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 Post subject: Block Dude port
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:13 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
I'm wrapping up a couple other projects, but wanted to get one step closer to writing a complete game. I've built a "game" that was more of a tool in assembly (MashyMashy) and recently have been rewriting it in C because I have actual experience in C so I'm finding it SOOO much easier. ANYWAY, I thought the best next step would be to write a clone of an existing game to get some experience with all the game aspects without having to have the extra hurdle of game and UI design... SOOOOOOOO

I'm going to rewrite Blockdude (the old TI-83 calculator game) for the NES. Wanted to know if anyone had any thoughts on this... if there's something particularly challenging or if I should worry about TI coming after me or if its just a solid way to get closer to building my own game?

For now I don't really want to talk about anything but a straight clone. I think there are some great wrinkles that I could add, but don't want to get distracted. What I really like about this choice is that the harder parts to emulate for most games (like physics and graphics) are SUPER simple in this game. It also has a couple of decent challenges like a limited window size (yes I'm hoping to limit the window to what you'd see on the calculator) or some light handling of more than 8 blocks on one line. I'm also hoping to stream some of the development assuming I can move at a great enough pace that I can still keep it interesting.

Anyway, wanted to share in case anyone had some helpful advice/lessons they've already learned... or if someone had already done this or tried this... Worst case by posting this I have one less reason to keep putting it off and never getting to it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Block Dude port
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:11 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Texas Instruments didn't make any of the games for its calculators, and the Block Dude concept has been around in some form since the mushroom block puzzles in Super Mario Bros. 2: Mario Madness.

Blocks per scanline shouldn't be a problem if you draw them as background instead of sprites. You can do the window limiting (12 cells by 8 cells) by doubling the sizes of all graphics (from 96x64 to 192x128) and putting sprites at the left and right sides of the scrolling playfield.


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 Post subject: Re: Block Dude port
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:40 am 
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Yeah I think there'll be a handful of ways to handle both issues. As for the scaling factor, I'll probably draw it at 1x and see how it looks/feels, mainly cos I think it'll simplify a lot... but either way, a big part of why I'm picking this project is cos decisions like this are pretty limited, which makes it far more likely to be completed.


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 Post subject: Re: Block Dude port
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:14 pm 
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I don't think I have any great suggestions, but that sounds like a fun project! I've got some fond memories of that one.

I think a number of the mechanics of the game will make it a good first "real" game/early project/whatever. The movement and scrolling were both very simple and on a grid, so you don't need to worry much about complex movement, acceleration, etc... I'd guess you probably won't have to work hard to get the color scheme you want either. The sprites/graphics generally also fit on a grid, which is good. All good stuff, really.

Good luck, and I hope you have fun making it!


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 Post subject: Re: Block Dude port
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:42 am 
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This is actually going way faster than expected. There only real challenge I have left is limiting the screen size. Don't think that one feature would block releasing a prototype demothough so if I can do some general cleanup and close out menuing... I'd be surprised if I didn't have something worth showing around by end of month.


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