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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:59 am 
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tepples wrote:
It's not like PCs and modern consoles, where Internet play is the norm.

Well, it's kind of forced to be at this point... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:50 am 
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tepples wrote:
  1. Palette swaps: Four characters use up all four palettes, leaving no room for anything else on the screen.
  2. Not palette swaps, CHR ROM: Four characters use up all four MMC3 sprite tile windows (2-5, mapped at $1000, $1400, $1800, and $1C00), leaving no room for anything else on the screen.
  3. Not palette swaps, CHR RAM: Four characters animated at 15 fps with 128 bytes per cel (the Battletoads/Haunted: Halloween '85 solution) use up all the VRAM update time, leaving little time for anything else on the screen. Because player-controlled characters are less predictable than NPCs with simple AI, the predictive double buffering method used in HH85 is less effective.


This just involves designing your game around the limitations. Mine is going to use all four palettes, but that's ok based on the full design. I also might end up using different sprite graphics for each, but again, I don't see it as a limitation.

I'm not even worried much about flicker. The game design means if all four players are on a scanline (ie 8 sprites) there won't be any other sprites there at the same time.

tepples wrote:
The other practical problem with 4-player games is that you might not be able to find enough willing players nearby once you've graduated from the after-school use case. It's not like PCs and modern consoles, where Internet play is the norm. I had enough problems finding play testers for RHDE: Furniture Fight, and that was only 2 players.


We old people might not play as OFTEN, but finding players shouldn't be hard. We had a blast last time my friends came over and played Atari Warlords and TMNT Arcade (on mame). We were looking for good 4-player nes games to play, and were disappointed. Plus, I want more old-school 4-player games to play with my kids.

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:17 am 
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gauauu wrote:
tepples wrote:
[Flicker, palette, tile window, and video memory bandwidth limits]

This just involves designing your game around the limitations.

This is possible for some games, not for all. Anything with projectiles, for instance, would have had to both make the projectiles player-colored and use tiny 8x16 pixel player characters. Or they could just delay 4-player mode until a sequel on a less limited platform.

gauauu wrote:
I'm not even worried much about flicker. The game design means if all four players are on a scanline (ie 8 sprites) there won't be any other sprites there at the same time.

Are you referring to 16-pixel-wide sprites with no projectiles or 8-pixel-wide sprites with one projectile each?

gauauu wrote:
finding players shouldn't be hard. We had a blast last time my friends came over

The problem is that they have to be both local and retro gamer friends. Nowadays, "friends came over" can mean hundreds of dollars/euros/pounds in airfare and lost wages due to unpaid leave. Or you might have found local friends the majority of whom happen not to be gamers or who exclusively prefer 3D games on modern platforms. Or perhaps my failure at subconsciously learning to find local retro gamer friends as an alcohol-shunning adult with no car and a mild case of autism is an edge case. Should we revive a topic from last year about finding play testers for a multiplayer NES game?


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:09 am 
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tepples wrote:
gauauu wrote:
tepples wrote:
[Flicker, palette, tile window, and video memory bandwidth limits]

This just involves designing your game around the limitations.


This is possible for some games, not for all.


That's my point. 4-player mode isn't tacked on, it's designed based on the limitations of a 4-player nes game.

tepples wrote:
Are you referring to 16-pixel-wide sprites with no projectiles or 8-pixel-wide sprites with one projectile each?


Or 16-pixel wide characters with projectile(s) that travel vertically (faster than the players), so you will never have a character and it's projectile(s) on the same scanline :)

tepples wrote:
The problem is that they have to be both local and retro gamer friends. Nowadays, "friends came over" can mean hundreds of dollars/euros/pounds in airfare and lost wages due to unpaid leave. Or you might have found local friends the majority of whom happen not to be gamers or who exclusively prefer 3D games on modern platforms. Or perhaps my failure at subconsciously learning to find local retro gamer friends as an alcohol-shunning adult with no car and a mild case of autism is an edge case. Should we revive a topic from last year about finding play testers for a multiplayer NES game?

I realize my statement made it sound like just because I could find friends to play, that you should also. That wasn't intended, and I apologize if it sounded that way. That being said, in my experience, they don't have to be retro game friends. it's less about finding people who prefer one type of game to another (retro vs modern 3d games, gamers or not gamers), and more about managing a social event. Because I enjoy retro games, I'll plan a social event around playing some retro games. My friends will come for the fun and social interaction, not just because they like retro games (some do, some don't). The harder part is just making friends at this age. It generally requires having a Third Place. Not having a car can make finding a Third Place harder, (I guess shunning of alcohol might as well, but most of my friends either drink very little, or are teetotalers -- it all depends on the nature of the crowd and the Third Place) and asperger's could make it harder to develop those friendships within the third place, I guess.

Either way, there will be people for whom it will be difficult/impossible to find friends to play this game with. They aren't my target market. I'm my own target market ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Oh man, between a 4th child on the way, and then deciding to buy a new house, I'm not sure I'm going to get this game into the condition I'd like to be able to submit it. It's all working, but I really hoped to add AI so you can play 1-playered. (Currently, it's multiplayer only.)

From testing, it's fun with 3-4 players, but not sure a multiplayer-only game with mediocre graphics will do so well...

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Even if it's multiplayer-only on initial release, I plan for there to be a remix compo focusing on improving past entries.


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Quote:
I plan for there to be a remix compo focusing on improving past entries.


Thumbs up. Good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:00 pm 
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Sounds good.

Although I'm more likely to start on a new bigger-scoped project after this one. The goal of this was a small game to get used to the NES quirks. Next, I might start on another 3-year journey to try to make a larger-scaled adventure game. We'll see :)

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:45 pm 
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The idea of the game seems good.
Does a schematic of a discrete logic multitap exists?


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Famicom multitap is astoundingly simple:
Simply connect an ordinary controller to D1 instead of D0.

NES multitap isn't too hard if you can build all-new hardware and don't require being able to plug in existing controllers. (nesdevwiki)

It's still not that hard if you do want to use existing controllers, but it requires an actual schematic (as well as donor sockets).


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Well, I found this post at NintendoAge of a guy trying to expand the fourscore to also "switch" D3 and D4:
Attachment:
File comment: Fourscorepro NA
fourscorepro.png
fourscorepro.png [ 38.58 KiB | Viewed 612 times ]

I think this can be modified to work as a original fourcore, does it?
I also have read about a signature fourscore sends to the NES, so, maybe the circuit above is not completelly apropriated to simulate a fourscore, but can be used as a base to do so.

A guy have made a 4 palyers Bomberman game for NES.
It can be found here, at the games section.
Seems nice and he shares the source. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:24 pm 
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Unfortunately, that schematic is missing the requisite signature bytes that games use to detect the Four Score. You'll need to increase the counters from 4 bits (each half of a '393) to 5 bits, use 74'153s instead of 74'157s, and add two shift registers.

But it's pretty close.


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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:21 pm 
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Well, I managed to squeeze in some mediocre AI, so I think I just might have time to finish up and submit it. Looks like my powerpak isn't going to arrive in time for proper hardware testing though :-/

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Like others have said: I'd love to ear any specific feedback about my game. (Spacey McRacey -- the title changed along the way). I know it's a pretty simple silly game, and I'm quite content with where it ended up compared to so many amazing entries, but post-mortum feedback is always helpful.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Space Race
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:12 pm 
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I really enjoyed it. It is a simple design that works extremely well. The punchy music is just what the game needs. The game is frenetic in action and still let some time to rest between stages. Even the competition's ranking is not bad: the only multi-player game to beat a single-player game!

If we have to find bad points and become pedantic on details:
  • Rules are not explicitly stated: as I read the blurb I do not know if it is hard to figure out
  • It is not clear that 1-player mode exists: the title screen says 2-4 players and nothing blinks when adding the first to say that it can be started

Oh, and if you want to see somebody (my wife and me) play it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2nRzuzp_GA&t=360s

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