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Topics - JamesV

1
Back in 2006 I released Banchor, which was a Zelda-like grayscale RPG for the TI-86, using a modified version of an engine written by David Phillips of Assembly Coders Zenith. By the time I released it, the TI-86 was long since discontinued.

I decided to do a quick port over to the TI-84+CE, with minimal changes to the original game. Even though there are probably numerous things that could be done to improve the game, I wanted to leave it mostly untouched. And it was simply a fun exercise in porting the grayscale engine, as well as giving Banchor a little more life, because all those years ago I had plans to turn it into a trilogy, with each game having different a different play style.. plans that never really went away... Zargul was secretly going to be a sequel or prequel to Banchor, using the first-person D&D style of Eye of the Beholder (thus, Zargul will become Banchor 2 if/when I get back to working on it).

Anywho.. the port is complete. The TI-86 128x64 resolution is scaled up to 256*128 in the original 4-level grayscale. Here are a couple of screenshots.

 
 

One final note - along with Zelda, Banchor was heavily inspired by Golvellius. Nevertheless, I'm still planning on continuing my 84+CE version of this at some stage, given that Golvellius will be in full colour, and Banchor is only in grayscale.. :)


Download here
2
Gaming / Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap remake
September 12, 2017, 06:39:55 AM
For anyone here who was a Sega Master System owner back in the 80's, or even if you just appreciate retro platform gaming, then I think you'll enjoy this which I happened to stumble across recently. The classic game, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, has been remade for PC, PS4 and Xbox One! Along with porting over the classic graphics and 8-bit audio, there is also beautiful new HD hand drawn style graphics and updated music/sound. I'm yet to purchase and play it myself, but I played the original many times when I was younger, and I'm looking forward to giving it another go with the updated look.

3
Back in 2001 I started my attempt at cloning the Sega Master System game, Golvellius, over to the TI-86. Two demo versions were released, but ultimately I was unsuccessful, due to the approximate 10K executable code limit on the TI-86. As well as featuring top-down overworld much like older Zelda games, the dungeons also vary between horizontal scrolling platform style and vertical scrolling dodge/stab-'em style, along with 8 bosses.

After that I made two further attempts at completing a TI-86 RPG in the vein of Golvellius by stripping back to a standard top-down RPG, which eventually resulted in Banchor being released in 2006.

However, the TI-84+CE is the perfect TI platform for Golvellius, and so I've started working on it. You can watch a longplay of the original SMS game .

Below is the start of a single map screen with the hero, Kelesis, walking around and stabbing with his sword.



The full game will comprise of 182 maps in the overworld, 9 dungeons, 8 bosses, approximately 25 enemies, sword/shield/defense upgrades, life potions and lots of gold collecting!
4
Games / [ti-84+ce] SQRXZ for TI-84+CE
December 14, 2016, 01:24:22 AM
EDIT:
Download Sqrxz CE v1.0.0
Download Sqrxz World Editor v1.0.0 (for Windows)


I've had this on my to-do list for a while now, and seeing as I haven't made much progress with my other projects for a few months, I figured now is a good time. I contacted Jimmy Mardell who gave me his blessing, so I'm using the source code from his TI-86 version from 1998 (which in turn was an adaption of the Amiga/PC game) and adding/changing as required to suit the CE.

When finished, the game will play any of the TI-83(+)/85/86 worlds that people have created over the past 18 years. I'm using 16x16 tiles & sprites (taken from the PC version) to make a play screen of 240x128, plus status bars & information at the top/bottom of the screen.

The game will run any existing .8xp Sqrxz worlds, but I'll also be including a converter program to convert any .8xp, .83p or .86s worlds to .8xv app vars. That way, you can play any TI-83, TI-83+ or TI-86 worlds on your TI-84+CE and not clog up your programs list with the old .8xp files. I'm also considering writing a new level editor (for Windows).

Here's a quick screenshot. Not a whole lot happens yet, just shows the level and can scroll through. Many of the tile sprites are still missing (hence lots of junk on screen), but I'm working through those now.

5
Early last year I started experimenting with making a pseudo-3D RPG engine on the TI-84+CSE. Here's a screenshot showing where it was up to. Just a basic movement engine, with character & inventory panels. Flickering graphics, as I hadn't implemented buffering.



My original inspiration was Eye of the Beholder (for PC & Amiga), although I'm not entirely sure how true to the original game I'll stay. As usual, I got distracted by real life / other projects, and I haven't done any work on it since last March.. Until now!

Over the weekend I had a bit of a look through things and started work on porting over what I'd done to the TI-84+CE, which is the calculator I'd eventually like to release this on.

Also, whilst coding is a higher priority at this early point in development, story line elements have been brewing in my head a little bit (which was actually my motivation for opening up the project folder again).

Hopefully I'll have something running on the CE later this week. My coding time is limited but I'll make the most of it :)
6
As a quick little side project, I've started porting my TI-84+CSE port of Movax's Spaze Invaders over to the newer TI-84+CE. This shouldn't take too long :)

7
I feel like I should cross-post about this here - CodeWalrus didn't exist when I first started this project!! :P

Around 15.5 years ago I released Thunderbirds for the TI-83/83+ calculators, but there were a lot of things I wasn't happy with. Thus I'm working on an updated version, which will feature much smoother gameplay & controls, hopefully all 4 missions at some point, and will be available on the 83+/84+ as a flash app and on the 84+CE as a standard program.

I actually started this new version about 5 years ago but never got it finished - and it got to about here:


I've recently resumed/restarted it, including working on the 84+CE version. It's very early days, but you can see one of the characters (not yet animated properly) walking around in an empty room:


The game is based on a game for the Amiga, which was based on the 1960's TV series, which was one of my favourite shows as a child.

Anyhow, I shall post more as it progresses :)
8
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.

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