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[NES] Ramses Game
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=7420
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Author:  MetalSlime [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:30 am ]
Post subject:  [NES] Ramses Game

Ramses Game is my NES homebrew.

Story
Ramses (the hero) was kidnapped from his home by space pirates and sold at a slave auction in the Artajian system to a cruel master named Bonehammer. Now he finds himself on a monster-infested planet, trapped in a strange prison with a bomb strapped to his chest. He sees a hammer in the corner of the room. Curious, he picks up the hammer and the game for his life begins…

Gameplay
The gameplay is based loosely on a Dragon Quest 5 (DS) minigame called Slime Smack, which is a touch-pen Whack-a-mole game with slimes.

There is a game board with several holes. Monsters come out of the holes and you have to whack them in a specific order before the timer runs out.

The NES doesn't have a touch-pen, so each hole is assigned a button combination (up+A, down+A, left+A, right+A, etc). Pressing a combination whacks the corresponding hole.

There will be several levels. Each level has a different theme with different monster types and a boss at the end. I plan to have cutscenes in between levels to drive the story.

Videos

I'm keeping a video journal of my progress as I code the game. Here are the videos so far:

Ramses Game Journal 1
Ramses Game Journal 2
Ramses Game Journal 3
Ramses Game Journal 4

What's next

Right now I'm writing the boss fight engine. Boss battles will be slightly different from the main gameplay. You will have a life bar instead of a bomb timer. Bosses are large and shoot projectiles at you. Projectiles are assigned a button combination and you will have to whack them before they hit you. In between volleys the boss will become vulnerable and you will get a chance to hit them.

Feel free to post any comments, questions suggestions or ideas you have.

Author:  Celius [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:29 am ]
Post subject: 

Interesting concept =). Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to hear the music (I don't have sound on this PC), but I thought the badguys in the 4th video looked pretty cool. The animation of them coming up and down the holes is pretty smooth. I'm not sure how you did it, but you really managed to make it look like they subside into shadows when they go back down the hole. Very cool!

Author:  Xious [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ever consider making it a light-gun game, en lieu of a touchpen?

Could even go so far as to make a light pen conversion in the future :)

Author:  tepples [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

So it appears you're making an 8-panel game similar to Whac-A-Mole or Mole Patrol using a control scheme that reminds me of the original D-Pad Hero. Here are some other possibilities.

Dual controller style: Uses controllers 1 and 2. Useful for emulators with keyboard or DDR pads.
Code:
  1U      2U
1L  1R  2L  2R
  1D      2D

Smash TV dual fisted style: Uses controllers 1 and 2.
Code:
  1L      2L
1D  1U  2D  2U
  1R      2R

Super NES to NES adapter style: Uses controllers 1 and 3, as if it were an NES Four Score without a signature.
Code:
  1U      3B
1L  1R  1B  3A
  1D      1A

Power Pad side A:
Code:
   3       2
 8   7   6   5
  11      10

Power Pad side B:
Code:
   2       3
 5   6   7   8
  10      11

Xious: A light pen is a point-blank light gun, and it would handle exactly the same as a Zapper. But light pens and light guns fail on LCD TVs and on the first batch of HDTVs, which are CRTs that run in 480p (for EDTV or upscaled SDTV) or 1080i. Nor is it emulated in nesDS. Do any of the NES emulators for Android emulate the Zapper?

MetalSlime: How are you randomizing the colors? Are you using a least-recently-used scheme, a bag scheme, or something else?

And for the benefit of color-blind players, have you considered making the species different other than in their color?

Author:  Celius [ Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:28 am ]
Post subject: 

Xious wrote:
Ever consider making it a light-gun game, en lieu of a touchpen?

Could even go so far as to make a light pen conversion in the future :)


I think it's better with the D-Pad and buttons; it requires more coordination and fast reflexes.

Author:  Memblers [ Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Looks pretty cool, I like the music too.

Author:  MetalSlime [ Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:58 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'll try to answer some of them

Celius wrote:
The animation of them coming up and down the holes is pretty smooth. I'm not sure how you did it, but you really managed to make it look like they subside into shadows when they go back down the hole. Very cool!


I'm not quite sure how I did it either. Out of the three skills of NES homebrewing (programming, music and art), art is the one that gives me the most trouble. For the frames where the monster is falling into the hole, I blacked out the outer edges of the sprite to make it look like that part of the monster was out of the light. And I added a little vertical motion downwards and that seemed to do the trick.

Xious wrote:
Ever consider making it a light-gun game, en lieu of a touchpen?


Very briefly, but the game I wanted to make was too fast-paced for that. Zapper games were never much fun for me growing up either.


tepples wrote:
So it appears you're making an 8-panel game


Yes, although the plan is for later levels to have 10 holes, activated by Select+up and Select+down. The extra holes show up in the middle of the gameboard, lined up with the other "up" and "down" holes.

I considered some other control schemes, but the button combinations won out because they cut down on button-mashing and unintentional mis-whacks. When you whack a hole, you have to release the buttons before you can enter another combination and this greatly minimizes the effectiveness of button-mashing. And the requirement of two buttons prevents you from ruining your "Perfect" or whatever if you happen to hit a single stray button.

I don't even own a Power Pad or DDR pad, so those options never even came up in design :)

tepples wrote:
How are you randomizing the colors? Are you using a least-recently-used scheme, a bag scheme, or something else?


Similar to the bag scheme except I have a little more control to tweak for individual levels. There is a "bag" that gets filled with monsters. Each sublevel has several "monster packs" that it can choose from randomly to fill the bag with. Monster packs typically have 2-5 monsters in them. This scheme allows me to control the frequency of individual monsters easily. Level 1-5 asks for a lot of Red Gorks, so the monster packs for that level have more Red Gorks in them than previous levels. It's also really easy to make balance tweaks this way. If a level is too easy or too hard, a slight adjustment to that level's monster packs usually does the trick.

tepples wrote:
And for the benefit of color-blind players, have you considered making the species different other than in their color?


Yes, levels will have different monster types that won't merely be palette swaps, although to be honest I never thought about color-blind players. I just wanted different monsters for variety. The palette-swapped Gorks are actually a direct result of me not having enough time to draw three monsters instead of one that day :). Art is my weak point and instead of tackling it head-on I tend to put it off as much as possible.

Memblers wrote:
Looks pretty cool, I like the music too.


Thanks. I have a few more songs written for the game that I hope to stick in the next video. Hope you'll like those ones too.

Author:  Celius [ Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

MetalSlime wrote:
Thanks for the comments everyone. I'll try to answer some of them

Celius wrote:
The animation of them coming up and down the holes is pretty smooth. I'm not sure how you did it, but you really managed to make it look like they subside into shadows when they go back down the hole. Very cool!


I'm not quite sure how I did it either. Out of the three skills of NES homebrewing (programming, music and art), art is the one that gives me the most trouble. For the frames where the monster is falling into the hole, I blacked out the outer edges of the sprite to make it look like that part of the monster was out of the light. And I added a little vertical motion downwards and that seemed to do the trick.


I think the little bit of bounce that happens when they come up is a really important peice of the animation that makes it look realistic. The same thing also seems to happen when they go down. Just the subtle details like this and the ones you mentioned previously (like blacking out the edges) can really bring an animation to life.

Author:  Xious [ Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:53 am ]
Post subject: 

tepples wrote:
-
Xious: A light pen is a point-blank light gun, and it would handle exactly the same as a Zapper. But light pens and light guns fail on LCD TVs and on the first batch of HDTVs, which are CRTs that run in 480p (for EDTV or upscaled SDTV) or 1080i. Nor is it emulated in nesDS. Do any of the NES emulators for Android emulate the Zapper?



True in many respects, save that most true light pens work by scanline (CR) detection, rather than the simpler light-detection/lightboxing usd by the NES light guns. It was a suggestion based on hardware availability, as few people will be willing to go out and build a custom light pen, or convert anything else into one, unless they own a Vectrex. :)

(Then again, this will require the user to build a custom adapter or a modified controller, so it's a given that it'll entice the tech-capable crowd, on real HW at any rate.)

The emulation aspects for certain emulators wouldn't be something I'd initially rationalize, but I didn't consider the issues with newer TVs. Again, considering that I use 1980s CRT monitors for my consoles, it didn't immediately spring to mind as a problem, but I certainly see the issues with doing it that way. I only have two non-CRT displays that aren't system-integrated, and both are used as monitors on my design workstation, so I've never even tried to use a Zapper on either of them. Display properties of newer monitors therefore, are outside my experience for this sort of usage, so I didn't ponder about that sort of problem.

Further, not owning an android, and not generally using emulators, save to test stuff on occasion, I don't know what the more esoteric ones support. Many of the desktop builds support the Zapper it in some aspect, and I shouldn't see why it would be difficult to implement with a touch-screen device, aside from possibly being unpopular enough to be a non-priority.

Anyhow, my suggestion stems from this: As a youngster, I rather enjoyed real shooting galleries, long before people found them 'inappropriate'. I miss going to carnivals that had those huge displays with little mounted guns filled with lead pellets that you could use to shoot at moving targets; even when they changed over to electronically targeting versions, it was still fun, and now it's all gone, so I enjoy a light-gun game once in a while, and a new offering in that department is never unwelcome to me.

In my opinion there were too few of them in the NES library, and many of the ones that were released weren't quite what I'd desired, so I will never complain about any homebrew that uses the gun, or any one of the oddball NES accessories. Heck, I'd love another title to use with the 'Gyromite' hardware...it had a fair amount of possibilities but never went anywhere. The same gyro pieces could be used in an entirely different way to supplement a game, rather than to directly control it, which would have been ideal. In fact, with a longer timer, even 'Gryomite' could have been far more enjoyable.

Then again, I guess it probably suffers from the same issue with newer displays though as the programming data for its movements is received through light detection... ??

The issue of TV compatibility is definable an argument I can't contradict. It still shocks me somewhat that the Zapper's light-detection wouldn't work on any newer screen... I expect that it is either an intensity issue, or a synchronizing problem with the screen blank timing required by the photo-diode. (Probably the latter, given that modern 'TVs' have an all-at-once refresh-rate.)

I'm perfectly happy to accept any other answer that I didn't think about, and I might conceive of others on my own that are potentially entirely false; maybe a polarization problem...but I think the refresh rate is still the major issue. I would expect intensity problems from LCDs, but not plasma screens, for example. (LCDs lack the ability to have anything close to true-black, and the contrast is horrible on most that I've seen.)

In any event, the game concept is brill, and I look forward to a demo release. I still think the extra buttons are an interesting idea, and it gives me some food for thought for stuff in the future.

Author:  bigjt_2 [ Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

This is looking damn cool. The music is great! Then again, I wasn't surprised considering this project is coming from the guy who wrote the NA sound tutorials. :-) Can't wait to play it, although I can already tell it's going to kick my ass. My reflexes are a bit slooooow.

Hey Metalslime, did you ever decide whether or not you're going to release this on a cart?

Author:  tmgpaul [ Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

This game looks awesome! You should release it at Too Many Games in MAY www.toomanygames.com

Author:  Denine [ Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:00 am ]
Post subject: 

Really good music.
I very like monsters design,especially green ones;]
If it's not a secret-What mapper it use? I guess...NROM?
I have a suggestion:
Maybe,If there won't be any problems(Like running out of free space) you can add difficulty select?
Game looks really fun,but...RED gorks dissapear too fast for me :oops:
Keep up the good work,sir!

Author:  crade [ Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

tepples wrote:
So it appears you're making an 8-panel game similar to Whac-A-Mole or Mole Patrol using a control scheme that reminds me of the original D-Pad Hero. Here are some other possibilities.

Dual controller style: Uses controllers 1 and 2. Useful for emulators with keyboard or DDR pads.
Code:
  1U      2U
1L  1R  2L  2R
  1D      2D

Smash TV dual fisted style: Uses controllers 1 and 2.
Code:
  1L      2L
1D  1U  2D  2U
  1R      2R

Super NES to NES adapter style: Uses controllers 1 and 3, as if it were an NES Four Score without a signature.
Code:
  1U      3B
1L  1R  1B  3A
  1D      1A

Power Pad side A:
Code:
   3       2
 8   7   6   5
  11      10

Power Pad side B:
Code:
   2       3
 5   6   7   8
  10      11

Xious: A light pen is a point-blank light gun, and it would handle exactly the same as a Zapper. But light pens and light guns fail on LCD TVs and on the first batch of HDTVs, which are CRTs that run in 480p (for EDTV or upscaled SDTV) or 1080i. Nor is it emulated in nesDS. Do any of the NES emulators for Android emulate the Zapper?

MetalSlime: How are you randomizing the colors? Are you using a least-recently-used scheme, a bag scheme, or something else?

And for the benefit of color-blind players, have you considered making the species different other than in their color?


You forgot using this:
http://img717.imageshack.us/i/supermogu ... okkun.jpg/
awesome accessory :)

Author:  johannesmutlu [ Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [NES] Ramses Game

MetalSlime wrote:
Ramses Game is my NES homebrew.

Story
Ramses (the hero) was kidnapped from his home by space pirates and sold at a slave auction in the Artajian system to a cruel master named Bonehammer. Now he finds himself on a monster-infested planet, trapped in a strange prison with a bomb strapped to his chest. He sees a hammer in the corner of the room. Curious, he picks up the hammer and the game for his life begins…

Gameplay
The gameplay is based loosely on a Dragon Quest 5 (DS) minigame called Slime Smack, which is a touch-pen Whack-a-mole game with slimes.

There is a game board with several holes. Monsters come out of the holes and you have to whack them in a specific order before the timer runs out.

The NES doesn't have a touch-pen, so each hole is assigned a button combination (up+A, down+A, left+A, right+A, etc). Pressing a combination whacks the corresponding hole.

There will be several levels. Each level has a different theme with different monster types and a boss at the end. I plan to have cutscenes in between levels to drive the story.

Videos

I'm keeping a video journal of my progress as I code the game. Here are the videos so far:

Ramses Game Journal 1
Ramses Game Journal 2
Ramses Game Journal 3
Ramses Game Journal 4

What's next

Right now I'm writing the boss fight engine. Boss battles will be slightly different from the main gameplay. You will have a life bar instead of a bomb timer. Bosses are large and shoot projectiles at you. Projectiles are assigned a button combination and you will have to whack them before they hit you. In between volleys the boss will become vulnerable and you will get a chance to hit them.

Feel free to post any comments, questions suggestions or ideas you have.

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