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Read January 03, 2007, 10:50:36 AM #0
Linley

Excellent Bifurcation [Finished]

Hello everyone!

I'm about halfway through my entry to the competition. It's called Excellent Bifurcation, it is broadcast in delicious 8-bit software colour and it is written in C using the Allegro library. I'm going to release source code when it's finished, but for now all I can offer is this screenshot:







The player's ships are the grey ones. This is only one screenshot, not two - that (along with the name) is a hint to its evil twist.


EDIT : Okay, it's finished! See the post at the end of this thread for details, but the game (zipped) is attached here.

EDIT : Oh no! There's a bug in the first release which under fairly rare circumstances causes the Stage 1 final boss to spawn an extra copy of itself on the left side. I'm of course happy for the competition judges to use the version I got in by the deadline (and the bug is pretty rare anyway), but for everyone else I've uploaded a fixed version with this change only.

EDIT : I just realised that people who aren't logged in to this site probably can't download attached files. So I've uploaded the zip file
here.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 09:35:13 AM by Linley »

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Read January 03, 2007, 12:39:45 PM #1
jony

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

That looks... odd.  I love it!  Smiley Its nice to see some experimentation going on, can't wait to see the finished product!
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Read January 03, 2007, 01:07:33 PM #2
Pixel_Outlaw

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

This looks pretty innovative so far. I like the colors but you might consider adding some reflected light and shadow to the shapes to give more depth. Good Luck. Smiley



Aviator sunglasses are pretty much the shmups of the sunglasses world.
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Read January 20, 2007, 10:25:05 PM #3
Linley

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Here's a demo of Excellent Bifurcation!



It's not finished - in particular I haven't done any sounds yet - but Stage 1 is playable.

If anyone manages to beat it in hard mode, let me know! So I can make it even harder. Also please let me know if you have any problems running it - I'm pretty sure I managed to statically link it properly, but I'm new to using Code::Blocks so I'm not sure.

For now it's available for Windows only, but as it uses Allegro it should be easily portable to Mac, Linux, DOS etc. I'll release the source code when it's finished.

By the way - one of the reasons it doesn't have light/shadow etc is because the way the 256-colour palette is optimised for the transparent explosions and other effects leaves about six colours to work with in the foreground. I could use 16-bit colour instead, but where would the fun be in that?

I've attached the file (zipped, about 500K) to this post, but if that doesn't work you can also get it from
here.

Tell me what you think! Any comments, criticisms etc welcome.
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Read January 20, 2007, 10:57:41 PM #4
relsoft

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Yay!!! Another 256 color game (like ours). :*)

Nice game, easy mode beat the crap out of me. LOL.

I believe you could make a special blend put pixel and pass its function pointer to any allegro sprite routine for a costum sprite blitter. That may be able to be used to have shadows.




Hello
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Read January 20, 2007, 11:42:02 PM #5
Linley

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Thanks! The game does take a bit of getting used to, but after a little practice easy mode should actually be fairly easy. Or maybe I've just playtested too much :)

The shading problem is not the blending functions, it's the lack of space in the palette. The colour map uses the palette entry indices to determine things like which transparent colours should overwrite other ones (it's not really a blend), and the only way I can get those multicoloured explosions is by using a very small set of colours for the opaque objects.

Also shaded sprites would take a lot longer to draw, whereas the explosions and beams etc can be procedurally generated. This makes the decision easier.
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Read January 21, 2007, 04:44:57 AM #6
the2bears

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Linley,

Very interesting game... I like the look you've got going and I think the bifurcation is a pretty cool idea.  Nice work so far.

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
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Read January 21, 2007, 07:02:10 AM #7
mice

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Niiiiiice!
Really love this.

Hard as hell but really playable and fun.
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Read January 25, 2007, 07:32:00 AM #8
Valle2

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

woa, that was hard, i'd really like a one-screen mode, since i love the graphics and the explosions and the upgrades...

really great, but i think i hav to get used to the two screens^^
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Read January 28, 2007, 03:44:59 AM #9
Linley

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Time for a progress report! Excellent Bifurcation is coming along pretty well. I've done most of the sound (which I find almost unbearably tedious) and music, and today I've almost finished writing a second stage with a very different graphical style - a couple of screenshots are attached (hopefully). The first stage has plenty of new stuff in it as well. Everything is on track, barring a thunderstorm that takes out my Internet connection or something like that. Touch wood.

I'm also thinking of making the easy mode a bit easier. It won't actually be easy, but it might be a bit less crushingly difficult. Don't worry, if you play for long enough the two halves of your brain start to separate and dodging bullets gets a lot easier.

The hard mode will probably get a bit harder as well, because I'm really bad at this kind of game and if I can nearly finish it it's not hard enough.
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Read January 31, 2007, 11:40:56 AM #10
Linley

Re: Excellent Bifurcation

Okay, I've finished Excellent Bifurcation and added it to the top message in this thread.

If you tried the demo, this is a bit like that but with a heap of new things, like:
- Sound!
- The other stage promised above, and more stuff in the first stage (which you can skip if you want).
- Redefinable keys.
- An Easy mode which does not punish you quite as much (it's a lot easier now).

... see the readme.txt for more details.

System requirements:
Windows. Other than that it should run on anything built in the last 5 years. I think it would have run on my old Celeron 500, and it doesn't need a 3D card.

Can I ask a favour? If you download it and get it working or if you can't, let me know in this forum. That way I'll know I have nothing to fix. If anyone has any problems I'll look at it in the morning and I should have time before work to mess around with it a bit.

I hope you like it!

(PS in case you're wondering, if the file timestamps are after 12am 1/2/07 it's because of the time zone difference)
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Read January 31, 2007, 06:02:16 PM #11
motorherp

Re: Excellent Bifurcation [Finished]

Hahaha what a mind bender laugh2.  This has got to be my personal favourite entry so far, everything about it is a delight.  The gameplay is challenging and fun with a twist and the retro graphics and sound are adorable.  The idea of having one ship good against trash and bad against biggies and the other ship vise versa and being able to swap them over is absolute genious.  Takes a bit of getting use to but its worth every moment.  I think I'll be playing this one during my lunch brakes at work for a while to come  grin2


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Read February 01, 2007, 11:09:01 AM #12
cactus

Re: Excellent Bifurcation [Finished]

I really liked the graphics and sound on this game, especially on level two. It would possibly have been my favourite entry, if it wasn't for the two player thing. I can tell that you did great in planning it out, and all... But I lack the abillity to look at both "screens" at once. So I was pretty much going cross eyed and getting completely stressed out rather than enjoying myself.

I'll see if I can practice up on playing this soon, because it's a really cool game.
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Read February 01, 2007, 12:12:05 PM #13
jony

Re: Excellent Bifurcation [Finished]

That is Awesome!  The game play is very unique and very fun.  I didn't have any problems getting right into it and enjoying myself, I really like that you allowed the player to set up his own keys.  I seemed that the game play was very well balenced on the two sides of the board, if one was hard the other was easy and if one was mildly difficult the other side matched its difficulty rating (as it were).  Definately alot of fun! Great job.
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Read February 03, 2007, 12:54:32 PM #14
GencoreOperative

Re: Excellent Bifurcation [Finished]

Wow! Awesome game!  My eyes hurt, and I think my brain is broken from playing on the two screens at the same time.  Wink


The whole subject of premature optimisation is more  complicated than stating the quote by Donald Knuth, as discussed in this discussion http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/v7i24_fallacy.html.
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Read May 22, 2009, 12:00:12 PM #15
ortoslon

Re: Excellent Bifurcation [Finished]

I beat Excellent Bifurcation on hard. Watch the video
 
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