Tänzer, a "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

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mix256
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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:29 pm

Iridon wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:52 am
Then it also make me see it as Sega Donkey Kong (SG-DK) which makes it ever better! :D
I saw there's a DK hack, that seems to be awesome!

So, I'm debating with myself if this new "advanced playmode" (as demonstrated in the vid below) is in or not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzaD6a4xgpQ

Yeah, I failed at the wagon so it wasn't a perfect run, but it took me a few tries to even do this, so... :)
I'm going to add a timer so that one can measure the time the run took, anyway, but this super-power might not make it.
This is the only way I play the game now too, so I could be missing tons of bugs.
And it would require me to design the levels according to this as well -> much more work. Well, we'll see I find it kind of fun.

I've now also added both explosions and 3 enemy bullets to be permanently in VRAM. Makes slow-down much more rare now. Might add the golds there as well.

And yes, the sound effects are delayed. Even on real hw. Any suggestions here? There's no silence at the beginning in the wavs.
Was using SND_startPlayPCM_XGM in the vid, but I now see that it was deprecated so now I'm using XGM_startPlayPCM and I think it's a bit better.
Could just be my imagination as well... :?

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by Stef » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am

It looks quite nice and only minors slowdowns noticed, again using some optimizations as you made on sprite allocation should be enough to get rid of them, well done ! I'm glad to see the sprite engine is fast enough even using 100% C code right now, i may pass some critical sections in assembly later but at least that definitely shows than C is enough to make good action games :)

About the SFX delay, that is a default of the XGM driver and you can't do anything about it, just removing "blank" part in the start of sample if any, and also trying to launch the SFX as soon as possible in your code (as soon collision / action generating the SFX is detected).
XGM driver is buffering PCM to be able to play 4 channels at once, the problem is buffer length which induce a latency so basically when you play a SFX it's generally delayed by 3 frames, not many people make attention to that but when you do it then you can definitely hear the delay.
I'm working on a XGM v2 (well in fact i just started design and writing a bit of code about it) where PCM buffer will be much smaller resulting in no delay (or not noticeable at least).
Last edited by Stef on Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:19 am

Stef wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am
I'm glad to see the sprite engine is fast enough even using 100% C code right now
I never though using C would be ok at all, so that I now can have all of my code in C is just a bonus for me. And it certainly makes the dev time way shorter. Been doing a lot of 6502 assy coding the last year and I dread every new addition is a pain. Even though I have macros that makes it look like C... :)
Stef wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:34 am
a SFX it's generally delayed by 3 frames, not many people make attention to that but when you do it then you can definitely hear the delay.
I didn't notice until Sik told me. So I'm fine with it. But having it fixed would of course be super. :)

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:58 am

It looks like I won't be able to make the the fair I was hoping to showcase the demo at.
I should have gotten the commissioned art last week, for me to have a real chance at it. I've seen a preview of the cover art and it's freakin' awesome and I would really have loved to show it off on one of those roll-up banners at fair.
And the plan, as I mentioned, was to have a few cartridges available for sale/give-away and that would be useless without the cover art and all that being done. So I'm going for plan B now...which I don't actually have.

In coding news; I've rebuilt the SGDK lib with the SPR_init() not using the FONT_LEN when allocating the VRAM. Saved me 96 tiles!

And I've finally decided on stage layout of each level (bkg tileset, basically). Each level consists of 4 stages, and two of those are parallel. So at the end of the first stage you get a choice of going either Route A or Route B. Third stage of the level will again be common.
All stages will have a special enemy at the end that takes a bit longer to defeat and the third stage will have a proper boss.

Image

Working on the between-stages "shop" at the moment. This is where you transmutate your gold into stronger attacks or to replenish your energy. I find it reeaally hard to design.

EDIT: Forgot to say that I'm now also SCPing the rom, after each build, to the RPI3 beside me and autostarts the rom in an emulator there. More often than not that I'm finding me closing the emulator on the PC and realizing that I've forgot to test something. This solves that issue. :)

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Thu May 17, 2018 2:17 pm

Long time, no update! :)

It doesn't quite feel like it, but a lot of things have actually been made to the game. Thought, I'd list a few of them.

Each level (consists of several stages) now has branching paths. So at the end of the first stage you
get a choice to go down through a hole or right and continue on the surface.
Each level will have one or more branches like that, giving the game a bit more re-playability, at least.

Image

Boss 1 is now in place, more or less complete. Just need to get the second form of it properly in there.
Each of the stages will have its own, smaller special kind of enemy, not quite bosses, but they need to be defeated just like a boss...and
they have their own music. So I guess they are actually bosses...hmmm.
And after X number of stages (4 or 5) you get to the boss. It's kind of like in Shinobi, you enter a "stage room" that is just for the boss.

Image Image

I made HSVtoRGB and back function so that I can change each of the values separately. So the backgrounds on level 1 is now all the same, I just change the saturation and hue to get the palette I want.
I can't have just the new palette for the backgrounds since as soon as I do a change to the actual background, the palette color order might change.
Made a small tool that show the background and gives me the ability to change the HSV values.
Also using the effect to fade down the background when doing the "fun with bonus part" to be darker and less saturated.

And speaking of fun with bonus, the end of each stage (before moving to the "shop" screen) is now showing you the different kind of bonuses you can get.
These are gold, time, and jump. Jump is a bonus you get for doing in-air-jump-slash-combos.
(And just as in Shinobi, there is a hidden bonus type, but that is not something we talk about...)

Image

Treasure chests! Yes, we got them. Apart from giving you gold, they are totally useless. Need to place them in more interesting places as well.

Image

Demo coming soon! As a downloadable ROM. Will consist of the first level (4 stages + boss), most likely. Was hoping to have it finished by May 26th. But that's just 9 days away...

The ROM has now hit the 1MB mark! It's a land mark, for sure. It actually means that I'm adding content, doesn't it?

Stef fixed the broken AUTO_SLOW bug in SGDK! Yay, thanks a lot Stef! :)

I bought myself a 22", heavy as * CRT TV as well! Now I have proper scanlines to look at! Wonderful!

And last, but not least, I've gotten the cover art for the game! Looks just lovely, doesn't it?
I started doing some tests for box insert layouts. Will be quite ok in the end, won't it? :)

Image

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by Sik » Thu May 17, 2018 2:32 pm

mix256 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:17 pm
Each of the stages will have its own, smaller special kind of enemy, not quite bosses, but they need to be defeated just like a boss...and
they have their own music. So I guess they are actually bosses...hmmm.
That's called a sub-boss or miniboss (think of the act 1 bosses in Sonic 3).
Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick".

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by Chilly Willy » Thu May 17, 2018 2:46 pm

Nice update! Lots of new info and pics. Like the cover - very much like original SEGA covers.

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Fri May 18, 2018 7:02 am

Chilly Willy wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:46 pm
Nice update! Lots of new info and pics. Like the cover - very much like original SEGA covers.
The plan is to make 4 different ones, that looks like how each region had it. US, EUR, JP and Brazilian.
They will be double sided so one can chose. That's the plan, at least.
Sik wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 2:32 pm
That's called a sub-boss or miniboss (think of the act 1 bosses in Sonic 3).
Yep.

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by Stef » Fri May 18, 2018 4:13 pm

Great mix256, that looks really great and promising ! I hope you will be able to provide a demo soon :D

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by SegaTim » Fri May 18, 2018 6:16 pm

The character is similar to Guyver.

Image

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Sat May 19, 2018 5:41 am

Stef wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:13 pm
I hope you will be able to provide a demo soon
Yeah, me too. :)
Last night, ALL of the sprites glitched out for me. Witch haven't happened for a really long time. So there is some really strange bug in there that I haven't squashed yet.
SegaTim wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:16 pm
The character is similar to Guyver.
Yep! It's one of the inspirations for the game. Wanted the artist (Fergi Susetiyo) to do something like this for the cover:

Image

But I let him do whatever, and it turned out just marvelous.

My character don't shoot laser from the chest (although, it would be soooo cool), but from the whole face. :)

Image

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by Chilly Willy » Sat May 19, 2018 2:06 pm

mix256 wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:41 am
But I let him do whatever, and it turned out just marvelous.
Yes, he did a great job on the cover art.
My character don't shoot laser from the chest (although, it would be soooo cool), but from the whole face. :)
Ah - so it's also kinda like the assaultron from Fallout 4. It reminded me of that a little, but shooting lasers from the face? That's a big reminder. :D

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Sun May 20, 2018 10:21 am

Here's a small IRL video of the first two sub stages, unedited.
You can hear me pressing the button more than the ingame audio. Stopid camera. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUR7mctYUsc

Chilly Willy wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 2:06 pm
Ah - so it's also kinda like the assaultron from Fallout 4
Had to look that up. :)


Playing for a few hours before, and then this happens within the first minute of the next run (after a cold start):
Image

Anyone got a clue? :wink:

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by Chilly Willy » Sun May 20, 2018 1:14 pm

Looks like an odd address error. Be sure all your data and code is on word boundaries at the least. This can commonly happen when you have strings in the rom and aren't careful about alignment of what is after them. Strings have a 50/50 chance of being odd lengths, so always align after strings and other byte type data!

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Re: Unnamed "ninja" game (Dev Diary thread)

Post by mix256 » Tue May 22, 2018 8:23 am

Chilly Willy wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 1:14 pm
Looks like an odd address error.
I've been getting a few of these afterwards now as well. Seems to be SPR_xx() related. The last one was in SPR_release(), although I'm wrapping all of those calls to guard against problems like these. Will need to dig into this deeper. But I can't really release a demo with this happening every now and then. :)

In other news. All of the sub bosses are in the first level! \o/

Image

And the boss of the first level is finished, I think, as well.
Also, the HUD now disappears (fly away) if you're too high up on the screen so you can see your actions.

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