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Halcyon


gauauu
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On 11/2/2019 at 8:27 PM, gauauu said:

Thanks for the positive comments, all!

I just wrote up another long rambly blog post trying to describe some of my goals in what I want the game to be like, if anyone is interested.

This game looks like it’s gonna be great, and I loved your detailed blog post on your game goals!  Can’t wait to play the finished game!  Will you be releasing a demo sometime soon?

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12 hours ago, WaverBoy said:

Will you be releasing a demo sometime soon?

There's a very early demo on my Bite the Chili Sampler cartridge that I mostly just sell at conventions. Beyond that, I'm not opposed to releasing a demo, although I haven't figured out quite what to do with it.  The game starts fairly slowly (with no weapons or vehicle, you have to explore to get them), so the demo would be more fun if it skipped some of that. But without the context of that initial section, I haven't figured out what would make a compelling demo.

TL;DR: maybe, I just have to decide how a demo would work.

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Homebrew Team · Posted
7 hours ago, gauauu said:

There's a very early demo on my Bite the Chili Sampler cartridge that I mostly just sell at conventions. Beyond that, I'm not opposed to releasing a demo, although I haven't figured out quite what to do with it.  The game starts fairly slowly (with no weapons or vehicle, you have to explore to get them), so the demo would be more fun if it skipped some of that. But without the context of that initial section, I haven't figured out what would make a compelling demo.

TL;DR: maybe, I just have to decide how a demo would work.

The Mad Wizard had a similar condition.  I think Rob solved it well.  Instead of the demo being a slice of the final game, he reconfigured the demo to be a smaller area where you explore, pick up all the abilities, and then fight a boss.

I don't know if this would work for you or if you think it would be worth the investment to do though.

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People have mentioned in that other thread that it's valuable to see what all tools were used in a game's creation. So here we go.

Tools

Code editing: gVim, Clion, Pycharm, IntellijIDEA

Graphics editing: Frankengraphics has her own process which I'm not sure about, but definitely includes Screen Tool.  I use GIMP and custom python scripts (we well as a modified pil2bmp by Tepples)

Metatile editing: A custom tool that I built using java and javafx (protip: never use javafx. It was easy to write, but is ridiculously difficult to install correctly on newer systems). Metatiles are stored as json files.

Map editing: A forked/modified version of Tiled (modified to make it easier to to support screens that are 7 and 1/2 metatiles tall). Maps are stored in Tiled's native json format and converted at build-time by a custom python script.

Testing: Primarily Mesen. But also fceux, powerpak, and gtrom boards (flashed by either memblers' adapter or INL's board)

Animated Gif recording: SimpleScreenRecorder

Version control: git (hosted by bitbucket right now)

Building: makefiles. cc65/ca65. Lots of python scripts.

Audio editing: we're only using placeholder audio right now

Misc: lots of linux built-in tools

Mapper: GTROM and BNROM

Libraries

ggSound for audio
used example code from Khan and Memblers for flash saving

Resources/Assets

Game engine is custom built in C and assembly.
Graphics are original by Frankengraphics, or placeholders by surt or found on opengameart.com
Audio is currently all placeholder audio made by GradualGames

 

 

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@gauauu Are you planning to release this on GTROM boards as well? That seems like a natural fit for this project. I am still learning about this mapper, which features of the board did you find most appealing to your project? 

 

@FrankenGraphics Any chance we'll get an Audio teaser for this anytime in the near future? I've been dying to hear what this alien world sounds like 🙂 Being myself both a fan of Alien worlds and ...well....Sound...lol

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1 minute ago, Raftronaut said:

Are you planning to release this on GTROM boards as well? That seems like a natural fit for this project. I am still learning about this mapper, which features of the board did you find most appealing to your project? 

Yeah, the plan is for the US release (at least) to use GTROM. Board cost and flash saves were real selling points, but the large size and extra nametables were a plus.  A BNROM build is mostly for support for older emulators.

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18 minutes ago, gauauu said:

People have mentioned in that other thread that it's valuable to see what all tools were used in a game's creation. So here we go.

Tools

Code editing: gVim, Clion, Pycharm, IntellijIDEA

Graphics editing: Frankengraphics has her own process which I'm not sure about, but definitely includes Screen Tool.  I use GIMP and custom python scripts (we well as a modified pil2bmp by Tepples)

Metatile editing: A custom tool that I built using java and javafx (protip: never use javafx. It was easy to write, but is ridiculously difficult to install correctly on newer systems). Metatiles are stored as json files.

Map editing: A forked/modified version of Tiled (modified to make it easier to to support screens that are 7 and 1/2 metatiles tall). Maps are stored in Tiled's native json format and converted at build-time by a custom python script.

Testing: Primarily Mesen. But also fceux, powerpak, and gtrom boards (flashed by either memblers' adapter or INL's board)

Animated Gif recording: SimpleScreenRecorder

Version control: git (hosted by bitbucket right now)

Building: makefiles. cc65/ca65. Lots of python scripts.

Audio editing: we're only using placeholder audio right now

Misc: lots of linux built-in tools

Mapper: GTROM and BNROM

Libraries

ggSound for audio
used example code from Khan and Memblers for flash saving

Resources/Assets

Game engine is custom built in C and assembly.
Graphics are original by Frankengraphics, or placeholders by surt or found on opengameart.com
Audio is currently all placeholder audio made by GradualGames

 

 

Voluntary credit given where credit is due is awesome, thank you for listing!

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32 minutes ago, Raftronaut said:

@FrankenGraphics Any chance we'll get an Audio teaser for this anytime in the near future? I've been dying to hear what this alien world sounds like 🙂 Being myself both a fan of Alien worlds and ...well....Sound...lol

Yes indeed! Part of the Project Blue stretch goal of including a NES music album from various projects was actually to put a bit of a fire under my own butt and finish some of my almost-done songs for HALCYON... so, they're coming soon! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Demo splash screen! 75% done.  I've got half a mind to move the copyright notice to pre-title card, which would free up some resources, but even here i've got 30 tiles and 1 colour to spare on the bg layer. The star field will be drawn on the sprite layer, which is currently only used for a few details on the logo

filtered-7.png

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7 hours ago, FrankenGraphics said:

Demo splash screen! 75% done.  I've got half a mind to move the copyright notice to pre-title card, which would free up some resources, but even here i've got 30 tiles and 1 colour to spare on the bg layer. The star field will be drawn on the sprite layer, which is currently only used for a few details on the logo

filtered-7.png

Care to detail how you’ll implement your star field? I assume most nes Star twinkles are simple palette swaps, but I’m curious how you’re planning on scattering the sprites in order to animate. 

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I should be careful not spilling the beans on exactly what we hope to achieve with the stars for this particular screen just yet, but my general method for sprite placement on screens like this is this

I usually to draw them free-hand in photoshop on top of the NESST-made background layer, then create so-called "slices" with the slice tool (it's originally an old web design tool meant to export assets to adobe dreamweaver); each 8x8 pixels, or 8x16 if we're in that ppu mode. The slices serve two purposes - i can stitch them together into a character table, and by examining their metadata i get their x & y positions and internal drawing priorities. I use these positions to type down a raw PPU OAM table, which is simply fed to the PPU and there you got it. There are usually some human errors on my end which i debug with mesen, which has a sophisticated sprite checker tool. 

Here's an example from a half baked tutorial i once typed up. Any pixels outside the slices get ignored. This way i can optimize sprite usage vs fluid free-hand drawing.

 

justsprites.png

Edited by FrankenGraphics
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  • 5 weeks later...
6 hours ago, WaverBoy said:

Any updates on progress?

We're still chugging along. The engine is mostly finished other than any level-specific or enemy-specific features that come up. Rough maps have been made of a little more than half of the world. Now we need to go back and refine all the maps and finish the rest of the world, and fill out some boss fights.

And then polish, polish, polish.

 

That said, it's been slow this month. Hopefully we'll ramp things back up in the next few weeks.

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  • 3 months later...

i'd say the professional ones are the ones skimping on polish 😉 nearly every single commercial entry into the nes library is a rushed job. it's in the space of post-market homebrews we sometimes have the luxury to spend as much time as we want. that is of course moderated by team sizes being smaller.

on a related note, i'm resuming work on new enemy animations any day now. project blue is almost out, so that opens up a lot of time for me. 

Edited by FrankenGraphics
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