Invasion of the Zombie Monsters preview

by hap on 10-03-2010, 20:20
Topic: Software
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Invasion of the Zombie Monsters, an upcoming MSX / Spectrum platform game by Relevo Videogames (a fork of Karoshi), was previewed today on the Spanish gaming website Metodologic.

The preview, accompanied with screenshots, discusses its difficult and addictive gameplay, reminiscent of and seemingly inspired from classic arcade games like Legend of Hero Tonma and Ghosts 'n Goblins. If Google's translation is correct, it also mentions large end of level bosses and multi layered scrolling. Read on if you understand Spanish.

Relevant link: IotZM preview (Spanish), Video 1, 2

Comments (33)

By Sander

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10-03-2010, 21:58

OMFG gfx looks amazing! Hopefully the playability will be awsome too

By spl

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11-03-2010, 02:34

This is amazing Big smile

PS: I want a Franky version Tongue

By Sander

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11-03-2010, 11:44

Well, I remember a promise somebody made me....

By JohnHassink

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11-03-2010, 13:23

Promising. Cute graphical style. Looking forward to it, ofcourse.

By viejo_archivero

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12-03-2010, 05:04

Now we've just published a game trailer on Youtube. Check www.relevovideogames.com for lots of info :P

By ARTRAG

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12-03-2010, 08:14

ok now I start to see something interesting
- two layers of parallax scrolling
- tile based animated monsters
- many bullets on the screen

At first glance it looks like a screen2 version of Fantasm Soldier Valis

By ro

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12-03-2010, 08:23

oh my... that looks very promising. lot's of (fast) action.. great gfx.

By Hrothgar

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12-03-2010, 08:50

Wow indeed!

Is that video really only Spectrum quality, without MSX1 improvements in tile colours and sprites? It is very impressive.

By Huey

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12-03-2010, 09:14

gameplay vid here

This is the first time I see a spectrum version that is slower than the MSX version LOL!B-):P \o/

By MäSäXi

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12-03-2010, 13:05


- tile based animated monsters

- tile based animated hero too Smile

What can I say? There´s too much to say with just words. Smile At first it looked weird: "What that eye-glassed blonde teenager is doing in Ghosts´n´Goblins game?" Tongue Game has very very nice cartoony graphics, and thank god, in SCREEN 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL! Yeah, and it has "Gominolas Inside"...! Tongue Atmospheric music! Though cute music sounds "strange" at first, as game is (cute) horror game, no, please don´t get me wrong, I like that music!! Smile I am just waiting too much horrors of Ghosts´n´Goblins on MSX-1 screen. Wink

CAN´T SAY HOW NICE IT IS TO HAVE MULTICOLOUR SCREEN 2 HERO WHO CAN WALK BEHIND TREES AND PILLARS AT LAST ON MSX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have waited it since Jack The Nipper II !!!! Smile So, AT LAST!!!! Big smile

p.s. Can we have Spectrum port included into same cartridge? Wink Please?

(I afraid Viejo says bits are burned into cartridges already....)

By JohnHassink

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12-03-2010, 13:39

Ah, it's a scroll like Astro Marine Corps!
I'm glad someone finally did that again. Great!

By Hrothgar

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12-03-2010, 14:35

Well, Coredump wasn't bad either.

By JohnHassink

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12-03-2010, 17:01

@ Hrothgar, yes, but that was for MSX2. Really a shame it never got finished BTW - I'm sure it would have been a great game, surpassing Akin.

By PingPong

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12-03-2010, 19:34

with the usage of hw sprites the game would be better. i do not think having the main charater go behind the background is a *MUST*.
Having, instead a full colored main charater made with sprites would be great.

By hap

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12-03-2010, 20:14

Hardware specs don't improve the game, it's viejo_archivero and his team that made this dual platform game as great as can be Smile

By PingPong

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12-03-2010, 21:44


Hardware specs don't improve the game, it's viejo_archivero and his team that made this dual platform game as great as can be

I do not agree. otherwise all system should have the same quality of games. this game made on amiga or pc could be better, obviously.

(Three layer scrolling ? better sprites? more smoothness? better final/boss enemy movement?)
Hw makes the difference..... taking advantage from hw makes a *LOT* of difference

By Hrothgar

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13-03-2010, 00:10

From the videos, there could be some theoretical improvements within the MSX1 spec, such as hardware sprites and smoothly scrolling large tile-based enemies (at least vertically). But seeing the action and speed of this game both Z80 and VDP are probably working overtime already.

As for MSX2, this could be done in screen 5 with block copies as well, but with a somewhat diminished framerate (see Coredump). So indeed improving the specs isn't always guaranteed to improve playability and overall quality. For the specs that this is built in, it looks fantastic.

By JohnHassink

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13-03-2010, 03:25

@ Hrothgar
What about screen 4 ?
Fast tile updates and 2x as much HW sprites / vertical line with more possibilities regarding color detail (logical OR).
This would make the game itself MSX2 exclusive as well but it would put quite some existing MSX2 games to shame, I'm sure. Smile

By MäSäXi

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13-03-2010, 10:18

with the usage of hw sprites the game would be better. i do not think having the main charater go behind the background is a *MUST*.
Having, instead a full colored main charater made with sprites would be great.

Maybe it is not a "must" to have main character which can disappear behind the background, but it is the thing which makes this game unique when comparing it to every other MSX game. Smile How "many" MSX games you know which have player disappearing behind the background? Right now only F1-spirit (in just few stages) and Jack the Nipper II (direct Spectrum port) comes to my mind. Maybe one or few others may exist I think (direct Spectrum ports too).

Player looks really good already, but of course it would be nice to see some MSX game which has player made with both tiles and sprites. Smile And of course smaller enemies could look better if they had allowed to move smoothly by using hardware sprites. But I know I would never had seen any problem in tile sprites´ eight pixel movement, if this game had published in the 80s. Smile I still remember that in early nineties, after few years Amiga playing, I played Salamander again and wondered how blocky that scroll was and why I didn´t seen it that way in the 80s. Big smile So Yes, I can see those Zombie tile-sprites moving blockily, but I know that it is part of MSX´s life. Smile At least they don´t flicker, like things were sometimes on some hardware-spriteless 8-bit machines. Smile (not just on Spectrum, but on BBC, etc, too)

By JohnHassink

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13-03-2010, 11:36

I played Salamander again and wondered how blocky that scroll was and why I didn´t seen it that way in the 80s.
LOL indeed, it didn't occur to me either back then.
Only when I saw the NES versions of games like Vampire Killer and Contra it started to ring a bell. Big smile

By PingPong

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13-03-2010, 13:13

@Masaxi: mixing sprites and tiles is the worst solution: you get the worst from all
1) when sprites need to flicker they display the tile. Usually the tile is a blocky solid color, and when the sprite disappear looks badly
2) you are pratically still limited to move on 8 bit steps.

Tiles have the major drawback in being colored by scanline (no more than 1 color for each scanline) like msx2 sprites.
Hw sprites for main chars are better, and remember, making the sprite disappear could be done even with hw sprites. It's only more difficult, not impossible.

By MäSäXi

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13-03-2010, 20:42

Pingpong, I forgot to say, that I meant a game which could have sprites+tiles used for player ONLY, enemies would be tile only. So no sprite-flicker problem. Smile But of course such thing is not the wisest idea for a game where player hides behind a tree, but of course it would be easier to hide sprites behind a tree when player moves with 8 pixel steps, than if player moves smoothly. Yes, it sounds quite easy in theory, to make it work even in BASIC, but I don´t know how hard or easy it may be in reality? Thought there would usually be only 4-8 sprites for such tiles+sprites player (unless player has enormous size), so it doesn´t sound like it slows cpu too much. But maybe someone can tell me the truth? Smile

I know that tiles+sprites mix player would move with blocky 8 pixel movement, but it was just an idea which could be nice to see someday in some game. Smile

By Huey

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13-03-2010, 20:49

Well I am not an expert at all. But I think the extra time gained by disabling the sprites is well used for other stuff updating the screen.

By MäSäXi

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13-03-2010, 21:04

Just to make sure that nobody would not think that I think this new Zombie game is not colourful enough because lack of sprites: my idea for mixed tiles+sprites player which could hide behind trees, walls and other stuff, was just an idea and it could be used for a flick-screen non-scrolling game which changes screens the way it is done in both Jack the Nipper games, which do not need heavy cpu use for scrolling. Smile That was what I had in my mind. Smile Zombie game is fine just the way it is right now. Smile

By PingPong

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14-03-2010, 18:32

@Huey
about your idea of disabling the sprites: on msx1 it's not possible. even if was, i'm not sure that this allowed a gain in speed. there is no blitter that can take advantage, and writes to vram appear to be hardcoded (for the minimum delay) based on the screen mode and on vblk, not on the sprites. (unfortunately)

@Masaxi: jack the nipper is a good candidate of a sprite/tiles mixed game, or at least the main charather could be rendered with two sprites.
even using a sprite for the main charather could save a bit of cpu time.

By hap

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14-03-2010, 19:24

I think Huey meant not having to handle SPAT data anymore, especially rotating/sorting the table for priorities and flickering takes time.

By MäSäXi

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15-03-2010, 09:25

Pingpong, I was thinking Jack the Nipper II. It has trees and pillars which hide Jack and other people and animals, also tree leaves (on branches) and grass partly hide them.

Haven´t given much thought for first Jack the Nipper, but I think that Jack 1 can give some headache for programmer, if he´s going to use tiles+sprites for every walking toy, animal and human. That´s because Jack the Nipper has somekinda "3D" effect, as toys, animals and humans can walk in front or behind each other AND they can do the same with collectable objects. Even if only Jack has made with tiles+sprites, there are many moving and still software sprites around the screen which all will react when Jack´s body hits them, they either walk to behind or frontside of Jack and Jack can stand between two dropped objects etc... In Jack the Nipper II everything is in pure 2D, animals and humans can pass each other (except Jack who dies) but they all move in same Y-coordinate (I mean when they are on same platform) with exception of those butterfly look-a-like bats and arrow-like bees and that´s why Jack II doesn´t need as much calculating when someone walks behind pillar or tree or gets partly hided by grass.

By JohnHassink

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15-03-2010, 18:49

How "many" MSX games you know which have player disappearing behind the background? Right now only F1-spirit (in just few stages) and Jack the Nipper II (direct Spectrum port) comes to my mind. Maybe one or few others may exist I think (direct Spectrum ports too).
OMG, I think I'm going to cry if you don't download buy this game quickly: Smile
http://www.generation-msx.nl/msxdb/softwareinfo/2112

By MäSäXi

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16-03-2010, 08:52

I made demonseed cry.

(didn´t download it)

By JohnHassink

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16-03-2010, 15:07

Crying

Or you bought it, yes? Big smile

Well, just wanted to help enrich your MSX experience, you know, but in the end it's up to you. Still a free world.

By viejo_archivero

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16-03-2010, 15:55

@DemonSeed: in fact A.M.C. was one of my inspirations for this game engine, but I wanted it without the big scoreboard and of course full screen 2 graphics Smile

Thank you all for your feedback! Cool

By MäSäXi

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16-03-2010, 18:56

No, I didn´t bought it either and now I made you cry even more. I feel really bad person now. I am sorry what I did to you.

Wink

Well, I probably would had bought it, if I ever had known it is ported to MSX also AND if it was sold in Finland.... either one never happened....

But maybe I should do.. try it someday. Smile

By JohnHassink

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18-03-2010, 02:13

@ viejo_archivero
Not surprising! Big smile Though it looks like a big improvement upon the A.M.C. idea, because of the much larger gamescreen indeed but also things like color use, smoothness etc.

@ MäSäXi
Knowing you just a little makes me expect you'd be quite enthousiastic about it. Wink