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omicron (2k)

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i like how the color changes every 100 points, but it seems like the border kills the playfield by a lot. plus, the player ship movement is too sensetive to be able to "walk along the wall" in order to shoot enemy pieces that sit along the border.

 

so, i like change #1 but i'm not down with the border. what about a wrap-around version?

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The border is a tad small - and it can be annoying to accidentally bump into it and die. The game is still extremely fun.

 

Would it be possible to have a wider border - and perhaps one that is not deadly to the touch? Maybe there can be two difficulty levels.

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Hi,

thanks for your feedback about the border :thumbsup:

 

Here's an updated version of the game, featuring a 'surrounding' border, that restores the playfield to its original size.

 

The border is still 'deadly', though.

 

I also worked on the missile/enemy collision routine, and tried to 'slow down' the lead music during gameplay :) .

 

Simone

omicron_2k_20080302.bin

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Hi Simone - good to see you back after your well-deserved break! :)

 

Cool new version!

The new cell-behavior is definitely an improvement, the gameplay now is quite intense and addicting. :cool:

 

Also, the borders are a great new gameplay element :thumbsup: , opening up a lot of possibilities to broaden the game experience and gradually build up the difficulty:

 

- amount of borders: the game could start with no borders, then introduce horizontal/vertical borders, finally moving to full borders.

- border characteristics: increasingly dangerous: sticky at first (e.g. delaying player movement for a few moments), bouncy after that (throwing the player back into the playfield, with the risk of landing right into an enemy), more bouncy after that (e.g. throws the player twice as far back, and so on), and finally, as the ultimate challenge, "deadly".

- border size:

In reply to Devin's comment, I would actually prefer a smaller border (e.g. half-size): on one hand to make it graphically distinguishable from the enemy cells, on the other hand to preserve some more of the actual game area.

:idea: ... however - gradually increasing the border size could serve as yet another difficulty operant :)

 

EDIT: comments are referring to the 29Feb version...

Edited by r_type2600

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...I would actually prefer a smaller border (e.g. half-size): on one hand to make it graphically distinguishable from the enemy cells, on the other hand to preserve some more of the actual game area.

Great to see that the above concerns have already been fully addressed by the solid and lowered border in the latest version :thumbsup: :)

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Hi,

here's a new version, what's new

 

- enemy 'roots' are born from blinking 'eggs': you can catch those 'eggs', to prevent the enemy from growing (and score 8 points :-o )... but you must be quick, or the 'egg' will turn into a 'root'. This introduces a 'risk/reward' factor in the game, and adds a little variation to the gameplay :)

 

- the ship has been slightly slowed down, to allow for a more 'precise' control

 

- the 'corners' of the borders have been removed and the lead music has been slightly reworked

 

Bye !

Simone

 

EDIT: forgot to mention, I had to remove the hiscore load/save feature

omicron_2k_20080303.bin

Edited by seemo

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:lust: AWESOME!! i managed to get 48 points before i shot anything!!!

 

edit: what is the purpose of removing the corners? just visual appeal? also, i think the game would feel more fast paced by altering the lead in the music. maybe bring it down an octave if possible? or just have the drum & bass part?

Edited by bomberpunk

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just thinking, the music and gameplay mechanics makes this game a perfect Centipede/Millipede sequel, if it goes in that direction. the virus theme is cool too. or maybe you have some other development in mind. keep up the good work. :)

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Excellent! The addition of the eggs drastically improved the gameplay - on what is already an excellent game! I wouldn't touch the music or sound effects from this point on. Its just too good in its present form.

 

Why did you have to remove the highscore? Why not go 4k? This game deserves to be on its own cartridge.

Edited by Devin

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Feedback on the latest version:

 

- really like the eggs concept, does indeed add variation. :thumbsup:

One problem though - it makes the game much easier and waters down the frantic nature of the gameplay: if you choose not the hunt the eggs, you have now far more time to focus on new roots and shoot them all down before they can spread. The playfield now often remains almost empty for looong periods....

Hopefully there's a way to keep both - the eggs and the 'frenzy' :P

 

- slower ship: YES! :)

 

- no-corners border: hmm, must say I preferred the original full border, which IMO looked smoother and more elegant. Since the game graphics already are blocky (= imperfect), the full border (= perfect, in its limited way) makes for a refreshing contrast for the eye - IMO.

:idea: - inspired by the corner gaps in the border: what about instead opening a 'door' (maybe 3 cells wide) at the end of a level somewhere in the border (at random)? The faster the player would then 'escape' through this door to reach the next level, the more bonus points he would rack up: introduces a bonus/chance element to the scoring..

Later levels could then built upon the idea, by introducing wandering doors, etc.

 

Sure enough this and other ideas would cry for a full-blown (8k?) version of Omicron ;)

Keeping my fingers crossed :)

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One problem though - it makes the game much easier and waters down the frantic nature of the gameplay: if you choose not the hunt the eggs, you have now far more time to focus on new roots and shoot them all down before they can spread. The playfield now often remains almost empty for looong periods....

Agreed.

 

Maybe there needs to be levels. Every once in awhile the egg level comes up as a bonus round (like Joust), but otherwise the roots sprout instantly. Maybe every 100 points. It would also be a nice way to clear the screen off every so often.

 

Or, leave the eggs in all the time, but if you don't collect an egg, the next five roots will sprout up instantly. After which you'd get another shot at collecting eggs again, and so on. Maybe as the game progresses, increase the number of roots that will grow if you miss an egg.

 

I like the ideas mentioned about changing how the borders behave during the game (reminiscent of Lead). Sticky, bouncy, lethal. Other possibilities: spawn (touching the borders makes the roots grow insanely fast for several seconds), fire control (alters how your cannon fires, slowing it down, making it sputter, or stop firing completely, again for several seconds), grow (makes your cannon a bigger target), spin (makes you spin around - you can move where you want, but you have no control over which way you're firing), reverse (reverses the directions of your controls), and so on. Plenty of opportunity for mischief there. :twisted:

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Just played the game for the first time and I like it. :thumbsup:

 

Now I wonder how it would play with some inertia... :ponder:

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i also like the idea of missing an egg and not seeing another one till after the fifth (or so) root.

 

and maybe there can be a "boss level" where your gun is disarmed and the root is indestructable, but it's a certain length (10 squares). it can chase you around like an angry Centipede and the score counts up every step it takes, after you stay alive for 100 steps, they all turn into bonus eggs?

 

sorry, brainstorming... :ponder:

Edited by bomberpunk

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Hi,

here's an updated version of the game, I had to remove the reset feature and one row of playfield to make room for the ultimate gameplay element : the enemy now doesn't just grow towards the player, it moves towards the player !

 

I also have tried to restore the gameplay to its original pace: thanks for pointing out that the 'eggs' have slowed down the gameplay... I didn't have much time to playtest the game :roll:

 

And, for all you aesthetics purists, I have restored the 'full' border :)

 

Also thanks a lot for all your suggestions and support :thumbsup:

 

That's all for now, I hope you enjoy the 'chasing enemy' feature as I do :)

 

Bye

Simone

omicron_2k_20080306.bin

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here's an updated version of the game, I had to remove the reset feature and one row of playfield to make room for the ultimate gameplay element : the enemy now doesn't just grow towards the player, it moves towards the player !

Aaaah! My world is shrinking! :-o

 

That's great! :D

 

Definitely restores the feel of panic of the earlier version. :thumbsup:

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here's an updated version of the game, I had to remove the reset feature and one row of playfield to make room for the ultimate gameplay element : the enemy now doesn't just grow towards the player, it moves towards the player !

 

 

AHHHH! GET AWAY FROM ME YOU LITTLE BASTARDS! :)

 

The aggressive nature of the "Omicrons" does force you to move around the field to survive. Great new version!

Edited by Devin

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man, can this game get any friggin better? :love:

 

if this goes on a limited cart, i'm calling the lowest number possible!!

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man, can this game get any friggin better? :love:

 

if this goes on a limited cart, i'm calling the lowest number possible!!

 

This needs to be on its own cart.

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Hi,

this version restores the previous pace and length for the egg/root/growth process, but compensates this whith another addition to gameplay: new enemy cells are born from the corners of the playfield.

 

This way, the 'slower' nature of the growth process is preserved, and the player has a little more time to catch the 'eggs', but the playfield gets more crowded right from the beginning of the game :twisted:

 

Also the fact that newborn cells start from the corners of the playfield, makes it very unlikely for the player to be right over a newborn cell :skull:

 

Have fun, and thanks once again for your kind words !

Simone

 

P.S.: this is another 'sacrifical' update, I had to leave out the PAL colors feature, to make room for the new 'birth' routine as quick as possible.

omicron_2k_20080307.bin

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PAL SHMAL. NTSC AMERICA W00T!!

 

 

oh, sorry. i'm just kidding.

 

on the girlfriend's mac, so i can't try this new version yet. i'm lucky she let me go the forum. :(

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well, the game certainly ends a lot sooner as you get ambushed from all sides. for me, it felt a bit like robotron 2084 but without the bad-ass control scheme. the corners feature definitely ups the difficulty to the extreme, at least for me. i don't want to boo it, because i like a challenge, but the overall chase/multiply rate spells death.

 

i still want to buy cart #1 though. :D

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Hi,

here's an updated version: I reworked the code, restored the reset feature, PAL colors support and the playfield row that I had previously removed.

 

I also changed the lead synth :)

 

Thanks for playing !

Simone

omicron_2k_20080308.bin

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:) I just came across this thread and I downloaded every binary of this WIP to sampled them in the order it was posted. The latest version you just posted I feel is by far the best -based on the multitude of very good suggestions. the music is fun to listen to and blends nicely with the action, like some sort of sound effect of the virus getting blasted away. It's riviting, thanks for posting them.

 

I'm aware all thoughts and suggestions are not guarranteed to be used --which I can understand, so the following are just my personal impressions I'd like to share.

 

I think I would like see 3 lives to start with along with some kind of two-player version simultanious play.

 

How about a variation where the right player control is only responsible for navigating the ship with the joystick and the left player controls the shooting direction using his joystick, similar to what Robotron has.

 

Optionaly, the left player's button can be used to activate certain power-ups, -just to keep the left player occupied by assisting in any last resort moves while dodging the enemy.

To make things more involving for the right player, who is in charge of the ship's main defenses and firepower, the right player's button can be used to stratigicaly control the rate of rapid-fire in conjunction with preventing the guns from over heating.

ie: The guns will gradualy start to heat up while the right player doubles the normal speed rate of the automatic rapid-fire weapons by holding down the right controller button, and if the guns over heat, it will switch back to normal speed rapid-fire and "dis-engage" the automatic weapons (will stop firing on it's own). Concequently, the guns will continue to shoot while the button is held down even when over heated, but will not double the rate of fire again until the button is released (stop firing) and allowed to cool down long enough for the guns to "re-engage" the automatic normal speed rapid-fire weapons -where the guns resume firing on it's own indefinately so long as it's cool. In other words, normal speed firing never overheats unless you double it's rate for too long a duration.

 

Although not nessesary to implement, but perhaps still useful would be a measuring bar to montior the gun's temperature range.

 

As for power-ups, maybe temporary "invincibility" for several seconds; "swapping" the controls between the left and right players for a short duration of time; a "smart bomb" that's immediately activated when touched or collected to use later; a "cool down" icon that immediatly restores over-heated guns to minimum without a wait period; and finaly those "bonus points" icons that can help players get closer to their next bounus ship!

 

I don't know if you have your heart set on keeping this under 2k but this is just some possibilities I can see happening here if you were to bump it up to 4k. Just wanted to share my feedback on this wonderful little project you have here.

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....the ultimate gameplay element ™: the enemy now doesn't just grow towards the player, it moves towards the player !

...another addition to gameplay: new enemy cells are born from the corners of the playfield.

simply - WOW! :lust:

The game was already fun, but this represents a quantum leap - now we're facing a threatening, living, very real menace! :)

 

I actually enjoy all 3 root classes so far (dumb, smart, and corner) and think they should all be kept in the game (at least in the full version).

 

That would not only allow to address the difficulty issue raised by some, but also to design a multitude of increasingly difficult levels playing with a combination of the various roots and their respective speed and quantity! :)

 

:arrow: suggestion for possibly another enemy type: indestructible "bacteriae". The idea is that these would be short (2-4 cells long and half a cell thick, solid for graphical distinction) "worms" that wander the playfield aimlessly (not hunting the player), basically only being obstacles that the player has to avoid. Touching them could either slow down (=sticky) or kill (=lethal) the player.

These living obstacles could be introduced later in the game for added difficulty...

 

:arrow: egg sequence: I finally noticed that the egg is undergoing two stages before finally hatching into the root - blinking and then for a short while solid to warn the player of the eminent hatching.

I think the (firelight) concept is perfect, but it would be far more intuitive to revert it: e.g. solid first, and blinking in the last few seconds.

IMO, the solid egg gets noticed much faster than the blinking one, giving the player a more likely option to go for it.

Also, I find that the sequence solid-blinking-root, would make for a more realistic recreation of the hatching process (egg-crack-birth)

 

And, for all you aesthetics purists, I have restored the 'full' border :)
:thumbsup: :)

 

 

Other possibilities: spawn (touching the borders makes the roots grow insanely fast for several seconds), fire control (alters how your cannon fires, slowing it down, making it sputter, or stop firing completely, again for several seconds), grow (makes your cannon a bigger target), spin (makes you spin around - you can move where you want, but you have no control over which way you're firing), reverse (reverses the directions of your controls), and so on. Plenty of opportunity for mischief there. :twisted:

Cool, the spawn, fire control, and grow borders would make for some nice extra variations. :thumbsup:

The spin one sounds fun, but would be too erratic for regular gameplay, IMO. However it could be a great fit for the suggested egg bonus/boss level (where the player would not risk much) :cool:

I would drop the reverse one though, as it would make the game impossible in view of the frantic fast-reflex gameplay, IMO.

wrap would also be cool:- no borders, the player reenters the playfield from the opposite side, risking to run into cells waiting there.

 

:arrow: bonus round: it would indeed be very cool to see bonus/boss levels in omicron; hopefully in a full-blown version, where it could then crown the end of each (themed?)world...

Maybe as a symbiosis of the evocated Joust bonus round and Centipede idea - which could look something like this:

multiple eggs appearing in short intervalls, blinking, and then dying (=they disappear without hatching): logical explanation -> the player has mastered the world, the contagion can no longer spread, he only has to clean up the world from the last remaining, dead, eggs.

The bonus challenge for the player is to rack up as many eggs as possible for a maximum of bonus points. To make it more challenging, these bonus levels would have a number of "indesctructible (sticky) worms". Each subsequent bonus level would then have more/faster such worms...

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