Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

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sporniket
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Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

Hello there,

This summer I decided to learn assembly 68k and write a little game for Atari STE, and here is the ALPHA version of this breakout style game.

This release may work on other STs as I do not use the blitter and the DMA sound yet. It is functionnaly complete (no menu screen, only the game that start over after 3 balls) and is played with a joystick. Press any key on the keyboard to quit.

The link above to the release give access to the prg file.

The project page is there : https://github.com/sporniket/sporny-wrecking-ball

Have a nice day.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by dma »

Well yes, your game works on ST. Just tried on Mega ST here.
Congrats for reaching this state on your first asm project, it runs smoothly. :)

Gameplay is minimal for now, even for a breakout clone, as the ball direction is not affected by the paddle position it falls on (it even reached a fixed rebounce loop at once, with no possibility to get out of it then).
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

yes, I kept it very simple, and it will stay like this as we reach the end of summer. I had envisionned some random letal object falling from the top and I will not have time to implement it either. I mean, I will run out of motivation very soon, so it's better to reach a milestone that leaving something half-done rotting on my hard disk. The final release should arrive by the end of september at most, if real life let me do as I plan.

And I allowed the player to move a little up and down to mitigate the risk of the ball being stuck, but it seems this is not a silver bullet.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by dma »

Ah yes OK, retried it.
I guess i was seeing it as a such a basic breakout clone, that i didn't even try moving up or down on the first try, eh.
Sorry for missing this then. ;)
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by AtariCrypt »

I liked this, as it is in a beta state. It's quite smooth and plays well but, like dma says, the ball isn't affected by the position it hits the paddle. But this isn't finished and you know already so... lol. But I'm liking the look of it and you say DMA is planned which is interesting. Also blitter too so perhaps smoother still. Anyhow, looks great and I wish you luck.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

It seems I will not be able to do without some special behaviour of the ball when hitting the paddle... (however, when the ball goes e.g. to the right and hit the top-left corner of the paddle, it will rebound to the left). I believe I can tweak things a little.

The blitter will be used to display sprites without pre-shifting. Smoothing the ball move does not depends on the blitter, but it will help as it simplify the code. (by the way, I've just wrote the blitting routines : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqdlAihbUUw)
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by LaceySnr »

It's looking great! Will download so I can play it tonight. It can be hard to keep motivation with such things, lots of small goalposts helps I think, when I took on my first (and only) 68k project I definitely rushed the end because I was getting a bit sick of it, might have to revisit sometime though to add a bit more final polish.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

A little update, with an alpha 2 version. Atari STE only, it looks good. I am a bit disappointed by dma sound level that seems very under soundchip level. I guess I'll have to use dma sound for all sound effect.

An annoying bugs remains to fix, that allow to clear a good parts of the level.

I may have time to devise one or two supplemental mode, the current play would be the regular mode. (when I say "mode", it's just to say that instead of five regular layers of bricks stucked on the top, the same number of bricks would be more or less scattered on the screen.)
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by Eero Tamminen »

I like the looks, and the game name is nice.

There are few issues though:
* Screen isn't drawn correctly with EmuTOS:
swb-etos.png
* Tiles are so small/numerous that clearing out a level takes IMHO too much time
* Game bombs on ST, instead of telling that it needs STE

I guess it's too late to change the tile size, but what about having fewer of them and (at least some of them) being behind indestructible obstacles, e.g. vertical or horizontal rectangles?

Btw. If you're interested in easy level format and a level editor, (monochrome) Super Break-Out game includes editor, and it's level files are just ASCII: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st ... 29463.html
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

Thanks for the feedback :)

* I guess I will be able to add some easy checks to recognize blitter (I remember that there is a xbios call that can help). I wonder whether the same is possible for the dma sound and microwire though ?
* I guess Emutos does not like my blitter routine ??? To me it looks like the Emutos driven blitter does not shift, and does not like working bitplan by bitplane ?

The advanced features of breakout-style games (bonus/malus, brick resistance, levels etc...) will be for another time. This "prelude" (litterally "before (prae) the game (ludere, 'to play')") will stay simple, as the logic is very simplistic. However, I can remove one line of bricks, and have thoughts of two other "levels" that could be generated that would fit in this model.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by Eero Tamminen »

Blitter is HW, AFAIK EmuTOS (nor Atari TOS) don't really do much with that except provide Blitmode(): http://toshyp.atari.org/en/004013.html#Blitmode

I think the normal way of checking for HW is installing error handler, trying to access HW register and if error is caught, reporting that required HW is missing.

To me the issue looks more like the data you're blitting or the blitter operation arguments were somehow uninitialized with EmuTOS? It's a bit weird as I haven't seen this type of problems with any other program, unless they do dirty things, like expecting specific content at undocumented ROM addresses.

Maybe have horizontal or vertical blocks of bricks, so that user has a possibility of getting the ball to start bouncing between them (and breaking a large number of bricks before returning to the bat)?
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

Thanks for the tips on HW checking.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by neanderthal »

About making it a bit more failsafe to start,check cookie jar for _MCH type,,and you can figure out what hardware parts to assume is there or not.Blitter on plain ST:s is of course another story,must admit never needed to check it myself.Oh btw,old TOS 1.00 dont have a cookie jar but if not found you can assume plain old ST.
And now for a bit of fun,lets see what the alpha does to a falcon :)

Edit: about the DMA sound being too low is standard,,and the more there is from beginning a soft/hardware thing to do about it but some half-wit at old Atari messed it up.Greenious was actually reminding me just the other day to document it so I quess I'll have to get at it,lazy assed that I am XD

Edit2: second version actually runs on falcon,but get same sort of black vertical bars as in picture above running from ST-low on 4.04.Could quit,just need some clean up at exit for got the usual 'output device' something in GEM.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

Thanks for the feedbacks and tips.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by Eero Tamminen »

sporniket wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:03 am Thanks for the tips on HW checking.
For an example, you could check e.g. from EmuTOS sources how it does its HW detection.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

neanderthal wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:16 pm Edit2: second version actually runs on falcon,but get same sort of black vertical bars as in picture above running from ST-low on 4.04.Could quit,just need some clean up at exit for got the usual 'output device' something in GEM.
Did you do your test on an actual Falcon ? I tried on Hatari and got the black vertical bars, and the ball that is moved vertically and by 16 pix increments horizontally.

To me, it seems that the blitter copy the data without shifting it (does not take into account the value I put in skew register)
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by neanderthal »

sporniket wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:09 pm
neanderthal wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:16 pm Edit2: second version actually runs on falcon,but get same sort of black vertical bars as in picture above running from ST-low on 4.04.Could quit,just need some clean up at exit for got the usual 'output device' something in GEM.
Did you do your test on an actual Falcon ? I tried on Hatari and got the black vertical bars, and the ball that is moved vertically and by 16 pix increments horizontally.

To me, it seems that the blitter copy the data without shifting it (does not take into account the value I put in skew register)
Yup,real HW.Tend to do that since its my so to speak 'go to' ST machine.In fact I use it even for copying ST/E:ish stuff for the walltari since have a network connection on it and a floppy drive.

Pity I never dabbled with the blitter,so cant give any advice on that level..But yea,some sort of masking/adressing thingy thats not in synchro or something?
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

I am still working on this project, and focused on adding some usual mechanics (a.k.a. special bricks) for now it is just display without real effect, but I wanted to post an update with another alpha release anyway.

Ha, I fixed my supexecs call, the display should works on Falcons and with Emutos (tested on Hatari for the falcon). I did the same for the sound, but it seems to not work on falcon (emulator again, no sound at all, even the blips of the YM...)
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by neanderthal »

sporniket wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:59 pm
Ha, I fixed my supexecs call, the display should works on Falcons and with Emutos (tested on Hatari for the falcon). I did the same for the sound, but it seems to not work on falcon (emulator again, no sound at all, even the blips of the YM...)
Pic is ok on real falcy and the sound mutes if you select 6kHz sampling,had a quick look at it and tested it to see that my vasmm install was still ok.
Plays if do this in macros/dmasnd.s

; -- setup mono 6xxx Hz//falcy dont do 6kHz sampels,mutes the matrix and all sound
move.w #$0081,$ffff8920

Really a byte adress at 8921,here sets12kHz and 8-bit mono.
8920.b sets nr of tracks and the track to monitor on falcon,however all zeros is STE compatible.1 track and monitor same track.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

neanderthal wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:28 am
Pic is ok on real falcy and the sound mutes if you select 6kHz sampling,had a quick look at it and tested it to see that my vasmm install was still ok.
Plays if do this in macros/dmasnd.s

; -- setup mono 6xxx Hz//falcy dont do 6kHz sampels,mutes the matrix and all sound
move.w #$0081,$ffff8920

Really a byte adress at 8921,here sets12kHz and 8-bit mono.
8920.b sets nr of tracks and the track to monitor on falcon,however all zeros is STE compatible.1 track and monitor same track.
Thank you very much :) ... and now I have to redo my samples at 12kHz...
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by neanderthal »

sporniket wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:38 pm
neanderthal wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:28 am
Pic is ok on real falcy and the sound mutes if you select 6kHz sampling,had a quick look at it and tested it to see that my vasmm install was still ok.
Plays if do this in macros/dmasnd.s

; -- setup mono 6xxx Hz//falcy dont do 6kHz sampels,mutes the matrix and all sound
move.w #$0081,$ffff8920

Really a byte adress at 8921,here sets12kHz and 8-bit mono.
8920.b sets nr of tracks and the track to monitor on falcon,however all zeros is STE compatible.1 track and monitor same track.
Thank you very much :) ... and now I have to redo my samples at 12kHz...
Or just double fill in new memory location prior to use,like sampel 1234..to 11223344..But I thought they actually sounded pretty good at 12kHz :)
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

yeah, my little one did like it like that too...

**edit** ...so i consider keeping it like that.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by sporniket »

It's that time again, time to release a new apha — the forth one—. This time the variable length bricks are not only for show. The demo level demonstrate a full width brick. Anyway, this will help design levels that are not too long to clear.
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by dma »

Great progress!
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Re: Sporny's Wrecking Ball [homebrew - Atari STE]

Post by Eero Tamminen »

I finally had time to try the new version, and with larger tiles it's *much* nicer!

Btw. When ball is lost, the new ball starts moving by itself after couple of seconds.

On many other Breakout clones:
* one can first position the paddle, and then
* press Fire for ball to start moving again (from the current paddle position)

When one has spent a long time playing a given level, it's nice to get a bit of rest by not launching the new ball immediately, even if one wouldn't be able to position the paddle beforehand.

PS. As there's only single level, have you considered a level editor? ASCII level files that can be written in text editor would be nicest (and work best in version control too), but I'm no sure how one would represent larger tiles in those. Maybe by using some specific character to indicate brick edges and middle parts, which the level loader understands to combine into a single tile?
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