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Old 24 January 2012, 23:32   #1
Graham Humphrey
Graham Humphrey's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Age: 29
Posts: 10,670
Downfall - diary of a game...

Yes - as I promised, after ruthlessly forcing ideas out of everybody a few weeks ago, here's the very start of a thread tracking my progress developing a new game for the Amiga.

As you may know (or you will if you have seen the above thread), I opted to code an Amiga version of Downfall. Downfall is a [ Show youtube player ], which itself was inspired by an Atari 2600 game called [ Show youtube player ]

As you will have gathered, it's a very simple platform affair but one based on falling, rather than jumping. As the platforms scroll up, your task is to stay on the screen without getting squished at the top, or falling to your doom at the bottom. Although a basic concept (one livened up slightly with the addition of bonuses) it's a surprisingly tricky and compulsive idea that had me coming back for 'one more go' on an alarming number of occasions.

There is no reason a bog-standard Amiga can't handle something like this, so I've got to work on a version in Blitz Basic. Despite the current title, it's not a port but being programmed totally from scratch (I might change its name to avoid confusion) so it will have its own levels and ideas, such as a saveable high score table and (hopefully) a two-player mode.

The most immediate task that had to be attended to was the scrolling, and the way the level data would be read by the game. It embarrassingly took me two whole weeks to nail the scrolling but it's now as solid as a rock, and the levels are read through data statements in the code as opposed to separate map files. As it's so simple it's actually probably quicker just banging in some numbers rather than go to the trouble of using map editors and the like. The only other thing I've added is a small score panel at the bottom but at the moment the text there is only a placeholder.

I've attached an archive of what I've done so far. Be warned the only graphics are a few brown platforms and all the program does is scroll a small level on a continual loop until you press escape. Of more interest to some will be the source code which I've included in both Blitz Basic and standard text format. I've commented it too, possibly not brilliantly but if anybody's got any queries I could always improve it at a later date.

I am aware there are a few people keen on learning the language to write their own games, so I hope the code here, and as the game progresses in the future, will provide some inspiration for those just starting out, and as I'm no expert myself, maybe some of the more clever people will give me suggestions as to how I can improve.

I appreciate this is a very modest effort so far and lots of work is still to be done. However, at least it's a start and it gives me something to build on and if I'm making my progress as public as this it will give me a big incentive to continue.

My next goal is to get the player's sprite on the screen and moving correctly. The actual mechanics of the game shouldn't be too tricky but the key is in the movement and responsiveness of the controls. That'll take some time to fine-tune.

Stay tuned for further instalments... no guarantees when but as soon as I have something worth showing it'll be here

(Incidentally, if anyone would like my Blitz installation (which includes the Blitz Support Suite) to have a play with, give me a shout and I'll upload it.)
Attached Files
File Type: lha DownfallWIP1.LHA (25.2 KB, 237 views)
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