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MateoConLechuga wrote:
Ooh, that sounds neat! Smile I feel the pain of level making; it certainly doesn't go fast. Smile

It sure doesn't hah! But it's getting there.. Smile

Way back when I released v1.0, I had a request to improve the look of the mission text screen. Today I finally bit the bullet and made a minor improvement to it, simply by adding a thin wireframe border. It's not much as I need to keep as much LCD space free for the text, but I think it does the trick (less it more?).

This is definitely an example of a small design change that makes a big difference. It looks great!
James, this looks much better! I think this matches the fanciness throughout the rest of the game pretty well.
That works great! Smile Adds a whole new sense of awesomeness to an already great game. Smile
Thanks all! Today I went through and added it to the Intex Terminal / Radar Scanner screens too.

Amongst more level creating (they're nearly there Razz ), more coding has also been done:

+ The enemy AI has been updated so that they can no longer freely walk out of the service duct sections, they have to use a ramp like the player does.
+ APD issue is fixed (the game would sometimes switch off during the menus, space pong, etc.
+ New episode epilogues are done.

I have 1 or 2 more little adjustments I want to make, then I'll be making a beta release available for anyone who is interested in having a play / test Smile
Very interested! Smile Nice work, I can't wait to give it a try!
The beta version is now available for download here Smile

There are a few restrictions in place in the beta, such as:
+ Only 1 player mode available at this stage
+ Cut scenes are disabled
+ Only the first two levels of Episode II are accessible.

I plan to release at least one more updated beta before the final release.

If you get around to having a play with this, please feel free to leave me comments, bug reports, etc Smile
I've made some minor changes/updates based on feedback from chickendude.

There is now a "smooth walls" or "soft corners" feature, so if you walk up to a wall near a corner, you will automatically slide sideways to get around this corner. This is demonstrated in the screenshot below.

Also, some of the keymapping for the pause/quit screen has been altered to be more consistent, and I've added in a confirmation screen when you go to quit the game (to avoid accidentally quitting).

For those that would prefer not to slide along walls near corners, or who don't want to use the new "retreat firing" technique, I've added the option to turn these features off (shown in the 2nd screenshot below) Smile



I'll release an updated beta shortly, after I've continued to do make some more progress! In the meantime, the previous beta version is still available here (sans above mentioned additions) if you want to give it a try Smile
I've put up an updated beta version, which you can download here.

Changes include those mentioned yesterday regarding the new "smooth walls"/"soft corners" feature, updated keymapping in the pause screen, and the updated Options menus.

The boss AI has also been updated to be more like the original Team 17 games, as well as bosses flashing when they're getting shot, and having a proper explosion animation when they are destroyed (screenshot below).

The last few days I've been sorting out the 2-player co-op mode (now on one calculator). It's coming along, and you can see it in action in the below screenshot.

Each player has their own health/lives, ammo & keys (the pause menu alternates between player 1 and player 2 statistics on the left hand side). Both players share credits and the weapons cache.



I'll release an updated beta soon with the 2-player mode available; there are just a few things still to take care of, such as level finishing (ensuring both players have reached the destination), handling 1 player running out of lives and the other continuing to play by themselves, adjusting the enemy AI to account for 2 players instead of just always chasing player 1, making space pong available between both players, separate scoring, etc.

Outside of this, there are a few other things to tackle to get the game finished. All level layouts are done, but there are still 4 levels that need items & enemies placed, a few achievements to be adjusted/finalised, and one or two other things that I want to experiment with, although I'm not sure if I'll implement them. Then of course plenty of testing!

The end is in sight though!
Whoa! Two player co-op! That means I can play as two people at the same time. Razz That's sweet! Smile Can't wait to give it a shot!
MateoConLechuga wrote:
Whoa! Two player co-op! That means I can play as two people at the same time. Razz That's sweet! Smile Can't wait to give it a shot!

Hah it would probably be possible to do Razz
There was a mechanic in v1.x of the game for levels to be shrouded in darkness, which you can see in action in this first screenshot.



This worked fine, although for the new 2-player mode it wouldn't have functioned correctly, and also I wanted to improve the "darkness" effect. Thus I've written a new routine that works for 2-players and (imo) has improved shadowing around the player.

Below are screenshots showing the effect in 1-player and 2-player modes respectively. It does slow down the gameplay a little bit in 2-player mode, but not a huge amount Smile



(This is running in a testing mode so that enemies don't hurt me and the countdown timer is stuck at "99")


EDIT:
chickendude recently suggested making the countdown timer stand out more, so it now has a border around it to make it more obvious (also in this screenshot you can see the slightly altered end-of-level animation in 2-player mode that shows 2 players descending down the lift) Smile



EDIT 2:
Slight change to the shape of the countdown timer border Smile
I've put up the 3rd beta version, which you can download here. The coding is all finished (short of any required bug fixing or balancing) and all levels are also finished (again, short of any balancing).

This beta has the 2-player mode, and you can now play through to the end of level 4 in Episode II. I've still left the "cut scenes" disabled for the full release.

If you give it a go and have any feedback / bug reports, you can let me know here or via email Smile

All being well, the final release will be in the next couple of weeks!
Nice work! This is one feature-rich program; I am very impressed by how everything is handled! The end is in sight! Smile
Hmm.. one last suggestion/idea i've got: what about keeping the timer in place when the screen shakes? I'm not sure how your tilemapper and things work, but i think it might look a little better that way. The screen shaking looks really cool to me, but when the timer moves, it feels like a glitch.
MateoConLechuga wrote:
Nice work! This is one feature-rich program; I am very impressed by how everything is handled! The end is in sight! Smile
Thanks Mateo!

chickendude wrote:
Hmm.. one last suggestion/idea i've got: what about keeping the timer in place when the screen shakes? I'm not sure how your tilemapper and things work, but i think it might look a little better that way. The screen shaking looks really cool to me, but when the timer moves, it feels like a glitch.
Good idea. The screen shake is achieved by changing the LCD Z-offset, but I should be able to manually offset the timer drawing on gbuf to compensate Smile
EDIT: Ok, maybe not hah. I think there are only 2 ways I could get the timer to stay 100% fixed position-wise: either draw the timer directly to the LCD (bypassing gbuf) each frame after changing the Z-offset for the screen shake, or to do the screen shake effect manually by shifting the gbuf contents. The latter option would be very draining on frame rate. The first option might be a possibility, although painful as masking is also involved :/
Alien Breed 5 v2.0.0 is now finished and uploaded - you can find it here on Cemetech for download Smile

Here is a copy of the v2.0.0 update notes:
v2.0.0 <> February 2015
- 4 page flash application for TI-83+/84+ only due to extra features.
- Levels now all stored as part of the application (no more multiple external files!).
- Added Episode II: Evolution with 12 brand new levels.
- Added 2 player co-operative mode.
- Added functional Intex Entertainment (Pong-type game).
- Added 2 new enemies: turtle type and shooting alien type.
- Added animated/interactive objects.
- Added retreat firing.
- Added smooth walls / soft corners.
- Added Achievements.
- Added in-game tips.
- Added more information and also pictures to the Intex Info Base.
- Added explosion animation when power domes are destroyed and doors are blasted open.
- Added cut scenes & neater screen transitioning.
- Remote Radar Scanner now works during the self-destruct countdown in NORMAL difficulty, but still doesn't in TOUGH.
- Mission text & Intex Terminal screens improved.
- Adjusted weapon strengths vs enemy strengths.
- Plasma Rifle & Flamethrower no longer wipe through multiple enemies in a row (was too powerful).
- End of level animation shows either 1 or 2 players.
- Boss AI revised.
- Bosses now flash when being damaged.
- Proper set of explosion animations when bosses are killed.
- New shadow effect for dark levels.
- Countdown timer now has a frame.
- Fixed bullet overflow/underflow bug.
- Fixed "more than 9 lives" bug.
- Fixed bug that allowed enemies to spawn on top of one another.
- Fixed bug with buying ammo clips from an Intex Terminal.
- Fixed bug that allowed enemies to freely walk in and out of service ducts without using ramps.
- Fixed bug with incorrect tiles showing on hatchery levels.
- Fixed APD bug.
- Improved the screen shaking effects during the countdown sequence.
- Improved the level exploding sequence.
- Updated the Pause menu key mapping & added a confirmation before quitting the current game.
- Minor adjustments made to some of the Episode I levels to be more like Team 17�s ABSE�92.
- Increased healing from First Aid kits.
- One-way energy beams now push you through twice as fast, and kill you if you attempt to walk through them in the wrong direction.
- Radar scanner screen now centred on LCD.
- Optimised the level loading routine to load faster and added a progress bar.
- TI-83+SE/TI-84+/TI-84+SE calculators run at 15Mhz (TI-83+ still runs at 6Mhz)
- Revamped the menu system and integrated the passcode & high score screens into the main theme.
- Miscellaneous minor speed optimisations.
- Sped up the end-of-level animation.
- Can press [ALPHA] during text printing sequences to speed things up.
- Episode I now gives passcodes at the end of levels 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 (same as Team 17's ABSE'92).
- Can now adjust contrast in the pause screen by pressing [+]/[-].
Wow. Holy faddoodles that is a ton of updates! Laughing Can't wait to give it a shot! Smile
  
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