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Bombs Away!


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#1 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 2:45 PM

Wow, this is the first new game I've worked on since I started Cave In in 2007. Posted Image I just finished it up, I've been working on it off and on for the past few weeks. I was trying to make a simple, fast paced action game. This one plays similar to Kaboom. The game itself is complete, however I may add some tweaks here and there still and I'm open to suggestions for any possible improvements that can be made. I'm not very good at sounds, so that's one area I'll likely still work on. The game is 16k, uses the standard kernel, and does not use the superchip option.

The object of the game is to zap the falling bombs before they reach the city below. You have a powerful laser beam that can be moved back and forth to take out the bombs. The city also has a set of shield defenses which will stop the bombs, but you won't score any points for their desctruction. You also have one super powerful laser blast that you can deploy at any point during the game. It will destroy all of the falling bombs on the screen. To activate the super laser, push up on the joystick. You will receive 10 points for every bomb you destory, and as mentioned before, no points for bombs destroyed by the city shields.

The game is divided up into 12 levels, and with each passing level you'll face a faster bombing raid on your city. Once you reach level 12, it's a test of endurance - there will be no more pauses in the action until you reach the inevitable destruction of your city. You'll see your city blow up when six bombs have hit. Posted Image When the game pauses at each level, press fire on the joystick when you're ready to continue. There is a brief pause built in so you don't accidently move past the level change screen, the fire button won't work for a few seconds.

The city can survive six direct bomb hits before it's destroyed. Your six hits are indicated with the level counter at the bottom of the screen. If you reach the end of a level and you've taken at least one hit you will gain one life back. Once you reach level 12, there are no more opportunities to gain extra lives.

In the updated v18 binary is the addition of an options screen. You can now select which level you want to start on, and whether or not you want the shields to be activated. To select whether or not you want shields, push left/right on the joystick. To select your level, push up/down on the joystick. The default option is to start on level 1 with the shields on. After you've made your selections, press fire to start the game.

The updated v23 binary includes a new option for choosing three levels of difficulty, and improves the randomization of the falling bombs from the previous versions. How you make your menu selections has also changed - push left/right to choose the option you want to change, then up/down to make the change. Press fire to start the game.

The updated v25 binary adds graduated scoring, bombs near the top of the screen are worth 40 points, then 30, 20, and 10 as they get closer to the city. The faster you clear the bombs, the higher your score will be. I've also modified the playfield so the city buildings are half the size. It looks a little better and gives you more on screen space to clear the bombs.

The updated v26 binary tweaks the difficulty a little bit. The laser is a little bit slower on easy/level 12, and a little bit faster on hard/level 12. I've also adjusted the randomization so that the bombs won't fall at the very edge of the screen on either side, so they'll always be a little bit closer together. They're minor changes, but should help a bit.

The updated v37 binary is now real hardware compatible. A new features is the ability to change your laser. You can keep it at static height, which is the default, or make it slowly shoot up from the bottom and reset itself when it gets to the top. Changing the laser to a "shooting" type really increases the difficulty! The type of laser you want is now a selectable option on the options screen. Another change is that the options you choose are saved from game to game. When you press fire on the game over screen, you are taken back to the options screen which will display the most recent choices you made. That way you can keep starting the same game over without having to change your options every time you want to try again. I also made some cosmetic changes to the titlescreen and options screen, as well as activating the reset switch when you're on the options screen and level notification screens.
I
This game includes the option of having a second player control the city's shields using the right joystick. If no one is using the right joystick, the shields will hover back and forth automatically.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Steve

Attached Thumbnails

  • bomb1.jpg
  • bomb2.jpg
  • bomb3.jpg
  • bomb4.jpg
  • bomb5.jpg
  • bomb9.jpg
  • options2.jpg

Attached Files


Edited by Atarius Maximus, Tue Mar 9, 2010 6:10 PM.


#2 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 4:06 PM

I'll try again a little later tonight, but my best score so far is 3510.

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  • bomb7.jpg


#3 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 5:03 PM

If I hold down the fire button and swipe away until the bombs get so fast that I can't get to them in time and the game ends, it restarts before I can look at the score.

#4 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 5:37 PM

If I hold down the fire button and swipe away until the bombs get so fast that I can't get to them in time and the game ends, it restarts before I can look at the score.


The game has a definite end screen, although it will start over if you press down on the joystick from the game over screen. I've played quite a bit and have not experienced what you're describing. I'll have to revisit how the game over screen is cleared, I'm guessing you're accidently moving past the end screen before you've had a chance to see your score.

Steve

#5 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 5:43 PM

If I hold down the fire button and swipe away until the bombs get so fast that I can't get to them in time and the game ends, it restarts before I can look at the score.



Here's a version that requires you to use the reset switch to restart the game from the game over screen, rather than pushing down on the joystick. Let me know if that fixes the problem for you.

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Edited by Atarius Maximus, Tue Mar 2, 2010 5:45 PM.


#6 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 7:33 PM

Here's a version that requires you to use the reset switch to restart the game from the game over screen, rather than pushing down on the joystick. Let me know if that fixes the problem for you.

The player should always be able to restart a game using the reset switch, but you don't want to take away that useful feature where the player can use the joystick as a remote control. The 2 second pause at the end gives the player a chance to see the final score and realize that the game is over:

www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-standards-and-procedures.html#game_end

The player can then hit the reset switch or press the fire button to restart the game.

#7 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 7:44 PM

Here's a version that requires you to use the reset switch to restart the game from the game over screen, rather than pushing down on the joystick. Let me know if that fixes the problem for you.

The player should always be able to restart a game using the reset switch, but you don't want to take away that useful feature where the player can use the joystick as a remote control. The 2 second pause at the end gives the player a chance to see the final score and realize that the game is over:

www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-standards-and-procedures.html#game_end

The player can then hit the reset switch or press the fire button to restart the game.


Hey RT,

Yep, I completely agree, and I can fix it in the future. I just wanted to see if the problem was related to the joystick being pushed accidently, and if that was causing the end screen to go away before you saw your score. Can you see the game over screen now?

Steve

#8 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 9:09 PM

Yep, I completely agree, and I can fix it in the future. I just wanted to see if the problem was related to the joystick being pushed accidently, and if that was causing the end screen to go away before you saw your score. Can you see the game over screen now?

Oh, that's what you meant. Yep, I can see it now. When I'm moving left and right, there is a good chance that some of that time I'll also be pushing down without meaning to.

#9 yuppicide OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 7:51 AM

Lovin the screen shots.. will download and test on a real 2600 when I get home tonight.

#10 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 11:34 AM

Ok, Here's a revised version. I've changed it so that you simply use the fire button to advance through levels and restart the game from the game over screen. There's an approximately two second pause built in so you don't accidently move past a screen if you're still holding the button down.

Another big change is the addition of an options screen. You can now select which level you want to start on, and whether or not you want the shields to be activated. To select whether or not you want shields, push left/right on the joystick. To select your level, push up/down on the joystick. The default option is to start on level 1 with the shields on. After you've made your selections, press fire to start the game. For a real challenge, start on level 12 with no shields. Posted Image

You'll still start with a score of zero when you start on a higher level, so as it's set up now it will be much easier to get a high score if you start at the beginning.

Steve

EDIT: Ooops, default level was set to 12, I changed it to one and reposted the binary.

Attached Thumbnails

  • bomb8.jpg

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Edited by Atarius Maximus, Wed Mar 3, 2010 12:04 PM.


#11 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 11:41 AM

Lovin the screen shots.. will download and test on a real 2600 when I get home tonight.


Glad you like what you see. :) Let me know if you see any problems running it on real hardware, I haven't tried that yet.

Steve

#12 gambler172 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 1:28 PM

Hi Steve
Great work.Plays like KABOOM. :)
greetings Walter

#13 Impaler_26 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 4, 2010 2:34 PM

Cool Game! :thumbsup:
It just gets a tad too fast for an old fart like me... :D
My best score so far: 2,840

bombsaway18.bin_5.png

#14 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 4, 2010 6:03 PM

Cool Game! Posted Image
It just gets a tad too fast for an old fart like me... Posted Image
My best score so far: 2,840

bombsaway18.bin_5.png



Thanks! Yep, it does get ridiculously fast by the time you get to level 12, but that's exactly how I wanted it to be. I like games I can play quickly and just pick up for a few minutes and stop. Dragster is still one of my favorites, one game takes less than 10 seconds. :) Having three young kids makes it hard to have more than about 5 minutes of game time every night. ;) Now that Cave In is finally finished, I can start working on the long list of other ideas that I have, they'll be more games to come from me in the near future.

Steve

#15 MausGames OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 4, 2010 6:04 PM

I think you should slow it way, way down, make the bombs more random so they don't pair up so much, and add a gradient to the score so that destroying bombs faster makes them worth more points.

Do you still have any free objects to use?

#16 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 4, 2010 6:16 PM

Hey Maus,

Yeah, it's pretty fast, huh? :) Maybe I can add another option to slow it down a bit. I can certainly change the randomization to spread out the bombs a little more, but I'd definitely have to slow it down if I do that. I don't actually have any more objects to use unless I introduce some flicker into the game. Ugh, I hate flicker.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into making some changes based on your input.

Cheers!

Steve

#17 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 5, 2010 3:32 PM

I think you should slow it way, way down, make the bombs more random so they don't pair up so much, and add a gradient to the score so that destroying bombs faster makes them worth more points.

Do you still have any free objects to use?



Ok, I've made a few changes based on Maus' suggestions.

This version adds an additional choice to the options screen. You can now choose one of three skill levels, easy, average, and hard. The default option is hard, which is close to the speed used in the previous versions of this game. The speed progression and the top speed of the bombs has been reduced in the easy and average skill levels. In order to make it possible to keep high scores separate from each other when changing options, I've made it so when your game ends the skill level, shield status, and level you started on will be displayed along with your score. In addition to this, I changed the randomization a bit so that the bombs won't be clustered together like they were before. I may now look into some scoring changes, but this is it for today. :)

Since I had to use more than two on screen sprites to show everything I wanted on the new options screen, I had to introduce flicker in that screen. Ugly but necessary. I pasted together two screenshots to show what the screen actually looks like. I changed how your selections are made - you now push left and right on the joystick to select which option you want to change (indicated by a bar at the top of the column), then push up and down to actually change the option. When you're done, press fire to start.

Steve

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  • options2.jpg

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#18 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 5, 2010 4:09 PM

Hmmm, I was just playing around with the playfield options and made the city buildings half as tall. It gives the bombs more room to drop which would make the game a little easier, but I'm not sure if it looks any better. Any thoughts or opinions? I haven't fully tested this version to see if changing the playfiled might cause some other problems in the code.

This is a modified version of the most recent posted binary, v23.

Steve

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  • bombsmall.jpg

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#19 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 6, 2010 4:40 PM

Hmmm, I was just playing around with the playfield options and made the city buildings half as tall. It gives the bombs more room to drop which would make the game a little easier, but I'm not sure if it looks any better. Any thoughts or opinions? I haven't fully tested this version to see if changing the playfiled might cause some other problems in the code.

This is a modified version of the most recent posted binary, v23.

Steve



Well, after playing around with this version with the smaller city, I think I like it better. It balances out the difficulty a little bit, and I think after playing it for a while that it does look a little better. I'm not sure what other changes I could make now, other than Maus's suggestion for a scoring change. It should be pretty easy to change the scoring so that bombs that are destroyed higher up on the screen are worth more than bombs destroyed closer to the city.

Steve

#20 sandmountainslim OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010 8:01 AM

Great game!!

Has the perfect "twitch" feel. Love it.
wp

#21 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010 8:12 AM

Have you tested it with Stella using {_scan>#262}? I think you might have a little problem.

#22 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010 9:03 AM

Have you tested it with Stella using {_scan>#262}? I think you might have a little problem.


Nope, I haven't done any testing on real hardware yet. It's pretty bloated an inefficient right now, I wouldn't be suprised if it's using too many cycles. I'll start working on that next.

Steve

#23 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010 9:05 AM

Great game!!

Has the perfect "twitch" feel. Love it.
wp



Thanks! :) Hey, look at that. It's my 1000th post.

#24 Atarius Maximus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010 9:18 AM

This version has graduated scoring added, you get more points for bombs destroyed near the top of the screen. Destroying them faster will net you more points. You'll get up to 40 points per bomb near the top, then 30, 20, and 10 as they move farther down. Next up is doing some hardware testing to see if I can get this game to run correctly on real hardware. This version also has the smaller version of the city, I like that better.

Steve

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#25 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 7, 2010 10:03 AM

A couple of comments after spending a little time playing it with Stella:

1) When the bombs drop, do you check that they are not so far apart that it's physically impossible to race from one bomb to another? It seems to me that when zapping one bomb, sometimes the other bomb is so far away that you couldn't get it even if you play perfectly.

2) If you just hold down the fire button and sweep back and forth, then there's not much point in the easy level.




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