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Jetboard Joust - retro-inspired indie game (in VCS store)

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Nice, trailer looks cool! Sort of a side-scrolling shooter with a gravity pushing you down mechanic maybe? Dig the pixel graphics and music. 

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Jetboard Joust has officially released on the Atari VCS. This game is truly the definition of HD 2D retro style gaming that I hope consoles like the Atari VCS will be key in inspiring of wave of next generation 2D games.

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I've been giving it a lot of play so far, and it plays very much like Defender, at the beginning, but there is 
the Rogue like development, power-ups through your chosen game-play path, and lots of play evolution.
Fantastic depth to this game, and huge challenges so far. Very interesting art style, marks this out also.

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NOTE: Currently, in order to play a subsequent game after completing your first game after bootup, you MUST use either the VCS Companion App or a keyboard due to the requirement that the Enter key be used to progress past the High Score screen. Presumably this can get fixed with a quick update. BUT, until then, either restart the game each time or attach a keyboard or app. 

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A first early review from OEB-Pete for this game. (Before pending game-update.)
 

 

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(As a fellow Brit, I reached out about the high-score bug.)
I heard back from the developer of Jetboard Joust, and he expects to submit a bugfix for the game to Atari tonight. Very nice guy, and he wrote: "Please can you pass on my apologies to the folks there and assure them that I am working on a fix." He then followed up saying that he thinks he's "there with the fix, just running a few tests", and should submit the new version to Atari "by the end of the day". 🙂 

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Hello Everyone,

 

My name is James from BitBull and I made Jetboard Joust! This is just a quick note to say that I submitted an update to Atari with the highscore entry bug fixed yesterday and they reckon they will probably have it live on Monday.

 

Apologies again for the inconvenience and thank you for your support! 

 

Game on!

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4 hours ago, marss said:

Great game ;)

Please, do plan more games for the VCS?

Thank you! I'd love to do more games for the VCS, it was actually a really straightforward platform to port to. Could potentially be a very indie-friendly console.

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Thanks very much for the review, Mockduck! Really glad you're enjoying it.

 

I will be posting a maintenance update in the next couple of weeks which should address the issue about health bars not being able to be seen at the top of the screen amongst other things. You are the second person to mention this in the space of a few days. As for the sound, this is kind of a matter of taste, I designed in to be very 'in your face' like Defender and some people absolutely love it. What I may do though is add a separate volume control for the 'warning' sounds like the 'low health' and 'abduction' sounds, I can see how these can get kind of annoying. You should have heard the first iteration of that abduction sound! 🤣 

 

Adding preferences is generally pretty easy, what's a PITA is finding space for them in the UI. Too many and I have to add another page which means there need to be a way of navigating the pages etc etc. Maybe I'll put the audio prefs in a separate category on the main menu?

 

Anyway, it was a really great review - thanks again for posting and for the feedback.

 

Also - I have seen reports about controllers not working with the game when connected wirelessly. I am trying to get some technical info from Atari on this but so far nothing has been provided. I'll continue to pursue this. It works fine on both my controllers wired and wireless.

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8 hours ago, BitBull said:

Thanks very much for the review, Mockduck! Really glad you're enjoying it.

 

I will be posting a maintenance update in the next couple of weeks which should address the issue about health bars not being able to be seen at the top of the screen amongst other things. You are the second person to mention this in the space of a few days. As for the sound, this is kind of a matter of taste, I designed in to be very 'in your face' like Defender and some people absolutely love it. What I may do though is add a separate volume control for the 'warning' sounds like the 'low health' and 'abduction' sounds, I can see how these can get kind of annoying. You should have heard the first iteration of that abduction sound! 🤣 

 

Adding preferences is generally pretty easy, what's a PITA is finding space for them in the UI. Too many and I have to add another page which means there need to be a way of navigating the pages etc etc. Maybe I'll put the audio prefs in a separate category on the main menu?

 

Anyway, it was a really great review - thanks again for posting and for the feedback.

 

Also - I have seen reports about controllers not working with the game when connected wirelessly. I am trying to get some technical info from Atari on this but so far nothing has been provided. I'll continue to pursue this. It works fine on both my controllers wired and wireless.

I think for me the sound "issue" (and I agree we are talking subjective here) is one of totality instead of individual parts. Most of the parts by themselves sound ok, but the frequency and sheer number of competing sounds ends up a bit too messy and noisy. In particular, I'd target the "help me's" to perhaps run for a shorter time, since there is also a visual alert that a person is being kidnapped, and I'd take that 14 note theme and maybe only play it at the start of the level, then have some additional music in-level that rotates through. Just my two cents. :)

 

For me, I can play the game with both VCS controllers, but the Classic has to be wired in order to be recognized. 

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HURRAH. Finally!
@BitBull
 had already provided this fix SUPER FAST (thanks!), but it was delayed getting to the store. 
The new Jetboard Joust update which fixes the high-score entry bug, is in the store now for download.

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It's only just got there? Wow. Thanks for the update.

 

I'm not far off supplying another one that adds a few more things specifically requested by users. I'll probably supply this to Atari next week, have just put the desktop version live on the beta channel on Steam. Here's what's coming in the next update...

 

- Health bars now flip when player or enemies are near the top of the screen so you can always see them
- Weapon info is now accessible from the upgrades screen (I'm particularly pleased with the way this works)!
- Added setting options to turn off the distorted background and/or text fx.
- Added setting option to adjust the volume of alert sounds (abduction sound and low health sound) relative to other fx
- Remove 'auto-switch-weapon' setting option
- Moved 'auto-hover' setting to 'controls'
- Fixed a bug where the wrong weapon name could appear briefly above weapon crates whilst they were spinning
- Closed a loophole that could allow the bosses to be milked for cash
- Various other small bugfixes and playability tweaks

 

 

 

 

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Update has gone to Atari now, hopefully they'll push it to live a bit quicker this time but I expect they are very busy with the upcoming retail launch.

 

I'm optimistic that this build will also resolve the issue that some people are having connecting controllers wirelessly. I've switched from using the SDL libraries bundled with MonoGame to those bundled with the VCS which appear to have a workaround for the fact that, when in Bluetooth mode, the controllers report a different ID depending on which version of the firmware they're running(!)

 

Thanks again for supporting the game!

 

 

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The update has gone live! Hurrah!
Thanks for these tweaks, and enhancements. Very cool!

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Nice, time to boot my VCS back out of Windows 10 and get this game updated!. I recently picked this game up for Switch to since I’ve been enjoying it so much, great game. 

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