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Old 27 March 2008, 10:58   #81
frikilokooo
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I wish that you use all your talent making a new Amiga game,perhaps Superfrog 2,The Chaos Engine 3,Gods 2,Supercars 3...
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Old 27 March 2008, 22:30   #82
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Lionheart!

Ohhh, wait. There is already remake of Lionheart.

How about Flashback?? The game surely can start after the end of the first one. Of course with better plot then Fade to Black.
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Old 27 March 2008, 22:35   #83
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Lionheart!

Ohhh, wait. There is already remake of Lionheart.

How about Flashback?? The game surely can start after the end of the first one. Of course with better plot then Fade to Black.
I forgot about Flashback. I completed that one too. PC version is better than Amiga version (more colors). And graphics are not ripped yet.

Well, I really have to think about what to do next. Maybe fix my buggy whdload slaves ?

I saw a java demo of Flashback "remake". Only one screen but looking good. I doubt it would go further. Besides I have lost the link.
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Old 27 March 2008, 22:49   #84
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Well, I really have to think about what to do next. Maybe fix my buggy whdload slaves ?
Sounds like a good idea!!!
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Old 28 March 2008, 20:00   #85
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jotd - great 2nd custom gods level, quite a challenge, brings back memories of exploring the original game, looking forward to your next level!

As for Flashback, I think the PC had VGA gfx, whereas the Amiga probably had the edge in the sound. A mix of the two would work maybe.

Something tells me the 3DO or Mac version had the best overall gfx, but I could be wrong. There was also the Sega CD version with speech?

You can actually play it using REminiscence - http://cyxdown.free.fr/reminiscence/

Q;
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Old 28 March 2008, 22:12   #86
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jotd - great 2nd custom gods level, quite a challenge, brings back memories of exploring the original game, looking forward to your next level!

As for Flashback, I think the PC had VGA gfx, whereas the Amiga probably had the edge in the sound. A mix of the two would work maybe.

Something tells me the 3DO or Mac version had the best overall gfx, but I could be wrong. There was also the Sega CD version with speech?

You can actually play it using REminiscence - http://cyxdown.free.fr/reminiscence/

Q;
I just tested Reminiscence. It's great!! Ok no Flashback remake, then. Too bad the guy did not create a level editor.
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Old 29 March 2008, 15:35   #87
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Yep its a shame there is no level editor, perhaps the author would share what he knows of the level data, or somebody could try to work it out from the source, lengthy process and tricky.

A remake of Chaos would be good, but complex too and require a new engine to be created - a good challenge no doubt!

Keep up the good work!

Q;

p.s. so whats the cheat mode all about?
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Old 29 March 2008, 17:01   #88
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Y
A remake of Chaos would be good, but complex too and require a new engine to be created - a good challenge no doubt!

Keep up the good work!

Q;

p.s. so whats the cheat mode all about?
Chaos remake is tempting, and it's not really an A.I. problem (I think I can manage it, or I would create a single player mode for a start) but the main problem is that I don't have the ripped maps. It would be too hard/too tedious to remake the game without them.

What cheat mode?
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Old 30 March 2008, 05:35   #89
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A.I. of computer player:

if(enemy nearby) = shoot at it
if(bullet nearby) = evade it
if(pickup nearby) = take

What is so difficult One thing to improve would be to let the computer player have more moving space, in the original version he looks like a dork evading bullets and trying to stay close to you at the same time.

The maps are a problem yes, and it would take a lot of time also to create overlay maps for them (one for boundaries, one for occlusion and one for height differences are the three that come to mind). Too much work to be fun, it really requires a dedicated programming team.

Quote:
Yep its a shame there is no level editor, perhaps the author would share what he knows of the level data, or somebody could try to work it out from the source, lengthy process and tricky.
Actually, the code is not so bad. Every bit of data that you may want to load is all in one source file (resource.cpp) and is loaded almost byte for byte into data structures, so everything is neatly ordered and labelled basically. Utility methods for reading data (some of it is run-length encoded, the simplest form of encoding there is) are in file.cpp. So I would say it is very possible to reverse-engineer the data format from the code in only a little time.

The problem is that the game itself is (most likely) engineered to use only the levels it knows, so the game code would have to be modified to allow user-made maps. I for one am not going to touch the code of a programmer I do not know and/or have never worked with, too much work to figure it all out. Like all proper open source code, it lacks useful commenting, there is almost none at all.
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Old 30 March 2008, 10:28   #90
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@gimbal:

About Chaos Engine:

yes the A.I is not the main issue here. I heard the game was delayed at the time because A.I. was not ready. But I guess coding some A.I. routines in assembler must not be that easy!

it could be improved, you're right. And also: pick health only if player is OK, pick lives only if player has 1 or 2 more, etc...

The last games I played, I selected 2 player mode and killed 2nd player at once. Then I was not forced to resurrect him, and had all the bonuses for 1 player only. Much easier this way

I got the rips from an old EAB thread (Ultron). I miss level 1 but I could manage.
Ultron ripped all the sprites & tiles from levels 2,3 & 4.
About the maps and the difficulty to recreate them, I don't agree. First, I checked the CD32 version, which contains individual files, and maybe I've got a lead on level layout. To be confirmed.
Second, you can use tricks to know about walls, etc... In Gods I tagged the tiles as "background", "foreground", and it did 95% of the work. Some tiles were used sometimes as background & foreground, that's why I implemented foreground & background zones for those rare cases.
The extra "height" dimension can be handled this way too I think, with special zones at the start/end of stairs. And this is not real 3D anyway: you cannot be at the same x,y with a different z (like the DOOM engine). Cadaver has a real 3D engine, but CE does not.


About Flashback

I did not check the code but my guess is that the guy "simply" ressourced the PC version of the game. For the graphics, since all DOS VGA games use "chunky" pixels, it matches very well with SDL (as opposed to planar graphics of the Amiga). For the sounds & controls, he just removed the low level routines and replaced them by SDL routines.
That's why the original files can be used without even knowing how they are built.
I did the same thing with a couple of old 8-bit games. Converted them (semi automatically) from 6502 asm to C in 2 days. Flashback is a little harder and more complex but I think that's basically the idea.
Of course, this way of "remaking" games prevents any extension, level editors, etc...
That's one of the reasons why (to talk about Gods, which is the topic here ) I recoded Gods from scratch instead of trying to resource the code. Most of those games have code-driven puzzles, and if you want to extend them you've got to rethink the whole thing.
I used the editor to do simple things, simple trigger/monster, lever/door stuff, and for more complex things I used a user-coded class with a simple API. I could re-create my 2 custom levels without changing the game core, by only adding a couple of hundred code lines (simple levels could be created without coding a single line). That's the beauty of the thing
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Old 30 March 2008, 18:42   #91
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Well you are right, depth is not an issue really, only the collision detection with walls, rivers, etc. It could basically be hacked in code by checking tiles, but the Chaos Engine is nowhere near the same as gods, the complexity of it is far greater.

Quote:
But I guess coding some A.I. routines in assembler must not be that easy!
I hear you there, even the AI routines of my stupid King's Valley ghosts are quite extensive, even with C++ making it all neat and structured. In ASM it must have been a little nightmare to do, so many checks and jumps for all the states! Debugging mistakes in the AI code must have been even worse, it is hard to do with object oriented code even. All I could do was output log data to see what decisions and choices the AI was making and then weed through the endless amount of output to see where the numbers were not quite right :s
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Old 30 March 2008, 19:12   #92
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Well you are right, depth is not an issue really, only the collision detection with walls, rivers, etc. It could basically be hacked in code by checking tiles, but the Chaos Engine is nowhere near the same as gods, the complexity of it is far greater.



I hear you there, even the AI routines of my stupid King's Valley ghosts are quite extensive, even with C++ making it all neat and structured. In ASM it must have been a little nightmare to do, so many checks and jumps for all the states! Debugging mistakes in the AI code must have been even worse, it is hard to do with object oriented code even. All I could do was output log data to see what decisions and choices the AI was making and then weed through the endless amount of output to see where the numbers were not quite right :s
What makes you think it's much more complex? You are right about all character properties (speed, "ability", A.I. level...) and the number of weapons and specials, but during the game I'm not sure. Finetuning a remake would be tough, you're right. But I had trouble with A.I. in Gods too: the thiefs having to jump on platforms (I agree with you, even in Java with a powerful debugger, the only option to debug the AI code is a big load of printf ), and also the flying monsters, with their trajectory I could never really figure out. At least in CE, no flying monsters, and no platforms

Anyway, as said earlier, I've got a hunch on the map structure. If it works, I think I'll go for the remake. If it doesn't I won't do it.

Last edited by jotd; 30 March 2008 at 20:20.
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Old 31 March 2008, 02:14   #93
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game I'm not sure. Finetuning a remake would be tough, you're right.
I had that same problem with my ghosts But since my pyramids were built out of cells it was not so hard, all I had to do was write methods that checked distances in cells. Once you get your in memory data structures down to units that are easy to manage, the rest is a breeze.

The thing that makes me think that CE is complex is because of the size of it; it is hard because there is so fucking much to do! 75% of that is making the world work though, if you can get the collision detection working from the tiles, it is so much more easier. But then there are the monster spawns and other triggered events, multiple exit routes, the monster and computer player AI, the physics to make monsters shoot at you (unless you make it 8 direction shooting, which needs little to no physics, just a lot of conditional checks), syncing music to action in the game, end-of-level score listings, the shop...

ugh.

I wonder, can you turn off the music in the game? Otherwise ripping the sounds might be impossible, unless you known how to load the sound data on disk.
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Old 31 March 2008, 02:23   #94
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he he, fun idea. If you ever decide to do the game, the computer player AI could be pluggable. Then you and me both can write the AI for one and see which one performs better Or heck, put both of them in there, I do believe I saw an early screenshot of Chaos Engine with three players We'll call them "major jotted" and "private gimped"
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Old 31 March 2008, 10:54   #95
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@jotd, gimbal: one of you can do the player AI, the other can do the enemy AI. Let battle commence
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Old 05 April 2008, 20:51   #96
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I had that same problem with my ghosts But since my pyramids were built out of cells it was not so hard, all I had to do was write methods that checked distances in cells. Once you get your in memory data structures down to units that are easy to manage, the rest is a breeze.

The thing that makes me think that CE is complex is because of the size of it; it is hard because there is so fucking much to do! 75% of that is making the world work though, if you can get the collision detection working from the tiles, it is so much more easier. But then there are the monster spawns and other triggered events, multiple exit routes, the monster and computer player AI, the physics to make monsters shoot at you (unless you make it 8 direction shooting, which needs little to no physics, just a lot of conditional checks), syncing music to action in the game, end-of-level score listings, the shop...

ugh.

I wonder, can you turn off the music in the game? Otherwise ripping the sounds might be impossible, unless you known how to load the sound data on disk.
You're right. The problem is the amount of work. It took me 1 year to complete Gods for the same reason. The collision detection is not a problem. Tagging the tiles and managing the altitudes (with default altitudes for some tiles) will make the task a lot easier.
Triggered events has been done on Gods, without any code, just with "associations". multiple exit routes is not a problem. The shop and tunings of player speeds, AI, and the statistics (% of level complete) etc... would be tedious.
I don't understand what you mean about the "physics" part of the enemies shots.
About the music, I've got rips of in-game tunes. They're made with the Vectordean/RJP format. I listened to the tunes using DeliPlayer II on the Amiga and I don't know if it can be converted back to .mod format.
About music changing when you reach the exit, a special trigger could do that. But I would need a RJP replayer working with SDL/SDL mixer or tweak a .mod player (that if I can convert the music to mod format).
Anyway, with WinUAE, it is possible to shut down music channels, so SFX should be easily rippable.
I'm not afraid about the AI. I think I can make it, even if it will be different from the original game.
I'm more concerned about the gfx rips: we've got trouble ripping all the graphics with the AGA palette. I hope this will be sorted soon.

The other idea would be: resource the game and rewrite it in C like they did with Flashback and Reminiscence. Then, understand all the data fully and write an editor. But that's hard work too...

Well, I think I'll go for Magic Pockets first

Last edited by jotd; 05 April 2008 at 21:01.
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Old 05 April 2008, 21:20   #97
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Originally Posted by gimbal View Post
the physics to make monsters shoot at you (unless you make it 8 direction shooting, which needs little to no physics, just a lot of conditional checks)
I think that all CE enemies shoots only in 8 directions,there are no other angles although there are bullets that draw up jumps and homing missiles.
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Old 05 April 2008, 21:36   #98
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I think that all CE enemies shoots only in 8 directions,there are no other angles although there are bullets that draw up jumps and homing missiles.
most of the bullets are straight, in 8 directions. I would say: If player is within an angle range, then shoot. Simple AI.
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Old 06 April 2008, 05:35   #99
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You also have some 'kamikaze' enemies (frogs, spiders) which only attack by running into the player.

I guess that would also be something triggered by a close enough range.
The possible tricky part may be needing some basic path finding so that they get round obstacles when the player retreats, instead of running in a straight line towards the player wether there is an obstacle or not.
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Old 06 April 2008, 12:40   #100
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Hi,
Just a few random thoughts:
Thanks for your hard work on your Gods remake - been playing it lots.

Next?
Chaos Engine, Cannon Fodder, Flash Back... Oooo - Yes please!
(I especially like gimbal's idea for a multi-player CF)

Most 'classic games' (sadly not, I think, CE) were converted to RiscOS by Krisalis Software. I understand Flash Back was done by a lone-coder...

...WTF?

Well, I see your problem with getting hold of ripped files for images / level info / even some in-game logic...
...from memory (I'm not sitting in front of an Acorn computer ATM) I'm pretty sure most (if not all) of these conversions were made for RiscOS in much the same way you're doing it:
Images + game-data + some logic all neatly ripped. The platform specific code works on that data.

So, in theory, this part of the work has already been done for you.
Better-still, the Acorn coders tended to cherry-pick the 'best bits' from differing versions.

For access there's some very good Acorn emulators about - Um, I may know a little bit about this platform...

Worth a look..?

Last edited by Charlie; 06 April 2008 at 12:47.
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