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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Did some tool work once again. This time I wrote a tool to generate an optimized sprite charset, remapped sprite definitions and sprite animation definitions from the sprite definitions and tile data generated by the sprite conversion tool. It can also generate flipped sprite definitions/animations if requested and takes care of hotspots and hitboxes.

As soon as I get around to defining the rest of the animations (the frames used by them and the animation speed) in the Python script, it'll be very easy to start using them in the object implementations. I'm very happy about how this turned out.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:06 am 
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I've started implementing the objects. So far the walking clown, check point, bouncing ball and the door are working (more or less). With all the groundwork that has been laid it should be pretty easy to implement the rest of the objects.

It's hard to decide what to do next. Here's some of the stuff that's still to be done:
  • Dialogue handling
  • Rest of the object handlers
  • Player object handling and dynamic upload of tiles
  • "AI" handling in the last level
  • Music and sound effects


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:14 am 
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Whenever I go back and forth, not being able to decide on which task to do next, I make myself pick the first one and just do it.

Or, pick the hardest/most unknown of the bunch. Everything else will seem easier! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:39 am 
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shawnleblanc wrote:
Whenever I go back and forth, not being able to decide on which task to do next, I make myself pick the first one and just do it.

Or, pick the hardest/most unknown of the bunch. Everything else will seem easier! :)

I decided to continue on the object handlers. Today I implemented the candles, money, blue ball (only used in one screen :roll:), pie throwing clowns and flying clowns. What's left are explosions, breakable blocks and smoke (appears e.g. when a streamer hits a wall). There's also the script object (displays dialogue) and the main villain, which I'll leave for later.

The implemented objects still need some fine tuning though, for example they don't do collision checking with the player yet.

After explosion object is done I think I'll work on the dialogue stuff, just to spice things up. For that I need to reformat the dialogue from the original game so it fits into a smaller text box and convert the faces to tiles. I'll probably use sprites for the faces since they use more than 4 colors, and the original game conveniently hides other sprites anyways whenever the text box shows up. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:21 am 
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I implemented the explosions the other day. I also did most of the work on the breakable blocks: I still need to write code to replace the nametable tiles when the block breaks, but most of the groundwork is done for this as well.

I also started to work on the textbox/dialogue. My sprite converter didn't like the 48x48 face images very much, it takes it a very long time to come up with a solution. It seems it should still be usable though, I just need to somehow take in account the fact that the frames in the talking animations are very similar, so it would be a waste of tiles to convert them separately.

I changed the HUD textbox from grey shade to a blueish/green (like most of the tiles in the levels) because I don't want to mess with midscreen palette switches, especially since I don't plan to use an advanced mappers for this game. I also had to make it smaller so it can't hold as much text as in the original. This means I'll have to reformat the text, which is what I'll start doing next.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:05 pm 
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thefox wrote:
This means I'll have to reformat the text, which is what I'll start doing next.

And done. I did it manually, but I may redo it later with MS Word using automatic hyphenation (I didn't think of this option before). Any opinions on this from native English speakers, should I use hyphenation at all? In the original game it's used in some places.

I'm also not sure if I should fix some of the typos in the dialogue ("steemerz" in one place). :)

Anywho, I exported the dialogue stuff in a 6502 readable format and started working on the text box and text rendering routine in asm. The basic stuff works, I can display any arbitrary piece of dialogue. Still on the TODO list are the face animations, attributes for the text box, restoring the level contents when the text box closes, and prompting for user input.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:34 pm 
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I think the unintentional typos are okay to fix. But the base must still be set to explod.

_________________
Here come the fortune cookies! Here come the fortune cookies! They're wearing paper hats!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:24 am 
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Not much has been happening lately, been super busy with school and other stuff.

However, I did start working on the music today. I received a MIDI of the original song from Gordon McNeil (thanks!) and it has been a tremendous help when trying to make a NESified version of the song. I've got pretty much everything converted in Musetracker already, now I just need to make it sound good. :) The original song seems to be using stuff like volume envelopes on the triangle channel, and uses more than 4 channels in some parts, so it's not a completely straightforward job.

I've also done the title screen music, it didn't take long.

EDIT: Another thing about the music... I'm contemplating using DPCM samples, or possibly blargg's DPCM saw/triangle/pulse trick to get one extra channel. I'm also a little bit worried about how well the music will work together with the sound effects... Well, we'll see...


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:18 am 
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Still not much progress. I started on the tedious job of cleaning up the project (it has got a lot of baggage because I bolted everything on top of my old engine), this is going to take a while. I'm going to have to rethink the memory banking, I'll probably switch to simple 16K mapping using MMC1 (since my current code requires WRAM, but hopefully I can get rid of that later), and later to UxROM.

I also dropped the idea of using DPCM channel for now, hopefully I can make a good 4 channel arrangement of the songs. For now it seems to be working OK.

My motivation hasn't been very high lately unfortunately. Has anybody else noticed that when you lose the "flow", it gets increasingly hard to get back to a project as time passes? Anyway, my summer vacation starts three weeks from now, and I really hope I can bring this project to completion during that time.


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:11 am 
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thefox wrote:
My motivation hasn't been very high lately unfortunately. Has anybody else noticed that when you lose the "flow", it gets increasingly hard to get back to a project as time passes?


Yeah I tend to go for months not doing much but making tiny mods and considering giving up all together. Then some Big Idea happens and I get new energy and pound out some serious code for a few months. Lather, rinse, repeat. I consider it the engineer's corollary to a particular feminine cyclical behavior.

I'm enjoying reading about your progress here though... :D


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:24 am 
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thefox wrote:
My motivation hasn't been very high lately unfortunately. Has anybody else noticed that when you lose the "flow", it gets increasingly hard to get back to a project as time passes? Anyway, my summer vacation starts three weeks from now, and I really hope I can bring this project to completion during that time.


I've been working these past few months on my own project for the Sega Genesis. Knowing that other people are working on their own projects motivates me to work on mine. :)

The Goplanes thread on SpritesMind:

http://gendev.spritesmind.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1090

Latest development video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv9s1H32RSc


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 5:09 pm 
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thefox wrote:
My motivation hasn't been very high lately unfortunately. Has anybody else noticed that when you lose the "flow", it gets increasingly hard to get back to a project as time passes?


Yes I noticed that. I'm in the same boat. I couldn't touch my project for more than a year, almost 2 and now if I could find time, just thinking about re-studying the code feels quite painful since I must have forgotten most of it. I'm stuck on a bug and just thinking about that is demotivating.

But my child, 5, asked me recently "when is mega man will be able to shoot a bullet?" gave me some motivation ;) So the important part is to find some source of motivation. Now if they could go to sleep earlier, I may be able someday to work on it ^^;;;


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:05 am 
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shawnleblanc wrote:
I've been working these past few months on my own project for the Sega Genesis. Knowing that other people are working on their own projects motivates me to work on mine. :)

Cool project! And I agree, my motivation also stems from all those small things, like replies here on the forum, so thanks for that to everybody. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:22 am 
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Banshaku wrote:
thefox wrote:
My motivation hasn't been very high lately unfortunately. Has anybody else noticed that when you lose the "flow", it gets increasingly hard to get back to a project as time passes?


Yes I noticed that. I'm in the same boat. I couldn't touch my project for more than a year, almost 2 and now if I could find time, just thinking about re-studying the code feels quite painful since I must have forgotten most of it. I'm stuck on a bug and just thinking about that is demotivating.

Hmm, and I thought it's my special trait.I often blame myself for leaving development of my first game, because I'm lazy and a bit of a coward.

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I've been working these past few months on my own project for the Sega Genesis.
Sweet! :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Denine wrote:
Banshaku wrote:
thefox wrote:
My motivation hasn't been very high lately unfortunately. Has anybody else noticed that when you lose the "flow", it gets increasingly hard to get back to a project as time passes?


Yes I noticed that. I'm in the same boat. I couldn't touch my project for more than a year, almost 2 and now if I could find time, just thinking about re-studying the code feels quite painful since I must have forgotten most of it. I'm stuck on a bug and just thinking about that is demotivating.

Hmm, and I thought it's my special trait.I often blame myself for leaving development of my first game, because I'm lazy and a bit of a coward.

Quote:
I've been working these past few months on my own project for the Sega Genesis.
Sweet! :D


Programming and non-programming issues can lead to terminal productivity. Ironically, as you distance yourself from the project, it can make you objectively reevaluate the value you get out of it. Figuring out where the logic starts and the depression ends is the hard part.

I personally am about to shelve a Genesis project because my compiler sucks, it's damn hard to get a firm quote on cart production and the music engine is being stupid about importing tracks.

thefox has the advantage that people *get* his project. The Streemerz remake is worthy of porting on gaming merits alone. The fact he's bringing an NES game ported to Windows back to its home is mind-bendlingly awesome!

My hope is that we learn when to stop - but also let ourselves continue. People are rooting for you thefox and Banshaku! Games are art with a canvas of code and colors made of creativity. Homebrewers have the rare gift to multiply fun and excitement by the amount of users who play their work. Finish your project for yourself and know your players will enjoy it in turn: A chain reaction of fun for as long as breath can blow a cart or fingers can fire up an emulator!

Keep up the good work shawnleblanc. The Genesis dev scene has really slowed down in my opinion. Fly your project to completion like an ACE!


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