Original Post

I have mentioned this tool before. It is a support tool I develop along with my projects. The last iteration has been used to make the Mario Combat demo. I codenamed it Virtual Box, not to be confused with the VM. It is not in a state that I could publish it but I thought I could at least put a video online. So here you go:

http://youtu.be/VK14AuZZoDc

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That looks awesome! After you publish that maybe some of artists out there can put some sprites out for the artistically challenged programmers and we can stop stealing err umm borrowing graphics from existing games πŸ™‚

That is very cool, thunder. I definitely want to give that a shot. Any idea when you’ll have it ready to share? (Not that I want to rush you…)

Greg Stevens wrote:
That looks awesome! After you publish that maybe some of artists out there can put some sprites out for the artistically challenged programmers and we can stop stealing err umm borrowing graphics from existing games πŸ™‚

Thanks. I usually try not to use graphics from existing game. Mario Combat was an exception as time was running. I’m planning to push the tool further. It is already pretty handy when it comes to animating and moving stuff around. However, there are many things not in there like affine maps, efficient bgmaps, char replacement instead of manipulating bgmaps and graphics per eye. I also wanted to merge some other tools like my midi converter into it.

Obviously the tools assumes that my engine is used. I tried to make everything easy to use in code though.

RunnerPack wrote:
That is very cool, thunder. I definitely want to give that a shot. Any idea when you’ll have it ready to share? (Not that I want to rush you…)

It could be used already. It’s not like it is crashing or anything. However, sometimes you have to know where to click in which order. I want to polish/add a few things until I release it. Just because it is always hard to make savefiles backward compatible.

I usually develop this tool along with a game. Right now I’m not actively programming on a game so it might take a couple of month or so.

I for one am really glad that this video is waaaaaaaaaaay to elaborate for an April fools joke!
I can see how this can be an awesome tool for “borrowing sprites” But is it useful for the original artist that wants to create their own work. If so how? At any rate it’s great to know that we finally have a tool to make it easy to port over graphics for our own Metroid, Zelda and CastleVania.:vb:

  • This reply was modified 10 years, 2 months ago by Morintari.

This looks neat-o! Promises to give developers a great new tool in their hands, in combination with your engine! I just hope this isn’t an april fools, but I am confident that the unreleased game reference hidden in your video is the actual joke. πŸ˜€

morintari wrote:
I for one am really glad that this video is waaaaaaaaaaay to elaborate for an April fools joke!
I can see how this can be an awesome tool for “borrowing sprites” But is it useful for the original artist that wants to create their own work. If so how? At any rate it’s great to know that we finally have a tool to make it easy to port over graphics for our own Metroid, Zelda and CastleVania.:vb:

Look’s like an animator also. So you could animate your own work..see how fluid it is and draw pictures in-between to make the animation more smooth.

-Eric

morintari wrote:
I can see how this can be an awesome tool for “borrowing sprites” But is it useful for the original artist that wants to create their own work. If so how? At any rate it’s great to know that we finally have a tool to make it easy to port over graphics for our own Metroid, Zelda and CastleVania.:vb:

I don’t understand your question, sorry. The tool is designed to allow you to convert your images into a form so that it can be used in VB games. They don’t have to come from a different game. It’s just images.

Basically you take your images and define how the colors are replaced. Then you define the single sprites on your images. After that you put your sprites together to define animations. Then you create the objects of your game (like an enemy or a background). Finally you apply actions to your objects (like moving them around or an previously defined animation). Actions can trigger other actions so you can have complex scenes running without the need of coding. Of course you can simply trigger every action from code as well.

Every step has a mednafen/flashboy feature so that you for example can test an animation without starting the whole game. Makes it easier to test tiny parts. At the end you press the convert button and the tool will convert all of your images in vb header files. It will also generate the code for all objects and animations. Right now there is still a couple of lines needed to start everything.

thank you for explaining that further I’m sorry I’m not a programmer just an artist, so I don’t always see direct application. I guess if you already have your work in 3 colors and alpha you don’t need to convert it in that case I’m sure it’s great to use it as a testing tool. To test animations.

morintari wrote:
thank you for explaining that further I’m sorry I’m not a programmer just an artist, so I don’t always see direct application. I guess if you already have your work in 3 colors and alpha you don’t need to convert it in that case I’m sure it’s great to use it as a testing tool. To test animations.

No need to apologize. I was just confused by your question. You could do much more then just testing your animations. You could use it for example to build cut-scenes.

Of course you could also prepare a game for a coder helping you out. You would just put together your animations, assign them to objects and apply actions to them. You could already see stuff moving around and see if it looks like you imagine.

The person who codes the game then programs the game logic and triggers your actions from code.

Just a quick update on this: There is no update. I decided to not follow up on the MarioCombat idea. It was a tech-demo anyway and I never planned for a full game. I got some nice feedback but people complaining about borough sprites annoyed me. Even though 4th place is nice it showed me that there isn’t a massive anticipation for a game like that.

Without a game to develop there is no motivation to further develop this tool right now. I should rewrite most of it’s code anyway.

However, instead I followed up with a completely different project. I won’t reveal anything right now because I don’t want to get tons of feature requests again. It is completely different from everything that I have done so far though.

I have been working on that project for quite a while now but in a very slow pace as life and video games are keeping me busy. Right now I’m recovering from a nail hitting my eye but I should be allowed to write code again from next week on.

A nail…hit your eye ?

thunderstruck wrote:
Right now I’m recovering from a nail hitting my eye

Ouch! The funny thing is if I’m working in the garage and should be wearing safety glasses, the first thing that comes to mind is “if I lose an eye, the Virtual Boy will be much less interesting”. πŸ˜›

DogP

bigmak wrote

A nail…hit your eye ?

Thunder I’m so sorry you have my condolences for your loss. I hope you don’t lose vision in that eye:-( You have my prayers for this trying time.

No worries. I wanted to hang up a picture like a thousand times before. The hammer hit the nail, the nail hit metal in the wall, the nail backfired and hit my eye. I missed the iris by a good centimeter. I’m already back to 90% sight (from ~50%).

DogP wrote:

thunderstruck wrote:
Right now I’m recovering from a nail hitting my eye

Ouch! The funny thing is if I’m working in the garage and should be wearing safety glasses, the first thing that comes to mind is “if I lose an eye, the Virtual Boy will be much less interesting”. πŸ˜›

DogP

Heh, that’s what I thought when I was waiting for the doctor. She actually said there is a sample case of “The guy who wants to hang up a picture without safety glasses” in each of her training books.

Who’d a thought hanging a picture could be dangerous.

Hope it’s back to 100% soon πŸ™‚

Sorry to hear about the accident, thunder, but I’m glad it’s getting better.

It’s also sad that such a great-looking tool is no longer going to be developed. Is there any way we could persuade you to release it in its current, unfinished state? It may still be useful to others. In fact, you could even put the code up on a sharing site like github, and it could form the basis of a nice community project.

RunnerPack wrote:
It’s also sad that such a great-looking tool is no longer going to be developed. Is there any way we could persuade you to release it in its current, unfinished state? It may still be useful to others. In fact, you could even put the code up on a sharing site like github, and it could form the basis of a nice community project.

I’m still planning to continue development, probably together with a new game. I don’t feel comfortable releasing the sources though. I made many shortcuts during the development because of the deadline. Letting someone continue on top of that mess does not sound like a good idea. However, I can release the binaries if you like.

I would just need to clean stuff up a bit and write some kind of manual.

Somehow I knew you’d pull out the “my sources are too ugly to release” card πŸ˜‰ Only kidding; we’ve all been there πŸ™‚

I guess a binary release is better than nothing at all, but it probably doesn’t even need a fancy manual. We could just post any questions we have in the release thread, and it could become a kind of FAQ.

As I got many requests for this one lately I decided to release it in it’s current state. Please be aware that this is a pre-alpha version that has not been touched after the coding competition. Many features are missing, the UI is misbehaving sometimes (and inconsistent) and it still crashes from time to time (mainly related to images not being accessible).

As VirtualBox is integrated into vbde the release consist of a slightly modified version of vbde which has virtualBox inside.
It includes MarioCombat with all of its resources (images, virtualbox xml files and so on). I also added a “basic” project that just has the Fishbone fish moving around.

If you need a starting point have a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK14AuZZoDc

If you ask questions I will try to answer them. Also feel free to report bugs and desired features. Don’t expect me to change something any time soon though.

 

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