About montyontherun

Just your average Java guy.

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Dungeons Of Noudar 486 – raid on the ancient citadel

Posted by
Saturday, February 4th, 2017 5:35 pm

This is how it was supposed to run:

This is how it runs on real hardware:

Still, it was a very instructive experiment and actually not that bad for a week of work. OpenGL with C++14 on a 486DX 50Mhz!

My MiniLD 71 Retro Challenge entry is underway

Posted by
Sunday, January 29th, 2017 7:05 am

It took me a while to notice the challenge was on, but ever since I did it, I could’t help but to hurry and make something cool.

For the last 2 months or so I nurtured the idea of writing a game for a 486 and thus challenge came handy for motivation.

Last friday I bought a ancient (vintage?) 486 laptop. I actually grew up playing in a very similar model (and eventually even had one that was precisely this model, but never got to work well).  Fortunatelly, even after more than 15 years powered off, it came on mostly flawless – just some keys not working, CMOS battery dead and internal LCD blurred beyond regular use. Still, It’s feasible for play testing it.

IMG_20170128_154104

After watching a Retro City Rampage 486 post-mortem, I went looking for more resources and found a video by Bisqwit, a finnish hacker, in which he demonstrastes how to run OpenGL code in DOS.

The game I’m working on actually has a legacy SDL/OpenGL 1.1 renderer because I didn’t bothered with writing a OpenGL 3 renderer (for OSX and Windows)- after all, it already has a OpenGL ES 2.0 renderer for mobile devices, Emscripten and Linux. Adapting it to use Offscreen Mesa software rendering – per Bisqwit example – wasn’t hard at all. The real challenge now is to make it run at playable speeds on a real 486. But so far, I was able to run it on DOSBox and under 8MB of RAM!

Screenshot-DOSBox 0.74, Cpu speed- max 100% cycles, Frameskip 0, Program- NOUDAR-7

And does this look like, when running on OpenGL ES 2:

device-2016-10-16-222156 Screenshot_20170101-175019

One last step would be to change the game itself to fit more nicely into the challenge’s theme. That is significantly easier, considering the game engine is very configurable (even without recompiling it). In fact, it has a simpler, text-based core (that runs VERY well on DOSBox. If I fail on optimizing the 3D version, at least I will have a text-based game to submit), making it more suitable for tweaking the balance and flow.

Screenshot-DOSBox 0.74, Cpu speed- max 100% cycles, Frameskip 0, Program- NOUDAR-8

And why a 486? Why DOS? Well, despite having previously owned a IBM PC clone (8088!), NES and Atari 2600, it is this machine that caught my attention in terms of quality of games. It was the first machine I knew that could properly challenge the almighty SEGA Mega Drive.

I hope that, by the deadline for the challenge, I will have a more fine tuned game to show here! =D

 

I’m glad to announce that I just submitted The Underfunded Floating Island Jetpack Inspector for the Jam. Also submitted x86 binary and source tar.gz.

(Github link in the description)

It was fun and unexpected in many ways.

It was mostly developed over Saturday, with some bug fix during the Sunday morning. In the Sunday afternoon, got some particle effects and minor refactoring.

Today was mostly for sounds and other screens.

It is not a polished product and I know it suffers from timing issues. I intend to fix it later.

OT: Look at the comments from your posts!

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 6:23 pm

Hey folks, a quick reminder: look at the comments from your posts!

I just caught a load of positive comments in my previous (years old!) posts. I wasn’t aware of such positiveness going on in the community!

If only I have seen those before, maybe wouldn’t have quit some of the jams and compos I took part of.

Finished…? Maybe

Posted by
Sunday, December 7th, 2014 4:01 pm

As this day comes to an end, I face a decision: submit my game as it is for the Compo or leave it for the Jam.

Today wasn’t as busy as yesterday – I’ve got maybe some 5 hours of hard work. But I can’t say it was a lost day either.

  • Managed to fix the collision bug to a acceptable point
  • Added some nice particles effect to the jetpack
  • Some minor refactoring. In the end, I couldn’t really put it into good use, since I really wanted this ready for tonight.

But I decided to leave it for tomorrow, I can try at least some intro screen and such.

So, I present you: “Underfunded Floating Island Jetpack Inspector” (squint your eyes!)

The white bar at the bottom of the window is your fuel. The grey is the time left. You must visit all the islands in the order given by the coloured square at the top right corner of the screen using the available fuel (since you’re underfunded, it’s all you got) and on the given time (since you’re underfunded, you’re also overtaxed).

(In the next few days, I will try to provide Windows, Linux and OSX binaries).

 

End of day 1 – basic game mechanic done

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 6:39 pm

So, just after I wrote my last post here, I came up with the definite game mechanic:

  • You have a jetpack with a limited fuel supply (white bar at the bottom of the screen) and you must visit the platforms in the order given by a colored square in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • After you finish visiting it, you complete the level. Fail to do it with your current fuel supply and it’s game over.

It’s in a very raw state, with some platforms failing to register collision at at, but it’s playable.

I also came up with a name: Jetpack Floating Island Inspector

Tomorrow, I plan to finish at least some more of it and hopefully fix that bug. Too bad I have a family lunch to attend to (hopefully, isn’t going to take the whole day).

The way I see it, it’s great already – I have accomplished this much in a little over 12 hours of hard work. Specially considering that I started with a blank Emacs screen and I’m only using C++, SDL and SDL_gfx.

Screenshot from the ARM version (have some timing issues, but it’s playable):


BTW: source code available at https://github.com/TheFakeMontyOnTheRun/island-domination

BSD License.

Someone with a Raspberry Pi, PLEASE COMPILE THIS!

Physics can be a pain

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 4:06 pm

I’m still trying to fix the code for collision. Eveything else works…kind of.

My point with this game was to make a very simple 3D platforming game. Something like a One-Screen-Mario 64 of sorts.  I quickly nailed the visuals (for a very simplifed version, of course), and also coded the objectives (reach the red platform before time runs out), but some of the platforms can’t be reached.  And that despite the fact that jumping is so glitchy right now that it’s basically flying.

Maybe I could change the game like this: It’s a jetpack game where you have to land on the platforms in a certain order. That would do!

 

Even got it to run on my tablet, using a Debian ARMEL build!

Some time later…

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 12:58 pm

Decided to go with a 3D simple platformer, and this is what I got so far:

    Basic movement from our hero, blue cube
    Collision between player and platformsBasic gravity

My intent here is to add a timer and have the player jump around to reach for a specially marked platform.

I’m in

Posted by
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 5:14 am

It’s been a while.

I want to renew my “C++ drivers license”, so I’m going with it this time. C++ and SDL.

I’m still sketching a few ideas on what’s feasible. But I feel it’s time to tackle a action plataformer, or maybe a war game.

greed

Posted by
Monday, April 28th, 2014 4:57 pm

You know – sometimes you must know your limits. Just because you had a cool idea, doesn’t mean it is suitable for a Game Jam. And that was my case.

I worked tirelesly on saturday, barfing some 50 skelleton Java classes that kind of modelled a submarine simulation, with targets, objectives, scenarios, ships, bases, etc. But then, came the implementation task. And it dragged.

It’s doesn’t help that I had a case of sickness in the family and basically lost my sunday on a very important visitation. And it was well worth it. I have no regrets.

I want to really finish this prototype by the end of the week – I trully believe that I can at least prototype the multi-head aspect of it. I already have a moving submarine (actually, a 3D vertex in the middle of a void 3D space) that submerges, activates a periscope (that does nothing), can change it’s thrust and steer around. Pretty much the basics.

More than just a prototype, I really want this to become the final project for post grad. program I’m currently enrolled into.

Also worth noticing this; This simulation has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BRAZILLIAN NAVY. It was modelled around the Los Angeles class. Why am I disclaiming this? That’s because I work there – but not on submarines or anything, but rather with payroll systems.

 

I failed, but this from failure, a nice thing might spring to life.

Almost 24 hours later…

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 6:45 pm

My project is a very small, simple one.

No. That’s a lie.

I realized there is no multi-head, multiplayer focused, opensource  submarine simulator out there, so I decided to write one. This LD Jam will produce a prototype of it. That’s one kind of game my father would always play with me (Silent Service, for NES).

Multi-head? What do I mean with that?

Simple: If you ever tried playing a submarine simulator, you will quickly realize it puts THE ENTIRE SHIP under your command. And while this is cool for a ride, seems somewhat unsuitable for combat, where you quick and precise responses from every station. I remember getting annoyed by the “change current station” behaviour of 688 Attack Sub. I would try to lock on a sonar signal, but switching to weapons and locking a torpedo was so cumbersome that I would always lose the lock.

So, in my simulador, every station is a separate application you can (and should) run on a separate machine (or tablet, or phone). You could even invite some friends over and have them fill in for every station available! Cool, huh?!

…And what if, on top of that, you could compete with other human-controlled submarine? Take some other 5 friends of you can go for a 3 x 3 competition! But that multiplayer server will have to wait for a while.

About graphics: for this prototype, there will be none. The simulator itself will be kind of a Telnet server on steroids, opening a telnet connection for each available station and offering a text interface to command that part of the ship. Eventually, I will have graphical clients. I have SVG handling libraries I’m itching to use for a eventual Cartography station.

What I intend to deliver: a simple “multi-head” submarine simulator, but not focusing that much on realism.

I grew up playing A LOT of Microprose simulators, specially in the Stealth Fighter series. I would love to deliver a game with at least one mission mimicking that kind of simulation.

What do I already have: some basic modelling of the simulation with a Futuristic Scenario as an example (I intend to have historic scenarios as well) , a generic submarine and underwater base. The sub is still static, but slowing coming to “life”.

To be fair, I had a few setbacks and chose a very ambitious theme – But I believe this is a cool project worth the shot.

License: 3-Clause BSD.

Edit: I lied again – I haven’t checked much about submarine simulators, but there seems to be very few of it.

Edit 2: don’t know about you, but I had buckets of playing those simulators when I was a kid. And as much as I feel annoyed by some aspects of 688 Attack Sub, it’s still darn fine simulator .

Edit 3: for clarity

I’m in

Posted by
Thursday, April 24th, 2014 8:54 pm

I’m in!

Probably gonna use Java or Javascript. I have a sort of a library of my own for those.

Gonna try posting live streams of my work on G+ and, of course, pictures here.

Sad update

Posted by
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 7:30 pm

I must say I’m quite sad to announce this: I’m out of the challenge.

It seems my Google Wallet can’t be configured properly with my current credit card, as it is not accepted worldwide. In Brazil, to make a new International card would take too long. Without a card, I can’t take payments from sold games.

This is specially sad since I got a MASSIVE speed improvement on my 3D game engine this weekend and successfully implemented the Game-Of-Life for my little “arcade game”. It even fires gosper gliders into the big bacteria blob!

I still plan to finish the said games, but I will keep it free, as said on my first post of the challenge.

Sorry for your time and space.

October Challenge errata

Posted by
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 12:37 pm

Ooops, just was McFunkypants (hilarious) presentation on the challenge. The only way to comply to it is to make a lite version and a full version.

Personally, I don’t like using adsense. It disrupts the whole experience. Maybe I will try it too. Who knows. Luckly, I already have everything set up.

October projects #1 and #2 update

Posted by
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 12:22 pm

Hello folks.

I had a few hiccups with my ISP (I’m ready to take legal actions and I’m already subscribing to another), so I could not really post here.

The minesweeper game in 24 hours was a success! I had to make a few more tweaks, but all in all, 95% of the damn thing went by on the first few hours. Got it into Google Play a few hours ago. It’s not polished and hardly stands against the quality standards of a LudumDare game you guys pull around here. But I guess it’s good sign when you’re addicted to your own game. I guess this is my first game that I consistently can’t stop playing a game authored by me.

Looks like crap, but my girlfriend will make me some better art: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=br.odb.sonarminefield&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImJyLm9kYi5zb25hcm1pbmVmaWVsZCJd

That was a warm-up. Now, for the really cool games. My #2 project is called “Kill the Conwoids”.

I guess anyone that has ever implemented a Conway’s game of life has once wondered about using it on a game. As I said before, I actually did implement this as a game while working as a intern on a small game studio in Rio de Janeiro. Now I want to make it a better game.

Work has already commenced. Stay tuned.

 

My projects for the October challenge

Posted by
Saturday, October 6th, 2012 6:18 am

Yep, Ive been absent for quite a while.

But  coincidently, I just got my publishing keys to Google Play, so, why not try my hands at this challenge?

Firstly, I’m imposing myself a challenge inside this challenge: how fast can I code a simple game like a minesweeper? I should handle this easily, after all, until some 6 months ago, for almost 3 years, I was a professional casual game developer.

And so, I sat yesterday to start it. In a very TDD way, I wrote most of the premise code, some simple framework to the Android Activity flux. Right now, I have most of the code in place, but not everything is plugged in, since it still require some refactoring to conform to everything else.

Now, the oblig. screenshot:

Of course, this is very wrong, from a minesweeper point of view. But I must tell you the tiles are reversed. And everything behind the “unrevealed” tiles are being rendered the same.

I plan to release this TODAY.

My second project for this month, and I’m going to work on it next weekend, is a life-game-based arcade game: You shoot goo ( gosper gliders ) and you must erradicate all remaining goo.

I wrote this game before, I must admit. It was the very first thing I wrote when my former boss (from the game studio) gave me some time to acquaint myself with the iPhone SDK. It was cool, but buggy as hell. Now I want to write it in Java for Android, with proper graphics and everything.

My third project for the month is GOOD remake in Android for my MiniLD#26 game: Knights of Alentejo. Currently, it works in a very flawed state, but requires a keyboard and lacks menus and everything else. I will make it into a POLISHED game.

My final (and very unlikely) project for the month is to take my pet project, a 3D game engine I’m writing in Android Java and make a simple “Stealth Spy” game out of it. Since it has sort of dynamic lightning, I want to make something different out of it, other than another FPS.

And thats pretty much all I want to do. Of course, everything will be free, ad-free and open source. Hope you guys enjoy it!

 

UPDATE:

Things look a little more promising. But of course, I need better. BADLY.

Gonna ask my GF to make me something better. She’s a really good artist.

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