Freedom Fighter scrolling technique article finally here!

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By thegeps

Paragon (1028)

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29-04-2022, 23:40

I can finally keep my promise. Here is explained the technique with which I made the scrolling of Freedom Fighter. Happy reading (and let me know what you think, by commenting on this post or directly in the blog!)

ITALIAN VERSION
https://thegeps.blogspot.com/2022/04/freedom-fighter-smooth-...

ENGLISH VERSION
https://thegeps.blogspot.com/2022/04/freedom-fighter-smooth-...

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By jepmsx

Master (131)

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30-04-2022, 07:29

Thanks for the explanation.
It looks like you have to design your tiles very carefully.
And thanks for explaining it so newbies like me can understand it

By defdanny

Scribe (367)

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30-04-2022, 08:05

Hi geppo, thank you for sharing your scrolling techniques and the details on tile management. Even as a non-programmer I could understand most of the things you explained. Your english version of your article is well readable.

By thegeps

Paragon (1028)

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30-04-2022, 08:21

Thank you Smile

By Bengalack

Hero (580)

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30-04-2022, 08:25

Love this kind of documentation. Thanks for sharing.

By defdanny

Scribe (367)

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30-04-2022, 08:30

My key learning is, that the 1 pixel line scrolling was done on the cost of reduced number of tiles. If I compare the tile sets between Freedom Fighter and Alien Attack, I ask myself if I could have accepted this limitation when I created the background graphics for AA.
Don't get me wrong here, its still amazing how you managed to draw backgrounds with this limited nunber of tiles. But as an artist I was happy to say: "ok, and now I put a sea monster here in this lake. Hmmm 6 tiles in size. Ok, no problem, still 27 left in the tile banks...". Wink

By thegeps

Paragon (1028)

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30-04-2022, 10:28

Yep, obviously to achieve such smoothness there are compromises. But as I said in the article, thecose can switch to an alternative tileset. And to be honest there could be more (no limits except the available ROM, and in a megarom you have a lot of room). You need a sea monster? Then, after switching to water tileset you can switch (keeping only the watr tiles, without ground ones) to another one where the monster tiles are...
I was alone coding and drawin gfx, and it was my first game too. After releasing it for MsxDev20 I had to fix bugs and improve playability (it was really hard in its first incarnation).
If I had had to design and insert even more graphics I would probably have given up and never published it in physical version. Freedom Fighter has been my only occupation on MSX for far too long, 2018-2021 ...

By Micha

Resident (50)

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01-05-2022, 09:19

Great read !
For me it is always interesting to see how somebody else solved the same problem as I did (the 1-pixel vertical scrolling in PAC-01). What striked me was to see how completely different our solutions are, probably caused by different starting points (you wanted to be able to shift to different tile sets; I was primarily focused on speed)
So actually the approach I used was to have a fixed tile set (so no changes in pattern and color tables during play) and only update the entire nametable each frame. This way I didn't need double buffering (but racing the beam...) I was able to squeeze the playfield into 29 different character transitions, which all needed 8 tiles. So I had 256-(29x8) = 24 non-scrolling characters left to draw the scoring board and green bits. In the top third of the screen I used them for the scores, in the middle third I had the catched ghosts, and in the bottom third the green bits.
Each game asks for a different approach and it is helpful to see and learn how somebody else does it !

By Uninteresting

Champion (284)

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01-05-2022, 09:58

I haven't had the time to read thegeps's blog yet, but does anyone keep a list of dev blog posts across multiple sites? Posts like this and what I know santiontanon has written.

(So that if I forget to read the blog, the link isn't buried only in this thread...)

By thegeps

Paragon (1028)

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01-05-2022, 18:26

Hi Micha! Yep, different solutions for different aims. Mine routine is able to different speed too. As it happens at the half level: to do it, is enough to change the offset increment. Infact my scrolling can do 1,2,4 and 8 pixels steps. Obviously ot is possible also using fixed tileset

By thegeps

Paragon (1028)

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01-05-2022, 18:29

Uninteresting idea isn't bad at all. Maybe an index of such articles links could find room in a wiki page

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