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dxSNsX4.png

 

Eat people to avoid starvation, but watch out for that pesky Coast Guard!

Controls and gameplay:
In Hunger Shark you play as a shark with an insatiable appetite.

- To move Hunger Shark, point the joystick in the direction you want him to move.
- To eat people, Hunger Shark must sufficiently overlap them. Doing so gains you points, and replenishes a bit of your Hunger Bar.
- If your Hunger Bar drains completely, you will die of starvation.

- After some time, when the water becomes blood red, the Coast Guard will send a patrol ship and shoot at you.

- Touching a squid collects it for later use. Using a squid, by pressing fire, will replenish your health completely, but will spray ink, thus turning Hunger Shark and the water black for a time. You can carry up to three squids at a time, but touching them will always yield 1000 bonus points.
- Treasure is known to pop at the sea floor from time to time. It may not be nutritious, but it does yield 1000 bonus points.
- Mines will periodically spawn near the bottom of the screen, so be on your guard!

- The game increases in difficulty slightly with each level.

post-36629-0-81892100-1389775003_thumb.png

post-36629-0-90866500-1390849043_thumb.png

post-36629-0-13762800-1390849071_thumb.png

 

Build Updated: February 12th, 2014

 

 

Download .BIN

hungershark.0.2.4.bas.bin


Criticisms and Suggestions Welcomed.

Thanks for everyone who has helped me with questions across numerous threads, and thanks to Random Terrain, of which I lifted the movement from his 8 direction missile example proved to be better than my own for the game. Thanks to Batari, for letting me finally realize a childhood fantasy to create a game for a video game console. Thanks to sharks, as well.

Edited by RetroFiends
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There are still a few things I've left to do, the biggest being difficulty balancing, but the finish line is in sight.

 

Criticisms and Suggestions Welcomed.

The title screen looks pretty good.

 

The flashing of the screen is irritating and possibly a pain in the eyes to some people. If a sound effect isn't enough, you might want to flash the color of the shark instead.

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I like it, it reminds me of Seaquest a little bit. I agree that flashing the screen is annoying. If you don't want to flash the shark you could also flash the health bar, but I wouldn't do the entire screen. My gameplay suggestion would be to ramp up the difficulty a bit faster as the game seems a bit easy. Maybe you could add obstacles under the sea, like using a ball for an underwater mine that sometimes floats by or 'something else' that swims near or around the people that will kill or hurt the shark.

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I like it, it reminds me of Seaquest a little bit. I agree that flashing the screen is annoying. If you don't want to flash the shark you could also flash the health bar, but I wouldn't do the entire screen. My gameplay suggestion would be to ramp up the difficulty a bit faster as the game seems a bit easy. Maybe you could add obstacles under the sea, like using a ball for an underwater mine that sometimes floats by or 'something else' that swims near or around the people that will kill or hurt the shark.

 

Thanks for the feedback. I was actually considering mines, and now I'm definitely going to see if I can't get them in there. The ball object isn't an option, as in the multisprite kernel they are fixed at one pixel high. But At any given time I reserve player 5 for random drops such as the treasure chest, so having a more convincing mine is no problem.

 

I see more than 2 sprites on-screen.. is this with the multi-sprite kernel? Also, don't dare change the name. It's awesome :)

Yes, this is the multisprite kernel. I was originally going to opt for a 4k rom, but I'd rather flesh this out as much as possible, specifically a title screen and a few extra game modes. And the name is final ;)

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Thanks for the feedback. I was actually considering mines, and now I'm definitely going to see if I can't get them in there. The ball object isn't an option, as in the multisprite kernel they are fixed at one pixel high. But At any given time I reserve player 5 for random drops such as the treasure chest, so having a more convincing mine is no problem.

 

Yes, this is the multisprite kernel. I was originally going to opt for a 4k rom, but I'd rather flesh this out as much as possible, specifically a title screen and a few extra game modes. And the name is final ;)

Cool. Hopefully you can work in a mine or some other obstacle in the sea, but I understand if it won't fit in 4k. You can free up a whole lot of space by pulling out things you don't need in the extra asm files that come with bB, I did a ton of that when I was working on my 2K version of Gate Racer last year. There are extras in those files that take up space when you compile that you wouldn't need, like in your case your could remove anything relating to scrolling the playfield. It's been years since I used the multisprite kernel but I don't remember that one pixel restriction. Hmm. I'll have to look at that too. I can help with these things but I'm tied up for the rest of this evening. Time to go enjoy happy hour with friends and throw back a few pints, it's the end of the work day for me. :) And I agree with theloon, I love the name of the game.

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No worries, I already opted to break the 4k restriction, what with the titlescreen there just wouldn't be enough room. I may opt to make a 4k version later for the Super Charger, so if you're still up to it at that point I'd love to have you look at my code when it comes time to see if we can't squeeze it into 4k.

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No worries, I already opted to break the 4k restriction, what with the titlescreen there just wouldn't be enough room. I may opt to make a 4k version later for the Super Charger, so if you're still up to it at that point I'd love to have you look at my code when it comes time to see if we can't squeeze it into 4k.

I don't remember exactly how much I was able to save by modifying the standard bB asm files but it was at least a few hundred bytes. It involved some trial and error and what can be cut out depends on the specific game you're working on. You of course don't want to remove code that's required in your game. Take a look at pf_drawing.asm, pf_scrolling.asm, std_kernel.asm, and std_overscan.asm, I made modifications to all four of those files to save ROM space in Gate Racer 2k.

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I'm surprised other people are as pleased with the title as I am :D
I wanted to keep the title as close to what you could expect from gameplay as possible, while still rolling off the tongue in a sinister way. Pretty much, the name needed to sound good as voiced by a gravely voiced 80's horror movie trailer guy.

Currently, I'm reworking the difficulty curve. In the current build, difficulty is kind of "hacked" in, but this next build will have difficulty levels 1-20 as their own entries so I can tweak the gameplay up to the maximum difficulty. The modularity of it should all me to make quicker adjustment if say, level 5 turns out to be way more difficult than level six, somehow. This was all hardcored into behaviours before, for demonstration purposes. Flashing will be removed as well, and the addition of mines which will periodically appear on screen and float up to the top of the level.

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Hey, ya know that you don't have to define a full size playfield.. right? For example, this data:

 playfield:
 ................
 XXXXXXXXXXXXX.XX
 X.X....XX.X.X.XX
 .X....XX.X.XX.XX
 X....XX.X.X.X.XX
 XXXXXXXXXXXXX.X.
 ............X.XX
 XXXXXXXXXXX..X..
 ...........X..XX
end

Gives you this:

post-13304-0-12649800-1389851904_thumb.jpg

 

The downside is that it repeats and reflects the playfield data. As you can see I used that to my advantage.

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Yep, my playfield is already just reflected. It's also only two rows of playfield pixels.

 

The single biggest use of space is definitely the titlescreen, of which is about 1k or something crazy. I'm sure when I'm done with the game, creating a 4k version will be no problem if I go with a "titlescreen" rendered in playfield pixels. As well, since cassettes are double sided, I could easily put game modes onto separate sides. For the time being I'll keep work on this cartridge version since it will probably have more chance to be noticed than the supercharger release, which is mostly something I really just want to do with no rationale behind it ;)

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New Build, first post has been edited with the download (version 0.1.0) and a couple new screenshots have been entered to replace the obsolete ones.

Progress has been slower than expected due to having an existential crisis.
What's New:

-Hunger Bar Darkens as you get hungrier

-The people start off faster, and smooth difficulty scaling is now in effect; each level makes them swim just a tad faster (sub pixel movement)

-Mines: mines have a random chance to spawn at regular intervals. Touching their centers will kill you.
-Removed Background Flash
-Your hunger bar depletes faster and (iirc) eating grants less refill.

-Boat is now more aggressive and shoots diagonally as well. In a future build I'll try having the boat spawn on the side most opposite of you so you can't just hug the sides of the screen and must actually wade through it.

 

There is still an embarrassing amount of kinks that need to be worked out, and I'm still trying to find a happy balance regarding difficulty. (I am kind of terrible at video games and the easyness of the first build shows.) Please let me know if certain aspects need to be more or less difficult than they are.

 

Edited by RetroFiends

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I havent tried this yet but from the picture above of the title screen = very cool . Any screens that flash or blink I cannot play ... just saying .

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Hello AtariBrian, thanks for posting. I removed the total screen flash. I replaced it with a single frame of the shark turning red, and because the effect is so minimal I'm probably just going to remove it outright in the next build. The Score at the title menu does scroll through colors (rainbow effect, think the Atari 7800 boot up logo); if you're epileptic I'm not sure if that could set it off but if such is the case, please be warned. I would be happy to make a seperate build at some point that removes that as well if that can pose an issue.

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Hello everyone, new build: 0.2.0
Not too many changes in terms of core gameplay. I'm considering that pretty much done, not counting further difficulty and pace balancing, which I'm still all ears for suggestions in that department.
Most of the changes here are in terms of bugs, and attempting to keep a stable scanline count (which, this version is almost 100% stable, but occasionally does go a single scanline over. at the very least, there shouldn't be any dramatic screen roll upon certain events like the last one.)

Changes:
-removed shark flashing as well. A single frame doesn't really add anything.

-Moved certain pieces of game logic to only update in certain intervals. At the moment there is a small delay between things like background changes due to level progression or ink, but nothing major.
-As far as I'm aware, fixed bugs that could goof up the title screen if the player mashes the fire button immediately after death. There is a small delay between bootup where your input to start the game is allowed via fire button.
-Almost stable scanline
-removed the boat's ability to shoot down. This is future proofing for when I allow the boat to spawn from the other side of the screen.
-Sound related bugs are fixed AFAIK
-Game has been downsized to an 8k ROM.

Questions for people who play this new build:
1. Is the starting speed of swimmers fine, or does it need to be decreased/increased?
2. Currently, the mine has a chance to spawn at 7 points throughout the level. Is this too much?
3. Should there be more or less delay between when the mine first appears on screen and when it begins to rise?
4. Should the Mine's rising speed be faster?
5. Would you prefer the hunger bar deplete while the mine is rising, or pause like is the case when the boat is on screen?

hungershark.0.2.0.bas.bin

Edited by RetroFiends

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New Build today.
-Removed Vertical and diagonal drift
--This has the added benefit of freeing a ton of space, I kept horizontal drift (that never completely stops) because of many shark species tendencies to never stop swimming. Vertical and diagonal drift didn't add much to the game. Along with a small speed boost to the shark the movement feels more 'unique'.
-Treasure Spawns now last twice as long.
-As a result of a ton of removed code saved for movement, the game is, as far as I'm aware, 100% stable in scan line count.

Next Build will likely include the following:
-Boat spawning on either end of the screen depending on your location.
-Boat's first missile spawning where it's supposed.
-Perhaps another Bonus Item similar to the treasure chest but to replenish a larger amount of health.

Newest Build is now in first post along with this one for convenience.
hungershark.0.2.4.bas.bin

Updates to this title will from this point on be more sparse to allocate time spent on other projects due to lack of feedback.

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. . . due to lack of feedback.

 

Welcome to the ghost town batari Basic forum. :D

 

Even after all these years, it seems like most people still don't know how to click on the "View New Content" link and just browse certain forums instead.

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I could look at your source code and point out where you can reclaim ROM bytes.

PM me if you are interested.

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Not so much an issue of "If" but rather "when" I get to the point where I want to translate the project to the supercharger. At the moment I'm at no risk of running out, really. It is merely the massive amount of space the Title Screen takes at this point, and I can easily make one that takes up less space even if it were hi-res (sacrificing name credit comes to mind, a little bit of "squeezing" as well.) Due to the double sided nature of cassette tapes, multiple game modes can be split between side A and B with little inconvenience.

I do, however, have one sequence that is horribly inefficient that I might have you look at.

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You have to make it 4KB for the Supercharger.

 

There should really be a batari Basic Supercharger kernel that uses the whole 6K, maybe the 3rd 2K for RAM or display data, and that would trigger "Press Play" screen for Multi-load continuing games.

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Yeah, Right now that second bank in this rom is literally just the title screen (and the statusbar lives mini kernel out of necessity of being in the last bank.)
Without the titlescreen, the game fits in 4k effortlessly.

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