June 18, 2019, 02:51:41 PM

Author Topic: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry  (Read 3505 times)

Offline Qube

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 07:12:44 AM »
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I borrowed a 16k Spectrum for a couple of weeks from a friends older brother to try it out when I was around 14. I hadn't got my C64 at that time and the family computer was still a Vic 20, which I wasn't allowed on very much because we only had the one telly in the house that was colour. I borrowed my sisters black and white and tried programming the Spectrum with some magazine listings because I had no games for it. Not a pleasant experience and I just wanted to get back on the Vic 20 in all honesty.
The Spectrum took some getting used to for coding due to it's key presses producing whole keywords. It wasn't actually a bad idea once you got accustomed to it. It drove me nuts when I first came across it though. I guess you could say it was autocomplete for key presses ;D

One thing that did drive me mad about the Spectrum was the crappy game ports. Ghostbusters was a shockingly bad version and far away from what the Spectrum could do, bad graphics, out of time music and generally no pride in it's creation. Bruce Lee was not much better and again was a lazy port.

My 1st computer was a Vic-20 which will forever be a totally awesome machine. Luckily I had the pleasure of having a Spectrum and C64 and loved them both. While the C64 was clearly superior graphically and in audio the Spectrum had a unique charm which I also liked. Back in the day the higher res graphics and more vibrant colours really stood out. The Spectrum also had games with much bigger moving graphics than the C64 could do.

I loved them all and I'm glad I grew up in that era. But pushed for a fave then Vic-20 for the win as that was my first and much loved computer ;D
Until the next time...

Offline Xerra

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 04:57:32 PM »
I loved them all and I'm glad I grew up in that era. But pushed for a fave then Vic-20 for the win as that was my first and much loved computer ;D

I had wonderful years with my Vic 20, C64 and Amiga's back in the day. I even had a C16 at one point, which was good fun for drawing pictures using the inbuilt graphics commands. Neither the C64 or the Vic had them without an expansion cartridge. I never owned a Plus 4, however. Don't think I missed much.

In all honesty, I don't think I can choose between the machines as they were all fantastic for their time. I think the Amiga's probably lasted the longest, though because I got my first one in 1988 and I think it took until 1996/7 before I finally gave in to the PC route. I was using the Vic for around 4 years and the C64 for around 5, all in.

Offline Qube

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 06:25:53 PM »
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I had wonderful years with my Vic 20, C64 and Amiga's back in the day. I even had a C16 at one point, which was good fun for drawing pictures using the inbuilt graphics commands. Neither the C64 or the Vic had them without an expansion cartridge. I never owned a Plus 4, however. Don't think I missed much.
I had a Plus 4 for a short while. It was horrible and couldn't believe how bad it was so it was sold very quickly and went back to a C64. I also had various Amigas and clung on to my 1200 for a long time before moving to PC. I swapped my A1200 and vast software library ( all originals, *cough* ) for a 386SX/33 with 4MB of RAM, 40MB HDD, monochrome monitor and Windows 3.11 \o/ - A few month later I bought a colour monitor for it which at the time cost me £400 :o :o
Until the next time...

Offline Xerra

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 07:42:36 PM »
I had two A1200's at one time. I used the second one to run a bulletin board for a few years back in the 90's. Hooked them both up with Parnet and could control everything from the other machine without even needing a monitor on the BBS machine. Was kind of like a mini-server really. This conversation is making me feel old   :'(

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 07:59:48 PM »
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Commodore fan all the way - I wouldn't have even considered trying to make a Spectrum looking game :-)

Yep, the auto complete on the Speccy was a challenge at first. Made some platform games in ZX Basic with floors that fell away.

However, my Amiga 1200 (that I graduated to from my initial A500) was awesome coding fun with BlitzBasic 2.1. Its where my coding obsession gathered new steam in my late twenties. Still got my A1200 in the loft.with a 1084S monitor, oh yeah!

Don't feel old, more lucky to have lived when coding was new and fun.

Online iWasAdam

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 06:15:17 AM »
me too... A500 with photon paint  :D Spent a bit of time with Sandy White (Yep Him), who was also using Amigas to power an industrial large format printer he had come up with.
Spent a loong time with it and SoundTracker the  got given an A1200 and made a few games - but gave it all away when upgrading to PCs. I should have kept all the disks :( Didn't see emulation coming and now have nothing to show except a few photos  :-\

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2019, 10:29:39 AM »
3d Ant Attack Sandy White? WOW...

Online iWasAdam

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2019, 10:54:19 AM »
Yep - 'that' Sandy White! I used to pop around for tea and cake with him. less cake more Amiga and bite of machines. We did talk 'briefly' about ant attack and how it was done.

I also knew (very well) the team behind (spectrum) Elite and Gyron Arena/Necropolis. I sorta know bits an pieces of their time (early 80's). Great games and people - not so great publishers (firebird)

Offline Xerra

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2019, 11:25:36 AM »
I do remember Ant Attack after seeing it on a Spectrum in the local Debenhams. It was quite scary seeing someone running around on ledges and ants running around with them, trying to attach them when they jumped down to run for the exit. Was an amazing game for its time. Pretty sure Sandy White has a website with a lot of information about the game and other stuff he did. Pictures of hand-written source code for Ant Attack and stuff.

Yeah, http://sandywhite.co.uk/ still exists. It's not been updated in 5 years so I guess he lost interest.

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2019, 09:44:20 PM »
Quite an intriguing website, I delved around in it for 5 mins, thanks for sharing.

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2019, 10:17:45 PM »
I was blown away by Ant Attack back then.  It felt so much more real than the usual arcade-style games of the time.
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Offline Xerra

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2019, 11:57:04 PM »
I spoke about InvadeAload previously and how I wanted to implement it into the fake loading sequence of my C64 retro game but I wasn't planning on putting it together until after the main game was finished. Anyway, I changed my mind and spent a few hours putting it together. This hasn't been implemented into the fake loading sequence yet and there's still a few bits to tweak before I consider it complete but it's mostly in place now so I thought I'd stick a video of it online.

I was tinkering with a Space Invaders game over the last few months , dropping it each time I started work on a new competition game, and then picking it up again every so often to do a bit more. I ended up using very little of that code as I wanted to make it look like it could be a game that would load and play while a real C64 was loading the main game.

To start with you couldn't use sprites on the screen if you were loading. None of the loading games I looked at did this and I couldn't find any information that said it was possible so I'm pretty sure that's accurate. So this game is built up off C64 8*8 pixel characters for all the objects. Of course it's not really done that way and I am using sprites but what I'm doing is sticking to the colour limitations for the graphics and also moving them as block characters so it looks accurate. The player ship is made up of a 32 * 32 pixel sprite but it moves at 8 pixels each way under player control so it looks like I'm poking the character blocks into screen memory like you would on a real C64. None of the simulated char blocks use more than four colours - including black - because you couldn't. I'm not 100% sure if you could even use multi-colour mode for a loading game as it took a lot of memory and you were loading a game in the background which would likely overwrite that. I've decided to not micro-manage on that point, however.

While you're playing the space invaders game it's pretending to load in the background. At the end of the blocks countdown you would be prompted to press RunStop (Esc) to go to the main game when you were ready. This is because some people actually preferred to play with the loading game - hopefully not in Damnation Alley's case .....

I should add that this mini-game deliberately has no polish or flash effects, anything like that. Typically these games were put together in around 4k of memory so there wasn't much to load in to overwrite the loader code once the rest of the main game was already in memory. Big games would need as much space as they could get in probably around 54k available for an assembly program.



Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2019, 08:18:19 AM »
Space invaders and Spy Hunter, tough package to beat, the rest will have to up their game, I'm settling for 2nd place now (hark at me.....  ::) )

Offline MrmediamanX

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2019, 08:35:23 AM »
But...but the substance ... what of the substance? ahh just messing. ;D
considering the game i'm making feels more akin to a classic game using modern principles, sort of. secrets,easter egg's,story plot,cheats ... still has that old skool jank,16 color limit though.

One of the thing's I learn't the hard way is "I DON'T LIKE BEING FORCED TO BE LIMITED ON MODERN HARDWARE/TOOLS!!!" >:D
specifically due to being able to over indulge a bit on certain things such as memory,sprite size and storage limits at any time.
If the C64 had at least a MB or 2, such a game would be possible from the amount of tricks I've seen.

But all in good fun I guess. ;)
 

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2019, 10:28:55 AM »
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considering the game i'm making feels more akin to a classic game using modern principles, sort of. secrets,easter egg's,story plot,cheats ... still has that old skool jank,16 color limit though.

Sounds intriguing, SpyHunter has a formidable sounding bit of competition there!

I'm keeping my powder dry... I'd have loved to competition to go until the end of April, my ambitious plans maybe somewhat curtailed by little things like working for a living and trying to encourage my body to keep fit - it does protest so these days.

Good luck all ;)