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Balloon Trip (Atari 2600)


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#1 bluswimmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 11:36 AM

Over the past week I've been working on a port of the "Balloon Trip" mode of the NES game Balloon Fight. The game is pretty simple, just avoid the electric sparks and pop the balloons. Oh, and don't get too close to the water- the fish are pretty hungry, after all.

 

Currently there's three difficulties that can be chosen with the select button. Scoring works by popping balloons, which scores 30 points, and simply surviving.

 

Here is it in action.

 

Hope you enjoy!

Attached Files


Edited by bluswimmer, Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:51 AM.


#2 Albert ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 11:38 AM

That looks very nice!  I'll have to try this out on real hardware.  :) 

 

 ..Al



#3 cimmerian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 1:22 PM

Wow, great start! We'll be playing your game on July 6th episode of ZeroPage Homebrew!!

 

That part of Balloon Fight is definitely a favourite of mine, it's so awesome to now play it on the 2600. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things progress.

 

If you're looking for suggestions for things to add to the game:

- Vertically moving hazards (at later levels). This would add flicker but I think flicker would work fine with the spark effect of the hazards.

- Time freezing power-ups (as in the original)

- Temporary invincibility balloons

- Animated 'sparks' but you're probably already working on that for later. You could just animate the four outside dots on and off.

 

Looking forward to playing it next Friday, hope you can tune in. We usually play at 2PM ET/5PM ET.


Edited by cimmerian, Sun Jul 1, 2018 1:37 PM.


#4 bluswimmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 1:34 PM

Wow, great start! We'll be playing your game on July 6th episode of ZeroPage Homebrew!!

 

That part of Balloon Fight is definitely a favourite of mine, it's so awesome to now play it on the 2600. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things progress.

 

If you're looking for suggestions for things to add to the game:

- Moving obstacles (at later levels)

- Time freezing collectables (as in the original)

- Temporary invincibility balloons

- Animated 'sparks' but you're probably already working on that for later. You could just animate the four outside dots on and off.

 

Looking forward to playing it next Friday, hope you can tune in. We usually play at 2PM ET/5PM ET.

Thanks for taking a look at the game! I'm unfortunately unable to tune in since I have work that day, but I'll watch it as soon as the stream gets uploaded. I'll keep your suggestions in mind!



#5 MemberAtarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 2:28 PM

Not bad, it's a bit repetitve but reminds me the really old days of the console with simple and challenging games.



#6 TrekMD ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 4:25 PM

Nice, I will give it a spin.



#7 cimmerian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 8:30 PM

Here's my best score so far, 1062! Super fun!

 

The game seems to max out difficulty after the second speed increase at around ~400 points and from then on it's survival mode. I do agree it gets a little repetitive at that point and needs some more variety of dangers and bonuses thrown into the mix.

 

Not bad, it's a bit repetitve but reminds me the really old days of the console with simple and challenging games.

 

Even more suggestions for additional gameplay fun at higher levels:

 

- All balloon bonus area

- Rising sea level at some points to increase difficulty

- Moving balloons to make them more difficult to get

- Cloudy sky at points that when touched can kill you so you can't just pound the button to get to the top to safety

- Jumping fish that keep you even further from the bottom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20180701-Balloon Trip-1062.png


#8 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 9:32 PM

Awesome, can't wait to load it on my harmony. I always thought it was odd, how most platformers and horizontal shmups moved left to right. Balloon trip mode on the nes (and your inspired homebrew) moved right to left. It would have been cool if more games did this, and not simply primarily left to right platformers with backtracking segments.

Nintendo included a version of Super Mario Bros in NES Classics Wii-U version staring Luigi, that ran backwards and was in fact a mirror image emulation of the original game with tweaked physics. I rarely made it past 1-2 despite having beaten it countless times playing right to left. All that muscle memory went out the window... :P

@zeropage, thank you for streaming up and coming homebrews. You've alerted me to poodle jump and several others, though I'm usually late to the party watching on youtube.

#9 cimmerian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 10:20 PM

You're very welcome Kosmic Stardust! I can't wait to stream this great new game so make sure you tune in this coming Friday @ 2PM PT/5PM ET 7PM PT/10PM ET or catch it after in our YouTube archive.

 

I've even got the graphic done up for the episode already with Balloon Trip on it with a nice shiny balloony font. :-)

 

@zeropage, thank you for streaming up and coming homebrews. You've alerted me to poodle jump and several others, though I'm usually late to the party watching on youtube.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20180706-Let's Play.png
  • 2600-Balloon Trip (2600).png

Edited by cimmerian, Thu Jul 5, 2018 5:56 PM.


#10 bluswimmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2018 6:01 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Version 2 is out! This one adds a couple of things that I hope will make the game less repetitive.

 

+ Added higher difficulty levels. As you progress further, more sparks are able to spawn on a single scanline, instead of the old hard limit of one.

+ Added a Balloon Meter. As you collect balloons, this goes up, but if you miss balloons it goes down. Fill it up all the way, a huge wave of balloons spawns!

+ Added bubbles. While these don't come out of the ocean like the NES game, they serve the same purpose and stop the scrolling for a few seconds.

 

Hope you enjoy!



#11 mojofltr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2018 10:18 AM

Excellent!  I wish I had thought to do something like this!  :)  

 

Cheers!



#12 bluswimmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:17 PM

It's been a while hasn't it? Apologies for being a bit inactive, I've been juggling a number of projects as of late.

 

Anywho, a new version has been released. This one is comparatively minor since the gameplay is almost unchanged, but I've added a few noteworthy things...

 

+ Added a title screen that is navigated with the controller

+ Added a new sound for when the Balloon Meter has been filled

+ Added a dumb easter egg that I doubt will be worth finding in the slightest

+ Fixed a bug that tried to spawn multiple bubbles on one scanline, even though it shouldn't have been possible



#13 cimmerian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:30 PM

Looking good and topped my best score and made it through two balloon waves (so I guess level 2)! Love the new title screen, so very cool.

 

The only thing I think I could suggest is holding the death screen just a touch longer. By holding it a little bit longer, you'll be able to see easier how you died and also prevent you from accidentally starting a new game while you're flapping like crazy.

 

Haven't found the easter egg yet, but I'll keep looking!

 

Also, it doesn't look like I linked to the episode after playing your game so I'm not sure you saw the stream, here's the link!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20180722-Balloon Trip (V3).PNG

Edited by cimmerian, Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:32 PM.


#14 Arenafoot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:38 AM

I haven't even filled the balloon meter once .....yet!

Attached Thumbnails

  • balloontripV3.png


#15 bluswimmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:16 PM

I haven't even filled the balloon meter once .....yet!

Yeah, getting the meter filled is pretty tricky! I can usually only fill it once during a single game.

 

EDIT: Oh, and since cimmerian brought it up, I've uploaded a quick patch that holds the death screen half a second longer.


Edited by bluswimmer, Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:24 PM.


#16 bluswimmer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:52 AM

Well, this is embarrassing... turns out I didn't even check if the sound when the meter fills up played properly! I've uploaded an update that corrects this issue.






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