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Old 03 September 2018, 17:46   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Wales, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 76

I've been experimenting with various triangle drawing algorithms. It's slightly non-standard from the traditional top/bottom/split method, but it seems to do the job nicely, for now.

That out of the way. I proceeded to think about how to do some basic drawing optimisations. All my research led me to doing Chunky was the lesser of two evils. How Frontier, Carrier Command, F117-A did realtime 3D graphics on stock Amigas must be actual black magic.

Blitz has many chunky-to-planar libraries. I decided from the get go, I wouldn't need many colours for this game. 32 at most, but I can get away with 16. All of the chunky libraries revolved around AGA, and they must use 256 colours. A waste for me, and obviously a performance hit.

I decided not to use Mildred, BChunky or whatever, and just us assembly direct. Which finally led me to this treasure trove by Kalm.

At first, I tried the chunky 2 5-bit planar. I just hand-typed it over from PC to Amiga, not the best way of doing it, but I felt I learned something. Once I understood, how to get into 'Assembly mode' in Blitz, and safely exited. I had something on the screen, not a lot, but it was something. But; I couldn't get the 5-bit planar routine working very well. With certain colours, the screen would get corrupted around those particular colours. However; When it was running, the tool I used, said I get around 62FPS at 320x180 on my Blizzard-III @ 50Mhz. NICE!

So I tried the generic 4-bit version, and it works. Really well. The following screenshot, shows me just writing random pixels to the screen. There is plenty of optimizations to go, but it's a start, and I can make head way on the 3D to 2D drawing routines.

Story and Gameplay design

I've thought more about the story and the world it's set in. I very much like the concept that your playing an Alien. Not to terribly Alien, but different enough from a Human, that the game and world should feel different and mysterious enough for the player. I'm imagining them to be human-like, possible no or little hair, around 4 and half feet tall, 10 fingers and toes, no tail. No scales. Just your average Star Trek alien.

Our protagonist is a part of a scientific group, as a apprentice of a scientist/teacher. The protangoist is very young, two years old, and was born underground, in this current orbit. The alien race matures very quickly, but has a reasonable life span of about 100-130 years. The alien races, uses a mentor/mentee form of teaching, where small groups are assigned to professionals to learn what they need to learn. Typically a person will go through several careers/professions in life as they master them.

As the game is following parts of System Shock in design, I'd like to have a research notes system - a notebook as such, which is filled in as the game progresses. Such as learning about new elements, molecules, scientific theories, names of people, events in history, sports teams, methods of entertainment, jokes! and so on. The game will feature lots of puzzle elements in. Getting through doors, getting past traps, key-codes, or other types of puzzles. You'll need to refer to the notebook to get past these.

That's it really. Not bad for a weekend.
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