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WIP: Drone Patrol


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3 hours ago, Eagle said:

Looks like @emkay has been banned on AAge, but you can try reach him on AOL

https://atarionline.pl/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=6972&page=3#Item_8

 

Thanks Eagle.  I just completed a membership request on that site, I'll see if I can reach him that way.  I won't be keeping that tune in the final version of the game either way, but it would be nice to let him know and make sure it's ok that I posted this with his song in it.  I'll remove the attachment from the post if he asks me to.

 

Edit:  I just read the forum thread that caused Al to ban him. Ouch. This was just a random song selection, I didn't realize he was a banned member here.  It's not likely he'll be thrilled with my question.

 

Edit #2:  I sent a request to emkay at atarionline.pl asking permission to use it in the sample ROM I already posted.  I'll remove it if he requests that and find a different sample to include later.

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  • 5 months later...

It's been quite a while since I updated this thread, so I thought I'd share my latest WIP build.  I wasn't happy with the plain black background or the laser shot from the drone, and had a whole lot of trouble last summer making it work with the display list limitations.  So far I think I've got it working now after very limited playtesting, the graphic artifacting in the last build is gone.  I also changed the POKEY titlescreen track to something original, and added it to the boss battles too.  I must say that working with RMT tracker for the very first time was pretty intimidating!

 

There will be more updates and changes in the coming weeks as I'm finally getting back to this to hopefully finish it up this year. :)   I have not played a whole game on this build yet, I've only tested specific things, so it's possible there are some issues here and there.

 

Edit:  There are a few mistakes in this build that I saw this morning.  The background stars won't appear after defeating the first boss, the ambulance disappears when you move the drone left or right, and other minor things.  There were a significant number of code changes in this last build.  I'll be spending a lot of time on this in the near future, lots of work to do. :)

 

 

drone_patrol_v57.bin

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8 hours ago, Trebor said:

For those in need of it, attached is a proper header included file for utilization under emulators and flash devices:

drone_patrol_v57.a78 528.13 kB · 5 downloads

Thank you Trebor.  I intended to share the a78 file, that was a mistake. :)

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This build fixes some of the issues I overlooked yesterday.    The main reason I stopped working on this last year was hitting a roadblock I couldn't figure out at the time - the random but infrequent graphical glitches on-screen especially at the higher difficulty levels.   It's been solved by adding additional drawscreens in the appropriate places.  That change of course slowed everything down and required going through and updating and testing hundreds of lines of code that control the speed of everything on each difficulty level of the game.  I also never liked the compromise I had to make with the drone's laser looking like a shot being fired rather than a single beam, which has now been fixed to how I originally wanted it to be.  I also never really liked having that plain black background, but adding anything caused major on-screen issues before the recent changes.  I kind of like the starfield I just added, but I may play around with some other ideas.

 

Fixes in this build:

  • The new starfield now appears correctly on all screens.
  • Fixed some graphical glitches when transitioning between different screens.
  • Boss would sometimes show 9999 HP remaining on the password screen after destroying it, it's been fixed.
  • On the main menu screen, if you pressed the fire button while selecting a skill level, pushing down to the next line (password entry) would automatically launch the password entry window.  Basically, the fire button press was saved in memory and triggered when you moved to a different spot in the menu.  That's been fixed.
  • The ambulance no longer disappears when moving left or right.
  • Known but not fixed:  Sprite updates messed up a few things in the "mission briefing" instruction screen animations.  It'll be fixed in the next build.

I'm going to see about updating the pokey music for boss battles, although it won't be nearly as cool as some other released games.  I'm doing it myself and as a beginner it's not so easy to do. :)   The game itself is really about finished, there's just a lot of work ahead in playtesting it and making sure the speed and difficulty is how it should be, and making sure everything is as polished up as it should be.

 

 

 

drone_patrol_v0.58.a78

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I'm not done yet but thought I'd share today's changes.  After pulling my hair out for a few hours, I finally figured out how to use 320B for the AA splash screen and the Maximus Logo splash screen.  All of the graphics on those two screens are 320B with Kangaroo mode enabled.  I added some animations and in general just had some fun today with graphics and visuals.  I intend to add some sound effects to those screens and will likely change colors and maybe add a few more extras.  I was inspired by @SmittyB's Ducks Away intro screens which are absolutely amazing.  I looked hard at his AA splash screen in order to create the 320B AA Logo in Drone Patrol.  After the splash screens the game switches back to 160A, nothing has changed in the game itself.

 

drone_patrol_v59.a78

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Here's my latest WIP build.

 

Updates:

  • Animation and Splash screen updates with sound effects & music
  • Added background music in main game and boss battles
  • New 320B transition screen when the game first starts
  • All Boss battles were updated with changes to speed and collision detection, I noticed some issues there
  • All new full-screen explosion when drone is destroyed (for main game and boss battles)

I'm still working on adjusting the boss battles as I continue to play the game.  I'm also going to be working on a new "Game Over" screen with 320B, probably some more music and sound effect updates and a new boss explosion, and some other various things to simply keep polishing the game up. :)

 

Edit: See the next post, I removed this version due to a bugfix.

 

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I made a mistake in one of my final edits so this is a quick update to the version I just posted an hour ago.  The first boss battle would have crashed when you beat it, this fixes that.  I was using that first boss battle as a testbed for changes, it was an oversight. :)

drone_patrol_v0.61.a78

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I did look at adding high score support and multi-button support for the Megadrive/SNES controllers, however I'm out of space in the 7800basic reserved area.  

 

I have AtariVox support enabled so I could (not sure yet if I want to) add voice, however adding hssuport results in a "-570 bytes free" and adding multibutton support results in "-439 bytes free".  I don't suppose there's any way around this, @RevEng ?

 

Here's the options I'm using:

    set tv ntsc
    set tallsprite on
    set zoneheight 8
    set zoneprotection on
    set screenheight 192
    set romsize 528k
    set extradlmemory on
    set pokeysupport $800
    set trackersupport rmt
    set rmtspeed ntsc
    set plotvalueonscreen on
    set avoxvoice on
    ;set hssupport $1233
    ;   Enabling results in -570 bytes left in the 7800basic reserved area. 
    ;set multibutton on
    ;  Enabling results in -439 bytes left in the 7800basic reserved area.
    ;set multibuttonpause on

 

...and the results when I compile (I have a lot of ROM space left!):

 

   stack allowance: 13 nested subroutines.
   the canary is situated at: $1d5
   216 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 1.
   3 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 2.
             512 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   1032 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 3.
             448 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   167 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 4.
             731 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   1065 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 5.
             797 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   876 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 6.
             797 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   1090 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 7.
             797 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   10758 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 8.
   630 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 9.
             797 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   918 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 10.
             797 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   642 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 11.
             1475 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   523 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 12.
             201 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   743 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 13.
             797 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   616 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 14.
             565 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
   1107 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 15.
   193 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 16.
   92 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 17.
             95 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
             1956 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 1.
   1201 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 18.
             585 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 0.
             218 bytes of ROM space left in DMA hole 1.
   14760 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 19.
   14305 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 22.
   2082 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 23.
   1937 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 24.
   498 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 25.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 26.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 27.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 28.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 29.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 30.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 31.
   16383 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 32.
   0 bytes of ROM space left in the main area of bank 33.

   (rmtplayer module is using  2070  bytes of rom)
   (rmtplayer module is using  172  bytes of ram)
   (pokeysound module is using  49  bytes of rom)
     $22b0 to $27ff was claimed as extra DL memory.
     $1880 to $23ff used as zone memory, allowing 24 display objects per zone.
     50 bytes left in the 7800basic reserved area.

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1 hour ago, Atarius Maximus said:

I have AtariVox support enabled so I could (not sure yet if I want to) add voice, however adding hssuport results in a "-570 bytes free" and adding multibutton support results in "-439 bytes free".  I don't suppose there's any way around this, @RevEng ?

7800basic normally reserves ~4k of space at the end of the last bank for its runtime code functions, which isn't enough for all of the features you could possibly enable. So you need to give up some space elsewhere in your rom, to house those features. Check out the feature modules section of the docs for details.

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1 hour ago, RevEng said:

7800basic normally reserves ~4k of space at the end of the last bank for its runtime code functions, which isn't enough for all of the features you could possibly enable. So you need to give up some space elsewhere in your rom, to house those features. Check out the feature modules section of the docs for details.

Ah, I see the answer to my question is answered directly in the documentation.  My apologies for not looking there first.  Thanks for the reply! 

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Here's the latest WIP build.

  • All of the boss battles have been updated - the sound effects are all correct now, some sprites were repositioned, gameplay for each one was tweaked, and I've played through and successfully beaten each one. 
  • The drone explosion was updated once again.
  • There is a new bomber plane in the main game that is always flying overhead and dropping bombs.  I think it adds that "little something" that was missing.
  • A new game over screen was added that uses 320B, and it also now includes a message about how many mega-drones you've defeated along with your rank.
  • There were some other updates to the music.

I did confirm that I cannot add 7800basic high score support to this game, I just don't have enough space to squeeze it in. 

 

This game is much, much closer to completion now.  The main unfinished item still on my list is to improve the explosion sequence when you beat a boss - however that could be difficult due to the amount of ROM space remaining in each of the banks that hold the boss subroutines.  It will probably be a minor change.  The music could probably use improvement as it's mostly just drum beats rather than actual melodies, but I think it fits the game pretty well.

 

I'm going to start trying to play complete games now to continue to make refinements and work out any possible bugs.

drone_patrol_v62.bin drone_patrol_v62.a78

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I made one minor change in this version to the behavior of the new bomber plane, its movement was changed slightly.  I worked on a playthrough and made it up to the seventh boss and that one was really tough.   I may need to tweak that boss battle just a little bit to make it a little easier.  I did not notice any other bugs or gameplay issues however.  :)

 

I took a video of my most recent playthrough.  I played for a minute with only one hit point left on the seventh boss, and I'm not exactly sure what got me on the final hit - I think it was moving to the edge of the screen right as the missile was leaving the screen, and it still registered the hit.  Stay FAR away from those missiles! 

 

 

drone_patrol_v63.bin drone_patrol_v63.a78

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I've been working on changing up some of the POKEY tunes in this version.  I was looking for inspiration from modarchive.org and found a few tunes that I liked and converted a portion of them to RMT format.  They don't sound a whole lot like the originals as they're excerpts from the songs and have new/different instruments.  They are not exact copies.

 

The title screen tune is based on the song "Numen in Da Chip" by JAM, and the Maximus Logo screen tune is based on the very beginning of "Old Skool Car" by the same artist.  There is new music during the game as well, on the mission briefing and password entry screens, and on the game over screen.  All of the other music in the game besides the two mentioned is simply basic drum loops and not subject to any copyrights.  I did reach out to JAM on the MOD Archive forum to ask permission.  While he released the Numen in Da Chip song to the public domain, his Old Skool Car song is not.  He's been active as recently as February 4th so I expect I'll get an answer at some point.  He's also already posted a reply in his profile to another developer seeking to use his work in a game and he has given permission, so I'm pretty confident he will.

 

Here is the latest version that includes the new music.  

 

Other Changes:

 - An update to the Mission Briefing section.  It now includes information about the bomber plane that was added to the game.

 - The gameplay in the seventh boss battle was updated to make it a bit easier - the "heat seeking" nature of the plane was changed to just right to left movement.  It's still not an easy battle, but it's much more forgiving now.

drone_patrol_v0.64.a78 drone_patrol_v0.64.bin

 

Edit:  I took a short video that demonstrates what the new POKEY music sounds like on real hardware for the Maximus Games logo screen and the Drone Patrol title screen.

 

 

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Just in case anyone is curious how to convert other music formats to something you can use in Raster Music Tracker, I thought I'd share the process.  Keep in mind that I just figured this all out in the last week or so, I'm by no means an expert at this process.

 

OpenMPT (which requires Windows 64bit) can convert Impulse Tracker, Scream Tracker, FastTracker, MIDI files, Wave Files, and other compressed formats into MOD (ProTracker) format.  The MOD format can then be imported into VinsCools Raster Music Tracker

 

In the screenshot below, I'm converting an Impulse Music Tracker file.  Open the file, Click on the General Tab, then click on the button just to the right of the name (in this case it says "IT (Impulse Tracker), 6 channels"), which brings up the Song Properties window.  From there, change the "Type" dropdown to "ProTracker MOD".  You may have to eliminate some tracks, which can be done here as well.  I'm using 4 tracks only in Raster Music Tracker, so I also select the dropdown box that says "6 channels" and change it to four.  Which tracks you remove is of course critical to how it's going to sound after it's converted, so listen to it first. ;)  It then pops up another window asking which tracks you'd like to remove.  Once that's done, you can simply save the file in MOD format. 

 image.thumb.png.500fd16494de3d60e14360be002d4160.png

 

After it's saved, Open Raster Music Tracker, click "File" and "Import", and you can import the MOD file that you just created.

image.thumb.png.468237703c04ca8cdb69e03dbd1d9492.png

 

Converting the file this way does not save any of the instruments, so you'll need to reassign a new instrument to each one that's already defined.  Generally after converting and importing a file it's not going to sound good at all, it takes a bit more work to make something you'll want to listen to. :)

 

I've been including them in Drone Patrol as rmta files, and I've had to make a few adjustments there too.

 

After saving the file with an .rmt extension from Raster Music Tracker, I then convert it to rmta with RevEng's 7800rmt2asm tool.

image.png.1d0c709bc3885367052a0beebfe5754c.png

 

After the rmta file is created, I've needed to edit it to make it work properly.  I've found that after converting it to rmta the speed is generally off from how it plays in Raster Music Tracker.  I'll just edit the rmta file and change the song speed appropriately.  Also, I've noticed on more than one occasion that the song doesn't loop properly and I've had to add the pointer to the bottom of the file.  Note the "pointer to song" address...

 

image.png.cfb034bf79b6d95ad480c25cafa92a13.png

 

and add the pointer at the end if it's not there.

 

image.png.dad7f53ae437d5590537f007000f4776.png

 

 

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On 2/10/2024 at 3:30 PM, Atarius Maximus said:

Good News!  The author of the music that I used has granted me permission. I invited him to chime in on this thread, I'm hoping he does. :)

image.thumb.png.bf2fd6203595b2e7d8283301810e3adf.png

Hi, my account here is finally active.

 

I saw the video you posted here with conversions of two my modules and i must say that while the first tune sounds accepatble the second one sounds a bit weird.

 

You know i sent you some .cmc tunes and it would be really cool you it would be possible to somehow put some of them in your project.

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16 minutes ago, H3xaFli6ht said:

Hi, my account here is finally active.

 

I saw the video you posted here with conversions of two my modules and i must say that while the first tune sounds accepatble the second one sounds a bit weird.

 

You know i sent you some .cmc tunes and it would be really cool you it would be possible to somehow put some of them in your project.

Welcome!  Glad you joined, and thanks for posting. :)

 

I am certainly new to the music creation (and conversion) process, and my conversions were a very novice attempt.  I agree that compared to your originals they sound a little weird.  I can import most tracker formats into Raster Music Tracker after converting them to MOD first with OpenMPT, however in that process all of the instrument data is lost.  I then need to export instrument file data from other existing RMT songs that sounds pretty close (which is what I did), or create my own instruments from scratch (which I haven't had much success with as of yet).   7800basic only supports RMT music data, so one way or the other I need to convert/import or recreate the songs and instruments in Raster Music Tracker.   I've been trying to figure out a good way to do that.

 

I reached out to you via Private Message as well regarding the .cmc tunes.

 

Thanks again!

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30 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

That sounds really good!

Thank you!  H3xaFli6ht created the patterns, and the results you hear in Drone Patrol is me converting (and slightly butchering) his original work by adding new instruments in Raster Music Tracker to make it work with 7800basic. :)   Much respect to all the music authors out there, I can tell from first hand experience now how incredibly time consuming and difficult it is.

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I'm pretty excited about this update as I incorporated a ton of new POKEY music that @H3xaFli6ht created into the game.  There's new unique tunes everywhere:  Title Screen, Main Game, Boss Battles, transition screens, etc.  He did a fantastic job, and I'm really grateful for his contributions.

 

My to-do list for finishing this game up is getting pretty short now!

  • Boss Explosion sequence (all of them).  I'm about out of space in each of the boss banks now with the addition of the POKEY music.  A major change may not be possible, but I'm still going to revisit it and see what I can do.
  • Credits screen.  I'm planning on adding a credits screen to all those that have offered support and assistance with the game.  Thanks to everyone!
  • Boss battle playtesting (all of them).  I'm still working on each one as I try to get everything as perfect as I can.
  • Final boss battle updates.  It's got a few graphical glitches that need to be addressed.
  • Cheat codes.  I'm going to add some cheats that can be entered with a unique password.  
  • Graphics updates.  I've got a few other minor graphics changes and improvements in mind.

That's about it.  I can confirm that I've actually beaten all of the bosses now, you can beat the game.  After you defeat boss 10 you've technically beaten the game, however there is an extra "Level 11" after the final battle so you can try and rack up a higher score.  It's endless, however there are no more health recharges on that level, just survive as long as you can and rack up those points!

drone_patrol_v0.66.a78 drone_patrol_v0.66.bin

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8 hours ago, RevEng said:

Awesome tunes @H3xaFli6ht !!! :music:

Thanks! I'm glad i can contribute to such cool project. BTW If anyone wants to listen to the tunes separately i'm leaving here a file that contains all the tunes i made for Drone Patrol game. They are in RMT (Raster Music Tracker) format. I recommend playing them in Raster Music Tracker 1.34.00.

MuzykaDronePatrol.rar

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Here's the latest WIP build.  I've received a few suggestions privately, mostly about reducing the difficulty a bit and adding some way to track progress in the main part of the game.

  • Progress Bar added to the top of the screen in the main game.  It will show you how close you are to the next mega-drone.
  • Sound effects adjusted to be slightly quieter, so not to drown out the music quite so much.
  • Difficulty Adjustments:  1 missile on easy, 2 missiles on standard, 3 missiles on advanced and expert, bomber plane removed from easy level.
  • Credits screen was added.  At the moment it includes everyone who has commented, supported, or directly helped with the game.  Thanks all!
  • There's still graphical glitches on the final boss battle, I haven't gotten to that yet.

I've also started working on some AtariVox speech.  I re-worked the speech test utility I created in 2015 for Dungeon Stalker and added some new phrases I'm likely to use in Drone Patrol.  They're not all finished yet, towards the end of the list they still don't sound very good, it's a work in progress.  I'm including the source and binary for the speech utility if anyone would like to look, listen, or help. :)

IMG_9580.jpg

AtariVox Speech Utility.zip drone_patrol_v0.67.a78

drone_patrol_v0.67.bin

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