Recent Posts

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Development Progress / Re: Web platform, possible?
« Last post by gumix on April 14, 2016, 12:57:09 pm »
Ok, figured out what caused problems to my BB - but still don't understand why.
So setting LLVM optimization to -O0 done the trick but why does it affect my mobile device only? All desktop browsers are fine with -O3.

Another tiny problem was with webgl shaders, they need a bit more precise control on arithmetic errors.

Summarizing everything, seams Ascii Patrol will have a web port, with requirement for desktop browser to have either canvas 2d or web-gl support while mobile browsers if one lacks of web-gl it may fall into really low frame rates because of unaccelerated 2d canvas.

Development Progress / Web platform, possible?
« Last post by gumix on April 14, 2016, 09:16:13 am »
I have done several experiments trying to port the game to browsers. Reasults are promising but still there are many quircks, especially on mobile platforms.

Rendering experiments, both should run well on major desktop browsers.
Test 1: canvas (2d)
Test 2: canvas (web-gl)

On mobile devices unfortunately:
Test1: makes too many graphics calls so framerates are rather low: 5-15fps
Test2: web-gl gives promising performance of 60fps, if only web-gl is avaliable on more devices :)

Porting game code to java script is another story. I gave a try to Emscripten.
It is using web-gl for rendering, desktop browsers should feel comfortable with it.
Unfortunately strange effects appear on my BB Q10 mobile.

General Discussion / Re: Are we gamers or developers?
« Last post by Kyzrati on April 12, 2016, 08:34:24 am »
Ha, I apparently answered the same as yourself. About 4-5 years back I would've gone with 50/50, but it's really a question of available time. I just don't have the time to play very many games anymore, that and honestly once you've spend decades playing them, much of what's out there starts to seem samey, so may as well put the effort into creating something instead :)
Development Progress / Re: Forging game menu (A.D 7.04.2016)
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 09:33:44 pm »
Now I'm thinking about possibility of keeping synchronized in game player profiles (display name, avatar, etc.) with forum accounts, seams not that hard to make it, unfortunately not with DOS-clones.
General Discussion / Are we gamers or developers?
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 09:15:14 pm »
Feel free to add any other polls you like.
General Discussion / What is this Ascii Patrol all about?
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 09:07:03 pm »
Ascii Patrol is a one guy's project who imagined to bring "Moon Patrol" arcade game developed by IREM in 1982 to text consoles in form of ascii game.

"Moon Patrol" wiki page:

Ascii Game, (more formally: Text based game) wiki page:

Some Ascii Patrol game tech specs:
- pure 7-bit ascii charset (aka oldschool ASCII Art)
- 2 modes: black-on-white & 16 color ansi palette
- resolution: anything between 80x25 - 160x50 (in characters)
- platforms: FreeDOS, Windows, Cygwin, Linux, js/html (web browsers)
- optional input handling via X11 (with ssh tunneling too)
- sound is at the moment out of the road map
Development Progress / Forging game menu (A.D 7.04.2016)
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 08:54:34 pm »
Most efforts are now concentrated on menu system.
It is pretty damanding part as it must behave well on all platforms, in color and in b/w modes, in lo-res 80x25 as well as 160x50.

Menu system will offer stright interface to all options on a one scrollable page.
Page contains smaller items, called modules which are layed out on page in different ways depending on current resolution.
So we can end up with 2,3 or 4 columns of modules.
Each module, once activated, behaves like separate dialog, allowing player to modify parameters, or jump into actual game.

While working on these things I've imagined a module called 'Player Profile' where user can choose his / her name, change avatar, etc.
After I've painted few avatars in REXPaint I noticed it could be cool to mix parts of these 6 faces together so player could compose his own face. In this approach instead of 6 avatars we've ended with: 1296!

Have a look how does it work:

Menu footage with avatar mixer
Development Progress / Support for DOS / FreeDOS / DosBOX (A.D 22.03.2016)
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 08:48:31 pm »
I spent almost 1 week on preparing internals needed to run ascii-patrol in Free-DOS and DOS-Box.
Good thing is that on any VGA compatible board, game is able to run in 90 x 50 mode.
Yes 90! This is achieved by removing 1 pixel gaps between character cells in standard 720x400 text mode.
So normally it is 720/9 = 80 columns, but after removing the gap we have 720/8 = 90 columns.
Thanks to programmable VGA sequencer and its D/A registers.

From the other side, DOS-Box can even offer emulated 132 x XX modes, unfortunately (don't know why) at a bit reduced RAMDAC frequency.

DOS version will come with 6 fonts sizes, from 8x6 to 8x16. Quite enough to compensate for different video modes and monitors aspects.

Above: Ascii Patrol inside DOS-Box with s3_svga in 132x28, font size 14.
Development Progress / 16-Colors ANSI Palette (A.D 11.03.2016)
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 08:45:20 pm »
Ascii Patrol supports now 16 color ANSI palette!
You won't be convicted to use B/W anymore, but yes monochrome option remains maintained during rest of development :)

So what are next steps?

Seams we will need at some point procedural level generator, for players which passed entire campaing and still wanting to play ascii patrol ;)

Also it will be very helpful for making campaign itself, of course it will require alot of manual tweaking too.
Development Progress / In love with REX-Paint (A.D 09.03.2016)
« Last post by gumix on April 11, 2016, 08:42:24 pm »
All game assets are now remastered using
This allows me to switch from try-test-retry-test-...-compromise path to paint-and-relax ;)

Below we have a sample mock-up screen with colorized sprites:

And some sort of title screen

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