Arcade Game Designer for MSX

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Van highriser

Supporter (11)

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17-12-2017, 03:17

Sure, if my suggestion was all about me... I was hoping it might interest the community to bring a range of games over from a different platform and allow less experienced MSX fans to get into programming. But hey, if that isn't such a welcome idea, sorry if I wasted your time.

Van sd_snatcher

Prophet (3068)

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17-12-2017, 13:11

Hello highriser!

First, be welcome to the MSX community! Smile

Then, please don't feel offended if nobody has yet offered to port AGD to the MSX. In my case (and I think that this applies to others here), it seems a lovely project, but that's also somewhat big and will require more free time than I can commit at this moment.

There are many other development projects that I would like to tackle, but bump on this problem too.

That said, don't lose your hope. Every year there's a development contest called MSXdev, that has just finished. Many of the active developers are probably taking a brake before beginning their next project.

And, IMHO, porting AGD to the MSX would be a fantastic MSXdev subproject. It could be done to port one of the existing AGD games for the contest, and then it would be available for everyone. From the YT videos, think that Dead Flesh Boy and Terrapins are very fun games that would be a hit in the MSXdev.

And given that AGD seems to support bitmap resources specific for each platform, it seems that an MSX2 port is also very feasible. Dead Flesh Boy for the MSX2 would just be awesome! :)

Van ToriHino

Champion (366)

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17-12-2017, 15:26

I agree totally with sd_snatcher on this one. It would be great to see AGD on the MSX as well, let alone the games that can be created with it. But i think it is indeed quite a big undertaking in porting this and will require substantial time of whoever takes up the challenge. That doesn't mean ofcourse it will not happen, hopefully someone (or maybe multiple people) can pick this up and can find the time to make it happen Big smile .

Van TomH

Champion (327)

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17-12-2017, 19:29

I'm very surprised by the prior negativity; for me the main obstacle is the closed-except-on-demand source. Quite apart from needing to create a Facebook account, it feels like you have to put yourself too much on the radar. If the source were just on GitHub or equivalent it'd be pretty easy to look inside and weigh up the effort, as it is you've got to bother the author just to evaluate the stuff.

Re: software sprites, on the MSX video memory is comparatively expensive to access, so they're best avoided if possible.

Van Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

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18-12-2017, 16:03

I have been following the AGD community for quite a while and think it would be great to see such tool on MSX.

My first impression was that it was just a "Manic Miner" type game builder but clearly the community has been able to push this way beyond that and has shown what was possible with creativity. The built in programming language is a nice feature which enable this tool to go way beyond what other game builder tools can do.

Porting to the MSX is an undertaking tho, and keeping the features aligned with the Spectrum version developments while taking advantage of the MSX specific features (Sprites / one color per line) might be even more difficult.

If the game logic is decoupled from the display routines, it could in theory be possible to make a PC editor to manage the graphic assets from the different target platforms rather easily while taking advantage of the existing coding language. But it's clearly not a one man project !

Van Timmy

Expert (109)

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18-12-2017, 22:34

Having played every single released AGD games for the last 3 years (look at my twitter if you need proof), I'd say that the power of AGD is that it is trying to squeeze everything out of the Spectrum into something that even non-coders can create games with.

But that is also the main disadvantage when you're trying to port something that powerful to another system. AGD designed games, even the very bad ones, would generally require more resources than the humble MSX1 can provide. And even if you want to port AGD to the MSX2, there are still many technical hurdles to solve, and you'd need a PC based editor to make games with (at least, I believe that would be more sensible than to make a rom or a tape file to edit your game in an emulator.) And then I didn't even mentioned the many "quirks" of AGD that I frequently see in the forums.

That doesn't mean that I don't like to see AGD ported to the MSX, but it would take a lot of time, energy and dedication to do it, and at this moment I don't have the time nor the resources to "just make an AGD interpreter". But I wish lots of luck to everyone who wants to venture this project.

For low hanging fruits, I personally have plans to port some other, less resource intensive Spectrum engines that are more suitable for the MSX (I have some in mind). But those are future projects, because it's probably even easier for me to port some of my own games first. Smile

Van highriser

Supporter (11)

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19-12-2017, 03:31

hi guys

it's nice to see some more positive replies Smile

To answer some points:

regarding a PC editor, the work has already been done to make an 'editorless' version of AGD. This one basically reads all the image data and scripts as text and compiles it to something that can run on a real machine. We plan to put a front end on this, and this will basically be the starting point for working on other systems - A PC based system that can then compile to be used on whichever system the compiler is designed for. This would include an image editor and so on - kind of like TommyGun if you have used that.

As some of you may know, there is quite a buzz in the Spectrum scene for the Spectrum Next, and for a version of AGD that can support the full colour hardware sprites. So at some point there will be an AGD for a Z80 based CPU with hardware sprites.

About the source - Obviously I am not the author so I can't be so free with it. In general I've found Jonathan to be tremendously supportive of other developers once he knows they share his philosophy.

So basically, yes, if there was an AGD for MSX it would be PC based. In fact, I personally envisage a system that allows you to build the same game for several systems at the same time, and all you will really be doing is tweaking the graphics according to the specs of the machine.

Van highriser

Supporter (11)

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19-12-2017, 03:34

just to add also, if any of you are genuinely interested, you don't need to contact the author, you are welcome to message me and I will pursue it for you.

Van sd_snatcher

Prophet (3068)

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20-12-2017, 20:00

Timmy wrote:

Having played every single released AGD games for the last 3 years

Nice! What is your top-10 list of AGD games? Smile

Van jltursan

Prophet (2179)

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20-12-2017, 20:19

As per WoS there're only 16 AGD games (in fact there're more than 16); but the thing that amazes me is being Jonathan Cauldwell such a great game programmer, he doesn't appears in the list of AGD authors.

There're some other game creators ("La churrera" from The Mojon Twins came to my mind); but no one has showed too much interest to port such engines to MSX. Even the CPC has "cpctelera"...

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