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Phantasia (Atari 7800 ARPG)

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3 minutes ago, RevEng said:

Nice dev info! The crash detection info is very comprehensive. :thumbsup:


mksmith started a thread on compression schemes a while back. There were some great insights by several members - especially @Eagle who tested various schemes and provided comparisons. Well worth reading, if you haven't yet.

That's great, I'll be reading that in more detail soon. I started an implementation based on DEFLATE but ran into just garbage output, with the added “fun” that I can't really tell if it's the compressor or decompressor at fault, but I'm sure something better than RLE will be the final goal. Y'all's collective efforts w.r.t. LZ4 look quite promising there!


That particular pain point I'm pushing off until the initial demo map is working, though, as running out of ROM for the demo should hopefully not be A Thing.

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Yeah, it would be good if you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Unless you're a wheel enthusiast, in which case disregard my note. :D


We landed on LZ4 because it's a pretty good middle-ground result, in both packing and performance. In my case, I also needed the encoder to be open and cross platform, which helped with the decision.

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We are happy to say that @Pac-Lander has graciously agreed to join our team (with myself and Zephyr Salz) to assist with writing, level design, &c.

Work Cats GIF by Felini Rocks


We're hoping to have a little proof-of-concept demo around the new year time frame; not much more than a test level that you can explore, really, but something in relatively playable shape.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to share that @TIX has kindly joined up with us and contributed already some new art for the player-character




Here's a rough take of him running around in the game engine with a shield equipped



As a general update, I have what I think is a race condition happening (for you programmer types out there) between DLI-NMIs and the main thread (which is using a primitive cooperative multi-tasking mechanism) that causes display list corruption and lockups. The goal is still to get a playable walking tour of one area together around the new year, with those problems solved.

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  • 1 month later...

A progress (or lack thereof) update.


So — the project is not abandoned (far from it), just had to be tabled as other things came to the forefront of my "non work" hours.


Since 12/2 there's been a couple of family events, in addition to Channukah, Christmas, New Year's, and now the rather involved process of moving from Florida to Oregon tying us up, so there have not been any major updates. To be honest, I haven't even been able to keep up with AtariAge nor the ZPH shows, much less get time to troubleshoot race conditions and display list corruption, unfortunately for Phantasia's progress. (For what it's worth, we've bought a house in Portland and are going to be there full-time in just a few weeks, so there's packing and getting the Fort Lauderdale house ready to sell and … and … and … all happening at once.)


All that being said, it'll most likely be March before my “around the new year” prediction of a demo build is even plausible. It will happen! — eventually.


Sorry to disappoint anyone who might be waiting for this, but "A delayed game is eventually good, a rushed game is forever bad." (Miyamoto)

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  • 4 months later...

This looks fantastic, and thank you for sharing the information about your tools! I love seeing behind the scenes like this. I'm using Tiled for my own NES projects, and find that combining it with some Python scripts, to massage the data into a useable form, is a great combo!

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, I am deeply ashamed, but we still haven't made more progress. We've moved 2,600 miles and been doing a rather comprehensive overhaul on the new house — floors, painting, fixtures, appliances, siding, windows, doors — which has been a big time drain.


Just posting to say, “yes, it's still A Thing.” Thanks for your patience.

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