Jim Blimey

Home Archive Games Random Games Lucky Dips Links

Dev Blog 2: Evolving Planets


Planets! An integral part of any space game I reckon, and possibly why I've constantly revisited their look in my game.

Main menu

For quite some time I was using a simple circle based approach which gave a nice "approaching" effect when drawn

   FOR i=1 TO 20
       CIRCLE INK 1; 100,140,i
   NEXT i

Nothing special, but looked OK. Due to how ZXBASIC works CIRCLE was an expensive choice though - a 5x5 UDG was actually a lot cheaper. I had a collection of planet graphics that I'd collected for another space game I was planning for Windows 3, banging one of these into a program I use for converting images to Speccy graphics was trivial. For the DOS version I added an additional field to the planet object which stored a colour value, allowing a bit of variety in the planets we see.

Main menu

It looked ok, but wasn't great. Still I stuck with it for a while until I had the idea of using the same process on a 3D rendered sphere.

This worked really well, and for the Spectrum version is probably what I will stick with. But for DOS I wanted a bit more - colour clash isn't an issue and I have much more memory to play with.

Main menu

I returned to those planet images I had and decided to run one of them through a nearest colour routine I have been fiddling with, with the EGA palette providing the list of available colours the result was quite impressive!

This did need a new drawing routine though, for the DOS port I had simply written a routine to draw the graphics in the same way you would on the Speccy - with a list of byte values. This was no good for drawing coloured graphics, so after writing a quick program to give me a list of palette indexes I was able to create a new routine which plotted these values.

Main menu

This takes the variety of colours to new heights and I'm looking forward to getting more pretty planets in to the game!

Main menu