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Wing Commander - Proof of Concept   [2018]

Wing Commander - Proof of Concept Released by :

Release Date :
7 February 2018

Type :
C64 One-File Demo

User rating:awaiting 5 votes (5 left)

Credits :
Code .... Sokrates

Download :
http://csdb.dk/getinternalfile.php/164517/wcepoc.prg (downloads: 302)

Look for downloads on external sites:

Production Info
Submitted by Sokrates on 8 February 2018
The idea for "Wing Commander - Proof of Concept" (WCPOC) arose from the discussion about acceleration cards for the C64 in the Forum64: I wanted to explore which existing technology WITHOUT acceleration card can be further improved. My choice fell on pseudo-3D zoom engines, as they are used e.g. in "Buck Rogers - Planet of Zoom", "Encounter", "Space Harrier", or "Skyfox".

I saw potential in finer X/Y positioning of objects and in designing graphically more complex objects.

The object was taken from hcl.solsector.net with kind permission of Mário Brito. It is a WC4 Hellcat V. The views correspond to the original Wing Commander views (in total 62 pieces with all mirroring, in the demo 60 of them are used).

In zoom 3D engines typically the objects are moved 8 pixels (= 1 character) in X/Y direction. I halved this to 4 pixels for WCPOC. Sounds harmless, but means a quadrupling of the data, ie from 60 to 240 spaceship views.

Zooming is implemented by omitting whole characters in X/Y direction. This does not look so nice graphically, but saves further views. It's already a challenge 240 views with max. 104x96 pixels into a single character set. This is only possible with strong compression (to be specific from 11081 characters in the 240 input views to a charset with only 256 characters = 2,3% of original size), which of course results in losing details.

Use joystick in port 2:
left/right/up/down: move in X/Y direction
diagonal top left/right: select next view
diagonal bottom left/right: select previous view
Fire: zoom

How about the results from my point of view?

The goal of a finer X/Y positioning works quite good, even if the views of the 4-pixel steps slightly differ due to data compression reasons.

The design of graphically complex objects is only moderately successful. Here I would probably rather go on with the usual, clear and simply designed views with repeating structures.

The same thing I would do when zooming: "manually" defined levels instead of omitting characters. Omitting characters didn't work out.

Of course, 240 views are a lot. When reducing this number it might be possible that there is room again for more complex objects.

How will it be continued? Well, it will not :-) Is a proof of concept - nothing more, nothing less.

Have fun with it!
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CSDb (Commodore 64 Scene Database) is a website which goal is to gather as much information and material about the scene around the commodore 64 computer - the worlds most popular home computer throughout time. Here you can find almost anything which was ever made for the commodore 64, and more is being added every day. As this website is scene related, you can mostly find demos, music and graphics made by the people who made the scene (the sceners), but you can also find a lot of the old classic games here. Try out the search box in the top right corner, or check out the CSDb main page for the latest additions.
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