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Ghosts and Trolls Project


alfredtdk

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I make my sprites on this website, I don't know if you know it, it's a very good online tool.

You can do simulations before generating a source code (BB or ASM).

I just don't recommend using this generated source code to build a game based on it.

I recently discovered that a bug remains after the source code is compiled into VBB.

 Ideally, you just use the generated sprites and insert them into your created code.

 

https://alienbill.com/2600/playerpalnext.html?fbclid=IwAR3mav-RQU7_7S0y_dLNcYmBvJwiZ_WLppE2SuCPjKOVzQcRmSXkZ0bl8qA

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10 minutes ago, alfredtdk said:

There are 10 animation frames, hero and villain.
Arthur's ended up being unnecessary, as 9 frames are repeated in a static way. I ended up forgetting to remove them before posting the source code. In Arcade Arthur is a static character when standing still, not requiring extra animations.

Removing these 9 animation frames would free up a good amount of space in the rom.

 

 

The animations are quite nice but that is admittedly alot.   I think Pitfall Harry about that many once you subracted the reused/reflected ones but the enemies only had two typically.   Is every enemy at 9 frames?  Or just the big bosses you posted most recently?   I think I'll end up having 5-7 for my main character (resting, walking, jumping, blocking, attacking) but most enemies will just have 2-3 from what I got planned out.  One will reuse the hero animation so will technically have more but they're just reskinned and another will have 3-4 but that's it so far.  I of course have no idea if that will all fit though...

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9 minutes ago, alfredtdk said:

I make my sprites on this website, I don't know if you know it, it's a very good online tool.

You can do simulations before generating a source code (BB or ASM).

I just don't recommend using this generated source code to build a game based on it.

I recently discovered that a bug remains after the source code is compiled into VBB.

 Ideally, you just use the generated sprites and insert them into your created code.

 

https://alienbill.com/2600/playerpalnext.html?fbclid=IwAR3mav-RQU7_7S0y_dLNcYmBvJwiZ_WLppE2SuCPjKOVzQcRmSXkZ0bl8qA

 

Thanks and I'll take a look.  I've seen it before but not used it.  I use this site to just visualize my sprites but it doesn't generate any 2600 code though so you'll still have to either figure it out manually or enter it into your link.  That wasn't an issue until last night though, lol.   The best part of this one is that you can output animated gifs to see the animations in action with control over how many frames they have to fine tune it.

 

https://bocianu.gitlab.io/spred/

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9 minutes ago, LatchKeyKid said:

 

The animations are quite nice but that is admittedly alot.   I think Pitfall Harry about that many once you subracted the reused/reflected ones but the enemies only had two typically.   Is every enemy at 9 frames?  Or just the big bosses you posted most recently?   I think I'll end up having 5-7 for my main character (resting, walking, jumping, blocking, attacking) but most enemies will just have 2-3 from what I got planned out.  One will reuse the hero animation so will technically have more but they're just reskinned and another will have 3-4 but that's it so far.  I of course have no idea if that will all fit though...

The zombie also uses 10 frames of animation.

The animations give the character a certain charm, this wasn't something very common in Atari games, the characters were small walking squares and that's it. It's cool to see the sprite having autonomous movements, like breathing or small involuntary contractions.
This became common after the arrival of Street Fighter 2 in which the characters are in constant movement even if we don't move the controls.

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12 minutes ago, LatchKeyKid said:

 

Thanks and I'll take a look.  I've seen it before but not used it.  I use this site to just visualize my sprites but it doesn't generate any 2600 code though so you'll still have to either figure it out manually or enter it into your link.  That wasn't an issue until last night though, lol.   The best part of this one is that you can output animated gifs to see the animations in action with control over how many frames they have to fine tune it.

 

https://bocianu.gitlab.io/spred/

I didn't know about this site either, thank you.
I even built a ghost just by making little doodles, lol

Captura de tela_2024-05-17_00-26-25.png

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, alfredtdk said:

I didn't know about this site either, thank you.
I even built a ghost just by making little doodles, lol

Captura de tela_2024-05-17_00-26-25.png

Glad to help and I like the ghost!  If you add more frames, you can animate them with the "play" button on the far botton left and change the number of frames under options.  If you click export to gif, you'll have a fully animated gif to look at.  It's silly but really fun but I have to warn you that it's quite addictive.  I've spent tons of time over the past 6 months tweaking animations over and over, lol, and I doubt anyone but me would even notice the difference in one or two frames or pixels here and there!

Edited by LatchKeyKid
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On 5/16/2024 at 9:58 PM, alfredtdk said:

I think what takes up a lot of space in the rom are the animation frames. It has many unnecessary subroutines too. I think optimizing the code would free up a lot of space in the 4kb rom, but I haven't had time for that yet, so I've released the codes for anyone who wants to make the necessary optimizations and corrections, making the code cleaner, there's a lot of trash in the code and that's it. It must be weighing you down, making it swollen. A good cleaning of the code should solve the problem, making room for the addition of other things, such as new playfields.

 

I used 8ksc for different pfheights of playfields to be written to the extra RAM, but I'm finding that this is not really necessary.

 

I took a look this weekend at the 4k bas file now that I have at least a starting idea of what I'm looking at and I see the code from the sprite website you posted does indeed take up alot of space like you said.   As long as you're not actually changing the colors line by line from animation pose to pose, it only needs to be entered once and not with every frame like the autogenerated code does.   When things drastically change like with jumping or the bones/collision, that's obviously a different story.   I've only got four 5 animation poses total (three for the hero and two for the placeholder enemy) in my first game and I'm already down to 2200 bytes free without any real work beyond just putting them on the screen.  No attacks, no actions beyond jumping for the hero, no collision, etc.   It fills up fast!   I just took out the redundant color info and left the color values for when f=10 (instead of repeating it up to 100) for both the main character and the zombie and it now has 592 bytes free to add other things you may have skipped due to lack of space.

Ghost_and_Trolls_4k color test.bas

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2024 at 6:38 PM, LatchKeyKid said:

 

I took a look this weekend at the 4k bas file now that I have at least a starting idea of what I'm looking at and I see the code from the sprite website you posted does indeed take up alot of space like you said.   As long as you're not actually changing the colors line by line from animation pose to pose, it only needs to be entered once and not with every frame like the autogenerated code does.   When things drastically change like with jumping or the bones/collision, that's obviously a different story.   I've only got four 5 animation poses total (three for the hero and two for the placeholder enemy) in my first game and I'm already down to 2200 bytes free without any real work beyond just putting them on the screen.  No attacks, no actions beyond jumping for the hero, no collision, etc.   It fills up fast!   I just took out the redundant color info and left the color values for when f=10 (instead of repeating it up to 100) for both the main character and the zombie and it now has 592 bytes free to add other things you may have skipped due to lack of space.

Ghost_and_Trolls_4k color test.bas 17.15 kB · 3 downloads

Very good. With your optimization and mine, I obtained +1400 bytes of free space, I took advantage and added another screen and a boss, this one without animation (1200 bytes of space still free)..
A tip when creating a bas code, never leave words with space between each other, the code will not be compiled, use underlining to separate the words, for example The_Bee.bas or TheBee.bas.

 

Captura de tela_2024-05-24_23-13-04.png

Ghost_and_Trolls_4k_color_test.bas.bin

Ghost_and_Trolls_4k_color_test.bas

 

Captura de tela_2024-05-24_23-30-54.png

Edited by alfredtdk
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Posted (edited)

That's great that you were able to free up so much more!  Did you prune alot of similar sprites I assume?  Regarding bB, I think my biggest mistake is typing "and" instead of && for if/then statements and then not realizing it until the compiler fails.   Recently, I had a lot of out of range branch errors from those if/then statements that were starting to pile up and I tried organizing it manually with partial success until the added code made it happen again.  Since I doubt I'll ever try to optimize the ASM code, I just turned enabled smartbranching and it fixed it without any fuss.   I'm down to just a bit over 1300 bytes left in that initial 4k myself after adding in the animations/coding for jumping, blocking, and attacking but I still don't have any collisions, damage systems, sound, enemy AI, enemy sprites other than just two sample frames, etc.   I know I have some repeating code like for sword position and even two repeated sprites that I could optimize but honestly I don't want to break anything right now!  I really doubt that it'll come in under 4k at this point as I literally just have a single test playfield and two enemy sprites

 

What do you plan on working on next with it if anything?    You mentioned before that you were sort of done with it but now that you have the extra space I figured I'd ask.   For the art, I think I like the last one the most as I feel that the more cartoon-looking the better for a G&G type of game.

Edited by LatchKeyKid
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A little preview of what Arthur's new animated movements will look like during the game. His movements to the left or right are not complete, there are still a few more frames left that I will add later, this is because I am not counting the movements when he goes up or down stairs, this will only appear in future editions, most likely it will be presented in the 32k version.

Captura de tela_2024-05-25_03-01-43.png

G&T_Arthur_Moves.bas.bin

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1 hour ago, LatchKeyKid said:

That's great that you were able to free up so much more!  Did you prune alot of similar sprites I assume?  Regarding bB, I think my biggest mistake is typing "and" instead of && for if/then statements and then not realizing it until the compiler fails.   Recently, I had a lot of out of range branch errors from those if/then statements that were starting to pile up and I tried organizing it manually with partial success until the added code made it happen again.  Since I doubt I'll ever try to optimize the ASM code, I just turned enabled smartbranching and it fixed it without any fuss.   I'm down to just a bit over 1300 bytes left in that initial 4k myself after adding in the animations/coding for jumping, blocking, and attacking but I still don't have any collisions, damage systems, sound, enemy AI, enemy sprites other than just two sample frames, etc.   I know I have some repeating code like for sword position and even two repeated sprites that I could optimize but honestly I don't want to break anything right now!  I really doubt that it'll come in under 4k at this point as I literally just have a single test playfield and two enemy sprites

 

What do you plan on working on next with it if anything?    You mentioned before that you were sort of done with it but now that you have the extra space I figured I'd ask.   For the art, I think I like the last one the most as I feel that the more cartoon-looking the better for a G&G type of game.

Thanks. I didn't have much time to work on this code and try to make it leaner, I believe it is still possible to free up a few extra bytes. Breaking the code is very easy, one typo and that's it, luckily the compiler gives you a report and shows you where the possible error you made by adding incorrect information is located. I thought it would be better to delete the arts created, they look very dark and don't match the cartoon style of this successful franchise, it looks more like Dark Soul than G&G.

I'm creating new source code for Ghosts and Trolls, clean and untethered to previous versions, and I'll probably target it to the DPC+ kernel.

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At some point, it becomes not worth the effort.  I spent over an hour trying to make a single combined subroutine for my player character ball position (I use it as the sword) instead of splitting it up into two places and it saved me less than 20 bytes when I thought it would be 100+.  I skipped out on alot of lines of code but all the complicated if/then statements to parse it all out apparently took most of the savings away.   I agree about the art as my favorite was the most cartoony of the ones you presented.   I like the new sprites as well; maybe I'm just lazy but I feel like two to three total for any particular action (walking, attacking, etc) is probably enough even for the player character.

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Posted (edited)

G&T ARTHUR MOVES (DPC+)

 

The beginning of the project for the DPC+ format.
Here the knight has almost all the movements of the Arcade version, with the exception of going up and down stairs, shooting at enemy targets, let's say that this is 50% of the character's movements. These missing moves will be added later, as will all the first stage screens and their respective enemy targets, ghosts, wizards, carnivorous plants, red firebrand. etc...
And that's it for now, I hope to bring news in the next release.

 

Captura de tela_2024-05-26_23-10-57.png

 

G&T_Arthur_Moves_DPC3.bas.bin

Edited by alfredtdk
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14 hours ago, LatchKeyKid said:

That's alot of extra playfield detail!  I know you've bumped up to 32k but I imagine (and imagine is all I can do since I've never used it myself!) that all the data uses that up very quickly.

Yes definitely. I think that in this specific case I need to maintain maximum graphical fidelity on the Arcade's initial screen, even if this consumes a lot of data or CPU cycles, but on subsequent screens there may be a reduction in graphic elements. Here are five sprites dividing the screen (3 virtual), but note that there are no more than 2 sprites on the same scan line, this would cause the flickering effect.

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Posted (edited)

Looks good and the graphics translate well back into single line kernel mode.   Will the top be animated like that throughout the game or change further?  Any thoughts on square/two line playfield "pixels" for a slightly more chunky look?   I don't how the DPC kernel stores playfield data so I have no idea if that'll save you space but I'm personally a fan of that asthetic and currently obsessed with ROM space, lol.

Edited by LatchKeyKid
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Posted (edited)

G&T INTRO SCREEN TEST (DPC+)

 

The anthological introduction scene should probably be used, with the kidnapping of princess Prim Prim by one of Astaroth's minions.
For now it's just a static screen with the intro characters, whether in the future it will be an animated scene like the one in Arcade is still too early to say, this will require a lot of CPU resources if an animated screen without player interaction.
Although the recent Donkey Kong VCS with intro screen is a strong inspiration that everything is possible on the console.

Captura de tela_2024-05-29_00-29-53.png

Captura de tela_2024-05-29_21-16-57.png

Captura de tela_2024-05-29_21-16-15.png

G&T_Intro_Screen_Test.bas.bin

Edited by alfredtdk
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22 hours ago, LatchKeyKid said:

I like the unarmored sprite in the intro.  I think when he gets damaged he loses the armor, correct?

Yes, in G&G the character Arthur is only in his underwear when he is hit for the first time, during this time he needs to find armor, otherwise when he is hit a second time he turns into a pile of bones. 
Check out Arthur's movements in just his underwear in the introduction in my next update.

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Posted (edited)

Arthur only in his underwear in animated movements. This is more or less how Arthur looked when he was hit by something the first time, losing his protective armor. If he is hit a second time with only his underwear on, he will turn into a pile of bones, restarting his heroic journey.

G&T_Intro_Screen_Test2.bas_2.png

 

G&T_Arthur_in_Underwear.bas.bin

Edited by alfredtdk
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On 5/31/2024 at 3:08 PM, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

Looking forward to giving Ghosts and Trolls a quick look today during the news section on ZPH!

 

- James

Thank you James for taking a look at my project, criticism is certainly very welcome, whether positive or not, it encourages us to reevaluate what we are doing and where we can improve what may not be so good.
I loved all the titles presented on ZPH .

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