Just found and played the Flora and the Ghost Mirror rom you posted on here a while back - the pre-cartridge demo rom. It was more challenging than it looked in the video.
Many of my Youtube videos do show my best performance, so it looks easier than it is. Sorry about that!
My gameplay is the result of many hours testing the game through the entire development process.
Side note: One big problem when making an original game is tweaking it to make it a pleasant, nice difficulty curve, with a good challenge, without being insanely hard. When I created GhostBlaster and went back to design the "tutorial" 1st level, it felt too easy and useless. But in reality, many players can't even pass the first level because of their tv screen (new but slow) and the controllers not top notch (unresponsive fire button and direction) and also they never played the game before.
For one, I didn't realize you used the fire button for more than ghost zapping, and though you just ran over the flowers and items like pac-man, but you have to position yourself well before hitting the fire button and your magic drops pretty fast.
My reasoning: I really want the player to do the action of helping the flowers, but I don't want to do a numpad key press or even a secondary fire action to try to keep the game playable with "compatible controllers". So, I've made the two actions into the fire button based on Flora+flower relation, making the game slightly more challenging.
Side note: During one ADAMCon (a Coleco convention), Dale Wick did a presentation about ways that controls can be exploited in videogames to do various actions like buttons combinaisons and he tried to integrate this idea into one of his ColecoVision projects. What he forgot to mention was that sometimes the same controls can have different effects in relation to what is happening on screen, or he mentionned it in another presentation and I missed it. Anyway, it was interesting and it's nice to open up to various ideas about controls and gameplay and physics and all kind of possible ways to make a videogame fun.
I'm glad you posted the demo rom. It was a a lot of fun and so I bought the cartridge. Only comment I can say is I wish it was longer. I have not made it to the end, yet, but I am sure I will wish there were more levels when I do. Maybe a future project?
Happy to hear you had a lot of fun playing this game.
Yes, I see what you mean. This game is not for hardcore gamers, it's short and would be even better with more levels, elements to discover and enjoy. Flora's universe can be expended in the future and that's the beauty of a small original game leaving space for many possible sequels. More levels, more challenges, perhaps also an elaborated storyline... I'll try to keep that in mind for my next game.
Flora and the Ghost Mirror means a lot to me. It's my attempt to do an original casual minigame based on Gabriela. Gabriela and I were in love when I coded this game, but the distant relationship didn't last a year; we are still in contact, but we moved on. During this period, I've suggested to Gabriela to do a videogame together. After a few brainstorming, Flora the fairy was born. "With our power combined" (cliché) Flora and The Ghost Mirror videogame was created with my experience in ColecoVision programming and Gabriela's love and interests which includes: nature, living plants and flowers, spiritual world, energy healing, horoscope (title screen made of horoscope signs constellations), pretty clothing and accessories, music style, ingame music is based on one of Gabriela's favorite music, Flora's voice is Gabriela's voice, addictive gameplay of online casual games, and of course a happy celebration ending.
I have considered to do a sequel, even a trilogy based on Flora's universe; I think it's an interesting world to explore. I drew some sketches, but I've not started coding anything yet. Will I make Flora 2 anytime soon? No, but I'm thinking about it and see the evolution of Flora.