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Seaweed Assault

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Buy Seaweed Assault from the AtariAge store:
 
atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1032
 
Sales from the AtariAge store help pay for my AtariAge subscription.

 

 

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If you have been playing this game for free and you'd like to show your appreciation, feel free to visit the tip jar page at my web site where you can send money with PayPal or send a gift from my Amazon Wish List.

 

 

 
Latest NTSC version of Seaweed Assault:

[attachment=223283:seaweed_assault_2011y_10m_26d_0834t.bin]
 
[If you like this game, you can buy it from the AtariAge store. Please buy it if you can afford it. It will help pay for my AtariAge subscription.]
 
 
 
Latest PAL60 version of Seaweed Assault:
 
[attachment=339670:seaweed_assault_pal60_2014y_05m_01d_1436t.bin]

Useful link: SpiceWare explains how you can set up the Stella emulator to play this ROM using PAL60.
 

 

 

Seaweed Assault Reviews:

www.rgcd.co.uk/2011/11/seaweed-assault-atari-2600.html
 
www.8-bitcentral.com/reviews/2600seaweedAssault.html



Seaweed Assault Online Manual:

Click here to read the Seaweed Assault online manual or to play the game online if you don't have an emulator handy



Note: This game is not in the public domain. You have permission to use this program with emulators and on a real Atari using a Harmony cartridge or similar device (it will not work with a modded Flashback 2). Please do not include any version of this program in collections or post the .bin on a web site and please don't put it on cartridge with or without the intention of selling it (don't be a hoser). This game had a limited edition release on cartridge and it's now sold in the AtariAge store. Please buy it if you can afford it. It will help pay for my AtariAge subscription.




seaweed_assault.gif
seaweed_assault_screenshot.gif






Older versions of Seaweed Assault:

[attachment=220837:seaweed_assault_2011y_10m_07d_0442t.bin]

[attachment=220626:seaweed_assault_2011y_10m_06d_0545t.bin]

[attachment=220172:seaweed_assault_2011y_09m_30d_2248t.bin]

[attachment=182203:seaweed_assault_2010y_11m_30d_2020t.bin]

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I just thought of something that might make the game a little better. I could probably put a bar to the left of the score that shows how close the player is to 100 pieces of seaweed shot. It may not require any extra variables or bits. I'll see what I can do tomorrow.

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Great game! Just downloaded it and have been playing it using the Stella emulator. Lining up the sub to hit the seaweed blocks took a bit of practice, but it eventually got easier. Gets a bit claustrophobic very quickly when the seaweed starts growing in faster. :)

Personally, I wouldn't change anything in regards to the base game play.

[u][b]However, here's some suggestions/ideas:[/b][/u]
[list]

[*]Have random bonus items appear throughout the game, in addition to the canisters. I know you have the canister show up at 100 and 1000, but perhaps you can have some lesser items appear for only a few seconds in random spots on the board. These could give you a slight power boost, or perhaps a temporary shield to protect you from that mother-f'ing Wrothopod, so you can clear some of the seaweed (especially when it really starts growing in fast). Having these temporary, lesser bonus items appear would also force the player to decide between risking trying to get the random item, or leave it. These items would appear only in unoccupied areas, obviously.

[*]Give the player extra men. Instead of having the game end once the player dies, give the player 3 men to start. Then you could make the bonus at 1000 points be an extra man, so it gives the player something to shoot for, and separates the 1000-point bonus from all of the others.

[*]One thing I experienced is that it is difficult to break away from the seaweed blocks, and they drain your power pretty quickly. Not sure if you could make it a bit easy to break away, or change it so that the sub just loses points and bounces off the seaweed if it comes in contact with it. A few times, I had a fair amount of energy left, but got stuck in a seaweed block and ended the game.
[/list]

These are just some quick suggestions off the top of my head. Don't know how much wiggle room you have to work with.

Again, really nice job. I can't wait to play the final version, however it turns out.

-B

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[quote name='Brian O' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:06 AM' timestamp='1291180000' post='2147975']Have random bonus items appear throughout the game . . .[/quote]
I wondered about that before. I have the space for graphics and code, but I'm out of variables. I might be able to [url="http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/173128-ran-out-of-bits-maybe-i-can-grab-a-bit-7/"]squeeze out another bit or two[/url] if I'm lucky, but I'm not sure if that would be enough help. If I can find one more bit, maybe I can adjust the canister code and use it for any random bonus item, no matter what it looks like. Problem is that it will share the same sound effect, which could confuse people.




[quote name='Brian O' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:06 AM' timestamp='1291180000' post='2147975']I know you have the canister show up at 100 and 1000 . . .[/quote]
In case it's not clear, you get a health canister every time you earn a thousand points (1000, 2000, 3000, and so on). You also earn a health canister every time you shoot 100 pieces of seaweed (totally separate from the score). As soon as you shoot 100 pieces of seaweed, the count starts over, the health canister drops and you're off earning your next health canister as soon as you shoot another 100 pieces of seaweed. . .




[quote name='Brian O' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:06 AM' timestamp='1291180000' post='2147975'][*]Give the player extra men. Instead of having the game end once the player dies, give the player 3 men to start. Then you could make the bonus at 1000 points be an extra man, so it gives the player something to shoot for, and separates the 1000-point bonus from all of the others.[/quote]
I will if I have to. Maybe throwing in more random canisters (or random canisters that don't look like canisters) will solve the problem. I guess that wouldn't help someone who gets stuck in a patch of seaweed and can't shoot out of it or use the tentacle to pull them out of it.




[quote name='Brian O' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:06 AM' timestamp='1291180000' post='2147975']One thing I experienced is that it is difficult to break away from the seaweed blocks, and they drain your power pretty quickly. Not sure if you could make it a bit easy to break away, or change it so that the sub just loses points and bounces off the seaweed if it comes in contact with it. A few times, I had a fair amount of energy left, but got stuck in a seaweed block and ended the game.[/quote]
If you bang into a piece of seaweed straight on, you'll bounce off, but it's easy to get tangled up in the seaweed if you get too close. I could adjust the code to keep shoving the Manatee away, but there could be other bits of seaweed in the way and it would never seem to end. You'd just sit there watching the Manatee bounce around.

If I add lives, maybe getting tangled in the seaweed won't be so bad.

From testing over and over, I found out that struggling once you're tangled is a bad idea. Just sit still and shoot. If that doesn't help and your health isn't too low, you can wait for the tentacle to grab you and yank you down a little. I've gotten out of more than a few tangles that way.

Thanks for the suggestions.





[quote name='accousticguitar' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:18 AM' timestamp='1291180737' post='2147984']Is there a way to fire more than one missile at a time? That would be a nice option for a difficulty switch. :)[/quote]
Nope, all out of missiles and variables. And having more than one missile using flicker would probably mess up the multiplier. Seems like it would be too hard to keep track of.

Thanks. Edited by Random Terrain

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I like the animation of the ship and the sound effects. Especially the tentacle music. That was a nice touch. On my first play, I got snagged by the tentacle and then Wrothed while it had me! What a way to die!

Nicely done sir!

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It might just be me, but the ship accelerates too fast. When I push up or down on the joystick to move to a different level so I can shoot a block, the ship flies past it. I find myself going up and down several times until I can properly line up the ship to shoot the block.

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[quote name='accousticguitar' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 9:43 AM' timestamp='1291218216' post='2148183']
It might just be me, but the ship accelerates too fast. When I push up or down on the joystick to move to a different level so I can shoot a block, the ship flies past it. I find myself going up and down several times until I can properly line up the ship to shoot the block.
[/quote]

I also found it frustrating. However, I believe that's part of the charm and the theme of the game. Your underwater ships are so fast, that the need for blasting seaweed is all the more urgent. Edited by Piggles

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I would like more frequent tentacle attacks! I think they're creepy and exciting, but happen too seldom. It could be because I'm doing lots of horizontal movement and that keeps them away. Even if they were to miss, I think it would add additional drama to the already desperate situation as the sea-weed begins to pile up.

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[quote name='Piggles' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 11:22 AM' timestamp='1291224145' post='2148262']
[quote name='accousticguitar' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 9:43 AM' timestamp='1291218216' post='2148183']
It might just be me, but the ship accelerates too fast. When I push up or down on the joystick to move to a different level so I can shoot a block, the ship flies past it. I find myself going up and down several times until I can properly line up the ship to shoot the block.
[/quote]

I also found it frustrating. However, I believe that's part of the charm and the theme of the game. Your underwater ships are so fast, that the need for blasting seaweed is all the more urgent.
[/quote]

I've played it quite a bit now. I find lining up vertical shots to be far more a problem than horizontal, as the pixels are twice as tall as wide. I kill 99% of the seaweed with horizontal shots. My question is, is it a problem? Or is it a feature? Perhaps [i]I[/i] am the problem, and the game is perfect.

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[quote name='Piggles' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 11:50 AM' timestamp='1291225811' post='2148286']
I would like more frequent tentacle attacks! I think they're creepy and exciting, but happen too seldom.[/quote]
I didn't discover the tentacles the first time I played. I like them! What would be cool is if sometimes the tentacle sound plays but the tentacle [i]doesn't[/i] come out. I think that would add some suspense.

Nice game, RT :thumbsup:

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[quote name='Piggles' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:50 PM' timestamp='1291225811' post='2148286']
I would like more frequent tentacle attacks! I think they're creepy and exciting, but happen too seldom. It could be because I'm doing lots of horizontal movement and that keeps them away. Even if they were to miss, I think it would add additional drama to the already desperate situation as the sea-weed begins to pile up.
[/quote]

I second this. I've played a bunch of times and there doesn't seem to be enough tentacle attacks.

-B

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Great game! Cool graphics, too... love the Wrothopod guys :cool: Great concept and execution, and very polished. Also, I don't mind that the tentacle doesn't show up very often, as long as it will show up more and more often the further you get in the game.

Now, let's talk about that giant laser crab...

[quote]I'm out of variables, so I won't be able to add a giant crab that shoots lasers out of its eyes or anything like that.[/quote]

What is your playfield resolution? Unless it is 32, and unless you are doing something tricky like storing player data in the RAM, you will definitely have memory free in the your Superchip RAM. Maybe plenty of memory. For example, in the game I'm working on I have a resolution of 24. In addition to var0-var47, I'm using w000-w032 (and their corresponding read addresses) to store 16 rows of shape and color for player1. Also, I'm using the last four address of SC (w124-w127) to store a few more things.

Anyway, if it turns out you didn't use this stuff, I demand my crab! :) Really, though, it might be nice in general to add in a few critters that you can actually shoot and destroy to counterbalance the Wrothopod guys. :D Edited by jrok

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Thanks for the input. Every suggestion, thumbs up, and complaint helps. Please let me know if you discover any screw ups, if you don't like a certain sound effect, and stuff like that.

Do you like how the game starts, with the mature seaweed closing in, then the Manatee dropping in? I was temporarily using the kerplunk drop-in sound effect until I could find a better one, but I couldn't find anything that sounded any better. Should I keep trying to find a sound effect for the Manatee drop in, or just leave the kerplunk sound?




[quote name='Piggles' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 2:47 PM' timestamp='1291232853' post='2148351'][quote name='Piggles' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 11:22 AM' timestamp='1291224145' post='2148262'][quote name='accousticguitar' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 9:43 AM' timestamp='1291218216' post='2148183']It might just be me, but the ship accelerates too fast. When I push up or down on the joystick to move to a different level so I can shoot a block, the ship flies past it. I find myself going up and down several times until I can properly line up the ship to shoot the block.
[/quote]
I also found it frustrating. However, I believe that's part of the charm and the theme of the game. Your underwater ships are so fast, that the need for blasting seaweed is all the more urgent.
[/quote]
I've played it quite a bit now. I find lining up vertical shots to be far more a problem than horizontal, as the pixels are twice as tall as wide. I kill 99% of the seaweed with horizontal shots. My question is, is it a problem? Or is it a feature? Perhaps [i]I[/i] am the problem, and the game is perfect.[/quote]
The normal playfield pixels with default resolution seemed to be the perfect shape for this game. Unless there is a bunch of seaweed clumped up in a big vertical strip, I don't even bother to shoot up or down. I mostly shoot left or right and see how many bits of seaweed I can shoot with the same missile for more points.

And lining up a shot is pretty easy once you get used to moving a little, then coming back so you're in the right spot. If shooting seaweed was easy, they would send down a monkey with a snorkel and a waterproof BB gun.




[quote name='Piggles' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 12:50 PM' timestamp='1291225811' post='2148286']I would like more frequent tentacle attacks! I think they're creepy and exciting, but happen too seldom. It could be because I'm doing lots of horizontal movement and that keeps them away. Even if they were to miss, I think it would add additional drama to the already desperate situation as the sea-weed begins to pile up.[/quote][quote name='Emehr' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 2:54 PM' timestamp='1291233294' post='2148358']I didn't discover the tentacles the first time I played. I like them! What would be cool is if sometimes the tentacle sound plays but the tentacle [i]doesn't[/i] come out. I think that would add some suspense.[/quote][quote name='Brian O' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 2:59 PM' timestamp='1291233591' post='2148361']I second this. I've played a bunch of times and there doesn't seem to be enough tentacle attacks.[/quote]
Wow, you never know how people will react. I figured people might complain about how the tentacles are always coming after them. I'd like to keep the sound and the tentacles tied together with no false alarms. The way it is now, if you stay in one vertical position for about 2 seconds, a tentacle will come after you. I can change it from 2 seconds to 1 second or less if you want. I could even link it to a difficulty switch. B could be 2 seconds and A could be 1 second. Or, if I can get more variables using jrok's suggestion below, it could start at 2 seconds, and decrease over time.




[quote name='jrok' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:59 PM' timestamp='1291237195' post='2148402']Also, I don't mind that the tentacle doesn't show up very often, as long as it will show up more and more often the further you get in the game.[/quote]
I can do that if I can get more variables.




[quote name='jrok' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:59 PM' timestamp='1291237195' post='2148402']What is your playfield resolution? Unless it is 32, and unless you are doing something tricky like storing player data in the RAM, you will definitely have memory free in the your Superchip RAM. Maybe plenty of memory. For example, in the game I'm working on I have a resolution of 24. In addition to var0-var47, I'm using w000-w032 (and their corresponding read addresses) to store 16 rows of shape and color for player1. Also, I'm using the last four address of SC (w124-w127) to store a few more things.[/quote]
I'm using the plain old 32 x 11 playfield. I haven't messed with Superchip RAM that much yet. I wonder how hard it would be to convert it? It would be nice to have more variables.




[quote name='jrok' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:59 PM' timestamp='1291237195' post='2148402']Really, though, it might be nice in general to add in a few critters that you can actually shoot and destroy to counterbalance the Wrothopod guys. :D[/quote]
If I can get more variables, you never know what creatures might show up (or randomly pop out from behind a piece of seaweed when you shoot it).

Thanks. Edited by Random Terrain

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[quote]If I can get more variables, you never know what creatures might show up (or randomly pop out from behind a piece of seaweed when you shoot it).[/quote]

Hey RT,

I created a JPEG of a crab sprite that you could use (if you chose to). I also incorporated the sprite into a screenshot.

-B

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[quote name='Random Terrain' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 7:22 PM' timestamp='1291249333' post='2148543']
[quote name='jrok' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:59 PM' timestamp='1291237195' post='2148402']Also, I don't mind that the tentacle doesn't show up very often, as long as it will show up more and more often the further you get in the game.[/quote]
I can do that if I can get more variables.
[/quote]

Are you using missile1x for anything? With the colored player1, you can't use missile1height and missile1y for anything, but you can use missile1x. Also, it seems like you are using pfscore, but not using the second scorebar (pfscore2), so you could reassign that address to something else (if you haven't already)

[quote name='Random Terrain' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 7:22 PM' timestamp='1291249333' post='2148543']
I'm using the plain old 32 x 11 playfield. I haven't messed with Superchip RAM that much yet. I wonder how hard it would be to convert it? It would be nice to have more variables.
[/quote]

Well, there shouldn't be any problem in converting it. Just define the superchip kernel option you'll immediately have a ton of additional variables available to you. Of course I understand wanting to take on the challenge of doing it without that.

[quote name='Random Terrain' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 7:22 PM' timestamp='1291249333' post='2148543']
[quote name='jrok' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 3:59 PM' timestamp='1291237195' post='2148402']Really, though, it might be nice in general to add in a few critters that you can actually shoot and destroy to counterbalance the Wrothopod guys. :D[/quote]
If I can get more variables, you never know what creatures might show up (or randomly pop out from behind a piece of seaweed when you shoot it).
[/quote]

Even without the superchip, you might be able to squeeze in some more variables. If you pop open 2600basic.h, you might be surprised to find several variables that you can substitute with constants. I did a lot of that when I was working on "Charge." For example, if you aren't planning on changing "scorecolor", you can define that as a constant value in 2600basic.h, and then define that address ($A3) for something else... such as "crab_anger_level." :)

Old
[code]scorecolor = $A3[/code]

New
[code]scorecolor = #14
crab_anger_level = $A3[/code]

Either way, good luck, RT! It looks like a great game.

J Edited by jrok

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I played this some last night.
Just wanted to give RT a :thumbsup: for making a solid game.
Looks great, sounds great!

I do think some of the suggestions in this thread are good ones though.

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[quote name='jrok' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 7:57 PM' timestamp='1291251445' post='2148561']Well, there shouldn't be any problem in converting it. Just define the superchip kernel option you'll immediately have a ton of additional variables available to you. Of course I understand wanting to take on the challenge of doing it without that.[/quote]
I haven't read that section on the bB page in a while. I thought everything about the playfield changed when you enabled it. I'll take another look:

http://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-batari-basic-commands.html#superchipram
[quote][color="#000000"]Most existing bB code written for standard bank switching can be adapted to run with Superchip RAM without needing major changes. In doing so, you will use the existing kernels and have the entire 128 bytes available to you as variables. The transition may not be totally seamless because Superchip RAM requires 256 bytes of filler data for every 4K, which will slightly reduce the amount of ROM available.[/color][/quote]

Well, slap me bum and call me Suzy. If I don't use "const pfres=whatever" everything will pretty much stay the same, I'll just have more PEEK/POKE style variables and 256 fewer bytes in each bank. I'll probably have to hop up to 32kSC.

Thanks.

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Well done RT! I downloaded this in the morning to check it out, but I liked it so much I broke it out at lunch for a round or three.

I think the shooting multiplier is a great mechanic, and the other elements definitely keep you motivated to move around.

I agree with jrok that it could one or two more enemies that had more variety. Maybe a mutant frog that thinks the manatee is a potential mate. :)

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Also created a Seahorse Sprite. Like the crab, it's just a JPEG since I don't have vBb sprite editor. I also placed the seahorse sprite onto the plafield with the crab. Sea horses are so funky looking. I think it'd make for a cool-looking enemy. Obviously, these are just some suggestions, so feel free to tell me to buzz off at any time :D

-B

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[quote name='Brian O' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 7:48 PM' timestamp='1291250917' post='2148557']I created a JPEG of a crab sprite that you could use (if you chose to). I also incorporated the sprite into a screenshot.[/quote]
Thanks. Below shows a normal sprite to the left and a stretched one to the right using [url="http://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-batari-basic-commands.html#nusiz"]NUSIZ1[/url]:

[attachment=182299:crabs.gif]




[quote name='moycon' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 8:14 PM' timestamp='1291252481' post='2148574']I played this some last night.
Just wanted to give RT a :thumbsup: for making a solid game.
Looks great, sounds great!

I do think some of the suggestions in this thread are good ones though.[/quote]
Thanks. Now that I'll have more variables, there should be no problem adding the best suggestions. I hope this can get finished in December so I won't have to change the title screen (then if it would get released on cartridge in 2011, people in the future can argue about the release date "But it says 2010 on the title screen!"). :lol:




[quote name='RevEng' date='Wed Dec 1, 2010 8:26 PM' timestamp='1291253195' post='2148591']
Well done RT! I downloaded this in the morning to check it out, but I liked it so much I broke it out at lunch for a round or three.

I think the shooting multiplier is a great mechanic, and the other elements definitely keep you motivated to move around.

I agree with jrok that it could one or two more enemies that had more variety. Maybe a mutant frog that thinks the manatee is a potential mate. :)[/quote]
Thanks. These extra variables sure will help. If I can keep the animations fairly short for the new creatures (maybe 4 frames each?), we might be able to have enough creatures to keep the game interesting.

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