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#1 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 11:42 AM

12/23/2009 Edit: I've attached the final version of CaveIn (cavein230.bin) to this post.

I'm nearly complete with my new Adventure game, which has been about 6 months in the making. It's written using mostly batariBasic, however I've got a little bit of pure ASM in there, most notably for the high resolution titlescreen. It's a 32k game and uses the superchip for a higher resolution playfield. It's a quest type game with 160+ different rooms to explore and specific goals that have to be accomplished - I'm including the latest version of the instuction manual that has all the details. I'm also including a map of the game which is farily current, but some room designs have changed since I last updated it. Also, the current version of the manual has lots of spoilers, just as a warning. For more info about the game, check out the thread in the 2600 basic forum here: http://www.atariage....howtopic=108757

The reason I'm posting here is I was hoping someone might be able to provide a little assistance with adding some music to this game - either in the titlescreen, in-game, or in the closing screen after you've beaten the game. Several people have suggested that the game would be much more 'complete' with some music, and unfortunately it's beyond my skills as a programmer to create a song on the 2600 that anyone would actually want to hear. ;) The titlescreen is already written in ASM, so it might be easier for an experienced programmer to plug in a song in that portion of the game. I've included that code as a separate attachment. I realize that it's a pretty big favor to ask, and if no one is up for it that's ok. I still wanted to share the game with everyone who frequents the homebrew forum.

I like the game as is without any music, but adding it would defintitely put a finishing touch on it. Any other comments or suggestions are welcome. Is there anyone here who might like to assist?

Thanks!

Steve

Edit: Please see the Atari 2600 Basic forum for updates for now, I don't want to keep posting to two different threads each time I have an update. ;)

Attached Thumbnails

  • title1.jpg
  • room1.jpg
  • room2.jpg
  • title2.jpg
  • title3.jpg
  • title4.jpg
  • CaveIn_Map.jpg

Attached Files


Edited by Atarius Maximus, Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:19 AM.


#2 Nathan Strum ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 12:09 PM

I just stumbled across this a few days ago, and was really impressed with it. I won't repeat my all of comments again here (they're in the other thread), but I was one of the ones that suggested Steve seek some help over here in adding a little music to the game. This is the kind of batariBasic project that really deserves encouragement and support. (As opposed to the other kind.)

Edited by Nathan Strum, Mon Nov 5, 2007 12:16 PM.


#3 lost child OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 12:27 PM

This is fantastic! :) I'm totally amazed at what you've accomplished! :thumbsup:

#4 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 4:35 PM

Impressive! :thumbsup:

#5 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 5:01 PM

Holy crow! This looks like the Crown Royale of Batari BASIC games. As the developer of the Shasta of Batari BASIC games, I tip my hat to you, good sir. ;-)

I'm getting a distinct Indiana Jones vibe from Cave In. Was it designed as a spiritual successor to the Indy game for the 2600? Also, why'd you choose to have lines separating the pixels? I think it would look a little nicer if they were solid blocks, but that's just me.

Damn, I can't believe that Batari BASIC is capable of games like this now! I may need to give it another look...

#6 Blackjack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 5:22 PM

I'm unable to read .doc files for some reason. Do you have another version or is there a little freeware doc reader I can download?

#7 Nathan Strum ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 5:23 PM

If you're on Mac OS X, TextEdit will do the trick.

Edit: Here's a PDF version of the manual (850 k).

Edited by Nathan Strum, Mon Nov 5, 2007 5:38 PM.


#8 Blackjack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 5:46 PM

pdf will do.... Thank You!

#9 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 6:05 PM

Also, why'd you choose to have lines separating the pixels? I think it would look a little nicer if they were solid blocks, but that's just me.

Using "no blank lines" in bB costs you the use of missle0. One of the concessions. That said, this is an amazing piece of work. Anyone who sniffs and scoffs that bB games can't possibly be considered "real" 2600 games should take a look at what was accomplished with this. Then they should jump into traffic. An amazing piece of work indeed. :cool:

#10 jboypacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2007 6:27 PM

This looks like this is going to be awesome when its done. :)

#11 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007 6:03 AM

I assume available to buy in the store perhaps when done...? :)

#12 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 6, 2007 3:42 PM

This is fantastic! I'm totally amazed at what you've accomplished!

Thank you!

Impressive!

Thanks, Thomas. A complement from you is especially encouraging, you've made some of the best homebrews for the 2600.

I'm getting a distinct Indiana Jones vibe from Cave In. Was it designed as a spiritual successor to the Indy game for the 2600?

Yes, I was thinking of Indiana Jones when I was working on the game. I wish I could call it "Temple of Doom", but I don't want the lawyers after me... ;)

Using "no blank lines" in bB costs you the use of missle0. One of the concessions. That said, this is an amazing piece of work. Anyone who sniffs and scoffs that bB games can't possibly be considered "real" 2600 games should take a look at what was accomplished with this. Then they should jump into traffic. An amazing piece of work indeed.

You're of course right about the blank lines option costing missile0, but I like it better with the blank lines in there anyway. Thanks for the compliment...bB is quite a powerful tool, and I'm sure this won't be my last game using it.

This looks like this is going to be awesome when its done.

Thanks, and it's actually 99.99% done already. I'm just working on some final tweaks. There's really no room left for major additions, as I'm using about 31.2k of the 32k ROM.

I assume available to buy in the store perhaps when done...?

Yes, I'm working on the details with Albert now, and David Exton is working on the artwork for a label and manual. I'm hoping to get this game into the store before the end of the year.

Steve

#13 Bakasama OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007 7:43 PM

This is a nice game. I managed to beat it after several tries. I never did find the sheild. There's seem to be a bit of problem when the player leaves the locked caves. When you go down, the player seems to stay in that room for a bit before it finally fixes itself. I think those monsters that guard the crown pieces should at least last a little longer before going down.

#14 almightytodd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2007 8:58 PM

...Anyone who sniffs and scoffs that bB games can't possibly be considered "real" 2600 games should take a look at what was accomplished with this. Then they should jump into traffic...

...I'm laughing... ...but only because it's true!

#15 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 5:20 AM

One final query... any chance of a PAL version?

#16 cd-w OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 6:06 AM

I assume available to buy in the store perhaps when done...?

Yes, I'm working on the details with Albert now, and David Exton is working on the artwork for a label and manual. I'm hoping to get this game into the store before the end of the year.


This is a very impressive game. However, won't the use of the superchip cause problems for the cart release?

Chris

#17 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 8:03 AM

This is a nice game. I managed to beat it after several tries. I never did find the sheild. There's seem to be a bit of problem when the player leaves the locked caves. When you go down, the player seems to stay in that room for a bit before it finally fixes itself. I think those monsters that guard the crown pieces should at least last a little longer before going down.

I noticed that bug with exiting locked caves myself yesterday, it was a problem with a change I made in a recent revision. It will be fixed with the next release. To get around the issue with the current version, exit the cave at the extreme left or right of the exit. I'm also looking at implementing a few other minor revisions, but I'm not going to post an update until I'm finished with everything I need to add. Short of possibly adding some music, my next binary post should be the final release of the game.

You're right, it's still a one shot kill for the monsters guarding the crown pieces, I've been looking into possible ways to allow a multiple shot kill for certain enemies. I'm not sure yet if it can be done, I don't have a lot of space left now to make changes.

The shield can be difficult to find if you don't know where to look, that's for sure. :) Here's the location of the shield, behind a spoiler tag:

Spoiler


There are other secrets to be discovered too - the gun upgrade room, the cave warp room, and the easter egg are all hidden pretty well.

This is a very impressive game. However, won't the use of the superchip cause problems for the cart release?

Chris

Nope, I've already worked that out with Al. We haven't talked about pricing the game yet, but it will undoubtedly make it more expensive.

One final query... any chance of a PAL version?

Walter (gambler172) has been kind enough to have been testing this game for me throughout the development process on his CC2/7800, and he lives in Germany. The game seems to work ok on PAL systems as it is now. I know there is a TV Type switch built in to batari Basic to set the game to use PAL, but I haven't tried that yet. I'll give that a shot and send the .bin to Walter again for a test sometime soon.

Steve

#18 Bakasama OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 8:41 AM

You're right, it's still a one shot kill for the monsters guarding the crown pieces, I've been looking into possible ways to allow a multiple shot kill for certain enemies. I'm not sure yet if it can be done, I don't have a lot of space left now to make changes.

The shield can be difficult to find if you don't know where to look, that's for sure. :) Here's the location of the shield, behind a spoiler tag:

spoiler

There are other secrets to be discovered too - the gun upgrade room, the cave warp room, and the easter egg are all hidden pretty well...


If you can make monsters a bit harder or more damaging, that would be great. Thanks for the tip.

Sometimes when a monster dies the medpack ends up inside a wall making it unreachable.

I already found the gun, I have haven't found the warp room or that easter egg. What I did find out is that if a player enters a room that has no enemies might have a secret somewhere.

#19 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 12:08 PM

Walter (gambler172) has been kind enough to have been testing this game for me throughout the development process on his CC2/7800, and he lives in Germany. The game seems to work ok on PAL systems as it is now. I know there is a TV Type switch built in to batari Basic to set the game to use PAL, but I haven't tried that yet. I'll give that a shot and send the .bin to Walter again for a test sometime soon.


Ah, well that's good to know at least :)

(and as someone else with a CC2 and both PAL/NTSC 7800s, available for testing if the need ever arises heh)

#20 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 3:48 PM

If you can make monsters a bit harder or more damaging, that would be great. Thanks for the tip.

Sometimes when a monster dies the medpack ends up inside a wall making it unreachable.

I already found the gun, I have haven't found the warp room or that easter egg. What I did find out is that if a player enters a room that has no enemies might have a secret somewhere.

I just posted a new binary to the first post in this thread. I spent most of the day attempting to make it possible to have multiple hit kills for the enemies, and due mostly to ROM restraints, I just couldn't make it work. I'm down to 500 bytes free, with 199 bytes free as the largest contiguous block of free space (in bank 5). As a compromise to increase the difficulty a little bit, I added an option to make it impossible to shoot through cave walls. If you combine that difficulty option with option to make the enemies move at top speed, it definitely adds a great degree of difficulty to the game.

Now that I've used up so much space, I'm thinking that my request for help to add music may not work, there's just not enough room to add it in.

Here's what this revision includes:

1. Fixed sound bug when firing gun underneath locked cave gate (gunfire sound would remain on)
2. Fixed bug when exiting locked caves (character was unable to exit).
3. Fixed bug when leaving boss monster room after picking up crown (falling rocks were wrong size)
4. Fixed bug - when picking up a health pack in crown piece room, the crown piece would disappear.
5. Updated key graphics to make them more unique
6. Updated railcar minigame so that you fall into the mine shaft and land on a railcar when you enter.
7. Updated railcar minigame so the character will duck and flinch when hit by a boulder.
8. Added option for gunshots that cannot pass through walls.
9. Changed Console Switch options:
Color/BW:
BW – Enemies are always at top speed.
Color - Normal Enemy movement.
Left:
A – Gunshots cannot pass through cave walls.
B – Gunshots will pass through cave walls.
Right:
A – Lose one health unit with each room Change
B – No health reduction when changing rooms.

I knew about the unreachable health packs. I was planning on leaving it like that as an added challenge - if you're careful about where you shoot the enemies the health pack will always be reachable. It always travels up and to the left when the enemy is killed on top of the playfield. Also, not all of the secrets are in rooms that don't have an enemy. ;)

I'm now going to concentrate on playtesting, I want to make sure there are no more bugs in the game.

@Mayhem: I tried the bB option for setting the binary to PAL, and it didn't work. The compiled bin was a complete mess, switching between the titlescreen and playfield constantly.

Steve

Edited by Atarius Maximus, Thu Nov 8, 2007 3:51 PM.


#21 s0c7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 5:18 PM

@Mayhem: I tried the bB option for setting the binary to PAL, and it didn't work. The compiled bin was a complete mess, switching between the titlescreen and playfield constantly.

Steve

You could do PAL-60. Leave everything the same as NTSC, just change the colors to PAL colors.

#22 Nognir OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2007 7:42 PM

@Mayhem: I tried the bB option for setting the binary to PAL, and it didn't work. The compiled bin was a complete mess, switching between the titlescreen and playfield constantly.

Steve

You could do PAL-60. Leave everything the same as NTSC, just change the colors to PAL colors.


Yes. I have a PAL-60 version of Phantom II and it works fine on my consoles. :)

#23 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007 12:02 AM

Well done!

This is going to be a really sweet game. And those "combat mode" bB naysayers.... Ha!

#24 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007 6:06 AM

PAL60 would be the better choice anyhow, keep the same speed, just alter the colour palette to match as closely as possible. Almost all TVs from the last 10-15 years in Europe can handle 60Hz fine.

#25 espire8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 9, 2007 7:31 AM

If you can make monsters a bit harder or more damaging, that would be great. Thanks for the tip.

I already found the gun, I have haven't found the warp room or that easter egg.

I spent most of the day attempting to make it possible to have multiple hit kills for the enemies... I just couldn't make it work.

As a compromise to increase the difficulty a little bit, I added an option to make it impossible to shoot through cave walls. If you combine that difficulty option with option to make the enemies move at top speed, it definitely adds a great degree of difficulty to the game.

I do agree with Bakasama about adding more challenge by making the monsters harder to kill.
It's too bad that one shot takes em' down and multiple hits are'nt possible.

The cave walls absorbing the shots however, is a great idea and should be kept in there :thumbsup: , but there's also another way.
After playing the game for many hours I found it quite challenging and fun playing the game without shooting (just avoiding the monsters as best I can) while exploring the cave. Because the monsters move in predictable patterns, I developed my own strategies to get by most of the time without getting touched by waiting in empty parts of the room until the monster is lured out of my path of escape and I then beat em' to the next room.

What you got here Steve is a good hidden gameplay element that's not being utilized - Which is: To start the game without a weapon and make the first optional goal to find the hidden gun room!
I think you should play test this idea before finalizing the game, just to get some player feedback at least. Hopfully it shouldn't be too hard to implement.

I usally do happen to come across the gun room first and the exhilerating feeling of finaly being prepared and more likely to survive the next goal is a good feeling and a good progressive pace in the game play.

Granted, I did die quickly a few times without my gun at the start, but it wasn't bad because I found myself continualy starting over with more determination, which is exactly what a game should do! (nobody should give up without a few tries!). The fact is that this allowed me to explore the whereabouts near the cave's starting point in any direction I pleased. It helped me familarize myself with the maze in a more fun way rather then staring out with the gun and getting far into the game to getting myself lost and die deep in the cave which made me less inclined to start over because I knew I could'nt retrace my steps from all the way back at the begining to pick up where I left off.

Dying quickly at the start without my gun did make my health meter seem more balanced now than ever before (I always felt my health was way too generous when starting out with the gun). Eventualy, I'm now able to locate the gun room easily and I still enjoy the challenge of dodging the monsters, but before I knew where the gun room was or learned how to dodge monsters, they would chip away my health and when I went to a crawl at low health, those critters really finished me off. However, with practice I found it's still possible to avoid getting hit so much even when I'm slowed down, that's how balanced the game already is. And it's definatly alot more gratifying (at least for me) to blast those critters once I obtain the gun and, if I ever must start over, I at least already know how to quickly get pass the entrance part to find the gun even without the map.
Also, currently the fire button must be held down for the bullet to stay on the screen to get a far distance and that bothered me.
I don't know if this kind of tweak would be easy or possible but can the bullet be allowed to stay on the screen without disappearing when letting go of the button?
I also think the next bullet should not be allowed to fire again until the last one has traveled it's full range or hit a wall or enemy. This is the kind of firing behavior in atari's original Raider's game that I feel should be perserved. I think it would help improve the game play alot and will feel more like handling a real gun.

That said, I'm sure solving the monster difficulty issue can be best done by simply making the gun not an upgrade but rather an obtainable item and it should have the long-range ability as standard issue too. (short range rapid-fire can be achieved with the inpenatrable walls via the difficulty switch).

Perhaps because the 7800 has no tv-type setting, I think it would be better the difficulty could be set up like so:

Left A- Shots don't pass through walls.
Left B- Shots do pass through walls.

Right A- Fast enemy speed.
Right B- Normal enemy speed.

Color - Health reduction
B/W- No heath reduction

The reason being is that the shots and enemy speed setting has a much greater impact on the game difficulty than the health reduction, and I feel the shot and speed need to be accessable on the 7800.
I also find that the health reduction when changing rooms is already very balanced in the game as I often find a medical kit before the reduction falls a notch from the health indicator, and once a player knows their way around it should be much less of a threat, even if it were a default setting.




Sorry for ranting so much, I been play testing alot and had much to talk about.

Btw Steve, I found a couple small bugs while playing.

- In the white castle (or was it grey?) when I lost my life from getting hit by a falling rock and after the death animation, there was a very high pitched sound that droned on while in the game over screen mode. It stopped once I hit reset and the game started again as normal.

- When I found the room where I picked up the gun, the gun firing sounds were "hanging up" (as it did before at the gate) when ever I pressed the fire button. The gate don't have that problem since you fixed it though, but in the gun room it does happen. May not be a big deal because it only happens in that room far as I can tell and the game resumes normaly once I leave the room.

Lastly, I really like what you added to the railcar and the keys!

One final thing, I did'nt reach the cobra boss yet but I hope it's not taken down with one shot!

I'll report any other bugs I find... ;)




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