HEX FACTOR (Playable Test Release)

Game development specific discussions.
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 22, 2007 21:01

Yes, original link. Or here for those too lazy to scroll back to the top of the thread. ;-)

http://www.imakegames.com/HexFctr.zip

Cheers!
-Vince
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 23, 2007 0:08

I like the new features, although weapons 2, 3 and 4 seem too similar to me. Perhaps making the ground rockets (weapon 4) to appear different that rockets 2 and 3. The new explosions are much cooler.

I forgot to complain on this the last time, but your main menu is really awkwardly constructed with those YES and NO tags.

Also, in this latest version I felt my ship was inconveniently sluggish, but I guess that's where the powerups will enter.
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 23, 2007 1:11

Also, in this latest version I felt my ship was inconveniently sluggish,


Really? In what way? What was your FPS? You should be able to outrun most all enemy fire.

I like the new features, although weapons 2, 3 and 4 seem too similar to me.


Yes, I used the same sprite just to move the process along. I will be using unique sprites for each one.

I forgot to complain on this the last time, but your main menu is really awkwardly constructed with those YES and NO tags.


Would you suggest a check box instead?

Thanks for the quick feedback. :-)
-Vince
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 23, 2007 2:20

Forgot to report my FPS. It's 14. I have a crappy PC. But it's fine. The game is fully playable.

As for the menu, I think it's a bad idea to combine toggle options with those than start an action. Having to click on YES and NO and them changing with NEW GAME, EXIT GAME and SHOW HELP confuse.

Perhaps separating these two groups of options into two sections on a single screen. And perhaps highlighting the text when the mouse cursor hovers over it.
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 23, 2007 2:36

Lachie Dazdarian wrote:Forgot to report my FPS. It's 14. I have a crappy PC. But it's fine. The game is fully playable.


I slowed the game down to 15FPS to simulate what you are seeing. I'm sorry but to me that speed makes the game unplayable.

I wish I could optimize it further for you. I remember you were getting single digits when you tested the initial release. I'm not sure what features are slowing you down so much.

-Vince
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 23, 2007 16:44

Well, I don't know what to say. The game feels playable to me. I can move around the map quite comfortably, engage the enemy ships and shoot at them.

When I was talking about powerups I was thinking about some of them giving you higher rotation speed or higher engine power. I definitely think possibility for higher rotation speed (better maneuverability) would be nice.

Anyway, what’s the game optimum speed?

I doubt you can make it faster. From my experience, the biggest chunk of speed goes into full screen refreshing (CLS, LINE with BF that clears the screen, or the full screen background pasted with PUT), unless you have some really intensive action going on the screen (many big sprites, etc.). Having in mind the screen resolution and the color bit depth you are using, this should be pretty much it on my PC. Perhaps you can provide a version with 16 bit color depth if the current is not 16 bit. The quality of the graphics will not be so good, but the game should run faster on older PCs. Create some sort of setup menu.
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 23, 2007 17:09

The games' optimum FPS is 30. The FPS limit is coded at 33 it will not exceed no matter how fast the PC. I will try adding a 16bit option and see what that does.

The powerups I had in mind were...

1. Powerups for more ammo
2. Increasing weapons range
3. Faster ship movement
4. Shield power
5. and some special weapons. ;-)

Will post with my 16bit experiment soon.

-Vince
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 23, 2007 21:08

My inital attempts to convert the game display down to 16bit have not been successful. While I can get the images to show, the colors are all messed up. Is the 16bit GFX mode palletized or RGB565? Or something else completely?

Maybe there something else I can optimize.

Sorry. :-(
-Vince
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 23, 2007 22:04

Well, when I said 16 bit mode I meant on the one initiated with the SCREENRES statement. I guess you are not using pure FBgfx. FreeImage might be the problem here.
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 23, 2007 22:31

Lachie Dazdarian wrote:Well, when I said 16 bit mode I meant on the one initiated with the SCREENRES statement. I guess you are not using pure FBgfx. FreeImage might be the problem here.


You are correct. I process all internal Sprites and GFX as either 24bit or 32bit RGB. These are all composited to a 32bit backbuffer and ultimately copied to the screen via ScreenLock.

To use 16bit, I changed the ScreenRes statement to 16bit and changed my backbuffer to 16Bit. The rendering routines automatically convert the pixels via Windows GDI but the colors are getting wacked.

I will investigate further.

-Vince
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 25, 2007 20:10

@Lachie

I got a 16bit display version working. Download and run the HexFctr16.exe and see if you get any improved performance.

-Vince
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 25, 2007 22:08

Bah, no man! I get 10 FPS with 16bit mode and the same old 14 FPS with 32bit. Is that real-time conversion from 16bit to 32bit? I asking because I saw that code in Tips and Tricks section and because I'm getting a slowdown while it should be the opposite.

I really don't know why you used FreeImage as all your graphics are in BMP images. What are the benefits of FreeImage over simple BLOAD? Just check my Vector X. Simple smooth sexy conversion from 16bit to 24bit (I'm pretty sure it should work for 32bit to) only by changing the SCREENRES calls.
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 25, 2007 22:43

The only function I use from FreeImage is reading JPG images. Other than that, everything is pure Win32 API.

If I disable the draw to the screen, I bet your FPS goes way up.

I will make it possible to disable and we can test it out...

-Vince
vdecampo
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Postby vdecampo » Sep 28, 2007 1:48

@Lachie

I optimized the screen blasting function to use MMX. I noticed an increase of FPS on my system so I am curious if it's better on yours too.

-Vince
Lachie Dazdarian
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Postby Lachie Dazdarian » Sep 28, 2007 20:26

Erm...not really. 14 FPS. But I really don't think this speed is unplayable. BTW, how are you pasting that huge nebula background? Perhaps allowing the user to disable it would increase the speed.

You gave up on having a 16-bit color depth mode?

P.S.

In the future, if you only make changes in the source code, please post a download link only for the executable so I don't have to download 4 MB over and over and over.. Thanks.

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