Games that don’t quite work..

If you’re following development of Platdude’s Retro Collection hoping for a new batch of great games, then you’re in luck! TWO great games have been added, TWO rubbishy games have been added, and ONE more game is being worked on right now, as I type this..
Games 1 and 2 are listed in the official page, the Missile Command and Extract games. Nice, simple, retro, fast and fun.
Game 3 was also simple and fast. It’s the usual “Things pop up, then you tap them. You get a minute, score as much as you can” type of game. But it really wasn’t all that interesting in the end, so it’ll probably be scrapped.
Game 4 was a Donkey Kong esque game. Rather than jump OVER the barrels, you jump on the goomba-esque creatures (The Space Invaders!) and use the higher-bounce-jump to make your way up the level. Sounds great. Unfortunately it turned out to be a very dull repetitive game. Not too sure why! Oh well..

Game 5, currently in progress, really can’t go wrong. (Hopefully!)
It’s Pacman.
Nice and easy!
Two screens, twice the mazes, twice the bad guys, twice the power pellets.

Pacman - In Development
Kickass!

For those keeping track, I’ll probably dump all the failed games together into a super-secret menu, so you can at least get to try them out. And at this rate, I’ll probably need more than one!

Green’s Collection – Step 1

And so it begins, the long boring task of making lots and lots of games 😀

I lie. It’s not boring!
Centipede took shape, gradually, over the course of a day. Most of the tweaking was in the main engine, as opposed to the game itself, since I had to be sure of all my different variables, and how all the pieces of the menu system would fit together.

Now that the main code is mostly sorted I should be able to get things done at a much faster pace. The actual menu design hasn’t yet been decided upon, and to be honest I’m even starting to wonder if it’ll even be a “Greenie” collection. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime I threw in a small second, slightly related game. Snake.
You know the drill. Run from side to the other, grab all the blobs, and try not to kill yourself.
It’s a bit slow. But then, every Snake game is. So it was whilst creating this game that I decided to add Difficulty levels into the mix. I’m not sure where the level will be chosen, but all the games in the pack should use a standard “Easy, Normal, Hard” setting in the main menu, somewhere.
Set it to Hard, and Snake becomes a much more enjoyable game.

More games to come, and suggestions for gameplay mechanics, or additional games are welcome.

Green’s DS Collection

Having started and given up on a fair few projects over the past couple of weeks, I’ve decided to go back to basics. It’s time to bring return to the 8-bit Tiny collection, and get things started once and for all.

So today I got working on a base program that can use a series of includes to incorporate a bunch of games. I’ve designed a neat collection of generic looking graphics, and started listing games that may or may not be included. I’ll try to make all the games as Repeat-Play-able as I can, but obviously some games will need to use preset levels and things, so that might be something to avoid for the meantime.

If all goes well it should be quite a little collection once its all finished. (if it ever IS finished!) I’m going to challenge myself to produce at least two games a week, and hopefully I can work quick enough to do more. I’ve recently enjoyed doing some super-fast coding, getting as much done in a couple of hours as I can, so I might even attempt to do some small games in that space of time, too.

I’ll be releasing occasional versions of the game, as the amount included builds up. Depending on how the menu ends up looking I’d expect each release to include about 5 new games, so the first one should be up and running within the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions for games they’d like to see/play on the DS (albeit in a tiny form) list them below.

My only worry, right now, is how to make use of the second screen…..

(If you’d like to see a list of possible games, you’ll find it here.)

Greenie’s Something Something….

Retro Remakes are holding a Top Down 2D Dungeon challenge.
Socoder are holding a Remake a Workshop Game challenge.

In a way, these two coincide, since I’d already decided to remake Greenie’s Gameboy

Adventure for the Socoder, before the Retro Remakes challenge was finalised.
So that’s what I’ll be working on for the next couple of weeks, a larger version of Greenie’s Gameboy Adventure, complete with a proper storyline, a few more enemies, and more than just Jelly Babies for Greenie to collect!

Or at least, that’s the plan, anyway!

Oh No, More Mummies!

I decided to do things the easiest way, code wise. To unlock the exit to a level, you need to open all the boxes within that level. Nice and simple.
There are 10 level layouts currently in the game. I might add more, I’m not sure. So far the largest level only uses up about 1/16th of the available map size, but if I make them too big they get a little dull.
So, 10 levels, and then it loops back with a higher difficulty, going right up to level 100.
There’s plenty of pickups, 3 types of enemies, and even a stash of TNT to blow ’em all up with.
I’ve also played about with the colourings a little. There are 6 Background colour schemes, and the engine picks out one colour for floors, one for buttons and one for blocks. It keeps things a little more interesting instead of it all being drab sandy yellow throughout.

The game, as it stands, is pretty much what I’d aimed for when I started. It has all the elements I’d planned and a fair few more.
But I’ve two more weeks before the Monthly Challenge’s deadline.
What more could I add?
I’m sure I’ll think of something!

Greenie – The Eccentric Egyptologist – Coming soon!

Oh Mummy!

This month, Socoder are having a “Make a game with Pickups” challenge.
It took me a bit of a while to decide what game to do, but I think I’ve finally settled on one.


Greenie – The Eccentric Egyptologist.. Named so it fits alongside Greenie – The Helecopter Hero.

It’s a remake of Oh Mummy but with a couple of tweaks here and there, including the way you open the areas.

Instead of just being “Walk around the box” there’s now a set of buttons around the edges of the areas. Push down all the buttons and then the area opens up. But if you leave the buttons, they slowly pop back up again. This means you have to run all the way around, trying to keep the buttons down.
Different sizes and shapes of areas means there’s plenty of variety, and the levels can become easy/hard depending on how the areas are layed out.

So far, only Mummies are in the game, but I’m planning on adding a few more creatures, and the pickups are coming along rather well.
The one thing I haven’t yet decided, though, is how to end each level.
In the original game, you had to find the key in each level, then get back to the door. For this one I’d like to make things a little more complex.
..
But I might not! I haven’t decided yet.

More info later.

Horizon’s Edge

I’m currently working on a nice shooter game. A “take it in turns to kill each other” type blaster.
Like Scorched Earth..
Or, if you prefered the Amiga version, like I did, Scorched Tanks.

Anyway, this game isn’t exactly like either of those!
Imagine the tanks being UFO’s, and they’re floating in space, with a bunch of randomly sized planets between them.
They fire shots, and the weapons float about in space, being pushed and pulled by various gravitational forces, until they either float away, hit a planet, or hit a player.. (sometimes that could even be yourself!)

I’ve been working on this game for a couple of days, now, and it seems to be coming together quite nicely.
For it’s title theme, I decided to take the original theme from Scorched Tanks. A tune by Sidewinder, named Horizon’s Edge.
I spent most of today working on a nice new rearrangement of the theme, and figured I’d let you hear the tune as it currently stands.
Horizon’s Edge : Beta!

The mix will probably be tweaked, here and there, between now and the game’s release (I’ll probably tighten up the start, and neaten the end a little, and do a few little twiddly bits in the middle) but, all in all, it’s pretty much what I wanted out of it.

Enjoy!
And.. Credit goes to Sidewinder for his amazing 30Kb, 4 channel original version!

DS Progress

I decided to start a Dev diary here, for all my DS Developing. I figured people would eventually stumble across it, and start reading away at all the fun coding. Either that, or they’ll completely ignore these bits, and just download the Experimental stuff like they usually do.
Either way, this is going to be a part dev-diary, part progress report, and part release schedule for all things DS.

I currently have 4 DS Projects on the go. They are Stringy Things, JNKPlat, An Alien Breed type clone, and a Green game collection.
Of those, Stringy Things will probably appear online first, then the Alien Breed thing.


Stringy Things – 75%

You probably played the version of this I released last year. This newer version contains a load of bugfixes, a whole new (much better) word list, and so far 2 new games. I’m hoping to build that number up a bit!
It’s also got a new menu system, which allows for more variety in gameplay. As you can see in the screenshot, Strings now has an Endless mode, which means that new bubbles appear at the top, as you play.. Other playmodes are being integrated into the other games.
I’ve shifted “Dice” over to the “More Games” tab at the top of the screen. This lets me place in some extra types of games that I normally wouldn’t be able to add, like new addition “Extract”
If you’d like to play a windows version of this game, head over to here, where Chris Davis’ (aka Magicman) original version is playable.
I ported it over into Stringy Things, added a few DS friendly pickups, and with bubbles instead of squares it fits into the collection quite nicely.
The main issue I’m now having with Stringy Things is memory related. Or at least I think that’s what’s causing it. There are many curious bugs appearing where there previously were none.
I’m attempting to fix all these issues, and you can be sure they’ll be gone by the time I release the new version.


Alien Breed – 10%

So far the engine looks like this.
It’s not too bad, considering I’m only at 10%!
So far the player’s onscreen, and the background’s scrolling well. The interface works reasonably well, and even the control schemes are integrated nicely.
Four different control schemes are available.
1) Walk in the direction of the DPad, and fire by pointing. “Default style”
2) Walk/Strafe with the DPad, turn by pointing, fire by holding the trigger. “FPS style”
3) Walk in the direction of the DPad, and fire in the direction of the Face Buttons. “Robotron style”
4) Walk in the direction of the DPad. Hold A to shoot. Hold B to strafe+shoot. “Alien Breed style”
They’re selectable via the menu system, so I know that’s all working well!

Thus far I’ve not added any collision, or enemies, or pickups, or even a decent map. So I’ve got quite a bit to go, yet!


JNKPlat DS – Unsure!

Last year I released the first version of JNKPlat DS. People enjoyed it, which was nice 🙂
It was the first JNKPlat game to feature smooth animated graphics, and it gave the game a whole new feel, turning it more into an Action platform than just a puzzle game.
I’ve come to like that style more and more over the past year, and as such I’m not at the point where I’m considering redoing the whole game, as opposed to just re-releasing it with a level editor added.
See, if I redo it from scratch, I can redo all the graphics. I can rescale the whole game, and give it an even bigger, even better look.
It’s not an easy decision, though. JNKPlat has essentially looked exactly the same for the past 10 years. Do I really want to change what it looks like!?

So, Either I restart the whole thing, or I just add in a level editor and rerelease the old one.
I’m not sure, yet!


Green’s Collection – Unstarted


And lastly to the biggy!
The original collection, for windows, is available here. It’s a set of small games, each with basic rules, and gameplay. They’re fun, but small.
I’ve always thought a DS version of the collection would be fun, but so far I’m unsure of the graphical style I should go for.
As far as memory’s concerned, the lesser the graphical style the better.. That way I can reuse plenty of the graphics, and fit in lots more games. But since I’ll be using sprites for everything, I’ll probably need chunkier graphics, so I can fill the screen, and not end up with only 128 8×8 pixel images on the screen! (128 is the DS’s limit of sprites onscreen at once.)
I’m not sure if I’ll go for the 8-bit style, try out a 16-bit style, do all line graphics, or maybe even go down a couple of steps and go for a super-retro Atari2600 style of graphics.
If I plan out a few games, maybe the graphics will find themselves. But I haven’t even gotten that far, yet!
This game is mearly a sidethought in my mind, since I have plenty more things to be getting on with.

If you have any ideas for the collection, feel free to pop them into the comments below.