Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

Oof, 3 Years since I posted here? Dang.

Anyways, yes, Cosmo II has been in-progress in the interim, but it's mostly been hacking graphics together with a loose plan. (But lots of progress has been made.) Other problems included me losing my subscription to Adobe in 2017, but getting my editing ability back earlier this year when I received a new-old-enough computer to run my previous version of Adobe Fireworks (for making the graphics) and Photoshop (for converting the graphics).

I picked up some new drawing techniques for the graphics, thanks to my time working on Atroxian Realm's story graphics (which reminds me... I really need to finish the one story image that Gridlock wanted me to do... plus the extra image I wanted to put in the help file.)

Even better, I found ways to optimize the tilesets for the game. I got rid of a few unimportant tiles that I didn't need and replaced them with better tiles, but there are still some empty spots that really can't be used.

I haven't been looking for music composers (even though I have some songs written, converted, and adding already) or level designers yet because I would like to get the graphics finished first, although at my pace, it's very slow and grueling. Plus, some story characters haven't even been designed yet.

I would put a preview of the graphics here, but I can't do that yet either because of the forum settings.

Despite all that, I'm proud of the progress that has been made, and Episode 1's complete tileset (masked and unmasked) is finally complete!
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by Roobar »

Oof! When I saw you posted in this topic, I thought I would read:
T-Squared wrote: Thu Oct 25, 2018 20:41finally complete!
Was not disappointed.

Btw what do you mean with not being able to put preview because of forum settings?
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by Nisaba »

T-Squared wrote: Thu Oct 25, 2018 20:41 [...] I picked up some new drawing techniques for the graphics, thanks to my time working on Atroxian Realm's story graphics (which reminds me... I really need to finish the one story image that Gridlock wanted me to do... plus the extra image I wanted to put in the help file.)
[...]
yeah! do the missing Atroxian graphics. I'm really eager to see what they'll look like.
Foray in the Forest progress:
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⭘ | Programming
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⭘ | GFX
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⭘ | Levels
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ | Creatures
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⭘⭘ | Story
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⭘ | Music
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⭘ | SFX
⏺⏺⏺⏺⏺ ⏺⏺⏺⏺⭘ | Extras

Other projects:
- Play Commander Keen on a GameBoy
- The Lynx Nyx
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by Fleexy »

The upload-image functionality is disabled (and to my knowledge always has been), but you can always host the images somewhere else (I like Imgur) and embed them with [img] tags.
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

Roobar wrote: Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:00 Oof! When I saw you posted in this topic, I thought I would read:
T-Squared wrote: Thu Oct 25, 2018 20:41finally complete!
Was not disappointed.

Btw what do you mean with not being able to put preview because of forum settings?
Well, I'm having to do a lot by myself with a game engine that hasn't been studied yet. These graphics are NOT easy, and I still haven't made designs for some of the characters, game graphics, or locations! I recently had to rebuild a tile table because of how one of the attributes is hard-coded. (i.e. The ice and bonus stage tiles are coded to have random sparkle animations overlaid on top of them.) Thankfully, it's not all difficult. Some graphics for Episode 3 are simply adjusted to fit better in EGA colors and styles, plus I can take graphics from previous episodes because they're needed and making new unique graphics aren't necessary.

As for not being able to post images, I mean that I am not able to upload my own images as attachments. I can, however, use Imgur, so that's not so much of a problem.
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

OK, been off the project for a while now. I've been working on other projects, one of which has been perpetually hitting a wall, but might help a whole bunch with the mod. I've built a custom MS-DOS Windows 98SE gaming rig! Now I can test the game in its native environment, without DOSBOX! (That's not THE reason why I bought it. It's mostly for media transfer and retro gaming.) In fact, native DOS with a fast Pentium III Processor is much better than DOSBOX!

I've also been transferring tilemap graphics from episode to episode, to get the most out of them, tiles like pipes, chains, foliage, and extra bits to make the maps come alive. I'm also surprised that I'm not the only one to have had a long timeline for a mod's production! (Someone has had 5 extra years making their mod before me!)
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

T-Squared wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:10In fact, native DOS with a fast Pentium III Processor is much better than DOSBOX!
Sometimes, but not always. If you want to play some of the late DOS games like Quake or Duke 3D and such, then a fast Pentium III is probably better/faster than runnung these games in DOSBox.

A ton of really early DOS games won't run correctly on fast Pentiums. A few games like Pharaoh's Tomb, Arctic Adventure, Monuments of Mars, Dark Ages, Halloween Harry etc. won't even start at all on 133 - 266 MHz Pentiums, so a Pentium III would be way too fast for those. Other games have some poorly implemented code that prevents them from detecting AdLib-compatible sound hardware on high-end DOS systems. And Cosmo is one of them: When I run it on my 533 MHz Laptop, the game won't detect the sound card, even though other games (like Keen 4-6) work perfectly fine.

And good luck with CD-ROM games. Some of my CD-ROM games require so much memory that it's almost impossible to free up enough memory for the game and the CD-ROM drivers on my systems. At least that's the case under DOS 6.22 for me. If you're running the games directly from Windows, that might be a different story.


I'm not saying you shouldn't use actual hardware for old (DOS) games. Have fun with that Pentium III. I also have a couple of old systems myself - just tested a Keen mod on a 486 running at 10 MHz today...
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

K1n9_Duk3 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2019 21:25 A ton of really early DOS games won't run correctly on fast Pentiums. A few games like Pharaoh's Tomb, Arctic Adventure, Monuments of Mars, Dark Ages, Halloween Harry etc. won't even start at all on 133 - 266 MHz Pentiums, so a Pentium III would be way too fast for those. Other games have some poorly implemented code that prevents them from detecting AdLib-compatible sound hardware on high-end DOS systems. And Cosmo is one of them: When I run it on my 533 MHz Laptop, the game won't detect the sound card, even though other games (like Keen 4-6) work perfectly fine.
Well, at the moment, the music is not such a big deal. It's the graphics and layering that I'm working on.

Plus, I have a program that can slow down the CPU clock speed to be more manageable (and no wait states or anything that bogs it down).
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

It's amazing what you will find when you edit a game...

FOUR of the collectable object graphics render upside down:
  • Cyan and White Diamond
  • Red Turtle-Shell-like jewel
  • Blue Jewel with Patterned Center
  • Gray Diamond (I corrected for this one, because I knew it was upside down before.)
They're mostly found in Episode 1, Level 5.
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

I've taken two steps forward, one step back.

I finalized the episode 1 tile optimization (not wasting space with duplicate or unneeded tiles), but I accidentally overwrote a file containing some enemy graphics (not much) for episode 3. Thankfully, I had a backup, that's about 60 percent finished, from an animated file I used to test them. The rest of the enemy frames I can recolor and redraw. (Some of them are just frames with one element moving)
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

The game is much simpler than I realized.

How do I know that?

It's finally happened. Someone reverse-engineered the game engine and reconstructed the source code...:

https://github.com/smitelli/cosmore

However, this could not have come at a worse time, because most of my artistic drive has been sapped because of this pandemic.

I can see why the game texts and stories were done this way. Quick and dirty, only for ease of programming.

However, this does make a great study, to see what I can change, and not change. (I'm not versed in C Programming, but most of my programming experience has always been in high-level changes, anyways.)
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by Roobar »

That's an interesting update. So... what does that mean for that project? It's been so long in production..
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

I may get back to it, since now this opens up much more possibilities that I had planned before (Like a more-detailed story with proper formatting!), and I don't have to work within the confines of the original executable anymore! (Heck, if it doesn't rip out the guts of the program, one could UPGRADE the game's capabilities, like Sound Blaster audio, maybe even VGA graphics! But I'm not versed in that kind of low-level programming.)

I also discovered something interesting: A demo recorder (in game1.c)! Just like Commander Keen 4-6, Cosmo has a demo recorder! If I'm reading the code correctly, it's activated by pressing F11. However, I don't know if it's activated at the title screen, where F11 is the only non-letter key to get a response (it refreshes the screen as if you had pressed "T", or pressed "Q" and then "Esc"), or if it's activated when you enter debug mode in-game,(TAB+F12+DEL) and press F11. I also haven't found any clear code as to how the level changes in the demo.

EDIT: WOW! You can do a LOT of stuff, even minor changes that give a small, but nice amount of depth to the game!
If you wanted to, you could program in a case-variable player start with Cosmo facing left instead of right (you'd have to write a new actor type in for that), or even write in a case-variable where his health changes from level-to-level! (You would need to write cases for which levels change the health, much like the program does for the bonus stages after each 2nd level, and to tell what level to progress to after each bonus stage.)
Last edited by T-Squared on Fri Dec 04, 2020 21:37, edited 1 time in total.
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

OK, I looked through the rebuilt code, and have made some discoveries:

Like Commander Keen, Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure has a demo recorder.

It is activated by pressing F11 in debug mode. (TAB+DEL+F12) You have to start the game first, then activate debug mode, go back to the main menu, and press F11.

You will then begin in a demo mode, with the "DEMO" placard over the game screenspace. However, this time, YOU will be in control. You can move about, play, and interact with the game.

However, you have to be careful about how long you spend in the demo mode, because after a set amount of per-frame command bytes, around 5000 (This includes no button presses too.), I don't think it will take anymore.

(To explain this, the recorder turns each per-frame multifunction command into a byte, which is read as an array of 8 switches. The individual switches each have movement+action commands: up,down,left,right,jump,drop bomb, and change level. [I don't think it uses the final remaining bit] When played back, Cosmo will move or do an action on each frame command as specified by the switches, and the game demo will continue until the demo playback routine reaches the end of the demo command file.)

To change levels (in the same order as the hardcoded program, modded or not, will allow), you press "X". when you get to the final level (Which everyone knows is level 9 in the shareware episode 1), I think you need to quit to the main menu in order for it to save your demo to disk, because pressing "X" just adds a repeat of level 9.

You will then have a file titled "PREVDEMO.MNI" in your game folder, which you can place into the COSMO_.STN game resource file using the modding archival tool of your choice.
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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Re: Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure II: HUMANIZED!!! (W.I.P.)

Post by T-Squared »

Ok, I have good news and bad news.
I don't have to truncate my story down as much as I previously needed to, possibly leading to corruption of the program if I accidentally press backspace in the hex editor I used before.
Yeesh. Having to trim down my story before was not fun.

The bad news (not so bad, considering): I have to rewrite the text and re-format the story pictures I have. But again, this is not bad, as this is easier. (In fact, I've learned how to EXPAND the number of story pages!)

I was on the PCKF Discord, and I realized something about the hardcoded formatting in the rebuilt source code [with extra context added]:

">there's always an "UnfoldTextFrame" [AND/OR a DrawTextLine] command, followed by 3 numbers, then the text [that you want placed in that framed window]
>It's actually pretty funny, it seems as though the window is always centered
>anyways, for example: "UnfoldTextFrame(4, 13, 26, "A game by", "Copyright (c) 1992");"
>the first number: [this is the] Non-inclusive start of the [text] window from the top of the screen (i.e. it does not start on the FOURTH tile. it starts [on the tile] AFTER that)
>The second two numbers: your width and height.
>and the text [after the numbers]? That's your header and footer
[But if you want to start making text, you need to add a DrawTextLine command.]
[This time, the numbers are SLIGHTLY different. There are only two this time, and one controls differently.]
[Your first number? That's the (non-inclusive) number of tiles from the left of the FRAME that you want your text to start from]
[Your second number? That's the (non-inclusive) number from the top of the SCREEN] (not sure why it does this)
[You have to make sure your text fits within your leftover space, otherwise this could have consequences]
>but with some proper programming experience, one COULD create a system much like Keen's
>If I had to theorize, the reason it was done this way was for quick-and-dirty organization. no having to make said system to read external files. it's all-in-one already.
[At least id had the excuse of using the Galaxy engine more than once, so they needed to be able to make new story files for new games]
>and Replogle and Hornback were under contract to make a quick-and-cheap game for Apogee.
Cosmo II: HUMANIZED!!! Progress:
Graphics: 15% Complete
Story: 100% Complete
Music: 5% Complete
Programming Modifications: 5% Complete (FINALLY! SOME PROGRESS!)

http://www.tsqproductions.com
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