Space Versus is about two spaceships shooting each other. Controls: left/right. Any button to shoot, hold for a few seconds for laser. The UFO-thing can't be hit, but it constantly shoots, player(s) freeze when hit.
It was designed as 2-player game, the 1 player mode need a few tweaks. I'll appreciate any feedback.
It was nostalgic programming this game, I made a similar game about 26 years ago, and earlier than that, learned to program in Atari 8-bit Basic. IntyBasic is fantastic, all the fun of 70/80's hardware without the slowness of interpreted Basic.
Welcome to the contest, Marco!
I must say, I am impressed, it is a fun shooter game. I agree with Oscar that it has a very nice "arcade" feel. And by "arcade," I'm sure we all agree it means the "Golden Age" from the late 70s and early 80s.
I will play it a bit more to get more acquainted with the game, but I do have some feedback.
- First, it's HARD! Perhaps much too fast. Most of the time I can't tell what is going on. Honestly, it feels mostly like I'm "button smashing," like in a Street Fighter game, and hoping to get a hit.
There should be a bit intent in the shooting to balance it a little.
After playing it some more, I've gotten into a groove and understand it more. However, my personal suggestion would be to make the bullets slightly smaller (or use less pixels). The way they are right now, they may add to the screen cluttered and blocky look.
- The title screen is great, but the timing is a bit rushed. I would recommend judicious use of delays to let the eye absorb the animated sequences. Specifically, maybe have a delay of one or two seconds between when the screen renders and when the "Space Versus" animates and falls.
- Similar thing to the stage intro: the counter looks fantastic, but again rushed. Try to give the countdown a more natural pace. As it is, it gives me very little time to know what's going on. By the time my eyes adjust to look at the stage and status, the countdown is over! Also, and this is a matter of preference, of course, perhaps you can highlight the "foreground" of the numbers by using a darker shade on the background tiles. Given the Intellivision's resolution, the large blocky nature of the screen is hard to decipher when its so monochromatic.
- When the red glob hits me (the one shot by the saucer in the middle), my ship cannot move for a second or so. This is fine, but it took me a while to figure out that it wasn't a bug. I see that the ship shape changes slightly (looks like it gets a shield), but it is hard to notice in the fast pace environment. Perhaps this can be highlighted by a sound effect, or maybe changing the sprite's colour. There are three shades of green to play with.
- I just LOOOORVEEEE the screen shaking when my ship gets hit. That is brilliant and gives the game a very arcade-y feel.
- When a round finishes, I think it should say "press fire to continue" or something to that effect. Or else, continue automatically after a few seconds. A few times, I found myself staring at it for much too long, waiting for it to do something.
- I recommend removing all sprites from the screen in the end-of-round display. In my opinion, there are two types of screens for this sort of thing:
- Overlay: the screen remains the same and a message shows up on top, but you can still see a frozen view of the last action.
- Intersticial: the screen is reset with an entirely new display with its own information.
Right now it feels a bit in-between both. The horizontal lines and the message give it so much weight that it looks like it is its own screen. Therefore the remaining sprites protruding from it look out of place -- especially when you remove the starry background.
- Game-play is solid, so not much to say there. Any recommendations may change the original intent you had. However, there are three action buttons on the hand-controller, so here are some things to consider:
- A rapid-fire button that when pressed shoots three bullets, one right after the other (or a solid laser beam?).
- A shield! We need a shield to protect us from that pesky saucer!
- Nuclear bomb that temporarily hinders the saucer.
- This game screams for an Attract Mode. Maybe one that introduces the elements of the game like the saucer shot freezing you, or the enemy you must destroy. Perhaps even the scoring system.
- Needs more colour. Apart from the sprite shapes (which look very Intellivision-ish!), the game has a feel that it was ported from some other console with limited colour capabilities. One of the things that made the Intellivision stand apart from its early peers was its use of colour and its wide-spectrum (albeit highly limited) palette of pastels and primes.
- Needs more graphical "oomph!" There are 64 user-definable characters... USE THEM! Give that border and background patterns a bit of flair.
- You are probably working on this as we speak but I'll go ahead and say it: a classic arcade space shooter like this requires classic arcade space shooter sound effects.
The game is good and has great potential. I think the few pacing issues go a long way into adding that final polish that distinguishes a stellar first-class game from a generic home-made one.
Great job so far!
Edited by DZ-Jay, Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:01 AM.