Saturday, 31 March 2012

Let's Move to the Music

31st March 2012
This week I had even less spare time to do any C64 programming activities - because I have been working longer day (10am-8pm) shifts. Anyway, the good news is that today I have been doing a lot more on Trance Sector. I suppose on Tuesday, I did some work on starting the programming phase, in which was to display the game screen and also the sprites. Today I got to do more.

It was time to move those sprites. So I programmed some routines and subroutines to get the rockets moving up/down, left/right - depending on where they are situated on the game screen. I found that their speed was a bit too fast, so I altered the speed to the slowest speed for all 4 rockets.

Now that I am happy with the enemy movement. I decided to work on the player's movement. Unlike many of my TND game productions, where I use a routine which will move the sprite during every tap of the joystick. I wanted to make a more accurate movement pattern for this game. Mainly because I wanted the player to be able to cover every 2x2 block on screen. So I generated a timer to make the player move a reasonable amount of pixels and stop accurately on to the next 2x2 block.

Once I was happy with the player's movement. The next thing I did was worked on the animation for the rockets. I used 4 frames like I usually do, because I'm not too sure how much memory would be used in the whole game overall. The sprites are not really final either. So it doesn't really worry me much.

After I done the animation, I booted up GoatTracker and did some music for the game. It is surprisingly is a C64 techno/trance style tune I written specially for this game. After I finished doing the first tune, I imported it into the game's source code and got everything working. I even added a status panel to the test screen.

In a couple of days time / or maybe a bit longer. I will be working on the AI (Artificial intelligence) for each rocket, so that if the player gets detected on sight - the rocket swoops across the screen, trying to destroy the player. Then I'll be working on the game collision/logic. Other things to do are animate the background. Such as the void background and traps, etc. Then get the scoring/lives working.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

TranceSector's under development

24th March 2012

RV is just around the corner (In about 6/7 weeks time) and I have started working on a new C64 game for the event. If you remember the classic 'Transector' by Argus Press Software's 30 games compilation. I have decided to a bigger remake of the game. Reason for this: TS was

too difficult to play with so much colour clashing (to the scroll) going on. Enter TranceSector.
What was Transector all about? Basically, it is a game in which you moved a little space ship around the game area collecting all of the pods, and avoiding getting zapped by the
trigger happy cannons. The game would have been good, if there was no colour cycling in the scrolling chars.

My version's planned to be completely different. The concept will vaguely be the same as Transector, apart from the player will be a 2x2 sprite having to pick up the pods, avoiding to get hit by heat seekers. I'm also planning to make the game more puzzling, in which after a few levels a new feature's added. The new features planned for my game project have also been drawn and put together as objects. They are:

- Blocker (Steel brick style object, forcing the player to bump into it)
- Conveyor belts (Move the player if it is on those)
- Trick switch (If pods still exist, the trick switches will bring all pods back on screen, making the game more trickier and confusing :))
- Trap (You will get stuck and the heat seekers will get you
- Hole (Don't fall in there, whatever you do).

So far I only worked on the character sets and started building the in game screens using the Multi Screen Construction Kit and so far have 6 levels designed and mapped. Due to less spare time I had this week, I only gone as far as level 6's design. I will be doing more this week, but here's a couple of screen shots to tease you :)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Enter the Huntress

4th March - 11th March 2012

I have been enhancing too many SEUCK games, but I just can't really help myself when a good looking SEUCK arrives, I can't resist to touch it. Yet again, I have done it again. I really should have done more to Up in the Air this week, but this SEUCK really surprised me :)

Anthony Burns created a new game using the Sideways SEUCK mod called "The Huntress of Midgard", and the concept of the game was inspired by the nineties classic game, Shadow of the Beast, a classic arcade adventure which was by Ocean software and Psygnosis. So then what's the game all about? Well it is a continuation of Magess of Midgard. The villages of Midgard are in trouble by new forces of evil. The creatures of Morrigan. They are searching for the missing pieces of the holy talisman, so that they can run Midgard under their power. The Queen, Malexia sends in the Huntress of Midgard. She's out on a quest in which is to collect all three pieces of the holy talisman and bring peace back to Midgard. This is just a brief story as Anthony made a large story in the instructions file.

After taking a look at Anthony's game I was very impressed with the idea which he came up with. So the first thing that I did was composing some music for the game.

After I loaded the game in I noticed a trick not used in a SEUCK game before (Wondering if this was possible). The main player was split into 2 players, but you had to use both joysticks to move the object. To improve this situation in the game, I added a POKE into the M/C monitor to set up the correct stop positions for both player 1 and player 2, then bolted them both together using another POKE. Both player 1 and player 2 sprites could move about at the same time. I programmed some additional in game routines, in which would allow the player die (both players at the same time). How was this trick done? Well, I searched for the player getting hit routine, added a subroutine that would detect it and also added a routine where the collision with character 0 would kill the player instantly (Then disabled that after respawn.) The trick worked quite well, but I still had a problem with the player's starting positions. The legs were out of place at times. To solve this problem, I added a routine that would scan the death position of the player (Like I did with Action Def) and reposition the player sprites at exactly the same place where they were killed. This trick worked :).

Other programming that was implemented into the game was the removal of one of the scores. I programmed my own mock scoring system, which then gets stored on to the SEUCK scoring system. Also I added a routine in which the player could pick up bottles of potion or a piece of the talisman and award 1000 points. If 4 bottles were picked up, I made the side borders turn grey, prompting the player to use the smart bomb trick. Then I added a routine which detects the RETURN/ENTER key to activate the smart bomb trick (Which Jon Wells helped me with last year when I was working on SEUDS 2). To give the effect, I added a flashing border as well. I also added a routine that would fix the raster position, to iron out the top screen flicker, but it caused problems for the sprite positions. It moved the pixels up by one. So I left the raster position hack out.

The game has a brand new front end, get ready/game over/well done/end sequences, but for part 2 a correct pass code would need to be entered to see Anthony's excellent end sequence. Now for the final mastering. :) DONE!

Huntress of Midgard is available to download to you C64 at: The New Dimension