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Wow, espire8, thanks for all the suggestions. I made a few more changes to this revision but it is untested on real hardware, so I don't know if

what I added will work yet.

 

I really liked your idea of starting a game out with no gun. I wanted to add that as a diffuclty option - but I'm out of difficulty

switches, and I also knew about the compatibility problem with the 7800 with no TV type switch. To get around this, I've managed to

squeeze in a level select screen, which combines a lot of the difficulty options for 5 different game combinations. With these changes,

the difficulty switches no longer do anything. Here's what I have right now:

 

Game 1 - Novice

 

Shots fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed

no health reduction when changing rooms

keys are always hidden in the same rooms

 

Game 2 - Beginner

 

Shots fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed

no health reduction when changing rooms

key locations are randomized

 

Game 3 - Intermediate

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at top speed

no health reduction when you change rooms

key locations are randomized

 

Game 4 - Advanced

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed

health reduction when you change rooms

key locations are randomized

 

Game 5 - Expert

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed

health reduction when you change rooms

key locations are randomized

You start out with no gun - you'll have to find it.

 

 

Squeezing in the game select feature in took a lot of effort - I'm now down to around 300 bytes free. Let me know if you have any more

suggestions about what to include in each different game. Five variations is definitely the limit based on my available space. I made

Game #5 use normal speed enemies, as I just couldn't make it to the gun with them moving at top speed. I'm pretty sure that it would be

impossible.

 

Press fire on the titlescreen to go to the level select screen. On the level select screen, either use the game select switch or push

up and down on the joystick to scroll through the game choices. Press fire again to start the game.

 

I fixed the audio problem with the gun in the upgrade room. I think I fixed the bug with the constant drone on the death screen, but

since it happened randomly I can't be completely sure. Let me know if you see that issue again on this revision.

 

I played around with you idea of changing how the gun fires - and it looks like it wouldn't be a simple change. I'll give it a little

more effort before I give up, but I likely won't be able to change that now. The other changes I made were relatively minor: I added a

screen shake to the boulder room, and the cheat options were changed to save space. Press fire on the second joystick to replenish your

health and to grant all the keys and the crown pieces.

 

The final boss has always had hitpoints. ;) The crown pieces on the lower left of the screen change to a health meter for the boss when

you're in that room.

 

I'll update the first post with the latest binary.

 

Edit: I reposted the RC3 bin and fixed a bug. I had to change the level select screen for now. Instead of pushing fire to start the game, push right on the joystick. This was necessary, because pushing the fire button to get past the titlescreen also registers as a fire button push on the next screen, so game 1 would automatically start. I'm not sure how to get past that problem just yet. I did a quick one minute check of this binary on real hardware and it seems to work ok. :)

 

Steve

Edited by Atarius Maximus

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PAL60 would be the better choice anyhow, keep the same speed, just alter the colour palette to match as closely as possible. Almost all TVs from the last 10-15 years in Europe can handle 60Hz fine.

 

I've never attempted a PAL color conversion before, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult. Is there a conversion chart posted anywhere on the web where I could easily look up the color differences to make the changes?

 

Steve

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I've never attempted a PAL color conversion before, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult. Is there a conversion chart posted anywhere on the web where I could easily look up the color differences to make the changes?

 

http://www.qotile.net/minidig/docs/tia_color.html

 

Although I can't speak to their accuracy in relation to real hardware.

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I've never attempted a PAL color conversion before, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult. Is there a conversion chart posted anywhere on the web where I could easily look up the color differences to make the changes?

 

http://www.qotile.net/minidig/docs/tia_color.html

 

Although I can't speak to their accuracy in relation to real hardware.

 

Thanks for the link Nathan, I'll check it out.

 

I just did a little more playtesting, and I noticed another bug. After you pick up the gun upgrade and leave the room, you can no longer fire the gun. It will be easy to fix, I'm just out of time tonight to fix it and post an update. I wish I had more time..... :( It seems like whenever I make a change, it causes a problem somewhere else in the game.

 

Steve

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I just did a little more playtesting, and I noticed another bug. After you pick up the gun upgrade and leave the room, you can no longer fire the gun. It will be easy to fix, I'm just out of time tonight to fix it and post an update. I wish I had more time..... :( It seems like whenever I make a change, it causes a problem somewhere else in the game.

 

Steve

Don't be too hard on yourself--you're doing a great job! With a game as large and complex as this, it does become more difficult to make changes that don't affect other aspects of the game. The more playtesting that gets done every time a change is made (especially this late in development), the easier it will be to catch any new problems. An important thing is to get various complete playthroughs of the game, at minimum, with each new release..

 

..Al

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Indeed... and don't feel pressured to get it ready by a certain point. It'll be ready when it's ready (the age old Nintendo philosophy)...

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The game select screen is riviting! I guess the difficulty swiches can't be used in conjuction?

I still think it would be nice to still manualy control the wall shots with the switch, but it's still great!

 

Here are some revised suggestions, I'll try to keep this short and to the point without ranting so much. ;)

 

Here's the short of it:

1. Health reduction - Player's speed is reduced when health is 1/3 remaining and alter the health reduction so that it will come into play only when the health bar is 1/3 remaining and from there will start to go down 1 unit automaticaly for every 10 rooms that change.

 

2. Limited enemy attacks - Allow only up to 8 hit point collisions between monster and player sprites (reducing player's health up to 8 hit points) and have the monster automaticaly be eliminated, leaving the player with few more hit point collisions before that unit of health disappears from player's health indicator. This will allow more of a chance for a diminishing health unit, which can absorb up to 10 hit points, to be replenished with a med kit before it disappaers from off the bar indicator.

 

3. Allow loseing/recovering the gun - Upon first picking up the gun in the gun room, the player can keep the gun until the player's health at any time drops 1 unit and the gun will disappear from the inventory. The gun may afterward only be recovered by eliminating a monster via melee, costing the player 8 hits every time, while hoping to have the monster "drop" a gun icon at random the same way as for the medical kit. Monsters will never drop a gun until after the player has first located and picked it up in the gun room.

 

4. The boss enemies' offence - Since the smaller monsters can be taken down with a single bullet shot, how about making the boss enemy appear more often in the game? ie, can there be a boulder scene that's 3 screens tall having a boulder on the top screen, a single boss cobra upon entring the middle screen (from both either above and below) and finally another boulder on the bottom screen using the same Boulder screen type playfield in all 3 screens? You may want to have the cobra's health replenish to maximum every time the player retreats and re-enters the same screen between the boulders and the cobra to add to the challenge. Additionaly, you can have the cobra move alot faster as the cobra's health gets shorter, just to make sure the boss is not a whimp to beat.

 

And finally here's a suggested revision for the various game selections. You can of course tailor them as you see fit.

 

Game 1 - Beginner

*shots fire through walls

*enemies move at normal speed

*no health reduction when changing rooms

*keys are always hidden in the same rooms

 

Game 2 - Novice

*shots fire through walls

*enemies move at top speed

*no health reduction when changing rooms

*key locations are randomized

Game 3 - Intermediate

*shots cannot fire through walls

*enemies move at normal speed

*health reduction when you change rooms

*key locations are randomized

Game 4 - Advanced

*shots fire through walls

*enemies move at top speed

*no health reduction when you change rooms

*key locations are randomized

*You start out with no gun - you'll have to find it.

 

 

Game 5 - Expert

*shots cannot fire through walls

*enemies move at top speed

*health reduction when you change rooms

*key locations are randomized

*You start out with no gun - you'll have to find it.

 

Hopefully, these ideas will be doable as some can be done by simply changing a line instruction while others need to have line instuctions added. Please feel free to make any changes or alteration you'd like with better ones as you've done before. I'm just throwing ideas for anyone to build up or improve on.

All in all, this game is fantastic work! :D

Edited by espire8

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Hi Steve

Will change the actual bin on real hardware at weekend.

I am very busy at the moment,so i cannot do it now.

greetings Walter

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Hello Steve.

I edited my last ideas back in post #32 above because I found it was difficult just getting it across the right way (I couldn't even understand it myself after coming back to it later after work). So I nearly rewrote the whole page so it's more clear.

 

Seems to me that more ideas happen to come along while I'm play testing and this will probably be the last of suggestions I make anyway because I know it's alot of hard work making all the last minute changes with very little space left and having to playtest over again to make sure there's no new bugs.

 

If these ideas can make it in there, great! If not, that's okay too, as I'm already addicted to this game as it is! :music:

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Hello Steve.

I edited my last ideas back in post #32 above because I found it was difficult just getting it across the right way (I couldn't even understand it myself after coming back to it later after work). So I nearly rewrote the whole page so it's more clear.

 

Seems to me that more ideas happen to come along while I'm play testing and this will probably be the last of suggestions I make anyway because I know it's alot of hard work making all the last minute changes with very little space left and having to playtest over again to make sure there's no new bugs.

 

If these ideas can make it in there, great! If not, that's okay too, as I'm already addicted to this game as it is! :music:

 

I appreciate all of the suggestions, I'm going to work through all of them and see what I might be able to add. You've got some very good ideas. There is very little ROM space left, so including everything you mentioned may not be possible.

 

I'm not quite ready to post the current BIN yet, there's more work to be done. :)

 

Steve

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Hi Steve

I found some time to check the actual version on real harware(Pal 7800).Works good so far.Game selection works perfect,but Game number 5 is really hard(only for experts).

Great work.At weekend,i will check it a little bit longer,but until now,i did not find any bugs.

:) greetings Walter

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Steve, I got to the end of the game and now am able to give my overall impresion.

 

This game is alot of fun!

I found The Gun room, The hidden Castle warp room, The Regular warp room, The shield, and the Healing Fountain. I did'nt find the Easter Egg though.

 

Discovered a few bugs: The health meter goes back to full strengh whenever I repeatedly enter and exit the Gun room and the Castle warp Room. I think it also happened after I defeat the cobra boss.

Edit: another bug where picking up the gun caused the shots not being able to go through walls to be triggered in game 1. Not sure if it does that in the other game selections, will have to check later. I kind of liked that thou, maybe good to keep it!

 

Also, I think the shield is not nessesary in this game, I feel it's quite useless and I find the game enjoyable without using it at all. I think you should lose the shield idea and use the space for something better. It was very clever the way you had it hidden though! Maybe that hidden area can be used for somthing else?

 

Lastly, if you like, I can draw a nice looking castle for the castle room and I can draw a fountain using the PF gfx over the water in the healing room. can i make a mock up for your approval and is there anything I should know if I do?

Edited by espire8

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Steve, I got to the end of the game and now am able to give my overall impresion.

 

This game is alot of fun!

I found The Gun room, The hidden Castle warp room, The Regular warp room, The shield, and the Healing Fountain. I did'nt find the Easter Egg though.

 

Discovered a few bugs: The health meter goes back to full strengh whenever I repeatedly enter and exit the Gun room and the Castle warp Room. I think it also happened after I defeat the cobra boss.

Edit: another bug where picking up the gun caused the shots not being able to go through walls to be triggered in game 1. Not sure if it does that in the other game selections, will have to check later. I kind of liked that thou, maybe good to keep it!

 

Also, I think the shield is not nessesary in this game, I feel it's quite useless and I find the game enjoyable without using it at all. I think you should lose the shield idea and use the space for something better. It was very clever the way you had it hidden though! Maybe that hidden area can be used for somthing else?

 

Lastly, if you like, I can draw a nice looking castle for the castle room and I can draw a fountain using the PF gfx over the water in the healing room. can i make a mock up for your approval and is there anything I should know if I do?

 

I was aware of the health recharge when entering the gun upgrade room and cave warp rooms, I'm reworking that for the next revision, however. Your health does not recharge when you exit the cobra boss room, but the cobra boss's health DOES recharge every time you exit and reenter the room. Once you have the crown, you cannot reenter the room at all. The problem with the shots not being able to go through walls after picking up the gun upgrade has been fixed.

 

I was thinking the same thing about the shield...but before I read you post I was trying to come up with a way to make it more integral to the game. A new level has been added (think "Insane" difficulty :evil: ) that will make obtaining the shield very handy.

 

I don't mind if you'd like to make some mock-ups for a new castle room (do you mean the locked cave entrance room?), or new healing room. There are a few constraints - the exits and entrances to the rooms have to remain exactly the same size.

 

I should have the new bin ready to post later today or tomorrow.

 

Steve

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@espire8:

 

I really liked all of your ideas, but I'm not going to be able to use all of them:

 

1. Health reduction - I'm torn on this one - I just added a CaveIn_RC5 that's identical to RC4, except now the automatic health reduction only occurs after you're down to 3 or less health blocks remaining.

2. Limited enemy attacks - I put this in place on game mode 6. It does work, with one minor glitch. The heatlh pack never actually appears, but it does give you the health boost. I think what's happening is it's touching the player character when it appears, thus being picked up and disappearing before you see it on screen. I'll try and fix that if I can.

3. Losing & recovering the gun - this is a fantastic idea, but implementing it would take way more ROM space than I have available.

4. Boss enemy offense - With how I have the boss implemented now, I can't make it appear more often in the game without eating up tons of space. Same goes for adding the boulder room again. I did make the cobra a little more difficult to beat, and increased the speed when it's low on health. Also, the cobra does replenish all of it's health if you leave the room.

5. Your bug reports - I had originally put the health recharge in place in the gun upgrade, cave warp, and boss screen (after you defeat the cobra) on purpose, but I agree it needed to be changed a little. The gun upgrade room no longer affects your health status, the cave warp room sets your health to 50% no matter what your health bar was when you went in, and defeating the boss cobra will still replenish your health to 100%. I like the health recharge after defeating the boss, it seems like a reward for beating it - obtaining the crown 'recharges' you. :)

Also, I think I'd rather leave the difficulty switches out of this game now - it would get too confusing with all the different game options available, and you'd have to make sure the switches are set correctly in order to get the game to play as described in the 6 game modes.

 

Bugs found and fixed:

 

:arrow: Screen flashed very breifly with 'light' sprite in the wrong place when entering & exiting the darkened mine. Fixed.

:arrow: Fixed player reflection problem in gun upgrade room, cave warp room, and the boss cobra room. Player would always face one direction.

:arrow: Fixed audio issues when firing behind cave gates, tunnels, and the fountain. Gun disabled in those rooms as there are no enemies to

fire at in those rooms anyway.

:arrow: Gun upgrade room no longer replenishes your health to 100%, you leave the room with the same amount you entered with.

:arrow: Cave Warp room will set your health to 50% when you use it, no matter what your current health level is. I thougt this might add a little more strategy to when you should and shouldn't use it.

 

Changes to boss cobra room:

 

:arrow: Fixed weapon firing to match the other parts of the game, you'll fire in the last direction you moved when you stop.

:arrow: Added some hitpoints to the cobra's strength, it's now a little harder to kill.

:arrow: When the cobra has two health blocks left, it will attack ferociously.

 

Other Changes:

 

:arrow: Cheats removed - I needed the ROM space.

:arrow: Added 6th Skill Level that's REALLY hard, see below for details. I've been able to get to the gun and make some progress in game 6, but I haven't beaten it yet.

:arrow: One Major compromise was made to squeeze in all this extra stuff -- the enemies will not change colors nearly as often. That one change freed up enough space to add in all of the extra features in game 6.

 

Game Modes:

 

Game 1 - Beginner

 

Shots fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed and never have a fast attack

no health reduction when changing rooms

keys are always hidden in the same rooms

 

Game 2 - Novice

 

Shots fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed with occasional fast attacks

no health reduction when changing rooms

key locations are randomized

 

Game 3 - Intermediate

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at top speed all the time

no health reduction when you change rooms

key locations are randomized

 

Game 4 - Advanced

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed with occasional fast attacks

1 point health reduction when you change rooms, after you are down to 3 health blocks left

key locations are randomized

 

Game 5 - Expert

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at normal speed with occasional fast attacks

1 point health reduction when you change rooms, after you are down to 3 health blocks left

key locations are randomized

You start out with no gun - you will have to find it.

 

Game 6 - Insane :skull:

 

shots cannot fire through walls

enemies move at top speed all the time

1 point health reduction when you change rooms, after you are down to 3 health blocks left

key locations are randomized

You start out with no gun - you will have to find it.

Your gun will occasionally jam and can't be fired - it will make a "jammed" noise but not fire.

there is no 'longer shot' gun upgrade, the gun will fire only half the normal distance.

falling rocks in the locked caves will fall twice as fast

Enemies will die after attacking and hitting you 8 times.

 

 

Whew! That was a lot of changes for one revision. I'm trying to get the difficulty options just right, I want both beginners and advanced players to be able to have fun with this game right away. With all these changes, it's going to require a lot more playtesting to make sure there are no more problems.

 

First post will be updated with the latest bin (CaveIn_RC4).

 

Edit: Added CaveIn_RC5 to the first post as well - the only difference is that the automatic health reduction only occurs after you're down to 3 health blocks left (or less). Still trying to decide if I like that better. :)

 

Steve

Edited by Atarius Maximus

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Does this actually work on a real TV? I just played it a bit in Z26 and it seems the scanline count is unstable, whenever you enter a new room.

 

And are you sure about getting it released? I thought only yesterday I was reading from CPUWIZ somewhere else, that he already ran out of both boards and saras :sad:

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I think a few different people are working on modern replacements for the sc, including Batari.

 

True, but these things are in the works since I entered the scene in 1999 :ponder:

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True, but now there is going to be an ever growing list of games that can make use of them, surely that will speed the process up. Batari has said more than once not to worry, I'll take his word for it.

 

If nothing else, the Chimera will arrive sooner or later. Once bB supports it, I'm sure we'll forget all about the superchip. Plus it might be compatible. If no new superchips have arrived by then, and the chimera is superchip compatible, i'll just release a superchip multicart with all the games I've finished.

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Even at the risk of sounding silly, but I always was under the impression the Chimera was something like a Supercharger,CC,Kroko replacement thing and not a bankswitching scheme, so how would it help in releasing a game on a physical cartridge?

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Even at the risk of sounding silly, but I always was under the impression the Chimera was something like a Supercharger,CC,Kroko replacement thing and not a bankswitching scheme, so how would it help in releasing a game on a physical cartridge?

Hallo Manuel

Falls du ein Cuttle Cart fürs 7800 hast;dort läuft das Spiel einwandfrei.

Gruss Walter

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Wait, if Batari gave the option of loading asymmetrical playfields from ROM instead of RAM, then this whole superchip thing would be a moot point, right?... although I guess that might require a new kernel...

 

Ben

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