I’m currently using Cinder after openFrameworks stopped working on Mountain Lion for some weird 64-bit reason. No matter what I tried with openFrameworks, I couldn’t get Chimera compiled. I put a message up on the forum a few days ago, but nobody has responded, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity, so I decided to give Cinder a try instead. Now Cinder seems to work fine on my MacBook Air, but resolutely refuses to run for more than six or so seconds on my Mac Mini without crashing, even with an empty app.
Now I have all 64 of the original map rooms displaying and I’m very pleased about that. Here’s a screen shot taken from a running build on my Mac.
And here’s another…
I’ve just used some jiggery-pokery in Acorn to merge the masks and blocks.
Here’s what I did:
- Open the mask and image files
- In the mask, I used the instant alpha tool over the bits that should show what’s underneath, usually around the edges
- In the mask, I flood filled the blue with black, with anti-alias turned off
- I copied and pasted the image into the mask
- Then, I used the Destination Atop blend mode and everything seemed to look OK.
- Finally, I saved the merged file for use in a modern graphics engine, the results are below.
The first one always takes ages, then you get really fast. That’s old school. No fancy gimmickry. Just work on the process, it won’t be easy at first, but repetition is the mother of skill.
Next, I need to work out what the room table indexing was so that I can display the room data I typed in earlier today using a “DrawRoom” routine, isometrically of course. This time, I hope to avoid the bugs I had in the original, but we’ll see.
So, ActionScript? C++? C#?
I used Flying Meat’s Acorn to extract each block from the PNG kindly created by @sokurah.
Here are the extracted masks and blocks individually.
Why am I doing this? Why am I trying to make a 27 year old game again? Have I got something to prove? No.
It just makes me feel alive.
Twitter is fantastic. Thanks to @retroremakes who RTd my earlier plea, @sokurah came to my rescue. He was apparently working on a Chimera remake in 2004. He very kindly sent me the graphics he’d extracted from the Spectrum version and here they are!
I managed to get a fair bit done last night, including a utility class for handling isometric projection that was more accurate than the hack I was using, and I also reorganised the test app so that the code was a lot cleaner, breaking everything up into helper functions that could be switched in and out. This meant taking all the crutches off and letting what I had stand up on the bare bones systems in place. The codebase is growing, but it is more organised and useful.
Yes, I did get a vector cube up, but it looks very plain and sad and distinctly unglowy. I did a really silly brute force method – I drew a cube, then drew it again adjacently with alpha. It looks boring. No glow. Perhaps I need more cubes.
I need to write an event manager too, that’s something I realised today.
As for gameplay, I’m continuing to shape my thinking on that and will write something up later today.
If anyone can advise me on a quick and dirty hack on how to get glowing vectors going, that’d be really helpful. My favourite examples of this effect are above. I didn’t play Geometry Wars much, but I played Orbital to death and loved it to bits, especially the over-the-top vector glow chic.
My quick and dirty method is shown below. It looks awful. It looked better with line smoothing, but believe it or not, that utterly destroyed the performance. It was stunningly slow.
I suppose I could really cheat and draw the cubes in a paint package and add glow. That’d be the old way. It’d look the same. Maybe even better. It just wouldn’t be very cool. I’m too old for that to matter now, surely?
I totally adore the visuals for Pix ‘n Love Rush. I don’t think the game is suited to iPhone as much as it would to PSP, but I’m biased, and I also have a problem with abstracting buttons, which are in themselves an abstraction. The visuals are awesome though and the game is charming.
So I was thinking about how I’m going to represent the blocks when they’re in their energy state (as opposed to matter). And then someone mentioned this game to me at work today and of course, I pulled out my iPhone to show it sitting in my primary games folder, proudly.
I bought the game because of its look, first and foremost.
And then it struck me as I rode a Boris Bike from the office to Frampton Street – I could use vector outlines for the blocks in Chimera, a bit of alpha, and hey presto, energy blocks!
So I’m going to play with that look and see if I can get some blocks going using vectors. Having never done the “glow” look before, I’ll be working it out for myself, but my guess is I draw a solid line and the same line on either side, but with more alpha to get the glow. We’ll see.
I’m not getting much progress with the graphics for the game, so I might as well give vector a go in general while I work out what to do next.