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atari2600land

Library of Doom! (WIP)

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For my 2,600th post, I've decided to make it about a 2600 game (only fitting.) It's called "Library of Doom." It's still very buggy (especially the title screen, because apparently I *have* to use pfheights and/or pfcolors if I want to have both players have colors.)

Well, anyway, press fire to start. The hearts will be lives (once they're finished.) The goal of the game is to get through as many library aisles as possible. There will be two things to make you lose lives. The first, which is activated, is the librarian. Touch her, and you'll lose a life. Fortunately, you're not helpless, as you have a spitgun. To use it, press the direction you want to shoot at and fire simultaneously. The librarian will disappear for a short time and you'll get ten points. The second, which hasn't been activated yet, is if you end up in the middle of a bookshelf when it scrolls, you'll lose a life. If you go out one end of the aisle, you'll come back in the other. The librarian will not. Should this be a paddle game, or is it fine with a joystick?

library.bas.bin

library.bas

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Interesting concept. I'm not sure what paddles would add to the game, other than the ability to move faster to the left and right-- although the joystick works pretty well as is.

 

With joysticks, you could have a two-player game mode-- the second player could either be another person running along the aisles but a few aisles down from the first player, or the librarian.

 

With paddles, you could have up to four players at once-- two runners and two librarians, or four runners (with multiple computer-controlled librarians), or maybe even let some of the other players control additional obstacles-- e.g., they could shove books off the shelves into the aisles, so the runners would have to jump over them to avoid stumbling.

 

It would also be nice to have a few rewards scattered among the aisles every so often, that the player(s) can grab for extra points, or maybe earn extra lives to replace the ones they've lost.

 

As the difficulty increases, the aisles could scroll a little faster, and more librarians could appear.

 

Some other suggestions, all related to the title screen: Use a black background on the title screen, so the bottom edge doesn't bounce up and down noticeably as the title text scrolls. Display the score only while the title text is *not* scrolling, for the same reason. An alternative could be to insert a minikernel between the title and the score, to display a certain number of blank lines depending on the scroll value, so the score and bottom edge will stay in the same spot as the title text scrolls. If the score will be displayed only while the title text is *not* scrolling, then have the title stay idle for just a little bit longer as the score is displayed. Change the score color each time you turn it back on, the same way you change the title text color (but not to the same color as the title text). Alternate the text that's displayed in the score-- e.g., first "©2008", then "©Aegis", then "©2008" again, etc.

 

Michael

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Here's a newer binary file that's a little less buggy. Note that these are only temporary sfx. I've switched the background to all black (title screen and game screen.)

Hmm, I think I liked it better with the score always displayed on the title screen, except for the way the score fluttered up and down. I'll see if I can write a short minikernel for keeping the score stable.

 

Also, the game screen was better with a non-black background, because the player colors don't stand out enough from the black background.

 

Michael

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I'll see if I can write a short minikernel for keeping the score stable.

Okay, I wrote a minikernel called stabilize_score.asm, but I also had to create one called 6lives_stabilize_score.asm so you can use the 6lives and stabilize_score minikernels together. I had to adjust your y coordinates by 1 to compensate. I also took a few liberties with your title text to see how it would look, but you may want to change it back. Note that I don't have your score graphics, so the version I compiled doesn't display the score correctly. You'll need to recompile it after you put the two minikernels wherever you keep your include files. Oh yeah, and I optimized your get_var_s routine a "bit"! ;)

 

Michael

stabilize_score.zip

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Thanks for taking the time to write the minikernels, Mike. I really appreciate it. Here's the latest version. This includes the ability to shoot downwards, and changes the game screen to white. I still have some work to do on this game, but I want it all to fit in 4k.

library4.bas.bin

library4.bas

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Are you supposed to be able to move down? I can move left and right, but I can't move down, and it seems like the shelves would slowly scroll up, but it looks like a new batch of shelves each time.

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As of now, no, you can't move down. If the bookshelves are scrolling too slowly, I can speed them up if you'd like. They do speed up considerably once you reach 100 points, though.

 

Here's the latest version. Last one of the day. Now bookshelves are dangerous, and if one scrolls into you, you lose a life. Also, the shooting has been perfected.

library5a.bas.bin

library5a.bas

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I see what the problem is now. If your guy was one aisle lower, it would look more like the shelves are going by properly. Is there any way for the shelves to move up one in a smooth way, instead of a quick hop?

Edited by Random Terrain

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I've decided not to make it scroll slower for two reasons:

#1 - I've tried making it scroll slower, and it's very hard to move the guy left and right with the playfield scrolling constantly.

#2 - Unless I'm mistaken, no one has figured out how to "scroll in" new playfield shapes using the pfscroll function yet.

Edited by atari2600land

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