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[Release] Bell Hopper


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#1 Tjoppen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 2:19 AM

I participated in the Gamedev compo at Assembly Summer this year with my first ever VCS release :)

The game is a demake/port of the flash game Winterbells [1].
You steer using either a joystick or paddle (toggle using the color-B/W switch).
Try to beat my score in the youtube video below - 8.14 * 10^19 :>

It took about ten months to write from start to finish, including figuring out how this damn machine works.
It's only PAL at the moment, but I've taken some measures to ensure an NTSC port shouldn't be too hard.
I'll either get that done in the next couple of days or just put the code up here for someone to write a patch..

Posted Image

Youtube clip of the video shown on the big screen (capped from real HW). The text was made brighter since then.


Pouet page: http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=57426
Download link: http://media.assembl..._by_tjoppen.zip (includes stella - .bin attached to post)
Alternate link: http://www.acc.umu.s..._by_tjoppen.zip (also includes stella)

[1] http://www.ferryhali...al/g3/bells.htm

Attached Files


Edited by Tjoppen, Sun Aug 7, 2011 2:22 AM.


#2 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 3:57 AM

I like the game play idea. And this game is playing very well. :thumbsup:

Some more sound variety would be cool (e.g. randomize bell frequencies). A bit more polishing and this should go on cart and in the AA store.

#3 Tjoppen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 4:34 AM

I experimented a bit with having slightly random frequency, but the distance between them at F=4 is a bit large. It ended up being rather distracting.

In related news, the results were just published - I placed fifth. I scored almost identical as the fourth place entry, so one could say shared fourth place:

1:a 3365 Black Belt Sorvi Hero by Pizzalaatikko
2:e 3016 Dibidogs - Rush by Kajak Games
3:e 2958 Type Hard by Meatgrinder
4:a 1408 Novawar: Epsilon Eridani by GDSH
5:a 1393 Bell Hopper by Tjoppen
6:a 1324 Assault Wing by Galactic Battlefront by Studfarm Studios
7:a 944 eXtermination by PanicBomber
8:a 931 Killspace by Ville Siuruainen
9:a 910 Access Lumia by Ribbonya
10:a 681 Evelent by Lumian, Andeye & Kitai
11:a 629 Mushroom Crusher Extreme by Kajak Games
12:a 471 Outnumbered by Lost Function
13:a 467 Ratsack adventures by Andows and Capsizer
14:a 417 Dungeon by The Tribe
15:a 363 The Lair of Xar by Calistar
16:a 179 Enmity by Kajak Games

I'm actually surprised I placed so well.

#4 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 5:25 AM

I experimented a bit with having slightly random frequency, but the distance between them at F=4 is a bit large. It ended up being rather distracting.


How about having a table of 4 or 8 good sounds (made in advance by you). If you increment an index into the table (AND it with #3 or #7 to wrap it around) during vblank you could play the bell sound based on the data at which the index is currently pointing. Its not truly random but because the number of vblanks between each hop will vary it should offer some sound variety.

#5 Deteacher OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 5:32 AM

Awesome job! I wish I had the chops to try writing a game for the VCS. Kudos to you, sir! :)

#6 Ranthulfr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 6:03 AM

I like this! It would potentially make a good "holiday cart".

Some more sound variety would be cool (e.g. randomize bell frequencies). A bit more polishing and this should go on cart and in the AA store.

What if the bells played a simple tune if you caught them all in order - like a music box? Just a thought. Also, the snowy landscape is a nice touch. It's almost too bad it scrolls off the screen at the beginning.

Again, very nice work!

#7 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 8:48 AM

I participated in the Gamedev compo at Assembly Summer this year with my first ever VCS release :)

Congrats, and well done! This game has a very fun mechanic!

Since you're using flickerblinds for the text area, NTSC/PAL60 should take the edge off the flickering.


What if the bells played a simple tune if you caught them all in order - like a music box?

This!

I don't even think they'd have to play the song only if you caught them in order... maybe if you caught them with minimal delay between each bell. Get to the end of 2 bars of the song and you'd get bonus points or some other treat.

#8 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 10:20 AM

Very nice! I agree with others, the bells could use some differentiation in the sound, but other than that minor thing, the game is phenomenal! I'd love to see this as a holiday cart release!

#9 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2011 11:55 AM

You had me at paddle. :)

#10 Tjoppen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2011 10:55 AM

I experimented a bit with having slightly random frequency, but the distance between them at F=4 is a bit large. It ended up being rather distracting.


How about having a table of 4 or 8 good sounds (made in advance by you). If you increment an index into the table (AND it with #3 or #7 to wrap it around) during vblank you could play the bell sound based on the data at which the index is currently pointing. Its not truly random but because the number of vblanks between each hop will vary it should offer some sound variety.

It already has a decent PRNG, so getting random values isn't a problem.
The problem is not being able to vary the frequency since the sounds would end up being too dissimilar. Having thought about it a bit, one could perhaps vary the length and envelope of the effect -> some variation.
I actually changed the bell effect quite near the deadline. It used to be about 50-60% longer, which was a bit much.

I like this! It would potentially make a good "holiday cart".

Some more sound variety would be cool (e.g. randomize bell frequencies). A bit more polishing and this should go on cart and in the AA store.

What if the bells played a simple tune if you caught them all in order - like a music box? Just a thought.

You actually don't want to take all the bells since that wastes time and leads to not having a "rescue buffer" in case you miss one. But as RevEng said, it could simply be delay based.
There's very little ROM left for something like this (ROM which I need for fixes for an NTSC port), and it's quite a bit of a departure from the original.

Also, the snowy landscape is a nice touch. It's almost too bad it scrolls off the screen at the beginning.

I considered having some kind of background mixed in with the bells, but there's basically no time left in the kernel for that IIRC. It uses a two-part kernel at the moment.
There's also the issue of not being able to do anything in the repositioning code, leading to a kind of artifact when scrolling. This is what causes the stars to twinkle (apart from changing their color), which is still OK.

One other thing I've been considering is tweaking the difficulty a bit, such as dropping the bell width down to 1x instead of 2x (looks prettier too). That and small things like the bird speed and how often they occur.

Thanks for the kinds words and constructive criticism so far :)

#11 TrekMD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2011 2:47 PM

Cool! Thanks for sharing!

#12 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:44 AM

I participated in the Gamedev compo at Assembly Summer this year with my first ever VCS release :)

The game is a demake/port of the flash game Winterbells [1].
You steer using either a joystick or paddle (toggle using the color-B/W switch).
Try to beat my score in the youtube video below - 8.14 * 10^19 :>

It took about ten months to write from start to finish, including figuring out how this damn machine works.
It's only PAL at the moment, but I've taken some measures to ensure an NTSC port shouldn't be too hard.
I'll either get that done in the next couple of days or just put the code up here for someone to write a patch..

Posted Image

Youtube clip of the video shown on the big screen (capped from real HW). The text was made brighter since then.


Pouet page: http://pouet.net/prod.php?which=57426
Download link: http://media.assembl..._by_tjoppen.zip (includes stella - .bin attached to post)
Alternate link: http://www.acc.umu.s..._by_tjoppen.zip (also includes stella)

[1] http://www.ferryhali...al/g3/bells.htm


Ive seen an android game simmular to this, its a good game and your version looks pretty damn good as well. Kudos

#13 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:51 AM

edit

Edited by Syntaxerror999, Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:10 AM.


#14 Tjoppen OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:13 AM

Watching the video, one thing that would make the game more difficult is slow the rabbit down. He does zip accross the screen rather fast... too fast in fact.

It currently approaches the destination 1/8th of the way every frame. If you look closely you'll see that it does lag behind the "mouse pointer" a bit. One the other hand, if I lower it to 1/16th it moves way too slow.
Somewhere in between would probably be good (say 3/32nds). Making the horizontal movement code do this would be a bit complicated - I've been putting off simplifying it, so maybe I should..

#15 dwane413 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:49 AM

This is a fun game. Thanks for releasing it. :)

#16 cvga OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:01 PM

Looks fun. Kind of reminds me of Doodle Jump

#17 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:03 AM

If you were to add variety to the sounds I would like to see a sound for each vertical row of bells with the row to the left the lowest sound and the row to the right the highest sound. That way as you are moving left the bells will ring lower and as you are moving to the right the bells will ring higher. It will give a sense of were you are moving and you would be making a random song as you go kind of like in Super Breakout.

#18 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:08 AM

The problem is not being able to vary the frequency since the sounds would end up being too dissimilar.

IMO they don't have to sound very different. Just recognizably different.

In Boulder Dash we did the same for the falling diamond frequencies. And it came out quite nice.

#19 Godzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:22 PM

wow that is awesome, thanks for sharing! Any chance of an ntscified version? :-)

#20 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:18 PM

I am adicted to this game! Does it keep going forever or is their an end? Like does the rabbit end on the moon? (fitting... mideval Japanese beleived that a rabbit god lived on the moon.)

#21 Tjoppen OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:56 AM

Syntaxerror999: The game ends when you fall down :)

#22 Nateo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:22 PM

My old roommate used to play the flash version of this game constantly my sophomore year of college. This port is sweet.

#23 Impaler_26 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:11 PM

Very nice game! :thumbsup:

It's a lot of fun to play but i have to admit i suck at it... My best score so far is a measly 41,460 points. :lol:

#24 BrianC OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:06 PM

I like what I played in Stella. Neat game! Any news on the NTSC version? I can't wait to play it on the Harmony (getting one for my birthday).

#25 Brian O OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:45 PM

Hey Tjoppen,

Pretty cool game! :thumbsup: I took the liberty of making some box art for it (it's still a bit rough, but you get the idea):

Front:

Posted Image

Back:

Posted Image


Hopefully this'll inspire you to release this as a cart :D

Let me know your thoughts.

-B




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