Saturday, October 8, 2016

Rapid Progress

I told my office-mate that if I ever finished that background mess, I'd start making much faster progress.  And it turned out to be true.

Earlier this week, I decided it was time to look at audio engines. I understand the concept of how audio engines work on the nes, but I just don't want to take the time to build one myself.  After trying out a couple of them, I found one that integrated really easily, and lets you play music imported from the popular famitracker format. After digging around, I found some interesting famitracker compositions under a Creative Commons license from a guy that goes by Ozzed.net. Turned out to be a really nice guy and was helpful in providing me info to get some of his music integrated into the game. So now I have background music!

The next steps were collision checking, explosions, and player bullets. No problems there!  Most of that is pretty simple stuff, or would be in C. In assembly, it's a little more error-prone and slower-going, but not substantially more difficult: the logic is the same, but at a lower level. In just a few hours of work this week, I've those things all working!  (Well, there's still a bug where if a barrier's gap isn't aligned on a 16-pixel boundary, my collisions don't work quite right. Should be easy to fix though).

At this point, it's quickly starting to take shape!  I just need to add the points system, and suddenly the skeleton of the game is complete.  Then comes the fun part: adding the actual polish.

This includes:

1. Title screen and screen to select number of players
2. Sound effects
3. More interesting background graphics behind the barriers
4. Powerups
5. Different rounds with slightly different behavior

The last one needs a little more explanation.  The first round will be straightforward, with no tricks.  To keep it interesting, subsequent rounds will have a theme, such as:

  • Speed round (everything is super fast)
  • Battle round (the barriers are spaced out more easily, but everyone is maxed out with all sorts of weaponry, and you also gain points for kills)
  • Collision round (touching other players kills you)
  • Survival round (you lose points for dying)
  • (and I'm trying to think of other similar ideas)

That all being said, send me ideas for a title. I'm serious, I need help with this.

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