MSXdev22 #09 Mix

MSXdev22 #09 Mix

by MSXdev Team on 28-04-2022, 19:27
Topic: Challenges
Tags: msxdev22, MSXdev
Languages:

Who doesn't love a good old fashioned arcade game to hone your twitch reflexes with? Well, we'd guess that goes for most of us, so for those who do, The MSXdev Team once more has some good news to bring.

Today, it's another gift from Uninteresting, a developer who, in the meanwhile is becoming a 'dev veteran. Having endowed the scene with earlier entries Jäästa and Step, which focused on storytelling and adventure, this time he'd set his mind on a more arcade like experience.

You will find the complete story at the MSXdev original web site. If you are enjoying MSXdev, please consider donating to the contest

Relevant link: Mix - MSXdev official
Relevant link: Mix - play online

Comments (24)

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

28-04-2022, 19:44

To whomever it was that talked about using screen 2 as bitmap sometime last year in the forums -- this game is your fault Wink

I can see two bugs already (time bonus is always doubled, not only when the cabbage heads are split on different sides; and rarely I clear the level without a proper reason), but I won't be touching those until my workload balances (possibly only after the contest deadline).

If you happen to be interested in the tech side, I wrote a high-level blog on the dev process.

I am interested, though, if there are more finished Qix-inspired games on MSX.

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

29-04-2022, 09:40

I like this game genre. Your version is nice. Is it possible to flesh out a little the sound atmosphere to brighten up the game? Maybe also speed up the display.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

29-04-2022, 19:09

Improving audio... the sound heard upon clearing the stage is the absolute pinnacle of my skills in audio. I don't see this happening.

Speed up the display -- you mean the painting of new areas ? I have two ideas how to improve the speed. The bigger effect would likely be in vertically limiting the area to repaint (if you look at the right-hand edge of the playing field when painting the first section of the map, you can see the fill scanline progress), but I'd have to add more bookkeeping as well.

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

30-04-2022, 03:01

What I mean is that the display of the next level is too conspicuous after a level is clear.

I'm asking a lot, I know, but if it was possible to be able to go back (with the button 2 for example) when we missed our exit, like in the original game, it would improve the gameplay.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

30-04-2022, 07:13

I'm sorry, I've had big trouble in understanding what people say lately.

"The display of the next level is too conspicuous after a level is clear" -- do you mean I should allow the player to skip the timer bonus countdown and do whatever to make the transition from finishing one level to starting the next level quicker and less of a break in the flow?

"go back (with the button 2 for example) when we missed our exit" -- I tried Qix on Nintendo Switch and I don't think I could back on the line I was drawing, with any button. Or maybe I don't understand what you meant by "missing our exit"?

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

30-04-2022, 09:24

Sorry for my bad explanations. In fact this is the title display in the frame that is slow. I even have time to take a screenshot during the display.

About the ability to go back, I mean it would be nice to be able to quickly go back to the starting point by pressing the 2 button when we can't fill an area because a critter is getting in the way.

These are small details but I think which improve the impression on the game.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

30-04-2022, 14:49

Okay, that display speed-up I can do and I've noticed it myself as well. I have a char free in every pattern block, so I'll define that as all-black and swap that in over the playing field while I redefine the playing field chars to display this before swapping back in.

On going back... So basically, you'd like to be able to "reel the line back in" / undo the current line in progress. I'll have to think about that. I don't think that's in the original Qix (given how the attract mode even describes the "spiral death trap" where the player has driven themselves in a cul-de-sac), so it'd be a change in the actual gameplay.

Thank you for showing interest in this game. It helps me feel this game is appreciated.

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

30-04-2022, 15:50

Quote:

I don't think that's in the original Qix

I check and you are right. In fact, i never play with Qix. I played with Super Qix and several other similar games. Most allow you to go back.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

01-05-2022, 08:31

I've now fixed the screen redrawing, the first bug I mentioned at the top, a few I found later (0% coverage, inconsistent coverage% displayed, areas that are connected only by one corner pixel), and made the green heads move diagonally as well.

I won't submit this as a new version yet, in case I spot more bugs or make further updates, such as that drawing-undo feature.

By shalafi

Expert (67)

shalafi's picture

04-05-2022, 00:18

Pretty cool Qix inspired game, fast paced and fun. Nice entry!

I was thinking on having an image as the result (more gals panic style) and use SCREEN 2 by only changing the colors of the affected tiles (but that will limit the movements to an 8x8 grid)

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

04-05-2022, 06:39

I had a similar idea at one point: changing the foreground colour in some tiles to one other option per level, and then using Bayer dithering on 4x4-pixel areas to display at most a 44x44 image with 16 shades of brightness. Even now the background tiles have a filling pattern.

Maybe if I make an upgraded version of this after MSXdev, it might have something like this.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

05-05-2022, 21:47

I've just submitted an update to Mix with the following changelog:
- Fixed time bonus (x5 normally, x10 when defeating a main enemy)
- Main enemies can now move diagonally.
- Fixed coverage computation.
- Fixed bug with areas that share only one pixel (a corner).
- Changed all backgrounds to plain white to disallow drawing into the painted area.
- Fixed exterior border check for when starting to draw.
- Minor GFX upgrades/bugfixes.

Of course, 15 minutes after submitting it I figured out how to permit the background being dithered with certain constraints. Sad

By ro

Scribe (4698)

ro's picture

06-05-2022, 20:23

By Udderdude

Supporter (12)

Udderdude's picture

07-05-2022, 00:40

Nice to see a QIX style game on the MSX.

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

08-05-2022, 10:26

Thanks for the update. You are doing a good job. There is another little problem: It would be good if the player becomes invincible for a short time or back to the border when he reappears after losing a life because he happens to die 2 or 3 times in succession when he is hit by the green beast. And I hope you find someone to make sound effects to brighten up the game. The only such game we have is Sex Bomb Bunny.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

08-05-2022, 16:30

The player is effectively invincible for a brief moment after dying, since the tracers are forced to respawn and they cannot kill the player until they're moving, and the green enemy cannot harm the player unless they're drawing a line (so unless the player starts to draw a line, they cannot be harmed until the tracers respawn and reach the player). Although, I should make the tracer restart time longer (1 second? 2 seconds?) to give the player a bit more breathing time, and maybe a bit more delay to allow the player to recenter themselves until the game resumes.

Right, there's no pause in the game, either...

I made an empty github project repo where I will be pushing the Mix source code and tools (sans compiler) after the MSXdev results are out. If someone wants to clone the repo and add different sound effects or music to it then, they can (so long as they keep me out of it).

By ewsnatcher

Rookie (18)

ewsnatcher's picture

11-05-2022, 09:46

gdx wrote:

Thanks for the update. You are doing a good job. There is another little problem: It would be good if the player becomes invincible for a short time or back to the border when he reappears after losing a life because he happens to die 2 or 3 times in succession when he is hit by the green beast. And I hope you find someone to make sound effects to brighten up the game. The only such game we have is Sex Bomb Bunny.

Another similar game is Night Flight, from the early eighties, which has a nice theme.
I used to play that one a lot.

Without knowing Qix, I thought it was the origin of these kind of games Smile .

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

11-05-2022, 19:39

I watched video of Night Flight on Youtube, and had I known of it, I wouldn't have bothered making Mix. NF looks like it blows Mix out of the water: audio (it has music), graphics (the drawn lines are retained), gameplay (the filling of new area is faster), theme (it has one).

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

12-05-2022, 13:06

Uninteresting wrote:

I watched video of Night Flight on Youtube, and had I known of it, I wouldn't have bothered making Mix.

Don't say that. I found this game and played with it a little bit. The filling of the new zone is not faster and the rest of the game is very slow, much too slow. This game has a certain little charm but your game is starts well and is very promising.

By ewsnatcher

Rookie (18)

ewsnatcher's picture

13-05-2022, 15:38

That makes me think of how many of the old gems/games are still to be discovered.
By the way: Night Flight is way slower than I remembered it, so I'm pushing F12 on Webmsx all the time. I didn't feel the need to do so in your game.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

13-05-2022, 17:53

I'm not keen on trying to make games like others, since I won't make better games. I try to avoid direct comparison by making games not like others on MSX(1), and I think Night Flight fills the Qix-like niche. Had I known of the game, I would've tried making a twinstick top-down shooter (since I could've set the hardware requirement of two joysticks in MSXdev'22), and probably failed in these time constraints.

@ewsnatcher Wading through the rest is just a bit too much to ask, though.

By ewsnatcher

Rookie (18)

ewsnatcher's picture

13-05-2022, 22:35

I can imagine.

Well, I do have great respect for all the people who can find time and are able to create entries like this for msxdev. It really brings a spark of joy that in '22 still games are being created for MSX. The very least I wanted to do - by mentioning the game - is to disencourage you for upcoming editions.

By gdx

Enlighted (5485)

gdx's picture

14-05-2022, 11:15

Nowadays it's very difficult to make a game that doesn't look like any other. There are so many. And then, it is not because a game exists that it is known to many people.

Your game is of the same genre but does not resemble so much. Besides, I prefer really yours, that's why I reacted. I think it deserves to be polished with a few sound effects. Music is not necessarily required.

By Uninteresting

Champion (283)

Uninteresting's picture

15-05-2022, 13:16

Neither of you have discouraged me at all. My teacher said that if someone gives you constructive feedback, they want to help you do better, and I have received your comments in this spirit.

@ewsnatcher One of the main reasons I began creating MSXdev entries was to bolster the number of entries. If this year's contest is anywhere as popular as last year, I might want to take a break or actually spend over a year on a game. Or even collaborate with someone who has the time, willingness and skill to handle the audio side.