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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:02 pm 
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Posts: 37
This is a very good game.

I am especially impressed at how the PC version has the sound effects cut out the music, and how it seems to use the same OAM cycling code (as seen when frogs overlap).

For inquiring minds, I've made screenshot maps of the "front" and "back" sides of the game world (spoiler alert). Sprites/labels aren't included, and neither are the post-boss ending areas (mostly so I don't waste any more of my Saturday :P ). Mapping the void area was an interesting challenge, but once I figured it out (on paper) it was pretty intuitive. I chose to display it the way I did because I felt it presented the "architectural" part most contiguously.

I think I've found everything in the demo (within bounds), but I'm not quite sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:37 pm 
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BNROM uses 4 bits, one could get 8 bits by using a 74HC377. Color Dreams used it, so maybe there's some mapper support already. They used CHR-ROM, though. Extra bits could bank CHR (speaking of CHR, with RAM the cheapest size to get is 32kB), do nametable select in a single-screen mode, bigger ROM, LED, whatever. Speaking of bigger ROMs, I was looking on Digikey lately and 512kB flash cost is as cheap as ever, at about $1.30. Cheaper than 256kB, even.

If I was doing a simple mapper with Flash, I would want to include a 74HC139. I like that part because it can provide 2 chip enables, for $5000-$5FFF and $6000-$7FFF. Relocating the mapper register allows the flash to be writable. Yeah it'd be another part on the board, but wouldn't it be much nicer to program the carts before shipping, instead of before building them? Plus being able to save data, and use a bootloader.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:05 pm 
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Location: UK (temporarily)
Memblers wrote:
I was looking on Digikey lately and 512kB flash cost is [...] Cheaper than 256kB, even.
I guess you mean DIP only?
Code:
   part number           1x   10x  100x
SST39SF010A-55-4C-NHE $1.18 $1.13 $0.86 (PLCC)
SST39SF010A-70-4C-WHE $1.16 $1.30 $0.99 (SOP)
MX29F200CTTI-70G      $1.45 $1.32 $1.15 (TSOP)
SST39SF020A-70-4C-NHE $1.61 $1.54 $1.18 (PLCC)
SST39SF020A-70-4C-WHE $1.67 $1.60 $1.22 (SOP)
SST39SF010A-70-4C-PHE $1.69 $1.63 $1.24 (DIP)
SST39SF040-70-4C-NHE  $1.79 $1.72 $1.31 (PLCC)
SST39SF040-70-4C-WHE  $1.89 $1.81 $1.39 (DIP)


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:14 pm 
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Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Nice maps, RT-55J! I didn't bother making "front" or "back", I just did it all in one thing. (The front/back idea is good though, reminds me of Goonies 2 :-) ). I've been posting about it on Twitter (look for anything with the #LizardNES hash tag):

https://twitter.com/koitsu2009/status/5 ... 8808736768
https://twitter.com/koitsu2009/status/5 ... 5247085568

I haven't provided visual indicators or a legend describing what doors go to what other doors, where the lizard suits are, or what the hint blocks/columns say. I can see from your maps I've missed a few rooms (I recognise them / have been to them but didn't get screenshots of them). I also haven't used the codes he gave us to go to some of the areas we normally can't reach.

If you want the full map (Twitter seems to resize + convert/recompress), it's available here (pick "Download / Direct Download" in upper right of Dropbox): https://www.dropbox.com/s/0zjfnmjzr9yn5xv/m.png?dl=0

Be sure to note that rainwarrior will possibly be moving some stuff around + changing things before final release, and will also apparently be providing some kind of native map editor/viewer (nope, misunderstood).


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:49 pm 
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All of the stuff in the demo is going to get a second pass, for sure, but the layout is pretty close to what I want in the final version. I'm actually waiting for an update to post about this on the kickstarter campaign (there's a time delay on it, in case you think of something at the last minute). Edit: the update is now published at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1101008925/lizard/posts/1037421

Here's my "official" map of the demo: http://lizardnes.com/downloads/lizard_demo_map.png

I almost hate to post my version of the map. I really love to see especially how people piece together the VOID ZONE. I don't remember promising a native map viewer... but if I hit the open source stretch goal I'll share all the tools I used to make the game, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:17 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
256k BNROM is widely supported, including implementations on PowerPak and Everdrive N8.

Has Krikzz finally updated the EDN8 mapper to support larger ROMs? Last time I checked it only supported 4 banks.

I too like the simplicity of this mapper, and while it may look difficult to have your engine access data from different banks, it isn't all that complicated. I solved this mostly by putting the data and the code that uses that data in the same bank, and the main engine only gets the final results. This is often done with music (i.e. the player is in the same bank as the songs), but you can just as easily put the collision detection routine in the same bank as the level maps, for example. A certain amount of code replication is inevitable, but it isn't as bad as it may seem at first.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Yeah, Krikzz updated it a few months ago with 256k BNROM support (possibly 512k? I don't have one to test).


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:12 pm 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
rainwarrior wrote:
Yeah, Krikzz updated it a few months ago with 256k BNROM support (possibly 512k? I don't have one to test).

PowerPak didn't support 512K BNROM either until I made BNTest.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:18 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I almost hate to post my version of the map. I really love to see especially how people piece together the VOID ZONE.

Well, if you want an interesting interpretation of that zone, here's an entirely verticalized map, and here's and attempt to tessellate that horizontally. Overlapping screens quickly become a problem, which makes me think that a cylindrical/corkscrew projection of the zone could only go so far.

I like how you made an "escape chute" back to the entrance for those who get fed up with fighting the boss.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:09 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I I don't remember promising a native map viewer...

I misread what you sent me on Twitter: "I hope you don't mind when I post my own tool-generated map of the demo in an forthcoming update...". Sorry about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:53 pm 
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If the Kickstarter is anything to go by, you are officially, in Bon Jovi's words "half-way there". That said, I wish you the best of luck, I have a feeling this will make it!


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:20 am 
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Do you also have a release for android / iphone in mind ??


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:20 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
The problem here is that a flat sheet of glass provides no tactile feedback to tell the thumbs whether or not they're over the button. I tried the free subset of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure on my Nexus 7 tablet, and I kept missing jumps because I kept moving my thumbs outside the boundaries of the directional control and jump button. Same when I tried running platformers in the Nesoid emulator. It all cleared up when I paired my keyboard though. Because of the limits inherent in touch control when you're looking at something other than what you're touching, platformers for iOS and Android tend to be endless runners because you can't hit more than one button for jump and one for attack without looking at them.

To prove a port feasible, you need to do one of three things:
  1. Suggest a good control method for exploration-oriented platformers.
  2. Show evidence that a substantial number of people are buying MFi gamepads or JXD's Android gaming tablets, which have buttons.
  3. Show evidence that a substantial number of people are willing to buy and carry a Bluetooth keyboard to game with.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:31 am 
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Well, you can already play the NES ROM on an Android by using an emulator. I don't know what the status of emulation is on an iPhone, but I presume you'd need to jailbreak to do it?

As for whether I'd build a native version for either of these platforms, well, it is possible to do, but I have no current plans to do so. I'm worried enough about being able to finish the game at all; supporting Android and iPhone isn't even in the picture. Can interest be demonstrated in such a thing? I would need more funding to cover the development time involved.

Tepples brings up another point that fine controls are more difficult to do via touch screen. I suspect Lizard may not be well suited for that. Though, if you have an Android you can try it out already with an emulator to see how it feels. (I've not had a good experience with platform games and touch controls.)

Finally, Android is much easier for me to develop for as I already have an Android phone, can be developed for with any PC, and there is no restrictions on releasing software (I can just provide an APK for download). iPhone is a completely different story, as I don't already own either a Mac or iPhone, it seems that setup costs would be in the neighbourhood of at least $2000, and then when finished, still subject to Apple's approval.


So anyhow, long story short, it certainly can be done, but I would need to be convinced that it's worth doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:51 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
With iOS, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows Phone, the platform curator assumes that you will be making it a paid app in order to recoup devkit costs. Sell a few thousand copies and you're covered for parts (but possibly not for labor, depending on cost of living in your area).

PlayStation Mobile appears to be comparable in cost to iOS, except there are actual buttons on the thing.


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