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cmadruga

Entry 2020: The Pandora Incident

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1 hour ago, Peripheral said:

I don't think it would be "all of the sudden".

 

Touching the elevator button causes the button to light up (or blink) ... indicating you've bumped into it.

But the elevator still takes a while to arrive.  That all seems natural to me.

Personally, I do not think it'll come through like that.  It'll most likely look like, sometimes as you run around, the elevator door opens, with no apparent or obvious connection to something you did.

 

If it was something that happened directly as you walked by, like the supermarket door, then it would look obvious that it is a reaction triggered by proximity.  The travel delay of elevator loses that.

 

Then again, that's my personal opinion.  I think I rather have the agency, as a player, to trigger necessary actions, like calling the elevator and connecting to terminals, in an obvious manner such as pressing a button.  After all, this is also how you fire your gun: it doesn't just start shooting when the enemy is in range.

 

Alternatively, I would keep it the way it is now.  At least it is a consistent mechanic throughout the game.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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21 hours ago, Peripheral said:

BTW, I just noticed another escape pod issue.  Let's say I get Newton into the escape pod.  And sometime later

I revisit that room and open the escape pod hatch again ... I was surprised to see Newton's farewell message again!

I was finally able to recreate this bug... It only shows after you eject the pod on the 4th floor, correct? The bug does not happen before that.

Out of curiosity, what made you go back and try to reopen the hatch after ejecting the pod?

Were you just testing random things, or were you trying to accomplish something?

Either way, good catch!

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1 hour ago, cmadruga said:

I was finally able to recreate this bug... It only shows after you eject the pod on the 4th floor, correct? The bug does not happen before that.

Out of curiosity, what made you go back and try to reopen the hatch after ejecting the pod?

Were you just testing random things, or were you trying to accomplish something?

Either way, good catch!

I was just wandering around trying to find my way out.

 

I haven't quite memorized the whole layout yet.

But I want to do that on my own, as opposed to looking at your help guide,

as exploration/learning is a key part of the fun of such games.

 

I still find the whole layout disorienting, and haven't yet figured out which rooms are bays or cryo pods or storage or dining halls or whatever.

But I'll get there eventually (I hope).

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I've been playing for a few minutes and trying to build a map.  It is very, very confusing.  I lost my way while being attacked by monsters and then I ran out of bullets.

 

I have to say that the thing of leaving a room from the bottom and entering the next from the side, is so discordant and counter-intuitive that it completely screws up with my sense of orientation -- especially under the stress of combat. :(


I know you've said that you intended it to be that way, but personally, it reminds me of the "bad puzzles" in old Sierra Online adventure games, where the programmers seemed intent on antagonizing the player, thinking that "difficulty" came from screwing with him.  I'm sure that that is not your intention, but as a player, it can get frustrating.  (I classify quirky navigation like this in the same category as unintuitive interfaces, because navigation is a core mechanic of interaction with the game world.)

 

I got farther before when I just roamed aimlessly and randomly through the ship, not trying to make sense of the environment.  However, I'm sure you'll agree that random roaming should not be the best way to experience your world.  Your game world has depth and character and gravitas, it has order; it deserves better.

 

I will continue play-testing the game, but I gotta tell you that things like that, in practice, zap the joy out of playing.

 

Anyway, I think I found a bug which only occurred once:  After running away from a monster, I think I went sufficiently far that the music returned to the normal background tune, but then I went back to the room where the monster was.  At that point, the music was increased in volume -- only that it was still the "normal" tune, not the monster tune.

 

I will continue and report anything else.

 

    -dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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Well guys, feel free to continue to play if you think it's worth the time investment.

 

Feedback has been helpful and we will continue to look into ways to improve the game.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, cmadruga said:

Well guys, feel free to continue to play if you think it's worth the time investment.

 

Feedback has been helpful and we will continue to look into ways to improve the game.

 

Thanks!

 

 

My apologies for the harsh words in my last comment.  I had just finished playing a session which ended in frustration, and I shouldn't have used the opportunity to vent. :(


I will emphatically state that play-testing this game is absolutely worth my time.  I am enjoying this game immensely, in spite of the occasional setback.

 

It is truly a great game (so far).  I just haven't had as much time as I'd like to spend on it.

 

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I finally made it out, though I still have room to improve my final score.

 

Anyway, just one other feature request.

 

For repeat playing, the slowness of drawing the terminal output is a bit painful,

as is having to continually hit the action button to move through them quickly.

I get why you do it ... it's a nice effect ... the first time around.

 

But I'd like to be able to enable a 'quick mode', that automatically draws these screens quickly.

 

Overall, terrific job on both Pandora and Infiltrator!

Who knew escape rooms could be brought to the Intellivision?!

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A quick mode is a good suggestion, thanks. 

 

Maybe I could lump that with the option to see the introduction (or not), plus skill mode selection,  under a new "Options" menu... assuming there would be space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by cmadruga

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New version posted. Please check out the release notes for more details.

This will be the one submitted as part of the contest.

 

We have ran out of space, but not out of ideas! It's been a fun project and it may be continued.

 

We thank the organizers for hosting this event, and wish all the best to our fellow contestants.

No matter what the outcome is, spending the last 6 months writing Intellivision games made the pandemic more bearable. 

 

Thanks!

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Thank you for sharing roms along the way and letting us play and comment throughout the process, you are really pushing the boundaries of what the Intellivision can do and I will be shocked if this doesn't win the contest. Your only real competition in my opinion is yourself with Infiltrator.

 

BTW although a simpler game graphically than the other 2, I really enjoy Eggerland also, I never played the original but I like these "thinking required" type of puzzle games and it is very well done.

 

Once the contest is over are you planning a more advanced version of TPI without the memory limits required by the contest rules?

 

 

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14 minutes ago, cmadruga said:

New version posted. Please check out the release notes for more details.

This will be the one submitted as part of the contest.

 

We have ran out of space, but not out of ideas! It's been a fun project and it may be continued.

 

We thank the organizers for hosting this event, and wish all the best to our fellow contestants.

No matter what the outcome is, spending the last 6 months writing Intellivision games made the pandemic more bearable. 

 

Thanks!

 

It sounds like it was a blast for the Pandora Team to work on this project, and I have to say that the results are phenomenal.  Although I certainly wish the best of luck to all participants, this particular project has caught my attention in a very significant way.

 

Thanks for sharing the journey with us and for publishing the ROMs as the game progressed.  It has been a fabulous experience following along and seeing the game come together from its rather humble beginnings.

 

Best of luck to all of you, and please, continue working on the project for its eventual major release! 👍

 

    -dZ.

Edited by DZ-Jay

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@Steve Jones @DZ-Jay

Your words of encouragement are really appreciated.

Also thanks for following along and being willing to test the game. Putting up with bugs and other awkward things can be tough!

However, your input for sure helped us deliver a better game.

 

We have discussed eventually going for a full version with bank switching. At a minimum, that would allow us to add more cut scenes and include animation.

In particular, end game sequences would greatly benefit from it, by illustrating different outcomes with specific graphics. 

Some of the assets are ready, we just didn't have the space.

 

Another idea would be to allow players to select between Ellen and Norbert at the beginning of the game. As a playable character, Norbert would have different characteristics, and the story could play out a little differently as well.

 

Anyway, thanks again, and I'm sure that you will find things to be fixed or improved on this latest version as well.

Maybe I will create a separate topic within the Programming forum to keep things going post-contest.

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1 minute ago, cmadruga said:

@Steve Jones @DZ-Jay

Your words of encouragement are really appreciated.

Also thanks for following along and being willing to test the game. Putting up with bugs and other awkward things can be tough!

However, your input for sure helped us deliver a better game.

 

Thanks.  Personally, I consider it a duty to offer helpful feedback to fellow programmers; and it is always an honour when my suggestions influence the game in some way.  I know I can seem overly critical at times, but just know that all my comments are well intended, and come from my sincere believe that little tiny details can turn what is already a good game, into a great classic.

 

You guys rock!!!

 

1 minute ago, cmadruga said:

We have discussed eventually going for a full version with bank switching. At a minimum, that would allow us to add more cut scenes and include animation.

In particular, end game sequences would greatly benefit from it, by illustrating different outcomes with specific graphics. 

Some of the assets are ready, we just didn't have the space.

 

Sounds great!  There are also additional compression techniques that can be explored, especially when you are freed from the constraints of the contest and are able to use assembly language routines to accelerate or optimize performance.

 

1 minute ago, cmadruga said:

Another idea would be to allow players to select between Ellen and Norbert at the beginning of the game. As a playable character, Norbert would have different characteristics, and the story could play out a little differently as well.

Wow, that sounds like ... an entirely new game!  As awesome as that sounds, I would recommend leaving that for a subsequent release (Super Pro Pandora, Hehehe).  I wouldn't want the project to stall by the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink syndrome.  It would be a pity.

 

That said, it sounds like an excellent idea to add re-playability to the game.

 

1 minute ago, cmadruga said:

Anyway, thanks again, and I'm sure that you will find things to be fixed or improved on this latest version as well.

 

I can't wait to play it later this week-end. 👍

 

1 minute ago, cmadruga said:

Maybe I will create a separate topic within the Programming forum to keep things going post-contest.

 

Yes, I that would be best.

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