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Old 23 March 2021, 18:06   #1
saimo
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Follix - new game for AGA Amigas [WIP]

Making ArtPazz (a remake of my third game ever, done in 1995) spurred me to remake (for the... erm... 4th time!) also my very first game (originally made in 1994): enter Follix, another puzzler for all AGA Amigas! The game has been in the works only for a couple of days now: the core is in place, but of course all the rest still needs to be done.
The original game was heavily inspired by Atomix, and so is Follix, although it introduces some gameplay changes. The "ix" at the end of the name comes precisely from "Atomix" - "Folli" instead, comes from "Follia", which is the Italian for "madness" (which links the game to ArtPazz also name-wise).

[ Show youtube player ]

The video shows the basic gameplay mechanics and these visual effects:
* 24-bit translucencies;
* 24-bit fading from/to black;
* 24-bit cross-fading;
* 8-bit alpha-cycling*;
* 8-bit alpha-cycling and 24-bit cross-fading at the same time*.

(*I genuinely wonder if this has ever done before on Amiga.)

Please note that the graphics are temporary: probably they will change completely (in fact, I'm going to experiment with something totally different right after posting this).
Technical note: like ArtPazz, also Follix is written entirely with AMOS Professional 2.00 and the in-house ALS library.

P.S. And, yes, now I'm dying to remake also my second game ever, but that's just one more entry in my TO-DO list for the moment being.
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Old 23 March 2021, 18:31   #2
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Old 23 March 2021, 21:57   #3
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Ahhh Puzzles games
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Old 23 March 2021, 23:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil79 View Post
Ahhh Puzzles games
Don't be sad, there's plenty of other games in development right now!
As for me, I'll return to action games some day ( [ Show youtube player ] is waiting to be used), but now I have to satisfy this personal need I had for years: remaking my very first games the proper way and with novel graphical effects
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Old 30 March 2021, 18:51   #5
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Preview #2

[ Show youtube player ]

In this preview you can see that the core of the game is completely implemented now. In fact, the game can be played from the beginning till the end: all the 30 levels are in place! However, the most important thing to be done before the release is to add some nice gameplay feature. I have omitted the time limit and bonuses that were featured by the original game, as I don't want the game to be stressful (the same choice I made for ArtPazz), but I also want the experience to be richer than it currently is. Of course, there are also other things to do: graphics and sound effects have to be finished, music has to be written, the options menu has to be implemented and a nice story (which will unveil as the puzzles get solved) has to be penned. And I haven't decided yet whether to have a score and/or per-level scores (like the original game).
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Old 31 March 2021, 14:33   #6
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looks great! Great work! Also nice Sound effects.
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Old 08 April 2021, 21:35   #7
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@Paulthetall

Thanks
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Old 08 April 2021, 21:36   #8
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@all

Curious about how Follix is progressing? This new preview should quench your thrist...

[ Show youtube player ]

Latest changes:
1. added options menu;
2. added loading/saving;
3. added option to restart from any of the levels previously completed;
4. added trail graphical effect;
5. added music and mute options;
6. added title screen information overlay;
7. improved graphics;
8. improved sounds;
9. made various internal improvements.

Notes about the changes:
1. I decided to keep it minimal and stylish, adding new colors and - of course - more transparencies;
2. the game tries to load the data from both a local file and through nonvolatile.library, and then uses the best data found; the game tries to save the data to a local file and, failing that, tries with nonvolatile.library; at the moment, the only piece of information loaded/saved is the number of the highest level completed;
5. the music is the one I made for ArtPazz and, therefore, just a placedholder;
6. at the moment, it is used only to show the "about" page, but I plan to use it to show also times/scores/records (if I ever decide to add them - I haven't made my mind about this yet); technically, it adds a 75% opaque layer on top of the background and of the alpha-cycling logo;
8. in particular, I have improved the quality of the speech samples, but still they are affected by a light hiss due to quantization, so I'm thinking to use 14 bit playback for them.

General note: the sudden game-overs in the video are not due to a bug or a mistake, but are simply the result of pressing [ESCAPE] ;-)
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Old 08 April 2021, 22:13   #9
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Wow, I love this minimalistic style and the gameplay looks very fluid. This looks very promising, mate!
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Old 09 April 2021, 11:08   #10
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nice!
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Old 09 April 2021, 22:34   #11
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Well nice, looking good.
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Old 10 April 2021, 00:37   #12
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Looks cool!
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Old 10 April 2021, 12:11   #13
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Thank you all!
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Old 17 April 2021, 15:37   #14
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There's still some work to do, but the game is nearing completion!

[ Show youtube player ]

Since the previous preview, the following happened (details further below);
* added records;
* added HUD (I went for a bold and, at the same time, fresh and simple style);
* added 14-bit playback for speech samples (now they are crystal clear, while before the quantization noise was very audible - compare with the previous videos);
* attenuated reverb effect on speech samples;
* added saving of the number of the last level played, so, when it starts, the game automatically sets that level as the default one (of course, the player can still decide to play any other level among those that have been completed previously);
* improved some graphics;
* added saving of the audio mode setting;
* reworked startup code so that it is much faster (this was planned since the beginning);
* reduced disk space occupation;
* implemented advanced data loading/saving system.

About the records:
* the game measures the time taken to complete the levels;
* the game keeps track of the best time of each level.

About the HUD:
* top: current time;
* middle: level number;
* bottom: record time.

About the data loading/saving system:
* loads the saved data both from local file and through nonvolatile.library (handling graciously the cases where any or even both of the sources is/are not available);
* if both sources are available, merges the loaded data so that the resulting data contains the best information;
* saves the data to a local file and, failing that, tries to save it through nonvolatile.library;
* performs sanity checks/repairs;
* needs 44 bytes of disk space / 5 nonvolatile slots.

At the moment, there is a simple time limit of 20 minutes to complete a puzzle (which is almost as if there were no limit, as I don't want to put too much pressure on the player), but I'm still thinking about introducing a time limit system similar to the original one. More precisely, I'm considering whether to add a level-proportional time limit that can be extended with the time left from the previous level, while keeping the pressure of time low.

And one last thing I forgot to mention so far: the game will be free
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Old 17 April 2021, 19:02   #15
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great job saimo!
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Old 17 April 2021, 21:28   #16
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How are you doing the translucency? Real time or you have the colours already in the palette?
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Old 18 April 2021, 13:58   #17
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@Vulture

Thanks!


@E-Penguin

Quote:
How are you doing the translucency? Real time or you have the colours already in the palette?
For a proper answer, first I have to point out that I'm using ALS, which is written in AMOS and thus can't be lightning fast.
Initially, I calculated the palettes on the fly just before they were needed, but on unexpanded machines that would make the game pause for a few seconds between the various transitions. So, I moved all the calculations to the startup code: the flow was no longer interrupted by the pauses, but the startup, after the loading of all the files, required 10-15 seconds on those machines. Eventually, I moved most of the initializations to an external tool that outputs a single data file which contains, among other things, 88380 bytes of palette data: this allows the game to start almost instantaneously and to run without pauses also on unexpanded machines.
Note about the menu screen: it uses a palette for the top (logo) part and another for the bottom (buttons) part; to achieve that, the COLORxx registers are reloaded dynamically (BPLCON4 can't help because all the 256 registers are used).
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