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Magical Fairy Force

Posted by AverageSoftware, 06 September 2018 · 228 views

Now that RealSports Curling is "in the can" and headed for a PRGE 2018 cartridge release, it's time to move on to a new project.
I've been thinking about this one for a long time, and I promised myself (and my wife!) I wouldn't start working on it until I finished RealSports Curling.  First a little background:
There's this wonderful Neo Geo game called Twinkle Star Sprites.

Don't let the appearance fool you.  Twinkle Star Sprites is a hardcore competitive shooter with tons of charm.  You select from one of several characters and fight against the others by playing a vertical shooter game.  It's as if Super Puzzle FIghter II Turbo had a baby with a bullet-hell shooter.
The game got a fairly obscure PlayStation 2 sequel.  The sequel has a very different look and feel to it, but retains the same core gameplay.  I've messed around with it a little bit, but I think the NeoGeo original is still the better game.

Now, I'm a huge Neo Geo fan, mostly for the fighting games, but also for quirky stuff like Twinkle Star Sprites.  A port of the game to the 5200 would be pretty much impossible, even the mighty Neo Geo has trouble coping with the intensity of the game.
Instead, I'm working on a game very much inspired by the legend that is Twinkle Star Sprites.  I'm still ironing out the details, but much of the game is figured out, at least conceptually.
The title, as indicated by the name of this post, is Magical Fairy Force.  Like Twinkle Star Sprites it will be a competitive shooter that I hope will have some pretty intense two-player battles.  The current plan is for something very much like Centipede, with one player on the bottom of the screen and the other at the top.  If you've played Demons to Diamonds on the 2600, you'll get the picture.
In fact, conceptually this idea was born as a four-player 5200 version of Demons to Diamonds.  I wanted to do something a little different though, and the detail I have planned for the game won't allow the four-player idea.
One of the interesting things about Twinkle Star Sprites is that you don't shoot at your opponent directly.  Instead you blow up various enemies in ways that create attacks that go after your opponent.  Each character has their own set of attacks, as well as differences in movement speed and shot power.
I plan to recreate much of this style in my game, although the specifics will be drastically different.  I'm still working out the gameplay, so I don't have much to report on this yet.
I've already reached the first milestone however, and that's trakball support.  Tonight I got trakball detection working, and I plan to support dual-trakballs.
My hope is to get eight characters into the game.  I have six characters already designed, and vague shadowy notions of what the other two will be.  All of this is contingent on ROM space, so I may have to make some cuts to the roster.
That's all I've got for now.  I'm very excited for this project and can't wait until I have something decent to show.

January 2019

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