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jrok

Armageddon Complex

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I have a new update to this. I'll post more about the changes on my blog, since they are fairly radical, but here's an overview:

 

  • Abandoned my "persistant monsters" dream (for now). It had it working okay, but implementing it in a fun game just started to seem daunting. Monsters stay in their assigned rooms now.
  • Adandoned "playercolors." Not only do I know I'll want that darn missile back, but defining 16 colors for nearly every sprite was a real ROM hog. The hero's new look is a sleek white spacesuit, which I'll probably add some details to at a later date. I am only using multicolor with player1 sprites now.
  • Added a room-to-room teleportation pad. I worked pretty hard on this sprite, so I hope its effective. I also added a psychdelic color effect for when you are teleporting, which I hope to improve upon later. You activate it by standing on it and press the fire button.
  • Revised player movement and collisions. I'm at the phase in design now where I'm really thinking hard about how to make the gameplay innovative and fun. I'm going to ditch "jumping" for a jetpack (move joystick up) with limited fuel. I also added the ability to "climb" walls by running into them, rather than just having them stop you. My thoughts are that, when combined with a gun and a jetpack, there could be opportunities for some real slam-bang monster fights.

 

Thanks for all the help and well wishes so far. I'm really excited about finishing this project!

 

Jarod.

Armageddon_Complex_teleport_and_climb.bin

Edited by jrok

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Random thoughts:

 

I liked the original plain, teleportation pads and how the guy looked when he teleported.

 

Those strobing ball thingies hurt my eyes. If the animation was slower, it might not be as bad.

 

I know you needed the missile, but I still miss the multicolored guy.

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I liked the original plain, teleportation pads and how the guy looked when he teleported.

 

Yeah, I liked that too. The thing is, I tried it that way at first, but it didn't look as good to me in without the multicolor shades of green.

 

Those strobing ball thingies hurt my eyes. If the animation was slower, it might not be as bad.

 

Heh :) I never thought about it that way, but I guess they are a little grating. Besides which, I doubt I would want to step on something like that if I had never seen it before. I'll try going back to a simple platform, and maybe save the headache-inducing thingee for something else, like an electrical fire.

 

I know you needed the missile, but I still miss the multicolored guy.

 

Yeah, me too. One thing I'm thinking of doing to get it back is having joy0 control player1. Then I could flicker a multicolor hero and one multicolor monster/item per screen. It would just mean that a lot of monsters and items would have to be monocolor, but I might be able to live with that.

 

Thanks for the feedback, man.

Edited by jrok

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I updated this project, but it might be the last update for a long time. I've been rethinking this project in a lot of ways, trying to figure out how to put the fun in it, and I get the feeling I'm in for a total redesign. I've been thinking this would be an carefully plotted-out adventure cart, but I realized that that isn't really the sort of Atari game I'd like to play.

 

In any case, this might be the final incarantion of this project as a "platform adventure."

 

Changes:

- Restored Hero colors

- Added a jetpack using the ball

- Added a player bullet using missile0

- Altered collision detection (no climbing)

- Altered teleport routine.

 

Thanks again for the help and encouragement.

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

AC_a0_9.bas.bin

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If you're not going to do anything with this, how about posting the .bas file? Your code can't be any worse looking than what you'll find from the rest of us in this forum. I have 3 games I have to finish first, but when I get done, I would love to play with your code and have some fun.

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That's too bad, I was really looking forward to this one. Could someone please pick up where he left off, or at least post the .bas file so I too can play with it?

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I updated this project, but it might be the last update for a long time. I've been rethinking this project in a lot of ways, trying to figure out how to put the fun in it, and I get the feeling I'm in for a total redesign. I've been thinking this would be an carefully plotted-out adventure cart, but I realized that that isn't really the sort of Atari game I'd like to play.

 

In any case, this might be the final incarantion of this project as a "platform adventure."

 

Changes:

- Restored Hero colors

- Added a jetpack using the ball

- Added a player bullet using missile0

- Altered collision detection (no climbing)

- Altered teleport routine.

 

Thanks again for the help and encouragement.

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

 

 

Please reconsider! The Atari 2600 could use a kick-ass adventure game like this!

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Thanks a lot.

 

I haven't given up on the project at all. I'm just re-tooling something, and tinkering with some new ideas and game mechanics.

 

I haven't posted a new version in a while, mainly because I'm trying to make some decisions. One of the big ones is whether to make this a sideways platformer or an eight directional "bird's eye" format. I've also been expermenting with palette-swapping techniques to preserve more space in my graphics banks, and with useing the playfield to draw missiles. I'll post the BIN and BAS to the latter later today, since I'd really like some advice on improving it.

 

I have also been busy rigging up a basic level editor in Flash to help me draw and connect my game rooms. I'll post a version of that here on on my blog soon, to get ideas on how to further feature it out. I think it could be a pretty useful tool for designing bB gameworlds, or even creating complex playfield animations.

 

I've attached a file below containing some of my experiments with palette-swapping and a top-down view, but I wouldn't consider it a real "version" since I still might decide to go platform.

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

AC_8dir.bin

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This game has changed completely since I first started working on it, so I've ammended my first post accordingly.

 

"Armageddon Complex" is a sci-fi action-adventure set on a massive space station that has been taken over by a marauding band of alien terrorists. The aliens are trying to gain access to the station's "Inifinity Collider" - a doomsday device deployed by the Earth's governments as the ultimate peacekeeper. You are humanity's last hope... etc.

 

So this is obviously still a demo, but there are enough core mechanics in it that I thought it might be worth getting some fresh feedback on it.

 

HUD:

At the bottom of the screen, the score area displays your current inventory and shield strength. You can hold up to three items in your inventory at a time, and can have a maximum of up to three shields.

 

CONTROLS:

Left Joystick - Move hero in 8 directions

RightJoystick - Tap and release left or right to change your active Inventory item.

Left Fire Button - Aim or use the active item in your inventory, as follows:

  • Laser Sword - While holding the button down, tap the Left Joystick left or right to slash in that direction.
  • Gun - Move the Left Joystick in one of 8 directions to aim the gun that way. Release the Fire Button to shoot.
  • Crystal Thingee - Well, it doesn't do anything. Yet.

 

ENEMIES (only two at the moment):

Killer Robot: Garden variety evil robot. They turn up randomly in rooms that you enter, and can be dispatched with a single shot or a swing of your sword.

Mutant X: This is a persistent character that will serve much of the function that the Dragons did in Adventure, relentlessly pursuing you around the complex. You can mangle him with a sword strike or a bullet, but after a few seconds he will re-constitute himself and continue hunting you down.

 

YOU CAN NOT DIE: Not in this build, anyway.

 

The control schema is a little wonky right now, so any ideas would be welcome. One of the main things I'm grappling with is whether to allow the player to slash his (completely non-copyright-infringing) Laser Sword in multiple directions, or to have tapping up and down do something else when you have your sword drawn, like block or parry. I just think that might make for some nice swashbuckling duels if you run across an enemy who also has a sword.

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

 

Armageddon_Complex_alpha1.bas.bin

Edited by jrok

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Freakin sweet. Some day I need someone to show me how to work a sound into a game. They never sound like I hear them in Tone Toy. :(

 

So, wasn't this game originally have two floors with a teleporter? That needs to still be in the game if that was this. The effect was awesome.

 

Like the sword and how it works.

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Freakin sweet. Some day I need someone to show me how to work a sound into a game. They never sound like I hear them in Tone Toy. :(

 

So, wasn't this game originally have two floors with a teleporter? That needs to still be in the game if that was this. The effect was awesome.

 

Like the sword and how it works.

 

Thanks man. For me, I just try to find sound organically by linking it to a variable that's already there. Like, if I have an animation variable that increments to show different frames of a sprite, I'll piggyback the AUDs to it to produce a sound. Not sure if that helps, but let me know if you want me to write an example.

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RT got the sound working for me in my code, so I can study it tomorrow. It's like 12:30am here and I need sleep.

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This game looks unbelivable - great animations! The sword is a little difficult to use. I think it would be easier if you could just hit the button and it would swing the way that you're already facing. Also, Mutant X gets hung up on the playfield a lot, making it hard for him to chase you. A great demo though!

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This is good, but you should try to find a way to have an inventory and a score. Will there be a lot of room and levels? Any particular reason why all the screens are symmetrical? I think you should go with your idea of a more advanced control scheme and more enemy AI.

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This is good, but you should try to find a way to have an inventory and a score. Will there be a lot of room and levels? Any particular reason why all the screens are symmetrical? I think you should go with your idea of a more advanced control scheme and more enemy AI.

 

I'm still developing the design document, but goal right now is 48 rooms (6x7 grid + 6 secret rooms), with each vertical row color of the map coded to a different color, which will be help to generate some of the puzzling. I guess I am imagining something that isn't a pure puzzler, but is a little more than simple fetch-quests. There's no real reason the rooms are sysmetrical (though, I guess they aren't really symetrical, since some only have one doorway). The enemy AI is has a lot of placeholders in it, but my goal is to use the same core routine for all enemies with a couple of adaptive variables to vary how smart or aggresive they are and how many directions they can move in.

 

Not sure about having an inventory and a score. I sort of imagining the scoring taking place behind-the-scenes, like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, then revealed at the end.

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I notice here and also with the evil magician game you folks implemented a Raiders Of the Lost Ark type of inventory. Is that a custom kernel mod? I browsed the Batari programming manual and found the lives kernel, but I thought that was just one icon repeated. Am I wrong about this?

 

I'm excited to play more of your game. This reminds me slightly of Secret Quest, except that your game is fun. ;-)

 

This game has changed completely since I first started working on it, so I've ammended my first post accordingly.

 

"Armageddon Complex" is a sci-fi action-adventure set on a massive space station that has been taken over by a marauding band of alien terrorists. The aliens are trying to gain access to the station's "Inifinity Collider" - a doomsday device deployed by the Earth's governments as the ultimate peacekeeper. You are humanity's last hope... etc.

 

So this is obviously still a demo, but there are enough core mechanics in it that I thought it might be worth getting some fresh feedback on it.

 

HUD:

At the bottom of the screen, the score area displays your current inventory and shield strength. You can hold up to three items in your inventory at a time, and can have a maximum of up to three shields.

 

CONTROLS:

Left Joystick - Move hero in 8 directions

RightJoystick - Tap and release left or right to change your active Inventory item.

Left Fire Button - Aim or use the active item in your inventory, as follows:

  • Laser Sword - While holding the button down, tap the Left Joystick left or right to slash in that direction.
  • Gun - Move the Left Joystick in one of 8 directions to aim the gun that way. Release the Fire Button to shoot.
  • Crystal Thingee - Well, it doesn't do anything. Yet.

 

ENEMIES (only two at the moment):

Killer Robot: Garden variety evil robot. They turn up randomly in rooms that you enter, and can be dispatched with a single shot or a swing of your sword.

Mutant X: This is a persistent character that will serve much of the function that the Dragons did in Adventure, relentlessly pursuing you around the complex. You can mangle him with a sword strike or a bullet, but after a few seconds he will re-constitute himself and continue hunting you down.

 

YOU CAN NOT DIE: Not in this build, anyway.

 

The control schema is a little wonky right now, so any ideas would be welcome. One of the main things I'm grappling with is whether to allow the player to slash his (completely non-copyright-infringing) Laser Sword in multiple directions, or to have tapping up and down do something else when you have your sword drawn, like block or parry. I just think that might make for some nice swashbuckling duels if you run across an enemy who also has a sword.

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

 

Armageddon_Complex_alpha1.bas.bin

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I notice here and also with the evil magician game you folks implemented a Raiders Of the Lost Ark type of inventory. Is that a custom kernel mod? I browsed the Batari programming manual and found the lives kernel, but I thought that was just one icon repeated. Am I wrong about this?

 

I'm excited to play more of your game. This reminds me slightly of Secret Quest, except that your game is fun. ;-)

 

Thanks! Yeah I was thinking about Secret Quest as well. I never had the game but I played the ROM, and while it's pretty impressive technically speaking, there's something a little underwhelming about it as an adventure. i do like the theme and the idea behind it though. I think I read somewhere that Bushnell meant it to be an Atari response to Legend of Zelda. You have got to admire that moxy!

 

The inventory isn't a custom kernel. All I did was edit the score_graphics.asm include file, changing digits 1-8 into pictures of eight different items. I also changed the zero into a "blank" sprite and the nine into a "dot" sprite. If you read about how to check the score, its basically broken up into three segments of two numbers. So to set up the three inventory "slots" to check, I did:

 

 dim inv1=score
dim inv2=score+1
dim inv3=score+2

 

Than for the actual items that could be in the slots them I did:

 

 const sword = $10
const gun = $20
const crystal = $30
const pint_of_beer = $40
(...etc)

 

So when each inventory slot is read, it draws an item based on the first digit (1, 2, 3, 4...etc) and draws a "blank sprite" immediately after it (0). Depending on input from the right joystick, inv1, inv2 and inv3 either add or subtract 9 (the "dot"), indicating that a particular item was chosen. There are probably cleaner/better ways to do this, but that's how I did it. I did do a very slight modifcation on the "6lives" module to position three lives in the center of the screen, but that's totally separate (I think I'm going to dump it for "pfscore" anyway).

 

Cheers,

Jarod.

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Thank you Jrok for explaining the inventory.

 

As for gameplay, will the blaster have limited shots? Will you perhaps have to find ammo clips or power cells for it?

 

Since the story occurs on a space station, perhaps a level might have the lights sabotaged by the aliens, so you don't see them until they're almost on top of you. Either you need to reconnect the lights or get an Infrared goggles so you can see them. If you want to set the mood, you could have a few rooms with flickering lights and others just plain dark.

 

Setting the mood seems to be your strong point. I got sucked into your early demo with the side view and the teleporters. Your color choices for the playfield and the attention to paid to alien graphics and how they move captures the imagination and immerses the player in the world of the game.

 

If you want the player to find objects, how do you think you'll display them? Will they appear after the enemies are dead (like Cave-in)? Or perhaps an enemy might lurk in one side of a screen, but the item is in the other, and you can display one or the other depending on were the player is on the screen.

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