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New Game - "The Horde"


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#1 jacobus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:21 PM

Well, I promised myself I'd release this before the end of the year, so here it is.  Very much a work in progress I'm afraid, but I do intend to finish it soon.  Immediate areas for improvement are: sounds, title page, scoring, and level balancing.  Comments and suggestions are very welcome.

 

 

Attached File  HORDE.XEX   21.16KB   542 downloads

 

The Horde is a single player game for Atari home computers with 48K, one joystick and access to the keyboard.

 

The Horde was written entirely in the Quick Programming Language, and developed using the Altirra emulator. (All hail the F1 Turbo key - I can't image having done this on real hardware!)

 

Setting

The Horde takes place in the "Land Between the Rivers" where barbarian hordes attack from the west and work their way east.  A typical horde is made up of 16 different tribes, each intent upon pillaging your town.  Defeated or intimidated hordes slink back to the west, never to be seen again.   Up to 255 barbarians can be on the move at one time.

 

How to play

The object of The Horde is to prevent more than a small proportion of the attacking horde of barbarians from reaching your town.  This barbarian horde starts out on the left hand side of the play field and steadily moves to the right.  Although natural features of the landscape can work against the horde, it is up to you to mount an active defense.

 

Each member of the horde has a unique amount of health and a unique level of fear.  When a barbarian bumps into an obstacle his health and/or fear level is affected.  When an individual's health drops to zero, they die and a gravestone is erected.  When their fear level rises above the threshold for the current level, the horde member panics and starts to run away.  Panic is contagious - when an attacking individual meets a panicking one, their fear level rises faster than normal.

 

Your only method to oppose the horde is to discourage or inhibit their progress by using any of 4 different defensive weapons.  Please note there limited quantities of weapons for each game.   To use a weapon, first select it with the keyboard and then use the joystick cursor to place it on the screen.  They are as follows:

 

Storm - Summon a temporary storm that kills on contact and frightens nearby members. (press "S")

Tower - Places a small tower that damages horde members when they contact it. (press "T")

Bovine - Releases a wild cow that executes a lethal charge for 8 spaces before coming to a stop and instilling fear in nearby barbarians. (press "B")

Wall - Quickly build a short wall for the horde to bump their heads on. (press "W")

 

Scoring

When a Horde member runs away and disappears off the left hand side of the playfield, you score a point (retreats).  Each time a member of the horde reach the town at the far right, the bad guys get a point (pillage).  The game ends when the pillage threshold has been met (loss) or when most of the horde has retreated or died (win).

 

Levels

Higher levels provide a taller playfield along with different thresholds for fear and minimum health.



#2 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014 3:20 PM

Thank you for giving us this game. I played it and like it. Happy 2014.



#3 therealbountybob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014 6:09 PM

I'm liking the look of The Horde and look forward to further developments :thumbsup:

 

It seems to have a bug or two! Played on 130XE (PAL) (loaded from mydos/mypicodos)... near the end of level 1 it went a bit strange - one of the pmg weapon bars was displayed in the main playfield, the screen froze / movement U/D seemed to move the playfield a little... memory leak perhaps?

Rebooted and on level 2 went even more strange - entire screen corrupted then after a while returned and ended the level.

Both times I was near the end of their retreat if that's any help :-o  ;)

 

You could also make space bar toggle weapons. Didn't seem to return to menu for next go after completing...

:)



#4 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014 10:19 PM

Stella locked up after level 1 for me.

 

Looks like a great game, though



#5 SIO2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014 11:33 PM

Stella locked up after level 1 for me.

 

Looks like a great game, though

I think this is the way the author has programmed it.  You select a level and play that level.  

 

As the game develops perhaps Jacobus would want to have a loop that automatically starts the next level after showing a victory screen.



#6 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014 11:42 PM

I would like to see this game develop into something great, I think it has the possibilities,



#7 SIO2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014 11:45 PM

Thank you Jacobus for sharing this game.

 

I tried the game on Altirra which is what you said you are using to test.  The game seemed to work fine to me.

 

I like the scrolling and I love the bovine charge.

 

While playing the game, I was a little uncertain about where I was placing things on the screen.  It seems the towers come out a little right of the cursor block while walls are more centered but below the cursor block.  Perhaps you could use the actual shape of the object / weapon selected as your cursor and flash or alter the color?  That would give me more confidence in what and where I am placing objects.

 

I see that you listed sound as something on your list to develop further.  Sounds could be awesome on this game.  I imagine some sort of clamor that the horde makes that grows louder as they get closer to your town.  Angry snarling moos and wet gushy squashing sounds as bovine trample the horde.  Screams or alarm sounds when the horde enters your town.

 

Looks like you have a great start though.  Keep up the good work.



#8 pps OFFLINE  

pps

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Posted Sun Jan 5, 2014 7:37 AM

Really cool game :)

 

And congrats for releasing it using QUICK. How much space for extras do you have. The memory storage is not the best with QUICK.



#9 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 5, 2014 5:12 PM

Stella locked up after level 1 for me.

 

Looks like a great game, though

I really don't know what I must have been smoking when I said Stella?  I meant the game locked up after one level on my Incognito 800.

 

I had been playing another game in Stella earlier.  I don't multitask well :)



#10 jacobus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014 8:26 PM

Thank you for giving us this game. I played it and like it. Happy 2014.

You're very welcome - thank you for taking the time comment!



#11 jacobus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014 8:44 PM

I'm liking the look of The Horde and look forward to further developments :thumbsup:

 

It seems to have a bug or two! Played on 130XE (PAL) (loaded from mydos/mypicodos)... near the end of level 1 it went a bit strange - one of the pmg weapon bars was displayed in the main playfield, the screen froze / movement U/D seemed to move the playfield a little... memory leak perhaps?

Rebooted and on level 2 went even more strange - entire screen corrupted then after a while returned and ended the level.

Both times I was near the end of their retreat if that's any help :-o  ;)

 

You could also make space bar toggle weapons. Didn't seem to return to menu for next go after completing...

:)

 

Thanks for the feedback.  I haven't tested it on a PAL machine, but it should be fine.  Please see the new version posted at the end of this message - it addresses a few display bugs.

 

Stella locked up after level 1 for me.

 

Looks like a great game, though

This was an intentional design feature for the initial version.  The new version allows you to progress through the levels.

 

Thank you Jacobus for sharing this game.

 

I tried the game on Altirra which is what you said you are using to test.  The game seemed to work fine to me.

 

I like the scrolling and I love the bovine charge.

 

While playing the game, I was a little uncertain about where I was placing things on the screen.  It seems the towers come out a little right of the cursor block while walls are more centered but below the cursor block.  Perhaps you could use the actual shape of the object / weapon selected as your cursor and flash or alter the color?  That would give me more confidence in what and where I am placing objects.

 

I see that you listed sound as something on your list to develop further.  Sounds could be awesome on this game.  I imagine some sort of clamor that the horde makes that grows louder as they get closer to your town.  Angry snarling moos and wet gushy squashing sounds as bovine trample the horde.  Screams or alarm sounds when the horde enters your town.

 

Looks like you have a great start though.  Keep up the good work.

Thank you for your feedback - it makes the effort worthwhile!

 

The cow/bovine was just a whim.  My daughter suggested it, and I spent 5 minutes creating the graphics and placing it on the screen.  Once I'd done that we both looked at each other and said "Chaaaaarge!"

 

I've adjusted the placement routines - you should find the new version more accurate.  I seem to have endless problems relating players to playfield, but I'm getting much closer.  I was considering a snap to grid arrangement, I may yet implement it.

 

Sounds are definitely my weak point.  If you'd like to help with sound effects/music please let me know!

 

Really cool game :)

 

And congrats for releasing it using QUICK. How much space for extras do you have. The memory storage is not the best with QUICK.

Thank you!
 

Right now things are a little tight, but I don't anticipate needing much more.  I've attached an Excel worksheet that answers the memory question in detail.  I really enjoy using Quick - I wish it had been released in 1982, I could have had some real fun with it!  Also, I do wish the designers had made the runtime/program start relocatable.Attached File  Horde - Memory Map.xls   77KB   96 downloads

 

 

As mentioned earlier, here is an update to the game with the following fixes/added features:Attached File  HORDE.XEX   21.45KB   196 downloads

-better p/m to PF positioning

-improved Title page (I'm make a pretty one at some point)

-Level progression

-Level balancing (see the second tab of the above spreadsheet for a detailed map of the level settings)

-Updates to weapons - I'm sticking with the farmers as defenders theme here so there are now swarms of bees and trash cans

-The ship now works - (mostly), the idea is that it occasionally pitches in for the villagers and throws something at the middle of the horde when it passes

-fixed a DL bug that produced some screen corruption

-changed the way horde units react when killed by the cow

-fixed the problem with only the first 5 cows moving

-fixed the problem where the 10th cow crashed the game

-trapped System Reset

 

Still on my list

Music

More sound effects

More detailed scoring (rating as well as pass/fail)

Intermission screens



#12 CyranoJ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014 9:46 PM

I'd like to vote this for 'best bug-fix comment of 2014' ;)

 

 

-fixed the problem where the 10th cow crashed the game

 






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