English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Retrogaming General Discussion

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 27 June 2008, 11:31   #41
Galahad/FLT
Going nowhere

Galahad/FLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 44
Posts: 6,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneshotdead View Post
regardless, it does not look as good as X2. And it has slowdown issues, if I remember rightly.
Stylistically, Xenon 2 looks better (with less colours I might add), because Battle Squadron for the most part is trying to emulate the look and feel of Arcade coin-ops of the day, much like Hybris did before it.

As for slowdown issues, they happen rarely in Battle Squadron, but its also doing a hell of a lot more than Xenon 2 is.
Galahad/FLT is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
Old 27 June 2008, 11:48   #42
Graham Humphrey
Global Moderator
Graham Humphrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Age: 31
Posts: 10,974
Also I don't think it matters how quick Xenon 2 is, it'd still be rubbish
Graham Humphrey is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 13:42   #43
Codetapper
2 contact me: email only!

Codetapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Auckland / New Zealand
Posts: 3,135
Question Interview or preview boast?

Quite aside from the fact that I think Xenon 2 is a slow piece of junk - there was a rather interesting interview/preview in one of the magazines. Sadly, I do not believe it is indexed on the Amiga Magazine Rack.

It had quite a bit of the technical stuff behind the game, including boasts that it was to feature 3 layers of parallax scrolling for the Amiga version. It might have been a slightly more obscure magazine like Ace or TGM. Can anyone remember this feature or know what magazine or issue it was in?

If I find it, I'll put it online assuming I have the mag or scans of it.
Codetapper is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 14:29   #44
Galahad/FLT
Going nowhere

Galahad/FLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 44
Posts: 6,606
Amiga had 3 levels of paralax and the ST and PC had two, though they did include the stars as a paralax layer.
Galahad/FLT is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 14:36   #45
Photon
Moderator
Photon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Yeah, we might talk about more enjoyable games. My main problem with Xenon 2 is that they didn't do it right... apart from the scrolling, the collision detection is so bad it's unplayable. To me. It's a basic and vital function in shooters.

Also, it's so darn easy to make correct scrolling, just reserve a little larger than visible bitmap - to scroll in X just calc scrollreg value 0-15 and word offs, and draw any newly appearing tiles in the margin. For vertical scrolling, just add to the bitmap pointers and insert a split in the copper. For a footie field, race track etc just make a big bitmap

Dunno why some coders used less simple and less efficient routines. Maybe because one has to think about how to scroll the level before you start and sometimes the gfx artist's mouse finger itches? And coder wants to 'get something on screen quickly'.

Another reason might be easy (lazy) cross platform ports, I know Bitmap Bros wrote their games so ST versions would be as good as the Amiga versions so they could use the same code. And Graftgold didn't want to use all rastertime because they wanted the games to run in the US, so they went half framerate.

And about large bitmaps, I believe Marble Madness does that, but it's written in c. Blood Money might,too. I think each level seems all the bigger for the extreme slowness of the scroll

Hybris has 50 fps sprites and Battle Squadron has 25 fps ones (except shots?). The scroll is slow, less than 1px/frame, which means scroll code can be skipped every other frame, and makes it appear as 25 fps. Which is as perfect as it can be, since you can't scroll half a pixel.

X-Out and Z-Out are nice I think.
Photon is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 14:44   #46
Galahad/FLT
Going nowhere

Galahad/FLT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 44
Posts: 6,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
Yeah, we might talk about more enjoyable games. My main problem with Xenon 2 is that they didn't do it right... apart from the scrolling, the collision detection is so bad it's unplayable. To me. It's a basic and vital function in shooters.

Also, it's so darn easy to make correct scrolling, just reserve a little larger than visible bitmap - to scroll in X just calc scrollreg value 0-15 and word offs, and draw any newly appearing tiles in the margin. For vertical scrolling, just add to the bitmap pointers and insert a split in the copper. For a footie field, race track etc just make a big bitmap

Dunno why some coders used less simple and less efficient routines. Maybe because one has to think about how to scroll the level before you start and sometimes the gfx artist's mouse finger itches? And coder wants to 'get something on screen quickly'.

Another reason might be easy (lazy) cross platform ports, I know Bitmap Bros wrote their games so ST versions would be as good as the Amiga versions so they could use the same code. And Graftgold didn't want to use all rastertime because they wanted the games to run in the US, so they went half framerate.

And about large bitmaps, I believe Marble Madness does that, but it's written in c. Blood Money might,too. I think each level seems all the bigger for the extreme slowness of the scroll

Hybris has 50 fps sprites and Battle Squadron has 25 fps ones (except shots?). The scroll is slow, less than 1px/frame, which means scroll code can be skipped every other frame, and makes it appear as 25 fps. Which is as perfect as it can be, since you can't scroll half a pixel.

X-Out and Z-Out are nice I think.
In the Bitmap Brothers defence, they didn't code Xenon 2
Galahad/FLT is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 14:47   #47
Marcuz
Wurk???
Marcuz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: .
Age: 41
Posts: 5,185
i know this is a strictly code fucused discussion, still, imho, as long as code is not poor enough to obstacle the gameplay, it is irrilevant to decide if the game was good or not. for instance, exactly because of the design choices, i think Xenon II was a great game
Marcuz is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 16:39   #48
Minuous
Coder/webmaster/gamer
Minuous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Canberra/Australia
Posts: 1,658
Xenon 2 must surely be one of the most overrated games ever.
Minuous is online now  
Old 27 June 2008, 16:50   #49
Retro-Nerd
Missile Command Champion

Retro-Nerd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Age: 45
Posts: 10,745
Xenon 2 is style over gameplay/playability. Just like the Alone in the Dark 5 shit. Atari intended to sue some online mags, which rated the game with 30-70%. Now it looks like they made a back down.

@Toni: Thanks for the technical explanation.

Last edited by Retro-Nerd; 27 June 2008 at 17:37.
Retro-Nerd is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:11   #50
Marcuz
Wurk???
Marcuz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: .
Age: 41
Posts: 5,185
overrated by whom? everybody seems to agree that's a bad game! i still think it's one of the most user-friendly shoot em up ever...

with a big design' fault: the necessity of a joystick with autofire to play it without loose the thumbs.
a good designer/coder should not require some particular ability from the user to experience his product, at least in such a simple platform
Marcuz is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:11   #51
humble worm
Registered User
humble worm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: BP/Poland
Age: 39
Posts: 745
I played Battle Squadron 2 times maybe, never to return to the game again while I loved Xenon II. I was unaware of the frame thingies and happy
humble worm is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:25   #52
Graham Humphrey
Global Moderator
Graham Humphrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Age: 31
Posts: 10,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by marco pedrana View Post
overrated by whom? everybody seems to agree that's a bad game!
A lot of magazines went mad for it at the time. It still seems pretty popular too and I can't quite work out why. Plutos, SWIV and Banshee wipe the floor with it. Strictly my opinion of course
Graham Humphrey is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:26   #53
oneshotdead
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: asteroid belt
Posts: 273
Galahad/FLT:

You don't seem to be pig-headed about X2 like some others here are, so I was wondering if you would deign to explain to me some things...

(By the way, I agree that Battle Squadron is a superior shmup overall, but I disagree on the old "style over substance" thing regarding X2.
The game does have substance; it just happens to also have a lot of style, thanks to the superior graphics assets.
It seems fashionable to dismiss X2 on these forums, but I doubt some of these gamers would have denounced it, back in the day...)

Anyway... if you would deign to answer these few points for me, I would be grateful:

1. Do Battle Squadron sprites and backgrounds really have more colours? I think my eyes might be deceiving me. The tonal gradation looks rather... garish.
2. Is there really more going on in Battle Squadron, and how so?
3. Who did code X2. Were they lazy coders who could easily have made it 50 FPS like Toni asserts, or is he perhaps drawing a long bow?
4. How many layers of parallax does BS have?

Please excuse my ignorance, Galahad.

Last edited by oneshotdead; 27 June 2008 at 18:34. Reason: "diplomaticising" my post a bit more
oneshotdead is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:45   #54
Retro-Nerd
Missile Command Champion

Retro-Nerd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Age: 45
Posts: 10,745
I don't think that Xenon 2 has too much substance. It's slow, the enemy formations/wepaons are boring. A tough gameplay generally.

Try some late 80s/early 90s console shooter from Compile like Aleste, Spriggan or Gunhed. They aren't very stylish, but they offers pure fun. Just like Hybris or Battle Squadron.

Damn it, OT once again.
Retro-Nerd is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:47   #55
TCD
Registered User

TCD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Germany
Age: 39
Posts: 24,032
Xenon 2 is indeed overrated. The title music by Bomb the Bass made more popular than the game would have been without it IMHO. It's not a really bad game either, but there are many better shoot 'em ups on the Amiga.

@oneshotdead
I'm quite sure that Battle Squadron has more colors on screen and though they could be a bit more decent they look way better than the ones used in Xenon 2.

...and it didn't scroll smoothly
TCD is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:51   #56
Retro-Nerd
Missile Command Champion

Retro-Nerd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Age: 45
Posts: 10,745
Especially a lot of Amiga 8bit ports suffers from a bad/jerky scrolling. Has this something to do with the porting process generally?
Retro-Nerd is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:57   #57
oneshotdead
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: asteroid belt
Posts: 273
Retro-Nerd: I agree on Gunhed, you advised me on that one - but that is PC Engine (way off topic!)
TheCyberDruid: The colour use in BS is superior to X2? Don't make me laugh! You have no aesthetic taste - like some of these programmers!

Another thing about X2: BIG power-ups. Another reason I doubt the higher framerate would have been possible back then.

But I would love to be proved wrong, as I have already in this thread.
oneshotdead is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 18:58   #58
TCD
Registered User

TCD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Germany
Age: 39
Posts: 24,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Especially a lot of Amiga 8bit ports suffers from a bad/jerky scrolling. Has this something to do with the porting process generally?
Maybe they were all based on a common converting routine or something. It's a bit strange that these ports have worser scrolling on a better platfrom Can you give some examples?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneshotdead View Post
TheCyberDruid: The colour use in BS is superior to X2? Don't make me laugh! You have no aesthetic taste - like some of these programmers!
Normally the Bitmap Brothers had a real good taste and the colours they choose where great, but I don't like them on Xenon 2 Batlle Squadron has too harsh colours for my taste, but it still looks better... Hope you had a good laugh

Last edited by TCD; 27 June 2008 at 19:05.
TCD is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 19:01   #59
Retro-Nerd
Missile Command Champion

Retro-Nerd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Germany
Age: 45
Posts: 10,745
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneshotdead View Post
Retro-Nerd: I agree on Gunhed, you advised me on that one - but that is PC Engine (way off topic!)
Not too much. We are talking about 2D vertical shooter. You could port Gunhed to the migyy with no loss in speed or gameplay, probably.

@CD

Compare the She-Fox/Vixen C64 and Amiga versions.

Last edited by Retro-Nerd; 27 June 2008 at 19:08.
Retro-Nerd is offline  
Old 27 June 2008, 19:51   #60
Asman
68k

Asman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 628
Hi!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post

Also, it's so darn easy to make correct scrolling, just reserve a little larger than visible bitmap - to scroll in X just calc scrollreg value 0-15 and word offs, and draw any newly appearing tiles in the margin. For vertical scrolling, just add to the bitmap pointers and insert a split in the copper. For a footie field, race track etc just make a big bitmap
There is only one disadvantage, this method eat chip memory - only if you have a500 with 0.5Mb Chip

And If I good understand I need 4 "little larger" bitmaps for double buffered screen. If I'm wrong then please correct me.

Regards
Asman is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why game companies didn't make better games for Amiga ancalimon Retrogaming General Discussion 35 17 July 2017 13:27
Scroll with the mouse? BarrySWE support.Apps 14 29 May 2012 23:16
help me smooth scroll rusty71 support.WinUAE 7 21 November 2011 16:36
Didnīt HOL like me...?? Joe Maroni HOL suggestions and feedback 8 15 May 2005 00:08
Didn`t know Cinemaware did this... stainy Nostalgia & memories 3 02 February 2002 03:47

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:48.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.28547 seconds with 11 queries