Keen Dreams is unbeatable (New Plans in CG)

All discussion about the Commander Genius project (a Keen interpreter + more).
Post Reply
gerstrong
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 1075
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 14:44
Location: Frankfurt - Germany
Contact:

Keen Dreams is unbeatable (New Plans in CG)

Post by gerstrong » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:23

Since Commander Genius and RefKeen work well together, especially the underlying C code, I have been trying to get to the Boss of the game; without actually succeeding. The game is freaking hard, especially considering that you have to collect all the bombs in order to stand a chance.

Today I implemented the control scheme of Commander Genius to Keen Dreams and finally I got better. Finally I can use my gamepad... :drool

The good thing is that now I can map any button and direction of the gamepad to the actions of the player.

But I'm still not good enough. I only get some bombs and I still cannot reach the boss. Man, my skills aren't that good as they were in the past. :o

Image

Anyway, I really cannot complain. The game is a lot of fun and being able to provide the game experience of Keen Dreams through Commander Genius based on the original sources is something it makes my heart bump higher. Everything runs stable you can play the whole thing, there are only minor issues related to the interface, very cool. Let's talk about what I plan for Commander Genius:
  • - EGA only will be supported. This makes the relevant Dreams code much smaller. I might support the CGA, if it is of that much interest.
    - Full control setup. Whether your joystick of choice you want to setup or use the keyboard, you can map the controls as you wish.
    - Level replayability, because the player should have the chance to collect all bombs in order to finish the game. Game is hard enough already.
    - C++ code. Some C code will stay as it is, but I want to be able to compile it with g++ and use C++ classes that CG provide.
    - Cleanup the code a bit but maintain the mechanics of the whole gameplay
Remember there is still RefKeen for the whole Keen Dreams experience. I want to make it a bit more modern, so CGA graphics, it's more code that would be required to cleanup and I really don't see the outcome of that.

There is more I want to accomplish because the ecosystem of CG is larger than that. So after these features are set up and the release supports Dreams very well, even on mobile devices, the next thing to come is:
  • - Music in Keen Dreams for the first time. Troublesomekeen is preparing something special for this game and if he succeeds, this is going to be part of a new HQP. Play Keen Dreams with tunes finally! If he is faster by putting all that together, we might have it in the next release already. Here is the discussion about that feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeZgZ1o ... e=youtu.be
    - Multiplayer mode in Keen dreams. Keen in many pyjama colors, maybe? Play the levels together with your friends and beat it together
    - Mod support in Dreams. I will take a look on some mods and try to support at least the most relevant ones
I think that is enough for now as plans. I really would like to take a look on network play, but my time has been limited lately; maybe another time. Keen Dreams in my consideration is the last piece missing for the complete series of Commander Keen to be run using CG (I'm not counting the gameboy game released 2001).

So the closing year will be very interesting for CG!
Having fun developing stuff...

User avatar
Levellass
S-Triazine
Posts: 5246
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:40

Post by Levellass » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:10

Is it possible to simply map CGA colors to EGA ones and create a kind of 'faux CGA'?
What you really need, not what you think you ought to want.

gerstrong
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 1075
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 14:44
Location: Frankfurt - Germany
Contact:

Post by gerstrong » Thu Oct 22, 2015 16:58

Levellass wrote:Is it possible to simply map CGA colors to EGA ones and create a kind of 'faux CGA'?
That is possible but does it deliver the same reults than loaded as CGA? I'm not so sure about it. If it is I will do that way. Thanks for the suggestion!
Having fun developing stuff...

User avatar
Levellass
S-Triazine
Posts: 5246
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:40

Post by Levellass » Sat Oct 24, 2015 23:46

gerstrong wrote:
Levellass wrote:Is it possible to simply map CGA colors to EGA ones and create a kind of 'faux CGA'?
That is possible but does it deliver the same reults than loaded as CGA? I'm not so sure about it. If it is I will do that way. Thanks for the suggestion!
I looked into it some time ago when working on Keengraph. It delivers similar results, for the most part indistinguishable. There are of course issues here and there where the proper contrast may not show up. (A white eye on a yellow creature could for example all be rendered as white.)
What you really need, not what you think you ought to want.

gerstrong
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 1075
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 14:44
Location: Frankfurt - Germany
Contact:

Post by gerstrong » Fri Nov 06, 2015 16:53

Levellass wrote:
gerstrong wrote:
Levellass wrote:Is it possible to simply map CGA colors to EGA ones and create a kind of 'faux CGA'?
That is possible but does it deliver the same reults than loaded as CGA? I'm not so sure about it. If it is I will do that way. Thanks for the suggestion!
I looked into it some time ago when working on Keengraph. It delivers similar results, for the most part indistinguishable. There are of course issues here and there where the proper contrast may not show up. (A white eye on a yellow creature could for example all be rendered as white.)
Okay, if that is the case it won't be that hard, first things first, nonetheless.
Having fun developing stuff...

NY00123
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 429
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 19:36

Post by NY00123 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 21:17

gerstrong wrote:
Levellass wrote:Is it possible to simply map CGA colors to EGA ones and create a kind of 'faux CGA'?
That is possible but does it deliver the same reults than loaded as CGA? I'm not so sure about it. If it is I will do that way. Thanks for the suggestion!
While probably not applicable for Commander Genius, you may be interested to know a bit about the way CGA graphics support was added to the new Keen Dreams port (the one available from Steam and other few places, a native SDL2-based Windows+Linux port).

According to the developor of the port, pckf.com forums member Multimania (also known as sulix), he basically converted the CGAGRAPH data to the EGAGRAPH format. In this way, it's also possible to dynamically switch the graphics in-game.
Levellass wrote:I looked into it some time ago when working on Keengraph. It delivers similar results, for the most part indistinguishable. There are of course issues here and there where the proper contrast may not show up. (A white eye on a yellow creature could for example all be rendered as white.)
If the actual CGAGRAPH data is used then I think it should work. To be more specific, I know that the 16-colors CGA palette is also in use with the EGA mode that the EGA versions of the Keens use.

This isn't the only difference, though. Horizontal scrolling is somewhat less smooth, since much less sprite shifts are prepared and stored in memory. This difference in behaviors is also emulated by the new Keen Dreams port while using the CGA-as-EGA graphics.

Post Reply