New version of Astro Blaster (was: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster)

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tricky
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New version of Astro Blaster (was: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster)

Postby tricky » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:52 pm

I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster for the BBC and was hoping for a bit of feedback before it gets too late.
For programming discussion, please use the thread at RetroSoftware: http://www.retrosoftware.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=912&p=6805#p6805
I'm probably going to leave running out of fuel as loosing a life, not game over as in the arcades.
Speech is out unless there is an extended (sw ram/B+/master etc) version.
I haven't looked in to the speech ROM expansion, but that may be an option!
I will add joystick support, probably same as Carnival(e).
I should be able to get the asteroids in and maybe a few secret bonuses.
I'm going to make the rocket levels single pass and tidy the formations that are currently just a flat overlapping row.
What sort of scores are people getting, I can usually get ~20k using one warp per sector (ends with fireball).

keys Z,X left, right. RETURN fire, SHIFT warp
EDIT: Tweaked .ssd to not upset B-Em so much
Attachments
AstroBlaster.zip
Tweaked to not upset B-Em so much
(7.69 KiB) Downloaded 70 times
AstroBlaster.png
Last edited by tricky on Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PitfallJones
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby PitfallJones » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:35 pm

This is terrific!

Really nice gfx and fast!

B-em flickers all over the place but BeeBem is ok.

- PJ

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:05 pm

I may not have the mode setup quite correctly, but it is OK on windows beebem and b-em
I do still have a stray crtc write when an alien explodes

EDIT: And on my model B ;)
Last edited by tricky on Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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roland
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby roland » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:15 am

@Kees: when can we expect AtomBlaster :lol: :lol: :lol:
256K + 6502 Inside
MAN WOMAN :shock:

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daveejhitchins
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby daveejhitchins » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:27 am

tricky wrote:I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster for the BBC
AND Electron :- [-o<

Now there's a challenge . . .

Dave H :D
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leenew
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby leenew » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:23 am

Hi Tricky,
Once again I am bowled over by the speed and quality of your work!
I really hope this gets finished. [-o<
Lee.

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby chrisn » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:56 pm

Awesome stuff =D>

I didn't know the arcade version, so I just tried it in MAME. It's a good conversion, and the graphics are very smooth.

I put it on my SD card to play it on my Beeb. My best score so far is 9,550.

Chris

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:10 pm

Pretty good, I guess I have had a lot of practice and time to learn the waves

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby TopBanana » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:15 pm

Quite simply astounding :shock: :shock:

A bit of sound and this really could be the arcade version =D> =D>

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jms2
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby jms2 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:24 pm

Terrific!! =D>

I wasn't familiar with the original, but having looked at screenshots I can't believe how faithful your version is. I've played it a bit, got to Sector 3 quite easily - is the warp feature part of the original game or is it something to help skip levels for demo purposes?

My kids played it quite a bit, and they weren't able to break it!

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:21 pm

The arcade version has one warp per sector, which ends after the asteroid storm (currently one fireball) and then docking with the refuel ship. If you run out of fuel (time) or fail to refuel, it's game over.
I will be reducing the warp to once per sector, but once per wave is useful for testing.
I don't have enough memory for the docking seq, but I don't think it will make the game less fun.
I am planning on keeping the refuel, rest the warp and cool down if you die, but to compensate I am planning on keeping the whole wave respawns if you die - and it's less code ;)

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sydney
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby sydney » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:21 am

Very very nice!
I score 13700, definitely need to have less warps. Is the original that fast? Off to have a look on youtube.
Keep it up!

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:30 am

The original is 60Hz, and I think I have all the movement identical, so it was actually 20% faster in the arcades ;)
I make the warp last for the same time as the 60Hz version, so you can actually do less, but the arcade version always felt too long to me.
PS It is optional to activate warp :o

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oss003
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby oss003 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:06 am

Wow.... it very hard to play. After a few tries I did get a score of 13200 so I still need to practice to improve that.

Greetings
Kees

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:23 pm

Thanks guys, I guess that as it wasn't very popular in the arcades there aren't many memories to not live up to :)

It may have not been popular because it was so hard - there were at least three release, with each getting easier until the last was just very very very hard.

Not too much practicing, I was hoping to get this in the next hi-score challenge :wink:

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:39 pm

Added a minimal attract mode and fixed the occasionally jumpy screen.
Probably no more updates for a while - off to tackle sound!
Attachments
AstroBlaster.zip
(7.69 KiB) Downloaded 65 times

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davidb
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby davidb » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:05 pm

You could always take the cheap option and use the Acorn speech upgrade for the spoken messages. :D

That reminds me: I must rebuild BeebEm for my system since I believe it emulates the speech chip, and it would be interesting to hear what it sounds like. :)

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KarateEd
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby KarateEd » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:46 pm

tricky wrote:I was hoping to get this in the next hi-score challenge :wink:


Well, that's a very nice looking game, keep after it and I bet people will appreciate playing it in the challenge.....very nice work Tricky.

Ed.....:-)

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:57 pm

davidb wrote:You could always take the cheap option and use the Acorn speech upgrade for the spoken messages.

I was going to give it a try, but docs are a bit thin on driving it without the OS and I wasn't sure how much CPU time it might need.

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby RobC » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:05 pm

tricky wrote:
davidb wrote:You could always take the cheap option and use the Acorn speech upgrade for the spoken messages.

I was going to give it a try, but docs are a bit thin on driving it without the OS and I wasn't sure how much CPU time it might need.

There's some info (including datasheets) on Sprow's website:
http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/speechupgrade.htm

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:57 pm

Thanks, I had a quick look last night, looks like I will have to do some 6502 disassembling and playing to assemble the words from speech fragments.

Maybe I can find a text to speech program for the beeb+speech chip and save some time.

It is a shame that this wasn't a more popular upgrade as having 32KB extra RAM, that can be used as a ROM would have been good and many games could have uploaded custom data to play extra/different sounds.

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby RobC » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:02 pm

Sprow produced an example PHROM image that contained digitised speech - I believe he put the details on the BBC Micro Mailing list but I can't find the post at the moment. (Think he ran a competition offering a free speech upgrade for anyone who could figure out how to do it!)

Might be worth trying to dig out the post in case there are any useful details?

The Sprow upgrade is more flexible than the original as replacement PHROM images can be soft-loaded on the fly. I guess this would work well for Astroblaster but suspect that the modern version is even less common than the Acorn original?

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:26 pm

Thanks Rob,
I'll have a hunt around.
I thought that you could upload to the original, but may be confusing it with the upgrade.

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby davidb » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:31 pm

tricky wrote:It is a shame that this wasn't a more popular upgrade as having 32KB extra RAM, that can be used as a ROM would have been good and many games could have uploaded custom data to play extra/different sounds.

I think the Beebs that failed to sell in the USA were all fitted with the upgrade so there could have been quite a few out there at one point. Can anyone confirm this?

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby richardtoohey » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:34 pm

Mark @ RetroClinic has one for sale at the moment ...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ACORN-BBC-MOD ... 1581035919

... and he says:

"This machine was designed for the American Market, and unfortunately wasn't a big success over there, like it was here. It is effectively a Model B with a redesigned motherboard, and comes as standard with Disc filing system, Econet networking, Speech and VIEW word processor."

(My emphasis)

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1024MAK
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby 1024MAK » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:03 pm

I have a issue 3 Beeb (I think) that has the Acorn speech system fitted. I have no other Beebs that have this upgrade. All my Acorn machines were bought second hand.

IIRC, the PHROM is a ROM that contains speech data.

Mark
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby RobC » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:59 pm

Does the USA Beeb have the Kenneth Kendall PHROM or the one with the American accent?

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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby daveejhitchins » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:11 pm

RobC wrote:Does the USA Beeb have the Kenneth Kendall PHROM or the one with the American accent?
According to the description for Mark's American Beeb, linked-to above ^^, it's the one with the American accent.

Dave H :D
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby RobC » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:49 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
RobC wrote:Does the USA Beeb have the Kenneth Kendall PHROM or the one with the American accent?
According to the description for Mark's American Beeb, linked-to above ^^, it's the one with the American accent.

Thanks Dave - that's what I suspected. So not much use if you're looking to do something based on the UK version.

tricky wrote:I thought that you could upload to the original, but may be confusing it with the upgrade.

Think you can drive the speech processor by using the CPU to load data from RAM but that's not much good if you're tight on memory and don't want to use up precious cycles. Sprow's version allows you to pre-load the PHROM which is much better.

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tricky
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Re: I'm currently working on a version of AstroBlaster

Postby tricky » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:21 am

Well, here it is for now, I'm afraid I am going to have to take another break.


URL:http://youtu.be/lFQHtOvkybk

I don't have space for docking with the mother ship without losing more of the dashboard, and am not feeling too well, so the compromise for now is to turn all the asteroids into fireballs and refuel that way.

EDIT: Lockup fixed, new .ssd added

I am still planning on adding joystick support.

If anyone has any programming suggestions, please post them over at RetroSoftware, for gameplay, or comments about the game, here is fine.

EDIT: .ssd updated with one that doesn't hang
Attachments
AstroBlast.zip
Z,X, SHIFT and RETURN
(7.92 KiB) Downloaded 63 times
Last edited by tricky on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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