Prototyping Moon Patrol Inspired Game in GLBasic

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Quote from: erico on 2015-Aug-18You said 52 colors? I analyzed the image with Dawnbringer´s script and it states 55. Here the results.
edit: not much on the purple/pink side of things, which arcade games did you base it on? Cheers!

Great catch! Admittedly by the time I was done I think my brain was fairly burnt out and I ended up with a few pixels of a slightly off shade in there I'd guess.

Since I only click in the center of the squares I work with 52 colors. Or thought I was at least. In reality it turned out there were only 51 colors. lol

Anyway, I just updated the palette image. Made it double size so I could more easily edit it. Added a purple for 52 colors. Then removed one shade of blue because there are a lot of those. In its place I added a sort of pinkish hue. Now there are 52 colors.

For the games I went through dozens of screenshots at GameOldies and ended up choosing I think it was 16 that seemed to best represent the overall color usage. Then reduced those down to 52 colors through the automatic color reduction in Paint Shop Pro and manually.

Anyway, here is the updated GarsPalette52:

I think there definitely are a few too many blues.

Maybe we can make this a community project. Edit and improve.

I'd only ask if you do that you try to arrange the colors like I have to indicate shading between the different hues. That is the reason for some of the colors being larger and in different shapes than just a square. That represents a color that can be used in that spot in both of the hues as a shade.


I´m not a master palette maker in anyways but an enthusiast. It certainly is a loooot of work.
In general, I feel the palette a quite saturated one. If you consider dithering, some of those colors could be dropped or have different hues and still work out. But that sure is artistic preference. I do prefer the ´scrabble´ way of showing palettes though.

I certainly want to mess with it, it will be a while since I have hardcore stuff to be done before 3rd september.

How if the moon patrol coming?



are you guys seeing this pallette the way i am seeing it?
with black areas?

I tried to reproduce exactly how i see it here
Bing ChatGpt is pretty smart :O



The palette is definitely saturated. I did that on purpose just to get the style I was after. I wanted a vibrant palette and the arcade games I analyzed used rich saturated colors. Then I added a slight boost to the saturation. So yeah it is kind of"heavy" on the color. lol


Yep, that is the layout of it.

Basically the colors of the palette are positioned in relation to the other colors to make it easy to find different hues of the same relative brightness levels.

The colors are also filled out to show the shading that can be used where a shade from one hue may also be used as a shade for a different hue.

The black is just expanded all around the others to fill in the empty space.

Just makes it easier to work with.


Totally agree that a lot of Unity games have a 'samey' feel - like flash.

Speccy-48k, Speccy-128k, Amigas, PCs


Well I agree with @erico that Unity is a fantastic development tool. No doubt about that. It has made it so Indies can make games of an almost AAA scope. Performance and their multi-platform support are top notch.

I spent a lot of time in Unity just focused on workflows to use it the way I am used to developing. Which a much more code-oriented approach. It actually does support that. I just think development that way tends to be a little slower in Unity because it kind of goes against the way Unity is intended to be used.

Because it is so powerful and accessible from a GUI perspective you are right @MrPlow that we see a lot of games being created by artists. Of course, they still need to do some programming to make the game actually work. They are very experienced and skilled in art and not so much in programming. So we end up with a lot of simple games that look great. There are many other games made with more focus on gameplay. It is just the beginners are not going to make those kind of games.

I like Unity a lot. I just am hoping that for me personally being able to use a more code-oriented development that I am used to in GLBasic, Monkey X and HaxeFlixel will be a little faster for me. Am very interested in finding out and hence the reason for this project!

Hopefully, I can wrap up this prototype of the game within the next week then get started on development in Unity, Monkey and HaxeFlixel to compare and find out which one is faster to develop in (for me at least). So basically I am investing several weeks of my time in the hope that at the end I will find the best way for me to go.


Missed last night and tried to make up for it with a solid 2.5 hour dev session tonight.


This stuff just takes time for sure. I am getting close to the end though!


Unity does take some time to fully understand, because of their Component based programming.
Doing it all through code took me a bit to grasp, but I've reached a comfortable equilibrium.

I have only a few game objects in my scene (mainly managers, such as level, player, camera, sound, ui, etc, but most can be placed on a common master Manager game object).  I do most everything else via code, because I can follow code much easier than the hierarchy of game objects and how they interact.  That's why I started with GLBasic way back when!

Each code / class / component file is independent of the other classes, which does make each one easier to understand and adapt.  The trick is to make each class as generic as possible, and not rely on other game objects / classes needing to be present or configured a certain way. I've even created a UI creating class, and create all my menus via code that runs the moment a menu is required, very clean and simply to modify.  Plus I can use common constants such as ButtonWidth, etc.

As far as games looking similar, well, that may have since changed with Unity 5.  It uses a different shader system which seems more adaptable.  Games before 5.0 would use the standard Unity shaders (unless you bought or created your own), which would make games look alike.

And Unity is now Free, even their iOS and Android platforms.  Heck, they even combined the features only available in the pro version into the free version, so you now have no limitations.  Even less reasons to need the pro versions.
My current project (WIP) :: TwistedMaze <<  [Updated: 2015-11-25]



That is about exactly the same approach I use In Unity. The only GOs in the scene are managers. Everything else is a prefab. The main issue I have with it is the workflows for 2D assets. I greatly dislike messing around in the Editor loading and slicing spritesheets (with the bugged sprite editor) and then assigning the images to prefabs (or animations) because it is a very tedious workflow.I know you  can load from the Resources folder and have not tried it that way. Mainly because I feel like if I am going to continually do things in the non-Unity standard why then why am I even using it? lol

I think if they focused more on providing a solid API to work with the assets that would do a lot to help programmer-oriented people like me. Generally in any other 2D dev framework I have used there are commands available to easily load not only a single image but also a file containing multiple images and easily slice the images out during the load. If I had made that 2D Collider auto-gen system I'd have linked the colliders to the actual images or sprites as Unity calls them. Then as the SpriteRenderer displays different images the colliders would automatically change to reference the appropriate collider associated with the current image.

It is these kind of fundamental aspects of working with 2D that Unity seems to be lacking. The stuff you'd expect would just be there and not even be anything to consider. Having the colliders and collision system is good and at the same time it is flawed in its current implementation because they are associated with a game object not the actual images themselves. Of course, each person has their own preferred way. I'm just saying their current implementation is not very logical in my opinion.


Quote from: Slydog on 2015-Aug-20
And Unity is now Free, even their iOS and Android platforms.  Heck, they even combined the features only available in the pro version into the free version, so you now have no limitations.  Even less reasons to need the pro versions.

Are you sure of that? Not long ago we were looking at 10k dollars + percentages of sales above a certain profit, I re-check the site today from your state, and the prices are all hidden inside a ´we are all freeee´ kind of site. Very well hidden to the point I´m not going to work it out to find exactly where is the catch. Do you have a link to easy that up?

Considering it all free, inside it we have to conform to their ways, while at GLB I´m conforming to BASIC and C++.
Heck, even C# is a bad no no to me. :(

Maybe I´m just ancient. ;)


Unity has free versions and paid versions.
The Unity 4.x versions have the free versions with missing features.
Starting with Unity 5.0 Personal Edition (the free one) includes all of the stuff the paid version includes.
The paid version now is simply for added services not added features to the Unity game engine.

The whole industry is kind of going that way. Unreal is also free. As are many of the others. Godot. And so forth.

With Unity you do still need to upgrade to the Pro version as soon as you are making $100k per year from your game projects.
I think that is reasonable though and something most people won't ever need to worry about.

For 3D Unity is probably the best way to go.


Not much different then microsoft or apple when it comes to dev tools.
By the time a hobby gets to 100k, your knowledge on coding is heavily stuck on their grounds, which is an unique one.
What are the prices on that pro version?

I agree there is no problem with that, and unity IS certainly the best tool for non-coders.
Heck, I know them from when they were an apple only dev pack billions years ago. ;)

off topic apart, are you going to push the moon lander into the ludum dare?


Quote from: erico on 2015-Aug-21What are the prices on that pro version?

The best way to go is the subscription. $75 per month gets you everything except ability to deploy to mobile. So $900 per year.

iPhone is $75 per month. Android is $75 per month. I have no idea why they charge for each of these two mobile platforms (other mobile is included in the base $75 per month).

If you wanted to be able to target everything the cost is $225 per month. $2,700 per year.

Honestly, I never paid any attention to the prices because they really do not even matter to me. If I was working on building a games business and reached $100k per year income from the games then spending $900 per year in subscription fees (I have no interest in developing for Android or iPhone) would be a very reasonable and tax deductible business expense. I think their prices are easier than Unreal which also charge you a % of royalties on top of the flat fee amount.

Quote from: erico on 2015-Aug-21off topic apart, are you going to push the moon lander into the ludum dare?

Oh no. :D That would be completely against the rules and spirit of the LD challenge. At this point I already have 14.5 hours into the GLBasic development of the Mars Explorer project. About 18 hours of total development time with the tile map and graphics work. That would be a huge unfair advantage in a 48-hour event.

I am actually debating participating in it though. Always wanted to and just never do because I generally never spend more than 2 to 3 hours working on game development in any one day. Especially on a weekend when I am free from work and can get out of the house and do other stuff.

It would be fun though! At the same time I am thinking I can probably wrap up this Mars Explorer GLBasic version this weekend if I stay focused on it.


Still going... 20 hours now... didn't complete it this past weekend but I am getting closer all the time.

I am sure by the time this weekend comes and goes I will have it wrapped up.



Quote from: GarBenjamin on 2015-Aug-25
I am sure by the time this weekend comes and goes I will have it wrapped up.

...and then, a super feature just creep in mind and it has to be implemented, and another... :P
Looking nice, I specially enjoyed the particles on the enemy´s explosions.