New Kai Magazine Game

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By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1420)

Kai Magazine's picture

18-08-2015, 14:40

Thank you mars2000you!
Thank you AxelStone!

By Manuel

Ascended (19227)

Manuel's picture

18-08-2015, 14:48

How are you going to code the MSX version? Which languages and which techniques?

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1420)

Kai Magazine's picture

18-08-2015, 15:00

Hello Manuel, the main base will be Turbo Basic, as usual, since it is almost as fast as ASM, and most of the work is made by the MSX vdp anyway, and I have the advantadge that coding in Turbo Basic I can generate code really fast.
I created the whole code from the "Illusion city demo" in 7 days, and it would not work any faster on ASM since all the work is made by the VDP, and it would have taken months to code on ASM.
We will use some ASM routines to load the graphics from the Mega ROM, so the game flow is not interrupted, and we will probably use the "triple buffering" technique from "pointles fighting" so everything goes faster.
We did some primary tests and we moved 4 "golden axe" characters at full resolution through the screen, restoring background, at a very nice speed.
Some other ASM routines will handle the music, sounds, and saving game directly to the mega ROM.

By flyguille

Prophet (3028)

flyguille's picture

18-08-2015, 16:09

Kai Magazine wrote:

Hello Manuel, the main base will be Turbo Basic, as usual, since it is almost as fast as ASM, and most of the work is made by the MSX vdp anyway, and I have the advantadge that coding in Turbo Basic I can generate code really fast.
I created the whole code from the "Illusion city demo" in 7 days, and it would not work any faster on ASM since all the work is made by the VDP, and it would have taken months to code on ASM.
We will use some ASM routines to load the graphics from the Mega ROM, so the game flow is not interrupted, and we will probably use the "triple buffering" technique from "pointles fighting" so everything goes faster.
We did some primary tests and we moved 4 "golden axe" characters at full resolution through the screen, restoring background, at a very nice speed.
Some other ASM routines will handle the music, sounds, and saving game directly to the mega ROM.

eh?, correctme if I am wrong!.

IIRC, the turbo basic don't usefull z80 register's set, I mean, when compiling the basic listing into ASM, it uses HL for handling integer variable % and RAM for storing the values, recalculating pointers for accessing arrays for each element.
It is more smart than just that?, what it is saving in real? the textual parameters interpretation IIRC and the pre-linking to code functions and variable addresses.

By Grauw

Ascended (10683)

Grauw's picture

18-08-2015, 16:38

Yeah, Basic-kun is really great for rapid development, and it’s pretty fast too. On MSX a lot of projects were started but never finished, but using Basic-kun definitely improves the odds of the completion of the project. Also Kai Magazine has historic evidence of completing their games, so that’s a good sign.

The goal is a bit too ambitious though... Still, a nice amount is pledged. (I said to myself, if 20K is reached I’ll eat my hat, quit my day job and start making MSX software full-time Smile.)

On the one hand I like the concept of Kickstarter, on the other hand the risk is always that there is no real guarantee a product will get finished. None of the Kickstarters I’ve backed so far did fail, although some are taking a really long time, but nevertheless... It could cause a lot of drama in the scene if a project fails (remember Sunrise?). The harm of such a thing happening in a scene this small may be worse than the good. I guess the morale is, if you start a Kickstarter, better be sure you’ll finish it Smile.

By ericb59

Paragon (1096)

ericb59's picture

18-08-2015, 16:52

Oscar, which development tools are you using for the PC (Multi Plateforme) version ? Unity ?

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1420)

Kai Magazine's picture

18-08-2015, 21:59

flyguille wrote:
Kai Magazine wrote:

Hello Manuel, the main base will be Turbo Basic, as usual, since it is almost as fast as ASM, and most of the work is made by the MSX vdp anyway, and I have the advantadge that coding in Turbo Basic I can generate code really fast.
I created the whole code from the "Illusion city demo" in 7 days, and it would not work any faster on ASM since all the work is made by the VDP, and it would have taken months to code on ASM.
We will use some ASM routines to load the graphics from the Mega ROM, so the game flow is not interrupted, and we will probably use the "triple buffering" technique from "pointles fighting" so everything goes faster.
We did some primary tests and we moved 4 "golden axe" characters at full resolution through the screen, restoring background, at a very nice speed.
Some other ASM routines will handle the music, sounds, and saving game directly to the mega ROM.

eh?, correctme if I am wrong!.

IIRC, the turbo basic don't usefull z80 register's set, I mean, when compiling the basic listing into ASM, it uses HL for handling integer variable % and RAM for storing the values, recalculating pointers for accessing arrays for each element.
It is more smart than just that?, what it is saving in real? the textual parameters interpretation IIRC and the pre-linking to code functions and variable addresses.

Hello flyguille, no matter how technical you get, the truth is that, an engine based on 90% graphics cost, the programming language will make very little difference.
If 90% of the work is being made by the VDP, it will make little to no difference (performance wise) if it is made on ASM or Turbo basic, because even if ASM can be 10 or 20 % faster (only at times, depending on which kind of program you are developing, this 10 or 20 % means an increase of a 1 or 2 % of a program that is based 10% on z80 and 90% on VDP.
Considering the increase on speed is barely ridiculous (1% or 2% of the overall work per frame), and how much faster we can code/program on Turbo Basic (5 to 10 times faster than ASM, because we do not have to compile each time we want to run a test, just press F5, among many other things) it is ovious that coding in Turbo Basic is way more practical than ASM.
The ASM language is vital on MSX to do some routines like music replayers, graphic de-compressors, etc, but it takes way too long to create code to do a big game, nowadays. The proof is that many promising projects on ASM have started, but only the smallest ones have been completed. It takes too long, and nowadays the MSX developer teams are no longer composed of 10 or 20 programmers, and 50 to 100 staff members. We are small groups of 1 to 3 people.
To create a big game on ASM is just not practical. It takes too long, and time (the last 20 years) has proven to be impossible.
It is, as if today you want to create a PC game on ASM; The ASM is still much faster than any existing gaming engine, but noone would be stupid enough to start a big PC game on ASM, having tools that allow you to develope hundreds of times faster, and the speed loss is just insignificant.

We must use the best tools we have to acomodate the little resources we have, to create as much contents as fast as we can, with the little time we have.
Turbo basic just does the job for me.
I created engines (you can see just a few messages before) that work faster and smoother than any Micro Cabin or Falcom game, and my engines are created using Turbo Basic.
You can see some stages from No Name, with 2 and 3 parallax scrolls, advancing at steps of 4 pixels (instead of 8 pixels like all the japanese games) with bigger sprites, and more animations. No Name is made in Turbo Basic, and it runs faster and smoother than most msx games, with bigger sprites.

Turbo basic is NOT a bad tool if you REALLY know how to use it.

By the way, if you write "defint a-z" just after the Call turbo on command, the whole program will work MUCH faster because integer variables are handled correctly. Just one of MANY tricks I know, thanks to years and years of practice with turbo basic.

I belive Turbo basic is nowadays the best (if not the only) way to develope good big games on MSX, due to its advantadges (fast coding, fast results) even if it is a bit slower than ASM.

Just saying.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1420)

Kai Magazine's picture

18-08-2015, 22:13

Hello Grauw, thank you for your feedback, it is nice to see there are people who understand the real situation of the MSX developement, and how to be pragmatical.

Regarding the goal and the Kickstarter project;
Just forget about it; it will not happen.
The idea was to gather enough funding from the PC version to finish it, and then port it to the MSX with little to no effort, as I stated before.
Oviously, no MSX project will ever gather 20k euros. Let's be realist. I never intended that. The idea was to make it as multi-plataform as possible, and then, yes, quit my job and dedicate myself to create software full-time.

Regarding the risk on Kickstarter;
As I explained many times before, if the goal is not reached, no money will ever be moved...
If a big goal is reached, there are enough resources and preassure for the game or project to be developed.
Eventually, 99% of them do.
As you well said, this would not be our first game, nor will be our last.
Anyway, creating games has allways been my dream and mi passion, and I would never ruin my reputation by burning the money, and then not delivering he project. That would ruin my life forever.
But in the case (it will not happen) I could get enough funding to quit my job and dedicate myself to create games full time, I would be the happyest guy on the planet because this is my life dream, and I feel really fulfilled when I do.
I would have NO reason whatsoever to do not do it, since it is what I love the most in the world (besides my son and my daughter).
So, once again; let's forget about the Kickstarter campaign, it will not happen. It was my first campaign, I tried, I failed, I learned a lot.
BUT the game will be done, among other smaller projects I am developing. It will not be as big, and it will not have all the elements I would have wanted, but considering Steam is willing to sell it in their store, we will not miss this oportunity to make my dream come true.
You can be ABSOLUTELLY sure about it.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1420)

Kai Magazine's picture

18-08-2015, 22:18

ericb59 wrote:

Oscar, which development tools are you using for the PC (Multi Plateforme) version ? Unity ?

Hello ericb59, I know I have spoken a little about the NON MSX developement in this thread, but only to defend myself.
It is not my intention nor my wish to talk about the NON MSX version in this forum, unless I really have to, for external circumstances.

Since you and I have shared more than 100 private mails over the last 12 months, and we know each other pretty well, I do not see why don't have this conversation outside the MSX.ORG forum, since it is not MSX related.
I will write an email to you right now.

By Manuel

Ascended (19227)

Manuel's picture

18-08-2015, 22:19

Kai - Have fun creating stuff! I'm looking very much forward to the results Smile Especially if it's for MSX! It's great to see you try new things.

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