New game by norakomi in development

by norakomi on 17-07-2009, 14:13
Topic: Software

A few years ago we saw an upcoming programmer in our forums who had this one big wish of making a follow-up of Konami's excellent shooter Space Manbow. Space Manbow is generally considered the best horizontal shooter on MSX2/2+, one of the few games which has the quality seen on consoles of the same time period. Initially starting in MSX-BASIC, norakomi (the person we're talking about) eventually moved over to assembly. Eventually, he reached his goal, and Manbow 2 was released on cartridge by Sunrise, during the MSX fair in Bussum, 2007.

After a silent period of time, norakomi seems back in action, as he has publicized his plans for his upcoming game. The game looks like a tile-mode platformer with multilayers and rather large sprites. While norakomi did most of the work on Manbow 2 himself, he has -perhaps wisely- decided to hand out a few tasks this time. He currently asks for graphicians and musicians to join his development. If you feel you're qualified enough to help him out, make sure you contact him. To get an impression of this game, norakomi has placed three videos and a playable level on his website.

Relevant link: Norakomi's website

Comments (40)

By Latok

msx guru (3926)

Latok's picture

17-07-2009, 15:15

I liked Core Dump with its large objects and multilayer scrolling, so I absolutely love this as well!! Great work, norakomi!!!!!!!!! Smile

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

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17-07-2009, 18:04

the scrolling look fast , not sure if it is x8 pixels or not for the background, it seems colorfull not sure screen 8 or 5 ...
nice looking

By PingPong

Prophet (4093)

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17-07-2009, 18:48

it's screen 4

By ro

Scribe (4909)

ro's picture

17-07-2009, 18:55

That HENKIE sprite is one heck of a HANSOM man Smile
Cool stuff, for sure. screen 4 kills!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10092)

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17-07-2009, 19:06

The golden rule: if it looks fast/good on MSX it's a trick (Fuzzy Logic bible, genesis 1:10)

My bible says: if it looks fast on MSX, it's probably tile mode Tongue

Not to say that multilayers in sc5 are a no no, Fantasm Soldier 2 works like that, but not at the framerate of norakomi's game.

By norakomi

Paragon (1136)

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17-07-2009, 19:43

Hi all,

I'd like to use this message board to post additional information and to discuss this project

Indeed sc4 is used, 60hertz, screen refresh every other frame, so gameplay at 30 frames per second.
When running, the background scrolls twice as slow as the foreground.

Hero sprite is 2x3 double layered (so 12 sprites), which leave 20 sprites for enemies.

The total game has 10 levels, and all the graphx and the maps are made.

Graphic requirements:
I have made few enemies, but it would be a great help if anyone would like to help me making enemies, even if you make a few, it would be helpfull.
enemies cannot be bigger than 32 pixels wide (4 sprites wide) (because main character is also 32 pixels wide)
Each enemysprite can have 3 colors per horizontal line, and each level has 3 unused colors, so feel free to use any color combination you want.
Each level will have an endboss.
An endboss can be of the same size as the main character (sprites), or an endboss can be huge (tiles).

summary: grapx needed for more or less 20 monsters and 10 bosses.

Music / Sfx:
10 level tunes
gameover tune
introscreen tune
sfx ingame

I have no preference for psg, scc, fmpac or moonsound. You are completely free to use whatever you want.

If you are interested in seeing more levels, email me, and I will send you the latest version of the game with all 10 levels.

By Manuel

Ascended (19298)

Manuel's picture

17-07-2009, 20:32

Cool, so you are much further than the post suggests?

Who helped with the graphics?

By the way, Wolf, Core Dump is very fast and dual layer and still sc5. Cas is a very clever programmer, don't forget that Smile

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10092)

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17-07-2009, 20:57

I've never really seen Core Dump, but a few things to keep in mind:
- what is the frame rate of CD?
- does CD copy bitmap graphics, or does it use blockfills? (the latter is faster)
- how much of the screen is really updated? (e.g. pixels that don't change don't need to be updated)
- how big is the CD viewport?

If CD looks smooth in sc5, with multilayers, then it's probably not brute force, but clever and strategic gfx management. But as said, I've never seen/played it, only seen some screenshots on Cas' website.

What norakomi does is much more the traditional brute force, so a tile mode screen is a logical thought.. Tongue

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10092)

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17-07-2009, 20:58

norakomi: what's the medium going to be? One of those multimegabyte ROMs?

By PingPong

Prophet (4093)

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17-07-2009, 21:06

@wolf: fps of cd is 10 /11 / 12 . no hw sprites, and a clever management of scrolling and sw sprites in 8x8 steps. Multilayer and omnidir scrolling-
of course some strategies apply as you mentioned

By norakomi

Paragon (1136)

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17-07-2009, 21:21

Cool, so you are much further than the post suggests?
Who helped with the graphics?

so far i did everything by myself

norakomi: what's the medium going to be? One of those multimegabyte ROMs?
just 512kb rom, all the grapics, sprites and mapdata are packed.
I use 51kb for all 10 levels (more or less 5kb per level).
Sprites take even less data,
so at the moment i have a lot of free space, and using 100-200kb for music is no luxury

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10092)

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17-07-2009, 21:23

But are you going to release/sell it as a physical ROM? Because, if you want Moonsound music with a bit o' decent quality, then you'll be getting big wavekits Tongue Afaik, Sunrise can release ROM games on multi-megabyte ROM chips..

By QBee

Rookie (18)

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17-07-2009, 21:30

The videos looks really cool, imo is the best animation i remember right now in MSX scene, amazing!!!
I wish you good look to find someone who can help you to finish it!!!

BTW, excuse my poor english.

By Ivan

Ascended (9341)

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17-07-2009, 23:01

It looks very promising!!! Smile

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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18-07-2009, 12:27

w00t! Norakomi, are you from another planet or what? This looks very neat, bro! Smile

By Mafcase

Champion (257)

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19-07-2009, 16:20

Once again this looks very promising!!

Keep up the good work! Wink

By Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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19-07-2009, 20:30

Very refreshing, a nice new style for MSX games.

I am a bit worried about limitations in gameplay if you can only have two characters a row.

Seeing that it is tile-based and with max. 2 characters in a row, would an MSX1 version of this also be possible with slight modifications to the sprites and palette? Or are there more tricks used that make this MSX2-only?

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10092)

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19-07-2009, 20:34

I would say that an engine like that could be done for MSX1, but in this case a dark palette adds to the atmosphere. And you really don't want to skimp on sprites here. Tongue

By AuroraMSX

Paragon (1902)

AuroraMSX's picture

19-07-2009, 23:50

Videos? What videos? When I click on the images that are supposed to lead to the video's I get a page full of text like this:

Rar!Is 6Öt /tÏzA ...(blahblah) 

I guess your MIME types are borked!

(Edit: heh, MRC doesn't even want to show the weird characters and codes I see...)


Enlighted (6930)

ARTRAG's picture

20-07-2009, 01:32

Videos are compressed in RAR and they look very promising
try to save and unpack them

Coredump uses a lot of clever tricks: some of them are
1) differential update: render only the areas that vary
2) block filling: uniform blocks are rendered by filled squares instead of byte copies
3) disabled sprites: this increases the VDP speed in executing commands

here is the game

By Grauw

Ascended (10706)

Grauw's picture

26-07-2009, 13:59

Nice to see you working on a project again norakomi!

Re. Core Dump (bit offtopic but…), Cas made an awesome ‘Work in progress’ section (something which we would nowadays call a blog I guess :)) on his site detailing his techniques and tricks. Core Dump was never finished unfortunately, but the previous game Akin was and used many of the same techniques. Didn’t you play that either? (If you didn’t, you missed out! Sunrise still sells it.) I really admired him a lot back then, and still do.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5665)

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28-07-2009, 04:31

Totally agree with Grauw.
If you've never seen Akin yet, you should really try it.


Paladin (864)

WORP3's picture

17-07-2012, 21:49

The Core Dump graphics are looking great, keep up the good work !

By Manuel

Ascended (19298)

Manuel's picture

18-07-2012, 11:00


By valkyre

Hero (646)

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17-07-2013, 14:26

Any updates on this project ?

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5665)

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17-07-2013, 17:13

It became this
and now it's in the fridge.

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1427)

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17-07-2013, 23:30


By Maggoo

Paragon (1217)

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18-07-2013, 02:56

That game looks awesome. , i hope it gets completed

By valkyre

Hero (646)

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19-07-2013, 13:17

shame, would have been a nice addition to the 30th celebration year. Maybe it will be ready for the msx2 30th anniversary.

By nanochess

Master (222)

nanochess's picture

19-07-2013, 19:03

For some reason each time I click in Norakomi's website I get redirected to oO

Could someone put a direct link to the video? I would appreciate it.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6430)

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20-07-2013, 04:14

Norakomi website has disappeared in a black hole, here a file with its original contents (a demo rom and 3 WMV) :

By nanochess

Master (222)

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20-07-2013, 16:00

Wow! Thanks Benoît! Cool

By enribar

Paragon (1206)

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17-07-2016, 12:42

Great work! But how to try all the 3 worlds?

By tfh

Prophet (3314)

tfh's picture

17-07-2017, 12:39

Too bad it never got finished. The game gives me a bit of a "shadow of the beast" feeling/atmosphere.

By Manuel

Ascended (19298)

Manuel's picture

17-07-2017, 17:15

Yep, very disappointing... it looked and sounded really incredible! Still does today, after 4 years.

By Grauw

Ascended (10706)

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17-07-2017, 20:49

Who knows…

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5665)

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19-07-2017, 19:57

At least I could upload what's finished of the soundtrack, if people are interested.

By meits

Scribe (6533)

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19-07-2017, 20:04

You could recycle it for other projects as well

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5665)

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20-07-2017, 00:39

That would normally be very true, but most songs were especially written for this particular project and have a 'ring'/atmosphere to it that wouldn't fit in any other game.

By Manuel

Ascended (19298)

Manuel's picture

17-07-2020, 00:25

For those who read this now: project Deva is back alive. Demo was shown at Nijmegen fair earlier this year.