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Super Circus AtariAge (new WIP)


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#176 durkada OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:06 PM

Well, I'm a happier camper with the two changes you made!

Two player simultaneous is much more enjoyable with the color change. And, now that the clowns don't slam head first into the ground when hitting the ledge from below, I can actually clear a level fairly rapidly. Which led me to discover the bonus round! Very cool!

Jon

#177 gambler172 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:05 AM

Hi Bob
Works great on my CC2.Count me in for a cart.
greetings Walter

#178 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:17 AM

Thank you, as always - you are all too kind. :)

Ok, I believe I am almost finished with this.

- Added more sounds (I like the Teeter-Totter sound now) :)
- Changed the Teeter-Totter graphics, and was able to remove two unused Display List entries because of it!
- Added to the difficulty setting: the top speed of the clown is slower in Easy, a little faster in Medium, and *insane* in hard :twisted:
- Changed the number of times to hit the 'boss' from 16 to 10 (16 is too many) :(
- Changed the rarely-seen bonus item to fly in the playfield... You might recognize it when you see it. :D

To Do:

- Add the background 'Circus' theme (a.k.a. "Entry Of The Gladiators"). This will be *very* labor intensive, so not really looking forward to this.
- Easter Egg?

Enjoy!
Bob

P.S. - for anyone who cares, my closing date was put off. The lovely 'Town Of Babylon' is dragging their heels and giving me inspections to do and money to spend. I still only work on this at night which is why the updates are taking so long. :(

#179 durkada OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:46 PM

P.S. - for anyone who cares, my closing date was put off. The lovely 'Town Of Babylon' is dragging their heels and giving me inspections to do and money to spend. I still only work on this at night which is why the updates are taking so long. :(


Well, I care. I don't know you, but you are my #1 source for Super Circus updates. Anything that interferes with those duties is inexcusable.

Actually, I'm impressed with how frequently the updates are coming! I pop this thread in my RSS feeder and am surprised by how often I have a new version of the game to play.

I hope the move works out well for you. I can only imagine the stress of buying/selling homes between states!

So, on to some quick thoughts.

1 - I think it would be good if the lives counted on the screen worked in a more traditional manner. Meaning, when you are on your last dude, there should be no more little buggers to count.

2 - It seems to me that there should be a little skew in the jumps -- or, the ability to add skew. By that, I mean, if you have your clowns jumping staight up and down, there seems to be no way to alter that pattern short of dying. I just checked on the arcade game Circus, and notice that the guys always fly up at a little angle. Circus Atari... I can't play it on a keyboard at all, but I seem to recall that you could have the guys go straight up and down, or, depending on where they land on the teeter-totter, they would angle a bit.

3 - You fixed one of the nagging eye-sores! I'm glad that the clowns now flip with the button press! No longer are they _always_ facing the same way.

4 - I'm playing on an emulator, but, I'm not as fond of the sounds. I got used to them after awhile, but they sounds a little harsh to my ears.

#180 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:12 PM

This is really coming along great. I'm loving it. This is some real fantastic work :thumbsup:

#181 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:31 AM

I've been watching this from the beginning and it looks great so far. I love the clown graphics and animations.

It definitely is one hard game, in part due to the shortened vertical height compared with arcade screens. One thing that would help, would be to slow the clowns down a little bit. You may want to take a look at the Atari 8-Bit game "Clowns & Balloons". It's a similar type game, and it uses a slower speed for the airborne clown. He moves fast when launched at more of an angle and slower when launched straight up. This gives the player more time to get in position for the next catch.

I'm sure the game is easier when using a paddle (Clowns & Balloons is also). I'm just playing it in emulation using a keyboard.

Anyway, thanks for your work on this, and all your other games. I always appreciate being able to download the final version that goes onto the cartridge. Not all programmers who sell cartridges here allow that. :thumbsup:

Edited by MrFish, Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:34 AM.


#182 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:45 AM

Thank you again :)

I have changed a few things:

- The sound where the clown hits the bumper, and I reduced the volume of the balloon popping sound. Hopefully they are less harsh.
- There are no easter eggs in this game. When you play this version you will see why :D

durkada: What Circus Atari does when the clown is moving straight vertically is - offset the clown right 8 pixels when he's launched from the right side of the teeter-totter. This does two things: it forces the player to follow the airborne clown, and if no balloons are hit you will eventually reach the side of the screen where the bumper will shoot the clown off in another direction. I tried to do this with mine, but I didn't increase the offset nearly enough. That has been fixed.

MrFish: First off, thank you for the compliments. :) The distance between the teeter-totter and the lowest row of balloons is only reduced from 'Circus Atari' by 12 scanlines. I had increased the size of the screen a few revisions ago to help with the closeness so I went back to using the clown arcs used by the original Circus Atari. I wanted this version to be a bit more of a challenge so I figured that this distance was just enough (along with the other enhancements) to make it so. Otherwise (IMHO) there wasn't much difference :)

BTW, nobody brought up something I thought would have been asked by now: In the two player simutaneous mode, once one player dies off his/her teeter-totter *remains on the screen while the other player is playing*. I was going to take it off, but being that this is a competition, I wanted (even when that player can't play any longer) to 'taunt' the remaining player. :twisted:

ALSO, I may not put the background circus music in. That song is too long, and it would take (probably) over a month to get the entire song in there (and it would have to be the entire song - just a snippet repeating over and over would get annoying). So I'm very 'iffy' about it.

Let me know what you think!

Thanks,
Bob

#183 Atarifever OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:53 AM

BTW, nobody brought up something I thought would have been asked by now: In the two player simutaneous mode, once one player dies off his/her teeter-totter *remains on the screen while the other player is playing*. I was going to take it off, but being that this is a competition, I wanted (even when that player can't play any longer) to 'taunt' the remaining player. :twisted:



Thanks,
Bob

I love this idea.

I feel like there is some old game I used to play that let you do something similar (stay on to bug the other player), but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. I believe it was either on NES or 2600 (so there's only about a billion games it could be). Anyone remember a game that let you do this?

#184 durkada OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:54 PM

I'll have to wait til later tonight/tomorrow before I can test the game.

But, a quick comment about the music...

I like what Pokey has to offer when it is done well. I can only imagine the amount of time it will take to implement some good music. I can do without it... on the other hand, I would also applaud if you took another year to add polish to the game. Your call.

But I will say this: you may get away by simply picking a waltz and looping through a couple bars. They always seem to suggest haphazard concentration to me -- like some precarious balancing act about to collapse.

Cheers,
Jon

#185 TrekMD OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:57 PM

I would also prefer to have the game play music, particularly if you can take advantage of the POKEY sound chip, even if it takes a while for the game to be finished and released. It will make the game more polished and have a more "complete" feel to it. It is, of course, your call as the one making this game a reality. Your efforts are certainly well appreciated! :)

#186 JonnyBritish OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:09 PM

I would also prefer to have the game play music, particularly if you can take advantage of the POKEY sound chip, even if it takes a while for the game to be finished and released. It will make the game more polished and have a more "complete" feel to it. It is, of course, your call as the one making this game a reality. Your efforts are certainly well appreciated! :)


How about XM Yamaha music support :-)

#187 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:29 PM

Yeah - I will add the tune. Part of the reason I am making this was to support the XM (High Score, Pokey) so I guess I should make it actually use the Pokey for music :ponder:

:)

Thanks guys.

#188 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:55 PM

Yeah - I will add the tune. Part of the reason I am making this was to support the XM (High Score, Pokey) so I guess I should make it actually use the Pokey for music :ponder:

:)

Thanks guys.

Would it be feasible to make the music optional?



From the not-that-anyone-asked-me-nor-should-they-care department:
I find that continuous music, such as experienced in Tetris, to be annoying after a short while. I could always turn down the TV volume but then I'd lose the sound effects that you also put time and effort into creating.



#189 durkada OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:56 PM

[size="5"]
- The sound where the clown hits the bumper, and I reduced the volume of the balloon popping sound. Hopefully they are less harsh.
- There are no easter eggs in this game. When you play this version you will see why :D


I had to compare between the two versions, but yes, it seems much better.

And _AWESOME_! I love the enhanced graphics for the non-egg -- the animated balloons popping!

durkada: What Circus Atari does when the clown is moving straight vertically is - offset the clown right 8 pixels when he's launched from the right side of the teeter-totter. This does two things: it forces the player to follow the airborne clown, and if no balloons are hit you will eventually reach the side of the screen where the bumper will shoot the clown off in another direction. I tried to do this with mine, but I didn't increase the offset nearly enough. That has been fixed.


Nice. And I learned something. Unfortunately, I'm playing sooooooo poorly right now, that it doesn't make much of a difference. But, I did see what you were describing -- about the right clown shooting off to the further right.

BTW, nobody brought up something I thought would have been asked by now: In the two player simutaneous mode, once one player dies off his/her teeter-totter *remains on the screen while the other player is playing*. I was going to take it off, but being that this is a competition, I wanted (even when that player can't play any longer) to 'taunt' the remaining player. :twisted:


I noticed it, but not in that context. I wanted to mention it when I gave it a little more thought. I saw it less as a matter of -- "well, I'm taunting you" than, "I've lost three lives and you could go on for another hour". So, I wanted to think about multiplayer... just because, of almost every game, that's my favorite part. And so, off the top of my head, some ideas:

* Co-op mode. Each player controls a clown. When player 2's clown is in the air, player 1 controls the teeter totter. When player 1 is in the air, player 2 controls the teeter totter. Could be a fun party game.

* Competitive Co-op mode. Same as above, but you lose a man/points for dropping the other player. First player out of guys ends the game as the loser.

* Competitive: Elimination. Kill off the other players balloons! Keep your own. Maybe killing off the upper level balloons causes more of your own to be produced on the board.

* Some frustrating power downs could be added, al la Bomberman. Reverse your paddle. Weak jumps (maybe the next three catches you will _never_ hit a balloon). Maybe a Led Zeppelin balloon could be added: you hit it, don't pop it, but head straight down very rapidly.

And that's all I've got. Its going to be a few days before I can try the multiplayer aspect of it again.

So, for some other thoughts.

It may be a nice touch for the surviving clown to have an expression when his mate dies. Maybe a couple of them. Horror at what he sees. Anger at you.

The power-up that causes the the balloons to reverse... Seems useless. I'm of the mindset that no one should get a power-up and be disappointed.

Thanks again for sharing the update. At some point, I'm going to have to hook my computer up to a TV. I bet the clowns make some nice glowing trails on a CRT. Its quite addictive. I play it over and over hoping to get past the first level so I can try my hand at the bonus round. I've yet to beat the Atari Age balloon without dying.

And I saw the little... I don't know... scooper? I saw it floating over the teeter totter, but never managed to trigger it to do anything.

Edited by durkada, Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:59 PM.


#190 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:45 AM

Thank you for the compliments :)

I'll put some thought into the co-op modes, although I'll be honest wasn't planning on putting any more modes in the game. :(

I agree with you about the reverse power up. I'll find something to replace it with - altohugh I think they should all be positive... There's no risk-vs.-reward sacrificing a life for a powerup you don't want to catch.

You saw one of the bonus items! (there are two). Picture the bonus item twice as high, (the 7800's higher resolution squashes these images down to half-height) and then think about some of the more popular 2600 games you may have played. ;) Here's a hint:
Spoiler


They are strictly for points, as they are the highest scoring items in the game (1000 points).

Thanks again,
Bob

#191 durkada OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:27 AM

I'll put some thought into the co-op modes, although I'll be honest wasn't planning on putting any more modes in the game. :(


Welp, I'm biased towards the idea. But, I think some more multi-player modes would elevate the game to _awesome_ status ;)

I agree with you about the reverse power up. I'll find something to replace it with - altohugh I think they should all be positive... There's no risk-vs.-reward sacrificing a life for a powerup you don't want to catch.


Well, to be clear, I was thinking of those in terms of multi-player only. Things get a bit more hectic, more power-ups should be dropped on a regular basis anyway, and it will be inevitable that you will have to catch some bad ones. Or, you catch some which cause your opponent pain.

Otherwise, Gold Ballons? For a small period of time, all the balloons are worth a multiplier. Maybe decreasing each jump.

You saw one of the bonus items! (there are two). Picture the bonus item twice as high, (the 7800's higher resolution squashes these images down to half-height) and then think about some of the more popular 2600 games you may have played. ;) Here's a hint:

Spoiler


Ah! Yes.

Take care,
Jon

#192 Lendorien OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:42 AM

Well, I've tried it out. Last version I tried was before the new animations were added.

I have to admit that I love it. I can't wait to try it on actual hardware with paddles.

A few comments.

The clown animations are great. Far far better than the atari version. I love how they flip and roll.

One comment though, I almost think the "death" animation needs to be revised somehow. It's hard to figure out what's going on. It looks like he hits his head, does a summersault and then falls over. Is he supposed to be sitting up after hitting the ground, and then falling over? Maybe when he sits up, pause a moment and THEN have him fall over? It happens so fast that it's hard to tell what is going on. Granted, I understand that one doesn't want the death animation to go too long.

I agree with a previous poster that the indicator of lives should be done in a more traditional way. That is, when the player is on his last life, no extra man icon should show up next to the score. Most games of this nature do it that way.

In terms of music, I agree with another poster that turning off the music would be a nice feature in case some of us find it obnoxious.

And you DO need to include an Easter egg or two somewhere. Not that WE need to know about it. :D

Edited by Lendorien, Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:43 AM.


#193 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:53 AM

Hi

Thanks, guys - for the testing and suggestions.
Updated version of Super Circus AtariAge here.

- 'Remaining Lives' display changed to reflect requests
- Bonus Item graphics changed
- 'U' power up replacing 'R' - Changes to 'Breakthru' clown until a death, another power up is caught, or the level is cleared. Balloons don't alter the direction of clown.

What's Left:
- Background Music.

Obligatory cartridge pic:
DSCN0689.JPG
I still need to put more information on the label (like the artwork and label design)

#194 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:12 PM

That's pretty bad anus!

#195 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:45 PM

Super impressive as always, Bob. The extra distance between the clowns and the balloons along with the adjustment in their speed ramp up have made this game very much playable and fun with a joystick controller.

The classic mode is like icing on the cake, and when and if your able to implement background music, I guess that would make it the cherry...lol.

Awesome, stuff!

-Trebor

#196 Madaracs OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:32 PM

Obligatory cartridge pic:
DSCN0689.JPG
I still need to put more information on the label (like the artwork and label design)


It would be cool if you could see the face of the female trapeze artist--and if she was "Stella" as seen on the Stella's Stocking Stuffer... :)

#197 TrekMD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:38 PM

That looks fantastic! Love the cart artwork.

#198 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:07 PM

Thanks!

Marc Oberhäuser created the label (I modified his box to get it). Celal Kandemiroglu did the artwork - he's amazing!

That's pretty bad anus!

Did you just call me an anus? :P

Bob

#199 cmart604 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:48 PM

Did you just call me an anus? Posted Image


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image My favourite line of the day.

The game and the artwork look fantastic by the way and I'm looking forward to buying this one!Posted Image

#200 Lendorien OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:28 PM

Wow. Well, this version is definitely looking pretty close to final if you ask me. I love the classic mode. :D

The cart label looks pretty awesome too.




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