Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up
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Author:  team_disposable [ Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

Bit more shading for the ships.

title_screen_facing_forwards_with_grid - new-chars-4.png
title_screen_facing_forwards_with_grid - new-chars-4.png [ 12.2 KiB | Viewed 3511 times ]

Again, comments appreciated.

Author:  Myask [ Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

Looks good. Not sure if I prefer new or old title. The faces are good. Have personality.

The new shading on the lower ship's wingtips looks like they're kinda rusting away, though.

Author:  team_disposable [ Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

Ha, yeah, I may have gone a bit overboard with the shading. I thought two ships might have been a bit too plain, but will consider. Thanks!

Author:  Zachjac [ Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

The redrawn heads look fantastic, much better use of color and tons more expression. Perhaps their faces could be made up of sprites to give the heads a more defined skin color and as to not be restricted by the BG attributes?
Also, the second ship down seems to have some strange asymmetry in a few places. In the cockpit it makes sense, but but on places like the edges of the wings it feels kinda out of place IMO. But maybe that's just my dangerous love for symmetry :lol:

Author:  team_disposable [ Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

Yes, the ship could do with a bit more cleaning up. I'm back working on the engine for now so will tighten up the symmetry and shading next time around. And make it less rusty!

Thanks again for the feedback!

On the engine side this is the first time I've seriously used the fceux debugger (for anyone who hasn't used it or a similar tool, the tutorial Dougeff posted is excellent and I've managed to crunch down the tile extraction to a column and attributes at 3500 cycles, among other things. It's also reminding me again that similar c code doing identical things can lead to vastly different optimisations.

A quick question - what is the most effiecent way in CA65 ASM to either assign a value from one indirect reference to another, or to compare two indirect references to another? In CC65, assigning directly between the two, or adding a value from an indirect reference to another, uses more cycles then assigning one to a var first, and then doing the maths/comparison/assignment from the var to indirect reference. I've literally shaved hundreds of cycles off for loops doing this. Am I missing an even faster trick in ASM?

Author:  team_disposable [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

Lots of progress since last time but not much to post about. In the last week or so I've recoded most of the main routines in assembly which has saved a ton of frame time. I'm thinking of adapting the engine to a contra/blaster master type game as well, as it wouldn't take too much work to do.

Here's one of the songs I've been working on for the game, any comments appreciated. It's called "Wind up". This is one of the first pieces I've composed, and while I've been reading a lot about music composition I'm certain I'm making a lot of rookie mistakes.

songpack_1 - Track 03 (Wind up).mp3 [1002.04 KiB]
Downloaded 132 times

Author:  pubby [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

I dunno much about music either, but as a starting point I'd suggest to work on the quality of your instruments (the "timbre" I think it's called). For example, good sounding NES drums usually cycle through different pitches and use the triangle channel to get kicks. Good sounding square waves tend to sound richer and less "tinny".

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

It depends a lot on what you want to describe or express with the music. The sound might be just fine if that's what you're after.

Without an ftm file it's hard for me to come up with something constructive to say but I think i'd allow it to "wander" a bit more once the basic theme has been established, which is around the 0:32 mark... so anywhere after that, think i'd let it move around the scale.

btw the new portraits on the title screen are great!

Author:  team_disposable [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

These comments are both really helpful, thanks!

So I've experimented a bit and done some more reading and I'm think the richness you're talking about comes from a noise/duty envelope on the square wave? It certainly sounds less flat. Previously I was mostly just using volume/arpeggio.

Found this excellent page on the famitracker wiki about drum sounds as well - would you say that's a fair description of what you're referring to?

About moving it round the scale - It's currently a pretty basic song, one instrument coming in after another, then a bit of a reverie (with the intention of being like a horn section, a sort of call to arms) to break it up. I'll experiment a bit and see if a longer version works better.

In terms of expression the intention is to get the player going from the slow beat at the beginning to the fast beat, unconciously - I was intending to incite a kind of mild clockwork mania, like automatons working faster and faster on a factory line, hence "wind up". Probably would have been helpful if I'd said so earlier!

This has given me quite a bit to think about, thanks.

Author:  team_disposable [ Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

The engine for this is pretty much done, and I've been having a rethink about the theme and the graphics - it doesn't really have that immediate appeal I'd like it to have. I've been expanding the engine out to a couple of other projects I may be posting about soon.

Here is a boss I've been working on:

boss_1.gif [ 8.9 KiB | Viewed 2924 times ]

Any comments/thoughts appreciated

Author:  M_Tee [ Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

That boss looks wicked.

Only because you asked, but…
…if I were to, just out of thin air, come up with a theme / graphics change for this, I'd probably take the theme of twins and space, and call the game Gemini. Since the enemies and worlds are primarily warm in color, I'd make the players / title screen cool in color (and I also associate cool colors with the concept of Gemini, although I can't pinpoint any logical reason for that association).

I'd probably also go with space-jetski style ships, (GIS reference, potentially NSFW) with bike designs that -not only have unique silhouettes when viewed from the viewpoint of the gameplay, but also distinctly showed the difference between the pilots. I guess hoverbike is what I meant when I said "space jet ski", but there are some pretty rad designs around for inspiration.

If time allowed for a full reskin of graphics, I'd probably opt for a side view to showcase the pilots more, but not totally necessary.

I just checked the first page and saw that the game does have a side view. I had forgotten that due to the top view of the boss posted and on the title screen.

Author:  team_disposable [ Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Progress Thread - scrolling shoot'em up

Those are some pretty sound ideas, thanks!

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