SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => Worklogs => Topic started by: Xerra on January 27, 2019, 06:50:00 PM

Title: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on January 27, 2019, 06:50:00 PM
I'm still dithering on wether to go ahead with a loose sequel to the classic Spy Hunter that I have in mind but I thought it couldn't hurt to do some background stuff which is probably going to be needed, regardless of what type of game I end up doing.

I'm not adhering completely to C64 screensize and look because I don't like a small window to play games on. I've set my project up so pressing F will switch in and out of full screen at will as it does work better that way.

So I started today by working on simulating the old raster bars on a C64 which would be shown while a turbo load pulled the game in on tape. The early games used to just blank out the box area and fill the screen with these coloured bars of varying sizes but the coders got much more ambitious in the later years of the machine. Before the Amiga took over, the most recent releases had all kinds of stuff going on with interupts while the games loaded. Music, graphic screens, mini games you could play (such as Space Invaders) all going on while the code loaded in the background. The games that took up a lot of memory were all jigged so that the last bit of code for them was loaded in over the code for the custom loader just because they needed that space too. Really clever stuff.

I'm doing nothing as ambitious here but just simulating the loading effect with the work area still displayed as I can adapt this routine to pixel load in some kind of bitmap as a fake loading sequence rather than the usual splash screen we'd use today. Left button or Space will still just skip the sequence for the non-nostalgic players, of course.

So here's a short video of the loading raster bars in action. They definitely looked much better than the naffy Spectrum loading lines :-)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on January 31, 2019, 11:17:00 PM
I decided I'm going to go ahead and have a crack at a Spy Hunter type game so pondered a while for a suitable name.

A few years ago I found myself reminiscing about an old paperback that my mother had bought me to read while I was off school with a nasty bug. I think I read the entire novel over the space of three days as I enjoyed it that much. It bugged me that I could remember very little about it then apart from the title and that it was set in some apocalypse future after WWIII had occured. So I set about doing some googling to trace the book so I could pick it up and read it again.

That book was: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnation_Alley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnation_Alley)

Basically the story was a hardened Hell's Angel, ironically named Hell Tanner, is sentenced to life in prison and given the option of carrying an essential cure for a killer virus between two states which included negotiating a nightmare area called Damnation Alley. Well worth a read if you ever come across it but I'm basically just using the name at the moment as I've got no graphic style in mind apart from using seasons.

Everyone knows how Spy Hunter plays, I'm going to assume, but I will be mixing it up a bit to change a few bits so it feels like a sequel that never actually happened.

I mentioned previously about putting some kind of loading system that makes it feel like you're loading a C64 game right from the start and I've been expanding on that today to make it a lot more authentic. Naturally the whole thing will be skip-able for those who wouldn't recognise and appreciate something like this instead of a bog standard splash screen, of course.

But, as well as showing the loading system colours as the game pretends to actually load up, I'm also going to do one of two other things which I will have to decide after I've finished working on the game itself.

If I'm pushed for time then I'll try and do some kind of bitmap loading system to simulate an old C64 loading screen with graphics being loaded in from tape and the pixels being poked straight into the screen memory.

However, if I have got time to do a bit more then who remembers Invade-a-Load ?

Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Qube on February 01, 2019, 12:20:39 AM
Quote
If I'm pushed for time then I'll try and do some kind of bitmap loading system to simulate an old C64 loading screen with graphics being loaded in from tape and the pixels being poked straight into the screen memory.
I did that for my "Last Ginger Ninja" comp game and it's very easy to do. I thought it was worth it for a bit of fun :)

Quote
However, if I have got time to do a bit more then who remembers Invade-a-Load ?
Me ;D - If I remember correctly there was also a pac-man one at some point.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 01, 2019, 09:44:36 AM
Oh My God Xerra, a Spyhunter Sequel.... Damnation Alley for the win!   :D
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on February 01, 2019, 06:40:45 PM
Oh My God Xerra, a Spyhunter Sequel.... Damnation Alley for the win!   :D

It's a very good game for it's time. I'm really nervous about actually taking it on but I think there's not much point to making games if you can't challenge yourself.

I didn't want to take the route of just making an easy, generic game with the right colours as you're kind of cheating yourself. I'm pretty stoked that every one of the entries I've seen documented so far has embraced the spirit of the competition and nobody is making life easy for themselves. I really do think that we might have some amazing games to show off come the end of this competition.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on February 03, 2019, 10:43:32 PM
Time for an update.

I started building a system with buildings on the right hand side initially because I'm going with a shop in the game where you park your vehicle and can pick up oil/smoke/missiles by spending your score. Just like Paradroid did. This encourages you to be a bit more conservative about how much you spend as you'll end up with a crap score if you go Rambo with the weapons.

Initially I built a system where I had a rotation of four objects that moved in synch with the speed of the car to simulate the look of downwards scrolling. These buildings were going to work on a different update system to what I planned for the roads - which would also have been objects - because they are double-height. Gotta have room to park, right?

Anyway it worked ok really but tended to break when you varied vehicle speed by braking and accelerating all the time. Kind of what you're going to have to actually do to play the game. I wanted to use this system because I had an idea in my head of having random road designs each time you played and, if the blocks fitted against each other ok then I could have had infinite replay value as you'd never know what kind of hazard was coming up next. However, just with tinkering with the buildings, I came to realise that it wasn't working that well. I'd still be designing loads of blocks to make this all happen - especially if I want to use seasons which was my original plan. And getting an artist involved at a later stage - which I'm still not sure I'm going to do - would mean all sorts of back and forth to get it right.

So I tried plan B, which was to find the NES maps as a series of sprites, rework one of them to take out some of the area due to my system not allowing sprites above a certain height, then recolouring to follow the C64 palette. After this I've stuck them into one big tilemap and done some viewport and camera settings so I can lay it out on screen. Now I have the player car driving the lonely (for now) roads ready to take on whatever I throw at it. I've stuck with the double size hi-res mode screen resolution and put in the borders just to give it that authentic look. The only graphic currently not palette compliant is the player vehicle but I'll get that changed before final release. I just needed something to work with for now.

I don't have graphics for my buildings yet - including the shop - so I've just overlaid some temporary squares with colour so you get an idea how it will look alongside the normal scrolling road. I'll be editing the tilemaps to ensure that, once ready, there will be roads to enter these shops.

Currently I'm considering having stages in the game to break down the separate map sprites I have - if I use the other maps from the NES sprites - but not sure what to do inbetween. Maybe some kind of mini-game or bonus countdown.

I've also modified the loading sequence to match how a C64 looks when loading a game. This can be skipped but will hopefully add in a space invaders load game like Invade-a-load. I've already got a 90% written clone that I was working on a few months back that I can slot in if I have the time.

So here's a video of where I am at the moment. Coder crap art, missing graphics and all that. Not much will look the same when it's done. I hope.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on February 03, 2019, 10:46:00 PM
Guess Qube's system doesn't like video's of that size (15mb).

http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Damnation.mp4 (http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Damnation.mp4) if you want to take a look.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 03, 2019, 10:49:12 PM
Coming on nicely Xerra, I better get a move on!
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Qube on February 03, 2019, 11:13:35 PM
Quote
Guess Qube's system doesn't like video's of that size (15mb).
There's probably an 8mb post size limit. Probably better to host on YouTube for longer videos.

Coming along nicely I see ;D
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: iWasAdam on February 04, 2019, 07:04:09 AM
Xerra - it looks brilliant :)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 04, 2019, 08:25:16 AM
now that is cool.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on February 04, 2019, 05:00:28 PM
Xerra - it looks brilliant :)

High praise from someone at your game-creating level. Thank you.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 06, 2019, 11:03:50 PM
I can mask my initial disappointment that it's not the 1st choice of 8 bit coders (ZX spectrum), the graphics and play looks awesome 😎
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on February 07, 2019, 12:28:19 AM
I can mask my initial disappointment that it's not the 1st choice of 8 bit coders (ZX spectrum), the graphics and play looks awesome 😎

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.

Commodore fan all the way - I wouldn't have even considered trying to make a Spectrum looking game :-)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra on February 07, 2019, 12:38:48 AM
As for Damnation Valley, the screen size is going to be increased to make things a lot clearer, but the resolution will be the same, as I'll use a camera viewpoint to make that work. I've not really tried this stuff before but it seems to work well in an example I've been looking at.

That video shows a tiled large image of a scrolled screen grab - or reconstruction of the NES Spy Hunter and I've adjusted things to allow for my side-buildings idea. I really would prefer to have it as one continuous road, rather than stages, which I'd be forced to do if I made life easier for myself by using the same roads that the NES has. So I'm going to use a tile system and do my own road instead. I don't want to have the boat part of the original game either, so the originals would have been hacked about anyway.

I'll post another video once I get the new screen size in and hopefully the collisions because Spy Hunter was pretty original in letting you get away with running over the edges of roads to an extent. The car would shake a bit, like you're giving the suspension a work-over, but, as long as you corrected yourself, then you could get away with a collision that's knocked you onto the dirt sometimes. It's one of the things that gives the game a unique feel, I think. I definitely need to make that work well too.

So i'll lay out a new layer of collision registering tiles with two different types because I can hide their visibility and they will still do what they need to do. Orange areas at the road edges, where you'll bump around but can still recover your vehicle but the inner parts will be blue and there's no coming back from that kind of impact. Of course the enemies will be subject to the same conditions.

Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Qube on February 07, 2019, 07:12:44 AM
Quote
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
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Qube on February 07, 2019, 06:25:53 PM
Quote
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
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra 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   :'(
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 07, 2019, 07:59:48 PM
Quote
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.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: iWasAdam 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  :-\
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 10, 2019, 10:29:39 AM
3d Ant Attack Sandy White? WOW...
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: iWasAdam 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)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8 bit competition game worklog
Post by: Xerra 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/ (http://sandywhite.co.uk/) still exists. It's not been updated in 5 years so I guess he lost interest.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 11, 2019, 09:44:20 PM
Quite an intriguing website, I delved around in it for 5 mins, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott 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.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra 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.

http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/InvadeAload.mp4 (http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/InvadeAload.mp4)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe 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.....  ::) )
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX 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. ;)
 
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 12, 2019, 10:28:55 AM
Quote
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 ;)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: iWasAdam on February 12, 2019, 10:29:14 AM
That's a pretty good invaders clone - and that while the 'real' game is loading - now that's class  8)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on February 13, 2019, 11:29:17 PM
Attempts to rework the Syntax Bomb logo for a C64 palette really did not go well. So far I've been doing all the graphic stuff myself for this game as a challenge to try and get a bit better at working with images. I'll probably chicken out in a month or so and get someone else to do it but it's been kind of fun so far.

This is a video just so you can see the tyre slasher in action. Everything you see is subject to change as always.

http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Damnation-V0.04.mp4 (http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Damnation-V0.04.mp4)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Qube on February 14, 2019, 06:03:25 AM
Quote
Attempts to rework the Syntax Bomb logo for a C64 palette really did not go well. So far I've been doing all the graphic stuff myself for this game as a challenge to try and get a bit better at working with images. I'll probably chicken out in a month or so and get someone else to do it but it's been kind of fun so far.
What's wrong with it?. I think it looks perfectly fine. Sure you could spend more time dithering between colours but that would end up being a waste as menu graphics won't make your game more playable :)

I'd say you're doing very well doing the graphics yourself and it's great to produce things yourself rather than use stuff that others have done. Everything I've seen so far has been great and I love the invaders clone. Keep on with it, you may surprise yourself ;D
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Qube on February 14, 2019, 06:11:36 AM
Just to add... My game sprites are all monochromatic so producing high end graphics for this comps entry are well out of the window. I decided early on that I not going to spend ages on graphics and just dive into the game side. I've a lot of graphics to do ( and a hell of a lot of coding ) but for this game the visuals are all about simplicity and doing the job.

Your graphics look great to me so don't worry about them. Great graphics may enhance a great game but great graphics don't make a game great :P
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 14, 2019, 06:13:55 AM
The bomb looks great, all due credit for doing your own artwork. It's something that's proving a stumbling block for moi also, however trying to do it all on my own ;-)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 14, 2019, 08:20:13 AM
it looks perfectly fine to me man.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 14, 2019, 11:16:01 AM
Quote
So far I've been doing all the graphic stuff myself for this game as a challenge to try and get a bit better at working with images.

That's half the fun for me, producing some images - even if it is a challenge.  Challenge is a good thing.

Good start, as Qube said maybe add some dithering to blend the colours on the logo if you have time.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 14, 2019, 12:31:35 PM
here's a version I had done using dithering,had to keep the reflection simple using brown.
I should have made it larger ... dang it.
[edit]
just made it larger ... my bad, pixel uniformity may be lost.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 14, 2019, 12:37:01 PM
Quote
here's a version I had done using dithering

Oi, this is a competition - no helping.  Work on your own projects people lol.   :P
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 14, 2019, 12:45:41 PM
my bad ;D
if any of site main's or anyone want's to use em by all means feel free... it's cool.
i'm also done ... just messing around with a few ideas at the mo.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 14, 2019, 06:19:16 PM
Collaboration is fine... If you credit your collaborators 😉
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on February 14, 2019, 09:45:25 PM
Quote
here's a version I had done using dithering

Oi, this is a competition - no helping.  Work on your own projects people lol.   :P

I'm not sure his is a Commodore 64 image? Unless I'm just not seeing the palette right. It certainly looks better with dithering - that is if dithering is what I think it is, being alternate colour pixels next to each other which gives the effect of a different colour?
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on February 14, 2019, 09:47:30 PM
Collaboration is fine... If you credit your collaborators 😉

Sure, it is. Nothing in the rules says you can't. But we've had the subject brought up before and the general consensus was that the person helping you out was then not allowed to vote for your game. I think I'll try and avoid getting any help this time - some of the other games look fucking awesome so I'll need all the votes I can get :-)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 14, 2019, 10:44:55 PM
There's no problem, but when it comes to voting time it could get awkward.

And like I said, you do get more enjoyment from producing as much as possible yourself.  Personally I just vote on gameplay.  And really, when it comes to an 8-bit Competition we're not going to produce fantastic art lol.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 15, 2019, 09:19:37 AM
It's certainly the c64 pallet ... used the pallet img Qube provided.
I don't mind it's cool... being a "former" artist there's a method to my madness when it come's to improvising on techniques
which cause's things I do to look unorthodox in a way.  ... you'll see in how I rendered out the game i'm doing.
famous quote  " why be like that guy, when you can be like you guy"   8)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on February 21, 2019, 11:42:02 PM
Time for another couple of screenshots. Can't show a video really as there isn't much road defined yet. Until I got graphics I was happy with I hadn't made a start. I've gone through my own efforts (abysmal) and god knows how many other tilesets before I happened upon a random tweet I'd replied to back in 2015.

The player car, some of the enemy cars and the tileset that's making up the road are now using graphics designed by Davide Fichera who has made loads of C64 games over the years. He did a mock up picture using sprites and tiles for a racing game he was going to develop for the C64 but never got round to it. He has kindly given permission for me to use/adapt them to purpose for my game as long as I never use them for a genuine C64 game myself.

I've learnt a lot more about C64 sprites in the last couple of weeks to keep up the authenticity criteria for the game. Anyone who knows the C64 hardware will know that the multicolour mode for sprites will automatically go into double pixel mode so, while the sprites stay the same size, you only have 21 pixel width to work with as well as some colour restrictions that have already been discussed. The mock up screen I'm also showing below shows sprites that don't appear to be possible on a proper C64 because they aren't double pixel in width and yet do have multiple colours. This is because each one uses two sprites. A multicolour top component which is double pixel in width and the fine detail outlining is in black single pixels. Really clever stuff. I don't really need to do the same thing in my game so I've just overlaid both elements into one sprite but wanted to point this out in case it looked like I was taking a short cut.

Those buildings on the right side of the screen are some of my own work and also some images that are were free to use. Not that they are really that recognisable because I've discovered that Multisprite (covered in the competition thread) has the ability to load in any image you want and it will convert it into a 320 * 200 image using only the colours that are available for your chosen machine. And it works really well too, if any of you fancy trying it. Hopefully no chance of me screwing up a couple of images due to my old methods of manually recolouring anything that I've been tinkering with without putting the C64 palette into the editor first. I've already bitched about how i've had to keep doing that each time I relaunch it so won't go over that again.

The road design is going to take a huge amount of time so I'm likely to just have a rough attempt so I can think through having a stage system and get the other elements like cars in before I finish it. There's a hell of a lot of work needed still for this game so I'm glad I don't need to think too much about more graphics stuff and can concentrate on getting on with the code.

I'm not going to run with the boat sections that Spy Hunter had but I am now considering adding a bumping buggies element into the game where you can jump sections of water in your car and destroy things you land on. Undecided on that at the moment though.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: blinkok on February 22, 2019, 12:42:27 AM
Looking just superb!
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 22, 2019, 12:45:30 AM
mighty nice there man.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Qube on February 22, 2019, 04:14:38 AM
Looks like it's coming along nicely ;D - Great work on the C64 look.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: STEVIE G on February 22, 2019, 06:42:15 AM
Excellent work.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Derron on February 22, 2019, 07:09:12 AM
While the buildings look really cool - they have the wrong perspective. The "front" of the houses should be hardly visible as it is "top down". If you take in a bit perspective ("bird view") then the front part will be visible a bit (but only some pixels wide).

Some games - like Zelda (on SNES) use some "fake perspective" to show the side walls - maybe you want to use a similar thing. Still the front should be less "wide" on your screen.


If you did the building sprites on your own - I do not see any reason to use a car sprite by someone else. Just do it on your own and get rid of the extra artist in the credit section of the game - be proud of your work and abilities.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 22, 2019, 08:52:25 AM
Awesome work, love the style.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 22, 2019, 09:06:30 AM
Looks good, but I thought you were going to do your own graphics this time.  ;)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on February 22, 2019, 10:34:15 PM
While the buildings look really cool - they have the wrong perspective. The "front" of the houses should be hardly visible as it is "top down". If you take in a bit perspective ("bird view") then the front part will be visible a bit (but only some pixels wide).

Some games - like Zelda (on SNES) use some "fake perspective" to show the side walls - maybe you want to use a similar thing. Still the front should be less "wide" on your screen.


If you did the building sprites on your own - I do not see any reason to use a car sprite by someone else. Just do it on your own and get rid of the extra artist in the credit section of the game - be proud of your work and abilities.


No, I've not done the building sprites myself. I used some free art and converted the colours before making some amendments to tidy things up a bit. There's still some of the graphics in the game that I did. A couple of other cars such as the tyre slasher and a vehicle I currently still plan to use for the innocent public car that you have to avoid shooting so you don't get a score penalty but they look so bad compared to the other stuff that I'm not sure I want to keep them. Always going to be a problem when I accept defeat using all my own work. As much as I've liked tinkering with graphics in this game it's been both a huge time sink and not very productive. I should be way further in this game by now and I'm really concerned that if I stubbornly still kept trying to do it myself then I won't make the deadline.

I missed the deadline on a previous competition because I didn't get my priorities right and I don't want to do that again. I keep a list of "Maybe" stuff for every game I've done in these competitions and this one will probably get very little of it implemented unless I really knuckle down on actual game now.

I do see what you mean about the buildings perspective, though. If I do get a chance then I'll look at them again and maybe do something different. But I need to move onto the gameplay 100% now.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: therevills on February 22, 2019, 11:40:08 PM
Looking good! Along with Spy Hunter the other game like this I use to like was a cops one... quick google: APB!
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 23, 2019, 02:01:21 AM
that's what this reminded me of .... Action fighter from sega, played the ever lovin crap out that on c64.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 23, 2019, 05:27:39 AM
My 5p, get the tyre slasher in, the buildings look fine to me ;)

Quote
There's still some of the graphics in the game that I did. A couple of other cars such as the tyre slasher
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on February 27, 2019, 11:34:48 PM
First of four zones track is in. I'll need to do some more tidying up with it but it will work for now so I can start thinking about having other cars in there. Ignore debug info as forgot to switch it off before I started video.

Still a loooong way to go with this. No collisions, other vehicles, shop, 3 tracks and stage breaks are broken to hell at the moment. Hope I can get it done in time...

http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Damnation-V0.06.mp4
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Qube on February 28, 2019, 12:12:30 AM
Coming along well :) - Hurry up and get to recording a "blowing shit up" video :P
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on February 28, 2019, 12:14:42 AM
Looking very solid there Xerra.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 28, 2019, 12:17:15 AM
Quote
Looking very solid there Xerra.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 03, 2019, 09:13:37 PM
Another update now that we're at 4 weeks to go. I've got a list of stuff thats into pages of things I still have to do for this game - and that's without the stuff I want if I have time. Never thought this game would be as tough to put together as it's actually turning out. Oh we love a challenge :)

This video has a preview of both music tracks I'm using in the game. I switched out the original title music as I wasn't completely sure on it and it was overpriced if I wanted to licence it. Neither of these tracks are costing me a penny, thanks to the generosity of the authors who I'll credit in the game.

I have the player car firing correctly now. As it was a scrolling road they're on it turned out to be a bit more fiddly than I thought to get that working right.

The shop to pick up weapons is in now - although it's not got any background graphics or anything like that. Don't know what I'm going to do with that later on - if anything - but I wanted the functionality working now as the weapons need to go in and I didn't fancy putting in keys to do all that and then just ripping it all out afterwards. I demo the shop in the video but it's not set to trigger when the car drives into a shop as yet.

There's a zone transition thing i've got a rough screen in for as well which I trigger at the top of the first zone. Video doesn't progress beyond there as the other 3 zones are mostly just empty maps at present.

The car movement has been improved but it still needs animation adjustments for the speed of the vehicle and the left/right speeds, so it's going to be moving about a bit different when you actually play it.

http://retroevolved.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Damnation-V0.07.mp4

These videos are done with Snagit as MP4 and look a bit jerky when played. The game runs a lot smoother, I promise.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: GaborD on March 03, 2019, 09:19:03 PM
Looks really cool!
The transition is nicely oldschool too, good fit.

Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Naughty Alien on March 04, 2019, 12:58:50 AM
..last night i watched movie from 1977 with same name..lol..hehe
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 04, 2019, 01:07:25 AM
..last night i watched movie from 1977 with same name..lol..hehe

The movie is based on the original book "Damnation Alley"

The book is very good but the movie is complete shit. The author hated it but had no input on how it turned out, unfortunately. I chose the name based on the book because I read it as a kid.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Naughty Alien on March 04, 2019, 06:09:35 AM
..Landmaster was surprisingly well built  ;D
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 04, 2019, 09:23:51 PM
Love the sound effects and accompanying music. Who needs Forza 7!
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 05, 2019, 05:14:06 AM
Love the sound effects and accompanying music. Who needs Forza 7!

Sound effects? I've got a couple of menu beeps and a w.i.p firing sound. Nothing much else. What video were you watching? :-)

The in-game music is a remix of the original Peter Gunn theme that used to play whenever the player car left the lorry in Spy Hunter on the C64. A chap called Mozzaratti composed it for a YouTube video about 5 years and has given me permission to use it.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 05, 2019, 11:03:56 AM
Sorry, I meant the in game music, made me smile! Who says eight bit sound can't be hi fidelity?
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 12, 2019, 12:48:06 AM
Current video of Damnation Alley as of Sunday evening.

https://youtu.be/Bz4L6jiPaEY

Very rough vehicle movement - especially with impacts. I've got a lot of work to do tidying it all up but I finally mostly completed my custom objects system that let me keep the road filled with other cars to shoot/ram/avoid.

I've tried to demonstrate how to destroy these guys when they're near a wall but it's a bit tricky with the basic movement system they have so far. Every vehicle is running from a parent vehicle that just tries to avoid colliding with either wheel and just drives up the zone. The AI for each vehicle will need to be separate so I'm kind of extending each of the child objects to have their own individual code specific to them.

Police car, Truck, Normal car, Civilians card are all present right now - not that they do much. But they will .... ;-)

I've not finished with the other 3 zones yet but I've made a start with the fixed elements and put in some snow tiles for background on the later levels. Still have some graphics work to do to modify some of the tiles I have to look correct - especially the sloped ones.

A long way to go, in a now very short amount of time, but I'm still hoping to get this one over the line in time.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: MrmediamanX on March 12, 2019, 01:14:49 AM
Hey you got a YT channel ... nice, gotta sub to that.
looking solid so far albeit the car on car collision being a tad bit static/jumpy, no doubt changes are on the way for that, don't sweat it you got it. :)  still looking forward to playing this though.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: iWasAdam on March 12, 2019, 08:17:07 AM
looking very nice :)

minor suggestion: Make the motorbike sprite half the width - it sorta looks bigger (wider) than the cars...  8)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 12, 2019, 04:28:59 PM
looking very nice :)

minor suggestion: Make the motorbike sprite half the width - it sorta looks bigger (wider) than the cars...  8)

Motorbike is a place holder. The colours aren't even right yet. I'll just flip it out and draw another, gulp, or maybe make it thinner and see if multipaint colours it better than I could.

Note the tribute car to Ghostbusters for the innocent civilian cars that you should avoid shooting? That baby is all mine.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: craigd on March 15, 2019, 12:48:55 AM
This looks awesome. Spy Hunter was a firm favourite for me in the arcades. Cannot wait to give this a blast! Good luck man :)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 17, 2019, 11:46:39 PM
I'd say I'm around 80% done on this game now.

Completed this week:
3 of the 4 zones are now complete apart from doing a bit more background area tile graphics that are outside the scope of gameplay.
The car handling is improved and the basic AI works a bit better now. Still a lot of tweaking on this and collision adjusting to do, hence no video today.
Moving between all 4 zones is now possible because I finally put in finish lines.

Still to do:
Sound effects
Individual vehicle types AI.
Players car death by road and river.
Better screens for game over and Zone completion.
Player car weapons (smoke, oil and - hopefully - missiles).
Implement the auto parking for driving into the weapons shop.
Level system (Easy/Normal/Hard) which I plan to use to control number of vehicles on screen and how much impact bounce players car has.
Incorporate my loading screen InvadeAload into the game.

Back to the code .... AaAAarrrggghhh :)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 18, 2019, 11:42:17 PM
Vehicle bashing and impacting scenery seems to finally be as done as it can be for where i'm at. I might tweak it before I release the game but it's working well with the three tracks I have at present. These cars are all about self preservation even without their own unique AI yet. They'll smash another car off the bridge into the river if it means they don't crash when you whack them.

Added three skill levels selectable which adjust scoring, number of vehicles allowed on screen at once and also how hard impacts affect the players car with other vehicles.

Once I stop pissing about actually playing the game then I can get on with the rest of it :)

I'll post a video later in the week when i've finished the fourth zone and do a full play through.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 20, 2019, 12:44:42 AM
I went back to my InvadeALoad mini game today to finish it off and get it into the loading sequence of the main game.

It was a blatant impossible-mission thinking that it could be a game running on a C64 when I revisited because I've got a lot tighter on what could be done to look like the real thing. To start with the multi-colour graphics had to go because you couldn't use sprites while loading from the tape unit. I'm not sure about multi-colour mode but I've never seen it done, and didn't need it for space invaders, so changed stuff like the lives display, explosions and also made everthing move the 8 pixels that a character shifting would have done. The player ship is 32 * 32 pixels but there's nothing wrong with that, as i'm just using 16 user defined graphic blocks to show it.

As I was doing so much work to put it into the game I took the opportunity to actually make it a proper game. For those who never saw the original video I posted of it earlier in this thread, I had no end of level, the bases wouldn't respawn, the invaders fired even when there was one of them in the way of the shot and there was no speeding up of the invaders when their numbers diminished.

Oh, and no sound. Nothing wrong with putting that in there as the original InvadeALoad had Rob Hubbard music blasting in the background.

I'll be waiting for the first comment where someone says they preferred playing the loading game to Damnation Alley itself. Someone's bound to :-)

From my list of milestones to put into the game before the end of competition I decided to allocate them across the remaining days so I can, hopefully,  get enough time to put every one of them in. My worklog in the project files now shows this:

Updated 19-3-2019
================

Working
---------
19/03/2019 - Finish Invadaload integration and complete the mini game. DONE!
20/03/2019 - Shop needs to work with the auto parking.
21/03/2019 - Shredder AI.
22/03/2019 - Redraw Bike and Truck and draw Police car. Use the grand prix cars as public cars.
23/03/2019 - Animation of player car for wheels turning at right speed and shifting left/right.
24/03/2019 - Zone 4 laid out and road lines in zones 2,3,4.
25/03/2019 - End of Zone transition with bonus countdown etc.
26/03/2019 - Player car needs to drown, explode and put in Game Over scene.
27/03/2019 - Police car AI. Homing missile?!?!
28/03/2019 - Player car weapons. Smoke, Bomb and Oil.
29/03/2019 - Bike AI and Truck AI.
30/03/2019 - Title Screen revamp.
31/03/2019 - THE END. Do Itch.IO and forum stuff to put the game up by midnight.

Somewhere to add in there are sound effects, a scrolly text on the title screen to put the credits I need to add in and anything else I've forgotten. I've obviously got scope to change these tasks around over the remaining days but they all need to get done so there's no rest days for me until the end now. Wish I could take time off work to get ahead of myself a bit...
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 21, 2019, 12:21:23 AM
New video - sorry, had the audio switched off while recording. My bad.

Around 85% complete now. A lot still to do but I'm now ahead of the schedule I set myself yesterday so that's promising.

You can see the revised invadeaload and tracks 1 to 3 as they look right now. Everything is WIP at present - especially those dodgy car sprites.

https://youtu.be/846ncqtawSU
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 21, 2019, 10:27:05 PM
Set today as graphics work so here's a couple of new screenshots of this evenings work. I've added in the Police car, recoloured Enforcer, Truck and reworked the bike so it's in the correct palette now. All my own work this time apart from the civilian cars which look a bit smaller than the player car. These were drawn by the artist behind most of the background tiles for a real C64 game.

C64 fonts were amazing for their time, considering the colour restrictions in multi-colour mode. It was great fun putting these in and tinkering with them.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 21, 2019, 10:38:30 PM
Looking good, and very C64 authentic.  I particularly like the game title with some really nice dithering.  Although the S in SyntaxBomb has gone a bit AWOL.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: iWasAdam on March 22, 2019, 05:59:25 AM
yep, what Steve said. all looking very good :)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 22, 2019, 10:49:23 PM
Night off today for a work leaving do so I made sure i did two days worth of targets yesterday. I do really think that if I can get this over the line in time then I've achieved more than any of my last three games did. It's the hardest game I've had to write so far.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 22, 2019, 11:11:33 PM
Quote
I do really think that if I can get this over the line in time then I've achieved more than any of my last three games did. It's the hardest game I've had to write so far.

Good stuff, it's always worthwhile learning something new.  And I'm in the same boat, hardest game I've had to write (plus pixel art with only 16 colours is surprisingly time consuming).  It's all very well understanding the theory of routines, but to bring everything together in a complete game is something else.

btw the Invaders game looks good too, but not much firing from the Invaders on that video.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 23, 2019, 06:24:18 AM
btw the Invaders game looks good too, but not much firing from the Invaders on that video.

It does ramp up the less invaders there are. At present there's a 1 in 40 chance each frame that any of the invaders can fire off a shot. But I wanted to make sure that none of them could fire if there's another invader directly underneath them so, until a few paths are cleared, there's a lot who are given a chance to shoot but don't yet.

I think it makes it a bit harder as the screen is cleared which is how it should be but it's not that challenging once you've played a bit. I do tend to play with it a bit more than I should whenever I compile the main game to test something new, however, so I've disabled it for now so I don't get distracted :-)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 23, 2019, 06:37:43 AM
The invadaload in itS own right, such attention to detail, and then there is the main game, all round awesome stuff. Syntaxbomb could make it's very own retro humble bundle with the quality of these entries!
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 23, 2019, 06:55:15 AM
The invadaload in itS own right, such attention to detail, and then there is the main game, all round awesome stuff. Syntaxbomb could make it's very own retro humble bundle with the quality of these entries!

We should have an off-shot website, or maybe a seperate area here, that lists all of the games ever created for these competitions as an easy reference instead of digging through the old threads. A lot of these games are timeless and there's bound to be new people who come along and want to see the kind of stuff that's been created before. Wish I was good at website design as I'd do something like that.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 23, 2019, 09:15:27 AM
Hard at work this morning. Time for some sound effects as I just finished the player car animating tyres to run alongside the car speed. Got the car angle changing when moving as well but it's brought up some kind of judder when firing so I've got to fix that later.

Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: 3DzForMe on March 23, 2019, 04:06:19 PM
My lord, that's one complex looking Dev UI.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 23, 2019, 05:09:38 PM
Quote
...maybe a seperate area here, that lists all of the games ever created for these competitions as an easy reference instead of digging through the old threads.

Great idea!   8)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Qube on March 23, 2019, 05:26:45 PM
Looks like it coming along nicely :) - Is that a long to-do list I spot in your IDE screenshot? :o

Quote
...maybe a seperate area here, that lists all of the games ever created for these competitions as an easy reference instead of digging through the old threads.

Great idea!   8)
I agree :) - Something to sort out after the comp closes.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 23, 2019, 07:54:16 PM
My lord, that's one complex looking Dev UI.

It's initially daunting but that's only because you have so much power behind the hood. Usually I would run and hide from something with this much stuff to tinker with but I persevered because I'd heard good things and adapted to it surprisingly quickly. As it is I do seem to learn some new thing that can be done with it practically every week still. Gamemaker is a whole game dev system so it has inbuilt graphics editing and some basic sound tweaking functions as well, not that you need them if you use BFXr. The advantages of using something like this with practice is how quick you can throw things together because you just create a room and give it dimensions then throw an object in there with some basic movement code in it's step event and you're up and running. Discovering how much more is under the hood with the system comes later.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: iWasAdam on March 24, 2019, 06:21:06 AM
Nah - here's a complex ui doing much the same thing:  :o
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/screenshot-2019-02-09-at-08.35.05.png)

This is the voice control page of the real-time synth I'm using.
You have controls and switches and LFO's and drawn functions. these can then control the parameters above... hehehehe
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 24, 2019, 10:55:47 AM
Actually, that's laid out well, though. Some thought has gone into what controls go where so it's approachable compared to some big applications where they feel the need to keep adding stuff and the UI to control it is just an afterthought thrown anywhere onto the front-end.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 24, 2019, 11:00:44 AM
Got myself a little further ahead last night from where I planned to be so broke my rule of adding nothing not already planned and put in a little title screen info area to show the vehicles, what they do, and how you should deal with them.

Telling myself that there's nothing else that I should be doing now apart from finishing the vehicles movement, the last track and a player death system.

Not unless I get it all done with a couple of spare days :-)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: iWasAdam on March 24, 2019, 12:27:58 PM
very nice text effects (chrome and multi-colored)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 24, 2019, 05:09:13 PM
All four zones in the game now and have been tweaked a bit, along with adding the road lines. Game is going to be pretty tough as you won't just be able to go full speed all the way through the zones like I've been doing in video's. When I put it in hard mode then there's potentially up to six vehicles around you on screen and some of them are going to be doing nasty stuff.

I'm going to make bashing them off the road worth more points as I'm limiting the gun power a bit more and, when smoke and oil go in, they're going to be doing that to vehicles they hit anyway, so the reward has to be worth it. Buying the weapons in the shop takes your score off so it has to be worthwhile picking them up.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 26, 2019, 12:13:53 AM
Finally the player now has additional weapons as well as the front-firing guns. Probably way over-powered right now because I can't really do much balancing until I've got all the enemy cars working how they are meant to. At present you're a fucking killing machine with Smoke, Oil, Guns and Bombs at your disposal.

Poor bastards never stood a chance. Even the poor civilians who you got penalised for shooting but did it anyway....

I'll be getting the police car working tomorrow to hopefully restore law and order.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 27, 2019, 12:17:47 AM
Truck adjustments done today so he isn't affected so much by smoke (windscreen is higher), can whack you a lot harder than other vehicles (fortunately it's likely to be self-preservation rather than aggression) and wont be affected by other vehicles crashing into him as much (because he's huge and heavy).

Enforcer vehicles don't have any AI either but I'm reserving the option to make them seek you out and shunt into you if you get too near. These guys can no longer be shot so you'll be using your special weapons or forcing them off the track to get points from these guys.

The Police AI is now done and they go aggressive for a few seconds and come for you, sirens blazing, if you use any special weapons while there's one on-screen. Again, I'm reserving the option of having them get pissed at you if you use your guns as well but I will add that in once I have everything in play so I can do that if it's a bit easy, or maybe use it just for the hard level.

What's left?
-------------
Shredder vehicle AI (mostly a clone of the police vehicle and just have the tyre screws come out instead).
Bikers being suicidal and trying to destroy you with them if you get to near, or knock them.
Player car needs to drown/explode (saving this once the last two vehicles do what they need to).
End of zone needs my original transition system back in place as it's been broken for a while now, as well as tarted up a bit.

Other than this I just need a day of testing, tweaking and tidying up. Hopefully that won't be on the last day for this game. I'm tired of being in panic mode right at the end :)

There's a couple of other bits I've come up with recently that I have in the back of my mind to go in, such as the police homing missiles and some kind of story to explain what you're actually trying to achieve driving through these four zones but that's only if i get the time.

5 days to go (gulp!)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on March 29, 2019, 12:40:37 AM
Damnation Alley is now at a point where I can release it. The game is complete and I've even got the Itch.io page ready to just upload the final build and toggle the release button. And I still have three days to spare :-)

I'm not putting it online just yet, however, because I've got a lot going on this weekend so my computer time is pretty limited. If I do get a couple of hours to polish a few bits up then I'm thinking I might as well take the opportunity. If I put it up now then people might not notice if I update it and judge it on the version they have already.

Glad i'm not going to be stressing all the way until release day and getting a game done a few minutes before deadline this time.

Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Qube on March 29, 2019, 06:15:51 AM
Quote
Damnation Alley is now at a point where I can release it.
God damn it! at least make out you're struggling to the end for us slow coaches :P

p.s. super cool news ;D
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: therevills on March 29, 2019, 08:25:28 AM
Can't wait to play!
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 29, 2019, 09:10:58 AM
Well done, but bare-in-mind that people might have a few suggestions to improve minor things in your game (only bug fixes are allowed after the deadline).  So might be worth uploading now.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: iWasAdam on March 29, 2019, 12:20:51 PM
yep - looking forward to getting down and giving this and all the game a good play :)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Imerion on April 11, 2019, 10:45:17 PM
Just played this and can confirm it works great in WINE on Linux. No bugs detected, fun gameplay and I really appreciated getting a loading screen game. ;)

Btw, are those pokémon centres at the side of the road? :)
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Derron on April 11, 2019, 11:02:26 PM
I am still on wine 1.6.2 (Mint 18.3) - there it crashes right on start.

I then updated wine (so no longer distribution provided but directly from winehq) and it works as Imerion stated. Only had issues with the sound playing faster when I tried to do screenshots of my crashed car. Will of course check later on a real Windows.


BTW you should really remove the alpha effect from your "crashed-car-smoke" ... adds a bit more color then desired.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on April 12, 2019, 04:50:45 PM
Btw, are those pokémon centres at the side of the road? :)

Erm, possibly. They were originally from a freebie sprite sheet of a load of building structures. I snipped out the ones I needed and put them through multipaint to do a colour conversion and then just tidied them up a bit.

Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Xerra on April 12, 2019, 04:53:03 PM
BTW you should really remove the alpha effect from your "crashed-car-smoke" ... adds a bit more color then desired.

Have you used the special weapons yet, Derron? Smoke and oil from the rear of the vehicle. I realised I wasn't going to be winning any authenticity votes so I used some in-built particle effects for those and the crashed car but didn't realise they used an alpha effect.
Title: Re: Damnation Alley - 8-bit wars competition entry
Post by: Derron on April 12, 2019, 06:41:42 PM
The alpha and the scaling lead to a multitude of colors (>16).
Dunno what I've used. As I just started the game and saw these particle effects/alpha things which the palette-color-games shouldn't.

Will try this evening when all here are asleep.


Bye
Ron