My first FreeBASIC game - Poxie

User projects written in or related to FreeBASIC.
Lachie Dazdarian
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My first FreeBASIC game - Poxie

Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 14, 2005 10:42

I'm not dead and I'm releasing a new game. Some of you might have been expecting FB port of Evil Baron Lachie but I gave up on finishing that game. Simply, I got sick of it and it's poor gameplay. Yes, it had a funny story and the cinematics I've planned to add were even more funny(really) but working on a game you hate is very unrewarding and unproductive. Trust me, once you try out Poxie you won't miss EBL one bit. I'm not saying Poxie is great but, by my humble opinion, it's much better than EBL could have ever been.

I'll copy and paste some of the stuff from the game readme file. Hope you won't mind.

Poxie is a 2D action game combining pacman and platform game concept, featuring vertical scrolling, 256 colors graphic and Sound Blaster sound effects and music.

The game concept is based on(borrowed from) a relatively unknown QBasic game called Panic Vicious made by HUR. I don't know if he borrowed the idea for his game from somewhere too.

Poxie was completed a whole month ago but I was unable to release it before today which was good. I was able to test the game properly, add more polish and remove some of the bugs. Also, some totaly new things were done that were not planned like a better ending.

Download the game here:
http://kentauri.digitalblackie.com/Poxie.zip (2.2 MB)
http://kentauri.digitalblackie.com/PoxieLite.zip(0.23 MB) - No sound and music

Screenshots:
Image Image

Visit my site for Panic Vicious and stage 3 screenshot: www.kentauri.cjb.net

Poxie is definitely something new for me. Not much because of the fact it's a FreeBASIC game since I've already released R.E.Lope's pixel scrolling engine in FB but more because I've boldly(uh) experimented with new things in the graphic department. When I started working on Poxie I had no idea how much I will be able to satisfy the demands of the imagined game design but all in all it worked out very well. The backgrounds are not something much better than, for example, Ball Blazing Fantasy main menu but the characters are another story. The very movement of the game characters was inspired by Turrican II and without much trouble I was able to easily create a neat illusion of entire body movement. I know, I know, it's far from perfect but it's an improvement for me. Due the limited time this had to be a mini-game but I think it's a valuable contribution to the FreeBASIC game design scene, unless something fantastic happened here while I was offline.

Poxie features 6 stages each with different background graphic and every second with different NPC and foreground graphic. Poxie features many layers of graphic and all kind of more or less interesting graphic effects, depending on the stage. There is also the game ending.

This is my first game where I've used sound effects and I kinda wish I had a bigger choice of them. Guess the sound effects archive I've started creating is not that great.
Music....well, probably the weakest part of Poxie. I just can't help it there. Currently, I suck in composing tracks. When I just think of the music in The Quest For Opa Opa. Uh. Hope I'll somehow(still don't know how) get better in this.

Any kind of feedback on the game is welcomed.

If any of you is interested to review Poxie please reach at least stage 4 and check out the readme.txt file. Especially "How To Play" and "Questions And Answers" sections. And if you are going to take screenshots of the game don't show screenshots of stages 5 and 6 to public please.

I've thanked a lot of people so check the credits section too. No development log this time. Like anyone reads that. Still, there are things to say. Poxie almost never happened because I thought I wouldn't be able to pull it off in such short time if at all. I've even started another project and worked on it one day. Some crap idea about helicopter contraption carrying stone blocks which are used to build a castle. Very doubtful idea as the very possibility to execute it. I almost gave up on working on a game during the summer before returning to Poxie. Very shy for the first two days until I realized it could be done.

BTW, I'm looking for someone to compile Poxie for Linux. I think there shouldn't be any problems since I only used GFXLib 2 routines and FMOD. If someone is interested please post it in here or email me so I can send you the source code. And no, the source code is not available for public. Check the readme file for more info about that(Q&A section). Also, can in distribute LINUX and Windows executable files in the same archive? Is that advisable? I mean, if someone runs a LINUX file in Windows the computer won't blow up or something like that? :P
Nodtveidt
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Postby Nodtveidt » Sep 14, 2005 11:40

Good to see ya still around dude. :) Looking forward to this...
jupiter3888
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Postby jupiter3888 » Sep 14, 2005 11:59

ok then, first thing, i like your game, its very original and playable. it's challanging and yet not to hard (on the lower levels atleast ).
maybe a few suggestions?
when you first enter the map maybe a slight pause would be good. because the first time you enter the game you have no idea where you are and the layout of the map.
second suggestion. when you get a high score you need to enter you're name by selecting each letter, like on non-pc games. IMO thats quite slow and cumbersome when you could just have the user type in their name. but i may be wrong and you have a copletely good reason for doing that.
these are just some suggestions and i dont care what you do with them. hell, throw them in the trash can and never speak of them again. i dont care, lol.
anyway, nice game and other compliments...
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 14, 2005 12:39

Thanx. I'll take your advices into consideration. The name inputing routine was originaly made for my QB game Ball Blazing Fantasy. I'm kinda proud on that routine so like to use it. I don't know. I'll see.
Ryan
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Postby Ryan » Sep 14, 2005 14:22

Great fun, Lachie! It looks really polished, and the tiny animations in the menu and stage intros are neat. And I was going to comment on the NPC graphics' full body movement. I see now you mentioned it in the post, but I think it's good. A lot better than any attempt of mine. ^_^ Don't have the time to clear all the stages now, but I certainly will when I get home tonight. Excellent job once again.
relsoft
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Postby relsoft » Sep 15, 2005 5:12

Mappy + Pacman + mario damn this is fun!

And the sounds roxxors!
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 28, 2005 12:59

I'm still looking for someone to compile my game for Linux.

BTW, what "100% CPU operating rate" means? Some guy mentioned it and said he can't play the game for long. He has Windows 2000. I'm not happy.
Nodtveidt
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Postby Nodtveidt » Sep 28, 2005 19:54

It means the game is consuming all available CPU cycles when it runs.
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 30, 2005 6:46

How's that possible if the game runs with 75 FPS? He said that SLEEP 1 or SLEEP 2 would fix the problem but I don't see how. What is that a problem?
Pritchard
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Postby Pritchard » Sep 30, 2005 7:27

Lachie Dazdarian wrote:How's that possible if the game runs with 75 FPS? He said that SLEEP 1 or SLEEP 2 would fix the problem but I don't see how. What is that a problem?


See, if the game's running 75 frames per second, it doesn't mean that the program's only running code 75 times a second. If it's using up 100% of the CPU, then it's always checking and updating the program. Try putting a sleep 1 or sleep 2 and the end of your loop.

Sleep 1 or sleep 2 will slow the program down by only 1 or 2 MILLISECONDS. One thousandth of a second WON'T make a noticable difference in your program speed, but it WILL lower the CPU usage by a ton, since every time it runs through the loop, it pauses for that one millisecond.

100% cpu usage is a major problem to people who want to run multiple programs at once while running your program.
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 30, 2005 7:38

I'll fix that in the future version. I hate making updates of my games.
Pritchard
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Postby Pritchard » Sep 30, 2005 7:43

Lachie Dazdarian wrote:I'll fix that in the future version. I hate making updates of my games.

Yes...we all do. But 100% cpu usage I see as important. I guess it's just when viewing my own programs I do nothing but go on other ones :D
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Oct 05, 2005 7:59

I’ve released a new version of Poxie(1.1). I wouldn’t even release another version of Poxie if there wasn’t this “100% CPU usage” error which I fixed by adding a small millisecond delay in all the game loops. I apologize for all the inconveniences that the original version may have caused. There are few minor fixes related to grammar corrections in the game and the readme file. If you have uploaded the version of Poxie somewhere or are keeping a copy of it I advise you to download the new version.

Same links:
http://kentauri.digitalblackie.com/Poxie.zip (2.2 MB)
http://kentauri.digitalblackie.com/PoxieLite.zip (0.23 MB) - No sound and music
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Oct 26, 2005 8:23

Yet another version of Poxie(1.2).

http://kentauri.digitalblackie.com/Poxie.zip (2.2 MB)
http://kentauri.digitalblackie.com/PoxieLite.zip (0.23 MB) - No sound and music

Why this one? Well, you can read all about it in the game's readme file but in a nutshell some guy complained about the foreground scrolling being all wrong so I've added an option in the game where you can choose limited or continuous scrolling. Limited scrolling is the old one you know from previous versions where the foreground scrolling is blocked after Poxie reaches a certain height. It was limited in the first place in order to preserve the overview of the stage. If the scrolling is continuous you get a better "feeling" of the stage depth but on the highest levels you lose your view of the lower levels which adds to the game difficulty. I also changed the speed of background scrolling since it scrolled with the same speed as the foreground which was wrong.

Also, I made some changes with the SLEEP statement. Using SLEEP 1 or SLEEP 2 line in my loops causes trembling when full screen images are scrolled but I need to use the SLEEP statement to prevent the "100 CPU usage" problem. I was able to reduce the trembling but not get rid of it completely and because of that I added an extra option in the setup menu where you can disable the usage of the SLEEP statement(allow 100% CPU usage). Maybe it's my video card. Do you see any trembling in the credits or the game options screen with the background(version 1.1 or 1.2)?
Anyway, I never heard anyone complaining about some game having too many options. Also, just about every FreeBASIC game I've tried so far runs using 97%+ cycles of my PC(The Griffon Legend, ArKade, RJB, ...) so it seems I'm the first one who was bugged because of it.

Other thing, the game spins now with 85 FPS and I wonder if it was spinning so fast all the time. You see, I installed or reinstalled(don't know, I bought a used PC) DirectX9 on my PC before completing this update and that was the moment when I noticed the change. Tested the first version of Poxie and it ran faster too. Before Poxie ran with 75 FPS. But if I try to play the game with an Winamp window opened(without any song being played) I get 75 FPS. Is it possible that all the time while Poxie was developed I had an Winamp window in the background? Hardly. Anyway, I'm a bit annoyed with this. The game is still playable but slightly faster than I would want it to be. If anyone is willing to help I have this version of Poxie Lite where FPS are displayed on the screen and you can download it(copy the exe file in the Poxie's directory) and run it.

http://www.kentauri.digitalblackie.com/ ... PSTest.zip

Lemme know how much FPS you get. I was under impression that screen vertical blank(vsync) is almost the same speed on all the computers.

Anyway, updating Poxie is turning into something unhealthy so I think I'll stop here. I just want to resolve this FPS issue for the future projects so I can "time" my games better.

Still looking for someone to compile Poxie for Linux. I never though it would be so difficult to find someone who will do this for me. HELP!!!
Ryan
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Postby Ryan » Oct 26, 2005 21:18

lol I didn't even realize I had RJB running like that. ^_^ I'll have to fix that some day... I didn't catch on to the necessary delay till a little bit ago. I'll try and test this for you tonight or tomorrow. Peace.

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