Sega Dreamcast PC (Microsoft Windows)

Creating HD sprite animations

Posted by Roel, 02 Jul 2017 08:58
Hello again dear readers!

In today's dev log post we present a "making of" video, explaining how the animations for Intrepid Izzy are created. This is a first for us and it took a lot more time to record and edit than perhaps it should have, so your feedback would be appreciated even more than usual! As before you can drop your opinions, suggestions, requests and other comments on YouTube, fb or Twitter.

Interview on The Dreamcast Junkyard

Posted by Roel, 20 Jun 2017 09:58
Good morning, or whatever time of day it may be in your dimension!

The Dreamcast Junkyard's Tom Charnock interviewed yours truly and it's well worth a read, if I do say so myself. Tom is an expert on all things Dreamcast, as well as a skilled interviewer.

Read the interview on The Dreamcast Junkyard!

dcjy-senile.png

Do you wish to engage in fisticuffs?

Posted by Roel, 14 Jun 2017 11:38
New stuff is being added to Intrepid Izzy every day. In a recent update, Izzy's repertoire was extended with a powerful new move: the uppercut.

As a finisher, this powerful upward blow disintegrates enemies into a fountain of fruity gore.
intrepid-izzy-combo.gif

The uppercut can also be activated directly, by pressing up+attack. If your enemies think they have the advantage by taking the high ground, they have another think coming!
intrepid-izzy-uppercut-mine.gif

Smash them into the ceiling for double damage!
intrepid-izzy-smash-to-ceiling.gif

The katana wielded when wearing the ninja costume adds even more range and power, reducing those vile mutant kiwifruit to slices.
intrepid-izzy-slashes.gif

Intrepid Izzy running on Dreamcast

Posted by Roel, 22 May 2017 14:34
Hey there, space cats!

So far most footage of Intrepid Izzy was taken from the HD version, running on a PC. But let's take a closer look at the Dreamcast version today.

Here's a video of the game running on the actual hardware, recorded this very morning:


For those of you who are interested in the technical details, this is how it was done:
  • Using a nifty tool, all the game data from the HD original was scaled down by 50%, and the bit depth of the images reduced from 32 to 16. So all the levels and characters and such are still exactly the same, just smaller and with fewer colours.
  • The Dreamcast is running a tool that allows it to load the game and the data files from a PC via a network cable. It doesn't load quite as fast as it would from a CD or GD, but it saves a lot of time burning CD-R's.
  • This TV has a VGA port, so the Dreamcast was simply connected via a VGA box. No upscaler was used.
  • The game is running at a resolution of 640x480 pixels, and the frame rate is a stable 60 frames per second. Sadly this video doesn't have such a high frame rate, but trust me, this game is running super smoothly!

Because a video can only say so much, here's a screenshot so you can see exactly what the game looks like on the Dreamcast, down to the last pixel:
izzy-on-dc.png
On account of the reduced bit depth of the images, a banding effect is visible in the water. There are tricks to counteract that, but that is a detail that will have to wait until much later.

As always, thank you for reading and come again!

Platforms, as far as the eye can see!

Posted by Roel, 15 May 2017 14:05
Hello again!

If there's one thing a platform game cannot do without, it must obviously be its namesake: platforms. To make sure Intrepid Izzy has a wide range of them, that part of the engine was reprogrammed over the past week. Let's take a look at some of the results now.

Here's a platform that's attached to a rail. Or so it appears - it's not really attached to the rail, it's actually following an invisible path that was defined in the level editor. Paths can have any shape or size. The image of the rail is really just a visual cue for the player.
intrepid-izzy-platforms-on-rails.gif

The following platform reacts to being stepped on, moving in the opposite direction each time. Again, to avoid confusion, a visual cue is provided in the form of a spiral-shaped logo on the platform.
intrepid-izzy-reactive-platform.gif
This is of course only one of many ways in which a platform may behave. Others may for example collapse when stepped on, or move to a certain location when a switch is activated.

And finally, here's a slightly more complex example. By combining several elements, we've created a situation where timing is critical!
intrepid-izzy-extending-platform.gif

Thanks for reading, and until next time!