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Forums > C64 Coding > SEUCK Redux
2008-10-13 22:34
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
SEUCK Redux

I've been reading the SEUCK vault pages (http://www.seuck.retrogaming64.com/index.html) and in particular the pages relating to modding SEUCK to improve games. Does anyone think it would be useful if I were to make an open source SEUCK data file player? This way people could take the source code and modify it to add whatever features they liked without having to modify the binary SEUCK code. Also, the data file formats would be fully documented and there is also a good chance that a few SEUCK bugs (like the slow down and sprite flicker) would be fixed in the process. :)
2008-10-13 22:41
Groepaz
Account closed

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9100
do you think that any of those people who use seuck to make games are capable of making any significant improvements?
2008-10-14 00:22
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
Recently someone used SEUCK to make a horizontal scroller by changing the map scroll to go left to right instead of top to bottom. Changing code without the source is harder than working with source. With source and file format documentation that person might find it easier to add powerups and make the scroller go right to left instead of left to right. :)
2008-10-14 05:02
JackAsser

Registered: Jun 2002
Posts: 1522
Martin, please don't waste your time on that. Focus on doing your own stuff and release some kick ass game instead.
2008-10-14 05:38
null

Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 645
go back to lemon or something.

------------------------------------
http://zomgwtfbbq.info
2008-10-14 09:24
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
Quote: Recently someone used SEUCK to make a horizontal scroller by changing the map scroll to go left to right instead of top to bottom. Changing code without the source is harder than working with source. With source and file format documentation that person might find it easier to add powerups and make the scroller go right to left instead of left to right. :)


That SEUCK redux thing could be useful :) Go for it ;)
2008-10-14 10:27
Scout
Account closed

Registered: Dec 2002
Posts: 1559
Quote: That SEUCK redux thing could be useful :) Go for it ;)

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

FUCK NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

GODDAMMIT NO!
2008-10-14 13:00
Jailbird

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 1536
YEAH GO FOR IT! SEUCK RULES!

2008-10-14 17:47
Mr. Mouse

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 214
Quote: Martin, please don't waste your time on that. Focus on doing your own stuff and release some kick ass game instead.

Though I agree that coding a complete game yourself is to be praised, history has shown many times that coders can be poor game designers. More often than not do they need game designers (with little coding knowledge) to design a kick ass game that can then be coded by code-slaves...

It's *a bit* like making a tune in JCH, DMC etc. You don't expect musicians to always code their own routines and music?
2008-10-15 06:16
cadaver

Registered: Feb 2002
Posts: 1119
If you feel it's useful for yourself, go for it. But don't be deceived that you'd benefit a huge group of people :)

You probably need to contain also the editor so that the new features can be edited. And you likely have to stay very close to binary-compatible with the original, because as far as I've understood the SEUCK savefiles are just memory dumps (do they contain code also btw.?)

And lastly, though there may be unused bits & so, the data format likely doesn't leave room for huge improvements, unless each variation of the engine totally does away with compatibility with the original SEUCK + the other variations :)

Btw. Mr.Mouse, I don't disagree with your point generally - considering all platforms, and that professional codeslaves get paid to implement someone else's vision - but I'd like to hear from you examples of *C64* games (preferably the PAL-style, more technical variety, since this is a scene forum) that markedly benefitted from the touch of a game designer who was not the coder. What I'd think, on C64 the designer needs to be quite intimate with the platform limitations so as to not design something which is totally impossible to implement & therefore benefits no-one...
2008-10-16 00:20
d0c

Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 186
please no more crap seuck games!!! please!!!....
2008-10-16 08:03
Mr. Mouse

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 214
Cadaver, you're right concerning the c64 era of games, as in those days it was still possible to create a game from scratch in your own attic, sell it to some publisher and make some money, and indeed many coders were responsible for their own kick ass game.

However, this vision is somewhat blurred. Many games were conversions from the arcades from producers such as Taito, Sega and the like that did indeed have game designers on board to work out new ideas for games. Coders on the C64 were 'merely' redoing the act, so to speak.

Then there's the film tie-ins, where teams at US Gold or Ocean just sat down, created some levels based on a film and started coding.

Sensible Software, consequently also those responsible for SEUCK, were a team where Jon Hare designed (not coded) a lot of the games too. Same more or less goes for the Rowland Brothers (and the Bitmap Brothers).

So I would not say that all kick ass games in C64 history were designed by people who knew how to code on the machine. And some kick ass games on the c64 were mere 'codeslaved' ports of other platforms. :)
2008-10-16 13:10
T.M.R

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 735
i'd have to disagree with most of what you said Mr. Mouse, for a start describing the people doing arcade conversions as just "code slaves" doesn't do them justice at all because they didn't simply sit down with the source code and original design notes to bang out a quick and dirty port; in most cases they built everything from the ground upwards based on a coin-op sat in the corner of the office or in some cases merely a video recording of it being played so the final game is usually their own interpretation (in some cases deviating wildly from the original) rather than a slavish 1:1 port.

Chris Butler's re-imagining of Power Drift for example bears bugger all resemblance to what the Sega designers came up with and they certainly had no input into that version, but it's still a cracking game. And to be honest i'd not have pointed at the US Gold or Ocean film tie-ins as examples of good games personally, the "design by committee" aspect of those titles is pretty much a negative point for most of that era.

The way you're describing the Rowlands brothers or Sensible greatly devalues the work that the coders in each team put into the game and forgets that in both cases the the programmers were by no stretch of the imagination "code slaves" and were just as involved with the design as the other members of the team if not more so. (And don't get me started on the Bitmap Brothers because i can do half an hour on how crap i think their games are.)
2008-10-16 13:13
T.M.R

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 735
Oh, as regards the whole SEUCK Redux idea... as Cadaver says, do it if you want it yourself but not otherwise... certainly SEUCK games generate more hate than any other game creation tool but that's what happens when you make a reasonable game engine available; everyone and their cat has a go so the signal to noise ratio is horrendous.
2008-10-16 16:07
Mr. Mouse

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 214
T.M.R., I'm not devaluating the quality of the code that recreated coin-up games, that was not the point I'd want to raise. I was talking about game design. In many cases, tremendous effort went into a conversion, to the point of recreation of seemingly impossible features on the c64. But the design of a game does not require coding skills per se.

Sensie and others are examples of teams on the c64 that had onboard people without a specific coding function, but that were still designers of good games.

SEUCK games usually suck of course, but there is no harm in modding and improving the engine?
2008-10-16 19:59
T.M.R

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 735
i didn't say you were devaluing the code, more the jobs of the coders themselves by calling them "code slaves". Certainly Chris Yates wasn't Jon Hare's code slave, John Rowlands didn't just sit there and do what Steve told him, Chris Butler sometimes totally ignored what the Sega, Irem or whatever designers had done...

Right now i'm trying to think of one game i've felt was exceptional where the programmer wasn't the lead designer and struggling...

Improving the SEUCK engine is well and good yeah, but only if y'plan to use it personally; look at the lack of horizontal SEUCK games so far despite all the work Jon Wells put in.
2008-10-16 20:12
Mr. Mouse

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 214
I agree with most of your comments, and the term "codeslaves" I merely borrowed from Cadaver's reply actually...
2008-10-16 21:31
d0c

Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 186
make seuck borderless, then we talk....


now what animal is in that picture above?
2008-10-17 00:01
Jailbird

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 1536
Quote:
now what animal is in that picture above?

Shame on you for not recognizing a lolwombat! :(

2008-10-17 01:09
assiduous
Account closed

Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 343
why limit things to 1 axis ? Arnie2 showed its entirely possible to have a good isometric-view shooter without confining it to the horizontal/vertical axis. optimize the engine from Arnie2,make it more versatile and its gonna blow Seuck away :)
2008-10-17 03:08
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
I know where Mr. Mouse is coming from. When I did graphics for a game (as well as code) that was the last time, ever. :) Yes they were that bad. Yes I am ashamed.

Throughout my professional career as a programmer I have made some design decisions/suggestions on the games I've worked on, but this doesn't happen very often because we are usually too busy coding. However Alien Resurrection on the PS1 probably wouldn't have had dynamic lighting or shells from the guns or the first person mode without us programmers experimenting and pushing really hard for these cool features to be used. But teams have in general got larger over time so discussion and full-time designers are more common than they were back in the old days. But even so, back in the old days of small teams (or one man efforts!) publishers would receive regular builds and design suggestions/demands would be made.
2008-10-19 13:54
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
I've uploaded source and documentation to here: http://codebase64.org/doku.php?id=base:scrolling_and_seuck_file..

There are also some pre-built examples for playing the demonstration SEUCK games. Even when the games get quite busy there isn't any of the slow-down and flickering that was in the original SEUCK code so I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. :)
2008-10-19 16:27
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
Cool. I tested it with one of my old games work files (which used to slow down a lot) and got a much better result with this fix. :) Fantastic job!

There is a drawback. The charset convertor. The front end logo does not display how it should as in the main SEUCK editor. Perhaps the whole charset should be extracted and inverted. Also, restore the colour bars as well.
2008-10-20 02:03
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
Thanks for the helpful feedback, it is really great to know someone else was able to get the source and run their own data file. If you can send me your data file it will help me to target slow areas in the code for optimisation. The more different data files I get the better the code gets.

Regarding the title screen, yes I've not implemented the colour bars yet because the title screen is usually one of the things people tend to rip out and replace with their own code. :) I will be adding colour bars later on though along with some more in-game improvements.

-Edit- Added proper title screen support now and fixed a couple of bugs. :)
2008-10-20 18:37
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
Fantastic :) I look forward to trying it out :) Hope we get DMC support ;) Glad the colour bars are back, but maybe we could add our own colour tables, to make things interesting :)

Still not patched yet:

It is only the scroll/level bugs I needed sorted out now. This is because the level perameters are not working correctly. For example, I start Nyaaaah! (The first one) and on the first level, there are no enemies :( Also I tried the same source on Nyaaaah 3 but when the scroll is on, when the player is not moving by joystick. It automatically moves down and sometimes off the screen.
2008-10-21 03:18
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
Ahh the darn level control parameters. They have been problematic in the past. Can you send me the full data file (using "save all data" from the storage menu) (i.e. without music and other tweaks) so I can view it in SEUCK and see what the level editor parses the data as? My email address for binary files is martin.piper@gmail.com

I tried the version of Nyaaaah from here http://www.seuck.retrogaming64.com/nyaaaahres_fixed.zip but it has the editor removed from memory. ;)
2008-10-21 11:21
Mr. Mouse

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 214
Martin, good to see you went ahead despite people telling you not to ;) It must be fun to see that it actually works. I've spent some time on improving Lords of Midnight, but have stopped halfway due to lack of time. And then I have tons of old code (not c64 specifically) that are halfbaked tries or ideas that desperately need continuation or finalization. So it's cool that old code/ideas is/are picked up 20 years later ;)
2008-10-21 15:49
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
Yes it is fun watching it working. ;) It was actually a fun little project to do and made much easier having the editor there so I can tweak values and notice which ones changed.

2008-10-21 19:17
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
I could, I suppose, but alternatively you can download SEUCK Revive by Entropy to restore the SEUCK editor into my SEUCK game ;) All you will need to do is load the SEUCK game, then warm reset the C64 (or use Action replay cartridge), download

SEUCK Revive

Then LOAD "*",8,1 and the editor will come back. Save the ALL DATA work file and then it should save. Then transfer the work as a p00 file ;)

EDIT. Oh, looks like you already did update ;)

Fantastic :) The very first NYAAAAAH! SEUCK file works now. Enemies are about, despite a flicker on the top left of the screen (which is nothing bad to me) Well done ;). Now for another question.

Martin, your SEUCK fix is excellent. Hope we see source that will work with games created with the left sideways scrolling SEUCK as well. Your code (after Exomizer) shortens the code MORE compared to the original SEUCK before the redux. ;)

I can understand that there is a lot to be done with the SEUCK redux/scroller thingy, but I will be looking forward to seeing further updates with it. It should be very handy, as more games would fit on to a disk with this implemented. :)
2008-10-22 03:08
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
The SEUCK Revive tool works really well, thank you for that helpful link. :)
Using the editor I did notice in "proper SEUCK" the big monster just before the vampire cats level gets transferred from the earlier end of level to the start of the next. This is because SEUCK doesn't clear sprites when the previous level is static and the next level is push scrolled, even with a redraw the sprites remain.

When I was testing this level transition with SEUCK Redux I thought it was my bug, but I am relieved to see proper SEUCK reproduce the same bug. :)

You're right there are a few things to finish in Redux, but these are easier problems compared to getting the main game working in a reasonable state.

-Edit- Added two player support, pause/quit and other tweaks.
2008-10-25 19:54
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
Nice job Martin :)

I have uploaded Nyaaaah! Resurrection on to my web site. The game uses the redux source, but with some additional ammendments that I made myself to play in game music, etc. You'll find this game here:

http://www.redesign.sk/tnd64/n.html :)

I was going to upload it on to CSDB as a new release. But it is not really worth doing because well. It is SEUCK and people don't want to see the CSDB get over run with SEUCK games eh? ;)
2008-10-26 07:09
wreg
Account closed

Registered: Mar 2004
Posts: 679
ppl just dont want to see cracks of those :-)
2008-10-26 08:54
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
Okay. :)
2008-10-28 15:32
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
It's always nice to see code get used by someone else. :)
Support for sideways SEUCK files has now been added as well as fixing some bugs related to respawning players. (Latest patch code)

Now the code is mature enough to play whole SEUCK games it gives me a nice easy to use test bed for using the code to create more complex games. The routines are modular enough and generic enough to be able to be used without SEUCK.

Hmm, maybe a horizontal/vertical shooter or platformer. *Thinks...*
2008-10-28 19:18
Richard

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 554
Sounds even better Martin.

If the attack waves could be used in a proper horizontal scrolling shoot 'em up (and additional code to generate power ups, big bosses, map scrolling, etc). That would be very handy to record virtual joystick movements for enemies.

I have always wanted to have a bash at a non SEUCK horizontal scrolling SEUCK. Since Sub Hunter, I'm beginning to get even more ambitious. Probably overambitious, knowing me. And in 2009, I am hoping to do a horizontal scrolling shoot 'em up game as my main project ;)
2008-10-30 07:48
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
I just wish the designers of the C64 would have added colour memory where the offset could be changed like the char screen. :)
2009-05-10 04:17
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
The source for this ( http://codebase64.org/doku.php?id=base:scrolling_and_seuck_file.. ) has been updated to use the VIC sprite collision register, read from the multiplexor, instead of using char based collision detection. This improves upon the collision bug in the original SEUCK where it was possible to have a player sprite (or bullet) covering an enemy and not have any collision detected.
2009-05-10 07:34
LOGAN
Account closed

Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 71
Although I understand the aversion to seuck from many people I admit I have a soft spot for the thing. I mean even in my noob days I enjoyed much time in creating SEUCK things and although I didn't finish my shoot'em up due to thinking my results were, erm... lame, I think its a great tool to play with. Removing (parts of) the editor, inserting music, I like to think I did it all.

But I love to see improved/enhanced versions of SEUCK. What's next? Intro/menu designer and modular addons? Multiload support with IRQ fastloader? Koala or FLI support? DTV graphics support?

Heck make a point and click adventure game support so I have an easier time to port a few levels of MOTAS.

Keep'em coming!
2009-05-10 13:14
Martin Piper

Registered: Nov 2007
Posts: 400
Well, it's a lot of reusable code that forms a generic game engine, that just happens to be able to play SEUCK data formats. It's how the super spells were added to LotD for example. IRQ loading the level data to allow "SEUCK" games with different level graphics or more attacks waves is very possible. So a large proportion of the code will be used for my next project. :)
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