Author Topic: Fluff  (Read 14272 times)

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Offline Xyphoe

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Fluff
« on: 18:18, 03 December 10 »
I've been playing and completed Fluff today, to make a longplay video (that'll be up online later today or tomorrow morning)

Obviously its a Plus only game, and arguably the most well known one (out of very very few) and liked. Probably the best and standout Plus game.
Some sprite problems, occasionally suspect collision detection and the odd bug aside ... Rob Buckley's done a *fantastic* job here (with 1 pixel scrolling, lovely graphics, great music and control/sprite movement spot on) .... but the thing that really sadly lets the game down for me is the poor level design .... eg -

  • its often confusing where you should be going...
  • ...with a very cluttered screen
  • sometimes you can walk through parts of walls/objects and not others
  • what floors are dangerous and which aren't, sometimes you're walking on the bottom of the screen with no platform under your feet - shouldn't you drop down and die?
  • Warp points that take you to areas that you can't escape and get back from meaning you have to quit the game
  • Features that are sadly underused like springs, warp points, and even later on there's a block you can push to allow you to get to a place but this only happens once(!)
'Under the hood' there's a great game engine here, I just kinda feel disappointed with the levels you were given. I guess with the pressure from Amstrad Action magazine to produce the game in time for their cover feature on it (read the current months Retro Gamer article on Radical Software / Rob Buckley) he rushed to finish the game and the level design suffered (also there's a very poor ending to the game). Either that or its a classic case of 'great coder/programmer - poor game designer'  :P

Now with TFM's recent video showing the level designer of R-Type (you can see where I'm going now....) in action, and well the fact that we've got people taking the R-Type code and improving ....

....it got me thinking about - what's the chances and how difficult would it be to make a level editor for Fluff?

It would be nice to iron out the bugs, but ignoring that I would presume not much serious coding would be involved?
Rather than someone coding a new Plus game from scratch, take the existing code and make Fluff 2!

Just some thoughts.
« Last Edit: 18:20, 03 December 10 by Xyphoe »
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Offline Trebmint

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #1 on: 19:48, 03 December 10 »
Chuffed you're doing a full gameplay video, which i will look forward to seeing. I will freely admit that the level design was lacking and needed tweaking, but as as the Retro gamer article states it was a rush job, and I was never totally happy with the result. I agree fully that its a game that could be greatly improved upon by minor changes.
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Offline TFM

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #2 on: 20:11, 03 December 10 »
Yeah Fluff... memories are coming up! When I organized the FutureOS release meeting in the early 90ies (it was OS version 0.3 or so...) Odiesoft was joining us too and he brought Fluff from GB where he was before, I remember it was a decent price for a good game. I mean it was one of the few real Plus games. We made a special trade, he got a FutureOS licence (which was 29 DM at this time) and I got a Fluff (no need to mention that we are talking about originals here). I never played it through. But I'm looking forward to see the walk-through soon :-)))
 
A bit offtopic: There was another great game, which is available as disc version for Plus: Switch Blade. This one I really like. It's fantastic, cause it shows what you can get out of Mode 1 :-)
« Last Edit: 20:13, 03 December 10 by TFM/FS »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #3 on: 20:33, 03 December 10 »
Hey-wait, was that yours??? Had noooooo idea!!!!!!!!! I'm humbled.

@Xyphoe: I rarely watch the vids till their end, but for this one I will. You must be the person who have played it the most, probably! Wish RG had done as much (but of course they can't)

Now, indeed it'd be a great idea to try and remake it in some way. I like how the scene ups the game every once in a while...

PS Erm.... cannot remove wrong attachment. Please ignore!

« Last Edit: 20:36, 03 December 10 by Gryzor »
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #4 on: 22:55, 03 December 10 »
What would be the chances of Downgrading it to a standard CPC game?  ???  I'll just play Dynamite Dux instead!  8)
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Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #5 on: 12:16, 04 December 10 »
Chuffed you're doing a full gameplay video, which i will look forward to seeing. I will freely admit that the level design was lacking and needed tweaking, but as as the Retro gamer article states it was a rush job, and I was never totally happy with the result. I agree fully that its a game that could be greatly improved upon by minor changes.

Woah!!

Seriously? You're THE Rob Buckley?

Sheesh - sorry dude I had no idea and that you were even reading the forums... I might not have been as brutal in my post here then!! (Of course I love the game, the point of this topic is to consider doing a level editor)

Out of interest - when you sent Fluff out when people purchased it, was there box art for it? If so do you have a pic or a scan of it? Normally on my vids I start off with a pic of the box and art so I'll hold off for now uploading the video in case you do have one.

Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #6 on: 12:28, 04 December 10 »
Also, before I do my commentary and review on the game - some of the bugs that appear in the game like the random appearing/disappearing sprites or previous sprites leaving a 'ghost' sprite when you scroll off etc ... is that due to emulation or on a real Plus does that not happen?

Offline Trebmint

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #7 on: 13:27, 04 December 10 »
There was box art for the later ones that were sold. The initial ones just went out in white boxes. I no longer have any of the artwork, however it was actually just the fluff image that appears on the front of AA.
 
As for the bugs, I have no real idea. The issue with the appearing dissappearing maybe the 16 sprite limit. Since all the sprites are hardware I was limited to 16, so if there are a few on screen, and of course many objects are 2 or even 4 sprites, then these were turned dependent on where they were on the screen. The issue with this is because of the coding rush and my need to fit everything into a frame I checked objects every 10th of a second, and then only from the origin of the object. And objects could wander, so it made checking if they appeared on the screen more difficult. Bad and rushed coding if I'm honest.
 
However I'd have to see it to know if it was an emu issue or just bad coding.
 
The level editor idea is nice. perhaps a rewrite of the game is a better bet though
 
 
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Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #8 on: 13:53, 04 December 10 »
There was box art for the later ones that were sold. The initial ones just went out in white boxes. I no longer have any of the artwork, however it was actually just the fluff image that appears on the front of AA.
 
As for the bugs, I have no real idea. The issue with the appearing dissappearing maybe the 16 sprite limit. Since all the sprites are hardware I was limited to 16, so if there are a few on screen, and of course many objects are 2 or even 4 sprites, then these were turned dependent on where they were on the screen. The issue with this is because of the coding rush and my need to fit everything into a frame I checked objects every 10th of a second, and then only from the origin of the object. And objects could wander, so it made checking if they appeared on the screen more difficult. Bad and rushed coding if I'm honest.
 
However I'd have to see it to know if it was an emu issue or just bad coding.
 
The level editor idea is nice. perhaps a rewrite of the game is a better bet though

Cool cheers for that!

I actually had Fluff put on a cart by someone I knew for me (yes I do like it that much! despite my complaints above ... lol ... sorry again!) so I'll fire it up on my 6128+ later today and see if there are any differences.

Do you have any further interesting information or trivia about the making of Fluff and things that went into the coding?
It would be nice to include it in the vid and make it a bit more special :)
I'll get a scan of the Fluff image to use then, did you draw it or did someone from the art dept at AA do it? It's quite a cool drawing and cartoon character actually :)

Offline redbox

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #9 on: 15:29, 04 December 10 »
I like Fluff, and it would be interesting to hear the story behind developing it - I always love to hear about what people did and how it all came together.  Guess I need to get the latest issue of Retro Gamer - how big is the article on it?
 
Fluff 2 is a very interesting concept... maybe you should dust of your old source code Trebmint and right those 'wrongs'  ;)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #10 on: 18:52, 04 December 10 »
I'll have to agree with Redbox - could we have a 'making of'? Pleeeeease????? The RG article was nice, but short of course...
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Offline redbox

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #11 on: 19:24, 04 December 10 »
I'll have to agree with Redbox - could we have a 'making of'? Pleeeeease? ??? ? The RG article was nice, but short of course...

Just read the Retro Gamer article - very nice to have such a long piece about a piece of the CPC scene.  Would still love to know more about Fluff's development though.
 
Great to see the CPC was awarded best 8-bit conversion of Donkey Kong[nb]Steve Wiebe rulez 4eva![/nb] in the same issue.  Eat that C64 fanboys.
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Offline Trebmint

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #12 on: 20:05, 04 December 10 »

Just read the Retro Gamer article - very nice to have such a long piece about a piece of the CPC scene.  Would still love to know more about Fluff's development though.
 
Great to see the CPC was awarded best 8-bit conversion of Donkey Kong[nb]Steve Wiebe rulez 4eva![/nb] in the same issue.  Eat that C64 fanboys.

When I see the video I'm sure the memories will come flooding back. I've not played around with this game for so long I can't recall that much of the development TBH. Certainly no dev code still exists for this anymore
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #13 on: 23:16, 04 December 10 »
Xyphoe wrote:

Woah!!

Seriously? You're THE Rob Buckley?


Didn't you know?? You'll have to watch out for his Lethal Moves now!  :laugh:
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Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #14 on: 01:00, 05 December 10 »
There was box art for the later ones that were sold. The initial ones just went out in white boxes. I no longer have any of the artwork, however it was actually just the fluff image that appears on the front of AA.

A little present for you, and everyone else, seeing as there wasn't a proper cover ... here is how it might have looked if released on cartridge -  ;D



Like I said I've got this dumped onto a cart, so I'll print this out later and use an old gx box for it :)
If anyone wants the full scale image, or full size Fluff character in a Photoshop file (transparent background) give me a shout.

Long play vid might be up in a couple of hours.

Offline Trebmint

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #15 on: 01:13, 05 December 10 »
Blimey I like that. I think Fluff 2 needs to be a 512k Cart only effort
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Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #16 on: 01:56, 05 December 10 »
OK I just booted up Fluff on a real Plus machine, and there are some noticeable differences in regards to colours and also the background 'sky'.

Best example is in the jungle/forest level the background - on a real Plus the sky is mixture of gradualated reds and blues split in the middle 50/50, yet Winape only gives the reds. Also the trees are a nice brown, but are instead very red on Winape.

Lastly there's some differences in music playing also. On a real Plus on one of the channels the instrument is very 'robotic' sounding, yet on WinApe sound is the same intrument as the others playing (guess you'll have to see it in action to know what I mean)

It'd be interesting to hear Richard's (WinApe author) thoughts on this. I don't think we really really need to strive for 100% perfect Plus emulation, but might be important later on with new Plus games being developed.
I guess I'll have to make another video filming it live (... but of course will not look very good from camcorder and fuzzy)

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #17 on: 01:59, 05 December 10 »
Nobody selling their GX4000 by any chance?  8)
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Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #18 on: 03:48, 05 December 10 »
Right I've finished the vids, it'll be in 2 parts as there's roughly 20mins+ of actual gameplay, but for some reason this PC is really slow at encoding everything and it's ETA'ing an hour+ for each vid. I'm tired so I'm off to bed and they'll be up later on Sunday.

Just a quick thing though for Rob .... in the adverts (in Amstrad Action) it says "12 Zones", but I only counted 7 levels. And as mentioned above there's a few graphical/music issues. I'm wondering if I'm not playing the 'final version'? I'm playing the dumped version on the CPC Power website here - http://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&onglet=dsk&num=3959

Is it possible I'm playing a pre-release unfinished version? If one existed how would I know the difference?
Maybe you could check quick in WinApe?

I'd rather release the full proper longplay to the general public :)

Offline Trebmint

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #19 on: 10:23, 05 December 10 »
As far as I know there is one version. The probable simple answer is that 12 levels became 7 due to the rush to get it out and finished. AA adverts were done 6-8 weeks before the magazine came out, so I guess 12 was the plan, but didnt pan out. I believe if you look at the previous edition of AA with the fluff preview you'll see level graphics that don't appear in the game itself, and these would have been used to form the next few levels.
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Offline ukmarkh

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #20 on: 13:26, 05 December 10 »
I've noticed when you copy the game to disk and play it on a real to life Plus, there are graphical issues! Bits of graphics missing and the odd ocassional freeze. One of the already established Amstrad Emulators plays it perfectly though, can't remember which, it was a while ago now!
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #21 on: 16:26, 05 December 10 »
Am I the only one thinking "missing code"??
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Offline Xyphoe

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #22 on: 19:08, 05 December 10 »
Well guys, the vids are now online -

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpNq1-WOf4Q[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bvy6j0F3Hs[/youtube]

Offline ukmarkh

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #23 on: 00:59, 06 December 10 »
As far as I know there is one version. The probable simple answer is that 12 levels became 7 due to the rush to get it out and finished. AA adverts were done 6-8 weeks before the magazine came out, so I guess 12 was the plan, but didnt pan out. I believe if you look at the previous edition of AA with the fluff preview you'll see level graphics that don't appear in the game itself, and these would have been used to form the next few levels.

I've seen a few mockups of Fluff 2 over the years, and sprites for Lethal Moves... would you be willing to continue such work now retro gaming is as main stream as it'll probably ever get?  :P
 
Fluff was a good game for the time! If anything, when compared to the others i.e Mario and Sonic it probably lacked a little pace. But at the time it was the CPC's answer! And I urge people to remember, software back then was pretty much non existent on the poor old Amstrad Plus, and Fluff for me was a valiant and much welcomed addition.
 
I'd love to see what you could acheive these days... it might be that you've seriously moved on, especially from the type of games above. Maybe you could bring somthing different to the table?
 
Oh and that video features the corrupt graphics version... you need either the original code before it was copied, or an original disk. I know, I've played it to death and tried to copy it, and those are the results.
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: 01:02, 06 December 10 by ukmarkh »
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Offline redbox

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Re: Fluff
« Reply #24 on: 01:24, 06 December 10 »
Fluff was a good game for the time! If anything, when compared to the others i.e Mario and Sonic it probably lacked a little pace. But at the time it was the CPC's answer! And I urge people to remember, software back then was pretty much non existent on the poor old Amstrad Plus, and Fluff for me was a valiant and much welcomed addition.

I totally agree, and watching the videos was a good reminder of how good a game it actually was - a nice game making some great use of the Plus features.
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