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jrok

Charge!

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Made it to wave 8 this time! I must not be very good.

 

:lol: I think I've just been playing it too much, so my perception of the difficulty ramp is skewed. Although, I wonder if I'm communicating certain things well enough in my instruction docs. One really crucial point is that "pressing" the fire button does not shoot the arrow; it just draws the bow. Releasing the button shoots the arrow. Holding the button down also engages your lance when you reach top speed (by holding left or right for about a second), so I notice I spend far more time holding the fire button down while playing then mashing or pressing it. Don't know if that helps or not.

 

Any chance of getting the galloping sound fx back? Doesn't seem like it's very important, but I feel it adds a lot to the feeling and excitement when I'm galloping towards the black night or fending off a dragon.

 

I think I can squeeze it back in. My main problem is making sure it doesn't override other mission-critical sounds (like, for instance, the sound of the dragonfire that is used to gauge the dragon's proximity). I'll experiment and see if I can bring it back in the next build.

 

Can anything be done about the dragon sprites disappearing when they get close but not all the way to the side of the screen?

 

Not sure. I really don't think so. P1 wraps at screen edge in the display kernel I'm using, so if the didn't disappear before the edge they would instead appear at the opposite side of the screen and then disappear. I understand that Batari incorporated some form of sprite masking into his latest display routine, but unfortunately I don't think I can use it with this program (and even if I could, the sprite is resized, which I gather would present other problems)

 

In most levels, the wave ends when you kill all dragons. In the ones with the grendel, you have to kill the grendel too before it moves on to the next wave. Is this intentional?

 

Actually, that's not true. No levels end the instant you kill all dragons. This was a revision in place since my 8/10 build: "New play mechanic: After destroying all air enemies (Dragons, Wizards), player must defeat a road enemy (Knights, Grendels) to advance to next wave." It's not just Grendels; after you clear the sky of enemies, a short tune plays indicating that you need to clear the road to advance to the next stage. I put this mechanic in place to avoid having "cowards" play the entire game while avoiding the road enemies :twisted: After you hear the tune, kill whatever creature (Knight/Grendel/Other) remains on the road and you'll reach the next wave.

 

The little animation when you save the princess is cool.

 

Thanks! I sort of wanted to expand on it, but I have precious little space left for graphics, and I want to reserve it for a few more bosses and color changes.

 

What's the "+W" on the title screen for?

 

Just a placeholder right now. Eventually it will cycle through game options.

 

I wanted to make some comments on the enemies:

 

I think you have a nice mix of enemies in the game over all.

You have dragons which come in different types and can damage both the player and the castles.

You have the grunts which only damage the castle but still need to be taken out.

You have the knights/grendels which only damage the player and also act as blockers to the player's progress.

Getting rid of the old bats was the right move I think since they really didn't add much to the game over all.

 

If you were to add another enemy to replace the bats, I think it should be some sort of enemy that lobs some sort of projectile in an arch towards the player. This would make the player a bit more cautious about speeding along too much because the lob could still hit them even if they pass the enemy. And perhaps these lob attacks could also harm the castles.

 

If you don't add a new enemy, I think the idea of road hazards you mentioned earlier would be a good way to go if they are introduces in the later stages of the game. If there were road hazards to avoid, it would be nice if there was some sort of way to jump. Nice, but not completely necessary.

 

You mentioned power-ups in an earlier post too. Some ideas that I think could be good for those:

 

a power up that let you temporarily make straight shots up into the air instead of at an arc. Maybe call it "eagle eye" or something.

 

A power up that lets you temporarily shoot horizontally to take card of the knights and grendels easier.

 

The classic temporary invincibility power-up.

 

A speed power up to make the player move faster.

 

And one that maybe makes the player's shots/lance do more damage.

 

Just some ideas.

 

Still loving the game. (and hoping or the galloping sounds to come back :P )

 

Thanks for the ideas. As far as the "shoot forward/ shoot up" powerup, I need to investigate this further. My problem is that I'm currently trying to play the game with "shoot directly up" in place, and so far I don't really think of that as a powerup. In fact, It actually seems to be hindering my game performance so far, causing me to get hit with far more dragonfire than usual. Maybe this is just a result of me playing the game exclusively with the forward-angle shot up to this point, so I'll play a few more games tonight with the straight shot and see what happens. Meanwhile, I've attached a version of the latest build with straight-shot turned on, so maybe you can do some playtesting of your own and let me know how it affects your own performance, whether positively or negatively.

 

ChargeDPC_straightshot.bin

 

 

[EDIT]

 

Okay, I just completed my first game with "eagle eye" on and I have to say that I SUCK at eagle-eye :). Seriously. Usually, by the time I face the first Wizard boss, I'm usually flying with four reserve lives and fully stocked castles, and I usually more or less cruise through him like a hot knife through butter. This time, I faced him with one life, he massacred one of my castles, and every time he was on the screen I felt like a kamikaze pilot on a suicide mission. And, really, I was, because he finished me off. It was the first time in a very long time that this sucker killed me.

 

BUT... that might just be due to my personal play-style. Now I'm really curious if you are going to cruise through the levels with this experimental build, maybe by playing the game in a very different way. Post scores, levels and pics. I'll keep playing this version for awhile too, to see if you're seeing some unique angle of gameplay that I missed while designing it.

 

Cheers,

J

Edited by jrok

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I was already aware of how the arrow fires on release of the fire button. I also end up running around with my lance out and ready to release for fire. It's kinda a given that the developer of the game is going to be better at it than most others.

 

Maybe straight shots could be used as a game difficulty variation instead of a power up? Haven't tried the build yet but am going to shortly.

 

Instead of straight shot as a power up, maybe a wider or multi-shot if possible? Or a power up that lets you lans the road enemies no matter where you colide with them temporarily or at least a larger hit box?

 

***EDIT***

 

Just tried out the straight shot build. Made it to the beginning of level 12 with a score of 1487 on the first try. I would definitely say that I "cruised" through the first 5 waves or so.

 

I think I found the straight shot to be easier. The trick I used was getting the dragon to chase me closely and letting the shots go so they fired slightly behind me to hit the dragons. This allowed me to hit them several times in a much quicker succession than with the arched shot. Sometimes I was also darting under their fire before it reached me.

 

I like how the wizard has a force field when not firing.

 

I noticed that after beating wave 10 the level number simply displayed "1" instead of 11. I'm guessing this has something to do with not being able to/wanting to display 2 numbers at once. Probably why level 10 was displayed as level "X". If it's not going to desplay double digits, it would be nice if there was something else at least, maybe on the hud, to display some sort of tick mark for each 10 waves completed.

 

Not 100% positive, but I think there was one instance where I shot a dragon with the princess, but she did not drop.

 

About the wave changes. I guess on the levels with the knights, I would just ride along with my lance out waiting for the wave to change after I killed all the dragons and probably lanced a few then the wave switched. I just never noticed that it switched after I hit them. On the Grendel levels, I would usually avoid them, that's why it was only noticeable to me then.

 

I would definitely say that straight shot would be cool as a game variation as opposed to a power up. As a power up, it would probably still be interesting though. Might make for more of a challenge since it would force the player to slightly change play styles on the fly.

 

Aside from the gallop, still any chance of getting the radar back? :D

The more I play the DPC version, the more used to using the sound as a type of radar so I can definitely see how the old style radar isn't really needed. But it would be nice to keep track where I am exactly on the field. And perhaps a way to show which castles are low on health or destroyed so I don't go running in that direction when there is nothing to protect.

 

Any chance you came across an updated version of the old non-DPC version of charge revision 1? I would love to play a slightly updated version that at least fix the freeze bug when dying by getting hit by fire. I am still loving this version too. I like them both.

Edited by Legend

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I played with the straight shot version and I agree that maybe it should be a "game variation", but probably not a power-up. I find it easier to hit dragons, but harder to hit footmen. I like the idea of one of the power-ups being the ability to kill a knight by hitting it anywhere. Wider shots is also a good idea... as are player & castle health.

 

I've been encountering a sound issue with the last couple of builds. When the last dragon is killed sometimes the sound that tells you to kill a road enemy gets messed up. It just maintains a single loud note until you finally end the stage by killing the road enemy and get the new level sound.

 

I still think the "night time" screens are too red. The $50 portion of the palette is too much of a red-purple to look like night IMO. I understand you changed it from black because of the half black dragons, but maybe you could either go with dragons that are half $02 instead of $00... or you could use the $70 portion of the palette and see how that looks. Here are 3 screenshots, one using $70 (my 2nd fav after black), one $60 and the current $50.

 

post-9364-0-27527600-1315220981_thumb.png post-9364-0-98902700-1315221021_thumb.png post-9364-0-38214200-1315221186_thumb.png

 

 

I noticed that after beating wave 10 the level number simply displayed "1" instead of 11.

Actually, that "1" (levels 11-19) has a line under it indicating that it's eleven. I'm assuming level 21 will have two lines and level 31 will have 3.

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***EDIT***

 

Just tried out the straight shot build. Made it to the beginning of level 12 with a score of 1487 on the first try. I would definitely say that I "cruised" through the first 5 waves or so.

 

Interesting. Maybe I will keep straight-shot in as a variant.

 

I noticed that after beating wave 10 the level number simply displayed "1" instead of 11.. . If it's not going to desplay double digits, it would be nice if there was something else at least, maybe on the hud, to display some sort of tick mark for each 10 waves completed.

 

It does contain a tick. If you look closely, you'll see that waves 11-20 have a line drawn under the number. Waves 21-30 will have two lines. This method of numbering is probably not going to change, since this is one of many ways I'm trying to conserve memory.

 

Not 100% positive, but I think there was one instance where I shot a dragon with the princess, but she did not drop.

 

I'll bet it was near the top of the screen when you shot it :lol: There were times I could've sworn I killed the dragon before he ate her, but he most certainly did. Maybe I can put in a "Princess eaten" sound effect to avoid confusion.

 

Aside from the gallop, still any chance of getting the radar back? :D

 

No, definitely not. Even if I could find the resources left to do it, there's no CPU time left to do it without sacrificing more gameplay.

 

The more I play the DPC version, the more used to using the sound as a type of radar so I can definitely see how the old style radar isn't really needed. But it would be nice to keep track where I am exactly on the field. And perhaps a way to show which castles are low on health or destroyed so I don't go running in that direction when there is nothing to protect.

 

I know it sounds simple to implement since I did it before without the chip, and I agree that it might be useful (especially the part about knowing castle health states at all times.) But, again, I would have to sacrifice something to do it. Part of what I didn't like about the original version of the game was that it felt like it was "all-hat-and-no-cowboy." The player had all this GPS, radar and satellite data showing them how to hunt down and kill... two enemies. Now, at least there are three simultaneous foes, plus a princess to rescue. If I reduce the number of enemies to two again, I feel like I'll have defeated the purpose of trying to use the DPC+ chip to bolster gameplay in the first place.

 

Any chance you came across an updated version of the old non-DPC version of charge revision 1? I would love to play a slightly updated version that at least fix the freeze bug when dying by getting hit by fire. I am still loving this version too. I like them both.

 

I think I found that version (or something close to it), but I won't have time to bugtest it until I'm finished with this one.

 

Cheers,

J

Edited by jrok

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I've been encountering a sound issue with the last couple of builds. When the last dragon is killed sometimes the sound that tells you to kill a road enemy gets messed up. It just maintains a single loud note until you finally end the stage by killing the road enemy and get the new level sound.

 

Yep, I noticed that one to. It's on my list.

 

I still think the "night time" screens are too red. The $50 portion of the palette is too much of a red-purple to look like night IMO.

 

Thanks for the ideas. Color palettes are far from final at the moment, and I'm sure they'll change a lot before I have a stable release candidate. I think low lum for night is pretty much a given, and it may even revert to black. But I, uh... I've kinda got bigger fish to fry at the moment. :D

 

Actually, that "1" (levels 11-19) has a line under it indicating that it's eleven. I'm assuming level 21 will have two lines and level 31 will have 3.

 

Yep, that's right.

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How'd you stop the stair-stepping effect? Or is that just a bonus offered by DPC+?

 

I'm not sure I know what you mean. What is the stair-stepping effect?

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Can anything be done about the dragon sprites disappearing when they get close but not all the way to the side of the screen?

 

Not sure. I really don't think so. P1 wraps at screen edge in the display kernel I'm using, so if the didn't disappear before the edge they would instead appear at the opposite side of the screen and then disappear. I understand that Batari incorporated some form of sprite masking into his latest display routine, but unfortunately I don't think I can use it with this program (and even if I could, the sprite is resized, which I gather would present other problems)

 

 

Not sure if I missed this earlier in the thread, but I'm having this very problem on my harmony. The dragon jiggles back and forth between the far left and right sides of the screen whenever it's right on the edge of leaving off one side of the screen. I don't recall seeing that in earlier builds, but maybe I wasn't playing them off my harmony?

 

Still loving the game, and look forward to further tweaks as it nears completion.

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Status ? Bump

 

It's been a while since I've worked on this game (or on any VCS stuff, period). I still don't think it's necessarily a fun game, and I'm not sure that adding bells and whistles like the falling princesses will solve that problem. If I can find the time to tuck back into this game, I think I might take a big step back and change some of the fundamental gameplay.

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I tried the demo. Super-impressed by the nice, colorful graphics and very fluid, detailed animation. Kudos!

 

By my count, the horses at least must have been more than 8 pixels wide (real pixels, not just the elongated DPC+ pixels). How did you manage to get so many extra pixels in there?

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I tried the demo. Super-impressed by the nice, colorful graphics and very fluid, detailed animation. Kudos!

 

By my count, the horses at least must have been more than 8 pixels wide (real pixels, not just the elongated DPC+ pixels). How did you manage to get so many extra pixels in there?

 

My wife sprung out of bed and said "No, Cybearg! Leave!" No, honey, shut your mouth, let him watch. Let him watch what is being compiled here. And I want the people to watch what is going to be compiled here. And I will bring my son down here, and he will watch.

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As usual, Stella's debug colors (alt + comma) explains much.

 

post-23476-0-81165100-1364314634_thumb.png post-23476-0-25909200-1364315280_thumb.gif

(legend courtesy Nathan Strum)

 

It looks like the player horse and rider are player0 and player1 combined, as are the enemy rider. (flickered when both are on-screen)

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As usual, Stella's debug colors (alt + comma) explains much.

 

post-23476-0-81165100-1364314634_thumb.png post-23476-0-25909200-1364315280_thumb.gif

(legend courtesy Nathan Strum)

 

It looks like the player horse and rider are player0 and player1 combined, as are the enemy rider. (flickered when both are on-screen)

 

Yes, exactly. Any road-based enemy (evil knight, grendel) is flickered at 30hz with the player knight when both are displayed on the screen. Each of those is drawn using P0 and P1.

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By "flickered at 30hz," you mean that they swap every other frame, since hz is just another way to say the frames per second, right?

 

I've tried flickering something between two positions every other frame and it makes for a very noticeable flickering effect, especially without phosphor effect enabled, while yours is almost unnoticeable, even without phosphor. How did you manage to make them so stable with bB?

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I still don't think it's necessarily a fun game, and I'm not sure that adding bells and whistles like the falling princesses will solve that problem.

I would respectfully disagree. I think it's one of the best and most innovative games in the 2600 library. I really enjoy it and occasionally show it off to ppl... (when I can get a person to watch or play the 2600 in the first place). I've been hoping you'll come back to it to finish it up.

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I would respectfully disagree. I think it's one of the best and most innovative games in the 2600 library. I really enjoy it and occasionally show it off to ppl... (when I can get a person to watch or play the 2600 in the first place). I've been hoping you'll come back to it to finish it up.

I have to agree with Kevin. I was really impressed with this from the very beginning.

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I think it's the developers tunnel vision. Perhaps I never gave enough feedback. This game is fun even if you're half drunk or just waking up. The point is, you don't have to "get" the game in order to have fun. That's a very high standard to compete with! I just have fun wandering the land shooting Dragons and innocent bystanders. Sometimes I'll hit the other Knight and sometimes not. I don't know how to stragemetize (my word!) it.

 

I really like the 5 letter score plus life marker. Is that available in some topic for others?

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By "flickered at 30hz," you mean that they swap every other frame, since hz is just another way to say the frames per second, right?

 

I've tried flickering something between two positions every other frame and it makes for a very noticeable flickering effect, especially without phosphor effect enabled, while yours is almost unnoticeable, even without phosphor. How did you manage to make them so stable with bB?

Flickering is greatly influenced by the amount of contrast between the two colors being flickered-- the degree of difference between their hues and their luminances.

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Flickering is greatly influenced by the amount of contrast between the two colors being flickered-- the degree of difference between their hues and their luminances.

 

I played around with that kind of flicker heavily in M.M.S.B.C. 2. While I didn't get much feedback that it was annoying the effect was hit or miss on various monitors, TVs, projectors, emulators etc..

 

In the future I think the most flickering I'll do is time sharing the ball for an extra projectile.

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Flickering is greatly influenced by the amount of contrast between the two colors being flickered-- the degree of difference between their hues and their luminances.

Tip: True that brighter objects flickering are more obvious, however when flickering, objects are half as bright, so increasing their brightness evens out similar objects not flickering overall.

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I played around with that kind of flicker

It's the only kind of flicker there is! Whether you're flickering to get extra colors, or flickering to get extra sprites, you're still alternating between two colors. :)

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