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Entry 2015: Space Versus


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#1 mmarrero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:23 PM

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.
 

sv_game.png sv_title.png

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#2 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:30 PM

I'm surprised by the arcade feeling :) :thumbsup:



#3 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:43 AM

Welcome to the contest!

#4 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:53 AM

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.
 

attachicon.gifsv_game.pngattachicon.gifsv_title.png

 

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. :) :thumbsup:

 

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! :o  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.  :lust:  :lust:
  • 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. :lol:
  • 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!  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

 

     -dZ.


Edited by DZ-Jay, Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:01 AM.


#5 Tarzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:45 AM

I agree with most of what is said about but I'd add this: The object in the middle is constantly spitting out the same thing, maybe occasionally randomize it, maybe with powerups for Invincibility, extra lives, even some negative consequence items, etc. As Oscar said, very nice arcade feeling to it. Great job!



#6 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:12 PM

 
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. :) :thumbsup:
 
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! :o  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.  :lust:  :lust:
  • 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. :lol:
  • 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!  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:
 
     -dZ.

Awesome feedback as always. 👍🏻

#7 emerson OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:06 PM

Although it's a bit too fast, the high speed bullets and quick maneuvering reminds me of Encounter at L-5. Space Versus has a lot of great potential and is already pretty addicting (I think I told myself  "Alright just one more game..." about 5 times in a row!) Keep up the good work!



#8 mmarrero OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:20 AM

Thanks for the feedback, Dz: great feedback.

Lack of info: Ok. I didn't know about ASM ORG until recently, game was crashing in PRINT statements due to code size.

Attract mode: Ok. Great idea to make it look more arcade-like.

Countdown: Ok. (I really wanted darker colors, even dithered blue/black is bright. I still wonder why the 70's 2600 has twice palette colors than 80's NES and EGA).

Action buttons: Hold button for few seconds for laser. Shield is a great idea in 1 Player mode, suicidal in 2 Player, I'll think about it.
Also, my options are limited, right now I'm out of sprites.

Large bullets: Sadly it's intentional. Its tricky to hit opponent with smaller sprites. Rounder shape look like fireballs.

Removing sprites: It's the "killcam", originally UFO could kill. I have no idea why collision is triggered TWICE, 2nd is a frame off.
 game logic -> Sprite -> Wait -> Collision. Backgound stars are unintentionally removed.

Speed: In my initial tests, I chose speed instead of making playfield narrower. I'd have to re-test, I wonder if I'm used to Japanese space shooters after you max out speed powerups.

Now I know I have to add some variety for the 1P mode. ;-)



#9 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:13 PM

Looks great!



#10 mmarrero OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 7, 2015 11:34 AM

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates. I was laid off from my job while ago.

Update v2015.11.07
- Shield! Some CPU opponents will use it
- Better 1P play, vastly modified CPU behavior
- 1P mode: 2+ Rounds per Stage, icons show win/loss
- UFO: Stops shooting player when score difference > 20
- Shots won't go through shields or UFO
- Attract mode. Graphical changes, cleaner look

I might have made the 1P game too difficult. It reminds me of Japanese games, boss fights.
Feel free to comment, but I don't think I'll be able to do updates for a while.

Attached Files



#11 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 7, 2015 12:49 PM

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates. I was laid off from my job while ago.

Update v2015.11.07
- Shield! Some CPU opponents will use it
- Better 1P play, vastly modified CPU behavior
- 1P mode: 2+ Rounds per Stage, icons show win/loss
- UFO: Stops shooting player when score difference > 20
- Shots won't go through shields or UFO
- Attract mode. Graphical changes, cleaner look

I might have made the 1P game too difficult. It reminds me of Japanese games, boss fights.
Feel free to comment, but I don't think I'll be able to do updates for a while.

 

Please don't forget to send it for the contest to the official e-mail :)



#12 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 8, 2015 6:23 AM

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates. I was laid off from my job while ago.

Update v2015.11.07
- Shield! Some CPU opponents will use it
- Better 1P play, vastly modified CPU behavior
- 1P mode: 2+ Rounds per Stage, icons show win/loss
- UFO: Stops shooting player when score difference > 20
- Shots won't go through shields or UFO
- Attract mode. Graphical changes, cleaner look

I might have made the 1P game too difficult. It reminds me of Japanese games, boss fights.
Feel free to comment, but I don't think I'll be able to do updates for a while.

 

Great work!  I do have some feedback:

  • Attract mode seems a bit too busy, it's hard to follow the instructions, for it is as complex and fast-paced as the regular game. :P  (I do like that it says "Insert Coin" :lol:)  Maybe you can showcase one function/feature at a time, isolated, and at a slower pace.
  • It seems a bit easier than before, I win more often; though I still don't understand much of what's going on.
  • In the 1P game, I move with controller 1, but can only shoot/shield with controller 2.  This is in emulation.
  • The music during the title screen seems much too slow, and also generic.  For a fast-paced space action game, perhaps it would sound better considerably faster?  The same for the game-over song.  (Think speedy tunes like Galaxian.)
  • Sometimes the enemy at the top of the screen turns invisible, while still shooting.  I don't know if it is by design, but it looks like a bug.
  • The countdown digit is much clearer now, but perhaps White is not the best colour for it... there should be a colour that provides contrast with the green, but does not stand out so much as to appear out of place.
  • That "Jochua" is a bastard with his shield! :lol:

Overall, a very nice improvement from the last one.  The game-play feels more balanced, but there is still a lot of "button-smashing" that leads to winning, which feels confusing. :)

 

Keep it up!



#13 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 5, 2015 3:29 PM

*bump*

 

And a reminder that if you want your finished game to be considered, you must submit it to the official mailing list, as per the rules. :)



#14 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:34 PM

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates. I was laid off from my job while ago.

Update v2015.11.07
- Shield! Some CPU opponents will use it
- Better 1P play, vastly modified CPU behavior
- 1P mode: 2+ Rounds per Stage, icons show win/loss
- UFO: Stops shooting player when score difference > 20
- Shots won't go through shields or UFO
- Attract mode. Graphical changes, cleaner look

I might have made the 1P game too difficult. It reminds me of Japanese games, boss fights.
Feel free to comment, but I don't think I'll be able to do updates for a while.


How are things?

#15 mmarrero OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:58 PM

Hello everyone! Things haven't changed...

Here's is the latest version (15.12.29): Minimal changes. Fixed the bug with the shield (wrong controller buttons), longer attract mode, faster title music. I think I mentioned level select (press 5 a few times). I also attached source code (it's horrendous), if anyone needs to modify, fix, rip sprites, or customize it.

Attached Files



#16 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:59 AM

Hello everyone! Things haven't changed...

Here's is the latest version (15.12.29): Minimal changes. Fixed the bug with the shield (wrong controller buttons), longer attract mode, faster title music. I think I mentioned level select (press 5 a few times). I also attached source code (it's horrendous), if anyone needs to modify, fix, rip sprites, or customize it.

 

Cool! don't forget to resend it to the contest e-mail ;)



#17 mmarrero OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:20 PM

Here's an update of Space Versus!

shot0002.png shot0005.png shot0003.png

Changes/New:
- Options screen: Difficulty, handicap, UFO (only for 2P mode), starting energy
- Game is a bit easier. Three difficulty settings.
- Minor tweaks of CPU behavior. (I plan to do few changes next time.)

- Optional gamepad mode (horizontal, like in NES)

- 1P only: High score/last stage, 3 Continues

- CPU enemy profile, and now each one has a different shape

New keys during gameplay:
- Auto fire (no laser): 1=full auto, 3=hold to fire. 2=off.
The last few CPU enemies require using laser...
- 8=Taunt+replenish energy. I haven't used it, might be useless in 1p game.

Known bugs:
- Option: Energy settings were not intended for 1P game...
- Can't change autofire during countdown
- Won't go to options during attract
 

Attached Thumbnails

  • shot0002.png
  • shot0003.png
  • shot0005.png

Attached Files






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