SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => Worklogs => Topic started by: Derron on February 02, 2019, 04:06:42 PM

Title: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on February 02, 2019, 04:06:42 PM
Here is a little WIP-Thread for "Genus Prime", a fast paced sci-fi-strategy game.


A WIP of the title screen (need to redo many pixels as it looks kind of dirty/ugly, using the "spray can" in GrafX can destroy stuff it seems).
It uses more colors than the 16 ones (for now 23 - but could surely reduce to 16) as I planned to use the color-alternation trick. Means it would limit me to classic MCI or newer IFLI)..
(http://i.imgur.com/HFGdCJh.png)



Without exposing too much gameplay, here is a WIP shot of the interface:
(http://i.imgur.com/fE8giMY.png)

For now I did not check if it is fully IFLI/NUFLI compliant - as creating this low-res stuff is already taking way longer than programming the basic gameplay (the basic game principle is already working - after 2 evenings of coding). Rendering the whole stuff and creating some vector stuff or layer-style-based-Photoshop-magic would take an evening but here every pixel counts.

I tried a whole lot to work with "GrafX2" but it just behaves so differently to the paint programmes I am used to (talking about GUI, not the painting itself). The game interface was now created in my old Photoshop CS1 with a C64 palette in an other image (alt+click for palette select).

I thought about adding more colors for "variation" and better color ramps but ... yeah... as said asset creation takes way more time and then there will _surely_ be people around here who blame that this GFX is not possible on real C64 hardware or that I did not follow the (you-do-not-have-to-strictly-follow) rules.
   

Noteworthy too: I use a mouse for interaction as gamepad would not allow the (fast paced) gameplay I want to use. Also I ignore hardware sprite limits and other stuff. In essence it is kind of an 320x200*16 game. Going down much further is just making my eyes bleed :-)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on February 02, 2019, 06:20:55 PM
Looks good :)

Quote
there will _surely_ be people around here who blame that this GFX is not possible on real C64 hardware or that I did not follow the (you-do-not-have-to-strictly-follow) rules.
You could with this trick (http://www.aaronbell.com/secret-colours-of-the-commodore-64/) although it doesn't work for all colours.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on February 02, 2019, 06:37:50 PM
I wrote functions for alterating colors for the retro xmas 2017 compo already.
Including functions to autocreate the needed sprites out of the "multicolor" image.

For color selection I use CIElab (perceived color distance). Which works pretty well with the "dusty" color palette of the C64.

On my 60Hz TFT screen I have some flickers every now and then. Think that would not happen that "stuttering" way on a C64+CRT. Which is why I have a flag to disable alternation of colors. It would then directly use the RGB value created by mixing the two C64 colord.

Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on February 02, 2019, 06:58:47 PM
Yes, I doubt you would see it on a CRT as much as you would on a TFT and having the toggle option is a good idea as no doubt those that have high Hz and fast ms response times will see the flicker even more. Will be interesting to see it in action though and find out who gets little to no flicker and who's eyes melt out :P
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 02, 2019, 11:14:53 AM
Had no time to dev further since the last post here - so almost a month done "nothing".

Thursday I finally got an afternoon for myself (thanks wife) and coded a basic (but varying) AI class. Decisions the AI makes (for now it can only attack, no tech upgrades) are based on "modifiers". So eg. selection of the target is based on "attraction".

Attractions are calculated out of different factors - and they are multiplied with above written "modifiers".
Each AI has "characteristics" which influence these modifiers. Also the AI classes might extend to allow very specific characters with behaviour being altered drastically.


After I did that I needed to "trim down" the AI to only do such "attack commands" (or other thoughts) every XXX milliseconds (depends on the difficulty level of the AI - aka "brain speed"). Else I was pretty fast "game over" as it was not as easy to spread my fleet as fast as they could.


What's to do:
- GUI (Settings, Startmenu)
- HUD interaction
- tech tree including effects on the gameplay
- minimap
- story mode (getting more difficult with the levels - ans scrollable maps)
- maybe little images for your opponents for a better "immersion"
- sound effects and music
- AI improvement / different strategies (explorative, researchers, ...)

Once the HUD is halfly working I would expose gameplay in a video or so. Having an hour of kids-in-bed-for-after-lunch-napping now ;-)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 03, 2019, 09:55:26 AM
Improved AI a bit: it now takes into consideration units currently send to support or attack planets. No fancy stuff with distance calculation (would need to handle each ship - now I can simply use a numeric value stored for each planet).

Also added a tiny techtree thingy which currently involves fertility (population growth) and ship speed (faster ships are good for expansion plans).

The improved AI helps to avoid that all enemies (if you eg. play versus 5 AIs) target a defence-less planet at the same time. On the other hand it now also let the AI target planets which will be easy targets once an enemy force tried to occupy a planet with a handful of ships.


Sparetime gone for now - maybe I am able to create a gameplay video this evening.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 03, 2019, 11:36:01 PM
Little gameplay video:


- decreased ship speed a bit as I introduced a techtree (looks a bit slow-paced for now)
- used a bigger map to show scrolling and parallax (some stars in the background)
- star amount is based on a single-screen map - so normally you have to do a bit more


Basic idea is to ... rule the galaxy ;-)
For this you send ships to other planets. Each planet grows over time. Each being on a planet creates "research points" every second (for now). Once every 5 seconds (for now) you as a player auto-collect what was "build up" in that time - if you lost a planet, another player earns it.

Research points can be used to improve fertility (better grow rate) or increase ship speed.
I thought of having planet-individual tech too (means other ones can gain access to it by becoming the new planet owner).


Todo (aside of above):
- basic diplomacy ("x seconds non-attack-agreement between AI1 and AI2" or such stuff)
- more varying AI
- tech tree handling/visuals (icons already pixeled)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 03, 2019, 11:58:51 PM
Cool, it's sort of like Risk but in space ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: GaborD on March 04, 2019, 01:34:40 AM
Sounds really great.
I like that you went for strategy. The map looks nicely sized, could lead to interesting strategies.
Tech trees, diplomacy, you are going all in :)
So many great entries this time!

Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: therevills on March 04, 2019, 03:37:22 AM
Looks great! Love the GUI!

Did the C64 have a mouse? I remember playing these sort of games with a joystick!
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 04, 2019, 06:51:05 AM
@ therevills

(https://www.c64-wiki.de/images/thumb/e/e6/Mouse_1351.jpg/200px-Mouse_1351.jpg)
source: https://www.c64-wiki.de/wiki/Mouse_1351

I could add joystick support but marquee/rectangle selection and later on a more fast paced control style would not suit well to controls via joystick.


@ GaborD
Yes, I prefer strategy/simulation over arcade, jumpnrun - which is what many users here prefer. Glad to see we get some other entries this time too (RPG).
Map size will differ in the missions/scenarios/levels. Begin with one opponent on a 1-screen map, later on get more enemies/races and bigger maps.


@ Qube
Risk.. hmm. Means I should give bonuses if you control "quadrants"  (like the "cannon, cavalry, infantry" cards of Risk) ?


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: therevills on March 04, 2019, 07:39:01 AM
@ therevills

(https://www.c64-wiki.de/images/thumb/e/e6/Mouse_1351.jpg/200px-Mouse_1351.jpg)
source: https://www.c64-wiki.de/wiki/Mouse_1351

I could add joystick support but marquee/rectangle selection and later on a more fast paced control style would not suit well to controls via joystick.

Ah, I do remember something like that for the Amstrad (from magazines), but we never had one - did many people have mouse devices for the 8bit machines? None of my friends did, until the 16bit era.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Matty on March 04, 2019, 08:02:09 AM
I like your game so far.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 04, 2019, 08:52:02 AM
Ah, I do remember something like that for the Amstrad (from magazines), but we never had one - did many people have mouse devices for the 8bit machines? None of my friends did, until the 16bit era.

Yeah, I also do not remember someone who played these games on FHD LCD/LED screens that day ;-)

I think I also skip "disc swapping" (the physical one, not the memory-harddisc-thingy). Not all inconveniences of the old systems need to get transported into modern days. Means I even allow multi tasking. Brave man I am.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 05, 2019, 10:50:38 PM
Had some spare hours this evening and added some tiny details to the hud:
- speed buttons including their hover/active state)
- planet info fields (maybe adding some more - to display planet techtree/upgrades)

Also made the minimap handle clicks accordingly to allow rapid map movement. Fine grained scroll-areas (borders of the space-area on the screen). So you can either use the minimap or "border scroll".

(http://i.imgur.com/PVIW3Ym.png)

Drawing these pixels takes its time.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 13, 2019, 12:49:03 PM
Skipped some sleep yesterday and added this lunch break - so all in all spend an additional 4 hrs on the project.

Used them to bring in a very first tech tree layout - and painted/pixel'd some opponents (they look too toonish/cute but hey... that's the colors I got and all-gray would look boring).
Excuse pixel mistakes - watched 2 movies on the second screen ("UFO" with senior citizen Gillian Anderson - at least she looked pretty burned/old - and "Operation Avalanche" - to keep within the genre ;-)).

tech tree:
(http://i.imgur.com/TTc2byD.png)


Some opponents:
(http://i.imgur.com/cohVvU8.png)


Everytime you play versus "blue" the behaviour of this character should be "similar" - so you can estimate on the map opponents how explorative or researcher-heavy they play.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 13, 2019, 08:53:22 PM
Nice work, 3rd opponent looks worrisome.  ^-^
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 13, 2019, 10:12:41 PM
Wife gone to bed - time for some (cute) monsters to crawl out of the darkness below the bed.

(http://i.imgur.com/nvXFuJ9.png)


Think the "aqua tank" of the green one (was my first creature here - when I was a bit sleepy ;-)) now looks a bit like if he uses one of these 80s hair dryers ...


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 14, 2019, 12:28:04 AM
Looks good, I like the brain type one ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: iWasAdam on March 14, 2019, 06:00:07 AM
very cute... I love the little brain as well :)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: craigd on March 15, 2019, 12:38:53 AM
Loving that interface. Very oldskool :) Good luck!
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 15, 2019, 10:24:51 AM
Yes the interface graphics look very authentic.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 15, 2019, 10:58:30 AM
I've seen that the RGB colors differ pretty much from the "screenshots" of C64 games.

Should I try to use the palette I could extract from screenshots (based on YUV color model) or the ones eg. godot provide (converted to RGB color model)? I think in RGB colors look way more vibrant - which even does not fit that well to the game genre here so I might as well use the colors I see on the screenshot (color conversion could be done by my CIE-Lab-algorithms - or by hand).

https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Color
(http://i.imgur.com/HCi9Ru9.png)

aaronbell.com:
(http://i.imgur.com/IXEbUcg.png)



bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: iWasAdam on March 15, 2019, 11:13:17 AM
that first table doesn't look right at all.

Code: [Select]
Byte values in BlitzMax code

' Arne Palette v20
Function FUseColor(i)
Select i
Case 0 SetColor 0, 0, 0
Case 1 SetColor 157, 157, 157
Case 2 SetColor 255, 255, 255
Case 3 SetColor 190, 38, 51
Case 4 SetColor 224, 111, 139
Case 5 SetColor 73, 60, 43
Case 6 SetColor 164, 100, 34
Case 7 SetColor 235, 137, 49
Case 8 SetColor 247, 226, 107
Case 9 SetColor 47, 72, 78
Case 10 SetColor 68, 137, 26
Case 11 SetColor 163, 206, 39
Case 12 SetColor 27, 38, 50
Case 13 SetColor 0, 87, 132
Case 14 SetColor 49, 162, 242
Case 15 SetColor 178, 220, 239
Default SetColor 255, 0, 255 ' Out of bounds, Magenta.
End Select
End Function
HTML/HEX

0 - color:#000000;
1 - color:#9D9D9D;
2 - color:#FFFFFF;
3 - color:#BE2633;
4 - color:#E06F8B;
5 - color:#493C2B;
6 - color:#A46422;
7 - color:#EB8931;
8 - color:#F7E26B;
9 - color:#2F484E;
10 - color:#44891A;
11 - color:#A3CE27;
12 - color:#1B2632;
13 - color:#005784;
14 - color:#31A2F2;
15 - color:#B2DCEF;
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 15, 2019, 11:28:16 AM
Quote
I've seen that the RGB colors differ pretty much from the "screenshots" of C64 games
The C64 colour palettes was provided in the competition launch post.


Colour palette ( must use ) :

(https://www.syntaxbomb.com/images/SBJan2019Comp-C64.png)

Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 15, 2019, 11:53:04 AM
As said these colors are "YUV" based (so "TV screen") not RGB (modern screens).

Will try to convert my sprites - think especially "blue" will transform into grayish purple ... Some sprites will look better (less contrast difference between colors) - some worse. Might need some more adjustments than a simple "color replace".


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 15, 2019, 12:22:17 PM
Gee Wiz!! - Shove the image into GIMP and use the RGB values. Don't over complicate the issue :o
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 15, 2019, 12:32:49 PM
Quote
Gee Wiz!! - Shove the image into GIMP and use the RGB values. Don't over complicate the issue :o

PMSL.  Derron wouldn't be Derron without over complication.   :D

That's all I did with the Speccy Colours, downloaded the palette image Qube supplied, then sampled using the eye dropper tool in Photoshop.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: iWasAdam on March 15, 2019, 12:34:01 PM
Yep the c64 wiki is completely wrong - color wise in its rgb values!
it even has the correct colors next to the above pic with the wrong rgb values - what does that tell you?
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 15, 2019, 12:49:13 PM
That's all I did with the Speccy Colours, downloaded the palette image Qube supplied, then sampled using the eye dropper tool in Photoshop.
Yup the images supplied are close as near damn it an RGB match and the reason they were provided was that all the games using X computer all have the same matching palette and not one of the terrible ones like the one posted above.

Yep the c64 wiki is completely wrong - color wise in its rgb values!
it even has the correct colors next to the above pic with the wrong rgb values - what does that tell you?
They are showing you the web colour equivalent for some stupid reason. Why is a complete pointless mystery.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 15, 2019, 03:16:59 PM
@ overcomplication
The framework can already handle it... So I can shovel in an image and it would try to find suiting colors within the allowed palette (or extended if you use the alternating-color trick) but as I have the wrong colord in the allowed palette...
This would even allow for some kind of gradient color request...and it chooses the most suiting (,0human perceived) color. Did not try it visually but maybe it somewhen comes as a handy helper.

Nonetheless the colors differ so much that certain gradients look different when adjusted ... Or some color mixes now work which were not possible before (because of the vibrance of these "wrong/godot" colors).

Will adjust the images when I get next spare time without other bugs to squash or interruptions by the kids who do not want to sleep as good as we parents want it :-p.


Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 15, 2019, 10:47:05 PM
Updated colors:

Level start:
(http://i.imgur.com/jcm5oxf.png)

Ingame:
(http://i.imgur.com/GbmoLor.png)


Characters:
(http://i.imgur.com/kcwFuXn.png)

As you see the C64 palette misses a darker gray so the "dark mysterious dude" now looks like he wears a gra jogging hoodie :(


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 18, 2019, 11:13:17 PM
New evening with some hours of sparetime (yeah!) ends now (dizzy ;-)).

- dynamic techtree/upgrades texts (tells effective changes)
- techtree modifiers adjusted for better value "steps"
- some slight gfx overhauls
- now 3 speed steps
- ships, planets, ... get informed about approaching objects
- added missiles (planet upgrades to allow a slight self-defense ;-))

I thought of adding "cloaks" so players would not see others ships until they approach near a player's planet. This would on the one hand lower "gpu stress" (less stuff to render) but is imho something "annoying" (surprise 200 ships approaching). So I think the planetary defense (only some rockets...) should do for now.
And yes - the missiles are also able to attack nearby planets. Will have to try the next lunch break if this is a suitable idea too.
Should remind myself to not fell into the "feature creep issue".


Still not sure how to include the planetary upgrade (for now its only useful to have the planetary defense there...) into the interface.
Think the "upgrade button"/"knowledge hub" (window to upgrade "all planets/global") does have to stay there all the time. I initially thought to have it context sensitive: 1 planet selected: planet upgrade box. More or no planet selected: global upgrade box.

Talking about the box on the bottom right of this picture:
(http://i.imgur.com/rrH0ebo.png)


Hmm so much for now.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 19, 2019, 12:14:48 AM
Looks like it's shaping up to be a sweet little sim :)

Quote
I thought of adding "cloaks" so players would not see others ships until they approach near a player's planet. This would on the one hand lower "gpu stress" (less stuff to render) but is imho something "annoying" (surprise 200 ships approaching).
Nah, don't do "cloak" to save GPU stress. Have them beauties on screen hurtling towards you ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Xerra on March 19, 2019, 12:44:30 AM
This game is making me think PSI5 trading company.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 19, 2019, 06:48:46 AM
Quote
.   - dynamic techtree/upgrades texts (tells effective changes)
- techtree modifiers adjusted for better value "steps"
- some slight gfx overhauls
- now 3 speed steps
- ships, planets, ... get informed about approaching objects
- added missiles (planet upgrades to allow a slight self-defense ;-))     

That's the kind of attention to detail that floats my boat.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: MrmediamanX on March 19, 2019, 08:24:36 AM
Man I'm glad I have a GPD win 2, I can play all these games on the go ... neat.
very solid stuff, i'm alway down for a bit of the old strat-sim games.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 19, 2019, 03:51:10 PM
Productive 90 minute lunch break:
- added missiles-slot to the interface (lots of trial-and-error until I was satisfied)
- added some "sliders" for the data-part of the interface (some of you enjoy blinky-blinky-animations don't you? ;-))
- added missile-fly-by-attack support (so they also attack enemies just "flying by" - range for this is a bit less than for "attacking" ships)


While the kids are now enjoying some ice cream I got the time to record a little gameplay video. No "scenarios/missions" yet. Also no settings menu, save/load, ... music or sfx. But feature wise I think I got everything for now. AI needs to know about the techtree and planetary upgrades too. Not to talk about balancing (missiles are either refilling too fast, limits to high or costs to low ;-))




PS: I am totally aware that the visual presentation is not what would be possible that way on the C64 (maybe some C64-magician could do but I surely break some "color block limits", sprite limits, ...). Think it is more a "low res c64 color palette"-entry.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Xerra on March 19, 2019, 05:36:11 PM
Don't be so sure, Derron. The c64 could multiplex sprites so, while not many would try to do it on a real C64, it's actually possible to write pixels as bit operations onto a sprite to simulate individual pixels. They could also be small and within range of each other if you were using multiple single colour sprites where needed so you didn't need to have double-width pixels.

Agree, it's highly likely anyone would have gone to that much trouble during the C64 games heydays because of the coding headaches and memory required in the machine to do all that but it COULD have been done.

Interesting game, now I've seen it moving. Kind of feels like PSI5 - as I said earlier - in looks but, gameplay-wise, I get a Megalomania feel along with Risk.

Looking forward to playing it a lot more now.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 19, 2019, 07:18:31 PM
Looks like a fun little strategy game and coming along well :)

Quote
PS: I am totally aware that the visual presentation is not what would be possible that way on the C64 (maybe some C64-magician could do but I surely break some "color block limits", sprite limits, ...). Think it is more a "low res c64 color palette"-entry.
Don't worry about that. If you want to add in whizzy explosions and particle madness then go for it ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 19, 2019, 07:59:27 PM
Quote
PS: I am totally aware that the visual presentation is not what would be possible that way on the C64

The only restriction was palette colours, this is not a competition to 100% replicate the original computer limitations (no fun in that!).  Just look and feel.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 22, 2019, 12:52:14 PM
Seems the cake is there - it just needs the decoration to hide everything I forgot in the pastry :-)

Ok in other words - lunch break's gone, youngest is almost awake and wife asked for a sparetime afternoon for herself. Glad we got >15°C now and warm and welcome sunshine. Time to go out for a walk and maybe stop by at the parents for a beer or so :-)


What did I achieve during almost 2 hours of sparetime:

- Savegame support (for now only quicksave via keys, no GUI thingy) - Brucey's Persistence.mod is a breeze  :-*
- Toast/Ingame messages (auto-close, stacking, ...) so to inform about the defeat of other races
- restructuring a bit of code here and there for proper screen support (intro, main, game ...)
- game over/game won states (and the required gamestate checks + lookup caches to avoid counting 2000 ships on each loop :-))
- wrote a simple screen fader utilizing small black rectangles :-)
- and as always: surely a load of bugs if you achieve to write stuff in a short amount of time

Minor question to you - as you know my mother tongue is not English so I am absolutely sure to choose the wrong words.
So if a race in the game lost all its planets an ships in a system it does not mean that they are extinguished at all - they are just no longer present in that area.
How to write that in a concise and short sentence?

For now I use "NAME was effaced from the system." which isn't as "harsh" or is it? I want to avoid to have the game sound "brutal" at it would collide with the "cute" alien look. Maybe there is a "kind" word for pushing someone out of the room  / exile / oust ... ?

(http://i.imgur.com/aOsjEQK.png)
(maybe the "time until the message auto-closes without click"-bar should not be in one of the players colors - simple bright-gray might do as well)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 22, 2019, 01:04:17 PM
Removed or purged from the system.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 22, 2019, 01:10:32 PM
Removed from the system ... in passive then "XYZ was removed from the system" or "got removed" ?
Think that suits.

Thanks for your suggestion. "Purged" reminds me of "Purge" (movie) which wouldn't be so nice then ;-)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 22, 2019, 01:17:19 PM
Quote
"XYZ was removed from the system" or "got removed" ?

Think that suits.

"XYZ was removed from the system" is better English.

For what you want I think it's appropriate.

Quote
Thanks for your suggestion. "Purged" reminds me of "Purge" (movie) which wouldn't be so nice then ;-)

You're welcome.  lol yes purged is more forceful.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: DaiHard on March 22, 2019, 01:39:46 PM
"Expelled", or "Driven out"? suggests a forceful, active, removal, but hopefully not a brutal/terminal one?

D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 24, 2019, 10:57:06 PM
Phew ... hay fever time. After these sunny days hazel nut et cetera start to bloom as if there was no tomorrow - so much I needed to take a Cetirizine - once done I know that the followup hours are "sleepy" and kind of "boozed" (which is why I won't take such stuff during serious work days).

Back to ontopic - got half an evening now to do something (after getting exhausted today by the kids - and the medicine).

- run it in debug mode and fixed some incorrect array accesses, color retrievals (wrong player color..)
- added gamestats and gamestats archive (so you can later see some curves on how you develop during a mission)
- AI now uses the tech tree and buys some missiles for planetary defence
- start screen now contains some animated stars (looks a bit less static)
- tweaked some values ("balancing")


Still a bit to do:
- [optional] diplomacy + diplomacy visuals/GUI
- missions (only a dozen or so)
- game profile (so storing missions you played/won already)
- music/sfx
- screens/windows: settings screen (audio, gfx, ...)
- screens/windows: help screen ("instructions / controls")
- screens/windows: loading/saving screen (or just provide 3 slots, might be more "c64 like")
- screens/windows: missions select screen
- screens/windows: skirmish setup screen


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 25, 2019, 04:29:37 PM
Had a short peek during lunch break today and somehow ... on my windows laptop the ships slightly "flickered". Dunno if it was the laptop driver or the SDL opengl-BlitzMax NG connection.
I then added a "DrawRect(lastRenderedX,lastRenderedY,1,1)" with a gray color before I drew a rect of the same size, (almost) same position but the player color - and the flickering was a bit less visible. After rendering I updated "lastRenderedX/Y" to the current position. A bit like a "ghost effect" (but not always visible - as I updated positions during rendering, not during update/logic/physics).
Also I was of the opinion to see the "1,1 scaled to 2,2"pixels to look a bit squashed from time to time - as if the scale/rotate/... matrix is borked up. So I disabled scaling and let it play in glorious 320x200 - and it still kind of flickered.
If I "paused" the game (ships do not move) then no flickering was visible at all.

All ships only render at integer positions and the flickering seems not to be based on "x/y varieties" but as if the colors "flickered" a bit. VSync was on.
Rendering the ships with "w=2,h=2" instead of "1x1" and there is also no flickering visible - so its the "movement" which creates the effect.

Now I am back on my home computer and closely looked on the screen: it did not flicker. And yes I use delta timing etc. - and both computers are capable of maintaining the constant update/physics rates.


The laptop uses odd 58 hertz refresh rates - dunno if that "cheats my eyes"? I created screenshots and the image was crisp and the colors correct.


So why do I write the above? Such kind of "flickering" could create headaches/feeling of dizziness - which I do not want you/my fellow coders to experience. I dunno if I should add an option to the game which allows some "anti alias". If that was checked then I would draw a "alpha = 0.2 or so rectangle at the old position" or draw it at float-coordinates so that the movement isn't that "flickerish". Did not try yet so maybe it doesn't even help.

And as said: on my linux box it does not happen --- oh, now that I've typed this post it came to my mind that I could boot up linux on that intel/windows laptop to check if it is the display (for whatever reason). Will do once the kids are in bed.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 25, 2019, 07:41:44 PM
Think it might be an issue with the laptop itself - booted Linux and it has shown very similar issues while it run at a display refresh rate of 60Hz.

When I moved the application Window of the titlescreen I saw the stars ("burned" into the title screen image) to vanish while moving - as if some algorithm is trying to "cache" content.
Also the rocket "smudged" while doing so. As soon as I stopped dragging the window around all returned to behave as it should.
It used a 40Hz refresh rate (?!) and kept having this issue when going to a 60Hz refresh rate.

Ok ... thought about replicating it while moving a chrome window around - and guess what, grayish "thin" fonts were hidden during drag-around too. So I guess it is either a Windows issue - or something specific to this laptop.

As a screen cap does not show that issue I assume it is a Windows-Laptop-combination-thingy not worth to repair for now. Time is running out already.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 26, 2019, 12:12:14 AM
Yes indeed, time marches ever onwards, still, just a under 6 days left  :D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 26, 2019, 10:55:09 PM
Had less sparetime than thought - but at least finished a more or less "complete" statistics screen which for now is displayed after you won/lost. Maybe I just add an extra "button" or icon somewhere on the screen so you can have a look during play.

(http://i.imgur.com/4UMk3Nd.png)

- chart curves
- clickable statistic entries will display the corresponding curve
- clickable player colors to display the stats of the player


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Xerra on March 27, 2019, 12:06:40 AM
I love that statistics screen. Great work !!
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 27, 2019, 05:47:25 AM
It is only there to satisfy the desires of statistic junkies. I know there are players around who want to see such stuff ... and others who skip this stuff for sure.


Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 27, 2019, 07:00:18 AM
Love the graphs, seeing as I was Blitzplotter in a former life/forum, stands to reason really  8)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 27, 2019, 11:33:13 PM
Finished writing some GUI widget stuff and painted widget sprites.
Settings screen (sound + graphics) done now - including effects (so setting the resolution changes stuff accordingly).

I can properly adjust volume now for effects and music (will come handy for my TVTower game) - yet there are no sound files to play for now :)

Lot of trial and error to position stuff the way I could accept it ... and then, 2 hours gone already (wife enjoys watching True Detective now so my place is on the couch not on the computer).

(http://i.imgur.com/njTVZHz.png)


Hope to find some time tomorrow to create the skirmish/mission screen + Loading/saving boxes.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 28, 2019, 12:04:34 AM
Looks like it coming all together nicely :) - I know you love to critique, so here's mine. Fix your letter N :P
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 28, 2019, 10:39:54 PM
(https://abload.de/img/skirmishwqknx.gif)

Gui-stuff is interactive. There could of course be a lot of more stuff configured here and there - but I doubt anyone will really use it the next time.


@ Qube
The letter N is ... a bit hard in 3x5 pixels ;-) Especially if "M" and "H already just differ in the position of the vertical "1px bar".

wondered why you didn't blame my 4px-height-font's "3" (in fact there is no 8 as I was not able to pixel it in 4x4 and this restricted palette)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Matty on March 29, 2019, 02:19:28 AM
You're amazing Derron.  That's so much work.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 29, 2019, 06:18:03 AM
Cor, a C64 GUI, nice one :) - Look forward to playing the final game. Also don't forget to fix your weird shaped N. It would work better as an "n" shape #TopTipOfTheDay ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 29, 2019, 06:43:27 AM
Also don't forget to fix your weird shaped N. It would work better as an "n" shape #TopTipOfTheDay ;D

You mean this way?
(http://i.imgur.com/OKWtSFo.png)

Fixed that TTF and licence is "100% free" so I am not sure if I was allowed to provide a "fixed" font file or better render everything as bitmap(font).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: therevills on March 29, 2019, 08:23:39 AM
GUI looks fantastic!
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 29, 2019, 08:41:23 AM
Cool GUI, and yes the n is much better now.   8)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: iWasAdam on March 29, 2019, 12:25:53 PM
Looking good Derron :)  8)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 29, 2019, 11:54:59 PM
Updated todo

- [optional] diplomacy + diplomacy visuals/GUI
- missions (only a dozen or so)
- game profile (so storing missions you played/won already) (not needed, just use savegames)
- music/sfx
- screens/windows: settings screen (audio, gfx, ...)
- screens/windows: help screen ("instructions / controls")
- screens/windows: loading/saving screen (or just provide 3 slots, might be more "c64 like")
- screens/windows: missions select screen
- screens/windows: skirmish setup screen

(http://i.imgur.com/i56tvti.png)

Normally I would need some more fancy-caption-text-effects but as I wont be able to compete with IWasAdams fancy gfx (only game I saw "live" for now - so excuse if there are other wonders awaiting my attention) I might leave them as they are...


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 30, 2019, 04:09:05 PM
Basic mission data structure is done. Basic campaigns (= multiple sequential maps) get defined via XML files (so it is up to you to cheat ;-)).
Sounds like overhead? Nah, now I can create new maps on the fly without having to recompile or restart the application.

Code: [Select]
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<campaigns>
<campaign id="campaign_01">
<title>
<en>A Beginners Guide to rule</en>
</title>
<description>
<en>Your first campaign will give a paced start into becoming the Genus Prime of all galaxies.</en>
</description>


<map id="map_01">
<title>
<en>The Ran'thu War</en>
</title>

<messages>
<message game_time="0">
<title>
<en>Introduction</en>
</title>
<text>
<en>You are holding the reigns of your race in this sector of the never-ending space. To conquer this sector you need to |b|send ships|/b| from planets you own. Just select one or more planets with your mouse by holding the |b|ctrl key|/b| or use a mouse-based selection rectangle by |b|holding down left mouse button|/b|. After selecting just send out |b|half of the planet's population|/b| to the planet you click on. Once population counter goes |b|below 0|/b| you will conquer the planet. Conquer all planets occupied by other players to win the mission.</en>
</text>
</message>
</messages>

<!-- random_seed defines position of the random planets -->
<config win_condition="survive" time="300" width_relative="100" height_relative="100" galaxy_name="Ran'xil Galaxy" random_seed="11515"/>
<players>
<player id="1" race="1" control="human" />
<player id="2" race="3" control="AI"    difficulty="50" />
</players>
<planets>
<planet  x="15"   y="20"  owner="1" population="10" missiles="0"  missilesLimit="2"  name="Ran'thu" />
<planet  x="45"   y="19"  owner="1" population="3"  missiles="0"  missilesLimit="2" />
<planet  x="20"   y="50"  owner="1" population="5"  missiles="0"  missilesLimit="2" />
<planet x2="10"  y2="20"  owner="2" population="7"  missiles="0"  missilesLimit="2" />

<!-- RANDOM after fixed ones - so algorithm finds correct spots -->
<planet owner="0" />
<planet owner="0" />
<planet owner="0" />
<planet owner="0" />
<planet owner="0" />
<planet owner="0" />
</planets>
</map>
</campaign>
</campaigns>


Of course it now needs a campaign-overview screen + map selection (if you return to the campaign view you should be able to run maps you already won previously).


Means this evening I will try to finish the campaign screen and already create the first maps for it (with some help texts).


Featurewise I still want to include (once above is working):
- solar support (timed ship arrival to support you - or the enemies)
- rebels (passive planets unite after X minutes of game time)

As I think it would allow for some more variation.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 12:25:47 AM
Fixed some bugs. Added "rebels" (for certain maps this might be a cool addition).
Campaign is fully working now.
Added (for now simple) Loose/Win-screens with their buttons to retry, next mission, ...
Reorganized the GUI-Panels to contain a better looking "caption"
Reorganized "difficulty" (for now it has not much impact than population and thinking-speed)
Created and included some basic sfx (annoying! ;-)).

Hunted a savegame bug for almost 90 minutes (regarding map "game time") - should not serialize certain variables :-)

(http://i.imgur.com/LPmLovj.png)

So TODO:
- more than just 3 missions (= introduction campaign)
- write some texts
- add "campaign finished" stuff


But night will end in ... 5hrs and then day is planned for a friends birthday. Will have to do some stuff in the last hours of the competition ;-).
Regardless of some missing bells and whistles the game is fully playable (random game, skirmish mode - and some basic missions). Would of course feel cooler with a simple "story-campaign" or so.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 31, 2019, 12:36:01 AM
Final push to get it finished, you can do it, go go go ;D

Quote
5hrs and then day is planned for a friends birthday.
Typical, someone else wanting to make it all about them :P - They have a birthday every year!. Here is a whole community waiting for your game and your "friend" wants to dominate the final hours in such a crucial time :o - Give them the stare, point to the door and get on with coding ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 07:14:09 AM
I could point to the door - but it isn't mine :-)

Time to leave _my_ door and go to the brunch - with the luck I have they decide to do some other stuff this afternoon too. Hmpf.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 31, 2019, 07:33:47 AM
Quote
. wants to dominate the final hours in such a crucial time :o - Give them the stare, point to the door and get on with coding ;D 

Luckily, the wife s still en route back from a gig at Manchester arena, ( it's her birthday and Mother's day today, seems like a glitch in the Matrix there, deadline day on my first Speccy project in decades as well!) to the trailer then, I mean, man cave...


Derron your UI is simply awesome.. :o
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 08:35:56 PM
Phew... kids in bed, women followed as the younger one did not find into sleep well.

Booze of the handful of beers is gone so ... concentrate for a whopping ~3 hours and hope it compiles well then.
Internet connection was down for a while the last 2 hours, hope they finished doing whatever they did ;-)


back to designing some missions.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 31, 2019, 08:53:01 PM
Good luck on the final push :) - Grab some more beers, it allows you to code quicker ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 11:35:40 PM
Mppff .... some days ago my windows build compiled and run fine - now I get a segfault. Have to track that down within the next minutes. Compiling the debug modules for 5 minutes now...


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 31, 2019, 11:36:53 PM
If pushed for time just publish the linux version before midnight. You can add other OS's afterwards.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 11:37:42 PM
Yeah will do that if required ... 23min to go.

edit: ah... maxmod2.mod/rtaudio leaded to a crash with NG. Will have to try to make it vanilla BlitzMax compatible for now.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 31, 2019, 11:39:14 PM
Plus upload time.  Do it now and go to extra time (bug fix time) for other systems.
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 11:45:43 PM
Is it required to be a 32bit windows exe? 64bit now running ;-)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on March 31, 2019, 11:52:06 PM
Is it required to be a 32bit windows exe? 64bit now running ;-)
Any is fine :)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2019, 11:59:28 PM
Uploaded and posted in the competition thread. Will edit in details later - still trying to make the win32 build work (as I know... ahh Virtual Box plays the game with vanilla now ;-)).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on April 01, 2019, 12:14:50 AM
(Copy of the competition-thread post)

(http://i.imgur.com/T0WKeqe.png)
Genus Prime v1.0

Conquer the galaxy ...  by sending ships from your planet to others. Easy peasy isn't it?
Use your mouse to select planets and target enemy planets to set your ships free. Once the population counter of a planet goes below 0 - it will change ownership.
Owned planets generate Research Points (RP) which you can use to upgrade your tech tree on the knowledge hub.
Ah and you might want to buy some missiles as planetary defense of each planet.

There is a campaign mode (with some more events/elements) and a random (quick start) or skirmish (custom game) mode.

There is NO profile yet, so what campaigns you won is stored in your savegame - use that as progress.


Campaigns are written in plain XML - so you might want to add your own (especially with the ... Solar Support and Rebel features).


----------

Controls: Mouse driven, use right click (or Escape key) to abort/exit a menu/screen. If the pixel flickering of some elements annoys you then hit "c" once to disable color alternation (I used it rarely but still... who knows). It flickers more the less Hz your screen has).

Use F5 to quicksave and F8 to quickload.

----------

Download: https://www.gamezworld.de/files/GenusPrime_v1.0.zip [Linux 64bit, Windows 32bit + 64bit]
(ignore "Build time" in app title - I am +1 to Qube's BST ;-))
(The 32bit Windows build was done afterwards with vanilla BlitzMax and is untested except for "executes and plays music").


----------

Media: SFX by me, graphics by me, fonts as stated in the fonts directory, music as stated in the music/licences.txt




bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on April 01, 2019, 12:31:32 AM
Glad you managed to finish :) - Now you can admit you had fun coding a retro style game? ;D
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on April 01, 2019, 12:42:46 AM
Quote
Now you can admit you had fun coding a retro style game? ;D

Buy the man a Beer Stein before he answers.   ;)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on April 01, 2019, 12:44:32 AM
Some stuff needed more time than if I just could whip it up in Photoshop or Blender. Also my framework needed a bit changes here and there for proper pixel fonts.


Arranging your hud/texts on low res is also ...hmm ... time consuming.


I had fun doing the game itself - which of course would work in high res too (with a different visual appeal).

But I can assume that I would have experienced some visual feature creep (more animations, overlays...) In a high res game instead of finishing.

So...half half I liked the limitation and hated it the same time. It allows for stuff but also forbids it. Which is ...think a custom palette allows for more (as in the xmas compo).

Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Steve Elliott on April 01, 2019, 12:47:18 AM
Quote
Some stuff needed more time than if I just could whip it up in Photoshop or Blender.

Exactly, pixel art is a skill.  So you improved that skill (which is a good thing).
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Qube on April 01, 2019, 12:53:09 AM
Quote
So...half half I liked the limitation and hated it the same time.
That's the challenge ;D - Hell I picked the Speccy and stupidly spent 3 hours figuring out the fastest way to do colour clash just for the fun of it :P

Quote
Some stuff needed more time than if I just could whip it up in Photoshop or Blender.

Exactly, pixel art is a skill.  So you improved that skill (which is a good thing).
Yup, now you can take those skills to higher res graphics to make it even more visually polished :)
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on April 01, 2019, 07:14:29 AM
Have to confess that I did not learn new stuff graphics wise this time. ... except on how to render with Blender and to add some kind of palette filter via its node setup approach - which at the end turned out into a simple "dither" thing which I did not like. But at least I got a basic scene of the title screen set up in Blender - which helps for proportions, object alignment etc.

I pixeled much stuff more than a decade ago (most non-hud-GFX of TVTower was pixeled + some help of blended textures).

So I would not say improved but rather "trained" ("get used to it again"). Enjoyed to pixel stuff "tricking the eyes" (shadows, darker areas).


Biggest question for me is: what does it do for my future. Does knowledge XY help me later on. While "retro style" is currently en vogue, the limited palette and real low res (not just "big pixels") isn't. Modern retro-look-games use pixelated graphics but transparencies, alpha channels, true color, ...
In the other projects I tried to learn new stuff for Blender or audio. This time ... I am not sure what I learned, maybe not to optimize code too early (which works for prototypes but not if you want to achieve uber-modable and extendable games).
Regardless of this: seems I finished a game this time rather loosing interest too early (or to get distracted by real life too much - albeit wife already blamed the last days "you sit on it each evening").


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Genus Prime - 8bit compo WIP
Post by: Derron on April 01, 2019, 08:56:31 AM
For bug reports and feedback to the game please use the new thread:
https://www.syntaxbomb.com/index.php/topic,5420.msg24700


PS: uploaded sources to github and linked to that in the new thread.

bye
Ron
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