Author Topic: R-Type  (Read 91257 times)

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Keith A Goodyer

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R-Type
« on: 05:08, 25 February 10 »
You make one little mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down....

Electric Dreams / Activision gave me 21 days to do the port. I wish i had the time to do a nice mode 0 port with new graphics, but alas it was never to be.

Keith A Goodyer (realy)
« Last Edit: 12:05, 01 January 12 by Gryzor »

Offline MacDeath

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #1 on: 12:00, 25 February 10 »
Quote
Keith A Goodyer (realy)
Oh wow...OMG.

We have a guest star.



Well, we know it wasn't really your fault.

I mean, yes the company simply didn't allow enough ressources (Mode0 Graphist, Time...)  to get a more proper job.

You did well as I spent a lot of time playing R-Type despite it being "disapointing".

The game remains good because faithfull to the Arcade, and Speccy version being great (for a speccy) the Amstrad "emulated" one remains fun.

Yet may we get more details on how you made it ?

I suppose you had access to all ZX Spectrum datas and codes ? and started from those ?
Were you involved in Speccy's version too ?


So the urban legend stating it took 1 week to get a speccy port on Amstrad was false : it was 3 weeks. ;D
« Last Edit: 12:02, 25 February 10 by MacDeath »

Offline fano

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #2 on: 13:28, 25 February 10 »
You make one little mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down....

Electric Dreams / Activision gave me 21 days to do the port. I wish i had the time to do a nice mode 0 port with new graphics, but alas it was never to be.

Keith A Goodyer (realy)
Really ?  :o
Welcome on board !
Anyway you made a fairly decent job for the time you had.And that was interesting to look at your code  ;D (http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Talk:R-Type)
We are planning to modify the original code to accept full Amstrad graphics in mode 1 without spectrum attributes.
Do you remember more details about his project ?
« Last Edit: 13:31, 25 February 10 by fano »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #3 on: 14:32, 01 March 10 »
You make one little mistake in your life and the internet will never let you live it down....

Electric Dreams / Activision gave me 21 days to do the port. I wish i had the time to do a nice mode 0 port with new graphics, but alas it was never to be.

Keith A Goodyer (realy)


Oh wow, this is just great... Welcome - we do hope very, very much that you stay here a while (Stay a while... stay forever!).

Regarding the game, though, I always said: I love it. Don't know what the fuss it. Could it be better? Sure. Is it great, does it have style, playability, hookability? Heck yeah!

Offline TFM

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #4 on: 23:42, 02 March 10 »
Electric Dreams / Activision gave me 21 days to do the port. I wish i had the time to do a nice mode 0 port with new graphics, but alas it was never to be.

These bastards!!! 21 days is nothing!!! You must have worked day and night.
However you will find great people here to do graphics ;-)
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline ukmarkh

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #5 on: 11:24, 03 March 10 »
Keith A Goodyer: Please contact me, as I'm currently writing a CPC BOOK and would like very much to hear your opinions about life and the tribulations around programming in the 80-90's.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #6 on: 19:03, 03 March 10 »
Well, I don't think he'll come back...

Maybe we hurted him a bit. ::)

But it wasn't meant to be mean...

Yet it would be great if he could tell us more of his work from that time.

Offline ukmarkh

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #7 on: 21:28, 03 March 10 »
Keith has agreed to do an iterview for the new CPC book?

Anyone feel they'd like to ask him something?

Offline fano

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #8 on: 21:37, 03 March 10 »
Anyone feel they'd like to ask him something?
Great !
I may have some questions about R-Type , on what hardware it has been develloped (cross dev ?) and if he remember how he did the portage and some anecdotes about this dev.
Did he receive the source code and had to make the whole adaptation by himself ? (where i can find the source code ?  :P hum , forget about that  ;D )
« Last Edit: 21:43, 03 March 10 by fano »
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Offline redbox

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #9 on: 21:45, 03 March 10 »
And some general insight into what it was like being a 8-bit games programmer in that era would be really interesting...?

I remember reading about Dave Perry and Nick Bruty developing games in ACU, and also 'The Making of the Game' in the later Amstrad Actions which were a good read.

Keith A Goodyer

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #10 on: 06:35, 19 April 10 »
Hi Guys (and Mark) Sorry haven't been back in a while - have had some  somewhat distracting personal issues over the past couple of months -  Mark I'm still up for it. 
   
    OK, I developed R-TYPE using the fantastic PDS system written by Foo   Katan. For those who have never heard of PDS, it was probably the   worlds first IDE - Editor, Cross Assembler, Linker and Debugger all in   one.  It run on the x86 architecture under DOS, and had a hardware   component that allowed you to 'Download' the compiled code directly onto   the target hardware. It eventually supported development for Z80, 6502,   and 68K.  It was probably the mainstay of all Video game programming in   the late 80's.
   
    I was very fortunate to be given Bob Papes EXECELENT source code for the   speccy version. I have never met Bob but have spoken to him on the   phone.  I have the highest regard for him!  Although the code wasn't   that well documented, many of his labels were somewhat self descriptive.
   
    Given the extream time limits i was given to the port this is basic   strategy that I took to do the port...  (I hope i remember all this   correctly)
   
  The spectrum had its ROM in the lower 16K, and the 48K of RAM above  it.  So I configured the Amstrad to locate the MODE 1 screen in the  lower 16K, and loaded the spectrum version in the top 48K (As it would  be located on a spectrum - and ran it).  I then went through the code  line by line, modifying anything that 'plotted' pixels on the screen to  something that would plot the equivalent pixels on on Arnolds screen.
   
    As the spectrum screen is 'Attribute Based' I continued to used all of   Bobs 'Colour' code, and the whole 768 bytes of the spectrum colour   attribute screen is running on the Amstrad version.  When ever there was   a 'Byte' write to the spectrum screen, I would use a look up table to   indexed by the byte and the value of the corresponding spectrum colour   attribute to extract the two bytes required to produce the correct   pixels on the CPC screen. Then all I had to do was port the control   (Sinclair/Kempston) to CPC stuck, and the Sound and the job was done.  A   few days with DJL to add the 'Protection' and the job was done.
   
    Now the sad news...  about 5 years ago, I had a massive leak in my roof,   and all my records (including the source code) was destroyed.  :(
   
   
    Now some Trivia:  At the time I had a 464, 664 and a 6128 - I took the   final masters down to Activision, and it would not run on their 6128.    It tuned out that at some point in time, Amstrad had made a small   revision to the design that meant that a the interrupt would fire just   before a frame fly back pulse, where on previous versions it would occur   just after. The net effect was that when my code was waiting for the   frame fly back pulse to occur, the interrupt would trigger just before   it, go off do some processing, and by the time it had finished the   processing and returend to the main code loop, had missed the pulse -   and locked up.

Noticing the name of this forum - I only have one thing to say...  We all have to eat!  LOL

As for the industry in the early days... It was fantastic!  The egos, and personalities were out of this world. There were some VERY clever guys, and there were some VERY slimey men in suites that knew how to abuse the geeks.  One of the greatest things to happen in those early days were Richard and David Darling, people dont remember that Codemasters was founded by two school boys.  I do remember a great night out in Lemington Spa with those two, and a missing traffic cone or two.

Keith


Offline ukmarkh

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #11 on: 11:14, 19 April 10 »
Fantastic stuff... look forward to doing the interview soon, will be in touch shortly.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #12 on: 19:58, 19 April 10 »
Quote
VERY slimey men in suites that knew how to abuse the geeks.
This explains all.

Thank you for those story.

The sad part is perhaps that you were'nt given a Graphist to get a real Amstrad Mode1 recode of those....
« Last Edit: 23:06, 19 April 10 by MacDeath »

Offline fano

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #13 on: 20:39, 20 April 10 »
Thanks a lot for this  ;D

 
    Now the sad news...  about 5 years ago, I had a massive leak in my roof,   and all my records (including the source code) was destroyed.  :(
  :'(
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #14 on: 22:12, 20 April 10 »
Work in progress... ;)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #15 on: 09:52, 21 April 10 »
I really love these mock-ups...

Offline MacDeath

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #16 on: 14:29, 21 April 10 »
Those mock ups have the exact tile seting thanks to Fano Dev kit...

But it's quite long to work because I must do eack tile separately (with Graphx2), and i'm doing every levels and sprite...

Some part are well started, other not.


At first I simply recolour, but after it is donne I rework the pixels a bit, and try to had a 3colour dithering.

So instead of the 1 bit dithering, it will be Black-Colour-White...this is the longer par IMO.

I also have Arcade's levels mock, it fun to compare with the Speccy/amstrad graphics.
In fact I think the original Graphist had access to the Arcade Datas, because it often match to the pixel, just some elements were reduced or using only bits of the original graphic.

Aso a lot less tile because of the Speccy 48K limitation, and a reduced screen because of Speccy's shitty resolution.

BTW the speccy version was incredibly accurate, so is the CPc version, because it's the same.


Offline TFM

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #17 on: 19:11, 21 April 10 »
Work in progress... ;)

Hey MacDeath!
 
That's awesome. Now let me ask you a question. Do you have that graphics also as CPC screens? Can you send me them as 17 KB screens? I would like to try something with it, you would be the first who get's the result ;-)
 
Greets, TFM
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #18 on: 19:30, 21 April 10 »
@ TFM/FS : What CPC screen ?

In fact I have a tile set, and Fano's devKit enable to place the tiles in one big picture, recreating the Levels...on a PC.

Also as it is a WIP and a project with Fano, I wouldn't like to give you all his stuff.

Ask him before.


But I may craft you a mockup to convert with convimgcpc or whatever you like...



On another topic :
Bingo !!!!

I found out that the Speccy/CPC version of R-Typer is somewhat ported from the Atari ST version (Graphiocally), I managed to find some pictures of the Atari versionl and it seems to match well the Speccy version (concerning the tiles mostly).

Also the 16 colours Atari ST version is helpfull for me to do some ditherings...


I put you 2 Atari ST pics, you may compare with the 2nd level : the background tiles are exactly the same, also the Atari ST (as a fully softwared machine) doesn't have any background...but a starfield...

So basically the r-Type port was managed exactly like PacMania...(and vice-versa).

Amiga and C64 got theyr own version, and Atari-Speccy-Amstrad were developped in the same batch, with the CPC version simply a emulator based Speccy port.

Where the men in suit did it wrong ?
Well, they asked Goodyer to do the port from speccy when it was completly finished...
A more proper way would have been to ask him to work with the speccy team at the same time and with each other (perhaps not possible due to geographic distance) and the Graphist would then do both version instead of only Speccy...

But hey, if men in suit were geeks friendly, would would knew it... :D
« Last Edit: 19:44, 21 April 10 by MacDeath »

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #19 on: 19:55, 21 April 10 »
Would look cool in MODE 0... Do you think this would be possible?

CPC+ example: (perhaps in final version: real sprites)
« Last Edit: 19:58, 21 April 10 by Devilmarkus »
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Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #20 on: 20:05, 21 April 10 »
Example for old CPC:
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Offline TFM

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #21 on: 20:16, 21 April 10 »
Also as it is a WIP and a project with Fano, I wouldn't like to give you all his stuff.

Great, keep us informed. In which way do you like to do it? Will you rewrite the code, to get rid off the low speed of the CPC version? Or will you just replace the graphics and maybe the plot routines?
 
Well, my idea was to get the tiles and put them into my game engine, just to take a look at it how it would look like. That's all. The game engine is not made for too much sprites, but I'm nosy ;-)
 
Which size have your tiles in pixels?
 
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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #22 on: 23:03, 21 April 10 »
Well, I just do the Graphix...

Fano tried to Hack and analyse the code.

So basically he would like to re-use the same engine, to achieve (in our dreams) :

--Graphics with really encoded 2bit graphics (real mode1) : the real big deal to really improuve the game.
--Some musics and in-between levels sequences (Intro/cinematic pages, jingles, and so on...)...
--and a good menu as on console games or rick 128+.

And this thx to the use of 128K RAM instead of 64K...

The Starfield is also not that well adapted for the game (especially on the CPC).
it slows the game a lot, so we may like first to remove it, then  perhaps upgrade it so it would take less ressources or be more adapted.

In my opinion, the starfield should be slowier so it would give a feeling of deepness. (would act as a real "Back" ground)
And also I think it should be only in the 1/3 middle of the screen... so we would less see the unmasked sprites/tiles.

or stuff like this.

But Fano has few time ATM, and it's not that easy to perform, removing or altering the starfield may screw up all the engine, per exemple (I dunnow, let's see, lol)


Concerning the tiles (and sprites) well...
As a Speccy game it is 8x8 tiles, but fano got them as 32x32 cause it's easier to work with this.

The problem is : we don't know how to really edit levels, so we can juste fill the same Tile-setting/Map with exactly the 8x8 tiles at the same place.

Also the Sprite management...
I think some animations have too many frames while other have to few...
Or the size of some sprites is simply not good to get a proper stuff.

As a Speccy game, game-area was seriously reduced while a proper Atari ST port on Amstrad (even in Mode1, it could have been great) would perhaps enable 320x200 and pixel- exact graphics.

The R9 (player's sprite) is ridicuously small : 24x8 pixels... per exemple...

While the 3 different explosions actually have 7-7-3 frames, a total of 16...sprites.

No wonder it slows the game a lot, when you get a full row of common enemies, each one can initiate an explosion cycle of 7 frames...of almost 24x24 pixels...

Just getting explosions with 4 frames would gain a lot of stuff if it were possible.

Also the shield do have up to 6 frame for it's revolution...
And the drones (the little shields up and down of you that fire sperm...) have 8 frames...ouch (but this is good to keep this)

But i'm not the coder, so i ask those stuff to Fano because i'm a big mouth... ;D


So what kind of tiles would you need ? what kind of picture format ? I may give you this on PC pictures...to port this you'll have to do it by yourself.

But If I give you my stuff, it would spoil a lot of the surprise...

And it is actually WIP so it's not finished at all, i don't even know what colour to finally choose.


Quote
Would look cool in MODE 0... Do you think this would be possible?
Every thing if possible if you find a coder, a graphist and motivation+time...

Everybody tell "oh sh**t why no mode0 ?" but I think a mode0 version would loose a lot of the "finesse" (er...what is the word...) finely detailed graphics that can actually be achieved with a Mode1...

Quote
CPC+   example: (perhaps in final version: real sprites)
Concenring HardSprites for the Plus, I think it is not that possible to use them that much if you want to keep the game well animated.

But the R9 sprite would be sweet and easy, and perhaps a few special monsters that are not numerous at the same time, or missiles/big plasma beam, this kind of stuff...

« Last Edit: 02:22, 22 April 10 by MacDeath »

Offline TFM

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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #23 on: 02:56, 22 April 10 »
Bonjour,
 
Yes, I agree with your argumentation. The player sprite can remain that small though. Because then the enemies look more dangerous.
 
My game engine works with 16*16 (Mode 0), respective 32*16 pixel in Mode 1. Tolkin has choosen the format, he does graphics. I'm only the coding slave in the basement ;-) Hey, what do all these guys from India, Russia and China here ;-)
 
Well, in case Fano is ok with this, I would need the tiles for the background of Level 2 (just what you show on the picture). That's all. I'll send you the "result" first, and in case you dislike it nobody will ever see it.
 
See u l8er,
TFM
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Re: R-Type (was: Rick Dangerous 128+)
« Reply #24 on: 10:44, 22 April 10 »
The project aims a graphic renovation of the game and to gain a bit of speed , for other stuff , we'll see later.I still have to find how to replace scrolling code with the same (or better) performance , that is very tricky as it scroll only one bit per pixel and i need here to scroll 2 bits per pixel.I think this part is the bottleneck so if someone own a very fast method to do 1 pixel on Mode 1 , i am interested :D

Concerning the tiles (and sprites) well...
As a Speccy game it is 8x8 tiles, but fano got them as 32x32 cause it's easier to work with this.
No exactly , in fact all gfx are char (8*8 pix) based but tiles are 4*4 chars (32*32 pixies) on CPC and Speccy.Everything about sprites and tiles have been explained here

The problem is : we don't know how to really edit levels, so we can juste fill the same Tile-setting/Map with exactly the 8x8 tiles at the same place.
In fact, it is not really difficult, i already gave all elements in cpcwiki R-Type discussion but you'll have to make a project file for tile maker.


Well, in case Fano is ok with this, I would need the tiles for the background of Level 2 (just what you show on the picture).
Hi TFM !
That's ok , just send me you mail by PM and i'll send you level 2 tiles ;)
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