Xerra's Blog

Drunken coder ramblings

The transfer game —

Even though the title sequence still needs some work to get it up to standard, we decided that it was something to come back to later as there will soon be enemy droids going into the game. Obviously, without having the transfer game in place, it’s going to be just the shoot-em-up aspect of Paradroid we’ll be testing and fixing, so it’s time to get that done now so all aspects of enemy droids can be set up in one go.

We delegated a rough task structure at the start of the project and decided that I would be the one who would be coding the transfer mini-game. With us this doesn’t mean that I just get on with it and Aaron will look at it when it’s done. With all aspects of the game we spend a lot of discussion time making sure we have as much assistance as needed to get each section done, so the last weekend we both spent a considerable amount of time at Aaron’s working on the graphics for the game and working out how it’s going to be coded. As in either Sprites or a tile map system.

Common sense made us choose tile maps as we have the option of resizing to get everything fitting nicely on screen, and it will be much easier to actually keep track of them in game as it’s a map system.

So here’s one of several maps we’ve set up for both testing the graphics, getting the tile-sizes right, and being a useful reference for how to put the random element into code when generating a new screen.

This one functions as how the screen will be generated at the start. My code will overwrite the blank areas with the actual layout of the circuits, blockers and switchers. Not sure if those are actual names Andrew used but I need variable names for them so they will do for me.

Andrew stated in his original “Zzap 64” diary that it was pretty easy to get this transfer game working properly and did it over a weekend, as I recall. I have as much time as needed, realistically, and a much better development system. Not to mention I don’t have to worry about fitting it into 2k of memory either. And I doubt I’ll still get it done anywhere near as quick as he did but here’s hoping.

This is pretty much how it looked in my editor before I started working on creating it. I’ve not got Aaron’s handy C64 colour macros in the project yet and stuff like all the other graphics needed, like robot definitions in, but it gives an idea of how I’m working with GMS on this horrible Parallels environment. Can’t believe I was happy working with that when I first tried it…

The tiles we needed to make up the entire game turned out to be relatively low once we had put some through in to what could be re-used. We didn’t screenshot the original game and use GMS to tile a PNG image because we wanted to keep it tight so we could macro the tile map blocks and keep it simple to keep track of redrawing the map after every circuit is activated. Creating our own tile set also gave us the advantage of getting the dimensions right as we wanted to make it fit exact to our current fixed screen size but retain the original number of usable elements in the game. We had to play the original game many, many times and tinker with the graphics a lot to get this just right. Hopefully we did cover every tile actually needed but I’m not going to be totally sure on that until I actually start moving things around on-screen.

 


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