Omnimaga

Calculator Community => Other Calc-Related Projects and Ideas => TI Z80 => Topic started by: Hot_Dog on October 23, 2021, 03:58:19 pm

Title: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on October 23, 2021, 03:58:19 pm
NOTE: The game is now officially complete!

83+ / 84+: http://ceme.tech/DL2236
84+ CE: http://ceme.tech/DL2237


--------------------------------------------------------------------


Hot_Dog is back!  I just couldn't get into my old account.

I have an RPG that's 75% done. It's pure ASM in app-form for TI-83+ and TI-84+ calculators. It's a 100% original RPG, but Earthbound inspired the art style, and Pokemon inspired the battle style.

I'll let the screenshots speak for themselves, but I've tried to anticipate a few questions.

Cutscenes:

(https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Cutscene-1.gif)    (https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Cutscene-2.gif)

Gameplay:

(https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Screenshot-3.gif)     (https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Fight-2.gif)     (https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Fight-1.gif)

Some enemies and stills
(https://i.postimg.cc/MGkRmK59/Ptaloid-Base-Enemy-Screenshot.png)(https://i.postimg.cc/Z07Hqtz1/Screenshot-1.png)(https://i.postimg.cc/jCdvKqmH/Screenshot-2.png)

What have you finished? 10 of the 11 levels, all but 6 of about 50 regular enemies, 6 out of 7 bosses, the main game engine, 75% of the cutscenes
What's left? Apart from lots of spit-and-polish and bug fixes: Main menu, ability to save games, last level, climactic ending
What about newer calculators? Why only the 83+/84+? I would have been frustrated trying to learn the ropes.  This was a hobby project, meant to relax me with a development environment I felt comfortable with.
How big will the game be? Less than 10 app pages
No grayscale? Too much ROM required, problems making it flickerless, and grayscale would, imo, ruin the art-style.
This was formally a FPS? I couldn't do it justice.
What about music or attack animations? Too much time and space required.
About resuming your other projects (S.A.D. for example)? Too much coding involved.  With this project I was able to reuse tools from another game I had made called "Slova."
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Xeda112358 on October 23, 2021, 04:03:12 pm
Awww yiss, that looks pretty cool!
I definitely like the monochrome graphics (I also find that grayscale is just too rough to look at on actual hardware and with moving images).
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 24, 2021, 07:16:36 am
Heya, nice to see you around again! I think I recall seeing a game Elimination from you before* but I do not remember if it was a similar project. This looks pretty cool, by the way :)


*EDIT: Oh right, it was the Gemini 3D hack.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: the_mad_joob on October 24, 2021, 10:53:35 pm
Some love for B&W screenies, yay!
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: E37 on October 25, 2021, 05:40:41 pm
That's pretty cool. Writing a project that large in asm must be really time consuming. Less than 10 app pages? That seems kinda large. My biggest project comes out to almost 16 pages but that is because it was compiled in Axe and is in greyscale. Do text and sprites eat most of that?
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on October 25, 2021, 08:42:55 pm
Do text and sprites eat most of that?

Yes. It's probably only about 1.5 or 2 pages of real code, and then the rest is text, graphics and map data.  It's all compressed, but it's a pretty big game, maybe 7 or 8 hours of gameplay for a skilled RPG gamer.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on October 26, 2021, 02:06:46 am
All the levels and all the enemies are basically done.  Of course, lots of spit-and-polish is needed.  (For example, in the screenshots below, the character "Ryan" is on your team, but when you want to heal a player, you see the name "Hope" instead.  And the "gibberish" text in the second screenshot is probably the result of corrupted data.)  But now comes the next big step: Throwing everything together and allowing people to save games.  After that's done, it's two complete playthroughs for the purpose of balance testing, plus designing the final boss and the game's ending cutscene.

Most of my work over the next few weeks will be menu coding and re-organizing everything, so if I display any screenshots, they will be from my "old build." What kinds of additional screenshots would you like to see over the next few weeks?  What would you like to see in action?

More screenshots:

(https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Joronas3a20d8e04f3a2ce35.gif) (https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Joronas2.gif)  (https://s1.gifyu.com/images/Joranas1.gif)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on October 31, 2021, 11:45:20 am
Well, since I haven't received any special requests for what kinds of screenshots to show, here's a screenshot of when you need to attack 3 enemies.

(https://i.imgur.com/86XPIcz.gif)

Apparently there's a bug when there are only two enemies left, so I'll need to work out what the problem is.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 01, 2021, 02:42:46 pm
Damn, you got a lot of work done already and the scrolling looks very smooth. I also like the battle layout. :)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 02, 2021, 01:37:16 pm
I was initially against showing players how much HP the enemy had left for various reasons (making the game challenging, screen clutter, etc.)

But about halfway through my first complete playthrough of the game, I found myself quite annoyed at not knowing which enemies have impenetrable proton shields and then having to guess how much shield health (not HP) the enemy has.

So, you can now see how much HP and shield health (if any) an enemy has left.  Purposefully simple to avoid screen clutter.

(https://i.imgur.com/CCWIhGd.gif)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Eeems on November 02, 2021, 01:52:46 pm
I was initially against showing players how much HP the enemy had left for various reasons (making the game challenging, screen clutter, etc.)

But about halfway through my first complete playthrough of the game, I found myself quite annoyed at not knowing which enemies have impenetrable proton shields and then having to guess how much shield health (not HP) the enemy has.

So, you can now see how much HP and shield health (if any) an enemy has left.  Purposefully simple to avoid screen clutter.

Did you try out having just some simple health/shield bars so that users just have a general idea of how much is left instead of specifics? That might be a nice balance between difficulty and knowing that you are actually making a dent in the enemy's health.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 02, 2021, 02:51:11 pm
I was initially against showing players how much HP the enemy had left for various reasons (making the game challenging, screen clutter, etc.)

But about halfway through my first complete playthrough of the game, I found myself quite annoyed at not knowing which enemies have impenetrable proton shields and then having to guess how much shield health (not HP) the enemy has.

So, you can now see how much HP and shield health (if any) an enemy has left.  Purposefully simple to avoid screen clutter.

Did you try out having just some simple health/shield bars so that users just have a general idea of how much is left instead of specifics? That might be a nice balance between difficulty and knowing that you are actually making a dent in the enemy's health.

That actually was one of my thoughts, and I'd choose that if I had more time.  I instead chose to go for something that would be a lot faster to implement, since I'm at the point where I'm saying "just get the game done."
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 07, 2021, 01:42:41 am
This darker battle screen took a lot more work than I had wanted, but I think the result was worth it.  Most battle screens will not be this dark, but some enemies need a darker, more-menacing atmosphere.

(https://i.imgur.com/07ugRxk.gif)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Xeda112358 on November 07, 2021, 06:35:35 am
Oh yeah, that definitely works :0
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 07, 2021, 06:45:19 am
I like the idea actually. It should give you much more freedom when designing monsters. :)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 09, 2021, 11:38:13 am
PROGRESS UPDATE:

First playthrough complete!  Most of the bugs have been squashed, and I think the game is mostly fair.  Here's what's next before I release an "early build" for final testing.

Saving games to appvars, plus a system to make sure a player can't save too often
A second playthrough to make sure everything works perfectly
Making the game's manual
A list of 12 bugs / items for polishing which are not worth listing here

Hopefully an early build will be ready within two weeks.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 16, 2021, 06:08:43 am
Small, relatively unimpressive  ;D ::)  screenshot as proof of progress.  You can save games by going to this tunnel to recover your full health, and there are now rocks / bushes in the main hub to blck your way and make it more clear which world you should go to.

(https://i.imgur.com/MPjb67T.gif)

Still on track to get a beta out within a week, although being ill caused a small delay.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 18, 2021, 01:40:57 pm
I love those graphics. :) By the way, is the fade-in/out effect generated with grayscale or do you change the contrast? On some calculators the screen darkness is different than other hardware revisions or models, so the best thing would be to make sure the fade-out effect starts at the current screen contrast value and that fade-in returns to that value, rather than returning to a fixed value set by the game. One of my old calc RPGs is unplayable on a TI-84+ from 2011 because the screen is too dark to see anything.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 18, 2021, 11:41:21 pm
I love those graphics. :) By the way, is the fade-in/out effect generated with grayscale or do you change the contrast? On some calculators the screen darkness is different than other hardware revisions or models, so the best thing would be to make sure the fade-out effect starts at the current screen contrast value and that fade-in returns to that value, rather than returning to a fixed value set by the game. One of my old calc RPGs is unplayable on a TI-84+ from 2011 because the screen is too dark to see anything.

Yes, I thought the same, so the game currently fades-in and fades-out using the player's current screen contrast value.  I only have an emulator, however, so hopefully nothing unexpected pops up on a real calculator.   ;D
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on November 21, 2021, 08:59:59 am
Second test-run complete!  I had to fix a lot of bugs that occurred from moving between levels, so I need to give it one more playthrough, but since this can be done in "invincibility mode," it shouldn't take long.

I also have to finalize the game's PDF manual.

Hopefully an early release build will be ready within three days!
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 24, 2021, 07:21:42 pm
I didn't get to try this yet, but the next time I get on my 84+ this is the first game I load in. :)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on December 12, 2021, 11:46:17 am
Well, I thought the game was pretty much complete, but something was bothering me.  After level 6 there are no more "face 3 enemies at once," which is part of the challenge of the game and how you can use what you've learned.  I couldn't think about how to implement this because of several factors (including Megan's role as a helper), but now I can fix this.

I haven't received a single message about bugs or balance changes, so if all goes well, I'm going to officially release this the end of January 2022.  Here's a list of what I plan to change between now and then for those who are curious:

MAJOR CHANGES:
* Give Megan a stronger attack, but using it outside of emergencies or groups of enemies is disadvantageous
* Add groups of three enemies to levels 9, 10 and 11

MINOR CHANGES:
* Don't force Megan to always be the first to attack.  This can be the player's choice.  By forcing Megan to attack first, I found some frustration trying to take down shields with proton weapons.
* Make the enemies in levels 9, 10 and 11 a little weaker.  I'm okay with "farming" for money, but I felt it was getting ridiculous by level 9.
* Add an additional teleporter to level 1, further removing the frustration of not being allowed to save wherever you want
* Add another "automatic save point" to level 10
* Make it so that an enemy will launch a second attack after temporarily disabling a player or after being allowed to "dodge" again.  This means making a few enemies weaker to compensate.
* Take new screenshots (of course!!)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on December 21, 2021, 03:55:38 am
I've given the game a third test run, and I think I'm happy with the results:

* I added three new enemies and some enemy groups to levels 8,9,10 and 11
* Megan has a decent weapon she can fire if need-be
* Weapons are much cheaper, but to offset this, it takes longer to level up.  This also solves a gripe I had of 2-hit enemies that could have been stronger.
* In spite of what the manual says, your team can no longer "gain up" on an enemy when you face groups of enemies.  This throws in a little more strategy and careful planning.
* Some enemies can now do two combined attacks.
* Better random-number routine
* Bombs can now only stun 50% of the time, but they have more attack power to compensate.
* The term "ray shield" is now "ray screen" to avoid confusion with normal shields.
* More bug fixes
* You can see how much strength your shields have, helping you to remember when you need to equip a new shield.

At some point I need to say "It's balanced enough.  It needs to get released."  But I found a rather critical bug.  I'm hoping this bug is just the result of wabbitemu going out of its mind after how many times I reloaded the app without saving leaving the game first.  In any case, I guess I need to test this game one more time, because I can't release it on TiCalc.org -- or on Cemetech for that matter -- if that bug isn't fixed.

EDIT: DJ Omnimaga, don't misunderstand me! Take your time!  The above is directed at myself -- at some point I need to say "Enough coding.  Enough new graphics.  The game's fine now."
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on December 24, 2021, 01:28:55 pm
What I can say is that this game is quite polished so far and you have polished it even more with this update I am sure (although I haven't gotten very far yet). :) Hopefully the bug can be fixed without too much hassle. Sometimes bugs take a while to figure out >.<
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on December 24, 2021, 10:11:54 pm
What I can say is that this game is quite polished so far and you have polished it even more with this update I am sure (although I haven't gotten very far yet). :) Hopefully the bug can be fixed without too much hassle. Sometimes bugs take a while to figure out >.<

Thanks for the feedback  :)  It's encouraging to hear that the game is quite polished  :)

Thankfully, the bug is a quick fix.  It was a stack overflow bug, and the solution is quite simple.  I hope to have the "almost finished" product uploaded by next week.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on January 10, 2022, 01:18:31 am
The game's official release date will be January 31st!  (By "official," I mean that it will be released on ticalc.org and will no longer be considered "early-release.")

Apart from optimization and more spit-and-polish, here are some things I've changed:

* The very last level looks better now, with adjusted graphics and map layout.  Compared to my other levels, the last level looked rushed and unpolished, and it didn't look like it was at "night."
* One of your character's weapons can now damage 2 or 3 enemies at once, good for when you face groups of enemies.
* There are a couple of places in the game where your characters' health will be restored when you're about to face a "surprise" boss or a tough group of enemies.  The game will tell you that you're back to full health.

I think the last thing is to clean up the first level, since I found a few places where the transition from "metal" floors to "wooden" floors is somewhat ugly.  But I'm always finding some other things to adjust!  Come rain or shine, the game will be "officially" released on the 31st!
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on January 31, 2022, 06:17:51 am
Well, I was planning on releasing this game by this time, but I've decided it would make sense to release both this and the CE version at the same time.

Yes, I've changed my mind!  I'm porting this to the CE too.  This is because it's actually not as hard as I thought it would be.  To save time and preserve the sprite art aesthetics, I'm just using my old assets, but with colour.  What you see in the animated (but unpolished) screen shot is a 96x64 screen stretched to 3x its size.


(https://i.imgur.com/Fm3Gmii.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/eUDlUA1.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/PRS3xDq.png)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 31, 2022, 06:25:01 am
Woah this looks pretty cool and I like how it still looks true to the monochrome version. :)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on February 02, 2022, 01:40:39 am
(https://i.imgur.com/I8eikwG.png)

The "fight background" (the image behind the enemy you're currently facing) was / is a super easy feature to implement, so I'll add it to the 83+/84+ SE version too.

Admittingly, there's too much brown, so I'll take some inspiration from "DOOM" and add some blue / green carpets in some areas.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 02, 2022, 05:51:21 am
Personally the preservation of the original resolution is my favorite thing for CE games (this is what I planned to to on the CE if I remade Reuben Quest 1 and 2 using grosged's sprite libs for TI-BASIC programmers). It makes it easier to port games and the style remains true to the original monochrome game.

Good job so far. :)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on February 10, 2022, 12:14:35 am
*Phew!*  Porting this has been harder than I thought it would be, but the most essential and difficult parts to port are done -- at least I hope so.

(https://i.imgur.com/NIhRGso.png)

Just like in the B&W version, polish (such as getting rid of that weapon description out of battle) will come later.  Also, that temporary black-and-white square to select the enemy will be replaced with an arrow.

When I originally planned to make this game only for the 84+SE, I was fine keeping attack animations as basic as Dragon Warrior and Earthbound Zero / Earthbound Beginnings.  But in switching to the CE, I cannot, in good conscious   ;D ;D  do that anymore.  I'll be adding basic attack effects and coding them in such a way that they'll be easy to port from the CE to the SE.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on February 13, 2022, 11:22:16 am
More eye candy (In particular, the planets in the "viewscreen" are now in colour)

(https://i.imgur.com/KgUy7gk.png)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on March 20, 2022, 06:06:14 am
After losing 2 weeks of progress, here's level 9 (out of 11).  Not completely debugged, but at least in colour.

Sorry about the small spoiler in solving the puzzle, but I figure it's a pretty easy puzzle, and later puzzles in the level aren't necessarily straight-forward.

(https://i.imgur.com/S849Zuz.png)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on March 29, 2022, 01:30:47 am
The game is now officially complete! Hopefully without any bugs, since I did several playthroughs.  Enjoy!

83+ / 84+: http://ceme.tech/DL2236
84+ CE: http://ceme.tech/DL2237


(https://i.imgur.com/4VoCUVF.gif) (https://i.imgur.com/HwstdzV.gif)
(https://i.imgur.com/rUQnMVR.png) (https://i.imgur.com/VFFx7cJ.png)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on April 08, 2022, 01:36:36 pm
This is a "courtesy" attachment of the newest CE version of the game, which fixes a bug in the final cutscene.  I'm uploading it here because Cemetech is still approving the file.
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on May 13, 2022, 07:18:39 am
While the game is absolutely playable "as is," with lots of positive feedback, there are a few things I'm still planning on doing with this project during my free time:

* A video walkthrough
* Adding weapons effects, something I was going to do originally but ran out of time to do
* Dialogue editing.  Some parts of the game's dialogue is unclear / inconsistent, other parts are dumb or sappy and can either be rewritten or removed
* Some more polish
* Some more graphical fixes

I had given some thought to either making a bigger research library in Level 7 or making some kind of Easter-Egg with a secret boss or something.  However, I have no ideas for these yet.  Another concern is, even though I'm sure no one uses a regular Ti-83+ anymore, I want the game to be small enough to run on a regular Ti-83+.

Some previews of the effects. 

(https://i.imgur.com/u5IfGc1.png)    (https://i.imgur.com/ZHaJBcY.png)
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on June 15, 2022, 09:19:53 am
This is a courtesy download for a request / favor I'm posting on Cemetech.  You're welcome to try this "Version 1.2", but at your own risk!
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on June 29, 2022, 03:23:18 pm
Version 1.2 is now ready!

Major changes
------------------------
* Visual attacks for any weapons you or the enemy use
* Jamie now has a scan computer

Minor changes
---------------------
* Dialogue changes
* Bug fixes
* Regain health after collecting minerals
Title: Re: Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon
Post by: Hot_Dog on July 02, 2022, 07:16:08 am
Here's an update.  I decided to give Jamie's computer an overhaul to make it easier to determine an enemy's strengths and weaknesses.  Red means the enemy is immune to the weapon.  Beige means your weapon will work against the enemy, doing a normal amount of damage.  Blue means the enemy is weak and vulnerable to the weapon, so your weapon will do double damage.

(https://i.imgur.com/0d7480D.png)  (https://i.imgur.com/fFr1hxs.png)

In this update, the computer must be purchased at a shop.  This is to prevent beginners from either misusing or abusing the computer in earlier levels.