Libbet and the Magic Floor

Discussion of programming and development for the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color.
calima
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by calima » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:12 am

There already exists a GB ROM for creating sfx, but I forget its name. Should be fast to find if you go through the GB dev tool lists.

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:39 am

Sometimes it takes a month. After checking various inspirations, I've changed the landing and rolling sounds in the next version. Rolling is lower and quieter, and landing is based on the "not match" sound from Concentration Room.

To generate concepts for the title screen and especially the ending, it might prove helpful to understand what's past the exit of the last room. That might depend on who built the floor and why. I'd hope it isn't as dark as James Dashner's The Maze Runner books or Vincenzo Natali's Cube films, both of which involve mind-wipes and a prequel that spoils explains everything.

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:46 pm

Continued notes to self about worldbuilding:

A boulder person has three gaits: rolling, scooting, or jumping. Scooting is seen in some of my other works but not here. Rolling is more energy efficient than scooting or jumping everywhere, and she can carry things in her hands while rolling, though (at least in cut scenes) she would have to stop and untuck her head to see where she's going.

As for the "why is the floor?" question, I'd like draw a parallel to Spencer Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese? and its fan sequels, particularly Mason Brown's Who Cut the Cheese? and Deepak Malhotra's I Moved Your Cheese. These novellas take place in a maze inhabited by laboratory rodents and Lilliputians. After reading them, I hypothesized that the maze is an offshoot of Rat Park, a late 1970s experiment at Simon Fraser University concluding that rats given enough room to live and a sufficiently interesting environment will have less tendency to use drugs recreationally. That answered "why is the maze?" to my satisfaction. I wish I could see how to extend them to "why is the floor?" in this case.

I'm also trying to leave open the option of a later world reminiscent of Hipster Whale's Crossy Road or Konami's Frogger, or possibly even an overhead adventure reminiscent of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda or Square Enix's Secret of Mana. But the exact nature of the challenges Libbet is likely to encounter in this world still depends on "why is the floor?".

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:49 pm

Libbet and the Magic Floor v0.03

This is a small release, as progress past the fifth floor is still behind writer's block.

Highlights:
  • Rolling and landing sound better fit the material
  • Reduce clicking when sound channel turns off
  • Show squash cel when landing (first of 12 principles of animation)
  • Make hands clearer in push-off cel
  • Dead code removal and other size optimizations
  • Rules research: Confirm that 100+ score for 8x6 is highly unlikely
  • Comparative testing: Add patch to make GBA version work on GBA Movie Player
  • 8611 bytes used
ROM and source zipfile is attached, or view the release on GitHub
Attachments
libbet-0.03.zip
(71.12 KiB) Downloaded 254 times

nocash
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by nocash » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:44 pm

tepples wrote:That might depend on who built the floor and why.
I had always thought that it was just there for fun & bemusement. I hope it won't turn into a deadly trap or something!

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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:45 pm

For 2 months, an ending idea hasn't come to me. But now I'm wondering what achievements I can add. I'd like some of them to acknowledge player tics, like jumping into a Mega Man boss door or a Super Mario Bros. 3 Koopaling wand, or opening a Toad House box while sliding so it looks like Mario is sniffing his armpit. Are these any good? Can you think of others?

Completionist
As an anti-frustration feature, the player can exit in my port after completing 90 percent of the floor. But to reward skilled play, show the number of floors completed with 100% after the final floor is completed. If all floors are 100%, award Completionist and give the good ending.

Sink it
When you land on a dead end, it marks the dead end with a hole and moves you to the starting position at bottom center. But in the GBA and NES versions, when you get the last arrow by moving to a dead end, it stops the game right there and doesn't move you. So I propose an achievement that alludes to a tic that I developed when playing the NES version: if you reach 100% by landing on a dead end, this is considered sinking the ball in the hole as in golf.

Dash for the door
My port has an exit door at the top to give a sense of space to the floors. If a floor is 100% complete, and every move starting at the move from the cell where the last arrow was awarded decreases the Manhattan distance (|x - door_x| + |y - door_y|) to the exit door, and the player doesn't pause between rolls or jumps, award Dash for the door. Cannot be awarded on same floor as Sink it.

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:14 pm

To assess the viability of "Sink it", I ran the stats for how many OK floors have at least one dead end. (A floor is OK if its maximum score is at least the area, the round trip reachable area is at least half the area, and at least two back row cells are reachable.)
  • 2x8: 17%
  • 4x4: 26%
  • 6x4: 40%
  • 6x6: 52%
  • 8x6: 58%
  • Chance of seeing at least one dead end in all 5 floors: 92%

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:40 pm

v0.04 is released

Highlights:
  • A+B+Select+Start during gameplay to reset
  • Combo counter shows number of tracks laid without hesitation
  • Add achievements Completionist, Sink it, Dash for the door, No scope, No peeking, Restless
  • Display achievements in a window when they are earned
  • Display floor scores and achievements after completing all 5 floors
  • Popslide: Option to limit length of +32 runs and literals to save ROM size
  • "Debughex" option to display a variable at runtime even on hardware
  • Rules research: Confirm 92% chance of seeing a dead end in a game
  • Docs: Add guide to encoding video with bgb
9540 bytes used.

Feedback is appreciated:
  • See how big of a combo you can make. I want to know whether players find it unduly difficult to make large combos.
  • Come up with names for the floor sizes for use on the result screen. Currently I have "Corridor" for the 2x8 and "Anteroom" for the 4x4; the 6x4, 6x6, and 8x6 remain.
  • Title screen and ending concepts are still welcome.
Download ROM and source code below or from the release on GitHub
Attachments
libbet-0.04.zip
(85.76 KiB) Downloaded 211 times

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:06 pm

If I fear I may be copying something too closely, I try to find multiple antecedents. Other real and fictional lifeforms similar to Libbet's kind are pill bugs, armadillo, hedgehog, pangolin, Terra-Firmians from DuckTales, and Tumble Butts from Cyanide & Happiness.

tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:59 am

Libbet and the Magic Floor v0.05

It's been the better part of a year, and still no action on the last part of #6. So I decided I might as well push out what I have.

Game changes:
  • Fix first word of attract text after achievements and combo
  • Improve arm position in many cels
  • Buzz on invalid move (#10)
  • Make fades much smoother (#9)
  • Make skin color distinct from sack color using 7-shade display
  • Add pattern to black cell so as not to be misread as a hole
  • Add intro that wipes away console maker logo
  • Display combo that just ended, with sound effect
Behind the scenes:
  • Build-time option to use tilemap $9C00 instead of $9800 (requested by mattcurrie)
  • Docs: Describe achievement conditions, and clarify that some are harder than others (requested by ISSOtm)
  • Docs: Document metasprite format (requested by ISSOtm)
  • Rules research: Discover that bidirectional evaluation does not appreciably improve speed of floor reachability evaluation
  • Encoding guide: Add SGB aspect ratio and frame blending
We just crossed the one-third line with 10976 bytes. But I'm not too worried about the last major parts (title screen, SGB, and GBC) pushing it past 32K.

Download: ROM and source code (below) | GitHub release
Attachments
libbet-0.05.zip
(97.58 KiB) Downloaded 37 times

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ISSOtm
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by ISSOtm » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:35 pm

I did provide input on it; what became of it?
The French Lord of Laziness (and a huge Legend of Zelda fan)
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tepples
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by tepples » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:06 pm

You mean what I saved to ISSOtm_story.txt?
For the largest size, all I could think of was a large hall, and for some reason the only thing I can think of is a banquet
Oh, if you want a silly scenario I just came up with one :D
At the end is the food storage cellar, and a note from Libbet's sister (?) explaining this was set up because Libbet keeps stealing from the fridge, and if they're reading this they'll have to come up with something more clever
Anyone interested in illustrating this?

nocash
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by nocash » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:06 am

The intro with the large Libbet boulder rolling in looks nice. The game-solved stats are a bit boring, they might look better if they had a similar animation (or just re-use the same animation as in the intro, with Libbet rolling all over the screen while drawing the statistics).

After solving a floor, it would be really nice to be able to jump through the door (with or without banging your head). Leaving the floor with a jump would just make it more fun : )

The fade in/out looks very flickerish in my emulator, but I guess it's working flickerfree on the original gameboy's slow display... well, and if you are planning a sgb/cgb version then you can use finer palette fading anyways (that should also fix emulator issues, unless somebody is using an emu with missing or disabled sgb/cgb support).

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ISSOtm
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Re: Libbet and the Magic Floor

Post by ISSOtm » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:10 pm

Yeah, the flicker is noticeable on SGB, and can be quite jarring under most palettes (including the default) as it changes the hue as well, not just the luminance
The French Lord of Laziness (and a huge Legend of Zelda fan)
https://github.com/ISSOtm
ASMu is laifu <3

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