that might look better, like water or something. Maybe you can also add some border tiles, maybe have a look at the mode 7 levels in Contra III. Also, maybe you could have the camera look down from the top a bit more.

Have you thought about making a free movement scheme (facing arbitrary directions)?
Thanks, I'm surprised a simple silhouette background can look pretty decent!

Depth fog would probably be nice. As for the empty areas, I kind of like the idea of walking around on some sort of shaped plane in space or wherever, and I was planning on trying to figure out what sort of background I could display using sprites, since they're basically unused here and therefore a free resource. But I have some (32) of the tile numbers reserved for per-level tilesets, and I want to do stuff like decorations with those.

I haven't really thought about stuff unaligned from the grid but maybe that could work? That sounds like it could make it harder to avoid stepping on something you don't want to, and stuff like pushable blocks that need to be grid-aligned might be weird.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by nocash » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:01 pm

Here are two ideas about allowing rotation steps smaller than 90 degrees (without changing the grid-based game logic):

1) Rotate in smaller steps (while dpad left/right are held down), but align to the closest 90 degree direction when walking (via dpad up). That's probably not so good (as having to hold down left/right would make the controls less responsive).

2) Rotate the player in 90 degree steps, but change the camera movement, ie. keep the camera somewhere behind the player, but avoid rapid camera rotations. Just like cameras in more recent 3D games.
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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by tepples » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:24 pm

I'm favoring nocash's option 2: turn instantly but interpolate more gradually toward the new camera angle. You could try a quadratic ease-in approach, as I did for ease-in and ease-out of the help page in the GB and GBA ports of 240p Test Suite.

These equations should help locate the screen position of sprite-based objects in a game like Super Mario Kart, should you decide to switch away from flat cardboard on the floor. It may also help keep the mouse on screen during free look.

Code: Select all

x_view = (x - camx) * cos(theta) - (y - camy) * sin(theta)
y_view = (y - camy) * sin(theta) + (x - camx) * cos(theta)
x_proj = x_view * vdist / y_view
y_proj = height * vdist / y_view
Also Imgur's script is appearing not to work on Firefox ESR as shipped by Debian. Nor does Imgur work at all with script off.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by lidnariq » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:40 pm

tepples wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:24 pm
Also Imgur's script is appearing not to work on Firefox ESR as shipped by Debian. Nor does Imgur work at all with script off.
Context? All of NovaSquirrel's links appear to be direct ones to i.imgur.com/blah.gif or blah.mp4 and those all seem to work fine for me, despite also using debian firefox ESR.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by none » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:52 pm

Or have the camera on a damped spring that connects to the player character. Like in this page: http://www.ryanjuckett.com/programming/damped-springs/
The math looks intimidating, but it really isn't that bad, and it has a code example at the bottom. Lots of the stuff there are really constants so it should go quite fast.

Or for something a bit less heavy, you can just have the camera on a invsible "stick" that is connected to the squirrel, like this:
pos_camera = pos_player + (vec_player_to_camera) * length_of_stick / length(vec_player_to_camera)

If you make that 3d vectors instead of 2d, the camera would try to move up and down on its own automatically, if the player decides to walk backwards past / under it. If you always point it at the player then, that would much enhance the effect of depth / make the image much more dynamic, i guess.

The problem is that at at some angles (near 45 degrees) it will be hard for the player to know whether if he presses up, he will go up left, or up right, for example.

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Re: Nova the Squirrel 2 (WIP)

Post by calima » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:58 pm

For a long time now (1+ years) imgur has done something weird with subresources, no longer directly linking them. Kinda what imageshack used to do with the indirect requests getting a black bar overlaid with the image resolution. If I go directly to an i.imgur address, instead of loading the image it loads the imgur page. Only on the second load it loads the image itself. This also means imgur embeds don't show for me until I have gone to the url directly twice. And it only lasts for that session.

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