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Development => Calculators => Calc Projects, Programming & Tutorials => Topic started by: JamesV on December 21, 2015, 01:37:37 PM

Title: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on December 21, 2015, 01:37:37 PM
Since 3.5 years ago when I decided to do Alien Breed 5, I've had a rough plan in my head for it to be a 3-part game, ie. the first main release, followed by two additional campaigns with new features to be added later. I've recently started working on the 3rd and (most likely) final part. It's still very early days, but I've already gotten a few cool things done.

As usual, there will be a new campaign, although it will be different in structure to Episodes I & II. There will also be new gameplay elements, some new enemies, more achievements and potentially some slight graphics tweaks in the form of more tile animations.

So far, I've reworked the level file format to allow for some of the additional gameplay elements, which will allow for more things to happen in levels. The level editor pretty much had to be rebuilt from scratch, as well as making a simple program to convert the existing Episode I & II data to the new format. I'm now halfway through implementing the calculator-side changes to all of this, so that the game correctly interprets the new level format and starts incorporating the new elements.

Additionally, whilst this will still include the standard TI-83+/84+ flash application release, over the last 36 hours I've been doing some tests to see how viable it would be to include a build for the TI-84+CE!

I've drawn inspiration from MateoConLechuga's Mono2Color project for the TI-84+CSE, and after a few experiments determined that I'll most likely have to stick with monochrome tiles & sprites so that I can run the LCD in 1bpp mode, otherwise the frame rate gets way too slow. Below you can view a demonstration showing the game in 3 different zoom levels (x1, x2 & x3). As you'll see, x1 moves super quick, x2 moves roughly the same speed as the TI-83+/84+ monochrome version (within 1fps), and x3 is a bit slower again (around 7-8fps slower). Of course this demo only includes the scrolling background, no player/enemy/gunfire sprites. However, all the tile drawing & sprite rendering is done on a 768 byte buffer, the part that slows things down is scaling this 96x64 resolution buffer up to either 192x128 (x2) or 288x192 (x3). I'm confident that drawing the sprites over the tilemap will have minimal effect with the CPU speed of the TI-84+CE (but this will be my next few experiments).

The 768 video buffer -> vram drawing/scaling routines were written fairly quickly, so I might be able to optimise them a little. I'll continue playing around and see how I can improve it. At the very least, I'd like to have a TI-84+CE version with a play screen of 192x128.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfAPQD7dt1k (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfAPQD7dt1k)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: alexgt on December 21, 2015, 02:19:49 PM
Sounds Great! I will definitely play it when you get a demo out ;)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: JamesV on December 21, 2015, 10:09:09 PM
Thanks!

After sleeping on it, I came up with a different method this morning for copying & scaling the video buffer more efficiently. I only had a chance to test it on the 3x zoom (288x192 resolution) and it was running at pretty much the same frame rate as the 83+/84+ non CE version. I'll try it later on 2x zoom as well and see how fast it gets, but at a rough calculation it should be about 30% faster than the 83+/84+ non CE frame rate.

Either way, it's certainly workable :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: alexgt on December 21, 2015, 10:31:42 PM
Nice! can't wait to see more, but sadly I don't have a CE only a 84+ <_< still best of luck
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: Snektron on December 21, 2015, 10:43:36 PM
Well, you should be able to play it on the js wrapper with the file loader i made :)
Cool project btw :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: alexgt on December 21, 2015, 10:45:08 PM
where could I find that?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: Snektron on December 21, 2015, 10:50:49 PM
https://github.com/RobinDeWalvis/ti_jsemu_wrapper
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: JamesV on December 21, 2015, 11:09:56 PM
Quote from: alexgt on December 21, 2015, 10:31:42 PM
Nice! can't wait to see more, but sadly I don't have a CE only a 84+ <_< still best of luck
It will be released on the non-colour TI-83+/84+ calculators as well (in flash app form). In the meantime, feel free to download and try v2.1.0 (http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/453/45342.html) :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: Unicorn on December 22, 2015, 12:13:55 AM
Sounds like a bit of work! I wish you luck, and I hope I get a CE soon to play this...
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 v3.0.0
Post by: alexgt on December 22, 2015, 12:29:44 AM
Quote from: Cumred_Snektron on December 21, 2015, 10:50:49 PM
https://github.com/RobinDeWalvis/ti_jsemu_wrapper
Thanks ;)
Quote from: JamesV on December 21, 2015, 11:09:56 PM
Quote from: alexgt on December 21, 2015, 10:31:42 PM
Nice! can't wait to see more, but sadly I don't have a CE only a 84+ <_< still best of luck
It will be released on the non-colour TI-83+/84+ calculators as well (in flash app form). In the meantime, feel free to download and try v2.1.0 (http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/453/45342.html) :)
Awesome! can't wait to test it :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on December 23, 2015, 12:44:29 PM
Today I've finished off (for the time being) the new level event scripting that will feature in Episode III: Impact (and Episodes I & II will be patched to the new format as well). The new format gives me more power to add multiple triggers & events during a level. In the below screenshot there are a few examples:

1. After a certain amount of time passes, an in-level text block is displayed, and the darkness filter is enabled.
2. When the player walks up to the computer, another text is displayed and the darkness filter is disabled.
3. Bosses are no longer triggered by a single tile - an area is set (can be any rectangular shape up to 32x32 tiles in size) that triggers a boss (technically there could be multiple bosses in a level now), and in this case also modifies two tiles in the level to seal off the room (previously this was locked to modify one tile when a boss fight started, and one more tile when a boss fight finished).
4. When the boss is killed, multiple tiles are modified to open various paths out of the room, the countdown sequence is triggered, and the level is flagged as being ready for completion.

Triggers & commands can be used in various combinations to create various events so that I can add more depth to the new levels.

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg633%2F3993%2F5evJ0B.gif&hash=0632a317f21d9a1bf131669eab998f057a35a20b)

Now that this is done, I'm going to attempt to start adapting the code and applying the new LCD routines to make it compatible with the TI-84+CE :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on December 23, 2015, 02:20:07 PM
Nice! I will definitely try it out it looks like a great game ;)! When will you have a download out?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: 123outerme on December 23, 2015, 08:12:47 PM
With the CE compatibility be extended to the CSE as well?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on December 24, 2015, 03:57:00 AM
Woah that looks great and I'm glad that you are considering porting the game to the CE. The CSE is discontinued and slow so I could understand if you don't make a version for it, but a CE version would still be great, as new games have been lacking on it lately. Some colors, even if primitive, would be cool. For example, tiles could remain 2 colors, but for each tile they could be something else than monochrome calculators.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on December 24, 2015, 08:24:34 AM
Quote from: alexgt on December 23, 2015, 02:20:07 PM
Nice! I will definitely try it out it looks like a great game ;)! When will you have a download out?
Thanks! Not for a while yet, sorry. I've only started work on it in the last few weeks, and I have a lot of work still ahead of me. But I'll continue to post about progress here as I get more done, and eventually there will be a beta out for people that want to test it :)

Quote from: 123outerme on December 23, 2015, 08:12:47 PM
With the CE compatibility be extended to the CSE as well?
It's not out of the question, but it's not high on my list given that the CSE has essentially been replaced by the CE. Once I get further along with the project I'll see how I feel about it.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on December 24, 2015, 03:57:00 AM
Woah that looks great and I'm glad that you are considering porting the game to the CE. The CSE is discontinued and slow so I could understand if you don't make a version for it, but a CE version would still be great, as new games have been lacking on it lately. Some colors, even if primitive, would be cool. For example, tiles could remain 2 colors, but for each tile they could be something else than monochrome calculators.
Thanks DJ_O! At the moment I'm running the LCD in 1bpp mode, so I literally can only have 2 colours on screen at once. I could run the LCD at 2bpp (allowing 4 colours on screen at once), but that would increase the amount of processing required for background scrolling, copying & scaling the buffer to the LCD, etc. Even running in 1bpp mode, I have to write 6912 bytes to the LCD every frame. If I go to 2bpp, this doubles to 13824 bytes written to the LCD per frame, as well as extra work required in scrolling the buffer. At an estimate, the game would run at around 12 fps :(

Edit: One thing I have considered doing (which is what you may have been suggesting?) is that each level could have it's own "white" colour to give different levels a different feel. The original Alien Breed games did some palette swapping between levels to achieve this, which I could (and quite possibly will) do :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on December 24, 2015, 10:41:12 PM
I want to be a beta tester ^.^ keep the updates rolling ;)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: 123outerme on December 25, 2015, 05:52:09 AM
I understand about the CSE. If you ever decide to make a CSE version, I wouldn't mind testing, not at all.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on December 25, 2015, 02:59:17 PM
If you ever make a CSE version JamesV, you will probably have to ditch vertical scrolling or make movement so that you move tile by tile instead of pixel by pixel. In the first scenario, the game would be like Super Mario Bros 2 USA in which there is horizontal scrolling, but vertical movement is Zelda style.

And I see about 1bpp. By the way I didn't know the CE supported anything else than 256 and 65536 colors O.O (the CSE only supported 8 and 65536, IIRC). But yeah, my suggestion was mostly tile by tile rather than the entire screen, where each tile would have two colors each, but the said colors would be different from one tile to another (eg floor vs walls). But I guess having one color change for each level would work too.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on December 25, 2015, 10:27:38 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on December 25, 2015, 02:59:17 PM
If you ever make a CSE version JamesV, you will probably have to ditch vertical scrolling or make movement so that you move tile by tile instead of pixel by pixel. In the first scenario, the game would be like Super Mario Bros 2 USA in which there is horizontal scrolling, but vertical movement is Zelda style.

And I see about 1bpp. By the way I didn't know the CE supported anything else than 256 and 65536 colors O.O (the CSE only supported 8 and 65536, IIRC). But yeah, my suggestion was mostly tile by tile rather than the entire screen, where each tile would have two colors each, but the said colors would be different from one tile to another (eg floor vs walls). But I guess having one color change for each level would work too.
If I couldn't do it smooth scrolling, I wouldn't bother I don't think. One of my earlier Alien Breed games back in 1999 was tile by tile, and it wasn't well suited to the style of gameplay. But I'm fairly confident that smooth scrolling monochrome would be possible, which MateoConLechuga demonstrated by having a simple port of an earlier version Alien Breed 5 running on the CSE :)

With some assistance from MateoConLechuga, the 3x scaling/drawing routine is now running substantially faster on the TI-84+CE. Thanks Mateo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqrVEYMhmEA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqrVEYMhmEA)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on January 03, 2016, 06:42:52 AM
Nice @JamesV ! The scrolling looks amazing on the CE ;)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 04, 2016, 10:17:55 AM
Quote from: alexgt on January 03, 2016, 06:42:52 AM
Nice @JamesV ! The scrolling looks amazing on the CE ;)
Thanks @alexgt! I'm certainly happy that it's at least functioning nicely and at a decent speed. I'm excited to see how far I can potentially push it! :)

I haven't done much work on this for the past week as I've been enjoying a summer week off work, but current status is that after many hours of work, the source now cross-compiles for both the 83+/84+ app version and the 84+CE program version. Now I just need to start stepping through the 84+CE version and get the game to a playable state.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on January 04, 2016, 02:22:19 PM
Awesome! how hard will it be to make the CE playable? is most of the code already working?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: novenary on January 04, 2016, 03:37:32 PM
Damn, that's fast. The color screen has an advantage of having much less motion blur than the monochrome models which is great for scrolling games. Good luck with the port. :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 07, 2016, 04:40:25 AM
Quote from: Streetwalrus on January 04, 2016, 03:37:32 PM
Damn, that's fast. The color screen has an advantage of having much less motion blur than the monochrome models which is great for scrolling games. Good luck with the port. :)
Thanks - yes it looks quite nice on the colour screen vs. the old monochrome screens.

Quote from: alexgt on January 04, 2016, 02:22:19 PM
Awesome! how hard will it be to make the CE playable? is most of the code already working?
I'm getting close to getting the game somewhat playable on the 84+CE, there are just a lot of little Z80 -> eZ80 things to patch up (eg. "ld h,0 \ ld l,a" needing to be updated to "ld hl,0 \ ld l,a"  etc.)

In terms of the new campaign, Episode III: Impact, it will be a little different to Episodes I & II. Instead of just being a linear 12 level campaign, it will have multiple routes available. The current plan is to have around 30 levels, with a single play through taking you through anywhere between 11-14 levels depending on the path you take (around 5-6 different paths available). The paths that take less levels will have a slightly higher difficulty curve than the paths that take more levels. This one won't be set on a space station either, it will be on a planet surface & multiple towers, ala Alien Breed: Tower Assault.

I've also got at least one more enemy getting added in (the "security guard" enemy from the previous Alien Breed IV game of the early 2000's that I did), and I have ideas for another 2 possible enemies that I haven't implemented before that I think would be cool :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 07, 2016, 04:45:21 AM
I had completely forgot about that last video. I was repliying a week or so ago, but then ran out of time. Good job so far and I'm amazed at the speed. Will the 3 episodes be available in one game, by the way?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 07, 2016, 12:40:34 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on January 07, 2016, 04:45:21 AM
I had completely forgot about that last video. I was repliying a week or so ago, but then ran out of time. Good job so far and I'm amazed at the speed. Will the 3 episodes be available in one game, by the way?
Thanks, it's looking good so far speed-wise. Yes correct, the 83+/84+ flash app version will have all 3 campaigns stored as part of the app, whilst the 84+CE version will (most likely) have them stored in external appvars :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 12, 2016, 09:20:06 PM
The game now runs and the player can move around a level. Enemies / shooting, etc. are still disabled, but should be working in the next week or two. I haven't had a whole lot of spare time to work on this lately, but I'm enjoying chipping away at it bit by bit :)

Text & menus aren't properly implemented yet, but I'll (most likely) be overhauling them on the TI-84+CE version to have higher definition splash screens and font.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MtELpeQZ30 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MtELpeQZ30)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 15, 2016, 08:03:13 AM
That speed is impressive as always. Nice job. However, do you mean you'll use high res fonts in-game? Because if you do that, you really need to be careful about your font choices. Some HQ fonts won't mix well with low-resolution graphics, while some others will do.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: MateoConLechuga on January 15, 2016, 10:03:04 PM
Nice work, and looking good! You may want to check out mon2color for the TIOS drop-in text drawing routine from monochrome calculators, but it looks like you will be making it differently, so neat! Good luck! :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 19, 2016, 03:32:48 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on January 15, 2016, 08:03:13 AM
That speed is impressive as always. Nice job. However, do you mean you'll use high res fonts in-game? Because if you do that, you really need to be careful about your font choices. Some HQ fonts won't mix well with low-resolution graphics, while some others will do.
The fonts generally don't appear on screen at the same time as the low resolution graphics, so I think it will be fine :)

Quote from: MateoConLechuga on January 15, 2016, 10:03:04 PM
Nice work, and looking good! You may want to check out mon2color for the TIOS drop-in text drawing routine from monochrome calculators, but it looks like you will be making it differently, so neat! Good luck! :)
Thanks, Mateo! I had considered getting in touch with you regarding your solution for the CSE, but I just decided it would look nice in this instance to go a bit more high definition for the menus and text screens, etc. Not that I've implemented any of that yet, I'll get around to it though. I'm still working on getting the essential in-game code to run properly, which is just taking a bit longer due to being back at work hah :/
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 22, 2016, 11:06:50 PM
The TI-84+CE build now functions essentially the same as it's TI-83+/84+ counterpart (sans text). You can now play through a level collecting items, killing aliens, etc.

Next up I'll be splitting the level data out into appvars for the 84+CE build, as the program is currently sitting just shy of the 64KB limit.

Thanks to MateoConLechuga (and everyone who has assisted him) for CEmu, which I used to capture the below video :)

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg910%2F1250%2FuwGz8J.gif&hash=b7c0e55b36d9b0aeaae8d3b450741046634c8035)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on January 22, 2016, 11:08:52 PM
Cool! I love it!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on January 22, 2016, 11:35:35 PM
Nice, I can't say how much I like the smooth scrolling. ANd those features sound Awesome!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 24, 2016, 08:46:32 AM
Ouch about the 64 KB limit, but at least we don't have to deal with the 8 KB executable code limit anymore, plus moving levels and data outside the main program should help things out. :)

In the worst-case scenario where even then you got over 64 KB, does 84+CE C/ASM support  multiple sub-programs like in TI-BASIC so that you can launch code from a different program if it doesn't fit in the main executable? Also I'm glad to see the speed remain so good despite the large screen area used. :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Lionel Debroux on January 24, 2016, 09:40:27 AM
The flat, unbanked addressing space on the TI-eZ80 series makes it slightly easier to read data directly from archive.
AFAICT, the design of Mateo's loader, strongly derived from that of PreOS for the TI-68k/AMS platform, allows for more than 64 KB of executable code + embedded data.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 24, 2016, 01:08:38 PM
From what I've gathered (which could be way off) the 64KB limit isn't an "executable" limit at all, it's simply the maximum size that an .8xp file can be (it still uses a 2 byte length on the calculator).

If a program required more than 64KB of code, it could fairly simply jump between multiple programs, or load code from an external file into a fixed location in RAM and execute it from there, etc. There are a few possible solutions :)

I shouldn't have that problem with AB5 though. I've now split the level data out and the main program file is back down to around 34KB.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on January 24, 2016, 03:33:46 PM
Awesome glad to hear it is back down ;)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: SiphonicSugar on January 25, 2016, 04:30:04 AM
Meep! Someone is going to have to explain that memory limit to me... :D
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 28, 2016, 08:34:28 AM
Good to hear. I didn't realize how much of the program was data.

Quote from: SiphonicSugar on January 25, 2016, 04:30:04 AM
Meep! Someone is going to have to explain that memory limit to me... :D
I don't exactly remember, but on the TI-83+, Texas Instruments instated a limit on how much ASM code could be loaded to be executed during runtime. That limit was around 8 KB. The reason why TI added that limitation was to prevent people from porting paid flash applications into free 8xp executables. Back then, the app SDK costed money too, so I wouldn't be surprised if the limit was an attempt to make developers buy the SDK as well. Now that limit can be broken via some utilities or libraries.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 29, 2016, 10:15:51 AM
A little bit more progress over the last week - I've started working on colour menu screens & text.

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg921%2F434%2F4SKJYY.gif&hash=629cdbb40429c40fe3053c7240ba23f689764fb2)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on January 29, 2016, 01:14:33 PM
Nice! This is looking great!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on January 29, 2016, 07:53:39 PM
It's amazing! I actually wasn't sure what that thing was until I saw this. I'm definitely getting a CE! :walrii:
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 29, 2016, 10:39:25 PM
I love the title screen James :) How much space does it take?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on January 29, 2016, 11:07:11 PM
Thanks!

The raw title screen data is 160x120 resolution 4bpp, so 9600 bytes, but it's compressed down to 2624 bytes. It's uncompressed to a spot in RAM and then drawn and scaled up x2 to vram.

Also the custom font is 288 bytes compressed, which is uncompressed when the program loads and readily available at all times. With the current font routine I've written, the font can be any colour, but only one colour font can be on screen at once. It wouldn't be hard to slightly modify this to have multiple colour fonts on screen at once though.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: alexgt on January 30, 2016, 01:01:06 AM
Wow that font sounds really nice ;) keep up the great work :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 03, 2016, 10:38:37 AM
After stumbling back on this video of Mateo experimenting with a Mario CE engine (http://myimages.wdfiles.com/local--files/start/marioTest.mp4), I decided to do some experimenting myself.

This is only very quickly put together, no sprite clipping or vram flipping, and not optimised at all, but it's enough to show that maybe a full colour version of Alien Breed is possible on the CE...

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg923%2F5568%2FCPFu4R.gif&hash=e8c81d22cc903fddfef3114cddb0bc568f5d3c9c)

The sprites are still 8x8, but are now 8bpp (256 colours), and again scaled up x3. Like Mateo's Mario CE, all tiles are fully redrawn each frame instead of "scrolling". If I implement vram flipping and optimise the routines, it will look much better (in fact, it looks much better on the actual calculator than the above gif).

If I went ahead with this method, I can maintain the same code base between the monochrome 83+/84+ calculators and the colour 84+CE :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: c4ooo on February 03, 2016, 11:10:30 PM
Quote from: JamesV on February 03, 2016, 10:38:37 AM
After stumbling back on this video of Mateo experimenting with a Mario CE engine (http://myimages.wdfiles.com/local--files/start/marioTest.mp4), I decided to do some experimenting myself.

This is only very quickly put together, no sprite clipping or vram flipping, and not optimised at all, but it's enough to show that maybe a full colour version of Alien Breed is possible on the CE...

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg923%2F5568%2FCPFu4R.gif&hash=e8c81d22cc903fddfef3114cddb0bc568f5d3c9c)

The sprites are still 8x8, but are now 8bpp (256 colours), and again scaled up x3. Like Mateo's Mario CE, all tiles are fully redrawn each frame instead of "scrolling". If I implement vram flipping and optimise the routines, it will look much better (in fact, it looks much better on the actual calculator than the above gif).

If I went ahead with this method, I can maintain the same code base between the monochrome 83+/84+ calculators and the colour 84+CE :)
Looks nice; maybe a you can do a mineraft port? :) ( Something i want to do but cant, becouse i dont have a CE  :'( )
Whats up with the weird glitch near the sides of the screen btw?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 04, 2016, 02:52:51 AM
Quote from: c4ooo on February 03, 2016, 11:10:30 PMLooks nice; maybe a you can do a mineraft port? :) ( Something i want to do but cant, becouse i dont have a CE  :'( )
Whats up with the weird glitch near the sides of the screen btw?
Thanks! The glitch is just a result of lazy sprite routines - I wrote them in a rush just to get an idea of how quick the frame rate would be. Once I tidy them up it will be much nicer.

Minecraft would be great to do - I'm not sure I'd be up to the challenge though, but maybe!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 05, 2016, 05:45:14 AM
That looks cool James. I'm glad it runs fast enough. Maybe you could keep the original graphics but just add colors to them. :)

What I usually do is that I take the sprites in their calculator screen colors (the yellow-green-ish stuff), then I change the hue and saturation. That seems to do the job most of the time :P
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 11, 2016, 09:11:50 PM
This will end up a program, right? Are 3rd-party apps blocked on OS 5.0? Cause if they're not, it could all be a huge app with awesome details and such.
:walrii:
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 14, 2016, 09:18:02 PM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 11, 2016, 09:11:50 PM
This will end up a program, right? Are 3rd-party apps blocked on OS 5.0? Cause if they're not, it could all be a huge app with awesome details and such.
:walrii:
Yeah as far as I'm aware, 3rd-party apps are still not an option for us due to the 2048 bit signing key. Thus this will be a program (with chunks of data stored in external app vars).
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 14, 2016, 10:07:04 PM
Oh, okay. What will the character sprite look like?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 14, 2016, 10:40:23 PM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 14, 2016, 10:07:04 PM
Oh, okay. What will the character sprite look like?
Most likely a cross between the monochrome 8x8 sprite and the original Amiga character sprite (http://www.myabandonware.com/media/screenshots/a/alien-breed-88m/alien-breed_12.gif) (the green guy centre screen). Although I haven't done any work on AB5 for the last week and a half, as I've been messing about with Thunderbirds. But I'll be back on to AB5 sometime later this week or next week :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 14, 2016, 10:42:08 PM
If you tell me the size you need, I could come up some pretty good sprites.  ;)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 23, 2016, 11:55:33 AM
I decided to try using 16x16 tile sprites (as opposed to 8x8 scaled up x3 in the previous screenshot), which resulted in the below (don't mind the yellow artifacts, they don't actually happen during execution). It certainly looks better quality, but in my opinion it's now a bit too small on screen.

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg924%2F8325%2FSYDhxf.gif&hash=03953f2ae0ca22e6a6507d059ecdaa288eb17414)

For the sake of maintaining gameplay compatibility between the 83+/84+ monochrome version and the 84+CE version, the play screen needs to show 12x8 tiles, and the tile width/height needs to be a multiple of 8. I'm contemplating next trying 12x12 tile sprites scaled up x2 to make them 24x24, which is a multiple of 8.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 23, 2016, 02:29:59 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean. It looks good, but small.  :-\
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 24, 2016, 02:18:57 AM
scaled up 12x12 sprites sounds like a good deal. That said, I would be fine with the 8x8 sprites scaled up with just a small border around the screen too.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 24, 2016, 02:27:55 AM
I just thought of something! You could put the health/ammo bars(maybe even a scrolling objective reminder) on the border. Or you could just plaster "Alien Breed by James Vernon" all over it.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 24, 2016, 09:06:15 PM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 24, 2016, 02:27:55 AM
I just thought of something! You could put the health/ammo bars(maybe even a scrolling objective reminder) on the border. Or you could just plaster "Alien Breed by James Vernon" all over it.
I will be putting the HUD at the top/bottom of the screen like the original Amiga version has :)

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.classicamiga.com%2Fimages%2Fstories%2Fjreviews%2Fgames%2FA%2FAlien%2520Breed%2520-%2520Special%2520Edition%252092%2520%281992%29%28Team%252017%29%28Disk%25202%2520of%25202%29%5Bbudget%5D_001.png&hash=df4fe6dc3064585e4273a7b5629ad28db41a9562)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 24, 2016, 09:21:18 PM
If you want to maximize screen usage, you could definitively do like some old PC8801 games and move the play area to the top/left and fill the rest with an HUD and the title or other game info.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 24, 2016, 09:28:51 PM
If you have enough space, could you add things like current weapon and score to the HUD? And also, could there be red arrows pointing to goal/objectives? When I played the monochrome version, I always felt this would help :P. The only thing you'd have to do is make sure the arrows don't show the path, only the direction(as if walking straight towards target), so that the Radar Scanner wouldn't become useless. And what colors do you plan on making for the different players in 2P mode?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 24, 2016, 10:46:27 PM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 24, 2016, 09:28:51 PM
If you have enough space, could you add things like current weapon and score to the HUD? And also, could there be red arrows pointing to goal/objectives? When I played the monochrome version, I always felt this would help :P. The only thing you'd have to do is make sure the arrows don't show the path, only the direction(as if walking straight towards target), so that the Radar Scanner wouldn't become useless. And what colors do you plan on making for the different players in 2P mode?
I could possibly add the weapon & score to the HUD - I'll see how that develops.

I'll consider the goal/objectives arrow. The original game didn't have it, although the recent port to the PS3 did add something like this. Perhaps it could be added as an option. But it wouldn't be available in "TOUGH" mode, or something to that effect.

Player 1 will be green, and player 2 will most likely be red.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 24, 2016, 11:09:06 PM
Quote from: JamesV on February 24, 2016, 10:46:27 PM
I'll consider the goal/objectives arrow. The original game didn't have it, although the recent port to the PS3 did add something like this. Perhaps it could be added as an option. But it wouldn't be available in "TOUGH" mode, or something to that effect..
Sounds good to me! :thumbsup:

Quote from: JamesV on February 24, 2016, 10:46:27 PM
Player 1 will be green, and player 2 will most likely be red.
I was thinking green and blue- or making certain game colors customizable, like Puzzle Frenzy CE. :walrii:
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 25, 2016, 04:41:08 AM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 24, 2016, 11:09:06 PM
Quote from: JamesV on February 24, 2016, 10:46:27 PM
Player 1 will be green, and player 2 will most likely be red.
I was thinking green and blue- or making certain game colors customizable, like Puzzle Frenzy CE. :walrii:
I'd prefer to stick with green & red, which would match the original Amiga games. However, I'll consider the option to choose player colours - perhaps that could be cool! :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 25, 2016, 07:05:21 AM
Have you gotten any luck getting any form of data transfer done over USB? I am curious, now that player ,1 and 2 are being brought up.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 25, 2016, 12:32:04 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on February 25, 2016, 07:05:21 AM
Have you gotten any luck getting any form of data transfer done over USB? I am curious, now that player ,1 and 2 are being brought up.
No I haven't even looked at USB data transfer. The 2 player mode is on a single calc (like v2.0.0 on the 83+/84+).

Not to say I'm against trying USB linking down the track, but nothing is in the works at this stage
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 25, 2016, 02:30:00 PM
If you get anywhere with USB, though, tell @Hayleia , because it could be used to develop SSBO for the CE.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 26, 2016, 01:15:36 AM
@JamesV , I was just looking around on ticalc and I found this: http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/148/14832.html (http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/148/14832.html).
Is it possible to put this into this project, but maybe with an AI? If an alien could evolve and run around with a gun, I think it could be a very challenging boss...
Or maybe I've just never seen a deathmatch game with an AI on a calculator.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 26, 2016, 03:19:34 AM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 26, 2016, 01:15:36 AM
@JamesV , I was just looking around on ticalc and I found this: http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/148/14832.html (http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/148/14832.html).
Is it possible to put this into this project, but maybe with an AI? If an alien could evolve and run around with a gun, I think it could be a very challenging boss...
Or maybe I've just never seen a deathmatch game with an AI on a calculator.
Not in Alien Breed 5 itself - as I've mentioned a few times before, this game is essentially a port of the original Amiga games. I've added some very minor features that weren't in the original game, but I don't want to deviate too far.

If I get better at AI one day, perhaps I could tackle a separate "deathmatch" type game. It would certainly be cool!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 26, 2016, 07:57:36 AM
Quote from: JamesV on February 25, 2016, 12:32:04 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on February 25, 2016, 07:05:21 AM
Have you gotten any luck getting any form of data transfer done over USB? I am curious, now that player ,1 and 2 are being brought up.
No I haven't even looked at USB data transfer. The 2 player mode is on a single calc (like v2.0.0 on the 83+/84+).

Not to say I'm against trying USB linking down the track, but nothing is in the works at this stage
Oh I see, I forgot that v2.0.0 was on one calc. I was wondering since I never heard anything from CE developers about deciphering the USB protocol (it took years with the 84+).

ALso now that Dudeman mentions older games, I wonder if you had plans to port older AB games using the current engine?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 27, 2016, 03:03:30 AM
He might, he might not. I thought the higher the number in the series, the better the game, but then I played the Java Assassin's Creed and found otherwise :P. I think he could use the engine to make a pretty cool overhead RPG, though. I just don't know if @JamesV is into that kind of stuff.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 29, 2016, 01:02:37 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on February 26, 2016, 07:57:36 AMALso now that Dudeman mentions older games, I wonder if you had plans to port older AB games using the current engine?
I don't have plans to specifically port Alien Breed 1, 2, Tower Assault (3) or Final Assault (4) specifically to the TI-84+CE, but there will be nods to the previous games in v3.0.0.

Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 27, 2016, 03:03:30 AM
I think he could use the engine to make a pretty cool overhead RPG, though. I just don't know if @JamesV is into that kind of stuff.
I am into that kind of stuff (I released an overhead RPG on the TI-86 called Banchor: The Hellspawn (http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/383/38380.html) almost exactly 10 years ago), and I do have plans for a similar style game for the TI-84+CE in full colour. But this will most likely be next year, as I want to get Alien Breed finished first and continue with Thunderbirds as well.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 29, 2016, 01:26:04 AM
Quote from: JamesV on February 29, 2016, 01:02:37 AM
I don't have plans to specifically port Alien Breed 1, 2, Tower Assault (3) or Final Assault (4) specifically to the TI-84+CE, but there will be nods to the previous games in v3.0.0.
Like minigames, weapons, or boss levels? Also, a training level would be cool, with that green hologram grid background and such.

Quote from: JamesV on February 29, 2016, 01:02:37 AM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on February 27, 2016, 03:03:30 AM
I think he could use the engine to make a pretty cool overhead RPG, though. I just don't know if @JamesV is into that kind of stuff.
I am into that kind of stuff (I released an overhead RPG on the TI -86 called Banchor: The Hellspawn (http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/383/38380.html) almost exactly 10 years ago), and I do have plans for a similar style game for the TI-84+CE in full colour. But this will most likely be next year, as I want to get Alien Breed finished first and continue with Thunderbirds as well.
Cool! I'll be waitin'. :P Somebody complained that that game was too fast, though.  <_<
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 29, 2016, 07:25:59 AM
A color remake of Banchor would be cool actually, but I would definitively want to see AB5 Color and Thunderbirds finished first :P
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on February 29, 2016, 10:33:32 AM
Here's another test using 12x12 tile sprites, scaled up x2. I think this is my favourite so far. It scrolls 3 pixels per frame, so 1 tile every 8 frames, making it the same as the non-colour version (which is what I want, to maintain gameplay compatibility).

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg924%2F6835%2F1XsnXR.gif&hash=6b7cdb70db243fe9a9e9880266c1c65ed6d8dad8)

Don't mind the messy screen edges, as I still haven't implemented any clipping.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 29, 2016, 12:08:43 PM
Yes! Looking good! :w00t:
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 02, 2016, 07:20:09 AM
Ok so for the time being, I'm going to stick with 8x8 scaled x3, because I want to use 256 colours & also it will likely be easier to work with.

I've updated the 8x8 sprite version by adding in some more colour texture and implementing clipping and VRAM flipping.

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg921%2F4947%2FYgKcrZ.gif&hash=8d01cc0e9207defd6efd75819a40690a052a048b)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 02, 2016, 07:55:43 PM
Smooth!
:walrii:
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: aeTIos on March 05, 2016, 02:21:58 PM
What is going on with those yellow pixels? Looking good otherwise!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 05, 2016, 06:21:45 PM
Quote from: aeTIos on March 05, 2016, 02:21:58 PM
What is going on with those yellow pixels? Looking good otherwise!
They are little artifacts caused by a glitch in CEmu's GIF recording. I'm sure that they don't show up on-calc.
Then again, @JamesV hasn't given out any test builds as far as I know...  ;)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 05, 2016, 06:47:49 PM
Looks awesome. Also if you need extra color sprites, then I think I still have some .
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 06, 2016, 09:02:48 PM
I haven't done any further work on this over the last 5 days, but you can download a copy of the latest scrolling test shown above if you want to see what it looks like on a calculator :)

Ab5Test Download (http://www.jvti.org/files/downloads/ab5test.zip)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 07, 2016, 09:15:34 PM
It looks beautiful! But when you scroll up & down sometimes, you see a ripple/ocean wave come from a diagonal center line (top-left to bottom-right). It can be see at anytime, but it's most noticeable when moving up&down.  I also like the 8-directioness. :P
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 08, 2016, 12:27:28 AM
I tried it and it's very smooth. Is that the maximum speed? I am curious about how fast it will run with enemies, bullets and other stuff.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 08, 2016, 12:50:22 AM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on March 07, 2016, 09:15:34 PM
It looks beautiful! But when you scroll up & down sometimes, you see a ripple/ocean wave come from a diagonal center line (top-left to bottom-right). It can be see at anytime, but it's most noticeable when moving up&down.  I also like the 8-directioness. :P
Yeah that ripple is just an LCD refresh effect, due to the LCD being pushed to its limits speed-wise. I'm hoping that once the game is fully functioning with other sprites, etc. moving around that it will be less noticeable as the tiled background won't necessarily be scrolling non-stop all the time.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 08, 2016, 12:27:28 AM
I tried it and it's very smooth. Is that the maximum speed? I am curious about how fast it will run with enemies, bullets and other stuff.
That is the maximum frame rate when using the vram flipping, as it needs to wait for the LCD interrupt before vram can be flipped. The good news is that drawing other sprites, etc. shouldn't slow it down, as they'll still get done before the interrupt clears. Of course, I can't guarantee that until I get it all working, but I'm confident that it will be fine based on the number of various tests I've been performing. I should point out as well that this is still running slightly faster than the non-colour version on the 83+/84+ calculators, but it's in colour! :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 08, 2016, 12:58:03 AM
That's good to hear. I was a bit worried that adding more sprites would cause massive slowdowns, especially if there is a busy level or boss fight.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 08, 2016, 01:31:37 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 08, 2016, 12:58:03 AM
That's good to hear. I was a bit worried that adding more sprites would cause massive slowdowns, especially if there is a busy level or boss fight.
I should find out in the next week or so. I've begun work on integrating the new colour engine into the main game but it will take me a little bit to clear up all the compile errors and then bug test to get it running smoothly. It should look nice though - 18 years ago when I started work on my first Alien Breed game in BASIC for the TI-83, I never dreamed I'd eventually be working on a colour version :P
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 08, 2016, 02:50:30 AM
Quote from: JamesV on March 08, 2016, 01:31:37 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 08, 2016, 12:58:03 AM
That's good to hear. I was a bit worried that adding more sprites would cause massive slowdowns, especially if there is a busy level or boss fight.
I should find out in the next week or so. I've begun work on integrating the new colour engine into the main game but it will take me a little bit to clear up all the compile errors and then bug test to get it running smoothly. It should look nice though - 18 years ago when I started work on my first Alien Breed game in BASIC for the TI-83, I never dreamed I'd eventually be working on a colour version :P
Yay! Implementations! :P
Well, now your not-dreams are coming true! Hooray for colour!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 10, 2016, 09:04:58 PM
Quote from: JamesV on March 08, 2016, 01:31:37 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 08, 2016, 12:58:03 AM
That's good to hear. I was a bit worried that adding more sprites would cause massive slowdowns, especially if there is a busy level or boss fight.
I should find out in the next week or so. I've begun work on integrating the new colour engine into the main game but it will take me a little bit to clear up all the compile errors and then bug test to get it running smoothly. It should look nice though - 18 years ago when I started work on my first Alien Breed game in BASIC for the TI-83, I never dreamed I'd eventually be working on a colour version :P
Yeah I thought you would never code new games again after 2002 since you left at the same time as Sam Heald, Harper Maddox and others, but then you released Banchor and years later you started working on AB5 and I was happy.

By the way, do you still use IRC? Because all major forums have an IRC channel, such as #codewalrus, #cemetech and #omnimaga (all on EFnet).
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 11, 2016, 10:59:15 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 10, 2016, 09:04:58 PMYeah I thought you would never code new games again after 2002 since you left at the same time as Sam Heald, Harper Maddox and others, but then you released Banchor and years later you started working on AB5 and I was happy.

By the way, do you still use IRC? Because all major forums have an IRC channel, such as #codewalrus, #cemetech and #omnimaga (all on EFnet).
Heh nah, the TI scene can't get rid of me :P

Occasionally, but not that often
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 11, 2016, 02:36:05 PM
@JamesV :   
So, are you going to start with walls/non-moving objects first, or are you going to start with power-up placement?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 13, 2016, 06:27:23 AM
Quote from: JamesV on March 11, 2016, 10:59:15 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 10, 2016, 09:04:58 PMYeah I thought you would never code new games again after 2002 since you left at the same time as Sam Heald, Harper Maddox and others, but then you released Banchor and years later you started working on AB5 and I was happy.

By the way, do you still use IRC? Because all major forums have an IRC channel, such as #codewalrus, #cemetech and #omnimaga (all on EFnet).
Heh nah, the TI scene can't get rid of me :P

Occasionally, but not that often
Same here. I actually didn't have very long periods of absence, other than in early 2007 when I had 5 months with no internet at home and posted once a month, but other than that, the longest I have left is 1 month and the longest that I stopped coding is 2.5 years. I also IRC but not often enough to install a client. I mostly use WalrusIRC :walrii:
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 15, 2016, 03:07:05 AM
Quote from: Dudeman313 on March 11, 2016, 02:36:05 PM
@JamesV :   
So, are you going to start with walls/non-moving objects first, or are you going to start with power-up placement?
Right now I'm integrating the colour graphics engine into the main game code, and putting together the colour tile sprites. I haven't actually started designing any of the Episode III levels as yet (although I do have a basic layout of the overall level flow itself). Episodes I & II (from the 83+/84+ non-colour calculators) are complete, so once the TI-84+CE engine is working, there will already be 24 playable levels for me to use for testing, etc.

I'll hopefully have a screenshot to post with a decent handful of working colour tile sprites in the next couple of days. It's all flowing smoothly, it will just take a bit of time, but I enjoy working through it bit by bit :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 15, 2016, 06:38:53 AM
Does the color conversion require a considerable amount of rewrite or even redoing the entire game from scratch? Also I can't wait for new color screenshots. :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 15, 2016, 11:08:04 AM
I'd love to see the screenies, too! ;D
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 15, 2016, 08:09:39 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 15, 2016, 06:38:53 AM
Does the color conversion require a considerable amount of rewrite or even redoing the entire game from scratch? Also I can't wait for new color screenshots. :)
Not really - a bunch of little things had to be adjusted for eZ80 compatibility, mostly things like the multi-byte registers being 24-bit instead of 16-bit. But most of the core game code will remain the same, for the most part it's just any sprite drawing / text printing routines that are being re-written for the CE version.

Here's a quick progress screenshot of integrating the colour engine into the game :)

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg923%2F7942%2FW2aI8R.gif&hash=7fd99677e7cd98b268844ec78c157035d54b5b0a)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 15, 2016, 08:25:56 PM
I like it! It's very textured and pretty cool. ;D
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 17, 2016, 06:55:24 PM
Woah the new tiles are amazing. O.O Also the graphical details reminds me of the SNES, even though it's 8x8 instead of 16x16. It actually looks very professional too overall. :)

By the way, can you change color palettes so that for different maps you can re-use the same tileset but in different colors?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on March 18, 2016, 01:58:57 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on March 17, 2016, 06:55:24 PM
Woah the new tiles are amazing. O.O Also the graphical details reminds me of the SNES, even though it's 8x8 instead of 16x16. It actually looks very professional too overall. :)

By the way, can you change color palettes so that for different maps you can re-use the same tileset but in different colors?
Thanks! I'm happy with how it's turning out so far. Certainly yes, I'm planning to have 3-4 variations in floor colouring on different levels by simply changing the appropriate palette colours :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 18, 2016, 03:34:12 AM
Now I got another idea: What about palette swapping-based animations, such as when you die or when something explodes? For example, the screen could flash to red or something. You could also implement fade-in/out effects between maps and screens.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Dudeman313 on March 18, 2016, 01:13:53 PM
Or when you meet the objective and have to get back to the elevator-thingy? That'd be cool to have a flashing screen.
And I think the 84+ AB5 already had a between level animation where it also gave you a passcode to get back to your save game, but if @JamesV added fade to that, it'd be pretty cool.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on September 03, 2017, 10:12:55 AM
After some time away from working on this, I've made some minor progress. I decided to go back to 16x16 sprites, and increase the view range to 16x12 tiles on the 84+CE. Here's an early screenshot.

(https://i.imgur.com/WuhdzOK.gif)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Lionel Debroux on September 03, 2017, 11:36:23 AM
That looks pretty smooth, good work :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 03, 2017, 04:23:23 PM
That looks incredible :O

Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on September 06, 2017, 09:48:56 AM
Thanks! I've added a few more tiles, and the machine gun & twin laser sprites as well (but I haven't drawn the explosion animations or door opening animations as yet).

(https://i.imgur.com/cTKrPDN.gif)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: tr1p1ea on September 07, 2017, 01:30:25 AM
Yeah man, that is awesome!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: MateoConLechuga on September 07, 2017, 01:37:35 AM
Wow that is simply incredible. Are you reusing a lot of the internal z80 code?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on September 07, 2017, 02:02:48 AM
Quote from: MateoConLechuga on September 07, 2017, 01:37:35 AM
Wow that is simply incredible. Are you reusing a lot of the internal z80 code?
Thanks Mateo! Correct - both the TI-83+ non-colour version and the TI-84+CE colour version compile from the same source code, just with some bits of calculator specific code for anything graphics related. The game should play almost identically on both calculators, with the exception of having a slightly larger viewing range on the CE, as well as a HUD.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on September 11, 2017, 09:46:28 AM
The shooting sprites are now finished, and I've also improved the functionality a little to more closely match the Team 17 original. Here you can see the machine gun (still with no wall collision/explosion animation), twin laser, flame arc, plasma rifle and flamethrower all in action in colour:
(https://i.imgur.com/bGTUqpF.gif)

Whilst I was at it, I've updated the shooting sprites and functionality on the monochrome version to match as well. On the left are the old sprites from v2.1.0, and on the right are the updated sprites which are just scaled down and monochrome'd from their colour counterparts:
(https://i.imgur.com/AxPbDkO.gif)  (https://i.imgur.com/UiRjvym.gif)

I guess these screenshots also show what the same level/section looks like in both the colour and monochrome versions (I'm yet to do the colour spaceship tiles) :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: tr1p1ea on September 13, 2017, 01:10:12 AM
The animations look great! I love the flame arc :).

Seeing it working on both platforms is pretty special :).
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 13, 2017, 03:04:32 PM
Very beautiful JamesV, and yesterday ganjahusky approved as well. Good job so far :3=
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: xMarminq_ on September 13, 2017, 11:33:30 PM
Are you doing all episodes for the CE and will there be a level editor?  :blah: I live on level editors.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on September 14, 2017, 12:42:43 AM
Quote from: xMarminq_ on September 13, 2017, 11:33:30 PM
Are you doing all episodes for the CE and will there be a level editor?  :blah: I live on level editors.
Yes both Episodes 1 & 2 will be available on the CE along with the new Episode 3 (which concurrently will also be available on the monochrome calculators).

And yes, I am indeed planning on releasing a Campaign Editor so that people can create their own levels / campaigns, which should include all the features of the built in campaigns, eg. mission briefings, triggered events, ability to have multiple entries/exists per level (choose your own path through the campaign), etc. Again, the campaigns will be playable on both the CE calculator and the monochrome calculators.

When I get to the stage of developing the Campaign Editor, I might be in touch for your suggestions/feedback, as I know you've been hard at work developing some great work for Oiram! :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on October 13, 2017, 11:45:44 PM
I decided to attempt to recreate the menu screen from the original Amiga game, and it's now working! The camera is flying through a star field, panning on x/y at varying speeds, and alternating on z between flying forwards and backwards (also at varying speeds). The stars are each drawn in 1 of 8 shades of grey, depending on their current depth.

Unfortunately the GIF doesn't really do it justice with pixel artifacts resulting in some static stars and the flashing logo border not appearing very smooth.. But it looks much nicer running in CEmu, and even nicer again on calc :)

(https://i.imgur.com/JpwiL8b.gif)

I'll try to back port this to the monochrome version as well.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: Ranman on October 15, 2017, 02:33:52 AM
Pure sweetness. :thumbsup:

Which Amiga did you own? I had an Amiga 600 with an internal HDD and the M68030 accelerator and a Genlock. I kick myself for selling it.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: _iPhoenix_ on October 15, 2017, 03:10:55 AM
@JamesV the gif will come out better if you set frame skip to its lowest setting in CEmu.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on October 15, 2017, 08:38:13 PM
Quote from: Ranman on October 15, 2017, 02:33:52 AM
Pure sweetness. :thumbsup:

Which Amiga did you own? I had an Amiga 600 with an internal HDD and the M68030 accelerator and a Genlock. I kick myself for selling it.
We had an Amiga 500 with a RAM upgrade to 1MB (I think standard was 512KB). So it wasn't top of the line, but for a 10 year old kid it was pretty cool :) We don't have it anymore, but thankfully with the magic of emulators, I'm still able to play a lot of my old favourites!

Quote from: _iPhoenix_ on October 15, 2017, 03:10:55 AM
@JamesV the gif will come out better if you set frame skip to its lowest setting in CEmu.
Yeah I had it on the lowest frame skip setting, which I think captures at 15fps. Although I'm not sure if that can be increased by increasing the CEmu render rate up from 30fps - I might try tonight. Regardless, I'm just happy to have CEmu. Trying to debug this routine without it would have been a nightmare :P
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on October 16, 2017, 09:21:36 AM
The TI-83/84+ monochrome equivalent:

(https://i.imgur.com/gWfL6QK.gif)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on November 03, 2017, 07:40:26 AM
Small update on the CE version.. I've added in a couple more tiles, finished the explosion and door opening animations (although the latter isn't demonstrated here), finished the one-way laser beams, and drawn a placeholder alien sprite :P I'm having trouble getting the aliens to look how I want when reducing the original 32x32 sprites down to 16x16 (I suck with pixel art), so I might need to ask for help at some point - I'll see how I go :)

(https://i.imgur.com/gfuebsF.gif)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 03, 2017, 11:58:59 AM
Looks so professional at this point O.O
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 15, 2021, 07:48:46 AM
Ok it's been a minute.. But I've been progressing steadily along on this for the last 2 months, and now have a beta version for anyone interested in trying out the CE build! You can get it here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UQOYg7y1Z9ne35XLlohbb4edMwu6pmiH/view?usp=sharing).

Below are a couple of recent screenshots showing some of the progress, from more fleshed out tileset gfx (there are now multiple tilesets & palettes), to cleaner transitions, animations, etc. Enemy & boss sprites aren't done yet.

(https://i.imgur.com/RDAYC9O.png)  (https://i.imgur.com/idgWPph.png)

There's still a lot of work to do but I'm much more organised than I was 4 years ago, so fingers crossed I get it finished!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 15, 2021, 12:19:32 PM
I love the attention to details so far, a lot of old calculator games just had enemies disappear instantly with no animation when dying. Very nice job so far. I also like the title screen star animation. Reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy The End screens. I would make it so that when pressing Clear you can reset the current stage (or quit the game) via a confirm menu, for when we get stuck. I can't wait to see the new sprites for enemies and bosses.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 15, 2021, 08:39:12 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on April 15, 2021, 12:19:32 PMI love the attention to details so far, a lot of old calculator games just had enemies disappear instantly with no animation when dying. Very nice job so far. I also like the title screen star animation. Reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy The End screens. I would make it so that when pressing Clear you can reset the current stage (or quit the game) via a confirm menu, for when we get stuck. I can't wait to see the new sprites for enemies and bosses.
Thanks! I should have put some text in the pause screen to make it clear, but when you're paused (by pressing MODE), you can press CLEAR to quit back to the main menu. The current pause screen is just temporary anyway, eventually there will be a HUD, and the pause screen will be made to look prettier.

EDIT: Still working on cleaning up backend stuff, but I did improve the countdown sequence a little by adding in the screen shaking effect, and the level explosion sequence when the timer runs out.

(https://i.imgur.com/jpjtxqu.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 17, 2021, 04:06:41 PM
I love the fade-in/out effect with the screen going red. The escape sequence reminds me a bit of Super Metroid too.

For some reasons I can't seem to find enough keys in the first stage of part 1 to get very far, though. I need to play it again to check what I might have missed.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 19, 2021, 05:27:08 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on April 17, 2021, 04:06:41 PMFor some reasons I can't seem to find enough keys in the first stage of part 1 to get very far, though. I need to play it again to check what I might have missed.
You probably haven't missed any pickups, but there aren't always enough keys on the ground, sometimes you need to go to an Intex terminal and buy a key pack (which gives you 5 keys). And yes you will need to do this to complete Level 1. Alternatively you can shoot doors down, although this does chew through your ammo, so it's more of a last resort thing.

If you want, I could do a video showing the path I take through the first level :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 19, 2021, 12:16:14 PM
Thanks for the advice. I finally managed to get past the first stage now that I know I can buy key packs. (I thought we could only buy weapons/ammo)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 21, 2021, 06:03:20 PM
I need to remember to write down or take pics of my passwords, because I always forget after beating the 2nd stage XD.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 22, 2021, 09:15:29 PM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on April 21, 2021, 06:03:20 PMI need to remember to write down or take pics of my passwords, because I always forget after beating the 2nd stage XD.
I'm glad you brought that up, an idea I've got on my to-do list for the CE version is to add an option for your passcodes to be saved to a list when you get them. Then when you go to the "Enter Passcode" screen, you could bring up this list to select a passcode, or maintain the list (delete passcodes you no longer want, etc.)

I'm assuming that's a feature you'd be keen on? :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 22, 2021, 09:41:16 PM
That could be a nice feature! I guess I lost the habit of saving my passwords, since such system is becoming increasingly rare nowadays.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 23, 2021, 07:58:00 AM
I've updated to Beta 2, which now is almost a full CE port of the game as it was on the 83+/84+ (sans a few minor features, and proper enemy sprites).

Whilst a lot of the changes are bug fixes or porting little things across, the screenshot below shows the updated "air ducts", which are now 2x2 tiles, you can walk around the edge of them (but don't fall in!), and then how the CE handles the "power out" type effect on Episode I Level 11.

The download link is the same as before (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UQOYg7y1Z9ne35XLlohbb4edMwu6pmiH/view?usp=sharing).

(https://i.imgur.com/dHbdjDh.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 23, 2021, 12:18:24 PM
I like the dark room effect! I wonder, though, why is there two HUD? Are you planning to add multiplayer or something? Also I noticed in the screenshot that you move slightly faster than on the real calculator, but I got one of those first CE hardware version that had slower flash or something I think.


EDIT: I found a bug: I was on the password input screen and let it sit there for a minute, then the calc turned ON and when I turned it back on, the game was in full color mode instead of 8 bits. While typing the password the screen faded out once too before reappearing instantly.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 24, 2021, 09:03:21 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on April 23, 2021, 12:18:24 PMI like the dark room effect! I wonder, though, why is there two HUD? Are you planning to add multiplayer or something? Also I noticed in the screenshot that you move slightly faster than on the real calculator, but I got one of those first CE hardware version that had slower flash or something I think.


EDIT: I found a bug: I was on the password input screen and let it sit there for a minute, then the calc turned ON and when I turned it back on, the game was in full color mode instead of 8 bits. While typing the password the screen faded out once too before reappearing instantly.
There has been 2 player co-op since v2.0.0, but it's not that great, as it's on the one calc (no linkplay). But that's what the bottom HUD is for. 2-player mode is disabled on the CE currently, just hasn't been high on my priority list seeing as it's not a huge feature, but it will certainly be available in the final release.

Since adding the HUD I get some frame lag sometimes when there are lots of sprites on screen, more often during the countdown sequence as there are more explosion sprites and the counter sprites. But I'm hoping to fix with with some optimisations.

Thanks for letting me know about that bug, probably some silly APD thing I've missed. I've put it on my list and will try to find and squash it :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 24, 2021, 04:21:33 PM
Ooh I see now! I didn't know there was multiplayer. Would link play be easy to add?
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on April 28, 2021, 09:44:29 AM
I've made 2 (admittedly half-baked) attempts at linkplay games without much success. So I'm not sure I'll try again, but never say never. I just have other features/games I'm more motivated to do :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on May 04, 2021, 07:52:58 AM
Seeing as the "porting" part is mostly done now, I've started working on the new campaign, Episode III: Impact. This campaign will have 30 levels with multiple paths through to the finish (ala Alien Breed: Tower Assault). There are 7 potential routes, which will take you through between 11-14 levels depending on the path you take.

Below shows an early draft of part of the first level, where you've crash landed outside a base that has been overrun by the aliens.

(https://i.imgur.com/StD9YO3.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on May 04, 2021, 11:23:19 AM
Damn, 30 levels! That's gonna be pretty fun and add a lot of replay value. Also I like the new graphics!
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on May 11, 2021, 09:18:40 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on May 04, 2021, 11:23:19 AMDamn, 30 levels! That's gonna be pretty fun and add a lot of replay value. Also I like the new graphics!
Thanks DJ_O! That's the idea :) One of the new achievements for Episode III will be to finish the game via all 7 routes.

A few more things have been done..

- Added the land mine trap in outdoor areas for Episode III
- Implemented basic floor tile randomisation that applies when levels are loaded
- Simple laser turret enemy for outdoor areas
- Tileset for the "Civilian Tower" areas now done
- 2 player co-op (same calc, no linkplay) now ported across to the CE

(https://i.imgur.com/s0jDjJE.png)

I hope to have another beta update in the next week or so :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on May 11, 2021, 04:03:43 PM
I definitively can't wait for the new version. The new graphics adds more variety.
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on May 15, 2021, 03:06:10 AM
Yeah this version adds 6 new tilesets (outdoor areas, Civilian Tower, Military Tower, Stores Tower, Science Tower, Main Tower), so lots of variety :)

I'll have a 3rd beta release ready in a couple of days, but in the meantime, here's a preview of the tileset for the Military Tower levels..

(https://i.imgur.com/FfqEPen.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on May 15, 2021, 11:06:08 AM
How do you go through those paths with the electric bolt thing without dying? Looks nice as always by the way. I can't wait to try the new version, even though I've been mostly playing Banchor lately (3 bosses beaten so far) :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on May 16, 2021, 12:21:20 AM
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on May 15, 2021, 11:06:08 AMHow do you go through those paths with the electric bolt thing without dying? Looks nice as always by the way. I can't wait to try the new version, even though I've been mostly playing Banchor lately (3 bosses beaten so far) :)
They're a one-way path, so if you go through the direction indicated by the arrows on the ground then you'll be fine, but you can't go back in the other direction. Hope you're enjoying Banchor!

The 3rd beta is now ready and can be downloaded here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UQOYg7y1Z9ne35XLlohbb4edMwu6pmiH/view?usp=sharing) :)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on May 16, 2021, 10:43:46 AM
Oh thanks for the tip! I'll keep that in mind :). ANd yes Banchor is fun, it reminds me a lot of Zelda
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on May 21, 2021, 02:49:59 AM
I'm adding in an additional 20 achievements in v3.0.0 (bringing the total number of achievements to 45). Below is the full list. Bonus points if you want to work out the many references in the names, they're not very subtle :P

There are also 6 new "cheat" passcodes that will be revealed in the Episode III epilogue, so there are now 16 cheat codes that all have varying effects on the game (eg. disable wall clipping, no enemies, fast enemies, reversed direction controls, etc.)

Also the Security Guard enemy from ABIV has been reimplemented.

(https://i.imgur.com/XNErSDc.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on June 03, 2021, 08:38:42 AM
The rest of the tilesets are now complete (Stores, Science and Main Tower areas respectively in the screenshot below. Also in the Main Tower video you can see the new cloaked enemy if you look closely. They won't be super common but will show up late in the game as the difficulty ramps up.

Most of the levels are roughed out now, but I still need to do the event scripting to make them properly playable.

(https://i.imgur.com/xOgghz4.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: JamesV on June 18, 2021, 05:06:24 AM
I've implemented the Passcode storing system that DJ_O suggested, so when you receive passcodes you can store them on calc instead of having to write them down.

Also the prologue/cutscenes are now ported to the CE, the Episode II one can be seen below.

(https://i.imgur.com/kq8hiG4.png)
Title: Re: Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on June 18, 2021, 10:17:23 AM
Awesome updates! Also I'm glad password saving was implemented. I have played this a lot but sometimes I still forget to write it down. I really need to save since the game gets a bit hard after the first few levels :)

Also that's a lot of achievements O.O