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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:30 am 
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Ha ha, yes the disco! I forgot that one too. The river and the disco are technically in the build, but unreachable.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:34 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
Ha ha, yes the disco! I forgot that one too. The river and the disco are technically in the build, but unreachable.


Ahh, so once I get everything then I will start the hacking :)


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:04 am 
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It's quite interesting that the PC versions are a separate implementation and not emulated. It's good to see that this kind of approach is viable for the whole duration of the project.

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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:59 am 
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Yeah, actually, the C++ prototype approach has worked out really well for me. I put the C++ on the left and my assembly file on the right and just use it as a guide. I try to write the C++ code in a way that will be structurally similar to the intended assembly version, so that when I need to debug I can look at them side by side and think about where they differ.

My most common mistake with the assembly is accidentally inverting the branch case. There's a big cognitive dissonance between an if statement and a branch, since semantically they are kind of the inverse of each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:01 pm 
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I'm still chipping my way at the demo and finding new secrets and endings left and right. I also downloaded your soundtrack and was veeery impressed. Your years of musical experience really shine through in this one! :D

And yet...I'm a little confused about some aspects of your graphics. When I play games, I like to pop open my PPU Viewer and see what makes games tick. And one of the first things I noticed was now many tiles were used up by the player character...Why does the player character have a unique 16x16 tile for each frame? For really small graphics like these, wouldn't it make more sense to separately animate each 16x8 portion of the character and have the head be a separate sprite? The upper half of the player barely ever moves, so I think you could get away with animating just the lower portion and reusing the tiles for the upper half of the character. That way, you could free up some CHR space and have room for things like, say, ducking or turning sprites.

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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:25 pm 
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There are currently about 5 redundant head tiles. I have left them this way in case I want to revise them, or if there is an emergency later and I need spare room. The rest of the head positions I like to have for the purposes of animation (walk wiggle, blink, up and down for jump/fall), which I prefer to a static head. I have one sprite for a skid-stop, which is already part of turning on the ground, but I don't want a dedicated turn (I prefer the snap when there is no current momentum). I don't anticipate any gameplay need for a duck.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:52 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I don't anticipate any gameplay need for a duck.

Not even to shoot one out of the sky? "Pheeewww... plop! Doot-do-doot-do-doot"


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Hmmm...OK, what about the tiles used at the top of the moving platform tracks? There are just a series of dots taking up an 8x2 space in the CHR rom that could be used for something else. I think if you used just four tiles, you could communicate the same idea without wasting so much space:

Image

Generally, I think it's a bad idea to use up so much space for something that's only used once in the entire game. If you used the leftover space, you could add more details to the background or something that could be used throughout the area to beautify it.

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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:07 pm 
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Those two curves I considered unfinished. You probably noticed that this 1k CHR page is half empty as well. I tried a few ways to get it to look the way I wanted, but failed. The rough dots that are there now were a compromise for time, was planning to go back later to finish.

I like your solution for this. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Nice! And I think I'm just about done playing for the day, so here's all of the rest I could spot for now...

Image

1. In each tileset, your doors are drawn with 5-8 tiles, with separate tiles for black-background and sky-background doors, right? Why not trim those doors down to 2 tiles with a version that will work on both black and sky backgrounds?

2. Your logs have unique tile for each 16x16 area. If you trim that down to a repeating 16x8 tile like your pillars, there's no visible difference and 2 more minitiles you could use for other stuff.

3. And speaking of the pillars, you have separate 16x16 tiles for the foreground and background version. Why not reuse the 16x16 foreground pillar and apply a dark blue palette to it? Visually, cool-colored tiles retreat to the background and warm-colored ones jump out at you. It's a neat effect you can use to make your maps pop while making them more vibrant. This will also save you 4 tiles in your tilesets.

4. Last one for now...Your statues use up a whopping 18 tiles, with unique ones for left and right-facing statues. If you don't mind them looking a little more blocky, you could reuse tiles between the two and trim them down to just 7 tiles...that's 9 more free tiles you could use for other things!

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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Background and foreground tiles currently can't be shared; I use the high bit of the tile index as collision data. I could write extra code to make exceptions for specific tiles, but there's a tradeoff between simplicity, table size, code size, tiles, and speed there, so I probably won't want to go that route. I do already have different-palette background pillars in several places. There is a second variant of the pillar specifically because I didn't have enough palettes in one case, and of course it's duplicated in the foreground CHR tiles as well.

I'm not a fan of the blocky doors, sorry. I'm comfortable with the current version. Same with the tree trunks and the stone lizards: I like the variation. As the game gets closer and closer to finished I could always cut details like that for space, but I like to build myself a little breathing room in advance for these things. If I don't need it, I think the variations look better than repetitive blocks. I try to do what I can to bust up 16x16 blocks, where the constraints allow.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:05 pm 
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Graveyard Duck is immortal.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:47 pm 
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I... don't understand.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Hehe people were just throwing out literal duck jokes after you mentioned the game didn't need a duck.

Anyway, haven't tried the demo yet, but the game looks great in the video! Some nice animations too.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Oh right. Heh. Woah, I didn't even see Tepples' comment.


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