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"Sassy" (WIP) Project Thread (Previously The Pro Strikers)


R_Leo_1

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An update on The Pro Strikers

 

Many weeks ago I had officially started this project as "The Pro Strikers", and while that title will definitely still get some development time at a later date, the project has started to shift towards a different direction than I expected. I've decided to scale back the scope a bit and focus on making one very solid gameplay style, instead of 2 less than ideal ones. If this new project goes swimmingly, then the original intention of the Pro Strikers project can be fulfilled in a follow-up title. 

 

As it stands now, the game will be known as "Sassy" and will be based on the golden era of arcade games. This will not only be easier for me to develop, but it will allow me to experiment more and get a gameplay loop that I'm happy with. I also won't need to worry about any on-cart sound or bank switching since the base 7800 is perfect for this sort of game. 

 

Before explaining the new project in more details, I feel it would be best to showcase what was actually developed for the "Pro Strikers" project, as well as providing the demo at it's current state.

 

I was a few steps away from releasing a playable demo, but hadn't quite gotten in everything exactly as I wanted it, and before I could implement those changes, my focus for the project changed entirely.

 

Here's where I was at:

 

This was the current state of the box art. Not finished of course.

7800BoxArtAmericanizedAlt6_20240207030304.thumb.jpg.2116422211cffab47d0eba18296a0365.jpg

From the demo itself:

- A nice title screen was put together for the demo, as well as an interactable menu for all that was going to allow the user to select different game elements to be demonstrated.

- For the initial first demo, I only planned to have the top-down demonstration as a selectable option, with the other two coming in later demos.

Screenshot2024-03-29221345.thumb.png.91b704f689b628a3c832b07e6addf5ac.pngScreenshot2024-03-29221434.thumb.png.ea15dbdad8954be80e7f18afae8a8168.png

- This is the screen for the top-down "Stage."

- This featured a controllable player character "Kasey," a few walls to collide with, a projectile to shoot, as well as the titular villain "Sassy."

Screenshot2024-03-29221504.thumb.png.9a665b3ea71fe2d1c66ce5c4fc4366ff.png

 

Getting the collision detection down was a huge achievement for me and while it's not 100% where I want it, it's a great jumping off point.

 

Not long after I had implemented this collision detection, I was quickly realizing that I had a lot of the pieces to make a simple arcade style game if I really wanted to.

This was absolutely the seed that led me to think about just making a classic arcade game instead.

 

After a while, I was pretty much exclusively developing the arcade game idea with notes and illustrations. At this point I knew it was too late, and that this new direction would be MUCH better for a semi-beginner game dev project.

The code I have for the demo will certainly be refined to serve as a starting point for the "Sassy" game.

 

The demo rom is attached to this post for anyone who want's to see it in action.

 

So here we are! The project will be moving forward as "Sassy", theoretical 1984 Atari 7800 release, based on a 1982/83 arcade game that doesn't exist (But certainly could have!)

 

Sassy

A classic maze chase game for Atari 7800

 

The Basic Concept:

 

Kasey Chaser is trapped in a maze-like concert hall while renowned singer, Sassy, is on a stage at the end of the maze, singing her heart out.

She seems like a beautiful singer at first, but she has a bad side and will transform into a fast moving mad woman when you least expect it.

It's up to you to navigate the maze and reach the stage at the end.

All the while, the maze will slowly scroll from right to left, and you've gotta be on your toes to avoid music notes that travel outward from Sassy and stun you, as well as Sassy's evil form.

While in her evil form, Sassy will jump off the stage and into the maze, at which point she will chase after you.

Kasey can collect various food for points while in the maze.

He can collect alcohol as well for some much needed liquid courage. While under it's affects, Kasey is able to turn the tables on Sassy, getting brave enough to swing his bat at her and knock her back to the stage.

After two mazes, other roaming enemies begin to appear in the maze.

Each maze gets gradually more challenging as the game progresses.

 

Next Steps:

 

I plan on spending the next week or so creating the games graphics. At least all of the game's major elements as well as a title screen, I just love making those too much to skip it.

I'm going to refine the collision code to work around the principles of a maze, and see how to make that work for a maze that is constantly shifting, sort of like the mazes in Devil World for Famicom. I'm sure it can be done, I'll just need to experiment a bit.

I have a rough sketch of the box art here as well:

Untitled347_20240126032214.thumb.jpg.87bfe1a89ca1b18ef1076d09e085e2cc.jpg

This certainly emphasizes the transformation and chase aspect of the game concept rather well I think.

 

I'm excited to share more as this comes together. So far it's been a very interesting learning experience.

Thank you all for your patience.

 

 

TheProStrikers.bas.a78

Edited by R_Leo_1
Update to game title and major direction change
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18 hours ago, Trebor said:

Among the fighter title, artwork of a central character on the cover, dragon in the background, and a robotic (?) arm having a 'hand' clenching a round object... feeling a Dragon Ball vibe.

Dragon Ball is one of my artistic inspirations in general so definitely expect some similarities :)
 

I will say however that there will be a greater skew towards sci-fi stuff over the Oriental influences. Unlike the original Dragon Ball.

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks everyone for the kind words! They mean a lot! :)

 

A Little Update:

I have a title screen put together that I'm gonna leave for now. May add a few more details here and there, but I think this is mostly what I was aiming for with it.

 

Screenshot2024-04-06012532.thumb.png.20aa6f7a6355c194665629237b1349b5.pngScreenshot2024-04-06012432.thumb.png.186f0b86432a43ea11246f9f13713105.png

 

The stage lights move and flicker so the screenshots don't really do it justice lol.

I've included a rom just so y'all can see it while it's animated.

 

Would love to hear any feedback for this! Cheers.

Sassy.bas.a78

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3 hours ago, R_Leo_1 said:

Thanks everyone for the kind words! They mean a lot! :)

 

A Little Update:

I have a title screen put together that I'm gonna leave for now. May add a few more details here and there, but I think this is mostly what I was aiming for with it.

 

Screenshot2024-04-06012532.thumb.png.20aa6f7a6355c194665629237b1349b5.pngScreenshot2024-04-06012432.thumb.png.186f0b86432a43ea11246f9f13713105.png

 

The stage lights move and flicker so the screenshots don't really do it justice lol.

I've included a rom just so y'all can see it while it's animated.

 

Would love to hear any feedback for this! Cheers.

Sassy.bas.a78 48.13 kB · 2 downloads

Sweet animation. Flickering lights give a nice transparency.

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Shooting stars flying across look great.  The depth and details provided to Sassy's hair and outfit is handled really well utilizing shading and different colors.

 

Slight concern over what emulator is being utilized for testing. 

 

A7800, MAME, JS7800, MiSTer 7800, 7800GD under original console hardware, all show an outfit with a considerably less amount of red. 

 

While color differences are more of a cosmetic concern, the accuracy of actual game(play) results (timings and such) may be skewed wrong utilizing a less accurate emulator as a testbed.

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8 hours ago, R_Leo_1 said:

A Little Update:

I have a title screen put together that I'm gonna leave for now. May add a few more details here and there, but I think this is mostly what I was aiming for with it.

 

Nice!  The design and use of colour remind me a lot of the Sega System 1 hardware, in particular Teddy Boy Blues.  It's not an exact copy of it by any means; the feel is just very similar.  Given that a couple of games I really like run on that hardware, this isn't a bad thing at all in my book :D 

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59 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Shooting stars flying across look great.  The depth and details provided to Sassy's hair and outfit is handled really well utilizing shading and different colors.

 

Slight concern over what emulator is being utilized for testing. 

 

A7800, MAME, JS7800, MiSTer 7800, 7800GD under original console hardware, all show an outfit with a considerably less amount of red. 

 

While color differences are more of a cosmetic concern, the accuracy of actual game(play) results (timings and such) may be skewed wrong utilizing a less accurate emulator as a testbed.


I’m using BupSystem as my emulator for testing at the moment. That’s probably why the colors aren’t showing up as expected.


Do you have a personal recommendation as far as which to use for testing?

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22 hours ago, R_Leo_1 said:

I’m using BupSystem as my emulator for testing at the moment. That’s probably why the colors aren’t showing up as expected.


Do you have a personal recommendation as far as which to use for testing?

Concerns alleviated.  BupSystem is very good.  Its emulation is pretty much spot on, overall just lacking some of the more relatively recent support additions such as Bankset.   Timings though are very close to hardware accurate.

 

So the only 'issue' right now is cosmetic, and quite frankly, if a person is happy with how the image looks and/or tweaks their television the same way, then that's certainly their prerogative.

 

Nonetheless, the palette by default, for the current version 0.9.6.4, leans slightly stronger/more red hue start point (-8%) and very well saturated (76%).  The degrees spacing between adjacent hues is a bit off too, sitting at 25%, actually places it below even a 'cool' setting, but the misaligned stronger red hue lean, disguised that issue.  I am mostly responsible for that - my apologies.

 

Now that I had a better examination of everything, here are the recommendations for a more even-handed/balanced video settings for both regions under BupSystem.

 

NTSC:
Brightness 100%
Contrast 100%
Hue -16%
Saturation 50%
Warmth 46%

 

PAL:

Brightness 100%
Contrast 100%
Hue -23%
Saturation 50%
Warmth 28%

 

Here is Sassy with the above recommendations in place:

image.thumb.png.e22d87de3ed045a8e8324191bb327e14.png

 

If adjusted from the above recommendations, a couple of humble suggestions:

Brightness could be bumped to 105% and still be within a 'reasonable' range.

Saturation, if going higher than the 50% recommendation, should still remain around the 50's, or the 60's percentage range.

 

Still, different strokes for different folks. 

 

The more important piece, the system timings emulation accuracy is in great hands with BupSystem.

Looking forward to further developments with Sassy!

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Thank you very much for the advice! I genuinely appreciate it, and I went ahead and tested things in A7800 to get the colors a little closer to what I envisioned.

 

I also went ahead an update to the title screen while I was at it: Sassy now transforms when the user presses fire to start the game. 

I think this adds a bit to the presentation of things and makes things a bit more dynamic.

Feel free to check out the colors on this one if you'd like!

 

Sassy.bas.a78

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7 hours ago, R_Leo_1 said:

Thank you very much for the advice! I genuinely appreciate it, and I went ahead and tested things in A7800 to get the colors a little closer to what I envisioned.

 

I also went ahead an update to the title screen while I was at it: Sassy now transforms when the user presses fire to start the game. 

I think this adds a bit to the presentation of things and makes things a bit more dynamic.

Feel free to check out the colors on this one if you'd like!

 

Sassy.bas.a78 48.13 kB · 2 downloads

Looks fantastic!  Like the color cycling effect on the transformation and the numerous 'Ha!' add a nice boost to the persona change.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone!

 

Got a small update I thought I'd share. I just started a new job so I haven't had as much time as I'd like, however, I still put in a few changes here and there.

 

Updates:

- Changed a few things with the title screen, most notably the main font for the game.

- Added the main game screen, no collision yet, but the general layout is all there, the maze scrolls, and Kasey can be moved around the screen. 

Screenshot2024-04-19213358.thumb.png.5559f25cb8aaeb93e6ac2d419f152a3c.pngScreenshot2024-04-19213431.thumb.png.a16a5cdb465d40fe66f3fb1e5af797f7.png

 

Let me know if you guys like the chunky font more. I feel like it better represents a lot of the fonts present in 1984 7800 launch titles.

 

Gonna be cleaning up the main game screen graphics over the weekend, and hopefully getting an improved collision system worked out.

 

That's all I've got for now, I've attached the ROM for everyone.

Until next time! :)

Screenshot 2024-04-19 213414.png

Sassy.bas.a78

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