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Hi everyone,

here's an extended version of lead.

 

I tried to follow all the advice that appeared on the 1k version thread, I hope you like the result :)

 

I include an instruction document, please have a look at it :)

 

Simone

 

P.S. : Thanks to Thomas Jentzsch for testing the hi-score load/save functionality

lead_20070611.zip

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290!

 

post-2641-1181692404_thumb.jpg

 

Man... that is a tough game. But just as addictive as the 1k version!

 

The new additions to it are really cool. I really like the asteroids level. :thumbsup:

 

A couple of notes:

  • You can't fire if your ship is all the way against the walls. It would be nice if you could.
  • The music seems a bit cluttered. It's hard to pick out the lead melody, as you could in the 1k version, so the game doesn't have the same rhythm. Maybe a little too much is going on at once. Perhaps some of the new sounds could be used at different waves, so the music changes as the game progresses.
  • When a level ends, it does so when you shoot (or pass) the 100th enemy, and the rest just disappear. How about either 1) only have 100 enemies appear per level, and it ends when you shoot/pass the last one, or 2) after you shoot/pass the 100th enemy, you still have to clear the rest of the ones on screen. I think it would be a little less abrupt that way.

Edited by Nathan Strum

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I really like Lead 1K, great to see an extended version of it!! :lust:

 

My best score so far is 168, this game is pretty hard! IMO it would be nice if the game would be a bit easier and therefor have a 4-digit score, it would be more fun if you could score more points than a max of 999.

 

The Asteroid level is a nice addition to the game, i like that!

 

I can't think of any more suggestions at the moment, i'll have to play it a bit more.

 

Keep up the good work!!!

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Hi Simone - great to see Lead return in an extended version :thumbsup:

Wow - the dodge levels and ondulating tunnels are just way cool and superb additions to the already great basic game. Bellissimo!

Also like the neat little new features that one discovers only at the second look. Like the animated ship, or the clever after-game level indicator (the last alien carried over to the title screen)

Lead now really has all the elements and depth to become a future classic in the 2600 library :)

 

What it may still need is some finetuning and polish here and there -

I take the liberty to add a few comments/ suggestions from my side:

  • I join the others' remarks about the very high difficulty level. (Personal hiscore 310 btw :cool: ). I feel that the tunnels are a tad too wide in the shoot levels, regularly causing near impossible enemy constellations. Feels a bit unfair... Why not narrow them a bit, say bring them close to the middle score-digit? That would make the game much fairer IMO... Hmmm, thinking about it, the wider tunnels could then be introduced in a second loop (after winning the game), giving it another arcade quality feature (and opportunity to further push the high score).
  • talking about the borders - I miss the thicker, continuous ones from the 1K version! :( They contributed a lot to the fluidity and hypnotic atmosphere of Lead IMO, and I really would love to see them return ... unless there's a technical reason for dropping them?
  • likewise, as Nathan observed, the original 1K tune was already a perfect fit and should be kept. The new one is quite good (it could stay as the title tune for example), but it just lacks the catchiness and doesn't harmonize so good with the gameplay as the 1K one did.
  • also, I find that the game could gain additional character and charme from smoother transitions between the various parts - the game starts and ends pretty abruptly right now, for instance. A couple of ideas: instead of puting the ship right into action after the title screen, let him fly through space (black screen) for a couple of seconds with the tunnel gradually scrolling in from above. Once the tunnel borders have hit the bottom, the game would actually start with the appearance of enemies and the player taking control of the ship. Similarly, some graphical effect when losing the game would round up the experience nicely. A very simple idea for instance: turn the background (blood-) red with a black game over message. Return to the title screen after 10 seconds or so...

Cheers, Eric

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Simone ,

 

This game is right up my alley. Very 'twitch'. VERY fun! I really look forward to a cart release of this one!!!

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Hi,

here's an updated version of Lead.

 

Let me say a big 'Thank You !' to everyone here, for their great suggestions and support :)

 

I include an updated instruction document, please have a look at it :)

 

Simone

 

P.S.: Thomas Jentzsch provided his optimized saveKey/AtariVox driver: thank you Thomas !

lead_8k_20070624.zip

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Awesome update! The music has that "catchy" feel of the 1k version again, yet still retains some of the added complexity.

 

There are some nice touches at the beginning and end of each game now. Very polished.

 

The gameplay is nicely balanced, too. Very playable, but still challenging. I've gotten up to 3890 on this version (almost through level 8 ).

 

post-2641-1182812615_thumb.jpg

 

Hint: Let go of the fire button before the Dodge stages begin! ;)

Edited by Nathan Strum

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Very Good. The dodge addition is cool.

 

High Score == 1680, don't know if that's any good. Probably not. :)

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Phew,

it's nice to know that the gameplay is balanced now ! :)

 

Here's a little update: I added an options screen, to change some music parameters, and play lead 1k.

 

As always, thanks for playing this :)

 

Simone

lead_8k_20070626.bin

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The sound options are so cool! That may be one of my favorite homebrew features - ever! Extremely addictive.

 

Try this one:

 

Score: Flavour

Speed: Normal

Rhythm: Random

 

:D

 

And thanks for including the 1k version. Nice bonus! :thumbsup:

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Ran into a scoring bug. I've only seen it happen once, but the game missed a point someplace (I think during the first level). It kept counting by five after that, however.

 

post-2641-1182876847_thumb.jpg

 

Seems to me it happened right after changing the sound settings.

 

Another note: You can't get out of Lead 1k without turning off the console. Hitting Select to get back to the menu would be nice, if possible.

Edited by Nathan Strum

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The latest version totally rocks! :thumbsup:

 

IMO the difficulty is much better now, still challenging but not frustrating. I love level 5, pushing the borders with your ship is a great idea! Also awesome that you included lead 1k!

 

My best score so far is 2490, i'm sure i can do better with a bit training..

post-12950-1182890180_thumb.jpg

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Keeps getting greater with each new version :lust:

 

So many great improvements to observe!

- gameplay is perfectly balanced now: still challenging, but never feels unfair :thumbsup:

- music works like a charm now, and the option to tune it to your liking leaves no wishes open :) :thumbsup:

- big bravo for the improvement of the smartbomb feature! It always felt a bit out of place in the 1K version, and it's obvious why now: the punishment for using it was a major demotivator. It was an excellent design decision to drop the "score-setback" sanction! The smartbomb has now become a real option, fully integrated into gameplay. Its accustic and optic effect are also perfect now! :cool: :thumbsup:

- great game over screen! Minimalistic, but absolutely effective. Clever use of sound as well! :thumbsup:

- love the end of stage ship blastoff! Cool effect that's perfectly fitting with the mood of the game: a continuous flow - always moving forward.

One observation and request here though: the start game/level animation feels rather awkward and out of place, IMO. The ship which proudly blasted off after clearing a stage, now helplessly plumets down to the bottom of the screen like a sack of potatoes? Does not make much sense in my eyes and feels anticlimatic...

Suggestion: after blasting off the top of the screen, the ship reenters from the bottom at full speed and comes to a controled halt at about mid-screeen, thereafter hovering down again to the bottom. That would reinforce the illusion of the ship flying through an alien universe moving from one dangerous zone to the next, autonomously (and heroicly) choosing to take up the next challenge.

Yeah, it's all about psychology ;)

 

 

:!: Ok, here comes one BIG suggestion:

Stage 3: Catch!

The simple idea: a third gameplay style, where the ship has to catch the falling objects (stars for instance). This would basically be a bonus stage and consequently shorter (only 40 enemies or so): the player will not lose by missing an object, but he will try to catch as many as possible in order to increase his score. Getting all of them will get him a special bonus on top. Yes, clear shades of Galaga here!

I think the extra effort to implement this would more than pay off in added gamefun...in a way introducing a third dimension to Lead...

...would be great if you could consider this... :)

 

Eric

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Stage 3: Catch!

The simple idea: a third gameplay style, where the ship has to catch the falling objects (stars for instance). This would basically be a bonus stage and consequently shorter (only 40 enemies or so): the player will not lose by missing an object, but he will try to catch as many as possible in order to increase his score. Getting all of them will get him a special bonus on top.

Or...

 

How about adding a bonus item to catch (randomly) in some of the other stages? You'd get used to shooting (or dodging) but would have to keep an eye out for that elusive item that you should neither shoot nor dodge.

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Stage 3: Catch!

The simple idea: a third gameplay style, where the ship has to catch the falling objects (stars for instance). This would basically be a bonus stage and consequently shorter (only 40 enemies or so): the player will not lose by missing an object, but he will try to catch as many as possible in order to increase his score. Getting all of them will get him a special bonus on top.

Or...

 

How about adding a bonus item to catch (randomly) in some of the other stages? You'd get used to shooting (or dodging) but would have to keep an eye out for that elusive item that you should neither shoot nor dodge.

 

Cool idea - how about both?

 

On one hand the bonus stages - broadening the game experience as a whole, with the introduction and focus on a different action style.

It would probably work better to have them only every fifth stage though, in order to keep a better balance between stress (4 stages) and reward (1 stage).

 

Plus the single bonus item to catch towards the end (last twenty or so enemies) of each stage.

Starting with the smartbombs - would only be logical for the player to have to do something to earn them, after all ;) In case the player has filled his arsenal with five smartbombs, the end level object could turn into a highscoring bonus item. The cool thing about this would be the tactical edge it would add to the gameplay: :arrow: will the gamer play it safe, and use his smartbombs, or get greedy and keep them, hopping to maximize his score with highscoring bonus items?

Cult classics like Lady Bug (score multiplier, extra letters) have shown us how much such apparently marginal features can add to the game experience :)

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Hi,

here's another update of Lead.

 

I tried to include what has been suggested by Nathan Strum and r_type2600 :)

 

Moreover, following an idea from user moonshot22, I tried to include a 'scramble' level, where you have to slowly cross a narrow and crowded tunnel, and touching the sides is not the best thing to do :)

 

I also added the 'envelope' audio option, and the 'score' option can now be set to 'dawn', which is a similar effect to the one heard on the first version.

 

Simone

lead_8k_20070629.bin

Edited by seemo

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Wow. Great update! The variety in gameplay is amazing - you really have to mentally change gears between dodging, catching and shooting, but it still all feels like part of the same game. Nice work!

 

It's a lot of fun to be able to tailor the music to your liking. I wonder if other homebrews will begin using that idea? :ponder:

 

Incidentally, the kernel for this game could be turned into a great racing game! (Monaco GP or Grand Champion, for example.)

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I tried this game for the first time just now, and wanted to say how awesome it is! Keep up the great work! Great music too!

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