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Old 16 December 2011, 00:16   #21
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Old 16 December 2011, 00:23   #22
ImmortalA1000
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Thank you Graham (will dig out the box and check) and Synchro. In fact thank you to everyone for offering encouragement or offers to help.

I will update that diary post for now until I create a site for the project and have some things I want to show.

Will there be just one version? Probably BUT I will keep all source files in their original size and quality and resample them as required to target pixel/colour resolutions. This means the door is open (subject to impact on performance) to have an AGA version with 64 or 128 colours+copper list extras. This might then make the game 4mb only depending on which engine for the 3D floor I use and how large the final scaled graphics data I need to keep pre-calculated in memory is. I'm not saying no but I do have other plans for an AGA game in super high-res interlace

There is some good news though (or bad news if you had to live through all that "multimedia PC" Windows CD-ROM FMV crap haha) because a hard disk specific version may also be made. In a totally unexpected moment I think I have cracked 16:9 aspect ratio 25FPS movie playback with mono sound for 512kb OCS/ECS Amigas. Whilst discussing movie playback on a stock 8mhz Atari STE on another forum I hit upon an idea which solves a lot of problems I had with my original movie player I was making for the A1000 machines. It is unlikely to get my new algorithm to work in more than 32 colours without 1mb chipram which counts out the Amiga 1000 but it should work in HAM mode fine given enough chipram and possibly if the code is tight enough I can do 2:35:1 HAM cut scenes. I have found a way to solve my biggest problem of seek time latency if I enforce certain restrictions on the player (frame size, exact image size, everything uncompressed, no fragmentation in Chipmem allowed) BUT this is the key....it may actually be possible to get it to work theoretically. I have a slight reservation on sound being handled properly to the millisecond (streamed video is no problem) but wrapping it all in a single custom file in specific chunks and double buffering the sound AND video could work. If it does work I will do some cut scenes for a hard disk version of the game or an intro at the very least so your jaws will drop before you even have a single go of the game.
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Old 16 December 2011, 01:25   #23
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@ImmortalA1000.. really enjoying your story so far, i think it will give the player a more personal experience of the whole process and that will be appreciated in the final product

good luck to you!
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Old 16 December 2011, 01:43   #24
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Well put me down of an alpha or beta version when you get round to it. I am always happy to test games to destruction.
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Old 16 December 2011, 03:38   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post

I plan on watching every episode of Buck Rogers from the 80s

This is a spectacular way to spend a period of unemployment

Good luck with the project. Pilots eye view + big laser cannons = my kind of game
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Old 16 December 2011, 10:24   #26
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Sounds really interesting :-) go go go. Again I have a ring bound blitz manual so in the unlikely event everyone else's pages are missing let me know which you need :-)
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Old 16 December 2011, 14:06   #27
ImmortalA1000
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
This is a spectacular way to spend a period of unemployment

Good luck with the project. Pilots eye view + big laser cannons = my kind of game
So you would prefer something viewed more like Skyfox than Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom?

Again thanks to everyone. Believe me I'm also very eager to get things to a level that I can record game engine alpha test code running for youtube.

completely unrelated note: some very helpful person on youtube has sent me some awesome Roland Juno samples so I can finally make a MOD of Boadicea by Enya (end credits to Stephen King movie Sleepwalkers). Frustration is setting in as damned insurance cheque still AWOL and I have things to buy....like a desk to put my Amiga on!

Last edited by Graham Humphrey; 16 December 2011 at 17:04. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 16 December 2011, 14:33   #28
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too bad for your job, but it seems you're not too affected ^^

Cool a new game ! :-)

BTW, if you want to have it on the shelves, I'll be happy to manufacture and distribute it :-) PM me when you want :-)
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Old 16 December 2011, 15:59   #29
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ImmortalA1000, nice!

May I suggest that you build a reference/work portfolio at the same time? It will probably be useful down along the line. Something like:

Do you know 3d graphics?
Sure, here's a graphic sheet of 3 renders for an (potential) android game application.

Do you have any manager experience?
I worked as "software/etc" manager for a volunteer project and managed release schedule.. bla bla
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Old 16 December 2011, 16:28   #30
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too bad for your job, but it seems you're not too affected ^^

Cool a new game ! :-)

BTW, if you want to have it on the shelves, I'll be happy to manufacture and distribute it :-) PM me when you want :-)
Hmmm I am affected, I'm not loaded and I will not be replacing my car (which I really loved) unless my other business idea takes off. It's just I got loan/mortgage out of the way and need a rest because my health comes first so it's time for some sacrifices

What would be cool to do is to create 3 auto-booting ISOs for Win/Mac/Linux users to also enjoy it via emulation

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiff View Post
ImmortalA1000, nice!

May I suggest that you build a reference/work portfolio at the same time? It will probably be useful down along the line. Something like:

Do you know 3d graphics?
Sure, here's a graphic sheet of 3 renders for an (potential) android game application.

Do you have any manager experience?
I worked as "software/etc" manager for a volunteer project and managed release schedule.. bla bla
For getting another job or just for info of other classic Amiga game projects?

PS Worryingly planet Nibiru is scheduled to crash into the Earth in 12 months....so I guess this is my project deadline
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Old 16 December 2011, 17:16   #31
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can i request "Achievements"
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Old 16 December 2011, 17:43   #32
ImmortalA1000
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can i request "Achievements"
You mean to unlock features as per 360/PS3 games?
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Old 16 December 2011, 17:53   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalA1000 View Post
You mean to unlock features as per 360/PS3 games?
like 360/PS3 yeah, but they dont normally unlock stuff ingame.. rather just rewarding points for completing certain tasks or finding hidden items etc etc
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Old 18 December 2011, 11:14   #34
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like 360/PS3 yeah, but they dont normally unlock stuff ingame.. rather just rewarding points for completing certain tasks or finding hidden items etc etc
Well it's kind of like a shoot em up on rails if you've ever played Buck Rogers on Coleco/C64/Arcade and I can't really change that aspect so I will have to think how to implement it seeing as you can't go where you want to and it's kill or be killed action all the way. End of the day it sounds like bonus points as we used to call them in the 80s so should be some way to do stuff

Anyway, had quite a good day today. Learnt a lot on a new (for me) modelling package. Also created a new Starfighter from scratch because I had to decide if the ship will rotate through the Y axis or the Z axis (as piercing the center point of the model. Still not 100% sure but hey I have a better graphic for the players ship to play with in the render. I think I will actually render out both and do a basic game engine that does both and see which looks and plays better. I better watch that longplay again later to check what the arcade and Adam versions do

BTW - Also I saw a very similar car to the one I had on ebay, would be nice to be sitting one of those again but I decided best not (and it has starship mileage and it isn't in silver!). Probably why I spent hours doing stuff related to this game, makes me happy. I like this Amiga one man band game dev stuff, bet its far more fun than working on Gears of War 3 or Windows 8

=============================Diary=type=waffle=below============================

Hows it going so far? Well....couple of issues I've thought of already.

1. I don't like the 'pirate' ships the Draconans used AND I can hardly use Hawk's ship as there was only ever one! So may have to go with the flow of the original arcade game type enemies. Not happy about this, will see how the viewing of all the old TV series goes and see if I have forgotten an enemy ship style.

2. I accidentally did a test render in 640x400 and the ship looks sweet with that sort of detail. Damn it I don't think I have either the chipset bandwidth OR the required chipram to do a version in hires lace.

3. (yeah I know couple=2!) I think as part of the update it will need to have power ups, not sure exactly what or how best to do it as it is nowhere in the original gameplay. I did have this really crazy idea of a collect-em-up overhead section which means if you land in the right place you get to collect loads of extras. BUT all the enemies must die with one shot anyway and if you go faster it's even harder to play not easier. Will have to sit and think about what the 'extra twist' is a la tunnel sections to the asteriods meat and potatoes gameplay of Super Stardust as well as what powerups to have. Shield would be good like Gradius/Nemesis....takes ages to collect enough to get it but then if you're crap at the game it's used up in 10 seconds of onscreen mashup collision.

This also leads me onto another problem, the horizon is set quite high (ditto in the home/arcade versions of the 80s game) so I really would love to make this a 320x256 rez game. I know this will piss everyone off who has an NTSC machine. I need to decide before getting too far into it as it affects a lot of graphics later on not just the code.

Any Crazy wacky things in this game because it's your game? I'm going to put some really odd snipets of speech in the game too, this is because the characters make me laugh and they are so not 25th century voices/accents! But yeah anyway to give you a clue which TV show they come from...."If man says he's a ting...........den him ting init". Don't worry you will have an option to switch the speech off

(piccy attached of banked Starfigher over simple two colour background to give idea of perspective only. Just so you get an idea of the main player graphic)
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Old 18 December 2011, 12:07   #35
Steve
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Can I suggest you write this for AGA machines first and then later scale back the graphics and engine for A500. If at a later date you decided to do an AGA version then rewriting the engine won't be as quick as simple downgrade of graphics. You would have to redo the graphics. Maybe you should make two graphics sets to be on the safe side. Also, coming up with a design document now will help you to see potential hurdles early on and will help you keep on track further on in the project.
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Old 18 December 2011, 13:51   #36
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I found my blitz 2.1 manual. Shout if you need any pages.
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Old 18 December 2011, 23:21   #37
ImmortalA1000
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Can I suggest you write this for AGA machines first and then later scale back the graphics and engine for A500. If at a later date you decided to do an AGA version then rewriting the engine won't be as quick as simple downgrade of graphics. You would have to redo the graphics. Maybe you should make two graphics sets to be on the safe side. Also, coming up with a design document now will help you to see potential hurdles early on and will help you keep on track further on in the project.
All the graphics will be saved in original large sizes in full colour and then I will, for example, change them to suit OCS colour restrictions etc so that's no problem. The textured 3D floor routine is also a bit of a cheat a la Stardust/Super Stardust tunnels and more colours/detail = more than 2mb making it quite an expensive host AGA machine.

I don't think it would run fast enough on 640x512 on A1200 via Blitz so I'd leave that for later testing. I will do a nice AGA version for UAE/WinUAE eventually.

Agreed, need to sit down and design all the levels/gameplay/bonus features/graphics ideas and do some basic algorithms for game engine mechanics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by musojon74 View Post
I found my blitz 2.1 manual. Shout if you need any pages.
Thanks. Haven't found my Blitz yet, all my retro software/games stuff is boxed up and stacked up in the spare room, must be 50 large boxes .

================================more diary/blog waffle=====================

Thought more about the floor today and I think I found a way to cut memory requirements by 2/3 by using the copper in a better way I will do a simple test to check it looks good and upload an image.

Also my nephew who works as a professional CG artist(because I gave him Lightwave to try out on PC in the 90s) for the movie industry was quite excited about the project and offered some help too doing the 3D model to 2D anim capturing. He did have some ideas to make it less SNES Mode 7 looking before I got round to explaining my v2 scaled Afterburner graphics style engine. Think he was a bit shocked that this may even run on a 7mhz 16bit machine. I then told him about my idea for Oblivion forest engine on Amiga and that I'd need to write/blit 2-3mb a second....so not one for Blitz basic

He said I should get it ported to iOS and Android hmmmmmmm

Last edited by prowler; 18 December 2011 at 23:55. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged; please use multi-quote.
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Old 21 December 2011, 05:38   #38
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Been playing with the textured desert floor aspect today, it's really difficult to make it not become a sea of limited colour pixels from my master copies. This is going to be tough. I am think now of changing it to a dried out desert lake bed texture as this has more cohesion in lower colour resolutions than the sand dunes.

Surprisingly it didn't look that 'flat' as I had worried and you can almost feel yourself sink into the soft sand as you watch the master animations. I will try going from 10 to 20 frames for the sequence......so that's another 5 hours another day. If I was happy with it I would have posted up some animated mockups on a website I am working on for the game.

On the plus side, last night's hour spent on the logo has come up quite nice for a first draft, and I have a fantastic idea for an attract sequence too including the logo and my Starfighter sprites I am working on.

Tomorrow I will sit down and work out a nice animation tree for all frames of the Starfighter. If I can get those done, the floor done and some nice parallax clouds and mountains I can start calculating just how hard Agnus will need to be worked to achieve 25 fps in a game engine and when I finally get an Amiga I can develop on sorted out I can hit the ground running after converting it all down to IFF in Dpaint in an afternoon. I think seeing it running, even badly, on a real Amiga will really lift my spirits and spur me onto the finish line.

Did have a bit of setback today though Projector bulb died on me and the money for that is coming out of the 'goodies' budget I earmarked for Amiga tech purchases on ebay. 105 smackers, and that's if I manually swap out the bulb unit using existing parts.

Also had a fantastic idea for the even numbered bonus levels, not sure I can technically implement it though. I am thinking that there should be trench sequences....but these will be realistic rocky trenches just like on Luke Skywalker's home world. Will flesh this out a bit more in the design/storyboard I do later on. I really hope I can make it work though, think it will spice things up nicely and give your eyes a nice bit of variety.

Roll on injury lawyers cheque eh?!
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Old 27 December 2011, 01:41   #39
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Have been working quite hard trying to get a texture that actually looks nice, tiles well (had to create my own seamless textures) and then renders down nicely to 4 colours. With 4 colours on the animation there may even be a chance to get this thing squeezed into 1mb.

Bad news is had a bit of a crash on Xmas eve and lost a lot of work so quite a setback because all the pre-set values for the various effects required in the 5 stages to get from a flat truecolour texture to a 3D field of view 4 colour tilted floor were lost and I need to do that 32 times in a row for each potential texture I was working on to get a sustained looping floor texture. 160 operations alone without time to tweak frames. Good news is I have finished two different texture styles (dry desert lake bed texture and sand dunes texture) which I really like at the moment, and have even worked out a nice copper list for depth cueing which is looking pretty cool right now.

Two images of one frame of the test textures I am considering as rendered for the floor that I am working on attached (sand dune and dry lake bed texture). One sand dune texture has a copper list active one is the plain 4 colour image. I have exaggerated the contrast spread of the 4 colours for the copper list testing so it looks much better when the colours have been worked out manually and hence the final 4 colours for the "nearest" section of the 3D textured floor. The sections vertically higher up the screen should give an impression of being shrouded in a sort of sandstorm in the distance which gives the pale yellow haze towards the horizon.

All I need to do now is some lovely clouds for the sky and some mountains and I have enough to start simple testing of the basic engine for honing the speed of the FPS to map to apparent speed travelling over the desert in flight. The mountains and sky will of course be on a completely different colour palette with a full palette switch at the centre point of the horizon on screen.
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Old 28 December 2011, 20:10   #40
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I finished off a target render for the desert floor with a sand dune effect. It looks nice at all speeds even with just 15 frames of animation so I upped the colour count to 8 colours as it takes the same memory as 30 frames of 4 colours.

Running it through a copper list it looks nicely depth cued so I am happy with this. Converted it to animated GIF format for testing and it rolls along smoothly even running at full speed of 50FPS.

Now I am at the stage where it will take me longer to do any more work on a PC than an Amiga eg to simulate the copper list or animate the Starfighters etc, very time consuming and fiddly even with layers of PSP. Dpaint 3 is still king for animation work

Attached is the finalised 8 colour animation as a GIF with just 8 colours (no simulated copperlist effect on this). It is set at a low speed so you can see the animation but most animated GIF editors will let you speed up the animation.
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