Mindsmear

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smilertoo
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Mindsmear

Post by smilertoo » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:45 am

I would like you to hunt down whoever was responsible for the mindsmear fake game in zzap64, and slap them about for me.
yes i have a sig.

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necronom
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by necronom » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:40 am

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PanzerGeneral
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by PanzerGeneral » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:34 pm

I would like to hunt down Richard Richard and his best friend-Eddie for the invention of Windsmear.

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lavalyte
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by lavalyte » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:38 am

Is there no homebrew hero interested in doing a version of Mindsmear?
'I have nothing but the greatest respect for other peoples' crackpot beliefs' - Sam The Eagle.

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TMR
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by TMR » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:25 am

lavalyte wrote:Is there no homebrew hero interested in doing a version of Mindsmear?
Part of the joke was that it was asking the impossible of the hardware and that's still true; trying to get the game (or more accurately games) described in Zzap! going would be close to impossible on a stock C64 and tricky even with expanded hardware with no guarantee it'd be any fun to play.

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joefish
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by joefish » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:21 am

Although it always looked a bit rough, did anyone every try the character-scaling scenic object style of C64 games like Power Drift and Space Harrier, but in a fully free-roaming 3D environment? I can't think of any 8-bit examples off the top of my head. Only games like Mercenary, Battlezone, or flight sims that used 3D vector objects.

You got something along those lines in Archipelagos on the Atari ST, combining a free-roaming chequered-floor algorithm with scaled billboard bitmaps (i.e. flat sprite-like graphic objects that always appear upright and face-on to the player, for ease of rendering). I guess there are some modern attempts at Wolfenstein-type FPSs, but nothing I recall from the past.

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TMR
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by TMR » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:33 am

joefish wrote:Although it always looked a bit rough, did anyone every try the character-scaling scenic object style of C64 games like Power Drift and Space Harrier, but in a fully free-roaming 3D environment? I can't think of any 8-bit examples off the top of my head.
There's Paul Woakes' Encounter but it works with fairly primitive objects. If you go for more complex background elements like the Mindsmear graphics, the memory overheads go up rapidly or you end up with everything looking the same from any angle as you rotate around it.

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lavalyte
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by lavalyte » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:33 am

TMR wrote:
lavalyte wrote:Is there no homebrew hero interested in doing a version of Mindsmear?
Part of the joke was that it was asking the impossible of the hardware and that's still true; trying to get the game (or more accurately games) described in Zzap! going would be close to impossible on a stock C64 and tricky even with expanded hardware with no guarantee it'd be any fun to play.
Well that's quitter talk.
'I have nothing but the greatest respect for other peoples' crackpot beliefs' - Sam The Eagle.

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joefish
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by joefish » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:29 am

Is Encounter not just doing some sort of quick OR-based fill technique? Or maybe just vertical lines down to the horizon, then mirroring the top and bottom halves of the display? Either way it seems to me vector-based, with obviously some sort of super-fast filling trick rather than just outline vectors. I guess the C64 equivalent of something like Academy on the Speccy.

I mean something sprite or character based, so I suppose not. Backlash, his Amiga update, clearly uses sprites.

Even if it is vectors, it still cheats on the issue of objects appearing to turn to face the player by making everything out of cones and round pillars, so they have no directional cues. And Backlash does the same. Archipelagos also dodges the issue by only using sprites for tall, thin trees, obelisks and globes, so there's nothing particularly jarring about them always looking the same from every angle. This was also in the days before the game controls would let you circle-strafe an object, in which case it would be obvious there was only one view of it.

The likes of Wolfenstein had different sprites for front/back/side/three-quarter views of enemies (though not collectibles), but then with its game engine it didn't have to store a dozen different scaled versions of each one. I suppose that's the biggest drawback, but even so, from the number of 8-bit games that had scaling objects (right back to Deathchase), it still seems surprising that none of them developed free-roaming. Maybe it's the thought of having to re-sort and depth-queue everything that put people off, rather than just having them line up sequentially as you hurtle along in a fixed direction. Although on the Speccy, you could just OR stuff up like (I think) Enduro Racer does.

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merman
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by merman » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:15 am

joefish wrote:Although it always looked a bit rough, did anyone every try the character-scaling scenic object style of C64 games like Power Drift and Space Harrier, but in a fully free-roaming 3D environment? I can't think of any 8-bit examples off the top of my head. Only games like Mercenary, Battlezone, or flight sims that used 3D vector objects.

You got something along those lines in Archipelagos on the Atari ST, combining a free-roaming chequered-floor algorithm with scaled billboard bitmaps (i.e. flat sprite-like graphic objects that always appear upright and face-on to the player, for ease of rendering). I guess there are some modern attempts at Wolfenstein-type FPSs, but nothing I recall from the past.
Closest would be Quake Minus One by Mike Singleton.

It uses a variation on his Landscaping routine from Lords of Midnight, renamed Actionscaping. Scales the buildings along the undersea roads using a mixture of characters and sprites.

http://www.gb64.com/game.php?id=6081&d=18&h=0
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TMR
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by TMR » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:44 am

lavalyte wrote:
TMR wrote:Part of the joke was that it was asking the impossible of the hardware and that's still true; trying to get the game (or more accurately games) described in Zzap! going would be close to impossible on a stock C64 and tricky even with expanded hardware with no guarantee it'd be any fun to play.
Well that's quitter talk.
No, that's being realistic; to stand a chance of getting the game described in the article you'll need a sped up C64 with more RAM. That's certainly not impossible (my work machine is 6MHz and has 16Mb of RAM) but finding a coder who supports expanded hardware in the first place and has an interest in the project... that's the hard bit.

i'm not up for it because i don't have an interest in 3D games as such and to date at least my code all runs on stock.
joefish wrote:Is Encounter not just doing some sort of quick OR-based fill technique? Or maybe just vertical lines down to the horizon, then mirroring the top and bottom halves of the display?
Nah, it's just chunking around blocks of character data so it isn't doing anywhere near the work a bitmap-based game would.
joefish wrote:The likes of Wolfenstein had different sprites for front/back/side/three-quarter views of enemies (though not collectibles), but then with its game engine it didn't have to store a dozen different scaled versions of each one.
Yeah, that's pretty much where the problem is really - on a stock C64 you're going to run out of memory not long after the objects in the faked screenshots are done so it'd probably only be viable with a RAM expansion... and once you go down that road, there's a DMA in the expansion to aid with drawing objects to bitmap.
joefish wrote:Maybe it's the thought of having to re-sort and depth-queue everything that put people off, rather than just having them line up sequentially as you hurtle along in a fixed direction.
The fixed direction is a biggie as well i'd say; in quite a few cases the "3D" can be done with tables of co-ordinates.

garyliddon
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by garyliddon » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:53 am

HAR HAR

I wrote that. Paul and Phillip O'Connor, programmer proteges and creators of Mindsmear were mates I went to school with.

Encounter is properly awesome though, get's a lot of leeway by having a top / bottom symmetrical screen with an offset screen colour change to fake a horizon :D

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TMR
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by TMR » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:56 am

garyliddon wrote:HAR HAR

I wrote that. Paul and Phillip O'Connor, programmer proteges and creators of Mindsmear were mates I went to school with.
it would've surprised me if you hadn't been behind it... =-)

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joefish
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Re: Mindsmear

Post by joefish » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:11 pm

Well, if you made the rocks roughly symmetrical, and did the guns as domes with directional marks or barrels added on afterwards, you could possibly do it all with characters. You could always have a few extra scaled steps for the rocks so you can clump big and little ones together to make some unique shapes.

In those mock-ups, everything is below the horizon level anyway. So you could maybe even use sprites to add those details to the cannons; that's if you weren't using them all for the player's craft. You could make the main cannon shape a square pyramid with a flat top (instead of a directional wedge), and just have two versions of it with a 45°turn. Then when you add some sort of small barrel graphic detail you've got something that can point in 8 directions. Or do a bit of on-the-fly recolouring to improve the illusion of it rotating.

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