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Thread: Progress of TopDown3D

  1. #11

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    I am just curious...

    I have a few questions, before I ask more questions...

    The ships you are making, are they 2D or 3D?
    If they are 2D, you can make layered sprites...
    BODY, GUNS, JETS, WINGS... Separate.

    Just set the position/orientation, as each would be for each level of growth. You could cheat, and just make them larger scale, or wider from the center, to give the illusion of growth also.

    Once oriented, the ship and all parts use the offset of the 2D origin, plus the rotation of the relative location.

    The images, if you use 256 color images, can have pallets swapped for the illusion of variation also. (Or just a simple colorize or gamma adjustment... Brighter for lower levels, stronger colors for bigger and badder.)

    Remember, smaller sprites can use less color, without much loss to detail. It is the larger images which loose a lot, and it is noticed. (Not sure if you are using a separate mask, or a color mask, if these are 2D, but a color mask is better, unless you purposely reduce the bitmap mask to a 2 color BMP.)

    You said size was an issue with the files... Are you making two flavors? The full-commented code, and a play-only version? The comments, variables, and functions can be reduced in a play-only version. Shorten them to no-comments, and reduce the variables and functions to unique values only...

    FUNCTION Billybobjoemarie (x_val3DvectorQuadA as LONG, y_val3DvectorQuadA as LONG, z_val3DvectorQuadA as LONG, q_val3DvectorQuadA as LONG)

    Turn it into...
    FUNCTION f_000 (v_000 as LONG, v_001 as LONG, v_002 as LONG, v_003 as LONG, )

    In the end, once zipped... All the " v_00" will reduce well. Just test the reduced code, after you force a strict format. (I never trust a "FIND and REPLACE" 100%.)

    Sprites are fast, space is easy to fill with disposable sprites of animated stars. Using bitblt api you can have over 5000 moving sprites, and not even have a screen flicker. All you need is a screen-mask of the rendered content, and it can be forced to look like it is below the game. (Not sure if you are using DX or GL or API stuff for this.)

    You can make the stars animated by using one image, shifted x-pos, like a GIF, based on time, with a random start cell position, and use a random time trigger to make them seem non-scripted.

    Do you zoom-out as players get near the edges of the screen? Allowing a larger play field? But zooming in, when they are more near the center, allowing more refined control in close proximity, or just as a dramatic effect... like at a boss stage, or just to add difficulty in later stages. (Screen being 1024 x 768, but virtual area being 2048 x 1536, zooming or shifting around to maintain a full view. Could be a strategy if used wisely... draw in close to get precise shots, and pull away for more coverage... which would result in zoomed in, while close, and zoomed out while spread.)

    Using a pallet-swap can also create power-up effects. Even a pallet shift/reassignment to give the illusion of change/glow.

    If the ships are 3D and small... you only need ICON size art, (64 x 64, and 32 colors) Don't use one large file with full RRGGBB, it is a waste of space. Enemies can be modular also... thus, expandable and mergeable... 2 small wings, 4 small wings, 2 large wings, long double body, tentacles, double-cockpits, offset cockpit, single-jets, double-jets, triple-jets.

    Enemy moves...
    Simple swarming, attracted to a common point, without being too close to one another.
    Attractive drifting, veering towards, or away as an apparent maneuver.
    Kamikaze, um... does not need explanation.
    Paranoid, avoiding any busy location, or pulling to an unoccupied spot.
    Innocent bystander, happily darting along, without any defence or offence, just target practice.
    SIN^COS, those annoying ones that follow a ritualistic path, but are still hard to hit.
    Spiro-graph, Like SIN^COS, but drunk, and all over the place in odd loops.

    Mode fills...
    Scare mode, silence followed by a faint sound of something big...
    Panic mode, massive fly-swarms of super easy to kill enemies, that don't attack much...
    Hahaha you can't hit me mode, swirling around a player, or playing peek-a-boo out of fire range...
    Surrender mode, purposely pulling back, allowing a larger enemy to take the front line...
    WTF OMG STFU, Innocent bystanders turn kamikaze and dive-bomb without attacking...

    Random madness...
    Happy face bopping around... no reason, just floating around... and knocking out enemies...
    Star attack... Stars vacate the background and slaughter all enemies... swarm style...
    TYPE: "thinbasic" at any time... plays the "MajorTom.midi" file...
    Warp to "Joes Diner"... stars blur and do the warp-speed thing... Tires squeal, and a broken intercom voice greets the players to order a thinbasic value meal from "Joes Diner"... Returns back to the game with no explanation as to why that just happened... (sound would be a nasty super reduced file, which sounds like a messed-up take-out drive-through intercom.)

    That's all I can think-of off the top of my head, without seeing the game or the code.

    I am sure I will find that post next, or soon...

  2. #12
    Super Moderator Petr Schreiber's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Hi Jason,

    lot of nice ideas.
    You can download the game here:

    Download post

    There is one ZIP file to download, and one patch. Download and extract the ZIP first, and then overwrite main file with new TBASIC script ( both attached to mentioned Download post )

    We are currently busy with the Coding Monkey contest, so we will not add features to the TopDown in next 4 months, but to get idea you can try it out

    Learn 3D graphics with ThinBASIC, learn TBGL!
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  3. #13

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Thanks, got it...

    I had the original 3D one... I was thinking that the 2D one was, well, 2D...

    I stink at that game... too many things for me to run into, and my ship seems to drive itself once hit a few times. (Not sure if that is programmed or a glitch. (Where the ship is at XY then seems to move forward, left, back, right, all by itself.)

    I think there is a bug in the screen also, it keeps flashing, and whole entire star-images appear for a few frames, then disappear overlapped onto the background.

    Might be a sound issue also... can't describe the sound, but it stacks and stacks and stacks, until the sound just crackles... (Sounds could use a priority and a buffer with a delay kill. Only 16 total sounds play, on the 17th sound, the oldest disposable sound is dropped/muted. After 8 sounds, the older ones should decay volume faster. Locking things like music channel to high priority on channel 1. Etc...)

    Never got past stage 1, due to an inability to dodge the full-screen of random fired shots.

    I would suggest that there are less shots, justified by the ships having more hits to be killed. They only fire when you are near alignment, able to shoot them, since they seem to be on a defence. (As opposed to them hunting you on an offence.)

    I think the overall game-scale should be smaller. Giving the ships more room to work, since they don't use collision, and seem to all overlap due to the tight space.

    The side-side movement seems unnatural. Ships don't seem to lean into the direction they are going, and they can move sideways faster than forward???

    But those are just tune-issues, for the most part.

    Code looks interesting. Though there is no FPS constraints that I saw. (Keeping the flow within 30FPS to a max of 60FPS, since your eyes can't see faster than 60FPS, which is also most peoples refresh frequency. 30FPS is a common low-end limit, that you notice, but it usually does not interrupt playability.)

    The flow seems all reactive, with no overall primary loop. Each element seems to be X/FRAMERATE...

    I would suggest, if this project continues, that a primary loop be created, to help people understand flow and flow-control better.

    Function MAIN_LOOP()
    get xNewTick
    TrimFat = FALSE
    AddFat = FALSE
    Select Case xNewTick - xOldTick
    Case > xFPSmax
    TrimFat = TRUE
    Case < xFPSmin
    AddFat = TRUE
    Sleep((xFPSmin - (xNewTick - xOldTick))*0.5)
    End select
    xOldTick = xNewTick
    (Do key-state collections)
    (Do Update Moves {AI and Player and Shots})
    (Calculate Damage, alive?) {Player was alive last round}
    (If AddFat then... do additional "Thinking", "Drawing") {Creates stuff that might later need removal}
    (If TrimFat then... remove additional "Thinking", "Drawing") {Removes things that were created}

    Obviously, that is not code...

    But some "FAT" would be... opening more sound channels, drawing more complex backgrounds, higher detail models, fancy overlay effects, complex paths, extended space collision, extended space distance drawing, 1/2 moves...

    Removal of those items, just removes the lowest priority functions from being parsed in the loop, or sets them up for a decay/removal, or lowers values to shorten thinking loops.

    The main loop is also where you would use a "CASE" with a counter... Use key-frames for updates to the GUI, if there are 4 GUI elements, all 4 should not update at once, every 1/30th to 1/60th of a second. Each should be set to a CASE value. Each 1/10 second, that control updates and only if there is a change in value.

    A @ 1.10 sec
    B @ 1.20 sec
    C @ 1.30 sec
    D @ 1.40 sec

    Looks like ABCD all happen in the same time, and using CASE is faster than 4 seporate IF THEN, on a heavy loop.

  4. #14
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    What system do you run it onto?

  5. #15

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Oh, sorry...

    WinXP SP3

    But I have wide-screen resolution, not sure if that has any impact. (1280 X 800) Run in full screen.

    I think the flashes are "Lightning". Just a little over saturated when it hits the screen as a whole. (Usually space doesn't light-up, and the blackness going to grey looked like a graphical glitch.)

    Though, I am still seeing the double-layer of stars, overlayed at random times, for random lengths of time.

    The sounds, I believe are impact sounds... I get hit a lot, so the sound just gets overlapped and louder and begins to crackle. Could be the lower MP3 encoding. (Saves space, but gives a performance drop, since it requires additional processing to turn into PCM. Are you using standard encoding or progressive? Might help to pre-render the MP3 to WAV once loaded, and keep the WAV memory handle for playback. I am not sure which BASS likes better for streaming.)

    The background music could also be pushed to windows, since it does not change much, and would free a mixing channel for active sounds.

    While you guys are busy doing the contest, I will see if I can offer anything productive to this, while it awaits your return. If not, I may just try to make a pong-game, to show you some of the things I suggested. (This way I am not defacing your property while you are not around to smack me around for going too crazy with it.)

    P.S. I already broke my copy... (Not sure where, but now I die 10x faster.) I was converting some of the formulas so they used (Z * 0.5) instead of (Z / 2), which is faster. (I think I know where I messed-up, where there was a more complex formula, with "i" in it... that was something like, (Z/4+i*X), but I converted it to (Z*0.25+i*X)... Should have worked... But I guess that one didn't. Maybe it did, and I just got worse at playing.

    I also moved a few lines of code, to reduce the file-reads, where the backgrounds were loaded.
    FOR i = 1 to 3
    xFILE = OPEN(...)
    xVALUE = Somecode...&i, more code

    The value of the paths did not use "i", and the file was read all three times, with the same values.
    So I did this...

    xFILE = OPEN(...)

    FOR i = 1 to 3
    xVALUE = Somecode...&i, more code

    That kept only the code that changed with "i", in the loop, but it only reduced file-reads from 3 to 1, and 3 conversions to 1 conversion. (Was only at a loading stage, so it did not actually gain any performance, possibly slight faster loading, by a micro-second.)

    There is a couple of spots, where things are continually divided by the TIMEFRAME, which would greatly help speed, if they were translated only once per loop, and the values simply used, as opposed to calculated over and over in the loops.

  6. #16

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Nope... not lightning...

    I am seeing...
    A background of stars and a nebula...
    A sub-background of more stars (Doubled-over, 2 more images.)
    A flashing foreground with the same nebula, but offset.

    Occasionally, the images seem to continually overlay, adding themselves together. Brights get brighter (Which I thought was lightning. But looks like windows media player visualizations... layering and layering, getting brighter as they move.)

    On some occasions, the whole screen just resets to a normal playing field, like when I first start the level. Only the one moving background.

  7. #17

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Ok, it wasn't my code changes that made it do that...

    At first, I get hit... 6% damage...
    next, jumps to 36%...
    next, jumps to 78%...
    than death...

    (Actually hit a few times in that progress, but the longest I can last with a screen full of shots is about 5-10 seconds.)

    Instant, is a little too instant... no real time to get fingers ready on the keyboard before getting pummeled with ships. I look up after hitting enter, and BOOM, instant action/death.

    BTW this is the ALPHA 3.0 that I am playing from the link above, on version thinAIR/thinBASIC.

  8. #18
    Super Moderator Petr Schreiber's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D


    thanks for your impressions.
    Could you please do the following?:
    • Run script from here to detect your graphichardware
    • Run DxDiag ( Click the Windows Start button / Run / DxDiag ) read DirectX version and have a look at tests related to sound system
    • Attach screenshot demonstrating issues

    Regarding difficulty ... yes, it is high The trick is to avoid shots from the blue aircraft, they have more impact and their bullets are less visible.
    I think that each 100 points of score recover your damage. So you need to find balance between defensive and offensive style of game . It needs practising to go high with score.

    Regarding graphic performance - this game can be slower on low end, as it does fullscreen blend. In such a cases I recommend running the game windowed.

    Thanks for your input,
    Learn 3D graphics with ThinBASIC, learn TBGL!
    Windows 10 64bit - Intel Core i5-3350P @ 3.1GHz - 16 GB RAM - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB

  9. #19
    thinBasic MVPs kryton9's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    I personally found the new version too hard and busy for my tastes. I run an older version of the game.

    I should mention that TopDown3D the story version is on hold till thinBasic and tbgl are more developed. Both have come a long way since the first topdown. The new commands being developed for the Coding Monkeys Contest will go a long way in getting us closer to what is needed for the big version. Perhaps in another year we will be perfectly setup to pick that back up.
    Acer Notebook: Win 10 Home 64 Bit, Core i7-4702MQ @ 2.2Ghz, 12 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 760M and Intel HD 4600
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