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Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:53 pm
by rax
Hi all :),

This is a game I started a year and a half ago, and I haven't done anything about it in a year.

I wanted to make a horizontal shooter, but moving the screen in text mode creates an unpleasant feeling. I don't particularly like it. I don't know if I will finish the game. For now, this project is frozen.

The game has only one demo level, which is not completed.
You can use the arrows to move, space to shoot and '1','2','3' and '4' for the four types of weapons (this is a hack).

The game is not fully developed. A lot of things are missing. I want to be able to compile it into a one TAP file, but ...

The movement of the ship must be fixed so that it can move and shoot at the same time.

I would like to hear your opinions and suggestions :)




sf-v0.1.tap
(23.71 KiB) Downloaded 21 times

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:59 pm
by Dbug
Yeah, TEXT vs HIRES is always the same trade-of, kind of hard to have a slow-smooth scroller with a lot of sprites, in TEXT mode.

One idea I had, was to try to do an hybrid mode, with odd lines in HIRES and even lines in TEXT, using the TEXT characters to draw the background, and drawing the sprites in HIRES, but never actually tried to see how that would look.

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:57 pm
by iss
Space Cowboy is written entirely in C (so far). It will be optimized and I have very good expectations about the speed and smooth scrolling.
Dbug wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:59 pm
.. to do an hybrid mode, with odd lines in HIRES and even lines in TEXT
Very cool idea!
I've started experimenting with such mode for another [raxiss] project and will see if we can use it in Space Cowboy too :).

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:56 pm
by Chema
Oricium is text mode and it scrolls on a char basis too.

I toyed with the idea of subchar scrolling in text mode by redefining characters. Dbug made a first attempt in C and I was thinking on something similar but with vertical scroll. Never actually did anything, unfortunately.

The problem I always faced is the lack of characters for doing rich backgrounds and masked sprites. In Oricium lores 0 and 1 are mixed in alternate lines and there is room for some enemies and shoots, but not many.

I achieved 50 fps when scrolling the big ship only, but went down to 25 fps when drawing the enemies :(

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:25 pm
by jbperin
rax wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:53 pm
I wanted to make a horizontal shooter, but moving the screen in text mode creates an unpleasant feeling. I don't particularly like it. I don't know if I will finish the game. For now, this project is frozen.

I would like to hear your opinions and suggestions :)
I played four times this demo level and I took real pleasure to do it !!
I find that graphics are very very very nice. I love the black and white and the work on shadow.
The starry background is hyper smooth.
Animations are so numerous and surprisingly fluids for C.
Except at a point in the level where I experienced a little slow down. Is there a kind of background scene swapping somewhere?
Anyway, It will certainly vanish with optimizations.
So my opinion is that there are a big work that is already done and it would be a pity to loose it.

iss wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:57 pm
Space Cowboy is written entirely in C (so far). It will be optimized and I have very good expectations about the speed and smooth scrolling.
It's already very playable and optimisations are likely going to make it even more enjoyable to play.

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:39 pm
by Symoon
I find the video, as it is, already great :)

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:10 pm
by rax
I find it interesting the idea of NOX in the game O-Thrust, for more complete dynamic redefinition of the characters, but unfortunately there will be a problem with the colors and again the number of characters.


Dbug wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:59 pm
One idea I had, was to try to do an hybrid mode, with odd lines in HIRES and even lines in TEXT, using the TEXT characters to draw the background, and drawing the sprites in HIRES, but never actually tried to see how that would look.
This is a very interesting idea. I wonder what it would look like.
Мaybe it should be tried.


Chema wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:56 pm
The problem I always faced is the lack of characters for doing rich backgrounds and masked sprites. In Oricium lores 0 and 1 are mixed in alternate lines and there is room for some enemies and shoots, but not many.
Yes, the characters are really little. I think the use of characters in text mode only looks good if there is a fast scroll. By the way congratulations to Oricium. Fantastic work :).
I still can't imagine a good mix of the two modes lores0 and lores1.


jbperin wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:25 pm
...
Тhanks. I hope I find the "strength" to finish it :)

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 9:49 pm
by Steve M
Looks great.
It's be nice to have a bit of colour.

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Wed May 05, 2021 11:45 pm
by Chema
rax wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:10 pm
I still can't imagine a good mix of the two modes lores0 and lores1.
I change the charset between lores 0 and lores 1 every other line so that I could have the two charsets available for my tiles. Many graphic element designs have tiles which are exclusively used in odd/even rows.

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 7:05 am
by Dbug
Chema wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:45 pm
rax wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:10 pm
I still can't imagine a good mix of the two modes lores0 and lores1.
I change the charset between lores 0 and lores 1 every other line so that I could have the two charsets available for my tiles. Many graphic element designs have tiles which are exclusively used in odd/even rows.
That makes sense if you use something like composite large elements made of 2x2 or 4x4 characters :)

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 9:22 am
by Chema
Dbug wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 7:05 am
Chema wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:45 pm
rax wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:10 pm
I still can't imagine a good mix of the two modes lores0 and lores1.
I change the charset between lores 0 and lores 1 every other line so that I could have the two charsets available for my tiles. Many graphic element designs have tiles which are exclusively used in odd/even rows.
That makes sense if you use something like composite large elements made of 2x2 or 4x4 characters :)
Exactly :D Only a few need duplication. Also some elements are restricted to being only in odd/even rows to avoid this duplication, but not many (I think the energy glowing balls you can collect from the surface, or the stars that scroll on a pixel basis to create this parallax effect).

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 10:29 am
by Dbug
Yeah, that can actually work for many elements in many different types of games, obviously that put some constraints on the level design, but for things like canons, trees, clouds, or even "floating bonuses" or general collision elements, having them snapped to a multiple of 2 vertical position is not such a big constraint.

Also, I regularly mention it, but in "normal LORES 1" you only have 64 available characters, but the 96 of them are fully available, it's just that this conflicts with the few first lines of the TEXT screen, which can be solved by having the start of the screen in HIRES; which allows you to display information text, a logo, high scores, etc... so in practice you get 96+96 characters usable.

Re: Space Cowboy - Demo [raxiss]

Posted: Thu May 06, 2021 1:16 pm
by Chema
Dbug wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 10:29 am
Also, I regularly mention it, but in "normal LORES 1" you only have 64 available characters, but the 96 of them are fully available, it's just that this conflicts with the few first lines of the TEXT screen, which can be solved by having the start of the screen in HIRES; which allows you to display information text, a logo, high scores, etc... so in practice you get 96+96 characters usable.
Indeed.
What I wonder is if it is possible to use all this plus dynamic redefinition of characters to create a decent almost full-screen scroll down shooter.

There would be a lot of restrictions so that elements scroll down properly and we deal with the lack of available tiles but maybe it is doable...