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Ooze! Spit 'n Polish playtest

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I'm wanting to squeeze the best overall gameplay out of this one more time before releasing it on cart. Past efforts only involved a few testers. Hoping to get a few more this time around.

 

Before, the levels were somewhat random, with a couple of real tough ones mixed in. This time around, I've decided to try a cyclic set of similar levels with a better ramp-up to the ending level 10.

 

Additionally, the initial levels in prior versions started out really, really easy. I think that made the game somewhat boring at first, then fairly decent. This set of level parameters starts the game out at the action level, then ramps up from there. I'm hoping this has a better immersive effect than the other combinations did. You tell me!

 

At this point, major gameplay feature changes are off the table, but changes to colors, level parameters and other minor tweaks are going to be considered. Again, lemme know what you think!

 

Here is the binary: ooze0.9.bas.bin

 

 

New gameplay instructions:

 

Ooze is a single player game, played with a Joystick plugged into the Left Controller slot.

 

You get three chances at completing the game without allowing the ooze, or your own missile, to touch your ship. There are 10 levels to a complete game.

 

Right Difficulty Switch controls the Drip. (b = easy = no drip)

 

Left Difficulty Switch sets player movement speed (a = fast = easy)

 

The reset switch returns the game to the position where it would be after powering the system on. This is the ready for new game position. It can be used at any time to abort a game in progress.

 

Player movement is accomplished by moving the joystick right and left.

 

Press the joystick trigger to launch a missile at the ooze. If your missile hits the ooze, that portion of the ooze will be eliminated and a new missile will be made ready to launch right away. If you hold the trigger, missiles will be launched as they become avaliable (auto fire). However, if you miss the ooze, your missile might bounce back, or be lost for a while, depending on where you are in the game.

 

If your missile is lost, your ship will color cycle while a new missile is found. During this time, you will be unable to launch another missile, leaving you to simply avoid avoid the advancing ooze and it's drops.

 

There is a brief intermission between levels, indicated by a number on-screen.

 

When the ooze hits the bottom of the screen, it will begin to spread, slowly reducing the amount of safe playspace avaliable to you.

 

If the ooze contacts your ship, one ship is subtracted from your total of three and the ooze is knocked back a few lines, giving you a small leg up to finishing the game.

 

Pull the joystick down, to begin a new game.

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I think the core game is very solid, and not much more tweaking is required. However, the game as a whole is lacking polish. My biggest regret with the Hunchy 2 cart is that I didn't spend more time on this. For example, you might consider adding some of the following:

  1. A title screen, or an attract mode.
  2. Title music, or a few in-game musical effects to indicate change of level, game-over etc.
  3. A visual indicator of the game variation before play, and possible more game variations.
  4. Use select to choose the game variation, and fire to play (down to start is not very intuitive).
  5. A high-score table, or some indicator of the highest score achieved.
  6. Different ship sprites for the levels, and possible some powerups.
  7. An end-of level baddie to fight (the monster who is generating the ooze?).
  8. 2-player support, e.g. cooperative, or turn-taking modes.
  9. Paddle and/or driving-controller support.
  10. AtariVox support.

I appreciate that space is limited with bBasic, but there some of this should be possible with bank switching.

 

Chris

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The game is a good mindless shooter / breakout game. I like the basic gameplay.

 

Those are very good ideas from CW. I know it can be a lot of work adding the final touches but they would be nice.

 

I think an end of level baddie might be a bit much to ask for, however it would be a nice break and would add to the sense of accomplishment.

 

I would also like to see a few power-ups (I know, I'm the guy that always seems to be asking for power-ups) again this may be to much to ask for, but a mega bomb that washes away a circular area of the ooze, and multi fire, where you have several shots going off in a fan.

 

I'd like to be able beat the ooze once in a while, when leveling up, the ooze is persistent. You see, part of the core game mechanic appears to be the human (instinct?) to clean things up. You may not like cleaning things up, but most of us get into it zealously at some point. Cleaning the car, cleaning the driveway, organizing our cart collection... well I'm sure I'm not alone here. :-). Mario Sunshine for instance, uses this concept in a very big way. Your game frustrates me that I can never seem to win against all of the ooze.. :D The key to making a great game is to allow people to reach the peak and bask for a moment until they look up and see that they are not really on the top of the mountain just yet.

 

I really would like to see a paddle control, I don't know how many people have the driving controller but paddles are common.

 

Is it my imagination or did the ooze, seem oozier in the past?

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[*] Paddle and/or driving-controller support.

[*] AtariVox support.

I appreciate that space is limited with bBasic, but there some of this should be possible with bank switching.

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Bankswitching has been added to bB, which can generate up to 32k binaries now, so space shouldn't be an issue. Also, there should be a paddle kernel or two. This will be in the next release, probably in 2-3 weeks.

 

I may investigate Avox support in bB, but first I need to learn how to program for it first, and need to buy an Avox too, so this may not make it in the next release.

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Right Difficulty Switch controls the Drip.  (b = easy = no drip)

 

Left Difficulty Switch sets player movement speed (a = fast = easy)

:idea: Reverse the meaning of the left difficulty switch (A = Advanced, B = Beginner).

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"Bankswitching has been added to bB, which can generate up to 32k binaries now, so space shouldn't be an issue. Also, there should be a paddle kernel or two. This will be in the next release, probably in 2-3 weeks."

 

The additional space settles it! Even double the 4K space will allow for many of these options to become part of the game. Had I known this, I would not have posted this thread. Thanks Batari for continuing to work on this!

 

I limited the development scope, believing that Bb would not reach this stage as quickly as it appears to be doing. One of the initial goals for this particular project was to push Bb hard, but keep the project Bb, with the exception of tweaks. (AtariVox would be a great example of a tweak I believe would easily done with inline assembly.)

 

Another goal was a great Bb game. Under the currrent Bb constraints, Ooze is there with perhaps some differences in value perception in gameplay vs bells 'n whistles.

 

Bb will evolve quickly enough to meet my time expectations and interest for this project. So, that puts the goal of a great game back on the table.

 

I've been thinking about paddle and driving support off and on. I set these things outside the scope of the project for a number of reasons --space being the primary one. Honestly, I'm glad to see this get pushed. Playing this game in that mode might be a lot of fun and challenge as the ooze can grow very quickly, placing much higher demands on the player. --This will likely be quite ooze like. I was not sure anybody else cared though. I know I would have always wondered about that --probably would have gone back and done it too. Better to get it done first time.

 

Had this been done in assembly, it would have easily fit into 4K of address space with a better feature set. ---it also would have not gotten done either because of where I am at right now timewise. I have some worries of following ever expanding expectations, thus not actually finishing anything... Given the timeframe and overall scope of development suggested, this is not a worry for this cycle of development to come.

 

Is the ooze less ooze like than before?

 

Well, it's faster. However the way it behaves and its drawn has not changed. The initial slowness of the ooze seemed pretty pointless to me. Perhaps it's just me having banged around on the game too much.

 

--thanks for ideas, support and encouragement. I appreciate it.

 

The level question is moot now, given the new project scope, BTW. If anyone spent time on it, put your ideas here now.

 

What I am going to do is make sure this version is complete and as error free as I can make it. That will be 1.0. Links and code will land in my blog, for reference later.

 

Once I see the new Bb environment running, I'll go ahead and make a roadmap for what will become 2.0 and reconsider this thread at that time, once the new elements are running.

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