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Creature XL

"Heli in the Caves" : 7th place ABBUC SW contest 2013

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Here it is the releas of the ABBUC SW-contest version of

Heli in the Caves


I'd advise you, however, to get the file hitc_aa.xex.
I stripped the morons intro screen and fixed another bug:
One of the batteries you can find in the cave,
reappeared every time you enter the room.
Additionally, you start out with 250 gold so you can buy 1st gun upgrade and shortly after that the engine upgrade (or the other way around).
Having bought these it plays a bit smoother.


This is NOT the extended edition! More on that in the next post.


As there is no English translation of the manual I will use this post to give some informations and hints.
These are important so you get the most fun out of the game.

First of all to get an idea how to play at the beginning check the 1st video in this playlist


Second, you are not supposed to fly as fast as you can to the last room and kill the boss.
Well, you can do that but I think you won't have a chance :)
The enemies respawn for a reason. You can farm gold to upgrade your heli. Even in the original ABBUC version I was so kind to make it easy.
In the room with the two enemies which shoot only forward, the left one far away from the room exit so you can move securely behind him and shoot him leave, enter shoot again.

Further, there are some extra batteries in secrete rooms. You can enter these rooms by shooting certain pieces of the wall.
Problem for you, you have to guess or try which tiles are destroyable. There are two in the whole game.
I am NOT talking about the obviously ones. The brown tiles for example to get in the area where the first alien is.


Finally, if I would have had enough time, the game was supposed to save the current state when you enter a shop.
So, if you have a freezer or are playing with an emulator,only save inside the shop. Saving else where is cheating :)

 

 

EDIT:

Forgot the controls (thanks Popmilo for the reminder :) )

To turn the heli, you have to move the stick in the opposite direction two times quickly.

To get the TurboBoost, push quickly two times in the facing direction

HeliCave.xex

hitc_aa.xex

Edited by Creature XL
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Info about the "Extended Edition" (HitCEE).

 

Here is the ToDo list:

 O Bug fixes:
    O PMG drawing when changing rooms (sometimes)
    X battery reappears in room 4,2
    X Explosion animation has garbage shape sometimes
    X muting of music (maybe use all chans for SFX then?)

 O better NPC placement (Empty rooms and some rooms are just quick hacks)
 O saving of current state (xBIOS)
 O more tiles (optimizing charsets increases possible tile count)
 O optimizing player control
 O spawn animation for "seeking" NPC
 O Arcade mode
 O Body count (and display)
 O turning animations for sprites
 X "Energy Low" display
 X lose gold when running out of energy
 X in-game music continues when leaving shop
 X Rolling gold incrementing
 X Ground cannons
 X more bullets (8 enemy bullets instead of 4)
 X throw back heli on collision with sprites
 X heli gets damaged when turbo-boosting 'gainst wall
 X extra when collecting 4 (and 5) coins at once
 X Rockets in shorter intervals in level to extra

 

 

As you can see some tasks are already done :)

On the other hand, I am not sure if every point is on the list. But you get the idea.

 

If I won't finish it earlier, I will release it at Xmas 2013 in what ever state it is by then.
Need to find my closure with this game and tackle the next :)
I am not working 100% on "HitCEE" because I want to continue my experiments with Ethernet games using the DragonCart. :P

Edited by Creature XL
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The new version is much more fun to play :thumbsup: :thumbsup: at the start buy the Speed, kill the first 3 baddies, go back and buy Fire-power and you are away, remember to double tap L/R to change direction or to go faster (double tap and hold stick L/R) to avoid those flying balls ;-)

 

Heli in The Caves offers a longer challenge as there is much to explore and figure out.

:)

 

I know you're still working on the EE but some suggestions for improvements:

Bigger life bar/indicator - it just runs out withour you noticing - perhaps some indication it is low (colour/flash)?

Better sound effects (tune optional) including sound for damage

Game Over - If you die when in a shootout the game restarts to quickly missing the title screen... score??

 

[edit] make the scoring reflect progress large scores for achievements, score for rooms/areas reached perhaps so the game can be played in the HSC!

 

Liking the restart points at the shops.

;)

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Anyone wanting an Altirra cheat for money just ask, don't blame me if it spoils your enjoyment :)

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The new version is much more fun to play :thumbsup: :thumbsup: at the start buy the Speed, kill the first 3 baddies, go back and buy Fire-power and you are away, remember to double tap L/R to change direction or to go faster (double tap and hold stick L/R) to avoid those flying balls ;-)

 

Heli in The Caves offers a longer challenge as there is much to explore and figure out.

:)

 

I know you're still working on the EE but some suggestions for improvements:

Bigger life bar/indicator - it just runs out withour you noticing - perhaps some indication it is low (colour/flash)?

Better sound effects (tune optional) including sound for damage

Game Over - If you die when in a shootout the game restarts to quickly missing the title screen... score??

 

[edit] make the scoring reflect progress large scores for achievements, score for rooms/areas reached perhaps so the game can be played in the HSC!

 

Liking the restart points at the shops.

;)

 

 

thank you for the explanations, as you are the first to play the EE version (WIP 02 is coming to you this WE!), do you want to write the manual? :)

 

@your ideas:

They are always welcome, however, some of it is already implemented (I thought as well in WIP 01 which i send you, didn't I?).

Each battery has now 8 steps instead of 5. And if the last battery is at 12.5% the scoreboard blinks red.

I won't do anything with the SFX. Totally 505 territory :) However, the data of the RMT he made filled up the memory I "gave" him. We even had to cut out one or two SFX to make it fit. :(

I'll ask 505 anyway, but I can't promise anything!

BTW, looked at the memory map with my new TurboFreezer. there are only 3 pages free :)

 

 

the remark regarding the Game over will be put on my todo list :( It is important.

As i have a "body count" of the enemies you shot in planing, I might show it when you die (maybe combined with a rank?)

 

@Achievements

In WIP 01 there are extra scores for collecting 4 coins in a room and an additional bonus when you collect 5.

I might add bonus gold for secrete rooms found, so there is an extra incentive to find the shootable tiles.

Progress in general is difficult to measure. Maybe for reaching a shop (except the first of course :) )

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Anyone wanting an Altirra cheat for money just ask, don't blame me if it spoils your enjoyment :)

 

As the Extended Edition will (HOPEFULLY) have a different enemy distribution, feel free to cheat as much as you want.

It would be even good to use a cheat, so everybody can see the whole cave :P

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As the Extended Edition will (HOPEFULLY) have a different enemy distribution, feel free to cheat as much as you want.

It would be even good to use a cheat, so everybody can see the whole cave :P

 

That's why I made the cheat but wasn't going to post it till you had seen it was about first, can't going spoiling a new game straight away.. :)

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I present to you the final release of

 

Heli in the Caves Extended Edition

 

Please see the attached manual for information and game-play tips

Finally this chapter can be closed and the next year can start with a new Atari project :)

 

Feel free to use this topic to discuss the game.

Manual_EE.txt

hitcEE.xex

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Nice work Creature XL; manual good too :thumbsup: It's nice to see some follow-up and improvements to the abbuc contest games; thanks for taking the time and producing an original game too :thumbsup:

 

Heli In The Caves "is not an action shooter. Exploration and finding tricks

to kill the enemies easily is key to the game."

 

hint: collect enough gold to get the few power ups from the start shop returning each time; gradually you can destroy more enemies more quickly and each one bags you more precious gold ;)

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Hi there,

 

"cheat as much as you want" - hopefully this counts for the extended edition also. In my eyes it takes too long to get some upgrades for the Heli, so I asked Fandal to give me 1000 Gold right from the start. You cannot buy everything with 1000 Gold and of course you cannot upgrade everything to the maximum, but you get things going a little faster with that amount of gold... ;-)

 

Next, I packed the title-picture with Superpacker and the main program with Code3-Cruncher, so the file is much shorter now and takes less time loading from a real disk-drive.

 

-----

 

BUG report: In the old AA version from time to time the game did hang (visible by darker colours of the cave and enemies, your heli is invisible or frozen) and by moving the joystick continuously left/right you either crashed the game completely or you were all of a sudden teleported to another room somewhere in the cave. Once it happened to me that I was teleported right to the end-room with the "big boss", when I just started the game and played approx three or four screens. Another bug in the AA version was, that when I lost a life / a helicopter, from time to time I therefore got one more battery...

 

In the new EE version the game still hangs from time to time (again visible by darker colours of the cave and the enemies, your heli is again invisible or frozen), but by moving the joystick continuously left/right I was always able to go on in the same room or in the neighbouring room after a while.

 

(This bug happens in the packed version, as well as in the original unpacked version of the game.)

Alas, I do not know for sure what causes this bug to happen, I simply guess it has to do with your fire-power. Meaning if you use auto-fire all the time, the bug will happen quite often. But even if you do not use auto-fire the bug seems to happen more often when you have upgraded your heli to the maximum fire-rate and fire-power and you are shooting frequently at an enemy. Sometimes this bug also happened when I often left a non-scrolling "room" and entered it again and again (lets says 5-10 times, to kill the same enemies again and again and thus getting lots of gold)...

 

-----

 

Anyways, the new EE version is much more playable than the older AA version. There are rooms/caves which are much easier now to travel through, but there are also rooms/caves where its much harder or more difficult now to travel through. Last not least, with the 1000 gold cheat (thanks to Fandal !) I was able to finish the game in approx. 40 minutes. So the next step is to do that much faster... ;-)

 

-Andreas Koch.

heli_ee_fandal.zip

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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HELI Control we have a problem :twisted:

Yes the chopper is getting stuck out of bounds happened here:

post-19705-0-32803700-1388079626_thumb.jpg

only thing I could do was boost which created a hit and then when the life expired the screen garbaged:

post-19705-0-52861200-1388079621_thumb.jpg (then went black when I moved down)

I was hoping the gravity would pull me back into bounds but I might have upgraded the engine so this didn't happen :(

 

On the positive side the game seems slicker and the building up the gold is not so bad ;)

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Damn it!

I got this "trapped bug" rarely when testing, however, I couldn't recreate it at will, so it is hard to debug.

So I just hoped it wouldn't occur too often. Looks like it does :(

There are many things in the code I am very proud of - the changing of rooms is NOT one of them.

It's merely a hack and now my laziness to think of something more elaborated seems to bite me in the a.. and it needs to be re-written :(

 

For a quick-fix it might be possible to add a self-kill key which destroys the Heli but increases the number of lives. So you start at the last visited shop.

However, I would like to do this only if such a solution is needed quickly. Else there would be lots of version floating around.

 

Does the hanging only occurs when changing the room vertically? At least the few times it happened to me it was that way.

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Damn it!

I got this "trapped bug" rarely when testing, however, I couldn't recreate it at will, so it is hard to debug.

So I just hoped it wouldn't occur too often. Looks like it does :(

There are many things in the code I am very proud of - the changing of rooms is NOT one of them.

It's merely a hack and now my laziness to think of something more elaborated seems to bite me in the a.. and it needs to be re-written :(

 

For a quick-fix it might be possible to add a self-kill key which destroys the Heli but increases the number of lives. So you start at the last visited shop.

However, I would like to do this only if such a solution is needed quickly. Else there would be lots of version floating around.

 

Does the hanging only occurs when changing the room vertically? At least the few times it happened to me it was that way.

 

Well,

 

in my "tests" (when playing the game) the hanging always occured when I left and entered a room horizontally (left/right or right/left). It did not happen yet, when I changed the room vertically (up/down or down/up), but this does not mean it would never happen vertically. Think I have to do some more tests / some more gaming. This is the most (if not the only) annoying bug in the game and if you play the game until the end / finish it, it happens more than once. When I finished the game, the bug happened approx. 5-6 times, but luckily the game never crashed...

 

The bug even happened, when I did not use auto-fire and it also happened when I stayed on the top half of the screen. If I were in your position, I would not do the quick-fix nor add the self-kill key... -Andreas Koch.

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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Today I spend 2h in fixing the "hanging bug" during room transitions.

As mentioned, it was not coded well. As an example for leaving a room to the top:

I simply check the Heli's position if it is below "3". As the maximum vertical speed is below 2 this should be safe.

However, it WAS possible to move the Heli DURING the transition (black screen) So, the Y-position of the sprite was in an area where it wasn't expected for room exit (top or bottom of screen).

 

Fixing was quit easy (and clean for a change :) ). When the transition is started the flag "ignore joystick" is set and when the new room is fully initialized the flag is reset.

This way the position of the Heli is always in the correct range.

The faster the Heli (Engine upgrades) the higher the possibility that it got stuck.

 

The (hopefully) last final version is appended to this post. The manual in post 9. The hacked 'n' packed version might be provided by Andreas :)

 

 

PS:

I spend the last days coding a networked Black Jack on the PC. This is meant to be the basis for my first real Atari-Ethernet game (only the client). :)

 

hitcEE_V2.xex

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What about PAUSE? Would be good to have it under P or SPACE BAR when playing on real machine ;)

You can park up in the shops for a pause; there should be a pause power-up 10,000 gold :D

The version with 1000 gold is much better... Otherwise you have to spend time on boring grinding.

not too bad if you get the ones that are 50 each, for the 20s you can sneak behind one of them... all part of the challenge and it is rewarding to make some initial progress and get used to the controls etc.

 

Great now we have a fixed version and a game with a tough challenge :thumbsup:

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damn...!!!! man, you steal my time :-D

 

haha, no worries...

but... I wasn't that much in the heli...

it was too hard for me for the moment I played...

 

the cheated version with 1000 gold was cool to play.

as there were first some upgrades possible.

still the enimies in room 3, grrrr....

the first one easy to get but the second one, always try to have a flying position to reachable for the guns, grummel... :mad:

 

and now a new version with so much cool extras....

seems I should download later today and dig into the cave again :grin:

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Alright,

 

so here is the "HackNPack" version of HitC_EE Version 2. You can start with 1000 Gold (again) and have much fewer bugs than before.

 

No need to thank me - all kudos go to Fandal, who did the 1000 Gold fix/patch for me. I simply packed the result and tested it on the real A8 today (without testing I could have uploaded it yesterday).

 

There are still some (small) bugs in the game, but it does not matter much, the game is fully playable now and it can be finished.

 

And err, if you wanna thank someone, thank Fandal for doing the 1000 Gold fix/patch !

 

-Andreas Koch.

 

 

P.S.: I am still searching for some secret room(s) and errm, I found only 3 batteries, but nevertheless I finished the game...

HELIV2.ZIP

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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You can park up in the shops for a pause; there should be a pause power-up 10,000 gold :D

not too bad if you get the ones that are 50 each, for the 20s you can sneak behind one of them... all part of the challenge and it is rewarding to make some initial progress and get used to the controls etc.

 

Great now we have a fixed version and a game with a tough challenge :thumbsup:

 

You are exactly correct.

Grinding is part of the idea of the game. To find clever ways of doing it is the key.

Sneak up behind the "20-gold half-circles" for example is one thing the player can/should figure out.

 

When making the fix I thought about an "easy mode" where you start with 1000 gold, but decided against it.

The first few rooms are the only ones you can/should visit at the begining to get used to the game before starting exploring the rest of the cave.

If done right (turbo-boost when the path is clear, shoot half-circling enemies from behind, ...) it takes 3-5 minutes. I do not think that is too much to ask.

And making savestates in the shop (Freezer or Emulator) is no cheating. The feature is simply not implemented becuase I haven't got enough RAM to include xBIOS. If you have no freezer then do it like 20 years ago, leave the computer running for days :)

 

If you want an action-blaster try "X:8" or "Zybex" or "HAR'em". :)

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P.S.: I am still searching for some secret room(s) and errm, I found only 3 batteries, but nevertheless I finished the game...

 

Then start searching :) I think there are three (hidden) breakable walls.

If you do not want to complete all quests its okay. However, they might help you finish the game faster :P

And some people aren't satisfied until they get "100%" :)

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I am still trying to figure out why everything looks green playing it ntsc, title screen is colorful and nice but the game is not... I tried on several machines.

Screen shots show it looks nice and colorful... I will try and see if XE looks different than xl

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On the title screen there is probably used colour F and during the game colour 1. Both are brown (more or less) in PAL palette. The second one is green in NTSC palette as far as I know (but I have never seen NTSC colours on real machine, only in emulators).

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It is particularly easy to confuse those two colours 1 and F in Altirra's default PAL palette, where they look identical in all luminances (don't ask me why).

 

And the gameplay videos were probably recorded with Altirra.

Edited by +Adam+

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