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Propane13

Steam Tunnel Bob- a new 2600 Homebrew

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Hi everyone,

 

It's been 8 years since my last game came out (Pressure Gauge).

So, with life continuing forward, I've decided to begin working on a new game.

It's currently titled "Steam Tunnel Bob", but that's a working title.

I've got quite a bit of hours into this already, and I try to spend some time daily on this, making it better.

 

Goals:

The main goal is to get to the mine car.

Find the steam valves to turn off the steam flowing out of pipes.

Press the button on the steam valves to enable/disable steam from a particular pipe somewhere in the maze (but you'll need to find out what pipes are being impacted).

Avoid the construction worker. If he sees you, you'll lose a life. Touch steam and you'll lose a life.

If you run out of time, you'll lose a life, and the value of steam valves will reset.

 

The "bonus game" is being developed (after you get to the mine car). For now, gravity and collisions aren't working, but if you touch the lantern, the bonus level ends.

There's only 2 levels so far. And, I'm not happy with some of the sprites (like the main player's animation), but hey, I just created them to the best of my ability. I would consider accepting new sprites and crediting people for their help a little farther down the line. There's lots of space for more levels, so that's why I'm using 32K.

 

There's still a lot of work to do, but I thought I'd share what I have so far.

 

post-151-1210738987_thumb.png

 

post-151-1210739049_thumb.png

 

bob_v58.zip

 

Hope you enjoy my efforts!

 

-John

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I like the idea of steam valves and having to figure out what pipes are impacted. Could you make a non-timed game variation?

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I've been debating how to make the game more fun.

I could conceivably just have the timer be a "bonus" timer, giving you points.

And, if it's zero, then you get zero bonus (a la Donkey Kong).

Do you think that would work?

 

Or, should I have an easy/medium/hard setting on the title screen, where "easy" would be the time = bonus mode, medium would be timed, but with reasonable time for the mazes, and hard would be masochistic time?

 

-John

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I just gave this a try. It took me a few tries before I got a feel for the game, but once I did I thought it was pretty fun. :thumbsup: I can see a finished version being very fun! It was really hard though. I did manage to make it to level 2 a couple of times (with only a couple of seconds left).

 

If you keep the timer, my suggestion would be:

If you die, reset the timer to full and leave the valves in the same state.

If you run out of time, reset the timer to full and leave the valves in the same state (At least on level one. You could do a full reset on later levels). The idea being to keep it being too frustrating up front.

 

Also, how about a way to get rid of the construction worker or make him change the area he's in (he hears steam to the left or right and moves over 1 room).

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Hello!

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Today's update features a 5-minute timer for levels 1 and 2.

I guess after playing the same 2 levels for so dang long, I decreased the timers to masochistic levels, since I knew the solution.

So, with a 5-minute timer, that should help people who are playing this thing for the first time.

A level one with "no timer" is an interesting idea. I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do with the timer, but I'll keep this in mind.

 

With regard to the construction guy, I had thought that in later levels, I would hide other "support" items for the player to find and pick up.

The way I have things set up, I can have up to 256 types of rooms, with different items in them.

Currently, 8 are in use (empty, steam on, steam off, ladder, boulder, construction guy, mine car, valve).

For more fun factor, I was contemplating to add:

1) Hyper shoes-- doubles your speed (well hidden)

2) Teleports

3) Keys/doors

4) Construction worker clothes-- allows you to walk past construction guy

5) Bomb-- allows you to get past a boulder

These ideas are currently up in the air; I may do some, I may do all, and I'll probably do more.

I can probably have about 100 levels in this game, so more strange items in later levels is a good idea. :)

 

Today's update (version 59) includes points support in game 1.

Any time remaining on the clock when you get to the mine car counts as 5 points.

After points are tallied, there's a 1 second pause, and then we continue on to game 2.

I have not added in points support to game 2 next-- I may do that in the next pass.

 

Typically, I have about 30m every weekday morning to work on this, so the updates may be small, but I plan to make them frequent.

 

steam_v59.zip

 

-John

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Just tried this. I have two suggestions:

 

When you turn the steam valve, animate the graphic so it actually turns, and possibly show it in a different position when off so you can tell the difference.

 

There is no way of knowing ahead of time what rooms may contain a construction guy, and if you've never played a particular level before, you have to sacrifice lives and remember where he is. I'd change the way this is handled, i.e. make the construction guy chase you, throw something at you, or at least something other than what is essentially a random death.

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In the grand tradition of other sexually suggestive 2600 game titles like Bump 'n Jump, Up 'n Down, and Mountain King, may I suggest the name "Hot 'n Steamy" for this release?

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Here's the next revision.

I'm kind of proud of it, actually. :)

 

2 major changes:

1) Diagonal support for the joystick (so, now you can push right and down, and you'll end up on the ladder, instead of the scheme I had before)

2) The main player graphics now color correctly on the ladder. And, he goes "through" the hole. That was a pain to implement, but I'm glad I got it working. The only thing I don't like so far, but I'm not sure I want to change is that when you go through a series of ladders, the animation graphic changes to you standing there for a split second when you get to a new platform. This makes sense if a user is just going to stop on a floor--technically, you've gotten off the ladder at that point. I'm not sure if I want to have the graphic change so that you stay on the ladder until left/right is pushed, and then you're standing there, or if it makes sense to have that split second graphic of him standing there, indicating that you're on the next level.

 

Let me know if there are any joystick control issues, or if the split second standing there graphic is an issue.

 

Thanks!

 

Here's the newest version:

steam_v63.zip

 

-John

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Hi John

Works nice so far,but it would be good,if you see some changes,when turning a steam valve.

greetings Walter

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Hi all,

 

I'm going to take the feedback about steam valve animation, and then work on it.

I've been thinking about it, and there's some difficulty to it.

In level 1, some people may not have noticed that the steam is off in 2 rooms and on in 2 rooms to start.

So, it may "look" like some valves are not working, when in reality, they're making things worse. A sound indicates a successful toggle.

However, with some valves off by default, I thought that would be an interesting twist to add in. Of course, that's too much for level 1.

 

This brings up a problem with steam valves being in a "moved" state.

Say I just changed the color. It would be a dead giveaway if on level 1, 2 valves were blue, and 2 red. No one would touch the 2 blue valves, as they are already off.

So, I need to make some changes so the valve color would indicate a "changed" state, meaning that the user toggled it. All would default to red, and change to blue if toggled.

On earlier levels, all steam would be on, so the mission would be to find every valve and toggle it.

On later levels, some steam would be on/some off, so the mission would be to find the correct valves to toggle, instead of all of them.

 

I've been thinking about the construction guy too. He's way too unfair in level 2.

Level 2 was a proof-of-concept sort of level. In my later ponderings, I'm thinking of making the construction guy take time away rapidly from the user, instead of starting over. That may be too heavy of a penalty. I think losing time/points would be enough of a scare factor to get out of that room immediately, with a little cost.

I'll keep thinking about it. I don't think I'll make things as tough as level 2 was, at least for initial levels.

 

For those interested, I made a new version that now has 4 levels.

Level 1 became level 2.

Level 2 became level 3.

And, I added levels 1 and 4.

1 is simple, to show how things work; it's a tutorial sort of level.

Level 4 only has 1 construction guy (yay!), and is a pretty big map, showing what can be done with good boulder/ladder placement.

 

Feel free to try it out.

In the meantime, I'll start figuring out how to show that a valve is in a "changed" state.

 

Thanks all for the feedback!

 

steam_v64.zip

 

-John

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In the meantime, I'll start figuring out how to show that a valve is in a "changed" state.

I can see your dilemma about the valve's position. I'd suggest thinking of the valve as a globe valve, which requires 1/4 turn between open and closed. Therefore the handle would be either horizontal or vertical, but you could make horizontal be "off" on some valves and "on" on others, and show the motion of the valve turning so you know something happened, and also to give the game a little polish.

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Here's a prototype build where the valve changes.

It's just a placeholder now, and no animation.

 

steam_v65.bin

 

I'll try to add some animation, and of course, make the valve have better graphics in "on" mode than just a red circle. :)

 

-John

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In the grand tradition of other sexually suggestive 2600 game titles like Bump 'n Jump, Up 'n Down, and Mountain King, may I suggest the name "Hot 'n Steamy" for this release?

 

The main character's name definitely won't be Cleveland. ;)

 

-John

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Small update today-- here's a PAL version.

Let me know if the colors are ok-- I did my best to match, but some colors can't match to their NTSC counterparts.

 

steam_v66_pal.bin

 

-John

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New version.

 

steam_v68_ntsc.bin

 

I've modified the Construction worker screens so that it decrements your timer rapidly if you're on their screen instead of killing you.

Honestly, I think I like that better.

 

In addition, on level 3, there's a new power-up. :) It was fun to write in. I bet y'all will like it.

 

-John

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In the grand tradition of other sexually suggestive 2600 game titles like Bump 'n Jump, Up 'n Down, and Mountain King, may I suggest the name "Hot 'n Steamy" for this release?

Don't forget Thrust and Jammed. ;)

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John,

 

Game looks good so far...very addictive.............

 

i played it, but didnt get very far.......

 

keep up the great work

 

hope to see it on cart one day

 

Paulie

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Hi all,

 

The game is still alive, but it's in one of those "temporarily frozen" states.

The "game 2" mechanics were quite difficult to get going with a programming routine known as "skipdraw".

I have some basic stuff working for it, but, man, it drives me crazy. Too many variables to keep track of.

And, regular life got in the way of me working on it more.

 

I do intend to come back to this; I think it's past the point of no return for a game of some sorts.

 

Thanks for asking about this-- the more that I get bugged, the more likely I am to think about it again. :)

 

-John

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Come on man, the game you are creating here is awesome! keep up with it ;)

I agree, very cool and also quite original. I hope you don't give up on this propane.

 

Also I kinda like the name 'Steam Tunnel Bob'. Sort of an everyman, what with his backward hat and all... :)

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Just got back "into the swing of things" with the Marble Madness exercise.

I'm planning to get that a little further first, since I have good momentum.

 

Steam Tunnel Bob is still on the list, but I think the voices are louder for 7800 Arkanoid at the moment :o

 

-John

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Steam Tunnel Bob is still on the list, but I think the voices are louder for 7800 Arkanoid at the moment :o

True dat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd love to see all three completed, but if I were punching tabs on a vote card, my order of interest would go from your current project of Marble Madness #1, to 7800 Arkanoid #2, then Steam Tunnel Bob #3.

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