DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Got a calculator project that you're working on, tell everyone about it
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post07 January 2012, 18:07

STORY:

You are part of the I.G.I.A, the InterGalactic Intelligence Agency. You have been sent to Titan, one of saturn's moons to investigate the disappearance of weapons, plutonium and some soldiers. The IGSA, the InterGalactic Security Agency runs and funds this base, so uncovering the reasons for the disappearing weapons and soldiers is of the highest importance.

After being briefed, fed and dismissed, you spend some time reading in your quarters. Some time in the early hours of the day, you hear a crash. You grab your weapon and dash towards the direction the sound came in. The T1000 has gone berserk. It appears that this prototype defense robot has killed a soldier. You draw your weapon, find a weak spot and fire. After the thing has been disabled and the body of the soldier is taken care of, the T1000 is taken in for diagnostics to find out why this happened.

In the morning you hear a commotion coming from the administrative quarters. "What now?", you think as you rub the last remnants of sleep from your eyes. You make your way to the commander's office and find out that during the night, the diagnostics lab technician has been murdered.

.... And that's all I'm giving you for now. When I write up the rest of the story you'll have to play the game to figure it out for yourself.

There has been a lot of work done on this game already, you can check out some of the progress history and see more screenshots at http://www.tifreakware.net/atg

Recently I implemented some nifty things with the enemies, they drop items when you kill them, and also locked doors, and black hole generator booby traps.

Here are the screenshots chronologically.

Here's the beginning:

Image

Image

A little further into development:

Image

Image

AI starting to take shape:

Image

Some early cinematics:

Image

Image

Menus starting to take shape:

Image

Starting to put fine touches on cinematics:

Image

:: A little time warp ::

Here's today:

This one shows that the player is mortal and the black hole effect.
Image

This one shows the neat little item dropping from the dead enemy thing.
Image

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post07 January 2012, 18:16

Those are some of the highest-quality graphics I've ever seen for any calculator game. It's stuff like this that makes me wish I had a TI-89, but I guess an emulator works too :D
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post08 January 2012, 06:29

Thank you! You'll be pleased to know that I've made some progress on this today. I did some optimizations and a couple of minor bug fixes. The recent additions this past 18 months or so (I took about a year or so hiatus from this) Have been a minigame, where you run around and kill randomly spawned enemies for as long as possible, buying weapons off the walls and soon purchasing your passage to the next level of the mini game, which will be larger in space each time, giving you places to hide, only issue is each level will cost more points. You gain points for every enemy you kill. I've also made it so that you can save your progress in both the Story Mode and the Mini Game, so if you want to come back to the game later, you can in either mode, and you'll have your progress in each.

The optimizations I completed today added in the neighborhood of 2 or 3 FPS to the speed of the game, it's quite a noticeable difference when you've got very little to work with to begin with. I would say it runs at about 15 FPS or so, maybe more or less depending on what's going on in the game. It never becomes too slow to play though, that much I can tell you, just from having to test it so much. I've got a few things in the works for more optimizations.

The current level count completed right now is: 16 levels, 8 transport animations sectors, and 1 minigame level. So it's coming along quite smoothly. The really good news is that the nuts and bolts of the game is really close to being completed, the most of it now, is adding stuff to move the story along. That and adding a couple of features here and there.

There are currently 6 working weapons, and your fists at your disposal, 4 types of enemies, with another couple on the way, including a sub-boss enemy type and a boss.

There are boobytraps, tasks and items you have to disable, complete and find respectively. Doors you have to unlock, computers you have to engage and get into. There's quite a bit to do in this game, the screenshots don't really tell you much about the gameplay.

Anyways, more to come! I'll keep you all informed here!
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post08 January 2012, 16:48

I've seen this around, and it's beautiful. What are you programming it in, C? It's not often you see much for the 89/92+ these days... I still can't believe how amazing it all is. Seriously, the cinematics, the graphics (i love how there are multiple sprites for the enemies, depending on what angle you are looking at them from), and the computers, little signs on the wall, the lighting on the floor, everything. It's so detailed. And to top it all, there'll even be a story/storyline! I've always wanted to try my hand at programming for the 89...
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post08 January 2012, 17:56

Yes I am in fact programming it in C. Thanks for your kind comments about the game. I'm glad you appreciate the details, I'm attempting to make it as complete a game as possible, throwing in as much as I can to try to achieve some kind of realism. I want the player to feel like they're really there, fighting their way out of the base.

If you want to try programming for these calculators, feel free to ask me some questions in a PM and I'll try to answer them for you or point you in the right direction to get some good instruction if I can't explain something well. It's a lot of fun, but definitely a challenge. If you don't know C already, the best place to start would probably to be to get yourself a compiler and a couple of books and start making some console programs on your computer, to get the hang of the syntax, then move over to the calculator.

There are some rather specific aspects to TIGCC, and it helps to know standard C before you start, so you can better adapt. Just let me know if I can help in any way, and feel free to download the Doom89 SDK from ticalc if/when you do get started, it's got some good code here and there in it. It's not half as good in terms of implementation as DOA is, but it can be a useful learning tool. Really, downloading the source of games you like is probably a great place to start in general, it'll help you learn some things that you want to be able to do.
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post08 January 2012, 18:19

Thanks! Btw, do you know of any asm tutorials? What emulator do you use?

And wow, i just noticed even the fan spins!
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post08 January 2012, 20:50

It really depends on which type of asm you're speaking of. If it's z80 Assembly for ti-82 for instance, I'd go http://karma.ticalc.org/ if it's for the 83+/84+ there are tons, but my old standby is http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/268/26877.html Now if it's m68k assembly like the ti-89, ti-92+ or voyage 200, there's this which I'm rather fond of. http://www.technoplaza.net/

The spinning fans were fun to make, I had to draw each frame by hand in paint for that one, it took a while to make that look right. Several of the images you see were drawn directly on paper and scanned in as well, like the main game splash screen, where the guy is hiding behind the wall with the gun, waiting for the eyeball robot to get closer. I actually don't know where the original drawing is, I'm kind of not happy about that, I think it's in my old desk that I've just now started going through since my last move.

You'll like this as well, those robots that have arms and legs and run around, that was an action figure I've had since I was a kid. I took pictures of it in each position for each motion, shrunk them down, made a mask for the transparency, and converted both to 4 level grayscale, then converted those images into hex code strings. I had to do this for 26 separate images. (i took advantage of the directions by mirroring the matching angles, so there's only 5 sets of 4 frames for the walking, and 3 images per attack sequence and there are two attacks it does, punch and kick). The cleaning robot with the strange wheels I drew by hand on paper and scanned in with my old scanner, and had to do that whole process as well, but only for 10 images this time. (two sets of 5 images, one for each wheel position and I only used two wheel positions because you really can't tell the difference much).

The graphics has been the slowest process out of all of this, I'm glad you notice these things, It makes me think that a lot of people are going to appreciate the details I've put in. I forget exactly how many separate images are in the game, but when I open it back up to work on it tonight, I'll give you the official tally if you're curious.

EDIT:

Now that you piqued my curiosity I totaled up the number of separate images in the game it turned out to be four hundred and nine images. 409! I wasn't even keeping track the number, just what they were and where they were and such, and didn't realize I have 409 images in there. LOL! I actually laughed out loud and re-did the tally twice because I couldn't believe it myself. O.o And contrary to what you might think by that number I actually do have a life... :p
Offline
User avatar

Madskillz

Site Admin

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post09 January 2012, 05:47

Great to see you around man...I was wondering if/hoping more staff would find out that we moved. This game always looked great and the project seems to be progressing nicely. Glad to see you are still working on it I thought it might have been dead.
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post09 January 2012, 07:22

Yeah, i was talking about 68k tutorials. I just checked out the technoplaza site and it explains things really well, it's a bummer that it's so short though. Thanks!

I really like how personal the game is, hand-drawn pictures?! Wow! I can't imagine how long all of that must've taken! I also saw what i think you are talking about, the little robot with wheels, in one of the screenshots, it made me smile to see it rolling away, i swear i heard the buzzing sound that robots make when they move in the movies :D
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post09 January 2012, 07:44

It's good to see you too Madskills. I wasn't aware I was still staff here! Unless I misread that comment. That's very kind of you to keep me on the team despite my long absence. I actually worked on this at length today. My brains are a bit fried.

I spent about 5 or 6 hours (maybe more, I wasn't keeping strict track of time, but I worked at least 5 hours total in two long sessions today) first rewriting a pretty important section of code for speed reasons, then tracking down and fixing the stuff I had broken in the process. I have successfully sped the game up a little more. I'm having slight issues still with a couple of things speed wise, nothing that is strictly problematic, but it bugs the crap out of me because I want this thing to be smooth as butter.

Speaking of how crazy this thing makes me sometimes, I am now triple backing up my progress, and I'm considering backing it up in a few more places! lol I'd be pretty upset if I ever lost anything in this process. With nearly 4 years of development and god knows how many hours of work I've put into it, I'd just about lose my mind if I lost this project. Actually... I decided to back it up to my ftp hosting on TIFreakware while I'm at it. :p

Lol the complexity is kind of getting away from me, I'm having to search through my code before writing new code so I don't reinvent the wheel. Them's the brakes with a project like this. I can't imagine what it would be like to program it in assembly. My brains would probably melt out of my ears.

Anyways, DOA's coming along nicely. I'll try and post recent screenshots as soon as I get some working screenshot software! lol I'm having issues with that and Windows 7. (dang non-backwards-compatibility horse-crap. Win 7 has irritated me mucho less than vista ever did (what a joke there, btw nested parentheses ftw) but it's still quite the irritant for sure.)

EDIT:
Chickendude: No sweat, that's what this community is about, helping people. I'll check around for you and see if I can find something more detailed. And I'm glad you enjoy those kind of details, there's a bunch I'm working on right now. :D
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post12 January 2012, 16:26

So I just finished a major rewrite of the animation code for DOA, I shaved off 2.5kb of program size and saved probably hundreds, maybe as much as thousands of clock cycles (no way of knowing, but the speed increase is very noticeable). The code I wrote allows me to handle every animation the same way with a gigantic array of pointers to arrays which contain pointers (my brain hurts) to the images, and it doesn't matter how many frames the sprites animations have, or where they are, because they all follow the same pattern.

Despite how diabolical and huge the array is, it actually saves me a bunch of resources because the animation code no longer has to sort out which type of sprite it's animating. On top of that, everything is in one place, so the system only has to organize it once when the game starts, not every animation frame, saving a bunch of time.

There are a few more glitches I'm working out, but I know what's causing them, and they don't cause the game to crash, and since I'm tired of programming for the moment, they'll have to wait. I've been working since 6:30AM this morning, I woke up and I didn't have anything to do for hours so I ended up tying up those loose ends in the rewrite. I'll let you know what's happening as I fix things and trim down my code to get some more efficiency out of this.
Offline
User avatar

NanoWar

Site Admin

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post13 January 2012, 11:40

Whaow, that's a huge dedication. What do you do for a living?

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post13 January 2012, 23:07

You mean calculator programming isn't a real job? D:
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post14 January 2012, 02:05

Maybe the question was meant to be, "What do you do when you aren't living?" ?
Offline
User avatar

NanoWar

Site Admin

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post14 January 2012, 11:28

No I meant what's your job when you don't do programming.
Offline
User avatar

Madskillz

Site Admin

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post14 January 2012, 16:34

AaroneusTheGreat wrote:It's good to see you too Madskills. I wasn't aware I was still staff here! Unless I misread that comment. That's very kind of you to keep me on the team despite my long absence. I actually worked on this at length today. My brains are a bit fried.

No you read it right. Once your staff your always staff! I did it that way because of how important the staff has been to our success and I thought you guys should always be recognized even if you never stop back.

It's great seeing you shave off some bytes. I like the way your animation works, it sounds like a smart way to handle it for this type of game.
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post16 January 2012, 08:54

Madskills: I feel very honored these days, thank you. Between Omnimaga putting me back on ARS, TI-Freakware and here putting me back on staff, I feel like you all are really extending me some very meaningful commendations.

NanoWar: I am currently a starving college student. I no longer have a job anymore. I was sort of laid off from my position in the family business. /facepalm. Times are really tough, and my parents can't afford to actually pay me for the work I do, they just put me up when my lease for my apartment ran out, and they make sure I'm fed and that I have gas in my car. My tuition is paid for through the state. So the short answer is, I go to school for a living. My parents are very kind to me, and have always been there for me no matter what, I really can't possibly ever thank them enough for where I am right now, I could be homeless and going hungry right now. That's kind of a long story by the way. I really ought to write a book, I've had quite the interesting life in my short 23 years on this blue rock.

chickendude: When i'm not living, I'm busy eating brains and moaning incoherently.

DeepThought: LOL! That's right! Who says it's not a real job?

PROGRESS UPDATE:

I just finished fixing the proximity mines system. I broke it when I rewrote the animation code. The good news is because I decided to go with a complete rewrite of the system, I managed to save quite a few cycles and bytes. I don't know exactly how many I saved, but more good news on top of this, with the new code I wrote for the proximity mines, I'll be able to more quickly rewrite the code for the energy cannon, which incidentally also was broken when I started this major rewrite.

All of this rewriting has a major purpose, that being saving cycles and bytes, but also, i was beginning to get very close to the 65k executable limit. I had to do something. I could no longer let some things get handled in a clean, but not as efficient manner, I'm just running too much now. Fortunately, I planned very well from the beginning, so the code ended up being very adaptable.

I actually didn't realize all the implications of how I planned everything out. So far, when you save/load the game, due to good planning, if the game has already booted up once, it will still work! The only problem is if you save, exit the game, boot it back up and load, it fails. Luckily I know the problem, I just have to go in and fix it when I'm done with my other more important rewrite tasks. I've still got a fairly daunting (to me) list of things I want to retool with my new techniques. They are getting checked off at a pace I'm happy with. More to come soon!
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post17 January 2012, 16:44

PROGRESS UPDATE:

As of last night, the energy cannon has been fixed. All the weapons now work correctly again. I'm still working on a few bugs dealing with the enemies. Some of their animations are getting set wrong, I know what the issue is, I just have to hunt down where the incorrect values are getting set. I already fixed two animation bugs dealing with two different characters. It's turning out to be rather easy, just very tedious. I'll let you know when I've got everything squared away. Once I do I plan on fixing the save/load feature and picking through a few more things that need rewriting.

We'll see what happens. I need to have some space opened up so that I can start writing in some new tasks for the player to complete. The game needs more to do in it. Running around and mindlessly killing enemies is not what I'm going for with this. I want it to be in depth and interesting as well as exciting.
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post18 January 2012, 12:33

Wow, sounds like you're coming along nicely! What else do you have in mind aside from a storyline/spilling a ton of monsters' guts?
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post22 January 2012, 22:17

Well the mini game will soon have levels that you can buy with points that you gain from killing enemies. So before too long you'll be able to play the mini game with much more strategy involved. I think I'm going to implement barriers you can buy as well, so that you can block yourself off from the enemies for a period of time in addition to being able to buy egress routes to escape from the enemies for longer. I think I'm basically going for a full implementation of the Nazi Zombies style mini game, like only putting some strong weapons in the rooms you can buy and such. So there will be plenty to do in the mini game eventually. As it is you can already buy any of the weapons, armor, health or bullets, from the walls just like in Nazi Zombies.

I really want the mini game to be addictive as possible so that the replay value of the game is very high. I focused on a linear storyline and tasks and such for the story mode, so I want the player to have something to do when that's all done with. Doom89, despite being a game I'm proud to call my work, was very linear and not very good with replay value. I want DOA to be like Portal 2 was to Portal. A similar game, but much more advanced and expanded.

PROGRESS UPDATE:

I just finished a rewrite that puts some of the initial data for the game into a file. It saved me another 3kb of data from being stuck in the program. I've now brought the program size down to 61,900 bytes. Which means I've got quite a bit to work with still. I haven't finished putting everything I plan on putting into the data file though, so the actual amount of program data saved might be more in the future. I also implemented another system that starts to selectively ignore dead and unimportant sprites as the game cycles, thereby speeding the game up as you start playing each level. It has some quirks right now, but it should be easy to fix. Next on the list is to finish retooling the save/load feature. It appears to be working correctly right now, but I don't like the whole "appears to be" part very much, so I want to be sure.

I need alpha testers! I know I've been whining about that a lot in my posts lately, but only because it's a legitimate problem! Somebody please volunteer! I want to be able to release the alpha to my testers so I can figure out what needs fixing right away that I may have missed. That will help me streamline the development process a lot.

So much to do still! So little time!
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post23 January 2012, 00:00

I'd be glad to spend time beta testing, unfortunately i "lost" my 89 several years ago and could only test on an emulator. Your idea on unimportant sprites sounds interesting, what do you do? Keep track of only a certain number of them?
Offline
User avatar

Madskillz

Site Admin

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post23 January 2012, 04:41

I got an 89T lying around here somewhere I'd be willing to help you test. That mini game sounds like a sweet add-on.
Offline

AaroneusTheGreat

Staff Member

Topic Starter

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post23 January 2012, 06:06

I'll get an install package built for the both of you in a day or two when I've got the code tightened up to what seems like a stable point for the progress so far. Thank you for volunteering. I really appreciate the help. Please try your best to get the game to screw up if you can. That's the most useful info I can get.

@chickendude: I use an array of timer variables that counts up to a certain number of cycles for every sprite depending on if the sprite has had any actions done to it, if the counter reaches it's limit, then another section of code makes the loop skip the sprite that has reached it's limit. Basically I've programmed ADD into the engine, if the sprite it's looking at isn't interesting after a certain point, it just starts ignoring it. lol.

@MadSkills: I hope it is. So far it's very simple, but that will change very soon. I think that's the part I plan on focusing on next.
Offline
User avatar

Madskillz

Site Admin

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post29 January 2012, 17:48

Sweet send me a copy whenever you are ready. I will do everything I can to break it ha.
Offline
User avatar

chickendude

Staff Member

Re: DOA: an up and coming 3D FAT engine game for 68k calcs

Post29 January 2012, 22:54

AaroneusTheGreat, you wouldn't happen to know anything about getting TIGCC set up under Linux, would you? :D I've been pulling my hair out all day!
Next

Return to Announce your Projects

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron