The joy of side-scrollers

Luminary
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #16
[OT Reply]

I have a friend who has a 700MHz iBook, it performs very well in OS X. It outperforms many of the university's servers for Java, and the Radeon 7500 is a pretty fast graphics card.
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Member
Posts: 104
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Post: #17
I love side scrolling platformers. I played hours of Donkey knog on my grandparent's Nintendo system. I remember the first time we made it through the ore cart level, the whole family was cheering.

I'd love to do a good side scroller, gotta file that away somewhere for when I finish with all of my other projects.
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Moderator
Posts: 508
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #18
I think the 3D game market is now exploited (spelling?). There are way too many 3D games out there. However, while 2D games seem outdated and an endangered species, I do believe we (the programmers) can make fantastic, very high tech 2D games. Sure it may look old school but add some very nice graphics and some smooth animations and you might have a great game.

Don't forget that telling a story is also very important when developing a game. I have come few games that didn't have a story and were good at the same time.

Speaking of Donkey Kong, I played Donkey Kong Country 3 on a SNES emulator. that game just rocks from beginning to end. Yet, there's no 3D engine written for it.

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Griggs
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Post: #19
Hmm, we have quite a few Donkey Kong fans here! GoodDoug, I too celebrated on passing the Ore Cart levels. Those were truly difficult, but entertaining enough to prevent me from giving up.

As for story, we now have all kinds of technological improvements to help with story-telling. A modern side-scroller could fairly easily have a nice scripting system that would make plot advancement quite manageable. Simple in-engine cutscenes could introduce characters, items, and story elements in a non-intrusive way.
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ededed
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Post: #20
I am working on an isometric RPG Just now and it is coming along well. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated by the way.
A good thing about 2D games is that the programmers feel bad about not using a possible 3rd dimension and put loads of particl effects in whic is nice. I dont like half the 3D games out just now too as they all run too slow on my computer. Jedi Knight 2 is good because it is based on Quake3 and it lets you use a console.

if you have quake 3 try:
/g_knockback -200000
that is quite funny.

But who is making 2D games nowadays? Me for one...
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Post: #21
Quote:Originally posted by Chrome
Any guidance (books/tutorials/articles/sites) would be much appreciated Smile

Unless you want to reinvent the wheel, SpriteWorld is your ticket for all that you're talking about.

-Jon
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #22
Chrome - I suggest you look at SpriteWorld. It handles tiles and would be good for side-scrollers.

Here's an idea. Why not a ColdStone Engine for side-scrollers. User can select various tiles and build levels. Each tile can have attributes or some AI. For example if character is standing on TILE 001 then he jumps 200 pixels, etc... The user then pops in sprites. They can use some pre-made sprites or import thei own (with frames, etc..) They can set the "goal" of the game, for example most collect 20 of ITEM 023 or REACH position XY.

Such an engine could probably handle Golden Axe, Sonic, Mario, Donkey Kong, Pitfall, Jungle Hunt, Double Dragon, Vampire Hunter, Gods (Great Amiga graphics), Zool and so on...

Who is going to make this product?

Speaking of this game tool. I have long wanted a Shoot'em Up Construction Kit for the Mac. For those that don't know. It was made for the Amiga (and??) and cost about $19!!!! I demoed it at an Amiga users meeting and the store (we held the meetings at an Amiga dealer) sold all 12 copies that night. In a nutshell, it is like the above but made for shoot'em ups. It was limited but had enough of the right ideas that you could make a fun game. And it was SUPER easy to use. For example, to make the enemy move, you simply moved your mouse and clicked to set a path. People made good games and also many bad games with it. It wouldn't compile the game but the runtime was pretty small. When I think of the marketplace, I feel that there is a great number of people who want to make games but will never get into programming. ColdStone Engine is good for its genre, but that genre -- RPGs, requires good story telling. Not to say side-scrollers or shoot'em ups don't too but you get my point?

The Scroller and Shooter Constuction Kits could be distributed as shareware. You can make a game but it requires the run-time to play. Register and you can compile the game into stand alone. (No splash screen by IDE and no royalties.) You also get some extra bonuses like bigger games (ie more levels, more tiles to use, etc..)

I could go on and on about how I envision these products to work.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Moderator
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Post: #23
Carlos,

That project could be made my he inkubator group. I'd happily join. In fact, I'm a bout to start writing a side scroller Smile

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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jamie
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Post: #24
This may apply to what you are looking for in a side scroller construction kit, it is billed as just such a thing.

http://www.sawbladesoftware.com/

Check it out....
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Member
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #25
Quote:Originally posted by jamie
This may apply to what you are looking for in a side scroller construction kit, it is billed as just such a thing.

http://www.sawbladesoftware.com/

Check it out....

Wow, that's pretty cool, it looks to have many of the features that Carlos described. And only $15 Cool

It isn't really a game creation tool... it is game with a very open architecture (all graphics, sound, levels, character data, etc are located in a well organized bundle) which can easily be copied and modified to create a new game. (read this). It would be much closer to the tool Carlos described if he wrote some sort of interface for manipulating the bundle... instead of using the Finder.

The system requirements seem a bit steep (compared to the Super Nintendo): 800MHz G4 with loads of RAM... it was made with REALbasic, which might not be the most effecient tool for high-speed games. The author says he gets just under 30 FPS while playing the example game on his G4 867Mhz... which is good enough if computers keep going the way they have.

The author, Jesse Simko, has a post-mortem like article about about the game/engine here An interesting read, especially the last paragraph:
Quote:A secret code hidden in the game copies all of the engineís source code onto the userís desktop. Players lucky enough to discover this Easter egg will be instructed to adhere to the LGPL software license, which allows for the selling of products made with the source code, as long as the base code remains free and open to the public.
Smile

I'll try to find his e-mail address or something and see if he wants to join the discussion here.

Chris Burkhardt
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jamie
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Post: #26
I had download and played his 'demo', its very remenicent (spelling?) of 1980's side scrollers. It did seem to run a little slow at times, but it seems to have alot of potential for someone interested enough to jump in and customize the reasources. And it's hard to beat $15 for anything!

It would be great to see some kind of front end on it though, I'm sure that would make it even more appealing.
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Founder
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #27
Yes, this is something like I had in mind. This product is made with REALbasic, and seems to be hindered in the speed department, and other baggage that RB brings to the table. Still it is impressive. What they should do is make the editor in RB, and the actual portions that control movement, logic, etc with CW, much like ColdStone.

Seeing the little movies made me think it was very very good. But then I read the thread that said those were output to 30fps, so I think it is hard to reach our hope of a fast Sonic-like game. Might be super for old style Donkey Kong game where the screen doesn't scroll.

AmbroSW should look into this and bring it up a notch like CSE.

Cheers,

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Griggs
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Post: #28
Hi.

I have decided to release a pre-alpha demonstration of my side-scroller (working title "Xenophon"). Right now it's VERY VERY primitive, but there are still some cool things.

I have also decided to release my source in the public domain, for anyone to do anything with. At it's base the code is fairly fast, running about 120FPS with brakes off on my older iBook, roughly 300FPS on my G4/400. I have tried a number of optimizations, but since I'm pretty much fill-rate limited there isn't a whole bunch I can do. It should run insanely fast on any more modern computer (press Shift to remove FPS governing) and I would be interested in knowing what speeds people get.

Also, read the read me for how to try different resolutions.

Xenophon Pre-Alpha App - 170K

Xenophon Pre-Alpha Complete Source - 280K (no binary)

I would also hope that the code is useful to someone, or if you want to just fix some bugs or add features. You're free to do whatever you want, though if you add or fix something I would appreciate it if you send me the changes so maybe I can benefit too. Smile
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Member
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Post: #29
That is one scary looking girl... I think she should consider investing in an alpha-channel :-)

On a G3 500Mhz iBook (128MB RAM):
    * default zoom, 1 sprite: a steady 114.8 FPS
    * zoomed all the way out, 35 sprites: about 104 FPS
    * zoomed all the way in, 0 sprites: over 160 FPS

It looks pretty good, Griggs, I just downloaded the source and I'll mess with it as soon as I get the courage to go back into X.

Chris Burkhardt
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Griggs
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Post: #30
Oh yeah, I should apologize for the sprite. That's from Carlos' Kupie Jump sprites, but I scaled it up and hacked in an alpha channel using the eraser tool. This was before Carlos released the newer versions of the sprites with the alpha channel pre-set.

I just haven't bothered to put in the newer better version of that sprite, since it's purely a test.
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