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Old 03-04-2013, 02:58 PM
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Default Joust 1.3 comming

v1.3

Many hours of work from initial buggy and limited release

- Eggs hatch into riders and gets picked up by buzzards.
- Fixed a bug that would cause pterodactyl to not show.
- Fixed a fatal collision bug.
- Fixed a couple of mode bugs.
- Other bugs fixed.
- Buzzards walking on platforms positioned correctly.
- Buzzards walking on air fixed.
- Buzzards walk and fly sounds.
- Improved buzzard interaction.
- Attract mode improvements.
- Pterodactyls now fly with mouth closed and strikes with it open, speeding up and screeching.
- Crumbling platforms remain solid until they start crumbling.
- Flying physics tweaked.
- Letters in high score entry increased to 3 to 6.
- Another spawning sound added to the existing spawning sound.
- Killing Pterodactyl is now 5000 points.
- Another Pterodactyl as each is killed.
- Eggs wrap screen correctly.
- Eggs hatch faster on higher levels.
- Default window 2X arcade resolution with arcade aspect ratio.
- Window size, position, and full-screen recalled.
- Where there's fire, there's smoke.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:34 PM
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Today I worked out something that has been a bother since the beginning. Movement keys were cleared as they always are when changing rooms (levels) in Game Maker. I switched to direct hardware polling and now key conditions are not cleared when changing levels. This makes it totally transparent that the entire drawing surface is replaced between levels.

I still need to do the second half of the levels with a rewrite of the spawning routines, making it where buzzards will not spawn where either player is in one player mode.

I also need to apply the hunting/tracking/attack routines to go after the 2nd player as well. The bounders are basically random with just a bit of push towards the player (either in one player mode (one player game or other player has died out)) and wrap the screen when they fly out. Hunters wrap the screen sometimes, but sometimes turn around at the edge and fly back, and they work their way to the player level. Shadow Lords can turn towards your horizontal place at any time when more than a couple of hundred pixels away, and they will also move towards the players vertical position, in effect shadowing your movement with interjecting randomness and zeroing in.

It will have more than minimal system requirements. There is a lot of calculations going on, but holds solid 60 FPS on my system (quad 3.2 AMD with 8 gig ram, but on-board ATI 6xxx). It makes the MAME versions seem like 7 FPS by comparing the smoothness.

It has Window 2X, 3X, and full-screen single toggle now, instead of free scale window that could destroy the font and aspect ratio, but I might add a stretch for the full-screen mode.

Two player mode is perfected, with the same physics and reactions for both players and the game automatically switches to one player mode when either player dies out.

Some of the official console ports don't even have the buzzards pick up knight hatchlings, but have the eggs hatch into buzzards with riders like mine did before. Some don't even have random egg level egg placements, as mine don't either. Yet.

About 80 more hours I think. Probably 3 weeks.

Last edited by Shockman; 03-04-2013 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:35 AM
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Nice work, Shocky! For me Joust falls in to that "love to hate" category so many Williams games fall in (Defender and Robotron come to mind). Fun to play, impossible to master. Well... impossible for me to master! I even remember buying a collection of games with Joust on it for the... SNES, I think? After about an hour of playing, I suddenly remembered, "Oh yeah... I suck at this!"
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:28 AM
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On easy some long high scoring games can be had in this version. Progress is also saved, so if you end a game with men left, you can choose to continue that game next run.

Joust was most bugged arcade game made with belly drags, birds through the gaps, birds flying into the lava, and loss of control endless loops. The only bug I reproduced is birds flying into the lava, but I made it much more rare, and have only seen Bounders do it except a couple of hunters. I made it possible so they could be grabbed by the Lava Troll. I have seen one belly drag in all the testing, and have seen an occasional glitch of other sorts, but nothing that would effect the game.

The arcade game has 90 levels and this has 60 but you will probably not be able to tell as the later (than 60) arcade levels are a repeat series, so I just ended where the repeat starts and cycle from 60 back to 47 for the same effect. The levels progress though so 47 the second time is labeled 61 and the game never ends, but remains for the most part all Shadow Lords. 60 nor any other level is a killer level by any means though, but you will need to get to the top before spawning. Early levels I like to be above of the mid left platform, under the gap between the top left and top mid platform, but at higher levels I get to the top of the screen to start.

My highest score in this version is about 888,000 points. I could not get anywhere near that in MAME, though I could score much higher on the real machine than the MAME version, which has a gimpy refresh rate.

You get a free man every 50,000, which is about every 5 levels, so it's often on the egg waves.

I agree about Defender and Robotron. Tough games I wish I could do well at. Defender is so simple a concept, but the keys are not logical, in terms of flying a ship. I intend to do that game next and try to turn the exact graphics into a more relaxing version of the game.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockman View Post

I agree about Defender and Robotron. Tough games I wish I could do well at. Defender is so simple a concept, but the keys are not logical, in terms of flying a ship. I intend to do that game next and try to turn the exact graphics into a more relaxing version of the game.
Ain't that the truth? Defender looked so deceptively easy. At the very least, one would think that you could keep at least one person from being kidnapped!
LOL! Yeah, I think 10 levels was my max at Joust, so 60 should do all right for me! You seem well-versed in Joust lore, Shocky... was killing the pterodactyl a bug or was it a planned part of the game? I thought I had heard it was a bug.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:39 AM
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I have not read anything about that. I would bet it was planned as the only way to do it is direct center of an open mouth, and the ? after the word. There was a exploits that made killing them easier by being in the right place and staying there which was not planned.

The Pteros I killed in the arcade were mostly fortunate happenstance when the plan was to avoid them. I never had a chance to play a machine in free mode.

My versions pteros are easier. I have killed three in a row. You can kill them if you are direct center of the mouth with 3 pixels leeway in ether direction even if the mouth is closed. They know where you are but mostly ignore the fact and they strike at random, not at you. It's as if they are blind, but sense you. Still enough of a bother though, especially when there is more than one. I made mine 5000 points instead of 1000 (which is the same as a shadow lord, or even an egg after the third one on each level) as an incentive to give them a go.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:39 AM
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Default Joust v1.3 WIP

The game should be fully playable for a one player game. Two players will work correctly up to level 30, then buzzards can spawn on plats player 2 is on.

-Not all corners of the plats have tweaked collision masks so a player can stick to some of them for a second, potentially.

-Frames Per Second is displayed and is what I am interested in as far as feedback (other than fatal errors). If it is stuck on 60 and you have no issues with other programs, no feedback is required. If you would expect 60 fps but don't get it, or are surprised to get constant 60 fps, some system spec feedback would be appreciated.

Pressing F1 at any point will give you all the info you need.

The attract mode demo will show the control keys as well.

UNDOCUMENTED
-The FPS display can be turned off and on with F10
-Q will take you directly to the next wave
-W will take you to the last wave
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File Type: zip Joust_1.3_WIP.zip (4.49 MB, 12 views)

Last edited by Shockman; 03-09-2013 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:13 AM
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It's almost finished. I fixed the remaining collision detection issues, made it where the buzzards will spawn anywhere even if a player in on the plat., made it where the player will not spawn on a spot where another player is spawning, or where a buzzard is, unless a buzzard is near all pads, and made the pterodactyls enter at the players vertical level, if one player (either one in one player mode) and track the players as well. Made the game harder, but I think it is still much easier than the MAME version, due largely to the refresh rate of 60fps.

All that is left is settings, and testing, as all features are now in.

Last edited by Shockman; 03-12-2013 at 03:36 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:57 AM
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in the Atari 2600 version the pterodactyl could be killed
but only with a direct into the mouth shot
and you had to be on the same plane as it
or else the shot got deflected!
kinda like the exhaust port on the death star!
only a well placed shot counted

man I don't know if it is a good thing or not
that I can remember that from over 25 years ago
but I can't recall what I ate yesterday at lunch!
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:00 AM
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just showing my age i think...sigh
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:18 PM
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That's how the arcade game behaves as well. When it is that near though it strikes so you are not likely to hit it with it's mouth closed, not dead on anyway which is also a requirement in the arcade version.

I have my version set up where I could check distance and direction and have it strike at the player, but I did not set it up that way. It does strike, but at random times, and it is attracted towards the player, however all it takes to beat it is to stab it in the tongue area even if the mouth is closed. It should be easy enough to get that behavior like you describe, and it would be more authentic.

I made it 5000 points because it is risky and getting 1000 points as it is worth in the arcade game is also as easy as running into an egg, which don't make much sense to me.

Where this version lacks is mainly strict timing (the game is slower paced), buzzard jousting behavior (just winging that), and riderless buzzards paths (these fly straight in, vector out, and do not sit foot on the platforms) but the hatchling's pickup by buzzards was the hardest part, and I can see why some ports did not even use it, but instead hatch into knights on birds.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:08 PM
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It's done. The pterodactyls will track you, zero in on you, and only strike when they have a good chance of hitting you. They will strike at either player, even in two player mode, though they do not track in 2 player mode, you have to instead get in their way. Also the speed of the pteros is based on the skill level now and level 1 is actually quite slow until they strike, level 2 is the default level though. They are deadly at any time meaning if you hit them from behind, above, below, or miss their tongue when facing them, you will be dismounted.

After I had this working correctly, the first test I got hit, then was able to kill two in a row, then got hit, and then killed three in a row, getting 5 kills out of 7 attacks. This is exceptional though, as proven already.

Last edited by Shockman; 03-13-2013 at 02:17 PM.
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