Pre-purchase of "Sector 88" (new Kai Magazine game).

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By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Kai Magazine's picture

08-08-2016, 13:27

Thank you for your suggestions ricbit.
I have tried many things: "point" and "preset", vpoke, etc, but to create and erase 54 dots (108 operations) is WAY slower than to move 18 sprites with vpoke (18 operations). the "Line" command is even slower.
Anyway I will shortly upload a video showing more enemies on screen with the same amount of sprites and stars.
In a few days I will upload another video showing stages in which I do not use sprites to create the multi layer so there will be even more more enemies.

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Kai Magazine's picture

08-08-2016, 13:32

TheKid wrote:

Maybe I've overseen this, but what are the specs ?
Is moonsound only ? Standard MSX 2, or extended memory needed ?
Graphics 9000 maybe ?

I probably did not wrote it in a clear manner. I mentioned the specs but those are all over the text.
The specs are:
-msx2 with 64k of ram and fm pac and/or music module.
-moonsound version requieres 128k of ram.
-no gfx9000 requiered.
-support for panasonic 2+ turbo mode (auto enabled) and turbo-r r800 mode (auto enabled).

-unconfirmed possible features: scc and or opll sampled voices or sound effects for the fm/music module version (similar to life on mars) This option will requiere 128k of ram.

By PingPong

Prophet (3448)

PingPong's picture

08-08-2016, 16:48

Kai Magazine wrote:

Thank you for your suggestions ricbit.
I have tried many things: "point" and "preset", vpoke, etc, but to create and erase 54 dots (108 operations) is WAY slower than to move 18 sprites with vpoke (18 operations). the "Line" command is even slower.
Anyway I will shortly upload a video showing more enemies on screen with the same amount of sprites and stars.
In a few days I will upload another video showing stages in which I do not use sprites to create the multi layer so there will be even more more enemies.

Try to talk to vdp directly by means of out(),n instructions

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9769)

wolf_'s picture

08-08-2016, 17:39

Maybe it's like swearing in church, but:

- The whole nemesis-family didn't have multilayers
- Space Manbow only had star/thing/floor layers in level 1 because it uses tilemode with either 8 tiles for stars, or one tile that gets updated

Both are great games. However, you're using gfx-mode where obviously the only star multilayer could be sprites. This means either slow graphics (and/or static graphics) or just a few sprites. The latter is important for gameplay. My choice would be to go for tilemode instead (Space Manbow proves tile-mode gfx can be spectacular), have someone who can draw decent tiles, and then you'll have all the sprites you need for gameplay and your level can be far more dynamic visually.

But all of this has a mere value of $0.02. Hannibal

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1303)

Kai Magazine's picture

08-08-2016, 19:26

All ideas and constructive criticism are welcome, so if it is in good spirit, it is valuable and something good can come out of it, so thank you.

Regarding changing from screen 5 to screen 4, it would defeat the pruppose of this game completelly.
While I can design screen 4 tiles as well as the next guy, there are already several games on screen 4 with smooth scroll which are technically far better. I am looking for something more visually interesting here: screen 5 with organic (non tile based) graphics and dual layer.
Also, to remake the game on screen 4 at this advanced stage of the developement would mean to redo the whole game.
The difference of graphics between the stages and the menus would be so big that I would have to remake the menus as well.
But what it is more important: there is no need!
As I said I can summon more enemies without losing quality (but it works slower on msx2)
I leave you here a quick modification I made to the map so it summons more enemies (the enemies are not random, but summoned from points in the map).
Needless to say that I can summon even more enemies in other stages in which there is no sprite dual scroll:

https://youtu.be/SRdl6N7nRaE

EDIT: go to youtube and select 720p hd 60!!

ANYWAYS this is not the kind of game I am looking for.
As you can see in the video, I am being hit like 7 or 8 times.
This first mission is meant to be completed with just zero hits...
And some of you would say: "it is too difficult, you should make the enemies easier to kill" but then we would go to the typical space shooter, which is NOT what I am trying to do here.
As I said I am not trying to make an aleste or an Ikaruga (dozens of bullets and enemies easy to kill) but a rpg space shooter: fewer enemies but very hard to kill, which are easier to kill as you level up (ys, xak... which are not riddled with dozens of enemies on screen). You must chose which enemies you want to try to defeat, and you have to defeat them because most missions will requiere a minimum amonunt of defeated enemies to be completed, so you cannot just avoid them.
What I intend to explain is (and I see the problem) that this is not the typical nemesis/space manbow, space shooter. This is a "dog fight" kind of game with rpg elements.
People see a ship in the space and they inmediatelly associate it with the typical space shooter, but it is not.
This does not mean it is not playable (far from it) this just means it is different (just what I intend to do: something different).
Anyway 2.0: I perfectly understand people does not have to belive my word about how playable and addictive really is. They (you) should try for themselves, so the best way would be for me to release a short demo of the game (which I intent to do) but the game still lacks Fm-music module-psg support, so only moonsound/opl4 users would be able to enjoy the bgm/sound effects at the moment.
As soon as I have the psg (or sampled) sound effects for the fm version and some fm songs I will release a short demo.
Let me know what you all think of this new video.

By TheKid

Paladin (818)

TheKid's picture

09-08-2016, 07:42

@Kai magazine: Thanks for the specs, nice it supports all these sound devices Smile Just ordered a digital copy, I wanna play the game Smile

By AxelStone

Prophet (2694)

AxelStone's picture

09-08-2016, 08:13

ARTRAG wrote:

I would move to c to gain a better control of the machine.
With the same effort you can fully use the 64kb of ram and 128kb of vram.
Manually controlling the ram mapper allows the use of the extra ram.
You can include asm versions of the music anf sfx player
But I know how hard is to change one 's own habits
Anyway greetings, the results are already astonishing.

It's not so easy @ARTRAG, believe me. ASM drivers as Moonblaster uses absolute memory addressing or page switching, that will not work in a compiled language as C. I've tried to use the driver with no success, it requires ASM knowledge to adapt it. However a growing comunity is appearing in forum, so I'm convinced that soon or later we'll have a Moonblaster driver, Sylvester is trying to adapt it Wink . And yes, I agree with you, jump to C is a good choice.

Kai Magazine wrote:

I would love to learn C (as long as I can do everything I can do with xbasic and I can add fm pac and moonsound replayers, summon moonsound samples, etc).
Unfortunately I am an old dog and it is difficult for me to learn. I need a lot of time (months) just to learn the language. Right now I cannot invest those months on learning when I can barely eat, but as soon as my situation improves I will do so.

Take it like a medium-term investment Wink . The bad new is that you'll have to stop making games during a time, learning language. The good new is that you'll return with a new world of posibilities Wink . Don't worry about players, they'll come, think that a good game is not a game using moonsound or gfx9000, it's a game with a solid gameplay, and you'll get this with MSX-C. I've used both of them (XBasic and MSX-C) and there is a big difference between them in order to implement the game logic.

A middle solution could be jump to NestorBasic and store all game data in hihg memory pages, leaving you at least the Basic 23kb to game logic. Or even Turbo Pascal, is a really friendly language and there is too a growing MSX comunity.

In any case Kai, congrats for such hard work making MSX games.

By ericb59

Paladin (865)

ericb59's picture

09-08-2016, 10:17

[out of topics]
I'm currently learning basics of C language. But not on MSX, on my Mac ! I will see later if I can switch to MSX...
[Off]

By Louthrax

Prophet (2082)

Louthrax's picture

09-08-2016, 13:51

AxelStone wrote:

It's not so easy @ARTRAG, believe me. ASM drivers as Moonblaster uses absolute memory addressing or page switching, that will not work in a compiled language as C.

It's possible (at least with HiTechC). It just requires creating "sections", linking them at the good addresses, etc... You can even split your code into different memory mapper banks if it's too big to fit in memory, but again, this requires a lot of work (loading the code manually from an external overlay file, etc...). Korean developper Sharksym is using that, I think it's M file manager has been coded in C this way.

AxelStone wrote:

And yes, I agree with you, jump to C is a good choice.

SofaRun is 90% C code plus 10% low level assembly routines. The whole ZIP management in SofaUnzip is C code (plus Grauw's uncompression routines of course). I would never have been able to code these tools in 100% assembly (or maybe using a object oriented approach like Grauw does...).

By Imanok

Paragon (1143)

Imanok's picture

09-08-2016, 13:58

About saving sprites for the starfield, you could use only 9 sprites and switch their position every 2 frames (for the first 9 stars set in one frame and for the other 9 star set the next frame). You'll see stars blinking, of course, which is a nice effect too Wink

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