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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 05 Jan 2005 09:45:53 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
I found a way to fix the 84 bug. It's caused by the textEraseBelow flag which is turned on when you go into the mode menu.
Add these lines at the beginning od the program:

CODE 
G-T
DispGraph
Full


Now by displaying very shortly the G-T mode, and thus the Table, TextEraseBelow is turned off.


Ok umm, would I have to make it do that everytime you leave the pause menu, or will doing it just once in the beginning of program solve it?

And should I just update this version with that little thing in it? Or should I release an 84+ version ya think?
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alexrudd
pm me if you read this


Bandwidth Hog


Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 2335

Posted: 06 Jan 2005 12:50:27 pm    Post subject:

Release an 84+ version, it will seem as if you have done extra work porting it and might increase the odds of a featured program. :P

I've gotten it to work (finally!), and am in the middle of lvl 2. The boss was pretty hard the first time around until I figured out what the black face meant and that the little things on the right revealed his next shot. Well done, it rivals some ASM bosses. Can't wait to see the others.

Is there any chance you could post a version with edit-protection off, or one that works with MirageOS? I want to see some of your tricks, and also see if I could even find one optimization. Smile
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axcho


Active Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Posts: 555

Posted: 06 Jan 2005 01:54:07 pm    Post subject:

Don't make a whole new version just with three extra lines of code! Add them in to the main program - it won't affect the speed really. And it will make it more robust or user-friendly or something. You don't want those inferior ticalc users to get confused, do you? Wait, I'm a ticalc user...

I thought I pointed out that barren/baron thing earlier. But you probably skipped over it or something. When you update it with the 84-friendly version, maybe fix the spelling mistake in the readme.

How are you going to organize the level files in the level editor? Because you can't create custom (user-inputted) names in basic, right? I would do it by creating a single big list with a header as the first few elements telling how many level files there are, and maybe encoding names and such. I'm curious to hear how you are doing it though (useful to me).


Last edited by Guest on 06 Jan 2005 01:54:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jutt


Advanced Newbie


Joined: 27 Jun 2004
Posts: 94

Posted: 06 Jan 2005 04:28:59 pm    Post subject:

Bryan Thomas wrote:
Ok umm, would I have to make it do that everytime you leave the pause menu, or will doing it just once in the beginning of program solve it?

And should I just update this version with that little thing in it? Or should I release an 84+ version ya think?

You only would have to add it one time at the beginning of the program. There's no way the TextEraseBelow flag is turned on again during the program.

I know it may look a bit weird to show the G-T mode at the beginning of the program. If you think it's ugly, I'd say you add it only in a 84+ version.

It'd be a good thing if this was added for 84+ users, since it's very annoying when you discover you can't play the game correctly and have to restart the program. I think most people don't even know how to get rid of this bug.
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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 06 Jan 2005 09:11:53 pm    Post subject:

Originally I had Contra working for Mirage OS but for some reason I decided to take it out Very Happy .

Yeah I think what I will do is release an updated universal release with all problems fixed..(including the freaking spelling errors that wont Fing come out Surprised ). That way its a universal program that is bug free on all 83plus consoles. I may, however wait until the level editor is done considering that Contra must be updated in order for Contra to sink with the level editor. Very Happy

Quote:
Is there any chance you could post a version with edit-protection off, or one that works with MirageOS? I want to see some of your tricks, and also see if I could even find one optimization. 

0x5. Yeah sure I will probably just make it Mirage OS compatible, but I may post an unprotected version once I get around to it. I am sure you would find alot of optimizations memory wise since some parts of the program are optimized for speed while ignoring memory, and some for just strictly optimizing RAM. Overall yeah, I did use alot of awesome tricks in order to get Contra running, and the code does look intimidating, but I still think I have a few programming flaws here and their...we all do Very Happy

But yeah watch for my post, because if you do find any major optimizations just tell me and I will include them in the updated release. It is just up to you guys if you want it when the level editor comes out Very Happy

Quote:
How are you going to organize the level files in the level editor? Because you can't create custom (user-inputted) names in basic, right? I would do it by creating a single big list with a header as the first few elements telling how many level files there are, and maybe encoding names and such. I'm curious to hear how you are doing it though (useful to me).

I am unsure really of what you asking, however I can tell you how it is going to happen. The levels created in the level editor will essentially be stored in predefined lists that match the makeup of all the levels in contra. When editing you can select which frame you want to edit, and which level (within the 3-4 slots I give you. I am not gonna allow editing of current levels in campaign unless you guys think it would be cool...I CAN do that Very Happy . But yeah, the level editor is gonna be just as advanced as contra. I am gonna try to add every little bit to make it look sexy, and make it completely user friendly. The adding and deleting line code was very challenging making you it know how to adjust to the grid, and encode the variables after the user pressed enter, but I think I can do it. I just like to have a cool setup before I really begin coding the main program. I like to see the format, and visualize if it would look hot there Very Happy ...ooops kinda off track. Basically you will be given 3-4 slots. Users will be able to edit the levels properties including, title, author and description and will be mated with the levels in Contra. Then just execute Contra to play the levels and it will display all the information. I plan on either encoding the data into a list, or taking the easy way out with a string. Hope I didnt make you read this all for nothing haha... Very Happy
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MissingIntellect


Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 227

Posted: 09 Jan 2005 11:51:35 pm    Post subject:

Well, contragulations, Bryan. Even if it took two years, completing a project of this magnitude is quite an accomplishment. I'm not gonna go all gaga and say that Contra 83 is the best thing since sliced bread, but considering the limitations of the hardware and the language you've done an exceptional job. The trend for many TI-BASIC programmers seems to be to resort to using external assembly sub-routines (which somebody else wrote!) but you've bucked that most unfortunate trend and done it the "old fashioned" way with good coding practices. I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few small flaws, but I have faith that they'll be fixed in a version update.

Well, here's the things that I'd personally change. I do want note that I am quite obsessive on polish and professionalism, which is all too lacking in most programs. If you get down as you read through the extremely long paragraph feeling like Contra's getting nothign but criticism, just go back and read the praise by me and everyone else. ;)

First, although this may seem like a basic (no pun intended) thing, but shell detection and having a program description is important, and can really help a user's first impressions even before they even first play the game. Second, the standard pause used on some screens is inconvenient and inconsistent as everywhere else outside of gameplay (i.e. menus) you can press 2nd instead of enter. I'd replace Pause with a custom sub-routine instead that allows you to press the 2nd key, in addition to using the enter key. Thirdly, I was somewhat appalled to notice that the graph screen is not cleared when you exit. (I thought you were better than that! Smile) You should, of course, clear the screen, and restore the user's graph settings (which would require saving them before they are changed) via use of the seemingly-ignored GBD commands. As I'm no Contra pro, I'm still fighting to complete the first level (finally got to the boss, but can't seem to beat it), although I feel better knowing that I'm in good company (I thought I was the only one!). I've constantly found myself reloading from my last save point. The game does a full reload of the level as if the save was on a different level entirely! Is it possible to do a "quick" load when it's reloading the level you're already on--i.e. just restoring the lives, scores, etc.? It would be nice if there was at least an option to restart the current level from the beginning--especially nice if you didn't have to wait a moment for a reload. It's not that the load times are overly long, but I'd rather be playing the game than waiting for the game to reload for seemingly no reason. When you do have to load (i.e. either you just started or you managed to get to the next level) having a "progress bar" of sorts in the box with the "Loading Level" text would be a nice touch (you know, by gradually inverting the text). Aside from maybe more polished documentation (A HTML manual would be really nice!!) that's all I can think of. You probably thought I'd never stop. :D

It may seem like I'm nitpicking (which to an extent you could say I am!) but such changes (along with the completion of the all-important level editor and fixing of the frustrating, already mentioned vertical walls collision detection bug) would lift the program up a notch in my mind, and make it truly worthy of the name "Contra". And thank you for putting up with my highly-opinionated ranting. Smile
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leofox
INF student


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 3562

Posted: 10 Jan 2005 03:30:09 am    Post subject:

MissingIntellect wrote:
When you do have to load (i.e. either you just started or you managed to get to the next level) having a "progress bar" of sorts in the box with the "Loading Level" text would be a nice touch (you know, by gradually inverting the text).

I think that really increases the loading time, try making it yourself, just a loading bar with nothing to be loaded. It's kind of slow!
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MissingIntellect


Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 227

Posted: 10 Jan 2005 06:13:08 pm    Post subject:

leofox wrote:
MissingIntellect wrote:
When you do have to load (i.e. either you just started or you managed to get to the next level) having a "progress bar" of sorts in the box with the "Loading Level" text would be a nice touch (you know, by gradually inverting the text).

I think that really increases the loading time, try making it yourself, just a loading bar with nothing to be loaded. It's kind of slow!

Not neccessarily, depending on the way the program is, the difference could be negligible at most. (I'm not sure you're thinking what I meant.) Neutral But this isn't a biggie. Wink
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alexrudd
pm me if you read this


Bandwidth Hog


Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 2335

Posted: 10 Jan 2005 08:09:45 pm    Post subject:

OK, I just finished lvl 5, and got an ERR: UNDEFINED so I'll have to quit there (My fault for installing incorrectly, I'm sure)
I did "cheat", i.e save every level and reload whenever I died. That way, I kept all the powerups and could shoot 3/4 of the screen. The fourth and fifth bosses I killed mostly from out of their range. :P

I'm trying again, without the "cheating" saving/reloading, and I've gotten to lvl 3 with 3 lives left. It's definitely easier the second time when you get used to the controls, but still fun. With 3 difficulties, I'll probably be playing for a while. (What do the difficulties do, anyway?)

And for the edit-protect-off version, maybe you should just post it here, so people won't screw around with it if it were off TICALC.ORG. Very few of the people that come here would be inclined to do that. Razz
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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 10 Jan 2005 08:22:22 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Well, here's the things that I'd personally change. I do want note that I am quite obsessive on polish and professionalism, which is all too lacking in most programs. If you get down as you read through the extremely long paragraph feeling like Contra's getting nothign but criticism, just go back and read the praise by me and everyone else.

Do not feel bad, I am the same way. If I notice that something is not centered perfectly or that something lacks the a bit of symmetry, I flip...so I perfectly understand, It is just sometimes harder to pick up on certain annoyances when one constantly plays the game Very Happy

Quote:
First, although this may seem like a basic (no pun intended) thing, but shell detection and having a program description is important, and can really help a user's first impressions even before they even first play the game.

I originally had Contra 83 Mirage OS compatable but, I took it away for a reason I cannot remember, I will definetely fix that one the update. Very Happy

Quote:
Second, the standard pause used on some screens is inconvenient and inconsistent as everywhere else outside of gameplay (i.e. menus) you can press 2nd instead of enter. I'd replace Pause with a custom sub-routine instead that allows you to press the 2nd key, in addition to using the enter key.

It is thinga like this that I do not understand...big deal, you press enter oh no!!! Very Happy It is something I do not put much emphasis on becuase I feel that it is not really important to me. But I know I must satisfy my fans and I will do my best to solve the "inconsistancy"

Quote:
Thirdly, I was somewhat appalled to notice that the graph screen is not cleared when you exit. (I thought you were better than that! )

Ummmm oooops!! Very Happy haha Razz

Quote:
As I'm no Contra pro, I'm still fighting to complete the first level (finally got to the boss, but can't seem to beat it), although I feel better knowing that I'm in good company (I thought I was the only one!). I've constantly found myself reloading from my last save point. The game does a full reload of the level as if the save was on a different level entirely! Is it possible to do a "quick" load when it's reloading the level you're already on--i.e. just restoring the lives, scores, etc.? It would be nice if there was at least an option to restart the current level from the beginning--especially nice if you didn't have to wait a moment for a reload. It's not that the load times are overly long, but I'd rather be playing the game than waiting for the game to reload for seemingly no reason. When you do have to load (i.e. either you just started or you managed to get to the next level) having a "progress bar" of sorts in the box with the "Loading Level" text would be a nice touch (you know, by gradually inverting the text)

First off, lemme start by saying that a loading bar is not possible. Essentially all the loading is, is the calculator archiving/unarchiving the nescessary level variables. The variables it performs the task too depend on what level is chosen. And since in TiBASIC there is no way to handle variables using other variables, it would be very care less to add code to each loading sequence within its if statement. As far as your reccomendation of faster reloading goes, yes it is something I planned on fixing in the update, I actually came up with some code prior to your post so yeah...we are on the same page on this one Very Happy

Quote:
Aside from maybe more polished documentation (A HTML manual would be really nice!!) that's all I can think of. You probably thought I'd never stop.

Ill think about it Very Happy
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Toksyuryel
Crimson Dragon Software


Elite


Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 880

Posted: 11 Jan 2005 02:06:59 am    Post subject:

I've noticed people here complaining about a lack of "vertical wall collision detection", but as far as I could tell, there WERE no vertical walls anywhere. However, I do see where the confusion can come from when attempting 3d graphics with only two colors in a 2d side-scroller.

But anyway, to all of you complaining about a lack of collision detection for walls, stop and think that just maybe, there are no walls, and it's a 3d playing field.

On level 3 now (I hope there's some variation to the bosses soon, I grow weary of fighting the same one from the previous level but with an extra gun) and I have to say you have really outdone yourself. It just keeps getting better Very Happy


Last edited by Guest on 11 Jan 2005 02:07:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 11 Jan 2005 08:06:36 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
I've noticed people here complaining about a lack of "vertical wall collision detection", but as far as I could tell, there WERE no vertical walls anywhere. However, I do see where the confusion can come from when attempting 3d graphics with only two colors in a 2d side-scroller.

Yeah, People do complain about that but for good reason, it is something that all platform games have yet, I at the time did not think it was possible. Now I will tell you guys one thing, and that is if Contra 83 gets featured on TiCalc.org, I plan on making a sequel!! I would use some of the most advanced ideas I have been brainstorming about. Like:

- Land detection, No more running through walls in Contra 2. I will used an advanced new system I created using matrices and lists to prevent it. One idea that may be very hard to do, will be to fill in the solid land, giving Contra a hell of alot more graphix, however the feasability of that is still under review
- Dissapearing Platforms, Imagine if Contra had platforms that disapeared after you stepped on them? Wouldn't that be awesome? I have developed an Idea for this that would work relatively easy, and not harm the speed at ALL Very Happy !
- 4 Directional Spikes, Accept for a little graphic code, this will not be too hard to integrate into the Contra engine, however will highly contribute to the game.
- Different weapons, Instead of just having weapon upgrades, I am considering a way to integrate different weapons into the game. To get rid of the monotonous straight shot. However this will be one of the more harder features to add and it is not guarenteed Very Happy

Overall, I believe alll of the above things are feasable in pure BASIC and If the fans want another Contra 2. I will think about programming this sequel. This time, maybe involving United TI to help me out. Do not get your hopes to high up, because there is always a chance that a sequel will not be possible, but it certainly is looking awesome to me. Very Happy

I seemed to get a little off track but lets see here... Very Happy
Quote:
On level 3 now (I hope there's some variation to the bosses soon, I grow weary of fighting the same one from the previous level but with an extra gun) and I have to say you have really outdone yourself. It just keeps getting better

Unfortanetely JAC, that is as good as it gets except for the final boss which looks alot cooler and is ten times harder, but overall the boss is the same throughout. I had trouble with the bosses, I did not realize until I programmed it how hard it is to integrate something like that into a grid system mode of play. I also discovered that it eats memory more then LSD Very Happy . So sorry about that, I just could not find a way to program news bosses. Very Happy

Quote:
OK, I just finished lvl 5, and got an ERR: UNDEFINED so I'll have to quit there (My fault for installing incorrectly, I'm sure)
I did "cheat", i.e save every level and reload whenever I died. That way, I kept all the powerups and could shoot 3/4 of the screen. The fourth and fifth bosses I killed mostly from out of their range.

I'm trying again, without the "cheating" saving/reloading, and I've gotten to lvl 3 with 3 lives left. It's definitely easier the second time when you get used to the controls, but still fun. With 3 difficulties, I'll probably be playing for a while. (What do the difficulties do, anyway?)

Uh oh, that undefined better be your fault Very Happy I am glad thta you are getting the hang of it, Contra is certainly a hell of alot more fun when you are good at it. Hopefully others are adapting to its playing style :D

Ill release the code soon enough...just too lazy Very Happy

Anywayz think about it, and maybe I will start a topic on Contra 2, However I do think it is a little early to begin talk on this, when the lvl editor is not yet complete....MAN BRYAN...GET UR a IN GEAR !!! Razz


Last edited by Guest on 11 Jan 2005 08:07:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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alexrudd
pm me if you read this


Bandwidth Hog


Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 2335

Posted: 11 Jan 2005 08:31:20 pm    Post subject:

Yeah, I am 95% sure it's because I had problems installing. (Didn't have enough free space, had to reinstall, had to delete all the vars already installed to do that, may have missed some....)

I found the level 1 and lvl 5 bosses to be the hardest (haven't fought the "ultimate" boss) Lvl 1 was difficult because, only having 2 guns, there was a 50% chance that it was aiming at you. Lvl 5 was hard because you have to hit the a thing so many times. Razz

RE: Improved weapons
Why would affect game speed with different types of shots? When you shoot the game is paused temporarily anyway, so a little extra time then for doing the calculations required for a special shot doesn't really mess up gameplay. Maybe have a regular weapon and then a special attack that kills all the enemies or something. I don't think that would slow it down either, you just have to check for the special attack keypress.

In one spot, lvl 2 I think, there is a place where there is a powerup right below a ledge, with another platform below. If you get it though, you can't get to the next level or get back. Was that intentional? (When I find it again, I'll be more specific...)

Have you gotten around to posting an editable version here yet? I'm dying of curiousity. I'm currently in a love/hate relationship with contra. I love it because it is a great game and fun to play, but hate it because I play it instead of studying for my finals, which start tomorrow. Razz
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BarrenSoul


Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 189

Posted: 11 Jan 2005 08:45:40 pm    Post subject:

*is happy* I FINALLY got the os update (v1.15 at the moment) from a nice tech support guy at TI because the link on their site is broken. Now I get to see what this rage is all about :)
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MissingIntellect


Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 227

Posted: 12 Jan 2005 10:04:50 pm    Post subject:

You know v1.18 is current, right? Neutral
(i.e. v.15 is quite old!)
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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 12 Jan 2005 11:08:01 pm    Post subject:

Sad Sorry, having some very weird ftp trouble to the point in which I cant upload anything new...It is pissing me off...Once I get it fixed though I will definetely post that unprotected program,the zip file is all rdy Sad
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leofox
INF student


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 3562

Posted: 15 Jan 2005 05:23:45 am    Post subject:

Contra now finally is on ticalc. However, it is not featured, and there is also no screenshot...
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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 15 Jan 2005 12:50:58 pm    Post subject:

I know I am just as scared as you are leofox... Sad

Everyone PLEAAAASSSEE!!! Bombard TiCalc with emails reccomending Contra 83 for a featured program.

As far as the no screenshot goes, I just think that they havent attached it yet, because as you can see there are alot of Ti-83 Plus games above mine that are all blank, and I think that at elast one more of them has to have a screen 0x5. Sad

OMG I will be so dissapointed... Sad
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leofox
INF student


Super Elite (Last Title)


Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Posts: 3562

Posted: 15 Jan 2005 12:59:34 pm    Post subject:

Bryan Thomas wrote:
I know I am just as scared as you are leofox...  Sad

Nah, you are probably more scared. After all, it's your game Laughing.

about the mail flooding:
What's ticalcs email adress?
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Bryan Thomas
Outer Limit Software


Advanced Member


Joined: 20 May 2003
Posts: 298

Posted: 15 Jan 2005 01:04:09 pm    Post subject:

The main news editor is our target Very Happy

His email is: [email=Michaelv@ticalc.org]Michaelv@ticalc.org[/email]


Last edited by Guest on 15 Jan 2005 01:06:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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