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Any Homebrew Programmers for Hire?

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I looked at the facebook page. I was just thinking a more detailed synopsis could provide ideas for a game. Maybe a 2 player game where one player is marla, and the other is the knight. Does Marla know that knight is real right away, or does she find clues to prove it. Does the amulet destroy the monster. Does she need to find magic words to make the amulet work. Does the amulet make her shoot fireballs that can kill the knight. Is the movie action, or tension?

 

The Amulet is the equivalent of garlic, it just keeps the knight away. She does not acquire any magic powers from it. The knight must get it from her to complete his quest, though.

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This might help:

 

Someone is going medieval on Marla's friends, brutally killing them one by one. When she tries to tell people what's happening - a cursed medieval knight is on a rampage - no one believes her.

 

The knight, whose captive, tortured spirit has been accidentally released in present day, is on a deadly quest. To release his soul, and the soul of the evil Queen Sofia who he onced pledged his loyalty, he must recapture his chivalric traits - Skill at Arms, Courage, Purity, Wisdom, Culture, Honor. Each of his victims represents one of these traits.

 

Marla possesses a family heirloom, the Amulet of Thorns. As a child, her mother explained to her in a fairy tale that this is a magical amulet and as long as she keeps it close, nothing can ever do her harm.

 

Once the knight reclaims his traits, he must get the amulet from Marla. In a final confrontation with Marla and her would-be hero boyfriend Jaxson, the knight has a change of heart and destroys himself, and the queen in the process.

 

It sounds to me like the story revolves much more around the knight. He has a quest with clear goals and obstacles in his way. To that end, I think a game about the knight acquiring his chivalric traits and then facing Marla would be more interesting than the other perspective and certainly a more interesting premise--murdering individuals who possess certain desirable traits in order to take them? That's something you don't see done much.

 

It can be tough to tell a story with a game because, as an interactive medium, the player desires to play an active role in the story, or else it can be rather boring. So it can be tougher making a game about a passive individual than it would be to make a film or book about them. In books, film, etc. a passive character can be pulled into something against their will or can just react to unfortunate occurrences. In a game, an active character gives the player something to do.

 

It may be difficult to do this justice on the 2600 because of the extreme hardware limitations. This could be a very solid premise for an NES game (or maybe something like Colecovision, Atari 7800, etc.). The downside is that making games for those systems mostly means pure programming with Assembly, which is very time-consuming. At least for the 2600, programmers have a bit of a shortcut with batariBasic, which allows one to make the game in BASIC and then it will be converted to Assembly for the developer, saving a lot of time but sacrificing flexibility and control.

 

This sounds good for a Castlevania-style game, going through enemies (preferably befitting the stage) with a boss at the end who gives up a piece of the knight's chivalry once defeated. Or, if the boss isn't the maiden he's getting the trait from directly, then perhaps a guardian for the maiden, which, once defeated, would allow him to slay the woman in a brief but poignant sprite cutscene.

 

Some of the things you mentioned in your synopsis make it sound as though this is set in modern times. Now, the ideas I've listed may seem more befitting a medieval time period, but this could be explained away as the knight's delusions--he sees things in a context he knows, so soldiers become fearsome monsters in his mind. It may even be interesting to play on that dichotomy, with a level (perhaps towards the end, when he gives up on his quest) where he sees things for as what they really are and is put in a contrasting modern setting before he battles the queen who has directed him so far and is destroyed in the process (the battle being as literal or metaphorical as you please).

 

If his change of heart and vision is portrayed in the game like that, it could help ease the player into the same realization that the knight has--that what he thought was right was in fact wrong, and so then the player's death at the end wouldn't seem like a lame ending because the player worked so hard only to die in the end, but instead it could be poignant and moving.

 

I still have trouble envisioning precisely how the above idea could be done justice on the 2600, but it's not impossible. Just difficult, and it probably won't have the same impact as it could have on a more advanced system.

Edited by Cybearg

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Maybe the game could switch perspectives. You start as the knight and must find one of the 7 people. Search houses, or search through forest. Is the movie in a forest or in houses? Then when you find them you switch to playing the victim. You're score could be based on how long you survive. Once you die you become the knight again, and go through all the people. But the last level would need to be slightly different. Maybe having marla have to touch him 7 times to take each of the traits, without getting chopped up.

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Hi Cybearg

 

Thank you very much for the in-depth insight. It is much appreciated.

 

I opted for the 2600 because it was the main system I grew up with and it seemed like the least complicated platform on which to create a game, even if it is very simple.

 

The movie does take place in present day, in the city. In fact *spolier alert* his "castle" is a castle on a miniature golf course :).

 

If the process of creating this game goes well, and all signs point in that direction, I will definitely consider one for the NES.

 

Right now, we have pretty much decided on a mainly Adventure-style game in which the knight must search the "neighborhood" (a 3x3 or 5x5 grid of "rooms"), first to find his weapon and armor, then find the individual victims and kill them. A police officer roams the neighborhood, but doesn't follow the knight until he is armed (opposite of the dragon in Adventure.)

 

Joe

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Yllawwally -

 

We're not sure how many cartridges we will produce. I am looking into that next. I know I can have some made through AtariAge's store.

 

I am also looking for an Atari box template with die lines for Photoshop to design the box, then Ii will look into printing costs for that.

 

Joe

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Wow! How did I miss this video? Looks like things are well under way!

Very nice game! and the music certainly adds atmosphere, I hope they can fit that same music in Atari sound format :)

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Wow! How did I miss this video? Looks like things are well under way!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taKrogbFSec

Awesome game Loon! :) That was entertaining just to watch the way it kept changing up :)

Ghosts N'Blins and Castlevania themes and then discs of Tron came into the mix - very nicely done video too, the soundtrack was perfect!

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Thanks! Hamburgerman made the video. Not sure where the soundtrack came from. Unfortunately, the only music I could fit in is a VERY short ditty in the title screen. Sound effects are in place now.

 

Hopefully we'll get to see more of the Queen (final boss) in the next video!

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Cool game, very cool that you chose the 2600 :)

One thing though

This...

it seemed like the least complicated platform on which to create a game, even if it is very simple.

Not true, Atari 2600 is actually insanely hard to program, far from simple, lol

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Cool game, very cool that you chose the 2600 :)

One thing though

This...

 

Not true, Atari 2600 is actually insanely hard to program, far from simple, lol

 

Cmon, are you serious? I chose the 2600 because I found it the most simple 8 bit system around.

True, it has it's limitations - but programming the 2600 is dead simple.

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Crazy Climber, I understand that now. TheLoon was very good about explaining the process and limitations to me.

Gotcha ;) Looking forward to your game release!

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Gotcha ;) Looking forward to your game release!

 

It's a little bit confusing without being familiar with the movie: http://www.deadofknight.com/

 

Hopefully they'll be a combo pack with movie and game :)

 

To be honest, MY run of the game didn't get much farther than Hamburgerman.

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But aren't all 2600 movie released games like that?

 

No doubt! Hopefully, I also tagged the commonality in that not all movie games for the 2600 were crud. Unlike LJN and the NES :)

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Compensation is why I would like to chat with a programmer - to get an idea of a cost range for a programmer's time and decide if it is an amount I could raise.

 

Looks like it was a doable figure!!

Game looks awesome by the way!!!

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It's a little bit confusing without being familiar with the movie: http://www.deadofknight.com/

 

Hopefully they'll be a combo pack with movie and game :)

 

To be honest, MY run of the game didn't get much farther than Hamburgerman.

Awesome teleportation scene and space invader boss to defeat at the end of the level! You really packed a lot of fun into this game :)

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Awesome teleportation scene and space invader boss to defeat at the end of the level! You really packed a lot of fun into this game :)

 

The whole teleportation scene including labels is 20 lines of code. A normal programmer would remain silent and bask in his own glory at this point. Me? I don't even know how I did it! The bosses lightning streaks turning into O rings towards the end still mystifies me.

 

LOL *cough* ..sigh :)

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