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Introducing Last-Out - A Z-Out Remake

SunSpire
http://www.sunspire-records.com
08.05.10
Hallo Leute!

Na, erinnert sich noch jemand an mich?

Ich hab damals kurz mal über Turrican auf dem GP2X Handheld hier gepostet, aber ansonsten war ich all die Jahre lang im Hintergrund und hab so das Geschehen auf den Turrican / Nemmelheim Seiten mitverfolgt.

Daher weiss ich auch vom Z-Out Webshrine und das Leute hier zuvor über Last-Out, einem Z-Out Remake für den PC gesprochen haben. Ich wollte euch mitteilen dass ich Christophe Simon's Projekt seit einiger Zeit unterstütze und wir gut vorankommen. Wir haben gerade eine neue Demo veröffentlicht mit 4 der 6 Levels komplett spielbar.

Während Chris programmiert und die Levels und Grafiken bastelt, bin ich für den Soundtrack zuständig, welcher natürlich auf die Originalmusik vom Amiga basiert. Das Spiel bietet eine höhere Auflösung und Parallax Scrolling, etwas dass mir im Original immer gefehlt hat (vor allem im dritten Level). Man kann zwischen zwei Schwierigkeitsgraden wählen: Rookie mit einer Energy-bar und Amiga, dem Originalmodus wo jeder Hit absolut tödlich ist

Vielleicht hat ja jemand von euch Lust, es mal zu spielen und mir ein wenig Feedback zu geben. Wir haben auf jeden Fall grossen Spass damit und hoffen dass es in naher Zukunft noch besser wird!!

Hier ein paar Links:

Chris' Seite: (in Französisch)
http://www.amigachapterone.com/last-out

und meine Page:
http://www.sunspire-records.com

Viel Spass damit, liebe Grüsse aus England!

Marco

"SunSpire"
poutsoklis
11.05.10
sorry, not a german speaker.

first of all congrats for the game!! downloaded and played it. very cool! z-out was one of my favourites. nice r-type-ish gameplay, very good graphics and awesome in-game music by rudolph stember (and intro track by chris huelsbeck). it was an underrated game due to the similarities with r-type.
i really liked the 2 music modes (the remixes rock!)

some objections:
- can't figure out how how to enable auto-fire (the amiga version had the 'a' key for this).
- can't figure out how to recall the shield on the back side (not the front) of the craft.
- some enemies are not the same (e.g. on the first level you have to "disintegrate" the "3-ball" enemies with 3 shots (one for each "ball"), whilst on the original they were taken out with one shot).
- is there a co-operative hot-seat mode like te original?
i'm an english language speaker and i couldn't understand much from the site. i couldn't know if any of the above are addressed.

but, overall this is a great effort. congratulations again and a big thanx!!! looking forward to playing the final version, too!
SunSpire
http://www.sunspire-records.com
11.05.10
Whoops, guess I should have made a multi-language post, sorry about that

Thanks for your nice comment! I'll try to answer your questions ...

1. - can't figure out how how to enable auto-fire (the amiga version had the 'a' key for this).

- There's no need for the A key as holding down space or the joypad button (once joypad support is implemented) will fire continously

2. - can't figure out how to recall the shield on the back side (not the front) of the craft.

- This is not implemented yet.

3. - ..."disintegrate" the "3-ball" enemies with 3 shots (one for each "ball"), whilst on the original they were taken out with one shot).

- Correct, there are slight differences in both games, like this one, whether that was intentional by Chris or not I'm not sure. I kinda like it tho, makes the 1st level slightly more challenging.

4. - is there a co-operative hot-seat mode like te original?

- There is none so far, but I did suggest this to Chris so maybe a future release will have coop mode?

While it is very playable already, it still is in development and a lot of changes and bug fixing are being done as we find them. In the last 2 days alone I found nearly a dozen little problems that were only noticeable by playing the levels over and over, Chris has been updating the .exe file again and again, lol

I'm no good at programming but I know my music stuff, following the demoscene and AmigaRemix like a hawk. I'm happy to hear you like the ingame tunes

Hope this post isn't abusing the Turrican forums, just thought people on here might be interested in the project is all.

Any more questions or feedback ... I'm all ears, shoot it my way!

"SunSpire"
poutsoklis
12.05.10
thanx for your answers!

some suggestions:
first of all i don't want to be a jack-ass. you do a very good job and it's guys like you that keep the scene alive - not guys like me who make suggestions! guys like you and all those here that program turri clones, mods, remixes, etc! that's why i believe your post isn't irrelevant.


1) the 'a' key on z-out was meant to make controls simple. you didn't need 2 buttons for firing. it was a correct usage of modality. when played with a joystick, a stateless input interface (without the 'a' key) would require the player to do an extra task by pressing one more fire button (since there would be no way of distinguishing whether the massive or the simple shot is selected). that's why in last-out you assigned the 'v' key for the massive shot. but it's obvious that a player wants to keep firing all the time when playing a shoot 'em up game. the rule of thumb for arcade games is to minimize fire buttons (if you have played fifa you know what i mean!! it's utter crap compared to kick off when it comes to fun factor! one of the main reasons is that kick off follows "more efficient" HIG).

this isn't hard to program. it's a finite-state automaton. a quick'n'dirty snippet:
enum {
STATE_A_DOWN=0,
STATE_A_UP,
ALL_A_STATES
};

/* may be different - depends on synchronous/asynchronous key checking */
void check_input(char key)
{
/* blah-blah-blah... */

if(STATE_A_DOWN==curr_state) {
/* ...handling... */
} else if(STATE_A_UP==curr_state) {
/* ...handling... */
}
if('a'==key)
curr_state=(curr_state+1)%ALL_A_STATES;

/* blah-blah-blah... */
}


2) if you want the shield to be able to be recalled on the back of the craft you can introduce a "lag" when it is recalled (you adjust its new vector less frequently - this would emulate greater inertia when following the craft, so the player will be fast enough to align the back of the craft with the "incoming" shield).


3) man, i wish the original turri flying levels were like z-out! if only t2002f could get some of last-out's flying mechanics!!!


again, please don't misunderstand me. these are plain thoughts. i do admire your work and as i said before i am thankful for your offer to the community!
cheers!
SunSpire
http://www.sunspire-records.com
12.05.10
I know little to nothing of the programming side of things, so your advice would be better aimed at Chris, maybe I can get him to read this topic.

I see what you mean about fun factor, having too many keys in a game can be frustrating (anyone remember I-War? It used the entire keyboard and you could switch all functions with the Shift key, that was crazy!) BUT in Last-Out we are merely talking about 3 buttons plus the cursor keys, I don't see how this could be too complicated. On the other side, If you take away too much interaction with the game, you'll also reduce the fun factor. Games where all you do is press a single button to do everything is rather boring, don't you think?

At the moment however, there is a bug in the shooting controls, charging the supershot with V also enables auto-fire, that's not supposed to happen. You don't actually need to press the space key at all. I'm sure this will be fixed and possibly re-assigned to the A key.

Another problem exists where certain keyboards restrict the number of buttons pressed at any time, because of this it's not possible to fly diagonals while shooting, which is absolutely deadly in level 2. Removing the need to press space (autofire) does not fix this unfortunately. That's why I'm hoping for gamepad support in the future.

You can already use gamepads through running Joy2Key in the background, it's great fun!

"SunSpire"
poutsoklis
13.05.10
i believe the v+auto-fire problem has to do with input checking precedence (you should first check about 'v' being pressed and if this is the case, just ignore the normal fire-button state).

the keyboard problem you're refering to is a global pc keyboard problem. it has to do with the keyboard buffer not being "big" enough. there's no fix for this. you can't press 4 or more buttons simultaneously. 3 buttons are allowed - you should make asynchronous state key checking.

i don't know if i'm right or wrong, but if chris sees this topic and gets some ideas, it'd be cool!

btw, congrats on the tracks. your remixes rock! they are constantly on my amarok playlist, along with christian's compositions.
i am a BIG c-joe fan (this guy composes awesome tracks!), so i'm looking forward to listening to tracks for the new turri mod by lukasz et al!
things are going very well for the community!

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