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Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:53 am
by NovaSquirrel
Parallax is a pretty good multiple-layer effect, but I think an even better effect is having it so that the background shows through transparent parts of the foreground, instead of having solid areas surrounding any foreground objects that don't quite fill up a whole block. :lol:

That's one of the main reasons I decided not to have slopes outside of these minecart tracks, since I would need different slope tiles for every single thing I want to have the slopes overlaid on top of, and palette issues would complicate that a lot even if I did want to spend the tiles on it.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:12 am
by Myask
Sprites cover a multitude of sins, right up until sprite overflow. Of course, level design to prevent sprite overflow is also a skill some ROMhackers don't seem to realize exists.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:53 pm
by NovaSquirrel
Minecarts mostly work after I found and fixed an out-of-bounds array access. There's still some jitter, as you can tell by the vibrating player. They're rideable, and there's track pieces that cause minecarts to reverse direction, jump into the air, and speed up/slow down. I gave them only one pair of wheels instead of two because it looks less wrong going up and down slopes.

Surprisingly they didn't take up nearly as much space as I thought they would to code the logic for, only about half a kilobyte so far.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:39 am
by NovaSquirrel
There is now an item shop accessible from the level select. I'll probably have it so that it's not accessible immediately and you have to go rescue the shopkeeper in-game or something first.

Also rope is now a usable item. I just need to find a good in-game purpose for lamp oil now.

A cooler gameplay gif showing off minecarts.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:55 am
by na_th_an
Awesome job! Looks great, can't wait to play this :)

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:00 pm
by 8bitMicroGuy
Wow it's getting good! :D I could do a Let's Play on this with a friend of mine as soon as you make the game available for download.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:29 pm
by tepples
I followed these steps to clone the source code and build it on my Xubuntu box, which has Python and ca65 installed:

Code: Select all

git clone
cd NovaTheSquirrel
sh mk.bat
fceux nova.nes

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:03 pm
by NovaSquirrel
I try to keep the repository in a state where it's always able to build without errors and where the game works, but it's still not even close to done, content-wise (12 levels out of the planned 40+).

You can play it if you want to try it and give feedback (all finished levels should be accessible) but it's still not really in a state to be like, reviewed or anything.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:37 pm
by NovaSquirrel
Another build. This one has more levels and world 2 should be complete except for the boss one (level 2-8). I need to know whether or not the puzzles are too hard, like on 2-7. Also concerned about 3-3's difficulty. Can I get some feedback on that?

Ronald finally makes his appearance too in a level all about the burger ability. (2-3)

Nova the Squirrel also now supports a SNES controller. Use X and A for two alternate versions of the ability you have, which are normally up+B and down+B.

Boulders that fall when nothing is supporting them. Actually had Hannah and the Pirate Caves in mind when I added this.

Slightly outdated gif showing off a puzzle mechanic involving placing down blocks and modifying the level. Loosely inspired by Donkey Kong for Game Boy. In the actual game I added key-repeat and it uses the player palette, and there's no glitchy frame.

<Bushytail> I need to figure out a good attack pattern for a cloud enemy
<darrylrev> give him a giant sword
<darrylrev> since he's a cloud
Some people make NES games that look like they could have come out in the 80s but it looks like I'm set on making mine look like it came out in 2008.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:26 am
by na_th_an
I love the clouds :)

I dig the overall stille, it looks fresh. The only gripe I have with the shop screen is that text seems to be off-center, but that's my obsesive-compulsive self talking :)

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:38 pm
by Myask
"asume" assume
"Das me" Dat's (…no good way to write that, is there?)


"Something cool here later"…okay.

You have the Super Mario World noteblock problem with your red breakable springblock: if you hold run and a direction you won't spring up, you'll just bounce each in turn (destroying them and not going up). Running left at the last segment of 2-1 will do this. [acc: fast, speed: slow]

Boulders instant kill? Well, that's one way to prevent skipping past them. It's not friendly, though.

The push-one-space blocks' instant move doesn't look good. 2-2's three-tall stack-to-push can also be skipped by not pushing any and run-jumping from the top of its initial position.

Ice block [or hamburger] may skip the final segment of 2-2; this seems intentional given the provided platform access.

The cannons that just drip fry-bombs look odd, since they just drop straight down. (or was Ronald stuck in a cannon? not sure)

2-4 the second switch (enables a floor to run over a gap) may be skipped with runspeed fast. Or burger.

in fact, you can phase through the top brick on the screen in 2-4 by jumping and down-B burgering.

You can get in the ceiling with burger down-B. if you have an upper corner you're facing away from. you gradually come out, though; I was unable to actually get stuck. (Burger also lets you bypass pushing that block all the way, but I expect that's intended.) In fact, burger lets you get through 100% of the item placement puzzles in this level, without placing any, if you're good. (Not something you should change, imo.)
…however, that you can just jump over the item-placement section with a jump, down-b, jump is maybe bad?

Placed items vary in resulting palette.

exiting the shop puts you on the latest world, rather than where you were.

Dying after buying something means you don't have it? huh.[a: no, your inventory override for 2-5 is why I couldn't. The ice block I bought is back at 2-6]

Being unable to see where Nova is when placing blocks is a handicap when you're trying to place from midair+inventory.

Dropping onto screen 1 of 2-5 can have the sunmask get a cheap hit. In general such screen transitions that aren't ladder-based can yield a cheap hit.

2-5 killed me a lot until I started using the items. Nice secret cache.

2-6: Chips, and suction boots to defeat conveyors? (oh, and green-button alternator blocks?) Very obviously taking from Chip's Challenge. (except suction boots don't make much sense for defeating mid-air force-direction-thingies.)

Did you forget to implement the actual counter for chips remaining? There's a chip by the HUD but no number. (or is that "regular inventory is disallowed"? guess it's the latter.)

Tornadoes don't quite have a consistent carry spot for Nova; was bounced up and down while in one.

Attack-while-climbing lacks animation. Or facing indication other than attack.

2-7: placed items still don't affect the palette of a square. This means that the placed up-arrows (which aren't hinted to be forcibly-inventoried) don't look red as an arrow that WILL go off when headbonked(/touched) should.

Standing up against the side of a boulder as it begins to fall = death

Standing precisely between two pass-through platform squares still means you can't pass down through either.

Ah, finally see the point of the dithered blocks: boulders can't pass through.

2-7's second-to-last enemy placement, with two tracking monkeyfires and two remote bomb turrets, is a bit nasty…frankly, easiest to just tank a hit there.

2-8:uh, whatb oss? known, I guess.

Ice power doesn't have the burger 1/j limit. It's not really possible to abuse this, though. Also, it won't freeze all of a surface if you slide it off the edge normally, only 3 on, 1 off.

I managed to defeat one of your "don't go over the level" bits in world 2, can't remember which, by …going over it. (2-1's first, using an iceblock or burger, and jumping)

Running over the roof at start of 3-1 doesn't hit the money-and-checkpoint platform. Also, you can access this roofrun from that platform or the very beginning.

I managed to beat 3-3 without riding on any minecarts (except to move them out of the way). I suspect I'm not on the usual difficulty curve. ;) It was fun and challenging the first time.

Occasionally checkpoints wouldn't count. I couldn't figure why.

Pressing start in the options menu, even if you reach it by pausing, sends you out to level select. This is bad, if you were expecting to unpause and resume.

edit to add: no guard against using a block on Nova's location, and it only takes one to trap yourself…but there is always that "restart from checkpoint" menu option.

edit to add 2: winning 2-8 fight in mid-air put me in a place I instantly fell to my death, rather than the exit location.

eta3: discovered a roundabout infinite jump. Down-B iceblock, jump, pause, select ice block (using one up), repeat.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:16 am
by NovaSquirrel
Thanks for the big list of comments; looks like I have a lot of things to fix. I was actually curious about difficulty, but I guess that's not an issue? Though the people on this forum are probably going to be awesome at platformers.

"Asume" is a typo but "das" is intentional; the person that character is based off of actually does type like that.

Looks like I need to finally get around to making the ChangeBlock routine update the palette of the changed block too. That shouldn't be too hard since I already have code for that from DABG. Money bags in world 3 also have the same problem where the money palette stays even though it changes to the background tiles.

Boulders being deadly was because I thought the player would get stuck otherwise because of how I've implemented them (invisible solid blocks), but it looks like they just eject the player out of the way, so I've removed damage. If it somehow does cause a player to get stuck I suppose they can reset to the checkpoint.

I noticed that a lot of stuff was skippable via ice or burgers or good jumps when I made the levels, and I decided that's usually fine. I could see someone having fun speedrunning the game and trying to get through the level with practiced jumping and ability use, and other players can take the safer and easier route of going through the level as intended. I'll stop them from bypassing huge chunks of the level though.

The chip symbol was originally supposed to indicate "this is a puzzle level, so the rules are different" but I abandoned all the ideas for how they'd be different except for having a temporary fixed inventory set and ability. I should probably use a different symbol that's more related to what it actually does, and make sure the player knows to look in their inventory when they see it. I intend on marking them on the level select too. Chip collecting does need some sort of counter, I agree.

World 2 is very, very blatant with being Chip's Challenge inspired. I mean, it even says "bummer" when you die. Yeah I guess it doesn't make sense for suction boots to apply to more than just floors, but it makes it more obvious what the function is. Chip's Challenge for Lynx uses a magnet to represent that item and that would probably be even worse.

World 2's boss wasn't even coded yet so it's just World 1's boss again and an obviously unfinished level. Yeah I know you can die after the win text, I need to look into that.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:42 pm
by Myask
Oh. I've mainly played TileWorld instead, so don't have the same SFX. Were it any more inspired the green key would not be used up by doors ;)
NovaSquirrel wrote:Thanks for the big list of comments; looks like I have a lot of things to fix. I was actually curious about difficulty, but I guess that's not an issue? Though the people on this forum are probably going to be awesome at platformers.
2-5 is, I think, harder than the ones mentioned. 2-7's a bit damage-heavy. Homing Missiles having explosions in addition to being fast and immortal makes them difficult to avoid damage from. Stunning them is mostly bad, too, since they can still turn while stunned (bug?) so that decreases their turning radius.
Money bags in world 3 also have the same problem where the money palette stays even though it changes to the background tiles.
…I thought that that one was an intentional reference to exactly the same problem in SMB3 undergrounds, especially with the starry BG being similar.

Collision with the top row of blocks is different. You can't always jump off of them. You can act like they're not there in some cases.

Silly thought: 'Ronald' = "Chip Wickedburger"; he shows up in the Chip's Challenge levels (and superficially resembles him in being a 16px normally-proportioned human), throws chips (British), and has a wicked burger to fly around on.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:05 am
by NovaSquirrel
Myask wrote:Ice power doesn't have the burger 1/j limit. It's not really possible to abuse this, though.
Oh really?
This is amusing enough that I kind of don't want to take this out.

Homing missiles now delay a little bit before exploding, giving you time to get out of the way. I might increase the time if it ends up being too short but it's still way better than just having something immediately explode on you.

As the first gif shows I also made it so changing a block also changes its palette, which was pretty easy since I could just reuse the attribute byte calculation thing from the scrolling code.

Gonna keep working on this a bunch over the summer and maybe by the end I'll have it mostly done except for music.

Re: Nova the Squirrel (WIP)

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:21 am
by Sumez
NovaSquirrel wrote: Oh really?
This is amusing enough that I kind of don't want to take this out.
This is the kind of stuff that makes speedruns fun - as long as it's not so "useful" that the entire game ends up being played like that, and as it's still somewhat difficult to pull off. If you want to convert it into an "intended" feature, maybe you could at least think up a way to make doing it a little more challenging.