Author Topic: Vote for the next Zear's port  (Read 10407 times)

zear (OP)

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Vote for the next Zear's port
« on: April 01, 2014, 09:14:22 pm »
As many of you have wondered what is going on in the GCW Zero scene and whether anybody is still actively working on any projects, I decided to shed some light into the matter.

First, let me say that since January 2014 I am a full time employee at a local company and have only weekends to dedicate to development. That said, the last few months I have been working on 3 closed-source game ports for GCW Zero. Giana's Return is one of them, I will leave the other two as a surprise ;) And in case you missed it - there was also an update to Sqrxz 3 (v-sync!) and a release of EDuke32 - both to be found on the official repository. Additionally I was putting effort to UMG development and my second (yet unannounced) homebrew project that is testing Java capabilities of GCW Zero. I was also working on a port of graphical Nethack, but due to uncertainty of the legality of the data assets, this is currently on hold.

Last weekend I was busy porting Wizznic!, a nice puzzle game. The port is almost done, I will be ready with it by the end of the week. Once the author sends me updated graphics for the game, I will release it on the official repository.

Enough with the introduction! After Wizznic! is done, I would like to focus on another game port for GCW Zero. Since the time is my constraint, I want to focus on a single new project and only move to another when the current one is done.

I decided it might be interesting if I ask you - the community - for the opinion. What game port should I focus on next? Below are 5 candidates, they are all games I have been already working on over the last two years and the ports are in different stages of completion.
If you are interested, please vote for the one you would like to see ported first.

NOTE: All the videos below, except for Commander Genius, are of my actual Work-In-Progress GCW Zero ports, filmed on PC for better recording quality.

Liero (done)
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAsNZMJhi7k" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAsNZMJhi7k</a>
Liero is a realtime worms clone, a classic from the DOS times. Destructible terrain, tons of custom weapons - hours of fun.

Meritous
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLHy8DKq4J8" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLHy8DKq4J8</a>
Meritous is an interesting variation on the hack&slack genre. Wander through countless, automatically generated dungeons, kill enemies with your force blast, collect artifacts, defeat bosses and upgrade your character.

Heroes
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUOkYRlFMcM" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUOkYRlFMcM</a>
Heroes is a mix of the classic Tron and Snake games. Race against other players, pick up bonuses and try to get the longest tail.
Unfortunatelly my PC wasn't able to capture it's awesome soundtrack. Luckily the GCW Zero has no problem playing it.

Flare
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhH0G5NsHME" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhH0G5NsHME</a>
Flare is an RPG in the spirit of Diablo. Embark on a quest, kill tons of enemies and collect the valuable loot. Except for the first screen, the game is fully playable with GCW Zero controls (no mouse or mouse emulation required).

Commander Genius
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Vk_uFHOcw" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Vk_uFHOcw</a>
Commander Genius is an engine reimplementation of the classic Commander Keen game series. As my old, unfinished port of it got very outdated - I need to start over with a fresh port and cannot show you a video of my work. The video above is from the PC version of Commander Genius.

The poll will be open until my port of Wizznic! is officially released.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 07:37:21 pm by zear »

Dnilo

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 09:25:48 pm »
FLARE!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D :D :)

hi-ban

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 09:27:49 pm »
I voted for Flare, but Heroes came close.

zear (OP)

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2014, 09:30:19 pm »
Woops, looks like updating the first post made some votes go away. Please vote again and sorry for the trouble!

howie_k

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2014, 11:05:31 pm »
Commander Genius please :)

zear (OP)

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2014, 11:11:10 pm »
Commander Genius please :)
Please cast a vote in the poll at the top of this topic. That's the only way your vote counts.

Greetdeath

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014, 11:45:06 pm »
Voted for flare, it kinda reminds me of Dink Smallwood.

Prophet

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 12:38:17 am »
I voted Commander Genius cuz I loved Commander Keen back in the day.

Hope to see dev continue on the Zero for at least a couple of solid years. A new firmware or two, a bunch more nice ports and native games, and a few more completed emulators and we've got a great little retro platform. Fingers crossed.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 12:40:06 am by Prophet »

kuwanger

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 06:26:52 am »
I voted for Flare because...

Both Heroes and Leiro have unofficial alphas that seem to work fine.  Meritous already has an [open]dignux port with source that literally just needs a recompile to fix the color issue.  And Commander Keen works decently fine under Dosbox so there's no pressing needing for a native port.

PS - Out of curiosity, what sort of polish would it take for my port of Kobo Deluxe to be added to the official repository?  I mainly ask because AFAIK, the only standing issue is the non-functional graphic option settings (which would probably be trivial to remove) and it'd be nice to see more people playing Kobo Deluxe on the GCW0. :)

surfi80

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 06:50:41 am »
Flare! Please  ;)

♪Flare Flare Flare Flare ♪
play with the best? die like the rest!

http://www.elotrolado.net/wiki/PS_VITA_Usuarios_EoL

Nebuleon

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 07:25:07 am »
I voted for Flare because...

Both Heroes and Leiro have unofficial alphas that seem to work fine.  Meritous already has an [open]dignux port with source that literally just needs a recompile to fix the color issue.  And Commander Keen works decently fine under Dosbox so there's no pressing needing for a native port.

<second question not touched on in this reply ~Nebuleon>
I would not discount a native port of Commander Keen because it works on a platform emulator. The platform emulator may have limitations that make it not so great in many ways. In this case specifically*:

a) DOSBox and ZeroX86 emulate DOS, and they need a command interpreter (like, say, COMMAND.COM). As soon as an emulator needs even a single file to be placed somewhere by the user due to the developer lacking the distribution rights to put it in a release archive, the usability of that emulator drops at least 600% with general users, who begin to ask questions such as "i put dosbox on nd my program but it dose'nt wrok?!? help?!? how do i file? how do i ran program? wats an ftp?"

b) A native port may be able to use features not available on the platform being emulated for the original release, or features not exposed by the platform emulator. Games might, for example, benefit from native networking for multiplayer modes, the selection of a different graphics resolution, the use of 16-bit graphics, various hints to the display and sound drivers, and settings stored in a user's home directory.

c) This one is a minor quibble, but an emulation layer may impose up to 1 additional frame (16.66 milliseconds) of lag between display and input, and between display and sound. The input lag may be remedied by catching all input on the host environment exactly as it happens and provoke a keyboard or mouse interrupt in the guest environment immediately, though.

d) The emulation layer, if not provided by a dynamic recompiler, is CPU-expensive. Even if provided by a dynamic recompiler, the constraints of DOS times meant that code could modify itself; this forces expensive recompilation once the emulator sees that something's up. DOS programs didn't do idle loops as HLT (HaLT processor until the next event), so idle loops were often conditional jumps-to-self that waited for some time to pass. The platform emulator emulates these fully, possibly consuming 100% CPU cycles, thus lots more power from the GCW Zero's battery.

(I haven't voted.)
_________
* In the case of DOSBox or ZeroX86 in general, for DOS specifically, but not any game in particular because I don't know what Commander Keen even is (!)

howie_k

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 07:59:07 am »

Commander Genius please :)
Please cast a vote in the poll at the top of this topic. That's the only way your vote counts.

Thanks zear, I was using Tapatalk on my iPhone and it wasn't showing the poll, have voted via my web browser now.

gijoke69

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 11:16:43 am »
 8)FLARE FOR SURE!!! 8)

zear (OP)

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 04:39:42 pm »
Meritous already has an [open]dignux port with source that literally just needs a recompile to fix the color issue.
Incorrect. That port was very unstable - crashing if you went too far on the map, during boss battles and so on. My port is done entirely from scratch, including readjusting the game and all the menus to work in 320x240 (the original game runs in 640x480), fixing the stability, adding analog support, etc.

And Commander Keen works decently fine under Dosbox so there's no pressing needing for a native port.
As Nebuleon have noticed - a native remake of the game has a lot of benefits. Commander Genius adds new features: optional high quality textures, ogg soundtrack (!), faster framerate (the original was limited to 30fps, CG can optionally run at 60fps), eyecandies (score/lifebar, visual effects on picking up items), improved save state handling, 4 player co-op mode, support for the Invasion of the Vorticons (Keen 1-3) and Goodbye Galaxy (Keen 4-5) series, as well as mods and fan games. On top of everything it fixes bugs from the original DOS game.

Both Heroes and Leiro have unofficial alphas that seem to work fine.
The very ones I am talking about in this thread ;) Heroes is unstable and Liero uses non-free game assets. And there are tons of improvements that have to be done for them.

I will look into adding your port of Kobo Deluxe to the repository over the weekend, if it meets our acceptance criteria.

kuwanger

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 05:41:01 pm »
Sorry, I didn't realize that Meritous was that unstable (haven't played it enough, admittedly).  As for Heroes, well, I thought I had played it enough and I hadn't seen any stability issues, but then as usually YMMV.  I didn't know about the non-free game assets in Liero. :/  And as for the points about Commander Genius, well, my point wasn't that Dosbox + Commander Keen was the best option or that a port couldn't offer a lot of advantages; it was that at least it works there, and otherwise we don't have Flare at all as a game.  Ie, I generally value a new game over alpha/beta level games.  But, then, that depends heavily on just how unstable a game is.  From what you said, Meritous seems a close second. :)

Gab1975

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 06:06:17 pm »
Flare is certainly the favorite... but I admit that I like Heroes, I like his gameplay and his graphic style (it reminds me an Amiga game)... so I voted Heroes! ;)

TimeDevouncer

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 06:41:59 pm »
My vote for Flare :-*
Look behind you! A three-headed monkey!

alexei_gp

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2014, 05:43:45 am »
I vote for flare,i like this game :)

Losk

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Re: Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2014, 09:50:26 am »
My vote for Flare, too. But I'd also like to see Meritous and Liero.  :)

SuperMarcoVer

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Vote for the next Zear's port
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2014, 10:37:35 am »
Commander Genius looks like a lot of fun!
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 10:40:41 am by SuperMarcoVer »

 

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