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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsLode Runner: The Mad Monks' Rewrite
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Author Topic: Lode Runner: The Mad Monks' Rewrite  (Read 12735 times)
quarkrobot
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« on: December 07, 2014, 05:37:04 PM »

Hi all - long time lurker, first time poster here,

I've been a fan of the Presage Lode Runner games ever since I first played them almost 20 years ago.
Recently I tried playing again but crashes loading and saving basically make this game not longer playable.

So I did what most people would do - use my spare time to rewrite it from scratch!
I've already completed the editor and I'm well underway with the gameplay. I can only squeeze in a few hours a day at the moment but it's coming along quite nicely!



Please check out my dev blog and YouTube channel.

I have a habit of getting stuck into development and not writing about what I've been doing but I'll try to update my progress here more often.


Cheers,
Bram

« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 03:37:45 PM by quarkrobot » Logged

agersant
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 08:50:20 PM »

Lode Runner: The Legend Returns accompanied many years of my childhood and it holds a very special place in my heart. Good luck on this promising project!
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quarkrobot
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 05:10:07 PM »

Thanks agersant!


I'll do a more thorough update later in the week but here's me testing out various items, particularly bombs.
Poor chap must have died a millions times by now!
 
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:22:07 PM by quarkrobot » Logged

quarkrobot
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 06:08:59 PM »

I've made changes in my version that I think more-or-less complete what seemed unfinished in the original.
You can read all of the changes here http://www.quarkrobot.com/same-but-different/





I've been working on many fixes this week and getting ladder movement to work. I'll share some videos later in the week once I work some of the kinks out.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 11:21:57 PM »

That reminds me, a while back there was someone working on a "open world-ish" multi-screen Lode Runner style 2D platformer RPG... can't find it right now (this forum needs a "list all topics you've replied to"-feature badly). He sadly seems to have stopped updating after a very promising start Sad

Anyway, loved this game as a kid! Still have the CD-ROM somewhere.
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quarkrobot
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 07:23:49 PM »

This one? (click Profile -> Show the last posts of this person).
I hadn't seen that before, it does look interesting!

I've been trying to get movement to work like the original this week. Movement is easy enough but trying to replicate a 19 year old game that you don't have the code for isn't.
I've been trying for a 100% copy but as you can see below, it's not exactly the same.


TOP: original
BOTTOM: not quite the same

The original seems to be doing some very strange things that I'm having trouble with.
For example, it skips frames for no apparent reason and running from the same position/frame doesn't always look the same.

After a week, I'm still no closer. I want to try to reuse the same code for the monks without doing millions of spag bowl IF checks!

I'm now starting my own method that'll hopefully blend in.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:22:22 PM by quarkrobot » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2014, 04:24:22 AM »

Yes, that's the one!

Wow, he just.. disappeared. I hope nothing happened to him Sad

Anyway, a gameplay-perfect copy is damn hard to pull off without the source! Good luck!
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Green Gospod
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2014, 05:04:04 AM »

Fuck yeah!  Grin

What made Lode Runner so great to me was it's incredible music.

This ost should set the mood of the thread nicely.







https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxkYSwHZy6E
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tjpalmer
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2014, 06:42:58 AM »

Hmm. Guess I'm not the only one working on an LR clone in here right now. I'm restricting myself to my own old art, though. So some differences in that and other things. I'll keep some eye on what you're up to, I guess. Anyway, looks awesome, and good luck with it!

Are you reusing the Presage art? (And I never played that version of LR, I have to say.)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 06:48:57 AM by tjpalmer » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2014, 07:14:19 AM »

Okay, I read better now on what you're up to, very specifically loading old game assets, along with making things nicer. It does seem like a fun project.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 08:10:34 AM »

Just a heads-up: it hasn't been updated in almost two years when I posted.
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quarkrobot
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 04:30:02 PM »

Green Gospod - LR's music is great. Not many games these days have memorable soundtracks. I've ripped that original music from the CD and I'll probably offload that to my brother to implement.

tjpalmer - Yep, all assets from the original (artwork and audio) is being used.
Good luck with your game. Nice to see there's still plenty of Lode Runner fans around.

Merry Christmas!
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quarkrobot
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2015, 03:28:02 PM »

I haven't posted over the last 2 weeks but I've been very busy!

  • completed movement for Jake & Wes
  • gas, pick-axe & goo done
  • drill almost finished
  • implemented Bass sound engine (and original CD audio)
  • fixed minor bugs
  • started work on the options dialog
  • started path finding for monks

I've tweaked some of the original animations too.
The original is on the left, new on the right.





I've got a few things to finish off this week and then I'll do a video showing off the gameplay!
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quarkrobot
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2015, 12:33:31 AM »

Lots has been done over the Christmas & New Year period:

  • several bug fixes
  • all tools completed (dig effect still to be applied to the jackhammer)
  • options dialog well underway - key mappings and audio settings now save
  • tested 2 players on the same keyboard (developed with it in mind but never actually tested it!) - works a treat
  • started path finding*
  • recorded dozens of <10 second videos to analyse why monks do what they do*

* = offloaded to my brother to write (he also wrote the compression algo to store the new UI components in the original's format & plugged in Bass audio engine)

I'm quite chuffed with how it's all coming together. Playing a puzzle (minus Monks) is possible and now that music is in, it really feels like the real deal!

I'd say the AI, networking & cross platform are only hurdles left to overcome but with my brother now helping with more and more, I've now got some time to knock some items off my to-do list.




 
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2015, 05:37:04 AM »

 Hand Thumbs Up Left
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Quicksand-T
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2015, 08:32:36 AM »

I really loved the first game as a kid, so I'm pretty excited about this.

The box-art for the old one is really great:

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quarkrobot
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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2015, 03:39:43 PM »

I managed to pull off quite a lot last week and so far this long weekend, we've already:

  • fixed several small bugs/quirks
  • started adding the Sierra & Presage logo intros
  • almost completed path finding


TOP:
The original game doesn't save any path data so I can only assume this was generated at runtime. I had originally started by placing nodes in every tile but now only add them where necessary.

I then iterate over the nodes and connect them. The thin yellow lines are one way and thick is both ways.

BOTTOM:
The monks can now plot a path to the player. The AI (when written) will dumb these guys down as I think the monk would actually go down the ladder under the orange key and wait rather than actually go towards you.

As you can see, this isn't complete (liquid and phase are not done) but it's not bad for a weekend!
Even better, it currently only adds ~20ms to the load time.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:22:45 PM by quarkrobot » Logged

quarkrobot
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2015, 12:19:03 AM »

I've been busy lately and to be honest, I've forgotten to update this thread!

Lots has been done since the last post on here:
  • replaced Bass sound engine - too many issues with it
  • added in missing prompts from the editor (override puzzle, etc.)
  • AI has come along in leaps and bounds - monks will now actively pursue you
  • finally wrote a fully functioning scrollable textbox!
  • darkness mode for two-player added
  • editor tooltips added with a new style - the old Windows 95 "bubble" tips just look wrong these days
  • many other small tweaks

You can read about these additions in more detail here and here.

For those that just want to see pretty pictures:


LEFT: original with odd size before exploding RIGHT: fixed


New darkness mode added for two-player games

I've sent out a few demos of the editor (the game still has a few things I'd like to sort out before testing) and have gotten quite some nice feedback that I've already fixed/implemented.
If you'd like to try and break it for me, let me know and I'll send you a copy.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2015, 02:15:44 AM »

editor tooltips added with a new style - the old Windows 95 "bubble" tips just look wrong these days
Keep a "nostalgia mode" in the setting? Beg
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quarkrobot
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2015, 04:35:46 PM »

« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:23:02 PM by quarkrobot » Logged

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