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Cyber-Antus VX

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Coming soon to a Colecovision near you in 2024.

What has become of Shamus?  Well this is it.

More enemies that you can shake a stick at, more rooms than you can handle, more secrets than the CIA and FBI combined, more colors than a bruised apricot.


Edited by Captain Cozmos
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Just completed a rewrite of my previous work on Shamus *****, I really never named it.

I've used a lot of knowledge from the games I have disassembled over the last year.

I reduced the code, rewrote the graphics engine to Mode 0 which allows me to use 768 pattern spaces for graphics

I've completed all the first 4 level rooms and still have enough space, in theory, for up to 17 different enemy varieties on screen at one time.

This is overkill for the size of the screen but I think 6 or 7 would be sufficient.  All moving in the 8 possible directions.  Comprised of mobile patterns with zero flicker like Frenzy.

This should leave me a 4 color main character sprite.  At least this is the goal.




The first 128 rooms and maze structure are from Shamus, the graphics have been altered and now has a message alert system at the bottom.  It has treasures, bonuses, enemies and secrets.  The maze and walls are about as much Shamus is in there.


Shamus has been there and done that.  I can convert this easily in the future but I wanted to produce a decent game and finally make some game coins that come with the packaging.  I bought a laser cutter like two years ago and never took it out of the box.


In any case, all of these mobile patterns will be present in my other upcoming games.


Finally I will be releasing the Dino Eggs first level Demo probably in March.

As soon as I have a chance to work on the Atari Paddle adapter I will release the Warlords 4 player version I wrote last year.
I have a few other projects but these 3 are the main ones at the moment.


That seems to be it, I can announce games all day but the proof is the release and not the chatter.

Even though I have the source to Chuckie Egg, I want to rewrite it so it will run on a stock Colecovision to reach the widest audience.  This takes time which is rare these days.


O3 Cosmos

Edited by Captain Cozmos
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In reading the 9928 manual I may have made a miscalculation about it's abilities.


I have discovered that I can use the pattern space of 768 (actually 2048) bytes all day long but the color register seems to only be able to use up to 32 entries which is a 32*8 = 256 patterns.


So, color does not get to the patterns outside of the first 256.

Why is it that they designed the chip that you can store patterns but can't actually use them in mode 0

I guess you could ask the same question about why there are no sprites in text mode.


45 years later it's "because"...that's why.



Regardless of this discovery and the egg on my face for opening my mouth before researching, I will continue.


I have already added mobile definitions and patterns to the game and am now working out the players animation and shooting.


This revelation only means there will not be 50 enemies on screen at one time, no big deal.


So far everything works on stock equipment, tested.

Edited by Captain Cozmos
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7 hours ago, youki said:

Why do you want use mode 0  ?

Great question...


I find it easier to use with patterns as long as they are one color patterns.  The enemies would be one color sprites anyway but come with tremendous amounts of flicker.


It takes less resources to set up and use while Mode 1 gives you versatility of 2 colors per line in an 8x8 tile at a cost of rom space and more clock cycles sending it to vram.


The real solution is to use multicolor mode 3 but I don't see anyone going through that hassle just to have a couple more enemies on screen.


You have to admit that Frenzy is a great game and it got by with only two different enemy types on screen at one time not counting evil otto.  I can get at least 5 with my setup.


All of this is really boiling down to math more than expedience.


There are technical issues that would be easier to describe in a lecture rather than a long winded blog on a website.  Using The Carnival source as an example vs Frenzy vs Mr. Do.

Patterns have their place as mobile objects.



My real issues comes from the lack of vision when they created the 9918 chip itself.  Every move was WOW and Booooo.  Can you blame them though.  It was 1979.


Edited by Captain Cozmos
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I tried some experiments last night till around 4am and have concluded that Mode 0 is the best option for what I am doing in this game.

I have another use for it when I go to finish Haunted House and the 8 direction room scroller.

I have to set up 12 more tables which address already existing value but these are for the in between scrolling areas.

When I created the original Objects in my bugs video I was inspired by Frenzy where they move to the next whole block pattern plane and can not actually move in between those fields.

If you ever watch the Frenzy robots they move to the adjoining "whole" block in whichever 8 direction then resume operation.  They do not move anywhere else.

They also can not bunch up behind each other while moving like a sprite can because you have to clear out the space behind them unless you create a new set of pointers where the blank space is replaced with a second robot.

That would just complicate matters to the nth degree and would not add much to the game.  So it is move object, complete the whole move then move object number 2 behind it.


This is sort of how Carnival works.  But it sets up a track, places the objects randomly then animates the track as is, whereas Frenzy robots move independently.


I am reinventing the MOBILE Objects to be able to move in every 8 directions but also be able to move in halves and 3rds.  Enemies move and bouncing around every 8 pixels is annoying to me as much as flicker.


As far as multicolor 3 mode, I thought it might be cool but then again, I don't need giant blobs for monsters.  Smurf Paint and play was the only game I have ever seen use it and I think Smartbasic uses it for the GR mode.  Other than those two functions I can't see why it was ever put into the chip when they could have used the registers and space for something else.


Edited by Captain Cozmos
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It may not look like much but I have incorporated my custom Mobile Objects code into the rewritten Shamus Code and now I have fully functional pattern enemies that actually look cool.

The "now" specs are:

As many objects I can fit on screen at one time. There can be 7 swirls 7 booger ants, 11 widgets or whatever...but only 5 varieties per room and no flicker.
All rounds fired are patterns as well which leaves me with a 3 or 4 colored  main character sprite.
Personally I feel I only need 3 for a well defined character. The upper, The lower, and weapon will be sufficient.


This is a picture and 1 enemy for the moment because I am still working on AI but it is already animated.


Being as these objects are only moving in direction, fire weapon or in a live/dead state I cut the array requirements down to 1 byte for everything and use bits for the switches.  I also need 1 byte for animation and effects so 2 bytes each object.  So 50 objects comes out to be 100 bytes for the enemy.




I also have pattern space left over to add art to mazes within the grids themselves.


I can swap out patterns and colors in each room for different mazes and enemies, treasures and whatever.






On a side note, I was going through my storage to break out my Apple 2C and found this.
I don't remember buying the thing and really don't care for it. Only by the fact I have no plans to use it.  I have my own MAME machine that I already can use Arcade controls for a Colecovision.  Maybe I will auction it off when I have more time.



It was sitting in a box with a Sega Master system of all things.  Go figure.



Edited by Captain Cozmos
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