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Reply to topic GDR Forum Index -> Game Developer's Refuge -> #C64Month (August)
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: #C64Month (August) Reply with quote

Bam, new thread. 2017.

https://twitter.com/C64month/status/892318349853679616
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Mike Kasprzak
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took this random opportunity to announce my upcoming Long Play/Speed Run plans for Neuromancer on C64.



I would love to start on my run next week, or this weekend after Assembly.


I believe I have everything I need for the run, just to get it set up. Plans are to play the C64 version on an emulator, just to make all the disk flipping more tolerable. That said I do have an 1541 Ultimate, but AFAIK it's just not as slick as the Gotek Amiga drive. Plus C64 load times are a bitch.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. So I'm planning to go all-out, at least with some of the history stuff.

Neuromancer is (of course) based on the William Gibson book of the same name. It's one of many books that have been in Film development hell pretty much since day 1, but it still got a video game. It's an interesting game, 'cause it kinda demonstrates website and internet sleuthery, and this was way back in 1988. So I think there's historical reasons for doing the game justice.

Here's one tidbit.



So while Impossible Mission had digitized voice, this was unique because it had licensed and digitized music. The track is an obscure Devo song that was sampled, and used as the soundtrack.



The C64 version is the only version AFAIK that had the digitized audio. The rest all just did melodies. So the shtick of the C64 playthrough will be to include a short 4-6 second clip of the song at the start of each part of the playthrough.


To differentiate the Amiga playthrough, I'm going to go a different direction. I did a quick search on Google Play Music, and there are hundreds of songs named Neuromancer, such as this Billy Idol track.



So my schtick for the Amiga playthrough will be taking clips of some of the better tracks named Neuromancer.


Also thinking I may want to do a Part 0. I want to talk a little extra about some of the oddities of this game. Just a couple minutes, before diving in to the playthrough.


Again, I'm approaching this as a bit of tour. The game Neuromancer has an odd significance to me, and almost nobody knows about it. It's not a great game, but to me it's really freaking interesting.

I want to share that. :)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




Con Quest. I need to remember this game is named Con Quest.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was experimenting with stream stuff earlier in the week. After reviewing the footage, I've gone back and made tweaks.


Starting with this, I had my Nintendo Switch set to output full color range over HDMI, but forgot to make my capture card actually capture the full range, so it ended up crushing the blacks, making it super-dark.



After correcting this in a later stream, and applying some basic levelling to the video. There was a bit of an unsightly blur still during a lot of motion. It doesn't help that the are is quite dark.



Turns out I forgot that I had the Hardware encoder enabled, which apparently doesn't encode video as crisp as the Software encoder. I have a dedicated machine for streaming so I may as well take quality.



Honestly I'm not sure if these clips will even highlight the problems I was trying to clean up, but hey.


Later on, though I never actually made a stream of it, I tried to get VICE the C64 emulator working with OBS.

Things I learned:

- To make VICE output pixel perfect, you need to disable hardware acceleration. This means it however can't be captured with OBS's "Game Capture" feature. Instead you need to use the Window capture feature.
- Window capture of VICE includes everything in the window, including windows'isms like the task bar.
- There's also a large dead area of pixels in window capture, so the region needs to be cropped.
- USB NES controller I was using actually sucks. I tried playing FIST 2, an exploration game with International Karate/Exploding Fist style combat. This game requires clean presses of all 8 directions to execute moves, and I kept running in to trouble climbing ladders (i.e. UP), not to mention executing moves. So I need to find a better controller.
- in VICE, you can't bind speed-up to a joystick button.
- Given the weirdness of the resolution, I might not be able to expect perfect pixel scaling. Plus fact is some of the CRT'isms are used to make colors and graphics on C64 look better.

Neuromancer is a game with SHITTY load times and constant disk flipping. I'm able to set up a list of disks to flip between inside VICE, but it really doesn't feel like a nice emulator to use.

Trying to decide if I should perhaps play the game on a real C64... the problem though is the load times suck, and triggering fast forward isn't convenient at all in VICE. Meh.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



http://www.vintageisthenewold.com/rescuing-orc-new-game-for-the-commodore-64128/

Brand new C64 game. Looks neat.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that LD40 has ended, for my me/end of year project, I've picked this up again.


This evening I started wooking on a layout for it. Here's the current mockup.



Please excuse the blurryness/artifacting. It'll be recorded at 720p, but I'm desiging the layout at 360p, and the scaling doesn't 100% match up (3x scale for the gameplay footage, 2x scale of my theme).
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a test, no longer a mockup. Had to bump it to 60 FPS, and I haven't tuned my mic properly.



I also learned that my colors weren't exactly the same. Turns out I prefer NTSC colors, since that's what I grew up with. The C64 NTSC palette is slightly different than the PAL one.

Also testing out some software things:

- There's a hack of Neuromancer for the 1581 disk drive. Typically the game is 4 floppies, but the 1581 version crams everything in one.
- The game has a lot of load time, so I'm trying a fast-loader named JiffyDOS. So far it's helping a lot. There's a big bulk load that happens. Usually it takes over a minute, but with JiffyDOS it only takes 20 seconds. Score!

I still have a bunch of work to do with the border. The border is actually a web-page running in a web browser. If I wanted it, I could utilize modern web features to animate it fancily.


EDIT: And to compare, here's my original (unfinished) playthrough from 2015. I want to do something better than this.



So much disk flipping.

I did have a fast forward button available to me back then (mapped to a gamepad button). We'll see.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little bit of work on my border. It's too boring, and I have text I want to overlay, so I've been hmm'ing and hawing about what to do.

An idea I had was include some interlaced 1-color artwork.



I'm not sure I'm happy with (just) the joystick, but I think this works. Doesn't clash with the text.
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syn9ne
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the artwork underneath. At first I thought it was some sort of skull.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.

* * *



I think that'll work. I just need to fix my colors to use the same palette (i.e. NTSC instead of PAL).

Oh, and write the backend code that watches a JSON file I'll be editing, and does some neat FX for when things change.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A neat reference/online tool for testing changes to the Commodore 64 palette.

http://www.colodore.com/
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