New music engine, and some gameplay
Super Tilt Bro. version 2.alpha3
What's new in the game?
It was a long-awaited improvement. Kiki's platforms have been nerfed while making it funnier to play with.
Platforms now stay on the stage only for a short time, and it is impossible to draw a new one before touching the ground. That way, if platforms are still a life-saver, Kiki has to immediately move to take advantage of it. It also fixes her ability to stale the game by virtually flying on her platforms.
Ingame, and gameover musics have been improved. The game's output is much more accurate to Ozzed's originals.
Title music is a completely new one, composed especially for Super Tilt Bro. by Tuï.
What's new under the hood?
HTML5 emulator performance
The HTML5 emulator is the most popular way to play Super Tilt Bro. By far. However, it comes with a significant performance hit. We are running a browser, that runs a secure context, that runs a bytecode, that emulate a game system, that runs the game. Each of these stage adds a little performance penalty. At the end, only recent computers run the game smoothly.
For local play, it is no problem. The player can decide if it is smooth enough by themself. The big problem arises when playing online. For a NES game, the only way to measure time is to count frames. The system runs at 50 FPS, so each time a new frame is displayed, 20 milliseconds elapsed. If the emulator cannot output a steady 50 FPS, the game's clock is wrong, and it is impossible to keep synchronized with an online opponent.
There is no magical fix for that. Now the HTML5 emulator is instrumented to monitor its own performances, and warns the user if they attempt to go online with poor framerate.
When you download the ".nes" file from itch.io, you get an offline version. As the online version is supported only by patched emulators, the offline version is a way to get it work in most emulators. Until now, the offline version was based on a pretty recent cartridge, the UNROM-512. This is really a nice cartridge, but only supported by recent emulators.
The offline version is now based on an UNROM cartridge. Noticed the drop of "512"? This one is much more supported, and has been successfully emulated on Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS. Playing Super Tilt Bro. on handleds is super cool!
New music engine
The music engine has been re-implemented from scratch. The former one was made hastily at the beginning of Super Tilt Bro., and was never modified since. It had only very few features.
The new music engine is capable of playing almost any NES music, has performances that compares to ggsound and famitone, and is made to evolve. It opens the way to implement better sound effects, to take advantage of extra audio capabilities of the cartridge, and to implement some of my crazy ideas.
Comparing it to ggsound and famitone, which are the big audio engines in NES world, is interesting. Both popular audio engines implement instruments that apply effects to notes played. With good usage of instruments, composers can keep their music data size reasonable, as only notes needs to be stored not their effect. Super Tilt Bro.'s new engine is different. The music data is compressed by searching for repeated patterns, and storing them only once. That way, the composer does not have anything special to do, the engine optimizes it automatically. Real benchmarks are lacking, it seems to produce slightly larger music data than ggsound/famitone, have comparable CPU cost, and accept to play a lot more music files (as composers don't have to care about how the engine work).
New RAINBOW mapper
RAINBOW is the name of the magic WiFi cartridge. As it is in development it evolves, and Super Tilt Bro. keeps adapting.
Previous version was on a temporary design of RAINBOW that aimed to be simple. Now it begins to look like how we want to make it: with tons of features! It notably has various bank switching modes, and VRC6-like audio channels.
Get Super Tilt Bro. for NES
Leave a comment
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.