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This is an extremely impressive game, especially for a time-constrained competition.  I spent quite a while playing it last night and I don't know how many missions I completed before I finally just got too tired and had to quit.  I remember seeing mockups for this a while back, but never expected it would actually progress to a game.  I'm very excited to see this come to life.  Even as a competition rom, it's a great addition to the Lynx library.

Two things I'd suggest, which may already be in the works:

-Brightening/warming the color palette (I know screenshots  were posted of this some time ago).  The current colors kind of blend in a bit too much, even on an LCD modded Lynx.  I haven't tried it yet on my stock Lynx, but some things may be hard to see with such similar contrast in colors.

-Variety of music (the tune is good and fits the game well, but does get repetitive over the many missions).

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1 hour ago, KevinMos3 said:

This is an extremely impressive game, especially for a time-constrained competition.  I spent quite a while playing it last night and I don't know how many missions I completed before I finally just got too tired and had to quit.  I remember seeing mockups for this a while back, but never expected it would actually progress to a game.  I'm very excited to see this come to life.  Even as a competition rom, it's a great addition to the Lynx library.

Two things I'd suggest, which may already be in the works:

-Brightening/warming the color palette (I know screenshots  were posted of this some time ago).  The current colors kind of blend in a bit too much, even on an LCD modded Lynx.  I haven't tried it yet on my stock Lynx, but some things may be hard to see with such similar contrast in colors.

-Variety of music (the tune is good and fits the game well, but does get repetitive over the many missions).

Thanks for the feedback. I actually had planned better music for it. The idea was to start the theme in a major scale and then let it drop to minor. There was also other rhythms in the works that may find their way to the cart version of the game.

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This is one of the bigger games, so people probably (including me) need more sessions with it to get a complete picture.

 

I think I might have written some of these things earlier in other threads, but from what I've played so far I really liked the level design in on duty. You can really tell some thought and effort went into it! I've played 5-6 missions a few times and they were really fun, "streamlined" and diverse. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

I really like the graphics, and haven't had issues seeing the graphics, but I can see how @KevinMos3 thinks from a design point of view. I guess you could argue there could be more contrast in some places, but I'm not sure that it'd be worth it at the cost of loosing the style. Personally the graphic style remind me of the distinct British/European art style that developed on the Amiga / Atari ST in the late 80s / early 90s. For example Bitmap Brothers and Psygnosis games would be good examples. As @enthusi said earlier the palette was a part of it. I think they used more greys, blues (and browns) "than expected" in video games at that time. @marss has not revealed if those have been / are an inspiration to him, or if he has other 16-bit inspirations.

 

 

Edited by Turbo Laser Lynx
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marss is capable to use very bright graphics also. I have some examples from other games he is involved in. I was also a bit concerned at the start on the worn out impression of the graphics. So when I tried this engine on the Hot Dog prank I used very bright colours,

 

Not I am more than happy with the look as it does not "jump in your face". I still hope to find time for transcoding the tunes before the end of the week-end to fix the monotone feeling in the levels. The minimum would be tho have

- an up-beat music for attacks style missions

- a minor version for sneak/search style missions

- a bossa nova for nautical missions when you are on the vessel

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I just realized that perhaps Aga Cart cannot run On Duty.

 

So I created a smaller version that should fit.

onduty.lyx

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After playing all the entries a bit more I wanted to add here that maintaining quality and variety on all levels throughout a large-ish game like this is very impressive.

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Plays quite fast - I like that, though speed seems to differ a bit.

While the levels have quite some variety I think the game would benefit from higher contrast gfx, since the player is rather small and the game is VERY fast.

Really looking forward to it :)

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Played it a bit on real Lynx. I think the game desserve to be played this way, I find it more confortable. On emulator, I'm a bit dubitative about movement which are case by case, I guess it would be a great improvement if movement were free. but on real Lynx, I do not have the same feeling (I guess this is also due to gamepad vs keyboard).

I have not gone too far yet (still looking for the scientist in mission 4, or 3 ?), but I intend to complete it when I will have the time.

 

Spoiler

Small remark from a player that like to try silly things in games : seems like you cannot kill an ennemy with a bomb, it creates a crater under the ennemy, but he still shoot and kill you :D

 

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The real Lynx is much slower than the emulator. I had to drop all sei/cli guards to get any kind of performance. Small things matter.

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So the final competition entry is this one.

OnDutylabel.thumb.png.cf82d0699af60af46988077702cf6f6b.png

 

Thanks for label to @KevinMos3

 

The LYX version for AgaCart (Sorry no saves)

onduty.lyx

 

The LNX version for SD cart and real carts with 93C46 eeprom (128 bytes)

onduty.lnx

 

There is some new music, easier end boss encounter, smoother movement and more fun!

 

I take the liberty to tell a little background about this game. The starting scenario I got from @marss is actually in the game as a mission to search for Dr Krill. As the Lynx RAM is pretty tight I found out that this is also the maximum map size I can use for a two level scenario (inside + outside).

 

The tune at the intro was supposed to be morse code. You may make out the pattern -.-. --.- This translates to the letters CQ which is an international abbreviation for "seek you". I am a ham radio operator that has not been active lately but I still have my morse key that I inherited from my grandfather. In the past I started my calls with -.-. --.-  -.. .  --- .... ..---  -... . -.-  -.-

 

So that was the little nostalgia trip that made its way to the game.

 

During the development phase I coded 18 levels. After some testing Leo accepted 9 levels for the final release.

 

Tonight he tested the final code. You may see that sometimes the score is red on the mission screen and sometimes it is white. The red colour means that you killed someone during the mission. The white one means that you did the mission without killing anyone (pacifist mode).

 

Leo finished the entire game in pacifist mode (including the end boss). I did not believe it would be possible - but it was!

 

If you ever manage to clear the level in pacifist mode then the score will be white until you reset the eeprom. So playing the level again may give you a new high score.

 

The first level is intended to be a tutorial. You should take your time to learn

- to pick up a key to open a lock

- avoid spear traps

- heal yourself with a health pack (you can only heal yourself if you have taken damage)

- pick up bullets, bombs and a device

- choose your active weapon by pressing B

- shoot/open by pressing A

- check how close you can get to an enemy before the enemy notices you

- your weapons range is the same as the enemy notice range

- open metal doors with the device

- throw a bomb to break almost anything

- shoot barrels to cause explosions

 

After this brief tutorial you have the skills required for the game. Good luck!

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Mission1.png.03f0089e51ac8c1983861694c61add8a.png

 

The first mission is to get a cup of coffee and some doughnuts from the firing range.

Spoiler

Your mission is to get from the bottom of the map to the top of the map.

range.thumb.png.f8ba9644001cd6a3ca63bc83ace953ca.png

 

As you can see there is a few impenetrable walls on the way. You need to pick up bombs and use them on the wall to break a hole.

 

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Mission2.png.835a0f51afb9f1f5d297b7553e85d0e5.png

The 2nd mission is an evacuation mission.

Spoiler

This mission is randomized. There is somebody somewhere that was left behind. Your job is to rescue the poor fella to the helicopter waiting for you top right.

forest.thumb.png.bad522e9f78124c86cbb7000fcf516b3.png

Your target may be wounded and slow you down. There may be health kits in the area for healing you both.

 

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Mission3.png.789622967e0140dc79d0e3e7dd8fe794.png

The 3rd mission is a sabotage mission.

Spoiler

In this mission you need to master the skills to blow up explosive barrels and use a remote control for opening the steel doors. I hope you tried to do this at the 1st mission. If not go back and learn the basics first.

road.png.578ad188f3c9d5fdf9c9a20c947d1f9b.png

 

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Mission4.png.3e8023f08c1961f75d3b7f590128ea2a.png

The 4th mission is to locate a missing device.

Spoiler

This is a little harder exploration mission. The device is somewhere. As usual the location is different for every run.

park.thumb.png.4db252a4b2d891199aef59eff2c66c34.png

Once you find the device you are supposed to return to your car at the bottom left of the map.

 

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Mission5.png.83694f87dc3c004494381153fcaf295d.png

In the 5th mission you have to defend your headquarters.

Spoiler

This is the trigger happy shooting mission. There is armored vehicles with enemies approaching from north. Your headquarters with valuable data is south.

campus.thumb.png.e27747f832df1e4058506acd6852dcf9.png

 

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Mission6.png.76edf211da332b337a349fac19316999.png

In the 6th mission you need to rescue your top scientist Dr Krill who is kept somewhere in the town.

Spoiler

The town is pretty big and there are so many paths to take. Don't get lost. Dr Krill's life may depend on you.

town.thumb.png.1c2bd6150f167cfe08ec02ae2cc5e609.png

 

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Mission7.png.6470d8c785fe8bc4a6c8c0631f02fb8d.png

Your 7th mission is a search and destroy job.

Spoiler

The town is already a familiar place as you rescued Dr Krill from here. Remember?

But this time you need to find your way under the ground.

uppertown.thumb.png.aa64376b50593a567b4764f2ff145dac.png

 

Once you find your way under the ground you still need to find your target.

Spoiler

There are several ways how to destroy the target.

undertown.thumb.png.1465c35a1c70510513f763d644555fae.png

 

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Mission8.png.517967245c74702e90070216d3d36cda.png

Your 8th mission starts pretty bad. Playing with large amounts of explosives was dangerous! Run!

Spoiler

Watch out for broken parts in the ground and run right to the helicopter.

chainreaction.thumb.png.4a9970b082f59afeb32787c372a94d6b.png

 

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Mission9.png.f59cbcc0040465a666f6a8800cb5cc0f.png

Congratulations! Your 9th mission is to enjoy a well deserved cruise :)

Spoiler

The deck games turned out to be on the rough side. But the weather is nice!

fregate.thumb.png.abe8ee31aacd6a2ddacf0c954a57ac9b.png

The cannons are sturdy stuff. You can only break them with mines.

This is sadly the end of the game created for the competition.

Spoiler

231440801_Screenshotfrom2019-07-0209-53-51.png.2c0067aef7c9b7e223b808a267ff04af.png

 

This is where we leave our hero for now. Due to time restrictions the story end now. But as everything is not said yet you just may get the rest of the story at another time. Stay tuned.

 

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As there are so many new games to play and so little time I decided to add some cheat sheets in case you get stuck on some level. After all it is not fun to bang your head against a brick wall. So if stuck, look at cheats and have fun with On Duty.

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