Tales of Popolon (new MSXDev'17 entry)

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Por NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5939)

Imagen del NYYRIKKI

23-04-2017, 09:48

Oh, how cool is that! I was thinking if you can fix the stairs, but you did it and also added colors! Super nice!

I did some tests and I can confirm that this game works great also on Memotech MTX-512 and SVI-328 Tongue

Por tfh

Prophet (3206)

Imagen del tfh

23-04-2017, 10:02

santiontanon wrote:

I just uploaded a new version (v1.3): https://github.com/santiontanon/talesofpopolon/releases/tag/...

The main new change is a small improvement in the code that renders the wall textures that allows multicolored textures. Now the walls do not need to be flat-colored. A small video showing the way the game looks now can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8Cyz5CiiCc

In principle I could make textures that have every single pixels of a different color, but the problem with that is that then I cannot compress them very well to fit in the 32KB ROM. So, I've only added a few derails with color here and there. But hopefully that makes the game look better :)

Updated the game on my site as well: http://www.file-hunter.com/MSX/Top.html if you wanna have a go :)

Por santiontanon

Paragon (1639)

Imagen del santiontanon

23-04-2017, 15:56

Thanks tfh!!!

Ha, and I didn't know the Wreck!, thanks for sharing! I spent quite some time a few months ago collecting references on 8bit 3D games for MSX/Spectrum/CPC (I was particularly impressed by Micronaut, which moves ridiculously smooth!), but didn't come across this one!

And also, wow! cool that it works on the Memotech!!! I was reading and it's not 100% compatible with the MSX, so this is purely by accident I think! Big smile

Por KdL

Paragon (1434)

Imagen del KdL

23-04-2017, 19:26

It would be nice to see a map 2D of the labirint on the right side ;-)

Por santiontanon

Paragon (1639)

Imagen del santiontanon

23-04-2017, 21:30

yeah! that's actually something I wanted to do. But I ran out of space in the ROM Sad
It's definitively on my to-do list for a potential future version though!! Smile

Por NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5939)

Imagen del NYYRIKKI

24-04-2017, 09:42

santiontanon wrote:

And also, wow! cool that it works on the Memotech!!! I was reading and it's not 100% compatible with the MSX, so this is purely by accident I think! Big smile

Feel free to call me "accident"... Some people even add "walking" in front of it, LOL. My father once told me that only thing he can give me is one meter of railroad track... If it is shorter I manage to lose it and if it is longer I find a way to bend it. Wink

Indeed neither of these computers are MSX compatible... SVI-328 is more close as it can be seen as "grandfather" or MSX standard. It had all the same components, but they were connected in different way using separate I/O ports for reading & writing, keyboard & stuff was connected trough different chips etc. Also all hardware connectors are incompatible with MSX. The BASIC of the machine was made by Microsoft just like in MSX and when you ie. look at BIOS it has many similar routines as MSX has although much is missing and all the addresses are different.

Memotech is also not much more far off... It has same VDP and CPU, but it also has Zilog CTC and it uses SN76489A to generate sound instead of AY-3-8910. It has also some sort of BASIC & assembler in ROM, but it is not Microsoft BASIC.

To make MSX programs to load on these machines I ported custom version of C-BIOS to these platforms and added automatic patching routine that looks the game binary, separates code from other type of data and patches the game routines to use the available hardware instead... So actually we are talking about automatic game porting system here.

KdL wrote:

It would be nice to see a map 2D of the labirint on the right side ;-)

Naah... The maps are quite small and if you really tend to get lost, I think printed one would serve just as well... I think that the fact that it takes a bit time to get used to the map is part of the game's appeal.

Por poke-1,170

Paragon (1769)

Imagen del poke-1,170

24-04-2017, 12:58

looks nice Smile

Por santiontanon

Paragon (1639)

Imagen del santiontanon

24-04-2017, 17:42

@NYYRIKKI oh!!! I didn't realize that you had actively ported the game by doing a custom BIOS! I thought that you happened to try the game and it worked! I misunderstood! In that case, impressive!!!! Big smile

Por NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5939)

Imagen del NYYRIKKI

24-04-2017, 23:15

santiontanon wrote:

@NYYRIKKI oh!!! I didn't realize that you had actively ported the game by doing a custom BIOS!

On any normal day I would propably say "Yeah, that's it!" but since you clearly understand the inner working of MSX and you just created most advanced game for MSX1 that I've ever seen, I feel you are just the audience for my outburst, so I must take some more of your time...

The custom BIOS is just one part of the story and maybe for this game it is enough, I'm not sure... After all doing something like that is just some hard work that needs to be done...

The point is that I did not actively port anything, but I outsourced the task for automatic process... The actual "magic" happens in a part that I tend to call "self aware, self modifying artificial intelligence". This is the code that separates the Z80-code from all the compressed data, music & graphics. It scans though the code, skips the irrelevant data and decides what parts of the code can be directly changed to new platform and what parts need further investigation... Those later mentioned parts get "break points" inserted and they are examined & patched again during runtime. I don't say that your game needs all this logic around it, but this is anyway how my MSX ROM-loader works.

Por santiontanon

Paragon (1639)

Imagen del santiontanon

25-04-2017, 03:20

Oh! right, I remember now reading about this in another thread! Looks pretty interesting, and indeed I am curious to learn more. By pure coincidence, even if as a hobby I like making games, what I do for a living is AI. So, even if I am hijacking my own thread, after reading the description of your tool here ( https://www.msx.org/downloads/utilities/rom/nyyrikkis-msx-ro... ) I was wondering how does it work, is it using some sort of pattern matching to identify sequences of bytes that could be Z80 assembler code?

(thanks for the "most advanced game for MSX1" btw ;) )

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