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View topic - Blast Arena (fixed screen shmup)

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2023 7:43 am
Copy /b rom.sms+16kbfile.bin padded-rom.sms

There’s probably a better way to do this in a Linuxish environment. Or maybe it’s easiest just to make it a 64KB ROM at compile time, with an empty upper bank.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2023 7:49 am
Last edited by sverx on Fri Nov 03, 2023 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
badcomputer wrote
How would I go about padding it to 64KB for those carts?


it's pretty easy. with makesms (or ihx2sms) you just have to add a switch.

-pm will pad the ROM to any size that's an exact multiple of 64 KiB
-pp will pad the ROM to any size (in bytes) that's an exact power of 2, starting from 16 KiB

so for instance:
makesms -pm output.ihx output.sms


edit: reworded for better clarity
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2023 9:06 pm
sverx wrote
badcomputer wrote
How would I go about padding it to 64KB for those carts?


it's pretty easy. with makesms (or ihx2sms) you just have to add a switch.

-pm will pad the ROM to any multiple of 64 KiB
-pp will pad the ROM to any size that's an exact power of 2

so for instance:
makesms -pm output.ihx output.sms


That's very convenient, thanks!
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2023 10:36 am
really looking forward to giving this a try buddy.
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2023 5:53 pm
8BitBoy wrote
really looking forward to giving this a try buddy.


It's coming along nicely! Kulor is making some tunes for it, which sound amazing already. Will release it for playtesting soon.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2023 3:18 pm
Just adding the sounds and music to this thinking about how I should arrange the ROM Banks.

Is it correct that you need to map the ROM Bank that contains the current sound/music in order to call:

PSGFrame();
PSGSFXFrame();

It seems to be the case. This would mean it's best to have your sounds/music on Banks 0-2 so you aren't constantly mapping a new Bank, is that correct?
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2023 3:23 pm
If I remember correctly, this was a 48 KiB game so you don't have/need bankswitching

(if adding music and SFX this games require more than 48 KiB then you have to implement bankswitch for all the assets - but you might pick a simplistic approach and have all the graphic assets together in one bank and all the music and sfx in another, if they fit...)
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2023 9:00 pm
Yea the music pushed it well over 48Kb so I've currently got the sounds and music all on Bank 3 and switching to that when I play/update the audio.

However, it seems to me it's more useful to have assets with a similar scope together (all audio and images for one stage for example) in a Bank rather than the same type of assets (all audio on one bank, all images on another).
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2023 9:32 pm
Bank switching is very cheap so it’s not a concern to change often, a dozen times per frame would be almost nothing.
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2023 9:56 pm
Ah that's useful to know, thanks Maxim.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:41 am
badcomputer wrote
it seems to me it's more useful to have assets with a similar scope together (all audio and images for one stage for example) in a Bank rather than the same type of assets (all audio on one bank, all images on another).


indeed it's usually this, but I mostly don't even bother grouping assets if it's not strictly needed - as Maxim said switching bank is very cheap, SMS_mapROMBank(n) requires 20 CPU cycles, provided n is a constant.
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 12:20 pm
You already asked this upthread and got a great answer from sverx:)
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 1:01 pm
Apologies if I've repeated any questions, I'm trying to piece together everything as I go along.

I appreciate both of your help so far.
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2023 8:33 pm
The game is almost complete now, so here's a release if anyone wants to try it. Feel free to give any feedback (good and bad) and I'll see what I can do for the final revision.

Please keep in mind it's a short game but (I think) it's fun. The music by kulor is also excellent and worth checking out!

Also huge thanks to everyone thats given advice and help so far, and sverx for the devkit which I couldn't have made a game without.

Controls:
Button 1: Jump
Button 2: Shoot
Pause: Pause

Instructions:
Moving: You can move in 4 directions with the DPad. If you hold shoot and move you'll keep facing in that direction.

Jumping: You can pass through enemies. The jump also has a cooldown and shows in the bottom right when you can use it.
titles-08.gif (13.07 KB)
titles-08.gif
Blast Arena v0.8.zip (28.58 KB)

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:19 pm
Thanks for the awesome game! I played a few rounds (about 6). It may be an action game, but i found it actually very relaxing to play. Probably because of the overview you have in this game combined with the nice music.

The graphics are also very good. The only minor thing i noticed is the lack of detail on the ship. The main body is almost completely white. Perhaps you can add some more stripes or a cockpit or other details.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:35 am
Last edited by ichigobankai on Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:04 am; edited 2 times in total
Thanks @badcomputer
That's a very nice game, lovely music.
Finished on 1st try ^^

The last stage (i think) with ennemies like R-type (spreading balls) plus fast moving ennemies around you was tedious. Really like it ^^

I didn't used the "jump" function ; found it a little too hard to use (great speed, tiny space, many ennemies/collisions...)

Ideas :
- 8 way sprites of the ship.
- option to play with a trackball or japanese paddle-control (sort of rotary stick)
- 2 players
- more levels, background, bosses, sub-bosses... The boss in the game is already great!

Little tips fornew players:
- walls don't hurt you (I originally thought it was like "snake" game, and walls kills you)
- opa-opa fig. is a bonus
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 10:59 am
Thanks for the feedback guys!

I'll see what I can do with the ship. I had considered 8-way movement at the beginning, not sure if it's beyond the scope of this game now though as it will change gameplay a lot.

More enemies would be cool but again might be beyond the scope of a small game.

By the way the Opa is just a secret that gives a score bonus, there's another collectable for an extra life that you might see drop (if you're doing badly).
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:51 am
Finally i can test this game. Man, what music cool. You compose it yourself? The enemies, movements, everything is very good. I loved that even killed the player dont lost all power ups. The only problem that i saw is the front of ship dont follow the movement in controller and we need ajust it for fire in correct direction.
Congratulations.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:28 pm
segarule wrote
Finally i can test this game. Man, what music cool. You compose it yourself? The enemies, movements, everything is very good. I loved that even killed the player dont lost all power ups. The only problem that i saw is the front of ship dont follow the movement in controller and we need ajust it for fire in correct direction.
Congratulations.


Thanks! The music is by kulor, he went above and beyond for this little game.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 3:07 pm
Just tried this out after much anticipation.

Feels like a lot of fun already. Loving the soundtrack, really helps make the pace feel insistent.

I'm finding changing direction between up/down and left/right to be a little bit tricky, although I think exacerbated by my controller not being as responsive as I'd like. But I can see how testing this on an emulator with arrow keys might feel a lot more intuitive so might be worth a look.

You should have released this for a competition — it's winning material!
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 4:51 pm
Excellent game. It looks and sounds beautifully, and the gameplay is nice and engaging. Unfortunately, twin stick or arena shooters are a genre I'm not very good at. I'll keep going at it, though, it's just too much fun to stop.
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:42 pm
willbritton wrote
I'm finding changing direction between up/down and left/right to be a little bit tricky, although I think exacerbated by my controller not being as responsive as I'd like. But I can see how testing this on an emulator with arrow keys might feel a lot more intuitive so might be worth a look.

So I have played this with a little more intention this evening, and am definitely warming up to the control system. I've used an original SMS joypad with 8-way D pad and the more NES-style joypad I made with classic cross, and they both play really quite differently but after a while you can get into a good rhythm with the game using either.

I think the novel aspect is locking the rotation while firing, and it takes some getting used to but I think it's really clever and it's satisfying to do a few turn abouts and then some strategic strafing.

Although I haven't got very far (not to the boss ichigo mentioned..) I feel like it seems quite well-balanced in terms of difficulty. It's amusing that more enemy types keep appearing! A couple of times an enemy (the space rocks) spawned right of top of me and I died which felt a little unfair. Some of the powerups need to be used quite wisely - the bomb in particular can easily backfire but I think that adds to the strategy of the game.

Again, like ichigo I am not using the jump button at all. It is a cool effect, but I'm finding that I'm just holding down fire with one thumb and I think it might take me too long to react and move my thumb across. I guess some enemy that forced use of a jump, like a solid wall that moved across the screen might be quite interesting.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:04 am
Thanks for the feedback guys!

Jumping -

I agree it's not that useful. I use it mainly to run away from the fast spinning enemies. Maybe I can find some way to make it more useful.

Controls/moving -

It is kind of clunky but that's the way I wanted it. 8 direction would probably make it harder to aim hitting diagonals and would significantly change the gameplay too. With a bit of practice it doesnt feel bad at all IMO.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2023 10:32 am
I wouldn’t change the controls one bit. IMO, they are fine the way they are. I wouldn’t add more content either. In its current form this is an extremely polished little game that doesn’t outstay its welcome. With more levels, more repetition would probably inevitable.

I’ve got one minor niggle that keeps bugging me, and it’s a purely aesthetic one: Why is the music credit on the title screen not centered? Please center it or make both lines of credits left or rightbound or find some other way to balance them out. As it is, it just looks wrong to me.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2023 10:38 am
Kagesan wrote
I wouldn’t change the controls one bit. IMO, they are fine the way they are. I wouldn’t add more content either. In its current form this is an extremely polished little game that doesn’t outstay its welcome. With more levels, more repetition would probably inevitable.

I do agree, I think the controls are really novel as they are.

Kagesan wrote

I’ve got one minor niggle that keeps bugging me, and it’s a purely aesthetic one: Why is the music credit on the title screen not centered? Please center it or make both lines of credits left or rightbound or find some other way to balance them out. As it is, it just looks wrong to me.

I suspect this is because if you centre the music credit without adjusting the other spacing, the two words "by" don't line up, which would look scrappy. Perhaps you can keep them lined up but justify the spacing around them to centre both lines?
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2023 10:59 am
Kagesan wrote
I’ve got one minor niggle that keeps bugging me, and it’s a purely aesthetic one: Why is the music credit on the title screen not centered? Please center it or make both lines of credits left or rightbound or find some other way to balance them out. As it is, it just looks wrong to me.


I did what Will described, and settled on lining up the word "By" in each line. I initally had a colon there instead of "By" so lining them up made more sense.

I'll have a think about that, maybe justify the spacing as mentioned to line them up.
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2023 8:55 pm
Version 1.0 (and possibly final) release.

Changes:
- opa appears earlier
- enemies spawn a little faster.
- some enemies move slightly faster.
- added score for lives remaining at end of game.
- various other small improvements.

I also made a small itch page for it here:

https://helpcomputer.itch.io/blast-arena
ss-01.png (8.49 KB)
ss-01.png
Blast Arena v1.0.zip (28.72 KB)

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2023 12:48 am
This game is veeery addicting. Good job!
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 12:29 pm
How do I get this added to the homebrew section on this site? https://www.smspower.org/Homebrew/Index

Name: Blast Arena
Author: badcomputer
Download: https://helpcomputer.itch.io/blast-arena
Release: v1.0 on 5th December 2023
Screenshots attached
ss-01.png (8.49 KB)
ss-01.png
ss-02.png (10.27 KB)
ss-02.png
ss-03.png (9.4 KB)
ss-03.png

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 4:49 pm
badcomputer wrote
How do I get this added to the homebrew section on this site?


You can go to https://www.smspower.org/Homebrew/BlastArena-SMS and choose 'create' from template.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 5:20 pm
Only if you’ve been granted membership of the super secret club that gives you permission to edit the site…
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2024 6:19 pm
It would appear I do not have this membership.

Can anyone with access create the page for me please?
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 9:56 am
I just created it and added the data you provided.
I hope it's fine, I'm not very good at using this.

edit: can you please provide screenshots at 256×192 pixels?
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:14 pm
sverx wrote
I just created it and added the data you provided.
I hope it's fine, I'm not very good at using this.

edit: can you please provide screenshots at 256×192 pixels?


Great, thanks!

Feel free to add something about using devkitSMS in the description if you want.

And here's the screenshots at 256x192.
ss-01.png (6.26 KB)
ss-01.png
ss-02.png (6.32 KB)
ss-02.png
ss-03.png (6.35 KB)
ss-03.png

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 1:52 pm
badcomputer wrote
Feel free to add something about using devkitSMS in the description if you want.


I already added the devkitSMS tag at the bottom of the page.
Let me know if there's a description you want me to post there instead of that single line of text.
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 4:03 pm
I copied the description from the itch.io page and also uploaded the zip.
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2024 4:53 pm
Thanks!
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