Chapter 15 - The Alien Sprites
I've been spending a lot of time on the development of the Alien sprites.
created 5 of the standard Aliens that include animation and are
properly merged with the moving background as well as 2 Boss Aliens
that will be encountered.
The first Boss will appear at the end of Level 2 once you navigate through space tracking a path via the various Jump Gates leading to the Alien home world.
The second Boss will be at the end of level 4 and is the supreme
leader of the Alien civilization. This guy is an ugly MF and will take
some skill to destroy. Once he's wiped out, the Alien civilization will
collapse and you will have saved Earth from the Alien invasion.
These Boss's are large sprites and the planned effect in level 4 should look impressive.
On the right you can see the first 3 Alien sprites. These are animated in the game but only static shots shown here.
I will not be showing the other 2 Alien sprites nor the 2 large Boss's. I am enforcing a state of confidentiality and non-disclosure on much of the game artwork from here on.
Why am I doing this? Why the secrecy?
I'm sure there will be those that will say that I'm just being a snob
but this is something I must do to preserve the surprise and element of discovery for the game buyers and players.
Where's the fun if I disclose everything in the game?
It's not fair to the players if there is nothing new and exciting to
discover. Not knowing what's coming up adds to the players desire to
What I can say is that the graphics are looking good!
The Aliens are not actually flying around yet but sit in the one
position, animated and superimposed over the scrolling graphics
underneath. I can currently fly my GunStar behind the animated
aliens clearly showing that the transparency and sprite overlay
function of my graphics engine is working perfectly with not a trace of
And the CPU overhead consumed to create the engine in the beginning is
now paying off with the ability to display 20 animated sprites
simultaneously without dropping the frame rate.
The test code I have now is animating the 5 Aliens, the GunStar itself
and two Boss Aliens with no frame loss... as well as having my 2
channels of digital sound effects running... and there's still speed
for more but this will be needed for the rest of the game logic.
The benefits of this graphics engine are starting to show and I can conclusively say that it has exceeded my expectations.
NTSC Composite is back!
As another side note, I have included support for NTSC composite colors. Thanks to Erik Gavriluk
for providing me with the most accurate RGB-to-CMP conversion chart, I
have a colorset which I'm happy with on NTSC Composite. RGB is still
sharper and has better color of course, but I feel that this is the
best that can be had for Composite.
Next on my agenda is to get the Aliens flying and getting their attack formations working.
This and collision detection will be some of the more complex routines I need to get right.