Friday, 26 May 2017

Cruiser X-79 Update #5

14th May - 26th May 2017

Lots of things have been going on over the past couple of weeks or so. I have such little time to put a lot of info about what has been happening into this blog. Also I don't have a video this time round. Anyway, here's what has been happening behind the scenes this time round:

First of I wanted to make some slight improvements to the background graphics, although some glitches still existed inside the background graphics. This was because I was only doing rough ideas, not actually implementing the proper games graphics. I will be looking for a C64 buddy to do this.

As well as this, I have been putting in pointers in which should call the low/hi-byte values of the alien formation tables. This also involved manually creating, drawing and testing enemy sprites for each formation. The idea is to later on, on each level call different alien formation to the game. A couple weeks before I created the patterns for the alien formation. After testing all of the formation today. I was happy with most aliens, but there were a couple of formation patterns that might need to be altered in the future. One pattern was very buggy.

Finally the player now has fully working power ups. Every time it picks up a rocket tile, a power up gets rewarded to the player. The player cannot fire a new power up / default bullet until after the last bullet has moved offset.

So far I am very pleased with the result. It looks as if the main game framework could be finished soon. Just some debugging to the interrupts, bullet firing and of course replacing tacky alien formation movement with a better custom formation. Also of course there is the alien firing bug, which needs to be fixed, to avoid bullets firing where you cannot see the aliens.

The background snapshot below looks entirely messy, but I'm hoping that there will be someone available to help me work on the in game graphics and game sprites.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Cruiser X-79 - Update #4

Saturday 29th April 2017

Here comes yet more progress made with this great Commodore 64 game project. The game is starting to work out much better. The player / enemy bullet collision finally got implemented. I did have a few issues with the sprite/charset collision subroutine, so it was time to take a look at that. There were some missing values, so those got fixed in. This took some time and I felt quite frustrated with the sprite/background collision subroutine. I decided to take a look at the source code of X-Force to see where I actually went wrong. Sometimes it is always good to have backups of older game projects, when in doubt :)

After fixing those. I decided to work on a few additional background tiles, also swapped colour attributes. This is so that on later levels, all 3 colours of the background ($d021, $d022, $d023) can be different. The additional tiles build are power up tiles. The tiles got exported into the source code. The tiles made were a shield for player's invincibility – for a temporary moment of time, rocket tile – for increasing the player's laser speed and a bomb – for a press space bar smart bomb feature (not implemented into the source yet). I tried reading the player ship to background collision, it read fine for the shield and laser. Strangely enough however when I tried to call the collision test to the bomb tiles, the code seemed to have read the wrong part of the background, which caused a wrong area disappear. This will be looked at some time next week.

You may also remember last week I added a player death subroutine. There wasn't a lives indicator. So that got implemented today. The yellow diamond characters represent the number of lives (including zero) which the player has. After the player explodes, the yellow diamond becomes red. The player has 4 lives at the start of the game, and will eventually be able to get extra lives later on in the game – Not implemented yet. A Game Over jingle was produced for the game.

I also implemented a STAGE CLEAR message at the end of the level. Before the message appears on screen, I made it so that the player moves up.

Anyway, time to backup this project and show you yet another video preview. Yet some more bugs in the code, but this is still a WIP anyhow :)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Cruiser X-79 Update #3

22nd April 2017

It has been quite a while since I last blogged something in. This time I have no video to show you, but a few snapshots, to prove more work has been done on the project.

Anyway what has been happening this week. Well, today in fact. Some more game sprites were drawn, and another 2 alien formation tables were set up. Although no path movement tables have yet been set. This will happen occasionally. Some new space ships were created to make alien waves move downwards, and diagonal through a table. There's also another downwards formation, where circular robotic ships move in different speeds. They appear in more than just one go.

I also focused on scoring. A score subroutine was added and linked to the enemy death subroutines, so that the player scores points per alien shot.

Then came the sprite/background collision. I referred to the source in Trance Sector Ultimate, to try and get a 2x2 char sprite/background collision, and even implemented one on the 2x3 characters. I wanted to give this game a Uridium/Warhawk type of feeling, so made it possible that the player can destroy background objects to boost the score. The other sprite/background collision resembles to the player / wall collision.

After adding the collision subroutines, the player was missing something vitally important. A shield counter - to give the player chance to escape collision, when in re-spawn mode. Also an explosion animation to the player. So that every time the player hit an enemy, when the shields are out it explodes.

Now here's the latest WIP video of the work that has been done so far on this project.

Tune in next time for another project update :)

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Cruiser X-79 Update #2

1st April 2017

Okay, just a quick update in the blog. Well, today was quite a hard going session. More work has been done in the game project, and seems to be going quite well. I programmed some additional 1-way alien formation patterns. Although I do intend to create path formations in the near future. Also added are some newer enemies, and also a parallax effect in some parts of the space station. I won't say any more, check out this video below :)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Zenox Attack is now Cruiser X-79

25th March 2017

It has been a very long time since the last time I was working on this space shoot 'em up. Probably due to the long term lack in motivation to code a new game. Also due to getting sidetracked with other tasks as well. Not, to mention the organizing of the SEUCK Compo 2016/17, and getting the prizes done quickly before my holiday ended last week.

Now finally I have returned to this game project. Also I have migrated this game project over to Arthur Jordison's CBMPRGStudio V3.10.0, a great C64 programming suite on the PC. Come BASIC or assembly. :). I have renamed the game project Cruiser X-79.

A lot of changes to the code and also music has been made, although I don't really have anything specifically new to show you at the moment. The same graphics, and also the same sprites are currently used. However the game features new music, which I think works quite well with this game project so far.

So then, what things have been going on this week. Well, for a start off, after the migration of the code and data into CBMPRGSTUDIO V3.10.0 (As I promised Arthur, I create something using his C64 development suite). I created some subroutines, which perform a check when is the best time to spawn aliens. Only a small simple test has been made to test the alien spawning. Basically, check to see if any aliens are offset in the game. If so, then wait until all aliens are out of the screen (or dead). Then set the timer to wait for new aliens to spawn.

Another subroutine created, linked to enemies, are based on enemy movement. I created some checks to see which direction the last alien movement should be, and also which part of the screen should the alien exit. Should an alien leave the screen going a certain direction, the subroutine automatically kills that particular alien.

The video below shows the latest ongoing progress of this game project, which will be released at The New Dimension games division on the downloads page - for absolutely nothing. The game design isn't all that exciting at the moment. No change to graphics or sprites at the moment, but eventually it will happen. Aliens only move straight formation, but I will do better ones in the future. Enjoy the video of the preview and expect to see more progress during the times ahead :)

Saturday, 28 January 2017

And the name of the game is ... Zenox Attack

27th - 28th January 2017

My week's holiday has come to an end, and things are back to normal once again. Most of the holiday was mainly composing music, and also starting on a C64 game project, formerly known as an unnamed shoot 'em up. Well,guess what? The game now has a name. I have decided to call it Zenox Attack.

Yesterday I made a start on the new in game graphics, which gives a sort of a Denarius feeling to it. If you look at the video carefully, you'll notice how much hard work I spent on creating the very first level.

On the alien sprites front. I designed some test alien sprites, which haven't been animated. Also I programmed in some in game sound effects, which could be used when mixed with in game music through my GoatTracker tunes. The player can play sounds when firing lasers. The aliens now have a box sprite/sprite collision detection. The enemy movement isn't very exciting, and the aliens cannot fire. This will be changed next time I work on this project, sometime next week (As well as Precinct 20 - Dead Strange, a SEUCK Redux creation by Alf Yngve). For now, enjoy this second WIP video with remnants of the game in action.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Scrolling without S.E.U.C.K

25th January 2016

 Flipping heck. This week has been a SEUCK marathon. Anyway, time for a little change. Back in 2015, I mentioned to some people in the past that I'd love to attempt to create a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up game, without the aid of SEUCK. I examined the code in Codebase64 and I managed to get a rough map scroller. However getting a soft scroll to work right was a plain in the backside. So I left the code for a couple of years or so backed up.

However last week, I attempted to continue achieve my goal. Basically by getting the soft scroll to work much better. There were a few mistakes left in the scrolling code last time. It turned out that I wasn't copying the last row, and pasting it inside a subroutine. Also the score panel at the bottom of the screen was flickering like hell. In order to solve the problem, I examined some code in an old TND Contributor's C64 game, to see how the status panel stayed static while a vertical scrolling map was scrolling down. I noticed something very interesting. A stack inside an interrupt, had a control over the VIC2 Screen vertical position, which made the status panel more still. I attempted to place a similar routine, and that trick worked. The VSP scroll worked a treat.

This week, I have been making some more alterations to the scroller framework, and started a little game project. At the moment it is an Unnamed Shoot Em Up, (which the video below will show you). However I'm feeling ambitious to make a sort of a onward scrolling Denarius/Warhawk style futuristic shoot 'em up, without the aid of SEUCK. I created some test sprites and a little test panel in order to get the player moving and blasting. The asteroids that move constantly cannot be shot, and will not be the only thing in the game. This is just the start of a fresh new C64 game project I am willing to produce this year :)