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Showing posts from September, 2014

No, I was wrong

The morning after I posted that last post, I realized my "simple solution" was wrong. Because I can't determine if an enemy is showing on a frame until after I've moved all the enemies for that frame. So I really do need to save 3 sets of previous X/Y coordinates. That's 6 whole bytes of my 24 remaining.

I don't like it. But I'm not sure I have any options.

Multiple Enemies

Ok, now I need to talk about getting multiple enemies on the screen in Anguna 2600. Time to write a novel here.

A little bit of background first: The atari is designed to only show 2 sprites on the screen at once. (although each one can be doubled or tripled horizontally) But, because you can change things up every scanline (if you are fast enough!) you can reset the sprites every few vertical lines, to make a number of things happening onscreen, so long as you commit to spacing them out vertically. Which is why so many games had rows of sprites in their own little lanes on the screen. Classic examples are Freeway and Space Jockey:



In each of these, the player is one sprite, and sprite 2 is reused over and over vertically (in freeway, you can see the various options for duplicating the sprite horizontally)

But things get messy if you want to try to show more sprites than that on a single line. There are a few crazy tricks (you can place both sprites next to each other, triple them, an…

Playtesting and rearranging

Last night I finished a big section of the RoboNinja world map, and so I decided this was a good time to do some serious playtesting. I loaded up the game onto my phone and got to work. (at which point I noticed that my free trial of my vm hosting where I had my jenkins server had expired, so I need to figure out a replacement. I need to find something that can do Android builds, a place to push and host binaries, and all that without spending much money!)

It took me around 30 minutes to play through all the content that I currently have. Most of it worked fairly well, and played like I expected. There were a few spots where somehow the phone played just differently enough so that it was harder on the phone than it was on the desktop version, which will need to be fixed. (At one point in particular, I kept respawning inside a wall, which never happened before on that map).

The biggest thing that I realized had to do with the section of maps that I just finished. It's a rather long…

Anguna 2600

I just spent a week traveling for a work conference. Between the 8 hours of flying, and a few nights in my hotel room, I got a lot done. Both on Robo-Ninja, and my Atari project.

On Robo-Ninja, I got through a few more maps, added a new enemy that flashes a "bright light" which temporarily blinds you from seeing the room you're in, and started working on a scripting system for animating my intro and ending story sequences.  I'll get to all that in more detail later.

On my Atari project, I finally have it looking and acting somewhat like an actual video game. There's still a ton to do (finish collision detection, rewrite my display kernel to allow 3 enemies onscreen at once, allow you to switch rooms, add sounds, etc, etc, etc), but at this point, I've been vague long enough: my goal is Anguna for the atari. It's going to be pretty primitive, but I think I can make a passable version of the game for the 2600.


I've got a number of interesting (to me!) …