Extruder

People are still making stuff for the Sinclair related machines. Tell us about new games and other software that runs on the Spectrum, ZX80/ZX81, Pentagon and Next.
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RMartins
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Re: Extruder

Post by RMartins » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:08 pm

Ok, here is some real footage, of me playing Magical Drop II, on my Arcade machine.

https://youtu.be/Y0-Z0EAa9VY

Not my best play, but good enough to reach the Black Pierrot character, but then lost once against Black Pierrot, before beating it.

P.S. Sorry for the misaligned screen footage.
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Re: Extruder

Post by RMartins » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:34 pm

Since the video was not well framed, I did another one, but this time I was not so lucky when battling Black Pierrot

https://youtu.be/FWyPOHnnyH4

It took me 3 more credits than seen on video, besides the ones I lost before, to beat it.

We can't always publish "perfect play" videos right ?
Reality is not perfect :)
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Re: Extruder

Post by Alessandro » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:40 pm

Thanks for sharing these videos.

So you own a real arcade machine? Wow! :!:
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Re: Extruder

Post by RMartins » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:53 pm

Alessandro wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:40 pm
Thanks for sharing these videos.

So you own a real arcade machine? Wow! :!:
Yep!
I bought a used one. Fixed it to a better condition than it was, and made some improvements to it: new speakers to match the power output of the sound amplifier; new micro switches for buttons and joysticks; cleaned some rust on metal parts, and chromed some of them; and reworked some of the cables that were a real mess.
It also needs new fans, since one stopped working and the other is doing strange noises :)

Currently it's running with a Pandora Box 3 PCB, with 520 games on it.
I will be upgrading it to a Pandora Box 4, with 645 games, in the near future, to fix a few issues with some games (1943 for example, has incomplete sound implementation).

I also have some vintage arcade boards, like P.O.W., that I can swap in when needed (but then it's a single game Arcade).
NOTE: I'm planning to buy a NeoGeo system too, so that I can use cartridges on it :)

I proposed to my boss to bring it to work, and at work it is :)
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Re: Extruder

Post by hikoki » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:45 pm

Where is the real Speccy footage? that's what we were waiting for! :) you could still win a few votes thanks to this
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Re: Extruder

Post by RMartins » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:19 am

hikoki wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:45 pm
Where is the real Speccy footage? that's what we were waiting for! :) you could still win a few votes thanks to this
What do you mean ?
Footage of me playing Extruder on a real Speccy?

It's too easy as it is, for me.
I made it easier, so that "untrained" players, would not complain too much :)

I may jack up the difficulty, just to make a video with it though :lol:

NOTE:
I found a bug, where if you play single player mode for a few minutes, without loosing, and then balls stop dropping for a while.
The difficulty time trigger does fire and sound is played, but no balls are injected into the board.
After a while, balls start dropping again, but you better be prepared for it, since it kept increasing the difficulty while apparently nothing was happening :D

I have not tracked the bug down yet, but I'm pretty sure the bug is due to some byte size counters used for pattern injection (a feature from Magical Drop III), which are overflowing.
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Re: Extruder

Post by Seven.FFF » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:47 am

Patching/injection bugs are not the easiest to track down, good luck :)
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RMartins
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Re: Extruder

Post by RMartins » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:41 am

Actualy its simple to solve.

When starting in single player, ther initial injected balls, do not fill an entire line.
When inserting more lines the amount of balls inserted per line changes, i.e. the line pattern changes regarding where balls are added and which colors they should be.

So, for each column there is a definition of how many lines need to be inserted until a ball on that column is allowed to be inserted.

For a 2 player game, the maximum quota (feature not implemented yet) is 200, depending on dificulty level. Hence a single byte counter for inserted lines is enough, since we have 256 combinations and 7 balls per line.

However, I abused the code to control the single player pattern too, which allows the player to keep on playing for a lot longer, without reviewing this known limitation.

A reasonable player can handle more than 256 lines, speciallly with all the power ups I left in, for all colors. The original is a lot harder, since it has some more features that I have not implemented yet, like "bubbles*, which are annoying to clear.
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Re: Extruder

Post by hikoki » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:08 pm

It's really fast to me to the point I would rather having more time to plan my moves. :)
One suggestion would be to add Pause power-ups and bullets. Bullets could be also useful for the 2-player mode if every burst bubble on your screen became blocked on the opponent screen. These blocked/hardened bubbles could only be cleared by shooting at them. So both bullets and pausing might force players to play more strategically. It could even fun to allow players freeze the opponent's level..pausing either your level or the opponent's one could be an interesting and risky decision to take.

Edit:

I've just reminded one video I watched the other day where a few spec-chums tried to play some games online using the multiplayer feature from Emuzwin. Perhaps the Pausing mechanic would help to reduce lag to play 1on1 online.
SpoilerShow
You can read how performance went on the video comments
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Re: Extruder

Post by RMartins » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:51 pm

hikoki wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:08 pm
It's really fast to me to the point I would rather having more time to plan my moves. :)
...
I would suggest that you play in 2 player mode with someone, since it's easier, because you have less balls to process visually, until you get better at it.
You also get a smaller boost from a power up, since the amount of balls on screen is smaller.

I can probably reduce the initial lines being inject by one on the initial single player screen, to provide some extra time.

However, I do not plan to make changes that will make it different to play, when compared to the Arcade version.
My plan is to make it more and more like the Arcade, in the near future.
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