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InfernalKeith

Herding Cats (RGPC)

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Tonight marks the final push... gonna try to have at least a good bit of the game functionality working by the time I go to bed (which could be sunrise, at the rate I'm going).

 

Dealing right now with bad values coming in when the cat moves - an x-coordinate of zero is somehow getting through even though I check for it in all directions (if the coordinate is zero, the cat either "wraps" to the other side of the screen, or just goes "bump" and picks a new direction, depending on whether screen wrap is activated on that level). Also, the multitude of IF-AND-AND-AND-THEN statements to make the cat repellent/attractant tools work is slowing things down a bit... I need to puzzle out a better solution there.

 

I'll probably be posting all night as I take breaks from the 99/4A and beat my head against the desk. Make some coffee and stay up with me, won't you? :) (or, depending on your locale, wake up to my programming nightmares)

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I'll be around tonight working on my TI remake, so feel free to ping me if you need to vent or anything. :)

 

Thanks! I just realized where my bad values were coming from. So stupid... I typed over a line that checked to make sure a particular cat wasn't already offscreen (dead or at the goal). If that cat is gone, the X value is SUPPOSED to be zero, but it's supposed to cycle on to the next cat, then.

 

Tell me again why I thought coding this on real gear was a good idea? :/

 

Anyway, problem solved... onward and upward!

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Tonight is my "push" night too. I'll be with ya man. :). I won't have the sucker done tonight, but it'll be playable. All graphics are done, but I'm having a character set crisis right now. Need one more open set.... :(. No worries though... We'll get 'er figured out.

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So far so good... when you hit space to pause the action and use your tools, my little menu works -- you can page through all your options quickly with the arrow keys, or pick your tool of choice with a letter command. All you can do is resume the cats' wandering or quit to main so far, but it's all formatted properly and works right, so we're cookin'.

 

Once I get a few more of the tools implemented, I'll copy it over to the PC so I can get a few screen grabs to post. Getting 'in the zone' now, though - caffeine is kicking in and I'm jazzed on some minor successes. :)

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Good stuff man!!! I just posted a snippit to my page as well. 2 new pix, and a piece of code to try out. Just a dumb little demo shot of the boss/bonus screen. Give it a go if you feel like leaving the cats for a few minutes. :). Can't wait to play your game!

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Still plugging away at 2:30am... you can now cut the playfield in half, which dooms any kitties on that side to oblivion, but which keeps the rest from wandering too far from the exit. Next function: the "cat bookie," who allows you to bet some of your points on how many cats you actually save...

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Well, the "all nighter" only lasted till about 3am. I guess I'm getting old. :)

 

Got quite a bit done, though, and a lot of the remaining work is easy stuff. I hope to get a bunch more of the player functions installed tonight, and I will definitely post some pix later today. I have to go spend some time with those small humans who live in my house, though - not sure what they're called, again? Perhaps I do need a break from the TI...

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Well, the "all nighter" only lasted till about 3am. I guess I'm getting old. :)

 

hhmmm can't remember when I spent all night programming the TI, guess I'll need to join a competition as well ;)

 

Looking forward seeing some pics :)

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Our illustrious leader wishes to enter a programming contest....  :). How bout this...

 

"Write a game about a poo-flinging monkey who fights live chickens with only a herring as a weapon.". :)

 

Good to see Keith's enthusiasm.  Atariage is Much more exciting than the OLUG.  People here are actually "excited" to be 99ers.  :)

 

Owen Brand

Opry99er.com

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Good to see Keith's enthusiasm.  Atariage is Much more exciting than the OLUG.  People here are actually "excited" to be 99ers.  :)

 

You're right about that Owen! Even with just a handful of 99ers, this forum is much more alive than other TI spots I'm on. Especially for developers.

 

Looking forward to both these games. Will check our your respective sites for screenies.

 

And I like your game idea. Kind of a cross between Monty Python and Donkey Kong. Monty Kong? :P

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I think people on AA appreciate homebrew titles being developed for any retro machine not just the TI99. Its good to see what direction developers are pushing the machines in, be it new games, demos, apps or hardware.

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I think people on AA appreciate homebrew titles being developed for any retro machine not just the TI99.

 

I hope folks here are keen on remakes as well, because I've got another TI one underway and an A2600 one I'm looking to revive. Perhaps one day I'll get up enough gumption to try homebrewing too. :love:

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I think people on AA appreciate homebrew titles being developed for any retro machine not just the TI99.

 

I hope folks here are keen on remakes as well, because I've got another TI one underway and an A2600 one I'm looking to revive. Perhaps one day I'll get up enough gumption to try homebrewing too. :love:

 

 

Another idea I have, which I touched on briefly in Retrogaming Times this month, is revamps of, or sequels to, existing (and possibly forgotten) games. One that comes to mind for me is Lost Ruins, originally a 99'er magazine type-in game. Lots of potential there for a more fully-developed game concept. I'd love to do a one-player version of Hordes with some decent AI, too, so I could play it against the computer.

 

Too many projects for one lifetime! :)

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OK, photo tour of the game so far:

 

 

herdingcats01.jpg

 

The title screen. The border of cats is animated.

 

 

herdingcats02.jpg

 

Credits screen. I stole the idea of 'cup-of-coffee-ware' from someone else's site, I don't remember who. If you like my game, PayPal me $2 for a cup of coffee. :)

 

 

herdingcats03.jpg

 

The first level's goals are explained. Basically, level 1 is a blow-off, to let you get used to the tools and mess around, but you can still lose in the first round.

 

 

herdingcats04.jpg

 

And here we are, level one, cats merrily roaming...

 

 

herdingcats05.jpg

 

You've pressed space, and are now scrolling through your menu of options. You can use the arrow keys or type the letter of the individual tool to select it.

 

 

herdingcats06.jpg

 

Oh dear! You've chosen the "cat-pocalypse," and your cats are blowing up, one by one.

 

 

herdingcats07.jpg

 

Ah, here we are. Level two, and a slew of cats all jumbled together. Sure, they explode on contact with each other now, but they wouldn't be dumb enough to run into each -- oh.

 

 

herdingcats08.jpg

 

Well, if they're going to blow each other up anyway, why not cut the table in half, sacrifice some, and keep the others from wandering too far off?

 

 

herdingcats09.jpg

 

Well, that's less area to keep track of, and an ever-so-fancy wall to keep the little furry geniuses from wandering randomly off into the abyss. Surely now we'll reach our goal of 20,000 points, right?

 

 

herdingcats10.jpg

 

Uh... right? Oh dear.

 

 

herdingcats11.jpg

 

This game isn't even beta tested yet, and already, I suck at it.

 

 

 

More tools enabled tonight!

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This looks like chaos!!! Love the screenies, man. This'll be a trip. :)

Yeah! This looks ACE!

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Ai yi yi!!

 

Working on the user tools to finish the game by this weekend, and I had a sudden bolt of inspiration -- WAY too big to add before the contest ends!

 

So, as it stands now, Herding Cats Beta will be released by the deadline, as a one-player game...

 

But when I release the official Herding Cats 1.0, it will have a two-player competitive mode!

 

TWO exits, one on either side of the screen... you against an opponent or the computer... each of you doing things to manipulate the board and get more cats to your exit, AND undoing your opponent's work, AND sabotaging their efforts.

 

That actually pretty much makes it a different game! I may do "Herding Cats I and II" and when I do the physical release, package them together.

 

Back to work... hopefully more photos tonight as I near completion...

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Update: the first three REAL levels of the game, not just test modes, are finished. "Nice and Easy," "Mind the Holes," and "Wrong Side of Trax," they're called. Seeing actual game levels has changed my whole outlook on this thing, as I was beginning to get a bit bogged down in the details and second-guessing the whole idea a bit.

 

Speaking of getting bogged down, I did some bug fixes tonight, and started coding the "cat bookie" -- you'll be able to bet the house on how many of your cats make it, or, if you're a sadistic bastard, how many will bite the dust. The cat bookie will taunt you accordingly and calculates the wagers based on how many cycles are left in the round, how many cats are still onscreen, etc.

 

Many of the other cat tools yet to be coded - the "cat rapture," building wall segments, etc. - are a matter of a few lines each. We may actually be getting to the home stretch here!

 

If I make it late enough tonight I'll post pix of the finished levels.

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