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Author Topic: MMLL Development Diary  (Read 198008 times)
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Flash
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« on: August 20, 2009, 06:05:39 PM »

Well, after much playing about (and Conveyor irritation) We are now at a stage to start the chronical.

So far... In a Galaxy far far away....... MMLL has been born. At the moment, the game plays, you can run, jump, etc, and all the onscreen objects work (hopefully) as they should.
I think the detection is now the same as the original, Though I have one tiny issue that may not be quite right.. It is so hard to tell as it is in a split-second. But, will see how it goes with things at the moment.

The next step I supose is to stick an enemy on the screen and work on the per-pixel (oh god) detection. This is something that I have not done before and may be a little bit of a 'task'... Not really sure at the moment. Perhaps the easiest way is to do a boundry check and if that passes, convert the sprites to a mask and compare bit patterns?

Oh well, here is another picture. This is simply using the level graphics from the spectrum version for now (with some from Andy's version(s)), and that is fine for testing. The background graphics are removed for clarity.

It does play nice and FAST!! (twitch gameplay on a platform game) and I think we are happy with it so far.

Things will slow down a little now re MMLL as I have a lot of reading that i MUST do. but we will keep the posts coming and perhaps post a simple demo soon.



* early1.png (20.13 KB, 256x384 - viewed 703 times.)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2009, 06:08:53 PM by Flash » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 07:37:10 PM »

Well, here is a little playable demo..

At the moment you cannot collide with the enemies and die (this will need per-pixel detection - tricky for me Sad )
Also, you cannot clear the level when all keys are collected, mainly because I have not made any more levels...

If anyone does get the chance to compare with the original and let me know of anything different (not that I am looking for 100% copy, but things like jump distance, height should be the same)

SF: Sorry your music is not in place as yet..

Also, the graphics are basic at the moment (apart from the bottom screen - for title, and little willy himself Smiley Lobo you sweetheart )

The game runs fast at the moment.. Not entirely sure what speed to have it run at, but I dont want it as pedestrian as the original.

(oh, and the sound messes up when you die - my fault)

EDIT: Demo version removed!


* Original Level Test.png (25.9 KB, 256x384 - viewed 602 times.)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 06:18:06 AM by Flash » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 10:55:40 PM »

Hah! Finished!
Ye, it's quite speedy, I like it compared to the original speed (if it can be called speed) as it allows to go about the level faster. However, some people might have a problem with this, so maybe to slow down a notch and see? Dunno.
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 11:35:32 PM »

I can SO recognize Lobo's style in that titlescreen.

It sorta reminds me of something.... Wink
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 12:33:00 AM »

I was going to bed and sleeped in hours (but forget to poweroff the machine), I was excepted you have need have time and see you can get the XmPlay to work, so fine it not in the early demo :-D.

godnight (but downloaded the demo).
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2009, 06:18:29 PM »

That's a horrible screen and style is worse, needs pet shop boys to play in the background for punishment!!! Cool

Btw, Flash, that bottom menu screen (with keyboard) Ok? I have maybe cavern bkg, not so sure, you have to be careful with these thingies as they can't be too detailed (lotsa action happening in the foreground).  Cool
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2009, 07:10:25 PM »

Sorry I had not replied mate..

The keyboard screen is really nice.. But.. I still just have no idea what I am doing with both the title screen and lower ingame screen at the moment?
The bottom screen, perhaps a book overlaid on soil with diamonds and gold in it (I could add little glistens??). The book showing the story of the lost levels? (but not in old english style, perhaps a strong hand written font?)

With regards to level backgrounds. I know what you mean. If they clash too much with the level, then things will get a bit muddy.. Something that I want to avoid.
On the first level of MMLL (as displayed first on the pictures of the game), Willy is returning home after his jaunt to the mines and has forgot his keys. He needs to climb in through the roof. On that level, it needs a land mass and then a sky of some sort? the land mass (or ground Smiley) needs to follow the contour of the level layout.. So, still a bit lost with that at the moment. Main concern is to get a level fully playable first i think?

I have sorted out the level structure. Each level can have (at the moment) 7 enemies (though it could have 112 LOL) and each has lots of properties, enabling eugines, kongs, etc. Also, each level 'can' have a seperate background and foreground. The level states what one it wants from the bank. This has the bonus that the same cavern background can be used for several levels and also a foreground can be used if wished (eg, the first level has space for some tree branches to be infront of the player at safe areas - or vines/plants).
The level structure will also allow the use of other collectable objects and platforms. So, there is the oportunity of locked doors etc 'if' we decide that the 20 lost levels are not good enough and decide on "manic miner remix"? Who knows..

The engine for the game is easy! If I did not work, the entire game structure could have easily been written in a couple of days.. But, I was thinking of adding some particle effects and stuff. At the moment, I am using simple sprite anims for when you collect an object and also for when you land after a long fall. But, I was thinking of using the free sprites (120 of them LOL) for these effects... not sure as yet..

Sorry, I digressed...

The cavern background, send it and I will put it in (must use the same pallete though - do you need me to send a file with the palette?). At least we can see how it all works?

Thanks so much for your continued enfusi.. enthewsi.... inphewsiat... interest...

I just adore your work... Wink
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2009, 07:12:21 PM »

Once a couple of levels are playable, I will do a post on RR...

I know that Scottige would like to see how it is coming on..
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2009, 07:36:14 PM »

Err, you lost me at 'Sorry...'  Cheesy
Ok, send the palette so I can get the cave bkg infused and then let me know about the rest once you need it.
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2009, 08:15:59 PM »

Ok, just a little demo, and an extra alien on screen.. This was just to check the detection.

The game now has xm music (Thanks HK and SF)

I am not happy with the 'death' detection at the moment. It needs to de a bit looser.

The alien detection just uses bounding box checking at the moment, but it will have pixel detection at some point.

Well, that's it for now.



* Demo2.png (8.2 KB, 256x192 - viewed 1768 times.)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 06:18:29 AM by Flash » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2009, 08:22:54 PM »

Here is a screen with Lobo's background.

I think it is gonna be tricky to make the platforms and sprites stand out... but I have Faith (and not in the George Michael way!)



* Demo2 bg.png (15.16 KB, 256x192 - viewed 1795 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2009, 08:36:41 PM »

Yep, that's what I was afraid of. Definitely everything needs to be darker, including that one.

I mean, every bkg needs to be darker!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2009, 08:37:41 PM by Lobo » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2009, 08:58:23 PM »

There is to many different colors that doesn't fit 100% with the background I think, so foreground need work (even with diddecent colors) and then it might work (even its a nice one).

In the H.E.R.O remake I created in the past I realized I diddent want to have a background to avoid that issue (or use a simple one) and focus on the foreground instead (but I was planned a very simple detail layer bit never did that) and focus on the gameplay elements.
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2009, 09:01:38 PM »

The problem is that its fixed palette so that's as darkest as foreground can go. I've sent the other bkg though, those should be easier to adjust than foreground, will see what Flash does, dunno yet as this is all more of a test.
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2009, 10:06:20 PM »

Here it is with your darker background Lobo,

I wonder if the background was modified to be more specific to the level if it would fit better? No point with this level as it will not be in the final game.. I will start working on the main levels soon. Just need to crack the Oric version so I can play level 17 properly and check that out. MM level 1 was just easier for now.


* Darker.png (15.79 KB, 256x193 - viewed 1709 times.)
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2009, 10:44:29 PM »

Probably, yes. For that I need every level though. Still, most of it will probably have to be very simple, in details and amount of colors as there isn't too many variations in palette there.
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2009, 10:54:26 PM »

Well, the palette can be modified. It was only a quck one I made for the original level test.

I will send you some stuff a bit later. But for now, I really don't wanna bog you down mate Smiley

I have plenty to play with...
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2009, 11:51:58 PM »

No worries, whenever you have stuff sorted out, we'll do some tricks about it. I got a wristwatch to draw anyway.
Oh, my! Look at the time!  Cheesy
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2009, 05:07:32 AM »

Lol the music works, howover it still need tweeks :-D, dosent reallly like the organ in beginning, when drums start it works ok. But I do looking on that.
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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2009, 05:22:06 AM »

Don't worry about the darkness of the background as that can be adjusted using the BLEND registers. Infact I think it would be cool if you darken the background using a BLEND and then use the fxSpotlight effect along with the BLEND register instead of a a WINDOW to lighten up an area just in front of Willy's helment (ahem so to speak).

Check out fxFade from Warhawk along with fxFadeBlack and fxSpotlight. All the code to do such an effect is pretty much already written. I can implement it when I have a bit of spare time away from TDG.
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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2009, 06:30:25 AM »

HK.. That does sound like a great idea for the underground levels mate Smiley

I was also thinking of adding a mask to willy (a willy mask?) so he has a black border of 1 pix using a seperate sprite (of which I have TONS free)

SF: The music sounds great mate. The only bit I am unsure about is the wibbly sound heard behind the main theme.
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2009, 12:57:06 PM »

Just wanted to mention that xm playback has been enabled thanks to sverx's fantastic libxm7 library. And it's good to see he has come to our boards and we welcome him Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2009, 02:29:07 PM »

Just wanted to mention that I've been amazed by your work (WarhawkDS) and very proud if I can somehow give some help with the next one  Smiley  Smiley  Smiley

libXM7 is still a wip, so feel free to comment/suggest about it, either here or in libXM7 forum.

And, well... thanks for your warm welcome too! Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2009, 03:28:09 PM »

Thanks for the kind words on Warhawk - we will never tire of hearing that Wink

You are always welcome to chip in on anything on these forums, that is why we both try to post progress/problems etc.

Thanks!
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2009, 03:59:04 PM »

It was me that was really want that lib because I prefer XM music rather than mod music to the next 2 games. The only problem is samples was quite high, but I can do something with it.

Its somebody app I can download so I can compile my self, so I better can test how it perferm in a emulator? What shall I do (includning subsongs in same module, due I wont waste memory)?
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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2009, 04:03:09 PM »

Been having a little fiddle today and levels now can be set and work with different backgrounds. Animation works on everything now and all I have left to do is add the 'level exit' so a level can be cleared, then it is ULP!!! Pixel 2 pixel detection for sprites... Hurrah!!
So, may have a playable game in the next few days (all going well)



* Play1.png (25.59 KB, 256x192 - viewed 628 times.)

* Play2.png (19.27 KB, 256x192 - viewed 680 times.)
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« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2009, 04:37:15 PM »

Personly if using background, I think Foreground need some workout too, due its too many diffecent colors and style (even I known this is still just a test and early).

Im soon go back to Miner music again and also fix volume settings etc on the xm as well too and other tunes too.
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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2009, 06:38:46 AM »

It was me that was really want that lib because I prefer XM music rather than mod music to the next 2 games. The only problem is samples was quite high, but I can do something with it.
Its somebody app I can download so I can compile my self, so I better can test how it perferm in a emulator? What shall I do (includning subsongs in same module, due I wont waste memory)?

To lower overall module volume you could -for example- use Gxx effect once at the beginning of each module (or in the beginning of each section, if you're going to start from a different pattern than the first) ... btw I would raise the volume of the sound effects instead of lowering the background music, if possible. IMHO, of course.

If you want to preview your XM(s) with libXM7 you can use XM7Play. It also includes an optimizer: if this writes something -so, if it 'optimize' samples- then it means there's some work that should be done on them (DS has some quite BIG limitations, especially with samples having loops). You can use the player even on an emulator, DLDI patching it (well, I never did it myself and I think it anyway won't be the same as using it on a real NDS...)

About having 'subsongs' in the same module: it's surely a good idea if you have many songs sharing many samples and you need to save memory, it's an useless complication otherwise :Smiley

Bye!

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« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2009, 08:10:10 AM »

I normally reuse instruments when I can, even memory might not been a issue here. So its might a good idea, if you can add that feature in your player.

PS. There no Gxx command in XM files, G is not a number in a hex file. There is a Cxx command, but its for instrument volume, so I think you need to add a volume main argument as well to parse under loading.
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2009, 08:42:21 AM »

I normally reuse instruments when I can, even memory might not been a issue here. So its might a good idea, if you can add that feature in your player.
PS. There no Gxx command in XM files, G is not a number in a hex file. There is a Cxx command, but its for instrument volume, so I think you need to add a volume main argument as well to parse under loading.

The library already supports the use of 'subsongs' in a single XM file, thru the XM7_PlayModuleFromPos() function, so it's ok to have more than 1 song in a XM file. The player, on the other hand, has no way to jump to a specific pattern so actually you should prepare separate XMs to be able to hear them... Sad

And about Gxx effect... eXtended Module (XM) format supports also a superset of MOD effects (0 to F) so also the following exists (M=has memory):

- Gxx Set global volume
- Hxy Slide global volume up or down (M)
- Kxx Key off
- Lxx Set envelope position
- Pxy Panning slide (M)
- Rxy Retrig note with volume slide (M)
- Txy Tremor (M)
- X1x Extra fine portamento up (M)
- X2x Extra fine portamento down (M)

For example check this video: http://vimeo.com/3364671 , from 1:50 on, Raina uses effect Lxx on channels 12 to 15 Smiley

Bye!



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