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Old 20 January 2017, 16:04   #1
earok
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"Blue Thunder" CD32 FMV engine prototype

I decided to use part of the weekend prototyping an (extremely rough) FMV game engine, though I finished it much earlier than I expected so I've uploaded it for feedback.

So, it's just a short one-level game, based around a single three minute scene from the film Blue Thunder. Infinite lives so there's no game-over state. Use Dragon's Lair style left/right/up/down/action hits to play (onscreen sprites tell you what to do)

The technicals:
Quote:
Frame rate: 8FPS
Resolution: 320x128 (artificially doubled to 320x256 in game)
Colour: HAM6, single palette (a more accurate downmixing could possibly be achieved by having one-palette-per-frame, but it's not currently supported with the engine)
Sound: 11050hz mono
It's completely CDXL free! It has it's own video format which is the animation split into 3 second intervals (24 frames + 3 seconds of audio). The primary point of difference between my format and CDXL is CDXL "streams" from disc whereas mine buffers, two buffers are loaded into memory at once and the game toggles between them.

Bear in mind I've spent well under 24 hours on this! So there's quite a few flaws/limitations:
- Although the engine needs to stream 250kb/s, which is well below the 300kb/s maximum of a CD32, occasionally there's a slight stutter between buffer swaps (possibly some custom ISOCD settings might improve this?). This may be better or worse for you.
- I'm sure the washed out look could be improved with a more careful conversion or HAM8, though HAM8 would require a further framerate cut.
- No way with the engine to jump to a particular frame, whenever you restart from gameover it restarts on a multiple of three seconds. This is basically just because with Blitz I'm not sure how to play back audio from part of the way through a clip.
- Part of the left side of the screen is cut off, I know exactly why this is but I'll need to rework some of how the engine works to fix it.
- Dying is just a static screen, though there's no reason why it couldn't play a death animation whenever you die.
- I did intend to add "Mad Dog McCree" style aiming, but figured that it might not gel so well with the "Dragon's Lair" style tapping. In any case an MDM style game would certainly be possible.
- Looks very blocky due to the doublescan, though you can disable it with the Blue Button (compare left and right screenshots below).
- Programmer art..



Download:

https://mega.nz/#!o7pmgAZY!XBW6Lz78i...t5NSxZUj3ULaj4

Last edited by earok; 31 August 2017 at 12:07.
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Old 20 January 2017, 16:40   #2
Amigajay
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Great stuff! I was actually playing around with 'FMV' games last weekend, i guess since this doesn't use CDXL, the animation plays similar to Tomcat and Desert Apache? The latter also having the ability to use doublescan.
Appreciate the efforts here, though what chance of MDM coming to the CD32? You say above blitz cant handle picking the right frame, but is it possible using CDXL? Is the problem just getting all the correct video and number of frames before converting?
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Old 20 January 2017, 16:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Great stuff! I was actually playing around with 'FMV' games last weekend, i guess since this doesn't use CDXL, the animation plays similar to Tomcat and Desert Apache? The latter also having the ability to use doublescan.+
I guess so, though presumably those games had floppies/hard drives in mind? They both look to be made up of extremely short clips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Appreciate the efforts here, though what chance of MDM coming to the CD32? You say above blitz cant handle picking the right frame, but is it possible using CDXL? Is the problem just getting all the correct video and number of frames before converting?
Well, picking the right frame thing is just a matter of working out how to make a sample play back from any arbitrary point.. if there isn't a library out there for doing that i'm sure it's perfectly possible by inlining ASM..

But even that limitation wouldn't really stop a MDM port.. you'd need to split it up into a bunch of different animations, so that whenever you die it just changes to frame 0 of the particular death animation..
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Old 20 January 2017, 16:49   #4
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Should look better than Sega CD FMV
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Old 21 January 2017, 10:05   #5
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iirc Blitz is quite slow at loading IFFs? Can you not stream it by splitting it into single iff images -Load 1.iff, Load 2.iff, Load 3.iff etc then some how stream the audio? I dont know how the audio could be done.

Is there not a CDXL player that can jump forward backward etc? You can use blitz to control cli commands so if a CDXL player that can be manipulated from cli then blitz can be used in such a way.
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Old 21 January 2017, 10:33   #6
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There's no IFF's, all of the image data is already uncompressed and converted so it's loaded straight from disc into memory. Audio's still in 8SVX so I could possibly make it slightly more efficient by treating it as raw audio (which I think would also solve the problem about being able to skip to any particular frame), I probably just need to learn how to control Paula directly.

In any case I'm fairly happy with the results on a real CD32 as is, and CDXL itself can be problematic when the disc isn't streaming perfectly.
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Old 21 January 2017, 10:52   #7
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Just played it, very nicely done, as far as FMV games go its pretty decent for 24 hours work! Obviously the directionals would be better to correspond to on-screen action more, though i don't play many FMV games so this could be the norm?!

Very cool!
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Old 21 January 2017, 11:32   #8
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Do you think that you could make a version which use the full motion video card from commodore ? Winuae emulate it and i had this card by the past.
Too bad that they never did it at this time.
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Old 21 January 2017, 13:38   #9
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@AmigaJay cheers mate! There's certainly no standard for FMV game controls, I've gone for the Dragon's Lair style (four directions + action), but I think most vehicle based ones have an onscreen cursor for shooting and steering.

@Turrican3 SteveUK's asked me the same thing, unfortunately I wouldn't even know where to start.. in any case I don't own an FMV card myself
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Old 21 January 2017, 18:32   #10
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Really impressive
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Old 21 January 2017, 18:54   #11
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Nice prototype!

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Old 22 January 2017, 03:45   #12
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Very Nice !
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Old 22 January 2017, 19:52   #13
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Thanks all
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Old 23 January 2017, 19:39   #14
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That's really great to see some development in this direction. I tried it out on my CD32 and hopefully there will be further improvements/new levels in the future. Direct support of the FMV-module as an option would be great.
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Old 24 January 2017, 12:31   #15
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Wow, amazing stuff... support for the FMV card would be truly amazing, the poor thing never got much love.
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Old 24 January 2017, 12:43   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmsteele View Post
Wow, amazing stuff... support for the FMV card would be truly amazing, the poor thing never got much love.
Understanding considering what was it only 1000 were made before Commodore went tits up, their last bit of hardware out the door.

I think 3 games were rumoured to use it, though a couple are debatable.

Cannon Fodder Intro - never worked on my FMV, went straight to the A500 intro, was pretty miffed at the time!

The Final Gate - heard it was supposed to play with FMV footage instead of CDXL if you had a FMV cart, though i can't find a ISO with any evidence of FMV files.

Video Creator - I had this and a FMV cart at the time though i cant remember if it worked for me or not, placed FMV footage behind the overlays.
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Old 24 January 2017, 19:45   #17
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Cd32 fmv

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
I think 3 games were rumoured to use it, though a couple are debatable.

Cannon Fodder Intro - never worked on my FMV, went straight to the A500 intro, was pretty miffed at the time!

The Final Gate - heard it was supposed to play with FMV footage instead of CDXL if you had a FMV cart, though i can't find a ISO with any evidence of FMV files.

Video Creator - I had this and a FMV cart at the time though i cant remember if it worked for me or not, placed FMV footage behind the overlays.
Hi mate
For me cannon fodder works fine (fmv intro), final gate doesn't do FMV sadly stays as cdxl
And video creator I have not tried it yet though...

Last edited by prowler; 24 January 2017 at 22:43. Reason: Fixed quote.
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Old 24 January 2017, 22:40   #18
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on YouTube

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Old 25 January 2017, 02:16   #19
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Here's an interesting Video:
[ Show youtube player ]

But why would anybody would want to do this is ?
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Old 25 January 2017, 10:20   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobby_UK View Post
Here's an interesting Video:
[ Show youtube player ]

But why would anybody would want to do this is ?
Because they can?

I thought that was a pretty neat demonstration personally.
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