what should i write next?

reminisce about bbc micro & electron games like chuckie egg, repton, elite & exile

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tricky
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what should i write next?

Postby tricky » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:15 pm

I've been trying to get on with turning my Rally-X tech demo into a game, but am as usual finding motivating myself hard.
I know I have a bunch of other half finished stuff as it is, but would like to work on something new for a while.
Does anyone have any ideas?
It probably has to be 50hz, run on a standard beeb and possibly involve some abuse of the 6845 :lol:
I know I have asked before, and I know I'm being lazy!

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1024MAK
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Re: what should i write next?

Postby 1024MAK » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:45 pm

A self motivating program? :lol:

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby Arcadian » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:16 am

Could Galaxian & Galaga be given the Mode 1/full colour treatment?
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Re: what should i write next?

Postby oss003 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:49 am

IIRC there's no conversion of 1941 for the beeb .....

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby sirmorris » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:26 pm

+1 ..

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tricky
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Re: what should i write next?

Postby tricky » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:39 pm

I have been thinking 194x for a while, but that is quite a lot of gfx. I think I will give it a try as it could be done with a small number of animation frames and then more for a sideways ram version.
I just need to decide if planes+background = hard or = tricky :lol:

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby oss003 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:58 pm

Maybe you can 'borrow'the graphics from MAME?

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby ThomasHarte » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:17 pm

If not 1941 then maybe Road Fighter? I don't know why but the broadly similar Spyhunter has never really done it for me, but I'm a big fan of both the MSX and NES versions. Road Fighter shouts out for a 50Hz pixel vertical scroll, and doesn't have particularly complicated rules or a large data set.

I don't think any of the arcade-style pseudo-3d games on the BBC is fantastic but given the lack of a separate sprite layer (re: the Master System's almost miraculous take on Road Rash) I'm not sure 6845 trickery is going to make the difference.

I've been considering taking a crack at a Dizzy (sic), at least for the Electron. There's an informal policy that non-profit fan games are acceptable, so it can be a brand-new thing with the real Dizzy in it, but the lack of brown might be problematic...

Ant Attack? For diagonal isometric scrolling? Something like the Atari 2600 Solaris — a tactical overview thing which segues into (probably palette-change pseudo 3d) action scenes? A Trailblazer-alike that doesn't get the perspective completely wrong? North and South? It's a fairly natural multiloader.

I could ramble for hours. I suspect I'm not helping.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby Pablos544 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:02 pm

tricky wrote:I've been trying to get on with turning my Rally-X tech demo into a game, but am as usual finding motivating myself hard.
I know I have a bunch of other half finished stuff as it is, but would like to work on something new for a while.
Does anyone have any ideas?
It probably has to be 50hz, run on a standard beeb and possibly involve some abuse of the 6845 :lol:
I know I have asked before, and I know I'm being lazy!


This might give you some inspiration =D>

I got thinking where I should focus my Animating talents next especially as every day you hear about some new Animation business, new 3D project and so on. I thought why not do an animated BBC Micro computer evolution leading to the present day and my involvement in it, from school, being at College and so on..

I thought it would be rather cool because it takes real men to program BBC Micros to do anything like remotely clever. I thought this would be a good tribute to someone like yourself? :D

Cheers, Pablo

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby CMcDougall » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:06 pm

Boffin 3 & JCB Digger 2 !! =P~
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Re: what should i write next?

Postby RobC » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:36 pm

I'd love to see 1941 on the Beeb. I looked at it a while back and although the arcade version has masses of graphics, there's an Amstrad CPC version so you could base the graphics on that.
ThomasHarte wrote:Ant Attack?

I started porting Ant Attack to the Beeb years ago. I got all the map drawing and scrolling done but got hung up trying to achieve a split mode 4 and mode 7 screen. However, I had a chance conversation with John (flaxcottage) last weekend and he's seen a split screen involving mode 7 so I'm keen to pick it up again.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby sweh » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:59 pm

Work with MartinB to get Bluetooth HID and WiiMotes working via the Userport and then create something new; a WiiMote controlled game :-) :twisted:
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Re: what should i write next?

Postby tricky » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:09 pm

I was tempted by any attack, but I think I saw you were doing it.
I was a little tempted by spy hunter, but I've never seen road fighter - I'll go take a look.
Mode 7 / mode not 7 plot screen :shock:

Edit: not sure about road fighter, although it does have trains and superman!

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby ThomasHarte » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:31 pm

tricky wrote:I was tempted by any attack, but I think I saw you were doing it.

Who? Not me! I once wrote a modern PC game based on the map and got a little distance into an Atari Lynx remake — after I realised that you can do a front-to-back ray cast into a triangular grid for zero-overdraw map drawing — but didn't get very far owing to the usual interceding events.

Honestly, however bad you think you are, I'm a million times worse. I barely even start these things. For the Sam Coupé I've got both a completed vector 3d engine (i.e. within expected machine ability, but a slog to write) and a full-screen 50Hz scroll (which I'm aware of zero antecedents for), and I've done nothing with either.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby RobC » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:44 pm

tricky wrote:Mode 7 / mode not 7 plot screen

Problem I had was a weird phase locked loop effect at the start of the mode 7 part. This meant that the first few characters rows were warped. However I adjusted the timing parameters, I couldn't get it to look right.

However, John said that he's seen a rock solid example so it is possible.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby ThomasHarte » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:06 pm

RobC wrote:
tricky wrote:Mode 7 / mode not 7 plot screen

Problem I had was a weird phase locked loop effect at the start of the mode 7 part. This meant that the first few characters rows were warped. However I adjusted the timing parameters, I couldn't get it to look right.

However, John said that he's seen a rock solid example so it is possible.


I don't know anything much about the way the SAA5050 interplays on a BBC (being an Electron person) but I'm shortly to complete my CRT emulator — which PLL is problematic? Is there a sync difference?

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby sydney » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:23 pm

Here are links to the top 100 spectrum games as voted for by Your Sinclair from 1993 and the top 100 C64 games as voted for by the members of Lemon64. Is there anything in here that cries out to be written for the beeb?

Lemon64
Your Sinclair

I have only played a handful of games on the spectrum so can't really comment on that but I did own a C64 for a few years and when I get back into retro in the early 2000's the C64 was my emulated machine of choice so......

Pirates! - Very good and nothing like it on the beeb.
IK+ - Outstanding. Beats all beeb fighting games whilst wearing a blindfold and with it's right hand tied behind it's back. Someone has started writing a beeb version but it seems to have stalled.
Prince of Persia - Don't think I've played the C64 version but the version I played was good.
Turrican/Turrican II - Great games.
Microprose Soccer + Emlyn Hughes Soccer - Both are great football games, again way better than anything on the beeb. Emlyn Hughes is possibly going to be easier to produce on the beeb. Lose the music though.
Paradroid - I love this game, write this one. Really - WRITE THIS GAME! :lol:
Armalyte - Good sideways scrolling shooter I even bought this one - TEN WHOLE POUNDS!

I've played just under half of the games on the list and the above 9 are the ones that stand out for me, other than the 12 (or more?) already available on the beeb. I'm not suggesting for one second you try to convert any of these - other than Paradroid - I just thought it would be interesting to see what is missing from the beebs game library.

Anyone with any experience of speccy games care to comment on the speccy list?

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby MartinB » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:02 pm

sweh wrote:Work with MartinB to get Bluetooth HID and WiiMotes working via the Userport...

Won't be long now Stephen... Image

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby sirmorris » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:08 pm

Oooh paradroid... Now there's a classic.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby ThomasHarte » Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:29 pm

sydney wrote:Anyone with any experience of speccy games care to comment on the speccy list?


I was a Crash! reader back in the day but, sure, of those I've played...

Deathchase 3d is a stone-cold classic but doesn't call for interesting hardware use. Though even the original fits into a minuscule portion of memory as it's 16kb compatible. Would be good for a BBC/Electron version that did absolutely nothing interesting with the video hardware.

Rebel Star is a direct ancestor of X-Com. I'm a big fan of all of those games but, again, it's a lot of statistical tweaking and worrying about map generators rather than clever hardware exploitation.

Stop the Express is a lot of fun. It's a weird one because it's a Hudson Soft game, Sir Clive having gone in search of teams to contract (from which Eric and the Floaters, also on the list, also comes — it's genuine Hudson Soft Bomberman, before it was Bomberman), but it's about scrolling and things moving quickly with some very mild parallax and probably a good choice. Cannon Ball was a third game to come from the same agreement and is Pang! but more than half a decade early. Pang! would probably also be a good game for a BBC?

Head Over Heels is good but in the Knight Lore mould and a huge map. Probably a big project. R-Type is a good conversion and I guess everybody knows the original. The BBC already has The Sentinel. I've never understood the appeal of Rainbow Islands on any platform, but it is a great conversion. Just that Bubble and Puzzle Bobble are both much, much better games. Boulder Dash and Sim City we already have.

Carrier Command is a freakishly good port of the Amiga/ST title, 3d filled polygons with a decent enough frame rate and everything. I like it.

I don't care what YS readers say, the Spectrum Chuckie Egg is terrible. Imagine Chuckie Egg without the physics. I think AnF agreed with me as the CPC port, a few years later, is a port of the BBC version despite the Spectrum version presumably being a much more trivial conversion.

Ant Attack is a lot of fun, as discussed. I guess it's not technically invalid to call it the origin of survival horror but it is quite a stretch.

Elite you know.

Back to School is good — it's a six-or-seven screen simulation of a classic '50s-style public school in which you must attempt eventually to break into the school safe but while avoiding getting too many lines by breaking school rules in the meantime. There are assemblies, various lessons, pupils with distinct characters (the swot, the bully, etc), and a girl's school across the playground. So to an extent it's another early sandbox, albeit with a single objective.

3d Starstrike 2 is the (again, impressively speedy filled polygon) sequel to a knock-off of Atari's Star Wars arcade machine that changes the gameplay almost entirely but remains a bunch of flowing 3d segments involving flying around in space. Nice but again nothing much to do with clever BBC hardware use unless you can come up with some amazing trick for filled 3d.

Nebulus is very well known — it's what you think it is. Tower Toppler in the US, Castellian on the Nintendo, etc. A decent version.

Mercenary is the 3d game famous from the late-'80s big five platforms. You probably already know Gauntlet (it's the arcade game) and the Dizzys.

Midnight Resistance is a loose adaptation of the Contra/Probotector-style run and gun that works really well. Better than the original or any other other version I've played.

Renegade is the Double Dragon derivative. It's very good. I like the sequel Target: Renegade more but I guess YS didn't. Renegade 3 is then a really odd one — the protagonist, having fought his way out of the Death Wish-style New Yorkish 1980s through two titles is inexplicably transported through time, fighting dinosaurs and suchlike.

Jumping Jack is a very simple thing that anticipates modern mobile games. It's just an infinite series of equally spaced screen-wide platforms, with moving holes. You have to try to jump through the holes to ascend, avoiding some wandering enemies, without falling down back through them. Weirdly engrossing and probably quick to do.

I have a sense that Saboteur is an early stealth platform game. But I don't specifically recall having played it. I may be confused.

I love Splat! to pieces. It's a 2d self-scroller through a fairly open garden maze that takes randomly-selected routes and often abruptly changes directions. You have to keep up. Touch the outside of the screen and die. Also probably something that the programming of is relatively brief but the Spectrum scrolls in steps and you've got to maintain that outer wall so if you can do it smoothly you're well ahead.

Pang! actually is Pang! Another alarmingly good conversion.

Technician Ted is one of the more popular Jet Set Willy derivatives but that's about it.

I like Wheelie a lot — it's a side-on thing with three or four levels in which one drives a motorcycle back and forth trying to hit ramps at an appropriate speed to jump gaps while not hitting the ceiling and being careful of oil and such things. Probably a good option!

Mined Out is a Minesweeper predecessor. One walks across the minefield, being told how many bombs are adjacent to the current position, attempting to reach the top from the bottom.

From the readers' list, Dan Dare in particular is genius. It's a platform game in which one has to defuse bombs (by finding them) to move from one section to the next with some great overall design. Like Impossible Mission or Prince of Persia, it's one of those timed games where you have an hour to complete your job. Any time you're overwhelmed you just pass out for 10 minutes and awake in a cell (to which there is inexplicably never a door) within your current section.

Many of the others are titles you'll already know from the arcade or other computers, that were converted very well.

I'm unclear why Xeno didn't make the list. It's a two-player sort-of-sports title on ice in which the players take it in turns quickly to direct their larger pucks in a snooker-style in order to try to knock a smaller puck into an opposing goal. So you have something like 10 seconds to pick a direction and power by moving a target cursor, and as soon as you hit fire your opponent gets their 10 seconds to do the same, while everything is still in flight.

(EDIT: looking back at that, I didn't realise how much I was typing. This, apparently, is how I spend my Friday afternoons at work. Shush!)

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby RobC » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:06 pm

One thing I came across recently was an Oric port of SkoolDaze: http://skooldaze.defence-force.org/

This was probably my favourite Speccy game from BITD.

The Oric version looks excellent but the Beeb obviously lacks the attribute graphics mode but it would still look good in mode 4.

They've had some issues releasing it but, if you could get hold of the source code, it shouldn't take too much effort to port to the Beeb.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby Pernod » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:17 pm

How about Super Locomotive? The C64 had clones with Suicide Express and Loco. You can even rip the music from Strykers Run.
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Re: what should i write next?

Postby kieranhj » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:44 pm

I always thought an endless runner type game would be a good fit for the Beeb given the ease of hardware sideways scrolling and/or ability to do different speed sideways scrolls via the magic of vertical rupture. But, as always, you'd likely need to solicit a 2D artist for the endeavour.

+1 on 1942 though, it's one of my favourite games. :) I'd love to remake Nemesis/Gradius but definitely a 16-bit game.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby derek » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:14 am

Hi,

What language would you write in, BASIC or Assembler.

I have the C sources to a few games, not sure if they could be adapted to the BEEB.

But DOOM might be a challenege
Regards,

Derek

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby tricky » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:58 am

That's a good afternoon work ;)
I think gradius was a6502 game.I did look at doing it iirc, it looked OK, and doesn't even bother redrawing the plosion clears it.
R-type was one of the later inspirations for Jeltron, but there is just too much for 50fps and I think it would scroll at one pixel per frame, requiring 4 copies of the screen, or maybe 2 at 25fps.
I still want to do a 50fps, 2pix per frame sideways scroller, but requiring a CRT TV, emulator or maybe an FPGA beeb is a little restrictive.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby tricky » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:02 am

Derek, asm is the only choice for me, I do do a bit of basic, but only really for setting things up ready for the game.
I use c++for work, so ready c is fine.
Doom would probably only be fast enough if written in mode 7; what else do you have ;)

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby kieranhj » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:58 am

Original Gradius was a 68000 board IIRC but there were 8-bit ports for NES, C64 & Spectrum that might be helpful. Main challenge would be number of sprites being thrown around I guess.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby tricky » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:36 pm

Sorry, I was thinking of vanguard.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby davidb » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:05 pm

I think you should write something original, or as original as any game can be. I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions for themes, gameplay, etc.

Failing that, aerworuld noted that nobody had converted Wizard of Wor to the Acorn machines prior to his remake.

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Re: what should i write next?

Postby Pernod » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:20 pm

If you're looking for 6502 based arcade game then Astro Fighter should produce a decent conversion.

I always enjoyed Pac-Land in the arcades, simple gameplay and graphics, doable?
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