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### #1Dookie

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 02:07 PM

Whew! School, work and coding... Definitely challenging! Well, I don't want you guys to think I've given up work on my quad engine or Atomic Ball, so here's another beta. This one's REALLY close to how the game is going to look when I'm finally finished, and I'd like to hear as much feedback as possible (bug reports, UI ideas, game ideas, etc). Your input is very helpful in making this an awesome game!

Description:
Breakout-style game with high-res block and bonus textures. Stereo sound, glassy-smooth ball movement, cool particle system, rotating blocks with accurate ball deflection, 27 levels to play and 16 bonus items to find! Streaming OGG file playback ability featuring outstanding music tracks by Vyacheslav Imalkovskiy and Vitaliy Tyshkevich.

Really fast framerates on my measley P4-1.8gHz with a Radeon 9600 Pro video card.

Changes since last beta posted here:
Too many to list! But here's a few...
- More 'logical' ball speedup routines
- Better collision detection against rotators
- Can't get a ball 'stuck' anymore (bounces back and forth forever between a couple of invincible blocks)
- Streaming OGG music playback, plays back the included music or whatever OGG music you put into the 'music' folder
- Levelpack Select screen, will be more useful when I get the level editor completed!
- More awesome particle effects; you might soil your undies when you see the new Fireball particle effect!
- Screen shake; blow up a block and the screen shakes!
- Many MANY more changes and improvements...

System Requirements:
PC with Windows 98/XP/2000 installed
DirectX 9.0c installed
Pentium 3 at 700mHz or better processor
256mb RAM
DirectX9 compatible video card
DirectX9 compatible audio system

Controls:
Left mouse button - Releases ball/Fires weapon
ESC key - Brings up the menu system
P or Pause - Pauses the game
F - Toggles framerate and scorekeeping

If the game won't go into fullscreen mode from within the 'Settings' menu (may happen if you have a monitor not correctly detected by Windows or if you use a video card that uses shared system memory), you can manually edit 'settings.cfg' in Notepad. Read the descriptions and make the appropriate settings, but DO NOT add anything extra to it or the game may not launch at all. If you accidently REALLY mess up the 'settings.cfg' file, delete it and Atomic Ball will generate a new one when it's launched again.

Atomic Ball Beta 15

Remeber, this is still a beta so please don't distribute it yet on any websites. Also, give it a try and post any bugs you find or give me some ideas to make the game more user friendly! :) Also, please report your system specs and the game's framerates if you want.

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it!

### #2Dookie

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 10:07 PM

No beta input at all... Crap! I REALLY need beta input because I'm writing a game engine, not a breakout clone. Atomic Ball is a game written to demonstrate the video/sound/input capabilities of my 2D indexed quad engine called the Atomic Engine. I'm hoping to release the Atomic Engine so people can easily write their own games without having to deal with all the hassles of properly initialing and shutting down DirectX components, creating and managing Direct3D quad indexed primitives, etc. But if I don't get the beta input I need to write a stable engine, then I'll never get this thing done (or I'll tick off gamers by releasing a buggy, so-called "premature release" game engine).

I hope you guys can understand why I'm upset about not getting any beta info - I'm not mad at anybody, I just want to write a game engine that you programmers can use to easily write your 2D game that most people with DirectX 9 compatible equipment will be able to play without any instability issues... In other words, my goal is to let you concentrate on writing your game and not have to worry about also writing a game engine (renderer, sound/streaming music manager, input manager, etc).

Anyhoo, I have another beta test ready but I don't want to post it here since I'm not getting any input... Can you guys recommend some forums where more experienced beta testers reside? Thanks!

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 03:08 AM

sorry dookie, didnt see your post there. I usually do test out things of this nature, missed your post for some reason (actually looking at the date, you posted when i was having my finals so there's no way i wouldve seen it). If you still want something tested I'd be happy to test it for you.

As for other forums, the main one is gamedev - but you're already there so that's not new for you.

### #4Dookie

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 10:07 PM

Cool, thanks for the reply bladder! Dang, sure wish there were more places to post beta tests... Tracking down bugs on my very limited number of computers is VERY tough!

I'm trying to debug an especially irritating bug that I accidently found myself when demonstrating Atomic Ball on a friend's computer (who lives 15 miles away). And the exact same bug happened on my parents' computer (who live 20 miles away), so I know it wasn't just my friend's computer that caused that problem... which is why I was so cheesed to see no bug reports despite the number of downloads; this problem happened on over 20 percent of the computers of which I tested my game! It's not practical to write a beta and then drive to my parents' or friend's house to test it, and neither have broadband internet access (download speeds are very slow in rural areas here in the Midwest) so I can't continue to test on their systems. And the game works perfectly fine on the computers at my home and at school... If I could post tests and have people post their findings from within a forum setting, then that would be easiest for me to continue to work on the game engine rather than do all the beta testing myself!

I'm suspecting the game focus routines are to blame for the bug that I have yet to fix, so I've rewritten the 'game lost/got focus' routines and moved them into the game's message loop instead of within the main program loop. A description of the bug is this:

"Start the game, and you see a white window. Then Windows pops up a dialog box that says that the game 'created an unrecoverable error and must be shut down'. Click past that dialog box and the game is shut down by Windows. This has happened on two computers with Windows XP, on motherboards with built in video where a second video card had been installed."

Here's a download with the 'focus fix', if you want to try it out. It's a zip file with no readme, but simply extract the contents of the zip file into a folder on your harddrive. After you do so, doubleclick 'Atomic Ball Beta 311.exe' to start the game.

Atomic Ball Beta Release 311

NOTE: This beta has a logging system built into it, so every time you run Atomic Ball it appends to a file called 'atomlog.txt'. This file can get pretty big if you play Atomic Ball a lot! If the game works fine for you, then delete the file called 'settings.cfg' and then run Atomic Ball again. Atomic Ball will create a new 'settings.cfg' file, with logging turned 'off'. Deleting 'settings.cfg' will not delete your high scores, it only resets your video/audio/control preferences.

KNOWN ISSUES: You might get a 'Cannot restart Direct3D' message box when exiting from the game. I don't know if I've completely gotten rid of that error, so please let me know if you get that error. It's not a critical error when you see it upon exiting the game, so just click 'OK' and everything will be fine. But if you see this error when starting the game or changing settings, be sure to post about it here!

Thanks again! :)

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 03:31 AM

worked perfectly fine. None of the issues you mentioned coped up. And the particle effects are a big improvment from the last itme i tried this out.

As for your problem, I'm guessing that maybe you try to initialize the game on the default video hardware which is maybe a really bad one? Maybe try using a different adapter identifier and see if it works like that...

### #6Dookie

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:30 PM

Now THAT'S a good idea... That sounds like one reason why Atomic Ball would crash when getting to the point of rendering a scene after successfully creating a Direct3D device. And it doesn't crash by simply not rendering, it crunches to the point where the game is shut down by Windows. I think both computers where the game crashed like that had a second video card installed (to replace onboard video, not to have a second monitor in use).

But I JUST found the problem, and it was where I was enumerating all the possible display settings for the default video adapter...

UINT numAdapterModes = DXStuff->g_pD3D->GetAdapterModeCount( D3DADAPTER_DEFAULT, D3DFMT_X8R8G8B8 );

I was loading up an array of 64 with all the enumerated video modes greater than 640x480, which is fine on my programming computer (older 19" Sony monitor, Radeon 9600 Pro vid card). I could usually enumerate about 40 modes, and the school computers would enumerate 35 or so modes. But I wasn't taking into consideration that 'numAdapterModes' could be greater than 64 on newer systems, and so I ended up trying to load info beyond the limits of that array. What was strange was that the actual crash didn't happen until 'g_pd3dDevice->BeginScene()' was called... Because of that, I was looking everywhere else for the crash problem rather than in my Direct3D initialization routine.

I wouldn't have found the error if you didn't post your suggestion, so I really appreciate the response! I researched the possibility of using a different option than 'D3DADAPTER_DEFAULT' (which is in my Direct3D initialization routine), and that's when I found where the 'saved enumerated video modes' array was getting overloaded. Pretty awesome, because I've been banging my head against the desk for about a month over that friggin' bug, and now I can continue with the development of the quad engine.

Thanks again for the response, bladder. You rock! :D

### #7Nodlehs

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 03:30 PM

Game ran great on my box, amd 64, radeon 9800 pro. No crashes, smooth performance... bonus rounds had lots and lots of balls...

### #8SpreeTree

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 05:44 PM

Ran smoothly on my Acer 1.5 Ghz laptop, 512MB ram and an onboard intel card.

I did have a problem getting off level 4. I destroyed all the coloured bricks, but the silver ones just 'pinged' when I hit them and would not break, so I had to quit. :(

Spree

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 04:45 AM

Glad to be of service Dookie. That same thing actually happened to me (array overrun with number of adapters) and I didnt find the overrun for about a year+ (imagine how insane I went)

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