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#51 EricBall OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 4, 2005 9:16 PM

I think the bomb button idea is a good first step.  That's the best idea I've come up with since the last version.


One lesson I learned with Skeleton/Skeleton+ was to never rush to finalize a game. It's always a good idea to take a step back and think "how can I make this more fun?" Is it too hard, too easy, too repetitious, too random, too predictable etc. Focus on the biggest flaw and consider why you feel it so and what can be done about it.

Although I haven't played it, a Tetris/Pipe Dream fusion sounds like an excellent concept. Classic ways to increase difficulty include: pieces falling faster and/or rows of starting pieces. I think Tetris also would vary the probabilities for each piece. (So all you would get were Z type.)

Edited by EricBall, Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:12 AM.


#52 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 9:16 AM

Looks fun, but kinda reminds me of this:

http://www.klov.com/...=S&game_id=9694

#53 Brad2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 10:00 AM

Very cool!

It's possible that Bruce got his inspiration from the game in the link at klov.com.

I like the Tubes demo though.

#54 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 10:13 AM

Hey, cool... I'll have to look into that for some ideas. I'm not really surprised that someone else came up with this sort of idea before. But it never made it past the prototype stage? I guess this may be a pretty hard idea to make into a game after all. It looks like the main difference so far is that I'm looking for connections with no leaks whatsoever, rather than connecting the sides together. And that's why I needed the bomb.

Anyhow, I've taken bombs out of the random tile generator and added the ability to call for a bomb by using the up direction on the joystick. It sets the next tile to a bomb, and you can even cancel by doing another joystick up. I think this is going to be a lot more interesting. Of course in a "real" game you'd only have a limited number of bombs available.

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#55 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 10:35 AM

The game is fun as hell. I have the MAME rom for it somewhere. I'll have to look for it.

#56 mojofltr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 11:05 AM

I like the idea of having to connect the pipes from one side to the other and when a circuit is made, they could burst (like a line in Tetris), and the others fall in their place. I think the bomb is also a good idea as it could be beneficial some times and unpleasant in others. ;-)

I think that Pipe Dream was made easier by allowing the pieces to be changed... with, of course, the penalty of docking time off of the clock. In Tubes, if you were to set a time limit to how many pipe/tiles/circuits you needed to complete to continue, then the second (wrench) button could be used to change misplaced pieces beneath the pile. As in Pipe Dream, the pieces could be changed as much as needed as long as the clock doesn't run out.

You could also add a puzzle mode. In Pipe Dream, you had a place to start and a place to finish. You could set a faucet (beginning) at the bottom of the pit, and the player had to connect a pipeline to a certain marked pipe(end) further up and/or across. Each new level would become progressively harder with added obstacles and/or piles of pipe at the bottom.

Sorry if this doesn't make sense or is irrelevent. It's early and I need coffee

#57 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 11:55 AM

Here's another game I found: http://emustatus.rai...ames/cachat.htm

Check out Dr. Sparkz's face in these screen shots: http://emustatus.rai...ames/sparkz.htm

I've snagged ROMs for both of these so I can see how they play.

Anyhow, I want to avoid any kind of a "point and shoot" interface for selecting a tile because of 1) control issues (what do you control it with, a second joystick? then how do you do two players?) and the big one 2) 7800 display issues. The Maria and its DMA is hard enough to deal with in 320 mode, and putting a "selector" means I have to add a sprite. Sprites are a lot of work because of how Maria display lists are laid out. And the first thing I found out was that the 6502 doesn't have the time to do a lot of work with DMA running.

Also, coloring the strings is out of the question. Most of what I'm doing is in character mode because rebuilding display lists takes too long, and that means the entire board has to use the same four colors.

#58 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 12:18 PM

Very cool to see those two prototype arcade games, they both look pretty interesting. There seem to be a fair number of prototype Atari arcade games, so I wouldn't read too much into Dr. Sparkz not being released. :)

I'm not too keen on changing tiles once they've been dropped. I think the bomb is a good means to help you "clear" mistakes. It might be fun to try and come up with some other special blocks that fall from time to time. For instance, you could have blocks that remove the row they land on, or perhaps the column they land on ("directional" bombs). You could have one that burrows down to the bottom two rows and then destroys them. You could have wildcard blocks that act as connections in any of the four directions, or as plugs, depending on what is around them (once it drops, it turns into the appropriate piece after evaluation of the surrounding pieces). You could have some special pieces that if you connect 'x' number of them in a row, something special happens (bonus points, rows cleared, advance to the next level, etc..)

Just some ideas off the top of my head. :)

..Al

#59 mojofltr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 1:15 PM

Check out Dr. Sparkz's face in these screen shots

:lolblue: that would be awesome if there were some way to implement something similar - if only a simple smiley.

I'm not too keen on changing tiles once they've been dropped. I think the bomb is a good means to help you "clear" mistakes. It might be fun to try and come up with some other special blocks that fall from time to time. For instance, you could have blocks that remove the row they land on, or perhaps the column they land on ("directional" bombs). You could have one that burrows down to the bottom two rows and then destroys them. You could have wildcard blocks that act as connections in any of the four directions, or as plugs, depending on what is around them (once it drops, it turns into the appropriate piece after evaluation of the surrounding pieces). You could have some special pieces that if you connect 'x' number of them in a row, something special happens (bonus points, rows cleared, advance to the next level, etc..)


Nice ideas! I only brought up the "wrench" idea because in this game I have found it extremely difficult to clean up a mess I've made for myself. Your ideas all remedy that very problem and tie in without changing the selection interface that Bruce mentioned. :-) The powerups you mention remind me of those in Zoop - one powerup would clear the entire column it falls on, another might clear all of one particular tile-type, another still could clear the entire screen!

I just played Tube-it and Dr Sparkz again. It's interesting that two games, however similar they might look to eachother, play completely different! The arrow pieces in Dr Sparkz definitely help with the mess down bottom, but I think more powerups or some kind of variety would make it more interesting. Tube-it is very playable - addictive really, but it looks like it uses the interface that Bruce was trying to avoid.

#60 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 4:43 PM

Tube-it is very playable - addictive really, but it looks like it uses the interface that Bruce was trying to avoid.

It's also got a nice attract mode that gives you a feel for the game in five seconds. The attract mode in Sparkz barely gives you an idea of the gameplay. What's interesting is how Cachat/Tube It avoids the placement problem all together by dropping blocks sequentially. Then instead of controlling the dropping tiles, you control the tiles that have already been dropped. The attract mode also gives you an idea of strategy, by placing a horizontal pipe along the edge to interrupt a second lower path so that you can get a two-fer.

It's not the game I was looking to write, but it still looks fun.

#61 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2005 5:12 PM

The Maria and its DMA is hard enough to deal with in 320 mode


Ahh ... I was wondering if this was designed using one of the 320 modes.

#62 Clint Thompson OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:21 PM

I don't have an emu installed and can't run it but I want to check it out eventually... hopefully in a released form :)

Is there going to be any pokey music (please say yes?! :)
If I can get my 800 and that little music tracker it'd be cool to make some music for it ;)
Good addicting music can always enhance a great game to excellent status :)

#63 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2005 8:08 PM

Now that the cartridge board work has died down while I wait for my first boards to come back, I decided to take some time today to implement scoring. I also shrank the board to 7 tiles wide, not only because there wasn't enough room on the screen, but also because there weren't enough Maria DMA cycles to show the score with the moving tiles going past it! (This is why you need to develop 7800 code on real hardware, not an emulator.)

As I had been planning all along, the score is one point per tile blown up by a bomb (for a max of 7 points if you drop it into a "pit"), and the triangle number (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, etc.) of tiles blown up by making paths. Note that in tiles with two possible paths (the double-elbow and crossover), each path will count as a separate tile for scoring purposes. (It's not easy to tell whether the other path was found in the current path, or was already marked as found in a previous path when more than one path can be linked due to falling tiles, AND at the same time know how long the paths are.)

I also finally got around to making a really crappy Perl script to convert graphics from what was esentially ASCII-art into the hex codes needed for 320B mode. It was less work than manually converting the graphics for the score digits. This also means that if I come up with better looking digits, I can switch easily.

Oh yeah, you'll notice that the score is five digits. I'm sure someone will be bored enough to try to roll it over. Well, FWIW, it's a 2-byte number that gets converted to decimal, so it should roll after 65535. If that's a problem, it shouldn't be too much work to add another byte and digit to the score.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I made sure that the .A78 would run on MESS, and also added 50 lines of "safety" zone so that a PAL Maria wouldn't go nuts. (Proper PAL handling would need the lines broken up into 25 at top and 25 at bottom.)

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Edited by Bruce Tomlin, Sun Aug 7, 2005 8:15 PM.


#64 Gregory DG OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2005 9:16 PM

Nice to have an update! Keep it up! :thumbsup:

#65 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 8, 2005 1:37 PM

Looks really good! :) Glad you're still working on it.

#66 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2005 10:39 PM

Added a counter for bombs.

You start with three bombs, and get a new one every 100 points. This will certainly need to change, as it's easy to get 300+ point paths, but the important thing was getting it working.

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#67 vdub_bobby OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:39 AM

Added a counter for bombs.

You start with three bombs, and get a new one every 100 points.  This will certainly need to change, as it's easy to get 300+ point paths, but the important thing was getting it working.

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A lot of fun. Can you make it so that you can rotate the tiles in both directions (clockwise and counterclockwise), perhaps using both buttons on the joystick?

#68 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:49 AM

Good idea, especially now that the main controller I'm using is a Wico that I modded for 2-button operation, so I can actually test this.

#69 Schmutzpuppe OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:29 PM

Good work Bruce.
Keep it up!

#70 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:09 PM

Actually, it reminds me of this game:

http://www.romnation...-Sakusen-J.html

A puzzle game just isn't complete without Mikheal Gorbachev!

JR

#71 Propane13 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2007 12:35 PM

I have no idea how this thread died.
Now that I have the Prosystem emulator, I will try this out tonight.

Looks cool. :)

-John

#72 8th lutz OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2007 12:50 PM

I have no idea how this thread died.
Now that I have the Prosystem emulator, I will try this out tonight.

Looks cool. :)

-John

This game was not finished and the homebrew author decided not finish the game in early 2006. The Author of the game is still on the boards, but is doing homebrew games for other systems now.

#73 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 5, 2007 1:01 PM

I have no idea how this thread died.
Now that I have the Prosystem emulator, I will try this out tonight.

Looks cool. :)

-John


The game is amazing and it's a damn shame it won't be finished for the 7800. But if you own a Coleco or a Genny it might show up on one of those consoles from what I hear.

#74 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 7, 2007 10:04 AM

I have no idea how this thread died.
Now that I have the Prosystem emulator, I will try this out tonight.

Because I hit the limitations of the Maria graphics chip.

Genesis version thread - http://www.atariage....howtopic=101645




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