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Thomas Jentzsch

Cave 1K (new homebrew minigame)

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Attached you'll find the game that I had planned for the minigame contest. Due to some monitor problems, I couldn't make it in time. :(

 

Anyway, I won't wait until next years competition and release it as soon it is finished.

 

Please give me some feedback about the helicopter control and the overall gameplay. Is everything ok for you :?:

 

BTW: I am also looking for a better name than Cave 1K.

 

EDIT: Added updated version 1.04 (SuperCharger compatible).

EDIT: Added final version 1.05 ("competition mode").

EDIT: Updated 1.05 to 1.06 (bugfixes and minimal gameplay changes)

EDIT: Added version 1.08 (moving walls and different "explosion")

EDIT: Replaced v1.08 with v1.09 (small bugfixes and more large walls :evil:)

cave_1k__v1.02_.zip

post-45-1065281166_thumb.png

cave_1k__v1.04_.zip

cave_1k__v1.06_.zip

cave_1k__v1.09_.zip

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566 bay-b :)

There was a discussion about the java game being ported to the 2600...excellent work! Seems to have a bit higher "gravity" than the original, but I like it.

 

BTW an alternate game could use a timer...with the 'copter being slowed when colliding with barriers (your final score being how far you get in the allotted time).

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Very nice, Thomas.

 

Heh, it might be interesting to see how a "Joust" variation of this game would work...each button press giving a boost up against gravity, rather than the finer grain control you have now. Would make a cute easter egg, you could probably even use the Joust graphic.

 

Also, I guess I kind of like the traditional variant, rather than speeding up, it makes the cave skinnier as the player progresses. Would that be a plausible variant given your kernal and engine? Also, maybe more variation in the (missile graphic?) obstacles.

 

(And as a side note, is Atari Age now your preferred venue for non-techie talk, relative to stella?)

 

In terms of name, I dunno... "Danger Cave"? "Copter Crush"? "Helicopter Havoc"? ("Hubschrauberverwüstung" is Google's German translation of that last one, somehow, I'm really amused by such a tiny game having such a long name...continuing to play with Google's language tools, I came up with "Schwerkrafthubschrauberzeit-Gefahrhöhle" - does that sound like good, if possibly silly, German? I'd love to see it on an cart label...)

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Heh, it might be interesting to see how a "Joust" variation of this game would work...each button press giving a boost up against gravity, rather than the finer grain control you have now.  Would make a cute easter egg, you could probably even use the Joust graphic.  

Yup, I thought about that idea too. Probably it will make the game quite hard (and the thumb will hurt quite fast then), but maybe I'll make a version. Unfortunately I am down to 4 free bytes now, so I can't put both variations into one ROM.

 

Also, I guess I kind of like the traditional variant, rather than speeding up, it makes the cave skinnier as the player progresses.  Would that be a plausible variant given your kernal and engine?

Yup, that is possible. I also had a version where the cave moved slightly up and down, but I had to remove it for the 1K version.

 

Also, maybe more variation in the (missile graphic?) obstacles.

What kind of variations? I could make them thicker quite easy, but anything complicated probably requires too much CPU time (the kernel is running without WSYNC already).

 

(And as a side note, is Atari Age now your preferred venue for non-techie talk, relative to stella?)

No, but since I wasn't looking for technical support I thought AA would be a better place. Anyway, I'll post it (incl. source) to [stella]. :)

 

In terms of name, I dunno... "Danger Cave"? "Copter Crush"?  "Helicopter Havoc"?

Hm, actually I was looking for something really short (in the tradion of Thrust and Jammed ;)). :D

 

("Hubschrauberverwüstung" is Google's German translation of that last one, somehow, I'm really amused by such a tiny game having such a long name...

No wonder, German language is usually a bit longer than English.

 

continuing to play with Google's language tools, I came up with "Schwerkrafthubschrauberzeit-Gefahrhöhle" - does that sound like good, if possibly silly, German? I'd love to see it on an cart label...)

The smaller the game, the larger the name? :)

 

The "Fliege mit dem Hubschrauber durch die endlose, gefährliche Höhle ohne irgendwo anzustoßen!" game. :D

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Hi Thomas!

 

This is a great little 1K game, one of those that requires you to get into the "Zone" once things start moving quickly. I personally would not change it to a Joust "flap" type mechanism, as that would just be too damn hard. I like the control the way it is now, where holding down the button gives you a good boost. My left index finger is already numb from hitting the Left-Control key on my keyboard. :)

 

This is a pretty evil game--not only does it get faster, but the bars get longer as you get further into the cave. For a moment I even thought the helicopter was crepping forward, but I think that is just my imagination. It would be great, once you've polished the 1K version, if you could make an improved version of the game that might give it some more longevity. Some suggestions:

 

1) Wait until Reset or Fire is pressed before starting the game. When firing up the emulator (in this case, z26win), I always die once or twice while the monitor changes screen resolutions.

 

2) Add some objects that you can "pick up" along the way, which would further stymie the player when he ends up grabbing an object, but then puts himself in a bad position to avoid the next obstacle. Here are some attributes these could have:

 

- Slow the game down

- Reduce length of obstacles

- Reduce spacing between obstacles

- Give you immunity from next 'x' obstacles

 

3) Turn it into a level-based game. You would reach the "End" of a level, then the next level would start, perhaps with a narrower cave, perhaps a new type of obstacle to avoid, and so forth.

 

4) Varying-width caves. For instance, every so often you could be "pinched" and have to fly through a narrow area (sort of like River Raid, but on its side).

 

I very much do like the current simplicity of the 1K game and think it stands well on its own (my index finger feels differently). But I believe the potential is there to make it even more enjoyable, if the 1K barrier was crushed. :)

 

..Al

cave.png

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Something short as in just one word? Chopper? Huey?

 

Ditto on the "flap" method. Most people own controllers with autofire anyway, which would make that irrelivant.

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Thanks Thomas - now I can take this one off my to-do list! :P

 

I have a question for you on this version.. are the barriers random? What I mean is, will the game play exactly the same each time?

 

The last game I played, I was at 870 points and I couldn't possibly have negotiated the angle to get past the next barrier, as they were very close together.

 

This will be a very fun and addictive addition to the 2600 library. Thanks again!

 

EDIT: To followup on what I posted above, I just played again and got the exact same situation at 870 points. I can probably get by by either going over the previous barrier, or under both.

 

I've experienced an anomoly in the scoring though... I crashed into the ground trying to go under the barrier at the 870 point marker and my score is alternating between 868 points and 870 points- about every three seconds.

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2) Add some objects that you can "pick up" along the way, which would further stymie the player when he ends up grabbing an object, but then puts himself in a bad position to avoid the next obstacle.  Here are some attributes these could have:  

 

 - Slow the game down

 - Reduce length of obstacles

 - Reduce spacing between obstacles

 - Give you immunity from next 'x' obstacles

...or maybe picking up objects "x" and dropping them off at pads "y" for bonus points (both of which count against you when this is not done).

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Thanks Thomas - now I can take this one off my to-do list!  :P  

 

I have a question for you on this version.. are the barriers random? What I mean is, will the game play exactly the same each time?

 

The last game I played, I was at 870 points and I couldn't possibly have negotiated the angle to get past the next barrier, as they were very close together.

 

This will be a very fun and addictive addition to the 2600 library. Thanks again!

 

EDIT: To followup on what I posted above, I just played again and got the exact same situation at 870 points. I can probably get by by either going over the previous barrier, or under both.  

 

I've experienced an anomoly in the scoring though...  I crashed into the ground trying to go under the barrier at the 870 point marker and my score is alternating between 868 points and 870 points- about every three seconds.

Yes, that point is near where the lower barrier is missing...and when an upper/lower barriers are that close, you have to make the call whether to go above or below. Both are doable depending on how fast you are currently dropping and how quick your reflexes are (takes split-second reflexes to go above, and going below might not be possible if you are dropping too quick before ascending).

You could alter Stella's framerate to be higher and play it a few times (to get used to quick speed)...and then play it at a normal framerate. That should make it seem a -bit- easier the next time through.

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Yup, I thought about that idea too. Probably it will make the game quite hard (and the thumb will hurt quite fast then), but maybe I'll make a version. Unfortunately I am down to 4 free bytes now, so I can't put both variations into one ROM.

 

Would you ever consider making a 2K version, so you can pack the extra stuff in? (Sort of like I did for JoustPong, my core was 1078 bytes or so, so I made a 1K version, but plan to release a 4K fuller game)

 

Also, I guess I kind of like the traditional variant, rather than speeding up, it makes the cave skinnier as the player progresses.  Would that be a plausible variant given your kernal and engine?

Yup, that is possible. I also had a version where the cave moved slightly up and down, but I had to remove it for the 1K version.

Oh, I kind of didn't notice that the cave was confined to such a tight range.

 

I'd definately consider a 2 or 4K "traditional" variant

 

Also, maybe more variation in the (missile graphic?) obstacles.

What kind of variations? I could make them thicker quite easy, but anything complicated probably requires too much CPU time (the kernel is running without WSYNC already).

Oh, nothing, the variation I was suggestiing is in their already...I mean the obstacles are getting longer as you go along, right?

 

In terms of name, I dunno... "Danger Cave"? "Copter Crush"?  "Helicopter Havoc"?

Hm, actually I was looking for something really short (in the tradion of Thrust and Jammed ;)). :D

Well, you're not going to get much shorter than "Cave". "Rotor" kind of goes well with Thrust, but really, rotory action isn't a big part of the game.

 

continuing to play with Google's language tools, I came up with "Schwerkrafthubschrauberzeit-Gefahrhöhle" - does that sound like good, if possibly silly, German? I'd love to see it on an cart label...)

The smaller the game, the larger the name? :)

 

The "Fliege mit dem Hubschrauber durch die endlose, gefährliche Höhle ohne irgendwo anzustoßen!" game. :D

 

Well, what I like about German is how I could feed in 4 or 5 seperate words in English, and get out a single hyphenated expression. It's like a Lego Language, just stick the syllables and concepts together!

 

My vote is still for "S-G: Schwerkrafthubschrauberzeit-Gefahrhöhle", that way people can talk about it as "S-G" but the multiphonetic beauty of the German language still shines through.

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--another thought:

Power-ups in the cave that you collect that do one of the things that Al mentions for a short period of time. So you could make a blue object slow down the scroll, a green one shorten the barrier height, etc.

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Ok, I am going to answer a few questions:

 

This is a pretty evil game--not only does it get faster, but the bars get longer as you get further into the cave.  For a moment I even thought the helicopter was crepping forward, but I think that is just my imagination.  

Yup, though I might add that again. :evil:

 

I have a question for you on this version.. are the barriers random? What I mean is, will the game play exactly the same each time?

They should be random, though when the walls get taller the variety get's a bit more limited. Anyway, it should be still random, I'll check my code again

 

...and my score is alternating between 868 points and 870 points- about every three seconds.

:idea: Those are the current and the high scores.

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...or maybe picking up objects "x" and dropping them off at pads "y" for bonus points (both of which count against you when this is not done).

I am not sure if my kernel can handle this.

 

Would you ever consider making a 2K version, so you can pack the extra stuff in? (Sort of like I did for JoustPong, my core was 1078 bytes or so, so I made a 1K version, but plan to release a 4K fuller game)

Yes, but see my post above. :)

 

Oh, I kind of didn't notice that the cave was confined to such a tight range.

Not the cave, but the code. :D

 

Well, what I like about German is how I could feed in 4 or 5 seperate words in English, and get out a single hyphenated expression.  It's like a Lego Language, just stick the syllables and concepts together!

 

My vote is still for "S-G: Schwerkrafthubschrauberzeit-Gefahrhöhle", that way people can talk about it as "S-G" but the multiphonetic beauty of the German language still shines through.

I'm not sure it that will work. IMO German is not good for naming games. And googleing for reviews of my game might become quite hard when calling it "S-G". :)

 

BTW: How about "Push-it!" :?: :D

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Wow.. High score feature in a 1K game!

For a game as simple as this, breaking your own highscore is one of the major motivations.

 

I might add different colors for the two scores.

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I understand wanting to avoid creeping featuritis, but I think bumping it up to 2K if you can make it "classic" version, with a shrinking cave, would be a more releasable game.

 

One thing about it now, I imagine you could get to a situation that is literally impossible to beat, if you weren't careful.

 

Hmmm...if the obstacles are missiles, could you easily make some thicker by doubling the width?

 

And I still say you don't know how much goofy fun your language can be for naming things...but if that's the case "Cave" is the best bet in the spirit of "Jammed" and "Thrust"

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One thing about it now, I imagine you could get to a situation that is literally impossible to beat, if you weren't careful.

 

I have to hazard a guess and say that at some point the game does become impossible to beat if the difficulty continues to ramp up. :)

 

..Al

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Thomas,

 

It's excellent, I like the current helicopter control.

 

The helicopter reminds me of one of my all time favorite 8-bit games, Fort Apocalypse.

 

Your game is fun in it's own right, but I can see it evolving into something awesome.

 

Chuck

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Thomas,

 

I meant to ask this in my earlier post--is the sound of the helicopter in any way derived from Chopper Command?

 

..Al

cave2.png

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It wont run on my 'puter... Stella 0.7/Mac  :(  

It says illigal 6507 instructions "Bummer"

 

I wish someone would update Stella or port one of the other 2600 emulators to OS X. :)

 

..Al

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I have to hazard a guess and say that at some point the game does become impossible to beat if the difficulty continues to ramp up. :)

The difficulty is limited to a certain speed (which should be reached around 1,000 points).

 

And there is a wall height limit (height of cave - 2.5* height of helicopter). So there should be always some space.

 

I can adjust both limits and many other parameters (e.g. the minimum distance between two walls or the gravity, interia etc.). Some finetunig (though this is getting quite complicated ;)) is neccesary.

 

It wont run on my 'puter... Stella 0.7/Mac  :(  

It says illigal 6507 instructions "Bummer"

I have updated the binary, this one should work with MacStella too (though I can't promise anything and that may change again). And I added a pause at the start, plus different score colors.

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