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WTD: Feedback for Plumb Luck and Tubes


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#1 Dauber OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:22 AM

Episode 44 of The Atari 7800 Homebrew Podcast will be focusing on two yet-to-be-released homebrews, Plumb Luck and Tubes. You can find the podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, the website http://homebrew78.fab4it.com, or use this feed: http://feeds.feedbur...com/homebrew78. You can get the ROMs from the Homebrews and Hacks thread in this forum.

What are your thoughts? Share 'em here! You can also e-mail text or audio to homebrew78 -at- fab4it -dot- com. I'm looking at Wedneday, September 19, 11:59pm CDT as the deadline for this one.

Comments are welcome any time, including after the deadline; any feedback from after the deadline will simply be addressed during a later episode.

#2 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:54 AM

Tubes is an cool mix of Tetris and Pipe Dream. The programmer lost interest in working on it for the 7800 long ago unfortunately. He was going to pick it back up on the Sega Genesis but (IIRC) neither got finished or released in the end. Shame too cause the game is awesome no matter which console it would have ended up coming out on.



#3 RevEng ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:21 AM

Plumb Luck is a great little jewel of an action-puzzle game, perfect for short bursts of mental challenge. It's unpretentious, featuring more zen than bling; It has a plain-but-attractive game screen built out of textured blocks. The interesting gameplay is what's front-and-center.

Tubes is a very interesting concept, by one of the original 7800 hackers. It's a shame it wasn't developed further, because the last work-in-progress release has a lot of promise.

#4 SmittyB ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:11 PM

Firstly, I want to say that I'm really digging your podcast. Listening to other people's stories has helped me get through some difficult coding sessions where I would otherwise have rather printed out the source code, shredded it, then danced around a bonfire of the remains, shrieking madly to expunge the bugs and glitches that could only be supernatural in origin.
 
I hope to go back to Plumb Luck at some point but I would choose to start from scratch now. When I first started programming for fun again with 7800BASIC I had 2 ideas for a simple project to start with, the first being a Pipe Mania clone, and the other being a first-person dungeon crawler so of course I chose..... the dungeon crawler.
When people suggested I keep working on the '3D maze' demo I posted, I did just that, but I was still learning what the 7800 was capable of and how to actually program it so after a few months of slow struggle I was getting burnt out on the whole thing and needed a change. I went back to the Pipe Mania idea and that became Plumb Luck.
 
I do own the original Amiga version of Pipe Mania but I mainly based things on the Windows 3.1 'Pipe Dream', hence the grey and green colour scheme and simplistic look. Not having a Mateos cart at the time I had no way of testing this on real hardware so I was oblivious to how grey and green is just too difficult to see on the noisy, blurry, and generally disgustingly bad RF signal the 7800 outputs.
I deliberately didn't copy the gameplay exactly because I feel that if I did it wouldn't be 'mine', it would be somebody else's game that I just plagiarised. That's why the goal of each stage isn't to build a really long pipe that doesn't go anywhere, but to actually connect an input to an output.
 
I consider what's there to be complete, because I realised that I was sinking all my time into Plumb Luck and not into what would become Spire of the Ancients so I quickly gave it an ending, made sure it was playable, then dropped it as fast as I could. I have so many projects on hold until Spire of the Ancients is done but I will certainly have to go back to Plumb Luck and rewrite it to be how I imagined at the time, with different situations like plumbing the coolant into a nuclear reactor before it melts down, or completing a railway before the train comes along, and a mascot character 'Plumb-Bob' throwing the pieces on the board and commenting on your progress.
 
The experience I gained making Plumb Luck really boosted my understanding of the console, and I hope people get some enjoyment out of what essentially became a learning exercise for me.


#5 gambler172 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:45 AM

Plumb Luck is a good puzzle game....Tubes could be a good one




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