Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sheepoid gets a good whacking

28th September 2011

Man I am still recovering from a hard working day and also yesterday's pub session. Well, no pub today. Although it has been lovely and warm for it. Well, we cannot exactly go to the pub everyday can we huh?. Anyway, enough pub talk. Let's just get on with this blog shall we?

Well, I was a bit late to get back on to Woolly Jumper. This week. Although I was off from work over the weekend, I have been busy with Trojahn for the Shoot Em Up Destruction set. Only one more program to go for the SEUDS 2 compilation - Which I will be working on this coming Saturday. But that final program will be a surprise :)

Anyway, today I downloaded Shauns latest graphics update, which he drew using Arkitec. I took a look at the map and was concerned about one of the levels which was in the slaughter world. It turned out to be that one of the platforms needed to be extended a little. So I expanded the platform by 2 blocks, so that the sheep can land on the platform. Otherwise it would have been mighty impossible to land on to that particular platform without losing a life. I also noticed that Shaun added some shaded chars, which were used as pointers for the platforms. So I updated the charset by removing the stuff. I took a look at level 5's background. It's definitely much better now. The sheep should be able to jump over the girders no problem. I'm pretty much happy with this.

After being happy with the map, I saved all the data from the Arkitec and then exported the files into the source code and tested the game with it. Feels much more comfortable now. The next thing for me to deal with is the attack waves. The aliens seem to appear on the screen too frequently. So I programmed a little routine which allows them to appear on to the screen after a delay timer has been hit. I also re-enabled the collision detection. Also added scoring of 200 points per aliens hit.

The game's too hard for the player to be able to move around. Making the production still quite unplayable. Especially if after losing a life, the sheep hits a deadly background and dies straight away. Something had to be done with this problem. I came up with a big solution to this problem, which was to program a routine which checks for whether or not the player has a temporary shield enabled. If the shield is enabled, then the player will not get killed by any baddies or deadly, nor will the sheep drown when falling in the water. After the shield timer wears out. Poor the poor sheep could be in trouble if the player makes the wrong move :)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Enter the Trojahn

17th - 25th September 2011

Well, well well. I have been busy yet again this week. Not only at work but also Woolly Jumper and the Shoot 'Em Up Destruction Set 2. This blog's mainly going to be about SEUDS 2. Well, it's game number 4, Trojahn. Alf has been updating this game a lot, and what I have seen seems to be a huge improvement compared to the old version which he wrote back in 1993. This game featured some more great tricks formed using S.E.U.C.K. Anyway, to make this a SEUDS 2 release. I decided to work on some major enhancements.

Before I actually started programming a new front end for this game production, I decided to work mainly on the in game enhancements. Simply by POKEing the SEUCK to run additional subroutines. One which will play in game music or sound effects, and one which will check for power ups, etc. Also one for the animated background as well. The power up routines only occur if the player breaks the magic urns. These power ups may vary and help enhance the player's skills. Those Urns could reward Trojahn more stamina (faster speed), faster powerful spear throwing, further distance for throwing the spears and also temporary invulnerability for 20 seconds or so. Trojahn loses all his power ups if he gets hit by an enemy of deadly obstacle.

As soon as I was (and Alf was) happy with the power ups, I kept on receiving updated versions of Alf's game. So I referred to using the latest one. I also worked on the in game, ending and title music using DMC V5.0+ and Goat Tracker. The music turned out pretty well, although I was sort of unsure about the title music. :)

Kenz sent me some 2x1 charsets in a bitmap form, but I had trouble converting the C64 bitmap picture into charset form, so I decided to try and convert Alf's original charset into a 2x1 font and then updated it to how Kenz originally drew the chars. The result turned out pretty good.

Now was the time for me to program the front end. I added some text, music, additional routines into the front end source code. I noticed a couple of flickering rasters inside each raster split, but managed to fix this without a problem. The title screen also consists of a music / sfx option, in which is activated by using left / right on the joystick. I also made it where after fire has been pressed, the get ready screen comes on, which reads: ELENA HAS BEEN CAPTURED BY THE SPARTAN KING. GO AND SEARCH FOR HER!. Then I linked the game code to this routine (after the fire button has been pressed) I also added a game over screen, which says TROJAHN'S QUEST HAS FAILED, ELINA HAS BEEN SACRIFICED TO THE MINOTAUR - GAME OVER. Both GET READY and GAME OVER screens have an eerie jingle, to fit the dark atmosphere in the game. Finally I programmed and linked the last part of the game. The ending. Tested the game, seems to be working okay, and I managed to reach the end of the game as well - in cheat mode :)

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Clumsy sheepoid.

17th September 2011

No screen shots or videos to show you this time, but I have still been working on Woolly Jumper. It is still sort of shaping up quite nicely, apart from that I came across some design faults in the game. (Go on, blame the coder). It turned out that the sinus mode which I originally used for the game wasn't all that good. The sinus was all over the place. That's not what we really want for a game don't you agree?. Well the good news is that I have renewed the sinus movement for the aliens, and after they get shot - they will disappear as they should (and not reappear on screen).

The second issue was the background. When the player jumps out of the screen, it seems to mysteriously die outside the border. This was quite a weird thing that was going on. I do have to admit. Anyway to resolve this problem I lowered the border jump height. So that no collision's made up there.

The next issue was that I programmed the lives and sprite/sprite collision. The sheep has too much on it's plate (Thanks for pointing this out Shaun) where the enemies appear on screen frequently. Oh dear :( We don't really want that to happen do we?. So I have come to a decision to add a delay/timer before letting loose the next batch of aliens. This will give the player chance to jump over platforms on to the next one. To make the player die. I added a little routine which made the sheep jump to the top of the screen, then fall into the water. The basic idea is to have an amusing frame, for where the sheep goes up, then add a splash sprite to make it look as if it had jumped into the water. I also did some jingles where one made the sheep scream if hit, then a splash sound for when it ends up in the water.

One final issue which I spotted, but pointed it out to Shaun, was a mapping fault. Basically the platforms were too far from each other in parts of the map, making it virtually impossible for the poor sheep to jump over. I also noticed a silly bug today in which killed the sheep when on top of the shaded area of the platform where the meat hooks hang. That will be simple enough to fix. Simply locate the charset number

I also had two .D64's from Shaun, featuring his new sprites for the game. So I loaded up the Sideways SEUCK (As Shaun used this to make them) and attached the .D64 with (what was meant to have been) the source files. Sadly I could not get those to load. It turned out that the disk image was corrupt as the file name ended with a *PRG inside the disk directory. This is known as a splat file. Perhaps the .D64 wasn't detached from VICE before I received it. Anyway I received the latest disk with the sprites. Those were Power Ups, alien species and of course the player animations. Looks absolutely great :) I will be looking forward to the final sprites :)

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Attack !!!

10th September 2011

Today I have been working on the attack formations of the enemies in the game. To do this I created various routines which checks for all sprites being out of the screen. If they are offset then the formation gets switched over to the next one according to the table. I have created 8 formations. At the moment the formations still need some kind of tweaking as they are quite buggy, but the work seems to be turning out quite nicely. :)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

2000 Kung Fu Maniacs - Final Touches

3rd + 4th September 2011

Flippin' heck. I have been too active haven't I - an I'm still enjoying it. Anyway during this weekend, I have been concentrating on doing some more stuff for 2000 Kung Fu Maniacs. Actually I think it is all done now.

The first thing I thought about was the player's status bar. Now being that 2000 KFM will be for one player only. I decided to do a little something useful to the status bar which is inside the border. So then what did I do? I moved it to the centre of the screen, simply by adjusting the X/Y attributes of the sprites that formed the status panel. Great!

The next thing I did was programming the new front end for the game. Due to restricted memory I had come up with a simple idea, which would display a bitmap logo, and some animated game sprites. I decided to have the whole screen in red, apart from the raster which holds the logo in place. I painted it in black. I also added the colour washing routine, using brown, red, orange, light red yellow and white. It looked pretty nice on the front end. I also added page flipping and timers. So that the title screen will flip from the credits to the high score table. This worked quite nicely. I also wrote a scroll text and programmed a smooth scroll which would display that text. Then I added the animated ninja sprites and the player's sprite.
As soon as I was happy with the front end I decided to work on the Get Ready and Game Over sequences. For this, I made a grey screen, and did the player chasing after the ninja, for the get ready sequence. Then I did an animation, similar to the Get Ready sequence, but instead of the ninja running off the screen. I got the ninja to punch the player into the air, and go splat on the ground. I thought that for this kind of scene it was quite funny to watch. :)

The next task was to program in the usual high score / name entry routines, as before. Like with 1000 Kung Fu Maniacs, I was hoping to add the rankings to the name entry message. Sadly I was unable to do that this time due to being completely out of memory for any more code. So I had to cut the high score routine smaller by missing that out. Otherwise some of the crucial data would have been overwritten by the high score routine.

As soon as the high score routine was finished. I tested everything to see if it all worked okay. It seems to be working fine. Now the final touches. The Galway Ninja loading music and the tape mastering. - Complete! Hopefully this is another SEUDS 2 game finished and ready.