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 Post subject: DoDonPachi: Question about movement
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:48 am 

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Joined: 02 Jul 2021
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Does anybody know what the minimum amount of movement possible is in DDP? In Super Metroid, for example, if you're aiming up or down you can move a pixel at a time, but I can't tell if that's possible in DDP. I'm also unclear on whether this changes with different ships. Like, would inputting "right" for a single frame have the same velocity across ships?

I'm getting used to arcade stick (and the genre as a whole) and I'm curious what the on-paper limits to micro-dodging are in this game.


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 Post subject: Re: DoDonPachi: Question about movement
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:46 pm 

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Joined: 03 Oct 2011
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Location: Southern Ontario
You can test this yourself using MAME's frame advance pause feature (P to pause, Shift-P to frame advance iirc). Bind both players to the same controls, move to the edge of the screen so both are on top of each other, then use frame advance to move by individual frames.

Generally speaking, movement where you "accelerate" and move slower on the first few frames (like in the NES Mega Man games) is actually bad in a shmup, especially for tap dodging since depending on bullet and hitbox size you might not actually move out of the way if your tap isn't held long enough. Tap dodging in a shmup is best when you move a consistent, linear amount, rather than having an acceleration period. Heck, acceleration and inertia in general are not good things to have in a shmup due to how they interfere with dodging fundamentals, except perhaps as specific stage hazards/gimmicks. This is not present in any Donpachi game as far as I'm aware from when I've played with frame advance to test relative movement; each ship has distinct per-ship speeds. The only arcade shmup that does this I can think of is Wyvern Wings, and it is not a positive feature of the game.

What you'll most likely be interested in is how diagonal movement works: in most games diagonal movement causes you to move slower than moving up/down/left/right. I think this is called normalized directions? The benefit is that if you want to move to the right, but make a shorter movement than your normal speed would allow, you can move diagonal up/down right, then adjust your vertical position. This can help for games where you need precise positioning for safespot tricks, as well as for simply not smacking into walls. For instance, in a Gradius game, instead of moving up or down to nudge closer to a wall, hold left or right first then tap up or down to make a diagonal movement, slowing your vertical movement enough to make a more controlled approach to hug a wall.

In a vertical shmup like DDP, for attacks where you can hug the bottom of the screen, you can make more precise dodges and slow your movement by holding down on the stick and tapping left/right, which gives you a slower left/right movement speed than tapping left or right alone would. The same applies for horizontal games where you may wish to hug the left edge of the screen (Progear for instance).

The technique of hugging the bottom of the screen is especially useful in games where you do not have a focus shot if you're using a high speed shot character (using Ruby in Giga Wing for instance, several attacks in Stage 6 and Stage 7 can benefit from this dodging technique, I'm pretty sure you can do this in Raizing games with super fast character Miyamoto, etc).

Hope this helps.
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 Post subject: Re: DoDonPachi: Question about movement
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:27 pm 

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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 918
BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I'm pretty sure you can do this in Raizing games with super fast character Miyamoto, etc).

Hope this helps.

Raizing games (and Seibu, and also treasure) are the exception to this as movement along the X/Y axis is handled differently. You actually move faster diagonally in these games, similar to some FPS games like quake etc, where the diagonal walkspeed is about 33% or something faster than straight walking. You can see in speedruns of some games like elder scrolls, people walk diagonally.

This make it impossible to perform this technique in the games developped by those companies.
Funnily enough, all gradius games feature the "normal" movement except gradius V, which was developped by treasure and thus has faster diagonal movement. I'm sure a coder can explain it better than me.
"In short, it comes down to spirit" - dodonpachi developper Kohyama.

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