Highway Fighter pre-purchase and playable demo

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Por Sandy Brand

Master (156)

Imagen del Sandy Brand

27-03-2017, 21:32

Looks great! Smile

Por sd_snatcher

Prophet (3090)

Imagen del sd_snatcher

27-03-2017, 23:36

Congratulations for another game, Kai!

Here's another tip for you: if you want to support the OPL3 cartridge, just load MUSIC.BIN like this when the user selects "OPL3" on the menu:

BLOAD"music.bin":POKE&HCB94,0:POKE&HCB95,0:DEFUSR=&HC000:A=USR(0)

Por fernando.collazo.5682

Master (239)

Imagen del fernando.collazo.5682

28-03-2017, 04:10

What say about Kai Magazine? Simple the best MSX games producer of this century! Every new game is a new achievement and soon Kai Magazine will be on pair with Compile and even Konami. Congratulations Kai!

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Imagen del Kai Magazine

28-03-2017, 09:53

sd_snatcher wrote:

Congratulations for another game, Kai!

Here's another tip for you: if you want to support the OPL3 cartridge, just load MUSIC.BIN like this when the user selects "OPL3" on the menu:

BLOAD"music.bin":POKE&HCB94,0:POKE&HCB95,0:DEFUSR=&HC000:A=USR(0)

Thank you sd_snatcher, I will take a look at it Wink

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Imagen del Kai Magazine

28-03-2017, 09:56

fernando.collazo.5682 wrote:

What say about Kai Magazine? Simple the best MSX games producer of this century! Every new game is a new achievement and soon Kai Magazine will be on pair with Compile and even Konami. Congratulations Kai!

Wow, thank you, but no, not by a long shot. There are way better game developers than me at this moment and during this century.

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Imagen del Kai Magazine

28-03-2017, 10:04

Manuel wrote:

Kai: i had exactly those questions in mind!

Ok, I will explain those subjects later on today once I finish answering all the messages.
It will be a long post.

Por journey

Champion (371)

Imagen del journey

28-03-2017, 14:10

I welcome each new Kai's Game always with great enthusiasm.

But for Highway Fighter i have some opinions

IMHO, the screen10 isn't the best solution.
If i compare the two versions, the 16colors version seems more defined and the colors are less "kneaded" and seems far less than "11000".

Perhaps Screen8 would be the best solution (like for Rune Monsters).

About the game, i would liked a road map (like in road fighter)

About the velocity, i'm agree that more speed = less playability, but Perhaps, you could speed up ONLY the white center line, in this way the "sensation of speed" will improve, without damaging the playability.

Sorry for my english!

Por Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Imagen del Kai Magazine

28-03-2017, 22:16

Hi, thank you for your feedback, journey.

the game engine is fully functional on screen 8 (I even have the graphics on screen 8) and works well on msx2.
The problem:
Hardware sprites on screen 8 have a fixed color palette. That palette is not optimal in the color selection nor distribution. I cannot get a good "OR" sprite combination to adquiere a nice third color per line, so the sprites look much, much worse on screen 8.
This is why I decided to use screen 5 instead.
Also, the quality difference of the background on screen 5 and 8 is barely appreciable, while on screen 10 it looks more "16bit like".
Offcourse I did not use 11000 colors on the backgrounds. 2 reasons:
1- More colorful backgrounds resulted on a blocky and digitalyzed look with color clash (one of the limitations of screen 10) so I had to design the graphics with those limitations in mind in order to avoid that ugly effect (as much as I could).

2- More colorful backgrounds resulted on a "PC-like" game instead of a retro console game. Also, the difference of detail between the background and the cars (hardware sprites) was too big and it did not look good.

So I designed the graphics with less colors, and having in mind those had to be converted to screen 5 and still look nice, so I used relatively very few colors.

Since I am already into technical explanations, I will answer Manuel's questions:
I used a very old Pc program (paint shop pro, the one I always use for all the graphics) to make the tilesets on a picture of 256x212. The tiles are 16x16.
Considering screen 10 has a limitation of blocks of 8x1, I had to be careful not to use certain color variants between blocks of 8x1 (this is the first step to avoid color clash on screen 10).
I save the image on PNG format.
then I convert the image to screen 10 with MIfui.
Mifui has 5 methods to process a screen 10 or 12 image. I used "area search" for better results.
Then I check for color bleeding / clash / or whatever you want to call it.
Some color combinations with certain color codes coexist on a block of 8x1, it generates a line of a slightly brighter or darker color than it should. (even if there are just 2 colors in a 8x1 cell, depending on the color codes of those colors, the line will be generated, or not).
Since I did not had the patientie to find out the formula to find out which colors can be "friends" and which ones cannot, I simply did several tests, slightly changing some color codes (on the paint shop pro) and tried again.
I found out that the original 512 colors of the msx palette tend to be friendly among them, so when I could not find the right color, I used one of the 512 "natural" msx colors.

And using those 2 basic rules I tried to avoid color clash as much as I could for the tileset.

Regarding the title picture:
Since that is not a tileset of 16x16 or 8x8, color clash is unavoidable, but it can be drastically minimized:
First, I need to remove certain conflictive colors from the pc image and "flatten" the colors (see the car for example. The car is a 16 color image, previously made on screen 5 using natural msx colors to avoid color clash).
Then, when using MIFUI I activated the option: Screen 10 palette.
This option uses the 16 rgb colors of the screen 10 to avoid color clash on the edges of the blocks, greatly improving the edges on screen 10. This option cannot be used if you are going to use sprites, unless you design the sprites with the color palette mifui is giving you... So it is best not to use it on tilesets.
To make it run fast enough I had to re-learn the usage of sprites (making outs directly to the vdp) I had to put the huge maps of the game on the ram instead of the vram because it is faster reading the map (but I lost 4 k of much needed coding area)
The game reads the map and copys a 16x16 tile in the hidden area of the vdp, for every line the scroll advances.
At top speed, the scroll advances 3 lines per frame, so this process is made 3 times and 3 tiles are copied in one single frame, leaving me with very few cycles left for the rest of the gameplay.
The music replayer consumes cycles as well, so I had to limit the usage of certain sound cards on z80 in order to have some free cycles left for the game logic...
I spent almost 2 months working on the engine, 7 days a week, basically optimizing the code over and over and finding the most efficient ways to do the same thing.
All the scroll related tasks are done every single frame, but almost all other tasks are divided between 2 frames (on odd frames, a set of tasks will be done, and on even frames, another set of tasks will be done) so certain aspects of the game actually work at 30 fps.
I really got sick of this engine. It is not all I wanted it to be (not by far) and I reached the limit in which if I added a single more thing, the z80 had not enough time to complete all the tasks on a single frame, so the game dropped from 60 fps to 30 fps...

And this is the short explanation of what you asked, Manuel.

Por Manuel

Ascended (15811)

Imagen del Manuel

28-03-2017, 23:54

Thanks!

Por gdx

Prophet (3081)

Imagen del gdx

29-03-2017, 11:49

I played a bit with the demo. I hope you will polish the following five points.

- The speed is not displayed. It's a shame for a game drive.
- The car seem explode too often at the slightest shock even at low speed.
- The sounds are almost inaudible. You should add a separate volume control for music and sounds.
- Sometime the car passes almost entirely on fuel but I do not get it.
- PSG ports direction needs to be fixed and the click of keys removed.

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