Author Topic: Cosmic Prison Commando  (Read 17629 times)

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Offline Carnivius

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Cosmic Prison Commando
« on: 22:33, 19 June 14 »
So yeah, I had an urge to revamp some stuff on this project.   Bit of a darker (though still colourful, yay CPC palette!) and more epic and atmospheric feel, again moving away from the blatant Turrican clone it used to be to a more adventure-type of game (that still has shooting).  Turrican is still an influence but so are things like Shadow of the Beast, SwitchBlade and, in some ways, more recent games such as Uncharted (particularly regarding the interaction between the two characters).   Still developing the overall feel but I'm much happier with the direction it's going these days. 

Gameplay picture (featuring brand new and extremely flexible tree tiles).


80's blockbuster-like loading image.


Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Trebmint

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #1 on: 23:00, 19 June 14 »
That looks great!

Offline Ast

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #2 on: 00:21, 20 June 14 »
Great gfxs! Well done Carnivac. Why didn't you release on the real Amstrad Cpc?
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Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #3 on: 00:57, 20 June 14 »
Cos I'm not a CPC programmer?  That stuff is beyond me.
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline SuTeKH/Epyteor

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #4 on: 02:20, 20 June 14 »
Cos I'm not a CPC programmer?  That stuff is beyond me.
Nor am I, but here are your screens on a .dsk file!

EDIT: Bugger! The second screen missing a line on the "DAMN DROIDS" section, but the rest of it is there! (It's late, I'm tired!)



EDIT2: Ok, a "working" copy finally completed... I think the second screen might need moving down a line on real-hardware; can someone confirm this for me?


« Last Edit: 11:23, 20 June 14 by Jonah (Tasteful Mr) Ship »
THESE DAYS, most shops have wheelchair access, but once inside the shop, the needs of the disabled are all but forgotten. Whilst in my newsagents the other day, I realised how difficult it must be for someone in a wheelchair to purchase a top shelf magazine. They would have to ask someone to pass it down which would cause great embarrassment... Wouldn't it be a good idea if newsagents had a pneumatic ramp by the magazines to lift wheelchairs up to the top shelf. It could be fitted with flashing lights and a klaxon to warn other customers to keep clear of the mechanism when in operation.
- Steve Dawson, e-mail

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #5 on: 10:28, 20 June 14 »
Nor am I, but here are your screens on a .dsk file!


EDIT: Bugger! The second screen missing a line on the "DAMN DROIDS" section, but the rest of it is there! (It's late, I'm tired!)

Missing the title bar part of the frame at the top too but thanks.  Is neat seeing it load into an emulator.  :P
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Trebmint

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #6 on: 12:51, 20 June 14 »
Is this actually being coded by somebody, or is it just a bunch of amazing graphics waiting for a z80 genius to roll up?

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #7 on: 14:16, 20 June 14 »
Is this actually being coded by somebody, or is it just a bunch of amazing graphics waiting for a z80 genius to roll up?

Same dealy as RoboCop:Prime.  I make it on PC trying hard to stick to CPC limits and then when I'm satisfied and consider it finished I release 'development packs' of them with all the graphics, sounds, level layouts, various notes about speed/health/damage/puzzles and just about everything else needed for a CPC coder to take them and code the actual CPC engine to put them all in.
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #8 on: 14:31, 20 June 14 »
So now you are actually open into getting those wonderful magnificently well lavishly delicious wonders getting used on real CPC ?

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #9 on: 14:49, 20 June 14 »
So now you are actually open into getting those wonderful magnificently well lavishly delicious wonders getting used on real CPC ?

What do you mean 'now'?   That was always the intention.  It's just not within my range of skills to actually do that. 
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #10 on: 15:15, 20 June 14 »
but are you still firm on the 64K limitation ?

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #11 on: 15:23, 20 June 14 »
but are you still firm on the 64K limitation ?

I'm trying to do what I can to fit in the games in a playable state for 64k with extras for 128k.   I'd prefer them to not be 128k ONLY.   
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #12 on: 21:32, 21 June 14 »
Brilliant job as always! I'd pay money for this game...

And yeah, Jonah's transfers look really great :)


Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #13 on: 22:25, 21 June 14 »
Thanks.  :)


And thanks again Jonah.  It's cool seeing them load into an emulator.   When I get a bit of time I'm gonna put the screenshots onto tape files to load into my real 464 to check they look ok on the CPC's real monitor like I did with RoboCop  :)
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #14 on: 20:17, 17 July 14 »
Need some tech advice.

Would making the width of the game screen to 320 pixels wide impact speed too much?   The tiles are 4x8 pixels (stretched to Mode 0 width when in game obviously).   This is a non-scrolling game and SwitchBlade is also doesn't scroll and has a 320 width screen and the sprites move smoothly though I do notice you can sorta see the screen transition when you walk off onto a new screen which it has to draw. 

Also do raster colour changes affect speed much either?   I mean if I set aside one of the 16 colour indexes for sky for example could I then have it do a simple gradient?  And so the same colour in the parts of tiles that have sky background colour (such as the outer leaves of the trees or the clouds) have that gradient too without needing new tiles?

And speaking of SwitchBlade.  A lot of the screens in it have areas that are black and then get revealed when the player walks into them.  Does anyone know if the areas are already tiled and then covered black which is then removed, or are the tiles drawn when they get revealed?
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #15 on: 20:50, 17 July 14 »
if you cover them in black, then you would have to redraw them so I guess those a drawn when revealed but some routines may manage the "fog of war"... same sort as when managing bonus or object collected on the map...
« Last Edit: 20:53, 17 July 14 by MacDeath »

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #16 on: 21:20, 17 July 14 »
Hm.. I was just playing it and I noticed this



Playing the 'poked' version so I can walk about invincible and not have enemies hassle me and I noticed this when about to reveal the bottom black area.  The thing that floats about the play to signify invincibility is partially obscured by the black as it's about pass through it.  I've noticed this with a few other lil sprites in the game too which suggests to me that the black is at least treated as a foreground thing like some of the scenery tiles are (the ones the sprites move behind, even in this shot, Hiro is completely obscured by those 'door way' tiles). 

Sprites that start off in the black seem to take a second to appear after the hidden area is revealed so they're definitely not there waiting.
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #17 on: 22:36, 17 July 14 »
For a flip screen game, 320 wide (160 MODE 0 pixels) shouldn't be a show-stopper on the CPC, depending on the action on the screen. I.e., if the action takes under a frame to calculate and render, then you don't need double buffered screens (32KB).


Not that this would be an issue on a 128KB machine.


I don't know how many tiles you have so far, but the recent screenshot looks great.  It would really benefit from being a wider screen, IMO, if it's flippy.


As for the raster effects, that's not easy to do smoothly on the CPC without losing clock cycles, or doing it at the 300Hz timer intervals.  Or making it a plus game. Or making it require the CTC-AY.

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #18 on: 22:48, 17 July 14 »
As for the raster effects, that's not easy to do smoothly on the CPC without losing clock cycles, or doing it at the 300Hz timer intervals.  Or making it a plus game. Or making it require the CTC-AY.


Just got told earlier that Super Cauldron has colour changing sky much like I mention so I loaded it up to see and yep and it's somewhat parallax (if you jump or fly enough to make the screen scroll up you'll see) aaand the screen has a 384 width aaaand scrolls too (ok the scrolling on that game gives me a headache but it's still impressive what it's doing on a regular CPC).   So what does that use?
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #19 on: 23:39, 17 July 14 »
Yeah, that game uses the 300Hz timer, and then some clever code at each interrupt to provide a three line transition that doesn't start in the middle of the screen.  The parallax effect is free :-)


Nice animated backgrounds though (leaves, fires), amazing looking game.  Note that there's not a massive amount of action on screen. It's a fairly good implementation of a push-scroll too.  Must play this soon.

Offline CraigsBar

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #20 on: 01:19, 18 July 14 »
Yeah, that game uses the 300Hz timer, and then some clever code at each interrupt to provide a three line transition that doesn't start in the middle of the screen.  The parallax effect is free :-)


Nice animated backgrounds though (leaves, fires), amazing looking game.  Note that there's not a massive amount of action on screen. It's a fairly good implementation of a push-scroll too.  Must play this soon.


That and Prehistorik 2 are the 2 games I most want to 'legalise' in my collection. However I am not going to pay the silly money wanted for the only copy currently on e-bay for the disk and photocopy of the box sleeve (No box, No sleeve and no instruction sheet)


Amstrad CPC 464 664 6128 Disk Game Super Cauldron BY Titus | eBay


Craig
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Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #21 on: 01:22, 18 July 14 »

Nice animated backgrounds though (leaves, fires), amazing looking game.  Note that there's not a massive amount of action on screen. It's a fairly good implementation of a push-scroll too.  Must play this soon.

I'd enjoy it more if it didn't attempt to scroll.  It really just does my head in.  It's not very smooth and sometimes you gotta get quite close to the edge of the screen to get it going.   I like the background graphics though some more refining to smooth them out a bit more would be nice.  The only real issue I have with the graphics is the player sprite.  It's pretty damn messy looking.  Most of the enemies and other sprites are nicely defined though.
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline CraigsBar

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #22 on: 01:23, 18 July 14 »

That and Prehistorik 2 are the 2 games I most want to 'legalise' in my collection. However I am not going to pay the silly money wanted for the only copy currently on e-bay for the disk and photocopy of the box sleeve (No box, No sleeve and no instruction sheet)


Amstrad CPC 464 664 6128 Disk Game Super Cauldron BY Titus | eBay


Craig


OMG I have just seen the Amiga version of Super Cauldron on ebay for up to 100eur... Bonkers
IRC:  #Retro4All on Freenode

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #23 on: 17:38, 19 July 14 »
Had another email from someone who played the 2008 demo and is shocked to discover the current version is very different.  The old concept was CPC-inspired in wide pixels and palette and very much Turrican influenced too.    Then I decided I wanted to give this game more of it's own character (still some Turrican in there but all sorts of other influences too now) but they seemed to be most disappointed that, unlike the old demo, this doesn't have smooth scrolling (cos it now flick screen) and parallax background (now static tiles) and instead runs at 15fps instead of 60fps (for that slight 8-bit choppiness, same as RoboCop: Prime does which people have seen running in that video from a few months ago and people seem fine with that).  Also they seem annoyed that the blue sky is now purple. (wanted a darker atmosphere rather than the 'day at the seaside' the old had, plus it means I can use more black to 'blend' certain tiles together). 

That's the problem with releasing WIP demos and images and such.   Things change.  Sometimes due to personal taste, some down to technical reasons.  Most of the time though the complainers just don't bother to listen to the reasons why.  Never mind, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing cos I feel right about it  Done some more tile work today I'm pretty pleased with and finding more uses for some of the tiles that are already there (for example the leave tiles in the trees also work great in clumps just above the ground for background bushes).

Also it's possible some screens will be underwater.  But for memory/animation/gameplay/logic reasons it won't be the human characters who go underwater but rather the sidekick droid as he needs no new animation whatsoever (the frame of his 2 frame walk cycle where his legs are tucked in look like floating/hovering anyways) and he doesn't have to worry about breathing.  All I do to the controls when he's in use is making the jumping more floaty, the falling slower, and a bit of inertia to the left and right movement.  Sprite wise he simply has the red and brown secondary lighting and white highlight of his sprite shifted to all the blues to look like he's underwater (the rest of him is blues anyways). No problem. 

Also done some basic tiles for a frosty/ice cave thing  No inertia though for the player movements.  Slippy-slidey iceworlds always annoy me.  Let's just say their heavy combat boots got plenty of grip.  :)


Still trying to decide on how to activate the somewhat xenon2-like shop
Deciding whether it's accessible:
- at any time?
- at specific points perhaps via the use of a terminal?
- between stages?

Also I think I'd like to have you basically order the item and then when you leave the shop perhaps a noise is head like a shuttle is passing above (if got enough memory perhaps a Kull-Mart delivery drone sprite) and drops the usual weapons crate and you shoot the crate as normal to reveal the bought icon inside.   Just a bit of logic in obtaniing the item rather than it somehow magically being transported to you like most.  I dunno.

Anyways am just brainstorming stuffs.  Don't mind me.  :P
« Last Edit: 21:33, 22 August 14 by Carnivac »
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Cosmic Prison Commando
« Reply #24 on: 18:12, 19 July 14 »
No matter what you do, how you do it, when you do it, there will always be someone who doesn't like it. And people who doesn't like it, will tell you about it more frequently that people who like it, will tell you they like it.  ;)

You're absolutely right: It's about doing what you feel like doing, and don't let anyone ruin that.

It always starts out as something you're really doing for yourself. Then along the way it kinda becomes something you'd like positive feedback for. And that's where it often goes wrong, sometimes to a degree that you don't really feel thrilled about the project anymore.
(Betatesting is another issue of course. Always listen to feedback, but never let it control your path).