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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:37 am 
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Hey, it's been a while.

Last year I had difficulties progressing with Auge so I decided to put it on hiatus.

Since then I've been working on Nim & Nom, a Platformer/Collect-a-thon. There is still a lot of work to be done but it's now at a playable stage.
There's only four stages in the demo.

Any feedback is appreciated.
I hope you enjoy the demo.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update - 25/11/2016

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Update - 14/2/2015

Thank you, again, for all the feedback everyone.

I didn't have many chances this past fortnight to work on Nim & Nom, So I couldn't get everything I had planned done. Most of the work done wont be noticeable as I needed to rewrite some of the routines and spent most my of time with that.
I wasn't able to create any new stages, so the game is mostly the same as the last update. There is a level at the end that wasn't in the previous version, but that was being used to test sprite and is not a proper level.
I'm hoping I'll get more time to work on Nim & Nom in the following weeks. There's still so much work to be done.

Tweaks:
- Flies will no longer stun the player, instead, they can be pushed around.
- The select button can now be used to navigate the menus.
- The player's max run speed has been reduced from 32 to 28.
- The height of the player's hitbox has been increased by 2 pixels.
- The vertical boost given by bubbles has been increased by 7.
- Rearranged the title screen.
- Springs now bounce the player even higher if the jump button is pressed as the player lands on one. It will also add a breif moment of invincibility.
- When hit by an enemy, the player will get knocked back in the direction it is moving, instead of the opposite direction the player is facing.

Added:
- There is now a 4 frame window for the player's input to take affect.
- Sprites will now create a splash when landing in water.
- The player can now be seen while underwater.
- Pressing start on the second controller will skip the current stage and load the next. This is only temporary and I decided to leave it in because there are no new stages.


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Nim & Nom.png
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Last edited by Krill on Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:16 am, edited 8 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:07 am 
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I think the art style is pretty cute, and it reminded me a lot of Gimmick! which I don't think is usually expected out of NROM.
I liked the rain effect; before that I think I've only seen rain done with bank switching, and I've never seen it applied to the whole screen before, usually just where empty tiles would be.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:15 am 
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I can't figure out how to get past the 3rd screen. I can eat the pink thing in the middle, and then wait for it to respawn to eat again, but eventually I run out of time? Also, it's difficult to eat that thing without falling into the water because of the length of the chomp-dash motion.

Aha! I just figured out that I was supposed to eat the fish too. Okay, I've now beaten it.

The rain moves a little fast for me, it kinda feels like random static. Like, I can see the shape of the rain moving if I pay attention (or step frame by frame) but while playing there is too much distance between frames for me to see it as motion. Of course, if it was slower it might feel too coherent, and start to feel like a scrolling sheet instead of rain... so, I dunno. In my own game I added some random drift to the rain particles, to give a turbulent feeling.

Your OAM cycling technique is interesting. It looks like you shift your starting position in your OAM buffer each frame to mix up the draw order? I've heard you can accomplish the same thing by just writing a non-zero value to $2003 before your OAM DMA, though I haven't tried that method. Might be simpler? More advanced, you could randomize the order you draw chracters in, which would let you control priority where necessary, for instance you could always draw the rain last to prevent it from causing flicker of other sprites.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:22 am 
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I kept running out of time, which appears not to replenish after each stage, on the stage with the leaping fish. Did you intend for the player's progression through learning to play this game to parallel that of the last stage of Street Fighter 2010 (see the second half of the AVGN review)? In the last stage of Street Fighter 2010, the player is supposed to fight five bosses on one health bar and one timer, which forces the player to get every single step of every single stage perfect in order to find the one path through the five bosses that collects every power-up while running out of neither of the player's two resources (health nor time). Or am I missing something fundamental, as I did when I first tried Lawn Mower from the 2011 compo?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:52 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
I've heard you can accomplish the same thing by just writing a non-zero value to $2003 before your OAM DMA, though I haven't tried that method. Might be simpler?
Writing a value of 8 or greater will achieve rotation, but will conceal two sprites due to a bug in the PPU.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:09 pm 
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NovaSquirrel wrote:
I think the art style is pretty cute, and it reminded me a lot of Gimmick! which I don't think is usually expected out of NROM.
I liked the rain effect; before that I think I've only seen rain done with bank switching, and I've never seen it applied to the whole screen before, usually just where empty tiles would be.

Thanks, I aim to make everything cute.
The rain came out a lot better than I thought it would, hopefully the other weather effects look as good.



rainwarrior wrote:
I can't figure out how to get past the 3rd screen. I can eat the pink thing in the middle, and then wait for it to respawn to eat again, but eventually I run out of time? Also, it's difficult to eat that thing without falling into the water because of the length of the chomp-dash motion.

Aha! I just figured out that I was supposed to eat the fish too. Okay, I've now beaten it.

The pink thing is supposed to be a flower but I forgot to place the stem. I've planned to only have animal decrease the counter while have everything else only help you maintain your health. Hopefully this idea will be clearer when there are more entities in the game.
I'll fix the length of the platform, or at least fix this problem some other way.
Yea, currently everything is edible, I've been thinking about using a red outline for entities that aren't.

Quote:
The rain moves a little fast for me, it kinda feels like random static. Like, I can see the shape of the rain moving if I pay attention (or step frame by frame) but while playing there is too much distance between frames for me to see it as motion. Of course, if it was slower it might feel too coherent, and start to feel like a scrolling sheet instead of rain... so, I dunno. In my own game I added some random drift to the rain particles, to give a turbulent feeling.

I originally had it move slower but as you said, it looks like a single image scrolling over the rest of the stage. Sadly with the way the weather currently works, I don't get much freedom so there isn't much more I can do without rewriting the code. Once I have completed the remaining systems for the game I'll have a more thorough look at it and see if there is anything I can do to improve the visuals so it doesn't seem so random.

Quote:
Your OAM cycling technique is interesting. It looks like you shift your starting position in your OAM buffer each frame to mix up the draw order? I've heard you can accomplish the same thing by just writing a non-zero value to $2003 before your OAM DMA, though I haven't tried that method. Might be simpler? More advanced, you could randomize the order you draw characters in, which would let you control priority where necessary, for instance you could always draw the rain last to prevent it from causing flicker of other sprites.

Ah, okay, I'll look into that. While I do find the flickering from the rain to be unpleasant, I don't have much experience writing OAM cycling routines. I've gone with a simple technique because I don't wont to get stuck working on it and not the main systems.



tepples wrote:
I kept running out of time, which appears not to replenish after each stage, on the stage with the leaping fish. Did you intend for the player's progression through learning to play this game to parallel that of the last stage of Street Fighter 2010 (see the second half of the AVGN review)? In the last stage of Street Fighter 2010, the player is supposed to fight five bosses on one health bar and one timer, which forces the player to get every single step of every single stage perfect in order to find the one path through the five bosses that collects every power-up while running out of neither of the player's two resources (health nor time). Or am I missing something fundamental, as I did when I first tried Lawn Mower from the 2011 compo?

It does seem similar at this point. I do intend to give the players a few lives and have the game be more lax.
I don't believe your missing anything, the game isn't really balanced at this point. The reason I didn't refill the health/time/hunger meter to after each stage was to give it a bit of a survival feeling. though if this is too awkward, I'll probably change it.



lidnariq wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
I've heard you can accomplish the same thing by just writing a non-zero value to $2003 before your OAM DMA, though I haven't tried that method. Might be simpler?
Writing a value of 8 or greater will achieve rotation, but will conceal two sprites due to a bug in the PPU.

I'll take note of that.


Thanks for all the feedback everyone.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Krill wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
I can't figure out how to get past the 3rd screen. I can eat the pink thing in the middle

The pink thing is supposed to be a flower

It looked like a candy to me. But then I'm the kind of person who looks at rainwarrior's Lizard and sees Capcom's Little Nemo: The Dream Master.

Quote:
tepples wrote:
I kept running out of time, which appears not to replenish after each stage, on the stage with the leaping fish. Did you intend for the player's progression through learning to play this game to parallel that of the last stage of Street Fighter 2010 [which requires absolutely perfect play]?

It does seem similar at this point. I do intend to give the players a few lives and have the game be more lax.
I don't believe your missing anything, the game isn't really balanced at this point.

Thanks.

Quote:
The reason I didn't refill the health/time/hunger meter to after each stage was to give it a bit of a survival feeling.

The arcade game In the Groove 2 had a similar mechanic in its "pick a course of 5" mode, where the player isn't given anywhere near enough time to beat all the songs in a set, and missed steps cost time, and only "fantastic" (exactly timed) steps extend the timer. But at least that mode was optional, being its counterpart to "oni" mode of Dance Dance Revolution. The traditional "pick 3 one at a time" and "pick a course of 4" modes were still available, using a traditional rhythm game life bar. If it's "hunger", then the metabolism must be so hyperactive that I don't see how such a creature could survive. For a hunger mechanic that works well enough to get sequels, see Adventure Island.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:10 pm 
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tepples wrote:
Krill wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
I can't figure out how to get past the 3rd screen. I can eat the pink thing in the middle

The pink thing is supposed to be a flower

It looked like a candy to me. But then I'm the kind of person who looks at rainwarrior's Lizard and sees Capcom's Little Nemo: The Dream Master.

Heh, it's always interesting to hear what people see these entities as, not even for a second would I have thought it looked like candy but now that it's been mentioned, I can see it clearly.


Quote:
Quote:
The reason I didn't refill the health/time/hunger meter to after each stage was to give it a bit of a survival feeling.

The arcade game In the Groove 2 had a similar mechanic in its "pick a course of 5" mode, where the player isn't given anywhere near enough time to beat all the songs in a set, and missed steps cost time, and only "fantastic" (exactly timed) steps extend the timer. But at least that mode was optional, being its counterpart to "oni" mode of Dance Dance Revolution. The traditional "pick 3 one at a time" and "pick a course of 4" modes were still available, using a traditional rhythm game life bar. If it's "hunger", then the metabolism must be so hyperactive that I don't see how such a creature could survive. For a hunger mechanic that works well enough to get sequels, see Adventure Island.

I'm never been fond of the hunger mechanic in Adventure Island, it's always felt tacked on.
Perhaps I'll slow the hunger meter a bit, I just don't want it to become negligible. It's hard to get a good speed for it at this point, once I get more of the game done I'll do a lot more testing.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:40 am 
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I've done a bit of work on Nim & Nom, while not much, I thought it would be good to post. It motivates me to do more work and everyone gets to see the game slowly develop.
Check the first post for the updates.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:00 pm 
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I had a chance to load this onto my Everdrive, and just wanted to say it looks great! The art style looks wonderful (character design is cute and full of personality, and the environments have great depth, lighting and detail) and the play mechanics are simple yet challenging. The rain effect looked excellent to me playing on my CRT.

Some notes:
- The sprite wrap around seemed odd. Being able to walk from the right of the screen and appear on the left took me out of the experience somehow. Maybe have a hovering teleporter or portal in the air instead?
- The bounce controls on the springs took me a few minutes to figure out. You have to HOLD the jump button? Why not make it like in SMB where you jump WITH the bounce of the spring?
- Game title would be nice near the top of the screen.
- Cycling through the custom palettes was a bit hard to see on the CRT. Maybe include a larger color block next to the character so you can see what color you're on, or have a value displayed ("color 1, 2, 3" or "red, yellow, lime" etc)? I think because the character is small it makes the palette changes less noticeable. Not a big deal though.
- Maybe include two modes: Regular and Survival. The current game is like "Survival" mode in Street Fighter II, where your health is never fully restored. Just an option between two modes would be nice.

This game seems very modern, like it would make a good app game.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:58 pm 
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psc wrote:
- The sprite wrap around seemed odd. Being able to walk from the right of the screen and appear on the left took me out of the experience somehow.

It somehow worked in Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Joust, Mario Bros., Balloon Fight, and Driar.

Quote:
The bounce controls on the springs took me a few minutes to figure out. You have to HOLD the jump button? Why not make it like in SMB where you jump WITH the bounce of the spring?

Because it's like in SMB3 and SMW where you hold the A button while landing on an enemy or note block.

Quote:
This game seems very modern, like it would make a good app game.

As an "app" game on a touch screen, how would it be controlled?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:58 pm 
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Quote:
It somehow worked in Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Joust, Mario Bros., Balloon Fight, and Driar.

The difference is that in those games you cannot dive halfway across the screen in 2 seconds flat. The movement is much slower. In Nim Nom I often accidentally dive onto the other side of the screen.

Quote:
Because it's like in SMB3 and SMW where you hold the A button while landing on an enemy or note block.

Holding the jump button in SMB3 does not bounce you on a note block, you have to bounce with it, just like the springs in SMB1. Holding 'A' to bounce off an enemy in SMB3 works and makes sense since enemies are different from springs.

Quote:
As an "app" game on a touch screen, how would it be controlled?

It was an observation, not a recommendation.

Another idea: it would be nice if the flies did not damage or knock back the character. They could be like the equivalent of bonus points (or in this case extra time/life).


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:24 pm 
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So, the two options you are suggesting are:

1. Allow user to press and hold jump any time before the bounce.

2. Only allow user to press jump during a short window of time before the bounce.

If the goal is to make it easy to bounce, use 1. If your goal is to make it difficult to bounce, use 2. Either could be a valid design decision, but if you're going to make it difficult to bounce on springs, you should at least justify it by making that difficulty part of the fun. I don't think that applies in this particular case.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:48 pm 
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3rd option: you could have both approaches. You could continuously hold Down or Up (rather than 'A') to do the current bounce, but you could also press 'A' (jump button) while springing to spring higher like in SMB/SMB3. Holding Up seems intuitive enough, I would hope.

And haven't enough people grown up with SMB and SMB3? What would be so foreign about treating the springs in NimNom the same way?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Bah, halfway through writing my reply, my internet disconnects and I lose it. Oh well, sorry about the post being messy, I'm still unsure of the best way to reply to everything and have it look neat.

psc wrote:
I had a chance to load this onto my Everdrive, and just wanted to say it looks great! The art style looks wonderful (character design is cute and full of personality, and the environments have great depth, lighting and detail) and the play mechanics are simple yet challenging. The rain effect looked excellent to me playing on my CRT.

Thanks, I'm glad to here that as I have no way of testing Nim & Nom on an actual NES and have been concerned about how it may look on a CRT.

Quote:
- The sprite wrap around seemed odd. Being able to walk from the right of the screen and appear on the left took me out of the experience somehow. Maybe have a hovering teleporter or portal in the air instead?
- The bounce controls on the springs took me a few minutes to figure out. You have to HOLD the jump button? Why not make it like in SMB where you jump WITH the bounce of the spring?
- Game title would be nice near the top of the screen.
- Cycling through the custom palettes was a bit hard to see on the CRT. Maybe include a larger color block next to the character so you can see what color you're on, or have a value displayed ("color 1, 2, 3" or "red, yellow, lime" etc)? I think because the character is small it makes the palette changes less noticeable. Not a big deal though.
- Maybe include two modes: Regular and Survival. The current game is like "Survival" mode in Street Fighter II, where your health is never fully restored. Just an option between two modes would be nice.

- Hmm, I don't really have room to do something like that. Maybe it wont feel weird with levels that a designed to work with it, I haven't really had too much time to experiment with levels.
- I've looked about how other games have handled this and thought holding it would be best way to do it. Having to press the button will require a bit more work to have it not rely on a single frame, but I'll try and implement it and see how it feels. Regardless, I can always use both methods.
- Easy enough, didn't really think about this as the title screen was just thrown to together so I could have something to test the menu with.
- Okay, I can do this but I'll wait till the title screen is closer to being finished. Depending how the title screen looks, I'll have to do this differently compared to what it is now.
- I have planned to do this from the start, that's why there are the "????" selections in the menu. The problem is finding the best way for the game to play for both modes. Double jumping would be fine for a survival mode but would allow to much freedom for a more challenge based mode.

Quote:
This game seems very modern, like it would make a good app game.

I could imagine with some changes, it would, but I have don't really have an interest in that.

Quote:
Another idea: it would be nice if the flies did not damage or knock back the character. They could be like the equivalent of bonus points (or in this case extra time/life).

I had it this way for a little while but it felt as if they weren't part of the game, or were unfinished. I does feel weird being knocked back by them so I'll fiddle around with this again and see if there is something I can do.

Quote:
3rd option: you could have both approaches. You could continuously hold Down or Up (rather than 'A') to do the current bounce, but you could also press 'A' (jump button) while springing to spring higher like in SMB/SMB3. Holding Up seems intuitive enough, I would hope.

I'll probably stay with the other two methods. This sounds nice in theory but might be a little awkward while playing, especially if there is a lot going on.


rainwarrior wrote:
So, the two options you are suggesting are:

1. Allow user to press and hold jump any time before the bounce.

2. Only allow user to press jump during a short window of time before the bounce.

If the goal is to make it easy to bounce, use 1. If your goal is to make it difficult to bounce, use 2. Either could be a valid design decision, but if you're going to make it difficult to bounce on springs, you should at least justify it by making that difficulty part of the fun. I don't think that applies in this particular case.

I think it would best to have both methods, as it isn't much work to implement both. That should cover the way of thinking for most people.


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